All about the Open Chords on the guitar and how to play them

All about the Open Chords on the guitar and how to play them

The very first chords you learn to play on a guitar are the open chords. In fact, in contrast with the most-feared barre chords, these ones will be quite easy. They will stack on the first 4 frets of the guitar fretboard and be played without having to barre anything with your pointer finger. Here is the list of the Open Chords and how to play each of them.

Open Chord’s list

Here are the main open chords, there is a total of 8 of them. There exists many different kind of chords, like the seventh, ninth or suspended. We’ll only care here about the major and minor ones. They are the easiest to learn and the most versatile ones when you want to play your first electric or acoustic guitar melodies.

  • The Mi major (E).
  • The Mi minor (Em).
  • The La major (A).
  • The La minor (Am).
  • The Ré major (D).
  • The ré minor (Dm).
  • The Sol major (G).
  • The Do major (C).

Of course, I won’t leave you without a chord grid to read in peace. I advise you to set your fingers and memorize their English and international notation. You then can practice them on our interactive exercises. Our detection system will tell you in real time if you played the right or wrong notes and if your finger are well set.

A picture representing the open guitar chords under the grid notation with majors on top (A C B E G) and minors on the bottom (Am Dm Em) width=
The main open chords on the guitar.

What are the chords that aren’t open?

The chords that aren’t open are the barre . When we speak about barre chord, we mean that some notes composing the chord will be played with only one finger. It will be laying on the same fret but covering many strings. Thus, the F major chord is the most renowned barre chord of all, and the first one to be learned. Fat mistake ! At our online guitar school, we’ve optimized the learning method of the barre chord with a theme-path called “ Definitely vainquish the barre chord “ to offer you progressive exercises. You will first learn how to lay your index finger on the fret along the strings. Results are rather exceptional! To the point that playing barre chords would almost become a pleasure (please don’t curse me 🙂 ). If you know what a capodastre is, it’s main purpose is to replace the index to generate open chords from anywhere on the guitar.

How to play those open chords ?

Nothing easier if you know how to read those chord grids. Here’s an easy training :

  1. Take the chord grid and try to memorize them visually.
  2. You’ll notice that a minor chord has one note fewer than a major chord, that’s a story of interval. Minor chords are sad while major ones bring a more joyful taint. It depends on its third notes and other complicated concept from music theory.
  3. Try to link the english notation to the international one in your (Mi = E, Sol = G, etc..).
  4. Play the minor and major forms in a row if they are still (for example, only E major and E minor).
  5. Go from one to the other and reset.
  6. Then take those chords in any order you want to play them each after another.
  7. The next day, do the same thing by trying to detach yourself from the chord grid.
  8. Try to win points on mymusicteacher by playing the exercises 🙂

Here we are, there is no more to know on those famous open chords that are the first to be learned as a beginner guitarist, on electric, classical or folk guitar. They will serve you in any kind of music style. It’s a perfect exercise to start your first songs and play along your singing. Good luck !

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