You will need to master these simple chords first.  They are called "5 Chords".  Before you can do that you need to understand how to read a chord diagram.

Don't over-think this one. A Chord Diagram is basically a top view of the guitar fretboard.  The

horizontal lines are the fret bars and the vertical lines are the strings.  The dots represent your finger position.  Finger numbers are located on the top.

Here are the chord diagrams for D5, A5, E5, and G5.  Understand how to read the diagrams and play the chords.

a diagram explaining the parts of a guitar chord diagram
chord diagrams of the first chords D5 A5 E5 and G5

Play the progressions below.

Notice on the staff below.  You stack the numbers (notes) to write a chord on the staff in tablature.

Use your first finger on D5, A5, and E5.  Use your second finger on G5.

Play at an even tempo with the beat 1 - 2 - 3 - 4...

Focus on strumming the correct strings (down-stroke on all chords).

a chord progression designed to practice the first chords
a chord progression designed to practice the first chords

Play these simple song parts that contain the “5 chord”.


guitar tab for the song tnt by ac/dc


guitar tab for the song welcome to the jungle by guns n roses


Chord - Any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.

The  chords above are not technically chords because there are only 2 notes being played but as guitar players, we do call them chords.

Confused about the chord names: D5, A5, E5, and G5?

The "5" in the chord name has nothing to do with the 5th fret.  The "5" refers to the scale tone number that is added to the root. For example, in the D5 chord, "D" is the root.  "A" is the 5th note in the A minor scale (and  A major) scale.


D minor scale = D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C - D


Root (D) + 5th (A) = D5

red guitar logo illustration