New to Guitar?This page will help you get started. Select a topic to view the lesson and click the movie icons for the videos.
B-101 - Getting Started (for the absolute beginner)
B-101A - Guitar Shopping
The short answer: YES!! Do whatever you need to do (legally of course!) to get playing as soon as possible.
In the long run though, the most important thing is to learn on a good quality guitar that feels comfortable.
When you first start guitar it's going to be awkward, uncomfortable and at times maybe even painful. If you have a good instrument it will help ease you into playing. I'll teach you some technics to practice more efficiently and with little discomfort. A good guitar can only help.
If you have a friend or relative with a guitar you can borrow, great, that would be my first choice. Maybe they can even show you some stuff to get you going. Renting a guitar is also an option and enforces a certain amount of commitment to learning. Once you've had a chance to play for a couple months and decide you really enjoy it (and want to continue) then it's time to buy. You'll have to decide what style of guitar or music you want to play and buy a guitar based on that. Don't fall into brand name traps. Just because a friend likes Gibson or Fender or Ibanez doesn't mean you have to like them! Try all the brands available to you and make a choice based on what YOU'VE tried, not what you see "Rockstar X" playing in a magazine.
If you have to save for an extra month or two to afford the guitar you really love, then do it. You will learn faster if you're playing something that feels comfortable and sounds great.
Next, I'll talk about the parts of a guitar and things to look for when deciding on which guitar to buy.
B-101B Parts of the GuitarIf you’re ready to head over to the local guitar store to talk about buying or renting a guitar, this video will help educate you a bit in preparation of the onslaught of information you’re going to get. In this video I discuss parts of the guitar for Electric, Acoustic and Bass guitars. I cover the similarities and differences of all 3. Hopefully this provides you with some helpful information.
B-101C How to Hold a Guitar Pick
B-101D Make Some NoiseThis lesson demonstrates different picking techniques or ways of making noise on your new guitar.
Alternate, economy, hybrid, finger style, hammer-ons, pull-offs, tapping & harmonics are covered. This briefly describes what they are, not how to do them.
Those lessons will be covered in great detail later.
B-101E Notes, Scales, Chords
B-102 - How to tune a guitarThis is a basic lesson but very important one. Here are a few key points:
Here’s a step by step video on tuning a guitar.
- Always take a minute to tune up your guitar. Whether you're a beginner or advanced EVERYTHING will sound better if it's in tune.
- I highly recommend getting a tuner.
- Always tighten your strings to get them in tune. If you're string is too high, back it off then tighten up to tune.
B-103 - Open ChordsOpen Chords are one of the first things you should learn on guitar. Here I've outlined the 8 basic open chords to get you going.
Pretty much every guitar player in any style uses these chords at some point. Practice switching between chords by strumming each chord 4 times then switch to a different one. Plan the change in your head before the 4th beat. Thinking ahead is the key to smooth transitions. Look for a future lesson that includes some exercises to help improve your chord switching in a more musical context.
Click the movie link below for some pointers on how to get the notes ringing nicely.
B-104 - Notes on the NeckI can’t stress enough how important is is to learn the notes on the neck. Think of music as a language or a form of expression. The better you know the notes on the neck, the better you can communicate and express yourself musically. Don't be intimidated though! There are tricks to remembering and I'll cover those. The notes on this fretboard are all of the the natural notes on the neck. All natural notes means there are no sharps or flats. This is the same as playing all the white keys on a keyboard and would be the notes in the C Major scale. The notes in C Major are: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Play those notes and they will sound Like Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Te, Do.
Click the neck for an expanded view and save a copy or print it out.
B-105 - Pentatonic & Blues Scale