8 Guitar Chords You Must Know – Beginner Guitar Lessons

Hey I'm Nate Savage. In this lesson I'm going
to teach you eight guitar chords that you must know if you're a guitar player. Now,
if you already know these chords that's fine, but stick around, I'm gonna be giving some
tips on making your chords sound great and clean, and your chord transitions sound smooth
too. Now, I believe it was the great Chet Atkins
that said "I never made a dime above five", and he was referring to the fifth fret on
that. And one of the things he was talking about when he said that was open chords, he
was referring to open chords. And Chet Atkins being the virtuoso that he was, him saying
that "I never made a dime above five" is awesome because it should tell you the importance
of these open chords that we're going to learn in this lesson. They're really important for
your career as a guitarist. The eight chords we're going to be tackling
in this lesson are: G major C major D major F major E major A major E minor and A minor. You may be saying, "Nate that's a lot of chords, there's no way I could remember
this in one lesson". Don't worry about that. Space these out over a few weeks or even a
few months, take them at your own pace. So let's get started with a G major chord.
Bring your hand up to the guitar and pretend like you're holding an apple or something.
That's a good posture to think about when you're making chords. Come put your thumb
on the back of the neck right there, and just relax. Make sure to relax when you're doing
all of these. You shouldn't have a lot of excess tension in your hand. Now, when you
are making this G major chord you can use either the first, second and third fingers,
or you can use the second, third and fourth fingers. I would really really encourage you
to use the second, third and fourth fingers. I'll show you later why, but for now try it
with the second, third and fourth. If it's too hard for you for right now you can use
the first, second and third. Okay, come and put your third finger on the
third fret of the low E string, and you'll want to notice a couple of things. I'm coming
right down on the very tip of my finger. I'm not being lazy and letting my finger hang
over like this. That's a really important part of making chords. You want to come right
down on the very tip of your finger. You'll also want to notice that my finger is right
behind the fret wire right here. So those two things. Come right down on the very tip
of your finger, and try to come right behind the frets too. So that's your first note. The second note, the second finger on the
second fret of the A string right there. Again, the very tip of your finger. Now your pinky
is going to come grab the third fret of the high E string, right behind the fret, right
on the tip of your finger. Strum all six strings. And like I said, you can make this with your
first, second and third fingers if that's too hard for you, but I would really encourage
you to use your second, third and fourth fingers. Alright, let's move on to the C major chord,
and one tip I want to give you here is don't kink your wrist too far this way when you're
making when you're making chords. That can hurt after a while. So, I mean my wrist isn't
going to be perfectly straight, it's going to be a little bit bent, but don't kink it
too far, otherwise it might start hurting you.
So let's learn this C major chord. This is a great chord to let you know if you're coming
down on the very tips of your fingers, and I'll show you why. Put your third finger on
the third fret of the fifth string right behind the fret, second finger second fret of the
D string, and your first finger on the first fret of the B string. And I'll leave the low
E string out and just strum the top five strings. Now that sounded good right? There were clear
notes, no buzzing. Now watch as I just barely adjust my posture on my fingers, and don't
come down right on the very tips of them. Listen to this now. Almost all the notes in
the chord disappeared. So that is a great chord for telling you if you're working on
coming down on the tips of your fingers really good or not. The reason I wanted you to make your G chord
with your second, third and fourth fingers is this right here. You're going to be switching
between a G and a C chord a lot when you play guitar, and watch this change right here.
