The five basic chord shapes are the open C, A, G, E, and D chords. Together they spell the word CAGED which helps us remember them.
What To Do
This is your very first step! If you do not know how to play these 5 basic chords then you should learn and memorize each chord pattern. Take your time to insure that you learn them and are playing them correctly. Each pattern is accompanied a picture of the chord being played and an audio sample of what the chord sounds like when played properly.
The C Major Chord
The C Major open chord really only involves one type of fingering, which is shown below.
The A Major Chord
The G Major Chord
The E Major Chord
The D Major Chord
Here’s a video that may help:
You cannot play every Major chord in the guitar’s open position.
By now the questions start flying. What about F and B chords? The two remaining major chords are those of B major and F major. These are commonly played as barre chords, with the first finger used to press down multiple strings across the guitar fingerboard. How about an F# or Gb chord for that matter? You can’t do it without using a barre chord. A barre chord takes a basic chord pattern and “moves” it up the neck of the guitar to create different chords.