Basic Acoustic Guitar with Randall Williams

Beginner Guitar Course from Randall Williams

Randall Williams guides you through the basics of acoustic guitar.

10 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

85% Appoval

503 of 543 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

Randall Williams starts off with the absolute basics and moves forward with easy chord progressions and strum patterns.


Series Introduction

Meet Randall Williams in this brief introductory lesson. Learn who he is, his teaching approach, and what he plans to cover in this series.

2:13 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Basic Chords & Strums Part 1

Randall starts off by teaching the Em chord and a basic strum to get you going.

5:25 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Basic Chords & Strums Part 2

Randall Williams continues his discussion on basic chords and strums.

7:22 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


The Learning Process

Randall discusses his philosophy on studying the guitar before moving onto some basic songs.

4:29 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Your First Song

Randall guides you through your very first song. He teaches a rendition of a current popular song that uses only three chords.

6:25 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Song Two

Randall Williams shares another wonderful song in his beginner series. This song should be rather easy to pick up due to its similarity to the previous song.

3:10 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Song Three

Randall presents the third song in his beginner series set.

7:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Song Four

Randall Williams shares one last song in his beginner series.

2:55 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Right-Hand Techniques

Randall Williams talks about basic strums and right-hand techniques in this lesson.

15:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



Randall continues his extensive coverage of beginner right-hand techniques with a lesson on fingerpicking.

34:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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  • Bath, Maine
  • Playing since 1988
  • 41 lessons at JamPlay
He felt that classical music lacked the inclusiveness of folk music, and that the inevitable division between performer and audience was unbearable. And so Randall returned to the world of traveling with his guitar, writing songs in train stations and sleeping on couches, then singing and playing on street corners, cafï, and pubs. For a time he lived aboard a 20' sailboat that he bought for $800, teaching himself how to sail by single-handing through the Baltic and North Seas with his guitar sleeping in the berth beside him at night. He wrote a book about the trip, which begins with the story of almost getting squashed by a tanker before dawn one morning in the North Sea.

He moved to North Africa, then set off across the Sahara by hitching with locals - bouncing through a minefield on the way that made his mother have bad dreams. He loved the adventure, but he missed the music.

In 2005, Randall returned stateside to scrounge up a career as a performing songwriter, hoping it wasn't too late. So far, it hasn't been. As the "Partial Capo Guy," Randall has written two books for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products, and given workshops at some of the biggest festivals in United States. As a performer, Randall has been a finalist in the Founder's Title and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests, A regional finalist at Kerrville, a showcase artist at Northeast and Midwest Folk Alliance, and at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, and an Audience Favorite at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. His 2007 live release, "One Night in Louisiana" made a respectable dent in the folk DJ charts (One single, "Lebanon," was #8 in May,) and he's generally a nice guy to have around, capos or not.

Randall is as much at home in a Bangkok slum or a Senegalese village, at the Kennedy Center in D.C. or the Fine Arts Palace in Brussels sandwiched between a twitchy orchestra and a full house, or shoeless on the floor of your living room. Randall has sung in a dozen languages in over 35 countries.

Lynne Andrews: "When Randall left the confines of classical music largely behind, they lost a great talent, but the world gained a good friend - a friend who will tell its stories with grace, compassion, humility and humor."

Randall began playing guitar seriously in 1988, and played his first open mic one year later. Randall kept playing and learning more and more. Randall began teaching guitar in 1992, while studying musical composition, analysis, and performance. Randall got his undergraduate music degree in 1996, then studied flamenco for about a year (1997) before beginning studies at the royal conservatory of music in mons, belgium.

From 1998 to 2001, Randall studied voice, analysis, and harmony at the conservatory, with classical guitar lessons on the side for about 6 months. Randall's undergraduate study and the conservatory courses added a degree of musical structure to his improvisational ability, and gave him a strong music theory base. He recieved the premier prix for concert singing from the conservatory in 2001.

Randall's most recent discoveries: how to build a structure for creating chords in open tunings, and learning how to structure placement of partial capos in standard and alternate tunings.
Reviews & Feedback 85/100 with 543 ratings

I try to keep my right hand finger nails at least relatively sharp file them etc.. But they don't last long become chipped or broken ... however i just keep on playing I liked the demonstration on the slap/pluck funky think. Cool


A patient, gentle-hearted, gifted instructor who manages to make the early going on the guitar seem full of possibilities, not problems. Thank you!


All of the above. Only occasional challenge was finger placement on strings but that's probably just me.


all three apply ... thanks


At times its hard to see your figuring for the chords. call out string and fret would be help to better understand what can't be seen.

Sam cortese



Awesome progression! I used different with different grooves and found it very motivating.


Nice, easy going


can i get more help from this teacher.


cool cant wait to get started


Entertaining, easy to understand and gets right to the heart of it. Im wishing this teacher had more lessons than 10 in the series.


Excellent teacher


funny comments too!


He keeps the lesson calm. I was able to fellow nicely.


I love this guy!!!


he's great


He's real.


He’s very professional. Great!!!


hi, really good but please be get camera to show clearly finger positions ,would be great if you had over the shoulder shots ,yes I know that's asking a lot ! bye for now Deirdre


How do you get that drum sound ? Can you show closer finger positions ?


I like his approach . A little too basic for me , but like the utilization of movable positions . I'm of the persuasion that you can learn a little something from everyone . I'm self taught and filling in gaps . I would find a song I like and


I like how Randall teaches. The calm style is really terrific, and he's providing very basic, beginning instructions and that makes it easier to understand and repeat. Well done!


I liked Randall and his way of teaching. He is easy to understand and mellow.


I love that he teaches several chords at once and helps practice with strumming at the same time.


I started learning classical melodies way long ago and later chords. I don't blame him for not turning my playing into a success but now we are many years later and maybe this may be what I need now.


I totally agree and when I teach drums I have the same concept.


I'm in. Let's go for the $1,000,000


The teacher is awesome he showed me a different method than some other teachers show and is good to understand


It is nice to hear a teacher give their personal opinion on a subject without sounding forceful or snobbish in the slightest. Biggo props for being very nice about some students disagreeing and not condescending to their stance.


It's easy to get it done but I need more practice tonight or tomorrow but I won't to do a ctar that I cooed praxis. More wall I have one but to sing will not sing will to sing oh nvm ????


its nice to just make it simple in the beginning. as a true novice but one who is passionate about actually playing...learning to play music early on is crucial to avoid feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. im not one to give up so i will contin


Laid back style


Love the way he explains things..makes so much sense to me to actually play something that sounds ok rather than endless chord excersises . I wish he had more beginner lessons though


need to learn rythem and timing


No time wasted. Jumps in fast, and gets you going with the easy stuff. Great Segway to other classes.


Not sure why I haven't discovered Randall until now. This is just what I needed to better understand fingerstyle. I will continue to check out this series. Thank you!!!


only problem don't where to get the material thats he is talking about


Perfect for beginner adults.


Randall is great. The first four chords make me feel like I am playing something beautiful.


really Ran enjoyed it very informative thanks Randle


Slow and calm approach is perfect for learning.


Starting to like the teacher


Super laid back and unintimidating!


Thank you. It's good that getting sore fingertips is a result and knowing that you have to work on developing calluses. Learning chords that appear in many songs is a good way to start. A patient instructor - thank you.