Articles, Blog

5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online

October 18, 2019

Hi guys, my name’s Andy from and in this video I’m talking you through my top 5 mistakes and bad habits that you want to be sure to avoid if you’re learning guitar through YouTube – especially as a beginner. Now number 1, top of that list is definitely wrist strumming. Or what I call wrist strumming. which is essentially, no matter what chord you’re strumming – moving or tilting or pivoting the wrist. Like this (strums showing example of what not to do) Ok. Rather than strumming from the elbow which is what we want to be doing. So when we’re playing rhythm guitar we’re strumming chords that strumming needs to be a movement pivoting from the elbow with the guitar nice and close into your body not slipping down your leg like this, not leaning over to see your chords Into your body and moving from the elbow. This allows a way more accurate strumming action and also for you not to hurt the little muscles in the wrist and hand by doing a big motion with little muscles. We’re going to use the big muscles of the arm and moving from the elbow in this sort of fashion. (strums showing correct movement) This brings me on to mistake number 2 which is for single string playing. So, as a guitarist we need to treat strumming chords, which is rhythm guitar, and picking single notes, which is essentially lead guitar, we need to treat them as two separate things for now as beginners, okay? Strumming is a movement of your arm from the elbow ok? Gives a nice consistent action and means that we’re always strumming all the strings evenly when we want to When you’re picking a single note what you need to do is rest your wrist of your picking hand above the strings and above the sound hole or above your pick-ups if you’re on an electric guitar and have that contact with the guitar and it is actually a movement from the wrist for single note playing (plays single notes) You want to have that wrist in contact with the guitar at all times when doing single string playing and if you’re playing the thinnest couple of strings you actually want to rest your wrist on the thickest strings themselves. So we want the wrist itself on these thickest strings when we’re picking, for example (repeatedly plays single note) That thinnest string (picks string) Those two techniques are so crucial and they’re the foundation of your rhythm playing, so your strumming and/or your lead playing which is your single string playing The 3rd biggest mistake that people commonly do is concerning the chord hand. We all have to start at some point learning our basic open chord shapes like E, A, and D. What can commonly happen when we start to learn some of the harder chord shapes Like a G and a C is a definite one finger at a time motion happens when we’re changing chords and when we’re placing our chords. So basically what you are possibly doing at the moment and what you want to avoid is placing one finger down at a time. That is how we learn these chords, it is not how you want to be practicing them. What we want to practice is being able to place your fingers in the correct place strum your chord, but then lift off of that chord and have that shape memorized in your fingers. so that your hand memorizes the position it’s in and the position of each chord rather than you memorizing, and this is where the old neck stretch comes in, rather than you memorizing exactly where to put your fingers by placing them one at a time like this So I’ll go through that again, this is particularly evident on the C chord but it can happen with a whole other host of chords as well, it’s just really evident on the C chord. A lot of people play the C (placing fingers) 1-2-3 every time. In a song that’s just not going to happen if you’re changing from G and C and trying to go (placing fingers) 1-2-3, it’s going to take an age. What you need to do is simply have your hand remember that shape so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna strum that C chord, and you can strum along with me now Strum it normally. Have your hand stay as still as possible but it wants to rise from the fretboard by about a centimeter, so half an inch or so and freeze in that position that your fingers are in. Therefore your hand is memorizing this shape and we’re really getting these chords into your muscle memory. The small muscle memory of your fingers. and then we want to place that chord back down and then strum it again as a C chord. It can really help at this point to notice that my hand is on quite an angle rather than being straight like this The C chord in particular is a really nasty stretch. It was the first chord I was taught when I was first learning. and it’s very difficult to do when your fingers are placed in line with the frets. What you want to do is have your fingers on an angle and have them touching at certain points and that can really help to memorize the position that your hand’s in and memorize these chords. You can even extend that towards rising from the chord that you’re on and then going to another chord for example the G, freezing and hovering just above that chord and then placing your hand down and that really makes sure that your hands have memorized these chord shapes. The 4th most common mistake is, what I’ve summarized as not getting the rhythm down. This is basically being too preoccupied with which downs and ups to use rather than getting the underlying beat to it and being able to tap your foot to a song as you’re playing it to really internalize the rhythm and be able to do the correct down and up strumming naturally. So, for example, if you have a strumming pattern which I call the most common strumming pattern ever If we do it on a G chord, for example, so this is gonna be down down up up down. (plays strumming pattern) There’s one of those beats that are underlying from that strumming pattern that we’re not playing on we’re not playing on beat 3 so if you are tapping your foot there’s 1 beat there which you’re tapping on and not strumming on and this basically throws people right off. What can all too commonly happen with this strumming pattern and many others is people just look at the D’s and U’s for example and go down, down, up, up, down and they’ve completely lost the rhythm even though you’re doing the correct downs and ups what you’re following The big concept here is that when you’re doing downs and ups patterns the down strums with 8 strumming patterns always happen on the beat and the up strums always happen off the beat so if you’re doing 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and the downs always happen on the beat. 1, 2 and in between are the and’s – 1 and 2 and and from there it doesn’t matter what combination of downs and ups are happening that is still prevalent so if we demonstrate down, down, up, up, down again (demonstrates pattern) 1, 2, and, and, 4. 1, 2, and, and, 4 (demonstrates pattern) The down strums are always on the beat and the up strums are off the beat and if you miss any strums you need to keep your hand moving and of course move it from the elbow. The 5th and final mistake is a more general comment about what people choose to practice it is simply that people tend not to master the basics before moving on to the harder stuff It sounds obvious but this is mainly to do with the songs that people choose so, all too often, people are drawn to the songs that they know or recognize and that ends up being these classic guitar songs like “Wonderwall” for the last 10 or 20 years has been the song to play on acoustic guitar and before that “House of the Rising Sun” was very popular as a first beginner’s song and it’s just not where you want to start especially if you haven’t ever done anything musical before You may, after many hours of practice be able to play that song to a somewhat recognizable version of it but you’re not going to be training yourself with the right techniques and fundamentals that are gonna see you your many years, hopefully many years of guitar playing So you need a whole bunch, you know 10s and 20s and 30 songs that are dead dead easy for you to spot the pattern in these songs. For you to spot the ingredients and be able to fully master these ingredients such as the basic open chords and strumming patterns and how songs are structured. Get playing real songs as soon as possible but make sure those songs are way easy. Other things I really recommend are having a repertoire of songs that you’re building so that whenever it comes to actually performing for someone, when someone says, “Hey, you’ve been learning guitar for a couple of months now, play us something.” you’ve actually got a couple of songs that you’ve played for that few months that are there ready for you to play in front of people and you’ll do a great job at it. So there are the top 5 mistakes that people learning guitar online commonly make make sure you don’t fall fouls to them but they can take a little while to train yourself after when they’ve become a habit If you want loads of easy songs to play make sure you check out my website where we’ve got a full free beginner’s course and loads of easy songs to take you from being an absolute beginner up to having a massive repertoire full of songs that you’d be proud to play in front of your friends.


