Hey I'm Nate Savage and you know, one of the best things about the guitar is you can learn
just a handful of chords and you can literally play hundreds of the best songs that were
ever written. In the case of this lesson, I'm going to teach your four chords that you
can use to play ten songs.
First of all let's learn the chords that we're going to be using in this lesson. The first
one is a G major, second one is a C major, third one is a D major, and the last one is
an E minor. Okay, let's start with the G major chord. Put your third finger on the third
fret of the low E string, second finger is going to go on the second fret of the A string,
and your pinky finger is going to grab the third fret of the high E string. And you can
strum all six strings.
Now one thing you're going to want to remember when you're making these chords is come right
down on your fingertips, on the very tips of your fingers, and try to stay right behind
the fret. Keep you fingers as close to behind the fret as possible. That way you can ensure
a good sound without any buzzing.
Next chord, a C major. Let's take our third finger and put it on the third fret of the
A string, second finger is going to go on the second fret of the D string, and your
first finger is going to come back here and grab the first fret of the B string. Make
sure to come down on the very tips of your fingers for this chord. If you don't you will
definitely notice it. Check it out. Strum the top five strings, leave the low E string
out. Watch this little change right here. If I just let my fingers get a little lazy
that's going to sound terrible, so make sure to come right down on your fingertips.
Next chord, D major chord, open D major. Put your first finger on the second fret of the
G string, or the third string, third finger third fret of the B string, second finger
second fret of the high E string. Now leave the sixth and fifth strings out, and just
strum the top four strings there.
Alright, the last chord for you is just a regular E minor chord. Put your second finger
on the second fret of the A string and your third finger on the second fret of the D string,
and you can strum all six strings with this chord.
Now that I've showed you those chords that we're going to be using let's just talk about
strumming really quick in the context of this lesson. I'm going to keep things really really
simple for your strumming hand or your right hand. That way you can focus on learning the
songs and getting the chord changes for the song smooth.
Alright let's get down to business here and learn a song that uses these chords. We're
gonna learn probably one of the most popular tunes of all time, song by The Beatles called
Let It Be. Maybe you've heard of it.
Um, let's go put our G major chord on here, and I'm gonna do this in groups of two strums
for your right hand just so you know. So, the verse of this tune, just strum G twice.
And then go to a D. Strum that twice. E minor twice. And go to a C twice. Back to a G, a
D, a C, and then back to a G one more time. And that's pretty much the entire verse to
the song. It just goes through that whole progression twice. Let me play that progression
for you uninterrupted so you can hear what it sounds like.
So that's the verse of the tune Let It Be, and let's get to the chorus now. The chorus
goes to an E minor twice, a D, C, G, stay on a G and do that two more times, go to a
D, a C, and then finally end up on a G. So let me play the entire chorus for you real
So as you can see, you can get through that entire song using just these four chords.
There are some walkdowns and stuff in there, but like I said we're keeping things real
simple for your right hand. Um, another song that uses almost exclusively those four chords
is the Beyonce song If I Were A Boy. All it is is E minor, C, G, and D. I think there's
an A minor on the bridge somewhere, but almost the entire song is just those four chords
So you may be thinking "Nate that's great but I know all of these songs aren't in the
key of G major", and you're right. The song Let It Be is in the key of C. So what are
we going to do about that? How're we going to get around it. The answer is this little
gem right here. It's called a capo, and if you've never used one they are great. It lets
you use those four chords to play just a ton of songs. So, what I would do if I wanted
to play along with Let It Be to the album. I would put my capo on my fifth fret, and
then I can play those exact same chords, G, D, C, and E minor, those shapes and I'll be
in the key of C. I'll show you why.
If this note right here is a G, right here on the third fret of the low E string. If
I moved up a whole step from there, two frets, that would now be an A. Another whole step
would be a B, and a half step from there would be a C. So this G shape is now a C chord.
This capo is pretty much like a movable nut for the guitar.
Here you go, I'll show you what Let It Be sounds like playing it in the actual key that
it was written in.
So you see what I mean? This should show you how valuable these four chords are and how valuable knowing how to use a capo is too.
So what I'm going to do now is just go through all ten songs in this lesson, the choruses
of them to just help you see what they sound like. And below you're going to see the artist,
the title of the song, what key it's in, what fret to put your capo on, and then just the
main chord progression for the chorus. For some of these you'll be able to play just
the chorus. For some of them you can play the entire song using just these four chords.
So you see what I mean? This should show you just how valuable these four chords are, and
how valuable learning how to use a capo can be for you. So just to clarify, the chords
that you saw on the bottom of the page there as I was playing each song are the actual
shapes that you are playing, not the names of the actual chords.
So being able to play this many songs is awesome motivation for you. You're gonna be able to
play some real music, and it's great practice for you to work on your chord transitions
too. Pick a few songs that you liked out of these ten, and go back and pause the video
once they're up. Write the key of the song down and which fret you should be capoed on
and work on them. Work them into your practice time, and work on getting your chord transitions smooth.
Thanks for watching everyone. I just launched a new guitar lesson series that you can get
right now for free. Just go to www.GuitarSystem.com/free-series and I'll see you there.