First Chord Progression - Riff Ninja Academy

First Chord Progression

In this lesson, we’ll add another chord to the G, C, and D from the previous lesson. The new chord is Am, which you can see on the left.

If you need a refresher on the G, C, and D, those diagrams are down below as well.

If you’ve got questions or comments, please leave them down below. If you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, checkout the Definitive Beginner’s Guide To Acoustic Guitar.

Leave a Reply 27 comments

Mark Bliss Reply

Im no Ninja but I think that G is a 7th?

Mark 2 Reply

In the key of “A” I believe it is a VII chord Mark, but in the “key” of it’s namesake it becomes a I chord.

Merrill Bartle Reply

Kin the key of G the Am is the Ii chord

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

Actually in the key of A, the VII chord would be a G#… you’re right about the namesake part. In this lesson we’re in the key of G, so that becomes the I chord.

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

You got it dude… 😉

ateve Reply

Ninja is correct…this is the Key of G…G C and D are the 1, 4, and 5 chords, the great old stand by and most popular of all chord progressions… the Key of G the A minor is the 2 chord…it’s minor because it is the 2 chord as well…as would be the 3 chord and the 6 chord….the 7th is not used ver often….and when it is it is usually used as a Diminished chord….the 1,4 and 5 are your major chords…

William Reply

Knock, Knock, Knock N’ On Heavens Door……

Jeff Kuehne Reply

too beginner for me, way too beginner.

Charles Reply

Thankyou sir
its so nice to play and love to continue to the end

George Ngwerume Reply

For the chords you are giving us, what is the strumming partern to be used.

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

Hi George, at this stage, just do the one strum per chord that Colin demonstrates and work on really getting the timing down for that, along with good sounding chords. We’ll add more strums pretty soon.

Walter Thatcher Reply

thank you sounds great will practice

John Thomson Reply

Really enjoying this steady progression it actually sinks in. Thank You.

steflukas Reply

sound can I use alternative strumming on the chords G&D

Lewis Harle Reply

have problems with memory

Trnjanin Ossie Reply

If my fingers were softer things would be much easier. it seem to me that they are made of steel. Finding it very hard to get the fingers on the strings as required

Steve Shepherd Reply

Well I've started,it's painfull to the hands and ears but it's a start

Ismail Mgunda Reply

thank for the iesson

Mj Stanley Reply

thank you oh so muc

Richard Reply

Am just starting to be on this site. (1) How can I get the past postings you have sent out ?
(2) Where can I get a chart showing the different chords in each key showing which are the principal, relative minor, alt. Chords and which are the major and which are the minor ?
The chart I have shows different chords than what the ones mentioned in the comments of the reply section. Example; mine shows for key of G- G, C, D7, Em, Am, B7, G6/Em7, G dim., G aug., C6, Em6, Am6.
Thanks for all help !

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

Hi Richard, are you on our email newsletter? You can signup here:

I’m not sure what chart you have there, but it sounds like it is a lot more complicated than the basic chords for the key. The basic chords for G major are: G major, C major, D major, as well as A minor, B minor, and E minor. Those are the six basic chords a beginner needs to worry about… anything more begins to cloud the issue pretty quickly.

Stan Reply

I think I need intermediate lessons

Byron Reply

Hi Colin,
I have just begun to follow your course. You do a great job with beginners. Thank you. I have a really basic question. Do you have any suggestions for toughening the finger tips, until regular playing does the job? Again, Thank you.

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

Hi Byron, the best thing I know of to toughen up the fingertips is… practice! Unfortunately there’s no magic bullet for that one 😉

aliw Reply

thanks! i just got a guitar and my fingertips are burning! i am a total beginner and will follow through… thank u so much for helping us (beginners).

David Rosen Reply

I like the talk however I’m am a Intermeadiate player who has 5 guitars and 1 acoustic. It’s very different than a solid body electric. It doesn’t play consistently clean cords or rifs and as far as barre chords which i use all the time cause i use the Ionian scale, so all my 7 chords on that scale r all bar chords on the 6th,5th and 4th strings, both major and minor and diminished. I don’t know how ur course course can help me, already have an instructer. And i have a problem with online lessons as opposed to 1 on 1. Online u can’t see me so u don’t know what I’m doing so u can’t correct me or give feedback immeadeitly.

Jonathan Boettcher Reply

Hi David,

In reference to your points about bar chords and the acoustic, it sounds to me like your acoustic might need a tune up. There really should be no good reasons why you can’t play a bar chord the same as you do on your electric…

Re the local instructor point, yeah, one on one instruction is the best kind. That said, it is more expensive, and often folks have difficulty finding one who is properly skilled and whom they trust. If you have all the above, congrats, stick with it.

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