Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs

Beginner Guitar Course from David Isaacs

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with simple song examples after the second lesson!

37 Lessons

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


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

92% Appoval

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Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

Whether you've never played before, or your coming back to guitar after brief startup attempt, you'll find everything you need to get going in this series. David uses real musical examples to teach even the most basic concepts and techniques.


The Series Introduction

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with simple song examples after the second lesson!

2:32 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Strings & Things

Tune up, learn your way around your guitar, and explore a simple, musical picking exercise to help you learn the string names. You'll be playing right out of the gate!

22:20 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Hands on the Fretboard

Learn hand position, posture and see how to set up your playing for success when it comes to your fret hand. Dave goes in depth with his discussion and demonstration of hand mechanics. Don't miss this lesson!

16:10 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Your First Song!

Learn the E7 minor and Am chords and then immediately put them to use with a simple song. Play along to the provided backing track and feel like you're part of the band...It's only your 4th lesson! Keep up the good work!

15:32 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Power to the Chords

Power chords are some of the most simple and ubiquitous tools for playing and making great songs. Learn the most basic shapes and put them to use right here! Dave also discusses the beginnings of strumming and note values.

12:21 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Music & Melody

Learn a simple melody and take in a little info about what a 'key' is. You can learn the melody and have a friend strum the rhythm. Or, do it the other way around!

18:07 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Two Finger Chords & More

These simple, musical tools can take you a long way. Use your index and middle fingers to play a simple Am chord and a simple E chord. You'll also learn how to read chord charts and play through another fun real-world example that includes a slightly more advanced chord.

16:46 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


A Simple Melody

You will be introduced to a simple A minor scale and then learn a song that helps you get your new scale under your finger tips!

12:08 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Finger Independence

Do you ever feel like you are wearing mittens while you are trying to practice your guitar playing? If you have ever experienced this sensation, this lesson is for you!

11:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Let's Major on C Major

You'll be introduced to the C Major scale and then you'll be able to put it to use over a soothing acoustic guitar rhythm bed. Have fun!

10:37 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The C Chord and G7 Chord

Here you'll get to spend some time applying some fundamental chord shapes. Dave shows how to switch between these two chords seamlessly and, as usual, has a creative example ready to go so you can put your new knowledge to good use right away!

18:39 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


G and C Working Together

I know what you're thinking..."I just learned these!" Well, you did learn a C chord and a G chord, but this lesson goes over ways to play these chords together in a chord progression that REALLY sounds great. The more ways you know how to play and use these basic chords, the more interesting your playing will become!

11:06 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Playing Most Songs

You've probably heard it before, but most songs out there can really be played with just 3 or 4 chords. In this lesson, Dave gives you the tools to play most of the songs you know and love!

14:04 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Rhythm & Charts

We're moving into some new territory with this series now. You'll now be focusing more and more on material that you can play in a band setting. Up until now, you've been applying the basics to real music, but we're going to step it up a notch now! Get ready and have fun!

24:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Taste of the Blues

Learn about the blues form and strum along with a cool, laid back, bluesy track. You'll be able to take the material in this lesson a long way down the road! Don't forget to have fun with it now though too!

12:03 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Major Pentatonic Music

Learn the C major pentatonic scale and put it to good use over a catchy tune! You'll be surprised how simple this is and how very musical you can be with just 5 notes arranged in a musically interesting way.

8:38 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Four Fingers and a Chord

The mighty and intimidating F chord is one that most beginners see as a major hurdle in learning the basic chords on the guitar. Dave offers some ways to make the F chord more approachable. Once you examine the wrist and finger position for the F chord, you'll put it in a nice musical context for your practicing fun!

15:35 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Chord Shapes & Arpeggios

Work on precision with your picking hand and more finger independence with your fretting hand using a soothing practice track called "Chimes". You'll get a good taste of combining melody and rhythm playing in this lesson as well!

15:34 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Work Those Rhythms

Dave works you through eight different strumming variations, discusses how to feel the groove while keeping the rhythm, and shows you how to take a handful of examples and create any strum pattern you wish!

14:18 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Complete C

Look at the C major scale once again. This time however, you'll get to complete the first position C major pattern. You'll play every note within reach of your first 4 frets. You'll also learn a catchy tune that puts this knowledge to good use.

16:28 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Return to Chords

Work in the Am, Dm, and Em chords and play them in a melancholy, yet soothing example. You'll also get to work on your basic strumming.

12:18 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Shifty Pentatonic

Learn the E minor pentatonic scale with a small position shift that will get you out of the open position and moving around the neck a little bit. This is where it really starts to feel like you are owning your instrument!

13:53 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Let's Major on A Minor

Earlier in the series, we explored the C major scale. In this lesson, the A minor will get some love. Learn the basic open position and use it in a new melody.

15:43 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


In 7th Heaven

Back to some chords now. In case you couldn't tell from the title, we'll be focusing on 7th chords for this lesson. You learned A7 a while back, and now you'll learn E7 and B7.

13:32 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Walkin' The Blues

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back! You've covered a lot of ground so far! You've been playing real music now for some time, and in this lesson, we're going to learn a walking blues line. What is a walking blues line you ask? Well, you're in the right place!

10:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Moveable Chords

Chords that don't have any open strings in them AND chords whose open strings fit comfortably within the chord all called "moveable chords". Learn how to play a couple chords up the neck.

