For a beginning guitar player, there are a lot of challenges. There’s learning the individual notes on the fretboard, learning proper posture, and dealing with coordinating both hands at once. And then, on another level, there are chords. For beginners, guitar chords are one of the hardest things to do, because doing them right involves a lot of hand strength, as well as muscle memory.
At first, you’re probably going to have to move each finger individually to form the chord, and you’ll feel some tension in your hand as it stretches a bit to reach all the necessary strings. That’s completely normal, and it’s good practice. If you keep it up, you’ll find that soon you’ll be able to simply form a chord without even thinking about it, and it will get a lot easier. But for now, just know that all guitar players have had to deal with learning their first chords.
The easiest chords to start with, and probably some of the most common ones you’ll find in many songs, are open or first position chords, meaning they are played among the first four frets on your guitar, and many utilize open strings. The three chords we are going to go into in this lesson are Am, C and Em. The small “m” stands for “minor,” but you don’t need to understand what that means just yet in order to play the chords.
Here we’re also including the chord charts for these three chords. It would help you immensely if you understood how to read chord charts, as charts will be a reference for you in the years to come. Am, C and Em are great beginner guitar chords because, as you can see, they involve only two or three fingers each, and don’t require an unnatural placement of your fingers, or much stretching. Start with Em, then move onto Am, and then try your hand at forming C. You definitely want to make sure you’re using the correct fingers to fret the notes too. Otherwise, you’ll only hurt yourself in your future endeavors by making it harder for you to move between chords.
Check out this easy lesson from our man, Jon Maclennan:
Other beginner guitar chords that are also not too difficult are A, G, D, Dm, F and E. You can easily find chord charts online for these, so after you feel comfortable with Am, C and Em, move onto these and see how you do!
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