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How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 12:14am On Jul 31
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments around, and it's easy to see why. Firstly, it's quite easy to get started, and once you've learnt a few basic chords, you can play literally hundreds of popular songs. Secondly, it's a great instrument for accompanying a singer, as even one guitar on its own gives a good backing sound to a song. Finally, although it may be relatively easy to get started with simple chords, it has almost limitless potential for advanced players - you literally never stop learning, and there are many impressive pieces you can learn to play in time.

So if you want to learn how to play guitar, here are 5 tips to help you get started.

1. Get A Decent Guitar

Obviously, the first thing you need is a guitar, or at least be able to borrow one to learn on. My first tip is that for learning, you should invest in a reasonable quality guitar. Really cheap guitars are usually a false economy. They can often have problems with their setup or tuning, and these can end up putting you off playing for good. Probably, more beginners are discouraged after trying to learn on a bad guitar than any other factor.

This doesn't mean that you should go out and buy the most expensive guitar you can possibly afford either. It should be possible to find a reasonably priced quality model that will be good for learning on. The most important thing is it should stay in tune, and its 'action' (that means the height of the strings above the fretboard) should not be too high, otherwise it will feel difficult to hold down the strings properly.

The other consideration is whether to get an acoustic or electric guitar. Acoustic guitars are generally good for learning, tend overall to be cheaper than electrics, and you don't have to worry about an amplifier. However, it really depends on the style of music you want to play. If you really want to play rock or metal guitar styles, you would be better off starting out with an electric guitar from the outset.

There are many places to buy a guitar, and you can get some great deals on secondhand ones. A good place to start looking would be your local musical instrument store. They may stock second hand as well as new models, and can give you advice about tuning and caring for your guitar. If you know someone who can already play, take them along to help you choose.

2. Learn To Tune It

Once you've got a reasonable quality guitar for learning on, one of the first things to do is learn how to tune the strings correctly. The most basic guitar chords will still sound good on a guitar if the strings are in tune. Played with the strings out of tune though, and they can sound awful, even if you're holding down all the right notes.

The first step is to tune the topmost string (the top 'E' string). This can be set to the same note as a piano or keyboard (the note 'E' just above middle 'C'), an 'E' tuning fork, or the high note on a set of 'pitch pipes'. Play the tuning fork or piano note, then sound the top string on the guitar. If the notes sound different, use the tuning peg on the guitar for that top string to adjust the note up or down, as needed.

Then, tune the second string ('B') to match the top one. Do this by playing the second string at the 5th fret, and then sounding the top string. Adjust the tuning peg for the second string until the notes sound the same (don't touch the tuning peg for the first string).

The third string, 'G' is tuned by playing the note at the 4th fret on this string, which should match the note sounded by the second string.

The remaining strings are tuned in the same way, by playing the note at the 5th fret on those strings, which should match the note sounded by the string above.

Electronic tuners are also a real help when tuning, they show you exactly when a particular string is in tune. It's still worth learning the method above though, so you'll know how to tune your guitar if an electronic tuner isn't available.

3. Commit Time To Practicing

It would be great if you could buy a guitar, then immediately start playing complex chords and solos on it. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen, as when you learn to play guitar, you have to put in some practise time regularly, first to learn the basics, then more complex techniques.

When you first begin learning the guitar, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, and training your fingers to make the shape of a particular chord may seem difficult at first. However, by having several regular practise sessions each week, you will start to acquire the 'finger memory' needed to play chords without thinking, it will become automatic.

4. Learn A Few Basic Open Chords Well

There are a few basic 'open' chords that you will learn when starting out. These are pretty much all formed within the first three frets on the guitar neck, and usually consist of the major chords E, A, D, C G, and maybe a couple of minor chords, like Am, Dm.

If you spend the time learning to play these basic chords well, so that you can form the chord pattern quickly and easily with your left hand, and switch between them smoothly, then you will be able to play a large range of different songs with just these few chords. Even with just the 3 chords G, C and D, a lot of songs can be adapted to use just these chords.

When learning, this is a great point to reach in your guitar playing. Most people I think, would give their reason for wanting to learn how to play guitar as 'to be able to play along with songs'. If you get to the point where you can play a few of these open chords in a regular rhythm, and switch between them reasonably quickly, you'll get a real buzz out of being able to play a few 'real' tunes, and will be motivated to carry on learning.

You may find when learning that it takes a while to get to this point. For example, your fingers don't seem to form the chord patterns quickly enough, or you can play on one chord easily, but changing chords takes a while, and doesn't sound smooth.

Don't despair! The key to overcoming this is regular practice, and slowing things right down until you can change chords at that speed. Then slowly increase the speed, and you'll find that the chord changes come a lot easier. A metronome is a good tool to use when practising like this, as it will keep ticking out the beat that you need to maintain when playing.

5. Use Video Lessons To Boost Your Progress

The final tip here when learning how to play guitar, is to make the most of the wide range of video based guitar lessons that are out there these days. Nothing beats one-to-one lessons with your own personal instructor, but if that's not available to you, then video guitar lessons are the next best thing. And you can watch them over and over, making sure you understand each part.

