Beginner Guitar. Lesson 1

author: metalcore16 date: 06/08/2009 category: for beginners
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This is my first beginner lesson, I've been playing guitar for almost 3 years, with half of that actually serious. I hope I will have more lessons up soon, this is lesson 1. In this lesson I will teach you the basics: -Fretboard -chords -1 key -and more If you are just starting, you might not understand the theory at first, that's okay, just learn the playing part, and you will eventually learn the theory.


The fretboard is on the neck of the guitar, on most guitars, acoustics (without a cutaway) go up to 20 or 21 frets, but you can generally play up to 13th or 15th comfortably. Anyway each fret on each string is a different note. The notes start on the open string, and go up to 12, where they start again. Here is a fretboard map:
E|F    |F#/Gb|G    |G#/Ab|A    |A#/Bb|B    |C    |C#/Db|D    |D#/Eb|E    |
B|C    |C#/Db|D    |D#/Eb|E    |F    |F#/Gb|G    |G#/Ab|A    |A#/Bb|B    |
G|G#/Ab|A    |A#/Bb|B    |C    |C#/Db|D    |D#/Eb|E    |F    |F#/Gb|G    |
D|D#/Eb|E    |F    |F#/Gb|G    |G#/Ab|A    |A#/Bb|B    |C    |C#/Db|D    |
A|A#/Bb|B    |C    |C#/Db|D    |D#/Eb|E    |F    |F#/Gb|G    |G#/Ab|A    |
E|F    |F#/Gb|G    |G#/Ab|A    |A#/Bb|B    |C    |C#/Db|D    |D#/Eb|E    |
0  1      2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10    11     12

A sharp raise the note, and the flat lowers a note. Pause for a moment and look at the example below: Ex. 1: Take the 6th string, low E, and place your finger on the 5th fret, A, pluck the string. That's A, now, if you move it one fret to the 6th fret, that is A#, move it one fret down, and it is Ab.
     A     A#     Ab
I would suggest memorizing the fretboard. Knowing your fretboard is very important, it helps you with chords and scales. Now lets move onto chords.


A chord is a group of notes played at the same time. Some of the most common in music, mainly rock, pop, etc., are the major, minor, and power chord. (we won't be playing powerchords today) Now, here comes some theory, don't worry will be playing soon but were just making a stop on the way. A chord is composed of notes in a key, in this case I will teach the key of E, this is know as the guitar players key. It consists of:
E F# G# A B C# D#
1 2  3  4 5 6  7
It might be confusing to see the sharps, but it isn't. Just trust me. (remeber if you have any questions, ask)

Chord Construction

This is what is in the chord, very helpful after awhile. Major- 1-3-5, this means the 1 3 and 5 notes in a key. Minor- 1-b3-5, same as above, what makes it minor is the 3, its lowered Ex2 major chord- for this I will show you and E chord. It is made of the 1 3 5, or E-G#-B. Who's asking "how do you play it" well I'll show you. This is a root position chord, it is closet to the head of the guitar and easiest to play. E |-0-| |-0-| |-1-| |-2-| |-2-| |-0-| now strum all the strings, and you made your first E chord. Ex3 minor chord- for simplicity I will show and Em chord. (just so you can see the difference). It is made of the 1 b3 5, or E-G-B. The third note is lowered. This is how you play it in root position. Em |-0-| |-0-| |-0-| |-2-| |-2-| |-0-|strum all the strings. Do you hear a difference? The E chord sounds happy and the Em sounds sad. Now, I'm going to move to chord progressions. A chord progression, is the order you play the chords in a key. A common progression in most rock music, is 1-4-5, this means the 1 4 and 5 chord of the key. I will use the E key again for this.
E F# G# A B  C# D#
1 2  3  4 5  6  7
M m  m  M M7 m  dim
As you can see, I put M,m, and dim, under the numbers, this simpily means, the chords are going to be M-Major ( 7 means it is typically a 7th chord) m-minor dim-Diminshed. For now we won't worry about those. We will be focusing on the 1 4 5 of the key, which is E A and B. In this case, for ease, I will show you the B7 chord, the fifth chords are generally seventh chords, I will go into depth with these later. All these chords are played like this: E |-0-| |-0-| |-1-| |-2-| |-2-| |-0-| A |-0-| |-2-| |-2-| |-2-| |-0-| |-0-| B7 |-2-| |-0-| |-2-| |-1-| |-2-| |-X-|(X means do not pluck) Now this excerize is to show you shifting, do this until your comfortable with these chords. |E E E E| E E A A| A A A A| B7 B7 E E| now repeat. A Song: This is an easy strum pattern, for those of you who do not have the song, go to and search for it. The Eagles-Peaceful, Easy, Feeling Now note, my friend and I transposed it so we could sing it and play in our voice, so the recording and this version will sound differnet in key, but you will note the strumming pattern thats important.
Verse:E A B7 E
        E A B7
        E A B7 E
        E A 

Chorus: A E
        A B7
        E A 
       B7 E
Now I know this lesson is a little fuzzy, but if you get confused, have question just ask me and I'll clear it up for you. My next lessons will be better.
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