Due to strains on my hands, I am not able to play guitar as much as I used to. My musical career - which started at 15 and ended two years ago at 19 - was fairly prosperous considering the town I live in (Chattanooga, Tennessee). I really enjoyed coming up with music that people could hear and envision what they wanted and now I would like more people to do the same. This is about all that I am left with in relation to music. I depend now on other people coming up with new songs (hopefully more interesting that N-Sync and crap that I personally loathe) since I have no formal education in music and have as of yet not been able to master another instrument that allows me to express as much as I did with a guitar.

In order to give what little I possibly have left musically I am starting this node to teach people how to play guitar. Now, there won't be much technical information in my posts, but I will show you how I learned to play guitar. Hope it helps someone.

I assume that you own a guitar.

You could use two more things. I am assuming that you will have them also. (Because I am a son of a bitch.)

  • A tuner that can do: E A D G B E (I'll post tuning with E in tune later.)
  • A listing of tab notated chord configurations. You should be able to find these reasonably priced at your local music store.

I am going to start with a graph.


At the top of the guitar neck is a nut where all the strings contact before reaching the tunig pegs. In fig.1, this nut is represented by "-E-A-D-G-B-E-". Right after that nut is a flat space between it and the fret. This is representated with a "|1|". So, the 12th space on the fretboard probably has 2 dots. This is kind of important, remember it. If your guitar doesn't have dots on the fretboard, add one each at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, 17th, 19th and 21st. Add two dots on the 12th. Memorize where those dots are so that you will be able to find them without looking.

More assumptions: I fucking hope you are right handed because I am incredibly lazy.

Hold up your left hand, palm towards your face. Your index finger from now on will be refered to as "one". Your bird/salutation finger will now be refered to as "two". Your nameless/useless finger will now be refered to as "three". Your pinky finger is now "four".

Here is your first lesson:

Remembering that graph, put your two finger on where the graph represents "A2". Hold it there. Not moving it will be hard at this stage, but don't fret ha.. Put three on "D2" with one still in its position. Put one on "G1". While holding all these fingers in position, strum the strings starting at "E" and going to "e". Keep working on this until you are able to not hear any muffled noises from your fingers dampening the other strings. Congratulations! You just played an e chord!

Now is your time to get excited and tell all of your friends how much of a rock god you are.

Let's try another one.

Put finger two on "E3" (the string. Did that properly node "big top" and "top string" separately?). Place one on "A2". Finally, place four on "e3" (the littlest string). Strum. OMFG! You just played a g chord! Woop! You can now play:

Stay tuned for further updates from me and (hopefully) other noders. And remember, this is a work in progress just like everything on e2. Bookmark it and /msg me if you learned anything.