How To Play Acoustic Guitar

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Use This Acoustic Guitar Lesson To Master The Acoustic Guitar!

How To Play Acoustic GuitarLet’s learn how to play the acoustic guitar. In this lesson we are going to learn the G, C, and D guitar chords and then put a basic strumming pattern with them. I am going to assume that you have never even held a guitar before so lets start with the basics by learning how to hold an acoustic guitar. Rest your guitar over your right leg, and hold it close to your body with your right arm. Remember to sit up straight and relax. When you place your finger on a fret of the guitar, remember to place that finger very close to the fret. We have supplied you with some diagrams of the chords that you will be learning. Learn how to read chord diagrams here!

Let’s move on to the chord shapes. Don’t worry about making the chords sound perfect right away. Just focus on getting the shapes down. The strength in your left hand will come with some practice. Try to make sure that you are curving your fingers enough to play on the the very tips of your fingers. This will help the fingers that your are playing with to not mute the surrounding strings.

Our first chord will be a G chord. Put your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the low E (6th) string, your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the A (5th) string, and your pinky on the 3rd fret of the high E (1st) string. Now take a pick, if you have one, between you thumb and index finger on your right hand and give all six strings a strum. That’s your G chord.

To play a C chord you need to put your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the A (5th) string, your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the D (4th) string, and your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B (2nd) string. Now strum all of the strings except for the low E (6th) string.

One chord to go. To make your D chord, place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the G (3rd) string, your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the high E (1st) string, and your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B (2nd) string. Now strum all of the strings except for the low E and A strings. Thats it, all three chords.

Practice these chords until you get the shapes memorized and then try changing from shape to shape. Don’t get frustrated if your fingers get sore or tired, thats normal. If you need some time to get the shapes down, take a few days to practice and then come back to this video and put the strumming pattern with the chords.

Now it is time to take the chords we have learned and put a simple strumming pattern with them. We will be using all down strokes for the strumming pattern. Make your G chord and get your pick ready in your right hand. Strum the G chord four times. Switch to your C chord ,and strum that chord four times. Finish off by making your D chord and strumming down four more times. Switching between chords smoothly is probably the hardest part of playing something like this. Try to make your strumming as even as possible, especially when your changing chords. Take it as slow as you need to at first. Don’t be in a rush to play fast, just focus on playing clean and evenly.

Knowing these chords, and a few basic strumming patterns, can enable you to play a lot more songs than you realize. Many many songs you hear on the radio are just a few chords with some basic strumming. Take the chords that you have learned in this lesson, experiment and mix them up. Try to come up with your own strumming patterns too.

This Lesson Has 90 Comments

  • asf says:

    hahaha your so fucking gay

    • Jessica says:

      why even bother to comment or be on this site if you’re gonna be rude? grow up.

    • Noah says:

      Yeah Jessica’s right. Your a real jerk just to say that when the vids are only meant for help.

    • Sam says:

      Due mellow out. the Nate guy is teaching people so how does that make him gay? Plus gay isn’t supposed to be a derogatory term stupid.

    • Kevin says:

      Dude mellow out. The Nate guy is teaching people, so how does that make him gay? And gay isn’t supposed to be used as a derogatory term stupid.

    • Dan says:

      Am I nuts or did that guy post the same thing but different name? and yeah Nate is helping so lay off asf.

    • malika says:

      no he is not i met him befor he is my cosin

    • Katherine says:

      No, YOU are GAY. This guy is FUCKIN awesome

    • Raul says:

      asf is not lying you guys, I am nates gay lover, so he is gay, so stop making fun of nate you jerks.

    • your mum says:

      suht up asf

    • srinath says:

      fuck you asf

    • musics mah pashun says:

      asf, you are not learning anything and this isn’t a place where bad comments go. so why won’t you just sit in your little corner and comment on somewhere else because we all good people are trying to learn. this is super important to all of us and you are not helping.

    • Danielle says:

      oh asf… only gay people makes gay comments like that, i actually learned alot from the vedios i received, be very careful what you say when you talk about people, it might just bite you in the ass!

    • Vienna says:

      TO ALL YOU PEOPLE REPLYING: why the hell is calling someone gay an insult? It doesn’t matter if he’s gay, straight or bi. It’s like someone saying your favourite colour is blue when it’s actually purple.

    • Joel F says:

      asf is a coward. cant even show his name.

    • Miranda says:

      You are extremely rude, I just learned how to play my first song and you are over here being stupid? Man. People these days.

    • toby says:

      He’s just ignorant and all of you posting trying to set him strait makes you look just as ignorant but brother he has been a great help to me!

  • samuel says:

    u r awesom!! its truely helpful..,n i like it.,

  • ajay says:

    i just want to know while picking up the string with ur pick where should you place ur pinky whether it should touch the board or we should just move it up to make the picking fast

  • Fredia says:

    Awesom!!!! You’ve really helped me a lot. Thanks

  • Fredia says:

    Awesom!!!! Thank you so very much. You’ve helped me a lot. I’m looking forward to playing my guitar.

  • Amie says:

    I just picked up an old guitar about a week ago and I have a couple of questions. fist, I’ve noticed that my high E string has some little nicks in it and needs to be replaced, but I don’t know how to unstring and re-string a guitar. could you tell me how. Secondly my fingers have been getting really sore when I play. How long does it usually take for your fingers to toughen up. my don’t seem to be getting any stronger.

    • Mike says:

      Hi Amie,
      Yes, playing a guitar with un-trained fingers is not fun. I took me a couple months of continous daily playing for them to finally stop throbbing. I use to put a drop of super glue on my finger tips before playing. That did help alot. Also go to to learn to string your guitar.

    • Adrianna says:

      Ive been playing for a little over a month and my fingers toughened up. You will develop calluses but those help pad your fingers so it doesnt hurt as much but I play like an hour every day sometimes even more

    • wala says:

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  • devilsenpia says:

    thnx man

  • Nadim Yazdani says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the lesson. In the previous lesson you mentioned that your thumb should be placed behind in the centre of the guitar neck, but in this video your thumb is looping over the neck. What is the best position for your thumb?

  • 2 says:

    u suk mr.unhelpful u put the stings opposit u gay hor

    • Jessica says:

      then get off the site, dumbass. grow up.

    • Jessica says:

      and, learn to spell. you look pretty dumb right now.

    • Maddie says:


    • Adrianna says:

      Hey dumbass u read the strings backward the high e string is 1 and so on retard


      nigga tell the truth, its backwards.


    • caroline says:

      OMG…not another one…go grow some BALLS…dipshit!!!!!!! maybe you should learn yourself,and you look like the sort of person who doesn’t even know what a hore is…’cause to be quite honest,TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lorax says:

    thank you. it helped kinda hahaha

  • Maddie says:

    this website helps alot but when i play my d chord, it doesnt sound like ures. the 1st 3 strings, the ones my fingers r on, sound muted. help?

  • Shay says:

    Nate,I really want to thank you for all the well-made,detailed and fun lessons you make.Two weeks ago,I was a total beginner,and thanks to your awesome website, I’ve learned sooo many things!!I already play a few songs and I will keep on learning and practicing because of you and your amazing videos!!!Keep it up and again THANK YOU!

    • Gabriel says:

      this isan acoustic eeiltrcc guitar the eeiltrcc meansthat when for an example you play live you just plug the jack from the guitar to the acoustic amplifier and playwithout the use of microphonebut an eeiltrcc acoustic guitar is not for metal or rock anything with disortion beacause the guitar and the electtric amp provide unwanted distortion and this is verybad i hope you understand what i am trying to say sorry for the spelling ask me again for more indormation

  • Jonathan says:

    You have helped me a lot.
    These is my first time playing the guitar. Although my hands are sore,I have just learnt a lot from you.
    Thanks so much.I will be coming to this site everyday maybe if I have time to.

  • Ya-Ra Muhammad says:

    Hey ….
    Really nice Work
    I Really want to know how to play a chord without that ” Pik “.. i want to do it by ma Hand …

  • maddison says:


    i think ur doing a great job but i would like to learn how to play with my hand too.i will try to come to this site every day but i have a lot of work to do for school so no promises.

  • scotty glover says:


  • abhideep says:

    u r helping me a lot Nate.
    u r an AWSOME guy.

    • Yalena says:

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  • francisco says:

    nate isnt there a way to get ridd of all those people who make bad comments about you? that is very rude cause there s some of us that really want to learn not use ur page to put stupid comments..thank you and good work nate..

  • Diane says:

    I need to learn how to play the Happy Birthday Song, for my sister’s fifty’s birthday. before august.

    • Drew says:

      What’s the other output jack for? How to play in 2 modes? Microphone and cnocented to an amp just like in the video? What happened if we play without microphones in front of the guitar? I heard that acoustic electrics have built-in microphone! What is that and what does that mean? What are transducers? To have built-in transducers, what does that mean?I have 2 more very important questions but can’t remember. Will post if I can remember them again! Hope you guys .

  • Daniel says:

    when i play the d chord it hurts my fingers really bad. the d chord is the only chord i have a problem with.

  • acoustic guitar instruction says:

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    • Samarah says:

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  • Albert Sunday says:

    How can I download the videos

  • Adam says:

    What are the solid black dots on top above the solid black line on the G and C major chord diagram mean.

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  • CC says:

    Nice music….we sure can use someone like you in the community I am in. Currently I am learning from May be I will check out your site as well.

    CC AKA guitar lover

  • shivan says:

    Hi I have played the guitar for quite some but I just don’t know how to easily change to to thef chord its really frustrating

  • james says:

    who care if he is or if he aint it has nothing to do with what he is teaching why even bring it up it his biz not our,you dont have to come on this website if it bother you.i have a feeling you wouldnt say it to his face.guess that make you a sissy! any way nate thank you teaching great guitar and sharing the gift god as given you!

    • ricky023 says:

      I agree, that thanks to Nate is a pleasure. You are sharing something that runs in your family and that should make you proud. God Bless!

  • Callie says:

    Hi, How do you change from chord to chord??? I can’t seem to get it right!! The chords always sound deadened.

    • Nakor says:

      Sounds like you are touching strings you don’t mean to when you are fingering the chord. If you are touching strings that aren’t in the chord, they won’t vibrate and will sound muffled or muted. Also, if you are having trouble transitioning from chord to chord, just take your time and go slow, beginners don’t have to be perfect, but try to make sure you are placing all your fingers down at once, instead of one at a time, and do it slow at first until your fingers are used to it. one day before you know it(took me like 3 days) you’ll pick it up and just start jamming those 3 chords out like nothing. :) gl

  • Nakor says:

    That’s exactly how I make my G,lol

  • parker says:

    Acoustic Guitars don’t have spots to use amps.

  • nike air zenith says:

    Il s’agit d’un guide très agréable et je pense beaucoup plus en détail que la plupart de la elasewhere messages

  • Joseph says:

    hello nate im new to guitars and i would like to know if a fender guitar is good to buy if not then what kind

  • Barack Obama says:

    I applaud you Nate, you helped me play my first guitar song. I should invite you over to my place sometimes.

    -Mr. President

  • amrita pradhan says:

    thanx a lot for the first lesson …………

  • amrita pradhan says:

    please tell me that i am going to buy a acoustic guitar and i am very new to the guitar world so is it a good decision or not????????????i need your suggestion…..thank u once again……..

  • taylor says:

    wahoo so im getting a piano and guitar soon so im getting lessons at my old school … I think but still caant wait !!!
    and asf shut up u r the 1 who is gay

  • aaronfaulkner says:

    Well this is a good sight but why not electric guitars they sound better to me.

  • aaronfaulkner says:

    Even though I like acoustic guitars.

  • The Bear says:

    so u count the thumb as 1 do u ??

  • Tyler says:

    My fingers are too short to play some of these. is there a solution to this?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Tyler, many people think that their hands are too small to play some things on the guitar. I always tell them about Phil Keaggy. He is one of my favorite guitar players and he not much taller than 5 feet and he has pretty small hands. He does things on the guitar that I’ve never seen people with larger hands do. Just stick with it buddy and do some stretches. :)

  • TASKEEN says:


  • Rishabh278 says:

    These guitar lessons are so cool and easy to learn. Thankyou so much Nate.

  • Jacob peter says:

    Please can u tell me de songs i can play with this three chord i have pratice? Especially christain song. Tanks i will be waiting for ur response through mailbox.

  • Taylor says:

    Thank you nate
    now I’m playing in a little show in Nashville my career started thx lots of love ,me

  • sam says:

    You are all gay asf is cool

  • Gaga4Guitar says:

    Eeeek!! OMG! I am so psyched up to learn the guitar now that I’ve actually found a blog that can enable me to do so! :) Thanks a million Nates!! ♥♡♥ Keep up the extraordinary work! Oh, and could you inform me on where to get the other cords and stuff..

  • Urmi says:

    Sir, your lessons are great. I remember all the chords but I can’t
    play as fast as you can.I have problem in changing from G major to D major. I pause alot in changing chords. PLEASE help me.

  • Nathan Makowski says:

    hello, I have been trying to learn how to play the guitar for quite a while now, but I just cant keep the majors in my head, im only 14 but I am open for anything when it comes to learning, my guiatar keeps going out of tune, and now I cant even remember how to tune, thanks to the month I spent in texas. Every little bit helps. Thank you.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Nathan, I’m from TX. What were you doing there? Anyways… I would just work on a few chords at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Also, you should check out the lesson on tuning here in the Beginner Guitar Quick-Start Series and watch it over and over again over a few weeks. :)

  • Nathan Makowski says:

    Thanks, and I was visiting family for a while, couldn’t bring my guitar.

  • Mighty Tuff says:

    What a very informative and no-nonsense guitar lesson. I’m sincerely grateful. Thank-you.
    Too bad the mouthy cowards were permitted to be lame and rude above…

  • aayusha says:

    Nice wrk nate…thanx a fingers are achii hope i wont take too long to play my fav song…


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