Learn Guitar in 21 Days

Learn how to play thousands of your favorite songs on guitar in just 3 weeks!
4.1 (159 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.
26,373 students enrolled
Instructed by True Fire Music / Instruments
25% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 82
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 10/2012 English

Course Description

Most beginners think that you need to know thousands of chords to play thousands of songs. NOT SO! You really only need to know a handful of chords and a few strumming patterns to play thousands of rock, folks, blues and pop songs.

The reason guitar is the most popular instrument on the planet is because it's the quickest and easiest instrument to learn how to play. You do NOT need to read music. You do NOT need to learn music theory. You do NOT need to struggle through exercises, or practice scales, or learn how to play Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Fact is that thousands of popular songs can be played with 8 simple chords or less. Learn just the A chord, D chord and E chord and you'll be able to play hundreds of blues, folk, pop and rock songs. Why is this so? Because rock, pop, folk and blues songwriters all use the same handful of chords - it's their melodies and arrangements that make their songs distinctive, NOT the chords they are using in the song.

So, if you learn that handful of chords, and learn those few strumming patterns, along with the basics of holding and tuning a guitar, then you too will be able to play thousands of songs. And that's the simple truth.

World renowned guitar educator Ravi has taught thousands of people to play their favorite songs on guitar with his breakthrough 21-day course. The "trick" behind this course is really no trick at all; over the 21 days you'll learn how to hold and tune the guitar, how to play eight simple chords, how to strum, and how to keep a beat.

No gimmicks. No "magic" formula. No nonsense.

You will need to set 20 minutes a day aside for your practice sessions. No more and no less. And you are asked to do this for 21 days straight. Yes, you can skip a day or two but the daily repetition and practice regiment is the key to your success.

Ravi has also included additional lessons for you to work with beyond the 21 days. You'll learn more open position chords, the moveable barre chord system (worth the price of admission alone!), how to read chord charts, and how to easily and quickly learn songs from sheet music, song books and lyric sheets that you download from the internet.

Ravi will step you through the course and each of your practice sessions on the video lessons. Follow the course for those 21 days and beyond and we guarantee that you'll be prepared to start playing and building your own repertoire of favorite songs to accompany yourself or play in a band setting.

No, you will not be an Eric Clapton in 21 days and we wouldn't suggest you book your first gig on the 22nd day BUT you will be a guitar player and you will be well equipped to learn ALL of your favorite songs.

If you've always wanted to learn to play guitar so that you can strum along and sing your favorite songs, Learn Guitar in 21 Days is likely the answer you've been seeking. Grab your guitar, boot up Ravi's first lesson and let's start making music right away!

NOTE! We get asked all the time why a guitar educational company with so many advanced courses would offer such a simple solution to learning guitar without having to learn how to read music, learn theory or work through a more "formal" learning methodology. The answer is really simple; you never stop learning music but you do have to start. If your introduction to music is boring, tedious and generally a struggle, you'll likely pack the guitar up in its case and stick it in the closet. If it's fun, engaging and you can prove to yourself that you can really do it, then you'll spend a lifetime enjoying and learning guitar. Hopefully, TrueFire and our massive library of instruction will enhance that lifetime of enjoyment.

What are the requirements?

  • A guitar and a desire to learn!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of this 21 day course, you will be able to play thousands of songs on the guitar.
  • In this course, you will learn how to play guitar chords, how to play guitar chord progressions, how to play songs on the guitar, and much, much more.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in learning guitar!
  • Beginner guitar players

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Day 1
As impossible as it sounds, you can actually learn to play hundreds, if not thousands, of songs on guitar in only 3 weeks! How can this be possible? Well, many of our favorite songs share the same few chords, and by learning only a handful of chords and playing them in different combinations, you will instantly have an impressive repertoire.

In this introductory chapter, I will talk about how to approach this course and achieve maximum results. Get ready to embark on your dream of learning to play many of your favorite songs on guitar.
To start, we're going to work on proper posture and hand positions when playing guitar (lefties--don't forget that when I say "right," that means left for you, and vice-versa).

Sometimes a simple adjustment to your body helps break through barriers that may be preventing you from getting the sound you desire.

