Scared to move on now that I have learned my first batch of chords

Finally I can play the A,D,E and Em strings without looking at the fretboard (working on Am) :heart_eyes:. I know this is a very minor achievement to some folks, but it means EVERYTHING to me. Magically, my fingers just find the chords. I don’t know when that happened, but it’s so rewarding!

Now I find myself in a weird place where I am resistant to moving on to learn other chords. I am finding every excuse in the book to not do it. I guess this is part of the learning process… I want to tackle G and C next, and both of them have always been a challenge due to the stretching. Welp, finger exercising, here I come. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Overcoming frustration is very much a part of learning to play the guitar.


Not at all Tabitha, a very big, well done for achieving that. We have all been there and the minor achievements are all part of learning the guitar.

Move on to to your next chords but just keep working on the ones you have already nailed. You don’t get anywhere by standing still. :slight_smile:


Thank you so much, SgtColon. Having someone who has achieved great skills cheer you on is very motivating. Thank you for not forgetting the little people! LOL! I will overcome this and nail the next chords!!! Let’s get it!

Nothing in your learning is a minor achievement Tabitha, take pride in every step it’s all progress!

FWIW don’t be scared, you sound like you’ve got the muscle memory nicely developed, be prepared for the challenge of the new chords, but hey you’ve learned 4 already so no reason you can’t learn more. And to repeat the JG mantra, consolidate what you know with songs, songs, songs. With the chords you know you’ve got a lot available to you and will encourage to get those new chords under your fingers to expand even more.

Sounds like you’re doing really well, so be proud and keep on challenging yourself. Good luck!


No such thing in this place Tabitha, as Stefan says we have all trodden this path and can remember it well!


I love this reply so much! Thank you, Notter! I think I am feeling intimidated by new chords. Being a master of just 4 chords is not enough for where I’d like to be. I will keep moving forward. I’d like to break out of Level 1 this time around. I love the app, for sure!

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I’ll repeat what’s already been said. Use the chords you know to learn and play songs, songs, songs.


Hi TabbTPul,

Great job nailing the chords! its know mean feat as your teaching your hands to do new things. so wishing you all the best with your next.
As others have said consolidate and move forward :slight_smile:

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Tabitha, I’m sure you’ll master those next chords like the ones you’ve already under your belt. Maybe it’ll take time and patience, but in the end, it’ll work. Some will require more work than others, but this is just part of the game. We have all been there and still are… Good luck and welcome any new chord without prejudice :slightly_smiling_face:!

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Congratulations Tabitha, that’s a great achievement- esp. being able to play them without looking.
You are now on your way. :grinning:
First thing to do is follow our guru’s mantra and learn lots of songs (A, D, E are the 1, 4, 5 chords). Loads of songs are based on those three magic chords.
Then go for all the low-hanging fruit. You’ve already got the Em (simply be lifting the index finger off the E). The The Am chord is exactly the same fingering as the E, except one string higher (in pitch, lower geographically). Once your comfortable with the A minor chord, simply move your ring finger up one fret to the 3rd fret, fifth string and you have the C chord :grinning: The nerves in your muscles will start remembering that shape and it will be easier to move from other chord positions too.
Woohoo! Way to go! :sunglasses:

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Thank you Gordon, safes me typing the same thing.

Tabitha this is way more than a minor achievement and you should be very proud. What you need to do now is consolidate these skills with application and the only way to do that as everyone has said is by learning songs.

HOWEVER, don’t let it hold you back completely. Get a few song under your fingers, record yourself so you can judge how you getting on (doesn’t need to be posted it’s for your assessment). Then line some new songs up to keep consolidating these chords, and as you learn those songs start moving forward in the course.

In the old Beginner Course there were 9 stages and it was very common to be learning songs & applying the skills and chords learnt, say in stage 1 and 2, while learning the new chords and techniques presented in stage 3 (and so on). The principle is the same, just the labelling is different these days.

Where’s the man with the Song Mantra when you need him ? @Richard_close2u



Nicely done Tabitha,
It’s a great feeling having the first chords under your belt.
On the not looking part , which is great you can, but I don’t think it’s something you have to focus on at this stage of the journey.
Just learn the other chords looking or not.
Over time the not looking at your fretting hand gets easier. It should help you progress a bit faster. Just my opinion.
Good luck

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Congratulations Tabitha!!! You are making progress & “internalizing” your first 4chords!!! This is a really important step in your journey because you’ve achieved something & know you can make music!!! There’s no such thing as a minor achievement… well, maybe a minor chord :rofl:, and as you use these skills to play songs you’ll feel a lot of pride while having lots of fun!!! Keep striving and before you know it, you’ll have that G & C under your belt!!!


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Congrats on nailing your A,D,E chords TabbTPul.
Great job.
Sounds like you’d like to learn your C and G chords now. Cool.

I have an idea that I generally don’t see discussed.

