Learning easy guitar chords is usually the first step of every beginner. And it makes sense. When you know the shape of open guitar chords, you can play several songs. Some practice is needed, but the results can come in a relatively short time. Playing the backing guitar is not only about pressing the chords, but also keeping the rhythm with the other hand.
Therefore, in addition to 8 super easy guitar chords for beginners, we will also discuss basic strumming patterns. In the end, you should be able to play simple songs. Let’s start with some basic theory.
The Difference Between a Tone, Interval And Chord
The smallest one is called the second (one or two halftones), followed by the third. The third can be major (4 halftones) or minor (3 halftones).
Major And Minor Chords
We already know that two thirds make a chord. When the first third is major (for example, C-E) and the second is minor (E-G) we have a C major chord. In case the first third is minor (C – Eb) and the second is major (Eb-G), we talk about the C minor chord.
How can you easily recognize the difference between major and minor chords? Well, you can hear it. While the major one sounds “happy”, the minor one sounds “sad”. There is a reason why it is like this, bud we don’t need to talk about it right now. All you need to know in the beginning is that we have 2 basic chord characters: minor and major.
Your First Chords
We start with E minor and E major chords because they are super easy to play on the guitar. The second reason is that you will hear the difference between major and minor chords. For playing the E minor chord, you only have to press two strings:
Numbers indicate fingers. The thumb is skipped because it is not usually used for play.
Try to catch the finger position and play all strings with the second hand. Each should be sounding. You can check it by playing one by one. Be careful not to muffle the strings you do not squeeze with your left hand.
The E major chord has a similar shape. Just add another finger and press the G string in the first fret as you can see in the picture:
Do the same as before, play all strings, and then one by one. When every string sounds well, you make a good job. Now you can try to skip from E minor to E major and hear the difference between these two chords. Can you recognize which one sounds happy and which one is sad?
Other Easy Guitar Chords
When you already know two chords, you can learn to play others. Here they are:
You shouldn’t play the strings marked with x, because the tone doesn’t belong to the key, or it is not the core tone of the chord.
There are other basic chords we missed here: cm, F, fm, gm, B, bm. Why? Because these are so-called barre chords. You can press them only by using your second finger through all strings. It requires more exercise and is more strenuous for the fingers. That’s why we miss them in this article. Anyway, if you want to learn more about barre chords watch this video tutorial.
Play In The Rhythm
Once you know how to play easy guitar chords, it is time to bring them to life. That’s why your next goal is smooth chord changing in real-time. There are many rhythmical strumming patterns, but now we will learn only a few basic ones.
The first thing you should do is the movement up and down near the strings. Firstly, do it without touching them. Just try to make this movement precisely like the clock strikes every second. The time for the upstroke is the same as for the downstroke. Almost all strumming patterns are based on this movement. The thing is when to play on the strings and when not. That’s how the rhythm is born.
Basic Guitar Strumming Patterns
You can start with basic strumming pattern 1. As you can see in the picture, hit the strings only downwards. The upward movement is empty.
The other two patterns combine playing the strings downwards and upwards. For better understanding of playing the rhythm on the guitar, watch this video:
How To Play Simple Songs?
If you want to play a simple song with basic chords, you need to know their shape, rhythmical accompaniment, and the form structure of the song. The first two we already discussed. So now you only need to learn how chords are changing in the song. Websites like www.tabs.ultimate-guitar.com or www.e-chords.com can help.
Then you can find the song on Youtube or somewhere else and play it while looking at the lyrics with chord marks. The next step is playing only the chords to the background. You can try more rhythmical patterns and find the one which best fits the music. It will take time to play the right chords in the right rhythm, so be patient.
Once you minimize the time needed for changing the chords while playing the right pattern, you get it! Then you can learn to play other chords and gain new guitar skills step-by-step.
Playing easy guitar chords for beginners is a great point where to start your guitar journey. If you want to continue learning the guitar, take private lessons, or go to a music school. Working with a music teacher, or an online guitar tutor, should guarantee you, that you won’t make and repeat some mistakes, because he/she can hear and fix them.
In case you (because of any reason) prefer learning on your own, check out online guitar courses for beginners. Many of them are well made and can help you to shorten the time needed to play better.