A Good Start For Beginners

this lesson is only for people like me, who consist of NO guitar/music knowledge what so ever, You start here .

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Hey boys and girls! So this is my very first lesson... Ever... First and foremost this lesson is only for people like me, who consist of NO guitar/music knowledge what so ever... So all you good and awesome players... Be nice... In this lesson I will try to cover the real "basics" of guitar and getting started.. So you got your guitar and already your picturing yourself on the stage infront of of millions and millions of people... Who doesnt't? But first you have to tune your guitar!!! many people can tune by ear but don't stress thanks to the nice people at the music store we get electronic tuners =) Standard Tuning is as follow . E A D G B E ( yes I know this isnt the only tuning but we're beginners ) "Note" when holding your guitar the thick string (closest to your chin) is called your "low E" and the bottom thinnest string (closest to your knee) is called your "high E" Now this doesn;t make alot of sense but its just the way it is and a good way to remember it is by this rhyme I learned from a friend Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy Okay so we're not really awesome yet but one step at a time... The next thing you might have heard of are " Tabs " and I'm just going to also just give you the basic idea . . "Tabs"
E|-----------------
B|-----------------
G|-----------------
D|-----------------
A|-----------------
E|1-2-3-4----------
Okay thats a tab..COOL what does it mean?? What you do is, put a finger lets start with Index on the first fret(those spaces on your guitar neck) on the top/thickest string. Then you pick the string. Next, you put your next finger, middle finger onto the second fret on the top string.(so you would have moved 1 place to the right on your guitar neck) Now pick the string. Then you put your ring finger onto the third fret, and pick the string Then you put your pinky hard on fourth fret on the top string you can pick that one as well Sometime you wil come across an "0" ...hmmm... Don't worry that only means that you DO NOT place any finger in any fret you just play the string as it is remember "0" is for "Open" This example is just to get your finger(s) moving across the fretboard(neck of your guitar) So before we get to being awesome we need to get those fingers warm! there is loads of great warm up exercises but I like to kiss (keep it simple skippy!)
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------1-2-3-4
B|-------------------------------------------------------1--2--3--4
G|------------------------------------------1--2--3--4------------
D|-----------------------------1--2--3--4------------------------
A|----------------1--2--3--4------------------------------------
E|--1--2--3--4------------------------------------------------
 
e|-4--3--2--1------------------------------------
B|---------------4--3--2--1------------------------
G|------------------------------4--3--2--1------------
D|---------------------------------------------4--3--2--1
A|-------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1-
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1
For this exercise use all your fingers each on an individual fret, just make sure you press down hard enough on each string to get a clear sound, do this exercise at a tempo you feel comfortable with. Now that we're warmed up here are some basic tabs to get you in the feel of moving your fingers across your guitar's neck Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple:
E|----------------------------
B|----------------------------
G|----------------------------
D|----------------------------
A|----------------------------
E|0-3-5---0-3-6-5---0-3-5--3-0
See the "0" ? Oky we've been focusing on only 1 string for now so lets try something a little more difficult Come As You Are by Nirvana:
E|----------------------------------------------
B|----------------------------------------------
G|----------------------------------------------
D|----------------------------------------------
A|-------------0----0-------------2---------2-
E|0-0--1--2---2-----2-2-1-0-----0----0---
Thats a little more finger movement but hey step by step... Well thats it for now, I hope that it helps my fellow beginners out there, if all goes well my next lesson will cover the basics of "chords" but for now keep on rockin a great guitarist once told me "today you're better than you were yesterday" and its a fact! peace love empathy

51 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    angharadj05
    hey this lessons was really good, but i absolutely baffled myself with those numbers - if you get help me understand them better i'd be very greatfull.
    -Axe-
    I'm taking a wild guess with those numbers: 1 = index finger (point finger/ forefinger) 2 = middlefinger (the long one) 3 = ring finger 4 = little finger (0 = open string/ no finger)
    pHiLLa
    @ angharadj05 and -Axe- i'll send you guys P.M about the numbers!
    crolladder
    can you send me this aswell as I don't understand the 1234 thing,you could easily edit your lesson.
