Knowing how to play guitar is quite an achievement that you should be proud of. Apart from playing it as a professional guitarist, it can also be a perfect hobby. Before you become an expert in playing guitar, you must first learn how to do it. All these experienced guitarists were not born that way, they first had to learn about it. The amazing fact about the guitar is that anybody can learn how to play it, whether you are young or old. You don’t have to enroll in expensive guitar classes. In this article, you will learn how to play a guitar right from the comfort of your home.
1. Purchase the right guitar
The first step of learning how to play guitar is by purchasing the right one. There is a wide variety of guitar in the market and choosing the right one can prove to be a challenge. Some of the factors that you should consider when purchasing your first guitar include price, size, and the condition of the guitar. As a beginner, it is wise that you go for acoustic guitar because of its simplicity. You will be able to play it with much ease as compared to the other types of guitars. Choose the correct size that will give you maximum comfort. Purchase your guitar from authorized and reputable dealers.
2. Get familiar with parts of the guitar
Regardless of the difference of their style, most of the guitars have common parts. The copper strings vibrate so as to produce sound. These strings are fixed on the turning pegs which can be adjusted to tighten or loosen the strings. They run between the headstock and the bridge of the guitar. The neck is a long and flat piece of wood that supports both the strings and the frets. The frets are used to partition the notes. In an acoustic guitar, there is a sound hole and is responsible for sound resonation. On the other hand, the electric guitars have pickups to resonate sound.
3. Position the guitar
Holding the guitar in a correct position will ensure that you play it comfortably. Get a good chair or even a stool that will ensure that you sit in an upright position. While positioning the guitar, ensure that the small string is pointing downwards while the thickest string is pointing upwards. While in a sitting position Let your leg support the guitar from downwards. The backside of the guitar should touch your stomach. The left hand should be on the guitar’s neck so as to make it stable. This hand can also be used to adjust the frets. This position can make you uncomfortable, but with time, you will get used to it.
4. Tuning the guitar
The guitar will only be able to produce sweet melodious sound after you have tuned it. To tune it well, you should first know the name of each string and what it stands for. The strings are arranged depending on their pitches. The strings are named E, A, D, G, B, E. You can also use an electric tuner so as to tune the instrument correctly.
5. Exercise with the frets
The frets run perpendicularly to the strings and are used to demarcate the notes. Playing a note involves placing your finger between two strips and not on the strips as some people do. The finger should be closer to the lower strip and should be able to hold the string firmly. Exercise with different frets on the fretboard.
6. Play the chords
A chord is made up of a combination of more than three notes, and to play your favorite song, you must first learn how to play the chords. As a beginner, you will only have two types of chords to think about and they are barre chords and first position chords. Other major chords that you should know include A Major, C Major, D Major, E Major and G Major. Practice by strumming different strings so that they can produce different notes. The secret to producing different chords lies on the finger placement. How you position your fingers on the strings will determine the chords that will be produced.
To get a G chord, you should position the middle finger on the third fret that controls the sixth string. The index finger should be on the second fret that controls the fifth string. Place the ring finger on the third fret that controls the first string. All the other chords have their finger placement. Try to get a clean and clear sound from every string that is in the chord. Test each string by placing all your fingers on the fretboard and test one string after another. If the notes are not coming out clearly, press the fretboard properly. The finger should remain curled on top of the fretboard.
7. Strum the strings smoothly
Now it’s time to produce meaningful sound from your guitar. Strum the strings loosely and in slow motion. Make it uniform by combining upstrokes and downstrokes. While doing so, ensure that you cover all the notes in a rhythmic way. Focus on your wrist rather than your fingers to produce the strokes. Keep your elbow stiff, and it should remain tight on the guitar. This will give the wrist total flexibility that it needs to strum the guitar smoothly.
8. Practice some movable chords
Before you start to play your favorite songs, learn how to work with movable or Barre chords. In this chord, your index finger of the hand that is in charge of the frets prevents the other entire note from being produced. To play a barre chord, you will position your index finger on the first fret. If you want the B chord, you will move the finger to the second fret. G chord can be produced by placing the finger on the third fret. By experimenting with different chords, you will start to know how to incorporate them into different songs. Some songs are only made up of 3 chords. Try to play them on the guitar.
Learning to play your favorite tunes using the guitar is fun, but at first, you may be frustrated. Play the song at a slow pace that you can manage. If a particular chord is not producing the sound that you wanted, use another chord. Start with songs that sound easy and have a slow pace.
Learn how others are playing the guitar
You can learn from others without having to go for guitar lessons. If you have friends who are expert guitarists, learn some little techniques from them. You can watch videos on YouTube to gain more experience with time.