Acoustic Lessons Course

 

Welcome to the Acoustic Guitar Style page. Here you’ll learn techniques especially for the acoustic guitar. We will show you different fingerpicking guitar techniques, chord strumming patterns, how to restring an acoustic guitar, Travis picking, campfire chords, how to use a guitar capo and even artist studies including John Mayer, Jack Johnson and John Prine.

Are you just starting out? Want to learn how to play acoustic guitar? Check out Acoustic Style Course 1 and Acoustic Style Course 2. In these courses you will be taken step-by-step through every aspect of playing acoustic guitar with beginner guitar lessons. Once you make your way through these acoustic guitar lessons, start applying what you’ve learned to some of the best acoustic guitar songs in our acoustic style song library.

Acoustic Fingerpicking Beginner Level

The acoustic guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world. When you talk about acoustic guitar music, you are also talking about an entire musical genre. From powerful strumming to delicate fingerpicking, the acoustic guitar has a unique language all its own.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Lisa McCormick
Fingerpicking Instrumental: Rainy Spring Day

This instrumental song project uses a single fingerpicking pattern, and some chord variations There are no other fancy moves, which makes this a great piece for the Advanced Beginner to Intermediate student. Mastering a Song Project is a great way to solidify your skills and build your repertoire.

Published: 06/01/2009 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 2

In this segment, we'll bring all your hard work and solid skills to work in learning to play 3 full songs, complete with fancy ornamentations and arrangements to learn. You'll learn to play The Water is Wide, John Riley, and Lord Franklin's Lament. Prepare to add these beauties to your repertoire.

Published: 01/07/2009 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 1C

Now that you have mastered the 4-Step Pattern and full measure variations in 4/4 time, let's take a look at new patterns in 3/4 time and 6/8 time. Along the way, you'll learn to play several classic songs, including Star of the County Down, Do You Love an Apple, and a beautiful arrangement of Scarborough Fair with an impressive fancy figure you can play!

Published: 12/03/2008 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 1B

Now that you have mastered the 4-Step Pattern, let's take things to the next level by adding variations of that pattern to create full-measure classic patterns. Along the way, you'll learn to play several classic songs, including Thyme, Blow Ye Winds of the Morning, and Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor. Get ready to ramp things up!

Published: 10/04/2008 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 1A

In this tutorial I'll teach you the first level of acoustic fingerpicking. We'll get started with a basic four-step pattern, then learn how to change chords with it. We'll then do some 2 and 3 chord practice drills followed by two songs. Then it's time for drills to build your speed and play another song. Next we'll learn different styles, play another song, and finish with more drills - and a final song! Fingerpicking guitar isn't just a technique; it's an art form that has been passed down, evolved, and refined through generations of guitarists. This intricate style, where guitarists pluck the strings directly with the fingertips, nails, or picks attached to fingers, creates a uniquely resonant and complex sound that's as captivating as it is expressive. The roots of fingerpicking guitar can be traced back to early stringed instruments and musical traditions from around the world. However, it truly began to flourish in the American South, where it became integral to blues, folk, and country music. Picture this: musicians sitting on porches or around campfires, sharing stories and tunes, their fingers dancing over the guitar strings, weaving together melodies and rhythms that tell tales of life, love, and hardship. If you're eager to dive into this rich tradition, fingerpicking lessons are your gateway to unlocking the magic. Guitar fingerpicking lessons can vary widely, from the basics of plucking patterns to complex melodies that require a dexterous touch and years of practice. What's cool about learning fingerpicking is that it opens up a whole new world of musical possibilities. Unlike strumming, which often focuses on rhythm and harmony, fingerpicking allows you to play the melody, harmony, and rhythm simultaneously, making the guitar sound like an entire band in the hands of a skilled player.

Published: 09/22/2008 Upgrade
Collin Hill
Fingerpicking Patterns For Beginners

In this tutorial, you’re going to learn some basic fingerpicking patterns. We’re going to learn two basic right hand picking patterns: thumb 1 2 3, and thumb 2 1 3. And then apply them to a basic three chord progression.

