Sorry in advance if this is the wrong forum. I searched, but didn't find any relevant threads...

A buddy of mine asked me if I could give him guitar lessons. I've got no problem doing so, but I have no idea where to start... To my knowledge, he's never picked up a guitar. I was wondering if anybody had advice or sites that kinda point me in the right direction... Thanks guys

Gibson Les Paul Studio
Agile Interceptor Pro 727
Ibanez Gio
Jasmine S35
Aria 12 String
Well,I would start by showing him notes on the fretboard(not sheet music) and then basic chords.
If you could reason with religious people,there would be no religious people.
You have just answered your own question. You should not be giving them ( for money anyway ).
Simple open chords (D, G, C, etc)
and maybe a song or so that uses just those.
(Knockin' On Heaven's Door maybe?)

and teach the concept of strumming. Get him to start working on remembering the chords and switching through them more easily, and faster.

If you get someone actually "playing" a song faster, they are more likely to stick with it.

Then move on to power chords, some more open chords, etc.

Get him into a few fairly simple rock/classic rock songs first to prove that he can actually play something.

That's generally a fairly good start for people.

Quote by Axeman96
You have just answered your own question. You should not be giving them ( for money anyway ).

How so?
Because he doesn't know where to start?

No one really knows the best way to start teaching until you actually do it...and generally fail a few times by losing students who lost interest.

Granted, I would hope he's not charging his friend money, that's just sketchy and shallow in itself.

Otherwise, nothing wrong with having a friend be your "practice student"
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Last edited by NaivexLi at Aug 4, 2010,
I would say find a easy song he likes and start teaching it him. The quicker he starts playing something he recognized, the more likely he will stick with it.
Teach him basic open chords, and some simple songs using them.
The notes on the fret board are always useful, and start basic theory. Scales patterns etc.
Yeah, I'm definitely not charging him for them. And I also told him up front that I've never taught, and that he'd be my test subject, and he's completely cool with that.

Thanks for the advice so far guys. I'm taking notes.

Gibson Les Paul Studio
Agile Interceptor Pro 727
Ibanez Gio
Jasmine S35
Aria 12 String
Teach him how to read tablature and chord diagrams, teach him a few chords and tips on how to practice those and give him a song that uses those chords.

After that things get very diverse. such as scales and technique refining and what not.

In my opinion, music theory should not be introduced until a little later when you have the student hooked, and even then it should be a painless introduction that slowly but surely builds up until you fully hook 'em and then BAM - Mode theory their asses.

Also, prepare to relive what it's like being a total beginner and how freaking hard it is for them to learn simple chords and scales.

Last edited by osXtiger at Aug 4, 2010,
I think one of the most important aspects of teaching someone is understanding the actual learning process. You should recognise that the first time you show someone something, they will not have learnt it, and will have to be returned to.

From memory there are 5 steps to learning (feel free to correct me anyone);

1. Being shown it
2. Being shown it again
3. Applying it
4. Understanding it
5. Teaching someone else it

Or something like that. So if we applied this to something on the guitar, at first you show the A chord to a student. When you see them again they may recall it but not exactly. They may have questions. You show them again. At some point later they'll see a chord sheet with "A" on it, and they can play the chord. Later on they see that A chords are played a lot with E and D chords. Sometime later they show someone else the A chord and say what it can be used for.

Just basically saying it's a lot more than going this is an A chord, then moving on. Your role as a teacher is to ensure that you at least get the first steps in place for them so they're more likely to retain the information.

As for learning, I'll back learning open chords to begin with.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.