All beginners must know how to play the basic seven guitar chords. The top seven most important beginner chords are as follows: E major and E minor, A major and A minor, D major, C major and lastly G major. Equipped with the knowledge of how to play these chords on the guitar, you will have the power to play thousands of different songs.
The reason why these chords are important to pick up first is – called C-A-G-E-D-Em-Am they are open chord shapes that can be altered later on into stacks of other chord shapes, played upward of the guitar neck.
These movable shapes are known by the title of barre chords. Experts state that out of these seven chords the two best guitar chords to learn first are E major and E minor with E minor being the first chord shape to learn to play on the guitar as it is the easiest.
Learn To Read Guitar Chords Charts Properly
Guitar strings are denoted by vertical lines in the chord diagram charts. Metal frets are denoted by horizontal lines in the chord boxes. While the string notes are printed under the strings and the fret numbers are shown on the left side of the chart. The circled numbers show the fingers that must be used to fret the string.
For instance, the number 1 denotes your first finger or index finger. 2 denotes your second finger or middle finger. 3 denotes your third finger or ring finger. 4 denotes your little finger or pinky finger. X denotes that you do not play the string and o denotes open string. It is essential that you always use the same finger placements on the chords.
A common mistake that many beginners make is that t hey change chord shape fingering randomly. This slows down your guitar playing and makes fast chord changes and building muscle memory very difficult.
Tips on Playing Guitar Chords Properly
If your notes are muted or buzzing on the chords and you want to learn to play chords smooth, fast and clean, here’s what you need to do: Gently wrap your thumb around the neck of the guitar.
Next, you must place your thumb by fret 2. Since your thumb behaves like an anchor by assisting to control your chord changes and keeping your fingers in the right position, it will initially fight you and want to drop down or move to the left. However, you need to be patient and keep placing your thumb back by fret 2 till correct muscle memory builds up.
The third tip is to press the guitar string with your fingertips or finger pads. This will allow you to apply the maximum amount of pressure and make the chord notes ring out clearly. And while doing this will make your fingers sore initially, over time your fingers will toughen up. The fourth tip is to curve your fingers.
Doing this will enable you to avoid touching the guitar strings below preventing them from ringing out. Buzzing and muted strings are not just caused by pressing down on the strings too lightly, the angle of your fingers also matters. The fifth tip is to press your finger down using the correct pressure instead of playing too lightly or too hard. This is the simple rule to make your notes ring out clearly. With practice, you will find out the right amount of pressure to use.
The sixth tip is not to place your fingers on the guitar’s metal frets. In contrast to what some say, if you place your fingers too close to the metal frets there is the risk that your notes will be muted horribly. However, you cannot afford to position your fingers too much at the back as then you will need to apply more pressure.
Instead work out through your practice where the sweet spot lies, which should be mid-way between the metal fret and the fret box.
Finally, the seventh tip is to practice chords on your guitar every time that you pick up your instrument. Know that you need to develop high standards, quality control, great-sounding chords and fast changes and none of that can happen without daily practice.