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The 7 Minor Guitar Chords Guaranteed To Improve Your Playing [Plus Free Chord Chart]

image of person playing guitar we text that reads 7 minor chords to learn firstNeed to add some flavor to your guitar playing? Well, I’m super happy to tell you that minor guitar chords can add mountains of taste to the sound of your guitar playing.

But which minor chords should you learn first? Don’t worry, I’ve done all that work for you and listed the most important minor guitar chords all beginners should learn!

This article from justinguitar can give you a quick rundown of what a minor chord is.

image of post checklist

Read to the end and you’ll find a very usable chart with all the chords mentioned absolutely free!

Learn The Following Minor Guitar Chords First!

Chord 1 – A minor 

First up is the A minor guitar chord. The chord produces a very familiar sound that often brings to mind a classical guitar sound.

The chord is very popular in just about all genres of music. The fifth string is played open(unfretted) as is the first string.

If you are familiar with the E major chord then this should present no problems for you as the shapes are identical.

You must have notes A, C, and E to make an A minor chord.

A minor guitar chord diagram

Chord 2 – B minor

Next up is B minor. If you ever hope to play “Hotel California”, go ahead and get this one locked down.

And that is only one of many many songs that make good with this chord. The chord is endlessly useful so mastering it now is well worth the effort!

You must have notes B, D, and F# to make a B minor chord.

B minor guitar chord diagram

It is also very common to play the barre chord version of this chord. The barre chord looks like this:

B Minor Barre Chord Diagram

Chord 3 – C minor

C minor is our next chord on the list.

While it may not be as instantly recognizable as A minor, it is certainly used often in pop music as well as other genres.

The shape is the same as B minor but with all fingers moving up the fretboard one fret.

You must have notes C, Eb, and G to make a C minor chord.

C minor guitar chord diagram

You may also play the barre chord version just as before with Bm. Just move all fingers up the neck one fret.

C Minor Barre Chord Diagram

Chord 4 – D minor

The fingering for D minor chord is a little different from what you might be used to. 

This one may play tricks on you when transitioning from other chords.

But, with practice, I have no doubt that you will be able to transition to and from this chord.

You must have notes D, F, and A to make a D minor chord.

D minor guitar chord diagram

Chord 5 – E minor

E minor chord is refreshingly easy! Only two notes to fret and all other strings are allowed to ring openly.

It’s just a great-sounding chord that lends itself nicely to the natural sound of the acoustic guitar.

You must have notes E, G, and B to make an E minor chord.

E minor guitar chord diagram

Chord 6 – F minor

The F minor chord is very common in modern music.

First, use your index finger as a barre and place it flat over the first three strings at the first fret.

Make sure to apply enough pressure to sound the notes clearly.

Then use your ring finger to fret the fourth string at the third fret.

Yes, it requires some strength in the index finger while requiring a moderate stretch over to the third fret.

But don’t worry.

As always, consistent practice will get you there.

You must have notes F, Ab, and C to make an F minor chord.

F minor guitar chord diagram

Chord 7 – G minor

G minor is the last but not least chord on our list today!

It has the same shape as the previous F Minor Chord. Just move all those fingers up the neck two frets and bingo.

Gm and Fm have the same shape and fingerings so if you know the one you can play the other.

This is similar to Am and E major. Same fingering and shapes, just in different spots on the neck.

You must have notes G, Bb, and D to make a G minor chord.

g minor guitar chord diagram

Conclusion

And those are the foundational minor guitar chords a beginner should master first!

Are they flashy? No sir.

Are they effective? You bet!

Now try learning some other easy guitar chords for beginners.

How Can I Get Better With These Minor Guitar Chords?

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So go ahead and share this post with a player you know that needs it, and we will see you in the next post!

Get My Chord Poster Now

9 Super Easy Guitar Songs For Beginners – Plus Free Chord Poster

private guitar class chalkboard

Struggling to learn guitar? As a beginner guitar player, you want to learn some songs! You need super easy guitar songs for beginners!

But knowing which songs to start with can be difficult. 

Here’s the deal:

I’m going to give you 9 songs that will please your audience and get you strumming!

How This Post Is Different

You may have read similar post to this in the past and came away disappointed.

