One of the most common questions I get from my students (both online and offline) is:

Tom, what's the easiest way to learn guitar?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that 🙂

So, my young Padawans, let's have a look at this question in detail.

simple-method-learn-guitarCan learning guitar be easy?

If you are looking for an easy way to learn to play guitar in 10 days, you just got to stop and ask yourself a few things.

  1. Can I really build a complex skill in a week?
  2. And if I could, wouldn't everyone be playing guitar like Slash?

Don't be silly now. There is no pill you take and wake up the next day and become awesome at guitar. Are you looking for a quick and simple way to learn chords, scales, and whatnot? Well, sorry, but there isn't any. You have to work for it, and it will take a while.

Guitar stars like Eric Clapton, Slash, BB King make it look so easy, right. Yeah, but they've been playing for decades. How long have you been playing?

Read more

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.
Read more

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.

Read more

If you're reading this article, your fingertips are probably hurting like crazy right now 🙂

Be comforted by the fact that sore fingertips are part of the initial learning process, all guitarists know the pain and got through it. 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

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:

Read more

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