HOW TO PLAY

The E Chord

The E major chord on guitar is one of the first, and most important, chords to learn.

Here’s how to get started:

You can see, you just need three fingers, and you’ll be playing all six strings:

Chord diagram for the E guitar chord.

STEP BY STEP

How to play a E Major chord on the guitar

  1. Put your first finger on the first fret of the third string.
  2. Put your second finger on the second fret of the fifth string.
  3. Put your third finger on the second fret of the fourth string.
  4. Play all six strings.

Easy Songs with E Major

The most common progression you’ll likely see with E Major is going from E, to A, to B, or I, IV, V.

E
Chord diagram for the E guitar chord.
A
Chord diagram for the A guitar chord.
B
Chord diagram for the B guitar chord.

Adding in the minor six chord (C#m), you have the classic I V iv IV pattern:

E
Chord diagram for the E guitar chord.
B
Chord diagram for the B guitar chord.
C#m
Chord diagram for the C#m guitar chord.
A
Chord diagram for the A guitar chord.

Beast of Burden, by The Rolling Stones is a great example:

EI'll never Bbe your C#mbeast of Aburden

As is Mean, by Taylor Swift:

ESomeday BI'll be C#mliving in a big old Acity And Eall you’re Bever gonna be is Amean

Chords to Learn Next

If you’re playing E Major, you should make sure you know two other key chords to play alongside it—A, and B7:

And don’t miss our easy videos that teach you how to play C# minor—another chord you’ll find handy with these three:

LEARN

Anna Freitas holds a B.A. from Berklee College of Music and performs throughout New England as a guitarist and vocalist. She continues to teach students, both in-person and online via Skype.