  • Reply Dms srya March 27, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Pick has run!!

  • Reply Ahmad Alamleh March 28, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Thank you this was really helpful

  • Reply BCreative12 March 29, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Hello. A gud song to learn is "Dancing with myself"/ Billy Idol. It is just E A B chords. 😄🏝💖🎶👍

  • Reply koybong April 1, 2019 at 4:21 pm


  • Reply Leonard Ovchinikov April 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm


  • Reply A S Got Loaded April 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Plz explain me how eddie make his string flooting in his video

  • Reply kureha yo April 6, 2019 at 6:58 am

    i was.. enlightened.

  • Reply Oliver Saavedra April 7, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Pewdiepie teaching us how to correct our mistake😆

  • Reply Oliver Saavedra April 7, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Pewdiepie teaching us how to correct our mistake😆

  • Reply Althea Heart April 7, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Some may not like Taylor Swift but her songs are my choices when i started learning the guitar. 😊

  • Reply A D April 9, 2019 at 8:13 am


  • Reply Alhizzia Swift April 9, 2019 at 10:43 am

    amazing, pewds👏👏👏

  • Reply ygobraderz April 12, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    hey do you have any more tips watched a lot of your vids and trying to teach myself the guitar just by reading up on it myself (and youtube) but another great vid thanks for all the help you have gave me

  • Reply Riad Youssoufi April 12, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Hey sir i hope you didn't forget your money that has falled 8:01

  • Reply David Hahn April 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Alright man, I’m gonna start your video journey today. I’m a novice. Thanks for making these!

  • Reply Maaifoedie De La Rey April 13, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you sir ! Pre-beginner here, I'm going to take your advice to heart.

  • Reply Sushant Raj April 16, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for providing subtitles in hindi.❤️

  • Reply Michael Taylor April 16, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    The first song I learned was Angel of Death from Slayer. And I'm only 12 years old but I'm learning.

