You may have trouble finding a guitar teacher who is on the same wavelength you are on. In other posts I’ve recounted my first experiences with a guitar instructor back when I first started playing. The guy did not seem to care one whit about what kind of music I was into or what my goals were as a new musician. He was going to teach me songs he wanted me to learn, not help me explore music that inspired me. Or perhaps he just thought a kid wearing an Ozzy Osbourne t-shirt would also be into Lionel Richie.
Learning the notes on your guitar fretboard is one of the most important things you can do to advance your guitar playing skills. Knowing this information opens up an enormous amount of possibilities and can greatly help ease the learning curve for future guitar exercises. From scales, to soloing, to chord positions / progressions, knowing where each guitar note without having to think about it will put you well ahead of other guitarists who have not mastered this yet. This guide will give you some background information regarding how the notes on your guitar fretboard are laid out and of
School of Rock has a finely-tuned preschoolers program called Little Wing that offers all the benefits of our beginner lessons, but is tailored to capture the attention of these young students and set them on a path towards music proficiency. Through playful exploration of rhythm, song structure, and melody kids are introduced to the guitar and other instruments.
Use tabs instead of sheet music. If you don't already know how to read music, it can take a lot of time to memorize and proficiently read sheet music. Tabs are an easier and more intuitive way to write music for beginners that doesn't require any formal education. Tabs will simply tell you where to put your fingers on a fret board and how to generally play a song.
Learn how to transition to different chords. One way to become proficient quickly is to learn how to transition between the various chords quickly. These transition periods are often the hardest for beginners to play when they are starting off. The more you practice between switching to different chords, however, the better you'll get at doing it in songs. Practice switching between open chords like G, A, E, and C. 
3/4 Size Acoustic: I also have a 3/4 Scale Guitar in my apartment because they are awesome to sit beside your couch and just pick up easily and jam with. I bought the guitar a few months ago, and when I was playing it a concerned shopper came up to me and reminded me “that’s for kids you know.” I laughed. Fair enough, but I think little guitars are cool to have around the house, so if you do too (or if you have really small hands) perhaps this could be the guitar for you.
This diagram illustrates the first chord we are going to play, a G major chord (often simply called a "G chord"). Take your second finger, and put it on the third fret of the sixth string. Next, take your first finger, and put it on the second fret of the fifth string. Lastly, put your third finger on the third fret of the first string. Make sure all of your fingers are curled and are not touching any strings they're not supposed to. Now, using your pick, strike all six strings in one fluid motion. Notes should ring all together, not one at a time (this could take some practice). Voila! Your first chord.
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.
For those wanting to learn the guitar, the ChordBuddy is helpful because it works on building up the strength and finger skills on the left hand, while also working on the right hand rhythm. As you progress with our system and gain more confidence, you begin to start playing without the aid of the ChordBuddy. Many people quite before getting here, but the ChordBuddy help people stick with it.
Brian May on justinguitar.com! Brian May (www.brianmay.com) on his blog, Brian May's Soapbox. "On a day when there's a temptation to go into a dark place, and only see all the bad stuff there is in the world ... greed, cruelty, exploitation, selfishness ... I get days like that pretty often .... it's great to find someone giving out, and giving out good, and operating on an honour basis ... There are so many people who can't afford Guitar lessons .... well, here's a wonderful guy who has set up a whole system of teaching guitar ... Blues, Jazz, Rock, even Songwriting, from the basics, tuning the guitar, etc ... upwards ... If you use his site, it's up to you to determine how much you can contribute ... but this is an amazing site .... he is also very aware of issues in the world which need attention ... a great channel .. Check him out. He's a giver."
The simplest answer and the one that no student that ever wants to hear is practice. Changing chords is the process where many beginners fail, and quit. But after that, the rewards will be simply impressive. There are a few tricks to get a chord transition to happen faster. Use a metronome: Set it on four beats and set it as fast or as slow as you want. Then get a chord in your mind, say D. When the metronome reaches its last beat, press down the strings. When it happens again, strum it and let it free. Then again. Do this 10 to 20 minutes a day and in less than a week, the chord progression will begin to sound much better.