Published: 03/10/2023 Upgrade

Acoustic Fingerpicking Intermediate Level

Acoustic music is a rather broad term. But here we focus on guitar-centric techniques and styles. Fingerstyle guitar is one of the first things that comes to mind. This is one of the more popular ways to play an acoustic guitar. You can sound like a full band by yourself! Playing melody, chords and sometimes even bass notes all at once is very fulfilling. But there are other aspects to playing the acoustic guitar as well.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Ben Lindholm
Boom Chick Fingerpicking

I will start by introducing you to boom chick fingerpicking, and in the four lessons that follow, I will teach you a little song I wrote just for this tutorial. We will start with the thumb, then add some chord hits, and ultimately we will learn the melody and put it all together. Let's dive in!

Published: 04/30/2010 Upgrade
Mike Olekshy
Arpeggiating Barre Chords

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the fundamental concept of arpeggiation, and how it differs from strumming chords. Learning this technique will add a world of possibilities to your acoustic playing. In the following lessons, we’ll review barre chord shapes, learn 1/4 note and 1/8 note arpeggiation examples, and finish up with a practice tune that combines everything we’ve learned.

Published: 05/30/2024 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking 9: Learn the Theme Song!

This tutorial is the graduation ceremony for Acoustic Fingerpicking, Levels 1-8. Learning to play this tune will draw on skills you have learned in the previous levels, and give you a nice instrumental tune for your repertoire.

Published: 03/04/2009 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking 8: Picker's Goldmine!

Fingerpicker's Goldmine is a treasure trove of classic fingerpicking figures, perfect for adding flavor and complexity to fingerstyle guitar songs. From Hot Tuna to Jack Johnson, Joni Mitchell to James Taylor, these classic figures have been used extensively by acoustic music's icons. This tutorial is a continuation of the Acoustic Fingerpicking Series, created by Lisa McCormick. All prerequisite skills and concepts necessary to master these figures are taught in earlier lessons in the series.

Published: 01/26/2009 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerpicking 7: Combining Patterns

Welcome to Acoustic Fingerpicking, Intermediate Level. In this set of lessons, we'll build on the skills learned in Acoustic FIngerpicking for Beginners, Levels 1 through 6. We'll take patterns and pattern variations learned in the Beginner section, and begin combining them within a single song. This will allow you to create song arrangements that are more interesting, varied, and dynamic. Learning to combine patterns leads to refined coordination, and lays the groundwork for adding in some exciting fingerpicking figures, which will be presented in Acoustic Fingerpicking 8, Fingerpicker's Goldmine.

Published: 01/15/2009 Upgrade
Collin Hill
Crafting a Song in G

In this tutorial we'll craft a song as we learn some new techniques. We'll learn an incredibly important technique called the roll. At the end of this tutorial we’re going to put all these elements together and learn a song.

Published: 10/05/2023 Upgrade
Collin Hill
Palm Muting And Syncopation

In this tutorial you’re going to learn a technique called palm muting for fingerstyle guitar. Palm muting in fingerstyle is used all the time to make the melody stand out more. Muting the bass notes gives you the pitch without the sustain. This allows the upper string melody notes to be heard more clearly. We'll also add syncopation, which is another way of separating the bass notes from the melody.

Published: 12/14/2023 Upgrade
Collin Hill
Adding Bass Motion

In this tutorial, you’re going to learn to incorporate bass motion into your fingerstyle playing. In some places we’ll use bass notes that aren’t the root note of the chord. This opens the door to endless possibilities for your chord progressions, how they move from chord to chord, and also what emotions they evoke.

Published: 08/31/2023 Upgrade
Collin Hill
The Pinch Pattern

The Pinch Pattern uses a pinching motion between your ring finger and your thumb moving together, then the remaining fingers are used to arpeggiate more of the chord. This is the next step in developing your picking hand technique because it’s a widely used pattern found in many songs.

Published: 07/27/2023 Upgrade

Acoustic Strumming Technique

Strumming simple guitar chords can be the most satisfying way to play an acoustic guitar. Often called cowboy chords or campfire chords, easy open chords strummed on an acoustic guitar can be powerful and exciting yet simple and easy. Plus, all you need is 3 chords to understand how to play hundreds of songs. So by learning a few chords on the acoustic guitar, you can play songs for hours!

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Dale Turner
Campfire Chords With Character

In this style tutorial, Dale Turner will teach you some ways that you can spice up your common "campfire" style chords. You'll learn how to create chords like add2/sus2, add4/sus4, and major 7 in C major and A minor. Dale will also show you upper register common tones. He'll then demonstrate some strumming and fingerpicking styles used by well known acoustic players, and finish it all off by putting it all together in a performance.

