Teach Yourself Guitar

Written by Adam Summers Introduction

Welcome to Teach Yourself Guitar, an action-oriented course to get you playing guitar as fast as possible. We’re going to start off by covering some essential advice on choosing the right guitar for you. From there we will work our way through: ★ Learning the Fret Board ★ Basic Guitar Chords ★ How to Read Guitar Tablature ★ Musical Scales on the Guitar ★ Strumming and Finger Picking ★ How to Tune your Guitar ★ More Guitar Chords ★ Putting it all together into a 15-minute Practice Session By the end of this book you’ll be familiar with the notes along the guitar neck, you will have learned how to play all the open major and minor chords. You’ll be able to find guitar tablature for your favorite songs, knowing how to read and play them. Not only that, you’ll also be able to play basic chord progressions, either using a strumming pattern or finger picking technique.

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To get you started playing lead guitar and understanding the composition of solos you will have knowledge of Major, Minor and Pentatonic scales and... Finally you’ll have a rock solid practice schedule to get you playing guitar faster than you believed possible.

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Choosing a Guitar
Which type of guitar is right for you?
Obviously the first step to learning guitar is choosing your instrument. To a large extent, your choice of guitar should be based on the type of music you want to play. If you like to play rock or metal, you'll want to buy an electric guitar. If you prefer bluegrass or folk music, you'll probably want an acoustic guitar. If you're a mainly a singer, or singer-songwriter who wants to accompany yourself when you sing, then an acoustic guitar is the one for you. If you prefer acoustic but plan on playing for an audience, you'll want an acoustic which has pickups installed so that the sound can be amplified. Acoustic guitars, on the other hand have the advantage of requiring less set up time and if you're willing to deal with a slightly steeper learning curve, once you learn the acoustic, playing an electric guitar will seem much easier. It's important to shop around when you go looking for a new guitar. The prices can vary a lot from one store to the next. Also, keep in mind that most list prices for guitars are inflated, with a bit of bargaining, you can often get a discount on your guitar or at least have the salesperson throw in some accessories such as extra strings, picks, patch cords or perhaps some sheet music or instructional books. If you can, bring a friend who is an experienced guitar player with you when you go to choose an instrument. They can advise you on the quality of the guitar and help you avoid some common pitfalls. It's best not to buy extremely low cost instruments, often they are not well built and may be difficult to tune or have a poor sound quality.
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Make sure to play each instrument before you consider buying it. Don't be afraid to play it at your usual volume, you need to hear what the instrument sounds like when you play it normally. Often flaws in the sound aren't apparent when you play a guitar softly, as you'll probably be tempted to do in a store environment. Keep in mind that a guitar is a major purchase and you'll want to be sure that any guitar you buy will suit your needs. Don't feel pressured into buying anything you're not 100% happy with. Play the guitar at all positions on the neck and check for any fret buzz or irregularities in the sound. Find out how easy or difficult it is to tune the instrument. Stick to the major guitar manufacturers if you're at all uncertain. Most of the major brands produce decent guitars at all price ranges. You can even get a beginner's kit that comes with a guitar, an amp and the basic accessories you need to get started. These are usually available for a reasonable price, and are a good option if you're just starting out and don't have a lot of money to invest. Whichever guitar you buy, make sure it's an instrument you're completely comfortable with and one that suits your personality. Your guitar is the medium for expressing your art, don't settle for second best!