2 Likes

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Gmajor(m): 3:37pm On Jul 31
Lawrence24:
The guitar is one of the most popular instruments around, and it's easy to see why. Firstly, it's quite easy to get started, and once you've learnt a few basic chords, you can play literally hundreds of popular songs. Secondly, it's a great instrument for accompanying a singer, as even one guitar on its own gives a good backing sound to a song. Finally, although it may be relatively easy to get started with simple chords, it has almost limitless potential for advanced players - you literally never stop learning, and there are many impressive pieces you can learn to play in time.

So if you want to learn how to play guitar, here are 5 tips to help you get started.

1. Get A Decent Guitar

Obviously, the first thing you need is a guitar, or at least be able to borrow one to learn on. My first tip is that for learning, you should invest in a reasonable quality guitar. Really cheap guitars are usually a false economy. They can often have problems with their setup or tuning, and these can end up putting you off playing for good. Probably, more beginners are discouraged after trying to learn on a bad guitar than any other factor.

This doesn't mean that you should go out and buy the most expensive guitar you can possibly afford either. It should be possible to find a reasonably priced quality model that will be good for learning on. The most important thing is it should stay in tune, and its 'action' (that means the height of the strings above the fretboard) should not be too high, otherwise it will feel difficult to hold down the strings properly.

The other consideration is whether to get an acoustic or electric guitar. Acoustic guitars are generally good for learning, tend overall to be cheaper than electrics, and you don't have to worry about an amplifier. However, it really depends on the style of music you want to play. If you really want to play rock or metal guitar styles, you would be better off starting out with an electric guitar from the outset.

There are many places to buy a guitar, and you can get some great deals on secondhand ones. A good place to start looking would be your local musical instrument store. They may stock second hand as well as new models, and can give you advice about tuning and caring for your guitar. If you know someone who can already play, take them along to help you choose.

2. Learn To Tune It

Once you've got a reasonable quality guitar for learning on, one of the first things to do is learn how to tune the strings correctly. The most basic guitar chords will still sound good on a guitar if the strings are in tune. Played with the strings out of tune though, and they can sound awful, even if you're holding down all the right notes.

The first step is to tune the topmost string (the top 'E' string). This can be set to the same note as a piano or keyboard (the note 'E' just above middle 'C'), an 'E' tuning fork, or the high note on a set of 'pitch pipes'. Play the tuning fork or piano note, then sound the top string on the guitar. If the notes sound different, use the tuning peg on the guitar for that top string to adjust the note up or down, as needed.

Then, tune the second string ('B') to match the top one. Do this by playing the second string at the 5th fret, and then sounding the top string. Adjust the tuning peg for the second string until the notes sound the same (don't touch the tuning peg for the first string).

The third string, 'G' is tuned by playing the note at the 4th fret on this string, which should match the note sounded by the second string.

The remaining strings are tuned in the same way, by playing the note at the 5th fret on those strings, which should match the note sounded by the string above.

Electronic tuners are also a real help when tuning, they show you exactly when a particular string is in tune. It's still worth learning the method above though, so you'll know how to tune your guitar if an electronic tuner isn't available.

3. Commit Time To Practicing

It would be great if you could buy a guitar, then immediately start playing complex chords and solos on it. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen, as when you learn to play guitar, you have to put in some practise time regularly, first to learn the basics, then more complex techniques.

When you first begin learning the guitar, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, and training your fingers to make the shape of a particular chord may seem difficult at first. However, by having several regular practise sessions each week, you will start to acquire the 'finger memory' needed to play chords without thinking, it will become automatic.

4. Learn A Few Basic Open Chords Well

There are a few basic 'open' chords that you will learn when starting out. These are pretty much all formed within the first three frets on the guitar neck, and usually consist of the major chords E, A, D, C G, and maybe a couple of minor chords, like Am, Dm.

If you spend the time learning to play these basic chords well, so that you can form the chord pattern quickly and easily with your left hand, and switch between them smoothly, then you will be able to play a large range of different songs with just these few chords. Even with just the 3 chords G, C and D, a lot of songs can be adapted to use just these chords.

When learning, this is a great point to reach in your guitar playing. Most people I think, would give their reason for wanting to learn how to play guitar as 'to be able to play along with songs'. If you get to the point where you can play a few of these open chords in a regular rhythm, and switch between them reasonably quickly, you'll get a real buzz out of being able to play a few 'real' tunes, and will be motivated to carry on learning.

You may find when learning that it takes a while to get to this point. For example, your fingers don't seem to form the chord patterns quickly enough, or you can play on one chord easily, but changing chords takes a while, and doesn't sound smooth.

Don't despair! The key to overcoming this is regular practice, and slowing things right down until you can change chords at that speed. Then slowly increase the speed, and you'll find that the chord changes come a lot easier. A metronome is a good tool to use when practising like this, as it will keep ticking out the beat that you need to maintain when playing.

