Position your fingers on the neck. The dots on the chords represent where you should hold down your fingers on the neck. For instance, an A major is played by holding down the string on the second fret on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th string. An E minor is played by holding down the second fret on the 5th and 4th string. Hold the strings down until they are pressed against the neck of your guitar.
Arpeggios are just chords, but how they are played is a special technique unto itself. The left hand playing single notes and the right hand strumming a chord is such a great technique builder. I can’t express enough how important it is to work on these. Combining technical and musical efforts in a logical progression is without a doubt the best way to become a great guitarist.
Now, pick up your guitar, and hold it so the back of the body of the instrument comes in contact with your stomach/chest, and the bottom of the neck runs parallel to the floor. The thickest string on the guitar should be the closest to your face, while the thinnest should be closest to the floor. If this isn't the case, turn the guitar the in other direction. Typically, a right-handed person will hold the guitar so the headstock points to the left, whereas a left-handed person will hold the guitar so the headstock points to the right.
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The songs are arranged from easy beginners chords and layer up as you go thought the book. but they really work best with the website where Justin plays and teaches you how to play them then adds a few tricks and skills to advance each song too, so try watch all the songs even if you're not too interested in the song because there are gems of wisdom in them all. (I drew the line at Britney spears tho ;)
I bet that you’ve even tried other methods to figure it out. Spending hours on YouTube and google searching for some guitar method that will get you to the level you want, just to get bogged down in the TRUCKLOADS of seemingly unrelated material… Getting some friends that play guitar to show you something here and there, learning some songs off of tabs that are sometimes right and sometimes terribly, terribly wrong just to find that you’re stuck playing the same old things without knowing what to do next.
This is easier than it sounds. Each open guitar string is the exact same note as the 5th fret note of the string before it. Therefore, the open 5th string (A) is the same note as the 5th fret on the 6th string (also A). If it is not, adjust the tuning key for the 5th string until the open string note sounds the same as the 5th fret note on the 6th string.
Minutes 60-600. Pick up the guitar everyday for 20 days for 30 minutes or so. You can do this while you do other things like watch TV or chit chat. Get your fingers used to moving around on the fretboard. Start jamming out some John Denver baby. Please do sing along. Eventually try to keep up with tempo of the changes in the actual song. Once you can change your chords on time, focus on improving your “touch” with your right hand. Strum the chords in a way that it adds texture to the recording (if you are playing along with the man himself.)