To quote Alec Baldwin's character in the movie The Edge: What one man can do another can do. He was only trying to kill a Grizzly Bear with a stick, which may seem easier than copping Eddie Van Halen. Paraphrasing and putting this in terms that work for us: What one guitar player can do another can do. Really, the deciding factor is how hard you want to work at it.
Fact is that thousands of popular songs can be played with 8 simple chords or less. Learn just the A chord, D chord and E chord and you'll be able to play hundreds of blues, folk, pop and rock songs. Why is this so? Because rock, pop, folk and blues songwriters all use the same handful of chords - it's their melodies and arrangements that make their songs distinctive, NOT the chords they are using in the song.
Unfortunately, before you begin playing, you'll really need to tune your guitar. The problem is, it is, at first, a relatively difficult task, one that becomes much easier over time. If you know of anyone who plays guitar, who could do the job for you, it is advised that you get them to tune your instrument. Alternately, you could invest in a "guitar tuner," a relatively inexpensive device which listens to the sound of each string and advises you (via a few blinking lights) on what you need to do in order to get the note in tune.
Realistically, to start improving on guitar, you're going to need to set aside a bit of time to practice. Developing a daily routine is a good idea. Plan to spend at least 15 minutes daily practicing all you've learned will really help. At first, your fingers will be sore, but by playing daily, they'll toughen up, and in a short amount of time, they'll stop hurting. The following list should give you an idea of how to spend your practice time:
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.
* Make your guitar talk - With a little practice, a whammy bar and a wah wah effect pedal you can make your guitar talk by simulating voices. The trick here is to start with the whammy bar depressed and raise it up while fretting notes and sliding to other notes. Try making words by alternating between depressing and releasing the bar during note changes. The wah wah pedal (or a phaser pedal) helps to give it this trick a more vocal sound.
The acoustic guitar is one of the most popular instruments around. It’s versatile, low maintenance and sounds great. You don’t need to lug around an amp if you’re just playing for a few friends and it provides enough volume to accompany vocals but not so much that it overshadows them. I personally love playing acoustic guitar. Everything from the sound to the feel of playing a nice acoustic is satisfying. What’s even more satisfying is learning how to play some great acoustic guitar songs. There are so many amazing acoustic guitar songs out there that it’s hard to narrow down
In the “classical” world, composers would oftentimes write musical studies called “etudes.” These pieces would generally be musically pleasing, but the sole purpose was to develop an instrumentalist’s playing technique. Examples of these can be seen in classical guitar music, where many pieces have the same right hand arpeggio pattern that remains constant throughout the entire piece.
In the world of piano, if a student is learning a piece of music, there can be several different technical variations so that the student can play the music they want without overwhelming themselves with something that is much too difficult. While some of this exists for modern guitar, it tends to be quite limited unless a student is studying classical guitar.
I concur, lots of very good lessons on Guitar Tricks. However, one thing I don’t see commented on is that for most of the song lessons and some technical lessons you cannot download and print the music (which I understand for published songs because it is protected) but the on-screen music notation doesn’t scroll with the video lesson, jam track etc. (like it does on several other lesson sites). All that is visible is one 8 or 12 bar section of the song. In other words, short of memorizing the song, there is no way to play along. Made the comment to GT customer support and they said essentially – Yeah we know. My analogy is a canoe without a paddle. Not totally useless but almost.
Wow! This post really seems to have helped a lot of folks get started with the guitar. It has been read by – I kid you not – millions of aspiring guitarists. Thank you! As many of you have noted in the comments below, no, I’m not selling anything here related to playing the guitar. My motivation to write this post was that musicians, and especially guitar teachers, can often make learning the guitar sound way too hard. It’s actually easy.