Playing the guitar is not easy. It takes time and focus if you really want to master it. The learning process will never end.

That being said, the best part of the learning process is the first few day or weeks where you move from nothing to actually being able to put something meaningful together – and get to listen to yourself playing.

Some get discouraged at the very beginning. But that’s because they go about it the wrong way. They don’t make much progress, and then they stop playing.

But there’s no reason for this. In our times of smartphones and the Internet, it’s never been easier to learn to play the guitar.

Here’s a quick introduction for you. Good luck!

The basics

First, make sure your guitar is in tune. There are many free apps out there that can help you.

Second, find a good overview of the basic chords. There are plenty out there (this one, for example), and there are also plenty of apps that can help you.

Step 1: Learn 2 or 3 chords

The chords are the best way to start. A chord is when a set of matching notes are played together by strumming many or all strings of the guitar. Many great songs consist of just 2, so learn just the A and the E – and you can play already!

Add the B chord and you have the basic chord structure of the blues. Not bad.

If you’d rather play country or folk, then you should focus on G, C and D instead.

Step 2: Get rhythm

Next step is to get some basic rhythm in there. Chords alone are not worth much if you don’t apply some rhythm.

The best way to get rhythm is to play along. Put on the song you’re learning and get going. Imagine that you’re on stage with the band and try to get a good feel for it. The main thing here is the rhythm. Don’t let hitting the wrong notes get you down!

A good song to play along to is “Wild Thing”. The rhythm is simple, yet distinct enough for you to tell if you get it right.

Step 3: You’re a rock star!

Then what? Well, you keep going and going. Soon enough you’ll end up like this. Good luck!