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10 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners 2021

If you want to learn how to play guitar chords as a beginner you’ve come to the right place! One of the first things to do when you’re new to playing the guitar is learn a few chords.

It’s pretty amazing how many songs you can play with just these few basic chords. 

This is one of the best ways to spend your time as a beginner. This lesson will teach you the easiest and most basic guitar chords for new players. 

Each chord will have a corresponding chart so you can see what the fretting hand should look like when playing them.

The chords that we’re going to focus on in this lesson are:

  • C Major
  • G Major
  • D Major
  • A Major
  • E Major
  • A minor
  • E minor
  • D minor

Finger Placement

Also keep in mind that the numbered dots on the chord diagrams indicate which finger should be used.

  • 1 = Index Finger
  • 2= Middle Finger
  • 3 = Ring Finger
  • 4 = Pinky

C Major Chord Chart

Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

Note that when we play a C Major chord, we are not including the low E string. Try playing the low E and you’ll see why it doesn’t work that well. The low E booms over the rest of the chord and makes it sound muddy.

The hardest thing about this chord (and many of the others for that matter) is making sure that your fingers get up and over the strings so that none of them are muffled when you strum. 

Try building up to the full chord by playing each finger on its fret by itself. Then two fingers at a time, now all three.

G Major Chord Chart And Fingering

Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

This is the most basic fingering of G Major. I’ve shown it using my third finger to fret the G on the high E string, but you can use your pinky if that is more comfortable.

G Major (alternate fingering) Chord Chart

This is an alternate fingering for G Major with a D on the third fret of the B string instead of open. Use your third finger on the B string and your pinky on the high E.

There is yet another variation which is a rock or country guitar fingering. 

Here you don’t play the B on the second fret of the A string. Instead, mute that string with your second finger. This produces a powerful sounding G chord which is neither major or minor.

D Major Chord Chart And Placement

Here we are not playing the low E or A strings with this fingering. There is an alternate rock guitar fingering for D where we don’t play the F# on the second fret of the high E string.

This produces a D “power” chord that is neither major or minor.

A Major Chord Chart

I’ve shown one of the many ways to fret A major. You can use your index finger to bar all three second fret notes if that feels more comfortable. 

There’s also a classical guitar placement where you bar the second fret of the D and G strings with your index finger. Now use the next finger on the second fret of the B string. The note is a C#. This makes it much easier to let the open high E ring out.

As with the G and D chords above, there is a “rock and roll” way to play A. That is to only play the notes on the A, D and G strings.

Don’t play the low and High E, or B strings. This produces an A “power” chord which is neither major or minor.

Asus2 – An Alternative

Asus2

While A Major is a very important chord to learn, it can be tough at first. Squeezing all 3 fingers in there on one fret takes practice and accuracy.

The Asus2 chord, like in the picture above is an easy alternative that you can start with. This chord only requires 2 fingers.

As you gain finger strength and accuracy you can then work at mastering the A Major chord. But to start I encourage you to work with the Asus2 chord.

You can see that all strings with the exception of the low E are open. So the challenge will be to prevent striking the low E with your pick. But don’t worry too much if you do, the focus is getting more comfortable with chords here.

E Major Chord Chart And Fingering

Last among the major chords that we’ll learn in this lesson (but certainly not least) is E. This can also be turned into a rock and roll “power” chord by only playing notes on the low E, A and D strings.

A Minor Chord Chart And Fingering

This is the first of our three minor chords for this lesson. Notice that while the major chords sound happy and powerful, this minor sounds a bit more on the sad side. 

Also notice that this is another example where we are not going to play the low E string because it makes the chord sound muddy.

A Minor 7 – An Easy Alternative

A minor can be a tough chord for a beginner because of the 3 finger placement. Its easy to trip up this fingering initially. The difficulty here is on the high side.

An easier version is the A minor 7 chord. This is an excellent way to get started with A minor. And because it is so similar to C major, switching between chords will be easier as well.

E Minor Chord Chart And Fingering

This is one of the easiest chords to fret because you only need two fingers. I’ve shown the configuration using the first and second fingers. Some players like to use their second and third fingers instead.

As you get better you may end up fretting this differently depending on which chords come before and after it.

D Minor Chord Chart And Fingering

The last of our minor chords for this lesson. This one utilizes your three primary fingers like the D major chord. However the minor requires a different placement.

We are striking the same strings and muting the Low E and A like the major. But as you can see, the finger placement is different.

If you are taking advantage of the D major “power” chord fingering as mentioned above, it is easy to switch between the two.

You would simply use your first finger to move between the major and minor.

This can also be great practice and a good indicator that the fingers you use in certain places on the fretboard matters.

Putting Easy Guitar Chords Together

Many popular songs can be played using just the chords in this lesson. You can also experiment with putting some of these chords together on your own. 

Here are a few popular progressions to get you started.

Progression One

  • C Major 
  • A Minor
  • G Major

Progression Two

  • D Major
  • G Major
  • A Major

Progression Three

  • A Major
  • D Major
  • E Major

Progression Four

  • G Major
  • D Major
  • E minor
  • C Major

Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners Conclusion

Working on these chords with a great learning plan will train your fingers and muscle memory. They are very easy and after a few months should be easy to chord by memory.

And because they are part of many songs they are great inspiration to keep pushing forward. This is a journey and patience and a solid plan are key.

We will do our best to help you with guides and practice tips!

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