Here is your C I'm gonna go right to a G. Not that big of a change if I use my second
third and fourth fingers. If I use my first, second and third fingers I have a big change
that has to take place. It's a lot harder to make that switch. Alright, the next chord on the list is a D
major chord, and I have a couple of tips for you on this one too for making your chords
sound good. First of all, cut your fingernails. If you keep your fingernail short, it's a
lot easier to come down directly on your fingertips. Now, a lot of people have trouble memorizing
chords too, so let's learn this D chord and then I'll teach you a couple of tips for memorizing
chords. Put your first finger on the second fret of
the G string, third finger on the third fret of the B string, and your second finger on
the second fret of the high E string. Leave the E and the A strings, the lowest two strings,
out and just strum the top four strings. You'll notice my fingers aren't coming directly
perpendicular to the strings their kind of off at an angle here. That's one thing that
kind of helps get your fingers in that kind of tight little space that you have to make
for this D chord. Alright, let's talk about memorizing guitar
chord shapes. Two things that you can do to help you memorize stuff faster, shapes faster,
is to actually look at the chord and memorize what that chord looks like. A lot of you are
probably going to be looking at chord diagrams on paper or on a computer screen, right? And
you can visualize it like that, but looking at the chord, actually looking at it, memorizing
what it looks like is a great way to help you remember that. Also, you know what? Put
that chord on and don't look at it at all. Just think about the way it feels, and try
to memorize the way it feels. The more ways you can attack memorizing something, the better
chance you're going to have at remembering it. The next chord we're going to learn is an
F major chord, and people kind of get scared when they hear F major chord because most
beginners usually learn an F as a bar chord. But this F I'm gonna teach you is a lot easier.
It's only a three note chord, so you shouldn't have too hard of a time with it.
Put your third finger on the third fret of the D string, second finger on the second
fret of the G string, and your first finger is going to go on the first fret of the B
string. And those are the only three notes you are going to play the D, G and B strings. The next chord we're going to learn is an
E major chord, and I'm going to go through some tips with you on this chord about making
your chord transitions smooth. I get a lot of people emailing me "Nate, my chord transitions
are just terrible. What's the problem here?" Well, a lot of times people will try to start
transitioning between chords before they actually have the chord that they are working on learned
properly. So, let's learn this E major chord, and I'm going to give you some tips for really
solidifying chord shapes in your head. So, put your second finger on the second fret
of the A string, third finger on the second fret of the D string, and your first finger's
going to come grab the first fret of the G string. Make sure you're coming right down
on your fingertips, and make sure you're getting as close as you can to the fret there. Strum
all six strings. Now like I said people will try to make chord
transitions before they have chords learned really well, and that just kind of compounds
the challenge as it were. So what you want to do is make sure you have a chord learned
really well before you try to transition between that chord and another chord. One way you
can do that is to put the chord on, leave it there for you know a good thirty seconds,
longer than I'm going to leave it here in this video. Then, take it off, shake your
hand completely out, put it back on, and just repeat that over and over again. You know,
it may take you a few days or a week or even a couple of weeks, but as soon as you can
get to that chord right away, then you're ready to start working on transitioning between
that chord and another chord. Which leads us to the next chord we're gonna learn. Let's work on an A major chord. Put your first
finger on the second fret of the D string, second finger on the second fret of the G
string, and your third finger on the second fret of the B string. And this one is a little
challenging because you have to scrunch your fingers up so close together all in that one
fret, that second fret. Leave the low E string out and strum the top five strings. And we're
kind of breaking a rule here because our index finger's not right behind the fret, but that
can't really be helped because we have to scrunch our fingers up in such a small area. So once you get this chord down do that same
process. Put it on, leave it there, take it off, shake it all the way out. And then, once
you have that chord where you can go right to it, you can work on switching between that
chord and another one. For example, switching between your E and your A chords is pretty
common. So that's a change that you might want to work on. Alright, that brings us to our two minor chords
that we're going to learn, and they're pretty easy because we only have to switch one note,
or change one note, from their major counterparts. So for example, if you have your E major chord
that we just learned. All you have to do to make that E major chord into an E minor chord
is change one note, and it's the note that's on your index finger. Just take that off and
now you have an E minor chord. You can strum all six strings. Alright, the last chord that I wanted to show
you is an A minor chord, and this one is kind of cool because it feels just like an E major
chord only it's moved over a string set. I'll show you what I mean. Put your second finger
on the second fret of the D string, third finger on the second fret of the G string,
and your first finger on the first fret of the B string. Now strum all five strings and
leave the low E string out. You see how this chord looks exactly like and E major shape,
only you move over one string set there. So those are some of the most important chords
you're going to learn as a guitarist. And of course bar chords and power chords are
really important too, but these guys, these open chords, are really your money makers. Now as you go through and work on these chords
remember to apply all the tips I gave you about making clean sounding chords and making
your chord transitions smooth too. That's really important. Thanks for watching everyone. I just launched a new guitar lesson series, and you can get it for free right now. Just go to GuitarSystem.com/free-series.
I'll see you there.
 

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