27 Comments

  1. Cheryl Nolan
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:31:57

    I just want to thank Guitar Noise for helping me to learn to play guitar. After reviewing many websites that offer free lessons on line; Guitar Noise is simply the best. Lessons are clear, concise and cover just about any topic you can think of. Thanks Guitar Noise; I am really enjoying the process of learning to play the guitar.

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:49:17

      Hello Cheryl

      And thank you for your kind words! And while we here at Guitar Noise take a lot of pride in our lessons, we also think that one of our biggest strengths is our community. On our Forum pages you will get a lot of great advice from guitarists of all levels of experience, from fellow beginners to those who’ve been playing for more than fifty years. I’m not sure there’s a friendlier place out there on the Internet.

      And you should always feel free to post any questions you may have here or email me directly at dhodgeguitar@aol.com.

      Looking forward to hearing how things are progressing with you.

      Peace

      Reply

  2. Howard
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 13:05:20

    Thanks Dave, i’m new to the guitar, just bought my first one last week, i have followed your tutorial closely and found it good, my problem seems to be strumming, the pattern doesn’t quite fit, what am i doing wrong.

    cheers

    How

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Feb 29, 2012 @ 15:12:14

      Hi Howard

      Thanks for writing and welcome to Guitar Noise!

      When you say “the pattern doesn’t quite fit” I have to ask “Fit what, exactly?” If you’re trying to make yourself sound exactly like the guitar on the original recording of “Horse With no Name,” you can’t – because there is more than a single guitar strumming chords in that recording of the song. One of the biggest traps that beginning guitarists fall into nowadays is the idea of there being something called a “strumming pattern.” To play a song correctly, it’s about keeping the rhythm right, not about following the specific strumming done on the original recording. We’ve a good article here at Guitar Noise called “The Pattern Trap” (http://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/the-pattern-trap/) that might be of help to you.

      Without being able to hear you strum in order to make sure you’re keeping time correctly, it’s close to impossible to say that you’re doing anything wrong. So if you can let me know why you think you’re off (and you can post again here or email me directly at dhodgeguitar@aol.com) I’ll do my best to help.

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.

      Peace

      Reply

  3. Carlos
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:20:06

    Hey

    The “HORSE3.mp3″ is missing, you loaded No. 4 twice :(

    Can you please load the missing one :) i love the song.

    Thanks for the articles!!!!!

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:58:35

      Hi Carlos

      Sorry about that! I’ve think I’ve managed to fix it (and considering that Paul usually does this sort of thing since my computer skills are practically non-existent, this is a big step!), so try it again and see if it works.

      Peace

      David

      Reply

  4. Carlos
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 17:44:59

    Fixed and working! thanks a lot for the fast response.

    Keep writing articles please, i love the webpage, I’m learning superfast!

    Cheers!

    Carlos

    Reply

  5. Joey Blue
    May 11, 2012 @ 21:09:48

    Of course “A Horse With No Name” is easy. It only has 2 chords. It is musically monotonous.

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      May 12, 2012 @ 16:39:41

      Hi Joey

      Thanks for writing and I agree with your assessment that “Horse With No Name” is easy because it just has two chords. For someone who has just picked up a guitar and possibly never played a single chord before, this is the sort of song that is encouraging because it’s reasonably easy to play. Usually a beginner is so engrossed with making the chord changes, not to mention doing so in steady rhythm, that there’s little opportunity (at least at first) to become bored.

      Being “musically monotonous,” though, is an entirely differrent matter. Any song can become boring after a while. A good musician can make any song, even one with one, two or three chords, sound interesting. That’s one of the reasons behind the “follow up” article to this song lesson (http://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/horse-with-no-name-2/) – to give a beginner some basic ideas on which to start creating his or her own arrangement to the song. And to plant the seeds of musical exploration and adventure.

      There are, as I’m sure you’re well aware, guitarists of a seemingly infinite degrees of playing levels and expertise. This particular song lesson is certainly not meant for someone who’s been playing a while! However, anyone who has been playing a while and who is into creating music can, more likely than not, come up with even more ways to keep a simple song like this from becoming musically monotonous. That’s part of the fun of playing.

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.

      Peace

      Reply

  6. bob
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 11:42:59

    cannot beleive it, just got a guitar, tuned it, sort of, and on my first day have played a tune, amazing, even my wife said she recognised it, what a great feeling for a pensioner. congratulations on your very clear and well constructed lessons

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Jun 06, 2012 @ 06:58:53

      Hi

      Thanks for writing (and for your kind words) and congratulations! Welcome to the wonder of making music!

      The cool thing is that this is just the starting place. You’ve got a whole world of music waiting for you to play! Enjoy!

      And always feel free to post here (or email me directly) with any questions you may have. Looking forward to hearing how things are going with you.

      Peace

      Reply

  7. TOM JUNG
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 16:27:47

    David, my friend, your lessons great so clear and concise. The lessons and blog keep my fired up for guitar learning and enjoyment. Thanks so much. Tom

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Jun 27, 2012 @ 20:08:16

      You’re welcome, Tom. Thanks for your kind words.

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.

