Articles, Blog

Beginner Acoustic Lesson 1 – Your Very First Guitar Lesson – Eminor and A sus2

October 15, 2019

Hey! What’s up you guys? Marty Schwartz
here and this is going to be considered your very first guitar lesson. So this is
what I have I’ve taught guitar for a very long time, even before the Internet, I know the dark ages. I was even teaching back then and I
figured out a way that I wish a teacher would have taught me my first lesson, and
so for my own desires now I’m going to be passing that on to you, and what we
want to do is just start with one little shape “scouts honor”, one little shape that we can move around and start making some music right away.
Now if your guitar is not in tune, it’s not going to matter how good you are at
the fingering and all that the guitars not in tune is not going to sound good
and you’re going to get discouraged. So I do have a video on just the basics of
tuning your guitar, there’s a link for it here so you can check check that out
because we need the guitar in tune before we kind of do this stuff. So we’re
going to zoom in and talk about the guitar a little bit and learn this
little shape with our fingers and you know the real key is not natural music ability really, it’s the the desire and in the beginning which I like to call
like the first hump of guitar. Maybe we could call it like two months, what you
want to do is if you’ve always wanted to play guitar just give yourself you know,
work on it for like five minutes a day for two months and don’t decide that
it’s too hard or too you know not for you. Just give it that two months of five minutes a day and what you’ll find is a lot of times at five minutes when you
have a little breakthrough can become an hour or twenty minutes, but you know if
you just give yourself the five minutes a day for two months you can take a few
days off here and there that’s okay and then decide because really it’s about
breaking through that first hump because the stuff you learn after the basics you
can just add little things to your arsenal and it’s just fun. So, anyway
really appreciate the support let’s zoom in though and start learning this stuff
here we go! All right, so I’m going to show you
these two chords that are the nice kind of the easiest chords to start with, and
you can make a little music right away but real quick let me talk about just
the basics of the guitar a little bit. We’ve got a guitar, step 1, step 2?
We’ve got the neck of the guitar and the body of the guitar. Body, neck, the
headstock of the guitar this is a Taylor 614 got my tuner here, these are the
tuners, headstock then we’ve got the strings, right the strings are connected
to the bridge of the guitar. You’ve got sides here and you’ve got the
top, you got the back, you got a little strap, strap a bolt here and a strap a
little strap bolt there you can see the reflection of my light and other guitars
and stuff. Secret, secret studio stuff and then but importantly when we start
learning we’ve got the strings and if you look at the how to tune guitar you
know Eddie ate dynamite good bye Eddie, and you’ve got the sound hole and the
really important the starting point here this little piece of plastic or ivory or
whatever it ends up being that’s called “the nut” of the guitar, and then these
metal lines here these metal brackets are the frets and what on guitar when
you say like for instance the first fret of the e-string you don’t mean right on
the metal, if I said “first fret” I mean this little section here in between
these two things is the first fret. So this whole space right here is the first
fret, this area in between these two metal frets, this is the second fret, third fret fourth fret, etc. The dots on the guitar are just little locator
points so eventually you start to memorize where the notes are or help you
you know play where a certain chord fits in. They’re visual references and then what
you also have is you a spot here on guitar where it’s the
12th fret and you get these double dots right there, you see the you got single
dots here, you get to the double dots right there and that’s that’s the octave
of the open string. So if this is an open E string, it would actually go through
the musical alphabet e f g a b c d e again so the open strings start over and
what’s called an octave up on the twelfth fret. Okay so that’s just a
basics for the guitar let’s learn the E minor chord now I recommend you get a
pick, and if you’re a beginner I would recommend a light pick or an extra light
pick if you’ve never played guitar before. As I progressed on guitar I
switched to a thicker pick as I went along okay so, we got a pick, we got the
strings, we got the frets we got the you know the guitar is in
tune. So we’re going to play what’s called E minor and it’s like the first
chord of “Wonderwall” by Oasis. It’s the first chord of “About A Girl” by Nirvana,
it’s a first chord of “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. The list goes on and on
I believe “Don’t Cry” by Guns N’Roses “Civil War” by Guns and Roses plus it’s in
those songs not as the first chord for it’s in a million songs. So we’re going
to take our pointy finger our index finger and if you’ve never played before
you’re a beginner it does take a little time to build some calluses up, so if it
gets to the point where it’s painful then take a break. There’s there’s no
