In this guitar lesson, we will learn about the two basic guitar chords – The major chords and the minor chords. These basic guitar chords are used in every songs. If you learn the major chords and the minor chords, you will be able to play almost all the songs. Let’s see what these wonderful chords are 🙂
First have a look at all the major and minor chords in the chord chart below. You can also find these chord charts and other useful stuffs in the ‘Chords And Scales‘ section.
You will see that each major and minor chords have different shapes in different positions. They are all just the same. It’s just that a chord can be played in different positions with different shapes on your guitar. I recommend that you learn the first chord shape of each major and minor chord. Once you master the first chord shapes of each major and minor chords, you can move on to learn the other shapes.
Major and Minor chords chart. Basic Guitar Chords.
Symbols used in the guitar chords chart below.
- The notes with red circles are the root notes.
- Whenever you see a white circle (0) before a string in the chord diagrams below, it means that the string has to be played open (without pressing down on any fret of the string). For the example, in the first picture below, the top E string (that is the thinnest string of your guitar) of the first chord shape of A major chord has a white circle before the string. So that string has to be played open.
- If you see a cross mark (x) before a string, it means that you should not play that string. Leave that string unplayed. You can see an example in the third chord shape under B major guitar chords.
- The alphabets at the leftmost are the string names (open string notes).
- When you see two notes connected with a curve, it means that all the notes of that fret between those two notes have to be pressed down with one finger. For example, in the second chord shape under A major guitar chords, the notes top ‘A’ and low ‘A’ are connected with a curve. So those two notes and all the notes between them have to be pressed down with one finger (that will be your index finger for this example).
- The numbers below the fretboard pictures are the fret numbers.
If you read my earlier post ‘Music Aphabets‘, you might remember that there are seven basic notes of music and they are named with aphabets A, B, C, D, E, F and G. All these notes except B and E have sharps.
Each of these notes are also the base notes of their respective chords. These base notes are called the root notes of their respective chords. For example, F note forms F major and F minor basic guitar chords (note that the F note has lots of other chords. But in this lesson, we are focused on the basic guitar chords – the major and minor chords). The F note is called the root note of the F major and F minor chords. If you see above, the F major and F minor will always have F notes present in them. Do not worry about this now. We will cover them in later posts soon enough :). Just know that the chords are formed from their respective root notes, that is, their respective alphabet notes.
You might have noticed in the above chord charts that the first chord shapes of each major and minor chords have ‘open’ written beside their chord names. The open chords are easier to learn and so you should focus on learning them first. Also notice that the B major and F major chords don’t have open chords. And the B minor, C minor and F minor don’t have open chords either. You can leave them for now or you can try them too. They might be a bit more difficult for some of you. Don’t get discouraged. Everything will come with practice. Just take your time and have fun.
So those are the basic guitar chords. Try to learn them and slowly get your fingers accustomed to the shapes. We will try some exercises to change between the different chords and then try to play some simple songs based on the basic guitar chords. Till then keep practicing. Basic guitar chords rocks 🙂
You may also want to see our “Takamine EG440C acoustic guitar review“.