I’ve put together this free step by step guide to learning how to play the guitar. This is a FREE condensed version of my guitar ebook. If you get my guitar ebook, you will get a complete step by step guide to learning guitar for less than the price of one guitar lesson from a guitar shop. -This is basically what I did to learn and get good at playing guitar. This guide is basically “Free Beginner Guitar Lessons”. Anyone could easily learn guitar from using this guide. No more thinking about where to start and what to practice. Just follow this guitar guide you’ll see yourself improve drastically.
Guitar what to practice agenda
Choosing a guitar can influence your guitar playing tremendously. The guitar that you choose should reflect your individual style as a musician. The biggest mistake that people make is that they will choose a guitar that does not “speak” to them. By “speaking to them”, I mean that there is no connection between the guitarist and the guitar. You will definitely know when you will find the right guitar.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a guitar…
1. Does the guitar feel comfortable? Does the guitar rest on my body well?
2. Is the fret board of the guitar in good condition? Are there any “Twangy notes” or irregularities in the wood or on the fret board of the guitar?
3. Is the body of the guitar in good condition?
4. Do the natural harmonics sound good?
5. Does the guitar style identify with the music I would like to primarily play?
When you first start off playing, I definitely recommend that you start off on an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars have thicker and rougher strings to toughen up your fingers, they are more basic (less knobs, buttons and effects to worry about) and most of all it is just better to start from square one and learn the basics on an acoustic guitar to give you the overall feel of playing guitar. If you want to be the President or CEO of a company (guitar god), you’ve got to start at the bottom (starting with the basics) and work your way to the top. There are no shortcuts around it!
Once you buy your first guitar, you’ll realize within about the first 3 months what kind of guitar player you’ll become. If you’re playing every single day or at least for 30 minutes 5 days a week, you’ve got potential. However, if you play when you’re extremely bored for 15 minutes once a month, why even try? I know so many people who consider themselves guitar players who keep their guitars under their beds or in their closest and only pull them out once a year. If you’re one of those people, I highly recommend you sell it or get rid of it; someone else more dedicated would love to play it.
Your first guitar can be a crappy one. I learned on a Mexican classical acoustic guitar that was falling apart but it started me off on the right foot. Good first guitars will range anywhere from $100-$200. Two acoustic guitar starter brand names that I would definitely recommend are Mitchell and Alvarez. Try to avoid Fender acoustic guitars in that price range because they don’t play very well. If money is not an object, shell out $400 or $500 plus and go for a Martin acoustic guitar, or Taylor acoustic guitar. Martins and Taylors are made out of a very high quality of wood and play unbelievably well.
Starter Guitars I would recommend:
Once you decide that you would like to move to an electric guitar, I would recommend not starting off by buying a starter pack (guitar, cables and mini amp). These starter packs are usually very low quality and you will eventually regret purchasing one. The pickups in the electric guitars that come with the starter packs are very poor overall. The amp that comes with the starter packs main disadvantage is that it can’t play over a drum set and it has very poor sound quality. The overall point is you get what you pay for. I recommend for your first electric guitar, shell out at least $300 for the guitar and at least $300 for the amp. Some guitar stores will make you deals if you buy an electric guitar and amp together, and if there is no current deal…. ask them if they can make you a deal.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #2 - Guitar Chords For Beginners
Link To The Guitar Chords For Beginners Page At GuitarMadeEZ.com
The very first thing that you should force yourself to learn is guitar chords. Chords are musical notes like C D E F G A B that are created from using more than one guitar string and more than one note. For example, to play a G Chord on a guitar, you have to strum all 6 strings along with putting your fingers on four of the strings. A G note is one individual note on one string. Here’s a good way to distinguish the two. Listen to the song “Blister in the sun” by the Violent Femmes. The first 8 seconds of the song has a signature “riff” that is used throughout the song. This guitar riff is composed of individual notes. After the second drumbeat in the song or after the first 8 seconds, that’s when the chords come in. Can’t you hear the difference between one note at a time being played and a full chord in the song? It should be very simple.
The very first thing that you must do is learn all the major and minor chords. Here’s a start, learn: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, Cadd9, Dm, Em, Am, D7, E7 and A7. That first group of capitalized letters is all major chords (they sound happy when played . The ones with the lowercase m next to them are minor chords (sound sad when played . The final group that I decided to throw in there are the 7th chords (these are blues chords but I’ll get to that later…) and that chord in there called Cadd9 is a C major and the 9th is added (If I have confused you…. forget about it for now, just learn the chord.
“Where can I learn Guitar Chords?”
Link To The Guitar Chords For Beginners Page At GuitarMadeEZ.com
Another Way to Learn these Guitar Chords For Beginners is to go down to Best Buy, Guitar Center, Sam Goody, or almost anywhere and head for the poster section. Usually you can find a poster at these stores that has a huge amount of Guitar Chords For Beginners that you can practice the fingerings.