rush although everyone wants to play right away and I get that instant
gratification but, we just gotta like just get used to it just like anything.
You know, when you write with a pencil you get a little callus, got to get that
first, so we’re going to take our pointer finger here and we’re going to play the
second fret of the a-string. So with my pointer finger and you know my hands
just kind of behind the neck here like this and my pointy finger is going to
hit the second fret, so that area is the first fret, this area is the second fret
and we’re on the a-string so the tip of my finger straight down, not the flat
part the tip of it, straight down and then my middle finger, the tip of that
straight down on the second fret of the d-string. So a little pro tip for you
when if I say second fret and you’re kind of scooted back almost to where
it’s on the first fret? That’s not ideal ideal is closer to the next fret up you
don’t have to press as hard and you don’t get a buzzy sound. So if I scoot it
back, we don’t want that if I start to scoot it up? You can hear it rings out perfectly,
so then we need to get our middle finger on that same fret the second fret but on
the D string right there and we put them both down. Now if your hands kind of
touching the other strings we’re not going to get the perfect sounding chord.
So we want to make sure that there’s enough space in our hand to where the
strings that our fingers aren’t down on will still ring out and it should sound
like that. And so just to start with you know you
got your pick and I’m holding the pick um, kind of if my thumb was up like that,
then the pick is pointing outward it’s not directly sideways, it’s not directly
pointed up, it’s just a little bit tilted like that and then I pinch it with my
pointy finger and I paint, I paint on the strings around the sound hole area. You
know and your arms should be nice and fluid, I’ve got the curvature of the
guitar which most acoustics will have that is on my right thigh for comfort,
it’s comfy, okay? So let’s go back to that chord. and to start with we just want to make
sure that the chords ringing out correctly, the guitars in tune
and for bonus points, for extra credit for you great grubbers out there. I got
that from school rock um you can pick out individual strings and make sure
that they’re ringing out per you know properly. This is also the cord from “Nothing Else
Matters” by Metallica you can do some “up-downs”, and as we progress learning new chords, a
great practice to remember it right I take my hand off, I look on it again and
make sure I can still form it. Take your time, stick your tongue out of the side of your mouth if it helps you concentrate,
Michael Jordan style. But another tip from the muscle memory
of these shapes that we’re going to have to memorize, is that you hold the shape
of the chord and you take your hand off while you keep the shape and then we go
back and we put it down again. and that’s how we start to remember that
as well. Keep the shape, take the hand off, put it back on. So that’s our first chord and we could
start going you know we can do downs, we could do “down-up-down-up.” We can take it nice and easy, now here’s what’s cool and this is why I
picked the second chord I’m going to teach you which is called “A suspended
two” it’s got a fancy name, but the reason I wanted to show to you right away after
E minor is that we don’t have to learn anything new. Nothing! All we do is we
take that exact shape and we scoot it down a string so the e minor was the
second fret on the a string and the second fret on the D string and we
strung the whole thing. To play an A sus two, it’s the exact same shape, we just
scoot it down so now it’s the second fret of the D string as an Eddie ate
dynamite and the second fret of the g string, Eddie ate dynamite good bye
sorry Eddie ate dynamite good bye Eddie. So the D and the G 2nd fret index middle
finger you can strum the whole guitar and it sounds like this. Now if you can
avoid this top string here and start from here? Then that’s even better so that’s the A
sus two, and here’s the E minor. So then the next
thing that we want to practice is just a real real simple strumming with our
right hand we’ll just go 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, and then
switch to 3 pull mom three four and back. Then you get a little cocky about it, you
can start just practicing them back and forth like. oh now I’m also hearing the “Take Me To
Church” song is that a minor chord as well, so it’s a million songs actually
but so we have two chords right now and you can start getting creative and
playing music and making some sound. want to make some sound so we’ve got E minor, scoot the thing over a string or down a string and you have A sus 2. Which also kind of sounds like a
tenacious D chord. and that’s your start! All right, there it was,
thanks for hanging out real quick there’s a link that you’ll find for
tuning your guitar and then if you had a little bit of fun with this lesson
there’s a link for the next lessons in this super beginner series. So check
those out and thanks for the support and you know just remember just be patient
five minutes a day, two months and make some music. I also find it’s very
therapeutic and and it’s just can be a great meditative thing to do besides, you
know digging music, so thanks again for the support and we’ll see in the next


