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Learn to play the electric guitar with our online guitar lessons

At electric-guitar.co.uk our guitar lessons are divided up into two sections. For those new to the guitar we provide an introductory course which aims to get you up and running on the guitar quickly whilst giving you a solid background in musical theory. For those with more experience, or those who have completed our introductory course, we offer lessons on a variety of more advanced topics.

The Introductory Course

If you have just got your new guitar, it is probably best to start off by working through this introductory course in sequence. By the end you will have a solid grasp of basic musical theory and what guitar playing is about. By the end of this course you should be able to play the harmony for most of your favourite songs using open and barre chords.


Introduction to the Electric Guitar


Before we start playing some music, this lesson kicks off our course by providing a simple introduction to how the electric guitar works and a guide to the different components which make it up.


First Notes


It's time to start playing your first notes on the electric guitar. This lesson begins by showing you how to hold the instrument before progressing on to left hand techniques and fretting notes.


Writing Down Electric Guitar Music


Two of the most important tools for communicating guitar music are tablature and chord diagrams. They are used throughout the rest of this course of guitar tuition and are ubiquitous on the internet so it is a good idea to get to grips with them right away.


Changing Strings


If you have not done so already, sooner or later you will have to replace a string on your electric guitar. This lesson guides you step-by-step through performing this simple procedure.


Tuning Up Your Guitar


If your electric guitar is out of tune, no matter how advanced your fretboard skills are, the 'music' you produce will not be something that many people will want to listen to. We show you here how to make sure that when you play a string it is producing the note that it should.


Basic Musical Theory


Don't let the word 'theory' in the title of this lesson put you off - this is one of the most interesting topics in the course. You will learn why the notes of your favourite songs work together to emote the feelings they do through the concepts of keys and scales.


Introduction to Chords


Guitars are often used to provide the harmony in modern music. This lesson will introduce you to playing chords on the guitar, giving a solid theoretical background, illustrating some basic chord shapes and some songs to try them out.


Barre Chords


As you may have noticed, there are literally hundreds of different open chord shapes as evidenced by this site's extensive chord dictionary. So what if one shape could somehow be used to play twelve different chords? That'd be a good idea, wouldn't it...




So you know where you've got to put the fingers of your fretting hand thanks to our great chord lessons and dictionary. But what about your other hand? To improve the rhythm of your playing we need to introduce the techniques of strumming and string muting.


Three Part Major Key Harmony


By now you should be able to play any major and minor chord. But which chords fit with which key? This lesson uses harmonisation of the major scale to discover which chords work with each major key and, as an added bonus, introduces you to the diminished chord.


Seventh Chords


So far in the course we have covered the most common three note chords, but many pieces use chords made up of four different notes. Through the process of harmonising the major scale, this lesson derives the major 7, minor 7, dominant 7 and m7b5 chords.

More Advanced Lessons

If you are an experienced guitar player, or have completed the introductory course, why not expand your knowledge of guitar playing by looking at some of our more advanced lessons?


Lead Effects (Basic)


Spice up your soloing by adding in some hammer ons, pull offs, string bends and slides.


Pentatonics (Basic)


The pentatonic scales are among the most important scales in modern guitar music. They fit over a wide variety of chords, and are popular for soloing in many styles of music.


Basic Arpeggios (Basic)


This introduction to arpeggios explains their construction as well as a diagram for the popular major shape.


Arpeggio Shapes (Moderate)


A guide to popular major and minor arpeggio shapes, both root 5 and root 6.


Playing Fast (Moderate)


Learn how to play fast licks using hammer ons and pull offs.


Harmonic Minor (Moderate)


Mentioned in the Basic Musical Theory lesson, the harmonic minor is one of the three most common minor scales alongside the natural and melodic minor. Here we cover the theory behind the scale and illustrate how to play it using a scale diagram.


Dexterity (Moderate)


Lots of exercises to build up the strength and accuracy of your fingers.


String Skipping (Moderate)


Like the dexterity lesson, these exercises will improve the strength and accuracy of your fingers. They can also be incorporated into solos.


Modes (Advanced)


Find out how the modes are constructed, and how to play them.


Jazz Comping (Advanced)


Some ideas for making your rhythm playing sound more interesting.


Tapping (Advanced)


Learn how to tap notes on the fingerboard. With examples from Metallica and Van Halen.


Sweep Picking (Advanced)


Sweep picking is a technique used in several styles of music in order to play a sequence of notes extremely fast. This lesson teaches you the basic method as well as showing more advanced examples for guitarists experienced with sweeping.


Harmonisation Part 1 (Advanced)


Learn how to harmonise your lead playing, at the same time developing your knowledge of the guitar neck and giving you different ideas of where to take that solo. You are guided through the process of harmonising songs step by step, with examples included.


Harmonisation Part 2 (Advanced)


The second lesson in our harmonisation series takes the idea further, harmonising into fifths.