We are all shaped a little differently, so make small adjustments that help you physically relax and feel comfortable. Pay special attention to forming good habits right from day one. Only then can you be sure to please your ear with your talent!
One of the biggest contributors to frustration in learning guitar is dealing with an instrument that is out of tune. No matter how much you know or how hard you practice, you won't enjoy the sound if your guitar is out of tune.

While it is a good idea to learn to recognize pitch and to be able to bring the guitar into tune by ear, this is something that will develop naturally as you continue to play. So, in the interest of getting you up and running quickly, get yourself an electronic tuner and begin each day's lesson by tuning up.

Even the most experienced guitar players rely on electronic tuners, as they are fast, accurate, and easy! Listen to the sound of the guitar while you follow the tuner's lights and/or needle to bring the guitar into correct pitch, and you will begin to hear the subtle as well as obvious difference between being in and out of tune.
All songs are written in keys, and the same song can be played in twelve different ones! However, generally certain keys lend themselves to certain instruments, and perhaps most relevant, a singer's range will determine the best key for his or her vocal.

Remember that the goal of this course is to quickly enable you to play guitar and sing along on your own or with your friends.

Playing along with your favorite recordings might be difficult if the original version is in a different key and uses chords you don't yet know, but that will surely change as you become more proficient.

For now, think about the songs in your head and sing the melodies, then the chords given in the song list should simply fall into place.
Section 2: Day 2
Today we will learn our first chord, A Major. What makes this a great place to begin is that all your fingers are placed in the same fret, the 2nd fret. While guitar players may differ on the "most correct" way to finger and strum any one chord, you'll get the most out of this course by following my suggestions and recommendations.

Don't be confused by the white lines on the outer edges of my guitar--it may look like an additional string in certain camera angles. Make sure you follow my fingering, keep those fingers arched and close to the end of the frets, and you'll be playing in no time!
The most basic strum pattern is four down strums while counting "1-2-3-4." You'll find that even this most simple approach will give you the sound and feel for almost any song as long as you sing the melody and change the chords at the right time.

So, don't get too caught up in strums, as the best approach is to start any new song with this basic down strum. Then, hit the strings on the way up as well, the down-up strum while counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and." This way you are making twice the amount of sound with the same hand motion, giving you a little more movement and fuller accompaniment to a vocal line (melody).

No matter what strums you play, always count out loud while strumming--it's the best way for you to learn to play in time.
You might be surprised to hear that there are songs that use only one chord! Experiment with both strum patterns, as you'll find some songs lend themselves better to straight downs, while others sound better with the down-up strum.

Also, it's normal for your fingers to hurt at the beginning. This will go away with practice, but that is also why it is important to keep our practice sessions short for now. Let's start making music!
Given that there are not too many one chord songs, this won't be the most rewarding moment of the course! However, that's okay because good things come to those who wait, and I won't make you wait too much longer! Nevertheless, if you can sing a melody while strumming the A chord, you'll start to hear the musicality of what you have already learned.

Just like I did on Electric Avenue, you can hear that the song really is captured in the melody, and the chords provide the support for that melody with harmony and rhythm.

Don't be too ambitious here and don't be frustrated if it doesn't sound like much, but go ahead anyway and sing a melody while playing a simple down strum on the A chord, who knows, you might even discover that you already have a knack for writing songs!
Section 3: Day 3
Let's review yesterday's lessons and practice more strumming. Remember to first set yourself up properly with good posture and hand positions, making sure that each string rings cleanly when you finger the chord. 

Then, go ahead and down strum with me. After that, we'll do some down-up strumming together. Nothing will make this knowledge stick better than a little review, so get used to it! It's not just a matter of mental memory, but muscle memory as well.
Let's add the E Major chord. This is also a relatively easy chord to learn, but unlike the A, your first finger goes in the first fret. The other two will be in the 2nd fret, but they need to shift strings.

Check out the video. Always keep your fingers arched, use the tips of your fingers to press the strings, and finger each note as close to the end of the fret as possible.
If you can't make the chord change from A to E in time with me, don't worry about it. Just leave the chord a little early so that we arrive together on the next chord - this also applies to all the other strum alongs in the course, and even when you are playing by yourself and counting out loud (which you should always do when learning and practicing).

