How to learn guitar chords at home

Learning guitar chords is one of the first things you will learn when starting guitar. If you plan on teaching yourself how to play, there are a few different ways you can learn guitar chords at home. In this article we will look at how you can teach yourself guitar chords at home using a few simple methods. If you have a teacher and are looking at other ways to learn chords, then these methods will help you out too.

Following a method vs just playing chords

Quite often when beginners ask me for help on how to teach themselves to play, they often mention that they just play the chords until it works. This is a problem many self taught guitarists face – they don’t realize there’s better ways to learn. If you’re currently teaching yourself how to play guitar or thinking about teaching yourself, keep in mind that unless you follow a method it’s going to be a long and hard process. ‘Just playing chords until it works’ is a long and frustrating way to learn chords. Learning guitar using this trial and error approach takes a lot longer than following methods that have been proven to work.

When you follow a method you have the piece of mind knowing that it’s worked for other people before you. Instead of guessing what to do you can simply follow the steps given. Following a method allows you to completely focus on what you’re doing instead of thinking the whole time ‘is this going to work?’ Next time you want to learn a new technique on guitar, try to find a method or practice plan that other people have used before. You will save a lot of time doing this and you will learn faster and easier as a result.

What you need to learn guitar chords at home

As explained above you need a method to follow to learn guitar chords on your own. You’re going to learn a lot faster with a method instead of just trying to play songs. The next thing you will need is a wide range of guitar chords to learn. Rather than figure out on your own which guitar chords you should learn, having a set of easy guitar chords picked out for beginners will save you a lot of headaches. Our flash cards pack, 50 Essential Chords, was developed to contain 50 easy guitar chords that any beginner can learn. Using this resource will help you learn guitar chords faster because you will have 50 chords already chosen for you.

The last thing you will need to learn guitar chords is patience. Don’t underestimate how important this one is. If you expect to learn all 50 chords in a couple of days then you’re just going to get frustrated. Learning guitar is always hardest at the very beginning because everything feels impossible. The first time you try to play chords it will seem like your fingers can’t stretch that far and the chords just don’t sound right when you play them. But if you have patience, you will know that in time it will get easier and eventually you will be able to play them. Having patience is the key to becoming a pro at guitar.

How to learn 50 chords in 10 minutes a day

We have put together a method to help beginners learn guitar chords at home in 10 minutes a day. If you set aside 10 minutes every day for some solid practice, you will learn guitar chords faster than you might think. Our method breaks the practice down into simple steps that focus on each chord to help you learn in the most efficient way. Read through the method here and download the pdf. The pdf contains a breakdown of what to practice and you can print it out and stick it up on your wall to help you remember what to practice. We have had great feedback from beginners who used this method and managed to eventually memorize all 50 chords.

A quick checklist

So what do you really need to learn guitar chords at home? Here’s a quick checklist on the essentials.

Notice how short the list is and how simple it sounds. The reason so many beginners get stuck is because they don’t consider what actually works. When you take a trial and error approach and just play the chords it’s going to take a lot longer than focusing on one simple method.

What to do after you learn the chords

Once you do learn some chords on your own, it’s time to start applying them. Here’s a quick list of things you can try after you learn some basic chords:

There are many more different ways you can use chords but if you give these a go you’ll start to enjoy using chords and your playing will start to improve at a faster pace. Don’t underestimate the value in these simple steps – there isn’t any secret shortcut – simply follow the steps in the method and you’ll learn the chords in no time at all.

Using flash cards to master guitar chords


There are so many different ways you can learn guitar that most people don’t know about. So many think the old way of learning with a guitar book is the best and only way to learn. It isn’t. Everybody learns differently so learning from a book is very limiting. It doesn’t allow you to learn the way that suits you best. In this article we will look at why flash cards can be so effective and how you can use them to become an expert at basic open chords.


You probably know of flash cards as those basic cards with a word on one side and a picture on the other used for children to learn basic words. Everybody knows they are effective in teaching children the basics but many don’t realize they are effective in other uses. Whether learning a foreign language, preparing for exams or even learning guitar chords, flash cards have been proven to be very effective learning tools.

Flash cards are so effective because you use them differently than you would use a book. People are used to picking up a book and reading it from cover to cover. Once they read it through the first time, it’s unlikely they’ll go back to the start. With flash cards you can use them in so many different ways. You can play memory games, study one at a time, flick through them trying to memorize the details, really whatever you want to do with them. Because of this flexibility, flash cards end up being more effective than a book despite having less information.


