When learning the guitar, finding the right place to get started can be hard.
There’s so much information available online that it can be difficult to find the right material to focus on.
But what if I told you that learning a few simple guitar chords is all it takes to kick your learning into overdrive?
You’d probably call me crazy, right? Well, I’m not.
In this article I am going to show you 5 guitar chords you can learn in just 1 week that’ll completely transform your playing.
Then I’ll also show you some great online software you can try out for free in order to take your playing even further.
How I Learned To Play Hundreds Of Songs In Just 1 Week
My name’s Reggie.
I’m 62 years old and recently retired.
I’ve played the guitar all throughout my life, but I never had the time to dedicate myself to it properly.
The closest I got was in college.
I’d play regularly in my spare time and even played in a few bands with my friends.
But soon enough exams got in the way, followed by work, a career as a foreman, and eventually a family.
All the while, the old 6-string was gathering dust out in the garage.
Every now and then I’d dig her out, dust her off, maybe even throw on a new set of strings, and fiddle around.
And, whenever I did, I’d find myself repeating the age-old phrase:
“I’m finally going to learn the guitar.”
But I never did.
There was always something more important to focus on.
But that all changed recently:
Now that I’m retired, I finally took it upon myself to learn how to play the guitar.
First I tried lessons with a guy called Mr Nielson, which didn’t work.
Then my kids told me to look online, and so I turned to Google and Youtube for free material for a while.
But after about 2 weeks of sitting in front of the computer for hours every night reading through blog posts and deciphering low-quality video lessons, I realized I’d learned nothing!
All I’d gotten where random lessons on everything from modal jazz theory to restringing a guitar.
I mean, I didn’t expect to be playing like Hendrix, but I’d figured I’d at least make some progress in 2 weeks.
And then, suddenly I did. All it took where some simple open chords.
5 Easy Guitar Chords To Kickstart Your Learning
At the beginning of this post I bragged about learning to play hundreds of songs in just a week.
Well, I did.
And it’s all thanks to these chords.
Once I had them under my belt I realized I could play a wide selection of songs from all different kinds of genres.
From country and folk tunes to classic rock and pop anthems, I found these same chords popping up again and again.
All I had to do in order to adapt them to another song is maybe play a little slower, or learn a new strumming pattern.
And guess what? You can do the same.
Here are 5 simple chords to help transform your playing today:
- E Minor
E minor is one of the simplest chords to play on the guitar, requiring just 2 fretting fingers.
Being an open chord that utilizes all 6 strings of the guitar, this chord produces a full sound that you’ll hear in thousands of songs of all genres including folk, rock, country, blues, and more.
- A Minor
This is another simple minor chord which only uses 3 fretting fingers.
It’s a great chord to learn together with E minor as they use a similar shape and actually get played together a lot in a variety of songs, including Natural Mystic by Bob Marley and The Wailers and Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone) by Bill Withers.
- D Major
D major is another great beginner chord.
Like the last chord, this one also uses just 3 fingers.
The only challenge to playing this chord is this:
Be careful not to hit the bottom E or A strings as you strum this chord as they’ll make the chord sound washed-out.
- C Major
C major is an important major chord that appears in thousands of songs from all genres
Again, it only takes 3 fingers to grip this chord and uses the top 5 strings on the guitar.
Once again, steer clear of your bottom E string for this one as it’ll affect the overall sound of the chord.
- G Major
Like C major, G is an extremely important chord to learn as a beginner guitarist.
An open chord that uses all 6 strings, this chord produces a nice, full sound that’s especially common in folk, country, and rock genres, although you’ll hear it elsewhere as well.
Use These Chords to Play Hundreds Of Songs
As I mentioned earlier, these songs let me learn hundreds of my favourite songs from all eras and genres.
Some of my favourites include:
- I’m Yours, Jason Mraz
- Let It be, The Beatles
- No Woman No Cry, Bob Marley And The Wailers
- Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
- With Or Without You, U2
- Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Cryin’, Aerosmith
- Forever Young, Alphaville
- Down Under, Men At Work
- Tuesday’s Gone, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Take Your Playing To The Next Level
The chords listed above will help keep you busy for a while, especially as you learn to play them over different rhythms and tempos.
But let’s face it:
There’s more to the guitar than simply belting out the same 5 chords all day long.
So, where do you go once you’re ready to step up your game a little?
The answer is JamPlay.
JamPlay is an online guitar learning software designed to help players just like you and me learn the guitar from home.
And trust me, it really works.
Like I said earlier, I tried a bunch of different approaches to learning the guitar, including traditional lessons and other online platforms.
And JampLay is the one I recommend every time.
Here are some of the biggest benefits to learning the guitar with JampLay:
Structured Lessons Tailored To Your Skill Level
One of the things that bugged me about learning online was the lack of structure.
I'm a practical guy and I like to set up a plan for whatever task I’m trying to tackle.
Yet I also like the freedom to progress at my own pace.
With JamPlay, I get the best of both worlds:
The platform is loaded with structured content that’s clearly outlined and easy to follow.
Whether I want to learn new strumming techniques or practice my soloing, I can easily find the right kind of content on JamPlay.
Better yet, I get as much time to progress through the lessons as I need, as I can pause and rewind lessons, or even leave them uncompleted and come back to them another day.
Great Teachers With A Passion For What They Do
I’ve heard a lot of guys my age struggle with finding the right guitar teacher.
At JamPlay, you only learn from professional, qualified teachers who are passionate about the guitar.
Also, many of the teachers specialize in certain areas and prepare special lessons on specific techniques.
David Wallimann, for example, just launched a 10 week course on music theory which walks you through the basics of theory without all the hard-to-understand jargon.
Alternatively, the site also offers professional lessons from artists like Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), for example.
With JamPlay, you don't have to worry about driving halfway across town just to cram yourself into some college kid's moldy basement.
Just grab your guitar, log in to the site, pick the lesson you want to learn, and you’re set!
When I think back to my college days, playing the guitar was one of my favorite pastimes.
But when I had to spend hours on Google looking for good material to learn or watch my old teacher yap on about topics I didn’t understand, I was having everything but fun.
With JamPlay, every minute of my practicing/learning is a fun experience
In fact, I can’t wait to finish writing this and get started on a new lesson.
Try JamPlay For Free Today!
In this article, I’ve tried to share 5 simple chords that’ll help beginner guitarists like you get their feet off the ground.
But these chords will only get you so far.
If you’re ready to take your playing to the next level, come join me and thousands of other guys just like you and me at JamPlay.
Best of all, sign up today and you can try the software for free for a limited time.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s get playing.