Basic Techniques, Skills, and Concepts:
The lessons on this page introduce the most fundamental skills and concepts required to learn guitar. The musical examples in these lessons are all easy enough for a beginner to play without any former knowledge or technical ablility. Absolute beginners should read the lessons in order, from top to bottom, as they are presented in progressively difficult order.
The musical examples in this section may take several months to master. It can be frustrating in the beginning, when you are waiting for physical skills to develop. Muscle strength, coordination, stretching ablility, familiarity with notation, etc. all take time to develop. Try not to get bogged down in any single lesson. Nothing is going to sound perfect in the beginning. And everything you do will sound better in a few months. Be aware that it takes several weeks for any habits to form. In several months, the things that you are practicing now will be easy to perform. Stick with it - everyone gets better with time!
Your guitar playing will continually become more fluid and natural over weeks and months, but it does take practice! Everyone who practices gets better. The materials in these lessons are provided to help you work through plateaus, and continue progressivly to higher levels, while learning interesting and increasingly difficult music. At times, it may seem like you'll never be able to play the way you want. But, the author of these pages has taught literally thousands of people to play guitar, and has seen literally every student who persists reach their goals. Slowly but surely, everyone forms habits and builds muscles and flexibility. Some people learn more quickly than others, but everyone learns and gets better as techniques become familiar.
As a general rule, the more you practice, the more quickly you'll improve. It's often hard to recogize improvement over days and weeks, because habits are slow to form. If you pay attention to your abilities over a period of 2 to 3 months, however, you will see strides in improvement. Remember, the key is repetition!
The easiest and most natural way to learn the pieces in these lessons is to listen to, and mimic the audio recordings provided. Read the technical notes for help with notation, fingering solutions, and other tips to make the music easier to perform and more understandable. Find a favorite example that suites your level and interests, and repeat it a little every day. Listen to the recordings, follow the written guidelines, and try to play along with the audio to make your playing sound like the recording. Everything you practice will become fluid and natural with time and repetition!
Be sure to read the lesson about Practicing. It is one of the most important on this site, regardless of your skill level.