Remember, don't pick up your first finger in this chord change, but rather, just slide it back and forth between the 2nd and 1st frets. With a little practice, you'll be playing along in no time.
Now you know two chords, but the number of songs you can play more than doubles. Check it out!

Let me play you some examples, and then explore the list and find songs that you can already hear in your head - you'll have an easier time playing them on the guitar.
With two chords, the song possibilities are a little more interesting. So, check out the list and see what you can do with A and E.

Don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't sound like much yet (Rome wasn't built in a day - not even 3 days!), but a simple strum and singing some melodies should make you feel like the world of music is knocking at your door!
Section 4: Day 4
Today we're going to review chords that we already know, and strum them with our basic strum pattern: down. You might be tempted to skip ahead, but please don't. If you stick with me, you will learn more and learn more quickly. We'll start with a strum review and then explore some new strumming techniques, or "Grooves."
Let's learn a few different strum patterns to add more interest when we try to play songs, as rhythm is an important part of giving a song a certain "feel." Throughout the course, we'll explore some folk, country, rock, blues, pop, and reggae grooves.
We're going to add a groove (rhythm) here in the strum. Listen closely to how it sounds, and look at how I'm moving my strumming hand to make the blues/rock feel. It's all still down strumming, but with accents on the "downbeats" or when I say the numbers in my "1-2-3-4" count.
We're still just going to play songs using the A and E chords, but now when you find a song that you know and sing the melody to yourself (or better yet, out loud, it keeps you honest and lets you hear yourself and improve your timing and musicality), try and add a little groove to it using the rock/blues rhythm.

In fact, you might even want to start with a one-chord song and incorporate the rhythm just to get the feel, then tackle some of the two-chord songs.
Section 5: Day 5
Today we'll start by reviewing the chords and strums. Follow along and try to play in time making the changes with me. Remember not to lift your first finger, but rather, slide it between the first and second frets.

Don't press too hard, but just as hard as you need to in order to produce a clean sound. The closer you are to the end of the frets, the less hard you have to press.
Let's learn our third chord, D Major. You'll see that when you switch from A to D, you don't need to move your 1st finger... it's already in place! However, your 2nd and 3rd fingers need to find their new places, so be sure to pay close attention.
Let's practice changing between D and A. Remember your first finger stays put the entire time. Let's keep it simple for now and just use down strums.
We're still going to stick with songs that only use two chords, but we have more options to choose from since we know three chords. So, the combination possibilities have increased. Check out my examples using some grooves.

Also, some of the songs that you previously played with A and E, you could try with D and A instead. This is just moving the song to a different key which will alter the sound, but will still capture the sound of the song.
Yes, you know three chords now, but let's focus on the new ones, D and A (both are "Major" chords). Take some of those same songs you were playing with A and E, but instead of A, play D, and instead of E, play A. 

Take your time, this might be a bit confusing at first because you are breaking some new ground. However, because you are already familiar with some of these two-chord tunes, switching to D and A will come quite quickly.
Section 6: Day 6
Today we are going to review, starting with the D and A chords. We'll start with some simple down strums to help develop that muscle memory in our fingering hand. Then, we'll move to some down-up strums as well. By spending more time on the basics now, you'll make much faster progress. Keep that first finger down for both chords, it doesn't need to move.
By dividing the chord between bass strings and treble strings (low and high strings) we can generate more interest in the way a chord sounds. So, let's learn to strum the lower strings alternating with the higher strings. This will give a nice "feel" or "groove" to our chord progression.

Even with only two chords and a dash of groove, one can capture a significant amount of musicality.
Using these chords that we learned at the beginning of this course, we will explore a similar strum pattern. We're still dividing the bass and treble parts of the sound, but instead of simply alternating, we'll strum the low parts with a down strum and the higher parts with a faster down-up strum. 

Check out how I do it and play along with me.
Remember, just because you know three chords doesn't mean you have to push yourself to play songs using three chords. Let's stick with those two-chord songs for today, and you can pick either A and E, or D and A. Either will work for most of those two-chord songs on our list. 

If you choose a song and use A and E, but it doesn't sound quite right or it's hard for you to sing in that key, try using D instead of A, and A instead of E. Remember to take a good listen to your first chord before singing the melody, as that will serve as your reference note for singing the melody. 