  • Reply Marty Music January 22, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for watching! I have a NEW Beginner's Course right here:ย

  • Reply cooltunesmadeezy September 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    great video

  • Reply Lina Geseviciute September 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I played E minor for like an hour! Fingers hurt, but nothing else matters

  • Reply The Hitman Nation September 8, 2019 at 3:17 am

    That guitar sounds beautiful ๐Ÿ˜

  • Reply Tomos Hadley September 8, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    You're an honest legend broski

  • Reply Sleudgehammer September 8, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I clicked on this video and immediately got a video about how YouTube guitar tutorials are terrible

  • Reply That Dude :D September 9, 2019 at 11:51 am


  • Reply isla webb September 9, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Omg this helped me so much

  • Reply Elizabeth Davis September 9, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Iโ€™m just a kid

  • Reply Maya Grace Sorenson September 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    I already know how to tune my guitar

  • Reply Aashish Mainali September 11, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Is it a 41 inch guitar or 38 inch??

  • Reply Rich Davies September 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    WOW first lesson with you and i'm hooked. I've had a guitar for a good few years now and always found it overwhelming, but you've made it fun with Eminor and A sus2!! Thanks M.

  • Reply Mary Jilavian September 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Oh my fingers ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข and no result

  • Reply Really Kat September 12, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    oof I wish I could play guitar without my fingers hurting. I'll get there eventually!

  • Reply Kasey Colbert September 12, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Just started playing my guitar, this is the first video I watched after watching your tuning video. This helped me a lot, and I loved that you mentioned the songs that are played in those keys. Especially the Metallica ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Ed Weibe September 13, 2019 at 1:42 am

    lesson 2 where are YOU?

  • Reply Sadasj September 13, 2019 at 2:30 am

    What guitar is this? How much?

  • Reply Finally Aaron September 13, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Cracks me up that theres an ad DISMISSING YouTube guitar lessons on a video of a YouTube guitar lesson….

  • Reply Deez Knutz September 13, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    I have a 2 left hand..

  • Reply Luke Maher September 13, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks Marty I used your lessons to help me. I also recorded the process and will be uploading videos of me learning how to play!

  • Reply Maxine Tom September 14, 2019 at 5:51 am

    My musician buddy informed me about your links
    Cool thanks to you both . .

  • Reply Noah Schutte September 14, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Hey Marty was wondering what the strumming rhythm for About a Girl ?

  • Reply Real Tag September 15, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    What is the best acoustic guitar for beginners? I want to purchase one to start learning by myself watching videos like this one, but I donโ€™t know which guitar would be the best for me.

  • Reply Seth Daggett September 15, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Adblockers are a thing, guys.

  • Reply Bucket September 16, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Nice video, just watching looking for any bits that will help me sharpen my technique. Great Form, Seriously good work on the video. Most importantly, I subscribed, even though this particular video didn't contain any insights for me, I wish I had it when I started playing at 9. FYI The reason I subscribed is because you explained the parts of the guitar, and when you got to the nut bit, you didn't laugh or even chuckle. That is professionalism as far as I can tell. I laughed a little. Shoulda guitar'd more and "south park"ed less.

  • Reply Jenna Keith September 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    This is great! I actually sound like know what I'm doing๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ My main instrument is piano

    Forgot to add!
    My favorite way to remember the strings is
    Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Reply 1MsPerez September 16, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Antonio Velasquez September 17, 2019 at 1:30 am

  • Reply John Arias September 17, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    First time for me to do this

  • Reply Fischer's trains and automobiles September 18, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Everyone who learns the first two cords. Think their Led Zeppelin. Then they quit.

  • Reply kendra vlogs September 18, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Do u NEED a pick ??

  • Reply Dan Taylor September 18, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    1st lesson should be on a guitar people can afford. Not a 614.

  • Reply chuckHart70 September 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Chord progression for Being Kind Can Hurt Someone by REO Speedwagon right there… try it and amaze everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Boris Datsenko September 19, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Wish you were starts with a g… I also like how you're all like these famous songs have chords in them!

