I would to like learn the guitar from basics. I don't want to hit the chords right away without understanding the basics.

Can you help me with the theory I need in order to start learning guitar from scratch?

  • These answers are great, and once you get a bit more competent look up Rob Chapman on YouTube, he's an incredible guitarist who explains things very well without skipping on theory but still makes it enjoyable and most of all accessible! Jul 16 '14 at 11:39

There is an unlimited amount of teaching material out there dedicated to beginner guitar lessons. GuitarFriendly and Guitar Lessons Online have a lot of great beginner courses to help you get started.

Also, having played for almost 10 years now myself, here are a couple things to help you begin this quest, and some general advice :

  • Be patient - you're not going to be shredding within a few weeks, and it takes time to hone the craft and learn the instrument. If you're feeling discouraged, just remember that every single guitar player on the planet started at the exact same point, and the only way to get better is through dedication and practice.
  • With patience also comes self-awareness. Try to be aware of everything you're doing when you're playing. Are you applying to much pressure to the strings? Is your forearm in the right position? Are you maintaining good back posture? Are you holding your pick correctly? Are you keeping your hands relaxed and tension free? Are your notes ringing out clearly? This may seem like a lot to remember, but work on these things one at a time, and eventually you will build the proper muscle memory needed to accomplish them all synchronously.
  • Use a metronome! Especially when practicing scales and other single note lines. Not only does this help build accuracy and speed, but it will help you lock into a rythmn when you go to play with other people. Always set the speed (BPM) where you can comfortably and accurately play the part you're working with - it won't do you any good playing a piece at 250 BPM if your notes are muddled and the passage isn't clean.
  • Set up a practice regimen. This is the quickest way to becoming a good player. An example of a regimen would be (given a 60 minute window for practice) :

    • Chords and Fingerings (25 minutes)
    • Scales and Licks (25 minutes)
    • Improv, Noodling, Writing (10 minutes)

And most of all, have fun! Learning the guitar shouldn't be a completely frustrating or horrifying experience. It takes time to develop the skills needed to play a full song, or one from your favorite musician or band, so don't be too hard on yourself.

Good luck!


There are a million and one online resources(we are very lucky in that regard).

How about Justin guitars Beginner course. His channels on youtube are completely free and he has literally hundreds (if not thousands) of video's to keep you learning for years.


I'm 100% taught to play guitar by the great and almighty internet. Check out Marty Schwartz. He's great for beginners! Have fun :)


I also learned from the scratch and everything I know about the guitar I know from the internet. The things I used:

Guitar Pro (version 5.2) it's a cool application. You can use it to read notes, create compositions and learn how to play many things created by other people in this app. You can download it for free.

http://ultimate-guitar.com it's a website where you can find guitar pro tabs, chords and tabs generally.

and of course YouTube. When above-mentioned website can't provide sufficient info just search for it on YouTube and hopefully you'll find it. Good luck.

  • There's also Guitar Pro for iPad and iPhone, though it's not free :) Jul 26 '14 at 14:27

I can tell you what I did ..

Before I started learning, I found that I liked the Rolling Stones, Dire Straits (they were v popular at the time) and Jimi Hendrix, among other types of music. It was around 1984.

I learnt guitar riffs.. Under My thumb (Stones), Machine Gun (Hendrix), Whole Lotta Love (Led Zep) -

these tunes stand out in my memory of learning because the riffs are quite easy to play, by which I mean they're easy to get your fingers around.

While learnign to play them, several things developed : 1) a basic understanding of how scales work 2) physical technique of plucking individual strings and strumming - left and right hand 3) ability to recogniose when I've got it right (and it soudns good) vs. when I've got it technically right but it sounds crap. 4) and most importantly : I loved it. I was learning songs that I really liked, and playing the recognisable bits.

After a year or so I could play riffs and solos reasonably ok, but wasn't yet concentrating on chords.

Obviously this only got me some of the way - eventually you have to fill in the rest of the gaps re chords etc but for me this was a fantastic & accidental way to start.

Re chords : There was no internet in 1984, and chord books left me cold (I'm very 'audio'), so I learnt a lot by listening to music more closely, especially picked or arpeggio music.

There's a song called "Born to be with you" by Dave Edmunds. The song itself you might not like, or might, but it has the chords slowly and very clearly picked out on individual strings, so it's a really easy way to "find" its chords, whcih stands you in good stead.

As others have said, the internet is an amazing resource, especially Youtube which will probably help more than Dave Edmunds, haha

As I said, I think the most important thing here is that I loved it, and still do. Learn what you enjoy, and let your enthusiasm carry you though :-)

Enjoy !

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