Guitar Lesson #1, ZG membership

We asked ZG members, "Suppose someone came to you and said, 'I just bought my first guitar, how should I begin?'" Here's how they answered. Level: Beginner.

A Zen Guitar Exercise, Tobias Hurwitz

Is there a way to practice for those rare moments of inspired improvisation when the music seems to just pour out of us? Here's an exercise to try. Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Learn to Listen, Matt Caranante

Keep your ears open--wide open--says ZG contributor Caranante, for what goes in them can come out through your guitar. Level: Beginner to advanced.

Moods in Music, Nick Tozier

If a musical note is the equivalent of a word, a song is a story. Here's how to make yours spell-binding, says ZGer Tozier. Level: Beginner to advanced.

Four Steps to Improvisation, Louis Greene

Learning to improvise with scales and arpeggios, in four steps proffered by ZG contributor Greene. Level: Intermediate.

Really Useful Guitar Stuff, Jason Sandercoe

A London-based teacher offers a website with, as the title says, really useful guitar stuff. Level: Beginner to advanced.

How to Play Sexy, Peter Blue

A ZG reader from Germany ( offers thoughts on how to get that extra umph into your playing. Level: Beginner to advanced.

Zen Guitar Tips to Tuning, Philip Toshio Sudo

"Dear Phil: My wife got me a guitar for Christmas. Do you have any tips on tuning? I have always found that the most daunting part of it all--I have such a tin ear." Level: Absolute beginner.

In Tune With Yourself, Rod Jackson

A more conventional approach to tuning. Level: Beginner.

Flamenco Guitar, Norman Paul Kliman

Guitar exercises that develop scale and arpeggio patterns for single note lines, plus a collection of 231 transcriptions of soleares falsetas from the 1900's to the 1990's in standard notation and tablature. Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Slide Guitar, Dave Tarnowski

This blues-playing ZG reader serves up the monthly column "InSlideOut" at the site (which has lessons galore for all levels of players). Level: Beginner to intermediate.

Alternative Guitar, Steve Vai

ZG reader Ben Edwards writes, "Steve Vai has some lessons on his web page that deal with alternative ways of playing guitar. Kind of like a Westernized version of Zen Guitar." Level: Beginner to advanced.

Including the Other Hand, Velma the Fischwire

Exercises to develop the fretboard hand, plus tips on dealing with the frustration of slow learning. Level: Beginner

Building Confidence Through the Subconscious, Velma the Fischwire

One of the main problems with learning the guitar, or anything new, is a lack of confidence. Here's one way to attack the problem. Level: Beginner to intermediate

Preparing the Mind, Philip Toshio Sudo

What and how to think before you play. Level: Beginner to advanced

Come What May, David M. McLean

So there you are - you've studied all your scales and memorized two thousand chords and digested theoretical texts and practiced your arpeggios and done 2-hand exercises until your fingers bled; you've mastered compositional techniques and studied masters from Bach to Yngwie; you've logged countless hours of recording time and played clubs & coffee houses...yet you still feel something is missing. Level: Advanced

One With the Music, David M. McLean

Here is a very short lesson with which my students have had remarkable success. Level: Advanced

The Sound of... David M. McLean

Sounds can come from your hands, your guitar, your amp or strings or FX boxes or alien devices. All of these are legitamate, of course, but today we are going to focus on soething a little different. Today, work on mimicking what would traditionally be thought of as non-musical sounds. Level: Advanced