Also, we have a few rhythms down now, so let's try to ease those into our playing. Perhaps a little folk/country, or maybe a reggae groove. There's no rush and don't feel frustrated if you don't get it at first, you will, I promise!
Section 7: Day 7
Now let's put all three chords together. These three work so well together, and open up a world of possibilities. 

Also, remember that your first finger never lifts off the guitar when playing and switching between the A-D-E chords, but simply slides down to the 1st fret for the E. This type of "anchor" makes changing chords a whole lot easier.
The "one-four-five" progression is the single most common sequence of chords in popular music. The theory behind it is beyond the scope of this course, so for now, just take my word for it! 

Now that you have a "I-IV-V" in the key of A (meaning chords A-D-E), you can play hundreds upon hundreds of songs. Virtually all blues songs are based on this chord progression (hence, this progression is often simply called a "blues") as are many folk, rock, and pop tunes. 

Check out my examples, and then look at the song list and see how your repertoire just increased exponentially!
Let's break some new ground on our song list today, and only focus on three chord songs! We know our I-IV-V in the key of A (A-D-E), so we have opened up a world of possibilities, almost every blues song ever written! 

This is a big breakthrough point, because the number of songs we can play have increased drastically, and many more of them will be familiar to you. So remember, keep the strums simple, choose songs that you know and that use A-D-E (either as the original or optional chords), and crank them out! 

Take your time, and have fun!
Section 8: Day 8
We have learned a ton of stuff during our first week together, so let's take a bit of a breather and stick with our three chords. However, why not add a new rhythm to try to broaden our "groove-ability." 

Check it out, play along, and then spend the rest of the time choosing songs that you can hear in your head, then play and sing along!
Because the I-IV-V does open up so many songs, today we're still going to focus on three chord songs, but I also want you to go back and review the two-chord songs that you played before. 

It's always important to build your repertoire, not just learn songs and then trade them in for new ones. Try sneaking in a little rock/blues rhythm, as that will really help capture the feel of many of those tunes.
Section 9: Day 9
The G Major chord requires us to change our fingering entirely, but it will also open up a whole new bag of tunes! This chord has a big, rich sound, and is very popular amongst guitar players because of that character.

Get ready to stretch those fingers a bit, and you'll soon find that your hands will be more flexible and stronger, enabling you to play with greater ease.
Let's do some simple down strums to practice switching between D and G. If you can't keep up with me, remember that you can leave the chord one beat early to get to the new chord. What is most important right now is that you arrive at the new chord in time.
Now, you can use G and D in place of some of the songs that you were previously playing with A and E, as you might find these chord "voicings" sound better with certain melodies.
Let's practice switching between D-A-G, a popular trio of chords! Just practicing the chords with a straight strum will yield memories of quite a few songs. Let's see what you hear!
You have already been playing three chord songs in the key of A, using the chords A-D-E. Now, you can play those same chords in the key of D, using D-G-A (for you theory buffs, that would be a I-IV-V in the key of D).

You might find that one key is better than another for your voice, or that it simply sounds more like the original. Having such options really puts you in the driver's seat in terms of getting the songs and sounds you want out of your guitar.
By adding the G Major chord, we'll open up a whole new bag of tunes! We're still only going to play them in combinations of two and three chords, but the variety and sound has broadened.
Section 10: Day 10
Let's start today with some strumming rhythm practice using the D-A-G chords. We'll use the down, down-up, down, down-up rhythm to give us a nice relaxed groove.

Remember to leave your first finger alone between the D and A chords, but everything needs to be moved for G. Still, try to keep your movements to a minimum, as there is no reason to jump high off of the fretboard. Just lift enough to move away from the string, as the closer you stay to the neck, the easier it is to land in the right place.
Now we'll do a rock/blues groove, which we've done before, except using three chords. With this feel and sequence of chords, we are further capturing the idea of playing a "blues" or a "I-IV-V." In this case, we're playing a blues in A (the key of A).

