10 Things Every Beginning Guitarist Needs to Know

The early days of playing guitar can be difficult and frustrating, but learning the basics of guitar is a whole lot easier now, thanks to a series of programs and lessons from Fret Zealot. For the content offered, Fret Zealot is one of the best platforms available for learning guitar with a powerful optional accessory.

The interactive virtual music courses offer beginning guitarists step-by-step, easy-to-follow guides for learning the basics of guitar playing, presented in short, easily digested lessons and courses that teach everything a novice guitar player needs to know, including how to play real songs.

But Fret Zealot isn't just for beginners. Once you've mastered the basics, nearly half of the 100+ courses and 3,500 lessons are aimed at different levels of skills, including scales, music theory and more. Learn your favorite songs note-for-note, or take a deep dive into the stylings of your favorite guitarists with the various lesson plans available via a Fret Zealot subscription. The platform includes optional colored LED lights placed on the fingerboard to show where your fingers go, so even a complete beginner can start learning right away.

Read on to find out the 10 basics every beginning guitarist can learn from Fret Zealot, and take a look at the courses online for more information. Try the 30 Day Beginner Challenge to get everything you need in 30 days with one lesson per day!

1. How to Hold the Guitar

As basic as it may sound, learning to hold the instrument the proper way is an important step in learning to play guitar.

2. How to Hold the Pick

It's just as important for a novice guitarist to learn to hold the pick properly, and it will help a beginning player to develop good habits early on, which will make learning easier all along the way.

3. How to Tune the Guitar

Obviously, learning to tune the guitar is one of the most crucial lessons a developing player can learn. It doesn't matter how well you can play if you're not in tune!

4. Chord Shapes

Learning basic open chord shapes is the quickest route to begin playing actual songs. With Fret Zealot, you can learn to play a wide array of popular songs just by using some very basic, easy-to-learn chord shapes. And later on, you'll learn how to move those shapes up and down the neck, which opens up a whole new world of musical possibilities.

5. Timing

Timing is another extremely important aspect of learning to play guitar, and it's one that a lot of entry-level players tend to overlook. Fret Zealot's beginner courses will not only teach you the basics of timing, they'll also show you how to practice along with a drum machine, which is essential for learning how to maintain consistent time when you're playing a song.

6. Strumming Patterns

Learning various strumming patterns is one way to unlock whole new musical styles in your playing. Fret Zealot's courses teach you how to take everything you've learned with the left hand in relation to the neck, and integrate it with the right hand, which controls how you accent various beats. Every musical style has its own distinct strumming patterns, so learning the basics of strumming really opens up new possibilities for a beginning guitarist.

7. The Notes on the Guitar Neck

Chords are the building blocks of songs, but most people who are trying to learn guitar are also interested in playing solos. Fret Zealot's optional LED-lighted system makes learning the notes on the neck of the guitar easier than it's ever been. There are 12 notes in music, and they simply repeat over and over in various octaves and different combinations. Learn the notes on the neck, and you can learn to play any song you want to!

8. Reading Guitar Tablature

It's not necessary to learn to read music in order to learn guitar. Many guitarists — even some advanced players — rely instead on tablature, which is a form of musical shorthand that draws out the music as it appears on the fingerboard of the guitar. Learning to read guitar tablature will empower a novice player to start learning songs note-for-note without having to sound them out by ear… and Fret Zealot offers a free library of over 85,000 song tabs!

9. The Minor Pentatonic Scale

Almost every beginning guitarist who's ever picked up the instrument learns the minor pentatonic scale before going on to any other form of lead soloing. The 5-note scale is essentially an abbreviated form of the minor scale with some of the notes removed, and it's the basic building block of an enormous number of basic and advanced licks, from rock and blues to more. Learning the minor pentatonic scale will open up the fingerboard and a world of musical options. The optional Fret Zealot LED system can display any scale in any key instantly.

10. Finger Exercises

Once a novice guitar player has learned the chord shapes, notes on the neck, and basic scales, it's important that they practice a variety of finger exercises. These are designed to get your fingers moving in the right patterns, as well as improve your dexterity, speed and accuracy. Fret Zealot offers a wide array of finger exercises as part of what it calls the "Guitar Gym," and the lessons will help you whip your playing into shape.

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