# Beginner Lesson I: The Basics

author: ancientson date: 06/27/2011 category: for beginners
 rating: 9.5 votes: 35 views: 3,036 vote for this lesson: Vote 1 - bad 2 3 4 5 - average 6 7 8 9 10 - great Tweet
The very first thing I want a beginner to keep in mind is that when learning guitar please keep two very important things in mind: 1) You will get what you put into it 2) Be patient Believe me, with some practice and some patience, you will persevere. Now with a student that has been doodling around or needs some direction, I would start simple and go from there. Some students pick up faster than others, so depending on progress I would move forward and challenge them. I) Strings and Frets Can you name them? In my first article I did talk a little about this, however for the sake of this lesson, I will go into this a little more. (If you know this, please skip ahead). Your strings are labeled one thru six. The thinnest being one and the thickest being six. Now, one is your top string and six is your bottom. Simple, right? Let us put a name to the strings. Starting with first string or string one if you will:
```1 = E (Thinnest)
2 = B
3 = G
4 = D
5 = A
6 = E (Thickest)```
Here is my little acronym starting from bottom to top: Elephants (6) - Always (5) - Do (4) - Good (3) - Before(2) - Eating (1) As I said before, adults will laugh at it because it sounds silly and children will laugh because it is silly. Say it out loud! Remember, guitar is fun and learning should be fun as well. On the neck of guitar you will notice the metal strips that divide the guitar neck into blocks. These blocks are frets. Starting from the first just count up: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.... II) Tab and chord charts You must know how to read tabs and chord charts at the very least. I do teach notation as well, however I will save that for a later lesson. (Again, if you know this part, skip ahead). I am a bit limited as far as graphics go, however, if you google a chord chart or if you have one, you will notice it is a grid. The vertical lines are the strings and the horizontal lines are the frets. Usually a chord chart will just have circles and X's. The circles show what to play and X show you what NOT to play. Tablature or tab is a collection or horizontal lines that signify your strings from high to low. Example 1:
```E|------------------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------------------
D|------------------------------------------------------
A|------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------```
Now, when you see numbers on these lines that signifies the frets. If you see a 0 (zero), that just means you play the string open. Example 2:
```E|------------------------------------------------------
B|------------------------------------------------------
G|------------------------------------------------------
D|------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------2-------------------------------------------<--play the 2nd fret, A string
E|-----0------------------------------------------------- <--play the low E string```
Make sense so far? In the next example you will notice two chords. Actually, it is the same chord, but played differently. On the left you would play all the notes together and on the right you would play each note separately. Example 3:
```E|-----0----------------------0---------------------------
B|-----0--------------------0-----------------------------
G|-----0------------------0-------------------------------
D|-----2----------------2---------------------------------
A|-----2---------------2---------------------------------
E|-----0-------------0------------------------------------```
III) Simple Chords The first chord I would like to start with is E minor. Why? Because the fingering is so simple. Start by placing your middle finger on the A string, second fret and your ring finger, second fret. Play each string individually. You must be able to hear each string. Example 4:
```E |------------0--------------
B |----------0----------------
G |--------0------------------
D |------2--------------------
A |-----2----------------------
E |---0------------------------```
```E|------------0------------------------------------------