HOW TO PLAY OPEN CHORDS AND READ CHORD CHARTS FOR BEGINNERS

Updated: Mar 1, 2019



This blog post is about learning to play the 8 most important open chords and reading chord charts for efficient guitar playing. Also, we will look at few chord progressions that every beginner should start with, along with practice exercises to learn the progressions effectively.

Let us first look at how a chord chart is read. Below is a picture of the most basic chord chart where the vertical lines denote the strings of the guitar, with the string from the right being the 1st string, and the last string being the 6th string.

The red circled frets are the positions for placing your fingers, while the number inside the circle is the finger number (number of the left hand). The '0' written above the 1st string indicates an 'open string', while the 'X' written above the 6th string indicates the string should not be played while strumming.

For better understanding of this concept, see the video above.


Chord Chart

Now, let's look at the first eight open chords, based on the concept of chord charts. These open chords are the most important ones that every beginner should start with.










2nd string, 1st fret 3rd string, 2nd fret 4th string, 2nd fret

1st, 5th strings to be kept open.

6th string should not be strummed.










3rd string, 1st fret 4th string, 2nd fret 5th string, 2nd fret

1st, 2nd, 6th strings to be kept open








5th string, 2nd fret

4th string, 2nd fret 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th strings to be kept open











2nd string, 2nd fret 3rd string, 2nd fret 4th string, 2nd fret

1st, 5th string to be kept open 6th string should not be strummed








1st string, 2nd fret 2nd string, 3rd fret 3rd string, 2nd fret

4th string to be kept open 5th, 6th strings should not be strummed.









2nd string, 1st fret

4th string, 2nd fret

5th string, 3rd fret 1st, 3rd strings to be kept open 6th string should not be strummed.









1st string, 1st fret

2nd string, 3rd fret

3rd string, 2nd fret 4th string to be kept open 5th, 6th strings should not be strummed.







1st string, 3rd fret 2nd string, 3rd fret

5th string, 2nd fret

4th string, 3rd fret

3rd and 4th strings to be kept open


There are short forms for both Major as well as Minor chords. Major Chords - A, D, G etc Minor Chords - Am, Em, Dm etc

Now let's look at various chord progressions that beginners should keep practicing to get a hands-on guitar playing-

  1. A- D – A – E

  2. Em – D- Em- C

  3. Am- E – Am – D

  4. G- Em – G – D

  5. G- Am- G- C

  6. Am – C – D - C

That's all folks! Do keep checking out the blog page for more such content on Beginner Guitar Learning series. Watch more guitar lessons for beginners and latest cover songs on our official Youtube channel, Music With Rahul Sharma