Playing the G Major Chord on Guitar: 4 Easy Ways

The G chord on guitar is one of the most common chords of all. Along with C, Em and D the G guitar chord pops up again and again.

If you want to learn guitar you must be able to play a G chord, so let’s learn!

In this free lesson you will learn:

  • How to play the full G chord on guitar correctly
  • The best G chord for beginner guitarists to use
  • A simple 1-finger version of the G guitar chord
  • 4 bonus tricks you can use to make your G chords sound better

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Easy ways to play the G chord on guitar

The G chord on guitar is a strange shape but it will quickly feel familiar as you’ll play it so often.

Note that the full name for G is “G major”, but most people just refer to it as “G”. In it’s full form it looks like this:

G Major

G chord guitar

(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!)

As you can see, this unusual shape requires 4 fingers to play. As a beginner guitarist you’ll find this quite hard as you won’t have much accuracy and control in fingers 3 & 4 yet. Let’s look at some easier alternatives that you can use during the early stages of your guitar journey.

The Best G Chord on Guitar For Beginners

This chord is called “G6” and it’s the version of G chord that I recommend to all my new students:


G chord on guitar

As you can see, this G chord requires only 2 fingers to play, so it’s significantly easier to play than a normal G chord for a beginner guitarist.

Sure, it doesn’t sound quite as good as a full G chord, but it’s a lot easier to play and as I’ve written elsewhere on the site, in the early days of your guitar journey the most important thing is that you have fun and simply get accustomed to holding and strumming the guitar.

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The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord

Stepping stones are the key to smooth progress

You can perfect and finesse chords later (and for many, many years into the future), but you should know that the most precarious time in your life as a guitarist is when you’re first learning.

If you’re going to stick with the guitar and continue playing it -and I dearly hope that you will- it’s vital that you have fun and enjoy practising.

Lowering the barrier to entry (and slowly increasing it over time) is the key to ensuring you progress in the future AND have fun now. 🙂

And that’s why I recommend you use G6 as your beginner G chord on guitar. The rule is simple: whenever you need to play a G chord on guitar, you play G6 instead.

This G6 chord above offers a great balance between sound quality and ease-of-use and is ideal for the beginner guitarist. After 10-15 hours of practice you should aim to graduate to the following version of G chord:

G Major (3-finger version)


Learning the G chord on guitar is interesting because you can play it in a variety of ways. In this version of G chord you can see that we’ve introduced finger 4 (your little finger). This is a perfectly valid G chord and lots of people play the G chord on guitar like this for their whole life.

However, my preferred version of the G chord on the guitar is the 4-finger version below. It sounds fuller. After another 5-10 hours of practice you should aim to ‘upgrade’ to it by adding on finger number 3, to create a full G Major chord. This was the version of G we saw at the start of the lesson. Here it is again:

G Major (full, 4-finger version)

G chord guitar

Hey presto! This is my favourite G chord on guitar and is the one I recommend you learn. It sounds fantastic and if you use G6 as a stepping stone you will have this chord mastered in no time! 🙂

G chord on guitar

A 1-finger version of G on guitar

This 1-finger version of G is a superb way for kids or adults with learning difficulties to play the G chord on guitar. It doesn’t sound as well-rounded as the 4-finger version of G Major (of course), but it does the job and is very, very easy to play.

G Major (1-finger version)

Guitar Chords For Beginners G major

Common G chords

Here are the most common ways to play a G chord on guitar. Some are tough, but don’t worry, you can use the easy version above until you develop your control and strength to tackle the harder versions!


Here’s some sevenths (great for blues and rock):

G (sevenths)

Here are some other cool-sounding G chords

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