Then, spend some more time with your song list, as there are so many "I-IV-V" songs to enjoy.
Let's stick with three chord songs in our I-IV-V progressions, but we can now do the same songs in the key of A (A-D-E) and in the key of D (D-G-A). So, if a three chord song didn't sound quite right before in the key of A or wasn't great for your singing range, now try it in the key of D (use D instead of A, use G instead of D, and use A instead of E).

We also have a couple rhythms to use, so try some with a folk/pop and others with a rock/blues. Experiment, you have complete artistic license!
Section 11: Day 11
No new chords today, but we're going to use what we know four chords at a time! Let's start with some simple down strums to hear how these chords meld together.

You'll probably start hearing some interesting melodies in your head! Try to keep up with me, but remember, if you find yourself falling behind, just leave the chord a little early in order to arrive at the next one on time.
So many pop songs are written with four chords, so now you can literally play hundreds of songs, hundreds! You might want to vary your strums, and don't lock yourself into thinking that you have to use the same strum on each chord. Check out the video and listen to what I mean.
With the four chords that you know, the number of songs you can play increases even more. There are certainly a number of songs that use these four chords, but you will find hundreds, probably thousands, that use combinations of two or three of these four chords.

So go ahead and explore the list and your ability to hear the songs in your head. Try ones that you haven't done before, and remember, add some rhythmic strums too. Don't feel that every chord has to have the same rhythm, as I demonstrated in the previous video segment.
Section 12: Day 12
Today we'll explore the same chords but add some new strum patterns to further expand your ability to capture the "feel" of the tunes. By playing the 2nd and 4th chords a little faster, we get a new groove that lends itself to a variety of popular songs.

Then, take some of these grooves and apply it to the two, three, and four chord songs in the list. Now we're rockin'!
Incorporating this classic pop/rock rhythm into the mix, go back and play some of the songs you have already tried.

Practice makes perfect, so there's nothing wrong with tackling the ones that have been giving you a hard time, but don't forget to also play some that came a little easier because it's important to have fun and enjoy the music you are making.
Section 13: Day 13
Today we'll add the C Major chord, and there are lots of songs that we can play using the new chord in two, three, and four chord combinations. This chord, like the G, is going to stretch your fingers.

In fact, the C chord is probably the basic chord that requires the most stretching. So, take your time to make sure that you are getting a clean sound. By doing so, you will not only have greater results with the C chord, but the rest of your playing will improve just from the extra stretching practice.

Remember to try to place your fingers toward the end of the frets--the closer you are, the less hard you need to press.
Let's practice switching between C and G, as these are not the easiest ones to master but you can do it! Just take your time and keep the strums simple. Try to move all your fingers at the same time as that is ultimately the way to make the change as quick as possible.

Remember, if you can't keep up with me, just leave the chord a little early in order to arrive at the new chord on time. That will help achieve a smooth sound until you get the change down a little more quickly.
Wow, now we're pushing the boundaries because songs using five major chords are not very common, but there are some out there. Let me show you a few examples, and then explore some more on your own.

It's great practice and good ear training to play this sequence of chords.
You have five chords down now, but let's not be focused on songs using five chords! Instead, try some new ones from the list that you haven't attempted yet, choose ones using two, three, and maybe even four chords if you feel adventurous.

You should be able to find quite a few using various combinations of the chords you know. If you feel like you are not familiar enough with a particular song, try searching for it online and listening to a clip (Amazon is a great resource for that) that will jog your memory!
Section 14: Day 14
With the new chord under your belt, we're going to practice strum patterns to enhance the sound of all these songs. With so much to choose from in the way of chords and strum patterns, your repertoire is now tremendous!

We'll work on a reggae feel today, but you'll find this kind of strum lends itself to a variety of tunes. In fact, you can make a tune "your own" by adding a different groove than the original.

Have fun with it, after all, that is what it's all about, right?!
Again today, I want you to try to find some new songs to play. You can always play some of your favorites outside of our time together each day, but I want you to push the envelope a bit, keep challenging yourself, and expand your horizons! Try incorporating a little reggae groove too.
Section 15: Day 15
Until now, all the chords we have learned have been "Major" (people often think of major chords as sounding "happy"). Today we'll learn our first minor chord (minor chords often suggest "dark" or "sad"), the A minor. You'll notice that it looks a lot like the E major chord, except that everything is one string lower. So, your fingers will already have the muscle memory and it will feel familiar, but make sure you drop everything down by one string.
Mixing major and minor chords is a common songwriting technique, and C major and A minor are frequently played together. Not only do they sound good, but you only have to move one finger to make the change. So, set yourself up for C, and then only move your third finger in order to shift to Am. Make sure when you return to C that you stretch your third finger toward the end of the fret, as that will greatly improve your sound.
Let's practice this three chord strum, as these chords are often found together. By mixing majors and minors, you will quickly more than double the number of songs you know.

