Guitar Basics: Learn to Play Songs Quickly | Alex Huston | Skillshare

Guitar Basics: Learn to Play Songs Quickly

Alex Huston, Coach

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12 Lessons (57m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Understanding the Mechanics of a Guitar

    • 3. How to Tune your Guitar

    • 4. Reading Chord Diagrams made Easy

    • 5. How to Play: A Chord

    • 6. How to Play: B Minor Chord

    • 7. How to Play: D Chord

    • 8. Understanding Bars & Beats

    • 9. Your First Song: "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes

    • 10. How to Play: E & E minor

    • 11. How to Play: G & C

    • 12. Resources & Summary


About This Class

In this class, Alex Huston walks you through the fundamentals necessary to get you playing songs quickly! He starts simply by introducing you to the instrument itself all the way to teaching you your first set of chords and how to play your first song. 

This issue with most guitar lessons is you end up spending too much time in work books, playing scales and exercises. Where's the fun in that?! This course is specifically designed to give you the tools to start playing songs quickly and having fun while you learn.

Included in this course are downloadable and printable resources of all the materials laid out in each lesson. You can access these materials under the Project & Resources tab. 

In this class, you will learn:

The Mechanics of the Guitar: during this lesson, you will learn the different parts of the guitar from head to toe. We will also discuss some fundamentals such as, how to hold the guitar, how to grip your pick, and where to strum the strings

How to Tune Your Guitar: a complete walk-thru of 2 different methods available to tune your guitar

How to Read Chord Diagrams: chord diagrams can seem confusing to someone who's never seen one before. In this lesson we walk thru each number and symbol you'll encounter when reading a chord diagram to simplify reading music

Chords A, Bm, D: Together we walk thru reading each chord diagram and how to play these chords on our guitar. Each lesson includes tips and tricks on how to overcome the challenges of playing chords for the first time

Understanding Bars & Beats: After learning a handful of chords we address some basic music theory that will act as the glue for putting those chords to use and ultimately being able to play your first song

What's Up 4 Non Blondes: You've made it to playing your first song. In this lesson, we break down the famous indie rock song "What's Up" by the 4 Non-Blondes

Extra Chords: G, C & E: In these lessons, we learn 3 more chords to add to your arsenal enabling to play 1000's of new songs

Resources & Summary: In this final lesson, we go over a few resources to continue your rockstar journey as well as recap all that we have learned

