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Beginner Guitar Lessons - Get Started the Right Way

This is the hub of all your beginner guitar lessons. Even if you're beyond the absolute beginner stage, it's worth going through the lessons below as a check list.

Learn at your own pace, set yourself realistic goals and experiment with the guitar in your own time.

These lessons will lay the foundations for your guitar learning, and hopefully give you a push start.

Wondering if you're cut out for learning guitar? See the article Is Learning Guitar Hard? for some important perspective.

A lot of guitarists give up after learning a few chords. It's not as easy as it all looks, but with a little patience, persistence and a solid beginner guitar lessons resource, you'll quickly become more and more confident.

Simply follow the lessons below in the logical order they are presented.

Learn to Play Guitar Step by Step

small chevron Parts of the Guitar  First, get to know your instrument. In this preliminary lesson you will learn the function of each part of an acoustic and electric guitar. Don't skip it, it's important!

small chevron How to Hold the Guitar  Learn how to hold the guitar correctly, avoiding problems later on. Includes how to position the body and holding the neck and pick correctly.

small chevron Fretboard Basics  Learn how the fretboard works, including where to press your fingers and fret numbering.

small chevron Tuning the Guitar  The very basics on tuning up.

small chevron Guitar Chord Basics  Learn how to finger chords on the guitar fretboard correctly. This lesson covers the physical aspects of chord fingering and how you should position your fingers. Quick and simple.

small chevron How to Read Guitar Tab  Tab, short for tablature, is musical notation for guitar (because traditional notation can be a bit of an eyeful). Learn how it works and how to read it so you can then go and learn your favourite songs easily.

small chevron Basic Guitar Chords  Learn all the essential chords and use the jam tracks to practice changing between chord fingerings confidently. By the end of this 4 part mini-course, you will have a huge chord library with which to create your own music confidently. Over-the-shoulder photos, diagrams, audio examples and of course jam tracks.

Grab your free printable Beginner Guitar Chord Chart

Also in this series...
small chevron Guitar Chord Picking  Learn how to pick correctly using some of the chords you've learned.

small chevron Beginner Guitar Strumming  Many beginners find strumming in time difficult to grasp at first. This lesson provides the first logical steps for developing your strumming rhythm. Includes video, audio, jam tracks and diagrams to help you lay the foundations for your rhythm and timing.

small chevron Simple Guitar Songs  A selection of simple songs that are quick to learn. Great for putting your chord change, strumming and picking skills into practice.

small chevron Three Chord Progressions  How to write your own three-chord songs using the chords learned from earlier. Gets you playing around some key relationships used in popular music.

small chevron Basic Chord Progressions  Shows you how to use the basic open position chords to craft meaningful chord progressions based on a few important relationships.

small chevron Beginner Guitar Tips  Important article you should print out and read in your own time about organising your practice time effectively, overcoming frustrations and other essential tips to help straighten the learning curve.

small chevron More Beginner Guitar Lessons  Great video lessons for both acoustic and electric guitar, with a choice of pro tutors and a number of learning tools.

Beginner Guitar Lessons Help


Stretching, a type of warm up, is important for better performance and response from your fingers and to prevent strain injury.

Visit the finger stretching exercises page for some good ideas.

Use a metronome!

A metronome is a rhythm keeping device to help you time your chord and note changes. Here's a great free metronome you can access online...

You can change the tempo and gradually speed up as you get more confident. Metronomes are essential for improving your rhythm and timing.

Sometimes, however, you might find jamming along to a drum track more effective (and entertaining!) for practicing things like strumming and chord changes. I highly recommend QuickBeat for this. It's simple to use and covers many styles.

You can also find help with interpreting the diagrams on this site on this help page.

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