Guitar Beginner

Guitar Beginner: Week #2


We spent a good part of this week’s lesson getting comfortable with your new tuners.  As you transition into tuning your own guitar, make sure you set up some good habits for yourself: set aside an extra 5-10 minutes to check your tuning before you practice each day this week (you’ll be much quicker in another week or two if you stick to your guns with that).  If you want to review anything from the tuning demo I’ve included a video at the bottom of this recap.


Fretting Exercise Review

This is coming along great. Start playing the exercise across all six strings. Gaining control and accuracy is much, much more important than developing speed. One will naturally lead to the other, so be patient! Play with four pick strokes for each note and focus on pushing the pick through the string for the best sound.

E Major Scale

This semester we'll be playing the Hank Williams song, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry in the key of E Major. Learning the E Major Scale will help get the sound of this key into your ears and into your fingers. Play one note at a time walking up from the open 1st string, playing each note 4 times before moving to the next one.  Here are the note names followed by the interval formula.

  • E Scale Notes- E F# G# A B C# D# E

  • Major Scale: W W H W W W H

E Major Chord 


This is the first chord that we will learn-- we're using it to prepare for the main (or root) chord in I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Make sure that your fingers are rounded and making contact with the strings on their corners so that you can really use leverage instead of strength to fret the notes and get a clear sound. Your hand should feel as though your fingertips are gently pinching the string back into your thumb. A diagram is attached.

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry- First Phrase

A phrase in music is like a sentence in literature- one complete musical idea. The first phrase of I'm So Lonesome is made up of three repeated figures followed by a resolution note. The trickiest part of this is getting the alternating third finger and open string- make sure that your finger comes all the way off of the string quickly when you go to the open E and comes back on quickly before you play the 4th fret again. Don't worry too much about the rhythm yet- we'll get into that more next week. Fret numbers/strings and note names are below and a recording is attached.

  • E4 E0 E4 E0 E4 E0 B0

  • G# E G# E G# E B

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