Beginner Guitar Chords: 14 Essential Chords

Want to know how to play beginner guitar chords? We’re going to show you 14 essential chords for beginners.

beginner guitar chords

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 14 super-easy beginner guitar chords which will make you sound amazing.
  • The no1 secret to learning guitar chords FAST.
  • 5 essential tips that will accelerate your guitar progress.
  • 3 chord hacks which will help you master chords.

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Sometimes open chords can be difficult to play. The quickest way to accelerate your guitar progress is to learn easy chords first. Let’s go through 14 of the best beginner guitar chords.

Beginner Guitar Chords #1 The E Minor Chord

This chord is essential for any beginner guitarist to learn. Here’s why:

  • It comes up in hundreds of songs.
  • It’s easy to play as it only uses two fingers.
  • It sounds amazing!

beginner guitar chords

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

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To play this chord:

  • Place your first finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your second finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Strum all the strings.

Pro Guitar Tip!

It’s important that you use the correct fingers on each string. This makes fretting chords easier.

The numbers within the circle in a chord box, represent your fingers.

For example in the Em chord you have:

  • A number ‘1’ on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.) This means that you must use your 1st finger.
  • A number ‘2’ on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.) This means that you must use your 2nd finger.

Here’s a diagram for reference:

Beginner Guitar Chords

To learn more about how to read guitar chords, go here: How To Read Guitar Chords: An Essential Guide

Beginner Guitar Chords #2 The ‘G6’ Chord

This beginner guitar chords is perfect for new guitarists. Here’s why:

  • It only uses two fingers.
  • It’s the main chord in the key of G. (The key of ‘G’ crops up ALL the time in music.)
  • It’s easy and sounds amazing.

To learn more about the key of G, go here: Understanding Chords In The Key Of G

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Strum all the strings!

Beginner Guitar Chords #3 The ‘C Major 7’ Chord

This chord has a fantastic jazzy sound to it and is perfect if you want to add character to a chord progression.

The C major 7 chord is very popular and pops up frequently in music. You can use this chord instead of a regular C chord.

To learn a C chord, go here: Easy Ways To Play The C Guitar Chord

Beginner Guitar Chords

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret o the D string. (4th string.)
  • Strum from the A string!

It sounds like this:

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Bonus Tip!

The C major 7 chord uses the EXACT same shape as the G6 chord. However the C major 7 starts on the A string.

This means that they are perfect for practicing chord changes.

Try this as an exercise:

  • In your own time, change between G6 and C major 7.

Once you’ve got this down:

  • Play a G6 for 4 beats and then play a C major 7 for 4 beats. Repeat this until you can do it with out thinking.

If you fancy a challenge, try add a strumming pattern into this chord change. Learning how to strum is the secret to sounding musical.

You can learn how to strum here: How To Strum A Guitar

beginner guitar chords

Beginner Guitar Chords #4 The ‘Dsus2’ Chord

This is a really useful beginner guitar chords to learn. This is because, this chord works over a D major and a D minor chord.

If you find those chords difficult, you can use this one instead.

 

Finding this chord difficult? Go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The D Chord On Guitar

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

The hardest part about this chord is strumming for the D string. This is difficult because you have to skip the ‘E’ and ‘A’ string.

Learn how to master this technique here: How To Skip Strings While Strumming

Bonus Tip!

All of the chords in this free guitar lesson are ‘stepping-stone chords’. Stepping-stone chords are easier versions of more complex chords.

Here are some classic examples of stepping-stone chords:

beginner guitar chords

Notice how the stepping-stone versions use less fingers.

Why do I need to know stepping-stone chords? Can’t I just learn the hard ones first?

Learning easier chords first is the quickest way to accelerate your guitar progress.

Think of it like this:

If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn’t start your training by running 26 miles. You would start with 2-3 miles and gradually build up the distance until you reached your goal.

This is the exact same when you’re learning guitar chords. Don’t start with the hard ones. Begin with easy chords, this enhances your dexterity and technique and makes learning the guitar far easier.

