The G major chord on the guitar is an important chord to learn. You will use this chord in many songs, so learning it well is important if you want to play songs on the guitar.
On this page, I will show you several ways to play the G major chord if you are a beginner. You will also find harder voicings to the G major guitar chord at the end, including the barre chord version.
Let's start with some simple music theory about the G major guitar chord.
Chords are made up of 3 notes, meaning you need to play 3 notes to form the G major chord. These notes are derived from the G major scale.
You will find several chord charts on this page. The numbers on the dots will tell you which finger on your fretting hand goes where:
- The 1st finger is your index finger
- The 2nd finger is your middle finger
- The 3rd finger is your ring finger
- The 4th finger is your little finger
If you are not used to reading chord charts yet, learn them here.
Learn how to play the G major chord on guitar
Here are several ways to play the G chord on the guitar.
TIP: A good way to learn a new chord is to use the chord-on/chord-off technique. You simply need to hold down the chord, strum, let go, and repeat.
Practice each voicing a lot, and you'll learn them soon.
Easiest G major chord for beginners
This is the easiest way to play the G major chord on the guitar. As you can see from the chart below, you only need 1 finger to play this chord.
Easy G major chord fingering
Here is how to play the G major chord:
- Put your 1st finger onto string 1 at fret 3.
- Strings G and B are played open
- Don't play strings E, A and D
Now strum the chord, and make sure all of the notes are clean.
Congratulations, you just played the G major chord!
The sound may seem a little thin, but that is because you are only playing a few strings. Fuller sounding variations of the G major are coming.
Full sounding G major chord
This variation of the G major chord is somewhat harder, but it sounds much fuller. If you can play the easy version above, you should definitely start learning this version as well.
Full G major chord fingering
Here is how to hold down the full version of the G major chord:
- Put your 2nd finger onto string 5 at fret 2.
- Place your 3rd finger onto string 6 at fret 3.
- Now your 4th finger goes onto string 1 at fret 3.
Strum the chord, and make sure all of the notes are clean.
This fingering is the standard fingering of the G major chord on the guitar. It will be a little hard at first, but practice makes perfect.
Whenever you hear somebody say "Play the G major chord", this is probably the fingering they are referring to.
G guitar chord variation
Here is another voicing of the G major chord, this is a popular one as well.
G chord alternate voicing fingering
Here are the finger positions to this voicing of the G major.
- Put your 1st finger onto string 5 at fret 2.
- Place your 2nd finger onto string 6 at fret 3.
- Put your 3rd finger on string 2 at fret 3
- And you 4th finger goes right below that onto string 1 at fret 3.
Now strum the chord, and as always, make sure the chord is ringing nicely.
You now know 3 ways to play the G, good job!
More voicings of the G major guitar chord
There are actually many voicings of this chord, you have already learned the most popular ones.
Here are the chord charts to several other variations to the G major chord.
When would you use which? It depends on a few things:
- You would usually choose a voicing that is close to where you are playing on the fretboard already.
- The style of music will also affect where you play the chords. For example, you play lower voicings in heavy metal, whereas in funk, you play higher ones.
Beginner video guitar lesson on the G major chord
Given that music is an audible art form, here is a great video guitar lesson on how to play the G major on the guitar.
Pay attention to the teacher's fingers and wrist position.
The G major barre chord
Barre chords are hard, so if you just started playing guitar, stay with the easier versions for now.
If you have been playing for a while already and want to learn how to play the barre chord version of the G major, here it is.
We will start with the E shape barre chord voicing, which roots on the low E string.
Here is how to fret the G major barre chord rooting on the low E string:
- Form a barre over all of the strings at fret 3 with your 1st finger.
- Now go ahead and line your other fingers up to form a standard E shape barre chord by placing your 2nd finger onto string G at fret 4.
- Now your 3rd finger goes onto string A at fret 5.
- And finally your 4th finger below that onto string D at fret 5.
Strum all of the strings and make sure they are ringing out clearly. You do not want to hear any buzzing strings or dead notes.
Barre chords are tricky, you will need to practice them a lot.
Another popular fingering of the G major barre chord uses the A shape barre chord.
Here is how to fret the G major barre chord rooting on the A string:
- Form a barre over string 1-5 at fret 10 with your 1st finger.
- Now go ahead and line your other fingers up to form a standard A shape barre chord by placing your 3rd finger onto strings D, G and B at fret 12.
- Don't play the low E string
- The high E string should be muted by one of your fretting fingers.
And as always, strum the chord. Make sure you are playing each note clearly.
As I said, barre chords are hard.
Practice a lot, your hand will get stronger, and you'll be able to play the G major barre chord soon. It will take time and patience though, at least several weeks before you perfect it.