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Tuning Your Guitar
The foundation of good playing
Before you get started playing, you need to tune your guitar. Tuning your guitar properly not only makes your guitar sound better, it helps develop your sense of pitch which is especially important if you sing as well as play guitar or if you plan to try to learn songs by ear. You can buy a guitar tuner relatively cheaply, and it will help get you on pitch, but it's also important to develop your ear to be able to hear when your guitar is in tune and when it's not. To tune your guitar, you need to find a pitch to start from. You can use a tuner, or a keyboard if you have one, or you can find an online guitar tuner such as the one here: http://www.gieson.com/Library/ projects/utilities/tuner/ Let's start with the low E string. Play the low E string without pressing down any strings and try to match it to the sound on the online guitar tuner or to the E below middle C if you're tuning to a piano. If you have a hand held tuner, you want to adjust the pitch so that it lines up perfectly with the E on the tuner. To adjust the pitch, turn the tuning knob for the low E string (usually the one closest to the neck of the guitar, pluck the string as you turn the knob to make sure you're adjusting the correct string. Tightening the string raises the pitch of the note, loosening the string lowers it. Now that you've found the correct pitch for your low E string, you can tune the other strings based on that reference note. To tune the 5th or A string, hold down the 5th fret on the low E string and play the 5th string open ( ie. not fretted ). These two notes should sound exactly the same. Adjust the pitch of the 5th string so that the two notes sound identical. Often you'll hear an oscillating sound when you play the two notes, as if it's wavering back and forth, this is an indication that you're not in tune yet.
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The second string should match the sound of the 4th fret of the third string and the 1st or high E string should match the sound of the fifth fret of the second string.Once the 5th string is done. Once you've tuned all the strings.the 3rd string should match the sound made when holding down the 5th fret of the 4th string. To tune the third string. 1st string .the 5th string should match the sound made when holding down the 5th fret of the 6th string. 2nd string . tune the 4th string by pressing down the 5th fret of the 5th string and matching the sound of the 4th string to this pitch. you hold down the 5th fret of the 4th string and match it to the sound of the 3rd string. 5th string . 3rd string . you may have to go back and make some adjustments to get it to sound right. and tuning it each time ensures you're on pitch and helps ingrain the correct sound in your memory. At first. 4th string . play through a couple of chords to make sure everything sounds the way it should.the 4th string should match the sound made when holding down the 5th fret of the 5th string. the strings can get out of tune fairly quickly. Page 6 . you'll develop a better sense of when a string is in tune and the process of tuning will get much faster. You should tune your guitar each time you play it. This takes some time and can be a bit frustrating at first.the 2nd string should match the sound made when holding down the 4th fret of the 3rd string.find the correct pitch from a tuner or piano.the 1st string should match the sound made when holding down the 5th fret of the 2nd string. Here's a chart to make it a little more clear: 6th string . but with practice.

This ease of use makes tablature the most popular method for writing out music for the guitar. Guitar tablature is the most simple and direct method of reading music for the guitar. and so on. simply visualize the strings of your guitar as written on a piece of paper. that means you hold the second fret down with your left hand while your right hand plays the third string. To learn how to read tablature ( usually referred to as "tab" ).Guitar Tablature How to read all that guitar tab you found online. that is. The bottom line represents the low "E" string. So. The next line up represents the 5th or "A" string. the sixth string or lowest sounding string on the guitar. Here's the example: e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|-----2--------------------------------------------| D|--------------------------------------------------| A|--------------------------------------------------| E|--------------------------------------------------| Page 7 . if you have a bar of tab with a number "2" on the "G" or third string. The next thing you'll notice is the numbers placed on the lines. These numbers indicate the fret that your left hand needs to hold down in order to play the note. Each line of tablature represents a string on your guitar.

simply play the all the notes as quarter notes at a comfortable speed until it feels easy and then you can speed it up as you go along. here's a G chord written in tab: e|-----3---------------------------------------------| B|-----3---------------------------------------------| G|-----0---------------------------------------------| D|-----0---------------------------------------------| A|-----2---------------------------------------------| E|-----3---------------------------------------------| Depending on the publication. play all those notes at the same time. In that case. you will need to listen to the songs presented to get a feel for the tempo of the passage and the duration of the notes. Page 8 . an eighth note a half of a beat. sometimes you will see note values such as quarter notes or eighth notes attached to the numbers. a half note is two beats etc. just the numbers are given. such as the ones you will see here. In many examples. This shows you the length of time that you need to hold the note. For example.When you see two or more numbers directly above or below each other. a quarter note equals one beat. You read these the same as you would standard music notation. In the scale exercises presented in this book.

Here's a simple C scale and chord written in tab to get you used to reading music this way: e|------------------------------------0----------------| B|----------------------------0---1---1----------------| G|--------------------0---2-----------0----------------| D|--------0---2---3-------------------2----------------| A|----3-------------------------------3----------------| E|-----------------------------------------------------| Page 9 .

Learning the Fretboard Move quickly between notes. So. The two exceptions are from B to C and from E to F. After G. But the payoffs are huge.2 frets E to F . Fortunately. These notes are 1 half step or 1 fret apart on the fretboard. create killer solos Learning the fretboard can be one of the most daunting tasks facing any aspiring guitarist. In most cases. it's not as hard as it looks. solos. though it does require some practice and repetition.2 frets Page 10 . the next higher note goes back to A and the cycle repeats. the natural notes in each octave are named for the first 7 letters of the alphabet.1 fret C to D . to sum it up: A to B . each note is 2 half steps or two frets apart on any given string. and improvise like a pro. The Musical Alphabet First of all.2 frets G to A .1 fret F to G .2 frets D to E . Knowledge of the fretboard allows you to play lead lines. A through G.2 frets B to C .

