One of my online students just wrote me a letter, asking whether he needs to learn to read standard music notation, or is tablature enough.

...a few guys locally who are in the local music biz and they all tell me that guitar, or any other instrument for that matter, should only be taught with the standard music notation...

This is an interesting question that will probably be asked by most guitar students at one time or another, so I thought it would be worth sharing my answer here:

Read more

Time to talk about those "dreaded" barre (bar) chords again. Why? Because many beginner guitarists make the mistake of giving up on barre chords, since they are not that easy to learn. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make, one that could ultimately lead to quitting the guitar altogether.

Learn those barre chords!

Learn those barre chords!

You see, barre chords are an integral part of playing the guitar. They are used in many genres, many songs, so giving up on them will mean leaving a huge hole in your knowledge, one that you won't be able to fill with any bypass technique. Unfortunately a lot of beginners quit the guitar when they realize this fact. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but thats just the way it is. Don't feel down though, since YOU CAN learn these chords, just like I did, just like BB King did, just like every guitarist who you've ever seen did.

Here is my best advice on how you can learn barre chords.

Read more

One of the most common problems that beginner guitarists experience is the “fat finger” issue. I put it into quotation marks, because 95% of the time, it’s not a real problem, just a newbie thing.

fat finger guitar Israel Kamakawiwo

Think your fingers are too fat for guitar?

No matter whether they have short and chubby fingers, or long and skinny ones, beginners will always have difficulty fretting a note without touching the adjacent strings. This is perfectly normal, so before you quit all together or start playing bass because of your “fat fingers”, you need to know one thing:

Your fingers are fine and perfectly sized for the guitar neck. Really!

This issue is caused by the fact that the beginner’s hand and fingers are simply not used to fretting chords. Granted, there’s not much space in between the strings to fool around, but if Johnny Hilland, and this guy, and of course the awesome Israel Kamakawiwo'ole can play well, you should be able to manage as well.

The most common causes of the chubby finger syndrome holding beginner guitarists back are the following: Read more

Rock & Roll is not as popular as it used to be, but lots of people still love listening to it. If you're one of them, you'll be happy to know that we have several Rock n Roll guitar lessons on TheGuitarLesson.com, which will have you playing these songs in no time.

rock n roll guitar lessonsJust as a primer, Rock and Roll started developing in the late '40s, early '50s. Initially, the lead instruments were either the piano or saxophone, which was later replaced by the guitar as the lead instrument. True Rock n Roll is played with a lead and a rhythm electric guitar, an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit. And of course, the singer's voice.

Rock and Roll wasn't just about music, it influenced lifestyle, people's attitudes, dance style and fashion as well, set by the most famous Rock & Roll legends, such as: Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, etc.

Read more

The guitar is the single most popular instrument in the world. It is played by millions of people in all countries, by all races, of all religions. On top of the millions who play it already, there are probably 10x more who want to learn the guitar, and are seeking the best beginner guitar lessons.

Learning Guitar?

Learning Guitar?

As with all popular commodities and services, the Internet has tons of guitar lessons for beginners, both free and fee based. Obviously free lessons won't be as high quality nor as structured as the paying tutorials, but that's another story.

The purpose of this post is to answer an interesting question that I get very often, specifically, whether you can learn guitar through online lessons, or not.

Read more

Chords are vital to playing guitar, and they can be a bit of a struggle learning at first. No need to worry though, it'll get super easy with time, all it takes is practice.

Of course, practicing the right way is key in shortening the learning curve, so here are some chord learning tips to help you teach yourself any given guitar chord you're having trouble with. Also, watch this video lesson on chords, and read this article on the most important beginner chords.

So here we go, this is a proven process tried and tested with many of my live students. Grab your guitar, and let's do it!

Read more

Learning barre (bar) chords is the first major hurdle beginner guitarists must overcome, and as with everything guitar related, it takes practice and time. I usually recommend learning everything on the steel string acoustic first, since if you can play on that, than you'll be able to play it on electric and nylon string as well.

Barre (bar) chords

Barre (bar) chords

BUT barre chords are a bit different, since they are really tough at first, and many beginners actually quit when they reach barre chords. So if you get frustrated with it on the acoustic, by all means, practice on your electric or nylon string guitars, it'll be a lot easier, but you may have difficulties holding barre chords afterwards on the steel string acoustic.

Now as for learning barre chords, it's a 2 step process:

Read more

Learning how to play barre (bar) chords is always going to be one of the most difficult techniques beginner guitarists will face. The good news is that they CAN be learned, it just takes a fair amount of practice and dedication. Good things don't come easy, but with enough time, you'll be laughing when you think back to not being able to play them, I promise.

You'll get it soon!

You'll get it soon!

The key to playing bar chords is getting used to the correct technique, than practicing it over and over again every day, for as long as you need to. Getting it right might take a few weeks or a few months, it really depends on how well you learn the basic technique of how to bar chords, and how much you practice them. Here are a couple of tips on the correct method of barring chords.

Read more

It's inevitable that when you set out on learning something new, you will make mistakes. This is true for learning guitar as well.

Being a live and online guitar teacher, I've helped a lot of beginner guitar students get through the initial hardships, and have observed several very common beginner mistakes newbies tend to make.

There is a Latin proverb which goes: "A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own."

beginner-guitar-mistakes

In the spirit of proverbial Italy, why not be wise today? I've compiled the 10 most common problems beginner guitar students tend to have, so that you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Read more

One of the biggest challenges a beginner guitarist will face is learning how to play barre chords (bar chords). In all honesty, being able to play and use barre chords is guitar songs is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes practice and patience, but the good news is that it can be learned perfectly.

Barre chords

The secret ingredient to being able to play bar chords is practice and using the correct technique. If you haven't done so yet, have a look at our video guitar lesson on bar chords, than come back and read the rest of this article.

And now that you are back and have practiced bar chords a bit, let me give you some useful tips on how to hold down bar chords. You'll need to make sure you start learning them after you know the correct technique, otherwise you may need to relearn them altogether.

Read more