Learning to play chords on the guitar

Course: Get Strumming: A Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Chords



The guitar is one of modern music’s most versatile and popular instruments. It allows you to play various musical styles, from rock to jazz, pop, and folk. When learning to play the guitar, developing a series of fundamental skills, such as the ability to play chords, is essential.

What are chords

Chords are combinations of notes played simultaneously, producing a harmonious and complete sound. There are a large number of different chords that you can play on the guitar, from simple chords like the C major chord to more complex chords like the seventh major chord.

How chords are played on the guitar

The guitar has six strings that are numbered as follows: the thickest string is called the E string and is numbered 1; the next one is called the B string and is numbered 2, and so on until the thinnest string which is called the G string and is numbered as 6.

Below you can see the six strings of the Guitar numbered and the tone they produce:

6E (octave higher)

As for the numbering of the fingers, the following convention is usually used: the thumb is numbered as 1, the index finger as 2, the middle finger as 3, and the ring finger as 4. Some musicians also use the little finger to play specific notes on the guitar, numbered 5.

To play a chord on the guitar, you must place your fingers on the strings in the position indicated by a chord diagram and then play the strings simultaneously. For example, to play a C major chord, you must place your index finger on the B string at fret 2, your middle finger on the G string at fret 2, and your ring finger on the E string at fret 3. Then, it would be best to play the strings simultaneously to produce the chord.

This requires practice and skill, but over time and with effort, you will develop the skill necessary to play chords quickly and accurately. Our experience and that of the teachers associated with TuCuatro point to about two months of continuous practice until your fingers acquire the necessary motor skills and muscle memory to play the basic chords easily.

Practice regularly and pay attention to the placement of your fingers on the guitar to develop the ability to play chords accurately and quickly. Over time and with effort, you will do it better and better

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