How To Play Electric Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide

National Guitar Academy

The ‘E Chord’

This is what our E Chord looks and sounds like:

how to play electric guitar

There are tons of different ways to play an E Guitar Chord, this article explains a few of them.

4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

The ‘E Power Chord’

Do you understand this Chord Box? No problem if not, you can learn all about them here.

How To Read Guitar Chordboxes

how to play electric guitar

To play the E Power Chord you:

  1. Place your first finger on the second fret of the A string.
  2. Strum the low E string and the A string.

Quick Tip

It’s really important you only strum the E and the A string, as the power chord only has two notes. If we strum anymore than this it’s a different chord.

So make sure you really concentrate on strumming JUST those two strings.

Another really cool tip is to use the rest of your finger to mute the remainder of the strings.

I explain that in this video here.

The ‘A Chord’

Here’s what a normal open ‘A Chord’ looks and sounds like.

how to play electric guitar

The A chord is a fantastic beginner chord and there are lots of different ways to play it, this article explains three great ways to play an A chord.

3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord On Guitar

The ‘A Power’ Chord

how to play electric guitar

To play an ‘A Power Chord’ you:

  1. Place your first finger on the second fret of the D string.
  2. Strum just the A and D string together.

That should sound like this:

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

The ‘G Chord’

Here is what our normal G Chord looks and sounds like.

how to play electric guitar

The ‘G Chord’ is a great beginner chord and there’s more than one way to play it. This article explains a few of them.

4 Easy Ways To Play The G Chord On Guitar

The ‘G Power Chord’

To play the ‘G Power Chord’ you:

  1. Place your first finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string.
  2. Place your fourth finger on the 5th fret of the A string.
  3. Play just the E and A string of your guitar.

how to play electric guitar

It should sound like this:

The ‘C Chord’

Here is what our C chord looks and sounds like.

how to play electric guitar

The ‘C Chord’ is a little bit harder than the other chords, but that’s not a problem. There’s always an easier way!

Some of those are explained in this article.

Easy Ways To Play The C Guitar Chord

The ‘C Power Chord’

how to play electric guitar

To play the ‘C Power Chord’ you:

  1. Place your first finger on the 3rd fret of the A string.
  2. Place your fourth finger on the 5th fret of the D string.
  3. Strum just the A and D string together.

That should sound like this:

One thing that electric guitars are good at doing is sounding huge with very few notes. We’ve just proven that we can do that with chords.

If you want to learn how to play electric guitar this is a must-know technique.

We can also do that with single notes. Now let’s take a look at some killer single note riffs which sound absolutely huge on Electric Guitar!

Riff #1 ‘Heartbreaker’ by Led Zeppelin

This is an awesome iconic riff by Led Zeppelin, it only uses single notes and sound massive.

Here’s the tab.

how to play electric guitar

Here’s what it sounds like:

Here’s how to set up your amp to sound like Jimmy Page, make sure you’re on your Distortion channel.

how to play electric guitar

Riff #2 ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ by Joan Jett

Another iconic rock riff which mainly uses power chords to sound absolutely huge!

Here’s the tab:

how to play electric guitar

Here’s what it sounds like:

Here’s how to set up your amp like Joan Jett, make sure you’re on the Distortion Channel!

how to play electric guitar for beginners

Guitar Riffs are awesome and they’re one of my favourite parts of Guitar playing. Check out these great articles by Music Radar which tells you about The Top 50 Guitar Riffs Of All Time.

The Top 50 Guitar Riffs Of All Time: 50-26|MusicRadar

The Top 50 Guitar Riffs Of All Time: 25-1|MusicRadar

3 Killer Techniques to make you sound like a guitar god!

Now we’ve learnt a couple of iconic riffs, lets take a look at learning some quick techniques which will make you sound like a electric guitar god!

How To Play Electric Guitar – Trick #1 Pick Sliding

This is an awesome technique and is heard loads in rock music. Not only does it sound great, it’s super easy and will make you sound like a rock star in a matter of seconds.

This is an essential trick in learning how to play electric guitar.

In this video I explain how to do it:

Another cool trick with Pick Sliding is to add a little bit of Reverb to your slides, this creates a ‘soundscape’.

How To Play Electric Guitar-Trick #2 Volume Swells

Volume swells are another great way to add dynamics and texture to your already awesome guitar chops.

I love it as it makes your guitar almost sound like a violin!

In this video I explain a bit more about how to do this essential Electric guitar technique.

As well as this you can add reverb to add ambience or effect to your already-awesome guitar tone.

How To Play Electric Guitar-Trick #3 Alternate Picking

This technique is a little bit tricker, but is essential to learn as it will provide speed and clarity to our electric guitar playing.

In this video I talk a little bit more about the importance of alternative picking and why it is SO useful in learning how to play electric guitar.

Check out this killer downloadable power pack  which will enhance your practice routine!

How To Play Electric Guitar-A Beginner’s Guide Downloadable Powerpack

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