Beginner Guitar: Terminology, Tuning & Reading Music | Taylor Gamble | Skillshare

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Beginner Guitar: Terminology, Tuning & Reading Music

teacher avatar Taylor Gamble, Professional Guitarist

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Getting Started


    • 3.

      Guitar Anatomy


    • 4.

      Holding Your Guitar & Pick


    • 5.

      Tuning Your Guitar


    • 6.

      Strings, Frets, & Finger Names


    • 7.

      Reading Guitar Tabs


    • 8.

      Working with Time


    • 9.

      Rhythmic Notation


    • 10.

      Playing Your First Chords


    • 11.

      Strumming and Picking


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Discover the delight of playing the guitar in this beginner-friendly class — part of the Complete Guitar Learning Path that will take you from total newbie to practiced player!

Guitarist Taylor Gamble grew up in a musical family. The daughter of a singer and a sound technician, Taylor played a variety of instruments when she was young, but even then, the guitar always stood out to her. She discovered that playing could soothe her anxiety, lift her mood, and tap into her creativity.

Now a professional musician who’s worked with artists like Stevie Wonder, Ari Lennox, and Victoria Monét, Taylor lives to share the joy of the guitar with others. In this class, she’ll guide you through the foundational knowledge to handle your instrument with confidence and set up your guitar practice for success.

Together with Taylor, you’ll tackle hands-on lessons such as:

  • Holding your guitar, and identifying its parts
  • Tuning a guitar and learning string names 
  • Deciphering guitar charts and tablature

Taylor’s warm, approachable style makes learning to play the guitar simple, systematic, and fun. Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, revisiting an old passion, or just interested in what it takes to become a guitarist, this class is the perfect place to start!

This class was created with first-time players in mind. If you've ever wanted to learn the guitar but felt too overwhelmed to start, this is the class for you. Since learning music takes time, this class is designed to complement your own self-guided practice or lessons. Taylor uses an electric guitar, a pick, an amp, a tuner, and a quarter-inch cable; follow along with whatever guitar you have access to, acoustic or electric. Ready to learn more? This is the first class in Taylor’s five-part Complete Guitar Learning Path. To continue building your skills in the next class, click here.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Taylor Gamble