5. Use Video Lessons To Boost Your Progress

The final tip here when learning how to play guitar, is to make the most of the wide range of video based guitar lessons that are out there these days. Nothing beats one-to-one lessons with your own personal instructor, but if that's not available to you, then video guitar lessons are the next best thing. And you can watch them over and over, making sure you understand each part.


Apart from. YouTube where can I get well. Structured guitar lessons

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 5:48pm On Jul 31
Yes you can, you could get a teacher to teach you. Thank you.
Gmajor:


Apart from. YouTube where can I get well. Structured guitar lessons
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by PatrikStacy: 2:08am On Sep 03
nice post!

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Octopus3000: 1:35pm On Sep 07
Hello. Thanks for your tips and guides. It is very useful for me as a beginner to learn all this because I need to start playing guitar as soon as possible because I have to play at school evening. I am actively learning to play the guitar and I really like it. I have a question for you because you are real professionals. Should I mount a pickup on the soundboard to amplify the sound, or is it an extra measure? I read a lot of reviews about this and many say that this is an interesting device and really helps. I even found Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups and there is a lot of interesting information about different models. I would like to know what you think about this?

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by SegFault: 10:16am On Sep 11
Please where can I get an electric guitar in enugu, anyone please. By the way nice post, I heard learning on an electric is easier than an acoustic how true is this.

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 8:54pm On Sep 15
You can get Guitar anywhere, even online. Both are good is just that with electric you will need an amp.
SegFault:
Please where can I get an electric guitar in enugu, anyone please. By the way nice post, I heard learning on an electric is easier than an acoustic how true is this.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 8:56pm On Sep 15
i can teach you or buy an ebook.
Gmajor:


Apart from. YouTube where can I get well. Structured guitar lessons
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by SegFault: 9:23pm On Sep 15
Lawrence24:
You can get Guitar anywhere, even online. Both are good is just that with electric you will need an amp.
I know that, but how expensive is the amp stuff, though I've heard that you can play it without an amp, just that it won't be as nice as using it with an amp.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Haryoife(m): 10:18am On Sep 16
Lawrence24:
i can teach you or buy an ebook.
I have an acoustic guitar which I’m yet to learn and I’m thinking of buying a talking drum

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 11:24am On Sep 16
I got a small one for 15k
SegFault:

I know that, but how expensive is the amp stuff, though I've heard that you can play it without an amp, just that it won't be as nice as using it with an amp.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 11:31am On Sep 16
Mounting a pickup on the soundboard to amplify the sound is a good one, however you need to get a good one, i use mic most times or when you have some money you could buy semi-Acoustic. sorry for the delay. Thank you.
Octopus3000:
Hello. Thanks for your tips and guides. It is very useful for me as a beginner to learn all this because I need to start playing guitar as soon as possible because I have to play at school evening. I am actively learning to play the guitar and I really like it. I have a question for you because you are real professionals. Should I mount a pickup on the soundboard to amplify the sound, or is it an extra measure? I read a lot of reviews about this and many say that this is an interesting device and really helps. I even found Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups and there is a lot of interesting information about different models. I would like to know what you think about this?
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 11:33am On Sep 16
Learn the Guitar, then when you are good with you can get a talking drum. Thank you.
Haryoife:

I have an acoustic guitar which I’m yet to learn and I’m thinking of buying a talking drum
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 11:39am On Sep 16
Get a teacher, or buy a good ebook, Somewhere on my page here i have some teaching on it.
Gmajor:


Apart from. YouTube where can I get well. Structured guitar lessons
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Haryoife(m): 11:42am On Sep 16
Lawrence24:
Learn the Guitar, then when you are good with you can get a talking drum. Thank you.
Thanks boss

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Haryoife(m): 11:43am On Sep 16
Lawrence24:
Learn the Guitar, then when you are good with you can get a talking drum. Thank you.
Please drop your email so I can text you
Or your number boss

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by SegFault: 12:20pm On Sep 16
Lawrence24:
I got a small one for 15k
Wow, seriously. What about an electric guitar make I start dey prepare my budget, by now that small amp fit don reach 30K so please abeg tell me quick quick biko. Boredom wan kill me for here.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 10:41am On Sep 17
toyinlawrence@gmail.com
Haryoife:

Please drop your email so I can text you
Or your number boss
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 10:43am On Sep 17
Is like 35k.
SegFault:

Wow, seriously. What about an electric guitar make I start dey prepare my budget, by now that small amp fit don reach 30K so please abeg tell me quick quick biko. Boredom wan kill me for here.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by SegFault: 10:44am On Sep 17
Lawrence24:
Is like 35k.
Very good, I fit hustle up at least 70k buy am plus amp. Thank you very much.

1 Like

Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by Lawrence24(m): 10:50am On Sep 17
Yes guy. make sure you do it. God Bless you.
SegFault:

Very good, I fit hustle up at least 70k buy am plus amp. Thank you very much.
Re: How To Play Guitar - 5 Tips For Beginners by SegFault: 10:54am On Sep 17
Lawrence24:
Yes guy. make sure you do it. God Bless you.
Yah, thanks.

1 Like

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