Become a Guitar Apprentice

September 2nd, 2011

At first glance, Guitar Apprentice looks an awful lot like music interactive games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but as the slogan for the software reads, “This ain’t no video game”.

Arriving this past Tuesday, August 30, Guitar Apprentice is an interactive learning program that allows beginner guitarists to learn the instrument while playing classic Rock ‘n Roll songs like “Shine”, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”. Following blockbuster results and rave reviews at this year’s Summer NAMM, Guitar Apprentice gives guitarists an entirely new approach to learning guitar. It combines the technology of video gaming and interactive player components with the use of your very own guitar, set to different skill levels.

Beginning players can now pick up their very own guitars and learn how to play, while engaging in an on-screen environment that supplies a fast, easy and fun instructional platform. The video system takes the guitar part of hit songs and breaks them into easy portions on multiple levels so that they are as painless and fun to learn as a video game.

On the lowest level, the player only plays a portion of the guitar part, while Guitar Apprentice plays the rest. The player gets to rock out with the entire song by playing only a few chords. As the player improves he moves up through the different levels playing gradually and increasing portions of the guitar part. By the time the player reaches the highest level, he is playing the entire song and ready for the stage!

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At, consumers may download the free trial song of the week or subscribe to the entire catalog. New songs are added weekly and already includes hits like “Boom,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Shine,” “You Really Got Me,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Taking Care of Business,” “Get Back,” “Hey Jude,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Independence Day,” “Please Remember Me” and “Mountain Music.” Can’t read music? The on-screen display is easy to decipher regardless of your knowledge of sheet music.

While video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band can be fun, the reality is that these simple music interactive games cannot captivate the “real thing” and toy plastic guitars will never allow you to reach your dream of being a rockstar. Meanwhile, Guitar Apprentice has that potential. The younger generations obviously enjoy games like Guitar Hero so why not transform that into an experience where you learn in a similar environment with an actual guitar?

We think it’s a genius concept and if you are looking for a refreshing way to learn guitar (while playing some of the biggest hits in the industry) you need to check out Guitar Apprentice. Get all the information at

Establishing a Practice Plan

August 28th, 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice.

We all know that nobody is born perfect. Sure, some people are blessed with natural talent, but the only way the best guitarists in the world reached that status is because they practiced their a** off. The good news is that if you love music, and you love playing the guitar, practice is fun. However, we all need to set-up a practice plan especially on those infamous days where the last thing you feel like doing is playing guitar.

Today, would like to present a few tips for establishing a reliable practice plan that will allow you to learn to play the guitar.

How frequently should I practice?

Every day. We all miss a day from time to time, but if you are really serious about mastering the guitar you need to play every…single…day. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you will be surprised just how quickly you can get into a good practice routine with the right practice plan. The good news is that even though we recommend trying to play guitar every single day the amount of time required is actually not that demanding.

Okay, How long should I play every day?

30 minutes.

Most veteran guitarists practice way more than that, but in as little as 30 minutes of distraction free practice you will be surprised how quickly you can pick up a guitar. Since playing an instrument is closely tied to muscle memory, practicing for an alert 30 minutes every single day will develop your muscle memory effectively. In fact, while you can easily practice for more than 30 minutes a day, practicing too much each day usually forces beginner guitarists to pick-up bad habits because the fatigue leads to a loss of focus.

Think about it: 30 minutes x 7 = 210 minutes of practice per week OR 3.5 hours

210 minutes x 4 = 840 minutes of practice per month OR 14 hours

At that rate, you are destine to play the guitar for a good 84 hours

Sounds like a lot, right?

How do I establish a practice plan?

Unlike the old days, where any expert would say you need to take up guitar lessons the guitar is much more DIY these days. However, that does not mean you have to do everything yourself. A few select individuals are driven enough to completely develop a practice plan on their own, but the reality is most of us could at least use a little direction.

While a great deal of free material is available on the web, we HIGHLY recommend you at least invest a little money into a self-taught guitar course. To save you some time, we rated the best online guitar courses.