Professional Guitarist


Taylor Gamble is an expert guitarist based in Los Angeles. As a touring musician, she's played with artists including Ari Lennox and Victoria Monet, and performed on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and NPR Tiny Desk, and most recently Fox’s show ‘Alter Ego’. Taylor also teaches, sharing her technique and passion for the guitar via the popular Fender Play YouTube series. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: It's time to put the air guitar down and learn the basics of the guitar. My name is Taylor G, and I am a professional guitarist endorsed with vendor musical instruments. My love were guitar began at the age of 11 and has brought meets as screens and stages alike, performing with artists such as Stevie Wonder, RT, Linux, Victoria Monet, and more. I'll be showing you where to start with your guitar, as well as provide materials that will help you get straight to the point and fast. During this class, we will begin with the parts of the guitar and what they are. We will then move on to learning our string names in order to Tim. Next, I will discuss the terminology to communicate where I would like you to place your fingers on the guitar. To help with this, I will teach you how to read guitar charts as well as tablature to access course and melody lines on your own. We'll finish up the class by learning a simple melody to courts and three strumming patterns. You'll need an electric guitar and amp tuner and a quarter-inch cable. If you've ever wanted to learn to play guitar, but felt too overwhelmed by the plethora of information available. This class is for you. By the end of this class, you will know how to hold your guitar, the parts of the guitar, your strings, fingers, and friends, as well as how to fret notes. Let's begin. 2. Getting Started: Hey, congratulations, you finally decided to sit down and learn how to play the guitar. Now I know it can be a little bit stressful, but no worries. I'm here to teach you all the fundamentals that you need to know to ensure great playing. Now in this class you're going to learn how to hold the guitar, how to hold a pic, how to read tablature, how to play melody lines. And I'll even show you some course to get you started. So grab your guitar or pick quarter-inch cable and they're good old ampere yours. And let's get into it. 3. Guitar Anatomy: Let's get started with the parts of the guitar. First we have our body, then we're gonna move to the parts on the neck. And then I'm going to talk about the parts on the headstock. So let's get started on the body. So these are our pickups. They transmit a current to the AMP and give you sound. This bad boy is our bridge. It transmits the strings vibrations into another part of the guitar, also giving you sound. So let's move on to these knobs. We have two tone knobs which control the frequency in which you're hearing. And the guitar, we have a higher pitched one, a lower pitched one. So if I were to turn one down, then I lose my high-frequency. Now if I turn this back up and I turn this one down, then I lose more low-frequency. So you wanna make sure that it's set in a way where you're comfortable with what you hear tone wise. Okay? And of course, we have our volume knob in which that of course gives us volume. If I turn it down, nothing. Is there anybody that sound? This is our toggle switch, which activates one or two of the pickups depending on where it's placed. We have it in first position, which is our bridge pickup. So let's hear how that sounds. Right? That's back here. Now put it in a second position. Third position, fourth position, fifth position. Notice how it got brighter and brighter. So we started here and then we're left with this one. Now we're gonna go to the neck of the guitar. Now this is the long thin piece of wood between the headstock in the body. Let's go over its parts. We have the strings, of course. Now the strings is what we use to actually emit sound. The wires from the string vibrate in such a way that they give you what's called a pitch. So technically, each string has a different sound. Now I know you're wondering, what are these metal wirings dividing the neck. These are called our frets. And what they do is they divide the neck in such a way that we're able to play different notes. So when I put my finger down on the first fret, I get OneNote. If I put it down on another for it, I get a different note. And so on. These little dots here are called Design markers. And what they do is they help you to know what position you're placing your fingers in. So for example, if I were to place my finger here, this will be on the third fret. This is our fifth fret. Seventh or ninth, or 12th, and so on. So I'm never lost. This here is the nut. And what it is is a hard piece of material that helps support the strings right before the headstock. All right, Now let's move on to the headstock. We have our tuning pegs, and basically what these do is they loosen and tightened the strings to help us be able to keep the strings into this right here is our string tree. And basically what it does is it holds the strings and a downward position to be able to provide us with accurate tuning. So now that we know the parts of the guitar, join me in the next lesson where we'll learn how to hold the guitar, as well as how to hold our pig. 4. Holding Your Guitar & Pick: Now we know the parts of the guitar, but what about how to hold it here to show you that too? So let's jump into it. Here we go. We've got the strap here. We want to take it, hold it up like so. It's going to place it over your head. If you're writing, make sure that the strap is coming over your left shoulder. Now we're going to take our dominant hand, which is the hand that we write with and we're gonna place it over the guitar. Just like so, hugging it kinda like as a baby. So we're going to take our elbow and make sure that it is resting