[Series] Guitar for Beginners > Lesson 22: Play Along to These Essential Basic Major Chords
Today’s video is pretty straightforward. I’m going to play a series of major chords, and I want you to play along using the strum patterns and chord transitions you learned in previous videos.
But first let’s take a look at exactly what a major chord is, and which major chords we’ll be using in today’s video.
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What Is a Major Chord?
Major chords are one of the cornerstones of guitar playing. Also called “the happy chord,” the major chord usually has a light, bright, and uplifting sound.
A major chord is a combination of three notes, also called a triad. To form a major chord, simply take the first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale.
In case you need a quick refresher on scales, take a look at my guide on beginner scales here.
There are of course multiple ways of playing a major chord, but what I’ve outlined above is the standard formula for most basic major chords.
In order to include a major chord in a chord progression, there is a specific way you can identify where it belongs. Simply look at the scale degrees of a specific key signature.
In a major scale, you can form a major triad in the first, fourth, and fifth scale degrees. Adversely, triads built on the second, third, and sixth scale degrees will always be minor.
If this sounds complicated – don’t worry. Once you practice some basic major chords, all of this will make a lot more sense.
5 Basic Major Chords to Practice on the Guitar
Now that we know what a major chord is, let’s take a look at a number of different major chords that you can learn.
C Major Chord
The C chord, also known as the C major chord, is a popular and useful chord for beginners. It consists of the notes C, E, and G. It is often considered one of the most fundamental and frequently used chords in music theory.
D Major Chord
The D chord consists of the notes D, F#, and A. Like the C chord, the D chord is a staple chord for any beginner (and veteran) guitar player. The finger positioning might be a little tricky at first, but with some practice, you’ll be able to pull it off with ease.
E Major Chord
The E chord, also known as E major, consists of the notes E, G#, and B. It has a light and happy sound and features in many popular songs, so you’ve likely heard it even if you’re not quite sure how to play it yet.
F Major Chord
The F major chord consists of the notes F, A, and C. Out of all the basic major chords, this one is probably the trickiest to master. While the finger positioning is difficult – especially on your pinky – learning how to form this chord is definitely worthwhile.
G Major Chord
The G major chord consists of the notes G, B, and D. It’s easily one of the most commonly played chords out there and is the bread and butter of both new and experienced guitarists.
What’s Next After Major Chords?
You now have a couple of major chords to get you started – but what’s next?
If you want to learn more useful techniques over and above playing along to songs, then check out my free workshop at Tony’s Acoustic Challenge.
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