Tips & Techniques
Electric Guitar: 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting
Hey friends! I recently got my first ever electric guitar… and in this video I want to go over a list of things that utterly confused me during my first few days & weeks of playing it. While 20 years of playing acoustic has surely given me a good foundation, I was surprised at the various ways the electric caught me off guard: some of them have to do with technique, and the other have to do with gear.
I have no doubt that with time, I’ll work my way through these –– but I wanted to do this quick inventory while the confusion is fresh and I’m still a spring chicken. My primary hope is to demystify a lot of these topics for those of you who may encounter these yourself. Likewise, I very much want to establish this “baseline” of where I’m at, so I can look back weeks/months/years to come and smile at what confused me during those first few weeks. And of course, if you have any guidance or advice from your own experience playing electric guitars – please share!
- 0:00 Introduction
- 2:18 Struggling with String Noise
- 3:36 Pushing Down Strings Too Hard
- 4:33 Intimidated by the Long Fretboard
- 5:29 Some Acoustic Techniques Don’t Translate
- 6:34 Thick vs. Thin String Tone Confusion
- 7:46 Confusion About Guitar Dials & Tone
- 8:41 Confusion About Amp Settings
- 10:00 Confusion About Looper Pedal
- 11:02 My Plan! How I’m Plowing Ahead…
- 14:46 Bonus: My Horrible Improv Riffing
Get the bonus PDFs I show in this video
Early in my video I show two PDFs that I’m making available to my Patreon supporters. These are recent diagrams I’ve made relating to the CAGED chord system. One of them explains CAGED as a concept (showing the shapes, how they connect with each other on the fretboard, etc) while the second looks at the major scale positions that map to each CAGED shape. These are topics I’m exploring for the first time, given my goal of adding general lead guitar to my skillset – and I want to make them available to you!
👉 Patreon supporters: click here to get these PDFs
If you’re not supporting me on Patreon and are interested in getting access to my instructional PDFs in addition to saving 50% on all my song sheet music, learn more here. It’s just a few bucks a month (cancel anytime) or one annual pledge – and it goes a long way to supporting me and these lessons I work so hard to create. Thanks for the consideration!
Get my lessons in your inbox!
Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy sheet music. Patreon suppoters get 50% off each purchase. Get the latest info here » (last updated July 1, 2021)
September 12, 2021
A deep-dive into the common positions of the major scale, and how they each relate to the CAGED chord shapes... which makes it all easier to understand!
August 29, 2021
I recently got my 1st electric guitar, and was surprised how many things immediately confused me. Here's a quick inventory, in case it helps anyone else starting out!
August 25, 2021
An overview to the CAGED chord shapes! I'll show how they repeat on the fretboard, no matter which key you're playing in.
August 20, 2021
A deep-dive into common stretches within the D-major chord -- and whether it's better to use your left-pinky vs. left-ring finger to reach these 4th fret notes.
August 13, 2021
In which I answer questions sent in my by Patreon supporters! Playing G with 2 fingers, my practice routine, memorizing the fretboard, the secret to light & brushy strums, and more.
July 31, 2021
Watch as I explore a handful of different ways to play a single riff (Key of E), using different positions on the fretboard -- but always playing the same notes.
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
By song decade
By musical genre
By guitar technique
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Willie Nelson
- John Denver
- Guns N' Roses