Free Guitar Lessons – National Guitar Academy

Looking for some free guitar lessons to take your playing to the next level? You’re in the right place.

In these 4 free guitar lessons you will learn how to leave your “beginner” phase behind and become an “intermediate” guitarist.

On this page you will learn:

  • The secrets of the major scale (and how to use them to sound amazing).
  • 3 tips for clean & easy barre chords.
  • How to get started with fingerpicking (a powerful intermediate technique).
  • 4 awesome guitar tricks to take your playing to the next level (hammer-ons, pull-offs, string-bending and tapping).

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Mastering Barre Chords

Barre chords, for those who don’t know, are chords where we press more than one string with the same finger.

They allow us the freedom to play chords all over the fretboard and in all keys.

Barre chords can be very tough at first, but it’s surprising what our fingers can do given patience and practice.

If you’re new to this, we wouldn’t recommend jumping straight into barring right across the fretboard. We’d suggest building up to that by starting off with smaller barre chords that just use two or three strings.

Let’s take our ordinary A chord, but instead of using three fingers, let’s try lying just our index finger across the strings.

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How does that feel? (A bit strange, probably!)

How does it sound? You may get a few duff notes at first. It can take time to build up the strength in the finger. It also may ache a little bit.

Take your time with barre chords and don’t hurt yourself.

Regarding the high E string, when barring the A, we have basically three options:

  • Leave that string out and just strum the middle four strings. (This is what most people do to being with.)
  • Mute it by only pressing it down slightly. (Hard to do, but a sweet option.)
  • Barre it and strum it along with the other three strings making it an A6 chord.

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Here’s another, similar barre chord:

D major 7

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It’s basically the same shape as the A except we’ve shifted things over by one string.

Now, if you keep that shape on and reach over to the fourth fret on the D string with either the ring finger or the pinky, you can do this chord:

F#m

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Unlike the other two, this one requires us to do something with another finger. I used to find that when I stretched over to reach the other notes, my barring finger would start to lift off the strings.

It can take practice and patience to get the fingers to work independently of one another.

The great thing about the F#m is that once we’ve cracked it we can move it around the fretboard. It’s a moveable shape, so we can use it to play all the other minor chords.

If you’re struggling with these chords, don’t worry. They’re not supposed to be easy. They’re supposed to be a bit challenging, so take your time with them.

Once you’ve nailed them, try strumming them in a sequence:

A            | Dmaj7        | F#m        |              |

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In this popular video lesson Mike shares some cool tips for clean & easy barre chords:


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Free Guitar Lessons #2 – The major scale & how to use it

Now we’re going to get stuck into one of the most useful free guitar lessons of all. This is a must know scale: the major scale.

As useful and as versatile as the pentatonic scale is, it does have its limitations. Specifically, that it only uses five of the seven notes available to us in any given key… and those other two notes are good notes, worth using!

As we make the transition from being beginner guitarists to being more intermediate guitarists, it’s a great idea to have a go at mastering the full major scale.

Of all the free guitar lessons you can find on the internet, this is a fundamental one you should get under your belt.

Written below is a two octave major scale in the key of G.

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We want to start this scale with the middle finger on the first note and then use one finger per fret.

Index finger for the second fret notes, middle finger for the third fret notes, ring finger for the fourth fret notes and pinky finger for the fifth fret notes.

Try to avoid just using any old finger for any old note. It’s easier to remember the pattern if we keep our fingering neat and it helps with our speed and accuracy.

One of the best free guitar lessons you can focus on repeatedly is improving finger accuracy.

Top Tip: Try to alternate pick when playing this scale (or any scale for that matter). Don’t just use downstrokes!

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