The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 2

Once again this is only the basics for people who have never picked up a guitar before.

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This is my second "Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-Beginner Transition" lesson. We will be picking up where we left off with more equipment
The Capo V This is a piece of "equipment" which allows you to increase the 
           pitch of your guitar by one fret (or more depending on where you 
           place the capo on the fret-board. There are many different forms
           of a capo but generally they are handles that clamp over the
           strings and press them to the fret-board, thus making the pitch
           higher. This frees you up to play your chords in the usual way in
           a higher key.
EXTRA ASSISTANCE
Tuning Without Assistance V If you don't have a tuner, it is still possible
                            to tune your guitar by ear. Here's how:
 
 
                     {HERE IS YOUR FRET-BOARD}
                                 |
                                 |
                                 V
 
 
      1        2       3       4       5       6       7
e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
{To tune your guitar by ear, you must make sure that at least one string is in tune. If it is not or if you are not sure, then listen to a song that plays one string at a time (arpeggios} and tune it from there} For this example, let us say that our E string is in tune:
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
 
 
Move your finger to the 5th fret of the E string:
 
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|---0---|-------|-------|
Play the string. This is the same as the A string when it is in tune. Play the E string and then tune the A string until it is the same as the E string on the fifth fret. Now your E and A strings will be in tune:
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
 
Repeat the process until your E A D and G strings are in tune:
 
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
Now if you notice, the B and e strings are much thinner (on acoustic). This makes it easier to remember that IF YOU WANT TO TUNE THE B STRING, THEN YOU MUST PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE FOURTH FRET ON THE G STRING:
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
  B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o G||--------|-------|-------|---0---|-------|-------|-------|
o D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
The fourth fret on the G string is the same as the B string when it's open. When you finally get the B string in tune, then place your finger on the fifth fret on the B string:
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
  e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
This will be the same as the e string open. Congratulations, you have tuned your guitar by ear!
        1        2       3       4       5       6       7
o e||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o B||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o G||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o D||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o A||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
o E||--------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|
Next we will focus on: ############## BARRE CHORDS ############## Don't be discouraged if you don't get this right at first. It takes practice. Basically barre chords are chords that have your index finger holding down more than one string and not playing with any open strings. Confused? Well let me clarify things. I'll show you by using a few diagrams. The F Major chord in barre:
  E    A    D    G    B    e
  ##########################         {PS: I'm sorry, I know my diagrams suck
  |    |    |    |    |    |          but it's easier to explain this way.
1 |000000000000000000000000|          The "0000"'s are where you place your
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-                        fingers}
  |    |    |    |    |    |
2 |    |    |    0    |    |
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-
  |    |    |    |    |    |
3 |    0    0    |    |    |
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-
  |    |    |    |    |    |
The major chords can continue along the fret-board in this same way. So look at the G barre chord (pay attention to the fret numbering on the left hand side):
  E    A    D    G    B    e
  ##########################         
  |    |    |    |    |    |          
3 |000000000000000000000000|         
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-                        
  |    |    |    |    |    |
4 |    |    |    0    |    |
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-
  |    |    |    |    |    |
5 |    0    0    |    |    |
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-
  |    |    |    |    |    |
If you read the chords in the easy way shown in my earlier lesson, then the Major barre chords look like this (The chords with the 'b' and '#' symbols will be explained later): E = 022100 F = 133211 F# = 244322 G = 355433 Ab = 466544 A = 577655 Bb = 688766 B = 799877 C = 8-10-10-9-8-8 --- {You generally don't go higher than here} C# = 9-11-11-10-9-9 D = 10-12-12-11-10-10 Eb = 11-13-13-12-11-11 The Minor chords look slightly different but they make a different sound completely. The F Minor Chord in barre:
  E    A    D    G    B    e
  ##########################         
  |    |    |    |    |    |           {Notice how it looks like F Major
1 |000000000000000000000000|            but the notes on the second and
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-           third frets have moved a string    
  |    |    |    |    |    |            to the right. They were on the
2 |    |    |    |    0    |            A, D and G strings respectively,
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-           but now they are on the D, G and
  |    |    |    |    |    |            B strings}
3 |    |    0    0    |    |
 -|----|----|----|----|----|-
  |    |    |    |    |    |
Therefore the chords change slightly but make a completely new sound. The Minor chords in Barre: Em = 002210 Fm = 113321 F#m = 224432 Gm = 335543 Abm = 446654 Am = 557765 Bbm = 668876 Bm = 779987 Cm = 8-8-10-10-9-8 C#m = 9-9-11-11-10-9 Dm = 10-10-12-12-11-10 Ebm = 11-11-13-13-12-11 That's all in my lesson for now. Look out for more or read my other lessons: Hammer On and Pulling Off.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Palette
    It's nice to see lessons for beginners posted, but I have to point out that the minor shapes you described are completely wrong. An Fm chord has the notes F - Ab - C, while the chord you illustrate (113321) has F - Bb - Db. That means it's not an Fm chord, but a Bbm chord with an F in the bass. The common shape for an Fm chord would be (133111). Other than that, good job.
    RockstarAdam
    Oh my word :s wow thats really amazing how I missed that :s You're completely correct guys I'm sorry about that but I kinda forgot. My guitar was confiscated a month ago so I forgot since then plus I only work at night The chords should be: Em = 022000 Fm = 133111 F#m = 244222 Gm = 355333 Abm = 466444 Am = 577555 Bbm = 688666 Bm = 799777 etc... Sorry for the mix-up people
    LivinJoke84
    Yeah, your 'F minor' diagram shows a Bb minor. Thats gonna confuse the hell out of newbies
    Morbid349
    Great Job!!! If I had this tool back inna day Id still remember my chords lol Im a mostly self trained guitar player, I took a couple of weeks of lessons but most were in scales and sweeping techniques. Now I can go back to this to remember the basics: chords...
    bearsfan092
    Sorry, but you have to get information like those minor chords right if you want to post lessons. That's really a major thing to screw up.
    Morbid349
    Oh teach new guitar players natural harmonics and how to tune w them, that will make em feel like the coolest around lol
    RockstarAdam
    I will post many more of these lessons until I run out of material. By the way, does anyone have any ideas for me for my next lesson? If you do have any ideas and I decide to add them to my list, I will credit you and you will likely receive a boost to your profile views
    RockstarAdam
    Yeah if you look closely at my first lesson that's exactly what I said as well. I don't want beginners to tune by ear because it's difficult
    Minivirus2
    Not taking a shot at the writer or anyone else who preaches this method, but I've never found the tuning by ear technique mentioned above to be an effect tool for beginners. Why? Because they're beginners and they'll have a hard enough time trying to get 1 string in tune without a tuner. How will they tune that first string to perfection without a tuner. To me, it's a good method for beginners to learn tuning by ear while also using a tuner, that way they can get a sense of what perfectly tuned strings sound like. Intially though, it can be troublesome.
    RockstarAdam
    Bear in mind that these are beginners' lessons so don't expect anything extremely complicated to be introduced until much later