Your First Chord


In this part you will learn to play your first guitar chord. It’s gonna be the easiest of all chords – and yes, it is really simple! It will take you 5 or 10 minutes to learn.

You only need to use two fingers for this chord. All beginners start with it: this is probably the most used chord in guitar playing.

Posture

Put your first finger on the second fret of the 5th string. Put your second finger on the second fret of the 4th string. Make sure you press enough with your fingertips (but not too much). Keep your fingers round (remember the spider shape). Strum down the chord with your pick. Pass through all 6 strings gently but  bolded. There you go, you just created music!

Strum it more!

Shake your right hand – up and down. You could do a lot of stuff here. Strum the opposite way, then back to downstroke and so on. Try to make some rhythm of it. You can always use this basic techniques in your rhythm guitar practice in future. Hold the pick tight enough to keep from falling down into your guitar hole (it’s often a nightmare to pull it out), but no overacting.

Fingers variations

It is a good idea to envisage chord changing techniques (in future) and try to be more flexible. This way you will educate your fingers to move smoothly while playing chord progressions. So you can test replacing fingers number 1 and 2 with (respectively):

  • 2 and 3
  • 3 and 4

Tip for excellence:
Make sure you properly hold the strings down to the frets without touching neighbour strings. It is a common mistake for most beginners to have this 3rd string “buzz” or having no 3rd string sound at all due to such interactions. Try to isolate the notes , make them clean and strum again. Each string needs to “breathe” independently.

 

Tuning & using a TUNER


It is a good idea to have a smartphone application which helps you tune your guitar. There are zillions of free options there. Just install and follow the instructions. Or just use “guitar tuner” keywords on Google and you will find lots of them.

Option number 2 is to buy a dedicated guitar tuner. Go for it if you have a budget – it’s worth!

If you have neither software or hardware tuner, then you go with the “classic” way to tune:

You need a reference note for your 1st string – High E (the thinnest one). Take it from internet or some other instrument like piano (this is best). Tune your string with the machine head, spinning it round until you find the right tonal spot.

Now that you have 1st string tuned you can go further. Place your finger on the 5th fret of the second string and play the note. Then play 1st open string. Adjust the second string to be equal to the 1st. Listen carefully and make it as perfect as you can. Both notes should have exactly the same pitch. Do the same thing with 3rd string, 4th fret vs. 2nd open string. Then go with 4th string, 5th fret vs. 3rd open. Next is 5th string, 5th fret compared to 4th open. And the last one – 6th string, 5th fret vs. open 5th.

Do it with high attention to details as all string pitches depend on each other. Every little mistake could cost you going back to where you first did it incorrectly.