Guitar Essentials for Beginners | Jason Rivera | Skillshare

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Guitar Essentials for Beginners

teacher avatar Jason Rivera, Composer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:24
    • 2. Guitar Anatomy and Basics

      5:21
    • 3. How to Tune Your Guitar

      6:01
    • 4. How to Read Chord Diagrams

      2:24
    • 5. Learn the Em Chord

      3:53
    • 6. Learn the Am Chord and Exercise

      3:51
    • 7. Learn the D Chord

      3:23
    • 8. Learn the G Chord

      3:31
    • 9. Learn the C Chord and Exercises

      7:29
    • 10. Beats, Bars and Strumming

      8:25
    • 11. Learn Your First Song

      6:14
    • 12. Learn Your Second Song

      5:57
    • 13. Tips, Resources and Recap

      5:17
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About This Class

In this class, composer Jason Rivera guides you through the essentials of learning to play the guitar (acoustic guitar or electric guitar). The course starts with learning the anatomy of the guitar and ends with playing two simple songs.

This class is designed for absolute beginners with no prior experience playing guitar as well as for folks wanting to brush up on the basics of the instrument.

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to play guitar but have been putting it off because you’re not sure where to start, then this class is for you. The goal of this class is to get you playing songs as quickly as possible. Once you complete this course, you’ll have the basics in place so that you can start learning how to play your favorite songs.

Included in this class are many downloadable resources: tips for tuning your guitar, chord diagrams, strumming patterns and sheet music, as well as audio recordings of the two songs we learn in the course for you to play along with.

In order to take this class, you’ll need a guitar (acoustic or electric) and a tuner (you can use a free tuning app for your phone or tablet).

In this course, you'll learn:

Basic Guitar Anatomy: The essential parts of the guitar, how to hold the guitar and pick.

How to Tune Your Guitar: How to easily tune your guitar using a free app.

How to Read Chord Diagrams: Clear explanations of what all the symbols on a chord diagram mean.

5 Chords: Em, Am, D, G, C: You’ll learn your first 5 essential chords! We’ll look at the chord diagram for each of them, how to fret the guitar correctly and which strings to strum.

Beats, Bars and Strumming: A little bit of music theory so you can read song charts and strum correctly. This lesson will develop your playing ability and give you a basic understanding of how music is constructed.

How to Play Your First Song: This is where you put everything you’ve learned in the class to the test--changing chords, strumming and counting bars and beats.

How to Play Your Second Song: You should feel a little more confident by this point in the class and ready to dive into learning your second song.

Tips and Tricks: A round up of all my tips and resources to get you learning to play the guitar as quickly and easily as possible!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Rivera

Composer

Teacher

Hi!

I'm Jason Rivera. I compose music and teach from my studio in Los Angeles, CA. You can check out my music on my website and you can join my email list for updates.


“Excellent class!!! He made concepts that have been difficult to understand previously so clear and concise. Really got a lot out of this class. This is foundational to becoming a good composer. Can't wait to try doing the assignments!!!”

- Mona Lisa P, Skillshare Student


“Things I have been confused about for years finally made sense to me through Jason's instructions. I can't thank you enough, Jason.”

