ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Simple Chords for Beginner Guitarists

Updated on August 26, 2018
Brian Esparza profile image

Brian is an intrepid traveler who loves films, music, and fighting games.

Introduction to the Six String

So you have a new guitar and have no idea where to start? It is safe to say you will not be shredding any time soon. From my personal experience learning guitar, I feel it is best to learn and practice some simple chords in the beginning. A chord is simply the formation you make on a combination of pressed strings to form a clear, distinct sound when you strum. They can be thought of as building blocks for songs, especially some simple ones. This article will go over some simple chords that can help you get started mastering your guitar.

Currently holding down the thin E string.
Currently holding down the thin E string.

But First...

If these chords are going to be your first steps, then you need to learn to crawl first. You have to know what is what on our guitar before you start walking. You have to know the name of the guitar strings. From bottom to top (thinnest to thickest), they are E, A, D, G, B, and E. An effective way to remember the string names is this little phrase; Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie. It is a bit morbid, but it will certainly stick with you. Frets will be easier to remember since they are simply numbered from where they start on the guitar neck. The first fret is fret one and goes all the way down. This is how we will describe where to place your fingers when you learn chords such as playing strings G and D on the fourth fret.

First Exercise

A good exercise to familiarize yourself with your guitar is to play each string on the first 6 frets slowly one by one. This will allow you to get comfortable with feeling the distance between each fret horizontally as well as the vertical distance between strings as you move up and down. Go slow at first, starting from the light E string and moving up until you get comfortable going faster. When you get real good, try the exercise going back and forth from the first and sixth fret as well as starting from the thick E string and going repeatedly up and down. With enough practice you will eventually be able to move around the fret board without even looking at the strings you are playing. This exercise is especially effective since your strumming hand will simultaneously memorize where the strings are that need to be strummed.

A Chord

Our first chord will be the A major chord. This simple chord will have you pressing strings A, D, and G, all on the second fret. You will strum all six strings. The best fingers to use will be the index finger through the ring finger. For future reference, your fingers from the index to the pinky will be called fingers one through four. It is important that you press down on the strings with just the tip of your fingers. If any part of your fingers come in contact with the other strings, you will interfere with the strings vibrations when strummed and your chord will not sound out correctly. This chord is good practice for this issue because although you are on a single fret, it is a bit of a challenge to have three fingers close to each other without messing up the sound of the chord. Also make sure you are firmly pressing down on the strings, you will get a kind of buzzy sound on strings that are not completely pressed down.

C Chord

Next up is C major. This is a good chord that will get you used to stretching your fingers across the fret board. You will place finger one on the A string of the first fret, finger two on the G string of the second fret, and finger three on the B string of the third fret. You will strum down starting from the B string. You may need to press down the strings with the sides of your fingers rather than the front tips, so be careful of interfering with the other strings.

D Chord

The D major chord is one of my personal favorites because it requires a surprising amount of accuracy despite its relative simplicity. Fingers one and two will go on strings E and D on the second fret while finger three will go on the A string on the third fret. You will strum starting on the G string. The common hurdle of this chord is the third finger interfering with other strings or not getting enough pressure on the bottom two strings. It is one of the more pleasant sounding chords so it will be well worth the effort to perfect your formation on this chord.

E Chord

The E major chord is a real simple one. Finger one will go on the D string on the first fret, finger two will go on the G string of the second fret, and finger three will go on the B string of the second fret. All strings will be strummed. Due to being fairly close to the location of the A major chord, you could later on practice chord transitions between these two chords.

G Chord

All right, I have saved the toughest for last. Don't worry, you got this one. The G major chord is often considered the most challenging one for beginners, likely because it requires the most dexterity. Finger one will be on the B string on the second fret, finger two will be on the top E string of the third fret, and finger three will be on the bottom E string on the third fret as well. All strings are strummed. The most common problem is the second finger disturbing the B string, so you really need to curl your fingers into almost a claw shape to ensure your finger tips are precisely holding down the strings. Take your time to get it right. You will eventually make this chord without even thinking about it.

Additional Tips

  • When you comfortably have your chords down, feel free to practice transitioning between them, such as playing A to E to G. Try timing yourself to see how fast you can play different chords.
  • For extra help with strumming, try simply strumming each individual string slowly while progressively going faster without looking. Try to eventually do this while also skipping some strings.
  • Try listening to recordings of the different chords to recognize them by sound as you learn to play them.
  • In addition to putting chords together, you can also make a tune by strumming upwards at different beats to add some variety.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)