      Peace

      Reply

  8. Jazzsaxman
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 14:52:00

    Great lessons. I play sax and decided to take up guitar to help with my understanding of chord progression. With the silent guitar and your tutorials I can practise late. Thanks David look forward to the next one.

    Reply

  9. deercoffee
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 07:45:16

    Thank you for this! I just started trying to play the guitar last week and was so glad to stumble upon this well understandable lesson. It’s so much fun to alter this song step by step.

    Reply

  10. Tony Miranda
    Oct 30, 2012 @ 09:29:31

    I enjoyed your in-depth tutorial concerning this song, which by the way, is one of my favorites and easiest to play. However on the second part of the song (chorus) I play a Em9 and a Dmaj9 which I learned from a songbook for easy guitar playing. those are not hard to play and makes the song less monotonous.

    Reply

    • David Hodge
      Oct 30, 2012 @ 12:06:01

      Hi Tony

      And thank you for your kind words concerning our “Horse With No Name” tutorial. Glad you liked it.

      You certainly can play the chords you mention during the chorus, or even during part of the verses. D6 (XX0202) also works well. And making the song less monotonous is a good thing. On the original recording there are several acoustic guitar parts (at least one done with a twelve-string guitar) playing different chords and voicings so changing around when we’re playing a single-guitar arrangement is definitely a smart way to go.

      Looking forward to chatting with you again.

      Peace

      Reply

  11. Les
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 05:42:07

    Thank you very much for this website, I have found that after several failed attempts to learn guitar I now have something I can both follow and relate to. Horse with no name is an inspired choice as a beginners tune and at 50 years old to at last be able to play a song and have it sound correct is brilliant.

    Looking forward to trying out the rest of the tunes.

    Reply

  12. Jacob
    May 27, 2013 @ 10:22:51

    Hello, I’m just starting out on guitar, and I’m very lucky to have found your site. Although, I seem to have a lot of trouble with an upstroke. Not the rhythm, just playing an upstroke. Help.

    Reply

  13. David Hodge
    May 27, 2013 @ 17:49:50

    Hi Jacob

    Thanks for writing. Without being able to see you play, it would be helpful to know more about what, exactly, the trouble with the upstroke is. For most beginners the key to playing upstrokes is to realize two things – first, it’s a matter of strumming with the wrist and keeping the wrist going in a perpetual motion. Second, it’s only necessary to strike two or three strings on the upstroke. Hitting all six strings tends to create a muddy sound. Think of the upstroke as a short motion with the purpose of positioning yourself for the next downstroke.

    I hope this helps get you going. Please feel free to write more about your difficulty if this advice isn’t helpful.

    Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    Peace

    Reply

  14. bob
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 10:50:15

    Hi David, this was my first song i learned about a year ago, strange how i keep going back to it, anyway, thought i would learn some theory and boy what a pickle I’ve got in. pentantics, root notes and stuff, does an old codger have to learn theory, don’t want to set the world on fire, just bumble along trying to remember my youth!!
    Doing a great job, by the way, please don’t stop now!

    Reply

  15. Claudine
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 09:27:21

    (Sorry for my bad english)
    Hi,
    i just started Guitar last week ( I m 48 years old)
    thank you for your job, your explanations are so clear that it’s a very big help for me to understand how the way to move my hand, to find the rythm.

    Amitiés.

    Reply

  16. Juan David
    Jan 14, 2014 @ 21:20:21

    Thanks a lot, this is a great lesson!
    Thanks!

    Reply

  17. Debe
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 19:10:37

    Hi Mr. David! I have played the drums for about 17 yrs and decided to try the guitar. I have been poking at it for about 2 yrs and decided to get series about it. I know all the basic cords (except the F & B) which I cannot seem to master. My problem is, because I am a drummer, I seem to follow the BEAT of the song with my strumming! So needless to say it is a hard transition for me. I was looking at your lesson on the song Horse with No Name and was wondering if you have video to go along with your lessons? I would also like to know what you are charging to get these lessons and how often you give them? Thank you for you the lesson you gave and I will be giving it a try till I get it right!
    Your musical new guitar friend,
    Debe

    Reply

  18. Solphivyaé Rose Thunderword. - Cohen
    May 13, 2014 @ 11:36:35

    Hello Mr. Hodge,

    I am a beginning guitarist. I recently purchased a guitar for my 49th birthday.

    After scouring the Internet for free lessons and after trying out many different sites I like yours the best. Why? Because the instructions here come in small chunks and the directions and their related images are clear and concise. And last but not least, you make the lessons fun. It’s not a collection a boring repetitive finger exercises I’m actually learning how to play song. WHILE, i’m learning chords etc.

    Thank you for this site and being a really cool teacher.

    Because I live on a fixed income your site is a blessing to me.

    Reply

  19. Daniel Minchew
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 09:11:34

    David, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU i have owned a guitar for over 35 years,im 52 now and never could understand music,beats, and patterns till now.Blessings and thanks!

    Reply

  20. Tasha
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 07:13:37

    This is the best lesson ever!! Played this song as a beginner years ago & basically just strummed the chords once per line where it says…. had no clue!!! May encourage me to pick it up again.. :)

    Reply

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