on the body of the guitar, just like this, is to secure it to make sure that it doesn't move too much while you're playing. Now we're going to take our non-dominant hand, also known as our fretting hand. And we're gonna place it under the neck of the guitar. Like so, almost like you're serving your plate. You just want to take your thumb, place it on the back of the neck like that, and then rest the rest of your fingers on the neck. So now that you've got that down, take some time to become more comfortable, but be patient with yourself as this can take some time to get used to. So now let's go over how to hold the pig. Alright, this is a pig. Alright? It is a small triangular device used to pluck or strum the strings. Okay? So in order to hold the pick, what I want you to do is make an ALK sign with your dominant hand. For me, That's my right hand. All right. So all I want you to do is take your pick on the wider part and place it in between your index and your thumb, just like that. Now naturally when you're strumming, your fingers might want to curl, they might stay out. That's fine. Just take a couple of seconds and try to strum the strings. Make sure it's secure in a way where you don't feel like it's going to fall. You don't want to hold it too tight just enough to where you feel like you've got a secure grip. Now, if you want to use your thumb, this is totally fine as I spent the first three years of my playing, playing classical guitar. So I didn't even touch a pig. I played with strictly my fingers. However, a pig allows you to be able to do more and you're strong hand than just using your fingers. So let's go ahead and end this lesson with a nice strum. Ready, One, 23. Great job. See you in the next lesson. 5. Tuning Your Guitar: In the last lesson, we learned how to hold the guitar as well as how to hold a pig. Now before we actually start playing, There's one more thing we must do, and this is something you have to do every single time you pick up your guitar. And that is to, what do I mean by tuning? Tuning is the process by which we take each string and put them in their correct pitch. Now, how do we do this? We use these pegs right here. We turn them left or right in order to get them to be in what we call two. Now before we tool, we have to know what string name or what note name we're tuning our strings too. Let's go over those real quick. Are thickest string is known as our E string. Next we have our a string. After that, we have our D string. After that we have our G string. Then we have our B string. And then we finally end it with another E string. Now notice that there are two 0s in our set of strings. They are differentiated by what's called an octave. Now an octave is literally the same note, but it's just at a different frequency. So our low E, of course is going to be lower than our hierarchy. Now remember the objective is to get the meter to read E, a, D, G, B, and E. Now here's a fun acronym to be able to remember that we have, everybody always does good. But Erica, everybody e, always a does D, Good G. But the Erica E. And you can replace that with your own name. It could be Elliot, it could be Aaron. It can be any name that you can think of that it's easy for you to remember. So let's begin tuning our guitars. First things first, we're gonna take our tuner and we're gonna place it on the headstock of our guitar. There's a couple of things you need to know about your tuner. There's gonna be some lines that are going to indicate whether your note is flat or sharp. Now I want to know is flat, that mean is below the pitch that we needed to be. When a note is sharp, above the pitch that we needed to be. In some cases, it might show up as green and some cases there might show up as blue. But what you want is you want the needle or the meter to stay in the center. So let me show you what that actually means. Here we go. When I plug my low E string, notice that the meter goes below the E. It goes to the left, meaning that my string is flat. If my string is flat, what does that mean? I have to bring it up. So we're going to twist this peg. Not too hard, but gradually until it lights up in the center blue. Alright, now we're gonna move on to our next string, which is our astray. Well, that sharp. Now my meter width to the right, meaning is too high. What do we have to do? Come on and bring it on down. Here we go. Gradually, slowly, slowly. Alright, it's in tune. Let's try a D-string. It's flat, so we've got to bring it out and let's bring it up. Bring it out, bring it up. Here we go. G string. Bring it down, down. So it stays in the center. There you go. Good. B string. Okay? And are eStream flat, so we've got to bring it up. All right. When you strum all your strings, you're now into, Wow, congratulations. So a quick tip. What if you strum your string? I'm going to take my low E string out of tune. And it shows a different note. Okay, D is showing D. How would I get to eat? Well, just follow the alphabet. What comes after d? E, which means that we have to raise it up to E. So all you would do assembly, twist it until it reads as. Also the blue marker is in the center. Whenever you see a different note name than E, a, D, G, B, or E, just follow the alphabet. Now the musical alphabet consists of a, B, C, D, E, F, and G. And it starts over, okay, there are notes in between, but we're not gonna go that far. Just practice tuning your guitar. And remember, this is the first thing I want you to do before you play anything. Keep practicing and I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Strings, Frets, & Finger Names: Now we're getting into the good stuff. This is where we're going to learn what I like to call guitar talk. And it's just simply me being able to communicate to you where I would like you to place your fingers. And that's just simply learning your string numbers, your numbers, and your finger names. So we know