Tag Archives for " Beginner "


How To Use A Guitar Tuner

A common question beginners often ask is “How to use a guitar tuner?”

So I thought I would make a quick lesson here on how to use a digital guitar tuner to tune your guitar.

Tuning your guitar is incredibly important. If the guitar isn’t in tune, you’re not going to want to play it, because it will sound terrible. It’s pretty much that simple. So if you’re just getting started, there’s nothing that’s more demoralizing than sounding terrible all the time, so that’s something you need to fix! Strangely enough, this is still one of the most often-overlooked issues that beginners face. Simply taking the time to tune your guitar before you play it will make for a much more enjoyable practice session… and don’t even get me started if you’re planning on performing! It doesn’t matter how good a person is on the guitar, tuning the instrument is ALWAYS the first step.

As a side note, if you’re really struggling to get your guitar properly in tune, and you already know how to use a guitar tuner, then there is a very good possibility that the intonation is out on your guitar. If so, I recommend bringing your guitar to a music store or guitar tech and get it checked out. Oftentimes it will need a re-intonation, which isn’t difficult, and can make a world of difference.

How To Use A Guitar Tuner

You might also want to check out a related lesson that I did on How To Tune Your Guitar By Ear. Hopefully this lesson will clear up any questions on how to use a guitar tuner.


The Most Popular Strum Pattern In The World

Have you ever struggled to find a strum pattern to fit a particular song?

The strum pattern that Colin will teach you in this very short lesson is compatible with an incredible number of songs, across all kinds of different genres. That makes it a must-have pattern for any beginner guitar player to have in their bag of tricks. It works great for songs in 4/4 time, which is most songs.

At the end of the lesson, Colin tosses in a bonus strumming pattern that is quite similar to the main one; together they give you some very good options if you’re learning a new song and you’re not quite sure what to start off with.

Colin has an entire course packed full of guitar strumming patterns, if you’re interested in that you can learn more here.

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Click here for more lessons on strumming patterns.


The 7 Most Common Beginner Mistakes on Guitar

Many people start off learning to play the guitar with a lot of bad ideas already in place. In this short lesson, Colin Daniel will address 7 of the most common mistakes that beginners make on the guitar.

Keep in mind that his list is drawn up from the experience of having taught over 5000 students one on one over the past 40 years… if there’s a common mistake that beginners make, Colin has definitely encountered it!

The list might surprise you though, because they have more to do about mindset and your overall approach to the guitar, rather than things like “using your second finger instead of your first finger on a ___ chord” or specifics of that nature.

So, with that said, take a few minutes, watch Colin’s lesson, and then examine your own playing habits to see if you’re making any of the common beginner mistakes that he mentions.

If you’d like to learn more about Colin’s beginner course, please click here.

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The Beginner Guitar Player’s Secret Weapon

StickManOne summer night a while back, I met this guy named Aiden.

He was playing guitar at a campfire and he sounded pretty good.

Nothing he played was that complicated, but the songs sounded good, and everyone was enjoying it.

After a while, one of the other guys asked him how long he’d been playing for, and they got to talking.

The funny thing was, as I listened to what he was playing, I realized that nearly all his songs were in the same key, using the same few chords.

Then one of the other people around the fire found the chink in his armor…

They asked him to play a certain song… turns out that song requires a B chord.

He replied in a matter of fact manner that he didn’t know how to play that guitar chord yet.

No one seemed to mind, and the conversation moved on…

But I sat in the corner and nursed my hot chocolate, contemplating how this Aiden fellow had managed to sound so good, and yet apparently know so little about the guitar.

I kept listening, and then all of a sudden, it struck me.

His secret weapon was his strumming!

This guy rocked at strumming! Sure, he only knew a half dozen chords, but by altering his strumming appropriately, each song sounded totally different than the last one.

The chords in the progression affect the sound of the song, but the strumming has a massive affect on the final product.

To take your strumming to the next level, I recommend taking advantage of Colin Daniel’s Essentials of Strumming & Rhythm course.

As an extra bonus, if you order the DVD version of the course, you’ll get the course book in hardcopy, for free.

Strumming can be the secret weapon for a beginner, so start working on yours today!

Standard Guitar Tuning

Standard guitar tuning is quite simply the most common tuning you’re going to come across on the guitar. If you were to go into any guitar shop, there’s a 99% chance that any guitar you pull off the shelf will be tuned to standard guitar tuning.

With that in mind, it is important to note that there are literally hundreds of alternate guitar tunings; your own creativity is the only real limit on what can be done in this area.

For most beginner guitar players though, and for that matter, most other guitar players of all skill levels, standard tuning is pretty much the only tuning that matters. As such, it is extremely important to know what it is. If you don’t know what the note is supposed to be, how will you ensure that your guitar is tuned correctly before practicing or performing?

I know, it seems like a basic thing that I may be harping on a bit much here, but honestly this is of such fundamental importance that it really does bear mentioning. I’ve seen people playing out of tune guitars, or wrongly tuned guitars, and hey, it ain’t pretty. Then they say they don’t really enjoy playing that much, or that no one likes listening when they play!

No wonder eh?

There isn’t any great mystery about standard guitar tuning; it is E A D G B E. The 1st string (the one closest to the ground, and highest in pitch) is the last note in that list (E). That’s right – when we talk about the tuning of strings and their note names, we talk about them from lowest to highest in terms of pitch, not physical position. This can get a little confusing for beginners, because the string numbers are the opposite: they start lowest to the ground, and progress upwards to your face.

So in terms of string numbers and names, standard tuning looks like this 6-E, 5-A, 4-D, 3-G, 2-B, 1-E. As you progress from the 6th string up towards the 1st, you’ll rise two octaves in pitch. So the high E (1st string) is two octaves higher in pitch than the low E (6th string).

Hopefully by now that is abundantly clear, but if there are any remaining questions, have a look at the short video below, where I explained these same things.

Standard Guitar Tuning

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Shortcut to Playing The Blues

Here’s another lesson from Colin Daniel (from RiffNinja.com), this one is a shortcut to playing the blues. Basically, you’ll learn two bar chord shapes which are used particularly frequently in the blues. Those are the “7” chords. The two shapes are based on an E7, and an A7.

If you want to learn more about bar chords, I recommend checking out my course Bar Chords Made Simple.

In this short lesson, you’ll also learn a little about the 12 bar blues, and how you can transpose this 1,4,5 progression into other keys. That’s a super helpful concept to wrap your mind around.

Remember, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments area below.

Also, the scale that Colin is noodling around in is the pentatonic minor scale.

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