This sequence requires a lot of finger movement, but your fingers are ready for it because you've been playing for over two weeks now. They have developed all sorts of flexibility and strength, so let's put all that good work to use!
Here are some examples of songs incorporating minors into the mix. I'll also show you some different strums that work with certain songs. Then, explore on your own, as your repertoire is quite extensive and with some practice on the songs, you'll be ready to take the show on the road!
This is a big day, because minor chords really blow the song list possibilities wide open. By mixing majors and minors, so many more songs are now possible. As you'll see, this is a very common songwriting technique.

So, explore the sounds of majors with minors, and you might soon be writing some very hum-able tunes yourself! Still using only three-chord songs, the minor chords make many more available to you.

Tackle songs that you haven't tried before and make sure that they each include at least one minor chord.
Section 16: Day 16
Today we'll mix majors and minors in a four chord combination. Keep the strums straight forward in order to concentrate on the fingering of the chords.

Try to move all your fingers at the same time as that is ultimately the way to make the change as quick as possible.
Today, review some of the songs that you have been playing up until now. There is no reason to learn more if you are still perfecting others. So, pick a few of your favorites, as well as a few that have challenged you a bit.

Perhaps pick two songs--one easy and one that needs some work--from each chord category. For example, pick two songs using two chords, then two songs using three chords, and two songs that mix majors and minors.
Section 17: Day 17
By adding another minor chord, E Minor, we can now play songs that use only minor chords, as well as explore larger combinations using multiple majors and multiple minors. You know what that means, lots more songs! This two finger chord is easy to play, and sounds very full.

It's similar to the E major chord, less one finger. However, while you can finger it like the E major without the first finger, try using my fingering as well. Depending on how you get to the Em and where you're going, one fingering may be better than another.

That's why fingering is a guide, but not a hard-fast rule. Still, when beginning, follow my recommendations as that will get you up and running as quickly as possible.
Let's practice switching Em to Am, and by using the fingering that I have taught you, your 2nd finger can stay put the whole time!

By having that anchor, you'll have an easier time landing the other fingers in the right place. Keep the strum simple for now, as we want to concentrate on the finger movements.
This four chord progression is quite common in popular music, so you'll hear a number of songs that lend themselves to this sequence.

Also, several of these chords have "anchor" fingers to help you make the transition. So, take advantage of that by fingering the chords in the manner that I have suggested. Again, let's keep the strumming simple, as that will take shape on its own once the chord changes are down with your fingering hand.
Here are some examples using the chords that you know, as well as some different strum patterns that you can try. Listen to me play these songs, and then check out the list and pick some of your favorites.

You have a lot of tools to work with now, so make the most of them.
Okay, let's expand your repertoire a little further. Pick a couple of tunes that you can hum in your head but haven't tried before.

Remember, listen to a sample mp3 online (such as on Amazon) if you need a little reminder of how a song sounds. Then, try to sing and play it.

Today might be a good day to try two new three-chord songs and maybe a four chord song that mixes majors and minors. Look through the list and see what strikes your fancy.

Ultimately the choice is yours, but please spend the time today breaking new ground on songs that you haven't tried before.
Section 18: Day 18
No new chords today, but we have more than enough to do! More combinations, and more strumming practice with a new groove.

We're going to be switching quickly between chords so let's start with a slow tempo and you can speed it up as you become better at it. With your fingering hand, remember to take advantage of the anchor fingers by leaving them down during the changes (if you have to slide them a little to make room for other fingers, go ahead).

