Some young players get the idea that you have to first master basic chords and scales before you can move on to playing songs you know by bands you love. Not so. Of course if you are into classical music, progressive metal or jazz that may be true, but you might be surprised to know that much of the rock and country music you hear is based around very simple chord progressions.
It’s important to realize there is a fine line between challenging yourself with music that is slightly above your ability, and frustrating yourself with music you have no logical reason to expect yourself to be able to play just yet. This line is different for each new guitarist. Some may work on basic chords for years, and be happy enough with that. Others may dive neck-deep into some fairy difficult music and thrive on the challenge it provides. Point is, go at your own pace, and don’t ever feel like you need to take on more of a challenge than you are ready for.
* Pull off harmonic - Pull off harmonics are used frequently in Rock and Metal. Achieving one is a two step process where you first pull off to an open string with first finger then quickly touch the harmonic at around the 3rd of 4th fret. The result is a high pitched harmonic. This trick works best on the 3rd string. Add a whammy bar dive bomb for maximum effect and sustain.
Tapping is a technique where the right hand taps a string and alternates with notes played by the left hand. A basic way you can start tapping is to find three notes that you want to play on one string and play them as triplets using this sequence: tap, pull-off, pull-off. The first note is tapped with your index or middle finger and then pulls-off onto a note held by one of the left hand fingers, which is then pulled-off onto another note held by a left hand finger. Other ways to tap are to use more right hand fingers, use open strings, and to use different rhythms.
After covering Types of Guitar: Beginners Guide to Buying a Guitar, I feel it is appropriate this week to focus on learning guitar chords and the importance of practicing them. By that I mean anything from two-note power chords to spidery jazz chords spanning all six strings. Don’t make the mistake of attempting lead guitar without first getting a solid grasp on chordal, rhythmic playing.
Secondly, you are going to build up a vocabulary of basic chords. This should include mastering open-form A, C, D, E, F and G Major chords, as well as open-form minors such as Am, Em, Dm and even some easy 7th chords. You should learn to play “power chords” (which actually aren’t chords at all) as well as the most commonly used movable barre shapes such as A, Am, E and Em.
This is not a substitute for learning scales. At some point down the road you are going to want to dive into music theory at least a little bit, if nothing else so you can understand how scales work and how chords are built. For now you are a beginner, and this exercise can go a long way toward loosening up your fretting hand and improving your technique.
Throughout the Beginner Guitar Quick-Start Series, we’ll include the most important things you need to know be successful at playing guitar right away. First we’ll cover basics like how to tune your guitar, how to hold your guitar, and the parts of the guitar. After that, we’ll get into technique, how to strum, how to make your first chords, and how to play your first song.
You’ll need to press the strings down firmly to ensure they ring out well. One of the toughest parts for beginners is ensuring you aren’t “muting” the strings that you aren’t fretting (credit natasha at www.dresshead.com). These small touches get programmed in to your fingers after hours of time, so don’t worry too much about it. Just focus on getting the best sound out of your guitar.
Learning guitar is a lot of fun, and with the right lessons anyone can become a great guitar player. However, to be successful it's important to pick the right learning method and stay focused. We designed our Core Learning System to be a step-by-step system that keeps beginners on-track and having fun. Give it a try today by becoming a Full Access member.
Our highly-trained professional instructors teach guitar lessons to beginners starting with the fundamentals, including scales, chords, tuning, arpeggios and rhythm. They then use famous rock songs to help guide guitar students through the early stages of musical development. Our beginner guitar lessons inspire creativity and help develop new students into world-class players with weekly private guitar lessons and group rehearsals. School of Rock's core philosophy is that the best way for students to gain musical proficiency is through performance-based music education. All of our lessons for guitar students include a performance aspect.
Travis Perry states that he loves playing music, and that he has taught thousands of people how to play the guitar. He states that it is sad to see thousands of people quit playing the guitar, simply because it is very difficult to master it. According to Travis Perry, the guitar is the most popular instrument in the world, but it is also one of the most frustrating.
The guitar is a remarkably hackable instrument for a million reasons that will be revealed to you as you spend more time with it. As you go along in your journey you’ll find a million shortcuts and fun ways to learn fast. I’ve rarely heard any of this stuff from guitar teaches, so beware, trust your instincts, and learn from people who can show you where you want to be.