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Resources For Beginners
Written by Josh

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A few weeks ago I received an interesting question from a reader via e-mail for my blog Guitar Lifestyle. The reader asked me what resources I'd recommend for a beginning guitarist. I thought others might have the same question, so I thought I'd post several of the resources that I'd recommend.


Books are a great resource for beginners. There are a ton of books available, and many of them are good. Here's a few that I'd recommend to help new guitarists get started.

Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Books 1, 2, and 3: This is a good starting point. A variety of different genres are covered, and the lessons are progressive, so you build on previous lessons as you progress through the book.

The "First Stage" Guitar Chord Chart: I'd recommend getting almost any book on chords. Chords are the building blocks of songs, so it's important to get familiar with them. This book is a fairly cheap option, but most guitar method books will offer a series of chord charts.

The Guitar Handbook: This is not a method book, per se, but it's got a wealth of information. It's got information about playing rhythm and lead guitar, performing, maintenance and repair, and many other topics. This is a great book. I could easily pick out many other "must-have" books, but the ones I listed above are good starting points.


Sometimes, books aren't enough. You need to watch someone else playing something in order to get some of the nuances of the music. That's where instructional videos come in.

Rock House: Learn Rock Guitar: Beginner Program: This is a great starting point for guitarists looking to play rock guitar. The nice thing about the Rock House videos is that there are several videos in the series, and each video builds upon the previous ones.

Fender Presents: Getting Started on Electric Guitar: A Guide for Beginners: This video offers a course for beginners wanting to learn electric guitar. Fender also offers a similar video geared towards acoustic guitarists. Once you've got the basics down, there are instructional DVDs tailored for any style of music. Additionally, many famous guitarists have put out instructional videos. For example, Eric Johnson, Warren Haynes, and Mark Tremonti are among some of the famous guitarists that have released instructional videos.


I wish the Internet had been around when I was first starting to play guitar. There are a ton of resources on the Internet to help you get started playing guitar. Here are a few that I'd recommend. YouTube - YouTube is a great resource for budding guitarists. Searching for "beginner guitar lessons" on YouTube yields a lot of results, many of them good, and all of them free! I could easily spend hours watching guitar lessons on YouTube. There are also quite a few sites dedicated to providing online guitar lessons. A few notable sites include:

Workshop Live: This site is done by the people who run the National Guitar Workshop series. There are a ton of great lessons on the site. However, the site isn't free, but the lessons are worth it. You can get monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions. You can view several sample lessons before purchasing a subscription.

Guitar Instructor: This site offers many guitar lessons, including video lessons, downloadable tablature, and jam tracks. Unlike WorkshopLive, Guitar Instructor is not a subscription service; lessons are purchased individually, so you can purchase only the lessons you want.

Infinite Guitar: Like WorkshopLive, Infinite Guitar offers online video lessons on a subscription basis. Infinite Guitar currently has fewer lessons than WorkshopLive, but it's also less expensive, which makes it a good value. You can try out Infinite Guitar and get 10 free lessons.

One-on-One Instruction: Although each of the resources above will help you become a better guitar player, there's no substitute for one-on-one instruction, so I encourage you to find a good instructor in your area. You can often find guitar instructors at your local guitar store. If they don't offer lessons through the store, they can often recommend good players in the area. A good guitar teacher will be able to tailor a guitar program to your specific needs, which will likely help you progress faster. Good Luck!

Josh Evitt runs the Guitar Lifestlye blog to celebrate the guitar, educate new guitarists, and inspire other guitarists.
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