Guitar Basics

Update Sept 9th 2014


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Amazingly all you need to know to get started playing the Guitar is on this page!

The sound of one string played alone is called a NOTE


Several strings played together are called a CHORD


(The Bad News!) There are 1,000's of chords!

(different left hand fingerings)


(The Good News!) We only need to know 3 of them!


The 3 chords we will learn Gadd5, Cadd9, D,

are the 3 most easiest to change between,

 while still strumming the guitar.


Strumming is what you do with your right hand,

stroke the strings with the thumb, fingers or plectrum



This is a picture of the end of the Guitar!

the neck and the headstock.

Strings, from the left, numbers/notes are:

6/E 5/A 4/D 3/G 2/B 1/e

The big silver bit at the end/top of the neck is called The Nut,

(in this case a Roller Nut, more commonly white Plastic/Bone/Graphite   

The little bars running across the neck are called Frets.

   The 1st fret is 1 down from the Nut  then 2nd fret etc

    Image2.jpg (10675 bytes)


Left & below is what is called a Chord Box or chord Window,

really just a picture of the end of the guitar

and is used to write down chords(where to put your fingers!)


This is how we write down the chords.

                                                                                                                                                                                    bigd.jpg (12152 bytes)bigcadd9.jpg (12546 bytes) biggadd5.jpg (12298 bytes)     

numbers in circles refer to the fingers of your left hand

1 = index finger 2= middle 3= ring 4= little finger

Ask yourself:

Which finger, goes on, which string, in which fret,

How many strings do you play? ( not those with X above)


These are the three chords you need to get started,


The change between The G(add5) and C(add9) is the easiest  as you only move those 2 fingers.

You will often get shown G & C instead but it much easier to change between G(add5) and C(add9)


There is also at least 2 other ways of writing down chords


1) Gadd5 = 320033 ie the frets played on the 6th-1st strings

(this way doesn't specify which finger goes where but it is a very quick and easy way)


2) Gadd5 as "Tablature"

Tablature is a way of writing down chords and solos riffs runs etc etc

It consists of 6 lines 1 for each string (top line 1st string)

 then the numbers refer to the fret on whichever string it is written

0 = Open   X = Don't play/Mute

If the numbers are written over the top each other then they are played together as in a chord,

 but if written after each other (reading left to right) they are played individually in sequence

Below is Gadd5 and The "G" Diatonic Scale (Do Ra Mi Fa So Lah Ti Do!)








Start with Gadd5, Cadd9, D,  using a DDUUD strumming

from the strumming page

Go to see a Chordsheet