The chords of C A Am G E Em D and Dm
It’s as simple as that really. I work on the presumption that when people decide to learn to play the guitar they get a buzz out of being able to play things that they recognise and like as quickly as possible? In the early stages this can be acheived by getting to a situation where they can change between a bunch of the easiest chords to hold down (note there is no F chord on the sheet!).
Some people prefer to teach them what the notes of the open strings are called or what the various parts of a guitar do but my feeling is that a novice really needs to do three things
- Get a tuner
- Use it to get the guitar in tune
- Learn some (comparatively) easy chord shapes
- Become competent at moving from one chord to another (definately not the same as learning a chord shapes)
(oops! that’s four things)
There are literally thousands of songs (or recognisable fragments of songs?) that can be played using the chords on the sheet in the photo.
You can download and print the free student handout with the chords on it shown above from my “other” site at http://teachwombat.com
I also have an article up there on a great site called “ultimate guitar” that looks at the process of giving a first lesson in much greater detail and here’s a link to it if you feel like reading further?
The first few of months of a beginner guitarist’s career could (and maybe should?) be largely taken up with becoming firstly aware of, and then familiar with the chords that make up the caged system (the chords of C A Am G E Em D and Dm mentioned above)
Some of the CAGED chords work particularly well in the key of G and by becoming familiar with just four of them (G Em C and D) a novice guitarist can develop an extensive and varied repertoire of stuff to practice and play.
“His latest Flame” G to Em
“Itchycoo Park” G to Em (Chorus)
“The Locomotion” G to Em (verse:1 bar each chord)
“Shout” G to Em
“Hallelujah” G to Em (ok I know its Em7 but it still works?)
“You Really Got A Hold On Me” (G to Em)
“Stand By Me” (All four chords in the order presented)
“Every Breath You Take” (All four chords in the order presented)
“Simply The Best” (ditto)
“Blue Moon” (ditto)
“Crocodile Rock (ditto)
“Hungry Heart” (and again?)
This list is really just intended to help the student to realise that they are capable of making reasonably rapid progress. Some of the songs detailed above are not in the original keys of the recorded versions and there are occasionally some simplifications going on there but the idea is to encourage the student to believe that they will get better with a little work.?