First 5 Levels of Learning Guitar

Here's my short-list of the first five things that you can shoot for when learning how to get better at playing guitar. If you're a beginner these will be extremely helpful to pursue. So, let’s jump right into this...


#1). Basic chords in the open position
There’s a popular video I have on my website titled the “Basic Chords on Guitar.” That’s an excellent place to start if you’re new to guitar and still learning a lot of the initial concepts of how chords work.

There’s an excellent handout available on the lesson page that shows the open position chord patterns. But, to summarize, you’ll want to think about your chords being rooted from off of the 4th, 5th and 6th guitar strings. There’s a small collection of chords on each of those root strings. And, once you become familiar with them, you can use exercises and songs to help develop your technique with their application.

Examples of popular chords to start with:

#2). Learn to Play Single Note Line Melody
Single string studies are just as important as learning chords. And, you don’t need to learn complex melodic passages or any complicated scales on the guitar neck in order to be able to do this.

All you need to do, is take a group of notes in one area of the fingerboard and develop that as a pattern across a few more fingering areas. Here’s an example of doing this with a small group of notes that relate to the key of, “E Minor.”

#3). Learn to Riff Out on Two-Note Chords
On guitar, 2-note chords are often referred to as either power-chords (if you’re performing the “Rock-Style” 5th Chord), or double-stops, if it involves other intervals like perfect 4th's, major 3rd's, or minor 3rd's..

Any way you slice it, these 2-note chords are excellent for making up riffs. Plus, you can compose riffs using these ideas almost anywhere on the guitar neck. Here’s a quick example of a 2-note chord riff for you to try.

#4). Start Learning Songs in Styles You Enjoy!
Once you have learned the basic open chords, you’ll become familiar with the first level of harmony involving Major and Minor color.

After that, if you practice some short phrases involving single note ideas, you’ll start to understand melody lines on the instrument. The performance of melody can be easily accomplished if you study playing some two note riffs. These riffs make up some of the most popular songs heard on guitar.

When you set out to learn songs, start with pieces that are fairly manageable. Learn music in the styles that you most enjoy listening to. After some time, you’ll start gaining a better understanding for music in general, and you’ll probably start wanting to learn music that’s more complex.

One of the first riffs from a song, (that I ever learned), was this one, shown below... if you know what song that it is, leave the name of it in the comments section.

#5). Start getting Serious About Technique
Once guitar players begin learning more and more songs, they’ll notice an increasing need to have much better right and left hand coordination and control. This is when technique exercises begin becoming more important.

Technique drills are generally all about repetitive exercises that rehearse control over the way that we coordinate the strumming or picking of a series of notes. Here’s a popular Technique drill that you can start doing to develop better hand synchronization.

 click to enlarge full-screen

Before we wrap up, I wanted to share a collection of just a few more areas that I think are really important to expand and study. The first of these is rhythmic training.

When I attended music college this was a separate subject and I can’t stress the value enough of what isolated rhythm training can do for your guitar playing. The study of isolated practice on each duration, (quarter, eighth, sixteenth and triplet feel, etc.), in rhythm pattern studies will produce incredible results.

Learning music theory, (in my opinion), is vital because if you know and understand exactly and specifically why things work along with the names of musical ideas, you’ll compose faster and you’ll communicate with other musicians better.

Learning theory brings you into a whole new league as a musician. You’ll think faster on your feet and you’ll relate to other skilled players with ease and fluidity that other players who lack theory won’t.

The last one is learning to read music. If you can read charts, notation, TAB and lyric sheets, you’ll be able to function on just about any gig out there. That will not only lead to more money at the end of the month, but it will allow you to understand many more musical styles which will seriously affect your technical ability and your ability to compose music across different genres.

Reading music opens up a lot of interesting skills and interesting opportunities for you as a player. And, in my personal opinion, it shouldn’t be over-looked.

Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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