- Ronja B, Skillshare Student


“Great work, with engaging visuals and great audio and video qua... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, thank you so much for joining me on JSON Rivera. And I'm going to be taking you through this beginner's guitar course. In this class, I'll be covering the basic anatomy of the guitar. Important points such as posture and how to hold the guitar. How to tune your guitar, how to read chord diagrams. Then we'll jump into how to play your first five guitar chords. We'll cover a tiny bit of music theory and how to strum the guitar. And we'll finish up with learning a couple of songs. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years, and I've been teaching students ages five and up since 2012. I'm a full-time musician and composer. I've written music for films, trailers, and e-learning courses. And I've played in bands and toward the US since I was a teenager. My goal with this course is to teach you and absolute beginner, the basics of guitar and how to play a handful of the central guitar chords that will help you with learning your favorite songs. And my hope is to make this process fun and easy for you. I want you to just start playing your guitar as soon as possible. Just a heads up that this class will work for people with electric or acoustic guitars. Either kind of guitar will work great. Thank you for watching this intro, or gravity or guitar, and I'll see you in our first lesson. 2. Guitar Anatomy and Basics: This lesson is about basic anatomy of the guitar. I'm going to describe the main parts of the guitar. I'm also going to cover some details such as how to hold the guitar, how to hold a pic, fingernail length, and how to use a kapo. Let's start by talking about the anatomy of the guitar. So this up here, this is the headstock, and this is where you're tuning pegs are. This part right here is the nut. And the not as the start of the fretboard. You can think of it as Fred 0. This section here is called the fretboard. These pieces of wire here, these are called the fret wires. And the frets are the spaces in between the fret buyers. So this is fret one fret to fret, three fret for Fred, five, et cetera, et cetera. We have the strings here, and we have six strings. We'll get into detail about the strings during our lesson on tuning. These here are the pickups. The pickups literally pick up the sound and they control the tone of the guitar. The pickups can be adjusted with switches. On my guitars, this guy right here, this is the bridge. Sometimes you place your hand down here for more stability, especially when you're working on certain exercises or if you're trying to place with certain techniques, be aware that if you're on an acoustic guitar, you may not have as many dials and controls as I do here on my electric. On my electric. This knob here controls the volume, and this knob here controls the tone. Now let's talk a bit about posture. In terms of posture, you want to be relaxed. Have your shoulders relaxed, and be sitting up straight and want to rest your guitar and your lap. And if you're playing on an acoustic, you're going to have a big opening here of the sound hole. And that's where you want to play. You want to play over the sound hole. If you're on an electric like I am here, you shoot to play down the middle of the guitar. So, uh, my guitar that's between the two pickups right in here. You can experiment with different tones by playing closer to the bridge or closer to the fret board. Next, we're going to look at how to hold the guitar pic. Sometimes these are called the plectrum. To hold a pig properly, we're going to take our index finger and bend the knuckle. And then we want the pointed side of the PEC pointing away from our hand. We want to have some flexibility in the pig, but also some control over it. You don't want to put too much pressure on the pick. Just a medium amount of pressure. Now there are different thicknesses of pics. Thicker picks allow you to dig into the strings and are great for lead guitar. Really light picks are more flimsy but are great for playing chords. I'm using a 60 millimeter pick, which is a medium thickness. And it's a great pick to start out with. Now let's talk about our fretting hand. We need to know where to press down on the fret board. Whether you're playing a chord or a single note, you want to press your finger down right behind the fret wire. That gives you a nice clean sound. And it also makes it easier to play when it comes to fingernail length, you'll need to keep the nails on your fretting hand short so that you can play the notes properly. Otherwise, long nails get in the way. Your right-hand nails can be longer for when you eventually start finger picking. It could actually be very helpful for finger picking. As you move along in your guitar playing, you're going to need one of these kapo or Cato. The capital moves the nut of the guitar further down the neck and raises the pitch of the open strings. For example, if I put the capo on Fred three, and then I play any chord. It says in fact, tuning the guitar three frets higher in pitch. The guitar sounds nice when it's higher in pitch. And if you're working with a singer, it's an easy way to move the guitar up to the pitch of the vocalist. The side what Fred, you want to put the cap on and then put it close to the fret wire. In this lesson, we covered some basics like the anatomy of the guitar. How to hold it, how to hold a pic, how to Fred notes, fingernail length, and how to use a kapo. So for right now, practice holding your guitar. Get comfortable holding your pick and experiment with fretting notes right behind the fret wire. If you have long nails on your fretting hand, you're going to want to trim them pretty short so that you're ready when we start playing chords. And if you don't already have a capital, I suggest buying herself one. And the next video lesson we're going to cover how to tune your guitar. And then we'll get into some plane. 3. How to Tune Your Guitar: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to tune your guitar. Tuning, especially for beginners, can seem quite daunting, but it's really easy once you get used to it and it makes everything sounds so much better, make sure to always tune your guitar before playing. The first step is to get a tuner. I recommend the fender tune app, which is free and available for iOS and Android for your phone or tablet. Also, most digital audio workstations such as Cubase or Logic Pro, have built-in tuners that you can use. I also recommend that you get yourself a headstock tuner, eclipse right onto the headstock on the guitar. A standard guitar has six strings, and each one is tuned to their own pitch. There are many different tunings that we can tune our guitar too, but we're going to be looking at Standard Tuning. So if we start with the thickest string closest to the ceiling, which is the sixth string, that's E. The next one, the fifth string is a. Fourth string is D. The third string is G. The second string is B, and the first string is E. We can use a phrase to help us remember what note each string is supposed to be tuned to. If we started with string 1, the thinnest string closest to the ground. It's Easter. Bunnies get dizzy. Had Easter. You can come up with your own phrase to help you remember the string names. Something worth mentioning at this point because it's relevant to tuning, or the term sharp and flat. When it comes to tuning. If something is too sharp, it means that we've gone too high in pitch and pass the note that we're tuning to. If a node is flat, we haven't tuned high or tight enough. Or we've tuned the string too far down, or the string has to Slack as a heads up by purposely detuned a couple of strings here so that you can watch me dial the tuning in. We're going to use the Fender Tune app and start with the lowest string, e. So we can see that this string is too loose or flat. So I'm going to tighten it up by turning the tuning peg towards, this way, towards the headstock. And eventually we'll get to E. So I'm just making very slight terms right here on the tuning peg. And there we go. Our E strings in turn. If you're using the Fender Tune app, it will tell you when you're in tune by flashing green. The next string is a. That one's also just a bit flat. That looks good. The next thing is D. That looks good. The next string is G. G is just a little bit flat. Now it looks good. Again, I turned it this way towards the headstock. The next string is b. Now with this note, we can see that it's tuned to sharp or too tight. So we want to flatten the node by turning the second string tuning peg, this one here. We want to turn that this way towards the bridge of the guitar. So we'll adjust that be. Again, I'm making very slight terms. And that tuning peg. And there it is, more anterior. And then we have our last string, the high E. So now that high is just a little bit flat. So I'm going to turn the tuning peg this way towards the headstock. And there we go. We're in turn. So I use the Fender Tune app here, but you can also use a headstock tuner. Now our guitar, it sounds nice and in tune. Over time, you'll be able to hear when your guitar is even just a bit out of tune. In this lesson, we covered how to tune our guitar using a tuning app. We know that we can also use a headstock tuner and we learned a simple phrase to remember our string names at this point in the class, I want to make sure you get yourself a tuner and you tune your guitar. And the next lesson we're going to learn how to read chord diagrams, which will be very helpful for you as we're learning chords and songs. 4. How to Read Chord Diagrams: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to read chord diagrams. It's a really useful skill to learn because once you can read chord diagrams, you can learn hundreds of songs. A chord diagram is a representation of the fretboard. And they're drawn as if the guitar is held up like this. The vertical line on the left-hand side of the chord diagram is the thickest string, the sixth string. The vertical line on the right-hand side is that thinnest string, the first string. There are six vertical lines on the diagram and each of those lines represents a guitar string. The thick line at the top of the diagram represents the nut of the guitar. And the horizontal lines beneath represent each of the frets. So we have thread one, thread two, and so on. The notes that are fretted are represented by circles with numbers in them. A nice circles are placed on a specific fret and a specific string. The numbers inside of the circles represent the recommended finger to use to fret the node. The fingers are numbered one through for your index finger is one, and your pinky is for. The finger numbers on the diagrams are recommendations. Sometimes I'll use different fingers for record if it's more efficient or comfortable for me. But the chord diagrams that I'll be showing you in this course, we'll have the recommended fingerings on them. With many chords, you'll see these axes and O's above the nut. An x means don't play that string, and o means to play that string open without fretting it. Here's an example, the a minor chord. The x above the sixth string means don't play that string. The bow above the fifth string. And first string means to play that string open and let it ring out. Another words play that string but don't fret that string. In this lesson, we covered how to read chord diagrams and we learned what the finger numbers of your fretting hand are. Make sure that you download the supplemental materials for this class where I've included core diagrams for you to review. Have a little patience with yourself with this process. Once you get the hang of reading chord diagrams, it'll become second nature. And our next lesson, you are going to start learning your first chord. 5. Learn the Em Chord: And the next handful of lessons we're going to start learning our first cords. A chord is a combination of different notes played at the same time. In order to do this on the guitar, you strong more than one string at a time. We're going to be learning chords in the first position covering the first three frets. These are all open chords. You might be wondering why is it useful to learn these open chords. The five chords that I'm going to teach you in this class will help you to start to build your vocabulary of courts. And learning chords will open up hundreds, if not thousands of songs for you to learn. In this lesson, we're going to learn our first chord, E minor. Here's what it sounds like. To make the E minor chord, we put our first finger on the second fret of the a string and our second finger on the second fret of the D string. And we strum all six strings. Make sure your fingers are arched off of the open strings. And your thumb is pointed up behind the neck. And you want to press down with the tips of your fingers right behind the fret wire. Like I mentioned earlier, apply enough pressure with your fingers to have the sound ring out. Let's practice this chord by taking our hand off the guitar. And then try building the E minor again. So your first finger goes to the second fret of the a string, and your second finger goes to the second fret of the D string. And that's how you play the E minor chord. As I mentioned, you want to press down on the strings with the tips of your fingers. But this can be painful. So just make sure you take breaks from plane. Eventually you'll build up calluses on your fingertips. Once you have calluses, it'll be easier to hold down your chord shapes. Also, you don't want to accidentally mute strings that you're not pressing down like that. So you want to press down with your fingertips like I mentioned. So that'll really help. If you're having that issue. You wanna make sure you have some space between the palm of your hand and the fretboard back in here. You also need to build up, strengthen your fretting hand. And it'll probably be uncomfortable to hold down the chords in the beginning. Like I mentioned earlier, just make sure to take breaks from playing. If your court is not ringing out nice and clear, you can cross-check that each string is sounding properly one-by-one. So you start with the six string in your work, your way to the first stream one at a time. If your cords not sounding out clear like that just there. Just double-check that you're fretting notes behind the fret wire and that you're playing on your fingertips. So in this lesson, we learned our first chord, E minor. I want you to practice this chord by taking your fingers off the guitar and then building the E minor again, just like I did. What we're doing with this little exercise is building up our muscle memory to be able to eventually form the chord shape Quickly. Please download the core diagrams that I've included with this class for reference. And the next lesson we're going to learn the a minor chord. 6. Learn the Am Chord and Exercise: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play the chord, a minor. This is another open chord. Here's what it sounds like. For this chord, we'll be using three fingers, will put our first finger on the first fret of the B string. Our second finger on the second fret of the D string, and our third finger on the second fret of the G string. And then we're going to strum five shrinks down from the open. A don't forget to arch your fingers and make sure your thumb is pointed up behind the neck. Let's practice this chord by taking our fingers off the guitar and then try building to a minor again. So again, the first finger goes on the first fret of the B string. The second finger goes to the second fret of the D string, and the third finger goes to the second fret of the G string. Remember to place your fingers right behind the fret wire. And Strom from the open a down. If your court isn't sounding clear, you can check for a few possible problems that could come up. Remember to place your fingers right behind the fret wire, like I mentioned earlier. And you want to use the tips of your fingers to press the strings. You can always self-diagnose any problems with your core by picking each string individually. If something sounds like it's buzzing or it's muted, just double-check your hand and figure out where any problems might be. Here's a little exercise to practice changing between E minor and a minor. I would suggest using fingers 23 for E minor. Since this makes it easier to transition to, a miner. Will strum all six strings. And then the play the a minor fingers, 23 changed strings. And then it had finger one to the first fret of the B string. Then we strum down from the a string. So here's what it sounds like to switch from E minor to a minor. So we're just linking these chords together. Make sure you download the core diagrams that I've created for you, for your own reference and go slowly when switching from chord to chord until you get more comfortable. So in this lesson, we learned how to play the a minor chord, and we practice linking E minor to a minor. And the next lesson we're going to learn the D chord. 7. Learn the D Chord: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play the chord D. This is a really important chord to learn because it's so commonly used in songs. Here's what it sounds like. The D chord uses three fingers to play this chord. Put finger one on the second fret of the G string. Finger to is gonna go on the second fret of the high E string. And finger three is going to go on the third fret of the B string. And you strum down from your open D-string. Your D chord probably won't sound clear like that when you first try it. But there are some things to look out for to help you with this. Remember to place your fingers right behind the fret wire and also Archer fingers so that you play with your fingertips and so that you're not accidentally meeting any strings when you aren't your fingers this way it will also help you to apply just enough pressure with your fretting hand so that the strings ring out beautifully without straining your hand. As a reminder, just like with the first two chords that we learned, you can always self-diagnose any problems with your chord by picking each string individually. Then you can look at your fretting hand and see where any problems might be. Here. That first string, it's muted, doesn't sound good. So in this case I'm muting the first string unintentionally because I'm not playing on my fingertips. So let me just arch my fingers. And there we go. Nice and clear. It's also possible when you're first starting out that you might press the string down on the fret wire. That's what's happening there. With finger, tuned finger, three circles, string, first string. I'm pressing down on the fret wire. So you just want to slide it back just a bit so that your right behind the fret wire. Just like we did with our first two chords. Let's practice this D chord by taking our fingers, often guitar, completely. And then try building the D again. Practice this D chord to get comfortable with it. We're going to be linking it with other chords in the upcoming video lessons. So in this lesson we learned the D chord, and now we've learned three chords. And we're building up our vocabulary of chords. In the next lesson we're going to learn our fourth chord, G. So let's jump right into that now. 8. Learn the G Chord: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play another open chord, the G chord. Here's how it sounds. To make the G chord shape, we place finger one on the second fret of the a string. Then we take finger too, and we place it on the third fret of the low E string. And then you place your finger three on the third fret of the high E string. And we strum all six strings. That's the most common way to fret the G chord. But I'm going to give you an alternative way of creating the G. We place finger one on the second fret of the a string. Then we take finger to and place it on the third fret of the low E string. And then you place finger four on the first string. Third fret, the high E. And we strum all six strings. This alternative way of creating the G chord is the version that I like to use. So feel free to learn both versions if you'd like. This court is a little tricky because it requires you to stretch your hand across the fretboard in this direction. If you stick with it though, over time your hand becomes more flexible. Remember to plan your fingertips so that you don't unintentionally mute strings. And you want to apply just enough pressure with the left hand to have the string ring out beautifully. Let's practice this G chord by taking our fingers off the guitar and then building the G again. So again, finger one goes to the second fret of the a string. Your second finger goes to the third fret of the low E string. And your third finger goes on the third fret of the high E string. So practice taking your hand away from the fretboard and then forming the GI as quickly as he can. Just like with our other chords that we've learned, we're building muscle memory and our fretting hand. And getting comfortable with this G chord will allow you to play many of your favorite songs. As a reminder, if you're having problems with the G chord, you can always self-diagnose any problems with your chord by picking one string at a time. When learning the G, because your hand is stretching across the neck, you'll probably be muting strings unintentionally. So as a reminder, just play on your fingertips. Shorter practice this G chord to get comfortable with that, we're going to be linking this G with the other chords we've learned in the next video lesson. So in this lesson we learned another essential open chord, that G chord. And the next lesson we're going to learn our fifth chord and our final chord C. And then we're going to practice linking our courts to each other. 9. Learn the C Chord and Exercises: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play another open chord, the C chord. Here's how it sounds. Will use three fingers to play this chord. To build a C chord, we add finger one to the first fret of the B string. Then you add your second finger to the second fret of the D string. And then we add our third finger to the third fret of the a string. And we Strom from the a string down. Make sure all the strings are ringing out for you. If not, remember to arch your fingers and play on your fingertips and make sure your thumb straight up behind them back. Let's draw it again. Now let's take our hand away from the guitar and build out C chord again. So finger one goes on the first fret of the B string. Finger two goes on the second fret of the D string. And finger three goals on the third fret of the a string. And when a strong down from the a string. Make sure your patient with yourself, this core takes some time to get used to playing, like the G chord. You're stretching your hand, but this time you're stretching your hand across three frets and this direction. So it definitely takes some getting used to. Now for a few additional short exercises, I want you to refer to the PDF that I've provided for you and practice changing between the G and C chords. We're going to do this nice and slow. Just use all downstrokes and your strumming head. And we're just going to create a little loop back and forth, back and forth. And we're going to play this loop four times. Be patient with yourself. Getting these transitions takes time. And when you're first starting out, you're going to have some lag time between each chord. One helpful tip is to try and think of the next chord before you start switching to it. But don't stress over this. This takes time and it takes practice because you're building up the muscle memory and your fretting hand. Next we're going to practice changing between C and D. Again, we're going to use all downstrokes and our strumming hand and take it slow. By the way, I will cover strumming more in depth in the next lesson. So just like with G and C, We're going to create a loop from C to D and playback four times. Remember, be patient with yourself as you're memorizing these chords and go slow. For another exercise, we're going to practice changing between G, C, and D. So let's review each chord, C and D. We'll start with the G and strum all six strings down. Then we'll play the C chord. With this chord, we Strom down five strings starting with a. And then we play the D chord and play for strings down starting from the D string. Now let's practice switching between these courts will take it nice and slow and play G, C, and D. And we're going to create a loop again and play the whole loop four times. We'll start with the G chord. Switching from chord to chord will get easier with practice. Just stick with it until playing these chords feels easy. For our last exercise, we're going to mix up the chords and practice changing between g, d, and c. Since we're already warmed up to the courts from the last exercise, let's jump right into practicing. Switching between courts will take it nice and slow. This time we're going to play G, D, and C. And we're going to create a loop and play a four times. So let's start with that G chord. So in this lesson we learned another new chord, C, and we went over for new exercises to work with. Remember to download the core diagrams DOM attaching to this class for your reference. Working on the exercises that I've given you here and getting these core changes smooth and comfortable will take a lot of practice. Just remember the exercises that I've given you here will help you to be able to play hundreds, if not thousands of songs. So don't give up on practicing these chords. And the next lesson we're going to cover beats, bars, and strumming. 10. Beats, Bars and Strumming: In this lesson, I'm going to explain beats, bars, and strumming. And to do this, I'm going to introduce just a tiny bit of music theory. I'm only going to touch on music theory enough so that we can play some songs and music, there's usually an underlying pulse or beat. Beats are organized into small units called bars are measures. Usually but not always, these beads are in groups of four. And most songs you can count 1, 2, 3, 4, and hear and feel these groups of four beats. Before we start playing, let's count and clap 12344 times and create a nice steady beat. This might feel a little silly to you, but I can't stress enough how beneficial it is to count out loud while clapping or tapping. So bear with me and try this with me. I'm going to count you in 1234 on 4123412341234. So you can hear that the bar begins on beat one and ends on bead. For. What we're doing here is practicing, finding and feeling the beat. And we're becoming aware of how the beats are organized into bars. This skill is essential when strumming the guitar and when playing with other musicians. It tells you how long you should stay on a chord and how many times to Strom each of those courts. Now that you understand beats, we're going to look at two basic rhythmic values. Let's start with quarter notes. A quarter note is equal to one beat. So if we strong quarter notes, we're going to strum down four times per bar. And Strom 1, 2, 3, 4. Now with my left hand here, you'll see I'm just covering the fretboard. I'm not pressing on any specific strings, I'm just lightly covering it. And I'm gonna do this throughout the lessons just to demonstrate what my strumming hand is doing. Let's go back to the first core that we learn, E minor. Remember to play an E minor. Our first finger goes to the second fret of the a string, and our second finger goes to the second fret of the D string. And we strong all six strings. So we're going to use downstrokes to play the E minor four times per bar. And it sounds like this. 1234123412341234. Feel free to tap your foot while you're counting. So let's play four quarter notes together on E minor, and we'll count out loud. I'll give you a count in 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Counting like this is probably awkward at first, but it allows you to keep better time. And it will enable you to play with other people or eventually to play along with your favorite records. If we break a quarter note in half, we get an eighth note. Eighth notes, or half the value of a quarter note, and only last for half a beat. So I'm going to use that E minor chord again and play eighth notes. So this is what eighth note sound like. I want you to try this with me. Grab the E minor chord and let's start by strumming down quarter notes. Now let's set the strings on the up. These are eighth notes. You're hitting the strings on the way down and on the way up. So now I'm strumming the guitar to two times in the space of a quarter note. So the beat is in faster, but I'm doubling my strumming. Let's Strom some quarter notes with an E minor chord. Again, I'll count you in 123412341234. Not a play. Eighth notes. We're going to strum down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up. And in between the numbers, I'm going to say the word and 12341234. And so the downstrokes happen at the start of the bead and the upstrokes happen halfway between each beat on the word. And let me demonstrate what that sounds and looks like one more time. I'll count us in 1234123412341234 and 234. Let's play some more eighth notes, but this time, let's use all downstrokes. So there'll be a downstroke on each beat and a downstroke on the word hand. I'm going to grab that E minor chord. And that sounds like this. 1234123412341234234. Using all downstrokes like this one, playing eighth notes is a very useful rhythm to learn. A lot of rock, punk and metal songs use this type of strumming. So in this lesson, we learned about beats in a bar as quarter notes. We learned how to split those quarter note beats into two, and that gave us eight notes. We learned to use the word and to represent those eighth notes. We count 1234, and then we learned about strumming. We started with all downstrokes on each beat. We then learn to play downstrokes on the beat and upstrokes on the end. So we're strumming eighth notes like this, bond and 2341234. And finally, we learned how to strum all downstrokes on the eighth notes like this, 12341234 n. Before you move on to the next lesson, I strongly suggest you practice that down strumming technique on the quarter notes. That's this pattern here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. And also practice that down, up strumming pattern. So downstream on each beat and up strum on the end like this. 12341234. And make sure that you count out loud when practicing these patterns. And the materials that I've included with this class, I'm including a couple of charts for reading the quarter, an eighth note strumming patterns. Definitely take a look at that for reference. And the next lesson we're going to learn our first song and we're going to use the all downstroke quarter note strumming pattern. 11. Learn Your First Song: In this lesson, we're going to learn a simple song that I've written for you to play. The song has four of the chords that we've learned in it. And the chords we're using our C, a minor, E minor, and G. If you need to review beats, bars, and strumming patterns, by all means, review the previous lesson. And I would recommend downloading the core diagrams and sheep music that I created for this song. I've also provided you with two audio tracks for you to download. These tracks are backing tracks for the song that you can play along with to practice. One of the tracks has a metronome or click playing throughout to help you with your timing. And the other just has a metronome counting you in at the beginning of the song. Make sure your guitar is tuned and let's get started. We're going to use four chords, C, a minor, E minor, and G. For our strumming pattern, we're going to strum using downstrokes on each beat of the bar. So we're only strumming the quarter notes. And that sounds like this. So we'll start with the C chord, and we're going to play that for two beats of the bar. Then we're going to switch to the a minor chord for two beats. And then it'll sound like this. For the next bar on the first beat, we play the E minor for two beats. Then for the last two beats of the second bar, we play a G. So let's play the first bar by itself. So that's C for two beats and then a minor for two beats. Now let's play the second bar. The second bar is E minor for two beats and then G for two beats. So now let's put the first bar and the second bar together, and then it'll sound like this. So we're going to play this to measure pattern a total of four times. And then we'll end the song with a C chord, but will only play that C chord one time. We'll Strom it down once and then let it ring out for the rest of that measure. And that'll just sound like this. So let me play through the whole song. Dao, get your C chord ready and I'll count you down 1234. To help you change from chord to chord faster. Here are a few tips. When you're playing the C chord to a minor, your first second fingers stay put. Your first finger is on the first fret of the second string, and your second finger is on the second fret of the fourth string. So that makes changing from C to a minor a bit easier since you don't have to lift your hand completely off the fret board. As you change from C to a minor, you only moving your third finger. Then the next change is from a minor to E minor. And when you make that change, your second finger stays put. And you bring your first finger to the second fret of the fifth string. So that's another moment where you don't have to lift your hand completely off the fret board. Then the last chord changes from E minor to G. And with this change, your first finger stays put on the fifth string and your second finger drops on. So the sixth string, third fret. And you can use your third or your fourth finger to press down on the first string third fret. So let me go through those core changes really slowly. C to a minor, to E minor, to G. One playing the guitar, you'll want to strive for efficiency in your movements and looking out for opportunities like these to be more efficient as really helpful. And sometimes you'll want to change which fingers you use to press down on the strings in order to make the chord changes easier. I would recommend that you download the audio tracks that I've provided This song and play along with the track and also reference the sheet music that I've provided for this song. So in this lesson, we learned how to play our first song and we went cord by cord. So you should be all set to play this song. Remember to take it slow at first until you feel really comfortable switching from chord to chord. Then I would suggest to download the audio files that I've provided and try and play along with those tracks. Congratulations on learning your first song. Keep working on making your core transition smooth. And the next lesson we're going to learn another song. 12. Learn Your Second Song: In this lesson, we're going to learn our second song. And this is another song that I've created, especially for you. We're going to use all five chords that we've already learned in previous lessons. So the chords used, or G, E minor, C, a minor, and D. If you need to review these chords, be sure to watch the previous lessons where I explain each chord in detail. And also be sure to download the core diagrams that I've provided for this class, as well as the sheet music that I've created for this song, for the strumming pattern and this song, we're going to keep it simple and use all downstrokes. We're going to strong down on every beat of the bar like this, 1234. If you're feeling really comfortable with the all downstroke pattern, you can also use the down, up strumming pattern. So downstream on the beep and upstream on the end. So please choose between either of these strumming patterns for the song. So the chord progression for this starts with G, then E minor, then C, Then a minor, and then D. And then the whole progression starts over again. So we start with G, and we play that for two beats. On the third beat of bar 1, we switch to E minor and play that for two beats. Then we switched to see on the first beat of B2 and we play it back for two beats. Then we switch to a minor for two beats. Then on beat one of bar 3, we switch to d and we played D for all four beats of barred three. And then we repeat the pattern. So this is a three bar pattern and we repeat that a pattern four times. Then in the very last measure of the song, we play G on beat 11 time and we looked at chord ring out. So let me play through the whole song. El gets a G chord, ready? I'll count you in. 1, 2, 3, 4. The second time around. Third time around, fourth time around. And then we end on G. To help you change from chord to chord faster. Here are a few tips. So we start on G on beat 1 or bar 1. Then we switch to E minor beat three. And when we make that change, you keep finger one in place and you only need to move finger two to the second fret of the fourth string. Then embarked to beat one, we change to the C chord. And when you make that change, you keep finger to rightward is, and you move finger one to the first fret, second string. And you bring finger three to the third fret, fifth string. Then on the third beat of B2, you switch to a minor. And for that change, you only need to move one finger, your third finger. And you move that to the second fret of the third string. And you have your a minor chord. Then Ambar 3, we switch to