Do you play an instrument?
How many have you wanted to play guitar before, but didn’t follow through for whatever reason?
I played my first show the day after I learned guitar this way. I taught myself online.
Many of my friends have wanted to play guitar but got burned out from taking boring lessons, instead of playing their favorite songs. That’s the point of playing, it’s to have fun, right?.
If you’ve ever tried to learn guitar or always wanted to, I’m here to show you that it’s really not as hard and complex as it may come off to be.
We are going to learn four of the most common chords on guitar.
Goals: Learn Em G C D chords
The guitar is used in a multitude of genres and learning acoustic guitar doesn’t necessarily mean you will only play acoustic music by the way.
First of all, it’s very hard to learn guitar without having one, trust me. I played air guitar all the time before I got one, but I never made any progress.
Step 1 – Get a guitar.
Now it’s time to learn the basics of the fretboard and strings, and a simple method of incorporating your fingers.
- To make this easy as possible, if you don’t mind, you can label your fingers by naming your left hand pointer finger #1 and continue to your pinky 1-4.
Understand that there are six strings on the standard guitar. The thickest string and closest to the ceiling will be string #6. Down from there, it will go string 5 and 4, etc.
6 5 4 3 2 1. Note the frets are numbered as well, with nice dots indicating as help. Frets go from 1 all the way up the neck.
6 5 4 3 2 1
When first learning chords, it can be easy to get discouraged with the way they initially sound, which may be muffled.
Em is the easiest chord to learn.
Step 3: Learn Em chord
- Fingers 2 and 3 will be placed on the second fret of strings 4 and 5, one finger on each string.
- Press down at a moderate level, and it probably will not ring out clearly at this time. Even now my fingers have calluses on them; the skin thickened to endure all of this stringiness. A trick beginners often use which I didn’t is to put superglue on the tips of your fingers on the pads to make it feel like you have calluses, and thus the chords may ring out easier, and it’ll hurt less.
- Keep your fingers positioned and strum.
The next chord we’ll learn is G. It’s probably used in a majority of the songs you hear.
Step 4: G chord
- Take finger #1 and place it on the second fret of the 5th string.
- Take finger 2 and place it on the third fret of the 6th string.
- This will be quite a stretch at first, but then take finger #3 and place it on the third fret of the first string, the one closest to the ground.
- Strum your heart out, despite its muffled-ness
Two more to go! The C chord is another extremely common chord. It also has a little bit of a stretch, but it’s worth it.
Step 5: C chord
- Take finger number 3 and place it on the third fret of the 5th string.
- Take finger #2 and place it on the second fret of the 4th string.
- Take your first finger and place it on the 1st fret of the 2nd string.
- Strum away friend!
One more to go! The D chord is relatively easy, the only issue people seem to have is that it’s a tight squeeze like Em, and then commonly think they’re fingers are too big to play guitar, which is invalid. A tip to remember is try to use the tips of the pads of your fingers, rather than having them lay flat and taking up too much room.
- Take your first finger and lay it on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.
- Take your second finger and place it on the second fret of the 1st string.
- Take your 3rd finger and place it on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string.
While it may all seem overwhelming at first, when you can blast and learn your favorite songs all day, guitar is very rewarding and enjoyable.
These 4 chords alone will have you sounding like any musical act out there today, for example, Green Day! Time Of Your Life is only these chords in this order.
If you want to learn songs online, Ultimate Guitar has every song under the sun with chord diagrams with the string and finger numbers in the correct placed over the lyrics, just like we learned here. This is exactly how I learned guitar. They have most anything you can think of musically, and it’s all easily accessible.
If a chord is too challenging, like an F chord, which is a barre chord where you have to use finger number one as a bar across.
You can use a capo. A capo is an amazing way of transposing a song that you know the shapes of in one key to another. It acts as a bar across the stringers shortening the length of the neck.
For example, if Time Of Your Life is too low to sing in the key we learned it in, a capo can be put on the guitar at any fret to make it higher, and just play the same chord shapes. Ya can’t do that on piano!
My head + Experience