Category: how to learn guitar

Hey my name is Herc Magnus ya the guy you see in the pic.  I hear about 100 times a week that I look like Dave Grohl, which is actually really cool cause that guy rules!  I play in a hard rock band called Hollywood Assassyn, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada but I also love to just pick on my acoustic!

There’s a Youtube video at the bottom of this page with me playing on it.  Some ok stuff. And if you wanna see more, use the My Videos link at the top of the page.

Listen…Can I give you any advice regarding learning guitar?


herc magnus

I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years now and I’ve learned a lot of things about playing guitar but probably the two biggest pieces of advice I can give you are these

1.) Play what you love!
If you have a song that you know off by heart, like you know every word, and every beat, and you can sing the guitar parts in your head…you are ready to learn to play that song.  Start there!  You’ll know right away if you are doing it right or wrong, because the ‘memory’ that you have of that song should be extremely STRONG so you’ll know if you are nailing it or not.

Most songs are typically broken down into 3 main parts that just repeat at different times.  Verses, Chorus and Bridge.  That’s it.  Even tho a song is typically 3 to 5 mins long, it’s cycling through only 3 main sections.  So you don’t have to learn a 5 min song, you just gotta learn 3 parts.

Now each part (verse, chorus, bridge) is broken down into a CHORD PROGRESSION which is usually only made up of 3 or 4 chords in a sequence.  Easy right?  Even easier is that the verse and chorus will often use some of the same chords…quite often actually.  So in total to learn most songs, you’ll only need to learn like 4-6 chords!
Now just pick a song you like, find out the chord progressions of each part, then play it until it sounds right in your head!

Next advice…

2.)  Take some lessons!
Lessons are what’s gonna take you from everyone absolutely hating it when you reach for the guitar, to people asking you to play for them.  Now not all people are going to need lessons, some guys and gals are just naturally fast learners…for the rest of us however, lessons are gonna speed up your guitar godness quite a lot faster than trying to learn by ear or something.

Now I have to clear something up!  Lessons is a shitty word.  I don’t like to use it, but there’s really no other word.  So you need to ‘learn to play guitar’ and lessons are the thing that really really helps.

But not like lessons from your local guitar lessons teachers and shit.  Those guys are sometimes good, sometimes bad but worst of all, they are ridiculously expensive for what you get.  Some of you will like that personal attention they give, but man…you’re gonna pay for it.   Most of them charge anywhere from $20 – $50 per hour of guitar instruction.

We’re trying to learn guitar here…not pay off some dudes rent or car or something.  Eff that!

The lessons I’m talking about are online lessons.  We live in the 2010’s man…there’s great stuff everywhere you go.  YouTube is a really cool resource as well, especially when you just wanna learn a song.

But when you wanna go from playing in your bedroom to wowing your buddies at parties, or even hitting a stage, I’d honestly invest in some organized online lessons.  There’s a lot of great websites for that as well!

My personal favorite site that I use is called Guitar Tricks.
(check out that link, your whole screen will love you for it!  It’s pretty awesome what they do, haven’t seen that anywhere else!)

It’s retarded how much amazing content you get and how well organized it is.  If you want to give yourself some structure (I kinda hate it, but I know it’s a really good thing to have) Guitar Tricks has a CORE LEARNING SYSTEM where they take you step by step through a guitar learning system.

There’s lessons for Acoustic, Metal, Blues (my fav) Country, Rock and even Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Funk and Surf!  You can
There’s a songs library where they teach you how to play songs, there’s an instructors corner where you can pick an instructor you like the style of, there’s backing tracks so that you can practice shredding in any key you want, there’s a lessons tab.  It’s just SICK how much stuff is in there.

Here’s the absolute BEST PART OF ALL

…guitar lessons from the bald dude down the street are $40/hour.
…guitar lessons from Guitar Tricks are Less Than $15/MONTH!


Honestly man…$15 bucks per month is chump change and you know it.  Like I said, I’ve been playing guitar for like 2 decades now, and I still think there’s tons of shit in there that’s awesome.  Actually…I’m gonna post a video review and take you inside in a few days, but for now just do this.

Get started for free with Guitar Tricks right now.

Oh why did I say free?  Cause the first 14 days are FREE… ;0)


Then Pay Only $15/Month For Unlimited Lessons


Ok now as I said waaaay up above…here’s some Youtube Video of me playing acoustic and singing 🙂


Ya, that’s right, 24 absolutely free video lessons are coming your way right now!

Video lessons are the absolute best way to learn new licks, songs and riffs for any guitar player!

I am a self taught player, and the easiest and most productive way I learned, was simply to learn the songs I already knew and loved. I mean, I knew right away if I was screwing it up cause I could hear it!

Guitar Tricks website has so much killer stuff, it’s never ending. This includes hundreds of song lessons, where a guitar teacher will show you exactly how to play each part of the song perfectly. Including verses, choruses, solos, and even guitar harmonies if the song has em.

