Guitar Tips for Beginners

By Larry Mazza •  Updated: 04/20/22 •  7 min read

We asked 27 experts for their top guitars tips for beginners.

We wanted to know what they wished they knew when starting out. Below you will find their advice, tips, and bits of wisdom.


Learning about tuning and how to hold your guitar will set you up for success as a beginner player.

You’ve decided you want to learn the guitar and you’re ready to start. That’s awesome!

As a beginner, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you begin playing your first song.

The first thing is how your guitar actually works and how to tune it. Learning how to tune your guitar before you play for the first time will prevent frustration and will also help ensure that you get the right sound when playing notes on a specific fretboard (fretboard refers to the part of a guitar that has all of the frets – those are the metal bars on a stringed instrument). You can find out how guitars work here:

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The easiest way to learn chords is to start with basic open chords, which do not use any bars.

Many guitar players start out playing open chords, and these are covered in this lesson. The reason for this is that open chords are the easiest to learn, and therefore the easiest to start playing with other musicians. These chords also sound great when played properly. Another good reason to learn open chords first is that they lead more easily into bar chord forms, which can be difficult at first.

You should also know that major and minor chords are the most common types of chords you will be playing. This is a good thing to keep in mind especially if you’re just starting out because major and minor chords are also the easiest to play on guitar compared to other chord types such as seventh and augmented. In fact, when I was just beginning my journey as a musician I stuck with these two types of chords for quite some time before moving on to more complex chord forms. Examples would include an A or D Major chord or C or F Minor chord (There are many more). Chords like these use only three notes from an entire scale, so it’s easy enough for someone who is still learning about scales and harmony in music theory.

Guitar tabs are great for beginners because they are easy to read and don’t require any knowledge of sheet music.

Once you have the basics of chords down, guitar tabs (or tablature) are a great way to learn songs. Tabs show you exactly where to place your fingers and which strings to strum. They are especially helpful for learning songs by your favorite artists, but there’s only one problem-finding accurate tabs online can be a huge pain!

That’s where this guide will help. Here I’ll walk you through several options for finding accurate guitar tab, from simple to complex.

The easiest option is to plug in a guitar cable, and simply play it through your amp. Acoustic guitar amps are specifically designed to do this and it’s simple to do because you just need to turn on your amp and pick up your guitar. However, it will sound better if you plug into an effects pedal first since they’re designed for that purpose – effects pedals come built in with both a microphone preamp and a DI box that redirects the signal from your pickup to your guitar amp while also adding in effects like compression or reverb.

Guitar scales can be fun to learn, and they’ll help you with improvising and soloing.

You might be wondering, what are guitar scales and why should I learn them?

A scale is a sequence of notes played in ascending or descending order. There are many different types of scales you can play on the guitar, but we’re going to focus on one of the most important ones: the major scale. The major scale is a seven note pattern that every musician should know. Once you’ve mastered this particular scale, you’ll be able to use it as a foundation for learning other kinds of scales and applying them to improvisation and soloing.

It’s important to know at least one type of scale because they help us understand how music works by showing us where all the notes on our instrument are located. Major scales also tell us which specific notes sound good together when it comes time to compose melodies and chord progressions.

You will become a better player by learning songs, especially ones that have simple chord progressions and melodies.

You’ll be able to play songs you know, and they will sound good because you are choosing the right chords in key. Your fingers will learn where to go without you having to think about it. You’ll just generally get better at guitar as a whole.

You can discover new songs on Ultimate-Guitar or through YouTube tutorials.

There are a few different ways you can discover new songs to learn. If you’re just starting out, try finding an easy song that you like and search for it on The site will rank different versions of the song based on how easy they are to play, so start with those.

Once you’ve found a few songs that work for you, look for other songs that are in the same key as those ones because then they should be easier to play together. If there is a version of the song that includes chords, try playing through it! If it doesn’t sound right at first, don’t give up; keep trying until you get it!

Or maybe guitar tabs aren’t your thing—look for video tutorials instead! This can be harder to find than what Ultimate Guitar offers but YouTube has some great resources if you know where to look. Also, if a tutorial is too fast or hard at first, slow down the speed! Ukelele players use this trick all the time and so can guitarists—it helps us practice difficult parts more easily and allows us to progress faster than we would otherwise be able to do.

You can learn all kinds of guitar skills online or in books.

You can learn all kinds of guitar skills online or in books, but if you’re a beginner and have no idea where to start, there are lots of great websites that offer lessons for free. Some of the most popular ones include Justin Sandercoe, who has been teaching guitar since 2003 and has over 4 million views on YouTube. He also offers one-on-one lessons via Skype. There are lots of free guitar lessons available on YouTube as well, such as Marty Schwartz’s “GuitarJamz.”

If you want to get started with learning how to play the guitar from an online source, I recommend checking out one of these sites first so that you can get an idea of what types of music or songs would be best for your skill level and interests.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ll find these tips to be helpful. Many of them may seem simple and obvious, but it can’t hurt to have them in one spot for easy reference.

By following all or some of the advice above, you should be able to play guitar like a pro in no time at all.

Larry Mazza

Hi I'm Larry Mazza, and I'm the guy who started it all at Backstreet Music!