  • Reply rose mary September 19, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    im fan of guns, nirvana, oasis ang oh my god my i was happy when you said those songs! โ˜บ๏ธ

  • Reply That Dude September 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    lol this guitar is wack, wish I could buy it lol

  • Reply gangsterelmoman September 21, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    my middle finger keeps blocking the string under it

  • Reply A-Chan September 22, 2019 at 4:37 am

    I'm gonna buy a guitar from OfferUp

  • Reply Barb Keen September 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Just bought my first guitar today for $25 at a yard sale. I'll give myself a year to learn at least one song! And as John Mellencamp sang, "Forget about that macho $hit and learn how to play guitar" lol!

  • Reply Lemarr Thomas September 22, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Love your teaching โค๏ธ style. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Reply Joe Troutt September 22, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    The fact that I'm watching this indicates I'm a beginner.
    I associate EADGBE as Every Asshole Dickhead Gets Beat Everyday but I like yours too.

  • Reply Paper Monado Blink September 23, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Iโ€™m 18 right now and I want to learn to play the acoustic guitar and the piano. Iโ€™ve always love music so I hope I can learn.

  • Reply Green Player September 23, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Do you hit all the strings in E minor?

  • Reply Ride BC September 23, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    no stop

  • Reply Liyan Zhao September 24, 2019 at 1:44 am

    Thanks so much for the video. Super helpful and easy to follow for beginners like myself.

  • Reply Owen Nwanorh September 24, 2019 at 8:53 pm


  • Reply Aidan Schell September 26, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Hey marty will you learn and post a video of how to play long time running by tragically hip

  • Reply Tarren Tyree September 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Thanks great lesson

  • Reply njeri magda September 26, 2019 at 7:03 am

    What is the brand name of this guitar? Any recommendations?๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

  • Reply LilSlurpySlurp September 26, 2019 at 7:32 am

    The first song i wanna play is jonny b goode

  • Reply Raiksan 17 September 26, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    What is the song?

  • Reply sadie September 27, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I like you, you're cool

  • Reply Chris Corman September 27, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    This lesson give you some quick confidence and I love the way he walks you through it

  • Reply Tornado Bird September 28, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    That was so helpful thank you ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Chris Riley September 29, 2019 at 12:49 am

    You are so good at the guitar and i like the way you play

  • Reply Demi H September 29, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you so much!!

  • Reply SATANIC DUCKS September 30, 2019 at 1:08 am

    You are AWESOME. ๐ŸŽธ

  • Reply Kira Arii September 30, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Just started playing the guitar. Iโ€™m using my dads Acoustic Guitar from his wedding that he never learned how to play and someone recommend you to me. After I get it down with the Acoustic I plan on getting an electric cause Iโ€™ve always liked the electric. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Preston Null October 1, 2019 at 1:08 am

    E Minor ; Eat a minor.

  • Reply MrBlueSky ?????? October 1, 2019 at 2:14 am

    my guitar isnโ€™t making a very resonant sound; iโ€™m doing the fingering the same way as marty, but it just sounds choked, even when iโ€™m barely touching the strings. my guitar is old as the hills (my mom got it in like the 70โ€™s where it started to gather dust for ~40 years) and itโ€™s a yamaha; any ideas whatโ€™s up? is it old age or am i doing something wrong?

  • Reply Cheap Silence October 2, 2019 at 5:04 am

    iโ€™m pretty good at fingering

  • Reply Lil Kupa October 2, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    i was so upset because i couldnt get it to sound like that but then i realized i was holding my guitar backwards ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Joseph the Gamer October 2, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    I got the same add

  • Reply Joseph the Gamer October 2, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    But this really helps me

  • Reply Seth Thomas October 3, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    So how do you know what strings to strum and ones not to

  • Reply Laney Reese Purvis October 3, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    why does your bass have 6 strings???

  • Reply Idella Schafer October 4, 2019 at 2:15 am

    you are really good

  • Reply Idella Schafer October 4, 2019 at 2:28 am

    show us more vidios

  • Reply M McCartney October 4, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Great lesson, Marty! Would have been extremely helpful for those who don't know if you would have explained what a "sus" chord is. I know what "sus" means, but I'm sure many noobies watching this don't. But, again…great lesson from you…as usual! Cheers, mate! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply David Noble October 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    this is really helpful thx marty

  • Reply ding dong your opinion is wrong October 5, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Once I finally got the cords down and started making a few small tunes, I realized this is rather relaxing. I like this so far ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply starrylizard October 6, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Thanks I enjoyed this lesson. Are there more beginner lessons here or just the paid series you linked to in the comments?