What else do I need to know?

The guitar will take some time to learn. It truly is a wonderful instrument to play yet it takes some time to comprehend exactly what it’s capable of producing.

Similar to sports, it’s important to master the fundamentals before you progress too far. Once you lock down the fundamentals, the guitar suddenly becomes a lot more playable (and did we mention understandable?). If you can survive in the trenches for a year or two developing your fundamentals and progressing through the techniques the guitar will mold to you.

Master Rhythm Guitar

August 21st, 2011

Rhythm guitar is a technique and role that performs a combination of two functions:

  1. To provide all or part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with singers or other instruments
  2. To provide all or part of the harmony

As a result, rhythm guitar traditionally requires the guitarist to hold down a series of chords with the fretting hand while strumming rhythmically with the other hand. While everybody likes to play lead guitar, most bands need at least one rhythm guitarist (often more) and mastering rhythm guitar is easier than mastering lead guitar therefore allowing you to get into performing sooner. Also, if you want to sing and play guitar you will more than likely play rhythm guitar while singing.

In order to learn to play rhythm guitar you must understand these basic concepts:

  • Power Chords
  • Straight 5ths
  • Drop D Tuning
  • Drop C Tuning
  • Palm Muting
  • Traditional Barre Chords
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Power Chords

Power chords, like the name implies, provide a lot of energy for modern day music. The good news about power chords (also called “fifth chords) is they are very easy to play because the structure of the chord only requires the root of the chord and the fifth interval. Power chords are usually played on the electric guitar with distortion. They are a very popular element of rock music.

Straight 5ths

Straight 5ths represent a less common, but nonetheless useful power chord in your quest to master rhythm guitar.  Straight 5ths is essentially playing two strings on the same fret. As a result, the straight 5th provides the rhythm guitar with a more “deathly” sound.

Drop D Tuning

Some guitarists tune their E string down to D so that they can play power chords. Believe it or not but Drop D tuning has been used from Van Halen to Led Zeppelin and provides a deeper, darker sound. Thus, it’s very popular with metal bands.

Drop C Tuning

Even heavier than Drop D tuning, Drop C tuning is a notorious rhythm guitar technique for metalcore bands such as Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying. Drop C tuning requires you to not only tune the lowest string to C, but all other strings down one note as well.

Palm Muting

Palm muting is another technique used often in metal. Any song that features an endless stream of grinding, chunky rhythm notes between the chords is what you would define as palm muting. Learn more about pulling off palm muting HERE!

Traditional Barre Chords

Traditional barre chords is a type of guitar chord, where one or more fingers are used to press down multiple strings across the guitar fingerboard (like a bar pressing down the strings), enabling the guitarist to play a chord not restricted by the tones of the guitar’s open strings. Barre chords are also referred to as “moveable” chords.

Design Your Music Room

August 13th, 2011

If you have been playing guitar for a couple of months you probably discovered that learning guitar is all about routine. Learning to play guitar can be challenging, exciting, motivating, grueling and inspiring but you’ll only tap into those emotions with the correct mindset. Consequently, if you have the space (always an issue) you should try and reserve one spot in your house as the music room.


When you have a music room you have a place where you can escape reality and get lost in your own creativity. Designing a music room has several benefits, including:

  • Quiet place to study and learn
  • Room exclusively used for learning guitar
  • Makes you feel like a professional
  • Fuels inspiration because you can decorate with appropriate decor
  • Easy way to store and organize all guitar accessories
  • Great to show off to friends and family

If you’re not excited about designing a music room why bother? However, if you’re like most musicians you need a room to yourself or for fellow musicians when you want to jam. Thus, designing your music room should be a fun experience! Need a few tips? Check out some of GLC’s must have accessories, decor and tips for making your music room shine.

Design Your Music Room: Planning

Unless you’re fortunate enough to design a home from scratch you likely walked into your home “as is”. Thus, the first step is to pick a spot that will serve as your music room. A few things you’ll want to consider are square feet, location of room (upstairs vs. downstairs) and proximity to roommates and neighbors. If you like to jam loud and late you may want to reserve a music room for the basement and away from a lot of windows. Perhaps you’re inspired by the surrounding scenery? Pick the room with the best window view.

