A Good Start For Beginners. Part 3

The third part of my series for absolute beginners, this covers the most basic of things a beginner should know.

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Hey fellow guitarists I'm back by popular demand ha-ha! This lesson will consist of a few basic minor chords and I'll also try to cover strumming patterns. Those of you who follow my lessons would know of my warm up exercise, here it is again by now I assume you know how to read a "tab" if not check out my first lesson of this series.
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
Great stuff so now that our fingers are nice and warm let's begin. Minor chords well straight forward In music theory, a minor chord is a chord having a root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth. When a chord has these three notes alone, it is called a minor triad. Some minor triads with additional notes, such as the minor seventh chord, may also be called minor chords. But seriously don't stress about that for now just know you get major chords and minor chords. In my previous lesson I showed you guys Major chords A to G, I apologize for the F major chord was incorrect ( Check the comments =D ). So now I'll show you Minor chords from A to G. For those who didn't read my previous lessons what I do to help others with finger positioning next to the chord I place (I)Index (M)Middle (R)Ring (P)Pinkie
A Minor
e|-0-
B|-1-(I)
G|-2-(M)
D|-2-(R)
A|-0-
E|-x-    (Note "x" means you DO NOT play that string)
 
B Minor
 
e|-2-(I)
B|-3-(M)
G|-4-(P)
D|-4-(R)
A|-2-(I)
E|-x-
 
C Minor
 
e|-3(I)
B|-4(M)
G|-5(P)
D|-5(R)
A|-3(I)
E|-x
 
D Minor
 
e|-1-(I)
B|-3-(R)
G|-2-(M)
D|-0-
A|-x-
E|-x-
 
E Minor
 
e|-0
B|-0
G|-0
D|-2(R)
A|-2(M)
E|-0
 
F Minor
 
e|-1(I)
B|-1(I)
G|-1(I)
D|-3(P)
A|-3(R)
E|-1(I)
 
G Minor
 
e|-3(I)
B|-3(I)
G|-3(I)
D|-0
A|-x
E|-x
Okay so that's 7 basic Minor chords for now just notice the difference from their Major shapes and try to memorize them. I would suggest after your warm up exercise work through all the chords major and minor I always start at A major then A minor then B major and so on. But feel free to try it any way you like, variation would help a lot to get your fingers comfortable with the fretboard. Now for a quite tricky subject "strumming patterns" This is especially difficult to teach on paper because I always advise guitarists to make use of a metronome. Strumming is to me one of the most important parts of playing guitar, because you can take 3 chords and just by changing the strumming pattern you can create loads of your own songs. Okay so lets get to it. for this lesson I will use "D" and "U"
D = Down = Starting at your Low E (thickest string) and playing all the   
           strings till you reach your High E (thinnest string)

U = Up =   Starting at your High E (thinnest string) and playing all the
           strings till you reach your Low E (thickest string)
Another important thing is timing . .Again a metronome would help a lot, but fear not, what you do is you count from 1 to 4 on every strum just to get your inner rhythm going =) First let's just strum all the strings open - 1 2 3 4 D D D D Note- the numbers on top has nothing to do with the fretboard you simply just count every strum (pardon if I'm repeating myself this is just to avoid confusion) Now also playing all the strings open -
1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4
U U U U  D D D D  U U U U  D D D D
Let's mix it up still playing open -
1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4
D U D U  U U D D  U D U U  D U D D
Those are just a few examples to give you the idea of strumming try and create your own patterns! Now that we got the feel for strumming and a little timing as well we can move on to strumming chords and really this is where your imagination does all the work you can use any chords and strumming pattern you like. You should know that this is a very tricky time for a beginner because you are going to struggle when changing between chords and at times things might not sound as you would like. Just be patient and take it easy don't strain yourself and remember pain is your body's way of telling you your an idiot, so take breaks and rest up. I really hope my lessons helps even if it's a little bit, thanks for all the good feedback and nice comments! You guys really make it worthwhile, please feel free to request something you'd like to focus on or just send me a message if you have any questions! Peace Love Prosperity

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    eoden87
    WayWam wrote on 06/24/2011 - 12:37 am / quote | As a beginner, think these lessons are great, and if they are dumbed down for us beginners, can other experts please remember that there is no use teaching me a somersault on a balance beam when I am struggling with the concept of standing up.
    I must say this was a really nice comment.
    Oo0
    you just showed the way you walked and not how to dig and make a way for yourself you could have defined why c is c and D D what makes all those chords different and all that
    brendann
    I learned the piano for years but starting out on the guitar, my fingers feel like sausages. The finger position tips are great!
    pHiLLa
    Oo0 wrote: you just showed the way you walked and not how to dig and make a way for yourself you could have defined why c is c and D D what makes all those chords different and all that
    hey man thanks for commenting I completely understand what you mean, it's just i feel personally I didn't want to go into too much theory just yet because it might cause confusion . .but i'll look into it
    WayWam
    As a beginner, think these lessons are great, and if they are dumbed down for us beginners, can other experts please remember that there is no use teaching me a somersault on a balance beam when I am struggling with the concept of standing up.
    nuvano
    This is great for someone who is just starting guitar, now i know my basic minor and major chords thank you
    Ravenholm
    i personally think tab is a gr8 way for a new guitarist to explore sounds and get sum enjoyable practice without being confused. I also agree that its a dead end for creativity but if ur just startin out like me theres nuthin better than tab to make u feel gud and stroke ur ego ;P and i think knowing a lot of tab gives a player a solid foundation to really learn the notes being used in the chords later and understanding the fretboard.
    pHiLLa
    Stanoski wrote: If I want to play without a pick, which right finger do I use?
    I would recommend using your thumb, place your other 4 fingers on the "body" of your guitar beneath the high E (thinnest string) then use your thumb to strum, or what i've seen people do pretend you are holding a pick the use your index finger (your nail on your index finger will be hitting the strings)
    slowlybilly
    You show them chords but don't tell them how to make their own, and you haven't explained the major scale at all...There isn't much you can learn from this lesson...You might as well just be learning other ppl's songs....you can do that in the tabs department...
    pHiLLa
    slowlybilly wrote: You show them chords but don't tell them how to make their own, and you haven't explained the major scale at all...There isn't much you can learn from this lesson...You might as well just be learning other ppl's songs....you can do that in the tabs department...
    Did you miss the "for absolute beginners" part?
    pHiLLa
    slowlybilly wrote: You show them chords but don't tell them how to make their own, and you haven't explained the major scale at all...There isn't much you can learn from this lesson...You might as well just be learning other ppl's songs....you can do that in the tabs department...
    did you miss the "for absolute beginners" part?