All beginner guitarists struggle with switching between chords at first, thats part of the learning curve. Here are some tips on the subject, but make sure you watch our video lesson on how to change between guitar chords, where I will show you the correct technique of learning chord changes. Watch my hands closely to see the correct method.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect!

The main reason beginner guitarists experience difficulties when switching between chords quickly doesn't really have that much to do with their fingers. The main problem is that beginners haven't learned to visualize which chord they're about to play, and which fingers they'll need to move. This means that once they get to where they would need to change chords, they start thinking about which finger goes where, which means that there will be a lag between the chord changes.
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best-beginner-guitar-books

Learning to play the guitar from beginner guitar books is still huge in 2020, despite the availability of the more modern form of learning guitar, online video tutorials.

My vote for best cover!

My vote for best cover!

The "learn guitar books" (both acoustic and electric) are here to stay since thousands of guitar lesson books are being sold every day.

For this reason, I thought I would buy, read, review and compare a couple of these books and see how they perform.

The ones I ordered were not at random, rather chosen from the top seller lists of online bookstores.

This means that these sought after books should be the best beginner guitar books out there...

Or the ones with the best marketing 😀

I am a guitar teacher of 15 years and a tech junkie, and I prefer to steer people towards online video lessons. I believe that with the multimedia technologies of the 21st century, video guitar lessons are the most efficient way of teaching yourself guitar. I'll add some recommendations for video lessons after the book reviews, in case you want to see that side of learning guitar as well.

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Lots of my old and new students have been asking about guitar tabs, since they are so freely available on the Internet, so today I thought I would post you some pointers on how you can use tabs most effectively. So first off, for those of you who aren't familiar with tabs yet, a quick definition.

Tabs vs. Standard Notation

Tabs vs. Standard Notation

Tabs are a form of music notation for stringed instruments. In contrast with standard music notation, tablature shows you the fingering of the notes you need to play, which is very useful on the guitar, given that you can play any single note in at least 6 places on the fretboard. If you don't know how to read tabs yet, go ahead and check out our compilation on learning how to read guitar tabs. The lesson details what tabs actually are, and teaches you the standard notation used in tablature. Once your guitar skills reach an intermediate level, you will be able to play any song just by listening to it and downloading its tablature off of the Internet. There are a LOT of sites offering free guitar tabs, for example Ultimate-Guitar.com.

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One of the most important and useful lead guitar technique beginner guitarists must learn at an early stage is alternate picking. Most beginners tend to pick the strings only downwards, which is a bad habit to get used to, and if it's not dealt with right in the beginning, changing to alternate picking will be harder later on.

Alternate picking

Alternate picking for all!

Learning alternate picking will increase playing fluidity and efficiency. The process of picking strings alternately is the process of using a guitar pick to pluck the strings using an alternating pattern of downward and upward plucks, in other words, playing with strictly alternating downward and upward motions. Why is this so beneficial? Because it has a result of minimizing wasted motion, increasing your plucking speed, and ultimately resulting in smoother playing. It allows you to play a series of picked notes fluently and cleanly, and also improves your sense of rhythm.

Many beginners have a hard time learning it at first. As part of our guitar lessons for beginners, here are a couple of useful tips on how to learn alternate picking.

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Learning how to hold the guitar pick correctly is one of the first things you should learn when you decide to learn the guitar. If you learn it well in the beginning, you'll never need to worry about it again, and it'll make your learning experience much easier. Many beginners instinctively hold the pick between the tips of their thumb and index finger, which is incorrect, and will result in lessened stability.

So, lets get to it.

Correct hand position

Initial hand position

Initial hand position

Curl your hand as in the picture, almost as if you were showing a loose thumbs up. Your index finger is curled, and is parallel with your thumb.
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Undoubtedly some of the most frequent letters I get here at TheGuitarLesson.com are from people asking whether they are too old to learn guitar. In fact, the "Am I too old to learn guitar" subject line letters come from people in all age groups.

It's funny because I've had 13-14 year old kids ask this question, adults of all ages of course, and even a 74 year old grandfather who wanted to jam along with his grandkids.

 

This topic seems to be on the mind of all adults considering guitar lessons, so let's talk about it for a second. Read more

Do your fingertips hurt right from playing guitar?

Don't worry, it's part of the learning process. Be comforted by the fact that all beginners go through this, and the pain will go away with time once your calluses develop.

Actually, after a while, you'll get to like the feeling of soreness in your fingertip, since it'll mean you had a good practice session.

Your newly built calluses won't look yukky or weird at all. 

Keep on reading, I'll show you what they will eventually look like and how to get them to form quickly, so you can play guitar 24 hours a day 🙂 Read more

Walking up or down into a chord is a really nice way of making a transition from one chord to another. The technique is also called a walking bass line.

It is used in country, bluegrass and jazz very often, but you can use it in other genres as well. At the most basic level, you can use it to add a bit of extra something to your chord progression and to liven your strumming patterns.

When we walk into a chord, we'll always be playing a baseline, so we'll be plucking the lower strings of the guitar. This can, of course, mean the low E string, the A string, or even the D string at times, depending on which chords we're working with.

Let's have a simple example to demonstrate walking between chords on the guitar. Here are the tabs and the audio clip of a simple chord progression with a walking bassline. Note that this is a I-vi-IV-V chord progression in the key of G in 4/4 time:

Walking into chords

Walking into chords

As I mentioned, we basically plucked a few notes of the key we're in, to lead into the next chord. But which notes do we need to pluck and why? Let's have a look at the details:

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Lots of beginner, and even intermediate guitarists have rhythm problems, I did as well.

Actually, guitarists are notoriously known to have no sense of rhythm whatsoever, thats why drummers were created, to help us stay on beat 🙂

The problem is not really that we don't have a sense of rhythm, but I think it has more to do with the fact that by simply missing 1 beat, so for example plucking just 1 or 2 notes off beat, guitarists tend to get totally off beat from there.

I had a guitar teacher that showed me a couple of rhythm developing exercises back when I was learning as well, some of which I can't really show you through a blog post, but here is what you can do to start out:

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