New Guitar: How to Win Your First 90 Days

Your First 90 Days with Your New Guitar

Congratulations on your New Guitar!

This is an exciting time, and you are probably eager to start playing. You’re about to embark on a journey of learning and discovery. In this blog post, we will discuss the first 90 days with your new guitar.

In order to get the most out of your new guitar, it’s important to establish a practice routine as soon as possible. A good way to start off is by dedicating at least 15 minutes per day to learning and practicing. 

Yes, it’s true – you read that correctly: 15 minutes a day. The daily lesson is only a little spoonful so you may safely consume it in one sitting and then look forward to the next day. The time is ideal for those who have a busy schedule and provides no room for us to slack off. Of course, you may always extend as long as your time allows.

First Month with your New Guitar

Days 1 to 14: Guitar Basics

The majority of the first two weeks’ guitar lessons are fairly theoretical in order to properly lay a foundation. I know how eager you are to start playing your guitar right now, but learning about it or how to use it properly is also essential. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always go over the prior lesson.

Day 1: Learn the Parts of Your Guitar

In order to start playing guitar, you need to know the parts of your instrument. Take a moment to look over these different parts and get comfortable with their names.

Day 2: How to Hold A Guitar: Proper Posture and Hand Positioning

Day 3: How to Hold A Guitar Pick

Day 4: How to Properly Clean Your Guitar

Day 5: String Names and Standard Tuning

Day 6: Music Alphabet

Day 7: Proper Fretting Techniques

Day 8: Beginner Finger Exercises to Warm Up

Day 9: Listening to Popular Music Genres

Day 10: Vocabulary for Guitar Players

Day 11: Understanding the Chord Chart

Day 12: First Chord (Em) and Counting the Beat

Day 13: Tuning a Guitar By Ear: 5th Fret Method

Day 14: Intro to Strumming: Theory & Down Strum Exercises

  • Strumming & Rhythm
  • 4-beat Down Strum with accents on beat 1, beat 1 & 3, beat 2 & 4
  • Play Em using the 4-beat down strum patterns

Days 15 to 30: Beginner Guitar Chords: 5 Open Chords

It’s time to get more involved with the guitar strings with these five simple guitar chords. We’ll start with your left hand first. I’d recommend working on one chord at a time. Go down each string one at a time to ensure that it is correctly fretted and ringing clearly.

You’ll also be able to play chords in twos or threes, so you’ll be ready once you get to perform a song. Again, FOCUS on fretting the note right until you can hear a clear sound from each string. 

Here’s what you should do for the next fourteen days:

  • Make sure the chord is fretted properly.
  • Inspect the strings one at a time if it’s ringing clearly.
  • Strum the chord a couple of times using downstrokes to test if all of the strings are sounding correctly after checking each string separately.
  • For the chord combinations, alternate strumming is recommended. 4 counts on each chord is a good place to start. If you think you can now comfortably fret the chords, try adjusting the counts or beats of each to 2 counts each or 1 count if feasible.
5 Open Chords: A, C, D, E, G

Day 15: A major (A)

Day 16: E major (E)

Day 17: Strumming A & E chords alternately.

Day 18: D major (D)

Day 19: Strumming A & D chords alternately.

Day 20: Strumming D & E chords alternately.

Day 21: C major (C)

Day 22: Strumming C & D chords alternately.

Day 23: G major (G)

Day 24: Strumming G & C chords alternately.

Day 25: Strumming G & A chords alternately.

Day 26: Strumming G & D chords alternately.

Day 27 & 28: Strumming A, D and E chords alternately.

Day 29 & 30: Strumming G, C and D chords alternately.

Second Month with your New Guitar

Days 31 to 45: More Basic Chords

Guitar Basics

The next 15 days of your second month will focus on learning more fundamental chords, including minor and seventh chords.

On some days, you may notice that the length of your guitar lessons is shorter because these chords incorporate modifications from their basic form. We think that if you’re able to fret chords correctly in the previous weeks, this stage will go more smoothly.

When strumming these chords, simply play the previous weeks’ beat pattern per chord.

Introducing Basic Minor Chords

Day 31: A minor (Am)

Day 32 & 33: Strumming Am & C alternately.

Day 34: D minor (Dm)

Day 35 & 36: Strumming Dm & C alternately.

Day 37 to 38: Strumming Em & C alternately.

Forming Seventh or Dominant 7th

Day 39: A7, C7, D7

Day 40: B7, E7

Playing Seventh Chords

Day 41: A7, E7

Day 42: A7, D7

Day 43: C7, D7

Day 44 & 45: B7, E7

If you’re wondering why it’s taking you so long to play a song, consider this: You’ve already done it. You might come across a song for most of the chord combinations you’ve practiced in the previous weeks.

Days 46 to 60: Songs & Chord Progression

Now is the time to put your month-long practice sessions with open chords to good use by playing simple guitar songs.

Day 46 & 47: Intro to Chord Progressions & Song Sections

  • CP + S = Song (Chord Progression + Strumming = Song)
  • Song Sections:  Verse – Chorus – Bridge
  • Easy Progression: G, Em, C, D.