Tuner Used: Pano Tuner

Metronome Used: MetroTimer


1. Introduction: everybody. My name's Alex used in a music producer guitarist, an artist here in Nashville, Tennessee, and currently we're sitting inside of my home studio. I've been playing guitar for 18 years and even got the chance to tour around the country and outside the country, playing shows for people. And I remember some of the frustrations and challenges that I came across when I first started learning how to play. That's why I developed this course to help you navigate those challenges and even avoid some of them so that you can get to what you want to do, which is placed songs now. I started playing guitar by the time I was eight years old, and one of the biggest challenges that I faced was being stuck in a guitar lesson. Learning from a work broke learning scales exercises and Mary had a little lamb. So very quickly I lost interest. I got bored, and all I want to do at that point was play songs and rock out. So this course is designed to give you all the basics and fundamental information that you need to begin playing thousands of songs quick and easy. In this course we're gonna learn a handful of chords that will ultimately lead and give you access to being able to understand and play all of your favorite songs and begin impressing your friends. This courses for anybody who is extremely a beginner with guitar, somebody who hasn't even picked up a guitar yet and is interested in learning it. We're going to understand the fundamental anatomy off the guitar, how to tune the instrument, how to fret, how to play chords and, ultimately, how play songs so that you can get started doing what you want to dio play the guitar again . The goal of this course is to get you playing and having fun as quickly as we can. So without further ado, I'm really excited to bring this course to you. I'll see you on the inside. 2. Understanding the Mechanics of a Guitar: So in this lesson, we're gonna go over understanding the instrument in its entirety so that you can understand what we're looking at and what we're dealing with. When we go to learn some of our cords and how to play eso, I'm gonna walk you from head to toe of the guitar of what we're looking at get you some new vocabularies and new vernacular around what we call things on the guitar so that when we discuss them in later lessons, you will understand what we're talking about. So we'll start right up at the top. Here we have the head stock of the guitar. This is where all of the tuning mechanisms are housed. These are called tuning pegs. Its where we wrap the string around so that we can tune the pitch of each individual string and effectively tuned the instrument to itself so that we can make cords and play beautiful songs. The next part of the guitar is going to be the nut. This is going to be what saddles the strings at the end of the neck, which is this part. And this is really crucial part because if our strings are not saddled correctly in our nut we're gonna have Ah, we're gonna have an issue with tuning the guitar and we're gonna have an issue with the sound quality of how guitar sounds. So obviously the next part is the neck. This is where we do all of our music making. And this is where we're going to fret different notes in different chords and with on the neck we have frets. So there are these metal inlays throughout the neck that space and get smaller as we go higher on the neck and each one of these is a fret. So a good way to understand this and conceptualize it is effectively, the nut is going to be no friends. It's gonna be zero. And from starting from there, we're gonna have fret. One fret to fret. Three. And the great thing about the guitar is most of them on the side of the guitar will have a dot on the on numbers, so we'll have a dot fret number three Adada, front number 579 And then we actually skip up to 12. And so it's really easy to look at the neck and find out where your hand is, it's really great for understanding the positioning of where cords are. And things of that matter will also find the in lays marking the fret numbers on the fretboard. That's usually for an aesthetic. You know, you can't really see that when you're playing, but it makes the guitar look much nicer. So moving on, we have the body of the guitar, of course. So this is if you're playing an acoustic guitar, you're the body of your guitar is gonna be much bigger for playing an electric guitar. It's gonna be smaller. And typically, electric guitars are actually gonna be a little heavier because they're not hollow like this is And the body is gonna be what's producing the sustain and residents of the sound that we're making, right? So if there was nobody to the guitar, we wouldn't be able to hear that core ring out like that. So this is really important to understand, because the body is gonna determine how you're gonna feel comfortable playing the guitar. Typically, I placed the guitar on my right knee just like this, and I allow my arm to slack over. Sometimes I will. This'll is more of a classical way to hold the guitar, Put it on the opposite me and it gives you a little bit more flexibility of being able to articulate notes and play a little faster. Gives you a little bit more of a agile positioning. But most people are gonna be ableto get away with just placing it right on their dominant leg on playing guitar. The next thing we're gonna have is the sound hole for the acoustic guitar. This is where we're gonna want to pick over, right? So all of our strumming and all of our picking is gonna want to be done over the sound hole . It's where we're going to get the best sound out of the instrument. If you end up picking up on the neck way, you take away some of the fullness. And if you end up picking down by the bridge here you end up getting this really tinny sound that isn't good for playing songs. Sometimes you can use that as an effect, but for a majority 99% of the time, we're gonna be showing right over the sound hole just like that. And then finally, we're gonna have the bridge, which is where our strings are saddled Teoh on the other side of the guitar, and we'll have these string saddle pegs as well for holding our strings in place. So a few other things we're gonna want to go over is how to hold your pick. I typically hold my pick between two fingers very lightly. It's really easy to overdo this. The way that I like to think about it is when you're holding your pick. This is the connection from you to the instrument because it's what's gonna be playing the strings and playing the guitar. So whatever connection you wanna have with the instrument is how you should think about how , how tight or how you're gripping the pick. If you wanna have an aggressive connection, you're playing loud music. You might want to hold the pick a little tighter. If you're playing something very soft and elegant, you're gonna hold it a little looser, and it's gonna give it a different touch and feel. But just between two fingers, try not to overthink this. It's really easy, Teoh over think it and feel like it's not comfortable or that you're not doing it right or holding it in a correct position. It's really whatever is gonna work for you. And as long as you can have a nice flowing strumming hand, you're in a good spot. So next we're gonna want to address how we're going to fret the fretboard with our friending hand. So as we discussed, there are several different frets on the fretboard, and they're all broken up by these metal inlays. And it's really easy to think that the best idea is to fret in the middle of the French or even towards the end. But for the greatest sound in the most smooth sound, we're gonna wanna fret as close to the next fret as possible. So, for example, if we're gonna play a G note on our low string here on the third fret, we're gonna want it. We're gonna want a hug right on top of that friend, almost right on top and a little bit behind. That's going to give us the clearest sound quality that we're gonna be looking for. If we end up fretting too far back on the froth, you can hear how we're getting buzzing on the string, and that's not gonna be ideal for Fred and cords or playing melodies, so we want to make sure that we're fretting as close to the next threat as possible. And then there are a few additional tools that you may run into, especially with the acoustic guitar. We'll talk about this one first. This is gonna be your strength changing tool. It allows you to put this on the tuning peg and loosened strings and tighten them very quickly in a turning motion. It also has a clipping mechanism so that you can click the ends of the strings off when you're done. And for the acoustic guitar, there's actually a hook on the end here that allows you to take these tuning pegs out once you have on once you have loosened the strings. So this is a really common tool that you'll see for restraining. It's a guitar. We're not gonna do that in this course. If anybody is interested in that, you can leave a comment or review, and maybe we'll make another lesson for that. Another really common tool that we're going to see, especially with the acoustic guitar, is the Cabo. We use this typically when we want to change the key of a song, so it's a lot easier to play the same chords, but just move it up the fretboard without having to transpose everything and figure out different chords. So, for example, if we were playing and we wanted to change that key and make it higher for a singer or whatever we're doing, we could place the cape. Oh, on whatever friend is going to suffice for that specific situation and effectively, it is tuning the guitar up this many steps. So if we were to play the same chord progression so you didn't have to change the cords, we played the same shape cords. Just the key was higher. So we're going to see the cable used a lot, especially when we're learning songs on the acoustic guitar Onda learning new songs off the Internet or what have you. You'll see. People use the cable quite frequently to distinguish what chords to play and where to play them on the neck. So now that we understand the instrument as a whole, let's move into how we consume the instrument because that is something we need to do every single time before we start playing 3. How to Tune your Guitar: Okay, now one of the first things we need to do before we even start playing. Every time we sit down to play is tune the guitar. And there's several different ways we can do this. And we're going to walk through two different ways to tune the guitar today so that you can get started. The first way is going to be very simple. If you have an iPhone or an Android, you can download an app. For this, I use a really simple app called piano tuner. On my iPhone, I'm able to tune my guitar at the tips of my fingers whenever I want to, simply with my iPhone. So it's a great app to start out with. I believe it's free as well. So before we start tuning with the app, we need to know which string needs to be tuned to what no. So again, we've got six strings on our guitar and they go from low to high. And each one has a different thickness. And so the lowest string that's going to be closest to us is going to be our low E string, okay? The next thing after that is going to be our a string. The string after that will be our D string. The string after that will be our G string. The string after that will be our B string. And the further String away from us will be our high E string, right? So you can tell that both our lowest string and our highest string are actually the same note. There, just a few octaves apart. So even though we refer to the strings as individual notes, we also refer to them as numbers, especially when we're talking about chords and how to fret the chords and which strings to play. So let me walk you through that real quick as well. Our low E string is going to be our sixth string. Are, a string, is going to be our fifth string. Are, D-string is going to be our fourth string. Our G string will be our third string, the B string or second stream. And our high ie, the first string. So we've got 123456 and we've got E, a, D, G, B, E. So with the tuner app, we can place that right next to our guitar. And the microphone on our phone will pick up our guitar sound and we can tune the guitar effectively. On the app, you will see the scale of notes fluctuating based on the sound that's the phone is receiving, as well as a red line. And what you want to do is try to line up the center line with the red line. So we'll start with our low E string here. So you can see, so you can see that it is too low. The red line is actually towards E-flat and the middle line, the top bar, is to the left, which means we are little two