The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments out there which is loved by people all around the world. People, especially teenagers have a natural passion to learn the guitar. Though many have a passion for it, not everyone can learn the guitar and stick to it. Guitar feels difficult to learn at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will feel to play the guitar.
So, when you start your guitar-playing journey, you may rush into learning your favorite songs and riffs. But keep in mind that you have to start with the basics: learning beginner guitar chords. When you’ve mastered a few fundamental ones, you can go on to guitar chord progression. Because chords form the foundation of a song, which is one of the most significant aspects of music.
Some progressions may be overly complicated, as they frequently use barre chords or other unique finger placements. This, however, does not have to be an excuse for avoiding chords or knowing more about music theory. Knowing which significant chords to learn first on the guitar can make a significant difference in your learning progress.
So, in this article, we’ll be discussing 12 simple and easy guitar chord progressions for beginners, as well as important stuff related to chord progressions and stuff.
What are Chords and Chord Progressions?
Chords are made up of two or more notes played together. Some beginner guitar chords include only two notes, while the majority have four or more. Guitar chords are vital to master since they are the basics of the instrument, and even knowing only a few will provide you with the ability to perform a huge variety of compositions.
A chord progression is a set of chords played in a particular order, usually based on a scale or mode. Guitar chord progressions are built on the foundation of chords.
Guitar chord progressions are generally made up of two, three, or four chords. Understanding chord progressions are critical to studying guitar because they form the core of every current song.
The Nashville Numbering System
Before diving into the deep, you should know about the Nashville Numbering System.
The Nashville numbering system is used to write chord progression in roman numerals. The system keeps track of the scale degree where a chord is formed. The I indicates the root, IV the fourth note in a scale, and V the fifth note in a scale. The progression serves as a pattern for creating a melody by the musician or lyricist.
Barre and Open Chord
Beginners should be aware of two different sorts of chords: barre chords and open chords. Open chords on the guitar solely use the first three frets and frequently feature one or more open strings. They’re the first chords beginners should master since they lay the groundwork for learning more complex chords like barre chords.
Barre chords are produced by holding all or most of the strings of the guitar with two fingers across many frets. To create different notes and sounds, move the finger up and down the fretboard.
The major chords should be learned first by beginners. A triad is the most basic sort of major chord. The root, a major third, and a perfect fifth are the three notes that make up the triad. Minor chords are just as vital as major chords. A minor triad is made up of a root note, a minor third, and a perfect fifth.
12 Simple and Easy Chord Progressions for Beginners
As a beginner, here are some simple and common chord progressions that you must learn if you want to jumpstart your guitar journey.
Em – G – Am – C (i – III – iv – VI)
The beginning chord progression is fantastic. Starting on Em, it’s a small development. The whole song will progress in E minor as well, with the only issue being the transition from E minor to G major.
For novices, the G chord can be challenging, and practicing it is the best approach. The chords in E minor and A minor are very similar, and you won’t have any trouble with C major. So, mastering the G major chord and playing it properly is the only true hurdle here.
Am – F – C – G (i – VI – III – VII)
Despite the fact that the majority of the chords in the progression are major, the progression is in A minor. If you’ve accomplished the first one on the list, this one will take the difficulty to the next level.
I’m referring to the F major chord. You gotta play it as a barre chord if you wish to play the whole chord. It is, nevertheless, feasible to play it without both E strings, allowing you to place your fingers as easily as with other open chords.
Switching from C to G major is another common challenge for beginners, although it’s something that happens a lot in songs. As a result, the best course of action is to begin learning it as soon as you can.
I – V – vi – IV
Take the I – IV – V progression, shift the sequence a little, and add the minor vi chord, and you’ve got the I – V – vi – IV. This new chord adds a degree of emotional intricacy and depth to the song.
In terms of producing vocal lines, this progression provides you with a little more latitude than the I – IV – V because it is more versatile and can accommodate a variety of melodies.
C – Am – F – Fm (I – vi – IV – iv)
The progression’s opening chord is C major, which is a chord that many beginners are conversant with. Following that, you’ll proceed to A minor and eventually F major. The primary difference here is that after the F major chord, you’ll play an F minor chord.
While combining these two sounds weird, the outcome can be rather pleasant. You can also use a capo if you have one since it will add a whole new level to the songs you play.
The I, IV, and V chords, often known as the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords, are the most powerful chords. Altogether, they construct a combination that has been used in many hits.
