Beginning to Play Chords
Chords are the backbone for any song. Many songs can be simplified into a basic chord progression which is very helpful when learning songs. When first learning chords it is important to focus on 2 main elements - memorizing the shape/fingering of the chord, and developing the ability to switch between chords without hesitation. This lesson covers 3 of the most popular chords on the guitar - G major, C major, and D major.
1. Begin by learning the chord shapes and proper fingerings. You do not need to worry about strumming the chord at this time, you are just focusing on moving your fingers between the chord shapes. Start by choosing a chord and then placing the fretting hand fingers on the neck in the correct frets. Then practice moving your fingers to the next chord shape (you can practice moving from chord to chord in any order).
2. Next, you'll want to add the picking hand into the equation. At first your only goal is to achieve a clear sound for every string used in the chord. Practice each chord individually. Tip: Focus on placing your fingers on each string so that they are not touching other strings. This is the main reason for hearing muted strings in your chords. If your fingers are not touching other strings and you are still hearing muted notes, try pressing down on the strings a little harder.
3. Now you will want to practice moving from chord to chord while strumming. It will take some time and practice before you are able to switch without stopping your strumming hand. Just remember to take it slow, you'll get there. To make the chord switches easier, it is recommended to break the chords into smaller, more manageable shapes (less fingers and less strings). After you get comfortable switching between the chords using the simplified shapes, you can add fingers back in one at a time.
1 Finger Per Chord
2 Fingers Per Chord