Many lists like this include songs that are too difficult for an absolute beginner, or they may even include songs that you wouldn’t want to hear yourself! 

I get it.

We’re not going to do you that way. 

Before we get started there are a few things you should know:

Getting Started

You’ve probably already figured out by now that learning to play the guitar is hard.

You can read here about why some beginner guitar players get discouraged and how you can find ways to move forward.  

To learn any song you will need to know some basic open chords.

If you don’t know all your basic chords yet then go ahead and read 12 beginner guitar chords

You might be wondering:

Why did I choose these songs?

What Makes A Good Song For A Beginner?

A beginner needs a song with basic chords that are easier on the hands. That’s why you’ll only find songs here that use the most basic chords.  

It also helps to choose songs that only use a small number of chords. For this article, I’ve chosen only to give you songs that use four chords or less.

And finally, you’ll need songs that have simple rhythms and that are not difficult to sing.

Good rhythm guitar is deceptively difficult. So for this post we’re going to stick with songs that have a manageable and straightforward rhythm.

And because we like you so much we’ve also chosen to leave out songs that require a demanding vocal performance. 

For your convenience, I’ve included the following chord poster which contains all the chords needed for the songs on this list.

Stick around to the end of the post to get the poster to your inbox!



Now:

Let’s get to that list of super easy guitar songs for beginners

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – Bob Dylan 

From Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton, to Guns N Roses. Everyone has heard this song.

It’s a testament to the quality of Dylan’s songwriting.

Truly great songs endure the test of time and can translate through different genres. Here, we’ll stick to the Bob Dylan version.

Chords used:  G,D,Am,C

This song follows a consistent chord rotation to the end.

The rotation goes like this:

G, D, Am

G, D, C

The same rotation is used for verses and chorus. There is no bridge in this tune!

“Can’t Ya See” Marshall Tucker Band

Although this song was originally brought to life in 1977 by The Marshall Tucker Band , it too has been covered by several artist including Waylon Jennings and Zac Brown Band.

Even though the song contains melody lines played by other instruments, the song still works well in a standalone acoustic performance.

Chords used: G,C,D

G, C, and D are all you need to play the verses and the chorus for this song. Listen closely to mimic the strumming pattern and you are good to go with this classic tune.

“Walk of Life”Dire Straits

First released in 1985, “Walk of Life” was the bands biggest hit in the UK. The song was wildly successful in the US as well peaking in the top ten on the charts.

Chords used: E,B,A,B7

There is a little more going on in this one than a beginner may be used to.

But don’t be discouraged, the song lends itself to being stripped down to a single guitar performance.

“Let Her Cry” Hootie and the Blowfish

You may want to muster up a little gravel in your voice when trying this one.

The guitar work is quite manageable but keep in mind that separating this song from Darius Rucker’s voice and unique singing style will be the hardest part of performing this song.

Chords used: G,D,C,Em

“A Long December”Counting Crows

A good song to play at the end of a show, or even at the end of a set before an intermission.

Even though the song is melancholy, it has the sing along effect which makes it a good choice for a new performer.

Chords used: D,G,Em,A 

“Ring of Fire” Johnny Cash

Any bar or Honky Tonk will expect you to know this one. Chances are, even your friends around your campfire feel the same way. You can’t loose with these strait-forward lyrics and easy chord progression.

Chords used: G,C,D

“Heroes” Wallflowers

David Bowies’ “Heroes” had new life given to it in the nineties by the alternative rock band Wallflowers.

While the original was a popular song, the Wallflowers managed to put their gloomy and nostalgic feel on it.

Chords used: D,G,C

“Learning to Fly” Tom Petty

It’s funny that the first time I heard this song was in 1991 from a Chicago Bulls basketball documentary that carries the same name.

It’s no wonder that for most of my childhood, and still to this day, when I hear the song I think about Michael Jordan.

Chords used: F,C,Am, G

This is feel good rock and roll at its best. Nobody does feel good better than Top Petty.

“Bad Moon Rising” – CCR

I have so much respect for John Fogherty and the music that Creedence Clearwater Revival produced throughout their active years.

This may be their most well know tune, right up there beside Proud Mary.

Its infectious and swampy. The epitome of Rock and Roll.

Chords used: D,A,G

Conclusion

And that concludes our list of super easy guitar songs for beginners but you don’t have to stop here!

