How to Play Guitar in the Key of G

By Contributor
Play Guitar in the Key of G

How to Play Guitar in the Key of G. The key of G is, by far, the most common key in all guitar-based music. Learning to play in this key will not only allow you to learn many of your favorite songs, but will also give you the opportunity to play with virtually any other guitarist.

Playing the G Chord

Review and memorize the names of the strings. Lowest to highest, they are E-A-D-G-B-E.

Place your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string.

Place your index finger on the second fret of the A string.

Place your pinky on the third fret of the high E string.

Strum the chord downward from lowest strings toward the highest.

Playing the C, D and E-Minor Chords

Place your index finger on the first fret of the B string to begin the C chord.

Place your middle finger on the second fret of the D string.

Place your ring finger on the third fret of the A string.

Make the C chord sound completely authentic by arching your thumb around the neck of the guitar and muting the low E string lightly. Strum the strings downward.

Place your ring finger on the third fret of the B string to begin the D chord.

Place your middle finger on the second fret of the high E string.

Place your index finger on the second fret of the G string.

Mute the low E string with your thumb and strum the strings downward to play the D chord. E is not one of the three notes in the D-major chord (D-F#-A).

Place your index finger on the second fret of the A string to begin the E-minor chord.

Place your middle finger on the second fret of the D string.

Strum the strings downward to play the E-minor chord.

Playing in the Key of G

Freely strum the sequence G, C, D. Disregard tempo and meter for now.

Strum each chord four times repeating the sequence of G, C, D.

Strum G four times, C two times, and D two times and repeat.

Repeat Step 19 while keeping a steady tempo. Use a metronome if accessible.

Strum G four times, C two times, and D four times.

Strum each chord two times.

Strum G two times, C two times, E minor four times, and D four times.

Experiment with your own variations and progressions.

Tip

It is a nice option to add the ring finger on the third fret of the B string while playing the G chord. This change gives the chord a much fuller sound. If you experience a buzzing sound from the guitar, your fingers may not be pressed down all the way or might be touching the actual frets. Try to recognize familiar progressions. Rock music is filled with thousands of songs that simply use G, C, and D in that order.