Free Online Guitar Lessons
Em Guitar Chord
How to read Chord Charts
These chord lessons assume you're right handed, but works fine for lefties too. The image on the left below, is a chord chart. Each vertical dotted line represents one string of the guitar, the one on the furthest left being the 6th string (E, the thickest string). The horizontal lines are the frets on the neck.
The orange circles indicate where each string should be pressed and the red numbers indicate the fingers you should use (1 being index and 4 being pinkie). The black and white circles means the strings should be played open (without pressing anything on that particular string, just let it ring).
A different view: This is where you will press the strings on the neck
Em Guitar Chord
Follow the instructions on the Em chord chart and press the 5th and 4th string on the 2nd fret (like the chart says) - Remember to use your 2 (middle) and 3 (ring) fingers. This is what it should look like:
Got it? Easy huh? Now let's pluck some strings...
Make sure you guitar is tuned before carrying on. Okay, keep pressing the strings and, with your right hand, pluck the strings one by one (from top to bottom) to ensure each one's sound is coming through clearly. If your fingers touch other strings or if you do not press hard enough, the strings will sound muted. You do not want this!
Practice until every string resonates clearly when plucked one by one.
Above: It should not sound like this!
Above: It should sound like this, each string resonating clearly.
This principle rings true with all the guitar chords you're going to learn. Only allow your fingers to touch and press the strings you're supposed to fret when playing chords. Don't touch any of the other strings.
I know, I know, your fingers are too fat and it seems humanely impossible to touch only that one tiny spot on the entire fretboard. But your finger will adapt.
Dexterity through Practice!
Great stuff! Now let's strum...
While pressing the Em chord with your left hand, you are now going to perform the basic strumming pattern with your right hand. Indeed, this will take some practice and getting used to. Here's what it should sound like:
Many people spent an entire day or two just practicing this first chord + strumming combination. Press the chord, strum, release the chord and repeat ad infinitum. Some catch on quicker than others, especially when you have some musical experience and have good rhythm. Move on whenever you feel ready...
Em Guitar Chord Chart
Ah yes, the E minor Guitar chord. The chord to which all love ballads and 90% of country music owes its existence. The first chord to learn is, like all minors, a 'sad sounding' chord. Maybe because its underage, who knows? While most guitar tutors will start you off with a happy C or a jolly G, I'll teach you the E minor chord first. Why? Well simply because it's the easiest chord there is!
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