Beginner Guitar Chords - C D G

Learning how to play guitar is one of the most fun activities you can do. 

There’s something about learning guitar chords, strumming along with songs, and singing and playing your favorite tunes that’s just downright fun. 

But, while playing guitar as a beginner is enjoyable, it can also be confusing and frustrating if you don’t know where to start

To prevent confusion and give you a fun experience in the practice room, I’ve put together a lesson that teaches you the 3 most important beginner guitar chords

In this lesson, you learn the C, D, and G guitar chords as you dig into these essential open-chord shapes. 

Below you find the chord shapes in a diagram, as well as 3 technical exercises and a creative challenge

Start by exploring these chords shapes before moving on to the 3 different exercises. 

Then, take the creative challenge to see how your memory, chord dexterity, strumming skills, and more have come together in this lesson. 

Have fun as you dig into these must-know beginner guitar chords. 

Chord Shapes

Here are the chord shapes used in this lesson. 

Start by playing through each one on its own, focusing on using correct fingers for each note in the chords

From there, spend a few minutes switching between different chords, and then when ready, head to the first formal exercise below.

C Shape

Open Chord Exercise 1

To begin, you work on playing the C and G chords back and forth. 

Make sure to watch the video lesson before working on this, or any, exercise for tips on fingerings and how to transition between chords

Start by playing C until it’s comfortable, then move on to G, just C – take hand off – C take hand off, etc. until you’re cool with that shape. 

From there, play C-G back and forth, no rhythms, and finally add rhythms in by tapping your foot or using a metronome. 

When ready, take these chords to the backing track to jam over C and G in your workout today

Have fun as you explore these two chords and take them to a progression in your studies.

Backing Track

C G Chords

Open Chord Exercise 2

In this next exercise you work on switching between C and D as you expand on your chord skill set and vocabulary. 

Go slow, use a metronome or tap your foot, and remember that the goal is to nail these chords over time, not right away. 

Start by playing 1 bar, four beats, of C followed by 4 beats of silence, so a blank bar after a bar of C. 

Then, play D for a bar after that. 

When that’s comfortable, have 3 beats of space between chords, then 2 beats, then 1 beat, then none as you work up to switching smoothing between chords. 

Go for this exercise, work slowly and with focus, and have fun with this exercise in the practice room. 

Backing Track

C D Chords

Open Chord Exercise 3

The final two-chord exercise today switches between G and D. 

At this point you’ve got the hang of these exercises and things are getting easier with these chords

With this exercise, dive into the backing track right away and see how it goes, then adjust from there. 

If you hit a roadblock, not a problem, pull back and work with a metronome or without tempo first, then return to the backing track. 

If you can jam over the backing track right away, great, keep pushing yourself to new levels with these exercises. 

Have fun as you work on these two chords in your studies today.

Backing Track

G D Chords

Beginner Chords Creative Challenge

You now take all the beginner guitar chords you learned in this lesson and bring them together in a full progression. 

Here are solid steps to take when working on this challenge in the practice room. 

- Play the chord shapes first to review, no rhythm. 

- Strum or pluck the chords while tapping your foot. 

- Add in a metronome at different tempos. 

- Experiment with different strumming and plucking patterns. 

- Put on the backing track and go for it!

Now that you know how to tackle this creative challenge, here’s the fun part, grab your guitar and play!

Backing Track

Creative Challenge