  • Reply Учусь Гитаре April 22, 2019 at 9:10 am

    нифига не понял

  • Reply Precy Rose Asistido April 25, 2019 at 4:31 am

    I'm laughing because i really do does mistake HAHA

  • Reply Robin Jesba April 28, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Recommend video for beginners

  • Reply MyJazz66 April 29, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Great advice I started playing house of the rising sun to start with and still fluff it 50% of the time over twelve months on of playing it every day….boots are made for walking only took a few months

  • Reply Baby Angels April 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Hlo bro. My guitar sound is so bursting and strings are so vibrating while play it. Can u suggest some gud ideas fa it?? Plzz

  • Reply Izzy Hennefer April 29, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you for this video! I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve enjoyed your tips!! I’ll go check out your website!:)

  • Reply OxygenBeats May 1, 2019 at 12:23 am

    8:00 bye bye pick :'(

  • Reply Skirk May 2, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Road to 1 m

  • Reply KENNETH SALVE May 2, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Fuckn yousician

  • Reply TruPoogles May 2, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    It’s Peter Crouch, Peter Crouch! 😆

  • Reply Armoured Bobcat May 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    2:14 and 2:25. Where dem antennas gone

  • Reply gosu D-RASKET Channel May 5, 2019 at 5:41 am



  • Reply The AcousticSkeleton May 5, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    i find it very uncomfortable to redt my palm on thr thicker string when using thr lower string.

    What I do it I rest my pinkies tip on the body near the lower string and kinda let it be a support. Idk how to explain it in word hahaha.

  • Reply Emma Imboden May 6, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    You dropped your pick 😛

  • Reply Arios Black May 7, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Basicly …. I did all those mistake lol.

  • Reply Ryu E May 12, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    For c chord I found that placing my middle finger first made my finger 1 and 3 fall right into place as soon as I have to switch to c chord try it and you’ll see

  • Reply iluvart 05 May 14, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Andy is a good boi

  • Reply Mirza Arslan May 15, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Congratulations on a hitting one million!!!

  • Reply Ulviyya Efendi May 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Big musssls ❤️

  • Reply harmonicachick100 May 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Memorizing placement instead of looking… As i'm getting to more difficult chords…G Major is a stretch for me…i'm looking at the strings…..Thanks..gonna stop this and get to memorizing placement. 🙂

  • Reply Vinata Senturi May 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Hi andy
    I learn from you when I was 12
    And now in 21
    And Still learning

  • Reply IshidaNikurasu May 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Realy? Thees are beginner mistakes? Thought there was a diffrence between beginner mistakes and common sense.. Thees are things i realised within the first 30-40min after i first picked up a guitar 17years ago

  • Reply Dolph BMX May 21, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you Wolverine

  • Reply John Mole Moley May 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    I thought his pewdepie

  • Reply Andrea Paretti May 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    I love you

  • Reply Bill Blinky May 28, 2019 at 12:46 am

    A thumbs up from Australia for a really good video mate. I've had guitars for more than 50 years and was keen to see if I was making the 5 mistakes or not. Pride stops me from confessing the results. But never too late to learn and improve.

  • Reply Mansi Mishra June 3, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    You're damn helpful Andy. Never stop uploading :)))

  • Reply QbertTehKiller June 4, 2019 at 3:14 am

    I got here from a pewdiepie video automatically and my mind was fucked for a good 20 seconds

  • Reply Evan Hung June 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    this is a very important lesson, thank you Andy!

  • Reply Aman Aoyuh June 8, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    For the beginner it's helpful, really 👍

  • Reply David Lightbody June 9, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Amazing video and immensely informative. thanks Andy, bless you

  • Reply Madhura Mohan June 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    You are a really good teacher Andy ❤️

  • Reply Joshua Isaac June 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    what about cole rolland

  • Reply PhantomBerzerker zed June 15, 2019 at 3:45 am

    8:00 I am finally free from this torture!!! Wahoo!!

  • Reply Abhishek Gupte June 16, 2019 at 5:34 am

    Oh noo!!! Never saw " mistakes while "learning online""😅

  • Reply ELIX June 18, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    andy i just wanted to say that you are not only a really cool guy from the look of it but an absout genius when it comes to teaching.

    your style is really unique and it works big time !!

  • Reply VinceRoberto June 19, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Mistake on this video he drops the pick at 8:00 😂

  • Reply Fly Tension June 20, 2019 at 8:14 am


  • Reply SevScout June 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    I had real troubles with C and G, so what I did is basically extreme trial by fire… Basically bouncing on the C shape, making each bounce a bit bigger and then switching from C to G and back again over and over until it was so fast, that I could do it in rythm. then jumping from C to D, from C to A and any other combination I could think of. It's all about the muscle memory as said in the video, but that bouncing on the C and G shape really did speed things up.

  • Reply SevScout June 23, 2019 at 10:28 pm


    Pick: "I'm outta here!"

  • Reply OverEasy Mode June 25, 2019 at 7:45 am

    You’re great at anticipating people’s problems. I’m a swimming instructor and recognize a good instructional lesson no matter what the subject is. And you break it down for students to digest easily. Thank you Andy.

  • Reply Z Clef Music June 27, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Thank you! I'm a beginner and this answered a lot of my technique questions.

