The 80/20 Guitar: Write Music and Play Guitar in 30 Days
4.3 (21 ratings)
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The 80/20 Guitar: Write Music and Play Guitar in 30 Days

Learn to play guitar and write music in as little as 30 Days by optimizing learning and practice strategies.
4.3 (21 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,968 students enrolled
Created by Eric Johnson
Last updated 5/2016
Price: Free
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 26 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
Obtain a rock solid guitar foundation in the most efficient and effective way possible, so that students can continue learning the guitar in any direction they choose.
View Curriculum
  • All you need is a strong desire to learn guitar and music!

In this course we'll break down the 20 most critical guitar concepts into 2 sections.

  • Music Theory
  • Guitar Technique

Within these two category's, there are 10 lessons each.
We'll call each lesson an "input." The goal is to choose the 20 most important "inputs" that give us 80% of our "output." In our case, our output is our direct ability to play guitar and understand music. By focusing on 20 most important topics, this will allow us to build a solid guitar foundation in the most efficient and effective way possible. Just by joining this course, you will also get access to the discussion forums and additional free video content. So, congratulations to you!
You will be able to download my entire 30 Day Practice Schedule, which plans out your practice routine step by step.
This course also comes with downloadable Guitar Pro Files, PDF guitar tabs, and .Wav Audio files. It has accessible tools that anyone can use.
Here is an example of the topics that will be covered:
Music Theory

  • Tuning, Metronomes, Correct Practicing Methods
  • Musical Alphabet and How it Applies to Guitar
  • 9 Most Common Chords on Guitar
  • Writing Chord Progressions and Using Adjacent frets/Open Strings to Make "Common" Chords Not so Common
  • Using the 5 Pentatonic Positions to Start Your Way to Guitar Fretboard Mastery

Guitar Technique

  • Ergonomics of Guitar
  • Strumming Rhythms and How to Create Your Own
  • How to Practice Alternate Picking the Right Way
  • Bass Note/Alternating Bass Note Strumming
  • 5th Chords/Power Chords and How to Create Good Sounding Progressions with them

      This is only half of the material that will be covered in this course. If you want the best start for your guitar playing journey then join the course, download the materials, and most importantly, have fun!
Who is the target audience?
  • Students who are beginners and intermediate players are best fit for this course. Those who are looking to kickstart their music journey by learning the fundamentals in the absolute best way that they can are fit for this course. Advanced and expert level players and theory learners may be wasting their time. Although, they might pick up a few tips and tricks as well.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 24 Lectures Collapse All 24 Lectures 03:22:16
Getting Started
3 Lectures 12:40

What to expect from the course, and how things will work.


This video goes over the Exclusive Facebook Support Group! Request to join and gain access to a community of like-minded people who are enrolled in the same course. I will be personally monitoring the group and answering questions as well!

The Exclusive Facebook Support Group

This video covers what your mindset should be like when you're trying to learn the guitar.

How to Think like a Great Guitar Student
Your First 10 Inputs
10 Lectures 01:39:58

How to make playing guitar comfortable and efficient! You should know exactly how to hold the guitar and know some good warm up stretches!

Ergonomics of Playing Guitar

In this video we'll go over how to tune your guitar, what a metronome is, and what correct guitar practice should look like. You should know exactly what is productive practice and what is not.

Tuning, Metronomes, and Correct Practice

This lesson is all about starting to learn your first chords, but we start out easy! You should be able to play all 7 "easy" chords after this lecture. Remember to strictly follow the 30 day guitar schedule that you should have downloaded in the introduction lecture.

Easy Chords and 31 Hits

We cover half-steps and whole-steps and how this applies to the guitar.

Musical Alphabet

In this lesson, I'll go over the basics of strumming and the motions involved. Afterwards, you should have a good idea of the muscles and movements you should be using to execute the a proper strumming motion.

Strumming Motions

This lesson covers the 9 most common chords in music and how to play them on guitar. After the lesson is over you should know how to keep practicing these chords to get them memorized and mastered.

9 Most Common Chords

This video is all about the palm muting technique. You should be able to mute open strings while retaining the original pitch of the string and not making the sound too "clanky."

Palm Muting

In this lesson, I'll show you how you can write your very own chord progressions! After this lecture is over you should be able to put together chord progression using the 9 open chords.

Writing Chord Progressions

In this lesson, I'll explain the motions of alternate picking in depth and give you some exercises to practice. After this lesson, you should have a heightened understanding of picking mechanics and how to properly perform alternate picking in the most efficient way possible.

Alternate Picking

I discuss why do we keep time in music, beat values, and how to count. You should be able to play and count the beat values I describe in the video.

Counting and Beat Values
Your Second 10 Inputs
10 Lectures 01:28:46

I teach how to spice up your strumming rhythms by throwing in some bass note accents! After this video you should be able to add this technique to your own chord progressions to make them sound more interesting.

Bass Note Chord Strumming

In this video I explain the parts of a basic song and show you how to create your own. After this lesson, you should be able to develop a blueprint for your own original song and be able to follow through and create it.

How to Write Your First Song

In this lesson I teach the legato technique. This involves minimal picking, but a lot of finger strength! After this lesson, you should be able to perform the basic exercises that are in the video and PDF file.


In this video, I walk you through step by step on how to find every note on the guitar fretboard in a simple and effective way. After this lesson, you should be on your way to being able to locate any note on the guitar fretboard.

Memorizing Fretboard Notes

In this lesson, I explain the concept of a musical scale, the pentatonic scale, and the pentatonic scale positions. After this video is over, you should at least be able to perform the first scale position.

Positions of the Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson I go over how to play a power chord on the guitar. This is essential because it's only shape that you can move around the entire fretboard! After this lesson, you should know the power chord shape, how it sounds, and why we use them in music.

Power Chords

In this lesson, I show you how to use the power chord to play in a key using the pentatonic scale as a starting point. I also teach you how to mix 'em up a bit! After this video is over, you should be able to play the I, IV, and V chord in any key as well as know how to come up with creative ways to organize and play those chords.

I, IV, V Chord Progressions using the Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson, I go over string vibrating (vibrato) and string bending. After this video, you should know how good vibrato and string bending should sound and how to practice those techniques properly.


In this lesson, I show you how to create 1 note per string patterns using chords. After this video, you should be able to create your own patterns and melodies using 1 note per string.

Alternate Picking One Note Per String

In this video, I show you how to spice up the pentatonic scale by adding an extra note! After this video, you should be able to identify this extra note within the pentatonic scale positions.

Adding the "Blues Note" to the Pentatonic Scale
1 Lecture 00:52

Thank you for those who have successfully completed the 80/20 Guitar Course!

-Eric J.

Thank You!
About the Instructor
Eric Johnson
4.3 Average rating
21 Reviews
1,968 Students
1 Course
Musician and Educator from Los Angeles, CA

Eric began playing guitar when he was 8 years old. Since then, he has been playing for 12 years and teaching since he was 17. His teaching career started in Chicagoland and he later moved to Los Angeles to be more active in music and teaching. Eric has studied the guitar and music for more than 6 years, both in private lessons and self research. He has a modern approach to teaching the guitar that reflects his personality of wanting to pay it forward to guitar students around the world.