our string names, E, a, D, G, B, and E. Now what you don't know is that there's actually a number that is associated with each string. So starting with our thickest string, which is our low E, this will be referred to also as our sixth string. Next we have our a, which is also known as our fifth string. R. D, which is known as our fourth. G is known as our third. And I think you know where I'm going with this B is our second. Then of course we have a high E string, which is our number one. We have 654321. Now let's move on to our fingernails, which will be helpful once we move on to our fret numbers. So here we go. So we've got our index finger, which is known as our first finger. Middle finger will be our second finger. Ring finger is our third finger, and then of course our pinky is our fourth finger. Now I will be referring to these as index, middle ring, and pinky. However, in other settings you might hear this terminology. Again, I want you to be well-prepared going out there into the world as a guitarist. Okay, so now let's move on to our threat numbers. It's pretty self-explanatory as you're just gonna be following the order of the frets. Okay, so what I want you to do is I wanted you to take your first finger or your index finger and place it on the first fret of the high E string. So what does that mean? Just taking your index finger and literally placing it on the very first fret of the high E string. Okay, This is our second fret. Third fret, fourth fret, and so on. Don't forget, you can use these design markers. Are these little black dots that you see on my guitar as a means to be able to know exactly where you are. So if I told you the third fret, obviously that would mean the first dot. So let's try a couple on our own. Okay, so what I want you to do is I want you to take your second finger or your middle finger and place it on the second fret of the B string. So here we go. We're taking our middle finger. We're going to find the second fret, 12. Then we're placing it on the B string. Great job. See you're getting it already. See how simple that is, R. Let's do another one. Here we go. Take your middle finger and place it on the, let's see, the second fret of the a string, or the fifth string. So let's take our middle finger. Second fret, one to place it on the a string. Boom, you got it. Now that we know how to communicate, Let's talk about finger placement. It is so important as the clarity of your notes can really make a difference in your playing. Now when you hear the buzzing noise, that's an indicator that maybe your finger might be in the wrong position. Alright, so all I want you to do is when you place your finger on a fret, and in this case, I have my index finger on the first fret. You want your finger to be right behind the fret, not on the fret. Like this. You hear that doesn't sound good. And not too far behind. Sounds a little harsh. But right next to it. Another tip for no clarity as you want to make sure that you're applying enough pressure between your thumb and your index finger. Okay. They're working together to help you be able to squeeze that know enough to get it clear. Okay, So let's try it. We got our thumb behind here and we're going to apply enough pressure, not too much, but just enough to where we get it clear. No, here we go. So again, my fingers are right behind the fret now on not too far back and my thumb is applying enough pressure between my index finger to be able to give me clear sounding notes. Now that we know Guitar talk and we know how to place our fingers, Let's move on to a little exercise and I want to try with you all in order to get your fingers moving. Now we're just gonna do the high E string, the G string, the D string, as well as the E string. And I picked these strings due to their thickness. As you may have to apply a little bit more pressure on the thicker strings. So we're going to start off easy and then it's going to get a little bit harder. You're ready. So what I want you to do is I want you to take your index finger and place it on the first fret of the high E string and go ahead and plug it. Then you're gonna take your middle finger, place it on the second fret of the high E string. Ring finger on the third, and pinky on the fourth. Alright, so let's try that. Remember we're doing that on the high E string, the G string, the D string, and the low E string. Ready? Let's try C string. The string and the low E string. So what we just did here is called fretting are nodes. And basically it just means that we are playing are nodes with our fingers. Now, the exercise that I just gave you is to help build finger strength. Of course, you can do this over all of the strings, but you want to make sure that you're consistently playing as you will begin to build what's called calyces. Now in the beginning you might experience some finger pain, but it's okay because over time you begin to not feel it. So take some time, practice reading your notes and join me in the next lesson. 7. Reading Guitar Tabs: So we know guitar attack, we know how to communicate, but how about how to read it? Well, there's something called guitar tablature, which helps me be able to communicate to you on paper what it is that I want you to play. Guitar tabs is pretty much a method of writing that allows guitars to be able to read what it is that they're going to play. This is a blank guitar tab. The six lines going horizontally are, you guessed it? The guitar strings. The bottom line is the low E string. And then the top line is our high Eastern. I'm going to put up an example. And basically I want you to follow the tab. Alright, so the OH, on the top line represents an open string. That means we are not using any fingers. Just simply strike the high E string. Okay? Now the one, of course represents the first fret. So I'm just going to simply take my index finger, place it on the first read. Okay, So what comes after