To learn more easy chords, go here: 14 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

Download a free beginner chord guide and learn easy versions of every chord

 Say goodbye to frustration and twisted fingers. Say hello to MAKING MUSIC.

  Learn beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is one of our most popular guides and will improve your chord ability quickly. Click here to download the guide.

 

Beginner Guitar Chords #5 The ‘A Minor 7’ Chord

The A minor 7 chord sounds fantastic on acoustic guitar due it’s use of open strings. It’s also SUPER easy to play.

 

Am7

Too hard? Go here: Am Guitar Chord For Beginners

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

Beginner Guitar Chords #6 The ‘Bm11’ Chord

Although this chord has a scary name, it’s one of the best beginner guitar chords out there.

If you ever see a Bm guitar chord, you can use this one instead. This chord is a easier version of ‘Bm’.

To learn the Bm chord, go here: Bm Guitar Chord For Beginners

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

Make sure that you let the D (4th string), B (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) ring out.

Ever wondered why learning the guitar feels so good? There’s a reason for this, find out why in this article by Guitar World: 10 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Play Guitar

Beginner Guitar Chords #7 The ‘E7’ Chord

This chord is fantastic and has a great bluesy feel. If you find the E chord too difficult, you can use this one instead.

To learn the E chord, go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

beginner guitar chords

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Put your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum all the strings.

Beginner Guitar Chords #8 The ‘A7’ Chord

‘7’ chords are sophisticated versions of standard major chords. You can use them to add a bluesy feel to a chord progression.

In this case, you could replace an ‘A chord’ with an ‘A7 chord’.

A7

  • Put your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

To learn more about blues guitar, go here: Blues Guitar For Beginners: 4 Ways To Sound Awesome Quickly

Beginner Guitar Chords #9 The ‘B7’ Chord

This chord has a great bluesy feel. If you ever see a B major chord crop up in a song, you can use this one instead.

B7

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Put your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

Beginner Guitar Chords #10 The ‘G7’ Chord

This beginner guitar chords is one of the EASIEST guitar chords you can learn. This is because it only uses 1 finger! This chord is perfect to learn if you’re a completely new guitarist.

 

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the high E string.
  • Strum from the D string.

It sounds like this:

Want to learn other types of G chord? Go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The G Chord On Guitar

Beginner Guitar Chords #11 The ‘Asus2’ Chord

This beginner guitar chords sounds fantastic on a acoustic. If you find the regular A chord too hard, use this one instead.

To learn the A chord, go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord On Guitar

 

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

Beginner Guitar Chords #12 The ‘C Minor’ Chord

This beginner guitar chords is perfect for enhancing your finger dexterity. It frequently pops up in ballads and slow love songs.

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the G string. (3rd string.)

This chord is little other than the other chords in this article because:

  • It uses 3 fingers which are quite close together.
  • You can only strum the top 3 strings.

Unfortunately, that’s the trade off we make when we learn easier chords. If something is easier for your fretting hand, often this makes it tricker for your strumming hand.

Don’t use easy chords as a crutch, use them to boost your guitar progress. Once you feel ready to ‘graduate’ to more advanced chords. Move on to them!

You don’t want to be stuck on easy chords forever.

To learn how to play guitar chords, go here: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

Beginner Guitar Chords #13 The ‘F major 7’ Chord

The F barre chord is one of the trickiest chords you can learn on the guitar. However, you can play an easier version which sounds just as good.

This is where the ‘F Major 7’ comes in.

Any time you see the ‘F chord’, play this voicing instead.

 

beginner guitar chords

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

Want to learn the F chord? Go here: F Guitar Chord 3 Easy Alternatives

Easy Beginner Guitar Chords #14 The ‘D minor’ Chord

This chord is slightly harder than the previous chords in this lesson. However, don’t worry! We’re going to show you everything you need to know to play this chord.

This chord crops up in blues, rock and even country, so it’s worth knowing.

Dm

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Put your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

Is this chord too hard? Go here to learn some easier versions: 3 Easy Ways To Play The Dm Guitar Chord

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 30,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

NGAEM

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