flat on our note. So we want to turn that up. And that will go green. And there we go. We'll go into the a strike. We can go to the next string, the district. And so after you've gone through each drain, you can play nice Gore. And realize that your guitars in tune and you're ready to start playing. Another great way to tune your guitar is being able to tune it to itself. And this one is going to require a little bit more usage of your ear. It's little harder to do. So if you can't do it at first, don't get disgruntled. So the way that we use this Tuning technique is we want to make sure that the guitar somewhat close to the relative pitch that we need. So if we have our eastern here and we can bring it up to about a need. We can then begin to tune the guitar to itself. So it might not be perfectly in tune to what the app might say, but it'll, the guitar would be in tune to itself. This is also a really great trick. If maybe you knock one of the tuning pegs and you just need to tune one string backup or back down to the right place. So the way that we do this is we go to the fifth fret. We press on the sixth string, on the fifth fret of the low E. And we play this string below. Effectively what we are doing is finding the pitch a, which is the pitch of the fifth string. Finding the pitch a on the sixth string, playing that and trying to match the two strings together. So let's say our guitar was on tuned a little bit. There you go. So you try to match the two notes together because you're playing the same note effectively. And we do the same thing for the next string on the fifth fret. And here's where it gets a little tricky. When we get to the G string, our third string, we're gonna go down to the fourth fret and just do the same technique and hit the fourth fret and then the open B string. And then on the last one, we go back to the fifth fret. And that's how you tune the guitar by ear. Or again, say you have one note that gets knocked out and just need a tune a backup. So that method is definitely a little harder. So I share that with you because it's a very typical way of tuning the guitar. It's, again, it's a little harder. And even me, I've been playing guitar for 18 years. I still use the app. It's just quicker. But when I don't have an app available or I left my phone somewhere and I got the guitar in my hands. I do this and it gets me to where I need to be. So now that we know how to tune the guitar before we start playing, again, something that we need to do every time before we start playing. Let's get into understanding how we are going to read core charts so that we can start learning are chords and start playing songs. I'll see you there. 4. Reading Chord Diagrams made Easy: In this lesson, we're gonna learn the final piece of information. And we need to understand before we can start learning how to play corns and ultimately play songs. And that is how to read core diagram. Core diagrams are very commonly used in order to communicate to a guitar player which chords to use throughout a piece of music or song. And although they may seem extremely intimidating, they're actually very easy to read. So let's break it down. The first thing to understand is the chord box, which consists six strings on the guitar, from E to a to D, to G, to be to the high E, which is our sixth, fifth, fourth, third, second, first string. The left side of the cord box is going to be the low E string. And the right side of the core box is going to be the high E string. Remember that when we're holding the guitar, the low E string is the string that is closest to us, while the high E string is the string that is furthest away from us. Next, we will see the frets of the guitar within the cord box. Typically you will see core boxes that have three to four frets. And in this example, we are going to be using three different threats. At the top left of the cord box, you will find the starting position. This is typically marked by a number. If it's not marked by number, it is safe to assume that it is the none of the guitar. And this is where your starting position is. If it is marked by number, you simply start at that correlated fret. In this example, we are marking the starting position with 0, which is equivalent to starting at the nut with the starting position of 0 or at the nut, the frets on the core box will correlate to fret number one, fret number two, and number three. Next we're going to see dots with on the core diagram on different strings. This will signify which note to play on which string and which fret. So the first note that we are going to be playing in this example is going to be on the fourth string, which is also known as the D string on the second fret. Additionally, we will find numbers within the dots that are on the different strings on the core diagram, these numbers signify which finger to use in order to fret that note. As you can see here, we've mapped out the left hand so that your pointer finger is number one, your middle finger is number two, your ring finger will correlate the number three in your pinky finger is number four. So if we look back at our example here, we will see that our middle finger will play the fourth string on the second fret, while our ring finger will play the third string on the second fret. And our pinky will play the second string on the second fret. The final thing we need to know about core diagrams is at the top, we will see x's and o's. The x's will signify strings that we should not play or we mute them. And the owes will signify strings that we should let ring open. So in this example, we can see that we will not be playing the sixth string and we will be muting that string. And on the fifth string and the high E, the first string, we will allow those strings to ring open. So now that we understand how to read our core diagrams, we can move on to the next lesson and actually learned our first chord. If any of this was confusing, please feel free to rewatch this lesson or leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer your questions. I've also attached a pdf in the resources of this class of a diagram that explains everything we went over in this lesson. If you'd like to print that out and you'd find that helpful. So let's head over to the next lesson and we'll learn our first court. I'll see you there. 