You can also find these fingerings online at certain web sites…
Whole note – www.wholenote.com – Great guitar reference site.
or just Google Guitar Chords For Beginners.
Now here’s the fun part… Learn them!!! Practice them over and over. This part can take anywhere from a month to years. This part took me one month with about an hour of focused practicing almost everyday. I just fingered the guitar chords and then practiced transitioning to other guitar chords. That’s it!!! However, you must get this down so you can do it quickly and it’s not easy. Your fingers will hurt and possibly even bleed (its common, put Neosporin on them before you go to bed). Some guitar chords like F require a whole lot of finger strength which you will develop. This part is extremely important and when you learn these chords and transitioning well enough you will be able to play thousands of songs. Every song is made up of a chord progression; just some songs are more complex with riffs and other instruments than others. Just remember that even the most complex songs are created from chords which act as the basis for playing guitar.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #3 – Learning Easy Guitar Songs
Alright, In order to be able to play easy songs, you must be able to transition from all the chords that I had talked about earlier quickly. This is where practice starts paying off. You will be able to play many songs like Don McLean’s “American Pie”, Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and thousands more. These easy songs are also called “campfire songs” songs that revolve around basic guitar chords are often played around campfires… (Koom-bay-ahhh my lord…. etc). At this point you should go out and treat yourself to an “easy tablature” guitar book. Easy tablature guitar books have the chords to the songs included in them and are extremely basic, or go online to one of the many tab sites (www.ultimate-guitar.com, www. tabcrawler.com, etc.) and look at some of your favorites songs’ tabs. The problem with going on the internet to find tabs is that any idiot can post a tab, however few of them are correct according to the artists. The best way to learn songs is to learn them by ear. At this point, your musical ear will not have developed yet into what it will eventually be. You might be able to listen to the radio and hear songs and think: “I know the chord that is currently playing!” or recognize a number of chords within a verse or something. The more you play, the more your ear will develop. For now have fun and learn some simple songs! Go through your music collection and find some of your favorite songs that are on acoustic guitar that are very basic having to deal with chords and basic chord progression. If you think a song is easy to play, it probably is.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #4 -Guitar Scales For Beginners
Scales….. Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do, that’s a scale!!! Whenever you hear scale, you should think of Do Re Mi Fa…… That’s what it is, however those eight notes can be spaced apart differently and have different starting and ending points (that’s what gives them their feel, tone or mood). Scale Theory is very complicated and I don’t even think I have a great grasp on it. The Major/Ionian scale and the pentatonic scale (for rock soloing and other types of music soloing) are the two that you should be most concerned with. Learn these scales in many different positions and in many different keys. Scales and soloing are very complex things to learn however start small and keep with it and you’ll do fine. If you have any suggestions on learning scales or soloing, please let me know. I would really like to see what has worked for other people. I feel like my soloing along with knowledge of scales could be allot better.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #5 - Power Chords and Barre Chords
Link To The Guitar Chords For Beginners Page At GuitarMadeEZ.com
Are you ready to look and sound like a guitar god after only about a day of practice? Well welcome to power chords! Greenday, Offspring, Sublime along with thousands of other punk bands and rock bands based their musical careers off this one simple finger formation. Power chords are just like regular chords however they sound very powerful and thick. All they are is three notes too!!! And instead off all the different finger formations for the basic chords, this is only one formation and you move it around the neck in different places to get different musical notes. Here’s what a power chord looks like….. For example, the Power Chord for the musical note “A”:
Power Chord A
Easy enough huh? Now take don’t move your fingers!!!, but move that same chord shape down a couple of frets or up a couple of frets or move it down a string. Those are all different musical notes. The name of these Power Chords is determined by the 1st note or top note in the chord. See how in the example of Power Chord “A” the 1st note is “A” (You’d know that on the top “E” string or thickest strong on the guitar on the 5th fret would be “A” because you memorized the fret board in the previous lesson, didn’t you…?) Pretty cool huh? Move this finger formation anywhere on those 1st two strings in that formation and that will be the Power Chord for that 1st note in the chord. Now you can play almost every Greenday song every written!!! Or any punk song for that matter.
Barre Chords are a more complex power chord. Instead of having that powerful basic tone like the power chords do, they are a little more complex and have as much flavor as those basic chords that you had learned earlier. Did you memorize those notes on those top two strings? The reason why I ask is because if you know all those notes all you have to do is take this one shape (just like power chords) and move it up and down the fret board to get certain chords starting with those notes. For example, take the basic chord “G”, it looks like this…
Basic Chord G
Alright, now here’s the barred form of G
Barred form of G
Notice how first note of the chord is the same as in the Basic Chord. Here’s another example, take C. Here’s what C looks like
Now here’s the barre chord form of C
Barre chord form of C
See how the first note is the same? That’s all you have to do. Take these barre chord shapes and move them up and down the fret board and the first note determines the chord. That’s it! The reason why they call them barre chords is because you barre or bar your first finger across all 6 strings and then use the rest of the fingers on the other notes in the chord. It takes some time and some finger strength but if I can do it, you can do it. Also, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get these chords all really fast and all at once. These chords take time. Keep on practicing these different shapes all around the fret board of the guitar and don’t get discouraged when you strike a wrong note or mess up a shape. Just keep at it, along with everything else!