Design Your Music Room: Colors

You might not be an interior designer but most people know what works and what does not. A lot of basic rooms are painted white and most creative personalities will agree that white is bland and boring. It’s not a hospital so what color scheme do you want to rock? Perhaps you want to color code with the finish of your guitar? Maybe you’re a huge Broncos fan so orange and blue is a must. It’s your room; just make sure you spend a little time considering the color scheme.

Design Your Music Room: Decor

Once the room is painted and floored (we have a slight preference for wood over carpet) it’s time to bring your music room to life with some awesome decor. You love music so decor should be easy! What musicians inspire you the most? Bands? Perhaps you want to hang a poster or two with an inspirational quote? Old juke box for looks? Photo of your girl? Celebrity crush? The options are endless just make it you.

Design Your Music Room: Accessories

Regardless of the color scheme and decor, your music room will never be a “music room” until it has instruments. Obviously, you want a place to put your guitar or guitars (likely the corner) and will need some storage place to organize all guitar accessories. Additionally, you’ll need correct output for your amp and space for any other musical equipment in case you conduct a lot of jam sessions. It never hurts to have a computer and equipping the room with some speakers is a must for listening to music.

Design Your Music Room: Rules

The music room is yours after all so be sure to lay down the groundwork. If you have any pets it may be a good idea to keep the door shut at all times. Also, most musicians want a music room to be an escape so no outside distractions (phones, etc). You may want to inform roommates that when the door is shut you do not wish to be disturbed (unless, of course, the house is on fire).

7 Reasons Why You Need to Check Out

August 2nd, 2011

In the past, GLC has examined how the abundance of free information on the World Wide Web can transform any disciplined, self-motivated individual into the next guitar legend. Furthermore, GLC has reviewed some of the top self-taught guitar courses for further guidance. During our quest to find the best guitar courses we have also run into some other fantastic guitar websites as well as some really poorly design sites with misleading information and/or overpriced lessons.

As a result, we wanted to spend today examining a very good website — In fact, we have 7 reasons why you need to check out the website.

Authentic Lessons

A lot of websites promote easy guitar lessons yet the quality is not always the same. Thanks to a well educated, diverse staff — Rhythm Strummer lessons are clear, effective, detailed and easy to understand. Most importantly, the versions of the songs they are teaching are remarkably accurate which any guitarist surfing the Web can attest — that’s not always the case.

Diverse Lesson Selection

Rhythm Strummer features acoustic guitar lessons and techniques in several different genres. Lessons are divided into two categories: Easy Guitar Lessons and Easy Guitar Techniques. Combined the two categories offer hundreds of lessons and the catalog is constantly growing!

Fair Pricing

Yes, does charge a monthly fee (unless you stick with the limited free lessons). An individual guitar lesson on Rhythm Strummer costs $4.99, while an Easy Guitar Technique will cost you $14.99. Of course, you can also invest in the full membership (best deal, $24.99) featuring Unlimited Viewings per Video, 30 Days of Full Access to Technique Library, 3 Song Lessons for 30 Days and Access to Song Lesson Specials. also supports the arts by paying the musicians whom are featured on the website.

Learn Guitar…and Sing Along

Unlike most guitar lessons, also teaches viewers how to sing along while they play a song. You might not want to be the next Mick Jagger yet learning to sing and play guitar at the same time is an important asset. A lot of bands need backup singers to harmonize, etc.

Fantastic Teachers

The staff at Rhythm Strummer features professional teachers and performers, each with a unique personality. Your average lesson on YouTube traditionally fails in this department as the instructors lack spunk, do not communicate certain concepts effectively, etc. However, the instructors at are all exceptional at what they do — teaching the guitar.

Cool Features

Rhythm Strummer offers some unique guitar lesson features like innovative Strum Patterns, Chord Charts and Chord Diagrams. Learn more about these features HERE!

