For any beginner learning how to play a musical instrument, what any expert player will give you as professional advice will revolve around “learning the basics.” Once you have mastered the basics, it becomes easier to play as every other element is built on that foundation. For beginner guitarist, it isn’t much different. Mastering a few basic chords on the guitar could make the whole difference. Today we are writing about Guitar Notes For Beginners.
Guitar notes for beginners are the building blocks to every piece of music played on the stringed musical instrument. A note is the smallest and simplest unit of musical language. A chord is formed when guitar notes are put together and played at the same time. Essentially, a note is like a letter in the alphabet while a chord would be a word formed from the combination of notes. Understanding and mastering the basic guitar notes and chords will have you making good music in no time.
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Guitar Notes For Beginners
There are basic chords every beginner should learn, they are the prerequisites to understanding every piece of music – harmony, melody and all. Here, you will be introduced to the basic guitar chords you should start with as a beginner. Major chords are denoted by a capital letter only while minor chords are followed by the small letter “m” which stands for minor. For example, A major is represented by “A” while A minor is represented by “Am”. These chords will help streamline your learning to becoming an expert guitarist. In alphabetical order, here are the basic guitar chords for beginners;
A Major Chord
The A Major chord is a chord every guitarist is bound to encounter frequently in their playing career. Unfortunately, playing the A often poses a problem for beginner guitarist because of the finger pattern.
The A uses 3 fingers which are all placed on the second fret of adjacent strings – the second, third and fourth. Fitting the fingers so closely together on one fret is where the problem lies, especially for players with chunky digits.
A has two fingering positions although they both follow a similar pattern. In the first pattern; the first and sixth strings are muted and the chord is produced with the first, second and third fingers on the fourth, third and second strings, in that other.
The second pattern just bars the first finger across the fourth, third and second strings, this is easy as all strings are strummed on the same fret. In the first pattern, the sixth string alone is muted, the second pattern however mutes both the first and last strings.
A Minor Chord
The A minor chord is the next essential chord for beginner guitarist. It is fairly easy to play as the finger pattern is a bit similar to the Em, one of the simplest guitar chords on the chord scale. Here, the top 5 strings are strummed avoiding the open sixth string. The first finger is placed on the second string, the second finger on the fourth string while the third finger is on the string. The third and fourth strings are strummed on the second fret while the second string is strummed on the first fret. In some cases, it may make sense to reverse the positioning of the second and third fingers, especially as it may feel more convenient for the beginners. The Am is also similar to the C so basic chord progression between the two will come quite easily to the player.
B Major Chord
The B Major is not considered a basic chord for beginners by any means and you are likely not going to come across it in your early guitar lessons.
However, it is still a major chord and it will definitely appear down to line so it is best if you get familiarized with the chord before that time cones. The full version of the B is produced using four fingers across four strings.
The first finger is put in the second fret of the first string, the second, third and fourth fingers are placed in a backwards order on the fourth, third and second strings. The last 3 fingers are all placed on the fourth fret of their respective strings.
This chord involved squeezing three fingers together on adjacent strings of the same fret and unless your fingers are slender, you may have difficulty strumming the B. The fifth and sixth strings are muted but ensure you are strumming the four top strings to get a balanced chord.
B Minor Chord
The B minor is a barre chord whose complexity is beyond the ability of the average beginner guitarist. In its standard form, the B minor uses four fingers spread over four frets on five different strings. The first finger goes on second fret of the first and fifth string, the second finger is put on the third fret of the second string while the third and fourth fingers go on the fourth fret of the fourth and third strings respectively. Be sure to avoid the open sixth string while strumming the remaining five strings. The Bm doesn’t appear too frequently and it isn’t considered a basic chord for beginners to learn, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t tackle it if you want to.
C Major Chord
As a guitarist, the C chord is a fundamental chord you will play thousands of times throughout your guitar journey. Playing C in its standard form may not be quite easy for beginners to grasp because of the finger pattern – it is spread out across 3 frets and the guitarist will have to play with 3 fingers to produce the chord. Here, the sixth string is muted while the highest sounding 5 strings are strummed – the first finger goes on the second string while the second and third fingers strum the fourth and fifth string respectively. The fret positioning is also in accordance with the finger positioning, that is, the first finger is in the first fret, the second finger on the second and the last finger on the last fret.
C Minor Chord
While the C is a commonly used chord, Cm on the other hand is an uncommon guitar chord. In its standard form, the C minor is quite complex for the beginner guitarist. To produce the Cm, place the second finger on the second string on the second fret, the third finger on the fourth string and watch your fourth finger on the third string all on the third fret. Now, the complex part comes in the positioning of the first finger which is barred across the first to fifth strings on the third fret. Be sure to play only the top five strings when strumming a C minor chord taking care to avoid the muted sixth string.
