Guitar Lesson 3


I recommend that you visit the Tabledit site and download their free Player or buy the software -
each lesson will have TablEdit files with it.

A number tells you which finger to use.
O means play that string 'open' - no finger touching it.
X means try not to play that string at all.
'R' is the root note of the chord - the note with the same name as the chord.

Chords for G C and D7

Click here for a TablEdit file for these chords.

Chords for D G and A7

Click here for a TablEdit file for these chords.

Chords for A D and E7

Click here for a TablEdit file for these chords.

Strumming is the action of your right hand catching the strings in a rhythmic fashion. It's very important that you keep your wrist loose and 'floppy' while strumming.

Some players hold a plastic plectrum in the fingers; others catch the strings with their fingernails.

It's important that your guitar is kept in tune so that chords don't sound 'discordant'.

When you form a chord shape, play each string on its own as well as strumming - it should sound clearly. At first you will find some strings deadened because you catch them with the inside of a nearby finger. Make sure each finger is placed vertically JUST BEHIND the frets - where the black dots are in the graphics.

The hardest part of strumming is changing from one chord to another without missing a beat or slowing down. Practise slowly and gradually speed up. After a couple of years (or so) your strumming hand will work on its own so your brain can think about the song words!

At first you will find it easiest to strike the strings only on the way down - later you will catch them on the way up as well.

Over time you will be able to vary the pattern of the up and down strokes to form various rhythms.

Try your own counting with these chord shapes to start with. Change between the chords at some regular interval and reduce the interval. Start counting 16 beats each before a change; then count 8 beats each; then 4 beats each; then (maybe) 2 beats each.

Get comfotable with one of these patterns before you try another. Each change will set you back a step because you have to think more quickly than before. But you will get smoother, even with quick chord changes.

Try counting in 3/4 time (1-2-3, 1-2-3, etc) as a change from 4/4 time (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, etc). Or maybe try the Jack-and-Jill skipping beat of 6/8 time.

Try hitting the root bass string on Beat 1 and all strings on the other beats.

In these variations you will keep up your basic practice but will always be setting yourself a slightly higher challenge.

At some point you can look again at the Lesson 2 songs and try to play them smoothly, maybe faster, but always sticking to the chord change patterns.