For many beginners, being able to play the accompaniment by guitar for the song is the most wanted and thus main goal. To simplify this to the extreme, there are two types of guitar accompaniment: the so called strumming (right hand beats with a pick) on the one hand , and the so called picking (playing by the thumb, for arpeggios) on the other hand.

How to start?

First of all, you have to know exactly where you want to go, arpeggio or rhythmic play? If you clearly get to know what you want to play you will already gain months of learning, since you will not have to learn what you will never play. This approach is a small shortcut often appreciated by young scholars who want to have fun quickly and who do not have too much "school type learning".

Learn to play in rhythm by beats

When we do not know anything, we imagine that this type of playing the guitar is very easy, it is "up high low down" and that's basically it! But, in fact it is much more complex than it seems t first sight. Because on some beats it is not necessary to play all the strings! We must learn to avoid scratching certain strings at the right time. Sometimes we only play a single string to give a "bass line" effect, which enriches the musical piece to be played. The left hand does not only place chords, it is also used in some cases to choke strings and to give percussion effects. Some fingers of the left hand also sometimes play independent notes, in the form of "pull off" (finger that raises) and "hammers" (hammer that "hits the string").


What must be taken into account is that it is especially the precision of your right hand that will make a musical piece "sound good". The rhythmic precision is essential and decisive, so it will be necessary to work grids of rhythms with a metronome during long hours to have a precise and stable rhythm ... finally except if your are a musical genius in terms of the rhythm!


The string work on the left hand will be the same as for the arpeggio game, an agreement remains an agreement, regardless of the playing technique used.

Learn to play by your fingers, with arpeggios ... or leave it!

To play by your fingers is not necessarily playing arpeggios, for example, "I love Francis Cabrel's Mourrir" which is probably the easiest piece for the beginner in finger picking. It is possible to play rhythm on the finger, as for example bossa nova, and then classics of French song like Georges Brassens!


Personally, I feel more in harmony with the instrument when I play by the finger, I always had great difficulty to feel connected to the guitar with a pick. So I find that to play by the finger is easier to learn than to play in rhythm by beat. But it depends on the desires of the student (I have always been more attracted to the arpeggios and the Bossa) The disadvantage of playing by the finger is that we must often grow nails to end up with both good very preciseness and clearliness (it is also possible to play with the skin of the finger, the guitar sounds less loud and the sound is softer). It's good to know that there ARE artificial nails, plastic protheses for the fingers and nail kits and stuff, but for me personally, nothing replaces the real contact with the real natural nail. It's just more natural.


To learn to play the finger, there are no secrets, no work, no grids patterns that tell you which finger to be played, and on which string. To know that in general the thumb plays one of the three bass strings, the index the ground string, the middle finger the string of Si, and the ring finger of the Mi chanterelle. You can work the rhythmic patterns of "picking" without agreeing, which allows you to work your right hand even if you do not yet know how to place chords. Of course, working on the metronome is imperative for a good placement and good fluidity.

Some tips for quick progress

Like all beginners, you may want to play songs as quickly as possible and I totally can understand it. I too was in a hurry to enter the world of guitar accompaniment as quickly as possible. Here are the tips that allowed me to progress faster (my teacher has a little price for a crazy on some of them ...)

  1. Playing with your eyes closed: lets you see the handle in your mind
  2. Play in slow motion with the metronome: it is much harder to play in extreme slow motion than quickly, the right to the error is intolerable in slow motion, the error drowns in the "ambient noise" playing fast!
  3. Play every day a little, if only 5 minutes. It pays out!
  4. Vary the methods to learn from different working horizons (Youtube, online guitar lessons, Coach Guitar, books, DVD etc.)
  5. Always have the guitar out of its case: encourage to play at the slightest opportunity!

I hope this article will allow you to find your way of musician quickly, do not hesitate to ask us questions via our facebook page or by email if you have any questions.

And if you feel like downloading a guitar accompaniment software, please note that CoachGuitar has hundreds of tracks to play along with and you can try it for Free : https://coachguitar.com