Basic Guitar Chords for Beginners

13 Basic Guitar Chords for Beginners (Easy To Play)

Learning guitar chords is hard, which is why a good guitarist is always admired and respected by their peers. But the truth is, it doesn’t need to be that hard. 

The reason most people struggle (and eventually quit after weeks of frustration) is because they try learning without guidance.

They never learnt to read and write on their own, and they certainly never learned to drive on their own, but their (soon-to-be damaged) ego tells them “I can run guitar on my own, it’s easy”. 

You’re obviously smarter than that, because you’re looking to learn basic guitar chords first. You know that all the greats, from Hendrix to Steve Morse had teachers guiding them along the way.

And today I’m going to help you learn the easiest guitar chords that you absolutely must start out with. I’ll also introduce you to a few tabs you’ll be able to play along with too (today)!

So by the time you finish reading this page, you’ll not only know how to play the fundamental chords, you’ll also be able to play along with some classic songs too! So grab your guitar now and let’s get started

Want to learn guitar the fast and easy way? Try Guitar Tricks for free and sky-rocket your skills with an easy-to-follow teacher immediately.

A Major Chord

A chord

The A Major chord is great to start with as every finger is placed on the second fret.

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd string
  4. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

A Minor Chord

Am chord

A Minor looks very similar to the A Major chord, but we actually need to arrange our fingers in a different order for this one.

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  4. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

B Major Chord

B chord

This one isn’t easy (sorry), but it’s absolutely essential to learn. And I wouldn’t be a very good teacher if I didn’t advise you on what’s best to learn early on. Once you’ve got this you can genuinely give yourself a pat on the back but be prepared – it will take a while.

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 2nd fret (don’t worry about the 6th string, we won’t need to play that one)
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 4th string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 2nd string
  5. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

B Minor Chord

Bm chord

Another fundamental chord, the B minor is one you’ll be glad you learned early on. Here’s how you play it:

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 2nd fret (don’t worry about the 6th string, we won’t need to play that one)
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 4th string
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd string
  5. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

C Major Chord

C chord

The C major chord is a little bit easier than the last few, and very common in all genres of music, here’s how to play it:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string
  4. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

C Minor Chord

Cm chord

Here we have that A minor shape moved up to the 3rd fret to form the C minor chord. This is a super awesome one to learn early on! Here’s how to play it:

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 3rd fret (don’t worry about the 6th string, we won’t need to play that one)
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 2nd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the 4th string
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string
  5. Strum all strings, except the 6th string

D Major Chord

D chord

Here’s a new shape for us to practice – D Major. This one’s easy to remember because it sort of looks like a capital D in it’s shape. This is how to play it:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  4. Strum all strings, except the 5th and 6th strings

D Minor Chord

Dm chord

We now have the D minor chord. This one’s fairly simple to play but don’t underestimate how much you’ll value investing the time into learning. Here’s how to play it:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  4. Strum all strings, except the 5th and 6th strings

E Major Chord

E chord

Up until now you’ve probably been wondering what the point of that 6th string is. Well it turns out, if you take that A minor shape from earlier, move it all up a string and now play all the strings – you’ve got an E major chord! Here’s the full instructions:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string
  4. Strum all strings

E Minor Chord

Em chord

After mastering E major, this E minor chord should be a piece of cake! Take your index finger off the first fret, strum all the strings and you’ve got an E minor. Here’s the full breakdown:

  1. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string
  2. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string
  3. Strum all strings

F Major Chord

F chord

Notice something about the shape of this chord? It’s that E shape again but moved up a fret, right? Here’s how to play the F major:

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 1st fret
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string
  5. Strum all strings

F Sharp Chord

F Sharp chord

Notice something again about the shape of this chord? It’s that E shape moved up again! (and if we were to take that shape to the 3rd fret we’d have a variation of the G major too!) Anyway, here’s a breakdown if you need it:

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 2nd fret
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 3rd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 5th string
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 4th string
  5. Strum all strings

G Major Chord

G chord

You could take the previous chord and move it up to the 3rd fret for the G major chord, but most commonly, it’s played like this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string
  4. Strum all strings

Easy Guitar Song To Practice Playing Along To

Now that you’ve got some experience playing the fundamental chords above, practice them while playing the songs below (you already know the chords, now it’s time to put in the work)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *