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How To Play Acoustic Guitar

Guitar Lessons For Beginners

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In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play the acoustic guitar. We'll be learning two easy chords and two basic strumming patterns. These basic skills are great for getting your acoustic guitar playing off the ground. Once you get the hang of the chords and the strumming pattern, you'll also be applying it to a jam track. Playing along to music is a great way to hone your skills and it's a lot of fun.

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The Open A2 & D2 Chords

First, we need to learn how to play some chords on the guitar. We'll be using two simple chords in this lesson. Both these chords only require you to use two fingers. Be sure to come down right on your fingertips so you don't mute any of the neighboring strings. Bring your elbow in, and make sure you're pushing nice and hard on the strings.

A2 and D2 Chords

The Strumming Patterns

We'll be learning two different strumming patterns. Before we start strumming, you'll need to get used to counting to 4. We'll be counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. This allows us to break up our strumming into sections of 4 beats that we call measures. In music, measures are separated by vertical lines.

Strumming Pattern #1

For the first strumming pattern, we'll be strumming every 4 beats. Every time you get to "1", you'll strum. Make sure when you count that there is the same amount of time between every number.

Strumming Pattern #1

Strumming Pattern #2

For the second strumming pattern, we'll be strumming on every quarter note or beat. So for every number you count, you'll strum. This one can be a bit tougher so feel free to slow down a little bit if you need to.

Strumming Pattern #2

Musical Application

Once you can play the A2 and D2 chords and the two strumming patterns you can try playing along to the jam track. You may find yourself getting sore pretty quick, but over time you'll build up some callouses and strength and the pain will go away. Feel free to keep it simple while playing along to the jam track at first, and move on to more challenging strumming patterns as you get comfortable.