  • Reply Silas Firsthand October 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I'm starting at 44 yrs old. This is the best I could ask for. Thanks Marty, clearly ALOT of time and thought when into this series.

  • Reply That Boi October 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Seems like a good place to start.

  • Reply Mahlett Negusie October 6, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    my guitar teacher told us this:

  • Reply Jacob Reynolds October 7, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Here for the lessons, staying for the Tenacious D references.

  • Reply Waking TheDead October 7, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Thing is, these chords by themselves won't give you many songs will they? Better persevere with a G , C and D which can become hundreds of songs later? IDK just my opinion. I do see that these are easier.

  • Reply Basit Balushi October 7, 2019 at 11:43 am

    this my first day playing guitar 7/10/2019 and i will continue learning it , because of your beautiful lessons .
    thank you a lot ><
    each day will watch ur video and keep commenting on them what i feel like and what i hv learned.

  • Reply WinterKeuperz zhen October 8, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Thank you, i learned a song (almost) from looking at this video . Thanks!

  • Reply Dr.Chris Turyasingura October 8, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    the add though

  • Reply Leroy Noah October 9, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    aaaahaayhaay marty shorts here!

  • Reply suprbroadwaygrl October 10, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    This is great! Thank you for this video!! I have one question: I'm having a lot of tension in my fingers and having trouble creating the right kind of pressure on the strings – is this normal when beginning because I don't have calluses yet? So I have to create more pressure than I would if I did have them?

  • Reply ReVerb Entertainment October 11, 2019 at 2:01 am

    My girlfriend and I were out on a date about a month ago, and she nonchalantly asked about birthday gift ideas. One of the things I said was a guitar. I completely forgot I even said anything about it. Sure enough yesterday she got me a guitar for my birthday, and I guess it would be rude not to learn how to play it. I looked at several beginner guitar lesson videos, but you seemed the most relaxing, confidence-building, and funny teacher on YouTube. I'm going to stick with your program and I have no doubt that I'll start playing beautifully in no time. Thanks again

  • Reply Nicky E. Bocks October 11, 2019 at 3:38 am

    With Marty by my side I will one day be a slow playing legend around Campfires & Rainy Days ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽธ

  • Reply RoastedBoi GT October 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm


  • Reply Thedreamer October 11, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    thank you a lot from the bottom of my heart for your awesome way of teaching!

  • Reply R E G I S MARK V October 11, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    As the asian guy from family guy said
    "You not tryin if fingers no bleeding!"

  • Reply Cynthia Wuestefeld October 11, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    I love watching school of rock

  • Reply Ezra Freeman October 12, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    man, i love this guy

  • Reply Ezra Freeman October 12, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I learned it this way;

  • Reply Scott Austin October 12, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Awesome way to teach, this is the best first lesson on you tube,after 5 mins a day for 3 days I can play a little bit. Didn't own a guitar till a week ago

  • Reply LUCY STEWART Galloway October 13, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Just started learning guitar and I use your videos alongside what my guitar tutor tells me to do. I just want to thank you, your videos really help me, they are very easy to follow….the tips of my fingers hurt I enjoy it so much. Well done Marty. From me in London. ๐Ÿ‘

  • Reply j dog October 14, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Hey I want to thank you for getting me the motivation to start playing gituar with your videos i like to watch YouTube so I don't have to talk to people with my bigger self so thank you for posting the videos i need to start playing my gituar and I was about to give up to so this is a big thank you

  • Reply DeepQantas October 14, 2019 at 6:51 am


  • Reply D A October 14, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Man, I could kiss you right now

  • Reply Sergio Altamirano October 14, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Just bought my First Acoustic Guitar. Canโ€™t wait till it gets here to start learning with you !

  • Reply Nico Herrera October 14, 2019 at 7:27 pm


  • Reply KoplikPlays October 15, 2019 at 4:36 am


  • Reply Gilbert-Ian Rueda October 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    amazing! I'm off to lesson two!

  • Reply Aiden Soto October 15, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    I got mesmerized by A sus2

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