Free Stuff

In addition to lessons and techniques that cost money, offers further value by providing a limited catalog of Easy Guitar Songs, Free Techniques and Song Promo Options.

Interested? Learn more about the site at

Master Arpeggios

July 28th, 2011

The term arpeggio (ar-peg-ee-oh) may look and sound like a foreign language yet arpeggios actually belong to one, universal language — music. Simply put, arpeggios are a reason that regardless of race, color, social class, etc we all have a common connection with music. Consequently, understanding arpeggios (and incorporating them into your learning experience) will make you that much better of a guitarist.

Arpeggios represent a challenge for some beginner guitarists. Fortunately, the guitar skill is very easy to understand, discover in popular music and therefore implement into your own practice routine. If you do struggle with arpeggios at first do not get frustrated. Stick with the basics outlined (below) and you’ll improve over time.

Before you can master arpeggios you must first understand arpeggios.

Cue the Music Theory:

Arpeggios are what some experts define as “broken down” chords. In order to understand a “broken down” chord you first must have a solid background with not only chords but chord structure. If you are clueless about the four basic triads of chord construction you need to take a step back and work on your theory before attempting arpeggios.

When you play an arpeggio you are NOT strumming the chord. Rather, you are playing every single note in a specific chord SEPERATELY. Make sense?

Example: C Major Chord is composed of the notes C, E, G (or first, third and fifth note of the major scale). Instead of playing C, E, G together for the chord you play each note individually in a sequence.

The four major triads are:

  • Major (1st, 3rd, 5th)
  • Minor (1st, b3, 5th)
  • Augmented (1st, 3rd, #5)
  • Diminished (1st, b3, b5)
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If you have a decent understanding of scales, chords and triads then you know that triads are the notes that traditionally “stand out” in a given scale. Once you know the scale and you know the notes that compose a triad of that scale you will finally become aware of just how powerful arpeggios can impact a song.

If you want to use the above C Major example then you know that the notes C, E, G create the triad. With that knowledge you can literally create hundreds of different patterns utilizing only those three notes. Pretty cool, eh?

One of the first steps to mastering arpeggios is really getting down the music theory. If you have done your homework, you know that the Major scale produces a happy vibe while the Minor Scale is sad. What does the Augmented scale produce? If you said something like “exotic” you’re on the right track.

Arpeggios add a whole new arsenal of options to your guitar playing. Do your homework on music theory, learn about finding the different scales on the guitar neck and begin working on those arpeggios!

Essential Guitar Accessories

July 22nd, 2011

In order to play guitar you need a guitar. Simple enough, eh?

While learning to play guitar is as easy as that most guitarists learn the instrument more effectively by incorporating many of the wonderful guitar tools and accessories available. Some of the guitar accessories (below) are simple little tools like picks and guitar straps while others are more advanced like capos & slides and electronic tuners. Regardless, they’re all essential guitar accessories for learning guitar.

Guitar Case/Bag

If you just purchased a guitar you probably do not plan on playing any live shows for awhile, right? Consequently, why do you need a guitar case/gig bag?

Guitar cases and gig bags help protect the instrument and maintain peak performance. Even if you’re not ready to play live, you may take your guitar over to a friends or on the road while you travel. If you’re really focused on keeping your guitar in mint condition you can even store your guitar in the gig bag when not in use. Regardless, owning a guitar case/bag not only makes you look like a legitimate guitarist but helps increase the longevity of the instrument.

Guitar Picks

Most beginner guitarists will learn to play the instrument with a guitar pick. As a result, you can never have enough picks. Unfortunately, guitar picks are easy to misplace or lose so make sure you have a large assortment available.

The cool thing about guitar picks is that they are sold with all kinds of decorative art and make your guitar just that more personable.

Extra Guitar String

Always carry extra guitar string because you never know when a string might snap. It’s especially important once you begin playing shows. Until then, get in the habit of carrying extra guitar string. Its simple advice but important.

