Your First Chord: D Major
OK, by now you should have a good handle on how to tune your guitar. Let's start learning our first chord.
What You'll Learn
- What frets are, and where to put your fingers.
- How to place your fingers on the fretboard in the D major shape.
- A drill you can use to remember the D major shape, and get started strumming.
1 Learn the D Chord
In the video above, follow along to learn the D major chord, the first chord you should get started playing.
2 Practice the Shape
Now practice with an "On / Off" drill—this is a great way to memorize the chord shape, without worrying about rhythm too much.
3 On your own
On your own, before you put your guitar away:
- Take out your phone, and set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Put your fingers on the strings in the D major shape. (This will be slow at first—just go at your own pace)
- Strum for four beats.
- Take your fingers off the strings, and count to four.
- Put your fingers back on the strings in the D major shape, and repeat.
Do not stop until your timer goes off. This will seem like a long time, but remember: it's only 5 minutes.
Add this to your practice routine, and keep spending just 5 minutes a day memorizing chords. This will:
- Help you memorize shapes quickly.
- Build strength and coordination in your fingers.
- Toughen up the tips of your fingers, so they stop hurting when you play.
In our next lesson, we'll learn another new chord. You'll be on your way to playing songs on your guitar.
Anna Freitas holds a B.A. from Berklee College of Music and performs throughout New England as a guitarist and vocalist. She continues to teach students, both in-person and online via Skype.