The way I teach beginners is I have a series of a few simple drills that help you get coordinated with fretting and picking the strings; and as you proceed they introduce you to playing to timing. Practicing these drills for one week will help you gain the coordination you need to begin playing music! Let’s begin!
Practice Drill 1
Staying on the low E string, play the 1st fret with your pointer finger, followed by the 2nd fret with your middle finger, then the 3rd fret with your ring finger, and the 4th fret with your pinky. Then go in reverse.
Try it a few times; doesn’t have to be perfect. Just work on getting your finger behind the metal bar each time and getting it to sound as good as you can!
Next, try it on the A string:
I recommend doing it a few times on each string!
For drills 2, 3, and 4 I have audio backing tracks for you to play along with. They help you develop good timing, which is important to do from the start. Plus it makes it more fun and helps you drill it for longer; as well as develop the focus you need as a musician!
Go to: https://soundcloud.com/dgl-7/sets/practice-drills
Use your pointer finger for the 2nd fret, and your middle finger for the 3rd fret. Once you finish with the sequence, start over (at the open).
*Play this drill with the backing track labeled: “Practice Drill 2 – 60 Bpm”
Practice Drill 3
Use your pointer finger for the 2nd fret, your middle finger for the 3rd fret, and your pinky for the 5th fret.
*Play with the backing track labeled: “Practice Drill 3 – 60bpm.”
Practice Drill 4
Use your pointer finger for the 3rd fret, your ring finger for the 5th fret.
*Play with the backing track labeled: “Practice Drill 4 – 90 bpm”