ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learn to Play the Guitar for the Absolute Total Beginner, the Simplified Basics of What You Need to Know

Updated on August 16, 2018
Guitar Wizard profile image

Music School Owner, Recording Artist, Guitarist, Composer, Performer & Educator. My goal is to make good music, make and keep good friends.

Yet Another How To Play Guitar From The Beginning Article

Do we really need another one of these how to play guitar articles? Well don't ask this writer his unbiased opinion. Seriously, there is so much out there on this subject, really good stuff for all levels of student and pro alike so why bother would be a fair question to ask. I'm glad you asked!

The problem is that so much of it is from total amateur non-teachers who haven't a clue about presenting information in a simple, articulate, informed way. The internet is crowded with thousands of so called lessons presented by anyone who can bang out a couple of chords and has access to a video camera and the internet. Trying to find the few gems through a ton of gravel can be a daunting task to say the least.

I'm confident you will my material useful but you should certainly look at other people's approaches as none of us are there for you in person. You might find one of us has an approach that resonates better with you.

I will be presenting the basics of learning to play the guitar from the absolute very beginning based on my 30+ years of performing teaching, running three music schools and publishing instuctional material.

The Nine Basic Must Learn Chords For Beginners to Learn First

The Most Important Chords for a Beginner to Learn First

There are many aspects to learning how to play the guitar, the first and foremost being chords.

Most of what guitar does in most music is play accompaniments using chords.

You'll find that these chords are used in country, rock, folk and pop styles of music.

The following video demonstrates finger by finger, fret by fret and string by string how to play theses nine must-know chords for every beginning guitarist.


These nine basic chords A, C, D, E, F and G major, and A, D and E minor are the basis for so much of the music that most of us are familiar with and when you start practicising them more than likely many of the combinations will sound very familiar.

Learn just these basic chords and you will be able to play literally thousands of songs.

Nine Essential Beginner Guitar Chords

Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: A
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: A | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Ami
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Ami | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: C
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: C | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: D
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: D | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Dmi
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Dmi | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: E
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: E | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Emi
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: Emi | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: F
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: F | Source
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: G
Beginner Guitar Chord Lesson: G | Source

Why G First?

Good question. This the way I've found most effective for most students. G tends to be a fairly easy chord to master. The logic is to play a chord you know well followed by one you are learning.

This is by no means the only way to approach learning these chords. Any combination works and should ultimately be tried.

A as the reference chord:

  • A-C
  • A-D
  • A-Dmi
  • A-E
  • A-Emi
  • A-G

D as the reference chord:

  • D-A
  • D-Ami
  • D-C
  • D-E
  • D-Emi
  • D-G

You get the idea. As you learn other chords such as the 7ths, incorporate them as well.

How to Efficiently Switch Between Chords

The following video lesson demonstrates a simple efficient way to quickly how to switch from chord to chord using the guide or target finger concept. The idea is that you you pick a finger to lead you to the next chord. This "guide" or "target" finger goes to the string and fret of the chord you are changing to first and the others follow.

There's more. To make this work you pick 2 chords and play each chord with a down and up strum four times. So that's down/up down/up down/up down/up. Without stopping, change to the next chord using the guide finger of your choice (this is where everybody stops but you won't) and add the other fingers as quickly as possible. Keep track of how many strokes it takes to add the other fingers and complete the chord. Then, without stopping change back to the first chord in the same fashion. By keeping track of how long it takes to complete each chord will give something to compare your progress from day to day. Try to play each pair of chords you choose at least 10 times.

Examples: G-C, G-D, G-Emi, G-Ami, C-F, E-A, A-D

YouTube Switching From G to D

YouTube Switching From G to C

More Switching Using G as Starting Chord

Free Video Guitar Lessons

Subscribe to GuitarSchool1 on YouTube for more free lessons

Switching Simplified

CAGED System Simplified

Notes On The Neck

Beginning Jazz Chords

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Robert 

      15 months ago

      This is great. I really liked it

    • Guitar Wizard profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      3 years ago from Long Beach

      Happy New Year and thanks.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      You present a lot of useful information in your Hubs. Happy New Year.

    • Guitar Wizard profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      4 years ago from Long Beach

      That's great, let me know how you do.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 

      4 years ago from Tampa Bay

      You've got a great group of instructional hubs that I hope others find and share. Your experience and knowledge make a difference when instructing others as to the how, when, and why. I can play piano, but am all fingers on the guitar. Maybe I'll borrow one of my son's guitars and see what I can do! Both of my sons are self-taught musicians. I'm sure they would enjoy reading through your portfolio here at HP.

    • Guitar Wizard profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Edward Fitchett 

      4 years ago from Long Beach

      That looks like a great site with lots of useful resources.

    • profile image

      windsong 

      4 years ago

      Thanks

      Got this over at guitar for beginners and beyond.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)