10 Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners

10 Easy Chords for Guitar Beginners

So you have a new guitar and you’re excited to learn some easy guitar chords for beginners. If you started by looking through a chord book or at chord diagrams online, you probably found yourself completely overwhelmed. There are hundreds of possible guitar chords!

Even if we simplify it down to just the major and minor chords, we still have 24 chords and some of these are difficult for a beginner to play.

Let’s make this much easier. Learn the following 10 easy guitar chords in a variety of keys and you can play almost any song.

All you need to know is how to read a guitar chord diagram. If you then learn how to use a capo, you will be able to play almost any song in any key! Let’s get started.

Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners: Key of C

Key of C Chord

These first four easy guitar chords will allow you to play most songs that are in the key of C. The C chord is the main chord in the key:C ChordNext, the F chord can be played in one of two ways. This is the hardest of all 10 chords on this list because it requires the use of a barre.

If you have trouble doing a full barre, you might find the first version listed below easier to play. Here are two forms of the F chord:Easy F Chord Partial BarreF Chord Full BarreThe G chord is typically played using the following form:G ChordLast but not least, the Am chord adds a little color to any chord progression:Am Chord

Once you’ve learned these four chords you can play most songs that are in the key of C, and with the use of a capo you can play many other songs. That wasn’t too hard, was it? Only four chords and you are already well on your way to playing most popular songs.

Here is a simple chord pattern in C that uses all four chords so you can get some practice in.

Key of C chord pattern example

SEE ALSO: A Roadmap of the Notes on a Guitar

Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners: Key of G

Key of G Chord

You have already learned the G and C chord so now you only need to learn two more chords to be able to play songs in the key of G.

As a bonus, you already know one other chord in the key of G – the Am chord. So learn these two chords and you will be able to play five chords in the key of G!

Here is how to play the D chord in the key of G:D ChordNext, the Em chord is one of the most easy guitar chords to play because it only uses two fingers.Em Chord

Here is a chord pattern in the key of G that uses all five chords. Make this a part of your practice sessions to get comfortable with the feel of these common chords.

Key of G chord pattern example

Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners: Key of D

Key of D Chord

Once more we only need to learn two more chords to play in the key of D. The first one is the A chord: A ChordNext up is the Bm7 chord. The Bm7 is easier to play then the Bm chord and it can be used just about anywhere you see a Bm chord.Bm7 Chord

Here is a chord pattern you can practice in the key of D that uses all five chords.

Key of D chord pattern example

SEE ALSO: The Big List of Easy Guitar Songs

Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners: Key of A

Key of A Chord

And finally, adding two more chords will allow you to play in the key of A. The first one is the E chord:E ChordThe F#m7 chord is easier to play than the F#m chord and it can be used almost anywhere you find the F#m chord in a song.F#m7 chord

Here is a chord pattern to get practice playing all across the fretboard in the key of A.

Key of A chord pattern example

3 Tips & Tricks for Playing These Chords

  1. Remember that any time you see a chord with a 7 or 9 after it, you can simply play the easier version. For instance, a G7 chord can be played as a G chord without any problems. So until you learn the extended version, just use the simple version.
  2. Most minor chords can be played either with or without the 7. The extended version has a little more color but will usually work fine in the place of the regular chord. For example, if you see an Bm chord, you can usually play a Bm7 chord.
  3. A suspended chord, written as a sus or sus4, can usually be replaced by the regular chord without the suspension, but only if everyone playing makes that change. Sometimes, the suspension is necessary to fit with the melody line, so the substitution is not always effective.

If you remember these simple rules you will find that all you need to play most music are these 10 guitar chords for beginners and a capo.

A Am Bm7 C D E Em F F#m7 G Guitar Chords for Beginners

Take it to the Next Level

For an extra challenge, learn the suspended chords for G, D, A, and E, and you will find that you can play almost every chord in songs from the key of C, G, D, and A.

Almost all of these guitar chords for beginners are simple chords that any new guitarist can learn!

What do you want to learn on the guitar next? Share your goals in the comments below.

JerryPost Author: Jerry W.
Jerry W. teaches classical guitar in Grosse Pointe, MI. He received his Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from Cornerstone University and went on to receive his Masters and PhD in Music Composition from Michigan State. Jerry has been making music and teaching for over 30 years.

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