that? Another open. Then we have another one which is our first frame. Okay? Now we're gonna move on and then we have another open. This time there's a two, which represents the second fret. Play another open, another to another open. Then we have a three. Another open. Three. I. So let's continue on. As you can see, now we have another 0 and then we're going to display the four. Okay? So it's pretty self-explanatory, right? You see the number and the number corresponds with the fret number that you're going to press down. Now let's try another example. Now this time I'm going to pull up the tab and we're not starting with the open string, we're going to start with our second fret. Here we go. We got a second. Then you see a three, which means the third. Then we're going to come back to the second. And then we're going to play an open. And then we're going to play the third fret of the B shrinks, so we're going to go backwards to the B string. Okay, So let's try that one more time. We've got our second fret. We've got our third fret. Second again, open. And we've got our third fret of the B string. Great job. If you want to, you can finish that tab out, but we're going to move on to another one that's a little bit harder this time. What I want you to do is I want you to go ahead and we're going to just try something a little bit different. This one maybe a little bit harder because we want to do something called string skipping. And basically what that means is that we're going to skip over a string to get to another note. We're going to start on the fourth string or the D string. Third fret. This time we're going to string skip to the B string, second fret. And then we're going to play the note right next to it, which is our third fret. Then we're going to come back to the second fret. And we're going to screen skip back to the D string, third fret. You can find this, that one on your own as well. You see it's very easy. It's not that hard, is a pretty simple thing. So now we know how to read and write and guitar. Now we're going to jump into another guitar tab exercise. But this time we're going to implement a little bit of theory into it. So this is what's called the chromatic scale. You're going to be going up the fretboard, kind of similar to what we did in the last exercise when we went to frets one through four, except for we're gonna be doing this on all of the strings, and we're starting on the low E string. We're also going to be playing are open string first with every string that comes up. So what do I mean? Here we go, we're going to play an open low E. Then we're going to play the first fret of the low E string. Second fret, third fret, fourth fret. Then we're going to jump down to the open, a string. First. Second, third, keep going. Oh man. You notice the fourth fret of the G string is the same pitch as the B string. That's okay. We're gonna keep going. Okay? Second, third, fourth. Open all the way up. All right, and that's it. That is the chromatic scale on the guitar. This is a great warm up to get your fingers moving on to guitar. And if you want to, we can try it backwards as this also helps with finger dexterity and movement. Okay, so let's try going backwards. Going same node. Now. Very nice. Almost there. And ben, Very nice. So let's move on to the half step, whole step exercise. So what do I mean when I say a half-step and a whole step? Half step is when you move up a semitone or half tone to the next node. So what does that look like on the guitar, all you're doing is moving from one frame to the next. So this is your first. You're simply moving a half-step up to the second fret. So you're literally going one fret away from the fret that you were at. This also can work backwards. A half-step back from the first Brett will be an open string. Okay, If I were on the third fret, a half-step back will literally be the second fret. Simple, right? So a whole step, you literally moving to Fred's up or two semitones away from where you started. Okay, so here we go. We've got first fret. Literally go into the third friend. Okay. If I were on the fifth fret and I wanted to go back a whole step. I will literally count back to friends. So we got the fifth fret. Go back to France, and that's the third fret. Now what if I were on the first fret, I would literally just go to the fourth fret. In class resources, there is a PDF file attached labeled half step, whole step exercise. I want you to practice that on your own when you get some time. But for now we're going to move on to what's called the anchor exercise. What is an anchor? An anchor is a heavy object that keeps a boat in place, right? In this case, our anchor is going to be our index finger or our first finger. Now in this exercise you're simply going to keep your first finger down, right? Plan the first frame. And you're gonna play the second fret. But you're going to keep your first finger down. Come back to the first fret. You're going to play the third fret. Come back to the first frame. Play the fourth fret. This is a great exercise to get you warmed up to be able to play chords and also to keep you anchored where you are in a position. There's also an anchor exercise that is attached in class resources. I want you to take some time, practice all of these exercises on your own and join me in the next lesson. Okay, Have fun. 8. Working with Time: We've learned the basics and how to read guitar tabs, right? So now let's take it a step further and put it to some time. Musicians use a metronome to measure time audibly. Now a metronome as a device that's used to mark time by giving a regular tick, you can find a metronome at your local music store or online. Now for this lesson, I will be using an app called pulse on my phone and music, we measure time in beats per minute, just like your heart to use a metronome, we're simply going to input a number. And based on that number, that's