Beginner guitar lessons - movable chords
Moving through all your major and minor chords as a beginner is tough.
Particularly when jumping directly into barre chords, it can seem near impossible.
In this article we will go through good basic shapes (only 4 in total) that are movable so cover every major and minor chord (A, A#,B, C etc..)
To use these, there is a basic three step process (you can take these steps in your own order) but I recommend following them in the order specified below.
After you have learnt these chords and the notes on the D & G string, practice moving through them by making use of our other beginner guitar lesson articles: Hotel California for Beginners & Hallelujah for beginners.
Over time you will be able to read any chord charts from near enough any book or website.
Although do beware that ultimate-guitar has user submitted tabs and chord charts, so what you learn from there may not always be correct.
Beginning your chord practice
First of all, you need to practice playing your finger tips correctly on each string following the above diagram.
F major will require your 3rd finger (ring finger) to arch over the top of the G & B strings without making 'choking them', then the 2nd finger is on the G string, 1st finger on the B string.
The A#major chord is formed with the 3rd finger arching over the top (really important to get the tip of the 3rd finger onto the G string)
The 4th finger (pinky) is then nicely added here on the B string, you WILL find this a challenge, but that is why I wrote the chords out this way, the more use you can get out of the 4th finger early on, the better it will become.
Then finally your 1st finger resting on the E string (1st fret)
I recommend now practicing moving between Fmaj & A#maj chords to get used to your changes and build up muscle memory.
Beginning Minor Chords
The Fm chord will be a bit of a challenge here, you can practice this by having your 1st finger (index) resting flat across the G & B string, perfect for when the day comes that you wish to play barre chords.
Or, to get hopefully just get some sound out of the chord, you can use your 1st finger on the G string, 2nd finger on B and 4th finger on D, this chord will certainly be the most challenging for you in this article.
A#m, this shape is very similar to our Fmaj, you will get these two muddled up, but persistence will get you through!
A Tab version of these chords is available just below.
Learning your notes on the D & G strings
As these chords are movable, it would be aimless for us to learn these chords in just the above positions. So to take this information further & to help you understand how to change chords keys (Fmaj to Gmaj)
We need to take some time to memorize the notes on the D & G strings.
As you can see below, there is a tab diagram of the notes on the D string, a good way to practice this is to say either in your head or out loud, the notes as you play each fret.
So open D (0) is the note D, fret 1 of D is D# etc..
Then the same for the G string, this step will be crucial for improving your guitar playing.
The Final Step to Movable Beginner Chords
The final stage on our movable beginner chords section, if you have made it this far, I think a congratulations should be in order, you have learnt a lot!
This final step is piecing all of the above information together, this is a life long practice to always improve your knowledge and move the chords faster, cleaner & to more songs.
But as you have made it this far in the article, I think you deserve a pat on the back as you're clearly one of those that want to become a guitarist.
Anyway, enough compliments, this final step is now incorporating your new chord shapes & the notes you have learnt on the D & G strings, so I have attached below a tabbed diagram of what your chords will become when you move up the neck, as you'll see, on the D string, the 2nd fret becomes E, the 3rd fret, F, 4th fret, F#, 5th, G and so on.
I really hope this makes sense to all that read this article.
If you ever get lost or confused, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, myself and the Norwich Guitar Academy team are always happy to help out new guitarists/musicians!