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Your First Chords: An Introduction to Open and Barre Chords

by KicknGuitar

18 Dec 2007
Views: 8677

Your First Chords
An Introduction to Open and Barre Chords


Most people know of two types of chords when starting out, open chords, and power chords (Tonic and Dominant intervals). Here you will find how to finger basic chords, including a few "barre" chords (barre chords utilize one finger to fret multiple notes, usually a flattened finger that lays across most, if not all strings on the fret. You "barre" the 3rd fret with your Index finger). With this lesson, I will show both Major and Minor chords for A, B, C, D, E, F and G.
A key for the charts and anything else can be found at the end.

Open chords use "open" strings. In this case open, is a string not fretted, you will fully understand this after playing them yourself.

Side Notes:
Learn at your own pace. Feel free to take a break if your brain is overloading, learning major and minor chords in one day is much, very much, in fact, too much. Practice makes perfect, so don't expect everything to come with your first try, take your time. While taking time and pressing the strings down you are building strength, and "muscle memory." Going slow when practicing can only help.

These fingerings are not in stone, only in the ether, thus they are suggested fingerings to be used. Sometimes it's best to do it your way because of your playing style or technique but you will only know with experience. Lastly, don't forget to have fun with all this!

Major Chords

E Major
E|--0--|
B|--0--|
G|--1--|
D|--2--|
A|--2--|
E|--0--|

E A D G B E
0–––––––0–0
| | | 1 | |
| 2 3 | | |
| | |•| | |

A Major
E|--0--|
B|--2--|
G|--2--|
D|--2--|
A|--0--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–0–––––-–0
| | | | | |
| | 1 2 3 |
| | |•| | |

G Major
E|--3--|
B|--3--|
G|--0--|
D|--0--|
A|--2--|
E|--3--|

E A D G B E
-–––0–0–-–-
| | | | | |
| 1 | | | |
2 | |•| 3 4
| | | | | |

C Major
E|--0--|
B|--1--|
G|--0--|
D|--2--|
A|--3--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––––0–-–0
| | | | 1 |
| | 2 | | |
| 3 |•| | |
| | | | | |

D Major
E|--2--|
B|--3--|
G|--2--|
D|--0--|
A|-----|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––0–––-–-
| | | | | |
| | | 1 | 2
| | |•| 3 |
| | | | | |


! The following two chords are barre chords. Both use the first finger to "barre" a fret. After enough practice, your barring finger will be able to press fully down on all six strings to get each sting to ring out clearly, without buzz.


F Major
E|--1--|
B|--1--|
G|--2--|
D|--3--|
A|--3--|
E|--1--|

E A D G B E
-–––––––-–-
1---------1
| | | 2 | |
| 3 4•| | |
| | | | | |

B Major
E|--2--|
B|--4--|
G|--4--|
D|--4--|
A|--2--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––––––-–-
| | | | | |
| 1-------1
| | |•| | |
| | 2 3 4 |
| | |•| | |


Take a breath. You've just learned all of the basic Major chords! Now it's time to tackle minor chords.

Minor Chords

E Minor
E|--0--|
B|--0--|
G|--0--|
D|--2--|
A|--2--|
E|--0--|

E A D G B E
0–––––0–0–0
| | | | | |
| 2 3 | | |
| | |•| | |

A Minor
E|--0--|
B|--1--|
G|--2--|
D|--2--|
A|--0--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–0–––––-–0
| | | | 1 |
| | 2 3 | |
| | |•| | |

D Minor
E|--1--|
B|--3--|
G|--2--|
D|--0--|
A|-----|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––0–––-–-
| | | | | 1
| | | 2 | |
| | |•| 3 |
| | | | | |


! The following chords are much more difficult. I would suggest you start with the Barre chords, these lightly focus on strength and flexibility. The G and C minor chords could be more difficult because they require greater flexibility. This, however may be the opposite for you, take it however you wish.



F Minor
E|--1--|
B|--1--|
G|--1--|
D|--3--|
A|--3--|
E|--1--|

E A D G B E
-–––––––-–-
1---------1
| | | | | |
| 3 4•| | |
| | | | | |

B Minor
E|--2--|
B|--3--|
G|--4--|
D|--4--|
A|--2--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––––––-–-
| | | | | |
| 1-------1
| | |•| 2 |
| | 3 4 | |
| | |•| | |

G Minor
E|--3--|
B|--3--|
G|--0--|
D|--0--|
A|--1--|
E|--3--|

E A D G B E
-–––0–0–-–-
| 1 | | | |
| | | | | |
2 | |•| 3 4
| | | | | |

C Minor
E|--0--|
B|--1--|
G|--0--|
D|--1--|
A|--3--|
E|-----|

E A D G B E
-–––––0–-–0
| | 1 | 2 |
| | | | | |
| 4 |•| | |
| | | | | |


I hope you found this to be helpful in one way or another. Feel free to question, comment and Kvetch.

Key:

TAB shows frets, not finger positions:
E|----|<
B|----|<
G|----|<
D|-0--|< Play the string open.
A|-2--|< Finger the second fret
E|-3--|< Finger the third fret


E A D G B E
-–––––––-–-
| | | | | |< First fret, unless specified
| | | | | |
| | |•| | |< Third fret
| | | | | |
| | |•| | |< Fifth fret

0-Open String
1-Index Finger
2-Middle Finger
3-Ring Finger
4-Pinky Finger
T-Thumb
--Barre

Last Edited on Dec 18, 2007.



Comments:

01
10.30.2009
  Damien

Thank you this is very helpful! :D

02
10.30.2009
  Evan

lol, I remember learning chords from the little starter pack chart thing.

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