Welcome to Guitar club – Week 1

Welcome to the first session of Guitar club.

Aim: by the end of these sessions you will be able to play ‘Good Riddance’ by green day.  Have a listen.

In this session we will learn some basic guitar care and how to play an E minor chord.

First basic guitar care.classical-guitar-part-names

Guitars need to be treated with care.  If you bump them the will not like it and sound terrible.  To store the guitar keep it in a safe place that is dry and stays at a fairly consistent temperature – don’t leave it on the floor just outside the kitchen door!

Tune your guitar.  I have been playing the guitar for just over 5 years and I still can’t tune a guitar by ear, that is just using my ears.  I use an app on my phone.  To do this I sit with the body of the guitar on my lap and pluck one string at a time.  I then adjust the tuning pegs on the head until the app tells me that it is in tune.  The guitar strings should play the notes E, A, D, G, B, E with the lowest sounding string at the top (nearest your face) and the highest sounding string, confusingly, at the bottom.

Below you will find links to free tuning apps or online tuning sites.

Android app – gstrings

Apple app – guitar tuna

Online tuner


Ok I want you to have your guitar tuned and ready for all of our future sessions.  The more you do it the more your ear will become accustomed to the correct sound.  Although I have said I can’t tune by ear, I can hear if a guitar is our of tune (a surprisingly difficult skill that does take time to learn).


Now we will learn how to play a chord.

But first, the guitar’s neck has frets.  When you press your fingers on these and pluck the string, you change the note (as an aside, your fingers will hurt a little.  The more you play the less they will hurt).  The frets are arranged like a piano keyboard.  So the top string (which is a low E), when played open plays an E note.  If you hold down the string at the first fret you will play the next note along on the piano keyboard, F.  The next fret along will play an F sharp and so on.  I will talk a little about chords but look in the curriculum section, under music to get a brief description.

We are going to play the Em (E minor chord).  Below is a diagram for you to practice at home.



This is a standard chord diagram.  The number 1 on the side indicates that this is the first fret.  The circles at the top mean that these strings are strummed open (with no fingers on the strings).  The numbers in black circles are suggestions for which fingers to use (see below diagram).  Although there is not right and wrong fingers to use, using the suggested fingers will help later on when we start playing songs.


Practice this chord with the strumming pattern down, down, up, up down up.


Have fun and check http://guitarsjar.com/!


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  1. I really enjoy guitar club it is so fun it is the best club in the school.I am practicsing at home and i have got the guitar tuner app on my mums phone. :) :) :)

  2. The class looked great fun! Thank you Mr Harwood for giving up some time to support the children and teach them a new skill. I want them to be able to perform something by Easter so that we can post on the blog. Are you up for the challenge.?

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