About this Course
4.8
1,289 ratings
362 reviews
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....
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100% online courses

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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 6-8 hours/week

Approx. 17 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English, Vietnamese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 6-8 hours/week

Approx. 17 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Vietnamese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

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 MOOC....
Reading
5 readings, 1 quiz
Reading5 readings
Meet Your Teaching Assistants10m
Connect with Your Classmates10m
Getting to Know You10m
Course Resources10m
Earn A Course Certificate10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
What Are Your Goals?8m
Clock
3 hours to complete

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....
Reading
7 videos (Total 33 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video7 videos
Choosing the Right Guitar: Right-Handed vs Left-Handed3m
Essential Accessories for Acoustic Guitar7m
Essential Accessories for Electric Guitar4m
Parts of the Guitar (Electric and Acoustic)6m
Chord Block Diagrams and Fretboard Maps2m
A Minor and E Major Chords5m
Reading3 readings
Guide to Chord Block Diagrams and Fretboard Maps10m
A Minor and E Major Chord Block Diagrams10m
Comparing Major and Minor Chordsm
Quiz4 practice exercises
Essential Accessories15m
Identifying the Parts of the Guitar30m
Chord Block Diagrams and Fretboard Maps25m
Lesson Reflection4m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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....
Reading
7 videos (Total 52 min), 5 readings, 4 quizzes
Video7 videos
Tuning Your Guitar with a Tuner8m
Tuning Your Guitar by Matching10m
Tuning Your Guitar with Harmonics4m
Picking Technique10m
Finger Picking8m
Strumming the Guitar6m
Reading5 readings
Online Guitar Tuner from Berklee Online10m
Guide to Picking15m
Guide to Fingerpicking15m
Guide to Strumming15m
Exercise: Picking and Strumming10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
String Names and Numbers24m
Tuning Your Guitar20m
Finger Picking10m
Lesson Reflection4m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

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....
Reading
4 videos (Total 29 min), 2 readings, 5 quizzes
Video4 videos
Notes on the Fretboard8m
Rhythm Basics5m
Music Notation and Tablature6m
Reading2 readings
The Note Wheel10m
Exercise: Playing Notes10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Twelve Frets and Twelve Half Steps30m
Notes on the Fretboard24m
Rhythm Basics16m
Music Notation and Tablature4m
Lesson Reflection4m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

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. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 45 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
Video6 videos
The Chromatic Scale on a Single String7m
The Chromatic Scale in First Position8m
The Chromatic Scale in Other Positions9m
Major Scales9m
More on Major Scales6m
Reading2 readings
Major Scale Pattern10m
Exercise: Playing Scales10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Position Playing10m
The Chromatic Scale12m
The Major Scale12m
Lesson Reflection4m
4.8
Direction Signs

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Top Reviews

By RROct 12th 2015

Dear Friends,\n\nI really enjoyed this course, specially the way "Thaddeus Hogarth" teach the course, It is unbelievably strong and master piece.\n\nThanks a lot "Thaddeus Hogarth"\n\nGod bless you

By MGAug 9th 2017

Amazing course for a beginner and someone who want to pick it up after a long break. I would suggest this for people who has sufficient experience with the instrument. The tutor is really amazing.

Instructor

Thaddeus Hogarth

Associate Professor
Guitar

About Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than half a century, the college has evolved to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. Berklee serves distance learners worldwide through its award-winning online extension school, Berklee Online....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.