5. How to Play: A Chord: Okay, So in this lesson, we're gonna learn our first chord, which is gonna be the Accord. I love this cord. It's used in so much popular music almost in every blue song. It's a beautiful, beautiful chord, and it's one of the easier cord. So it's a great way to start, and it's going to be the first chord that we will use in the first song that we learn. So without further ado, this is the accord. So for the scored will pull up our core diagram here. This is actually the court diagram that we used in the how to read core diagrams lesson so it should look familiar. So if we take a look at this core diagram, we can see exactly what we need to play. And in this court diagram, it is telling us that we will not be playing the six string. We will be running open the fifth string. We will be fretting the fourth string with our middle finger On the second fret way will be fretting The third string with our ring finger On the second fret way will be fretting the second string with our pinky finger on the second front, all while leaving the first string to ring open as well. So what do we get? We get the a chord super easy, right? But you're probably wondering why your core doesn't sound like that. Well, there's gonna be a lot of issues that you're gonna run into if this is the first time you ever trying to play in a court. So let's diagnosed some of those to the first challenge you may be experiencing is that not all the notes are bringing out, and that's because you're not fronting the notes all the way, and that's okay. So your court may sound something like this. You can hear how some of the notes sound muted. They're not ringing out all the way, and that's totally okay. There's a few reasons why this is happening. One of them is gonna be You don't have the strength in your fingers yet, and that is just gonna take time. There's no way around that one. But there are a few things that we can do to mitigate this issue. The first thing we want to do is make sure that we're fretting down the notes with the tips of our fingers right here instead of the pads or the base of our fingers. What this will allow us to do is to get a more accurate fronting position on each note so that each note can ring clearer order. To do that, we're gonna need to shift our hand positioning just a little bit. I remember when I first started playing, I was learning chords. I really had a hard time getting my hand in the right position in order to actually fret, notes. One of the main reasons why that WAAS is because I had too much thumb over the back of the neck like this. So the first thing we want to do is make sure that we're positioning our thumb down and behind on the bottom of the neck somewhere between the halfway mark on the back of the neck and a little bit below is gonna be a good place to position our thumb. The reason why we want to do this is it's gonna take us from arching over and playing with the pads of our fingers to scooping under and being being able to hit the strings with the tips of our fingers the once we move our hand positioning toe arch under, we can see how much easier it is to press down on these notes in our accord. One more tip about fretting the notes is Remember when we went through how we want a fret in understanding the mechanics of the guitar? We want a fret as close to the next fret as possible without going completely over our metal front line. So with the accord, we've got three fingers on the same fret. So we want to make sure that we bring these fingers close together so that we can get all of them as close to the next threat as possible. What I like to do is typically lead with the pinky on this one. Get this finger as close to the next Fred as possible, and then kind of stack my ring finger on top of the pinky a little bit further behind and then my middle finger at the same way a little bit further behind that. And that gives me a good, solid foundation to make sure that all of my notes are being friended as close to the next threat as possible. Thief Final issue that I remember running into when learning this cord. And I'm sure a lot of people are running into this as well. Is getting the high e string or the first string to ring out and our pinky is getting in the way. So one way to diagnose this is again we're gonna want a scoop, our wrist under the neck so that we can get a high arch on our pinky. The best way to think about it is we have this knuckle here, right? If we're not bending this third knuckle, which is if you're not playing guitar, it's not something you're gonna be doing naturally. Anyway, we're not bending this third knuckle. We're gonna end up fretting it with the pad of our finger. So we want to bring strength in tow, activating that third knuckle. So especially with the pinky pinky is gonna be your weakest finger to start off with. It just doesn't get a lot of use, and it's gonna take time to build that up. But we want to make sure that our pinky is getting activated and turned over instead of pushing down and muting that hot Eastern. So, guys, this is going to take time to learn. Don't get frustrated. It's not gonna be great right out of the gate. And I want to remind you of the compound in effect. And essentially, what that is is taking small intervals of practice over a period of time to see a compound in growth effect. So when you're starting out learning all these chords, I would not spend more than 15 minutes a day for the first few weeks simply because it's going to take time for your fingers to get strength. The tips of your fingers air probably gonna hurt. There's not really a way around it. Your fingers need to callous and gain that strength before they feel comfortable, and it doesn't per anymore to play. But I can promise you the pain doesn't go away. It just takes some time. And remember, it's not gonna happen overnight. If you get frustrated with it, put it down and come back to it. There's also an amazing effect that happens, especially with your brain, when learning new things is when you take in the information and you try it and then you put it down and you come back a few hours later, or maybe the next day or two days later, you can actually see how much easier it is. So give yourself time. Give yourself some patients and some grace with this entire process. But that is our accord. And the next court we're gonna learn is B minor, and I'll see in the next lesson. 6. How to Play: B Minor Chord: Okay, so be minor is gonna be our second court that we're gonna learn. This is another beautiful chord. I love it. It's a little bit tricky, but I think you're gonna be able to get it. And I'm gonna give you all the tips and tricks that you need in order to get it. Sounds great. So let's take a look at our core diagram here. We can see that we have a starting position of the second fret. So on this court diagram, we're saying that we're looking at thes frets here from to 3 to 4. Right? So the starting position is going to start at the second fret. And with on the court diagram, we can see that we're not gonna be playing. The six string will be meeting that strength. We will be fretting our first finger on the second fret. And on the fifth string, we will be fretting our ring finger on the fourth straight on the fourth fret, our pinky will be fretting the third string on the fourth threat in our middle finger. Our second finger will be fretting the second string on the third fret. And when we put that all together we get B minor things. Court is used in so many great songs. The one song that comes to my mind is Hotel California. Whenever I hear this court, I think of that song by the Eagles. So let's diagnosed some of the issues that you're probably running into with this cord. I remember when I first started to learn this court, it was really hard to get the stretch from the second fret to the fourth fret with those other fingers. So I remember my pointer finger coming over into the third fret or my ring finger and pinky finger getting pulled back simply because I couldn't stretch these fingers. So there's a few things you can do with that you can work on just trying to do the 1st 2 notes of the court diagram so that you can get that stretch again. We're gonna want to pull our thumb down an arch, are hand in a way that's going to allow us to get that stretch. OK, if your hand is up here, it's gonna be really hard. I can't even do it. It's going to be really hard to get your pointer finger on there. So again, remember, uses to your advantage. Pull your thumb down in art your hand so that you can get that stretch. Another thing that's going to be challenging with this cord is making sure that your middle finger is fretting. The B string, the second sharing on the third fret properly and again. We're gonna want to activate that knuckle so that we're pushing down a really great way to think about. This is we're actually not pushing down were pushing into the fretboard. This was a big game changer. Once I started to understand this concept in my brain and apply it to what my fingers were doing is, once we get away from pushing down with gravity and pushing in to the fretboard, it's gonna make fretting these notes a lot easier. So bring that into practice and again give yourself some time. And if you really need to go note by note and try to diagnose where the issue is if you're getting lost, if you're not fretting a note properly or if one finger is getting moved too far away from the fret and it's buzzing, go through and make sure that each note is getting its proper bring out and again get yourself some patients with this. This one is gonna be one of the tricky records that is in this lesson. But lucky for you, the next court is gonna be super super easy. That's gonna be the D chord. It's actually the easiest scored. We can play on the guitar. 7. How to Play: D Chord: Okay, so you made it to the d chord. And I'm excited to show you this cord. It's the easiest court in the book. And once we learned, this court will be able to start playing a few songs. Okay, so let's take a look at our core diagram here. So we've got the starting position of the not zero starting position, So we'll be working on France 12 and three. Super simple. We can see that. We're not gonna be running out the six string, and we will not be ringing out the fifth string, but we will start by running out the fourth string. Uh, next, we will be fretting with our pointer finger. The second fret on the third trim way, we'll be friending the second string on the third. Fret with our third finger and we'll be friending the first string on the second fret with our second finger on on That's our d chord. So let's diagnose a few issues that you might find with this court. I think one of the first issues you're gonna notice is it's gonna be hard to get your ring finger on the third fret on that second string as close to the next Fred as possible, so you might have a little bit of buzzing on that note. I would again just advise you, Teoh, scoop down your hand and push into the fretboard so that you can get a nice clean. No, Another issue might find is being able to fully press down on the first string On the second fret with your second finger. One trick around this, if you really want to, is you can just play both those notes with your first finger. So if you're able to do that and you're able to bar the two notes with your first finger, you can go ahead and makes it a little easier. But eventually you're gonna want to be able to get that second finger in there because you're gonna want to be able to do things like this. Give yourself some time with this. Practice it for a few days, allow your fingers to get used to the positioning. One thing you might want to start doing at this point is starting to learn how to change between the courts, and you don't even need to strong to do this. This is a practice that is really just connecting your brain to your left hand. So again, we've got our h r accord. We've got B minor chord on, we've got our d chord. And so one thing you may want to do 10 minutes a day for our over long is just practice getting your fingers into the right positions without strumming and see how quick you could do it. Because this is going to enable us to move between chords and begin to play songs. So I'm really excited. The next lesson we're gonna start diving in tow how we can start playing some songs. 8. Understanding Bars & Beats: In this lesson, we're gonna learn about bars and beats, which will act as the glue to put all the chords that we have already learned together to begin playing songs. To better understand music, we have broken it down into two main components. That's bars and that's beats. A bar of music consists of a dedicated number of beats that we can count in order to know exactly where we are within a song. Most music will contain four beats in each bar. Now there are songs that contain less or more beats in a bar. But luckily, about 90% of popular music is only going to contain the same four beats in a bar. The way that we count a bar of music is as such, that's going to be 1234. Pretty easy, right? So one thing that we can begin to practice is counting wall strumming. We can do this with or without a chord, and we will signify this with a downstream symbol over our bar. So what this would look like is this 1234. If we wanted to put one of the chords that we've already learned in there. We can use the a chord. To better understand this. We can begin to practice this with a metronome. I love to use a free app on my phone called metro timer. If we open up the app and we set it to 90 beats per minute and hit play. We can follow along in time with the metronome while counting out loud 12341234. Now if we want to put a quarter on that again, it would sound like this. 1234123. So that's pretty easy, right? So now that we understand how to count basic beats, we are going to add one more layer of counting, the tie everything together so that we can begin playing songs. For most songs, we're going to want to count a barred music as the following, 1234. And this will allow us to count in time with most strumming patterns of various songs. So again, we will place a downstream them on the numbers with our downstroke symbol. And we will place an upstream from on the ends, our upstream symbol. And if we count that out loud without a cord, it'll look like this. 1234. And if we put that with the metronome, it'll sound like this. 123412341234. So take some time, start practicing this a few minutes a day. Start without a cord like me mentioned, and just work on your strumming hand. Do it to a metronome. Again, you can download the free app and then begin to work in the 1234 ands With the down and up strokes. And once you have that on lock, you can start to work in the chords that we've already learned, which is the a chord, the b minor chord, and the D chord. And so now that we understand how to properly count in time and strumming chords, we can start to put all of this together and in the next lesson, begin to play our first song. So we'll head over there and I'll see you there to start our first song. 9. Your First Song: "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes: Okay, I'm excited that you made it this far to this lesson, because that means we are going to learn our first song, which is a big accomplishment. So give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far through all the other lessons to be able to play your first song on the guitar. So if you made it this far and you skipped any lessons, I would highly recommend that you go back and watch them because each lesson was a building block for us to put everything we've learned together to be able to play this song, which is what's up by the four non-blind. If you don't know this song, go to YouTube, check it out and give it a listen. There an indie rock band, it's a pretty popular song, so hopefully you've heard it, but it's a really, really easy song to learn on guitar. And it's a great song to start with, because it only uses three chords the entire song. And the strumming pattern is pretty much the same throughout the entire song as well. So once we put our three courts together, we've learned the entire song and we can start playing along to the record. So again, I've structured the lessons in a certain way that will tie all this information together. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to you to hear that the three chords that we're going to be using to learn what's up is going to be a major, B minor, and d, which are the last three lessons in this course. So let's dive in. So first let's tie in our chords with our 10. How to Play: E & E minor: Okay, so we've learned some basics about the guitar and how to tune and the mechanics of the guitar. We've also learned three chords, the basics of bars and beats. And we've also learned our first song. And you might be asking, well what's next? Well, we know three chords are ready, but let's learn a few more so that when we go to learn other songs, were in a better position to start learning those songs as well. So I'm going to give you three more chords in the next few lessons in order to give you a leg up on your guitar learning. So the next chord we're going to learn is E, And we're also going to learn E Meyer as well because it's a very easy chord to learn after we learn e. So to begin with this chord, again, we'll pull up our core chart and we're gonna see that we're gonna be playing every single string on the guitar. So this is going to be a really easy chord to learn. It's one of my favorite chords and it's going to become one of your favorite courts. So on our core diagram, we can see that our starting position is at the not. So we will be looking at frets 123. And we can see that we have an open string on the sixth string will be fretting the fifth string with our second finger. On the second fret. We will be Friday, the fourth string. With our third finger on the second fret. We will be fretting the third string with our pointer finger on the first fret. And the second first strings will ring open as well. So altogether, we have E. I want to remind you of the few tips with this cord. We wanna make sure that we are fretting is close to the next fret as possible, so that all of our notes are being Fred and fully and not buzzing as well. We wanna make sure that we're scooping under with our hand and activating our third knuckles so that we can fret the notes with the tips of our fingers instead of the pads of our fingers. And then again, if you're still having an issue, go through and diagnose note by note. So on that one it looked like I was holding my ring finger a little too close to the fret and I didn't get that note that I needed. You probably will have an issue bringing open the two high strings, the second string and the first string. Your pointer finger is probably going to get in the way. So again, remember to arch that finger and curl under your thumb so that you can get those turn open. So now that we know E-major, we're going to learn E minor, which is even easier. And you will see this core come up a bunch as well. So with E minor, we're going to have our hand in the same position as E-major. The only thing we're gonna do is take our pointer finger off. So now we're only using two fingers to fret, that is corn. And we're going to play all six strengths. Narratives. We have E minor now. So in the next lessons we're going to learn the last two chords that are going to be the most common chords, which are G and C. And I'll see you there. 