Learn Guitar | 6 Sessions

Welcome to the (pandemic created) “learn to play guitar” sessions. Learn to play guitar with these six sessions via video (see below). This FREE resource to get people going on guitar, but if you are interested in connecting for lessons — feel free to email me!

Session 1

Session Notes:

[Before we begin] Tune with the tuning video I shared first, before each lesson! We’ll sound better together!

  1. POSTURE – Keep your body relaxed, bring the guitar to you, keep thumb behind with a little gap (avoid holding it like a baseball bat)
  2. Em chord
  3. Asus2 chord
  4. Strumming Pattern – DOWN… DOWN UP DOWN… DOWN UP  (repeat over and over)
  5. LIFE LESSON – Forgive yourself for the MISTAKES you’ve made. Learn from them and move forward!
  6. Your fingers will hurt more and more…until your fingers build “calluses” — then it will hurt less and less the more you play! (kinda odd, huh?!)
  7. PRACTICE – Pick it up for 5 minutes, then come back in 30 minutes or 1 hour…all day long. If you don’t have all day to keep coming back to it, practice for longer stretches. QUALITY of practice always trumps QUANTITY of practice (but they both are related to improvement…just focus on quality).

You can do this! Keep it up! See you next week!!!


Session 1 Notes

  • Overview
  • Guitar
  • Posture
  • Practicing
  • Tuning
  • Chords (Em, Am, G)
  • Anchor Finger
  • Fingers will hurt : )
  • Guitar Care: Tune and Temperature

Chords used in this session:

While this is a true “A” chord, we will start with an easier version of this chord called an A2 chord…
Much easier for now! Notice the X on the low E string…this means you will skip playing this string when you play this chord.

PS – Quick video on picks to use with guitar here: https://youtu.be/AgAQMNi5498

Beginners like to use thin to medium picks. More advanced players who like more control and less of the “flappy” sound on the strings from the pick like Heavy to Extra Heavy. But the thicker picks will also give you a louder and more defined tone (which you may or may not like). Some like a mellow tone (more medium thickness). But you can also change the tone by how hard/light you are hitting the strings as well (it’s a matter of control as well as pick thickness). Hope this helps!

Thin – . 40-. 60 mm or less.
Medium – . 60-. 80 mm.
Heavy – . 80-1.20 mm.
Extra Heavy – 1.20 mm+

Session 2

Session Notes:

Learn to Play Guitar Online with Bryan Nelson – Session 2

1 – Make sure you go and watch Session 1 before you do Session 2!
2 – We learned the A major chord
3 – We learned the E major chord
4 – We learned how to slide those chords up to the 6/7th fret and 8/9th fret
5 – We learned about the music/life lesson of being faithful in the small things, because they lead to being entrusted with big things later. Small things are practicing 5 minutes every hour during quarantine every day (or having quality practice in the “not so easy/fun stuff now”)…later on you’ll play full songs! And you are close…only one session away!
6 – We learned about picking lead lines with 8th notes (playing two notes on the same string with an UP/DOWN picking pattern)…last week we did just single picking on each string (UP on one string, then DOWN on the next string).

Work on this for this week — and then start on Session 3 next week!

Session 2 Notes

(use same notes as Session 1 above)

Session 3

Session 2 Notes:

Be sure you learn Session 1 and 2 before you begin here with Session 3.

In this session, we…

  1. Learned the modern chords for G, C2 and D using an “anchor finger” (ring finger) on the 5th string 3rd fret.
  2. Learned that there are ‘standard chords’ for G, C…but we aren’t going to learn those just yet, because the modern version chords with your “anchor finger” will help out right now. Plus, you want to be cool : )
  3. Learned the “skipping single note” exercise. Planting your index finger on the 1st string anywhere (I choose the 7th fret in the video) and skipping your pattern with your fingers — for example, 1 – 2 – 1 – 3 – 1 – 4 – 1…then
  4. move on to the next string. This pattern will help your fingers control more independently as we learn the pentatonic scale next week. I know, scary word. It just means “five” notes (penta means five, tonic means sound/note).
  5. Life/Music lesson this week — it’s important to “hold on to instruction; don’t let go…guard it, for it is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13)…it’s important when things get hard and difficult…keep listening to wise people around you who are giving good instruction…it will serve you well in life. So when you are tired of life and you think you know better to go down your own path — remember to “hold on to instruction.”

Session 3 Notes

  • Overview of Sessions 1 & 2
  • Em and Asus2 (same as A2)
  • Using “anchor fingers” for G, C, D chords (notice the yellow note that your ring finger will hold down as you switch between each of these chords)

Session 4

Session Notes:

Here are Session #4 notes! I’ve also included all the chords we’ve learned so far AND some information about “the capo” that will cover next session.

Some of you were asking about guitar capos. A “capo” is a movable bar attached to the fingerboard of a fretted instrument to uniformly raise the pitch of all the strings. We will talk about next week in Session #5...then USE in Session #6. It’s important that you get a capo that will fit your guitar. Some capos fit only certain types of guitars.

Chords learned in Session 4:

Session 4 Notes:

Here’s probably one of my favorite chord books — because it’s very clear on which finger goes where and where some notes are “optional” to form certain chords! https://amzn.to/2St8z8I

The chords from a chord chart from the song Revelation Song

How the chords look with the lyrics…

This is how a lead sheet would look like with this song…

Session 5

Session 5 Notes

Here is the E minor pentatonic scale we will learn.

Notice that you will not play the lowest E string for this exercise.

E minor pentatonic scale

Here is a video to play along with for the 12 Bar Blues in E.
Use the E pentatonic scale over this to practice…

Session 6

Session 6 Notes

Keep going!

There are so many more fun things to learn. Harmonics. Slide guitar. bend notes. Hammer on pull off technique. Sweep picking. Jazz chords. Travis picking. And again, if you are wanting a few personal guitar sessions — email me!