Beginner Video Guitar Lesson - Learning Basic Chords
Hey it's Brad from JamPlay. Welcome back. Today we're going to be talking about chords and what are chords, how they work, how to hold some of them and where do they come from. That's a good question. Where do they come from? Well they come from scales. They come from notes that are arranged in a certain arrangement from the chromatic scale that we just talked about. What it is is a chord is when you play more than one note at a time. Basically, most basic chords are three note chords and they're called triads.
What that means they have three notes, triad's three, like a tripod has three legs and there's the one note, the third, and the fifth of the scale that the chord comes from. So basically without getting into too much theory right now, what i want you to do is learn some chord theory or chord techniques or the word that I’m looking for is a chord vocabulary.
So we're going to be working on our chord vocabulary. Now this is going to be using some finger memory, what that is is you're going to be holding your fingers in certain positions and from doing this with practice, your hands are going to automatically have a memory built in to them so that you don't even have to think about it. Your fingers are just going to go into that position and form that chord. The first three chords that I usually teach when I'm giving lessons are A, D, and E, and they're probably the most common chords. Probably the most easiest chords to learn in the beginning and you can do stuff with them right away and that's why I like to teach them first.
Anyway, what I'm going to do here is demonstrate how to play A chord first. Now the way I hold it, there are more than one way to hold this chords. The way I do it, and I'm going show you in a little bit why I do it this way. Looks a little bit different than most people would do. I use kind of almost a finger twisting technique which is a little bit harder maybe than some other ways but in the long run it adds better technique and it's easier for you to move around on the guitar.
What I do is I take the first finger and put it on the third string at the second fret and I play that note. Then I'll take the second finger then I put it on the second fret of the fourth string and I play that note. Then I take the third finger, put it on the second string on the second fret and play that note. Now what I do is I strum all the strings together all five strings this time, you're not going to be playing your low E string on this chord but you're going to be starting at the fifth string and play it down one note at a time.
Now when you're starting out, you want to think about too where your thumb placement is and I noticed that through the years I've got to the point where my thumb comes up a little higher and it's not necessarily bad technique, for some reasons, for some certain situations, it's good because if you're bending up a note but what I would do in the beginning is practice keeping my thumb more in the back middle of the neck and making more of an arch through here rather than being up like this. Now when you play this chord, you want to play one note at a time, make sure that your first finger is not like accidentally touching that fifth string and making it sound dead, if it does you want to move it a little bit and then the next string, make sure it's not, if it's -- you don't have it, you just move your finger just slightly up or down whatever it takes to get that chord to sound clear. This is what it's going to take in the beginning, it's a little bit of a trial and error.
Now the next chord I want to teach is going to be the D chord and what I do for this chord is I take my first finger and I put it on the third string at the second fret and then I take my second finger put it on the first string second fret and then the third finger goes on the third fret second string and what I do is I play from the fourth, third, second and first string down and then again, try to keep your thumb behind the neck here. Play one note at a time, make sure that they’re clear sounding, if they’re not, there's a little buzz you want to move your finger just slightly.
Okay. Now the next step. You have two chords now and what I'd like you to do is practice going from one chord to the next. Start out with A chord and play it and then move to the D. Now you noticed when I moved to the D, my first finger stayed in the same, on the same fret, same position as the A. Now this is why I teach the A chord this way. Practice going back and forth and try to keep that thumb behind there.
Okay now when you get that feeling smooth, what you want to do is you want to move to the next chord and that's going to be your E chord. Okay? What I do for this is I take my first finger and go on the third string first fret, play that note. I take my second finger goes on the fifth string at the second fret, play that note. Then the third finger goes on the fourth string, second fret and on this chord, you play all the strings, all six strings. It's a very nice full sounding chord. Play one note at a time. Make sure there's no fingers accidentally touching another string and making it buzz. If there is, then again, move your fingers slightly to correct it.
Now when you get used to that playing that chord, I want you to move through A, D, and E practicing going back and forth. Now you noticed again, watch the first finger what it does when I go from A to E. It stays on the same string but just slides down one fret. Now if you notice using that first finger, use it as a guide for locating the notes or locating the shapes of the chords and how your fingers are going to go.
Now what I want you to do is practice these three chords and go through as many different changes as you can going from E to D to D to A to D to E to A to A to D, just back and forth, back and forth until you have it down smooth and the next step after that is I'm going to be teaching you some strumming patterns to use with those three chords. So thanks for watching this lesson and we'll see you next time at jamplay.com.