F# will always be one fret higher than F. you may need to find notes with either a sharp or a flat designation. F# is played on the fifth string. one octave higher than the open note (the note sounded without holding down any frets) on the same string. is one fret lower than the natural note. Page 11 . For example.Here it is in tab to make it easier to visualize. on the other hand. We'll use the 5th string to illustrate: e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------| D|--------------------------------------------------| A|--0---2---3---5---7---8---10---12-----------------| E|--------------------------------------------------| A B C D E F G A Notice that the 12th fret is the same note. A sharp note will be one fret higher than the corresponding natural note. A flat note. So Eb can be played on the 5th string. In our example. You can find any natural note on the fretboard by starting with the open note on each string and counting up the fretboard using the above pattern. 6th fret. 9th fret. Sharps and Flats Depending on the key of the music you're playing.

Say the note name out loud each time you play it. one octave higher. Page 12 . you're starting all over again. In time. Pick a note. move on to B and carry on from there. let's say A to begin with. possibly as a part of your warm up routine. So. from there you will have a solid point of reference from which to figure out the sharps and flats. This is particularly useful to know for electric guitar players who play lead lines and solos where those higher notes are often used. It helps to practice finding the notes on the fretboard a little every day. but with time and practice. and try to find all the A notes on your fretboard. you'll work your way through all the notes on the fretboard. you can play a B on the 2nd fret and B one octave above on the 14th fret. Concentrate on learning the natural notes first. Beyond the 12th Fret Once you get beyond the 12th fret.This may sound a little confusing. Here's the tab for all the A natural notes on the fretboard to get you started: e|-----------------------------------5--------------| B|------------------------------10------------------| G|---------------------2---14-----------------------| D|-----------------7--------------------------------| A|--------0---12------------------------------------| E|----5---------------------------------------------| Once you know how to play an A on any string. it will become second nature. on the 5th string. This will help burn it into your memory much more quickly. The C on the 5th string can be played on the 3rd fret and an octave higher the 15th.

you'll know the fretboard like the back of your hand and be on your way to learning and creating killer guitar solos. Page 13 .With a little time and patience.

if you try to go too fast and keep making mistakes. and learn good habits. your brain will learn the mistaken patterns and you will develop bad habits that can be very hard to break. So. PERFECT practice makes perfect. go slowly. The reason I always emphasize this is that your fingers will get used to playing whatever patterns you repeat. I'll have you jamming with Eric Clapton! When you're learning to play scales. use a downstroke for the first note. So the point is. This is called motor learning and comes from your brain recognizing and repeating consistent patterns of movement. (more slowly than you think is necessary). but it's not exactly true. it easiest to use a pick and remember to use alternate picking. By the end of this article. an upstroke for the second and continue to alternate up and down strokes as you play. and major and minor pentatonic. I'll give you a sample exercise for each one to get you started and get your left hand used to the notes. Use a metronome if you can to get used to playing with even and consistent timing. minor. practice correctly.Scales for Guitar Groups of notes that sound great together The key to creating first rate guitar solos and lead lines is to familiarize yourself with the various types of scales and learn to play them anywhere on the neck of the guitar. whether they are the correct patterns or not. In reality. Gradually increase the speed as you get comfortable. Page 14 . and always start slowly. major. that is. People say practice makes perfect. First we'll start with a quick overview of 4 of the most common scale types.

I'll use the C major scale as an example: C to D : tone D to E : tone E to F : semi-tone F to G : tone G to A : tone A to B : tone B to C : semi-tone Here's a C major exercise for you to try: e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------8--0| B|----------------------------3-----------------------------------------------------1| G|-------------------2--4--5-----4--2-----------------------------------------5-----0| D|----------2--3--5--------------------5--3--2--------------------------------------2| A|----3--5--------------------------------------5--3--2--3--2-----------------------3| E|-------------------------------------------------------------5--3--5--7--8---------| Minor Scales Minor scales in any given key are based on the 6th note of the major scale for that key.Major Scales First let's take a look at major scales. In the key of C. the relative minor scale is A minor and is constructed like this: A to B : tone B to C : semi-tone Page 15 . Major scales can start from any root note and follow the same tonal pattern no matter which note they start on. This is called the relative minor scale for the key in which you're playing.

So. Page 16 . G. 2nd. a C major pentatonic scale contains the notes C. and A. A major pentatonic scale contains the 1st. 3rd. E. D. 5th and 6th notes of the major scale for the key in which you're playing.C to D : tone D to E : tone E to F : semi-tone F to G : tone G to A : semi-tone Here's an exercise in A minor that's based on intervals: e|---0-----------------------------------------------------------------------1-----3----5---------| B|---1-----------------------------------------------------------3-----5--------------------------| G|---2-----------------------------------------2--2--4--2--5--2-----2-----2-----2-----2----2------| D|---2-----------------------2-----3-----5--------------------------------------------------------| A|---0--0--2--0--3--0--5--0-----0-----0-----0-------------------------------------------------0---| E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| Major Pentatonic Scales Pentatonic scales are scales which contain only 5 notes. Pentatonic scales are easy to learn and come in very handing when you're playing solos and lead lines.

The solo is based on a D minor pentatonic scale which contains the notes D. which contains the same chord pattern as the solo ).com/watch?v=vj8xjLQ9ofI Don't worry. So. A and C. It contains the following notes. A. your practice assignment is a bit different. and G. For the minor pentatonic scale. as with the regular ( or diatonic. G. F.htm for the tab of the acoustic version of Eric Clapton's Layla.com/tabs/e/ eric_clapton/layla_acoustic_ver2_tab. the minor pentatonic scale in the key of C will be the A minor pentatonic scale. It looks like this: Page 17 . D. I'm not asking you to play this. Listen to the song on youtube at http://www. E. Go to http://www.youtube.Play through the major pentatonic like this: e|----------------------------------------------------------| B|-------------------1--------------------------------------| G|----------------2-----2--------------------5--5-----------| D|----------2--5-----------2--5--2--5--------5--5-----------| A|----3--5-----------------------------5--3--3--3-----------| E|----------------------------------------------------------| Minor Pentatonic Scales Minor pentatonic scales also contain 5 notes and are based on the relative minor of the key in which you're playing. What I want you to do is to jam along with Clapton on the solo ( and on the chorus if you like. as it's called ) minor scale. C.ultimate-guitar.

Have fun.e|----------------------------5--8--10------------------| B|----------------------6--8----------------------------| G|----------0--2--5--7----------------------------------| D|----0--3----------------------------------------------| A|------------------------------------------------------| E|------------------------------------------------------| Any of these notes will work with the notes Clapton and the band are playing. I want a backstage pass! Page 18 . and experiment with different sounds and note combinations. And if Eric Clapton invites you on tour to play with him. improvise.

Anyway. and Barre chords.Basic Guitar Chords The building blocks of songs For the majority of songs you’ll play (I’d say all of them unless you’re a lead guitarist. E. Minor. If you’ve never picked up a guitar before. well kind of. “Hey! What happened to the B Chord!?” I’m getting to that. F and G chords. minor. specifically the 1st. D. Page 19 .. equip yourself with all the tools you’ll need to play those guitar songs. which is a selection of the Open Major. C.) you’ll need to learn how to play guitar chords. and have no idea where to start. Then come back here and learn all the major.Major chords are made up of 3 notes. Seventh. A C# (C-Sharp) at the 3rd position and an E at the 5th position. 7ths. 3rd and 5th notes from the major scale. If you’re not quite sure how to read the chord diagrams check out the beginner guitar chord lesson for a quick guide. It’s an interesting subject and you may want to sidetrack and quickly check out my blog post on the B Chord Guitar. check out my guide on Easy guitar chords for beginners.. and Barre chords. I’m going to guide you through the most common guitar chords you’ll come across. How to Play the Major Guitar Chords The open major guitar chords available to you are the A. For example the A Major Chord has the A note at the 1st position in the A Major Scale.

We say the A Major Chord is made up of A. So that’s the first piece of the puzzle. huh? A Major The A Guitar Chord is relatively easy to play. by Dragon. Now we want to find a way to play these notes easily on the guitar. which fits nicely into the notes for our A major chord. the next string down again is the G. now for the C# and E. so when you play it as an open string you’re creating an A note. but quite hard to switch to from other chords for the beginner guitarist. Pretty simple. if you place your first finger on the second fret you’ll be playing an E note.. A fantastic track with an easy but distinctive strumming pattern. C# and E notes. It turns out the second string on the guitar is the A string. Page 20 . The A and Asus4 are used as the primary chords for April Sun in Cuba. C# and E notes. And as we discovered it’s made up from the A. and on the second fret you’ll find another A note. the second fret will produce a C# and the bottom string can be played open because it’s an E.. The next string down is the D. then comes the B string.

E. in this case C. Magic! Page 21 . Probably most famously used on Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.C Major Remember we’re looking for the 1st. 3rd and 5th notes in the Major scale for the Key. and F# in it. D Major The D Major chord has the notes D. D and E notes in the chord. flitting between the D Major and Dsus4 just before the solo. which gives us the C.

E Major E Major is made up of the notes E. It leads on to the idea of using one finger to “barre” more than one string. D. then another little lick and into the C. then 3 before returning to the Open position. G. and A This is probably the hardest chord for new guitarist. so your other fingers are free to play a selection of other notes. It’s called the F chord for a reason. A chord progression. and G# Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix used the E Major chord as the anchoring point after the intro. F Major The notes in the F Major Chord are F. Page 22 . F#. the same shape is then used 4 frets up. G.

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd uses the notes from the G chord during the intro to great effect. D minor (Dm) and A minor (Am). A Minor Chord is created by taking the 3rd note of the Major Scale and taking it down a semi-tone. Minor Chords The three minor chords you’ll use most often are E minor (Em). A#. the third note (G#) is taken down a semi-tone to G and we complete it with the B. G and B. and C. which is the E. For example in the E minor we take the 1st note. this is called the flat note. Page 23 . So E. Here’s the chord diagrams for the three minor chords you should learn how to play.G Major The G Major chord is made up of the notes: G.

A minor (Am) D minor (Dm) Page 24 .

E minor (Em) These are the basic chords that will get you through a surprisingly large number of songs. Later on in Chapter 9 we'll talk about some more advanced chords that will help you cover just about any song you can find! Page 25 .

but don't grip it so hard that it restricts your movements and wrist action. For example. Learning how to strum your guitar properly is a basic technique that all guitarists need to learn. start by holding your guitar pick between the thumb and forefinger of your strumming hand.Basic Strumming Patterns Starting to develop your rhythm. the chord won't sound right. it's relatively easy to master. which is fretted like this: e|--------3-----------| B|--------3-----------| G|--------0-----------| D|--------0-----------| A|--------2-----------| E|--------3-----------| Page 26 . in a D chord the fifth and sixth string should remain silent. If you accidentally hit those strings as you strum. For all of my examples. First of all. Fortunately. Hold the pick firmly. I'm going to ask you to strum a standard G chord. Be sure to strum only the strings you want to play in each chord.

3 or 4. You want to make it sound as musical as possible. When you strum. Playing with a metronome can help you get used to playing with the correct timing. most of the action should come from your wrist. We'll start by strumming four quarter notes ( 1 bar ) of the G chord. Strum firmly.The first pattern to master is the quarter note pattern. in time with the "and" when you're counting. but not too hard. in other words strum from the 6th string to the 1st string. Count in your head or out loud to keep time with the music. that is.2. This time I want you to alternate up and down strokes with the pick. that is they should be in time with the 1. "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and" The down strokes should always be on the beat. Use all down strokes to begin with. Try to maintain a steady. The upstrokes should always be on the offbeats. even rhythm and volume. Page 27 . The next step is to practice alternating up and down strokes. For this I want you to play the G chord for a bar of eight notes.

lifting your pick just high enough off the strings so that they don't sound while the tied note is still ringing. As you can see in this example.So. however maintain your regular strumming motion. pretty easy right? The next step is to add a bit of syncopation. Keep in mind that you want to maintain that eighth note strumming motion. You should. You can perform any strumming pattern in the same way. you don't strum the 5th note since it is tied to the 4th. Page 28 . The next pattern to learn also contains a bar of eighth notes. but I'm going to add a tie on the 4th and 5th eighth notes in the bar. Resume your picking with the up stroke on the sixth note. This type of pattern works very well when strumming the chords to a song in standard 4/4 time. alternating downstrokes and upstrokes with each note. treat it the same as you would an eighth note pattern. Make sure that any notes on the beat are played as downstrokes and the offbeats should be played as upstrokes. If you have a sixteenth note pattern. When you come to the 5th note ( the 3 as you're counting ) lift your pick slightly above the strings so that you don't strike them.

Page 29 . Ok. gives the music a driving. This allows you to concentrate on the strumming pattern. we're going to learn the strumming pattern for a great song from the Jacob Dylan led Wallflowers. because the chord pattern is fairly easy and repeats throughout the song. This is a great song to work on your strumming pattern. repetitive feel that adds emphasis and provides a great background for a lead solo or vocalist. Three Marelenas. now for the fun part. especially while playing power chords.The final pattern I want to show you is one that is very commonly found on rhythm guitar in rock and pop music. so here is the tab for a G power chord: e|--------------------| B|--------------------| G|--------------------| D|--------5-----------| A|--------5-----------| E|--------3-----------| In this pattern you deliberately repeat downstrokes for each eighth note. This pattern works best with power chords. Using downstrokes repeatedly.

you should be able to get the hang of it quickly.up. up. up.which is a bit complicated. up. giving the vocals and keyboards something to build on.ultimate-guitar. but if you stick to the principles I mentioned above. listen to the song here on youtube to get a sense of how it goes: http://www.com/watch?v=RloXtzcCAf8 Here's the tab from Ultimate Guitar : http://www. Dsus9. G and Am7. Listen to the song for the timing. up down. Have fun with it! Page 30 . down.htm The strumming pattern remains exactly the same throughout the song and the chord progression repeats itself D. up. The strumming pattern goes like this : Down. down.youtube.com/tabs/w/wallflowers/ three_marlenas_ver2_crd. The nicely syncopated rhythm gives the song a catchy foundation. First of all.