how many times your metronome is going to click per minute. Now, if you have a higher number, that means that it's going to click faster. If you have a lower number, that means it's going to click slower. The pace of the click is what is referred to as the tempo. In this lesson, we're going to be playing at 50 beats per minute. Okay, so let's try playing to the metronome using our middle finger on the high E string, second fret. So all I'm going to want you to do is every time the metronome clicks, you're going to play a note. Alright, so let's listen in as get a feel for how the tempo is going. Here we go. 234. One, two, ready? Play. Good job. Now let's play a short version of the chromatic scale using the metronome. We're gonna go from the low E string all the way to the D string. Remember frets one through four using the open strings in-between. Ready, One, two, ready? Play and open a second there. And stop. Great job guys. Because we're human, we have a tendency to sometimes misconceive when we're doing things too fast or too slow, the metronome keeps us all on the same pace. And when you're on a band setting, that is so important. It's not just for beginners, is also for advanced players to, as a professional, we have an in-ear monitor system that helps all of us stay on the same track by feeding us a regular click. And it keeps all of the musicians in time. What I want you to do is I want you to play around with different BPM settings. See how fast you can play something. But the real challenge is how slow can you play something? Ballads are always the hardest. But with that being said, practice up and I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Rhythmic Notation: We hear music, but what about writing it down? Well, consider this your intro to rhythmic notation. Now, all rhythmic notation does, is allows the player or the musician to be able to read the music that's being played. So let's do some math. I want you to imagine a pie. I want you to cut that pie into four pieces. I want you to take one piece of that pie, which is literally a quarter of the pie, and I want you to give it a value of one. Now, in music, when you have OneNote or one beat, that is the equivalent to what's called a quarter note. You took a quarter of the pie. So you have a quarter note. This in music is represented by a circle that's filled in with a plane stem. Now, I want you to take two pieces of the pie. We've literally taken half the pie. So what does that mean? That means that if I take two pieces of pie, then I have what's called a half-note. Now I have no, has a time value of two beats. Now a half-note looks like a quarter note, except for the circle is hollow. You get me. Now want you to take the whole pie. I want you to guess what this node is going to be called. That's right. A whole note. We have four pieces, which is the whole pie. So we have a whole note. And a whole note is represented by a hollow circle with no stem. Now I'm gonna give you an example of what these notes sound like. Okay, let's pull up an imaginary click in our minds. 12341234. This is corner nodes 34 On 34. Okay? Now, if I told you to play a half-note, this is what it would sound like. 1234124. So it's getting to count to four. Now if I told you to play whole notes, it would literally sound like this. 12341234. So what happens with those missing pieces of the pie? Well, they still do count two, and we represent those by using what's called a rest. Now we have a quarter note rest, a half note rest, a whole note wrist. What do those look like? A quarter note rest looks like a little squiggly line on your guitar tab. A half-note rest is represented by a little short black bar that you're going to see a whole note rest is the same black bar except for it's going to hang down on the bottom of your string. All of these get this same time value as our regular notes, except for, with these, we're not going to play. I'm going to show you an example of a quarter note rest. I'm going to play my second fret E string with my middle finger. So I would play too. Two. Two, right? So we're silencing it. This is a half-note risks. Here we go, 1234234. And of course, whole note rest means we're not playing at all in that bar. Now on the guitar tab, you're not literally going to see these notes, as I've explained before, they're gonna be represented by these little lines that you see. The long lines represent quarter notes. The short lines represent a half note. And if there's no line under the number, then that means it's a whole note. Now let's talk a little bit further about guitar tabs. Now I'm sure you're wondering what do those vertical lines represent? Those vertical lines are referred to what we call bars or measures. A bar or measure as a single unit of time that features a specific number of beats that's played at a particular tempo. In this case, each bar or measure will get four beats. So this is all measured by what we call a time signature. If you look to the far left, you'll see a fraction. This is four over four. The top number represents the count that each measure gets, which will be for the bottom note measure represents the value or the length of each node, which will be four. Again, if we have four nodes, we have four quarter notes. That means that each beat will be equivalent to a quarter note. Now if you saw three over four, that will mean that each measure gets three counts. But each beat is equivalent to a quarter note. Here are some examples of notes that when played together, equal up to a value of four beats. We can have four quarter notes. We go to half notes. Two plus two equals four. We can have two quarter notes and a half-note, which one plus one plus two equals four. Of course, we have a whole note which equals four at the end of the measure you might encounter assemble that has two bars in two dots. This is a repeat sign, which lets the musician know to go back to