Basic Guitar Chords – How to Play E Major and E Minor Chords


This instructional video demonstrates the finger positions and sound quality of the two E chords on the guitar.

The E Major Chord and E Minor chord are a part of the basic guitar chords. These two chords are played in the first position on the guitar between the 1st and 3rd fret which also incorporates open strings.

Music is about developing your listening skill, so as you watch the video pay particular attention to the difference in the sounds of these two chords.

Notice that the E minor chord has a darker sound also referred to as a quality to it; this is in contrast to the lighter brighter quality of the E major.

Watch the video closely to learn the finger placement for each chord and practice each position faithfully until you have it position perfect.


Doing the basic guitar chords up close…


E Minor Guitar Chord Fingering

  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the A string (5th)
  • The third finger sits on the 2nd fret – D string (4th) right underneath the middle finger

You hold those two strings firmly down on the guitar and you simply strum every string on the guitar.

E Major Guitar Chord Fingering

Place your first finger on the 1st fret of the G string – and you keep your third and middle fingers in the same position as before when playing the E minor chord, as follows…

  • Middle finger – second fret – A string (5th)
  • Third finger – second fret – D string (4th)
  • First finger – first fret – G string (3rd)

Then you simply play all the strings on your guitar as you did with the E minor chord.

Basic Guitar Chords

When you practice these chords be sure to do it slowly.

Beginners will probably find that the hardest part is shifting between the chords, so take your time at first until you are comfortable. It is a good idea to practice doing 4 strums on the E minor and 4 strums on the E major, switching back and forth between the two until you feel confident and less awkward.

Speed comes with accuracy and accuracy is gained by doing something slowly at first and gradually building it up.


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