    Stefance
    Hello, I really like your lessons but can you explain me pls numbers i dont understand them what it mean... 1,2,3,4 ....
    pHiLLa
    lmcd wrote: Thank you for posting these lessons. I've been playing only chords and have really needed to start doing some basic skill work. BTW, My personal favorite is Every Asshole Drinks Good Beer Eventually~ Namas te!
    LOL! think im going to start using that =D
    babygirl4
    Hi, I am a beginner for sure. I am confused about what the ----- symbols mean between the numbers. like on the NIRVANA SONG.Some are in rows of 1,3,5 to many. can someone please help me to understand what they mean? Thank You!!
    pHiLLa
    babygirl4 wrote: Hi, I am a beginner for sure. I am confused about what the ----- symbols mean between the numbers. like on the NIRVANA SONG.Some are in rows of 1,3,5 to many. can someone please help me to understand what they mean? Thank You!!
    hey! i'll send you a message explaining it!
    pHiLLa
    havock360 wrote: same here got problems with all the numbers...
    check your inbox,
    bipinb
    Thanks for the post. Right now i am playing cords and having a tough time remembering the tabs. And the way i remember the open string is Elephants And Dogs Got Big Ears Do u ve ny lesson to remember the complete fretboard? Thanks again!
    swapnil R
    hello, well explained article.I have just started learning guitar,knew nothing about instrument.Can sumone tell me where to place my thumb on guitar neck?
    pHiLLa
    Redimus wrote: Smoke on the water was simple and effective enough for me for my first day's playing, but I can't get Come as You are to sound like anything at all.
    hey try finding another tab ? that one isn't 100% correct
    pHiLLa
    swapnil R wrote: hello, well explained article.I have just started learning guitar,knew nothing about instrument.Can sumone tell me where to place my thumb on guitar neck?
    as a beginner I would say always keep your thumb firmly behind the neck opposite from your index finger, but note that when you start on chords the position of your thumb adjusts too - try googling images a visual explanation is always best
    anthonys1129
    This is A great lesson for beginner's and I reccomended my nephew who wants to learn how to play guitar, to read this lesson. thank you and now up to this point, my nephew is rocking hard like me and now all I gotta go is show him basic chords and sweepings but good luck teaching many kids(students) for your lession on basic guitar
    jem0303
    hey! i just picked up my guitar two weeks ago and have only learned chords C,D,G. Could I get an explaination of what the 4 3 2 1 and 0 3 5 numbers mean on the tabs?? Thanks!
    Redimus
    Smoke on the water was simple and effective enough for me for my first day's playing, but I can't get Come as You are to sound like anything at all.
    xueweiix
    hello, erm for the last part "come as you are, nirvana" can u explain how to play if the [2nd fret at E-string, 0 at A string?} thankyou (:
    RobynGirl
    Yay! I like that I can play some smoke on the water now! Haha Thank you for this lesson!
    pHiLLa
    bipinb wrote: Thanks for the post. Right now i am playing cords and having a tough time remembering the tabs. And the way i remember the open string is Elephants And Dogs Got Big Ears Do u ve ny lesson to remember the complete fretboard? Thanks again!
    hey! i don't have a lesson to remember the notes on the fretboard because the site has quite a few great lessons on that. here's a link http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.ph... arch_type=lessons
    siddhesh21
    good first lesson. you are my first guitar teacher. and from what i have read,you must be an excellent person as well. what i want to know is that how should hold my guitar? i am a righty. which hand should i use to pick and which on the fret?
    pHiLLa
    siddhesh21 wrote: good first lesson. you are my first guitar teacher. and from what i have read,you must be an excellent person as well. what i want to know is that how should hold my guitar? i am a righty. which hand should i use to pick and which on the fret?
    hmmm that is very difficult to explain, you should try to google it so that you can atleast get images, the most common way people hold the guitar is the left hand holds the neck/fretboard part, and the right hand is used for strumming and picking. but not always I know my brother plays the other way around =P, but most importantly is do what is most comfortable for you, and remember pain is your body's way of telling you you are doing something wrong, so take a rest as soon as you feel any discomfort. please feel free to ask if there is anything more you'd like to know
    lmcd
    Thank you for posting these lessons. I've been playing only chords and have really needed to start doing some basic skill work. BTW, My personal favorite is Every Asshole Drinks Good Beer Eventually~ Namas te!
