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
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
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
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.