Rhythm Guitar Book 1: Free PDF and Video Course

This is a free course to help brand new guitar players get started playing chords. Rhythm Guitar 1 starts you off with simplified chords that mostly involve one or two fingers. Along the way, you'll learn how to follow rhythm charts and lead sheets. Click here to download your free PDF of Rhythm Guitar Book 1, and click here for a list of video links.

 

If you have already been playing guitar for a while, or if you already know how to read music, then you are probably ready for Rhythm Guitar 2, which focuses on full chords, strumming, and fingerstyle patterns. Rhythm Guitar 3 is an intense study in moveable chords. You may also want to check out First Moveable Guitar Chords, which is like a light version of Rhythm Guitar 3, and if you are interested in jazz and blues, check out Three-Note Jazz Guitar Chords.

If you're just getting started on guitar, you should also check out my Melody Guitar books, which focus on learning to read and play melodies in standard music notation.

Click here for a list of my other videos, which include easy guitar arrangements, technique lessons, chords, scales, and more.

Rhythm Guitar 1 Videos

Lesson 1: Intro and Guitar Basics (pages 3-6)

Covers the very basics, including playing position, string and fret numbers, tuning, and holding a pick.

Lesson 2: Music Reading Basics and Chord Diagrams (pages 7-8)

Music staff, measures and bar lines, quarter notes and rests, time signatures, and how to read a chord diagram.

Lesson 3: Easy G and E Minor Chords, Intro to Rhythm Charts (pages 9-10)

Learn easy G and E minor chords. You'll learn full versions of these chords in Rhythm Guitar 2. Also includes four simple rhythm charts with playing tips and a playalong.

Lesson 4: Rhythm Charts R1-R4 (page 11)

Put your new knowledge to use with Rhythm Charts R1-R4. Each chart includes playing tips followed by a slow, medium, and fast playalong.

Lesson 5: Easy C and G7 Chords, Rhythm Charts R5-R8 (pages 12-13)

Learn easy C and G7 chords. You'll learn full versions of these chords in Rhythm Guitar 2. Put your new chords to use in Rhythm Charts R5-R8. Each chart includes playing tips followed by a slow, medium, and fast playalong.

Lesson 6: First Lead Sheets, R9-R10 (page 14)

Learn how to follow lead sheets as a rhythm guitar player. Each lead sheet includes playing tips and two playalongs: one at speed and the other at a slower practice tempo.

Lesson 7: Lead Sheets R11-R12 (page 15)

The lead sheets on this page include the chords you've learned so far – G, G7, C, and E Minor. Each lead sheet includes playing tips and two playalongs: one at speed and the other at a slower practice tempo.

Lesson 8: New Rhythms and Rests, Rhythm Charts R13-R16 (pages 16-17)

Learn how to count and play half notes, dotted half notes, whole notes, and rests. Rhythm Charts R13-R16 include these new rhythms. Each rhythm chart includes a demo/playalong, playing tips, and a slower playalong.

Lesson 9: Easy A Minor and E Major Chords, Rhythm Charts R17-R18 (pages 18-19)

Learn the easy A Minor and E Major chords. You'll learn full versions of these chords in Rhythm Guitar 2. Rhythm Charts R17-R18 include playing tips, a slow playalong, and  faster playalong. You'll also learn the 4-3-2-1 chord-switching exercise and the common finger concept.

Lesson 10: Lead Sheets R19-R21 (page 20)

This lesson includes lead sheets for "Have You See the Ghost of John" (challenging) and "Hush, Little Baby" (less challenging). Each exercise includes playing tips followed by slower and faster playalongs.

Lesson 11: Common Time, R22-R24 (page 21)

In this lesson, you'll learn about the Common Time signature. Each exercise includes playing tips followed by slower and faster playalongs.

Lesson 12: D7 Chord and Guide Finger, R25-R26 (pages 22-23)

The D7 is the last chord in this book and the first full chord in the Rhythm Guitar series. You'll also learn the Guide Finger technique. Each exercise includes playing tips followed by slower and faster playalongs.

Lesson 13: Last Two Lead Sheets, R27-R28 (page 24)

The last two lead sheets in Rhythm Guitar 1 give you practice playing your D7 chord and using common and guide fingers for smoother chord transitions. Each lead sheet includes playing tips followed by slower and faster playalongs.

Lesson 14: Eighth Notes, R29-R36 (pages 25-26)

In this last lesson of Rhythm Guitar 1, you'll learn to count and play eighth note rhythms with alternate strumming. Rhythm Charts R29-R36 make up a series of very short quarter note/eighth rhythm exercises. Congratulations! You are now ready for Rhythm Guitar Book 2, which explores full chords, strumming patterns, and fingerstyle patterns. I you haven't do so already, please check out the free Melody Guitar 1 Course.