basic guitar chords Archives

Let me start by saying that anyone learning how to play acoustic guitar for beginners should pace themselves and complete one course before starting the next. I could say that you should give each course you take a week or maybe two but the fact is that not all people learn at the same pace.

Learn At Your Own Pace

For a long time I studied every day but found I was not learning as fast as I thought I should be, then someone told I should try studying every other day as it give the brain time to take in the lessons.

In the back of my mind I thought he was a bit off but tried it, just out of frustration.

I was actually amazed that it really worked. It renewed my energy for learning and even though it took me twice as long to do lessons I was learning faster than before. My learning pace increased in speed without the pressure I was feeling before.

Seeing Helps Me Learn Faster

I have to say I love using Youtube.com, Jamorama.com or Jamplay.com to learn more about playing my Yamaha acoustic guitar. I learn the most from the videos I watch, over and over. Watching someone play helps me learn much faster.

I’m on a limited budget so I can’t just go out and rent video but I can afford a membership at Jamorama and Jamplay. The fact that Youtube is free is just a bonus for my.

I know that when I am at guitar jams I learn to play songs so much faster. I’m pretty sure it’s because I can see finger position, strumming and the timing of each song. The timing is where I have the most stress for some reason and seeing it with my own eyes just makes it work for me.

For the riffs in songs I usually don’t play them unless I can watch someone playing them. Hearing it just doesn’t work for me, although I do better than when I started so maybe over time I will master playing by ear.

With a video tutorial, you would get a systematic instructional on how to read chords, locate the appropriate chords on your guitar, tune your guitar, and play an entire acoustic song. You can definitely learn a lot from these videos and video sharing websites.

Jamorama - Learn Guitar

Use Guitar Tablature And Chord Sites

Even if you’re a beginner, it’s safe to assume that you have your share of favourite acoustic artists. After all, it’s impossible to embrace a love for the instrument if you didn’t have inspiration.

Try to take advantage of the Internet by searching for a tablature (tabs) that your favourite artist transcribed. Nothing beats the feeling of having to learn the instrument from no less than your favourite artist.

One of the main reasons I like Youtube so much is because of those who cover artist’s songs using an acoustic guitar. Some artists even do acoustic versions of their songs to share with fans.

I have to say that I do find it quite frustrating when anyone plays an acoustic version of a song using a guitar but doesn’t show the hands for strumming and chord changes. I usually give them a thumbs down. Who cares if I can see your face, I want to see your hands.

Learning how to play acoustic guitar should be fun and with not too much stress. I get stressed a bit but that’s just me. When I finally find someone that can show me what I need to know I calm down.

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Learning Acoustic Guitar Chords for Beginners

playingguitarbyearRealistically, you can’t expect yourself to be a genius playing guitar chords if you’re just learning how to play the acoustic guitar. Everyone who plays the guitar, even the famous ones like B.B. King, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Slash all had to start with basic, simple, and easy acoustic guitar chords for beginners.

The truth is these basic chords lay down the foundation for all succeeding lessons. So once you have mastered the easiest chords, you’ll be well on your way to learning intermediate and then more advanced chords.

guitar-neckYou may find that you breeze through the basic chords which is great however if you want to be really good at learning guitar chords, you need to acquaint yourself with the basic anatomy of an acoustic guitar.

You need to keep in mind that the chords are usually show in a pattern that’s printed making it important to learn how to read chords charts.

The main component of an acoustic guitar that you will be working closely with are your guitar’s strings and the fingerboard of your guitar.

guitar strings (2)Your acoustic guitar will most likely have 6 strings, although I have a few guitar playing friends who have 12 string guitars.

A right handed guitar player holding their guitar facing away from them will have the six strings starting with the top as Low E, A, D, G, B, High E. Just like in the image to the right.

Going down the neck of your guitar you will have metal bars that cross the neck at specific locations. These are called Frets and allow you to change notes while you’re playing.

If you play or pluck each individual string without placing any fingers on the strings they are called open strings. When you place a finger on one of the strings at a fret it will give you a specific note.

Example: When you put your finger on the first fret holding the low or high E string down it will produce the note F. If you move that finger down one more fret so that it’s on the second fret and pluck it you will hear a F# or F Sharp. Holding the string down at the third fret will produce a G note.

g-chordThe diagram on the left shows a G chord. The black dots show where to place your fingers and the blank circles at the top of the chart show which strings to play open. Open means you don’t put a finger on that string. So this combination will product a G chord and is just one of many ways to play a G chord and is the most basic.

d chordNow if you wanted to play a D chord you would use the finger positioning shown in the diagram on the right. Again the black dots are where you place your fingers and the blank white dot is played open.

