level 1 guitar lessons (for beginners)

These are lessons for total beginners. You need to checkout reading tab and rhythm first. In my experience it is better to learn some single string melodies, before moving on to chords. There are also some single line melodies in Tabs. Try them as well, it is quite motivational to have a repertoire of tunes before trying chords and strumming.

Below the lessons are recommended chords and scales that you should be familiar with, before moving on to level 2.


  1. low E blues
    First guitar lesson. A blues bass line. Looks difficult, but lots of repetition.
  2. greenish onions
    This is a minor key blues based on Booker T's Green Onions.
  3. rock'n'roll blues (part 1)
    Lesson to introduce using more than 1 fretting hand finger.
  4. rock'n'roll blues (part 2)
    Development of the previous lesson. Introduces the essential technique of alternate picking.
  5. raining in my heart
    This is a arpeggio picking lesson, based on the break in the Buddy Holly song of the same name. Follow this lesson you will be on the way to playing chords.
  6. first chords
    This lesson is designed for strumming and changing between chords for the first time.
  7. basic strum patterns
    Practice these patterns with all the chords in this beginner section, and also checkout some of the easier songs in the Tabs section.
  8. more chord exercises
    This lesson is a development on the previous one and contains all the open major and minor chords for you to practice. Listen to the difference in sound between major and minor chords. The 'happy' major sound and the 'sad' minor sound.
  9. dominant 7 chord practice
    This is an exercise incorporating dominant 7 chords. Listen to the chords, notice their need to resolve or 'bluesy' sound.
  10. basic finger picking
    This is an exercise in finger picking, using P, i, m, a. This is a great technique for achieving clarity in your chords.


  1. basic major and minor chords
    These are the first chords to learn for the beginner. Be sure to checkout how to read chord diagrams. You can play many songs with these basic chords. When you have learnt these chords, look in Tabs for songs you can play.
  2. dominant 7 chords
    More open chords here. Dominant 7 chords are often used in blues music. Try the lesson Preliminary Blues to start using them.


  1. first scales
    Here are some scales for the beginner. Scales are very important, and form the basis of all music. Try to learn the names of the notes as well as the scale 'shape', good fingerboard knowledge is very useful. The names of the notes are listed call them out as you play. These scales will help left and right hand coordination, the video should help.