How to Play Guitar
Being an electric guitar player, it seems natural that it's electric guitar lessons featured on this site,
however, almost everything I do on an electric guitar works on an acoustic guitar as well.
An electric guitar is easier to learn on and much easier to adjust for better playability than an
acoustic, so if you've got an electric, you're on the right track.
For beginner acoustic guitar players, make sure you've got a decent quality acoustic guitar to start
off with. It will be harder on the fingers though.
When you learn how to play guitar you're not just training your fingers but conditioning your
subconscious mind as well. Whatever happens, don't despair, your subconscious mind is working on
the problem even when you're not.
These are some essential guitar lessons every beginner needs when learning how to play guitar.
Later on I'll add more, like strumming patterns and understanding music bars, but for now... Once
you get a few guitar chords under your belt and try strumming along to something, you'll get the hang
of it. The trick is to start slowly and relaxed, then slowly speed up as your other hand gets used to
changing the chords.
Basic beginner guitar lessons
The first thing to learn is how to tune the guitar.
I feel a little silly writing that, because it's so obvious, but there's more to tuning a guitar than just
turning the tuning machines till they're at the correct pitch.
Two pages here deal with tuning the guitar. The first page: How to tune the guitar deals mainly with
tuning the guitar to itself, seeing as using a digital guitar tuner is kind of self explanatory.
There are a few things needed to make sure the guitar stays in tune for as long as possible, so I've
tried to give a short guitar lesson on that as well.
Take your guitar to a luthier, or guitar technician for a thorough setup and you'll be surprised how
good it can get.
How to play electric guitar using a plectrum
Learning how to use a plectrum is slightly different for an electric guitar player. An electric guitar is
capable of more than just the sound of a guitar string vibrating.
Pick it differently, you get a different effect.
The guitar lesson video on this page also shows a bit about palm muting, which is an important part
of learning how to play guitar, as well as how to get pinch harmonics and some general strumming
If you're just starting on guitar, you may want to focus on the strumming for now and holding the
plectrum properly, without worrying about pinch harmonics. You can always go back and work on
that later. Here's that page - Guitar plectrum technique
How to play guitar chords for beginners
The page - Beginner guitar chords has more than the usual beginner chords most people teach on
guitar. The reason for this is that beginner chords alone aren't enough when it comes to playing
songs on the guitar.
What I've done is put a star next to each chord that is easy, so learn those guitar chords first, and
when you've got the hang of it then try play the others as well.
Whether you play electric or acoustic makes little difference here, although as an electric guitar
player you have a definite advantage. The Open chords are the foundation for what comes next
How to play guitar Barre Chords
Most guitarists struggle at first with Barre Chords. On this page I called them Bar Chords because a
lot of people hear the name and assume that's how you spell it.
The word "Barre" means pole, so I guess the idea here is that your first finger is the pole that acts as
a substitute for the nut when playing guitar chords further along the neck.
The reality is a little different, seeing as your finger won't be as straight as a pole.
There's no video yet on the barre chords page, but it's coming - How to play Bar Chords | Barre
How to play electric guitar power chords
Power Chords are the foundation of that classic rock guitar sound, and you may be tempted, like I
was, to ignore most other electric guitar lessons and focus on power chords. It's fine if you want to
do that, but it's better to get all the other guitar chords under your belt first.
The natural and easy progression from learning barre chords to playing power chords is what we're
aiming at here. Anyway, no-one is saying you can't dabble a bit.
Power chords sound best played with a distortion pedal or through an overdriven guitar amp, but if
there's ever a horrible sound, it's an out of tune electric guitar playing power chords. Page - How to
How to play guitar scales
How to play the C major scale on guitar - first position
Want to learn to play lead guitar solos with confidence, Knowing that your fingers will always land on
the right notes?
When I got the job as lead guitarist in my school band, I knew nothing, but this little first position
guitar scale in the key of C major was my ticket to unlocking the rest of the fretboard.
Do what it says on this page and all the major scale patterns will be firmly embedded in your mind.
Practice those patterns and moving between them, and eventually your fingers will know what they're
doing before you do.
This is a key lead guitar lesson - First Lead Guitar Lesson - C major scale first position
How to play guitar scales - Full fretboard
You should only use this page to check up on what you did with the lead guitar lesson - C major
scale first position.
Of course you can always just go straight here and memorize it in full, but the idea was to really get
you to work it out yourself. Either way, keep practicing the scale patterns and working out your own
little lead runs to join the patterns together, it should sink in.
The key to playing lead guitar successfully is confidence. You don't want to have to think too much
during a solo. To play guitar solos with feeling and passion you need to first get as much technique
as possible, and then forget it.
There are more lead guitar lessons to come from Play-Electric-Guitar.net, but if you really want to
develop your own style of lead guitar, try making up things and practice playing along to other
Just recently added the Pentatonic guitar scales page, so you might want to have a look at that as
an easier start to playing lead guitar solos.