The other two strings in this case don’t get played at all. So when you see a chart like this one and it has no black dots on a string or no white dot above the string it doesn’t get plucked.

Here is a diagram of the basic chords I learned first. Learning these simple chords allowed me to learn dozens and dozens of songs I have loved over the years.

simple or basic guitar chords

Do you feel overwhelmed already. Don’t fret, ‘pun intended’ it’s not as hard as most people tend to think it is. Although the ends of one’s fingers can get a bit tender when first learning but you can soon get over that as you practice.

There are hundreds of combinations that make up chords at various positions along the fret board but concentrate on the basics and you’ll find it less frustrating or overwhelming.

There are options for learning how to play guitar today. I started with books and chord charts I picked up at a local guitar shop. I also learn a ton of cool stuff at local guitar jams but where I learned the most is from online sites such as Jamorama.com, Jamplay.com and YouTube.com.

I do prefer the online methods of learning as I do so much better with show and tell than learning from books, but that’s just me. I also tried hiring a guy to teach me but he was an ass and it cost me more than I wanted to pay.

If you’re keen on learning acoustic guitar chords for beginners, you will find these tips indispensable:

  1. Take advantage of the power of the Internet. It’s rife with online tutorials and instructional for learning chords. Just be wary of choosing the right website, as there are those that require payments so you can access the lessons. Patience is the key to finding sites that provide free lessons.
  2. When it comes to acoustic guitars, it pays to spend time studying the instrument and familiarizing yourself with its different parts. You don’t just play the guitar. Instead, you need to know it like the back of your hand. This is important as it lets you understand how each component of the guitar works together to produce sound.
  3. Rather than just strum the strings on your acoustic guitar, try to understand how the tension in the string affects the sound emitted by the guitar. You’d be surprised to find out that the sound differs depending on the length and size of each string.
  4. You need to know that there are different ways to play acoustic guitar chords. This allows for versatility. In addition, once you’re able to play chords in various ways, it would be easier for you to transition from one chord to the next.
  5. It may be cliché, but practice makes perfect. Hence, devote 20 to 30 minutes each day in practice. Don’t try to learn the chords in one go, or you’d end up frustrated and overwhelmed. It’s impossible to learn everything in one sitting, so make do with the pace you’re most comfortable with and don’t rush yourself.

By following these simple tips, you’d be reading chords like a pro in no time. 

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Playing My Yamaha Acoustic Guitar Helps Decrease Stress

playing guitarEvery guitar player I’ve known has been impatient and want to play songs before they are ready to. I’m one of them as well, so it’s not uncommon at all.

It’s just such a cool thing to be able to sit down and play a song you love. For me it’s a great stress reliever, although at the beginning, well I’m not so sure that it wasn’t a stress builder.

You don’t have to actually master the basic chords in a song to play it but it sure sounds better when you do. All those I know who were beginners started the same way. They were at a jam, got interested, learned how to form a few basic chords and then went out and bought a guitar.

That’s exactly what happened to me, although a friend loaned me an extra guitar from his collection until I had one of my own, but I learned a few simple chords. I think they were C, G and D. Then they played songs using those chords for most of the night. It was great fun and I was hooked.

Both my guitars have been used Yamaha acoustic guitars that were within my budget but now I think I’m ready for a brand new Amazon.com Widgets

Learning Classical Guitar

I have a friend that goes to our guitar jams periodically who was training in classic guitar music and he blows my mind.  His brother is a country bumpkin all the way and can’t stand the classic guitar playing his brother does.

When Jake plays classical guitar he hold his guitar differently than we do and he uses his fingers differently as well.

Learning Jazz Guitar

Then there’s Jazz guitar instruction which is different again from other genres and will use some unfamiliar chord structures and a lot of improvisation as one progresses through the instructions levels.

I would say that rock instruction books are the big seller as rock is the most common genre for acoustic guitar playing and is where I started learning, even though today I play more country than rock.

The thing is it really doesn’t matter where you start with guitar the basics are pretty much the same such as learning the strings and how to hold your guitar. Then it’s learning chord instructions and scales until you’re proficient.

