Beginner Classical Guitar - Lesson 1: Notes on the E string

All these free beginner classical guitar lessons have the same format. Have a look at how this page is layed out and become familiar with where things are. The heading tells you what the aim of the lesson is and the coloured box contains tips and guidelines. Below the coloured box are your guitar pieces that support the aim of the lesson and supporting resources which include accompaniment in mp3 format and free sheet music in pdf format.These lessons, designed for the beginner classical guitar player, build step by step with each lesson building on the previous lesson in the following ways: (i) knowledge of guitar technique; (ii) familiarity with music reading and (iii) strengthening - and in a safe way - your hands. Try and play through all the exercises provided at the bottom of the page. Remember that the house with the solid foundation is stronger in the long run.

Beginner Classical Guitar - Lesson Aim

  1. Become familiar with and practice using the notes located on the E string.
  2. Learn the whole note.
  3. Become comfortable with placing the left hand in the correct fret.
  4. Start using alternating i-m-i-m-i-m fingers on the right hand.

Play along accompaniment

Two mp3s are provided for this lesson. The one contains both parts of the music (called Exercise 1 Both Parts and the other contains the accompaniment (called Exercise 1 Accompaniment). Practice by setting your metronome at a very slow pace. Once you can play it confidently at a metronome speed of 100 you can play it with the accompaniment provided.

Play along with the accompaniment

Tips and Guidelines


  • Place your left hand fingers right behind the frets to get a good, clean sound. If you are hearing a buzz then your finger is probably not correctly placed. 
  • Use the correct fingers in the correct fret (see the diagram).
  • Alternate between the i-m-i-m-i-m fingers of the right hand when plucking the strings.


See the diagram below for notes on the E string and check which fingers to use in each fret. 

Alternately, review the notes on the  guitar fretboard.

Notice the note values. If you need to revise this aspect go to music theory. In Exercise 1 you will be playing Whole Notes; in Exercise 2 & 3 half notes and in Exercise 4 quarter notes.

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads

Great! Let's keep moving forward

Okay, now you know the drill. The exercises provided below aim at developing the i-m-i-m movement of your right hand and your familiarity with the E string. Play through them by listening to the song and then playing along with the accompaniment. 

Exercise 2

Play along to the video below. 

Exercise 3 & 4

Listen to the song Accompaniment
Exercise 3 Listen to the song Accompaniment
Exercise 4 Listen to the song Accompaniment

Well done!

Click here for the top three guitars that I recommend for beginners price range of $100 - $200 and intermediate level guitars which is a definite step up.

  1. You've finished your first lesson in this beginner classical guitar series.
  2. You are now familiar with and practiced in using the notes of the 1st string.
  3. You've practiced alternating between i-m-i-m-i-m with the right hand.
  4. Also, you've become familiar with and used the whole note, half note and the quarter note.

That's great progress!!!

If your hand is feeling tired, try going through these left hand exercises  gauranteed to strength and increase the suppleness of your fingers. 

Click here to go to Lesson 2:  The  B string

Leave me a comment, share your experience and let me know what you think