The GuitarLessons is an awesome resource for novices to learn the guitar and best of all it won’t cost you a penny. The site founder is Nate Savage, a popular guitar teacher from Canada and he has a huge following on YouTube.
The site works as a blog but most lessons have a corresponding Youtube video embedded in the articles. The GuitarLessons is a part of Guitareo, a membership site that offers premium lessons from Nate and has courses on everything from lead guitar to Blues and Rock.
As a free resource, it contains a lot of awesome information for someone walking their first steps into playing the guitar and it’s a great way to see if Nate’s Savage teaching style is suitable for you.
The beginner quick course at GuitarLessons will guide you in taking your first steps in learning the guitar. In 12 lessons, Nate aims to give you the confidence to start playing easy songs. The skills gained in this course will help you advance through the rest of the curriculum on the site.
Things you will learn in the beginner course at GuitarLessons.
- Learn how to play guitar
- How to hold the guitar
- Finger, frets, and strings
- The parts of the guitar
- String names
- How to tune your guitar
- How to strum the guitar
- Learning guitar chords
- Playing your first song
For players with already some experience, you can move on to the lead guitar or blues guitar course, although the beginner’s section can still provide some value as a refresher for those that haven’t played in a while.
On GuitarLessons, you have a whole section dedicated to rhythm guitar. This is very interesting since a lot of other sites give a lot of attention to lead guitar and shred techniques.
In this section, Nate goes over fundamental things that every novice guitarist should be aware of such as:
- Playing power chords
- Common chord progressions
- Bar Chords
- Developing time and feel
- Dynamic Strumming
It’s a good idea to go through the lessons in the order right order, mainly due to every concept from one lesson connects to the next one so this way, you will avoid gaps in your knowledge.
As tempting as it may sound to jump straight into the lead guitar quick start guide if you already know some chords we recommend you go through the rhythm guitar part of the course and take it seriously. The truth is, 90% of the time, guitarists are hired for their rhythm skills and not because of their soloing abilities.
The campfire quick guide was designed to teach you how to strum your favorite songs around the campfire. In a nutshell, it is similar to the rhythm guitar section of the site but really focuses on getting you up and running fast.
This series was developed specifically for players that want to learn popular songs as fast as possible to play for friends, family, and celebrations such as Christmas and Easter.
The things you will learn in this course will help you to develop skills that will be useful throughout your guitar playing life and it will give you a great foundation to start jamming in a band or accompanying a singer in a duo setting.
After you watched Rhythm Guitar and the Beginner’s Quick Start guide, you are ready to learn how to play lead guitar. In this course, you will learn a lot of useful techniques such as:
- Picking techniques
- The major pentatonic
- The minor pentatonic
- Hammer-ons and pull-offs
Next, the logical progression is to learn how to play guitar solos, this is your chance to start applying this new-found knowledge in real playing scenarios.
An important concept in playing solos is phrasing, which basically means connecting several licks together to compose a meaningful solo. The key to playing lead guitar is to structure your solos similar to how you would when speaking to someone.
Imagine that for a second, when we speak to people, we employ things such as pauses and voice inflections to help us build cohesive sentences. Therefore phrasing is what guitarists use to build cohesive solos, think of Slash’s solo on ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’, a good guitar solo should be played as we speak, and if people can sing it, you are on your way to creating timeless, memorable solos.
The first step in becoming a competent guitar player starts at developing a solid understanding of the Blues.
Because a solid understanding of the Blues idiom will give you the right foundation to play any modern music styles such as Jazz, R&B, Soul, Funk, and all respective sub-genres.
Nate seems very knowledgeable around the Blues and he can help players that are struggling to understand fundamental concepts such as playing shuffle grooves, dominant substitutions and chord tone soloing.
Concepts and techniques you will learn in the Blues Guitar Quick Start Guide.
- Dominant 7th Chords
- The 12-bar Blues progression
- Turnaround Blues licks
- The Blues guitar scale
- Blues phrasing and expression
As with many things in life, persistence, dedication and a passion for what you are doing are fundamental in projecting a successful journey. Learning how to play the Blues, is no different, you need to put the hours so you can achieve your goals.
To get the best out of your time, you need to practice smart and set small attainable goals first, this will avoid getting frustrated down the line and will motivate you to keep improving.
If you really aim to take your Blues playing to the next level, a good goal would be to learn all the blues scales shapes all over the neck and dissect several Blues tunes learn to play them inside-out.
For maximizing your time make sure you choose songs that have different feels, timing, and structure so you can start to build a solid vocabulary on the Blues idiom.
The nightmare of many beginner guitarists, music theory is a necessary evil and GuitarLessons has a whole section of their site dedicated to it.
Compared to other instrumentalists, guitarists need to know only the essentials to be able to play efficiently, in contrast to piano players, they need to have solid know-how of music theory to progress further as a musician.
As guitarists, we are lucky because we have so many tools that can help us to figure out theoretical concepts but having a solid understanding of music theory will prove invaluable in your path and will increase your overall musicianship.
The music theory section in GuitarLessons works sequentially and you should make sure you understand every concept presented in the current lesson you are watching before moving on to the next.
What are you expected to learn about music theory on GuitarLessons.com?
- The major scale
- How to recognize intervals
- How key signatures work
- How to read guitar rhythms
- The CAGED system
- How major chords are made
Besides having a ton of experience recording and playing live, Nate’s Savage music theory lessons cut down to the chase and were designed specifically with the guitar player in mind.
Although a bit incomplete and lacks a decent song library, GuitarLessons is a great place for beginner guitarists to pick up the guitar and learn enough to start playing songs, riffs and easy solos.
The fact that is completely free makes it a great resource to read and it’s also a way to try out Nate’s Savage teaching style and see if it’s suitable for you. If you like his teaching style, you can check his premium course at Guitareo which we recommend.
So what are you waiting for?
Grab your guitar and let’s start learning some tips, tricks and techniques with the great Nate Savage, and don’t forget to check him out on YouTube.