Below you’ll find a breakdown of a quick and easy, popular beginner guitar lesson I found on YouTube. The aim here is to teach you how to play the guitar in just 15 mins.
I’ve broken it up into easy and digestible chunks that will assist you in getting a handle on your new-found hobby.
You’ll see how to get some sweet-sounding chords from 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 basically the same shape 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.
Now 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.
If you find it too difficult, find a friend or take it to a guitar shop so someone can 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’s be a learning curve and you’ll need to build up dexterity in both hands.
Try practicing for 5 mins a day for a couple of months before deciding if the guitar is right for you.
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. Beside the nut is the headstock where the tuning pegs are.
The dots on the top of the fingerboard should help you place your fingers on the right frets.
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. Preferably closer to the same side of the fret as your strumming hand to let the notes ring 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.
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 making an E minor chord shape.
Make sure your fingers are placed down hard enough to fret the notes properly and your fingers aren’t brushing against other 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.
Make sure you aren’t dampening any of the open strings and your other fingers aren’t in 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.
Use the strumming pattern – down – down -down – up – down – up…
Keep repeating in a straight 4/4 time signature to get comfortable with the progression moving 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-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.
All you need to do is move your index and middle finger from the Em chord down a string each.
Asus2 is a very cool sounding chord and less dark sounding than 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 Asus2.
Try to keep everything as smooth as you can.
You’ll find it becomes more natural as you start to relax and your subliminal brain takes over.
Then you can start playing about with the changes and most importantly have some fun while playing your guitar!
I hope you enjoyed and found this step-by-step breakdown of how to play the guitar in under an hour helpful.
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. 🙂