Understanding Guitar Chords, the Key Element to Mastering the Guitar
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 and somewhat bluesy 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. (We’ll do this together in my guitar lessons)
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 and make sure that you’re only pressing down on the correct strings.)
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: The Beatles have a great selection of well known songs that use basic guitar chords as the foundation.)
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 my guitar lessons (or Ukulele or Bass lessons) 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 the guitar.”
I currently travel to all the Bergen County, New Jersey neighborhoods and surrounding areas on a regular basis to teach hour-long “in home lessons” …
Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East Rutherford, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Hasbrouck Heights, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Leonia, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland, Park, Montvale, Moonachie, New Milford, North Arlington, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Palisades Park, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, South Hackensack, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Wallington, Washington Township, Westwood, Wood-Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, Wyckoff