Babysteps - The Beginners Guide To Guitar. Part 3

This lesson teaches Beginners a new strumming pattern, some more music theory, a seventh chord and their second song. It also introduces them to basic guitar maintenance.

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Hey there true believers *stops impersonating Stan Lee*, it's me JP. Many of you will recognise me from the Babysteps Lessons 1 and 2 and here I am once again to share what I have learned. Sorry for the delay between lesson 2 and this one (I was doing exams). Many guitarists focus on playing their instrument. Obviously this is not a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but I feel that many guitarist often neglect one vital aspect of being a guitarist, taking care of your guitar. Now obviously there are those who put a great deal of effort into guitar maintenance, but there are a lot that don't, amongst them are some of the people who PMed me asking about guitar maintenance after starting to read my lessons. So I'm here to help in whatever way I can in this lesson. Now while I do thoroughly recommend checking out the Guitar Maintenance Section of this site, I figured it would be handier for beginners to read up on it while looking at their beginner lessons. It will be useful for beginner guitarists to know some basics of maintenance to help them get used to their new instrument. And for those of you who have read my previous lessons don't fret (hehe my first pun) there will be some practical guitar work here too, not just maintenance. Ok you ready? Here we go. Cleaning Up Your Act Keeping your guitar clean should be very important to you, just like learning a riff from your favourite band. You've paid a lot of money for your guitar (or your parents have) so take the time to treat it right and keep it clean, it's a lot more productive than cleaning your room. Plus if pride in your instrument isn't a good enough reason, I should also say that keeping your guitar clean will save you money. But how JP? I hear many of you ask. Don't I have to buy all those expensive polishes and all those confusing looking things I'm afraid to go near in the guitar shop? I think you must have failed your maths exam JP because there's no way it can save me money. Well, I'm sure of my maths here kiddies and believe me I'm right. For example, a dirty fretboard will result in the life of your strings being shortened. If you clean your fretboard, your strings will last longer and you won't spend as much money replacing them. Well my first piece of advice is fairly simple. Always Use A Proper Guitar Polish. You'll thank me for it later. Before you ask, I'm not trying to market a certain brand of polish or anything. I've just learned from what my guitar playing friends and I have experienced. So that means don't go using your Pledge, or what other household cleaning products you have, on your guitar. It will cause the finish on your guitar to become dull and listless. Think I'm BSing you? Ask my friend Ryan to see his Les Paul. Not a great sight when compared to a properly cleaned guitar. But is his mistake is your lesson learned. There are various brands of guitar polishes available and its really down to personal preference. Personally I use Planet Waves as my guitar polish Having picked out your guitar polish, it's time to start cleaning your guitar. You'll need a duster. Using your duster, remove any and all surface dust from your pride and joy's body and neck. Then start getting into those socket recesses and pickup cavities. Having read the instructions on your bottle of guitar polish apply a coat of polish to your guitar's body then buff it off. As I've already mentioned previously the fretboard is one of the most important areas of the guitar to be kept clean, along with the neck. I would advise removing your strings when cleaning the fretboard. If you don't know how to do this (because you haven't removed your strings before) then perhaps it would be best to get the guitar cleaned when you get your strings changed at your local store (I will be covering changing your strings in lesson 4, so you won't have to pay to get them changed anymore). When your strings are removed, take your duster and move it up and down the fretboard. This will get rid of any dead skin cells and sweat. If it has gotten to the stage where your fretboard is seriously filthy, some of the dirt may have to be scraped off. I do this by using a plastic ruler (because it's free). But exercise caution when doing this as we don't want to scratch your fretboard. Just scrape gently along the sides of your frets until the filth is gone. Any leftover filth can be removed using what is known as lemon oil. DO NOT USE THIS ON UNFINISHED MAPLE. Lemon Oil is only to be used on dark woods like rosewood which are unfinished. If in doubt as to whether it is suitable for your guitar, then leave it out. Leave the oil on for a little while before wiping it off with a clean cloth. A lacquer finished fretboard it is to be cleaned with guitar polish. You leave an unfinished fretboard as is, just wipe it with a duster and don't apply any polish or oil to it. At last, polish all your metalwork with a duster and polish. Now Onto Playing And now to the practical guitar work, today we are going to learn a song called Makes Me Happy by Drake Bell. This song introduces us to a new strumming pattern and a new chord. First of all is the new chord. The new chord is a variation of the G major chord, the G7 chord. It is formed as follows
           G7
  0  1   2   3   4   5

