hey there
so im trying to learn guitar here..i got my first one last week. anyway, everyone says that learning guitar takes tons of good practice but the problem is that i really dont know what to practice. some people said i should start learning chords while others said i should learn easy songs first then learn chords. its really frustrating not knowing what to practice. i tried looking up some easy lessons online and found this website called www.justinguitar.com, he had some good lessons, but all he talks about is freakin chords. i tried to follow his beginners course but i found it really boring and lost intrest in it. i thought practice would be fun at least? so far i only know the A, E, and D chords and i suck at switching between them. i can barely play the D chord because my fingers always touch other strings. so what should i practice? any websites, videos, DVD's i should look at? ( i already looked at the stickies)

help please.

Learn all the chords and practice switching until it is seemless changing in between them. Many easy songs are just chords, so it kills 2 birds with one stone.
Taking lessons if you can afford it is a big help. But start with open chords. There are several songs that just use open chords. Thats a good starting point.
.:Just because you can sweep pick doesn't make you good:.
ok I've played for 7 years now. I started by building finger strength. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! if you don't have finger strength you can't play for long periods of time or hold certain chords, (hence your D chord problem). Start by finding some basic scales. pentatonic minor is a good place to start. Search on Google guitar scales and tons will come up. play the notes in descending order.(Low E to High E string) Start slow. Boring I know. Slowly build speed until you are sailing through them. this not only teaches you scales it builds the all important finger strength. When you start memorizing the scales you can change the pattern instead of just playing all the way through to help make it less boring. I don't really recommend DVD's. I find them kind of boring and slow paced. Find your own learning speed. I started with scales. I practiced and practiced and yes.... I practiced. the scales also contain all the notes that certain chords are compiled of so thats good to learn. You will learn eventually where all the notes on the fretboard are by memorizing these scales. I really recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Bay-Guitar-Scales-Tablature/dp/1562224158 This really breaks down the scales. It shows you how it looks in tablature/sight music on a staff/ and the position on the fretboard. When you get to the site look at the pictures when you click "Look Inside" it will show you. Start there and you will learn the scales, build finger strength, familiarize yourself with the fretboard note positions, and gain speed and fluidity. I know the slow beginning of learning guitar sucks and is boring as all hell but it's necessary. practice and within 3 months you will notice a significant difference in your playing ability. and the reason you can't do much yet is because, like you said, "...i got my first one last week." don't get down on yourself too much this early. if you get real bored, look up the tab to a song you really like. Find a part of the song you like whether a solo or chorus or what ever and practice it. just a small section of the song not the whole thing. That is what i did. now I can listen to a song a couple times figure out the key and learn the thing for the most part in a half hour to 45 minutes. Keep at it man you'll get it. Hope this helps
hmm that helps alot. thanks, im gonna look into that book.
any other books anyone knows? theres a website called www.jamorama.com but its requires a subscription, anyone knows anything about it? any other suggestions?
Last edited by Sik9 at Jul 18, 2010,
yeah i've checked out justinguitar its ok but i know what you mean about just going on about chords, i found some other good websites out there that are good for scales and lead guitar work, jamorama is good as my mate is learning from it at the moment, theres one called guitarsuperstars that is a bit different in a better way, some great rock solo lessons on there, may be worth checking out
I think, if you're just starting out, the main thing to focus on is why you decided to start guitar in the first place.
If there are any particular songs you wanted to play, check them out, see if you can play them. If you can't, work out what it is you're having trouble with and focus on getting it right.
Starting out with guitar is never going to be easy, but just persevere and keep your focus on what is is you want to achieve - set yourself goals and keep going until you accomplish them.
Good luck.
the best advice i can give you is hang in there and keep going! one day you will feel how great guitar can make you feel. it wont happen overnight, but it will happen some day and you should stick in there!

when i first started i took lessons (which i recommend if you can) and my teacher had me build up finger strength (by playing fret 1-2-3-4 on each string up and down the strings)
then when i got bored of practicing that i started experimenting (with the very few chords that i learnt and that i could play). this helps with your chord changes and with not getting bored.

i personally also learnt alot of songs with powerchords. this was simply because the powerchord was easy to play for me, and i actually sounded like i could play guitar lol. it meant that i didnt feel like i was a crappy guitarist. songs like dammit by blink for example. the powerchords also helped me build my finger strength and helped my timing and stuff because i could actually play the songs.

songs i'd recommend are
wonderwall - oasis (this song can be played very simplistic)
dammit - blink 182 (it has the main riff and also power chords with palm muting)
smells like teen spirit - nirvana (helps with timing and chord changes)

as everyone will tell you its not like "hey im gonna learn guitar!" and then youre amazing overnight. but if you keep going you will see progress so just hang in there.
man, here's the thing. It's not fun in the beginning. My advice is to stick to justinguitar's practice schedule, it is a well organized, structured and logical format to follow.........you do NOT want to be one of these guys that just learns songs from tabs and doesn't know a damn thing about WHY he is playing what he is...............Justin's site gets you in the mindset from the beginning of learning proper, you'll learn good technique and many terms/concepts that will help you learn down the road

the thing is.............you have to start with that stuff don't think you can just start learning small pieces of solos or something...you'll be happy later and will learn faster if you start with a good foundation

also, spice up the stuff like open chords by adding your own strumming patterns/picking patterns whatever...you don't necessarily have to just play like a robot
"ohhh I like it, pianos can't do that." -P. Gilbert

"guilty of enjoying life in the 2[1]st century, are you out of your f***ing mind?" -F. Zappa
Learn chords, scales, and finger and picking exercises. Also try to learn the theory behind what you learn as well, it will help you out when you go to write songs or play solos.

For chords, obviously, just learn the standard open chords, and how to fret barre chords. Fairly simple, you can probably find countless guide on it.

For scales I started out learning the A Minor Pentatonic scale and then learning the major scale and the theory behind modes. I feel like this worked out fairly well and definitely recommend it.

Search youtube for the picking and finger exercises, there are countless videos on it.

After you build up finger strength and accuracy you may want to learn some new techniques, like sweeping or tapping. Again, you can just run a search and find countless helpful videos for these techniques.
I would start out by learning chords just so you get used to holding down frets and strumming and such then learn some of the rythyms to some of youre favorite songs. like my first song was enter sandman i didn't realize how easy it was til i learned it. then just use this website the tabs or look up videos on youtube such as the mattster
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Practicing chords at beginning can help you developp finger strenght. I recommend practicing them. Also learn some songs you wanna learn, else it's gonna be boring. Even if it's just parts of songs, at first it's fine,it's motivating. Later when you're better you can tackle on full songs.

You should also start learning theory, possibly from a teacher, as it's much easier. The very base would be to learn the major scale, and start learning about chord construction out of the major scale.
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I would definitely start by watching technique videos - you're in the perfect position to get it right straight from the off.