Published: 10/11/2011 Upgrade
Caren Armstrong
Better Strumming

In this technique tutorial, Caren Armstrong will get you focused on your strumming. Caren will start by look the right hand with basic 1/8th notes, then she'll spice it up in the next lesson. Caren will explain her concept of "zoning" in the following lesson, and get into some syncopation. Next up is a look at "extreme zoning", then a look at damping (or muting). To finish, Caren will take all the elements and mix them up.

Published: 03/08/2012 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Strumming Step-by-Step, Level 1

Let's start with the basics of strumming, and then teach you to strum in a variety of keys, tempos, and time signatures. Along the way, you'll learn to play 10 songs! A solid foundation in strumming basics is essential to playing folk, rock, pop, blues, and more. Get started right here!

Published: 11/28/2012 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Strumming Technique

Strumming is essential to playing the guitar, and in this tutorial Anders Mouridsen will teach you some basic techniques and patterns to give you a solid strumming foundation. We'll start with holding the pick and right hand/arm technique for optimum strumming. Next we'll examine a basic 8th note strumming pattern and a basic 16th note pattern in 4/4 time, followed by a pattern in 3/4. Anders will conclude with a synopsis of everything he taught. You'll be strumming in no time!

Published: 01/25/2012 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Folk Strumming: Learn 'Black Jack Davy'

Using folk strumming techniques learned in the Acoustic Strumming Step-by-Step tutorials, this classic folk ballad also features a fun new challenge: a melody solo you can blend right in to the arrangement.

Published: 01/22/2013 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Strumming Step-by-Step, Level 2

In Acoustic Strumming Level 2, we build on the foundation created in Level 1, and move into the Classic Must-Know Strumming Pattern that underlies much of folk, rock, pop, country, and blues music. We'll learn several songs and variations along the way.

Published: 11/28/2012 Upgrade

In the next few sections you will learn different styles specifically designed for the acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar is a straight forward instrument, but is also very satisfying once you get going. You’ll get a solid grasp on techniques of the acoustic guitar which you can use in the following lessons like Travis picking, boom-chick Blues and much more. The best part about playing the acoustic guitar is that it can easily be taken and played anywhere. Simply pick up the guitar and start strumming with the acoustic songs below.

Travis Picking Technique

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Caren Armstrong
Travis Picking (Advanced)

Caren will show you to take the basic Travis picking skills learned in an earlier tutorial and play a more advanced version of this this acoustic guitar style technique.

Published: 06/16/2016 Upgrade
Caren Armstrong
Travis Picking Simplified

In this set of lessons, Caren Armstrong will teach basic Travis picking technique. We'll start with an overview of Travis picking, then get into basic terminology and orientation. Next up is the important hand position, the we'll detail the basic picking pattern and counting the rhythm. A simple exercise follows; then we'll review some reminders of what not to do. Then we'll play some examples in 3 keys, and end with increasing your speed.

Published: 10/21/2013 Upgrade

Acoustic Style Blues

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Ben Lindholm
Boom Chick Blues II

In this second tutorial in my Boom Chick Blues series, we will build upon what we learned in the previous tutorial and take it to the next level. We will add a few licks to the mix, and play around with the chords a bit more. Watch out for the blazing fast ending lick! The very last lesson contains a slowed down performance to make it easier to follow.

Published: 01/09/2012 Upgrade
Ben Lindholm
Boom Chick Blues

In this series of lessons I will teach you a nice way to play unaccompanied blues on just the acoustic guitar. I will show you what to play over the I chord, the IV chord and the V chord, and I'll show you a cool turnaround that you can add to your personal library of turnaround licks. Let's go!

Published: 01/05/2012 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Ragtime Fingerstyle Guitar

In this tutorial, Anders Mouridsen will teach you ragtime, or country-blues, fingerstyle guitar. Anders will introduce this style and discuss the history a bit, then teach thumb independence. Then it's time to add chords and melodies, after which we'll learn some examples inspired by Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis, and Scott Joplin.

Published: 05/17/2010 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Acoustic Fingerstyle Blues, Step-by-Step

Jorma Kaukonen started here. Taj Mahal, and Keb' Mo' too, plus dozens of other acoustic blues masters. Even if you're new to fingerpicking, this tutorial will walk you step-by-step through learning to play the fingerstyle blues, and load you up with an impressive collection of tricks and riffs you can toss in at any time. You'll even learn to write your own blues song!

