Below you’ll find a breakdown of a quick, easy and popular beginner guitar lesson I found on YouTube.
I’ve broken it up into easy and digestible chunks that will hopefully assist you in getting a handle on your new-found hobby.
You’ll see how to get some sweet-sounding chords out of your guitar in just a few minutes…
If you find the lesson helpful then please feel free to share it with anyone else who might get some value from it.
See How To Play The Guitar In 15 Mins…
This lesson uses only 2 chords that are essentially the same shape just played over different strings.
Once you have these 2 chords mastered you’ll be well on your way towards playing many of the songs from my list of easy beginner guitar songs.
Let Marty Show Us How To Play The Guitar In No Time At All…
Before we get started let’s make sure your guitar is in tune. As Marty says in the video, nothing is gonna sound great if your guitar isn’t in tune.
Do the best you can to tune up your guitar but if you find it too difficult, find a friend or take it to a guitar store for them to do it for you.
Now we have a nicely tuned guitar, let’s learn how to play the guitar in double quick time. This is the lesson Marty wished he’d had when he was just starting out…
He talks about “getting over the hump” when starting to learn how to play the guitar, this lesson will help you get over your first one.
Don’t expect miracles to happen right away, there will be a learning curve and you’ll need to build up some dexterity in both hands.
Try practicing for 5 mins a day for a couple of months before you decide if the guitar is right for you or not.
A quick overview before you learn how to play the guitar…
Here’s a quick overview of the anatomy of the guitar for anyone starting out from zero…
Marty’s right index finger is pointing at the bridge on the body of the guitar.
At the opposite end where the fretboard starts is called the nut and beside the nut is the headstock where the tuning pegs are.
The dots shown here at the top of the fingerboard should help to keep you right as to which fret to place your finger on.
The one with the double dots indicates that it’s a full octave up from the open string on the 12th fret.
For example, the low E string played open is the lowest note on your guitar.
When you place your finger on the 12th fret where the double dots are and pluck the low E string again, that note will be another E only a full octave higher.
Below we have a close up of the fretboard and the strings.
The area between the metal frets is where you want to place your fingers and preferably closer to the same side of the fret as your strumming hand to make sure the note rings out properly.
Time for your first chord…
The 6 strings from low to high E are the notes E,A,D,G,B,E.
As Marty highlights on the video, an easy way to remember this is the phrase “(E)ddie (A)te (D)ynamite, (G)ood (B)ye (E)ddie.”
Placing your finger closer to the metal fret will help to get the notes to ring out properly.
Just like Marty, place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th or A string, then pluck the A string to make sure the note is ringing out properly and there’s no buzzing or dampening of the strings.
Now, brace yourself for your first guitar chord! Place your middle finger below your index finger on the 2nd fret of the D or 4th string to make an E minor chord shape.
Make sure your fingers are placed down hard enough to fret the notes properly and that your fingers aren’t brushing against the other open strings.
Strum down the strings to sound your very first Em chord!
Must feel nice strumming that first chord!
Just use downstrokes at first and make sure the chord rings out properly. i.e make sure that you aren’t dampening any of the open strings and that your spare fingers are tucked down out of the way.
Keep your arm nice and loose to get a nice smooth sound. The more stiff your arm is the more robotic your strumming will sound.
Once you’re comfortable with the downstrokes try adding some upstrokes and remember to try and keep a nice light touch like brushstrokes on a canvas.
Use the strumming pattern – down – down -down – up – down – up…
Keep repeating in a straight 4/4 time signature in order to get comfortable with the progression as you move forward in small steps.
If it helps you can count it like 1,2, 3 and 4 and… 1,2,3 and 4 and…
Let your right hand brush over the strings in a brush or pen-like movement on a canvas or piece of paper.
Now for your 2nd chord…
The 2nd chord is very similar to the first just a slight change of position on the fretboard.
Here we have the Asus2 chord and all you need to do is move both your index and middle finger from the Em chord down a string each, just like Marty in the picture above.
Asus2 is a very cool sounding chord and less dark sounding than the Em.
Now you have 2 guitar chords that sound great when played together and a strumming pattern to work on too.
Practice starting with the Em and getting a nice smooth strumming sound before gradually incorporating the change onto the Asus2 whilst trying to keep everything as smooth as you can.
You’ll find after a while it will become more natural as you start to relax into it and your subliminal brain takes over.
At this point you can start to play about with the changes and most importantly have some fun while playing your guitar!
I hope you enjoyed the overview of this quick and easy lesson on how to play the guitar in under an hour and that the step by step breakdown was helpful to you.
I’d really appreciate it if you would share it with anyone else you think would benefit from the post. It helps us to keep the lights on here at GuitaristsParadise.com. 🙂