11. How to Play: G & C: Okay, so we've got two more chords that we're going to teach you. And then you'll have the entire full arsenal of chords that you need in order to learn thousands and thousands of songs in the last two chords are gonna be G and C. So let's start with g, will pull up our chord chart here and see what we've got. So first off, we can see that our starting position is at the nut, which means we will be working at France 123. And we can see that we will be playing every single string in this chord, which makes this a little easier. And so we'll start with placing our middle finger or our second finger on the sixth string on the third fret, we'll place our pointer finger, our first finger on the fifth string. On the second fret. We're gonna ring open the fourth string. We're going to rink opened the third string. And we'll place our ring finger, our third finger on the third fret, on the second string. And we'll place our pinky finger, or fourth finger on the third fret on the first string. And this'll be our G chord. So this cord might be a little bit hard out the gate, but remember our tips of making sure you skip your risks under making sure that you're activating that third knuckle so that you can fret with the tips of your fingers and not the pads of your fingers. You may have trouble getting the fourth string and third string during open. And that's okay. Again, this'll just take time to practice. There's another way that we can play this chord that makes it a little easier where we're only using two fingers. And I'll throw that core diagram up here real quick, where we will be fretting the sixth string on the third fret with our middle finger, our second finger, we will not be playing the fifth string. We will ring opened, the fourth string. Will ring opened the third string. We will fret the second string on the third fret with our third finger. And we will not be playing the first string. And that G chord will sound like this. So it's still a G chord. All the notes that we need r in there, it's just a little bit easier. It's a first step until you can work your way up to having all four fingers on the fret. Our Final chord is going to be C major. And this chord, you'll run into a bunch as well. So let's make sure we pull up our core diagram so we can see what we have. Again, we're starting at the root position at the nut. So we'll be working on France 123. We will not be playing. The sixth string, will be placing our third finger on the third fret. On the fifth string. We will be placing our second finger on the second fret. On the fourth string. We will be ringing open the third string. And we will be placing our first finger on the first fret, on the second string. And we'll be reading open the first string. And this is our C chord. So again, the biggest issue at this chord is going to be getting as close to the next fret as possible, which each finger, which will take time to stretch your fingers out and get that finger strength, as well as those two open strings on the third string in the string, those are going to be hard to ring open right out the gate. So again, just remember activating that top knuckle as well as scooping your risks under so that those strings can get wrung open as well. So now that we've got six chords under our belt, we are ready to learn hundreds of songs, and I'm gonna give you a few more tips and resources in the next lesson, where you can start learning your favorite songs, how to practice and things of that nature. 12. Resources & Summary: Okay, so you've made it through this entire course, that's super exciting. By now you should be able to play a few chords, play your first song, understand some basics around the guitar, as well as how to strum and keep time with bars and beats. And next stage of your guitar journey will be to take all the chords that we've learned and go out into the real world and start learning some of your favorite songs. And one of the biggest resource is we're going to use to be able to start learning how to play our favorite songs is going to be ultimate Now, I'm not affiliated with this website at all. It's just a great website that has thousands and thousands of songs notated either in tablature or you can find the chords. So you can just go over to Google typing your song title, type in chords after that song title. And you'll be able to find tons of links bringing a chord charts that'll show you how to play the song you're looking to play. Additionally, I wanna give you all the resources that we've talked about in this class. And I've made PDF files that you can download under the project and the resources tab in this class so that you can take a look at what we've gone over, refresh your memory. In there. I've also included additional core diagrams for more chords that you may encounter during your guitar playing Journey. Lastly, I want to give you a few tips around practicing and just give you some reaffirmation around developing patients with yourself and your guitar journey when you're practicing, I highly recommend that you spend only a period of time focusing on technical things like learning new songs and learning new chords. That other time that you're practicing, enjoy your instrument, or even just enjoy music. There's so much we can learn from just listening to music. And as we start to learn more and more songs and more and more chords will be able to listen to songs. And here the chords that they're playing. Half of that learning that I do around guitar and music in general simply comes from listening, which I can do anywhere, whether I'm on the train or on the car, flying on a plane, wherever it is. So make sure you take time to also enjoy this process because I know it can get frustrating as it is a challenging process and learning new instrument. So if there's anything else I can help you guys with, be sure to leave a comment pleasingly reveal on this course. And I'll see you in the next one.