8 Essential Open Chords for Beginners

8 Essential Open Chords for Beginners

From whence shall we start our guitar playing journey? If you wish to play many different songs, chords are what you should master. Here are the 8 open chords that every beginner should know.

The numbers in the chord chart show how your fingers should be placed on the guitar. 1 indicates where you should put your index finger, 2 for your middle finger, 3 for your ring finger, and 4 for your little finger.

With these 8 chords, you should be able to accompany so many songs. In fact, even with only 4 of them—G, C, D, and Em, you can already play great music, for instance, You’re Beautiful by James Blunt, With or Without You by U2 and She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5. In the following, we will have a look at the chorus of You’re Beautiful as an example.

Let’s give an ear to the chords first.

Here comes the version with melody added in. How does it sound? More expressive and enchanting, right?

The good news is, with the use of a capo, you can play in many other keys by transposition. To make it clear, you can have the key of a song transposed into a key that utilize the above 8 chords. So the chords will become ever more powerful and useful. Ready for a more exciting piece of breaking news? We are going to look into how a capo works in the coming week! Don’t miss out on this gem! Anyway, let’s make sure we have these fundamental chord shapes down beforehand.

Here are some tips on how to enhance your chord playing:

  • Bend the string with your fingertip
  • Bend it hard enough
  • Bend all your knuckles
  • Not to touch neighboring strings
  • Make sure your chords sound clear
  • Change chords effectively
  • Practice everyday

The best way to master chords will be applying them to real-life situations. Start with songs that contain 3 chords, then move on to those with 4. Before that, you should learn the right rhythms to use. Click here to get exposed to the 6 Basic Guitar Strumming Patterns, and here to the 5 Essential Strumming Patterns in Pop Music.

Happy playing chords!