Beginner Guitar – Playing Your First Simple Song

Playing Your First (simple) Song

We’ll assume you’ve learned your “D” chord.. if not, click HERE before proceeding. Make sure you can play “D” and it sounds relatively clean.

D chordNow, we’re ready to play our first song, with just one chord! We’ll play “Row Your Boat” with our “D” chord using the strumming chart below. First, we’ll play the open “D” string (this is the fourth string up from the bottom) which will denote our melody note; i.e. this is the pitch that you sing “row, row, row…”. Play the open “D” string and try to sing “row” at the same pitch.

Once you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to play and sing the song. See the chart below. You’ll be strumming half note strums (i.e. one strum for every two beats). If you count 1-2-3-4, half notes strum on “1” and “3”. Try to sing the song; the lyrics as written below align with the strum arrows.

Now that wasn’t too hard, was it? There are several ‘one chord’ nursery-rhyme type songs that you can play with just your “D” chord: “Father Jacob”, “The Farmer In The Dell”, and “Three Blind Mice” to name a few. Try to play those, and see if you can align the strums and lyrics properly.

If you are interested in learning more beginner guitar techniques, see our book “Learn to Play Guitar for Adult Absolute Beginners“.

If you are a beginner guitarist, a few lessons with a professional instructor can go a long way.  If you’re not local to Manchester, New Hampshire, we offer online guitar lessons, which are fun, affordable, and can really help, especially if you’re struggling in a particular area. You can schedule an online lesson HERE. We would love to help you out, either in-studio, or online. Happy learning!

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