Which Guitar Chords Should I Learn First? IMG_1779

If you’ve been browsing guitar songs, you should have come across with chords. Chords are the magical combinations of notes that create the amazing tunes we hear from the radio every day.

But not all chords are alike. If you are a beginner guitarist, you should start with the easier ones first and move on to the more difficult stuff later on. If you want to boost your guitar learning, check out these easy guitar chords.


Below you’ll also see how to play each string. The vertical lines represent each string in the guitar, with the 0 highlighting the string you need to press. The letters below show the finger you should use to press the string. The fingers are numbered as follows:

0 = string is not pressed with a finger but strummed

1 = string is pressed with your first finger

2 = string is pressed with your middle finger

3 = string is pressed with your ring finger

4 = string is pressed with your little finger

X = string is not pressed or played

E Minor Chord

E minor chord, also known as Em, is the first chord you should master. It’s one of the most basic chords to play, as it is simple and your fingers won’t need to stretch into whacky positions for the chord.

The chord looks like this:





0      2        3       0        00

Not only is the chord easy to play, it is also used in a number of different songs. Almost all of the best beginner guitar songs feature Em.

C Major Chord

The next most popular chord is C major or simply C. Unlike with the minor chords, you don’t need to pronounce the word major.

The chord is easy to play. The biggest difference to Em is that you don’t need to play the bottom fifth string. You can either mute it with your finger or just choose to not play it.

The chord looks like this:





X      3        2       0        1       0

G Major Chord

The next beginner chord is G major. There are two different finger positions possible for this chord. The second one mentioned can seem a little bit harder to the first one, but it has the advantage of making chord progression with C major easier. So it might be worth learning the second finger position, so playing songs will be easier.

The chord looks like this:





2      1        0       00       3

3      2        0       00       4

D Major Chord

Finally, you’ll just need to add D major to your chord repertoire and you have a great selection of songs available for you. The chord is among the easiest of chords, although this one is trickier than the above chords.

There are two strings you won’t play and starting from the middle string can be tricky. But keep practicing and you’ll eventually learn the technique.

The chord looks like this:





X      X        0       1        3       2

If you master these four chords, you can play a huge number of great beginner guitar songs. For example, you could add some of the following songs to your practice routine:

Adele – Someone like you

Jason Mraz – I’m yours

Eagle Eye Cherry – Save tonight

Once you get a good handle of these chords, you can continue moving on to the next ones and eventually master all the minor and major chords! Our online music lessons have plenty of tips for mastering chords, so check them out.

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