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Play Acoustic Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners

Learn acoustic guitar basics with this Acoustic Learning Path core course.
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Overview

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners - the first stop on your TrueFire Learning Path journey towards becoming a solid acoustic guitar player. If you already know several chords and strumming patterns, and can also play some songs and single note lines, then you're ready to take on this quick-start guitar course. Otherwise, please check out TrueFire's Learn Guitar courses to get a grip on those basic skills.

This Acoustic Learning Path core course is presented by 3 top TrueFire educators: Corey Congilio, Brooks Robertson, and David Hamburger. They'll guide your development of the essential skills and get up and running quickly -- no reading music, no boring exercises, no tedious theory to struggle through. In fact, you'll play your way through the entire course.

You'll start off the course learning a classic rhythm pattern to get you in the groove. You'll also learn a progression that's used in thousands of songs. Fingerstyle techniques are very important skills to develop and you'll learn a versatile Fingerstyle pattern that you can use in any song. Acoustic guitarists use a variety of techniques to express musical ideas, and you'll tackle some of the essentials here. You'll also learn some acoustic blues, a 12 bar progression, and wrap the course up with more new chords and essential rhythm patterns.

The educators demonstrate all of the key examples over jam tracks (where and when applicable) to simulate a real-world application, in a musical context. Key examples are also tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. Take as much time as you need to work through each video guitar lesson before moving on to the next lesson. If you want to dig deeper or wider into any of the topics covered in this core course, check out the rest of the courses in the Acoustic Learning Path where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Grab your guitar and let's get started!

About

Learn how to play guitar with free online guitar lessons and interactive video guitar courses at TrueFire, the world's most comprehensive library of guitar video lessons.
PLAY ACOUSTIC GUITAR 1 - Quick-Start for Beginners

01: PLAY ACOUSTIC GUITAR 1 - Quick-Start for Beginners

Welcome to Play Acoustic Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners - the first stop on your TrueFire Learning Path journey towards becoming a solid Acoustic guitar player. If you already know several chords and strumming patterns, and can also play some songs and single note lines, then you're ready to take on this quick-start guitar course.

2 min
G to Cadd9 Strum - Lesson 1: Demonstration

02: G to Cadd9 Strum - Lesson 1: Demonstration

Getting down a basic strum can be even cooler when you throw in the Cadd9 chord. There are always little things you can do to spice up both chord progressions and strumming patterns. Start with this strum and make sure you take your time and keep your technique clean. Don't rush your strumming.

3 min
Practice Session 1 - Playalong: Slow

03: Practice Session 1 - Playalong: Slow

This Practice Session starts out at 65 BPM. Play it as many times as you need before you move on.

1 min
Practice Session 2 - Playalong: Fast

04: Practice Session 2 - Playalong: Fast

In this Practice Session, you'll be playing along with the instructor. Take your time and don't rush through it. Practice this as many times as you need to before moving on.

2 min
Practice Session 3 - Playalong: Band

05: Practice Session 3 - Playalong: Band

Let's have some fun! In this Practice Session we jam with the band! Take your time, don't worry about doing it perfectly the first time, just keep going over it until you have it all down smooth. Then you're ready to move on.

2 min
Single Note Melody - Lesson 2: Demonstration

06: Single Note Melody - Lesson 2: Demonstration

Playing isn't always about chords, sometimes it's about single note melodies. When you're playing single notes it may seem harder at first since you'll have to be more accurate with your pick placement, but once you get a "feel" for where you hand will be, it will be no problem to pick out certain strings and notes.

5 min
Practice Session 4 - Playalong: Slow

07: Practice Session 4 - Playalong: Slow

Your instructor will guide you through this Practice Session. Don't move on until you feel like you are locked in with the tempo and are playing it cleanly.

2 min
Practice Session 5 - Playalong: Fast

08: Practice Session 5 - Playalong: Fast

This Practice Session is at 50 BPM.

2 min
Practice Session 6 - Playalong: Band

09: Practice Session 6 - Playalong: Band

OK, let's bring the band in. Here's where all that practice pays off. In this Practice Session, you just have to lock in with the other instruments and make sure you're staying in the groove.

2 min
Slash Chords - Lesson 3: Demonstration

10: Slash Chords - Lesson 3: Demonstration

The concept of slash chords is a great way to make basic chords sound more interesting! Instead of learning a bunch of new chords with strange new names, you're really just playing chords you are already familiar with but changing the bass note. This gives it a really nice sound and allows you to play some chords that are more full sounding.

5 min
Practice Session 7 - Playalong: Slow

11: Practice Session 7 - Playalong: Slow

This Practice Session really focus on trying to play exactly with the instructor. You can go over this as many times as you need in order to really get it down.

2 min
Practice Session 8 - Playalong: Fast

12: Practice Session 8 - Playalong: Fast

In this Practice Session, you should focus on playing in time, playing it cleanly, and getting all of the movements smooth. Play through it as many times as you need before you move on. The key to moving on is repeating this Practice Session until you really have it down.

2 min
Practice Session 9 - Playalong: Band

13: Practice Session 9 - Playalong: Band

Time to jam with the band! This Practice Session is all about feeling the rhythm. Make sure you do this as many times as you need until you have it down. Then you can move on.

2 min
Basic Fingerstyle Picking - Lesson 4: Demonstration

14: Basic Fingerstyle Picking - Lesson 4: Demonstration

Fingerstyle guitar is a great way to get the sound of both chords and melody happening on your instrument. While advanced fingerstyle techniques can take awhile to master, getting down the basics doesn't have to. Learning patterns and working on your picking hand fingers and their dexterity and accuracy is what this lesson is all about.

5 min
Practice Session 10 - Playalong: Slow

15: Practice Session 10 - Playalong: Slow

Really listen to how the instructor plays in this Practice Session. Don't worry if it takes you a few times, and if you need to go back, that's fine. The important thing is that you want to be able to play it through at this tempo several times without mistakes, and then you're ready to move on.

1 min
Practice Session 11 - Playalong: Medium

16: Practice Session 11 - Playalong: Medium

70 BPM is where you'll play this Practice Session. Repeat as many times as you need to get it down before you move on to the next tempo.

2 min
Practice Session 12 - Playalong: Fast

17: Practice Session 12 - Playalong: Fast

Don't be afraid to keep repeating this Practice Session as many times as you need to. There is no specific amount of times you need to do it - just do it until you feel comfortable.

2 min
Picking Pattern 1 - Lesson 5: Demonstration

18: Picking Pattern 1 - Lesson 5: Demonstration

Playing through a chord progression with a picking pattern is a great way to add some movement to the progression. The cool thing about picking patterns is that once you have them down, you can apply them to a wide variety of progressions and songs.

3 min
Practice Session 13 - Playalong: Slow

19: Practice Session 13 - Playalong: Slow

Repetition is the key to getting this down, so do as many "reps" as you need to before you move on.

2 min
Practice Session 14 - Playalong: Medium

20: Practice Session 14 - Playalong: Medium

Remember, if you have trouble at this tempo, you can always go back to the previous Practice Session or Lesson to make sure you have it down.

2 min
Practice Session 15 - Playalong: Fast

21: Practice Session 15 - Playalong: Fast

Practice with precision - that is how you'll get this down, not rushing through it or losing your focus. Keep your focus on playing this perfectly and with the instructor.

2 min
Picking Pattern 2 - Lesson 6: Demonstration

22: Picking Pattern 2 - Lesson 6: Demonstration

Here's another picking pattern. As you continue to improve as a player, you'll keep stockpiling new patterns in your memory. Eventually you'll have a pattern that will fit every situation or groove. Having a lot of different patterns at your disposal will help you dig into songs faster! So work on this one and log it in your memory!

5 min
Practice Session 16 - Playalong: Slow

23: Practice Session 16 - Playalong: Slow

In this Practice Session, you'll be playing along with the instructor. Take your time and don't rush through it. Practice this as many times as you need to before moving on.

2 min
Practice Session 17 - Playalong: Medium

24: Practice Session 17 - Playalong: Medium

Your instructor will guide you through this Practice Session. Don't move on until you feel like you are locked in with the tempo and are playing it cleanly.

2 min
Practice Session 18 - Playalong: Fast

25: Practice Session 18 - Playalong: Fast

For this Practice Session, really focus on trying to play exactly with the instructor. You can go over this as many times as you need in order to really get it down.

2 min
The Steady Bass - Lesson 7: Demonstration

26: The Steady Bass - Lesson 7: Demonstration

The steady bass technique is one that works great for the blues, but is also used in a lot of different situations. Learning to keep that thumb going on just the bass is tricky at first, but once you develop the independence between your thumb and other fingers, you'll be on your way to playing some great songs!

5 min
Practice Session 19 - Playalong: Slow

27: Practice Session 19 - Playalong: Slow

In this Practice Session, you should focus on playing in time, playing it cleanly, and getting all of the movements smooth. Play through it as many times as you need before you move on.The key to moving on is repeating this Practice Session until you really have it down.

2 min
Practice Session 20 - Playalong: Medium

28: Practice Session 20 - Playalong: Medium

Really listen to how the instructor plays in this Practice Session. Don't worry if it takes you a few times, and if you need to go back, that's fine. The important thing is that you want to be able to play through this at this tempo several times without mistakes, and then you're ready to move on.

2 min
Practice Session 21 - Playalong: Fast

29: Practice Session 21 - Playalong: Fast

Don't be afraid to keep repeating this Practice Session as many times as you need to. There is no specific amount of times you need to do it - just do it until you feel comfortable.

2 min
Steady Bass Lick - Lesson 8: Demonstration

30: Steady Bass Lick - Lesson 8: Demonstration

This is a great lick using the steady bass technique. Take your time with this and make sure you are keeping the steady bass "steady"! What makes this work is that completely in the pocket groove you establish with the bass line, so having it be solid is the key to this sounding good.

6 min
Practice Session 22 - Playalong: Slow

31: Practice Session 22 - Playalong: Slow

Repetition is the key to getting this down. So do as many "reps" as you need to before you move on.

2 min
Practice Session 23 - Playalong: Medium

32: Practice Session 23 - Playalong: Medium

Remember, if you have trouble at this tempo - you can always go back to the previous Practice Session or Lesson to make sure you have it down.

2 min
Practice Session 24 - Playalong: Fast

33: Practice Session 24 - Playalong: Fast

Practice with precision. That's how you will get this down. Not rushing through it or losing your focus. Keep your focus on playing this perfectly and with the instructor.

2 min
Steady Bass 12-Bar Blues - Lesson 9: Demonstration

34: Steady Bass 12-Bar Blues - Lesson 9: Demonstration

Here's a 12-bar blues with the steady bass. The switching is the hardest part at first, but as you keep working on the solid bass line, it becomes easier to move it around. Take as much time as you need on this to make sure you have it down and can keep the steady bass line going.

8 min
Practice Session 25 - Playalong: Slow

35: Practice Session 25 - Playalong: Slow

Don't move on until you feel like you are locked in with the tempo and are playing it cleanly.

3 min
Practice Session 26 - Playalong: Medium

36: Practice Session 26 - Playalong: Medium

For this Practice Session, really focus on trying to play exactly with the instructor. You can go over this as many times as you need in order to really get it down.

2 min
Practice Session 27 - Playalong: Fast

37: Practice Session 27 - Playalong: Fast

Play this at 80 BPM.

2 min
Rhythmic Variations - Lesson 10: Demonstration

38: Rhythmic Variations - Lesson 10: Demonstration

There are a ton of different rhythmic variations you can play. In this lesson, you'll look at a few and see how you can create your own as well.

4 min
Practice Session 28 - Playalong: Slow

39: Practice Session 28 - Playalong: Slow

The key to moving on is repeating this Practice Session until you really have it down.

2 min
8th Note Rest Song - Lesson 11: Demonstration

40: 8th Note Rest Song - Lesson 11: Demonstration

Playing isn't always about constant playing. Sometimes it is the non-playing or the "rests" that make a groove work. Of course those rests can also help give you extra time to get to the next chord! Check out this lesson where you'll incorporate rests into the song.

2 min
Practice Session 29 - Playalong: Slow

41: Practice Session 29 - Playalong: Slow

This one is at 85 BPM, so take your time and repeat as many times as you need to.

2 min
Practice Session 30 - Playalong: Band

42: Practice Session 30 - Playalong: Band

Let's jam with the band! Stay in time with the groove, and don't forget to relax! Play through this Practice Session as many times as you need to in order to get comfortable with it and then you can move on.

2 min
Mixed Picking Pattern - Lesson 12: Demonstration

43: Mixed Picking Pattern - Lesson 12: Demonstration

Mixing it up and learning how to make it your own is an important concept for all guitarists. When you're playing acoustic guitar, you'll have the opportunity to play lots of styles and in lots of situations. Having options and being able to change things up is key to getting good at all of it!

8 min
Practice Session 31 - Playalong: Slow

44: Practice Session 31 - Playalong: Slow

Your instructor will guide you through this Practice Session.

2 min
Practice Session 32 - Playalong: Medium

45: Practice Session 32 - Playalong: Medium

Really listen to how the instructor plays in this Practice Session.

2 min
Practice Session 33 - Playalong: Fast

46: Practice Session 33 - Playalong: Fast

In this Practice Session, you'll be playing along with the instructor. Take your time and don't rush through it. Practice this as many times as you need to before moving on.

1 min
Arpeggiating Chords - Lesson 13: Demonstration

47: Arpeggiating Chords - Lesson 13: Demonstration

Looking at chords as only something you strum through is missing out on a world of harmonic and melodic possibilities. Arpeggiating chords, or basically playing chords one note at a time instead of playing all notes simultaneously is a great way to attack many chord progressions. Check out these options and then put it to the test on your own chord progression.

3 min
Practice Session 34 - Playalong: Slow

48: Practice Session 34 - Playalong: Slow

55 BPM is the tempo here.

1 min
Practice Session 35 - Playalong: Fast

49: Practice Session 35 - Playalong: Fast

Repetition is the key to getting this down, so do as many "reps" as you need to before you move on.

1 min
Practice Session 36 - Playalong: Band

50: Practice Session 36 - Playalong: Band

In this Practice Session, we're going to play with the band! That's the goal, and here we get to put our playing to the test by keeping up with the band. Repeat this Practice Session as many times as you need to until you have it down. Once you feel like you can do it several times in a row without a mistake, you are ready to move on!

1 min
Steady Bass 8-Bar Blues - Lesson 14: Demonstration

51: Steady Bass 8-Bar Blues - Lesson 14: Demonstration

Sometimes instead of the normal 12 bar blues, you'll run into an 8 bar blues. Such is the case in this lesson, where you'll work your steady bass technique through this 8 bar progression. Take your time, and once again, make sure you have that bassline really solid and in time!

7 min
Practice Session 37 - Playalong: Slow

52: Practice Session 37 - Playalong: Slow

Practice with precision - that's how you'll get this down. Not rushing through it or losing your focus. Keep your focus on playing this perfectly and with the instructor.

2 min
Practice Session 38 - Playalong: Medium

53: Practice Session 38 - Playalong: Medium

Practice this as many times as you need before moving on.

1 min
Practice Session 39 - Playalong: Fast

54: Practice Session 39 - Playalong: Fast

For this Practice Session, really focus on trying to play exactly with the instructor. You can go over this as many times as you need in order to really get it down.

1 min
PLAY ACOUSTIC GUITAR 1 - Wrap Up & Next Steps

55: PLAY ACOUSTIC GUITAR 1 - Wrap Up & Next Steps

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! If you want to dig deeper or wider into the topics covered in this course, check out the recommended supplementary courses where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. When you're ready to advance your skills further, dive into the next core course listed in your TrueFire learning path. Practice smart. Play hard!

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