It can be a little intimidating to hear a master finger picker such as Leo Kottke play for the first time. although you may want to experiment a little to find the nail length that works best for you. the low E. The general rule of finger picking is that your thumb controls the notes on the bottom three strings of the guitar. 1/8 of an inch or about 0. and your ring finger plays the notes on the high E string. At the end of the lesson. I'll show you how to play the tune Everybody Hurts by R. Many beginning guitarists struggle with the idea of learning how to finger pick.3cm beyond the end of your finger is a good guide. If your nails are too long. Your finger nails don't need to be too long to accomplish this. start by placing your right hand (assuming of course that you're right Page 31 . Your index finger plays the notes that occur on the third or G string. When you pick each note. This gives you the best control and tone.Finger Picking Add a new dimension to your rhythm playing.M. if they're too short. you lose a bit of control and speed.E. To find the correct right hand position for finger picking. the middle finger plays notes on the second string. you may have trouble getting a consistent tone. you can add a new dimension to your playing and composing. Most often these will be the root notes of the chord that you are playing. A and D strings. but the truth is that basic finger picking patterns are easy to learn and with a little practice. you want to pluck the string between your finger nail and the end of the fleshy part of your finger.

handed. making sure to use the correct finger for each note. Play it through slowly in quarter notes. i. if you're left handed use your left hand to pluck the strings) parallel to the strings of your guitar. P is for the thumb. To get you started I'm going to give you a basic chord pattern. With your other three fingers. use the middle of your nail and finger and pluck the note with an upward motion. These letters refer to the fingers on your right hand used to play each note. Anchor your thumb on the low E string and tilt your hand slightly downward. You'll play the lower notes in a downward motion with the outside of your thumb and nail. In instructional books you'll often see the letters p. m and a beside the notes. i for the index finger m for the middle finger and a is used to designate your ring finger. C Am D G e|------------0-------------0-------------2-------------3-----| B|---------1-------------1-------------3-------------3--------| G|------0-------------2-------------2-------------0-----------| D|-------------------------------0----------------------------| A|---3-------------0------------------------------------------| E|---------------------------------------------3--------------| p i m a p i m a p i m a p i m a Page 32 .

B and C on the fifth string before ending on the C chord. In this example. putting in the practice time is the key to improving your technique. Your thumb is the only digit that moves from string to string. Each of the notes should be played with your thumb. Again. This keeps things simple and allows you to play some very fast passages on the top three strings. play it through slowly as quarter notes and gradually increase the tempo as you feel comfortable. It also allows you to keep your right hand in a relatively stable position on the guitar. once you get used to the pattern. C D C e|------0-----0-----0-----0-----2-----2-----2-----------0--0---| B|------1-----1-----1-----1-----3-----3-----3-----------1--1---| G|------0-----0-----0-----0-----2-----2-----2-----------0--0---| D|---------------2------------0----------0---------------------| A|---3-----------------3-----------0-----------0--2--3-----3---| E|---------3---------------------------------------------------| As you can see. Here's a simple exercise to help you get you used to playing different strings with your thumb. As always. middle and ring finger stay on the same string throughout. This is a very Page 33 . playing A. I added a brief run leading up to the final C chord. One of the biggest challenges in finger picking is to get your thumb moving freely and easily between strings. which helps you to maintain a consistent tone.Notice that your index. we're going to play the top three notes as a solid chord rather than playing the notes individually.

htm As you can see.'s classic song.M.com/tabs/r/rem/ everybody_hurts_ver3_tab. With time you'll be able to play some pretty complex and interesting bass lines using just your thumb while incorporating melodies with your other fingers on the top three strings. Feel free to experiment with different chord changes and design your own bass line runs leading into the chords. Everybody Hurts. Ok. http:// www. but alternates the Em and A chords like this: Page 34 .com/watch?v=pudOFG5X6uA The tab is here: http://www.effective way to lead into a new chord and you can hear countless examples of it in bluegrass and country music. are you ready to learn a song? First go to youtube and check out R. the intro and verses simply alternate D and G chords in the following pattern: e|-------2-----------2-----|-------3-----------3-----| B|-----3---3-------3---3---|---------3-----------3---| G|---2-------2---2-------2-|-----0-----0-----0-----0-| D|-0-----------0-----------|---0-----------0---------| A|-------------------------|-------------------------| E|-------------------------|-3-----------3-----------| (x3) The chorus follows the same pattern.E.youtube.ultimate-guitar.

e|-------0-----------0-----|-------0-----------0-----| B|---------0-----------0---|---------2---------------| G|-----------0-----------0-|-----2-----2-----2-------| D|-----2-----------2-------|---2-----------2---------| A|---2-----------2---------|-0-----------0-----------| E|-0-----------0-----------|---------------------3-2-| (X2) Notice the short bass run at the end of the A chord that leads back to the Em chord. Page 35 .