Published: 05/09/2012 Upgrade

Acoustic Celtic Instrumentals

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Lisa McCormick
Oh Danny Boy Traditional

In this tutorial, we'll take a note-for-note look at how to play the beautiful traditional tune, "Oh Danny Boy". We'll look at all the various elements of the song and how to play it fingerstyle on acoustic guitar, and do two play alongs: one in slo-mo and one at tempo. Plus, we'll discuss the underlying principles of practice that will make learning to play this tune much much easier!

Published: 03/01/2011 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
John Barleycorn Traditional

This traditional ballad is a lot of fun to learn to play, with a great little acoustic melody solo and upbeat strumming technique. The story is great too. They really had it out for this poor guy, John Barleycorn. Have fun with this one!

Published: 10/30/2012 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
The Butterfly: Irish Jig in 9/8 time, DADGAD

Learn this haunting Celtic tune, played in 9/8 time and DADGAD tuning. Legend has it, this tune is too beautiful and mysterious to have been written by human hands. Its composition is credited to the Faeries of Ireland.

Published: 03/11/2010 Upgrade

Essential Acoustic Songs

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
The Beatles image
Here Comes The Sun The Beatles

Here Comes the Sun chords and tabs in this lesson will be taught with a capo on an acoustic guitar. Mike will show you how to play the strumming melodies and chords throughout the arrangement. There's straight ahead verse and chorus sections that features a specific picking pattern that make them uniquely identifiable. There's also a bridge that builds the dynamic with a contrasting time signature and arpeggiated feel. Learn all of this with Here Comes the Sun lyrics so you can sing and play at the same time.

Published: 03/16/2017 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
Wild Horses (Made Easy) The Rolling Stones

Mike will show you how to play a made easy version of this tune using simple strumming patterns, open chords and barre chords, and dynamics.

Published: 01/08/2015 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
Wild Horses The Rolling Stones

Mike will show you all the parts to this classic rock ballad based on R&B and country ideas. There are steady acoustic strumming, dynamics and harmonics, as well as some country-influenced lead techniques using a combination of acoustic and electric guitars.

Published: 01/08/2015 Upgrade
Jewel image
Who Will Save Your Soul Jewel

In this tutorial, Caren Armstrong will teach "Who Will Save Your Soul', as made famous by Jewel. After a song introduction and a brief look at the acoustic tone, Caren will go over the chords used in the song. Next up is the right hand picking, and the song form. We'll learn the song intro part next, then the verse and chorus sections; the "breakdown" follows that, then the ending. We conclude with a play along performance then a jam along.

Published: 02/24/2014 Upgrade
The Beatles image
Let It Be (Made Easy) The Beatles

This tutorial is a made easy version of the iconic Beatles tune arranged for acoustic guitar. This song uses open chords, a simple strum pattern, and dynamics.

Published: 05/19/2022 Upgrade
The Beatles image
Blackbird The Beatles

This song has one acoustic guitar part, but any guitar is suitable to play it. If you have an electric guitar, just play with a clean tone. This song uses fingerpicking, open chords, higher chord voicings and an open pedal note.

Published: 10/13/2022 Upgrade
Cat Stevens image
Father And Son Cat Stevens

In this song tutorial you'll learn "Father and Son" as made famous by Cat Stevens. This is a great acoustic song that is writeen as a conversation between - you guessed it - a father and his son. Douglas Showalter will lead you through this musical conversation, showing you the strumming techniques, the chords and rhythms for both the "father" and "son" sections plus the embellishments and dynamics that pick up through the song. You'll also learn the lead fills and main solo, and the put it all together in a performance play-through!

Published: 02/18/2011 Upgrade
Kansas image
Dust in the Wind Kansas

In this tutorial we are going to learn how to play "Dust in the Wind" as made famous by Kansas. We'll focus on the musical elements that have made this song a long standing classic, by way of teaching you the acclaimed acoustic guitar parts and violin solo. We will break down the tutorial into 5 video lessons.

Published: 11/02/2009 Upgrade
The Rolling Stones image
Play With Fire The Rolling Stones

Dave will show you the single acoustic guitar part in this classic 60 pop rock song. The part features delicately finger-picked chords, melodies, and bass notes. This song is in the key of E minor and 4/4 time at a tempo of 110 BPM.

Published: 11/12/2021 Upgrade
Jim Croce image
I Got a Name Jim Croce

Lisa McCormick teaches you two complete versions of this song in this tutorial; one of these is played in an acoustic-rock strumming style, and the other is a fairly advanced fingerstyle version. At the end of the tutorial, there is a full-band playthrough, with no guitar in the mix. Why? That's your job! Learn the strumming version, or the fingerstyle version, or make up your own hybrid version and rock out with the band.

Published: 10/03/2011 Upgrade
Harry Chapin image
Cat's In The Cradle Harry Chapin

In this set of eight lessons, Douglas Showalter will take you through the acoustic folk classic "Cat's in the Cradle", recorded by Harry Chapin. Douglas will how you how to play the main riff with a capo at the 8th fret, and rest at the first fret. He'll take you through the signature riff, then the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus parts. Then you'll learn the bridge of the song, and the ending; then we'll play through the entire song.

Published: 11/30/2011 Upgrade
America image
Ventura Highway America

In this tutorial, Tom Finch will teach "Ventura Highway", by America. Tom will introduce the song and talk about the acoustic tone, then break down the iconic melody and chords in the intro. We'll break down the verse chords and melody next before heading to the chorus. You'll learn the post-chorus next, then the outro; then we'll do full and single guitar performances and end with a jam along.

Published: 12/04/2013 Upgrade
Janis Joplin image
Me & Bobby McGee Janis Joplin

Get your love beads on and learn to play this fun and easy classic. We opted for a simple approach to this song, so we'll be delving into a solo guitar version by Janis Joplin. We'll look at the chords, strumming patterns, and guitar work...and we'll also look at the overall song structure, and what it is that makes this "cinematic" country song "tick".

Published: 02/17/2010 Upgrade
James Taylor image
Handy Man James Taylor

Douglas will show you how to play this beautiful acoustic track with a great groove, and an easy chord progression that is fun to play and features Taylor's signature finger picking.

Published: 10/06/2015 Upgrade
The Beatles image
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) The Beatles

Any acoustic guitar can be used to play this song. Be sure to place a capo at the 2nd fret to play along with this tutorial. This song uses single note melodies with chord strums, a 6/8 groove, and some melodic single note lines.

Published: 06/08/2023 Upgrade
Seal image
Kiss From A Rose Seal

In this tutorial, Caren Armstrong will teach "Kiss From A Rose", as made famous by Seal. Caren will introduce the song, then go over the "big picture" fundamentals you should know: the key, the chords, the strum, the finger picking, and the song form. Then it's on to the verses and the variations in each. You'll learn the chorus next, then the transition, the bridge, and the song ending. We'll end with a play along performance and a jam along.

Published: 02/10/2014 Upgrade
Plain White T`s image
Hey There Delilah Plain White T`s

You may not recognize the song title, but no doubt you've heard this song many times on the radio in the last few years and are familiar with it! This is a great song for learning your acoustic fingerpicking technique. We'll take a look at the verse and chorus, the bridge, and play through the whole song at the end in a play a long with some vocals marking the tune. Have fun!

Published: 09/06/2010 Upgrade
Cat Stevens image
Wild World Cat Stevens

Lisa McCormick gives you a complete tour of this classic 70s hit by Cat Stevens, guiding you through the song form and chord structure, strumming rhythms, signature riffs, and the songwriting sensibilities. You get a full play-along at the end of the tutorial, plus a bonus lesson at the very end!

Published: 01/26/2010 Upgrade
The Black Crowes image
She Talks To Angels The Black Crowes

In this song tutorial I'll teach you how to play the song She Talks To Angels as made famous by The Black Crowes. This song is played in an open E tuning and is a great song to play on acoustic guitar. We're gonna break down every note that is played on this recording - everything from the classic intro to the verses and choruses, and the form of the song - so that next time you pick up an acoustic guitar you'll be able to play this beautiful, soulful tune.

Published: 09/06/2010 Upgrade
John Lennon image
Imagine John Lennon

Learn the Imagine chords as it has been arranged to be played on an acoustic guitar. Caren will show you how to strum the chord progression as well as the finger picking pattern. There's also a bonus lesson focused on the famous piano motif. Learn John Lennon's classic song along with a backing track and even sing along with the Imagine lyrics.

