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Playing chords on guitar is an important skill that all beginners should learn as soon as possible. This article will teach you how to do it.

The first thing you’ll need to do is find some simple chord diagrams and learn how to read them. The “How to read a fretboard diagram” web page listed at the end of the article will help you with this.

This can be an important piece of this particular issue. Start with a simple chord like the three-string G chord found the “Simple Guitar Chords” page listed at the end of this article. Play each string individually to make sure it’s ringing clearly. Often when playing chord you may notice that one or more notes aren’t ringing correctly but instead they sound sort of dull and “plunky”. The usual cause is one of your left-hand fingers touching a string that it shouldn’t be touching. By playing each string individually you can figure out if there is a problem and where the problem is.

Once you’re sure all the strings are ringing with nice, clear notes try strumming all 3 strings at once. You should pick them quickly enough so that you do not hear 3 individual notes but instead it should sound like you’re playing all 3 at once.


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The picking motion should come mainly from your wrist. Watch yourself as you do this. Most beginning players tend to strum chords using their elbow. This is incorrect! It’ll make your playing sound stiff and will make it difficult to play more complex rhythm patterns.

It is a good idea to mute any strings that you’ll not be strumming. This greatly reduces excess noise and incorrect notes and will make your chords sound a lot better. In the case of this chord, you could use your left-hand thumb or first finger to mute the 4th, 5th and sixth strings. To mute, just lightly place your finger or thumb on the strings you do not want to hear. Keep this idea in mind whenever you play a chord that doesn’t use all 6 strings.

Once you master these concepts with the G chord try this basic C chord. It’s a little more challenging to get all the notes to sound clearly with this C chord so it’s good practice.

After you master the C chord you can start trying out some bigger chords. You can use the guitar chord chart listed in the resource box below to get you started. Just keep the same basic concepts in mind. You will be sounding like a pro with a little practice.

Good luck!

For more news and tips go to: Learn How to Play Guitar

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