For the strums, let's do: down, down-up, down, down-up, etc. changing the chords every two beats (down, down-up).
We are well into the final week of the course, so you should have quite a few songs that you know how to play or are in the process of learning. Stick with songs that you have already tried, and add some rhythm to your strumming. You might even see if you can squeeze in a little folk/pop groove.
Section 19: Day 19
We'll now add our final chord for this course, D Minor. We're on the home stretch! This chord uses three fingers and puts each one in a different fret.

This is probably the hardest of the minors, but after some of the other major chords that you have tackled, this won't be so tough.
Am to Dm is a common chord change, and all you are doing is dropping each finger down a string, and pushing your third finger out a fret. Keep the strum simple and focus on moving all your fingers on the fingering hand at the same time in order to make the change sound smooth.
By picking individual strings rather than strumming them together, you get a very melodic pattern that lends itself to many songs, especially ballads. Because minor chords often evoke a "sad" or "mellow" sound, this technique is especially suited for minor chords, but by no means is it limited to them.

Experiment arpeggiating, or picking, all the major and minor chords that you know while changing them in the same sequences that we have done up to this point. You'll really enjoy this new color and the options it will give you for playing your favorite songs.
Today, pick out some songs that you haven't yet tried. Perhaps there is a nice ballad that catches your eye, or ear! Try picking individual strings, commonly referred to as "arpeggiating" a chord. That will give you a really nice feel that we haven't explored before today, especially in songs that use minor chords.
Section 20: Day 20
More strumming and more combinations. We've done the down, down-up strum before, but now we're really going to move quickly through these changes. Do your best to keep up. If it is too fast, try it on your own a few times first and then try again with me.

Remember to keep your anchor fingers down for the changes (that will help a lot) and move the rest of your fingers at the same time. Stay relaxed and loose and don't forget to watch your overall posture, as any stiffness will come through in your playing.
You have the rest of your life to learn new songs, and I hope you do. Never stop building your repertoire! However, today, I want you to review the songs you are already playing, even some that you may be close to mastering.

Add a folk/pop rhythm to certain songs, classic rock/pop to others, maybe a rock/blues pattern to a few, or even reggae! Try arpeggiating a few as well, even ones that may at first seem like they shouldn't be played that way, you're the artist, enjoy your license!

Play songs that use only major chords as well as those that mix it up with minors. It's not all about learning; it's also about playing! So, make sure you frequently spend a little time just making music and enjoying yourself. Today is one of those days, so go for it!
Section 21: Day 21
This is it, Day 21. You should be proud of yourself, and I know you'll have a blast playing so many songs. So, let's try a new chord combination mixing majors and minors with a little bit of a reggae groove to celebrate!
Well, here we are at the tail end of this course. However, do you know what is right around the corner? A world of learning! There is so much you can play right now, and so much more to explore so that you can play better and discover new directions in the world of guitar.

Spend the time today playing your favorite songs that you have learned so far. Apply your favorite rhythm, or groove, to each one and sing along. Then, before you stop today, choose five more songs from the list that you will learn on your own, perhaps in the next week or two. Always give yourself goals to learn new music and write those song titles down.

Also pick five more songs--your "dream" songs--that you have always wanted to play, and write them down as well. Even if you can't play them all today, you will be able to soon. Some of the Beyond 21 video segments will help you do just that, and I've got a few more courses up my sleeve to help you reach new heights! Stay tuned.
Congratulations on completing this learning adventure. You know eight essential chords, a few very useful strums, and have an understanding for how to approach learning your favorite songs.

It might not feel like it at first but YES, you really are now prepared to start learning how to play hundreds of favorite songs - you just need to dig in and start to apply what you now know.

Be patient and use your ears as your main guide - it will all start to click!

Some of you may have already started learning songs, and some of you might feel that you need a little more guidance. In either case, we've prepared the following series of lessons to work with beyond the 21 day program.

These additional video lessons and charts will teach you more open position chords, moveable barre chords, how to read chord charts and how to work with published song books and lyric sheets that you download from the Internet.
Section 22: Beyond 21 Days
If you've completed the 21 day program, you really do know enough to take on hundreds of songs, which in itself is great! However, that can be like cable TV: It doesn't really matter how many channels you have if there's nothing on that you actually want to watch. Depending on the music that you prefer, this could be the case with you if you've tried to play a song that has an unfamiliar chord in it OR you feel otherwise unprepared to play that particular song.