Published: 03/17/2016 Upgrade

How To Use A Capo

Now that you’ve got some fundamentals down and you know your way around chords, strumming patterns and fingerpicking (plus you’ve got a few songs under your belt) we can get into some more niche topics relating to the acoustic guitar. From capos to harmonics, 12-string guitar, artist studies, even how to re-string an acoustic guitar, the next few sections will round out your understanding of the acoustic guitar.

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Caren Armstrong
How To Use A Capo

A capo is a device used to the neck and strings of a guitar that shortens the playable length of the strings & as a result raising the pitch. There are numerous advantages to this result and we'll explore the most important ones in this tutorial.

Published: 02/28/2018 Upgrade

Acoustic Special Topics

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Anders Mouridsen
Open Chord Embellishments: Key of C

In this tutorial we're going to explore some universally useful open chord embellishments in the key of C. The key of C includes the notorious F chord, which is a bit of a beast when you're first starting out. But it's one of those chords that there’s no getting around, so in this tutorial you'll get some extra practice time on it as well as some cool variations you can throw in for variation.

Published: 05/24/2024 Upgrade
Douglas Showalter
New Age Guitar

"New Age" playing is used to describe acoustic guitar playing in its solo form that demonstrates a mixture of technical prowess and song-writing. Soloists such as Andy McKee, Antoine Dufour, and others demonstrate exceptional playing on the instrument, all the while writing meaningful songs and great melodies. Artists such as Kaki King and the late Michael Hedges have taken such ideas a step further, employing the style alongside other instrumentation (i.e. drums, bass, vocals, samples, etc.) The "New Age" style can both be used as a solo technique, as well as a great addition to a live band set-up. This tutorial works to showcase a variety of rhythmic, harmonic, and compositional ideas to bring out the "New Age" acoustic style in every guitar player. The acoustic guitar, like the players of the genre have worked to do, is taken into new territory and allows for students to see how the "New Age" style of playing has opened the doors for the instruments possibilities. All 10 examples showcase a different way that guitarists can take this new approach to their instrument.

Published: 09/16/2008 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
12-String Guitar

Take a close up look at the 12-string acoustic guitar. Find out why and how it makes such a rich harp-like sound, and how you can adapt your 6-string skills to a 12-string guitar and make magic happen!

Published: 08/03/2010 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
Stringband Guitar: O Brother, This is Fun!

Learn how to play basic Stringband guitar in the 4 most popular keys. The acoustic guitar has a specific and important role to play in traditional Stringband music. It's a lot of fun, and easier than you might think!

Published: 08/17/2009 Upgrade
Caren Armstrong
How To Use A Capo

A capo is a device used to the neck and strings of a guitar that shortens the playable length of the strings & as a result raising the pitch. There are numerous advantages to this result and we'll explore the most important ones in this tutorial.

Published: 02/28/2018 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Open Chord Embellishments: Key of E

In this tutorial we're going to explore some extremely useful open chord embellishments in the key of E. Along with the E major and A major chords, the key of E includes our notorious B barre chord, which is quite challenging for the left hand when you're first starting out. But since the key of E is such a popular guitar key and B is an integral part of that, it shows up all time and is well worth the effort.

Published: 05/30/2024 Upgrade
Anders Mouridsen
Harp Harmonics

In this tutorial I'll show you how much cool stuff you can do with harmonics on the acoustic guitar. We're gonna break down the open harmonics and how to use them to play scales, melodies, and chords. I'll show you how to do the classic "cascading chords" and much more. This is one of those techniques that is nearly impossible to figure out just from listening, but after watching this tutorial you'll know everything you need to go learn some more harmonic tricks on your own!

Published: 09/23/2010 Upgrade

GT Channel Acoustic Episodes

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Caren Armstrong
GT Channel: Acoustic with Caren

Caren Armstrong's Guitar Tricks Channel debut goes back to the basics. You'll see why Caren is a beginner's favorite teacher, with fantastic descriptions like "third finger first" of just what you need to do to break through the toughest beginning guitar roadblocks.

Published: 03/21/2014 Upgrade
Neal Walter
GT Channel: Acoustic with Neal

Neal Walter is best known for his classic rock tone and style, but beneath the noise is a softer "sweet sounds of acoustic" style. This is a collection of acoustic guitar lessons from the Guitar Tricks Channel host.

