How to Play 3 Simple Chords on a Guitar




Introduction: How to Play 3 Simple Chords on a Guitar


Learning how to play chords on a guitar is quite simple and can be a useful skill. With a little practice, you can learn to play multiple songs on a guitar, even if you only know how to play 3 chords.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the following:

  • Parts of a guitar
  • How to hold a guitar
  • How to read chord diagrams
  • How to play the G, C, and D chords
  • How to strum with a pick
  • How to read songs with chords


  • Properly tuned six-string acoustic guitar
  • Guitar pick
  • Guitar chord diagram(s)

Safety information: Sit down when playing guitar and support the guitar body on your left knee unless you have a guitar strap. Make sure that your strings are not stretched too tightly, because they can snap and harm you if they break.

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Step 1: Parts of a Guitar

The guitar consists of the main body and the neck. The guitar strings run from the middle of the body to to the top of the neck. In an acoustic guitar, the body is thick to take the sound from the strings and resonate to amplify the sound of the guitar.

Step 2:

The fretboard is the large wooden part of the neck. The fretboard is divided by metal frets. Each of these dividers show where fingers are placed to produce a specific sound.

Thickest string E - 6

A - 5

D - 4

G - 3

B - 2

Thinnest string E - 1

Step 1: How to hold the guitar

1. Hold the neck of the guitar in your left hand.

2. Make sure the strings are facing away from your body.

3. Place the body in your lap.

Step 2: How to strum with a pick

Hold the pick in your right hand between your thumb and index finger as shown in the picture.

Step 3:

Moving your forearm, drag the pick across the strings downward. Avoid the strings that are not supposed to be played for that chord. To strum again, drag the pick across the strings upward, returning to your original position.

Step 4: How to Read Chord Diagrams

The left edge of a chord

diagram relates to the largest string that is highest when the guitar is held horizontally. However, in order to read the diagram, the diagram must be read as though the neck was pointing upwards vertically.

Symbols above each string on the diagram explain if the string is used or not.

Xs denote a string that is not played in the chord, an O means that the string is played “open,” which is to say that it’s not plucked with the pick.

A dark circle shows where to push down on the guitar in order to make the desired sound.

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