  • Reply Ema June 28, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    C is HARD bro C is heaven comparing to G like I broke my fingers with that one lol

  • Reply Mellow Panda June 30, 2019 at 12:24 am

    Isn't he the piano guy

  • Reply Alex_T July 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Someone saw the pick dropping from his hands

  • Reply Patricia Tiernan July 8, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you for these tips. I was a trumpet player for 20 years and have recently picked up the guitar. Wow! What a learning curve and a humbling experience. I need a lot of help and I am grateful for you tutorials.

  • Reply Vedran Đuzel July 9, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Oh…I didn't play for years and I checked one video before for something and then this one. I never paid any attention to the first problem. Good video :))

  • Reply Dark Yoda July 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    To be honest wonder wall was a perfect beginners song for me I got it within about 2hrs and my brother who already was playing the guitar said it was to a good standard so if patient wonder wall is a perfect beginners song

  • Reply Mike A July 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I’m a beginner and getting the rhythm seems to be extremely hard for me so thanks for the advice.

  • Reply Cali *Carmen* Girl July 11, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I seriously had a panic attack when he dropped that pick… I'd NEVER be able to pick it up again with acrylic nails 😟

  • Reply Kevin Park July 12, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Brooooo. Thank you! I made all of these mistakes. Lol

  • Reply Chris Dodson July 14, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Thanks, was just struggling going from C to G and back again so I really appreciated the advice on the muscle memory. Trying to learn Free Falling by Tom Petty. Heard it was a good beginner song. Taught me how to use a capo at least.

  • Reply Martín Naranjo July 14, 2019 at 3:56 am


  • Reply Wooffzi July 15, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Is use my thumb on fingerpicking

  • Reply caro July 20, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    His “okæ” makes me sane

  • Reply Matthew Wilhite July 21, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    That was an excellent lesson. Thank you!

  • Reply wojakov July 25, 2019 at 1:07 am

    3:45 i have that with F and every time i make that mistake it reminds me "kids arent allright" from The Offspring 😛

  • Reply Just a Pilot July 31, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Me as a beginner: Stops trying to learn House of The Rising Sun

  • Reply Brett Sampat July 31, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    I'm guilty of doing that with a C cord

  • Reply UNITS GAMING August 3, 2019 at 4:19 am


  • Reply Meleena Lama August 4, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Which is best country for Guitar/Piano/ Musical Arrangement Course or Western Music?

  • Reply Rasmus Nobel August 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    All 5 tips hit me spot on. Thanks dude. Gonna help me a lot 👍🏻

  • Reply Benevolent Waffle August 6, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Feels weird to hear his voice again…memories

  • Reply sherm dog August 9, 2019 at 2:21 am

    I have Vienna sausages for fingers so to be able to reach the top string with my even my finger I HAVE to till my guitar out.☹️

  • Reply Anna Spitz אנה שפיץ August 10, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Thank you! Great tips!

  • Reply Jordan Raney August 14, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    PewDiePie is that you?

  • Reply Trinity tri August 20, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I'm in love now

  • Reply YoyoEthan 11 August 20, 2019 at 12:20 am

    I am learning online by watching this vid and I am not making any mistakes.

  • Reply Jeff Polley September 2, 2019 at 3:25 am

    What songs do you suggest to start playing at first?

  • Reply Tim Reaper September 4, 2019 at 4:59 am

    1.8 dislikes & i can't understand why. I found this video to be informative and well articulated. Thumbs up from me!

  • Reply Delon Sembrano September 5, 2019 at 4:59 am

    ive got trouble for G to C 😔

  • Reply JkTaeJJams Kpop September 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    I put my fingers on the right chords I make sure my other fingers aren't touching the strings and only the one I put it on however when I play it always sounds stuck if that makes sence

  • Reply burnhuman_2 September 8, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Did he call g and c chords hard d is harder for me and g is the easiest

  • Reply Light Iverson September 10, 2019 at 1:21 am

    2:25 if you do that to fast with an electric guitar wouldn’t it sound off

  • Reply Deporres Williams September 17, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Lmbo. Didnt even notice the pic flew until it was pointed out. Lol. Then it fell into the blackhole.

  • Reply Elisa Bartz September 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Me: so I was going to play wonderwall but it's apparently not a beginner friendly song… So anyway, here's "what's it worth" from bufallo springfield

  • Reply John Carlo Macahilig September 27, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Very Helpful.

  • Reply Tim Sherman September 29, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Andy. I love your tutorial. I bought your lessons and appreciate your method

  • Reply Blueson tudor October 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Andy , Thanks a lot for making me identify my mistakes as a bigginer, i had all the mistakes except the last one coz i'm learning guiyar from you.

  • Reply Wayne Heitz October 9, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Hes to cool to respond to his viewers. Lol there's alot of other great guitar players on YouTube

  • Reply Sara Shields October 11, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Y porque no busca como mejor su maldito acento?

  • Reply Hareendra Perera October 15, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Great tips!

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