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Basic Guitar Chords

The basic guitar chords are Chords the most accessible for a beginner.
First of all, whether they are basic electric or acoustic guitar chords, they obey the same rules. In fact, they are made up of 3 notes, or 3 sounds. The 3 notes or sounds that are present in a basic chord are the Fundamental, the third (minor or major depending on the case), then the fifth. Most often Fair, but it can also be reduced or increased.

What is the difference between minor and major chords?

The difference is at the level of a single note which changes the entire color of the chord. In fact, it is called the third.
So if you want more explanations, come to our course on major and minor chords on guitar.

Basic guitar chords: getting started?

Work on them so that you memorize the position of your fingers on the neck of your guitar. At first, your fingertips will probably hurt a little, but that's completely normal. The skin on your fingertips will harden from playing, so don't lose patience, it will come. Remember to round your fingers well and not place them flat on your handle. Otherwise some strings won't sound because you'll be muffling them, and you'll wonder why it doesn't sound good. Now you can learn basic guitar chords. You pick up your guitar, prepare your fingers and your pick, when you start to ask yourself: “What am I playing?

Where should I start with guitar chords?

Chords are one of the basics that guitarists learn from the beginning. What are agreements? Chords help create harmony in music. Without them, there wouldn't be much rhythm and the music itself would seem incomplete. Most popular instruments play them, except drums and bass, because they relate to rhythm, tempo, and adding depth to harmony. Let's see the different guitar chords for beginners, the tips and tricks for playing them, and the songs we can start playing.

Basic guitar chords: different types

Chords can be challenging for beginners because there are different types of chords and different ways to play them.
There are three standard types of agreements.

Basic Guitar Chords: Power Chords

Powerchords are very common as they are used today in rock, classical music and modern music. Power chords are known to be easy for beginners because they focus on two or three strings and frets, making it easier to work the fingers and therefore easier to play. They can be played on any type of guitar but are most mainly used for electric guitar. When power chords are played on an electric guitar, sounds can be distorted to add more depth and color. You can do this with other chords too, but power chords really set the mood for the song you're playing.

Basic guitar chords: Open chords

Open chords are great for beginner players because some of the strings are open in the chords. Open chords are similar to power chords because they focus on fewer frets, using fewer fingers and making playing easier. The only difference is that open chords use all strings. Your left hand, which you use to fret on the string, is not used for each string. Common open agreements are called CAGED. We will soon see what these chords are and how to play them.

Basic guitar chords: Barre chords

Barre chords are very different and tend to be a little more delicate than powerful, open chords. They are very useful because as you become more skilled and equipped with the guitar, you will be able to take the chord position/shape and move it up and down the frets to create new chords. In a way, it's easier to switch from one to the other because you don't have to change the shape of your fingers, just move them up and down your guitar. However, they are known to be difficult for beginners because most barre chords focus on one or maybe even two fingers holding the same fret on different strings at the same time. We'll focus on these types of agreements another time.

Basic Guitar Chords: Open Chords

Before we look at open tunings, we want to make sure our guitar is properly tuned so that the notes will be in the correct key when we start playing. If you're having trouble tuning your guitar, here's a quick article that can give you some good tips to make sure your guitar sounds good before you start playing: Tune your guitar

Basic Guitar Chords: Finger Placement

A chord diagram shows which strings are played, which frets are used, and which fingers are placed on each fret. The diagram is read horizontally. The first line is your low E string and the last line is your high E string. Imagine that you are holding the guitar vertically in front of your face. The x represents muted strings, meaning they are not played at all. The O, or circles at the top, represent an open string, meaning that no fingers are on a fret of these strings but they are still played.

Basic Guitar Chords: The Numbers

The numbers are on particular frets but they do not represent the fret being played. These numbers represent the finger that is on this fret: 1= index finger, 2= middle finger, 3= ring finger and 4= little finger. To find out which square it is on, look at the box from top to bottom. The first fret represents the first fret and so on. For example, in the A Major chord, all the frets are on the second fret. However, your index finger is on the second fret of the D string, the middle finger is below it, and the ring finger is below it.

Basic Guitar Chords: Chord Diagram

A chord diagram reads a little differently than the tablature. Tablature is used to help guitarists read notes and find where that note is on the guitar. When it comes to tablature, the lines represent the strings and are read vertically as shown below. The bottom line represents your low E string and the top line represents your high E string. When you go up on the tablature, it's like when you hold the guitar, you go down on the strings.