15:31 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Moveable Pentatonic

In this lesson, you'll take another big step forward when it comes to working outside of the open position. You'll feel like doing some jamming too!

8:44 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Syncopated Strumming

There are eight more strum patterns for you to dig into in this lesson. This time, they are a bit trickier. Follow along with the rhythm charts and take each example in chunks if needed. Combine them with the ideas in the previous strumming lesson for even more fun!

19:33 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


And Now...Barre Chords!

You knew it was coming! This is the lesson where we stop dancing around full fingered moveable chords and dive head first into the most common barre chord shapes. They're not as bad as you may be fearing. Isaacs' straight forward, musical approach particularly shines on this often avoided topic for beginners.

19:21 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Advancing with Blues

As the musical examples continue to distance themselves from that stereotypical beginner sound, Dave works through this track with a simple, moving melody inside a blues progression.

14:47 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Make It up as You Go

Some of you may have been waiting for this one! Now we'll focus on some improvisation...Some lead playing. It's not about knowing all the scales or trying to be fancy. It is about using what you know to make a lasting impression on the listener, and you'll be surprised at how little you have to play in order to do just that!

12:45 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Like a Drummer

Learn how to create motion and percussive interest with your strumming. If you look at and listen to how drummers accent general grooves, there is a lot of insight there in to how to make your rhythm playing groove.

17:29 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


New Chords, New Strums

Learn B minor chord and continue developing your feel and grooviness when it comes to strumming. Be sure that you are combing over older lessons as well so that you can incorporate many ideas into what you are playing.

21:19 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Start to Alternate Picking

Develop precision in your picking. Learn when it's best to use alternate picking. Get comfortable with a few exercises and then apply the technique in a musical context!

20:26 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Little Bluegrass

We're going to continue with rhythm playing and 16th note strumming, but this time we're going to touch on some laid back bluegrass playing. This is another simple style of playing to add to your arsenal.

10:06 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Bit More on Barre Chords

Learn a few more barre chord forms and get more advanced with your strumming. As you've come to know and love with these lessons, you'll have a chance to learn a new song!

13:51 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Here You Are

You've made it a long way if you've made it to the end of this series! In this final lesson of Mr. Isaacs beginner course, you'll spend some dedicated time moving both major and minor barre chord formations around the neck.

21:58 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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David Isaacs


Dave Isaacs Group

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Playing since 1980
  • 478 lessons at JamPlay
Nashville-based Dave Isaacs has made a name for himself as one of Music City's top guitar instructors, working with both professional and aspiring songwriters and artists at his Music Row teaching studio. He is also an instructor in the music department at Tennessee State University and is the coordinator and artistic director of the annual TSU Guitar Summit.

A seasoned performer as well, Dave has released eight independent CDs and gigs steadily as a solo artist, bandleader, and sideman. He continues to write, record, and perform as well as arranging and producing projects for other artists.

Reviews & Feedback 92/100 with 3650 ratings

clearly explained the material


david is ok


a couple of good tips...


Easy to understand


the only difficulty is the language, I am Spanish


What a great way to learn Tab.


*I like the teacher(s) *Easy to understand. Trying to understand music theory has always been like trying to understand dolphin speech for me.


4600 dollars in lessons and the first time..I am hearing this level of

Tasha/Darwin folk songs for years before quitting 30 years ago. Frustrated and couldn't progress. Totally impressed with your teaching style. Patient, kind slow. Starting from about the beginning with..maybe break bad habits and learn new stuff.


very nice moving through scales


A good start.


A great introduction for never touching the strings before.


Very cool. This is really helping to figure out how to play a rhythm for a song. Thank you




a new perspective always helps. Didn't think of fingers in that way. cheers


Absolutely great teaching. Explicit and easy tu follow the instructions.


Actually all three options above. Some how Mr. Isaacs has a way of answering question I've had or have, and he scaffolds nicely,


All 3 above plus it's layed back and not just learn 1 - 3 notes a week with the required tunes, but actual musician skills.


All of the above


All of the above!


Starting to make sense. Thanks


All of the above, takes it nice and slow, just what a beginner needs.

Catharsis Blues

All of the above- I liked the teacher and it was easy to understand. More beginner barre chord lessons would be great for helping cross that major hurdle in a guitar player's learning path.


All the Above


Very well presented.


All the teachers here are great but this technique was just right for me. Thanks Mr Isaacs I'm feeling motivated to keep trying.


All Three


Alot, but well delivered.

john losoya

Already love where this is going !just dipping my toes right now


Also, easy to understand.


Great lesson


And easy to understand. Encouraging!

jim and rocky

And I like the teacher's tone


Great teacher and I love the play along tracks. They make practicing a lot more fun!


Another geat lesson from David. Great foundation technique taught in a neat, not over long lesson!


Awesome music


Wonderful tutor excellent explanation


Very hard lesson. My fingers keep laying on the string below it. I keep raising my wrist but it isn't helping. Understand exactly what he was teaching though.




Boom!, light bulb goes on moment. Thank you so much David Isaacs. Was struggling with strumming and this lesson helped so much.


but my computer freezes and has to catch up about every 20-seconds. Do you have an IT dept. I could contact. Thanks, Mark


BY mistake I selected the wrong thumbs before


can i select all 3 options? this basic info has never been more clear! Thanks David!


Chill instructor. I liked his methods.