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #6 – Developing Speed and Rhythm
Alright all you internet tabbers (people who taught themselves from learning internet tabs) this lessons for you. You ever feel like you play things just to play them, or play things a little bit too fast? Whatcha gotta do is just slow down and find that beat. Get a metronome and play over a beat. It’s very hard! The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit. I find once you get playing with a metronome down, you’ll never loose it. Grab a metronome or go to www.metronomeonline.com and practice playing songs or soloing over the metronome beats. Try slow beats as well as fast beats. Ever heard of shredding? All great shredders do is practice scales at one speed, and then they step it up weekly until they can play these scales at lightning fast speed. Practice Single notes, 8th notes and 16th notes for each beat. For Example….
If you practice playing guitar with a metronome, it will be hard at first but I guarantee that after a month you will sound much better and drastically improve your playing.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #7 – Learning Bends, Hammer-on’s and Pull-offs, and Slides
If you’ve ever wondered how to solo, or what makes playing a scale interesting, well now you’re going to find out. When you first learn scales, all you know how to do is just climb up and down the scale, pretty boring huh? If you climb up and down the scale when you’re trying to solo, listeners to your music will find it pretty boring. What your music is missing is: slides, hammer ons, pull offs, bends, and many other little tricks you can throw in. Slides are very simple. Slides occur on one string and a slide is when you pluck one note, then slide to another note on that same string. A hammer on is when you hammer onto another note from a previous note on the same string. A pull off is just the opposite. It’s when you are at a higher note on one string and you pull off to a lower note on the same string. Finally, bends are when you bend a string in a direction to produce a higher note on that same string.
That’s it! It seems so simple, however from those four guitar licks, there are many different variations. This is just a basis for learning how to solo or learning about licks in general. There are so many possibilities or permutations when dealing with these four guitar licks and the fret board. Take a look at the guitar tab from a particular solo in a song that interests you. All that artist did was choose a scale in a particular key and then dance around that scale with a bunch of different licks and variations. There are so many possibilities. Start small and solo over a simple backing track or song. Know the key and just play around with these licks. Then switch it up with different scales and different scale positions and then focus on one single lick and explore the possibilities. These licks are the basis for classic rock, jazz, rock, punk, metal and many other types of music. This lesson will apply to anything you would like to do with the guitar.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #8 – Learning complex riffs
Any guitar riff is possible to learn no matter who you are or your music ability… all it takes is practice. The key to learning all those riffs that inspired you to play is to break these guitar riffs up into smaller parts. It’s very overwhelming to learn solos, riffs and songs if you look at the song as a whole and try to learn, but if you break the song or riffs down into much smaller parts, it is much easier to learn. Another trick when learning guitar riffs or songs is to first, put down your guitar…. then play the song while looking at the tablature and following along with the song. This is exactly why power tabs are so useful. Power tabs allow you to play a midi version of the tabbed song that goes along with the tab. Download Power tab Editor A.S.A.P. Once you’ve listened to the song while following along with the tablature then break the song into smaller parts and learn each part individually. I found this technique very helpful while learning songs or riffs.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #9 – Learning Songs By Ear
One really cool part about play guitar or any musical instrument is that your musical “ear” will develop. Shortly after starting guitar playing you will begin to start recognizing the chords used by songs on the radio. You may also recognize the musical notes that are in songs you hear every day. The more you play, the more your ear will develop. After a couple of years (depending on the amount of playing) you will be able to tab out songs (figure out songs) by the chords that are incorporated in them. Learning songs by ear is also a great way to speed up the development of your ear. Try to learn one song a month by figuring it out by ear.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Lesson #10 – Continue Your Education….!
All the information above should give you a good basis for teaching yourself guitar. When it comes to learning guitar, you should constantly be practicing and just messing around with your guitar. Most of all remember to HAVE FUN!! When you, and ONLY if you reach this point in teaching yourself guitar, you should only play if you’re in the mood to. The second that guitar becomes a chore and isn’t fun, you shouldn’t play it. Guitar playing from this point and beyond should be fun. If its not fun and you find that it is turning into a chore then maybe guitar isn’t for you. I’ve been playing guitar for a long time but I’m always learning new things. A great way to learn new things is to “Jam” with many different musicians. You will notice they play certain ways and do different things that interest you and these things may become part of your repetwa. I hope this blueprint has been helpful and if you have any questions, comments, complaints or modifications, please let me know