One of the easiest ways to start playing the guitar is to concentrate only on playing chords. In fact, this is such a common method that most players, especially for popular styles such as rock, blues, and pop, only know how to play chords on the guitar.
Starting with Chords
Although I think you should go beyond playing basic chords, there are still many advantages in learning to play the guitar through chords. To tell the truth, this is exactly the way I started: I initially just tried to figure out how to play chords, and this gave me the confidence to learn a lot more about the instrument.
This may be different if you learned to play using a classical method. In classical guitar, the emphasis is in learning single notes first, until you build enough confidence to play chords with multiple notes. Of course, each method has its pros and cons, but for popular music it is very possible to learn and play many songs by just knowing the chords used.
Chord and Shapes in the Guitar
The guitar is a great instrument to play chords. And you can learn them easily, without knowing any music theory. You can learn chords just by the “shape” of fingers on the strings.
In the guitar, this style of playing chords is even easier to do this than in the piano, for example. This happens because the shapes in the guitar can easily be moved up and down the neck to form other chords. As a result, the shapes or chords used in the guitar are very distinctive.
Learning Songs Through Chords
To play guitar chords, the first step is to learn the basic chords that occur in most songs. After some research, you’ll find that there are a dozen or so chords that can be used to play almost any popular song. Using these chords, you can start training your guitar technique with left hand changes and right hand rhythms.
Once you are able to play chords with some precision, you can start exploring other part of the instruments. For example, you can start to play single notes for simple solos and scales. Doing this would be a good step into the direction of better understanding the instrument.
Finding the Right Chords
If you need help with finding the right chords to use, there are several publications and websites that list the most common chords. And most songbooks for popular artists list the chords for each song along with the music notation.
As you see, it is not hard to find the chords that you need! In reality, because popular songs are so reliant in common chords, you can use a small list of chords and play almost all songs in popular music styles.
As a guitar exercise, you should be able to play quickly any of the most common chords. After you became used to this skill, try to explore more complicated moves and more complex songs. Using these tips will certainly make you a much better guitar player.