So, in these following video lessons, you'll learn more open position chords, moveable barre chords, how to read chord charts and how to work with published song books and lyric sheets that you download from the Internet.

Once you've progressed through these additional lessons, there will really be nothing stopping you from building a repertoire of thousands of YOUR own favorite songs!
The first new thing you need to learn is how to read a chord chart. By doing so, you can learn literally any chord simply using the practice principles covered here in this course.

Guitar chords are charted on simple graphs, showing you exactly where you should put your fingers on the guitar.

Watch this video and I'll show you how to relate the chord grid to your guitar fretboard. It's easy!
Now that you can read chord charts, you no longer need me, or anybody else for that matter, to show you where to put your fingers in order to play new chords.

However, let's look at a few more chords together, and then you can take it further on your own with the additional chord charts provided.

These additional chords will complete your BASIC chord vocabulary of open position chords, also referred to as "folk" chords. Learn these new chords and you'll be able to play songs in a variety of keys, all in the open position.

As I say in the video, you can play an A minor chord that you already know instead of an A minor 7th chord that might be unfamiliar. BUT now you know how to look up the A minor 7th chord, so go for it!

IMPORTANT! Open up the PDF chart that accompanies this video lesson and follow along with the new chords that I'll be showing you. Then you can learn the remaining chords on that chart on your own.
Learning how "moveable barre chords" work, and how to play them, is perhaps the single biggest epiphany that you will have as a guitar player. Millions and millions of guitar players learned how to play guitar with the barre chord system and still play them today!

This lesson alone will serve as your major breakthrough to learning how to play guitar and thousands of songs. Please take the time to watch this video as many times as necessary to fully digest the information conveyed here, it's well worth it!

The basic principle is simple, all you have to learn is one chord shape and type, which you can then move anywhere on the fretboard to play that chord type in all 12 keys.

For example, learn the major barre chord shape, and you will be able to play EVERY major chord. Learn the minor barre chord shape and you will be able to play EVERY minor chord. Learn the dominant 7th barre chord shape and you will be able to play EVERY 7th chord.

It gets better; Learn the major barre chord and all you have to do is lift one finger to play the minor barre chord shape. Take that same major barre chord shape and lift a different finger, and you are playing the dominant 7th chord.

There are many other moveable barre chord shapes BUT since the vast majority of popular music is written and played ONLY with major, minor and 7th chords, you ONLY need to know this simple barre chord formula and the three shapes I will show you to play it ALL!

Once you get a grip on the barre chord system you will find it highly addictive, and you might be inclined to abandon the open position chords that you've take so much time to learn. DON'T!!

The open position chords provide wonderful "open" sounds (voicings) that you will want to keep in your playing. You'll note that many, many top singers-songwriters and guitarists use open position chords all of the time and so will you!

So, don't throw them away - rather, experiment with mixing up barre and open chords.

The barre chords in this lesson are all formed by placing the root note (i.e., the "C" of a C chord) on the 6th string, the thick string, or "low E." In the next video, I'll show you how to play major, minor and dominant 7th barre chords using the A string as your guide.

Watch the video for a full demonstration.

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

True Fire, Guitar Lessons

Founded in 1991, TrueFire has collaborated with 600+ top educators to produce what Guitar Player Magazine calls "the planet's largest and most comprehensive selection of online guitar lessons."

1 million+ guitar players, from virtually every country in the world, "learn, practice, and play" with TrueFire's interactive video courses and patented learning systems for personalized and private online instruction.

TrueFire’s success is largely due to the quality of artists and educators that we’ve been privileged to work with over the years. From GRAMMY award winners, to top session players, to world renowned educators, TrueFire content is powered by the best in the biz.

TrueFire's course library features 25,000+ interactive video guitar lessons covering all styles, techniques and levels. Course material is available anytime, anywhere, on any device (desktop, mobile, and streaming).

TrueFire's proprietary technologies and patented methods for presenting online music lessons allow educators to provide personalized one-on-one and group instruction to students anywhere in the world.

TrueFire's team is passionate about music education and has a broad marketing and technology expertise that has earned them over 70 international creative, marketing, video and technology awards.

Practice smart and play hard with TrueFire!

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course