e|-|-1-|---|---|---|---|
B|o|---|---|---|---|---|
G|o|---|---|---|---|---|
D|o|---|---|---|---|---|
A|-|---|-2-|---|---|---|
E|-|---|---|-3-|---|---|
It can be difficult at first to play this chord as it stretches the fingers but keep practising it slowly and you will get used to it. This entire song has some quick chord changes so start it slowly first then work your way up in tempo The Rhythm Pattern The rhythm pattern for this song is quite different from our first rhythm pattern. It is as follows
  1  &   2  &   3   &   4   &
  
  D      D      D   U   D   U
|-1------1------0---0---0---0----|
|-0------0------1---1---1---1----|
|-0------0------0---0---0---0----|
|-0------0------2---2---2---2----|
|-2------2------3---3---3---3----|
|-3------3-----------------------|
As we know from previous lessons D=Down U=Up. What is different about this strum pattern is that you change chords during the pettern. As we can see each of the G7 chords lasts for one full beat of the bar. This is a quarter note or crotchet. The strum for the C chord is DUDU. Each of the four C chords are worth one eighth note or quaver. So in music notation the strum pattern is |Crotchet Crotchet / Quaver Quaver Quaver Quaver| This rhythm pattern is maintained throughtout the entire song
Intro
 G7                C             
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Play this around 4 times

Verse
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C               
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
You repeat from the start of the verse again and then at the end of it you add an extra
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then onto this Post Verse
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7        N/C        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then you play the verse again
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C               
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then repeat the Post verse again put leaving out the N/C Then onto this
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                                    
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

                                    C7        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then onto this
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then another bridge
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                   C7        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then the song finishes with the original progression fading out
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
So thats the entire song, I reccommend looking it up as it is a very catchy song. The N/C stands for No Chord so you don't play anyhtin when you see that. Also try applying your new strumming pattern to other chords to get you used to changing different chords and as usual ALWAYS start slow. If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment me or email me at jpcarlow@hotmail.com. The next lesson will be up soon too and thanks to everyone who's rated or commented on previous lessons. Peace.