Basic guitar chords: the numbers on the TAB

The numbers on the TAB represent the fret you are playing on. O stands for open string and the numbers represent the frets. Therefore, even if the two diagrams look different, reading a chord diagram should not be confused with reading the TAB and vice versa.
Chord diagrams are super useful because they not only show you how to play the chords but they tell you the correct fingers to use to play the chord to make the transition between the two easier. The more you practice, the more they will be memorized and you will no longer need to look at the diagram.

Basic Guitar Chords: Some Tips

When learning these chords and/or new chords, you always want to follow these tips:
Make sure your fingers are as close to the fret as possible. What does that mean ? On the guitar, there are little bars that separate each fret. You should keep your finger close to these little bars but not directly on them. You can also try keeping your finger in the middle of the fret or between the two bars. Use your fingertips. This is where you'll get the most sound. When it comes to placing the fingers on the frets, you want to place them directly on or near the tip of your finger and make sure to keep your finger arched, almost like a C. This way you don't hit any strings and you don't muffle the sound of the note you're trying to play. Play each note/string by itself.

Why is this important?

If the chord seems muffled or just doesn't sound right, it's helpful to play each string/note individually so you know if you're playing the right one or if you need to correct your fingering on a particular fret. Practice fretting and defretting a chord. What does that mean ? You want to practice with your fingers on and off the fretboard. By practicing with your fingers off the fretboard, you can hover them over the frets of that particular chord so your fingers get used to playing for the particular shape of the chord.

Basic Guitar Chords: Easy Songs

Now that we've gone over basic guitar chords, how to read chord diagrams, and practice tips, we can look at some songs in which we can use these chords.
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd: A very popular song for beginners because it focuses on just three chords, C,G and D.
Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival: In the key of D and also uses only three chords, G, D and A.
Love Me Do by The Beatles: In the key of G and uses the chords G, C and D.
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles: In the key of Em and uses C chords and different variations of Em.
Time Of Your Life by Green Day: In the key of G and uses the power chords G, C, Cadd9 and D5. However, instead of the power chord, you can use the normal D major chord and it sounds the same.
Island in the Sun by Wheezer: Uses four chords throughout the song. Em, Am, D, G. In the bridge it uses power chords, so it's a great way to practice your open, power chords.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day: In the key of F and uses the chords Em, G, D, and A. Towards the end of the song, power chords are used, so this is another good song to practice your chords open and powerful.

Other popular songs for beginner guitarists:

Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
Redemption Song by Bob Marley
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
Hotel California by Eagles

Basic Guitar Chords: PowerChords

Power chords are easier than open guitar chords but are very similar to barre chords. How ? Compared to open guitar chords, power chords have fewer notes, which means they use fewer frets and fewer strings. However, the pairings of the two are very similar. Before this gets any more confusing, let's look at the issue a little more in depth. Let's take the example of an A major chord and an A5 Power chord. The A major chord has the notes A, C# and E. The A5 power chord has the notes A and E. The A major chord focuses on the root, third and fifth while the A5 chord focuses on the root, third and fifth. focuses on the fundamental, fifth and octave (same note as the fundamental). In fact, it's almost the same deal. The only difference is that the power chord doesn't have the third.

Neither major nor minor chords

Also, when it comes to power chords, they are neither major nor minor. The third of a chord is what determines whether it is major or minor. Since a power chord does not have a third, it can be used where a major or minor chord is needed. When you practice alone, see if you can hear the difference between an open chord and a power chord. Compared to barre chords, power chords are very similar but are easier to play. Power chords can be played in many different ways. These are three-string power chords that can be played as a barre chord using the barre technique. What is the barre technique? You do this by holding two frets on different strings with one finger at the same time to give it a “finger barre”. This is a great way to start working on barre chords by practicing barre two strings first, then barre all strings at once.

Basic Guitar Chords: PowerChords Songs

What types of music can you play with power chords? Classic rock and even some pop music today make a lot of room for power chords.
Wild Things by The Troggs: Focuses on the A5, D5 and E5 power chords with some examples of the G5 power chord.
Let It Be by The Beatles: With this song you can use power chords or open chords. The song uses the open chords C, G, Am and F. However, as we have seen that power chords are similar to open chords but do not focus on the third, you can use the power chords C5, G5 and F5 to the place.
Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin: Uses the A5, D5 and E5 power chords.
I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett: Uses E5, A5, and B5 power chords.
When I Come Around by Green Day: The entire song uses power chords. Uses F#5, C#5m D#5 and B5 power chords.
Rockin' In the Free World by Neil Young: Starts with power chords then moves to a mix of open and power chords.
Uses power chords like E5, D5, C5 then moves to the open chords of its counterparts, Em, D and C.