The first step to learning to play guitar is the initial selection of the type of guitar that suits your musical tastes and preferences. There are acoustic-blues guitars, heavy metal guitars, and jazz guitars, among others, enough to accommodate any individual's musical palette, no matter how varied it may be. After matching the guitar to your musical preference, the next part is identification of the various components of the guitar.
Generally, the guitar is made up of the body, the neck also known as the fretboard and the 'waist'. The waist is a depression in the body of the guitar that you can rest your leg on. The neck contains metal frets that represent the various notes the guitar can play. The strings of the guitar are affixed between the headstock and the bridge of the guitar, with attachments to tuning pegs, which enable tightening as well as loosening of the strings.
The body of acoustic guitars also contains a solid hole that enables the resonation of sound and that of electric guitars contains pickups that amplify the sound produced. The next important technique to master is positioning. This encompasses posture, whether you are in a seated or a standing position, and guitar holding techniques.
In the sitting position, ensure that you use a stool or a chair that has a straight back. Position the guitar by placing the waist on the leg you are most comfortable with. Slightly separate your feet and balance by resting the corresponding arm (if right leg used, then right forearm) on the upper bout.
The guitar should balance without support from the opposite arm. In the standing position, you require straps to secure the guitar. These straps are affixed to the strap pins found on the guitar. Now, you get to the tuning of the guitar.
This is essential as it helps the beginner to get accustomed to the fret and string combinations that match particular notes. Get to know the names of the strings in their exact pitch order. A self created mnemonic can be useful to aid in remembering the names.
An additional requirement, though not deemed necessary, but useful for beginners, is the acquisition of a pick, also known as a spectrum. This is a small piece of plastic that aids in strumming the guitar.
It is widely available in nearly all musical stores. It is now time to play the chords, which are of two types; barre chords that are important especially when beginning to play songs and first position chords.
More common major chords include: A-major, C-major, D-major, E-major and G-major. Practice these two chord types and strive to get a clear crisp sound as well as the appropriate strumming technique.
You are now almost there. After the chords, try to play full songs. Work your way up from the relatively simple songs to the more complex songs. Additionally, familiarize yourself with guitar tablature.
It essentially relates the lines in the tablature to an appropriate string; and the numbers in the tablature relate to an appropriate fret. Finally, practice makes perfect. Watch tutorials and keep on practicing.
Of note is the fact that there may be some finger pain resulting from strumming. The pain usually goes away with time, but if it persists, measures like icing them may be of help. Be the next Hendrix. Get playing the guitar. I hope this article has helped you to learn more about how to play guitar!
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