Now that you have some songs under your belt, you can move forward with tunes that have more chords and more intricate rhythms. 

You can get your free chord poster here.

Just always remember that more complex doesn’t always equate to a better song. More often than not, the less complex…the more memorable! 

Now, would you help us make this post more memorable and share it with a friend? 

And feel free to leave us a comment letting us know what you thought about the article and what type of post you would like to see in the future, 

Cheers!

 

Guitar String Names 101 – Everything You Need To Know

Have you just begun your journey with the guitar? Need to learn the guitar string names?

As a beginner guitar player, learning the names of the guitar strings should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Learning the names of the open(unfretted) strings is one of the most important things you can do! Completing this task will set you up for future success with the guitar.

Many of the things you will learn as you progress will build upon you knowing the names of the open strings.

So, “How do I learn the guitar string names?” you might ask. There’s no need to look elsewhere. This guide has what you need!

In this post, you will learn the string letter name as well as the number name. Yes, you can name them in two different ways.

But don’t worry, it’s not complicated. We will assume going forward that your guitar is tuned to standard (A440) tuning. If you don’t know what A440 is, then have a look at this

We will also assume that you are using a standard six-string guitar. 

The naming convention will be the same for a twelve-string guitar. 

A Little Refresher Before We Start

Before we get started, we will go back to look at some basics. We name notes after the first seven letters of the alphabet. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.

On the keyboard, these would be the white keys.

These seven notes are called Natural Notes. Natural notes are notes that contain no “accidentals”.

That’s a fancy way of saying they don’t contain any sharps or flats. We only use natural notes to name the open guitar strings.

The guitar has only six strings. No accidentals are used in naming the open strings in standard tuning.

If you have never heard the term “accidental”, then you might consider reading up on this article.

Two of the guitar strings have the same letter name…E. So we only need five letters (E, A, D, G, and B) to name all the strings on a guitar.

Guitar String Names: A Number and a Letter

The guitar strings themselves have two names. They have a number name and a letter name. To get started let’s begin with the number names of the strings.

The guitar strings are numbered 1-6. They start with the bottom (skinniest) string going up to the sixth (fattest) string. 

Now that you’ve got the number names in your head, let’s move on to the letter names. 

We use the first seven letters of the alphabet(A, B, C, D, E, F, and G)to name notes. For the open strings of the guitar, only five of the letters are needed…A, B, D, E, and G.

guitar letter names on fretboard, guitar string names

There are some things to know that can help you remember the string names.

Notice that string 1 and string 6 have the same letter name. They are both E. We call string 1 the high E. It is higher in pitch.

We refer to string 6 as the low E. It is lower in pitch.

The fifth string is A. 

Consider the following phrase. Ed-Guh- Buh. Where Ed = EAD, Guh = G, and Buh = BE.

Ed Guh Buh = EADGBE

String 1. E (High E)

String 2. B

String 3. G

String 4. D

String 5. A

String 6. E (Low E)

Memorizing the Names

It is very important to memorize the letter names and number names as quickly as you can.

A good way to do this is to pick one string at a time and say its name aloud as you play each string. 

Start from the top string (low E) and play each string. Say the letter name out loud as you play each string.

Next, try starting from the bottom string (high E) and going up through the strings similarly.

Do this every time you pick up your guitar. Continue the exercise until you are comfortable with the names of all the strings.

In addition to the previous exercise, think about the following phrases. They may prove helpful in memorizing the names.

Pick your favorite and say it over and over!

  • Edgar And Donna Got Busted Eloping
  • Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
  • Every Adult Dog Growls Barks Eats

Conclusion

Most of the time, when learning guitar, you will likely refer to the string by its number.

The number names are just faster to pick up on. They are also more useful if you are learning Tablature.

I would encourage you to put just as much emphasis on the letter names as well, especially if you intend to learn music notation at any time.

After learning the string names, the next step is to learn the notes all over the fingerboard.

Check out Guitar Notes in First Position – The Best Quick Guide.

I hope this article helps you increase your understanding of guitar string names.

Many people learn these basics of the guitar faster through a structured method book.

Younger students may find “Guitar Method” book 1 by Hal Leonard the most helpful. If you are looking for a college-level method book “Mastering The Guitar” by Mel Bay is among the best.

