Do you have one of those giant chord books that list every single one known to man?
Get rid of it! Seriously, you don’t need all of that stuff.
In fact, you only need a few shapes and the ability to change one or two notes of that shape to get a different chord.
It’s pretty easy, and I’m going to show a couple of tips for all of you.
The first guitar chords for beginners are usually the barre chords like E and A.
They’re relatively easy to fret, and they’re used practically everywhere on the fretboard.
Plus if you play the first three strings starting on the low E, you get those powerchords that are literally everywhere!
Now for Em and Am, it’s even easier to remember…….
Take E, and don’t play the 1st fret on the G string (022100).
You’ll then have this chord: 022000.
That’s it! And you can play this chord shape everywhere like at F#m (244222).
For A (x02220), do the same thing to get x02210.
Lots of chords can be made simply by tweaking a chord shape you already know!
The next chords you should learn are the D, C, and G chords……
These are used in so many chord progressions you’ll be strumming. It’s so ridiculous!
Combine these with the 4 chords you just learned, and an incredible amount of material from the guitar repertoire will be available to you.
However, the mistake many would-be guitarists make is assuming that this is all that you need to learn about the instrument.
They couldn’t be further from the truth as there are hundreds of ways to pick these chords, and put them together.
Varying the harmony and rhythm just a little bit makes these chords sound completely brand new.
So what are some of the techniques you should be learning and using with these chords?
Of course there’s up/down strumming, but this is so dull and cliche now (although you will be playing lots of songs correctly).
Then there’s fingerpicking, which gives your chords a harmonic and rhythmic intricacy to them.
Just google the term “fingerpicking patterns” and you’ll find plenty of ideas, and of course just learn some of your favorite songs.
Then there’s travis picking where you use your thumb to play a bassline, while the other fingers play a melody. Very tricky to do as it’s definitely more advanced, but it’s lots of fun once you get the hang of it.
And when you get to powerchords, there’s palm-muting, downpicking, alternate picking, and single note riffs to throw in with your chords.
The guitar has so many possibilities that it’s just silly to try and strum every chord progression you come across, in my opinion.
Some artists you can start learning from to improve your chord techniques include the Beatles, Guns n Roses, Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens, any hair metal ballad you can think of, etc.
If you already have a song in mind to learn acoustically, it’s probably within your ability.
However acoustic guitar is much more different than electric so keep that in mind when you start playing these songs.
Want to know more about guitar chords that beginners should learn? Then check out the article I just linked you to.