Learning to Play Guitar can be Easy
If you learn to play the guitar, you will be able to play any kind of music, ranging from heavy metal to pop, country and classical — and all in-between. Learning how to play the guitar is more accessible than many other popular instruments, after you learn well some basics.
Here we show you how to start teaching yourself to play.
1. Learning the basics
If you don’t have the correct pitch already, you might require a guitar tuner. Then, apart from your playing sounding better, a tuner will also make you familiar with which string/fret groupings match which notes. You should get a tuner at any guitar store or at the majority of music shops.
Tuners are simple to use and very handy if you can’t do the tuning by ear. Ensure that the room is quiet when you use a tuner for the tuner’s microphone can act as a magnet for other sounds.
The arrangement of strings on a guitar is –E, B, G, D, A, E — from a high E to a low E. You should attempt to create an acronym for this; it will be helpful in remembering the sequence in an easier way.
If a tuner is unaffordable for you, you can tune your guitar without the help of it.
2. Learn to Read Guitar Tabs
Become skilled at reading guitar tabs: Guitar players normally have their unique technique of music notation. It’s referred to as guitar tablature or guitar tabs. The underlying idea is to watch the tab like you look at your guitar; each line represents a string; each number refers to the fret you hold down while playing that string.
3. Learn to Where to Place the Fingers
Where to place your fingers. Frets are the thin, narrow metal sheets that stand upright, at right angles to the strings. You, in fact, force your finger down between the strips and not upon them. When you pluck the third fret, you put your finger on the string that lies between the second and third frets. Your finger must be placed as close to the fret as can be done to bring out a nice sound.
- You must use your fingertips to play, not the spongy part of the finger. For this, you have to cut your nails so that the fret board does not get scratched. Players who are right-handed utilize their left hand to fret and their right for picking. For lefties it’s the other way round.
- When you press several strings at one time on different frets, while playing chords, it may be a bit tricky. This happens if your fingers are short and stiff. There are generally many ways to place your fingers to get the same chord. Do some research and experiment to discover which combinations you feel comfortable with.
- Remember that whenever you go from one to another fret, the resultant pitch will be half step higher or lower (this is referred to as ‘sharp’ or ‘flat’). To know this is important if youultimately wish to play/read from sheets of music.
- Some guitar players feel it’s better to place the thumb at the centre, behind the neck and not above the top edge. This, they feel, allows for better placement of the finger for it gives them better reach and finger strength on the frets. But, you must adopt a style that best suits you.
4. Learn to Strum
- Without the assistance of a teacher to show how it’s done, strumming can be the toughest thing to learn in guitar playing. The strumming fingers go down or up – it comprises down strokes and upward strokes in various combinations.
- Whether you are stroking upwards or down, you must make an attempt to stroke across all the strings using equal pressure and stable speed. You will not want to stroke a few strings a bit firmer than the others, or begin fast and then go slow as you reach the last strings. The movement must come typically from your wrist and not your forearm.
- You can use a pick or your fingertips to strum. There are many types of picks that you can play with, but beginners normally are advised to start with a thin one and hold it between thumb and the index finger.
- Your arm must move in a steady up-down action, keeping to one rhythm if you’re really strumming or not. This motion acts as a metronome for learners. As you improve the quality of your strumming, you can stomp your feet, shake your head, or do knee-jerks like Elvis Presley!
5. Learn to Play the Chords
- Notes grouped together and which sound good are called chords. The reason why chords sound nice lies in the theory of music. Right now it is sufficient to learn how to play some key chords. Practice so that you are able to move easily between chords without dropping your rhythm.
- The most common chords in western music are the major ones. The word ‘CAGED’ will help you to remember them, for the major chords are C, A G, E and D.
- Having placed your fingers on the fret board, strum across all the strings of the chords. Remember that the strings have to ring and not give a muffled or muted sound.
- If the notes do not ring out sweetly, find the reason why. May be your pressing is too soft or some finger parts are touching some string which is not allowing it to sound sharp. Check if some unused fingers are making contact with the strings.
- When learning to play songs, commence with easy ones, songs that involve a few chords in simple arrangement. Hear the song as it is being played properly with your guitar so you get acquainted with the type of sound and rhythm you are looking for.
Take off slowly and steadily raise the pace. Sing along while playing your guitar, if you can, in order to hold on to the rhythm. As you learn relatively easy songs, go on to pieces that are more complex.
In time, you will be able to play hit numbers of your favorite pop singers.