For helpful tips on how to make your guitar practice more productive, check out this blog post.

Bookmark this page for easy future reference. And don’t forget to share this article or leave a comment. I can’t wait to hear from you!

8 Quick And Easy Guitar Strumming Patterns Beginners Need To Know

Learning the guitar can be a struggle! Knowing what to learn as a beginner can be an even bigger struggle. 

The good news is that I’ve made this task of knowing what to learn easy for you with this guide. Here you will find the essential guitar strumming patterns all beginners should know.

Learning strumming patterns requires you to know some chords so go ahead and read 12 guitar chords you need to know, as these chords will be a useful companion to this guide.

Now, the guitar rhythms in this guide may not be the most complex you have ever heard, but that doesn’t mean they are not useful.

In fact, you will find that these simple patterns have been widely used throughout popular music for many years.

You may easily incorporate these strumming patterns into your playing right away, and I encourage you to do so.

Contents

Getting Started (Intro)

Straight Quarter Notes

Add an Up-Stroke on Beat 4

Up-Strokes on 2 & 4

Add Up-Strokes on 3 & 4

Straight Eighth Notes

3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 3

In 3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 2

In 3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 2 &3

Getting Started (Introduction)

Before getting started with the strum patterns, let’s get familiar with a few symbols and terms that will be helpful throughout the guide. Check out basic music notation for more in-depth reading.

In this guide we will focus on two of the most common time signatures: 4/4 and 3/4.

4.4 time signature

4/4 Time Signature – Gets four quarter notes per measure, quarter note gets the beat. 4/4 time is very popular in all types of music.

See another way to write 4/4 time signature below.

Common Time – A shorthand for 4/4 time. Another way to write the 4/4 time signature.

3/4 Time Signature – Gets three quarter notes per measure, quarter note gets the beat.

down-stroke symbol

Down-stroke symbol

up-stroke symbol

Up-stroke symbol

Quarter Note – any note that has one quarter value of a whole note. In 4/4 time it gets one beat per measure.

Eighth note – any note that gets half value of a quarter note.

Pattern 1: Straight Quarter Notes  – Down-strokes Only

This is the most straightforward strum pattern of all. Using simple 4/4 time it gets four down-strokes (quarter notes) per measure. 

Playing in 3/4 time, gets 3 down-strokes (quarter notes) per measure. In 4/4 the pattern looks like this.

In 3/4

Try strumming down-strokes slowly in the previous time signatures. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 2: Adding an Upstroke on Beat 4

To make the previous pattern a little more interesting we can ad an upstroke on beat 4.

This means you will now have three quarter notes and one eighth note (down/up stroke) within the bar in 4/4 time. 

Playing in 3/4 you would have two quarter notes and one eighth note.

The pattern looks like this.

In 3/4

Try strumming the pattern slowly in the previous time signatures. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 3: Add Upstrokes on beats 2 &4

For our next pattern we will add upstrokes on the beats 2 &4. This now gives you two down-strokes and two down/up strokes within each bar. The pattern looks like this in 4/4.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 4/4 time. Use the following chord progression: G, Em, G, Em

Pattern 4: Add Upstrokes on beats 3 &4

A very common pattern in 4/4 is made when we add upstrokes on the beats 3 &4.

The pattern would like like this.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 4\4 time. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 5: Straight Eighth Notes (Down/Up Strokes)

Another very common pattern in 4/4 is to play four eighth notes per bar.


The pattern looks like this.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 4/4. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 6: Using 3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 3

The 3/4 time signature has a waltz sound. It gets three quarter notes per measure. 

We can spice this up a little by adding an eight note(down/up stoke) on the third beat.

The pattern looks like this.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 3\4 time. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 7: For 3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 2 

Now let’s switch up and ad the down/up stroke on beat 2. Like this.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 3\4 time. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Pattern 8: With 3/4 Add Up-Stroke on Beat 2 &3

For the final pattern, let’s combine the previous two patterns and play one quarter note followed by two eighth notes. The pattern looks like this.

Try strumming the pattern slowly in 3\4 time. Use the following chord progression: G, C, G, D.

Now you have 8 simple strumming patterns that every beginner player can get started with.