    Lolcohol
    Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy is so excellent Haven't heard it before. Good lesson!
    Dark Strings
    just posted new here this morning.. SUPER new to this.. period lol thanx for posting this it really helped.. hell, in 5 min's i went from nothing to something.. now i'm no dime bag , but i'm stoked!
    pHiLLa
    Dark Strings wrote: just posted new here this morning.. SUPER new to this.. period lol thanx for posting this it really helped.. hell, in 5 min's i went from nothing to something.. now i'm no dime bag , but i'm stoked!
    hey! wow thanks for the feedback, I really hope I could have helped even it was a bit, please feel free to ask if you have any questions!
    lildudenikki
    hey nice lessons. it was easy to read and learn. some good stuff dude. cant wait to go to part 2
    froztyapple
    hello there, same with me i don't understand 1,2,3,4 and 4,3,2,1.. im a beginner.. will you explain it for me too? thank you! i really want to play guitar.. More Power!
    paparacci6
    hello, I really like yoour lessons, i am bigginer and not perfectly can speak by English, I don't undarstand what deas mean 1,2,3, or 4,3,2 please explanate it me somehow .. thank you
    pHiLLa
    mariopradeep wrote: nice lesson hopping to see more
    will do thanks =)
    Bells4777
    i still dont really get how to read tabs can you explain it a little more or give me a link that will explain it better??
    Decode Music
    I like: Every Awesome Dude Gets Babes Everytime. (not for everyone, but was told to me by a female teacher). It works for teenagers! I would love to see someone teach "smoke" at least on the "D" or "G" string (if not both) so people can actually play along with the song. Overall great job with this posting!
    pHiLLa
    ragarm wrote: Can you also explain a little more about the tabs...the 5..6..7.. Also threw me. Lol Great way to start and thanks for your time!
    hey thanks! will do!
    ragarm
    Can you also explain a little more about the tabs...the 5..6..7.. Also threw me. Lol Great way to start and thanks for your time!
    nitingoel19
    Hi Philla, i also need your help understanding numbers..i just started playing guitar ..1234, 4321.. 365 jst confused me.. n why did u left different spaces while writting 1234 in first example?
    sujadh
    I've learned the other way to remember the string name Every Avil (I know the spellin is not good though i remember) Dog Get Beef Everyday
    pHiLLa
    D'nette wrote: Hi. i am soo lost with the whole numbers thing..and plus there are like two lines between the numbers and sometimes just one line..please explain to me?? what do the numbers mean?? like at first you started with 1234 i guessed that meant fingers 1234..but then i saw the numbers 5 and 6 and im terribly confused
    hey i'll send u a message explaining it a lil better ! =D
    pHiLLa
    Glucas wrote: Hey, great lesson!! I am only confused with the 1,3,5,6... What do they mean? Can you help? Thanks, G
    hey i'll send u a message explaining it a lil better ! =D
    Baddreams.
    Brilliant lesson! Thanks very much (: But i dont understand why the top strings at the bottom of the chord if you get what i mean? And dont you play smoke on the water with string 3 or 4 or both? But yeah thanks;D!
    pHiLLa
    Baddreams. wrote: Brilliant lesson! Thanks very much (: But i dont understand why the top strings at the bottom of the chord if you get what i mean? And dont you play smoke on the water with string 3 or 4 or both? But yeah thanks;D!
    hey thanks for the cool comment I did make a mistake by using smoke on the water with only 1 string when in fact you play it quite different! for the top string at the bottom part heck . . I'm not even sure why it's like that LOL! but the easy answer would be it just is! =D
    Glucas
    Hey, great lesson!! I am only confused with the 1,3,5,6... What do they mean? Can you help? Thanks, G
    D'nette
    Hi. i am soo lost with the whole numbers thing..and plus there are like two lines between the numbers and sometimes just one line..please explain to me?? what do the numbers mean?? like at first you started with 1234 i guessed that meant fingers 1234..but then i saw the numbers 5 and 6 and im terribly confused