PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- March 28, 2017
- Guitar 101 Beginner
What’s the rush? You want to learn how to play guitar ASAP? We get it. Whether it’s the girl you’re trying to impress or the talent show coming up at school, you gotta get it down and quick. Maybe you’re just in love with the idea of being a guitar player and you want it so bad. This is the perfect time to turn on the jets and learn how to play guitar now. But, how do you do it? Where do you start? Let’s see how we can help. There’s no magic formula and no 5 steps that works for everyone, but there are some steps you can take that’ll help you along. “Learn How?” Anything can be a learned behavior or routine, but it takes hours of repetition to pull off any real guitar piece. Don’t stress over it. We’ll help you learn how to play guitar ASAP.
Start With a Simple Song
Starting with songs you can actually play is the first smart move. Sure, you want to shred but that’ll come soon enough. Let’s start with something like “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” by Poison. First, you’ll need to learn the G5 chord, C2 chord and D chord. These three chords will get you a lot of mileage because lots of great songs can be played with three basic chords. Download a basic chart and lyric sheet of this song online and download the MP3. Take a few minutes to learn the G5 chord and C2 chord. They are very similar. In fact, you just move your two low string notes of G5 down a string each to make the C2. You leave the 2 small string notes on the 3rd fret where they are and it’s a pretty simple move.
We both lie silent here in the heat of the night
Practice the strumming pattern on the intro and this first line. Mimic what you hear. If it’s still too difficult, pull up a tutorial version on YouTube and watch the right hand strumming pattern. The right hand motion will need to be as close as possible to make the song sound right. Just work on these two chords back and forth until you sound reasonably correct. Now it’s time to add the D chord. It’s a triangle shaped chord and will take some time getting used to. You should go back and forth between the G5 and D chord till the motion becomes pretty familiar. Take the song one section at a time. Learn the Intro and verse because they’re similar and then add the chorus.
Stick With the Slower Songs
Alright, you’ve got “Every Rose” down a little. It’s time to add an E minor chord and start a new song. The E minor chord is just 2 fingers on the 2nd fret D and A strings. It’s super easy and it’s such a colorful chord. By adding an E minor, you can take on another classic like “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s a great song for beginners because it just repeats the same chords over and over. C, G, Ami, C, G, Ami over and over again. You can do this one for sure.
C G Ami
Momma told me when I was young…
You should pull up the video online and strum along. Yes, there’s a picking pattern but all you’ve gotta do is strum a simple 8th note pattern or even 1/4 note pattern if that’s all you can manage. Play along with the original version till you can play it all the way through a dozen times without messing up. Then, turn off the original and play it by yourself. Feel free to sing it if you have the lyrics down.
Remember to print off a lyric and chord sheet online. It’s going to take a week or two of playing these songs until you can start to sound convincing. It’s ok. You’re trying to learn how to play guitar. It’s going to be a process, but we’re committed to helping you get there. Check out this Shinedown cover of the classic song if you want a modern reference.
Start Your Own Songbook - Learn How to Play Guitar
There are countless easy 3-4 chord songs that rock. Get these down and you’re already on your way. Remember to take it easy. You don’t have to play them fast right now. You just want to sound good. Stick with these easy chords and add as many songs in the key of G, key of C, or key of D as you can. You’ll be adding a few new minor chords like A minor and B minor as well.
Pull these and other basic chords up online and add them one at a time to your list as needed. Don’t just memorize the shape, memorize the name as it relates to the shape. The chord shapes are all part of the CAGED theory and will come in handy as you grow on guitar. Look up CAGED theory and ponder on it as you learn song after song.
Why don’t you throw in a country classic like “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson? It’s a really easy song to strum along with and it plays at a nice pace. This song is in E and requires a B chord, which is a twist. You need to advance quickly, so don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. You’ll look back in a few weeks and smile at how far you’ve come. We believe you can do it! See if you can work out some of the solo on this tune too. It’s doable if you really work at it.
We wish we could wave a magic wand that could help you learn how to play guitar ASAP, but that’s not gonna happen. Keep that guitar in your hand, though. The more you rub the back of that guitar neck as you strum through easy new songs, the more this instrument is gonna rub off on you. It’s such a rewarding hobby. Who knows, you may end up becoming the next legend. ASAP starts today. You can learn how to play guitar at your own pace, but having discipline and giving it your all is the best way to advance.
Another thing that will help you learn how to play guitar is to take guitar lessons. Learning from someone who is more experienced will help you work through some of those beginner hurdles that players always face. Pro Lessons offers online guitar lessons that are affordable and taught by guitar players from popular bands today. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking the icon below.