Guitar Strap

When you first learn the guitar playing while sitting down will probably feel more comfortable. Nothing is wrong with this approach but at some point you will probably want to play guitar standing up (think about it, when was the last time you saw a guitarist playing live while sitting down). Consequently, it’s not a bad idea to mix up your practice routine by playing both sitting down and standing up.

In order to play guitar standing up you’ll need a guitar strap. The good news is that guitar straps are very affordable and some really sweet guitar straps exist with unique graphic art or color design.

Guitar Wood Polish (and other cleaning tools)

It’s important to regard your instrument as something you love (like a family member, friend). Therefore, never neglect your guitar! Your guitar needs some extra attention just like anything else. As a result, a lot of guitar cleaning products are available including guitar polish that you’ll need every once and awhile to shine up the body.

Invest in a few guitar cleaning products and maintain a regular schedule in order to increase the longevity of your guitar.


It’s all about the beat.

You may not always have access to a good drummer, but you do have access to a metronome. In fact, you can grab a fantastic metronome for free online. Metronomes maintain a steady beat and assist you while you play the guitar. Do not forget to use a metronome.

Electronic Guitar Tuner

While several different ways exist to tune the guitar by far the easiest (and one of the most popular) is to tune via an electronic guitar tuner. Electronic guitar tuners are easy to use and produce an accurate result. They’ll cost a little money but be sure to invest in one. Also, once you start playing shows always bring a couple extra batteries because you never know when the tuner might lose battery power.

Master Heavy Metal Guitar

July 13th, 2011

If you’re going to play guitar you might as well play loud, right?

Mastering heavy metal guitar is a highly admirable trait especially if you are a younger guiartist. Heavy metal is not the most strict genre in terms of having a lot of rules, but you need to make sure it’s loud and you need to play it fast. Consequently, heavy metal guitar is very demanding because the guitarist is often moving at a very quick rate.

Do you dream of mastering heavy metal guitar?

Let’s start with a little background. Heavy metal is a sub-genre of rock music. Metal first became big in the late-1960s and early 70s largely in the United Kingdom and United States. Heavy metal has roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock but is characteristically thicker sonically. The genre is also symmonious with amplified distortion, emphatic beats and a guitartist’s paradise — extended guitar solos.

Legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple are all associated with metal though the genre really came into its own when Judas Priest dropped a lot of the blues influence and made metal what it is today. Other pioneers in metal music include Motorhead and Iron Maiden.

Today, heavy metal is generally divided into two categories — the more popular, commercial-friendly metal (e.g. Metallica) and the more extreme/aggressive underground scene (Mastadon, Rammstein & Lamb of God). Unlike other genres, “metalheads” are usually pretty picky about what is classified as metal and what does not deserve to be associated with the genre. This could be related to the large number of heavy metal side-genres including thrash metal, death metal, black metal, nu metal, metalcore, extreme metal and hardcore punk.

The keys to becoming a heavy metal guitar master include:

  • Proper Tuning
  • Powerchords
  • Palm Muting
  • Hard Hitting Riffs
  • Fast Solos

Heavy metal music involves a lot of distortion and fast fingering making the genre a difficult one for beginners. If you just started picking up the guitar it’s important to begin with some basics (even if you’re ultimate goal is to play metal) because the genre is not terribly easy to master.

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When you play heavy metal you need the proper tuning. Traditional tuning for heavy metal guitar include:

  • Drop C
  • Drop B
  • Normal tuning down a tone

NOTE: Tuning with an electronic tuner is recommended because these tuning styles are difficult to get by “ear”.

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Heavy metal sounds the best with a TON of distortion. Therefore, it’s important to have a powerful amp because cheaper amplifers will probably not provide enough “juice” to really capture the meaty and raw sound of metal music.

The general formula for heavy metal features the use of heavy powerchords (traditionally during the verse, bridge and chorus) with a lot of open soloing. When you’re not soloing you’re probably playing powerchords. The good thing about powerchords is that they are easy to play. However, they will not get the effect you need unless you have a quality amp with lots of distortion.