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    stillsoldier4ch
    onliest other thing.....I was told after doing it once to NEVER take all my strings off at once but to ONLY take them off one at a time to replace them. Was I misinformed?
    guitar-guy01
    babysteps 4 is on the way...just started into college work so little hectic at the mo but it is drafts and will be finalised soon
    thinstaafl
    I'm confused. when I listen to the song by Drake Bell, it sounds like he is playing two c chords and then four g7 chords. According to your instructions, you have two g7 chords and four c chords. Maybe it's just me but playing it like you have it here, Im not able to get it to sound right. Please Help.
    Bxx127
    Can you help me with this, i don't get it at all, when you have this : 0 1 2 3 4 5 e|-|-1-|---|---|---|---| B|o|---|---|---|---|---| G|o |---|---|---|---|---| D|o|---|---|---|---|---| A|-|---|-2- |---|---|---| E|-|---|---|-3-|---|---| What does O mean? is that the 1st fret?
    darling99
    Bxx127 wrote: Can you help me with this, i don't get it at all, when you have this : 0 1 2 3 4 5 e|-|-1-|---|---|---|---| B|o|---|---|---|---|---| G|o |---|---|---|---|---| D|o|---|---|---|---|---| A|-|---|-2- |---|---|---| E|-|---|---|-3-|---|---| What does O mean? is that the 1st fret?
    The O means open. You play all the strings on with the G7 chord. You will find in many song tabs, this is a common occurrence. Hope that helps
    Bxx127
    song tabs, this is a common occurrence. Hope that helps [/quote] Is does, thank you xxx
    stillsoldier4ch
    I dig your lessons dude. I really do. And I'm not trying to knock them at all. That being said, the way you present the songs and such is sort of confusing to me. Is there anyway you can just post up the sheet music for it? Now THAT I can read!
    stillsoldier4ch
    stillsoldier4ch wrote: onliest other thing.....I was told after doing it once to NEVER take all my strings off at once but to ONLY take them off one at a time to replace them. Was I misinformed?
    That was on an acoustic, though. Maybe it's different for an electric.
    spikethevein2
    Low E (fat) is on the bottom. All I do is take a right-handed guitar and flip it over. Haven't changed anything else on it.
    alexhawkins
    stillsoldier4ch : onliest other thing.....I was told after doing it once to NEVER take all my strings off at once but to ONLY take them off one at a time to replace them. Was I misinformed?
    On an acoustic guitar you should never remove all of the strings at once, due to the changing of stresses on the neck. When changing strings, do these one at a time - this helps alleviate changing stresses on the neck and for beginners is great for not getting your strings confused.
    alexhawkins
    Someone made reference to the Jimi Hendrix method of restringing the guitar "upside down" for left handed players, one thing about that. Before restringing your guitar, make sure that you've acquired a left handed nut (the thing at the top of the neck that the strings rest on.). I've restrung guitars before having either removed the nut and flipping it or carving the placements out to match and neither have brought me the satisfaction of paying $7-$15 for a left handed nut in place. BTW - Excellent set of lessons you've put together, one comment however, I'm assuming that you're British, or at the very least English speaking European. The only reason I mention is the European terminologies you use that may confuse some beginners when they hear alternate terms (eg quaver note (non-US) = eighth note (US)). Not hating though, some of the greatest guitarists ever have come out of Europe!
    guitar-guy01
    I'm irish...so a english speaking european is kinda right ha....main reason for the use of quaver note naming is due to my preference for teaching music clasically and classically it would be caleed a quaver note rather than an eighth note...plus eighth note sounds too mathematical to be used for somehting that is as creative as music in my personal opinion
    MorpheusUK
    Hi was showing a friend this site and when I came to looking this up I was struck that it appears as though the incorrect cords are used in the lesson for this song. The chords should be C, F, D7 and Am. as with http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/d/dr... ppy_ver2_crd.htm Also lookup youtube video - dKwytHw for Drake Bell- "Makes Me Happy".
    RicBerkley
    You cover things well. It is always great when a real tune that we can download and play with is used to demonstrate a technique. Thanks
    ArchKain
    awesome lessons man!! its nice to see a set of lessons that dont assume you know what all the chords are or have a vast knowledge of guitar theory. Helped me bucketloads, i shall rate this highly . Also, i have no set "training program" but pick a few songs i like and learn a new part of it everyday and practice it till i can play it at the songs speed. Is this way of practising as comprehensive as a set regime? I just dont wanna miss out by my own doing lol =D
    janeb
