It’s actually very easy: Play an open sixth string note, followed by the first fret of the sixth string with your first (pointer) finger. Then play the second fret on the same string with your second finger. Then the third with your third (ring) finger, and finally you play the fourth fret on the sixth string with your fourth (pinky) finger. Incidentally, this movement up the neck of one fret a time (or half-step) is called the Chromatic Scale, which is where this exercise gets its name.
Strum your guitar with a pick or your fingers. Hold down the strings with your fingers in the appropriate shape and try to strum with your other hand. Acoustic guitar strings often have higher actions than electric guitars, so you may have to press down very hard to get a good sound. If the chord comes out muted, try holding down the strings with more force. If your string is buzzing, move your finger further away from the metal fret on your neck.
Now this of course does not mean that we won’t do songs, as playing your favorite songs is a very fun and good part of playing guitar. What this means is that instead of falling into the trap of just learning one song, then another, then another and never actually learning how things work, we will be sure to show you HOW SONGS WORK so that when you learn or play a song you can learn it by understanding the core idea of the song instead of trying to memorize the several hundred individual notes that are inside of the song. Basically, we will make sure you understand how music works so that you are free to have fun not just learning and memorizing songs, but also by playing on the fly or writing your own songs!
Chords are simply combining notes together from scales. There are, again, many different approaches to how chords can be learned, but they need to be not just learned, but understood. The reason is simple—there are so many songs that have the same or similar chord progressions. Understanding how chords and their progressions work will allow students to learn a song much faster. This is associative learning, and when applied, the student is learning not just to play the guitar, but learning music itself.
I would especially like to stress the gentle approach Justin takes with two key aspects that contributed to my development as a musician - music theory and ear training. Justin has succeeded in conveying the importance and profoundness of understanding music both theoretically and through your ears while maintaining a simple and accessible approach to them, all while sticking to what is ultimately the most important motto: 'If it sounds good, it is good'.
After teaching guitar and music theory to thousands of students over past three decades, I thought that I had basically 'seen it all' when it comes to guitar instruction. Then I discovered Justin’s website, and man was I impressed! Justin’s caring spirit, attention to detail, vast knowledge base, and especially his lucid, laidback and nurturing style, allow students to fall in love with the learning process. You see, it’s not enough to simply find out how to play a few cool licks or chords. A truly great teacher will make you fall in love with the process of discovery so that you can unlock the best within you. Justin is one of these great teachers, and I highly recommend justinguitar.com to anyone who wants to tap into their best selves.
So, don't get too caught up in strums, as the best approach is to start any new song with this basic down strum. Then, hit the strings on the way up as well, the down-up strum while counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and." This way you are making twice the amount of sound with the same hand motion, giving you a little more movement and fuller accompaniment to a vocal line (melody).
Now that you’ve learned how to purchase a guitar, how to play guitar chords, and the basics of playing a guitar, you’ll just need to maintain practice! Use the ChordBuddy device as long as you need to, removing tabs as you progress. You’ll be ready to perform for your family and friends in no time at all. When you see how easy it is to finally practice and play the guitar, you’re not going to want to give up! See how ChordBuddy works, and discover how beginners, teachers, senior citizens, people with arthritis, and those with disabilities can play the guitar. To contact us, click here or call 877-947-2641.