After having giving up on learning acoustic guitar years ago, I feel like learning it again (and sing to my wife). I did a bit research and then bought a Squire electric starter pack. I have access to acoustic video lessons and I've been trying to implement the acoustic guitar lessons on my electric guitar. But the frets on the electric guitar are small and I cannot properly form the chords that the tutor teaches.

  • So I plan to change the fingers to suit myself for forming some of the chords as opposed to what the tutor teaches. For instance, fingers 1,2,3 for Amaj instead of 2,1,3. Is that a good strategy?
  • If that is not a good habit, should I subscribe to the lessons targeted for electric guitars only? Is FenderPlay or GuitarTricks.com a good place to get the online lessons, if not do you pros have any suggestions for online lessons?
  • Thank you for your suggestion, @YourUncleBob. But I am limited by the budget since I recently bought the Squire. Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 23:46
  • Since you are limited by the budget, one of the things you could probably do is replacing the neck. I am not a guitarist myself, but I assume it is a possibility. Other than that, I guess, you could use a program like Guitar Pro to find alternative chord pickings. I do not think either will affect your learning adversely.
    – Pyromonk
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 23:57
  • 1
    One of the reasons for that A fingering is easy switching to D or E (keeping your index finger on the G string). If you can easily switch between the alternatively fingered A and other chords, then it shouldn't be a problem. Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 0:08

3 Answers 3


No matter what, you should feel free to adjust fingerings to suit your fingers, your guitar, and your playing style. I recommend to my students that they always try the suggested fingerings but never feel like they are required fingerings.

To me, playing guitar is much more personal than the other instruments I’ve played, in that the techniques vary a lot from player to player. As a teacher, my main goal for technique has always been to help the student avoid injury and help them find what works for them. When teaching yourself, I suggest you do the same.

  • Thank you @Todd Wilcox. I really appreciate your insights. That helps a lot for me. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:50

I've found the hardest thing about learning guitar is getting over that first hump. It can be physically painful while building finger strength. That along with progressing quickly enough to maintain interest are the biggest hurdles.

I originally attacked the physical end with simple exercises. They build strength and flexibility to place your fingers anywhere on the fret board, with quick pain free accuracy. Once you have that ability. Chord and scale work become 2nd nature.

There Are countless websites for every level of Guitar. YouTube is a great place to start. I've played for 45 years and still hunt the perfect lesson, learn to filter them. I've found .edu and .org sites from schools and even some church based lesson sites are less bluster and more content.

Starting out there are plenty of free lessons. I've made many a contribution to people, for advanced knowledge. But a lot a good people just want to help

To keep interest early on. My theory way back {with my newly calloused power fingers} was to learn every 1st position major chord... A,B,C,D,E,F,G as quickly as possible, an to play all of them instantly in any configuration. I played them in a straight loop to build speed. For finger strength pick a scale pattern or chromatically play the 1st four frets matched to your four fingers... Vertically up and down the neck, taking time to finger each note clearly and quickly. Your building clean tone , speed and strength. at some point add in a metronome for rythem

Your fingering on that A chord and the other poster are different from mine. I use the index finger bar on those 3 strings. That leaves my other fingers to pound out some lead or that 2-4 rock shuffle in A, my favorite Rock key. The point... whatever does the trick for you. The other post suggested placing fingers for leading to the next chord. That's valid advice a lot of times. As you go you'll look for shortcuts

Hang in there, kick the door in and toughen those fingers up, then use those 7 major chords (or any set of), to quickly play any song you want. its basic to begin but it will keep your interest. once you have those down go to the minor, 7ths and eventually the bar chords. phase in some theory as you go. Lessons and learning are lifelong... for me anyway! Good Luck




Techniques and styles are both personal to guitar and bass players like myself. When I was young the rules was to do it this way or don't do it at all. I've always tended to be a maverick about music. My fingering is usually different from most seasoned players. They sometimes comment on my way of doing things. But by the end of the gig they usually agree I do it well. Don't fall into the trap of there is a right or wrong way. There may be better techniques that work for most people, but it is not etched in stone. For instance I play bass guitar with a thick felt pick and wear a glove on my fretting hand. Like I said by the end of the night they usually start asking me where to get that stuff themselves. Many people emulate great players in bands only to find out they may or may not be able to do it that way. But, my ways sound just like them. I just get there by other means.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience Richard. I will have to adapt to my own ways to play correctly particularly because one of my finger is crooked because of a previous accident and can't place it properly on the neck like most people would. Your answer really motivates me from getting discouraged and just developing my own ways to play the guitar. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 23:57

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