By: Craig Gaiden
Understanding Guitar Chords, the Key Element to Mastering the
Don't get discouraged if you're trying to learn the guitar.
Follow the steps below and soon you'll be playing your favorite
songs by learning basic guitar chords. Once you get a feel for
the basic chords, you can go deeper and learn how chords are
made of major and minor guitar scales.
Popular Songs Sometimes Only Have Three Chords
Have you ever heard "Wild Thing" or "Louie Louie" and wondered
what chords make up these songs? Maybe you haven't, but at any
rate you might be interested to know that these songs along with
"Twist and Shout" and "Hang on Snoopy" are all built from three
major chords. They are the A, D, and E chords.
What Exactly is a Chord?
What is a chord? A chord is two or more notes played together. A
common type of chord is called a triad, which is three notes
played at the same time. With the guitar, you can make chords by
strumming, as a minimum, three strings simultaneously to send
out three notes or more. It's simple to see that with the guitar
having only six strings that the max number of notes in a guitar
chord is going to be six.
Basic Chord Types
Now it is important to understand that there are many different
variations of chords. Three of the most common types of chords
are major, minor, and sevenths. The way in which you use these
chords will determine the type of music or mood that you will
make. For example, if you need some solemn and meditative
chords, use minor chords. If you want a really solid and stable
sound, then you will want to be using major chords. If you want
a jazzier yet somewhat incomplete sounding chord, you would want
to go with seventh chords.
Commonly Used Chords
Just as you would need to know several basic phrases in the case
of learning another language, so you will need to learn around
6-16 chords fluently in order to really have a grip on playing
the guitar. Some of the most common chords are listed below.
A, G, C, D, E, F, Am, Em, and Dm chords (note: the lowercase "m"
next to the letter means that it is a minor chord.)
Get Out your Guitar and Strum Some Chords
Now that we understand the need to learn chords, let's look at
what steps there are to help you learn chords.
1. Get a chart of guitar chords and look at where the fingering
is for each chord.
2. Start by simply choosing at least two of the basic chords and
work on the transition between the two.
3. Make sure that it sounds good. The fact is that if it sounds
good you are probably doing it right. (HINT: If it doesn't sound
good to you, press down on the strings firmer with your fingers.)
4. Now learn to enjoy playing guitar chords by choosing a few of
your favorite songs that have these basic guitar chords and play
them until you can sing along. (FYI: Beatles have a great
selection of well known songs that use basic guitar chords as
5. Play daily! You must remember that although its hard at
first, you are going to make progress and it will become easier
to play the guitar by consistently playing it.
6. Practice! Remember guitar practice makes perfect guitar music!
So you've made it this far and you're hungry for more guitar
lessons, why don't you check out guitar tabs for beginners Now
it's Your Turn to Learn the Guitar At any rate, the only way to
know that the guitar is for you and your friends is to give it a
try. Good luck and maybe this can be one of those things that
you can look back on and say, "I am sure glad I learned to play
About the author:
Craig is the owner of a guitar lesson site. He is
an avid guitarist and article writer. His site will help anyone
learn guitar. Visit
Craig's site for free guitar lessons: http://www.grabguitars.com