When you look at songs closely, you will find many of these patterns used very often. 

Take this lesson a step further and learn 12 beginner guitar chords to use with these strumming patterns.

How To Build The Major Scale On Guitar – The Complete Guide

So, you want to know how to build the Major Scale on a guitar? Congratulations, you have come to the right place! 

No need to go anywhere else. 

This post has got you covered with all the Major Scales for guitar in all 12 keys.

We’ll discuss the scale and its importance, why you need to know it, and how to build it in detail.

Before we get started with the scale, let’s talk about why you need to learn it and why doing so could be the most important thing you do as a guitarist. 

(Tip: Before we start, consider learning the guitar notes in the first position if you don’t know them already.)

What is a scale? A scale is nothing more than a collection of consecutive pitches arranged in ascending or descending order. A scale usually forms a progression between a note and its octave.

In the last two hundred years or so the Major and Minor scales have been the most frequently
used in Western music by far.

In this article, we will focus on the Major scale.

The Major scale contains eight pitches that are represented by consecutive letter names. The eighth letter name is the same as the first, only it is an octave higher or lower. 

For example, C Major spelled out in ascending order would look like this…C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. Each pitch in the scale is referred to as a scale degree.

For a scale to be considered a major scale, the scale degrees must follow a particular pattern.

The Major Scale pattern

The major scale is formed by following a specific order of the Whole (W) and Half (H) steps. The pattern looks like this…WWHWWWH.

For example, the scale of C major is the only major scale that does not contain sharps or flats.

(Extra Tip: When you practice building the major scale consider the following practice tips.) The next major scale rule is useful for scale construction.

MAJOR SCALE RULE – In a major scale, half steps always fall between steps 3 and 4, and 7 and 8.

The space between all other scale degrees is a whole step. 

Whole (W) and Half (H) Steps

On the guitar, a half step is represented by a distance of one fret. A whole step equals two half steps. Therefore, a whole step is the distance of two frets on a guitar. 

The following is what the major scale would look like horizontally across the guitar on the B string (2nd string).

c major scale

C Major Scale on B String

On the staff…

C Major scale on staff

And in tab…

C major scale tab

Now that we got the hang of C major, let’s move on to the other keys! 

G major

G major has one sharp in its key signature. That is an F# on the leading tone (seventh scale degree).

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

G major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

D major

D major has two sharps in its key signature. There is an F# on the third scale degree (the mediant), and a C# on the leading tone (seventh scale degree).

Its major scale step pattern looks like this.

D major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

A major

A major has three sharps in its key signature. C# on the mediant, F# on the sixth scale degree, and G# on the leading tone.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

A major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

E major

E major has four sharps in its key signature. F# on the second scale degree, G# on the mediant, C# on the submediant, and a D# on the leading tone.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

E major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

B major

B major has five sharps in its key signature. C# on the supertonic, D# on the mediant, F# on the dominant, G# on the submediant, and A# on the leading tone.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

B major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

F# major

F sharp major has six sharps in its key signature. All scale steps are sharpened except for the subdominant and the leading tone.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

F# major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

C# major

C sharp major has seven sharps in its key signature. All scale degrees have sharps except for the mediant and the leading tone.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

C# major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

Ab major

A flat major has four flats in its key signature. Ab on the tonic, Bb on the supertonic, Db on the subtonic, and Eb on the dominant.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

Ab major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

Eb Major

E flat major has three flats in its key signature. Eb on the tonic, Ab on the subdominant, and Bb on the dominant. The major scale step pattern looks like this.

Eb major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

Bb major

B flat major has two flats in its key signature. Bb on the tonic, and Eb on the subdominant.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

Bb major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

F major

F major has one flat in its key signature. Bb on the subdominant.

The major scale step pattern looks like this.

F major scale step pattern

On the staff, it looks like this…

And in tab…

Conclusion

And those are the twelve major keys. The most important things to remember are:

  • The major scale step pattern = W_W_H_W_W_W_H
  • One fret on the guitar equals a half step 
  • Two frets on a guitar equal a whole step

This gets much easier when you get used to the step pattern. The best way to do that is to build the scales. 

Write them down as you work them out on the guitar! And don’t give up, you can learn this.

If this guide has helped you, then pay it forward and share it with a friend!