Learning your first chords can be confusing. For beginners your hands and fingers do not have any muscle memory yet so it can feel awkward when you first try to stretch your fingers apart. Today I’m going to introduce you to the E major and G major chords in the open position. There’s a video at the end of this article that recaps the tab, fingers & shapes and offers an exercise you can practice to get started.

Couple of Points

Remember it’s important to use only the tips of your fingers when pressing down on the strings. Using the flatter part of your finger is going to blunt some strings. To ensure you’re using the tips also pay attention to how your thumb is positioned it should be positioned flush with the back of the neck.

The E major Chord

E — 0 –
B — 0 —
G — 1 –
D — 2 –
A — 2 –
E — 0 –

To play the E chord you use your first three fingers and position them as: 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th/A string Your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th/D string and your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd/G string. When strumming the E chord play all six strings.

The G major Chord

E — 3 –
B — 0 —
G — 0 –
D — 0 –
A — 2 –
E — 3 –

To play the G chord you again use your first three fingers and position them as: 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th/Low E string, 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th/A string and your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st/high E string. Again strum all six strings at once. Be prepared to feel a little bit awkward when you try to place your 3rd finger down on the 1st string. This will take some getting used to.

Practice Tips

To build up the muscle memory for making these chords I suggest you practice making the shapes on the guitar neck without strumming and then squeezing harder then you normally would, hold it for a few seconds then release. Repeat this exercise and it will help your fingers become accustomed to the shapes they must make for the chords.

Take a moment to watch the video below, there’s more detail on how to form the shapes of both chords and a practice exercise at the end.

To learn more beginner guitar chords & techniques why not try a beginner guitar dvd? You can use it to learn from home at your own pace. Guest Author, Ian Fraser.

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