How to Learn Guitar Chords

This lesson is on how to learn guitar chords. Every beginning guitar student that I ever met wonders the same thing. How do I learn all those chords?

Good news! You don't have to learn hundreds of chords to play guitar. all you need to start out on guitar is 8-10 easy chords. That's it. Really.

Playing guitar is a whole different world. It's like nothing else out there that is ever asked of someone to do with their hands.

The easiest way to think about it is that you now have to turn each finger into tight rope acrobats.

Tips on how to learn guitar chords

1. If you can use an electric guitar with light strings to start out. This will be so much easier on your fingertips that its another world. Believe me be as kind to your fingers as possible.

If you do not want or have an electric guitar. Have your guitar tech install some very light strings on your acoustic guitar and have the action set to as low as humanly possible without the guitar buzzing.

The action of a guitar is how high the strings are above the fretboard. The lower it is without buzzing, the easier it will be to learn to play chords.

2. Have the guitar set up to be as easy for a beginner as possible.

Learning guitar is tough enough already so be kind to yourself and have a pro set it up for you.
3. Picture your end goal to be a great guitar player. The mind moves towards what it wants and will help by communicating what is needed to the fingers to make it happen.

4. Cast all thoughts out of your mind if they are not of total success. Dogged determination - That's what it takes.

5. Make up your mind to work through fingertip soreness.Fingertip soreness is just part of the price you have to pay when you learn how to play guitar chords.

It doesn't last more than a few days if you are careful to stop just before you get a blister.

6. Work on chords 3 at a time. Easy three chord progressions for guitar are the way to go. You can play hundreds of songs with just three chords.

How to Learn Guitar Chords as quickly as possible.

This page is a jump off point to other pages of specific information on how to learn guitar chords.
Keep reading and then go onto the links that lead to pages with more below.

How to learn guitar chords - step by step.

1. Choose a three chord progression that you can play one of your favorite songs with.

If you can't think of one right now start off with a G C D chord progression as that seems to be one of the most common ones out there.
2. Pick out the simplest form of the chords that you can find.
This will have you sounding good asap because there is less to think about.

3. Gently place your fingers down where the chord diagram shows and apply pressure by tightening your fingers down and pulling back slightly with your fretting hand arm.

Not too hard - not too soft. Just enough to make the notes sound clearly when you strum the guitar.

5. If the notes are buzzing or dead Move your fingers around to where they do sound clear. Keeping the first section of the finger vertical and rotating it to make it more parallel to the string usually helps.

6. When you get it and it sounds right practice slowly removing your fingers and putting them back to sound the chord. Make sure your fingers are relaxed as you move to grab the chord again.

The reason why you stay relaxed as you move away from and then back to the chord is that you are training your nervous system to move your hand as effectively as possible.

You want to program in relaxed movement.

7. When you have learned the first chord move on to the second.Do not at this point try to move between the two chords. Learn them one at a time.

8. When you have the second one sounding good move onto the third and learn it.

How to learn to move between chord in the progression.

At this point, you should have the three chords in the progression sounding good.

Here is where you learn to move between chords.

This is where the finger acrobatics start.

To move between chords start at the first chord and raise your fingers off the fretboard, move your fingers into the shape of the next chord in the air, staying relaxed and land on the next chord.

Then go from the second back to the first. Back and forth.

When you have mastered moving from the first to the second chord continue onto learn the movement between the second and third chord.

At this point, you master the moves between all three.

Using the metronome to master chord progressions

Practice with the metronome is the next step and last step to learning how to play guitar chords.

Start slowly like as slow as it gets, move between all three of the chords the way you learned them and slowly increase the speed until you are satisfied.

Metronome by

That's it - You have learned how to learn guitar chords.

It's the same for all chords, rinse and repeat.

You're ready to move on and play your first song.

Roy Barnett

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