D Chord Guitar - 7 Minute Tutorial
In this video, I'm going to show you a reasonably challenging chord, the D chord. Now, the reason why this chord is a little bit challenging is because you have to force your fingers to do things that are just not totally normal for it to do in the very beginning when you're just barely starting to learn guitar. Now, if this chord doesn't sound perfectly good on the first try, that's okay, that's normal. All right? It's very normal with this chord to have strings that are muted. We'll get into that.
First things first, this is the D chord, and I'm going to show you how to play it. There's only really one fingering for this chord unless you find a different one, but one very, very common fingering. You're going to take your first finger and put it on the string third closest to the floor on the second fret. You're going to take your second finger and put it on the string closest to the floor on the second fret. You're going to take your ring finger, your third finger, put it on the third fret string second closest to the floor. Once again, here's how you play it. First finger, second fret, string third closest to the floor. Second finger, second fret, string closest to the floor. Third finger, third fret, string second closest to the floor.
Okay. Now let's get into some pain points. First off, you might have noticed that your string closest to the floor is muted. Okay? This is very, very common. I'd say that 70 or 80% of the people that I teach this chord to the first time end up having that happen to them, and that's okay, because what this problem is showing you is that you're not playing on your fingertips. Okay? So if I was not playing on my fingertips with this, this is what the chord would look like, but if I were playing on my fingertips, it's like I would get this claw. I don't know if you can see this from over here. I'm going to try to ... There we go. So, not on the fingertips, fingertips. Not. Yes. As much as possible, you want to be on your fingertips. Very important, or else this string closest to the floor is going to be muted.
Some of you might be having a really difficult time with this ring finger. A lot of people when they first start playing this chord, the ring finger is really close to the other fingers. I get that. In time, though, your ring finger will naturally extend all the way out to the fret. Don't force it, okay? The muscles in your hand are very delicate when compared to like your bicep, which you can practically punch or whatever and it's just going to be like, "What? That's nothing to me!" The muscles in your hand are very delicate. I don't even care if you're a lumberjack. Very, very delicate. Don't push it. Don't try to make that happen. If it's only there for now and it doesn't sound quite as good, that's fine. Honestly, if you can get this chord sounding 75% good, I think that's great. Even 60% would be just fine. This chord will get better in time, as long as you keep on playing it. That's what's important, to keep on playing and to keep, you know, enjoying guitar.
So, in any event, the second pain point is this. If you notice, if I strum all the strings it sounds a little bit overloaded with sound. But if I strum only the bottom four strings, it sounds really good and clear. Now, again, as far as I'm concerned, if you're an absolute beginner I'd say it's a waste of your time to try to aim down here when you're strumming or to try to figure out how to mute the upper strings. But, again, if you're two or three months down into learning guitar and you've got a couple of songs under your belt, yeah, it's time to start refining it. Here's what you could do to refine it. You could take your thumb and just barely touch the string closest to the ceiling.
This makes it a little bit less jumbly with sound and that's okay, but just remember that if you do end up using your thumb, if your wrist ends up going up like this ... I don't know if you can see this with the ... Okay. Well you can't see it like that. If your wrist ends up looking like this, that's a surefire way down the road of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Let me back up here, that's actually kind of a tepid red flag. If you sit at your computer and you type like this all day, you're going to get carpal tunnel syndrome really quickly. If you play guitar for five or 10 minutes a day and do this, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world, but it's still not healthy for your wrists. Trust me, every single one of us is getting older and every single one of us, our bodies are not as healthy from year to year just because we're getting older. So why mess with that? As far as I'm concerned, if you can keep your wrist kind of straight, that would alleviate that problem.
I would not recommend taking your thumb and putting it on this top string if it makes your wrist come up like this. That's my opinion. Do what's right for your hand, but in any event if you ... If you're like really annoyed with this video and me talking a lot about the D chord, just know that as far as I'm concerned, personally, two or there months, if you just play and strummed all the strings for the D chord, that would make me happy as a guitar teacher. Two or three months later you could always refine it and find a better way that works for your hand.
Okay. Enough of this video. Let's jump into mastery, which is the next one.