D Major Chord
The D Major chord can be found in thousands of songs so it is essential that every beginner knows it. Unfortunately the finger positioning for D is somewhat awkward and for someone learning how to play the guitar, you may fiddle around for a while before you get it right.
Here, the sixth and fifth strings are muted/open while the action is focused on the first three strings. Here the top four strings are strummed but the biggest problem usually lies in getting the first string to sound. The second finger goes on that string while the third and first fingers are put in the second and third string – in that other.
The trick is to ensure that the third finger does not touch the first string otherwise the chord won’t ring properly. The first and second fingers go on the second fret while the third finger is placed on the third fret.
D Minor Chord
The next guitar chord on the list for beginners is the D Minor chord, like its major chord, the fingering for Dm is relatively complex compared on other basic chords on this list. To produce a Dm in its standard form, place your first finger on the first string, the second finger on the third string and the third finger on the second string. The fretting is done on the first fret for the first finger, second fret for the second finger and third fret for the third finger. Be sure to strum the four highest sounding strings making sure to avoid the muted sixth and fifth string.
E Major Chord
The E Major chord is a frequently used chord and it is fairly easy to play. To play the E, curl your first finger on the third string on the first fret of the third string while the second and third fingers strum the fifth and fourth string respectively on the second fret. There are not muted keys in E, all six strings are strummed evenly. The fingering is quite similar to that of the E minor and the A minor. The E major can be gotten from the E minor by placing the first finger on the first fret of the third string. The E is produced from the Am, by moving your fingers a string backwards; from the fourth, third and second to the fifth, fourth and third strings.
E Minor Chord
The E Minor chord is the easiest and the most common guitar chord of all because of how easy it is to play the chord. There aren’t a lot of songs lacking the E minor and if there is one guitar chord you should learn, this is the one to start with. The E minor chord is a two-finger shape meaning it is played with two fingers. Here, place your second and third fingers on the second fret of the fifth and fourth string respectively. It’s essential that you use the appropriate fingers to play the Em, correct finger positioning enables easy transition from one chord to another while playing. Also, ensure that you strum all six strings so your chord rings out clear and balanced.
F Major Chord
The F major is not a basic chord and beginner guitarist will have problems with it. However, the F chord is a common feature in songs and you will definitely encounter it a number of times. Thus, while it is not exactly a basic chord for beginners, it will be beneficial to you to learn it. The standard F major features all the strings and the four strumming fingers. The first finger goes on the first fret of the first, second and sixth strings. The second finger goes on the second fret of the third string while the third and fourth fingers are on the third fret of the fifth and fourth strings respectively. Strumming the F is beyond the ability of most beginners but learning it early on will improve your playing techniques as a guitarist.
F Minor Chord
Unlike the F major, the F minor is not a common chord, however, it is quite the barre chord like its major counterpart on the chord scale. To produce the Fm, place the first, second, third and sixth strings on the first fret using the first finger while the third finger is on the third fret of the fourth and fifth strings. Ensure you are strumming all six strings to hear the full voicing of the chord. The standard Fm may be quite tough for beginner guitarist and as it isn’t a basic chord, your early guitar lessons mat be missing this chord.
G Major Chord
The G chord is another common guitar cord. However, the fingering here may be a bit complex for beginners as it involves three fingers spread across multiple strings. To produce a standard G, curl your fingers so that the fourth finger on the first string, the second finger goes on the fifth string while the third finger is on the sixth string. There is another finger pattern for G where the first and the second fingers are on the fifth and sixth strings respectively. However, the first pattern is often better as it allows for a more convenient transition to C, a chord usually played after G. For both patterns, the first and last strings are strummed on the third fret while the fifth string is in the second fret.
G Minor Chord
Unlike its major counterpart, the G minor isn’t just a difficult chord for beginners, it is also a pretty uncommon chord. The standard Gm is spread over all six strings on the third fret – to strum the Gm, the first finger is barred on the six strings on the third fret while the third and fourth finger are on the fifth and fourth strings respectively on the same third fret. With all the finger action going happening on the third fret, it is not hard to see why this chord may be difficult to produce.
- For reference, the first finger is the pointer, the second finger is the tallest finger, the third finger is the ring finger while the last finger is the pinky finger. The thumb isn’t used as a fretting finger
Let’s Watch a Video Guitar Notes For Beginners
When it comes to playing the guitar, it is one thing to learn the notes but playing clean and clear chords such that the highs, lows and natural sound of every note rings out loud while the muted strings remain muted is a completely different thing. Guitar Notes For Beginners article will be help you gathered Knowledge of the basic chords will not only prepare you for the more complex ones as a beginner guitarist, your playing technique will definitely progress faster if you do not try to skip the basics.