How-To

Learn 13 Free Guitar Lessons Including Chords, Scales and Songs

Start your guitar playing journey by completing these three levels of online lessons.

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Whether you want to learn your favorite songs or compose your own original tunes, you’ll find what you need among Fender Play’s catalogue of chords, scales, songs and skill-based lessons.

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If you want a taste of what Fender Play has to offer, try tackling the three levels of learning compiled below.

Lesson Summary

Start by learning a few beginner chords and how to play them together.

Guitar Chords:

-- F Major
-- A Minor
-- Playing Chords Together
-- Practicing Power Chords


Next, move into guitar scales, which are foundational pieces of music theory and the basis of countless guitar solos.

Guitar Scales:

-- Blues Scale
-- E Minor
-- G Major
-- C Major


Lastly, try playing a few beginner songs to put these new skills to use.

Songs:

-- The Beatles - "She Loves You"
-- Green Day - "American Idiot"
-- The Strokes - "Last Nite"
-- Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
-- The Cranberries - "Zombie"



Guitar Chords

How to Play the F Guitar Chord


Embedded content: https://youtu.be/KCrrl06wPkg?rel=0

The F chords in its full form is a barre chord, which can be challening for new players. You can play it with your index finger on the high E and B strings, and once you are comfortable with that, try it with your index finger a ting as a capo for all six strings on the first fret.

Even if this barre method might take some getting used to, the F chord is too important not to learn. After all, the F chord appears in songs of every genre in every decade.

How to Play the Am Guitar Chord

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZswGpF1H6A&list=PLoi2sDiBa0Ea969YxCk9ojUTGD6byIfA1&index=35

The A minor chord has a rich, heavy sound. And, like most minor chords, its tone evokes a somber or sad emotional feel. To play the three-fingered version, you don't play the low E string and leave the A and high E strings open, while placing your index finger on the 1st fret of the B string and your middle and ring fingers on the 2nd fret of the D and G strings, respectively.

You can hear the A minor chord in songs like "With or Without You" by U2 or Paramore's "Ain't it Fun."

How to Play Chords Together

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdh8rjk8HrU&t=12s

When you are feeling good about fretting some basic chords on your guitar, you can arrange them in different orders to play a wide range of songs or even come up with your own. When you learn enough songs, you'll notice that many even use the same chord progressions. One common progression is C to A minor to F to the G chord, which you can see in the video above.

How to Practice Power Chords

Embedded content:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufzEkb5uyRE&t=1s

A power chord is made of two different notes. The number 5 is used to indicate a power chord because the chord contains the 1st (root) and 5th notes of a major scale. When written, the chord will have the number 5 next to the root note. And you can move the shape of a power chord all over the fretboard to help you access a ton of songs.

Build on this foundation with 3 months of unlimited access to Fender Play for free - no credit card required.


Guitar Scales

How to Play the Blues Guitar Scale

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZzQs8AI8n0

The blues scale is a six-note progression that sounds right at home in blues, rock, and country music. This scale is essentially the pentatonic scale plus one chromatic note, often called the blue note. This extra step gives the blues scale that unmistakably bluesy sound.

There are six notes in the A minor blues scale:
-- A
-- C
-- D
-- D#
-- E
-- G

Learn the essential blues riffs, techniques, and classic songs by legends like Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more with the Blues Form Basics: I IV V Collection in Fender Play!

How to Play the E Minor Guitar Scale

Embedded content: https://youtu.be/cAqAocoQcVk?rel=0

A scale is an organized series of notes that can be played in an ascending or descending order, and they are a great way to develop your ear, build finger strength and learn songs faster. The E minor scale is an interesting one, because - like all minor scales - it's a little moodier than major scales.

Here are the notes in the E minor scale:

-- E
-- F#
-- G
-- A
-- B
-- C
-- D

How to Play the G Major Guitar Scale

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiNv1J0bXJ4

The G major scale is a popular scale that is very similar to the E minor scale, as they both have the same notes, just with different starting points. For reference, the G major scale is comprised of the following notes:

-- G
-- A
-- B
-- C
-- D
-- E
-- F#

How to Play the C Major Guitar Scale

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUu_643Nbs

The C major scale is a great guitar scale for beginners to start with because many other instruments, like the piano, are played in the key of C. This will help you learn to play along with other instruments as you advance in your guitar-playing journey.

The C major scale has these notes:

-- C
-- D
-- E
-- F
-- G
-- A
-- B

Songs

The Beatles: "She Loves You"

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxwVSahkjnQ&t=17s?rel=0

Released in 1963, "She Loves You" is the Beatles' best-selling single, with the simple call-and-response refrain of "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" catching fire around the world. Its mass popularity became a defining milestone in the Beatles' early career.

Green Day: "American Idiot"

Embedded content:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D17pwLNuBoc?rel=0

The title track off Green Day's wildly popular 2004 concept album, "American Idiot" is an in-your-face political song that is driven home at a frenetic pace with a big nod to Mike Dirnt's thumping bassline.

The Strokes: "Last Nite"

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-XOkMZBteA&t=18s?rel=0

The Strokes' "Last Nite" was an anthem of the early 2000s, as it was a party catalyst around the world. Beautiful in its simplicity, the track starts with just one note repeated by guitarist Nick Valensi in straight 4/4 time, which is eventually followed by a riff of two power chords played by both guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. and bassist Nikolai Fraiture. Paired with frontman Julian Casablancas' growled vocals and a healthy dose of distortion, it turned out to be incredibly infectious.

Foster the People: "Pumped Up Kicks"

Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFhcF40b1Js?rel=0

Foster the People found smashing success with "Pumped Up Kicks," which began as a free online demo posted by frontman Mark Foster and ended up earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In addition, it was a big part of the band's Torches album earning platinum certification.

The Cranberries: "Zombie"

Embedded content:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdZvoCW-swU&t=5s?rel=0

Hailing from Ireland, alternative rock superstars the Cranberries combined jangly guitars, powerfully dreamy arrangements, and Dolores O’Riordan’s unmistakable vocals to land four Billboard top 20 albums in the ‘90s. "Zombie" was one of their biggest hits, with an ominous bassline and O'Riordan's howling voice making it a radio staple to this day.


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For more easy songs to learn, click on the links that follow: Easy Pop Songs l Easy Folk Songs l Easy Rock Songs l Easy Blues Songs l Easy Country Songs