There are a lot of guitar instructional guides or books available online and in stores, so much so that it can be tough to make up your mind where to start. There are basic introduction to guitar books and then many levels of guitar instructions books that will take you to every next level there is.

Most guitar instructional books today come with a DVD or CD that will help you to hear what the instructions are telling you which for me made a world of difference in my ability to learn how to play my guitar.

I love the idea of being able to take my guitar instructions books with me I do have a laptop now and really enjoy all the free guitar lessons I can get online. Actually that’s where I learned about the Jamorama guitar course and moved to the next level of guitar playing.

I also live on Youtube now where I not only find some great how to play guitar instruction to learn more but also to find just about any song I know where I can learn how to play it faster or sooner than later. There are so many choices when it comes to learning how to play guitar today.

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all guitar chords
Screen Shot From All Guitar Chords

I love learning new guitar chords I can use in songs I love to play and learn. Sometimes I find chords that actually fit other songs which may just use a major chord when really they didn’t know that it wasn’t. I have a guitar playing buddy that does that all the time and it works for him.

An example might be when a C/E chord is played in a song and a C chords is used instead. It can still work but with that one extra note it can make such a difference in the quality of that chord. The C/E chord is a C chord with the low E string played as the bass note.

split chord
Split Chord C/E

Well I’m not meaning to sound like I’m complaining about Gary. He just always take the time to learn the actually chord. It’s so cool when I point out a chord that he has been using for years and give him the right finger positioning for the right chord. At first he’s offended I would imply he is not using the right chord but then he’s excited about it.

Now I’ve given him a link to a site that has so many chords and chord variations. All Gary has to do now is to find the chords and click get to get a visual of it’s positioning on the neck of a guitar. How much easier is that.

The site is All Guitar Chords and is so worth visiting. I spend so much time there just learning new chords and getting the feel for them. Quite often I hear something in the chord that makes me think of a song and then it’s off to learn it.

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forming guitar chordsLearning how to form chords on your acoustic guitar is important. If you aren’t forming your chords correctly you may just be hampering your speed. I didn’t learn much when I first started playing but what I did learn was how to form a proper chord and how to change to the next efficiently.

The thing is I gave up after just a couple of months as I had no one to play guitar with and no one to help me with learning how to play with rhythm. Books were great for learning chords but didn’t do anything for my playing.

Many years later when I picked guitar up again and had access to friends who play and of course the Internet I still remembered the chords I had learned more than 25 years earlier and how to form those chords.

My new guitar playing friends had learned to play more than 30 years ago and knew hundreds of songs but when I started learning from them I realized I was getting faster or they were getting slower. They didn’t form their guitar chords the same way I do and it actually confused them.

I learned a more efficient method of chord fingering that tends to make my chord changes more efficient as well and that’s where the speed comes in .

Example: Let’s use a chord change between G and C. I will use images to show you rather than type out confusing words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words anyways.

g-chordg chord 2To the left is a diagram showing my finger positions while forming a G chord. On the right is how my friends form their G chord. They both sound clear and clear but what happens when they have to change to chords from the G to a C, a G7 or a Gsus4.

Numbering your fingers starting on the left with your index finger through to your pinky are 1, 2, 3 and 4. So my finger positions when forming a G chord are as follows. I use fingers 2, 3 and 4, shown in the image about and to the left. My guitar buddies use fingers 1, 2 and 3 to form their G chord.

c chord

Now let’s switch to a C chord and see what happens to our fingers as we all use the same fingers to form the C chord.

I am able to move my fingers 2 and 3 from the E and A Strings to the A and D string with ease and just drop my index finger on the B string first fret.

My friends however have to remove all their fingers in order to reposition them correctly.

g7 chordgsus4 chordAnd if we look at the G7 and Gsus4 we use in a lot of songs it’s the same thing. I can keep my finger positions easier and just drop my index finger into place while the others have to reform the entire chord each time.

They have since learned the chord pattern I use for my G so they can switch much more efficiently but they still use the old G formation for all other songs. It gets hardwired into your brain and can easily cost you when it come to playing those really fast songs.

Take the time to learn how to form chords using the most efficient finger positioning and you will get faster and smoother.

Two excellent places to learn how to play guitar without leaving the comfort of your home are Jamorama or Jamplay or both. I am evaluation both at the moment and have found them both to be great places for starter or for those that wish to take their guitar playing to the next level, which is what I wanted to do.

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