Now you know how to read guitar chord charts we’re going to teach you the beginner guitar chords you’ll need to play your first full song.
The song you’re going to learn is Love Me Do By the Beatles. This is a great one to begin with because:
- It uses three beginner guitar chords
- It has a straightforward strumming pattern
- It’s well-known
The three chords you’ll need to play the song are: G major, D major and C major.
In a moment we’ll take a look at how to play them.
But first, a few pointers.
Top tips for playing chords
Learning to play guitar chords is tough for beginners. Don’t worry if you struggle to form the chords to begin with.
Even once you’ve learned the chords themselves, switching between them will be difficult and could take up to a month of practice to get right.
Here are some tips that will help:
- Place your fingers on the highest notes first—the lower notes are more intuitive to find, so focus on doing the harder ones first
- Always keep your thumb on the back of the neck for the strongest hand position
- Press the strings firmly with your fingertips
- Keep those fingernails short!
- Squeeze the strings only as hard as you have to
- Don’t put your fingers right on the metal frets, play notes on the wood
- Don’t worry if you overdo it or the tips of your fingers start to hurt. Your fingers will gradually develop calluses, allowing you to play for longer periods.
- Practice regularly
Now, let’s take a look at those chords.
The Major G chord is one of the best beginner guitar chords. It is fundamental for every guitarist to know. It’s used as the basis for thousands of songs.
It’s hard to learn as you have to stretch your hand from the low E to the high E. Your fingers may not be strong enough to finger the chord when you first try. Your pinky, in particular, will need to build strength.
The good news is there is a cheat’s method which we’ll show you.
Playing the G Major Chord
To play a G Major chord, begin by finding the G note. Finger the third fret on the sixth string using your middle finger. Now finger the third fret on the high E string. Use your pinky if you can.
Next, place your pointer finger on the second fret on the fifth string. Strum through all strings and you are playing a full G Major chord, G-B-D-G-B-G.
Many beginners have trouble grabbing all the notes of the G Major or playing them clearly. Luckily, there is an easier version. To do this, put your pointer on the third fret of the low E string. Also rest it gently against the fifth string, so that it doesn’t sound (this is called muting). Then, just strum strings six, three and four, and you will play G-D-G.
Practice this and gradually introduce the other notes in the full chord.
C Major and D Major
C Major and D Major should be next on your list for practice. They’re both a little bit easier to grab than the G.
To play a C chord, use your pointer to finger a C note on the second string. Then put your middle finger on the second fret on the fourth string—this is an E note. Finally, use your ring finger to finger a C note on the third fret of the A string. Now you’re playing E-C-E-G-C-E. A perfect C Major.
To play a D Major chord, we’ll only use strings one, two, three and four. Leave the fourth string open, that’s a D. Then, use your pointer finger on the second fret of the G string. Now, use your middle finger to play the second fret on the first string. Finally, you can use your ring finger on the second string in the third position.
Now you know the chords you’ll need, let’s learn how to play Love Me Do by the Beatles.
Don’t worry too much about getting these chords perfect before you begin. One of the best ways to learn them is by playing them in a song.
Just remember that it might take you quite some time to get the chords sounding clear and to be able to change them smoothly.
Take your time, keep practicing and make sure you have fun.