Some basic guitar chords include E minor, C major, G major and D major. These chords are commonly written as Em, C, G and D, respectively. When the chords are written in sheet music, the letter alone is assumed to be the major chord, and "m" stands for minor.
Em is the first chord most beginners learn because it is easy and because it is so often used in many songs. The chord uses two fingers pressing on the fourth and fifth string from the bottom over the second fret. When speaking about chords, the "top" string is the one with the highest note and closest to the floor. With the Em chord, all six strings are strummed. The next chord taught to beginners is C. This chord uses three fingers, one each on the first, second and third fret, on the second, fourth and fifth string, respectively, from the top string. In this chord, only the first five strings from the "top" are played.
Another important chord for beginners to learn is D, played with two fingers in the second fret, over the top and third from the top string, and one finger on the third fret over the second from the top string. The major difficulty with this chord for beginners is getting the top string to play clearly.