Guitar Chords for Beginners
Guitar is arguably the world’s most popular instrument and with that amount of fame it attracts many people wanting to learn how to play it. When starting on guitar, the most common thing that students want to learn first are the chords. So, what are chords?
Chords are a combination of notes arranged in a logical way, producing a sonority together that “feels right”. It sounds this way because the different notes are put together in intervals that make sense. For us to have an interval we need to have two notes, with the interval being the relationship between two notes. Thus, two notes together make an interval, and two intervals together, stacked one upon the other, produce a chord.
A chord has to have minimum 3 different notes to be called a chord, although it can have many more. And here lies one of the biggest issues of beginners learning guitar and the reason why so many students simply quit. Playing many notes at the same time is hard! Even starting off with one note melody is often difficult.
A guitar has 6 strings. However, we don’t need to play all 6 strings to play a chord – 3 strings are enough. Let’s consider a few basic chords and see how we can simplify them:
C chord (full): open 6 + string 5 fret 3 + string 4 fret 2 + open 3 + string 2 fret 1 + open 1
F chord (full): string 6 fret 1 + string 5 fret 3 + string 4 fret 3 + string 3 fret 2 + string 2 fret 1 + string 1 fret 1
G chord (full): string 6 fret 3 + string 5 fret 2 + open 4 + open 3 + open 2 + string 1 fret 3
If we want to simplify the chords we need to play only the first three strings. So the chords would look like this:
C chord (simple): open 3 + string 2 fret 1 + open 1
F chord (simple): string 3 fret 2 + string 2 fret 1 + string 1 fret 1
G chord (simple): open 3 + open 2 + string 1 fret 3
Et voila! We suddenly can play a simple, beginner friendly chord progression in C, by playing C + F + G simple chords in sequence. The good news is that you can do this with any chord and enjoy your playing of your favorite song from the very beginning stages of guitar learning!
Check out the video below for a presentation of the above described. Good luck!