How to play guitar: A complete guide for absolute Beginners

How to play guitar: A complete guide for absolute Beginners

This is a perfect method to start playing the ideal guitar for beginners approaching this instrument for the first time.
You don’t need any musical knowledge to play this complete guide, it’s ideal for children and adults.
They are very easy to follow.
With simple exercises to continue advancing, easy and fun songs.
You will learn how to read and know the musical signs. Totally recommended for guitar beginners.

If you want to learn how to play the bass don’t hesitate to check out our article on how to practing bass

When you are just beginning guitar lessons it is very important to approach things with the right attitude and mindset. Beginning your guitar lessons without a proper focus will cause you to learn bad habits, slow down your improvement, and potentially cause you physical injury down the road.

A good starter course to teach the right techniques and establish a good practice schedule is very important. Check out my review of Learn and Master Guitar for a great comprehensive course that will get your new adventure started on the right foot.

You must learn all the notes on the guitar fretboard. To do this, take a look at the guitar fretboard.

Guitar Fretboard Notes

notes on a guitar fretboard

Guitar tips for beginners

First, make sure you have the right mindset when you begin to study the guitar. This will be a long process, even the top professionals say they still learn something new about the instrument every week during their practice sessions. Consistency is really more important than volume here – instead of trying to force yourself to play for 3 hours, commit to at least a 15 minute practice session each day. Playing 15 minutes per day for 7 days will improve your skills much better than trying to hammer out a 2 hour session once a week, even though it’s roughly the same amount of practice time.

Electric guitar Technique

I can’t stress this enough – I had a buddy who wanted to play guitar for a living. He even got into the Berkley music school for guitar, but unfortunately he had developed some bad habits with the way he held his instrument. He ended up with tendonitis in both arms and had to drop out of the program and stop playing for over a year. Luckily he’s gotten the situation resolved and plays again, but he was never able to go back to school to finish his music degree.

Guitar Tabs for Beginners

Good beginning guitar lessons will provide a mix of hard work and fun. Learning and practicing scales and chords can become tedious, but they really are the foundation of being able to make your guitar do what you want. When you hear a skilled player soloing it sounds effortless, but behind the creativity there are thousands of hours of scales and chords. That said, no one wants to spend their entire practice sessions playing scales and chords. A good beginner guitar course will offer jam tracks and recorded songs for you to play along with.

Guitar sheet music for beginners popular songs

As you begin your journey toward becoming a guitar god, you should pay special attention to the music you hear around you. Many popular genres use the same chord progressions over and over (ie. 1-4-5 for blues) and it is good to train your ear to recognize those patterns. Start listening to the top players in your favorite style – I love blues so I listen to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Hendrix, and old school cats like BB King and Howlin Wolf.

Download Guitar Lessons

Looking to download guitar lessons? This is just one format offered by “teach yourself guitar” courses. Here at beginner guitar courses I have reviewed several guitar courses that allow you to download the lessons directly to your computer. One of the best I found in this format was Jamorama, but there are several similar products out there at varying price ranges.

Benefits of Downloadable Guitar Lessons

The primary benefit of these products is that they are always with you. If you download the lessons to your laptop, you can take them with you wherever you have your computer. Since they sit on your hard drive, there’s not even a need to have an internet connection. These lessons allow you to learn at your own pace – no structured deadlines or instructors leaning on you to perform. (This also means you need to be good at self-motivation, of course.)

If you lose track of your lessons when life gets to busy, it’s easy to go back a week or two to refresh what you’ve forgotten. These lessons can be repeated over and over once you buy them, which is nice for someone thickheaded like me! 🙂

The downloadable packages also usually come with a few neat electronic tools to aid you in your guitar studies. Most will come with an electronic metronome – this is a huge and often overlooked training tool that I strongly encourage all beginning guitar students to get comfortable with. It helps you stay on the beat, which is very important if you ever plan to perform in public or play with other musicians. Also, these tools will usually come with an electronic guitar tuner that supplies the correct notes when you need to tune your instrument.

Target Audience

Beginner students with no previous experience with the guitar are a good candidate for these downloadable lessons. The cost is very low and will allow you to get a feel for how to study the instrument without having to lay out a lot of cash up front. Usually you can get a good comprehensive course and download it for under $75, which is about the cost of 2 private lessons with a live instructor.

It’s important that you are good at learning on your own and keeping yourself motivated – there’s no one to harrass you when you’re not doing the lessons! But most courses do at least provide some good human interaction by hosting a forum where you can ask questions and get helpful advice and instruction. (Jamorama has a great forum for members to interact.)

Lead Guitar Lessons

A lot of people think that lead guitar lessons should be completely different from other types of lessons that focus on chords and rhythm, but I don’t really think that’s the case at all.  Lead guitar will often require a special set of skills versus rhythm guitar, but I still think a good set of lead guitar lessons will cover a lot of chord work and theory in addition to the stuff we typically think of as “lead guitar” techniques.


The Roles – Lead Guitar versus Rhythm Guitar

The role of the lead guitarist is to put the guitar front and center, showcasing difficult techniques and playing individual notes and melodies while other members of the band play supporting chords and rhythms as backup.  Lead guitarists need to know a lot about scales and modes so they can target specific notes that will mesh well (or clash with) the underlying chord structure appropriately.  (See my review of Guitar Tricks for a great package of lessons for the lead guitar player.) Rhythm guitar players may not need to have the nimble fingers of the soloist but will need to have a strong foundational knowledge of chord and music theory to provide the layers of sound underneath the lead.


Lead Guitar Lessons – the Techniques

A good package of lead guitar lessons will have exercises that focus on techniques such as bends, hammer ons and hammer offs, and arpeggios.  These are all techniques that add flavor and style to a solo that might otherwise just be a technical collection of notes.  Adding stylistic techniques to your playing can really help your lead guitar playing come alive.


Scales, Modes, and Soloing

A discussion of scales and modes is an important component of any lead guitar lesson package.  Modes are really just a fancy word for a scale that starts on a note that’s not the root of that scale.  For example, if you were to play the notes of the C Major scale but started on the G (5th of the scale) then you would be playing a mixolydian mode.

Mixolydian sounds a lot like the major scale, but has a flat (dominant) 7th so it plays well over blues progressions.  If that sounds like Greek then you need to check out the lessons at Guitar Tricks!Most importantly, lead guitar lessons should teach you how to play with a group and include a lot of music tracks for you to practice soloing over.  Check out the guitar lesson reviews page for more information about packages that offer training in different styles and genres.