Beginning Guitar Lessons Start Here!

Beginning guitar lessons are all about chords and chord structure. So let’s learn a little theory first, three simple chords and then a song that you can play using those chords. So get your guitar and read on players.

What is a Chord?

A chord is any combination of three or more tones sounded simultaneously. Playing the tones of a chord in succession rather than together is called an arpeggio. Two tones played together is called a diad. You need three played simultaneously to have a chord.

Naming Guitar Strings - Beginning Lessons

To teach yourself guitar, know that the strings are labelled starting from the thickest string to the thinnest string: E, A, D, G, B and E. A good way to remember the names of these strings is (E)eat (A)all (D)day (G)get (B)big (E)easy, a good start for any beginning guitar lesson.

Key of C Major

Every key signature (a must have piece of knowledge to teach yourself guitar) is comprised of tones or notes that are in that key. The simplest one for beginning guitar lessons is the key of C Major, since it has no sharps or flats.

The notes in C Major are C, D, E, F G, A, B and C. They are played beginning on the fifth (B) string at the third fret. For this beginning guitar lesson, I will state the string/fret combo that way, so if I write 5th / 3rd, it means 5th string, 3rd fret. If I write "open", it means play the string without touching the string with your fret hand.

C Major Scale

Here are the notes and fingerings for a C Major scale:
5th / 3rd (C)
4th / Open (D)
4th / 2nd (E)
4th / 3rd (F)
3rd / Open (G)
3rd / 2nd (A)
2nd / Open (B)
2nd / 1st (C).

That is a Major scale so give yourself a hand! Now we use those notes to make chords.

All Major chords are made up of specific intervals between the notes. The first note, (C ) in this case, is the root and we call it "I". The D note would be a second and we call that "II". The E note is a third and we call it "III", F is a fourth and called "IV", G is a fifth and is called "V", A is a sixth and is called "VI", B is a seventh and is called "VII" and finally the last C is an eight and is called the octave. All you do is count up from the root. This is basic with all beginning guitar lessons. With me so far?

C Major Chord Progression

A common chord progression in the key of C Major is C (I or root), F (IV or fourth) and G (V or fifth). Specifically, a C Major chord is comprised of the notes C, E and G. An F has the notes F, A and C, and a G has the notes G, B and D. The fingerings are as follows:

C chord:
6th / Not PLAYED AT ALL
5th / 3rd (C ) - THIRD FINGER
4th / 2nd (E) - SECOND FINGER
3rd / OPEN (G)
2nd / 1st (C ) - INDEX FINGER
1st / OPEN (E)

C Major Guitar Chord

F chord:
6th / NOT PLAYED AT ALL
5th / NOT PLAYED AT ALL
4th / 3rd (F) - THIRD FINGER
3rd / 2nd (A) - SECOND FINGER
2nd / 1st (C ) - FIRST FINGER
1st / 1st (F) - FIRST FINGER To do this, lay your index finger across the 1st and 2nd strings at the same time.

F Major Chord

G chord:
6th / 3rd (G)- THIRD FINGER
5th / 2nd (B)- SECOND FINGER
4th / OPEN (D)
3rd/ OPEN (G)
2nd / OPEN (B)
1st / 3rd (G)- FOURTH FINGER

G Major Guitar Chord

D chord:
6th / NOT PLAYED AT ALL
5th / NOT PLAYED AT ALL
4th / OPEN (D)
3rd / 2nd (A) - FIRST FINGER
2nd / 3rd (D) - THIRD FINGER
1st / 2nd (F#) - SECOND FINGER
D Major Guitar Chord

Practice these for a bit and get used to them, then we will learn a beginning guitar lesson song real fast.

A Hard Day's Night by The Beatles

A Hard Day's Night uses a simple strumming pattern. Strum each chord as a single beat. Tap your foot slowly and strum in this pattern while singing the word to yourself.

G G C G It's been a hard day's night

F G And I've been working like a dog.

C G It's been a hard day's night,

F G I should be sleeping like a log.

C But when I get home to you,

D I find the things that you do,

G C G Will make me feel all right.

Verse 2 (use the same chord progression)

G G C G You know I work all day

F G To get you money to buy you things.

C G And it's worth it just to hear you say,

F G You're gonna give me everything.

C So why on earth should I moan

D 'cause when I get you alone,

G C G I know I'll be okay.

The second verse uses the same structure. The bridge is a little more complex, so this is all for now. Have fun!!


Table of Contents: LESSONS


Winter Clearance Sale on Guitars at Musicians Friend. Save up to 88% MSRP!

Custom Search

Newsletter

E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Play Acoustic Guitar Newsletter.

Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Guitar Buying Guide

Child Guitar Reviews