Palm muting is a very important technique to learn if you want to master heavy metal guitar. In order to palm mute you must place your palm near the bridge. “Light palm muting” is when you slightly touch the stings while “Heavy palm muting” is, you guessed it, with much more pressure.

The vast majority of guitarists who want to play heavy metal do so because they are drawn to the intense solos of the genre. Can you really blame them? In order to do fast solos you obviously need fast fingers. You will develop speed picking and apreggios over years of practice. Be patient!

Along with all of the above tools, hammer-ons and pull-offs are both used heavily in heavy metal. The more practice with these two techniques the stronger your heavy metal skills.

If you are a beginner who loves heavy metal do not get frustrated. You will master heavy metal guitar before long. Like a lot of genres, heavy metal takes some time to learn, it’s heavily (no pun intended) recommended that you learn guitar basics first and invest in the proper equipment to really get that sound you need. It will not happen overnight but the avenue to becoming the next heavy metal guitar legend is only a few years of practice away!

100 Brilliant Guitar Riffs

July 6th, 2011

They are great because they’re brilliant.

The 100 Guitar Riffs (below) are brilliant for a reason. No one was able to quite capture the same guitar riff before them, they are still heavily intimiated to this day and ultimately they make the guitar what it is today.

If you love classic rock than chances are that several of your favorite guitar riffs fall under the list below. We love music because we love the instrument we play. It’s that simple.

Check out our 100 favorite guitar riffs below and be sure to add your own in the comments section below…

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  1. Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
  2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
  3. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
  4. Layla – Derek And The Dominos
  5. Oh Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  6. Iron Man – Black Sabbath
  7. Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
  8. Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin
  9. You Really Got Me – The Kinks
  10. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
  11. Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix Experienc
  12. Day Tripper – The Beatles
  13. Walk This Way – Aerosmith
  14. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
  15. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
  16. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  17. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  18. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  19. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
  20. Back In Black – AC/DC
  21. Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  22. Frankenstein – Edgar Winter
  23. Aqualung – Jethro Tull
  24. Bad To The Bone – George Thorogood & Destroyers
  25. Brown Sugar – Rolling Stones
  26. Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
  27. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits
  28. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Rolling Stones
  29. American Woman – Guess Who
  30. Wild Thing – The Troggs
  31. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  32. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
  33. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
  34. Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
  35. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
  36. Breaking The Law – Judas Priest
  37. Runnin’ With The Devil – Van Halen
  38. Enter Sandman – Metallica
  39. The Hellion/Electric Eye – Judas Priest
  40. Outshined – Soundgarden
  41. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
  42. Hells Bells – AC/DC
  43. La Grange – ZZ Top
  44. Master Of Puppets – Metallica
  45. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
  46. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
  47. Rusty Cage – Soundgarden
  48. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Van Halen
  49. Bring It On Home – Led Zeppelin
  50. Man On The Silver Mountain – Rainbow
  51. Panama – Van Halen
  52. Maybellene – Chuck Berry
  53. N.I.B. – Black Sabbath
  54. Pinball Wizard – The Who
  55. China Grove – The Doobie Brothers
  56. Stranglehold – Ted Nugent
  57. Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
  58. Wipeout – The Surfaris
  59. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
  60. Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  61. Five Minutes Alone – Pantera
  62. All Day And All Of The Night – The Kinks
  63. Up Around The Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  64. Bulls On Parade – Rage Against The Machine
  65. Life In The Fast Lane – The Eagles
  66. Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
  67. Walk – Pantera
  68. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
  69. I’m Broken – Pantera
  70. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix Experience
  71. Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  72. Working Man – Rush
  73. Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz
  74. Pride And Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan
  75. The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy
  76. Whipping Post – Allman Brothers Band
  77. Aenima – Tool
  78. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  79. School Day – Chuck Berry
  80. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  81. Honey Don’t – Carl Perkins
  82. Moby Dick – Led Zeppelin
  83. Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
  84. Wake Up Little Susie – Everly Brothers
  85. Taxman – The Beatles
  86. The Ocean – Led Zeppelin
  87. Lola – The Kinks
  88. Hangar 18 – Megadeth
  89. Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
  90. Thunderstruck – AC/DC
  91. Politician – Cream
  92. The Trooper – Iron Maiden
  93. I Feel Fine – The Beatles
  94. Spirit Of Radio – Rush
  95. Hallowed Be Thy Name – Iron Maiden
  96. Man On A Mission – Van Halen
  97. Fear Of The Dark – Iron Maiden
  98. Raining Blood – Slayer
  99. Scuttle Buttin – Stevie Ray Vaughan
  100. Hysteria – Muse

