How to Play The E Chord on Guitar

Introduction to the E chord on guitar

Learning to play the E chord on guitar is a common first step in a guitarist’s journey. This lesson will help you learn it with ease.

It’s 1 of the 5 foundational open major guitar chords, the other 4 chords being C,A,G, and D.

How to play the open E chord on guitar

The most commonly seen version of the E chord on guitar is the 3 finger, open position shape. This is called the “E shape”.

Here’s how to play the E chord, step-by-step:

  1. Place your middle finger on fret 2 of the A string
  2. Place your ring finger on fret 2 of the D string
  3. Place your index finger on fret 3 of the G string
  4. Strum all strings 6 strings. Make sure you can hear each string clearly!

Step 1

Step 1 E Chord on Guitar

Step 2

Step 2 E Chord on Guitar

Step 3

Step 3 E Chord on Guitar
Open E Major Chord on guitar
E Major Open Chord

Don’t know how to read chord charts? Learn here.

Don’t know the guitar string names and order? Learn here.

The One Finger E Chord

There is an easier way to play the E chord. The one finger E chord uses just a single finger on the fretting hand, the index finger placed at the first fret G string.

With your index finger there, play the G,B, and high E strings. This chord couldn’t be any easier, and is oftentimes a first guitar chord for kids.

However, this E chord shape sounds very “empty”. It’s not a recommended alternative, unless you’re a kid or an absolute beginner.

One finger E chord on guitar

Understanding the E chord on guitar

Notes in the E chord

The notes in the E major chord are E,G#, and B.

E chord intervals

1 (root)3 (third)5 (fifth)

Learn about intervals from pudgetsound.

What’s next?

Now that you’ve learned the E chord on guitar you can move onto new things!

Here are some recommended lessons.

Guitar Chords In The Key Of E Major

Learn The Notes on The Guitar Neck (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Play Guitar Arpeggios: Everything You Need to Know

Music Theory Terms List (PDF & Definitions)