Where do I begin…

I get this sort of email a lot, so I thought it would be good to post an answer here in case other people want to ask and just haven’t gotten around to it!

I stumbled across your website looking for easy songs to learn on my guitar. Love the site, I’m learning a lot really fast. I do find navigating your site awkward though.

I’m was trying to do your lessons in order but can’t seem to figure out what order they were written in with no dates or link to the next lesson. So I’m kind of doing it hodge-podge and finding myself doing way more surfing and reading then playing at times.

I’ve done all three of the abolsute beginner lessons (by the way there was no strumming lesson as promised in the first one that I could find). And because I was confused just moved to the first song in the easy list. I’m sure I’ve missed tons of theory that I would like to learn (I play piano so know the importance of knowing my theory). Could you lead me to which order the lessons go in?

Again, awesome, amazing website!! Thanks so much for all the work you’ve put into it. I’m actually sounding not too bad.

Thank you for writing. I’m glad that you’ve found Guitar Noise. If you don’t mind, I’d like to tell you a little bit about its history. This site was created back in 1995 (or 1996, I’m not sure which) by Paul Hackett. Originally it was a site that provided links to other guitar sites, but Paul wanted it to be more than that and started gathering volunteer writers to produce original material and lessons for the website.

I joined Paul’s team in November 1999. My task was simply to write. It wasn’t about having a lesson plan or anything, but simply to write for our readers. My early columns covered basic topics as well as exploring specific areas that people asked me questions about. One of those questions was “what’s the easiest song to learn,” which led to my writing the article on Horse With No Name and, after that, readership at Guitar Noise just kind of mushroomed.

At the beginning of the last decade, I considered myself fortunate if any of my lessons got over a hundred hits a month. Nowadays Guitar Noise is visited by over two million people each month. And, as you might imagine, these people are all at various stages of learning and enjoying the guitar. Some are total beginners. Some may have once tried the guitar and are finally get back to it. Some are people who have been playing for ages but want to know more about the “why”s of music and music theory so that they can become better musicians instead of simply copying tablature they’ve found.

So trying to write for this wide audience is, again as you might imagine, rather daunting. Especially since being a full time guitar teacher, I know that everyone learns and pick ups things at different paces. Some may instantly grasp a technique or an idea of theory while some may need it explained several different ways and at several different times in order to understand the same thing.

As impossible as it might seem, Guitar Noise tries to meet as many needs of players as possible. One of the big reasons that there is no “order” to the lessons is that I have no idea as to what individual needs a person visiting the site for the first time may be.

In order to help folks out, I am always willing to suggest a “lesson plan” for anyone who writes. You mentioned that you were looking for help in strumming. If you click on the “hot lessons” icon near the top of the page, which takes you to a page where you will find some very good “Strumming for Beginners” lessons. I would also suggest that you check out the Guitar Noise Podcasts, which are all about strumming technique as well as combining strumming with techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs and such, which you can learn more about it the lesson called Tricks of the Trade.

We also have a music theory page where you’ll find all sorts of articles on theory.

And most of the song lessons for both the “Easy Songs for Beginners” and the “Songs for Intermediates” get into ideas about theory and various techniques. We’re very proud of these song lessons because, essentially, they are reflections of the Guitar Noise philosophy. We don’t want you to just learn how to play a song. We want you to learn the ideas and techniques used in playing these lessons so that you can use them to play anything you want to.

So when you have a minute, tell me a little bit about yourself, about what you already know and about where you’d like to explore first. I’ll be more than happy to give you what guidance I can as far as where to look on our site for help and answers. Signing up for the Guitar Noise Forums is another excellent way to get ideas as to what to study and where to find material for it.

I hope this answers some of your questions and I look forward to chatting with you more.


If you’ve got any questions, we at Guitar Noise are always happy to answer them. Just send any of your questions to David at [email protected]. He (or another Guitar Noise contributor) may not answer immediately but he will definitely answer!