Who is lesson for?
This lesson is for people thinking about learning guitar or just starting. If you don’t know anything on guitar yet, this lesson is for you.
What do you need?
You don’t even need a guitar to learn from this lesson as this lesson is a simple roadmap to get you started on what to learn.
This lesson will briefly look at some basic topics beginners should check out when starting guitar. If you are going to teach yourself, it’s hard to know where to start. Many people give up guitar at this stage because they feel it’s too hard, don’t see any progress or don’t know what to practice. If you start on these very basic points you are less likely to get frustrated and give up. As this lesson is a ‘roadmap’ on what to start on I won’t be explaining any techniques. I will simply explain what to start on.
Where To Find Good Lessons
There are countless lessons on the internet that will teach you everything you need to know. So get used to searching for lessons through Google, Ultimate-guitar, YouTube and whatever else you can find. Just like everything else on the internet, there are plenty of junk lessons out there and plenty of scams so stick to reputable sites. Lessons on ultimate-guitar.com for example are rated by readers so you can start with lessons with a high rating to be sure you are reading quality content.
One more point to make is don’t pay for lessons on the internet. There are sites (which I won’t name) that charge for you to access their ‘premium’ lessons. Don’t pay for them. There are plenty of people (such as myself) who are willing to give you lessons for free. I guarantee if you search hard enough you will find all the lessons you need without spending a cent.
Understanding Your Guitar
Before you read any lessons you need to learn all the jargon and learn the names for all the parts of the guitar. Lessons will be talking about parts such as frets, bridges, pickups, machine-heads, nuts, necks, sound holes and plenty more. If you don’t know what all these parts are you will have a hard time learning. Do a search on Google for ‘learning the parts of the electric and acoustic guitar’ and learn all the parts. Once you feel comfortable with all the part names, lessons will make a lot more sense.
First Things First
The first lesson you should search for is on how to read Tabs or Tablature. TAB is a very basic way guitarists write out music. The more formal way of writing music is called ‘Standard Notation’. You can learn this too, but Tab is a painless way to get started. It is a very simple system you can learn straight away. So your number one goal is to learn to read TAB. Have a search on Google for ‘How to read guitar tab’ and you will find plenty of lessons.
One Note At A Time
Before you start learning chords or scales or anything else, you must be able to play a single note properly. This may sound obvious but many people get so excited they skip this because it sounds too easy. Skipping the basics is an easy way to create bad habits and bad habits are the number one enemy of beginners. Search for lessons on ‘proper fretting technique’ or ‘how to fret notes’.
The number one complaint beginners have is finger pain. Whether it is pain in your fingertips or pain in your hand from stretching it out, you are likely to experience some type of pain at some point. What is happening is you are using your hands in new ways and using muscles that haven’t been developed yet. Because the muscles haven’t been developed, they get tired easy. So how do we strengthen them up? Finger exercises of course! This may sound silly but every expert guitarist will know the value of finger exercises. You need to warm your hands up with exercises the same way a Basketball player warms up before a game.
Search Google and YouTube for ‘simple guitar exercises for beginners’. I recommend you search both because you should read up on the lessons as well as watch lessons on YouTube to see the exercises in action. Once you build up your finger strength you will be able to push yourself harder and learn more interesting things.
If you think everything above sounds boring and really basic, you’re right. Nobody likes to crawl around, but everybody had to learn to crawl before they could walk, and walk before they could run. This is the same thing. The above topics will teach you to crawl. Then once you can crawl you can start to learn to walk. Here are a couple topics you can work towards to learn to ‘walk’ on guitar:
1. Open chords
2. Basic scales
3. Power chords
4. Basic techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides
5. Basic songs and riffs such as ‘Smoke on the water’ or ‘Come as you are’
There’s plenty of different things you can learn when starting out, but you must learn the absolute basics first. I hope you can understand what I am saying and work towards these points. It may not be fun but skipping them altogether would be a mistake.
Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask!