Beginners Guitar Lesson | Leigh Ratcliffe | Skillshare

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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

8 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. 001 Beginners Guitar "Intro"

    • 2. 002 Beginners Guitar "String Names"

    • 3. 003 Beginners Guitar "The Left Hand & Frets"

    • 4. 004 Beginners Guitar "E Minor Chord"

    • 5. 005 Beginners Guitar "G Major & Some Good Advise"

    • 6. 006 Beginners Guitar "D Major"

    • 7. 007 Beginners Guitar "A Major Chord"

    • 8. 008 Beginners Guitar "Putting them all together and adding rhythm"

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About This Class

Guitar course designed for the beginner to take you from knowing nothing on the guitar to playing your first song.

In this course you will learn: 

  • String Names 
  • E minor, G major, D major & A major chords
  • A Rhythm pattern to play your very first song

Meet Your Teacher

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Leigh Ratcliffe

Videoography, Audio Production, Musician


Hello, I'm Leigh. I have been playing the guitar & singing professionally for over 25 years. I am a  sound engineer and have worked in media most of my life including radio (sound) & television ( sound & visual) production.

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1. 001 Beginners Guitar "Intro" : Hey, welcome along to my guitar course for beginners. So this course is aimed at the very first time that you have really played guitar, so you might not know much about it a little, But by the end of this will have you playing a song. At least first things first. I'm just gonna go through all the strings on the guitar and just make sure you're in tune. So this is by far the most exciting of this video. Ah. 2. 002 Beginners Guitar "String Names" : it brings me to my next very important point, which is we need to know what the names of the strings on the guitar are to start with. It's going to be important because I'm gonna tell you to put your finger on a specific string, and you need to know which one that's called when I say that to you. So the names are as follows and it starts off like this, and this is a little People find this one a little bit. We'd, but what it is is that this particular string here and actually referred to as the bottom string. And it's the bottom because the lowest in pitch. So it sounds lost, this one being the top street on the guitar. So even it's not where it is on the guitar. It's to do with peach. So we start off with the bottom a string we have be my thing. And now, as always in music, we have these sort of silly little sayings that we like to use that help you remember the names and the one I use for the guitar is every available dome gets biscuits eventually, so if you can remember that every available dog gets biscuits eventually, then you're on your way to knowing what the strings are called. 3. 003 Beginners Guitar "The Left Hand & Frets": Okay, So step two years. Two number L fingers, we have 123 and four. Same thing again. As we've knowing the names off the actual strings, we need to know which finger were actually going to put on the guitar. So if I tell you to put first finger to this one to you but your third finger, this one and so on and so on. The third thing you're going to need to know is that these things here, these lines that we have on the guitar are called for Fritz. It's a fretted instrument. The way guitar actually changes pitch. He's this string itself. When you push down next to a fret, the string itself actually touches the piece of metal and that changes the length of the strings of the string now becomes shorter, and the beach changes and goes up in pitch to the short of the string gets be higher, the peach goes. So we also are going to number these frets. We start here. 1234567 and eight, and so on. And go up the fretboard. Of course, we're not gonna go past the third fret for these particular courts that we're going to learn 4. 004 Beginners Guitar "E Minor Chord": Okay, so going back over that e eight d g b e Every available dog gets biscuits eventually. 123 and four and al Fritz. 123456 And so on. Now, if I was to say to you to put your first finger which is this one on the second fret, you go one to and from the second fret and it's gonna be on the a string So we get every available There's are a string way Take out first finger Put it on the second fret on the I string And we could play that You should have that night day which is a Okay, leave that one Werritty's and we're gonna take l second finger and we're gonna put it on the D string. So go through again every available dog day. There it is. And we're gonna put that on the second fret as well. And we're gonna play that which isn't a So we now have a second friend, second rip first and second finger. And if we play all the strings now, I have a very first chord, which is an e minor chord difference between notes and chords. very, very quickly called a series of notes stacked on top of each other. So one note at a time and a note single note. It's just gonna be one night. So now we're dealing with chords, so we're going with all the notes at once. They just let you first chord. 5. 005 Beginners Guitar "G Major & Some Good Advise": The next lesson is to learn our second chord. We've already learned the a minor chord which is in our first lesson. And now we're going to learn the G major chord So back to our a mynah way started first finger and second finger on the second frets on the A m the day string and then play a lot together. Now, the good thing about the next court J is that this particular first finger here, this first finger, we can leave it where it is. We don't actually have to move that particular finger. So I'm gonna leave that one where it is. We're gonna take a second finger, the everyone's favorite finger, and we're going to put that up onto the third fret on the bottom, a string and we're gonna get a gene night he So we still got our first finger on the second fret where we left it before from our a minor. You still got that first finger on the A string on the second fret and now we've got our second finger on the third fret on the bottom of a stream. Now here's where we have a little bit of a stretch. We have to get this third finger right over to the very high a string, which is this one of the answer. Every available dog gets biscuits eventually, and we price our third finger on the third for it. And we get this. This is a game major chord. Now the big trick, really Here is when you first start East practice going between just the two shapes that we started with. So we're going to start without a mourner on. And then what we want to do is we want to try and move our fingers way. We just want to go back. No clean to becoming really, really good at guitar is repetition. There is no real trick. There's no talent that you need to have. I don't think you're born with any particular talent. All you need to do is repeat, repeat, repeat. If you keep repeating the movement, you're going to get very, very good at it. I have a little analogy that I use, which is the same sort of processes tying shoes. Now, when you very first learned how to tie shoes, it was extremely difficult. So the very first time that you tried, it was like impossible. There's no way it was going to happen. And then eventually one day it goes, I get it, I can tie my shoes. Now I know how to do it. Not very good at it, but I know how it's done. Then you repeat that process. And how often would you do it? Every day you get up every day for a very short period of time. You tell your shoes and off you go and you don't really think too much about it. You just do it every day on repeat toys, shoes, shoes. Do it the next day tissues again. And eventually you get to a point where, like, you might have done today. If you think about how you went Tony shoes today, you will probably find that you got up put shoes on. Didn't even think about tying your shoes. You're probably thinking about what you're gonna have for breakfast or what you're gonna do later. That day at lunchtime, you didn't look, you literally just tied your shoes without thinking, and off you went and you did it in a few seconds very, very quickly, and you did it from what's really called muscle memory, which is repeating something over and over and over again until you don't really have to think about that process anymore. You hands just do it for you and guitar convey exactly the same. So it gets to a point where your fingers just wherever they want, complete things like this because my fingers had done that over and over and over again for many, many, many years, and it's become very natural to do it. So I think the thing to take away from my little round yes, that at the end of the day, you don't have to be insanely gifted. What you just have to do is repeat the movement of your hands often do it for short periods of time. But do it often if you can practice just a little bit every day. That's much better than practicing once today for an hour and then completely forgetting about the guitar for another week and then trying again in a week's time. You're gonna completely forget everything that you practice to. You're far better off to just try and make. Don't expect in tow happen. Just trying you might do that five minutes, 30 seconds. It doesn't really matter. And then you're gonna get up the next day and trying to Yeah, put it down, pick it up the next day. And what will happen is eventually your hands will just get used to remembering where they need to go. They'll start to move faster and faster. They'll do what they told you know, when you first start, As always, this sort of thing happens with its like and fingers won't go where they're told. That will change, but a lonely change if you keep repeating the movement. So I can't stress that enough. If you want to get good at guitar, only way is to just do it over and over and over again. And if you can do that, you got to play for 6. 006 Beginners Guitar "D Major": Okay, so we've learned out E chord and we've practiced moving between on and way gonna had next quarter. This one normally is the tricky is one when people first started on it's called d Major. It's only tricky because you're moving from the G. It's not tricky in general. It's just tricky because where we're moving from, cause their hands have to do a big change to go from one court to the next. So we go days like this, we're gonna take down first finger, and we're gonna place our first finger on the second fret on the G strings. Remember, every available dog gets, that's the one second fret first finger. Then we're gonna take our third finger, and we're gonna place that one on the third fret on the B string. So every little dog gets biscuits. That's the one B. Then we're going to take our second finger, and we're gonna place that also on the second fret on the A string now, but this time it's still playing all the strings. We're gonna miss these two strings, and we're only gonna play string a couple of things of this thing that will bring you on Stuck will be your hand position. So try and keep your hand, Knauss and flat this way. So the palm of your hand is flat to the neck off the guitar. This you don't want to look like this. Your best bet is to look like this hand. What? This Not like this. Now, the other thing is to just watch with your family is if people, when they first start out, try and do this thing, they seal their favorite guitarist with their thumbs back here, which is great. If you've got your technique down, you understand how to play. And you I'm more comfortable, but not so good. When you're first starting out, you're far better off to push your thumb down. Yeah, so you can't see it from this part of you should be here to see my thumb. Now it should be a way. And if by doing that, what it does is it sort of pulls my hand around. If I sort of go sort, I'm At least it pulls my hand around this way a little bit, because when I'm here, you know, it's my hands out of clamps up with these Yet and what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to pull my thumb down a little bit, which pushes my hand forward this way a little bit, and it lets me stand up my fingers so they're not flat. But please, they're more like this. Yep, and that will help me get hardest part seems to bait. People will put their thumb up like this, and I'll get this sound. I can't figure out why they can't get that night descended, and it's simply because of the shape of their hand. If they just move their thumb down, which groups the armed and pushes the fingers forward, that will help them set up. That's out a court. 