Essential Guitar Chords for Beginners

June 29th, 2011

Technically, anyone can “play” the guitar. However, you cannot really play a song until you learn some chords. Thankfully, a TON of popular songs only require a few basic chords and no it’s not just limited to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. In fact, once you journey three or four months deep into learning the guitar you will find that a vast majority of songs only require a few common chords.

Consequently, if you learn the essential guitar chords for beginners you will gain immediate access to a plethora of worthwhile tunes. Master the five beginner chords below and you’re well on your way to learning the guitar. Chords like C, D, & E Major are very important because once you know how to play the G Chord in “Silent Night” you also know how to play the G Chord on every other song that features it. Pretty cool, eh?

ABOUT THE CHORDS: All of the chords below are major chords and commonly found in contemporary music. In order to learn more about chords, namely what separates a major chord from a minor chord you should reference this beginner’s guide to scales.

The A Major Chord

The A major (often referred to as an “A chord”, and sometimes written as “Amaj”) might logically come across as the first chord you should learn because of its position in the alphabet. Unfortunately, the A major chord is a little tricky for beginners because all three fingers need to fit on the second fret (tab below). It’s especially difficult for guitarists with larger fingers.

Whenever you strum a guitar chord you need to make sure that not only all of the strings that are fretted ring clearly but also the open strings. For beginners, it’s a notorious mistake to fret a chord correctly but have one of your fingers bumping into the higher or lower open string therefore altering the correct sound of the chord. Successfully playing chords (as well as shifting between chords during a song) will become easier over time. Practice, practice, practice!

Eight Guitar Chords You Need to Learn Now!

The C Major Chord

Despite the A Major chord taking precedence in the alphabet (as well as this article); the C chord is actually the first chord most beginner guitarists learn. We agree with this approach.

The fingering of the C Major is really straightforward and a much easier position when compared to the A chord. Once again, make sure your first finger is curled correctly or you will likely run into issues with your open strings not ringing properly.

Eight Guitar Chords You Need to Learn Now!

The D Major Chord

Welcome to the D major chord, another very common beginner guitar chord en route to mastering the guitar.

The D major, like most of the chords in this lesson, are pretty easy to finger and only add to their popularity. However, that is not to say that chords like D major are only limited to beginner songs. In fact, you would be surprised to learn how many of your favorite songs feature the D major (or any of the chords listen in this section).

When you play the D chord pay special attention to the third finger (fretting the second string), because a lot of beginners do not properly curl their finger and thus the string lacks tone when it rings. DO NOT strum the fifth and sixth strings.

Eight Guitar Chords You Need to Learn Now!

The E Major Chord

The popular E major chord is found in a lot of music. When you play the chord pay special attention to the first finger (third string). Unlike the D major chord, you strum all six strings, including the open first, second and sixth strings.

The E chord is unique because two correct ways exist to actually play the chord. For certain songs, the guitarist will find it easier to reverse their second and third fingers. Practice playing the chord both ways.

Eight Guitar Chords You Need to Learn Now!

The G Major Chord

When you play the G major chord focus on the curling of the first finger. Like the E major chord you’re going to need to strum all six strings. Also, the G chord is another example of where a subtle alternate hand positioning makes sense in particular cases. Can you guess the alternate positioning?

No more excuses! You now have access to five essential guitar chords for beginners. Master these simple chords and you will know how to play literally thousands of songs!

Eight Guitar Chords You Need to Learn Now!

What other chords would you define as essential for beginners?

Thanks to for the visuals.