Where To Start First
1. Before any good guitar lesson or jam, you should always warm up. This will help ensure your fingers are up to speed and help you with your overall playing.
2. Chords are one of the best places to start when learning the guitar. There are many other fundamentals that you will want to learn, but if you can play chords, at least you can easily strum along with some of your favorite songs. I am going to start here so that you can get a feel for the guitar and learn chords that you will use forever. You will eventually have to learn these chords, so now is the best time in my opinion. Remember to go slow and do not try to learn all of the chords at once. It would probably be best to learn one or two at a time. Then, once you feel comfortable with the positioning of one, move onto another. Then, practice switching back and forth between them.
3. One of the most important things that new guitar players face is hurting fingers. You MUST build strength in your fingers and finger tips. My best advice is to play until your fingers begin hurting, then take a break and come back in a few hours. It does not have to be that complex, I understand that people have things to do and cannot plan their days for learning the guitar. I would suggest pushing yourself slightly, playing a little longer even after your fingers begin to hurt. Even when you come back to the guitar after taking a break, your fingertips will begin hurting even sooner. It is just like anything else though, you must endure a little pain in order to progress. The idea is to build a callus on each one of your fingertips. This is a part of learning that makes players want to quit. This will not take forever and you will be very happy once you get through this. You will also build finger strength when practicing, which is important. Some players do not realize how important finger strength truly is. It will help you switch chords, play longer, bend notes, and will help with your overall playing.
The greatest players in the world still must play frequently in order to keep their finger strength up and keep all of their callus. If I did not play for a week or two, I would have to sit down like any new player and build up my callus again. My finger tips would hurt, but I would ignore the pain as much as I could and push myself to get where I need to be quicker. If you looked at my finger tips, you could see that they are slightly bigger then my other hands finger tips. Stevie Ray Vaughn use to play so hard that his callus would rip off, he would then take super glue and glue them back on!! Now that should tell you just how important this is. If you truly want to become a great player, especially a great lead player, then you MUST build up your finger strength and all of your callus!
Learning The Notes On The Fretboard
This isn’t exactly fun, but it is something that you will need to do
Learning the notes of the guitar will be very usefull now and down the road. When playing chords, especially bar chords, knowing your root note is key to switching between chords. When playing solos, you must know where all of your root notes are so that you don’t get lost in the middle of your solo. You want to be able to stop on any note and know what key it is. This will take time, but it is not as hard as it may seem. The notes repeat themselves on each and every string making it much easier to memorize.
There is one exception that you must learn though. Every note has a flat or sharp note in between them except for b & c, and e & f. So if you start at A, then the next note is A#, then B, then C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, and back to A. It is really that simple.
In standard tuning, the open strings on the guitar are, E, A, D, G, B, E, from low to high. So the top string, without fretting any notes is E, the next one down is A, then D, and so on. If you were to put your finger on the very first fret on the E string, then the next note would be…..F, remember, there is no sharp between E and F. If you played the first fret on the A string (second string down), then this note would be…..A#, next fret would be….B and so on. It really is not hard, memorizing them is really the difficult part. You really won’t have to memorize them all at once. I would probably try to remember most of the notes on the first couple of frets, mainly because your first chords will have these notes in them. Notice that when you play a G chord that your index finger (root note), will be on the G note. Your pinky finger will also be on a G note. All chords are like this and scales are based on the notes that are in the chords. So it is very helpful to learn these notes and memorize them. Please review the information above along with the video and you should be learning the notes within no time. You can also skip this lesson if you prefer and come back to it later. I do recommend learning them at some point though, but if you want to be playing as fast as possible, it is not a necessity right now. After you do learn them though you will thanking me for it!!