So you’ve learned your D chord. Perfect. That D chord is part of your C chord you want to learn.
Play your D chord but only play the top 3 strings. I believe this to be a inversion chord of D since the A tone is the lowest tone and not the root note, but the 1st, 3rd and 5th tones are there, just a different sequence making it a inversion. Now, take that D chord and start sliding it down 1 fret. Now your D chord is a Db or C# chord. your still needing three fingers to play that Db chord. Now slide that D chord down another semi tone. Now you only have to use one finger to play the C tone on the B string. Play them top three strings only again. That is a C chord. Notes are G, C, E. Another inversion chord, but a C none the less. Then you can learn to add the 4th and 5th string one string at a time to get your full C chord. In my mind, there is a relationship between C and D as that D shape occurs on the top three strings, it’s just that D shape has been slid down the neck one whole tone (2 frets down) and now it’s a C chord.

Same thing with your G chord.
You’ve already learned you A chord. Slide your A chord down two frets and it’s the G chord, but only played on the DGB strings. This would also be a inversion chord imho as the root note again, is not the bottom tone played. Note that them three strings being played are just open strings. But they are a part of the normal G chord. Then start adding the rest of the tones as you learn where to put your fingers at.
I assume you play A using three fingers on the DGB strings on the second fret. I play A chord various ways. One way is by just barring them three strings w/my index finger and then adding the A tone at the 5th fret of the E string with my pinky. Still a A chord. You’ve just changed the highest tone played from E to A and that’s ok I think. The E tone is still there it’s just on the 4th string D played at the second fret which is then E. So now you’ve got your A chord played by barring the DGB @ 2nd fret making the tones EAC#. Add your pinky @ 5th fret E string and that will be a root note A.
now, Slid that A chord down a fret and it’s a Ab/G# chord. Slide it down another half step and it’s G played on 4 strings. Open DGB string and E fretted @ the third fret making it the root tone of G.
In each of these examples all three tones that make up a G or C chord are present. But they are being played out of sequence (inversion chord) for a regular chord made up of the 1st third and 5th tone of whatever scale your playing. You would just be playing a inversion chord of 5th, root, 3rd tone as opposed to 1st third and 5th tone.

C chord is CEG. My example of C played with the D shape, which is only one finger on the B string @ 1st fret making it the note C. So them three notes from low to high are GCE. A inversion of the C chord.

Same with the G.
G is GBD, the 1st, third and fifth of the C scale.
in my example you’d be playing DGBG, DGB being open strings (the three tones that make up a G chord, 1st, 3rd, and fifth), G note played on the E string @ 3rd fret. If ya play that G note with your pinky, you’ve got the start of a regular open G chord played on all 6 strings. Your just playing 4 of them strings. Them 3 open strings the DGB are part of the A chord you already learned, just slid down a tone to become G chord.

I hope that makes sense. I played a long time before I saw this relationship of how to play a chord and the relationship of D chord vs C chord and A vs G chord.

All that said.
Your doing this all with one finger and playing select strings. Either the top 3 for the C chord or the top 4 strings for the G chord. For this G chord to be the inversion you’d only play the DGB strings, but adding the high G is just a duplicate of the root tone and part of the regular G chord. Hint. play that G tone with your pinky so you can then work on adding in the bottom two strings fro a full G. Same with the C chord. Index finger on the C tone on the B string, then work on adding in the A and D strings, A fretted at 3rd fret for C and D string fretted @ 2nd fret adding in the E tone.

Hope I didn’t confuse you.

If any of the more experienced folks here find error in my statement, please correct me so I don’t get others confused. Like the op.
All I’m trying to do here is show the relationship between D and C chord and A and G chord as to me, I find them the same general pattern of playing said chords.

Sorry about the long statement.

Happy playing!

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A great way to learn a new chord is to practice switching between the new chord and one that you already know, using the Perfect Fast Changes exercise.

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Too early to start worrying about inversions Tabitha, the next chords will come as you start the next modules. Stay on the path, don’t get lost in the woods. Always worth taking baby steps at the beginning and building a strong foundation. Worry about that kind of thing down the line, :exploding_head:


Great start! That does feel good.

Now, since Richard is busy moving, I will say that your way forward is to:
Play songs, play songs, play songs!

Pick a few songs with several cords you already know and one cord you don’t. You will then have to figure that one out.

It is more fun than learning them in isolation. There are like a bazillion cords anyway. You don’t want to learn them all by rote and in isolation.


Great stuff @TabbTPul

It’s fascinating to me the different ways each of us progress. I learned many chords and songs before I even tried to play without looking at the fretboard. You’ve done it much earlier. Not that the difference means anything major. I suspect you’ll be more natural at your playing quicker.

When I play now there are times I’m amazing just observing how my hands go from one chord to another effortlessly. Something that was unimaginable when I was first learning.

Celebrate the accomplishment heaps!

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@TabbTPul Well don Tabitha. Like you I learnt the three starter chords and then went on to learn lots of songs with those chords. However there comes a time, and I suspect that’s where you are now to move on up.

Like you the 'new chords seemed very daunting, and if I am honest, still daunting! It takes a while getting the new chords as automatic as the ADE chords, but stick at it and get the G and C chords as automatic as possible. Just don’t do what I keep doing and get disheartened and switch back to the chords you know. Stick with it. It’s worth it!

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