G. Am progression like this: e|-------2-----------2-----|-------2-----------2-----| B|---------2-----------3---|---------3-----------3---| G|-----------2-----------3-|-----4-----4-----4-----4-| D|-----4-----------4-------|---4-----------4---------| A|---4-----------4---------|-2-----------2-----------| E|-2-----------2-----------|-------------------------| (x3) C G e|-------0-----------0-----|-------3-----------3-----| B|---------1-----------1---|---------3-----------3---| G|-----0-----0-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-----0-----0-| D|---2-----------2---------|---0-----------0---------| A|-3-----------3-----------|-------------------------| E|-------------------------|-3-----------3-----------| C C/B Am e|-------------------|-------|-------0---------------| B|-------------------|-------|---------1-------------| G|-----0-----0-----0-|-----0-|-----2-----2-----------| D|---2-----2-----2---|---0---|---2-------------------| A|-3-----3-----3-----|-2-----|-0-----------0--(stop)-| E|-------------------|-------|-----------------------| Page 36 . C.The bridge alternates F# minor and Bm chords three times before moving to a C.

The song then cycles through the verse and chorus again. With a little bit of practice. Good luck with your playing! Page 37 . you'll be able to play this song confidently in no time at all. before fading out on the D and G progression of the final verse.

which is G and the 5th of the G major scale. Most often. A G5 chord looks like this: Page 38 . The use of power chords originated with the blues and is now most commonly heard in rock. Playing the G and D together gives you a two note power chord. which is D. a G power chord is written G5. which gives you a fuller and more complete sound. How to construct a power chord A power chord is comprised of only two notes. you'll also see the root of the chord repeated an octave higher. In this chapter.More Guitar Chords Expanding your musical vocabulary. Power chords are an essential element in the tool box of any aspiring guitarist. they are very easy to learn and can be played anywhere on the guitar neck. Fortunately. we're going to look at some more advanced chords that will allow you to play more advanced and sophisticated songs. The first type of chord we'll discuss is called a power chord. In this example. A "G" power chord. the root and the fifth of the chord you're using. for instance is made of the root of the G major scale. Power chords are one of the most popular chord forms used in music today. A power chord is written in music as the root of the chord and the number 5.pop and and heavy metal music.

your third finger plays the 5th and if necessary. your 4th finger plays the octave. Experiment with both and do whatever feels most comfortable. Some players prefer to fret both the 5th and octave with their third finger. the first finger of your fretting hand plays the root note on the bottom string. Page 39 .Two note G5 chord e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------| D|--------------------------------------------------| A|------5-------------------------------------------| E|------3-------------------------------------------| Three note G5 chord e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------| D|------5-------------------------------------------| A|------5-------------------------------------------| E|------3-------------------------------------------| When playing power chords.

if you mistakenly strum extra strings. As you can see.Take care to play only the strings indicated when playing a power chord. the root of the chord ( G ) is played on the sixth string while the 5th ( D ) is played on the fifth string. you'll be playing notes that are not part of the chord and you won't get the sound you're looking for. a D5 chord starting on the fifth string looks like this: Two note D5 chord e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------| D|------7-------------------------------------------| A|------5-------------------------------------------| E|--------------------------------------------------| Three note D5 chord e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|------7-------------------------------------------| D|------7-------------------------------------------| A|------5-------------------------------------------| E|--------------------------------------------------| Page 40 . You can also play power chords with the root note on the fifth string. For example. The additional G note in the three string example is played on the 4th string and is exactly one octave higher than the root.

second fret. In this way you can play a power chord from any root note that you wish. You can use the same chord shape starting with the root note on the fifth string. start with your fingers in position to play the G5 chord and simply move each of your fingers down 1 fret so that the root note is on the sixth string. the 5th on string 4 and the octave. To play an F# power chord. 4th fret ( C# ) and the octave on the 4 string. 4th fret ( F# ). Keep in mind that you can play an E5 chord with the sixth string open and the 5th and octave played at the second fret on the fifth and fourth string. The 5th would be on the 5th string. The same shape starting on the fifth string gives you an A5 chord. E5 e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------| D|------2-------------------------------------------| A|------2-------------------------------------------| E|------0-------------------------------------------| Page 41 .Moving Power Chords Around the Neck One of the most useful features of power chords is that you can play them in the same shape at any position on the neck of the guitar. if desired on the third string. for example.

