Learn 1000 Songs on Guitar in 30 Minutes
The following article by me appeared in Metroland, an
alternative newsweekly in Albany, NY. Hopefully you'll find the
instructions below an easy to follow first lesson in playing chords. For
information on private lessons on guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, or
harmonica with me in the Albany, NY area, click here.
Hold the guitar in your lap so the neck tilts up at about a 30-degree angle. Then place your thumb on the back of neck behind the first fret and parallel to it. The knuckle should rest on the middle of the neck with the tip of the thumb bent slightly. Curl the fingers of your left hand just above the strings, and place the tip of your middle finger on the fourth string (the strings are numbered from highest to lowest in pitch), just to the left of the second fret. The finger should not touch the strings on either side. If you have long nails on your left hand, clip them before proceeding further.
Press the string hard enough to get a
clear note when you pluck the string. Leave the middle finger in place and
then put the tip of the ring finger on the second string, second fret,
which as before means just to the left of the fret bar. Next place the
index finger on the second fret of the third string behind the other two,
and scrunch it up as close to the second fret as you can get it without
pushing the other fingers over the fret bar. This is an A major chord.
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