Electric Guitar: 8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting

Lesson #386 • Aug 29, 2021

Video lesson

Editor’s notes

Hey friends! I recently got my first ever electric guitar… and in this video I want to go over a list of things that utterly confused me during my first few days & weeks of playing it. While 20 years of playing acoustic has surely given me a good foundation, I was surprised at the various ways the electric caught me off guard: some of them have to do with technique, and the other have to do with gear.

I have no doubt that with time, I’ll work my way through these –– but I wanted to do this quick inventory while the confusion is fresh and I’m still a spring chicken. My primary hope is to demystify a lot of these topics for those of you who may encounter these yourself. Likewise, I very much want to establish this “baseline” of where I’m at, so I can look back weeks/months/years to come and smile at what confused me during those first few weeks. And of course, if you have any guidance or advice from your own experience playing electric guitars – please share!

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 2:18 Struggling with String Noise
  • 3:36 Pushing Down Strings Too Hard
  • 4:33 Intimidated by the Long Fretboard
  • 5:29 Some Acoustic Techniques Don’t Translate
  • 6:34 Thick vs. Thin String Tone Confusion
  • 7:46 Confusion About Guitar Dials & Tone
  • 8:41 Confusion About Amp Settings
  • 10:00 Confusion About Looper Pedal
  • 11:02 My Plan! How I’m Plowing Ahead…
  • 14:46 Bonus: My Horrible Improv Riffing

Get the bonus PDFs I show in this video

Early in my video I show two PDFs that are available to members of Song Notes Premium. These are recent diagrams I’ve made relating to the CAGED chord system. One of them explains CAGED as a concept (showing the shapes, how they connect with each other on the fretboard, etc) while the second looks at the major scale positions that map to each CAGED shape. These are topics I’m exploring for the first time, given my goal of adding general lead guitar to my skillset – and I want to make them available to you!

Get them via the links below:

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Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

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