Beginner Guitar 101: What is my first step?

This is a question many people will ask during the course of this year, and while there is no definitive answer about what you should learn on the guitar first, there are certain things to learn that will make the guitar easier. I created Learning Guitar Now and from my experience, here are 3 things you can start practicing the first day that will make learning guitar much easier.

First Steps

1. D, Cadd9, G – These three chords are fairly easy for the beginner, and you only need to move 2 fingers to change through the chords. One thing that makes it easier is that the 3rd finger remains still while you change all the chords. You NEVER have to move your 3rd finger. There are plenty of songs that use these 3 chords as well. Learn these first and you’re good to go.

2. Chromatic exercise – This is great for developing the coordination between the left and right hand. You simply play the 1st fret with your 1st finger, then your 2nd fret with your 2nd finger, 3rd fret with your 3rd finger, and the 4th fret with your 4th finger all on the Big E sting. Now do this for every string. Also, don’t forget to go down then up with the pick.

3. Strum patterns Practice these, and you’ll be on your way to strumming songs in a matter of no time. A good starter pattern when learning the guitar, is 2 quarter notes, then 4 eighth notes. So you’ll play down, down, down up, down up with the pick.

John W Tuggle
John W Tuggle

I love teaching the blues and have created numerous training courses and lessons to learn how to play like BB King, Clapton, Duane Allman, and more. Get Started Now


  1. Um I need help. I’m only 11 and I got inspired to learn how to play electric guitar from watching k-on. I dont know how to read music and learning how to play is really hard for me when I am reading everything that websites tell me to read. And I tried learning how to read music, but the website’s steps are really confusing to me. Please help! I really need to learn how to read music! Nothing will ever make sence to me if I don’t ever learn. So please, could you teach me how to read music, or find someone for me? Thanks

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