This progression exemplifies the “resolution” that our ears seek in chord progressions. We start with the tonic, then move away from “home” with the IV (subdominant) chord, build tension with the V (dominant) chord, and then return to the I chord.
It’s hard to listen to Western music without coming across this progression. Rock, pop, country, blues, classical, and jazz are all examples of it. It has a very appealing tone to it, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more harmonically sound chord sequence.
ii – V – I
Anyone familiar with jazz standards would recognize this one; in fact, some refer to it as the genre’s workhorse, similar to how the 12-bar Blues are built on the modified I – IV – V pattern.
The V chord produces the necessary tension for the I chord to resolve, and the ii minor chords are the ideal setup.
G – C (I – IV)
G major and C major are frequent pairings, and it’s also one of the most challenging ones for beginners to master. While it is not the best course to take if you want to write a song, the practice involved is crucial.
It’s also worth noting that the G – C progression appears in a lot of compositions, and you can spice it up with a number of different chords. Because of the G major chord, which needs you to either play it as a barre or stretch your fingers for the open G major chord, this can be quite difficult.
Naturally, practice is the most crucial aspect of the procedure, which is why this is a necessary progression for all novices.
E – G#m – A – B (I – iii – IV – V)
This is an amazing progression to learn if you have quite an expertise in barre chords. It begins in E major, which also happens to be the song’s key. Following that, you’ll move on to G#m, a barre chord based on the E string.
The next chord on the list is A major, which you can play in the open position. The final chord is a barre on the A string. The minor barre chord on the E string and the major barre chord on the A string are the two sorts of barre chords here.
You can only fret strings that you’re playing, as in earlier examples, allowing you to play them in the E minor and A major shapes.
Am – Em (i – v)
A minor followed by an E minor is another easy progression. The progression is in the minor key, as you might expect, and it is another significant one for novices. The chord sequence, on the other hand, is relatively straightforward to learn, and you won’t have nearly as much trouble with it as with the other examples on the chart.
Both of these chords are open chords, based on the A and E strings, respectively. The fundamental reason for this to be so significant is that barre chords are constructed using these two chords (at least the minor ones).
G6 – Cmaj7 (I – IV)
The first thought that comes to mind is that this progression is too difficult for beginners. However, it is a simplified form of the G – C sequence. The G note will be played on the E string (third fret) and the second fret on the A string or B string for G6. The remaining strings are open.
The fingering is the same for Cmaj7, except you’ll play it one string lower. You’ll need to play the third fret on the A string and the second fret on the D string to achieve this. You won’t have to play the sixth string whatsoever, and you’ll be able to practice transitioning between G and C in a less difficult way.
Although the tone is very similar to the G – C progression, you may notice a difference in the sound.
G – Em – Am – D (I – vi – ii – V)
The following simple chord progression is in G major. It begins with a G major chord, then two minor chords, E minor, and A minor, and finally D. It’s one of the easier progressions on the list, and if the longer version of G major is too difficult for you, you can play the shorter version of G major instead.
But the fact is you should practice the complete G major chord because it is something you will need to know eventually. The rest of the sequence is rather straightforward, and it sounds fantastic when combined.
C – Am – Dm – G (I – vi – ii – V)
The last combination mentioned here is in the key of C. The progression is similar to the one before it, however, it is in a different key. A minor and D minor is the minor chords here. It’s also the only progression on the list that uses the D minor chord, which is a frequent songwriting chord.
Well, Barre chords can prove to be a bit difficult to master. But it can be done with just a little bit of finesse ( And a good amount of practice).
We’d recommend you to start practicing with a one-finger barre, then move up to two-fingers, and finally, go for the chords. Make sure your thumb is providing the proper support from the neck of the guitar.
If you still find it difficult to master, you can detune your guitar half a step to loosen the tension of the strings. That way, it will be easier to hold the barre chords.
The guitar learning procedure is quite lengthy. So as a beginner, all you have to do is learn the fundamentals and keep sticking with the guitar. As chord is the most basic thing in guitar playing, it is vital to learn how to play them, and it will speed up your guitar learning process. However, these chords aren’t applied at random, and there are a few rules to be followed. It’s the progression thing.
In this article, we tried to bring out some straightforward and basic guitar chords and progressions that are very essential and helpful for a beginner musician. We hope that we were able to help you even by a little bit on your musical journey. Happy Strumming!