14 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

Guitar chords for beginners need to be super-easy to play. But they also need to sound musical so people feel inspired to play and practice.

Chords that meet this criteria can be hard to identify. And that’s why we created this free guide for you. Enjoy! 🙂

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 easy ways to play the major chords: A, B, C, D, E, F and G.
  • 7 easy ways to play the minor chords: Am, Bm, Cm, Dm, Em, Fm and Gm.

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Here’s some good news that most guitar learners don’t know: There is an easy version of EVERY chord.

Because most guitar beginners don’t know this, they try to learn the ‘standard’ version of all the common open chords, like C and D etc. (This isn’t necessary guys. Make things easy on yourself!)

The best guitar chords for beginners are SUPER easy to play. I call these easy chords ‘stepping-stone chords’ and they are a cornerstone of my teaching philosophy.

Stepping-stone chords are ideal guitar chords for beginners because they allow people to improve quickly and enjoy themselves along the way. This replaces frustration with progress. There is no downside.

Perfect guitar chords for beginners: Stepping-Stone examples

You can see 4 example stepping-stone chords below. These are perfect guitar chords for beginners:

guitar chords for beginners

If you don’t understand these diagrams, read this post: How To Read Chordboxes In 60 Seconds

Need a quick refresher on finger numbers?

Guitar Finger Numbers

The basic principle here is that you substitute the standard chord for the easier version.

  • If you want to play C major, play Cmaj7 instead.
  • If you want to play D major, play Dsus2 instead.

Let’s be clear on something: This is something that advanced guitarists do all the time.

This idea of ‘substituting’ chords is not just for people who are looking for easy guitar chords for beginners.

This is about increasing your chord vocabulary so you know multiple voicings of every chord. (And you can then pick a preferred voicing that suits the style/mood/vibe of the song.)

As guitarists, we often try multiple voicings of a chord to hear which VERSION of a chord sounds best.

A very important point: Using stepping-stone chords is not ‘cheating’. This is a progress accelerator. Every time you use these chords you are developing your finger dexterity, strength and control – all of this helps you to ‘graduate’ to the standard chord versions in the future.

Right, let’s get into the main event and look at some awesome stepping-stone chords. Here are 14 ideal guitar chords for beginners!

Guitar chords for beginners: A major (A)

This is a chord that people need to know early in their guitar journey. It’s not super hard to play but it’s awkward and not one of my favourite guitar chords for beginners to use.

A major

guitar chords for beginners A major

It can be hard to compress three fingers into one fret and for people with thick fingers A major can be a very frustrating chord.

We need an easy alternative!

One of my favourite guitar chords for beginners is Asus2. This is a chord I teach all my students. It looks like this:


guitar chords for beginners Asus2

Asus2 is played with just two fingers and they are in a nice shape. Give it a try! I’m sure you can see why this is one of my favourite guitar chords for beginners.

You can learn more easy ways to play A major by reading this lesson: 3 Easy Ways To Play A Major


easy guitar chords for beginners

Check this out…

You’ll get a lot out of this article of ours: 10 Easy Songs For Beginners

Ok, let’s get back to our guitar chords for beginners.

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Guitar chords for beginners: A minor (Am)

This is another very common chord. Most people master it after a few weeks. It looks like this:

A minor

guitar chords for beginners a minor

This chord needs three fingers to play which means it’s not ideal for beginners. A great version of A minor that’s one of my favourite guitar chords for beginners is Am7. It looks like this:

A minor 7

guitar chords for beginners Amaj7

This is a simple 2-finger chord and as you will learn below, it’s a similar shape to C major. (We won’t go into it here, but you should know that A minor and C major are closely linked and because of this they appear together all the time.)

This mean that Am7 is the ideal bedfellow! Moving between Am7 and C major is very easy to do. (And vice versa.)

You can learn more easy ways to play Am by reading this lesson.

Guitar chords for beginners: B major (B)

B major is a terrible chord for beginners. It’s just too hard to play! Thankfully, it doesn’t crop up as often as chords like G, Am or C, but it’s still a major chord so at some point you’re going to have to learn it.

The standard version of B looks like this:

B major

guitar chords for beginners b major

We need an easier version!

All things considered, the best option is B minor 11. This is one of my favourite guitar chords for beginners.

It looks like this:


guitar chords for beginners B minor 11

This is a 2-finger chord and the shape isn’t too hard. Technically, this is a minor chord (so it shouldn’t work as a substitute for B major), but it sounds cool.

There are multiple ways to play B and the voicing you pick depends on two things:

  1. Playability – what are the chords BEFORE and AFTER the B?
  2. Musicality – which voicing of the chord sounds best-suited to the track?

These 2 questions are asked by guitarists all the time. They’re not exclusive to people looking for easy guitar chords for beginners.

We want to boost your chord vocabulary so when you see chord X, your first thought is ‘which VERSION of chord X do I want to play?’

You can learn multiple easy ways to play B major by reading this lesson. Check it out!

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Guitar chords for beginners: B minor (Bm)

B minor is another really hard guitar chord for beginners to take on. In its standard form it looks like this:

B minor

guitar chords for beginners b minor

This is a barre chord which means it’s out of reach for beginners.

Guitar chords for beginners need to be easy AND sound good, so with this in mind the clear winner is B minor 11. (This is the same stepping-stone chord we used for B major.)

B minor 11

guitar chords for beginners Bm

This chord sounds awesome and is an easy shape to make.

You can learn more easy ways to play B minor by reading this lesson.

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