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Guitar Basics: The 2017 Definitive Guide on How to Play Guitar [Video]

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In this lesson series, you will learn to play the guitar. Whether you have never picked up a guitar or you know a few chords and songs, this course will take you from having never held a guitar to play full songs.

We will focus on basic guitar setup and knowledge, learning chords, rhythm and strumming, timing, and finally full songs. So many courses focus on music theory and learning things like scales. Those things are great to know (and as you learn guitar, you should definitely learn them), but in this course we will focus on playing songs, which is probably why you’re trying to learn in the first place.


203 Responses to Guitar Basics: The 2017 Definitive Guide on How to Play Guitar [Video]

  1. Steven Jan 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks for the lessons, 60 yrs old & just started, amazing never thought I would ever play an instrument, great teacher, thank you.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 1:55 am #

      Awesome – best of luck to you!

  2. Dan Feb 2, 2017 at 9:10 am #

    Hey Brian,
    When I am strumming 10-15 times(playing a song), my guitar pick slips.How to avoid this? Good luck.

  3. Dan Feb 5, 2017 at 12:46 am #

    Hello Brian,
    When I do strumming(down and up strumming),while with a good tune I hear the noise of the guitar pick like a saw cutting wood. 🙂 How to reduce this unwanted noise?Thank you.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:00 am #

      Hi Dan – you may be strumming so the pick is in contact with the string too much (not sure, though) – otherwise a different thickness of pick might sound better to you.

  4. Dan Feb 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Hello Bryan,
    How to sing while playing the guitar?How do you do that?You know when I do that ,the strumming pattern and the chords,they get mess up.Good Luck!

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:08 am #

      Hey Dan – that’s a good idea for a video (or series). The bottom line is it just takes practice.

  5. Dan Feb 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Hello Bryan,
    How many seconds do we have to change a chord ?For instance F#m chord to A takes a lot of time than G to C.. 😐 Thank you.

    • Mike Latham Feb 24, 2017 at 11:04 pm #

      Hi Dan,

      For chord changes, the only real answer is practice. When i was wanting to practice my barre F, i selected a song which had a quick change from G to F to C. (Night Moves by Bob Seger) I would keep practicing until i got it down. The way i play it is a down strum on the G, up then down on the F, then up and down on the C and continue with the C until it’s time to reverse the pattern… that’s 1/2 a beat! pretty quick. Now I can pretty much hit the F any time… also it’s an easy adjustment from F to F#m. Good luck and keep practicing. 🙂

      • Dan Mar 3, 2017 at 11:56 am #

        Thanks Mike! 🙂

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:16 am #

      Hi Dan – it totally depends on the song.

  6. rullen fiore Feb 27, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    I have followed you up-to your fourth lesson (basics) and I feel satisfied with your way of teaching. I am having problem in playing G chord and I want some tips for upstreaming,I it difficult as well.Thanks.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:19 am #

      Hi Rullen – thank you. Just keep practicing and it will get easier and easier.

  7. Eric Foulds Feb 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    Thanks for your tutorial on how to play your first cord. You were very thorough on explaining all basics. I am 65 and just learning my first instrument.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:21 am #

      Thanks Eric – good luck to you!

  8. Dan Mar 5, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Hello ,
    What’s the suitable pick size for strumming? 🙂 Good Luck.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:23 am #

      I like picks around .7 to 1mm thick.

  9. Chris Mar 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Hey brian, this site has been an amazing help. I wish you would do Open Eyes Of My Heart Lord. It’s a classic song i’d love to learn.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:34 am #

      Thanks Chris! That one is old school – it would be fun to do some tutorials on older songs like that.

  10. Dan Mar 12, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Hello Bryan,

    1.I started to learn barre chords ,I can ring only high & low E,A,and D…I followed your bar finger technique…How long does it take to push all the strings??
    2.Are there any barre chords friendly acoustic guitars ?
    3.Are barre chords for big hands??

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:35 am #

      Hi Dan – it just takes time and practice. You can do barre chords with smaller hands if your hands aren’t large. Just keep at it and it will get easier and easier.

  11. Dan Mar 17, 2017 at 3:53 am #

    Hello Bryan,
    When we do strumming ,do we have to hit hard on the strings?

  12. Dan Mar 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi Bryan,

    I have seen some guitar fret boards are wide and some are really small …I mean the guitar nut …Why is that? Are guitars with bigger nuts easy to place our fingers? Now I can play 5,6 songs..Thank you Bryan.Next hurdle is barre chords.

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

      It’s all about preference. Typically classical guitars having wider nuts because it lends itself better to finger style guitar.

  13. Dan Mar 18, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Hello Bryan,
    This is a strange question…..When I play chords for instance D major chord.I cannot place the fingers at once..So I place my finger 1 and 3 first.Then finger 2…For that I take 2 seconds …Is it okay?

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

      Sure that’s fine. The more you practice the faster you’ll get.

  14. Dan Mar 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Hello Bryan,

    barre chords doubt, when I play BM bar chord can I mute low E and bar A,D,G,B,high E only??

  15. Dan Mar 26, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Hello Bryan,
    Do you make songs?If so ,how do you do that?What do we do first ?

  16. Mary Mar 26, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi bryan! Please teach me how to strum the guitar string?. Every song has a different way of strumming?

  17. Dan Mar 27, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Hello Brain,
    My guitar is a beginner acoustic guitar.
    I have seen on internet and I was told after learning the guitar we must go for a more advanced acoustic guitar(live performance).
    What’s the reason for that?Is it like first driving a truck and then driving a Porsche?
    Is it very easy to Play compared to beginner guitars?

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

      Hey Dan – if your guitar works for you definitely keep using it until you feel like you need to step up into something different.

  18. Dan Mar 29, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

    Hello Bryan,
    There are electric guitars,but why people started make acoustic electric guitars?Do they sound good than acoustic guitars?

    • Dan Mar 30, 2017 at 9:47 am #

      Plus Bryan, What’s the difference between a semi acoustic guitar and an electric acoustic guitar?If I have money what’s the best one to buy ? semi acoustic or electric acoustic? Thanks. Really Sorry for asking so many things.I am curious. 🙂

      • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

        An acoustic-electric is just an acoustic guitar that has a pickup in it so you can amplify it through a sound system.

  19. Dan Mar 31, 2017 at 4:58 am #

    Hello Bryan,
    How to choose the suitable guitar neck size a person?

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

      Hi Dan – it’s pretty much all just personal preference.

  20. Patryk Apr 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Brian,
    I’ve been playing guitar for a while now and I have always wanted my little brother to learn it too. The first thing that came to my mind was your lessons. I myself don’t have much time to sit and teach him. He’s been using your tutorials and having the time of his life. I’m very proud of him.
    Thank you for your work value you bring…
    Cheers from Poland!

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