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How To Play Basic Guitar Chords

Just about everyone would like to learn to play the guitar, especially here in North Phoenix, AZ.  There’s a lot of hidden talent in this city just waiting to burst out on the scene.  The problem is that very few are willing to put in the time to learn.  In actuality, it really doesn’t take that long to learn how to play basic guitar chords.  Every day you practice, even if just for a few minutes at a time, you’ll become more familiar and more comfortable with where to place your fingers and how to hold the guitar.  Learning how to play the basic chords on your guitar can take you along way.  Before you know it, you’ll be playing all of your favorite songs that you hear on the radio.  So, take a few minutes to read the article below and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying all of the benefits that come from learning how to play just a few basic guitar chords.  And don’t forget to stop by Strum University in North Phoenix, AZ and have a chat with fellow musicians, both new and old.  It will also give you a chance to meet some of our fabulous North Phoenix guitar instructors!

One of the challenges for the novice guitarist is learning the basic chords. You will not only need to know where to put your fingers, but also how to change from one chord to another. The technique of smooth transition between chords is a learning process we are never really finished with. Every time we learn something new on the guitar, that’s another sequence of small movements our body learns, and these sets of movements must be executed smoothly through relaxed, calm practice.

Holding chords with your left hand is a new skill. It uses groups of muscles we do not normally use, so it takes time to learn the chord shapes without experiencing discomfort. There is light at the end of the tunnel, although sometimes the tunnel seems very, very long.

Another physical adaptation that has to be made when you learn your basic guitar chords is the left-hand fingers need to be toughened up. Callouses form on the tips of the fingers after a few weeks playing, but until they do you need to put up with the pain.

Fortunately learning the notes on the guitar is a job that does come to an end. As you learn more songs, chords and scales you will feel your ease with musical theory and notation growing even if you didn’t directly learn much theoretical stuff. If you learned in your own way the knowledge gets into you by way of constant practice and the enjoyment you bring to your guitar playing.  When you’re ready for a few professional guitar lessons, stop by our new music studio near North Phoenix, AZ to get started.  We’ve also got a great deal on your first lesson here at Strum University – it’s FREE!  We just knew you couldn’t refuse a deal like that!

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Our talented and friendly instructors are ready and waiting to help kick-start your musical journey!


So the task at hand is to learn a basic group of chords. This is your toolbox you begin your guitar playing with.

Each chord is identified by a letter. If the letter is followed by the word, minor, it’s a minor chord. If it is just the letter alone, it’s a major chord.

Major chords contain the Root note, a major third above the Root plus a fifth above the Root.

Minor chords, which have a more “sad” sound, are the same except that they contain a minor third instead of a major third.

A basic rule of thumb for understanding major and minor chords is for a

major chord play the (1) (3) and (5) of the major scale, and for a minor chord play the (1) (3) and (5) of the minor scale.

A handy thing to know once you start playing barre chords is that if you learn the major chord shape, you only need to lift one left-hand finger to play the minor chord.

The basic chords come from the keys of A G C and D. The chords themselves can be played at all positions on the fret board, but beginners start with open chords at the first position. This means that at least one note is played on an open string.

We group the basic keys into families:

The A family contains the chords A, D and E.

The D family contains the chords D, E minor, G and A.

The G family contains the chords G, A minor, C, D and E minor.

The C family contains the chords C, D minor, E minor, F and G.

Strum University Studio Location:

320 W Lone Cactus Drive
Suite 1
Phoenix, AZ 85027

Guitar Lessons Service Area:  Phoenix, North Phoenix, , Deer Valley, Arrowhead Ranch, Desert Ridge, Desert View, Grayhawk, Kierland, Paradise Valley, Paradise Valley Village, North Scottsdale, Sun City, Glendale, Gainey Ranch, McCormick Ranch, North Mountain, Alhambra, Maryvale Village and surrounding areas.

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