If you want to learn how to play the guitar, or perhaps teach someone else – a student, your child or grandchild – you need a plan of attack. Here is a suggested plan of attack.
The Overall Objective
This may seem obvious, but an important objective of the first stage of this project is to get the student playing along with songs as quickly as possible. This is what I call the Play Along Stage
That may be your only objective, in which case you should be able to pretty quickly join the millions of others who share that goal. So cheer up! Becoming a “Play Along” guitar player is not all that difficult, especially if you restrict yourself to just two or three keys.
Specific Goals of Stage 1
1. Give the student an overview of the instrument.
2. Encourage the student with real “play along” songs right from Lesson 1.
3. Learn “essential” chords for the “Easy Keys” of G, C and D. The essential chords are I (Major), ii (minor), IV (Major), V (Major), vi (minor). For example, these chords for the key of G are G major (I), A minor (ii), C major (IV), D major (V), E minor (vi). Learning these numbers (I, ii, etc.) will teach the student how to transpose to other keys.
4. Learn to play simple melodies in these keys both by ear and from traditional music notation.
5. Learn basic strum patterns.
6. Play along with songs in Easy Keys – G, C, and D (using practice tracks of simple songs such as Happy Birthday, Amazing Grace, Hallelujah, Ode to Joy, and others.)
The secret to motivating a new guitar player is to get them playing along with songs as soon as possible. This is the primary objective of the “Play Along” Stage.