Think about what it means to be an expert at chords. An expert can:

  1. Instantly recall chords
  2. Change back and forth between chords effortlessly
  3. Understand everything about the chords.


Now that we know what it takes to become an expert at chords we can look at how to get there.

1. Instant recall

If we want to practice the first goal – instant recall, we can take some flash cards and play memory games. This is something a book won’t teach you. Memory games with flash cards are easy and can be fun which makes it even easier to learn. You don’t even need to have a guitar with you to become an expert at the first goal; you can play memory games with flash cards anywhere and anytime.

2. Changing between chords

To become an expert at the second goal – changing back and forth between the chords you simply need to practice every combination of chord changes. With flash cards this is easy. You simply pick out two cards and practice changing between them until it feels easy. Then you simply change one of those cards. You continue changing card combinations and eventually you will feel comfortable playing any chord change. It’s so simple yet so effective.

3. Chord understanding

To become an expert at the third goal – know everything about the chords, you need to understand a bit about music theory and the chord names. This may sound harder, but it doesn’t have to be.

You start off by memorizing the chord names. That’s pretty easy to do. You will probably do that with the memory games mentioned earlier. Once you know the chord names you can start to learn what they mean. What makes a major chord? What does sus2 mean? What’s the difference between E9 and Eadd9? The good thing is that once you know what each type of chord means then your songwriting, playing and understanding of music will improve. Flash cards will give you a starting point to understanding chords as you can look at the notes that make up the chords and see the patterns between the cards.


This site has a few different resources to help you achieve the three goals described above. Think which goal would help you out the most then check out the related resources to get started.

Flash Cards – Available here

Instant recall resources:

Changing between chords resources:

Understanding chords resources:



You should be able to see that everything written above is fairly simple to do. There’s no magic formula or secret to becoming an expert, it’s simply practice with the right tools. Practicing with flash cards is a great way to speed up the learning process. You can become an expert at chords with a book, it just takes longer and can be a bit harder to stay motivated. Once you become an expert at chords, you will be amazed at how many doors open up in your playing and songwriting. It’s definitely worth the effort. The resources listed above will walk you through step-by-step and break down all the concepts with simple explanations and examples. You can read more on the flash cards pack available on this site here.

12 reasons to use flash cards to learn guitar chords

Flash cards are well known to be powerful educational tools – they can help people learn math, languages, formulas and even guitar chords. So many people have been using flash cards as a simple tool to help them learn so many different subjects. Here are 12 reasons why the same simple tool can be used to learn guitar chords and why you should get yourself a pack and give them a go.

  1. They’re easy to use – what’s easier than using a pack of cards?
  2. They’re the cheapest method (versus books, dictionaries or charts)
  3. They’re fun to use  – learning from a chord dictionary is as boring as it sounds
  4. They’re effective – I’ve noticed that my students who use them know up to 10 times more chords then the students that don’t
  5. You can take them anywhere – which means you can learn faster
  6. You can use them to write basic songs and find new chord progressions
  7. They can teach you music theory
  8. You can focus on whichever chords you pick from the deck
  9. They can help songwriters break the feared “writers’ block”
  10. You can use them to practice chord changes easier than a book
  11. You can play memory games with them to learn faster
  12. You can focus on one card a day and potentially memorize 50 chords in under two months


There are many more reasons and ways you can use flash cards to help you learn guitar chords faster and easier. Once you give them a go you’ll find out why they’re so effective. A chord dictionary with 400+ chords may sound like a good idea, but if its boring to use you won’t even learn 10 chords from it. Find out more about flash cards here or visit the store here to get yourself a pack.

New guitar lesson: Method to memorize 50 chords in 10 minutes a day

Our latest lesson has been used over the last couple of years by students and works suprisingly well. Some students managed to properly memorize all 50 chords within a few weeks while other students took up to two months. But in the end all students managed to memorize all 50 chords using this method so because it has been so effective it has been written out in the lessons section for you to try.

The lesson details step-by-step what to do as well as why it is important to do it. This method works because it focuses your attention on the important points you need to learn. When most people try to practice and learn chords they often take an unfocused approach which takes longer to learn. By focusing your attention you can work at this method as little as 10 minutes a day to see results.

Included with the lesson is a PDF instruction sheet you can print out so you have a quick step-by-step reference right in front of you any time.

Check out the lesson by clicking the link below and give it a go.

How to memorize 50 chords in 10 minutes a day

Good luck and remember that to achieve results you need to put in the practice.