The 8 Essential Beginner Chord Grips

Before moving on to more advanced lessons, let’s review the eight chords we’ve covered so far.

View the full lesson at The 8 Essential Beginner Chord Grips | JustinGuitar

Which of the eight beginner chords would you begin with?

The audio is fuzzy in this video

Hi Della, welcome to the community. It’s okay on my laptop.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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Hey Justin! First, your lessons are awesome! I love the easy to follow structure and format that builds on top of itself as you go along.

One thing I caught: I learned the E, Em, and Am wrong! However, I recommend considering them! I learned them this way (by accident):

E Chord: 1st Finger on 3rd string of 1st Fret

Em: Follows same pattern with 2nd and 3rd fingers

Am: First Finger on 2nd String of 1st Fret

The reason I recommend considering this formation of the fingers is because of how much easier the chord changes from E or Em to C are when using it. You just have to slide the fingers up and down a fret! For E or Em to Am, you just need to move your fingers down a string and that’s it! A lot less finger fumbling and a lot more rock n’ rollin’!

Hello @Oakly72 and welcome to the Community.
It is and always will be the case that there is no ‘correct’ fingering for any given chord and we all have different shape and size hands and fingers, there are strong rationale behind Justin teaching certain fingerings - indeed why convention has them so. You have raised two such chords.
There are many reasons beyond Grade 1 that the fingering on E and Am Justin teaches is optimal for your long term development. You have come to think that yours works better as it helps moving to C chord. Currently, your approach is bounded by knowing the 8 essential beginner chords. In time, as you develop and learn more chords and more ways of playing guitar with chords and riffs and notes and embellishments, you will find your method could hold your progress back and you will start to think of unlearning what you have done. So my advice is to learn according to the convention (and by Justin’s lessons). There are reasons along the road.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

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Hey there!
I would follow the same sequence that Justin taught. That would be the D chord:

Hello, I don’t understand, why muting the thickest string makes an E Major chord out of an e minor chord. I thougt, that the difference is the Note G# (EMajor) opposed to G (e minor). Can you explain that, please?

Hi there,

You must be confusing some chords with each other. The low E string is to be played open in both the open E and Em chords.

Thank you for your immediate reply! Justin wrote in his explanation to the e minor chord, that if you mute the thickest string, it will sound like an E Major chord.

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Indeed. I still find it very strange and it doesn’t sound like an E major chord to my ears. Probably others can comment on this part.

I think this might be a ‘typo’. It would make sense to me if this read the third rather than thickest string. The difference between major & minor is the flattened third (which you would be removing if you muted the third string, or the G in this case)

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I don’t mean to be nitpicking, but the muting of the G string would result in an E5 power chord (sounds pretty good, btw) :slight_smile: But yeah, this looks like a typo.

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Haha, nitpicking is good :laughing:
I presume he just means you lose the minor quality, but yes you only have the 1 & 5 which are the notes of the power chord.
If we’re really being picky, I thought power chords contained the 1 & 5 with the root on the 5/6 string, but the higher pitched strings needed to be muted. I’m into ant-pissing territory here… :roll_eyes:

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I think your right Brian you should report this to @Richard_close2u so he can fix it.

Not necessarily any chord with only a R and 5th is a power chord. If you play the 4 finger G chord and mute the B note on the A string you end up with a G5 G X D G D G no third. The same with the open E if you mute the G string you end up with E B E X B E. Any chord with only 1 third can easily be turned in to a power chord. C and regular G have 2 thirds, A D E only have 1.

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Good spot and you’re right to question it.

Exactly that Brian.

I have gone in to edit and made an appropriate change to the description.


I sort of wish Justin would do a lesson focusing on wrist positioning specifically. I watched this lesson for his wrist positions for each chord, but its honestly a little hard to tell how bent his wrist is when viewed from the front. I have watched a couple videos that he’s done that discuss thumb positioning, and that somewhat addresses wrist position, but I still feel a little bit like I’m missing instruction on what is optimal for the wrist in particular.

I feel like I was doing ok wrist-wise until the C and G chords came along, and suddenly I was having to bend the wrist quite a bit, and now I’ve become paranoid that I’ve been doing them all with too bent of a wrist all this time. But if I ty to straighten the wrist, I sometimes feel the bottom of the neck or even the high E string hitting the flesh of my palm. So I’m trying to find a balance in the middle- where my thumb is in the middle or just above the middle of the back of the neck where the palm doesn’t touch, but even so, I still feel like it results in a bent wrist.

I am also a little unsure about how these things are supposed to magically improve over time, but I’m not hearing that we need to get these things perfect right now, so I’m just going along and having fun, trying to put those worries out of my mind.

Hi Stacy,

Maybe worth mentioning here that you have posted a video in the safe space. I’m sure one of the community members with more experience will come along and ease your concerns. I see that you did ask for feedback on that particular matter. Maybe @Richard_close2u or @LievenDV may have some specific guides on wrist position they use when teaching that could help put those worries out of your mind.

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Yes that is true, thank you for adding that. That is one of the main reasons I did start recording myself- to compare to later when I’ve developed quite a bit more. I wish I’d began recording from absolute day 1, but I was about a month in before I started.

It is a very good question and hard to compare and reference.
You proably need to do less bendign in the wrist and more in your hand.

This “thumb position video” helps though

I’ve got this from a E shape barre lesson

Also check these pics


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