7. 007 Beginners Guitar "A Major Chord": we're onto our very last chord for this particular course, which is going to be a major. So so far we've let a minor thing on thesis ones. Looks quite simple because, uh, als the fingers are on the exact same fret they're all on the second fret. So we're going to play out a string. We're going Teoh put out first finger on the D string on the second fret andan on the G string on the second friend and then on the B string on the second alone. Except for this bottom patient, we're gonna miss that one. So we're just gonna play way so again it's the a string first finger on the second fret on the D string Second finger on the second Fret on the juice tree on third finger on the second fret on the bass string. Now what you'll notice here is that I can't get my fingers right behind the for it, which is where I'd like to be a I don't want to be on the froth, Sandy from on the road I want to be just slowly be haunted now when on planes they could I can't get all my fingers were right behind the threats because there's just not enough room . So it doesn't matter if you're in a little bit of a diagonal. We do. You think it's a on my fingers, a sort of check like this, You know, if you can see that they're not perfectly like least like side by side on the fritz like this is just too awkward. They are diagonally like that. The main thing that I don't want to be, so don't be too far back. So I don't want to be starting to push on this next, Fred, or I'll start to get either the wrong note or get. And that happened, which is not okay, so I just I applied that bottom street. Now we do the same thing again. We go from way. Repeat the smooth that we're trying to get. Good. So we want to get better at going between these two records. So I just got back and forth 8. 008 Beginners Guitar "Putting them all together and adding rhythm": now, once you're getting better changing between the courtships, now you can stop way. Now. I usually see most people. If they practice this and, you know, sort of every day or every couple of days, at least get quite good. This quite quickly. And now get to the point where they can do that within a couple of weeks, two or three weeks. At that point, we can start introducing a rhythm pen, which is what we're going to do in our next lesson. Okay, so we've learned all four chords. We've learned our aim on a way we've let out on. We've learned now they called. And now what we want to do is we want to try and come up with some sort of rhythm pet weaken, learn to play the song. Now when we very first started, it's always good to do something that's quite simple, so we could just do four strong way first rhythm. But other than that, we can start to spice things up a little bit, start to learn some rhythms that sound a little bit more like a song, and for this 11 of the ones that I like to do here? Is this one way to think about it is like these down slap way have a down strike one and two, huh? Down on slept. And And the reason that I count these ends in between is that gives me the space that makes it sound like it fits in a bar of music. All musics made up off buzz on music, and they have beats and we count them so that we play in time. And most sort of popular music follows 44 time signatures. So there are four Bates in everybody Don't don't three or 1234 And that's what's most popular in a lot of music. And in these were actually counting in height because, sir, actually, it's one. So what we're actually doing is we're taking those four dates in the bar, and we're just having it, and we're making it eight beats. But we're only playing on specific numbers when we actually play their rhythm patterns. So we play two and three four again. It goes down on 11 and two, three and four, and then we will change cord one and two three on, or and to on and and at the moment doesn't sound very exciting. I get that it's going to take a little while for you to get your head around the numbers. And when you have to play down, when you have to strum up, when you have to slap the different things that you've got the dough, but same thing again, take it slow. If you do it slowly, you give yourself more chance to actually absorb everything, can take it and do each action when it's supposed to happen. What you would like to do is try and practise this very consistently, so it's always right. One of the big things that I like to do with my practices are like to try and practicing slower, but I practice them always the same way correctly. If you do that, there's less chance you're going to practise and rehearse your mistakes. So that means you're going to get better and better and better mistakes if you do it that way. So what we're trying to do is get rid of the mistakes, do it slower, slow down and just very patiently work through getting that core progression right and then slowly but surely you be able to work on getting at faster and faster. So definitely the K is for repetition to do it slowly and let yourself have a chance to sort of catch up on get absorbed. Everything but you being that you're trying to do. That's new Kim. And then eventually, once we can speed it up. - Yeah , yeah, we're not gonna learn all that stuff today, but like I said, take it slow little bits every day. And before you know you'll be able to play a song row easy, hunger tha Take it easy, say next.