Lesson For The Absolute Beginners by March 5, 2016 0 comments

To every learning process, there are a few levels and so are here, in guitar. The absolute beginner level lesson which I am going to share with you today is for the individuals who are going to start their journey today and learn how to master the art of decently playing guitar. Decent, because there is always a scope for better.


Before We Begin…

Before we begin with the lesson, there are a few things I would want to make clear with you all. The first lesson is not about trying to play a song or a melody you like. Remember the saying ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step’? Learning to play guitar is your journey here and this first lesson, your starting step. So make sure you are ready for it and can endure the not so exciting first lesson that is going to test your will as well as patience. If at some point of time you feel like it is not panning out, take a small break and come back again but do not give up. In this first lesson, we will learn how to pluck and start fretting and play two easy chords- E and A.


Part I – The Fretting and Plucking

Check out our finger placement and Pick holding tutorial to get an idea as to how your fretting hand should be positioned and how the strumming hand should be inclined and relaxed to begin. After you’re done setting that, pluck the 1st string from bottom, the thin E open. Open means that you have no fret pressed with your fretting hand. While plucking, gently keep the plectrum on the string and push it downwards or better, let it slide down after the pressure. This constitutes one down pluck.

Now, put your plectrum below the string and pull it up, plucking the string up this time. Make sure this whole plucking thing is done with the tip and a bit of extra portion of the plectrum, say around 2-3 mm. Do more than that, it becomes difficult to pluck and do less, you end up messing the pluck. This constitutes the up pluck of the note.

Now that you have understood how to pluck, let us see how you’re going to play your first note by using the fretting hand and the fret board. The plucking has to remain the same, one down stroke and one up stroke to counter. Use your fretting hand’s index finger to press down on the first string at the first fret. Make sure that you do it with the tip of the finger, not too close to the nail. Press hard, even if it pains and pluck with your strumming hand for a down stroke. If you get a clear sound, go for an upward stroke. Else, press harder with your index finger on the first fret again and pluck again. The key to get it right is- do it with your fingertip and do not let any extra finger or part of it from either hand touch the string while you play.

Now, you are ready for the hybrid. Pluck the 1st string open and then press on the first fret of the first string to pluck the next note. Play this combination of E and F, making sure that both the notes come in succession, one after the other smoothly. Go with the down strokes at first, then the upward stroke. When you’re done with practicing that, mix things up a bit by playing the up stroke between two distinct down strokes. Each stroke should be for a different note and thus your practice would go like-

E (open 1st string, Down stroke)

F (1st fret 1st string, Up stroke)
F…and so on.

Go slow at first and when you are confident that you are getting the notes right, increase your speed a bit.

Taking The Next Step…

Go slow tiger, go slow. But you are done with this and are too excited to go ahead a bit, let us take this beginners lesson to a notch higher. Instead of going for the open and 1st fret, try playing 2nd and third as well. Press the second fret with the middle finger and the third fret with the ring finger. If you’re comfortable, you can also use the little finger to harp on the fourth fret which is mostly too tough for beginners. Now start playing from the open note on the first string moving down to place the index on the first fret, pluck upwards, place second finger on second and pluck downwards, the ring finger on the third fret and pluck upward. Many might say that this involves alternate picking which is of the advanced level but trust me, the seeds are sown here in the first lesson. There is no hurry, just get the initial part right and then you can try this advanced part as well.


Part II- Playing the Chords

The easiest of chords are A and E as they require just three and two notes respectively. Let’s see how to play both of these chords.

Playing A Chord

A chord, in its simplest form is limited to the second fret completely. The second, third and the fourth string would be used to play. So, all you need to do is press on the second fret of these three strings at the same time and you can play the A chord.
For playing the A chord, there are two methods of finger placements- the one finger placement and the three finger placement. For beginners, I would recommend the three finger placement in which you would place your little finger on the second fret of the second string. The ring finger would press the third string at the second fret while the index one will press the fourth string at the second fret. The notes involved are- D (2nd or B string), A (third or G string), E (fourth or D string). Maintaining this position, making sure none of the fingers touches any other string, move on to strumming. First check the clarity of the notes pressed- pluck the strings involved one by one. Try and adjust the finger placement to get a clear sound. If you get a clear sound, play from the fourth string, all the way to the first in a one swift slide motion. There it is- A chord successfully learned.

And now E

Another easy chord is the E chord

Place your index finger on the first fret of the third string (G string). Then, place the ringer finger on the second fret of the fourth (D string). Carefully, press on the fifth string with your middle finger at second fret and hold this position.

Make sure none of the fingers are touching any other string and then check the clarity of the notes pressed by plucking the strings involved one by one. Try and adjust the finger placement to get a clear sound. After you are through, play the chord, starting from the sixth string to the third all in one swift stroke and you are done with the E chord as well!

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