Published: 03/20/2014 Upgrade
Lisa McCormick
GT Channel: Acoustic with Lisa

In this collection of lessons, Lisa McCormick is the guest host for the GT channel and teaches you tips and tricks on using a partial capo, suspended chords, and a special holiday episode on Christmas acoustic guitar.

Published: 07/19/2012 Upgrade

Acoustic Artist Studies

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Douglas Showalter
The John Mayer Style

Focusing on Mayer's style on acoustic guitar, this tutorial provides 10 examples, all of which showcase a different element of his style on guitar.  By the end of these lessons, you should have a greater insight into using percussive techniques, dropped tunings, and interesting chord voicings - and be able to see how you can introduce these elements into your own playing.  

Published: 10/24/2008 Upgrade
Douglas Showalter
The Jack Johnson Style

In this tutorial we'll be covering topics ranging from moving chord shapes, to hammer-ons, to right hand strumming techniques. Each lesson will help showcase a different aspect of Jack Johnson's style, and will help you learn how using the acoustic guitar primarily as a songwriting tool can serve to better any player's approach to the instrument.

Published: 11/11/2008 Upgrade

Acoustic Guitar Maintenance

Artist / Title / Progress
Difficulty / style
Christopher Schlegel
Changing Strings & Basic Maintenance

Christopher will show you proper, basic maintenance and how to restring an electric guitar, acoustic guitar and classical nylon string guitar. Keep your machine clean and when it's time for a brand new set of strings, then you'll know how to change them!

Published: 03/21/2022 Upgrade
Christopher Schlegel
Tuning Nylon Strings

Christopher will cover some of the basic of tuning nylon strings if they are new & tips about them if you are new to them!

Published: 12/09/2014 Upgrade
Bobby Howe
Restring & Tune Your Acoustic Guitar

Every guitar player should have a working knowledge of how to change his/her guitar strings. What happens if you break a string on a gig? You should know how to put on a new one. You become a better player if you know your instrument better. This tutorial will help you do that.

Published: 09/24/2010 Upgrade

FAQ

Can I teach myself acoustic guitar?

Absolutely, you can teach yourself acoustic guitar! Many resources are available like online guitar lessons. The key is consistent practice and patience.

Can a beginner play acoustic guitar?

Yes, a beginner can definitely start with an acoustic guitar. In fact, it's often recommended for beginners because it helps develop finger strength and dexterity.

What are the 4 basic acoustic guitar chords?

The four basic acoustic guitar chords are C Major, G Major, D Major, and A Major. These are fundamental chords that are used in a wide variety of songs.

How should I start learning acoustic guitar?

Start by familiarizing yourself with the guitar parts, learning how to hold the guitar and pick, and practicing finger placement. Then, move on to learning the basic chords and strumming patterns. It's also helpful to start with simple songs to build up your skills.

What is the 3 to 1 rule acoustic guitar?

The 3 to 1 rule in acoustic guitar playing suggests that you should spend three times as much practicing chord transitions as you do learning the chords themselves. This helps in smoothing out your playing and making it sound more fluid.

How long does it take the average person to learn acoustic guitar?

Many people can play basic songs within a few weeks or even days of regular practice. Proficiency can take anywhere from a year to several years, depending on how much time and effort you put in and what your goals are.

Which is easier, guitar or piano?

Generally people find the basics of guitar easier to pick up because the concepts are much more simple. For example, once you know three chords, you can play hundreds of easy guitar songs.

Can you get good at guitar in a year?

Yes, with practice you can definitely become quite good at guitar within a year. Consistency is key here, because you’ll need to devote daily time for practicing to improve.

Can I learn guitar at 60?

Absolutely! You can learn guitar at any age. While younger people might find it easier to learn certain physical aspects, older individuals often have better discipline and patience, which are crucial for learning an instrument.

What is the best way for an older person to learn guitar?

Older learners might benefit from starting with lighter strings and an easy-to-play guitar to minimize discomfort. Taking things at a comfortable pace, setting realistic goals, and possibly taking guitar lessons online will help make the learning process smoother and more enjoyable.

Need Extra Help with your playing?

Book A Private Lesson

Schedule a 30 or 60 minute lesson with a coach who can offer advice and guidance to improve your playing.

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Whether you’re just starting to play or returning from a long break, a guided practice plan can get you to where you want to be sooner.