The First Step

Tuning Your Guitar

First and most obviously, you need to have a guitar to play. If you are playing an electric guitar, make sure it is plugged into an amplifier. If you’re using an acoustic, then you don’t need to set anything up. Make sure the guitar is properly tuned. The standard tuning for a six string guitar is EADGBE. The App I use is called "Fender Tune," it is free and very useful.

Guitar Neck

The guitar makes different noises in many different ways. The most basic way is is press down on a string on the neck. The closer you press to the Head the lower the note will sound. The closer to the Body the higher note. The frets work opposite what you'd think. Towards the head is called lower, and towards the body is higher. On the picture, the leftmost point is the closest to the body. The rightmost point is called the head or headstock.


A standard guitar has 6 strings. They are in the opposite order that you'd think they're in. The thinnest string is called the first string. The thickest string is called the sixth string. The pink line is First string. Red is Second, Cyan is Third, Blue is Fourth, Yellow is Fifth, Purple is Sixth

Finger 1 - Pointer, Finger 2 - Middle Finger 3 - Ring Finger 4 - Pinky | When you see a dot on the fingering chart with a number, put the corresponding finger on the fretboard.

A chord is made by pressing a set of strings down on the neck. The chord we're going to learn is the Em chord. For the Em chord you only need to use to fingers. You can use either your pointer and middle, or middle and ring finger. For the Em chord, you need to put one finger on the Fourth and Fifth strings (Blue and Yellow) The 1 means your pointer, and the 2 means your middle.

Finger Strength

Pressing down the strings can be difficult at first. Try to use the tips of your fingers to press down in the middle of the fret. If you don't press the strings down hard enough, they will buzz or not make noise at all. There's a chance your fingertips might bleed, but don't worry. Over time, your fingertips will callous. I'm at the point where I have no feeling in my fingertips and I've only played for a couple months. Below is a video tutorial on how to play the Em chord. Note that even though in this tutorial we used fingers 1 and 2, you can also use 2 and 3.

Em Chord Tutorial Video