Hey, are you the RockStar the world has been waiting for? That’s the spirit! Let’s get ready for Lesson 5 of this series on how to play the guitar for beginners, where you’ll learn your very first – and super easy – guitar exercise.
These free guitar lessons are here to help you learn how to play a guitarlike the legends that have come before you and will help you better understand the material that you’ve covered in the RockStar Guitar Daily Lesson Guide for the Beginner Guitarist.
The All-Important Step 1: Get Your Guitar in Tune
Whenever you pick up your guitar, the first thing you should always do is bust out your tuner and check that it is in tune. To refresh your memory on how to tune a guitar, here’s the mnemonic diagram that you learnt in Lesson 2.
Go ahead and tune each of your Open Strings to the standard-tuned guitar notes as shown above (EADBGe). The lines on the left represent the strings from thickest to thinnest.
1234 Exercise, How To Play The Guitar
Now let’s get a grip on that guitar! Here’s the tab for your first guitar exercise. If you need help reading it (it’s not hard, promise), go back to Lesson 3 where we show you how to read guitar tabs with ease.
As you can see, the first part of this exercise is very simple. Place your 1st finger (index finger) on the 1st fret of the Low E string and play the note.
Then, keep your fretting hand in the same place, press down on the 2nd fret with your 2nd finger (middle finger) and play the note. Do the same for the 3rd and 4th notes, using your 3rd finger (ring finger) and 4th finger (pinky finger) respectively.
Once you’ve played through these four notes a few times, slowly and evenly, try playing them backwards starting from 4 and ending at 1. Once you’ve got a smooth backwards movement, you should try playing the notes forwards, then backwards, then forwards, and so on.
Finally, to complete the exercise, run this pattern along each of the strings in turn. In tab, it looks like this:
This is a fun exercise because it’s simple to remember and you are free to play it backwards or forwards, or both. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try skipping strings, playing from the Low E string then suddenly jumping to the D string or the High E string.
The 1234 exercise is like training for a marathon by running on an athlete’s treadmill. It doesn’t sound as exciting as playing a Guns ‘n Roses guitar lick, but that’s not the point.
The point is to get your fretting hand used to playing with all fingers, strengthening each finger in turn, and also to develop your muscle memory. You might not realize it now, but the more you play and practice, the more you’ll understand how crucial muscle memory is.
And that’s all for now (easy, wasn’t it?). If you enjoy these free guitar lessons, be sure to bookmark or subscribe to this blog and keep checking back regularly. We’ve got loads more coming your way, packed with great tips and free info!
Are you ready to start playing real songs with easy guitar chords? You should check out our 7-Day Beginner Challenge and get rockin’ today!