Fretboard Knowledge - The 10 Most Usable Guitar Chords - Tall View

The Ten Most Usable Guitar Chords

admin Chords, Most Common Chords

These are the 10 chord shapes every guitar player should know and learn in the early stages of their musical journey.

Beginners who are ready to play chords should start with these and master fluidity with these before moving on.

Check out this HQ infographic:

10 Most Usable Guitar Chords - Infographic

Chord 1: Am (A minor)


  • Index finger on C

    Place your index finger in the 1st postion of the b-string. Make sure to curve it enough for the e-string to able to sound clearly. Place the finger close to the fret.

  • Middle finger on E

    Place your middle finger in the 2nd position of the D-string.

  • Ring finger on A

    Place your ring finger in the second position of the G-string. Place the finger close to the fret and make sure to curve it enough as not to mute the b-string.

  • Do not play the low E-string

    The (low) E-string should not be played for this chord. Guitarists with large hands, playing on a steel-string acoustic or electric guitar may use a tight hand position and mute the E-string with the thumb.

Chord 2: A (A major)


  • Index finger on A

    This is not a mistake. On steel-string acoustic and electric guitar this is the preferred fingering because of the narrow string spacing. It renders better intonation. On Spanish guitar people with slender fingers may play the traditional fingering where the index finger plays E (position 2, D-string), middle finger plays A (pos. 2, G-string) and ring finger plays C# (pos. 2, b-string).

  • Middle finger on E

  • Ring finger on C#

  • Do not play the low E-string

B Dominant Seventh (B7)


  • Index finger on D#

  • Middle finger on B

  • Ring finger on A

  • Little finger on F#

  • Do not play the low E-string

C Major (C)


  • Index finger on C (b-string)

  • Middle finger on E

  • Ring finger on C (A-string)

  • Do not play the low E-string

D Minor (Dm)


  • Index finger on F

  • Middle finger on A

  • Little finger on D

  • Do not play the low E-string

  • Do not play the A-string

D Major (D)


  • Index finger on A

  • Middle finger on F#

  • Ring finger on D

  • Do not play the low E-string

  • Do not play the A-string

E Minor (Em)


  • Middle finger on B

  • Ring finger on E

E Major (E)


  • Index finger on G#

  • Middle finger on B

  • Ring finger on E

F Major (F)


  • Bar index finger F and C

  • Middle finger on A

  • Ring finger on F (D-string)

  • Do not play the low E-string

  • Do not play the A-string

G Major (G)


  • Ring finger on G (E-string)

    Alternative: middle finger

  • Little finger on G (e-string)

    Alternative: ring finger

  • Ring finger mutes A-string

    Alternative: middle finger