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I'm Glad your here.  There's so much to learn here, so please, take your time. Roy

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Guitar Playing Basics
Easy steps to fast results.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under one's feet."
Chinese philosopher Laozi

Guitar playing basics are the fundamental groundwork for a lifetime of steps towards guitar mastery.

Guitar playing basics can be learned in a relatively short period of time. With concentrated effort you can be playing for your pleasure and entertaining others in around 6 months.

Mastering the guitar on the other hand can take years.
Please don't let that discourage you.


We all have the same 24 hours a day and time, I guarantee time will go by no matter if you sitting in front of a TV or practicing your guitar. One is just more productive than the other and diligent effort will lead to skills you will have for a lifetime.

What are the guitar playing basics that form the foundation to successfully learn to play the guitar?

1. Choosing the right guitar and equipment. - It goes without saying that in order to get a job done you need the proper tools.

Some decisions need to be made before you even lay a hand on a guitar.

Begin with the end in mind. What kind of music do you want to ultimately play? I say ultimately because nobody arrives the same day they start. But in order to play the type of music that you want to play the proper type of guitar makes all the difference.

You have two basic choices.

A. Acoustic - These are for many types of music but they all have one thing in common - you don't need a amp. You can amplify them but you don't have to.

Folks songs, worship songs, acoustic blues, and bluegrass finger picking styles all use acoustic guitars.

B. Electric guitar - These can be used for all styles but are usually associated with the harder styles of music such as Rock and Roll, metal and jazz.

You'll need a amplifier - and this choice also depends on what type of music you would enjoy playing the most.

Alright isn't this guitar PLAYING Basics?

Yes it is so let's get down to it.

The experts in any area are so good at the basics, they hardly even think about it anymore. They make it look as Chuck Berry says, "He could play a guitar like ringing a bell."

This goes for the ladies too

It is called unconscious competence.

If you recognize the steps to unconscious competence you'll be less likely to become discouraged along the path to mastering the guitar.

Here are the steps.

1. Unconscious incompetence - This person does not even know what they don't know about guitar playing basics. Blank slate just starting out. You might be in this position right now. We all go through this stage.

2. Conscious incompetence - This person becomes aware of the basic guitar playing skills and gets a idea of how far they must go to acquire those basic skills.The successful guitarist makes a commitment right now to do whatever it takes to master these skills.

3. Conscious competence - This guitarist knows the basics and can play these reliably at will. No problem but they still have to think about what they are doing. This take lots of practice on the fundamentals to get to this point.

4. Unconscious competence - This is when guitar playing is as easy as opening a door by turning a door knob.

How do you get to this point? Practice. Intelligent practice. More practice.

Seriously, All guitar virtuoso's have had a period of time where they practiced 8 - 10 hours a day. That's why they are so good. Period.

Here is a example of someone that has reached that point a long time ago.

Guitar Playing Basics Step One -> Rhythm Guitar

1. Parts of the guitar - Just like you need to know which pedal is the gas and which pedal is the brakes, you can't play the guitar without knowing the parts.

2.Learn to tune your guitar - Unless you have a personal roadie at this point you next have to know how to tune you guitar so it sounds the way it is suppose to.

You have two basic choices here.

A.Tune by ear.

B.tune with the aid of a electronic tuner.

Big time saving tip here - use a tuner. It will save you hours of frustration. You can learn to tune by ear later, which I highly recommend.
Click here to find out how and why.

3. Learn the basic open chords and progressions -Most people start out playing simple songs. The basic open chords are the ones to start with.

A chord progression, moving from one chord to another and back again, along with strumming patterns are what music are made of.

Thousands of hit songs have been written using only the basic chords. You can find my page on learning the basic chords here.

4. Learn the notes on the fretboard - This is important to get started on right away because it makes progress on the guitar so much easier later on when progressing to more complex stuff on the guitar. Scales, chord construction and making sense of modes and intervals that come later when you really start to get into the stuff that make a pro, a pro.

Don't worry about that stuff right now just make the commitment to memorize the notes on the fretboard so you can instantaneously know where you are.

Believe it or not many guitarists go for a long time maybe even years before they learn the notes on the guitar. Why? Because learning the fretboard notes can be hard when done the way most people are taught to do it.

I've come up with a system that makes it so much easier it's ridiculous.

You can find the system to learn the fretboard notes quickly here.

Guitar Playing Basics Step Two -> Blues Basics

The Blues are the basis of most rock and roll and a major part of other styles like country and jazz.

Believe me learn basic blues guitar is a major step to other music.

Once you've got this down you are ready for major progress into whatever area of music you want to go.

I have a whole section of this website dedicated to learning the blues -right here.

I wish you success in your journey playing guitar

Roy Barnett

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