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Starting Guitar Chords
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The basic foundation of guitar music is chords. One of the first things you will do as a guitarist is start to learn simple chords that can be put together into songs. It is amazing how many songs you will be able to play once you learn three easy chords. There are many songs out there that only use three or four songs total. As you improve, you will be able to use your new skills to play the chords in more difficult positions and add embellishments so you don’t get bored.

Have you ever learned music theory? If so, you will know why chords are so important. If you haven’t you might wonder what exactly a ‘chord’ is and what it means to guitarists. A chord is a combination of three or more notes that are played at the same time. You shouldn’t just play any notes together, as they won’t sound good. Chords follow rules, that you will learn in music theory.

Certain notes sound harmonious and good together. For example, Chord I is the chord that is built on the root note of the scale. If you are in the key of C major, your root note is C and chord I is built on C. The notes that make up chord C are those that sound most harmonious and they are C, E and G. These notes make up the tonic Chord I, first note of the scale, third note of the scale and fifth note of the scale.

You can make a chord on any note of the scale, however, some are used more than others in music. If you were to learn three chords, you would need to learn Chord I, Chord IV and Chord V, because these are used most often in songs. With these three chords you will be able to learn thousands of songs. In the example of the key of C, you would need to learn Chord I the C major Chord, Chord IV the F major chord and Chord V the G chord.

Before you put your new chords together, make sure you learn each chord individually until you know what fingers you need to use and what strings you are hitting and you are getting a great sound. Don't buzz or play extra notes as it will sound unprofessional. Once you have mastered your basic chords by themselves, practice shifting from one to the next. This will help you when you start to play chord progressions. You will need to get your chord changes smooth and clean with no buzzing, whistling or any strange notes or noises in there! The practice you do here will really boost your guitar playing and help you when you start to learn easy songs to play guitar with.

One problem you may encounter when starting guitar chords is discomfort in your hands. A good idea is to warm-up your hands first with some simple exercises, tapping each finger to your thumb a number of times. If you get too excited about practicing you may also get blisters which make it painful to play, however you will toughen up and your hands will learn the positions and it will get easier.


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