Practice the chord progression for two days using the same beat pattern as previously.

Playing Easy Guitar Songs

You’ll be playing songs that make use of the progression (or some chords in the progression) you’ve been practicing for the past two days.

Day 48 to 51: Easy Guitar Song #1 (4 days)Last Kiss by Pearl Jam: G Em C D

Day 52 to 55: Easy Guitar Song #2 (4 days)Stand By Me by Ben E. King: G Em C D G

Day 56 to 59: Easy Guitar Song #3 (4 days)Payphone by Maroon 5: C G Em D, capo 4

Day 60: Keep Playing All Songs

You may have spent the bulk of your time fretting chords, but all of this striving will hopefully cut down the amount of practice you need to master songs.

Third Month with your New Guitar

Days 61 to 75: Barre Chords

Barre chords are moveable chords that enable you to play all of the other chords in the music alphabet by moving the whole shape of a chord up and down the fretboard.

Day 61: Forming F & B Barre Chords

On this day, focus on the three lessons listed below and be at ease with both E-form and A-form barre chords simply by forming their shapes.

  • Understanding E-Form & A-Form Barre Chords
  • Proper Placement and Techniques
  • Fretting F & B Chords 
Strumming Barre Chords

It’s now time to get your strings playing. You must be able to fret properly these two barre chords you just learned, ensuring that they are both ringing clearly. You’ll have four days each to successfully strum these barre chords.

Day 62 to 65: Strumming F Major (F) on 6th String, E-Form

Day 66 to 69: Strumming B Major (B) on 5th String, A-Form

Easy Guitar Songs with 2 Chords (1 Barre Chord) (4 days)

The following four days are a special treat for you. We have songs here with just two chords: one is a barre chord. If you’re still having trouble learning two songs, concentrate on just one to practice for the days specified.

Day 70 & 71: Feelin’ Alright by Traffic – C & F with 4 beats each

Day 72 & 73: Born In The U.S.A by Bruce Springsteen – B & E in 4/4 time signature with 4 bars each chord

Forming Other Barre Chords

The goal of this section is to have a general understanding of minor, seventh, and minor 7th barre chord constructions based on E-form and A-form. You need to realize that barre chords are all about repeating patterns that you must pay close attention to in order to remember later on.

Day 74: Minor, Seventh/Dominant 7th, Minor 7th Barre Chords on 6th String, from E-Form

Day 75: Minor, Seventh/Dominant 7th, Minor 7th Barre Chords on 5th String, from A-Form

Days 76 to 90: Beginner Chord Progressions and Strumming Patterns

The final reward for completing 90 days is learning how to make your own original song with popular chord progressions and basic strumming patterns, which combine up-down strokes.

Day 76 to 78: Learning Common Chord Progression (3 days)

Chords and scales are intricately connected.

The musical scale is made up of seven notes, the eighth note being identical to the first, an octave higher. You may make a chord progression from the chord family derived from the scale of the key or chord you’ve chosen for your song.

The intervals between the notes of a major scale are as follows:

whole step, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half

  • Scale Degree/Position: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or I, ii, iii, IV, v, vii, V, viio
  • A Major scale is written A–B–C♯–D–E–F♯–G♯.
  • Chord qualities: I (major), II (minor), III (minor), IV (major), V (major), VI (minor), VII (diminished)
  • A Major chord (A) family is written: A–Bm–C♯m–D–E–F♯m–G♯o
Popular Chord Progressions

I, IV, V in all major keys

Different Chord Progressions in key of C

  • I–V–vi–IV : C–G–Am–F
  • V–vi–IV–I : G–Am–F–C
  • vi–IV–I–V : Am–F–C–G
  • IV–I–V–vi : F–C–G–Am
  • I–IV–V–IV : C–F–G–F
  • I–vi–IV–V : C–Am–F–G

Day 79 to 82: Learning Basic Strumming Patterns (4 days)

It’s time to move on from all downstroke strumming patterns and prepare for an upstroke. Don’t worry, there are plenty of simple strumming patterns that use up-down strokes.

  • Strumming Patterns with Up-Down Strokes

Day 83 to 90: Creating Music Using a Basic Progression (8 days)

Make sure you have a good time making your own song by following these easy guidelines. Don’t be so harsh with it; I encourage you to have fun creating your own original composition.

It’s possible that you’ll have trouble writing the lyrics at this time; simply write down anything that comes to mind. That’s equally as brilliant and creative.

  • Choose a song Key
  • Find a Theme or Title
  • Choose a basic progression
  • Make melodies from the progression
  • Write the lyrics

90 Days and MORE!

A guitar practice routine should be tailored to your individual needs at your own pace. You may create your own timetable and decide on the number of guitar lessons you wish to complete in a day. Determine what works best for you and create a daily program that is suited to your skill level and playing style.

This is only the beginning; you have a long time to master the lessons and advance further. You’re undoubtedly on the road to a great journey, and it’s well worth your time. 

Keep going!

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