Introduction to Chords
The G, C and D chords are excellent to begin working with on the guitar. They will provide you with a basic yet useful harmonic progression to get you started strumming and making music with your guitar. The audio examples below will provide you with the sound associated with each chord. I recorded the examples below with an emphasis on the clarity of how the chord should sound, not with a specific strum pattern. If you would like to learn more about additional information we offer, please check out a list of topics we teach with our private guitar lessons in Salt Lake City!
- When playing guitar, your fingers are numbered 1-4. Index finger is no.1, middle finger is no.2, ring finger is no.3 and the pinky finger is no.4. The Thumb does not count as a finger because it is placed on the back of the neck and pointed upwards.
- The guitar strings are numbered as well with the thickest and lowest sounding string being the 6th string, and the thinnest and highest pitched string being the 1st string. The strings move in order from 1-6, respectively.
- As you place your finger on the fret, place the fingertip of your left hand just above the metal fret wire. You need to play on your fingertips to avoid any buzzing sounds or muted notes. With that said, it's perfectly normal for beginning guitar players to experience "buzzing" and other unwanted tones (This will diminish over time with consistent practice.)
- The more you practice, you will develop calluses on your fingertips and strengthen your hand and forearm muscles. This will reduce the unwanted "buzzing" and muted notes you may experience on the guitar, assuming your technique is accurate.
- Play each string one by one to hear the tone of the chord. Do you hear the string "buzzing"? Is the string not sounding at all? If you hear buzzing, you need to adjust how your positioning your finger on the fret wire, one of your other fingers may be accidentally touching an adjacent string, causing the buzzing sound. If you hear muted notes that are supposed to sound, you may need to hold the fret down even harder with your finger to get a better sound.
- Make sure your knuckle above your fingernail is "popped up", this will allow you to play more on your fingertip, which will reduce the chance of you muting or touching an adjacent string.
- Practice switching between the chords with an even tempo. Using a metronome is key. Try to place all fingers down at once as opposed to building the chord one string at a time. It takes patience and a lot of repetition to do this effectively.
There are a wide variety of chords to start learning on the guitar. It's important to understand the basics first then build upon that. Focus on memorizing a few shapes at a time, then build upon your chord vocabulary from there. It's amazing how a small amount of consistent practice time will add up and make significant progress in a few months down the road. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment with being productive, you will inevitably acquire a skill set for yourself and others to admire. Please contact us if you would like to enroll in private guitar lessons to learn more!
© Dylan Baker Music LLC