Play around with a variety of power chords at all positions on the neck to get comfortable with them. B in the key of G ) is the note which determines whether a chord is major or minor. and bringing it down a semi-tone. A major third gives you a major chord and a minor third ( Bb in the key of G ) gives you a minor chord. The third note of each scale ( for example. What this means for you as a guitarist is that a G5 chord will work well when the rest of your band is playing either a G major. The Major Scale ends with a half-semitone so it’s easy to work out the 7th note. They're indispensable for the aspiring rock and blues guitarist and can also be used with great effect in most other forms of music. Page 42 . Open 7th Guitar Chords 7th chords are creating by bringing in the note in the 7th position of the scale. G minor or virtually any other type of G chord. Power chords are fairly easy to learn and can add punch and an edgy feel to your playing.A5 e|--------------------------------------------------| B|--------------------------------------------------| G|------2-------------------------------------------| D|------2-------------------------------------------| A|------0-------------------------------------------| E|--------------------------------------------------| Since power chords do not contain the third note of the scale. just go one step below the Key you’re in. they are neither minor nor major chords.

Oh. here’s the chord diagrams for the 7th chords you should learn how to play. add in the other 2 notes (3rd and 5th position) to get A. E and G. not that you really wanted to know. anyway. C.For example in the key of A you’d come down to a G#.. then take that down to G. A7 B7 Page 43 . and by the way these are called Dominant 7ths..

C7 D7 Page 44 .

. Page 45 .E7 G7 How to Play Barre Chords on Guitar Barre chords are almost like the cheats way to play any chord on the guitar without having to remember all those different fingerings in the open position.. forming a bar. The hard part however is getting used to using your index finger to press down on all the strings...

Here we go. The same theory applies to the 5th string barre chords. You can play barre chords using either the 6th string. They each have different shapes so I’ll run through the 6th string barre shapes and then the 5th. a G Minor by using the E Minor chord shape. Page 46 . The 6th string barre chords use the E shape... and remember if you’re barring the 3rd fret at the 6th string. however they use the A shape chords. see below for some diagrams.Trust me. or 5th string as the root note. etc. 3rd and 4th fingers. once you learn this you will have opened up a whole field of guitar playing you never knew existed. E7 from above? You now want to learn how to play all of those using your 2nd.. E Minor.. you’re at G. So you’ll play a G Major by using the E Major chord shape. The chord you’re playing is determined by the root note (where your index finger is on the 5th or 6th string) and the shape of the chord you’re forming with the rest of your fingers. so you remember the E Major.

6th String Barre Chords Major Shape Minor Shape Dominant 7th Page 47 .

6th String Barre Chords Major Shape Minor Shape Dominant 7th Page 48 .

all up and down the guitar neck.With these barre chords. Mastering barre chords will allow you to play a tremendous variety of songs and also give you some choice in the various chord voicing’s you can use. You're well on your way to becoming a killer guitarist. you'll be able to play a huge variety of chords. Page 49 .

We've thrown a lot of information at you with this book. Playing guitar is supposed to be FUN. That way. Learning the guitar is like anything else. however. The material from each chapter builds on the information in the previous chapter. If it feels too much like work. it's best to start with a warm up. sometimes I try to fit in a couple of short practice sessions per day if I have time. you avoid boredom and a loss of concentration. you're probably overdoing it. the better you'll be. I want to talk a little bit about practicing and give you some ideas for how to structure your practice time. so make sure you understand the first chapters before moving on to the later ones. I find it easiest to practice for short periods of time. Practicing for as little as 15 minutes at a time can bring great benefits as long as you practice regularly. In this final chapter. and it will take some time to digest. which can lead to sloppy technique. Try to play through different Page 50 . not to do so much that you get frustrated or overwhelmed by it all. Play through some scales a few times. When you put together a practice session. Take care. No worries. slowly at first and then faster as you go along. Try to practice every day if you can.This helps get your fingers limbered up and helps focus your concentration. the more you practice. take your time and follow each stage step by step and gradually it will become second nature to you.Your 15 Minute Practice The ONLY way to master guitar is through well designed practice sessions.

play through some easy songs to continue the warm up process and to keep yourself in used to playing these tunes. Don't be afraid to repeat a single bar 5. the ones you play well and love to play.scales each time for variety and so that you can learn them all in time. Once you feel like you've got your fingers moving. Best of luck in your guitar playing and if you get stuck or need some more information. Finally. you want to end off on a fun note and reward yourself for the hard work you've put in. set the song aside for another day when you can give it your full energy again. the more you'll want to play and the better guitarist you'll be.com for more info and tips. Once you really feel like you're really ready to go. check back with instantguitarist. This is the difficult part and will take some discipline. End of your practice session by playing through your favorite songs. The next segment is where you do the hard work. Once you sense that you're losing your concentration or getting frustrated. Sometimes I have to repeat the same bar 15 or 20 times a day for a week or more to get it right. 10 or more times if that's what you need to get it just right. Rock on! Page 51 . This gives you something to look forward to throughout your practice session and allows you to end off on a fun and enjoyable note. The more you enjoy your guitar playing. pick out a difficult song or passage and focus on making it the best you can.

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