    Hi. I'm really enjoying your lessons. Is Baby Steps 4 on the way?
    avigil06
    umm. If your strumming with your right hand then aren't you playing it right handed. I am left handed and a beginner working my way through these lessons. My guitar is setup for a right handed person. Left hand it on the fretboard and my right is strumming. Your fat E is on the top when your playing right?
    guitar-guy01
    Outside Octaves wrote: You can put the used strings back on, but you really gotta know what you're doing and take your time. Be prepared for the strings to break though, cause from time to time, they will break. This is just due to the ware and tear over time, and you're putting hundreds of pounds of tension on the strings when you string it up...
    which is why i would reccomend beginners get the strings changed first instead....and NEVER TAKE ALL STRINGS OFF AT ONCE
    guitar-guy01
    thanks very much and remember that the C7 is formed like so |o|-----| |-|--1--| |-|--3--| |-|--2--| |-|--3--| |x|-----|
    leuu
    Nice lesson. About the cleaning part, can I put the strings back after or do I have to use new ones? I think someone told me I shouldn't but I don't remember.
    guitar-guy01
    leuu wrote: Nice lesson. About the cleaning part, can I put the strings back after or do I have to use new ones? I think someone told me I shouldn't but I don't remember.
    well its preferred that you put on new ones as if you try to put back on the old ones they can easily break from wear and tear. but if they are recently changed then they may be ok to put back on
    LankeyDwarf
    I love the rhythm in this song compared to the Tainted Love one, it's so much more fun to play it.
    spikethevein2
    Just out of curiosity, and I apologize for this not having anything to do with this lesson, but is there anywhere that teaches technique for left-handers playing on a right-handed acoustic guitar?
    Outside Octaves
    You can put the used strings back on, but you really gotta know what you're doing and take your time. Be prepared for the strings to break though, cause from time to time, they will break. This is just due to the ware and tear over time, and you're putting hundreds of pounds of tension on the strings when you string it up...
    guitar-guy01
    spikethevein2 wrote: Just out of curiosity, and I apologize for this not having anything to do with this lesson, but is there anywhere that teaches technique for left-handers playing on a right-handed acoustic guitar?
    i cant think of anything off the top of my head, but i will research this and PM you any info i find
    spikethevein2
    scl52 wrote: just play it right-handed: use your left hand to fret, and your right hand to strum it's better that way anyway. you have your dominant hand doing the harder stuff, and your 'weak' hand doing the easy stuff.
    I don't seem to have the hand/eye coordination to do that. I my left hand won't strum properly and my right hand is lost on the fretboard. LOL
    LankeyDwarf
    spikethevein2 wrote: Just out of curiosity, and I apologize for this not having anything to do with this lesson, but is there anywhere that teaches technique for left-handers playing on a right-handed acoustic guitar?
    I think there are special models of guitars designed for lefties, or just do what Jimi Hendrix did and switch the strings around so E is where low e is and vice versa and so on wiht the other strings.
    scl52
    just play it right-handed: use your left hand to fret, and your right hand to strum it's better that way anyway. you have your dominant hand doing the harder stuff, and your 'weak' hand doing the easy stuff.
    Syv
    @scl52: so is that what you did? use your dominant hand to to fret and nondominant to strum? because if not I don't see how you can tell someone else to.
    HeyPetray
    [quoteNEVER TAKE ALL STRINGS OFF AT ONCE[/quote]Your lessons extend well into the comment threads. I can't believe this nugget of logical information never occured to me... Thanks! Oh, and I listed you as my referer on registration. I hope you don't mind.
    guitar-guy01
    HeyPetray wrote: [quoteNEVER TAKE ALL STRINGS OFF AT ONCE
    Your lessons extend well into the comment threads. I can't believe this nugget of logical information never occured to me... Thanks! Oh, and I listed you as my referer on registration. I hope you don't mind.[/quote] yeah, pretty much when i look at comments i remember extra bits and throw them in in comments did ya? aww cool thanks for that
    spikethevein2
    guitar-guy01 wrote: spikethevein2 wrote: Just out of curiosity, and I apologize for this not having anything to do with this lesson, but is there anywhere that teaches technique for left-handers playing on a right-handed acoustic guitar? i cant think of anything off the top of my head, but i will research this and PM you any info i find
    Thank you. I appreciate it. I've thought of taking it to get the nut and bridge redone, but I thought I would check and see if there was a way around that. I've heard that it messes with the intonation of the guitar, so I didn't feel comfortable with trying it.