Welcome to this first guitar lesson for beginners. We’ll start by finger-picking.
We’ll learn the beginning of a song: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. Your eyes must be wide open after I’ve said that but don’t worry, it’s just the beginning of the song and it’s really easy to learn.
Here‘s a tablature to help you.
Before you start, you need to check two things. The first is your position, how you are sitting. You must stay relaxed but it’s also very important to be sitting up straight.
The second is your tuning. For this song, we use standard tuning, and if you don’t remember what it is, it’s EADGBE, the first E being the thickest string on your instrument.
2. A little presentation…
Once you’ve checked everything is okay, let me show you what you’re going to do. You will only use your first hand for this exercise: your right hand if you’re right-handed, or your left hand if you’re left-handed.
When you just start playing the guitar, you’ll notice that your hand tends to be very stiff. It’s perfectly normal. Your fingers will probably be far from the strings. It’s better to have them really really close, if not on the strings.
For this song, we want to let resonate the notes we’re playing, so we will not have our fingers on the strings but close to them.
3. Let’s begin!
The first note you’ll be playing for this song is E, and it’s the lowest sound you can produce with that kind of tuning. It’s played on the sixth string and with the thumb.
One thing to remember: in most cases, we play the last three strings of the guitar with the thumb. There are exceptions but they’ll come at a more advanced level.
At the beginning, when you’ll hit the E string with your thumb, it’ll probably sound very bad. That’s okay, you’ll learn how to calibrate with experience.
The second note you’ll hit is G and played on the third string of your guitar. It’s done with your first finger. Your first exercise is to play these two notes repeatedly and to try to keep the same tempo.
Remember: speed is not important for this first guitar lesson but tempo is.
4. Second exercise.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to add the third note, B, which is done with the middle finger on the second string. Instead of just going downward, we’ll be going upward as well. You’ll alternate regularly: downward – upward – downward – upward – etc.
Again, try to keep the same pace.
5. Third exercise.
Last exercise for this lesson: we’re gonna add the fourth note, E, which is done with your ring finger on the first string. The idea here is to repeat the same process as the previous exercise but with your four fingers.
Keep doing it until it becomes very fluid. You can even speed up if you want to.
It should resemble this: