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8 Steps to Playing Guitar for Beginners

Updated on December 26, 2017

The 8 Steps to build your foundation on

Step 1:


Tuning your guitar is the first thing you should learn. Standard tuning is E A D G B e,(there are lots of other tunings, but thats for another article later on) I would recommend buying a tuner to start.

Step 2:

Root Notes

Your tuner will be very helpful with this. Start with the top string on the guitar (E) and learn each note from open (not pressing on the string) to the 3rd fret. Do the same for the second string (A), these are where your root position chords are played and where you will start out when you get to that point.

Step 3:

Finger Numbers

Each finger is a number in the guitar world. It's a pretty basic numbering system, your pointer finger is 1, middle 2, ring 3, pinkie 4. Your thumb is called your thumb (ran out of ideas for naming it). Knowing this will be instrumental (pun intended) for reading tabs and learning new things.

Step 4:


Pick a fret, any fret. Start at the top string and play a note, then repeat for all the strings on the same fret. Once you get to the last string do the same process going up the strings. Keep doing this up and down the strings until you are comfortable playing single notes up and down the strings. Once you feel confident with that, try learning a scale. I would recommend starting with the pentatonic scale.

Step 5:


This gives most beginners trouble. It can be very frustrating learning strum patterns and some people give up learning the guitar because of it. The trick to it is, learn the strum pattern of a song before the chords. You won't have to do this once you are comfortable with strumming, but if you are just starting out it is easier to learn this first. Place your left hand on the strings lightly to mute them (right hand for lefty players) and learn a strum pattern. Try strumming down the strings twice and then up once. Keep doing this until it is easy and you can get a good rhythm going. Once you are ok with that try a different pattern (make one up yourself) and master it.

Step 6:


At this point you will be ready to learn chords. There are 2341 possible chords that can be played on the guitar. You will start with the first 3 main chords that are used for hundreds of songs. The first one is G Maj (I Will post a chart below with root position chords) the second one is C Maj, and the third one is D Maj (Maj stands for Major chord, those are happy sounding chords). Once you are able to play those easily, you can use your strumming patterns with each chord to make a little music.

Step 7:

Chord transitioning

Now you are ready to learn a song. Like I said there are tons of songs you can learn with just G C D. One you can start with is Louie Louie (first song I learned 20 years ago wow I'm getting old) it has a basic strum pattern and is pretty easy to get the hang of. Once you have it down you can learn the other root position chords, this will open you up to learning song after song after song.

Step 8:

Practice Practice Practice

The only way you are going to become a guitar player is to put the time in. I spent 4 hours a day playing and learning when I first started. You obviously don't have to spend 4 hours every day playing, but you have to play every day. Take even 30 minutes a day, learn one new thing, as small as it might be it will help you in the long run to become an awesome guitarist and musician.

Chord Chart Above

How to Read the Chart

The chart above is read as follows. From left to right are strings E A D G B e. The dark line is the nut of your guitar ( part at the end of your fret board that the strings rest on). The space between that and the first thin line, is the first fret of your guitar. The numbers at the top are which finger goes on what string, and the black dot indicates which fret to press on. The X means do not strum that string.A blank at the top means strum the open string with the chord

Don't Get Frustrated

Learning guitar is hard at first. If you are having a hard time or don't quite understand something, use the resources you have to get help. Subscribe and I will help you myself. Stick with it and I promise it will fill your life with joy, and a great sense of accomplishment.

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”

— B.B King
Music is an art that can be learned by all
Music is an art that can be learned by all

Thanks For Reading

Well there you go, if you follow these tips, I promise you will be playing guitar for years to come. Feel free to leave a comment on other topics you would like to know more about.



© 2017 Survive It All


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