the beginning and play it again in class resources. I have made some examples that you can practice on your own with rhythmic notation. Get used to this as this will appear and be a very, very critical part of how you're able to play in time, as always, practice up and I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Playing Your First Chords: You know your string and fret numbers. You know your finger names, you know how to read guitar tabs about time, and you also can read rhythmic notation. Wow, that's a lot. Now let's learn your first chord. A chord is defined as a group of nodes, typically three or more, that come together to make a harmony. Now your cord is gonna be defined by its root node. And all a root node is, is just a note that the harmony is built on the foundation of the entire chord. An example of this would be E major. This is E major. The foundational note of this chord would be the low E. It is the defining point of the entire chord and the main chord that makes up the sound that you hear when you hear E major. Now you don't have to know exactly what notes you're playing when you play a chord. However, you do have to know the chord shape. A course shave is simply the shape that your fingers make when you place them on the fretboard. Now remember knowing your string names and your fretting numbers is very important as I'll be calling out to you where to place your fingers in order to form a chord. So before I played an E major chord, which looks like this. Okay? Now all you're gonna do is you're going to play an open low E. You're going to take your middle finger and place it on the a string second fret. Take your ring finger and place it on the D string second fret. So right up under your middle finger. You're going to take your index finger and place it on the G string. First for it. You're going to play the open B, open high E. Now we're going to press all those nodes down. And we're simply going to strum from the low E string all the way down. Keep in mind your finger placement. Remember we're not on the fret, we're not too far behind, but we're right next to it. We're applying enough pressure with our thumbs so that all of our fingers can make those chords sound nice and pretty. Let's try that one more time. Strumming from the low E string on down. Now that we know what a chord shape is, let's talk about a chord quality. All the core quality is, is how you feel when the cord is played. So we just played the E major chord. What's the opposite of major? Minor? Here's what it sounds like. The only thing that I did differently between the E major chord and the E minor chord is just removed. My first finger, we're going to make the same shape as before. And we're simply just going to remove our first finger. Notice the difference between these two chords. One sounded more happy and majestic, and the other ones sounded a little more sad. Notice how these two chords sound differently. This is due to their quality. And all that is is just how the court resonates emotionally and functionally when play, I want you to practice, train your ear to be able to hear the difference between a major and a minor chord. 11. Strumming and Picking: We dealt with the Fred hands and now let's get to this drum hand. Most people are inspired by how others look. When I show my guitar. They're just going ham and rocket out. In this lesson, we're going to talk about the strum hand or are picking hand. Now there are three variations of patterns that can invigorate more creative expression while playing the guitar. One is down strumming. We're going to play E major and we're going to downstream, meaning we're just going to be strumming and a downward motion consistently just like that. Ready? Very nice. Next we have alternate strumming. And all you're gonna do when you alternate strum is alternate between a downward and upward motion like this. Now, very nice. Next we're going to move into syncopated strumming. It all syncopated strumming is, is when there's a disruption in the pattern in which your plane. So let me show you an example. Now in syncopated strumming, there's simply a disruption or an alteration that happens when you strum. Like in the example I just gave, I strummed once, gave it a couple of seconds and then I came up with something else. I can do this. This happens a lot in rock and roll. So if you ever wanted to play rock and roll, make sure you get that syncopated strong down. Now that we've got these three variations down, let's move on to picking. All I'm going to teach you is too simple methods and it's just downward picking and then getting used to those upstrokes. Okay. It's pretty self-explanatory. We're simply going to down pick our high E string. And that's all you're doing. Now of course, when you want to come up, just simply gone the other direction. And you can even try something that's a little bit more advanced, but it's called alternate picking. In an alternate picking, all you're doing is you guessed it, alternating between going down and up. So you're gonna go down, down. Now that you know these variations of strumming and picking, keep practicing and before you know it, you'll probably be impressing somebody to with your strumming. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, You made it to the end. I'm so proud of you. I want you to study up everything that we learned is an essential part of playing the guitar and just music in general. More importantly, I really want you to take the time, experiment and enjoy yourself. Music is supposed to be expressive. It's fun. It's a creative outlet for you to be able to express yourself. Why not just rock out for your class assignment? I want you to go into class resources and click on the guitar tab labeled class assignment number one. I want you to record yourself playing that assignment and then submit it in the project gallery. Keep rocking on and I'll see you later.