Beginner Guitar Lessons – How To Start Your Guitar Journey

Want to start learning the guitar? We’re going to show you 6 beginner guitar lessons that will get you started on your guitar journey.

beginner guitar lessons

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 4 easy chords that every guitarist MUST know.
  • 2 chord hacks that will make your chords sound amazing.
  • 3 super-simple songs that people will adore.
  • The no1 secret to unlocking the fret board.

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1) Beginner Guitar Lessons – Learning The String Names

In this beginner guitar lessons, we’re going to show you what the names of each string are.

It’s important to have a good grasp on the names of the strings as this helps you to learn more about the guitar.

On your guitar you have 6 strings. Each of these strings has a note name and number assigned to it. These are:

beginner guitar lessons

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)


  • 6th String – The low E String – This string is the one closest to the ceiling and is the thickest string.
  • 5th String – The A String.
  • 4th String – The D String.
  • 3rd String – The G String.
  • 2nd String – The B String.
  • 1st String – The high E String – This string is the one closest to the floor and is the thinnest string.

You must know how to tune each these strings, to learn how to do this, go here: How To Tune A Guitar: A Guide For Beginners

2) Beginner Guitar Lessons – Learning The Frets

As a beginner guitarist must understand what a fret is. The fret is the space between the two pieces of metal on your fret board.

Like this:

For each fret, we label them 1 – 20+. Most guitars have between 20 and 22 frets.

Like this:

The first note on your guitar is the open string. For every string that you play which ISN’T fretted, this is classed as a ‘open string’.

For example, if you strum the low E string (6th string) without fretting any notes on it, you are playing a open E string.

This works for EVERY other string on the guitar. Now we understand what an open strings are, let’s learn about frets.

Frets 1 – 3

As a beginner guitarist, you only need to understand where frets 1 – 3 are. This is because ALL open chords are played here.

This is what the first 3 frets look like from your perspective:


beginner guitar lessons

How Do I Fret Guitar Notes?

Many beginners, find fretting notes difficult. It’s essential that you can fret notes correctly as this will help you play single notes and chords.

Here are two tips which will help you fret the notes correctly.

Use Your Finger Tips

When you fret notes, you must use your finger tips. Try and fret the note as close to your finger nail as possible.

You will get more clarity out of the guitar note when you use your finger tips.

Use Your Finger And Thumb Together

A common mistake that beginners make is that they try fret a note, by just using their fingers.

Make sure that you push your thumb back into the back of the neck, whilst your fret the note with your fingers. 

Think of it like this:

Imagine, a clothes peg. A clothes peg has two points within it, when these two points come together, they squeeze the clothes so tight that it holds them on a washing line.

Think of your thumb and your fingers as a clothes peg, you want to squeeze them together so that note can be fretted correctly.

beginner guitar lessons

How To Enhance Your Dexterity And Technique

The best way to enhance your dexterity and techniques is to try and play some single note riffs. Here’s the tab for the mission impossible theme tune, these will get your fingers warmed up in no time.

beginner guitar lessons Try this as a challenge, use the following fingers to play this riff:

  • 1st finger.
  • 2nd finger.
  • 3rd finger.
  • 4th finger.

To learn more beginner guitar riffs, go here: Guitar Tabs For Beginners: 20 Easy Songs That Sound Great

3) Beginner Guitar Lessons – Learn Easy Chords

As a beginner guitarist, you must learn how to play guitar chords. Chords are essential to know as they form the foundation all of music.

In this beginner guitar lessons, we’re going to show you 4 of the most common guitar chords. Let’s get started.

beginner guitar lessons

1. The ‘G6’ Chord


beginner guitar lessons

Too hard? Go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The G Chord On Guitar

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Strum all the strings.

When you learn guitar chords, you will often see a number in the middle of the circles in a chord box. This tells you what fingers you must use when fretting the chord.

beginner guitar lessons

For example, on the 3rd fret of the low E string. (6th string.) You must use your 2nd finger.

And for the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.) Use your 1st finger.

To learn more about how to read chord boxes, go here: How To Read Guitar Chords

2. The ‘E Minor’ Chord


beginner guitar lessons

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Strum all the strings.

It should sound like this:

Finding this chord difficult? Go here: Em Guitar Chord 4 Easy Ways To Play This Essential Chord

3. The ‘C Major 7’ Chord

This chord is exactly the same shape as the G6 chord. To play C major 7, move the G6 chord to the A string. (5th string.)

Like this:

beginner guitar lessons

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

To learn more voicings of this chord, go here: Easy Ways To Play The C Guitar Chord

4. The ‘Dsus2’ Chord

The final chord we’re going to learn is a Dsus2 chord. This chord is perfect for beginners as it only uses two fingers.

beginner guitar lessons

Learn to play other voicings of this chord here: 3 Easy Ways to Play the D Chord on Guitar

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

This chord can be tricky as you have to miss out the low E and A strings. To learn how to skip strings while strumming click here.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide.

 Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly. Click here to download the guide.


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4) Beginner Guitar Lessons – How To Hold A Pick & Strum Correctly

Before we learn how to strum we must learn to hold a pick. Learning how to hold a pick is essential if you want to enhance your strumming technique. You will never become the guitarist you want to be unless you do this right, so listen up.

Why should I learn to use a pick?

Learning how to hold a guitar pick will accelerate your progress.

Often many beginners:

  • Strum with their finger nails.
  • Strum with their thumb.

Even though these techniques are easier than holding a guitar pick, they both look and sound terrible. You will become a better guitarist if you learn how to use a pick.

Picks are sometimes called ‘plectrums’. ‘Picks’ and ‘plecs’ are the same thing.

How Do I Hold a Guitar Pick?

Here a 3 simple-steps which will show you how to hold a guitar pick correctly.

1) Do A Thumbs Up Sign

beginner guitar lessons

2) Place The Pick On Top Of Your Hand Pointing Towards You

beginner guitar lessons

3) Clamp Your Thumb Down

beginner guitar lessons beginner guitar lessons Now you know how to hold a guitar pick, let’s learn how to strum. Here are 3 must-know tips which will show you how to strum a guitar.

1. Don’t Angle Your Wrist

Your wrist shouldn’t look like a swan’s neck, your wrist should be parallel with the strings.

Like this:

beginner guitar lessons

2. Strum From Your Elbow Not Your Wrist

Don’t use your wrist to strum. The power, fluidity and FLOW comes from your elbow.

Here’s what your strumming arm should look like from your perspective:

beginner guitar lessons

3. Don’t Let Your Arm Drift Forwards From The Guitar

You need to push down and up. Your aim should be to strum ‘through’ the strings.

Remember, the strumming motion is ‘down and up’, so don’t let your arm drift outwards.

Imagine you are paddling a boat. The oars need to go in and through the water, not skim along or miss the water.

Essential Strumming Patterns

When you learn how to strum, it’s important that you get used to both types of strumming patterns.

These are:

  • Down strokes.


  • Up strokes.

Understanding how to strum is vital if you want to enhance your musicality.

Beginner Guitar Lessons – Strumming Secrets

Click play on this audio clip to learn how to use down and up strokes in your strumming.

To learn more about strumming technique, go here:How To Strum A Guitar

How Often Should I Practice?

Try and practice for 5-10 minutes a day. That’s all you need when you first start. It’s much better for you progress if you practice little and often.

Learning to play guitar can often be daunting as there is SO much you can learn. However, if you practice regularly we guarantee that you will become amazing at guitar!

For more practice tips, go here:Guitar Practice – 10 Essential Tips

5) Beginner Guitar Lessons – Learn To Play Easy Songs

Once you’ve learned a couple of chords and how to strum a guitar. You now have tools in place to learn guitar songs!

Learning songs is one of THE best things you can do on guitar.

We’re going to show you 3 epic songs which will take your guitar playing to the next level.

1. ‘Songbird’ by Oasis

The first song we’re going to learn is ‘Songbird’ by Oasis. This song is awesome for beginners because:

  • It uses two chords.
  • The strumming pattern will enhance your musicality.
  • The chord progression is the same all way through.

Here’s the original:

Here are the chords:

beginner guitar lessons

In this video, Andy shows you the basics of how to play this killer song by Oasis:

2. ‘The Joker’ by Steve Miller Band

This is song is a classic. Here are a few reasons why you must learn this song:

  • It only uses 3 guitar chords.
  • The strumming pattern is really easy and will enhance your technique.
  • It’s a crowd pleaser. If you want to win the crowd over, you should learn this song.

Let’s give it a listen:

What are the chords?

The chords for this song are :

  • G6
  • Cmaj7
  • Dsus2.

beginner guitar lessons

In this video, I take you through how to play this song:

To learn more easy songs, go here: 10 Easy Songs On Guitar

3. ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King

This is a 1960s classic from a super songwriter Ben E. King, it’s one of our favourites.
Here’s the original:

Here are 3 reasons why you should learn this song if you’re a beginner guitarist:

  • The strumming pattern is fun and easy to play.
  • It only uses four chords.
  • The chord progression is the same all the way through.

This song is slightly harder than the previous two, as it uses 4 chords. However, once you can manage each chord change, you’ll be rocking in no time.

What are the chords?

The chords in this song are

  • G6.
  • Em.
  • Cmaj7.
  • Dsus2.

beginner guitar lessons

To learn more beginner guitar chords, go here: 14 Easy Beginner Guitar Chords

Let’s play the song!

To learn how to play this song, watch this video:

Didn’t like these songs? Maybe you’ll find something you like in this article by Rolling Stone that will inspire you: 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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