the D chord. And for the D, You'll have to lift your hand completely off the fret board. So hopefully pointing out these chord changes and a little bit more detail makes playing the song even easier for you. Don't forget, you can download the audio tracks for the song and those will be good resources for you to practice and to learn the song. So in this lesson, we learned how to play our second song. This song uses all five chords that we've learned. And again, we went cord by cord. So you should be all set to play this song. Don't forget to take it slow at first until you feel really comfortable switching from court to court. If you're completely new to the guitar, this might take a couple of weeks of practice. Also remember to download the audio files that I've provided and try and play along with those tracks. This will help you to develop your timing. Congratulations on learning your second song. Keep working on making your core transition smooth. And the next lesson we're going to cover some tips and resources. 13. Tips, Resources and Recap: So here we are at the end of our class. Thank you so much for joining me. To close out our class. I'm going to share some tips and resources with you. And hopefully I can give you some extra encouragement to learn the two songs we've looked at in this class. On that note, I've come up with a really simple way for you to implement what you've learned in this class. That'll hopefully give us a chance to interact a bit. I'd love for you to learn how to play at least one of the two simple songs that I've taught you in the class. Use the video lessons in this class along with the downloadable materials that I've provided as references to help you then record audio or video of you playing one or both of the simple guitar songs that I've taught you in this class and share your link with me. I would be happy to provide you with feedback on it. I chose this as a project for this class because I want to inspire you to start playing your guitar right away. And in order to set yourself up for success, makes sure your guitar is tuned. Download the materials that I've provided for you, and review the video lessons as many times as you need to. Now for a few additional tips. One of the most important tips that I can share with you is to be patient with yourself. Take your time learning these courts and don't try and cut corners. If you can stick with learning these cords, it will be on the path to learning hundreds of songs. I have to warn you here that you're going to have some fingertip pain in your fretting hand as you're learning. It's part of the process of developing calluses on your fingertips. After a while you'll develop calluses and the pain goes away. If you're playing a guitar with steel strings on it. As an alternative, you can use a nylon string guitar. That's if you're really struggling. A nylon string guitar, it might ease the pain a bit, but I would recommend sticking with learning on a steel string guitar. A steel string guitar will help you to develop hand strength. You might also have some discomfort and other parts of your fretting hand as you're developing the muscles in your hand. Again, you have to be patient with the process and remember to take breaks from playing. As I mentioned in earlier lessons, if your chords are sounding like they're buzzing, pick each string individually to diagnose the problem in your chord. You're most likely muting strings unintentionally, not pressing down hard enough for now playing on your fingertips. As far as a practice routine goes, I have found that it's best to practice even for a few minutes every day. You'll see progress this way as opposed to practicing for an hour and then not practicing for days and then picking up the guitar again. Consistency is key with learning guitar. So hopefully you can find even five minutes every day to practice. Let's talk for a bit about resources. I've provided you with core diagrams for the chords that we've looked at in this class. And I've also added diagrams for other very common chords that you're likely to come across when attempting to learn new songs. If you need a refresher on how to read chord diagrams, just refer back to that previous lesson where I covered that. If you're interested in learning more songs, you can go online and search for sheet music to buy a couple of sites that I like for sheet music, our music notes.com and sheep music plus.com. You can also check out the app and website, ultimate guitar and search for songs to learn. That side has a huge catalog of songs. Just be aware that since it's a guitar community, many of the songs available on there are uploaded by fellow users. But from my experience, when you're looking for a song, you just scroll through and look for songs with high user ratings. And that will usually be a good way to find accurate chords for a song. When learning new songs, it could be very helpful to slow the song down. And we're lucky to live in a time where that's really easy to do. The most basic way of doing this is to find the song you're learning on YouTube and slow down the video playback speed. Another option that I've used, this, the free software, Audacity. It's available for Mac and Windows. With Audacity, you can open an MP3 file and slow the tempo down without changing the pitch of the notes. It's very handy. If you use a digital audio workstation like Logic Pro or Cubase for example, you can use the time stretch feature to slow your MP3s down. Like I mentioned earlier in this class, when you're looking up songs to learn, at some point you'll see written instructions for you to put a cap on a specific fret. So I highly recommend that you get one for yourself. I also recommend that you get yourself a headstock tuner for tuning your guitar. Makes sure that you download the PDF resources that I've attached to this course, as well as the audio tracks that I've created for you to play along with. Also, if you'd like to leave a review for this class, that would be very helpful for me as I create new classes. And feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback. And don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions that you might have about Guitar. Thank you so much for taking this class with me.