Welcome back to the Rock Dojo newest series of guitar lessons for kids: Your First Five Guitar Chords for Kids! You’ve already learned five of the greatest guitar riffs of all-time, now it’s time to tackle guitar chords. Over the next few weeks, you’ll learn five must-know guitar chords for kids. Before we dive, however, you’ll discover the answers to three crucial questions: What is a chord? How are they constructed? And how do I read a guitar chord diagram?
If you’re not a guitar geek like me and you don’t care about all that background information, then feel free to skip ahead to the video lesson!
What is a chord?
A chord is three or more notes played at the same time. There are many different types of chords like major chords, minor chords, suspended chords, dominant chords, etc. For the purpose of this lesson series, however, you’ll be learning the most common chords of all: major and minor triads. Without boring you to death with the music theory behind a triad, just think of it as a three-note chord containing the root, the third, and the fifth of any major scale.
In this case, we’re in the key of E major. That means an E major chord contains the root (E), the third (G#), and the fifth (B.) If you don’ understand the theory, don’t worry about it! On the guitar, these translate into shapes that are easy to play and memorize.
How Do I Read a Guitar Chord Diagram?
A guitar chord diagram is a sort of map for reading chords. Once you know how to read it, you’ll be empowered to learn any guitar chord on your own! Now that’s leverage! Reading guitar chord diagrams is really simple:
- The right line represents the skinny, high E-string.
- The left line represents the thick, low E-string.
- The shaded line at the top represents the nut.
- The horizontal lines represent the frets.
- The dots represent where you put your fingers.
- The circles represent open strings.
- The X means don’t play that string.
The example below is an A Major Chord!
Now that you know how to read a chord diagram for a guitar, it’s time to learn your first chord!
Which Chord Should I Learn First?
Technically speaking, the first chord you should learn on the guitar is the power chord! It’s the most powerful, most awesome, most useful guitar chord of all! For today, however, we’re going to focus on the second mightiest, most awesome, most useful guitar chord of all: the mighty E major chord! The E major chord shows up in tons of great songs like Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, U.N.I. by Ed Sheeran, and Back in Black by AC/DC.
Next week, you’ll learn your second guitar chord: the A Major Chord! Once you have two chords in your arsenal of musical destruction, you’ll be ready to learn a handful of tunes! In the meantime, you can contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page if you have any questions!
Free Backing Track Provided by Band-in-a-Box
Click on the play button below to jam along with the free guitar backing track. This guitar backing track for kids is provided by Band-in-a-Box, an incredibly powerful backing track generator! Learn more at Band-in-a-Box.
GET A BLACK BELT IN ROCK!
The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.