How to Play The Basic Open Position Guitar Chords | Beginners Lesson

Guitars are extremely versatile instruments, and probably one of the factors that makes them so versatile are their capacity for chords, which are three or more notes played simultaneously. For many other instruments, chords aren’t possible, such as with flutes or clarinets, but that’s the beauty of stringed instruments, and most famously, the guitar.

So what are some basic chords of guitar? For a beginner, perhaps the simplest chords to form are those in the open position that include some open strings, so let’s start there. These are the easiest on your hands and are good places to begin with. Plus, these chords are great if you enjoy singing and playing, because you can usually play a whole slew of popular songs with just these chords.

Some great open position guitar chords to start with are E, A and G. For these, you can reference the chord charts below to see how they’re formed and using which fingers. It’s important to use the correct fingering, because once you start learning more chords, you’ll find that certain finger patterns enable you to switch more easily between different chords, so don’t just form them any way that’s comfortable for you at first. Don’t worry either if you’re having a hard time forming them at first; chords are one of the most difficult things for beginning players, but one day, with practice, they will become effortless and you’ll be able to play them without even looking at your hands or thinking about it!



Other open position chords you should practice that aren’t too difficult either are C, Bm, D, Dm, Am, F and Em, with the small “m” standing for “minor.” After you have a grip on these kinds of chords and can play them fluently, you can then check out some more kinds of chords of guitar, such as power chords or barre chords. However, these are slightly more challenging, with barre chords probably at the top of the list of most difficult chords for beginners. That’s why it’s best to start here with these chords, but do keep in mind that there are tons and tons of different chords in the world for you to tackle.


From just being able to play the few chords mentioned above, you could already play famous and popular songs such as “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,”Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and “All Too Well.” Chords will allow you to really go new places with your guitar, so they are worth the practice!

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