Now that you have the first three chords G, C and D down cold, it’s time to move on to the second batch of beginner guitar chords.
The next two beginner guitar chords you should learn are the A major and E major chords. We will learn these two chords in the open position just like we did with the G, C and D chords mainly because they are big full chords and have a great sound and also because they are used in a ton of great tunes as well. They also set the stage for learning barre chords which will help set the stage for playing chords all over the neck.
Beginner Guitar Chords: A Major and E Major
Here are the chord diagrams for both chords:
Practice the Chords
Practice these in the same manner you practiced the G, C and D chords that is – playing the chord and then picking each note to make sure each string rings perfectly clear. (Figure 1 and Figure 1a)
A Major Tab (Figure 1)
E Major Tab (Figure 1a)
Then, practice switching between the A and the E chord. As we covered in Part 1, the G, C and D chords sound so good when played together in a sequence (called a progression) because they belong to the key of G major. Well, the A, D and E chord sound particularly well together since they belong to the key of A major.
So practice strumming the A chord for 4 beats, then change to the D chord for 4 beats, then E for 4 beats and then back to A. Get a little fancy by changing the strumming up a little. Play the A chord for 4 beats, then the D for two then the E for 2 beats before going back to the A chord. This will mean you need to get a little faster at changing the chords from one to another which is great practice.
Congratulations, when you can comfortably play a simple progression like this the of G, C, D group and separately in the A, E, D group, you can successfully play hundreds of songs! Three chord rock, anyone?
Play Along with Simple (Yet Cool) Songs
Check out these songs that come from the A, D and E chord group:
Here are a couple to check out from the G, C and D chord group:
Good luck and keep strumming!