Check out this RIDICULOUS list of songs
that Guitar Tricks has available for you to learn!

Ok so now for the free video lessons!  There are 4 on this page, but just for signing up for a basic free account, you get 20 more lessons, which totals 24 free lessons!

Click Here To Grab Your 24 Free Video Guitar Lessons!

Learning how to read a chord diagram is probably one of the most helpful things you can do in order to start playing your favorite songs fast.  Chord diagrams give you a very visual representation of how to place your fingers on the fret board in order to strum out the perfect chord that you are looking for.

Almost all guitar tabulature or tabs that you will get have chord diagrams that show you how to play a specific chord and where it is played in the song.  All you have to do is press the right strings on the right frets and you are in business!  It’s most typical for chord diagrams to use little dots to show you on which strings and frets you need to press in order to get the right chord.

There are a few different ways these diagrams are used, but they basically all work about the same.

The diagram is typically shown like it is in the picture below.  A square box with  lines running vertically and anywhere from 5-7 lines horizontally.  As you can see, it’s a graphical representation of the actual guitar fret board starting at the 1st Fret (or nut) of the guitar, and going up to about the 5th or 6th fret..  It goes to the 6th in the picture below.

The two fuzzy dots you see are actually the dots that exist on most guitar fret boards, and they signify the 3rd and 5th frets.  They are used as a visual anchor for guitarists.

If any strings are played or struck without pressing on them at any fret, this called playing an open string  The standard tuning of a guitar is also shown below from 6th to 1st string, being E-A-D-G-B-E.  The first string is the thinnest, and the 6th string is the thickest.

how to read chord diagrams


So now that you know how a chord diagram basically works, let me show you a few different ways that they can be used.

D Chord

The D Chord is used in so many songs, it’s almost a staple of guitar!  It’s also one of the more easy chords to learn, therefore many beginner guitarists typically know this chord.  The picture below represents the D Chord Fingering Diagram.

D Chord Fingering DiagramThe numbers at the top of the diagram X-0-0-2-3-2 tell you what fret to play that particular string on.  The X means do not play this string for this chord!  The blue dots with the 1-2-3 in them, tell you what fingers should be used to press down on that string at that fret.  You can read about proper guitar fingering here!  The A-D-A-F#-D along the bottom of the diagram tells you what notes will come out of each string if you press them according to the diagram!

Here’s another variation of the Chord Diagram for D.D Chord Diagram

So in this Chord Diagram variation, you can see it’s a bit different.  First of all, the dots don’t have numbers, but instead notes and leave it up to you to figure out where to put your fingers!  There is also an absence of the 3rd and 5th fret dots. But it’s basically still the same.  You can tell where you need to place your fingers by looking at the dots, or the top row of numbers!

Alright, that should cover how to read almost 99% of Chord Diagrams out there! Now just get out and play!

Alright, if you are gonna play guitar, than you should learn each one of these chords. They are linked to a page with a video, a guitar chord diagram and a bit of info about the chord. Learn each one and don’t forget their shape, the fingering and most important the chord name and notes in the chord, because soon you’ll be playing songs with them!

Chords in A
A7 Chord
A Minor 7 Chord

Chords in D
D Chord
D7 Chord
D Minor Chord

Chords in E
E7 Chord
E Minor Chord
E Minor 7 Chord

Chords in G
G7 Chord
G Minor Chord

I know I’m missing chords in the keys of B, C and F. But most songs are covered with the ones I gave you, and for messin you about, here’s some great video lessons with a 14 day free trial!!!

Common Chord Progressiones Lesson

This lesson takes you through 5 different but common Rock and Pop Progressions.

Progressions in Key of G

1/4/5 Progression:
Gmaj, Cmaj & Dmaj.
This is a typical progression that works in any major scale.  You can either barre or play open chords.

2/5/1 Progression:
Amin, Dmaj, Gmaj

3/6/2/5/1 Progression:
Bmin, Emin, Amin, Dmaj, Gmaj

1/5/6/4 Progression:
Gmaj, Dmaj, Emin, Cmaj

1/Flat7/4 Progression:
Gmaj, Fmaj, Amin

Progressions In Key of Emin

1/4/5 Progression
Emin, Amin, B7 or Bmaj

This is a very common blues progression.


Chord Progressions

Welcome to my new site.  I’m going to show you some really popular guitar chords and songs here, as well as teach you about some of the best chord progressions that are easy to play and will have you sounding amazing at guitar right away!

If You Really Wanna Speed Up Your Abilities,
Grab Your 14 DAY FREE TRIAL From!

If you don’t like it, just cancel before the 14 days is up!
And you don’t pay a thing!

The chart below should be a great start as to what progressions will work in certain keys, so you can just look up those chords, and start playing and sounding great almost immediately!

chord progressions

I hope you enjoy.