Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Online Course

Guitar for Beginners

Berklee College of Music via Coursera


Grasp the essentials needed to begin playing acoustic or electric guitar. You'll learn an easy approach to get you playing quickly, through a combination of exploring the instrument, performance technique, and basic music theory.

For students who have long thought about picking up the acoustic or electric guitar, this course will provide an easy-access foundation that will get you playing. When first learning guitar, it is important to have the material presented in stages, in an enjoyable way that allows you to grasp the basics of the instrument and music. The course begins simply with the parts of the guitar, the names of the strings, tuning, and technique—whether finger-style or pick. It then explores the basics of music theory with such topics as scales, triads, power chords, and fingering and shapes.

At the end of this course, students will understand the structure, parts, and accessories of the instrument, in addition to an understanding of its basic maintenance. Electric guitar players will learn the operation of their instrument along with basic options for amplification, effect pedals, and sounds. Students will also learn to develop correct technique and apply theory concepts to their playing. They will have the foundational knowledge necessary to pursue most intermediate guitar courses.


Welcome to Introduction to Guitar
-Welcome to Guitar for Beginners! Before you begin the course, we will cover all the details about the course and what you'll need to know to get the most out of your Berklee massive online course.

Acoustic / Electric Guitar and the Basics
-In this first lesson, we will take things slow. We will focus on how to choose the right guitar for you and what accessories are essential for any guitar player. We'll also learn the parts of the guitar and get you comfortable with your instrument.

Getting Started: Fundamental Guitar Skills
-In this lesson, you will learn how to tune and you will start playing your instrument from the ground up! Be patient and remember: focus on being accurate and play in consistent time with your metronome. These things are far more important than playing with speed.

The Twelve Half Steps and Basic Notation
-While you don’t need to be an expert on music theory to play guitar, it is important to know the basic building blocks of music. With this understanding, music will no longer be shrouded in mystery or complexity. This lesson presents fundamental musical ideas in a fun, non-intimidating way.

Scales: Construction and Fingerings
-In this lesson, you will dig into scales. Don’t be intimidated. Some of you may have heard of, or practiced, scales. It might have been during piano lessons. Most likely it wasn’t very exciting for you. Hopefully you'll find the approach to scales in lesson 4 much easier and even fun.

Chords: Building Easy Triads and Power Chords
-In this lesson, you will use all of the skills you’ve gained from the previous lessons to build the foundation of harmony. You will play certain scale notes at the same time to create chords. Let's look at why chords sound like they do, how to build them, how to easily play chords in open position, and how to play chords that you can move all around the neck.

Putting it All Together: The Pentatonic Scale and Songs
-Now that you have the "science" of the guitar in your fingers, you will learn a couple of songs. You will do this by using melody (from the scales) and harmony (from the chords) we have learned. You will also learn an essential scale for playing melodies and soloing.

Taught by

Thaddeus Hogarth


Related Courses


4.5 rating, based on 19 reviews

Start your review of Guitar for Beginners

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Good basic intro to guitar for someone who has barely held the instrument. It starts you with just two chords. Then a few scales. But the last part is suddenly very difficult for a beginner, a whole lot of chords including barre chords, and only one...
  • Soumik Chattapadhyay

    Soumik Chattapadhyay completed this course.

    Excellent course for Guitar beginners. Each part is thoroughly explained and if you have any doubt there will always be the discussion forum for help.
  • Roberto Medrano

    Roberto Medrano is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    The course is a good intro to the very basics. I'm not completing the course, because it's too basic for me, but I'd recommend it to someone who is just starting. Unfortunately, the teacher is dull and uninspiring. Not a tone (no pun intended) of excitement. He doesn't seem to enjoy teaching the class. I took a Berklee intro to music lead by a piano teacher, he would often say the only requirement is to have fun. And it was fun, he made it fun.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is a great course, well thought out and presented.
  • Profile image for Saleem Mahfoos
    Saleem Mahfoos

    Saleem Mahfoos is taking this course right now.

    Hi my name is my force my my goal is guitar main goal is one of singer and guitarist and you I am so much singer big singer in India please support me please please teaching me in teaching me guitar please sir and guitarist is my goal and this singer...
  • Sylvia is taking this course right now.

  • Kripa Sankar

    Kripa Sankar is taking this course right now.

  • Aana

    Aana completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

  • Lachlan completed this course.

  • Vibhanshu Sharma is taking this course right now.

  • Marat Minshin

    Marat Minshin completed this course.

  • Ameera Barakate is taking this course right now.

  • Fabi

    Fabi completed this course.

  • Tony Soprano

    Tony Soprano completed this course.

  • Nikola

    Nikola completed this course.

  • Srikrishna

    Srikrishna is taking this course right now.

  • Sydney Peters

    Sydney Peters is taking this course right now.

  • Profile image for Herman Starzhynski
    Herman Starzhynski

    Herman Starzhynski completed this course.

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free

Never stop learning Never Stop Learning!

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free