Getting Started With Guitar

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You just picked out the perfect guitar and you quickly fall in love with it. You want to learn how to play but have no idea where to start. We are here to help with our getting started with guitar guide!

Starting to learn the guitar can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to understand that it takes time and effort to progress. A lot of people give up too soon because they become frustrated or think that they are not good enough. Remember that everyone starts from the beginning and it takes time to develop your skills.

Though it may seem difficult to learn at first, with the right resources and some patience, you can be playing your favorite songs in no time! In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need from how to hold your guitar all the way up to your first chord!

What you need before you start

So, you want to learn how to play guitar? Congratulations! Playing guitar is a great way to improve your coordination, build up your endurance, and relieve stress. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Before you get started, though, there are a few things you’ll need.

First, of course, is a guitar. If you don’t already have one, you will need to purchase or borrow one. If you are in the market for an electric guitar, checkout our best electric guitars under $500. These will not only be great guitars that you can play throughout your journey but they also will not break the bank. If using an electric guitar you will also of course need an amp. I personally love tube amps but if you are just starting out, they may be a bit overkill and loud. If that is the case, we suggest a good solid state amp or maybe a low watt tube amp.

Beginner Guitar Exercise

The brand of the guitar you choose will come down to personal preference and type of music you play. For Electrics some reputable names to consider are Fender, Gibson, Epiphone and Gretsch. For acoustic guitar, take a look at Martin, Taylor, Epiphone or Seagull.

In addition to a guitar and an amp if needed, you will also need some picks, a tuner, a metronome and some extra strings just in case you break one while playing (trust me, it happens).

Beyond that, you’ll need a little patience and a lot of practice! With some time and effort, you’ll be shredding like a pro in no time. So what are you waiting for? Start picking out those tunes!

Accompanying Video

If you prefer to learn guitar visually, you can watch our guitar lesson video which will walk you through everything in this article.

How to hold your guitar

Now that you have all of the necessary materials, it’s time to learn how to properly hold your guitar! Holding your instrument correctly is important for a few reasons.

First, if you are not holding your guitar correctly, it can be uncomfortable which will make it difficult to play for long periods of time. Second, holding your guitar correctly will allow you to reach all of the necessary strings with ease which is important when you are first starting out.

When holding your guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will want to make sure that the guitar is resting on your right thigh with the strings facing you. You will also want to be sure that your right hand is in the correct position. The thumb should be behind the neck of the guitar and the four fingers should be lightly resting on the strings above the frets.

Your left hand is going to be positioned on the fretboard. The thumb should be behind the neck and the four fingers should be positioned on the frets. You will want to lightly place your finger behind the fret and then press down on the string. Be sure not to place your finger in between two frets as this will result in a muted sound.

A note for lefties: if you are a southpaw, you will simply reverse the process!

Now that you know how to hold your guitar, it’s time to learn how to tune your instrument.

Tuning your guitar

Now that you know how to hold your instrument, it’s time to learn how to tune your guitar. Tuning your guitar is important because if your guitar is not in tune, it will not sound good. There are a few different ways that you can tune your guitar.

Beginner Guitar Chords

The first way is by using a guitar tuner. A guitar tuner is a small device that you attach to your guitar that will help you to tune your instrument. You can find these online or at your local music store.

The second way to tune your guitar is by using another instrument that is already in tune. For example, you can use a piano or another guitar. To do this, you will simply match the pitch of the string on your guitar to the pitch of the other instrument.

The third way to tune your guitar is by using your ear. This method is a bit more difficult and may take some practice but it can be done!

To tune your guitar using your ear, you will first pluck the string. Once the string is vibrating, you will then use your left hand to turn the tuning key until the pitch matches the pitch that you are hearing in your head.

Now that you know how to tune your guitar, it’s time to learn how to hold a guitar pick!

How to Hold A Guitar Pick

Now that you know how to tune your instrument, it’s time to learn how to hold a guitar pick! Holding a pick correctly is important because it will help you to produce the best sound possible.

There are a few different ways that you can learn how to hold a guitar pick. The most popular way is to hold the pick between your thumb and first finger. You will want to position the pick so that it is pointing towards the floor.

How to Hold A Guitar Pick

Another way to hold a pick is between your thumb and middle finger. This method is not as popular but some guitarists prefer it.

Once you have decided how you are going to hold your pick, it’s time to learn some notes!

Guitar String Names and Notes

Now that you know how to hold a guitar pick, it’s time to learn some notes! Notes are simply the different pitches that you will be playing on your instrument.

To learn the string names on guitar, we will refer to each one as the note it represents (assuming you already have your guitar in tune). Starting with the thickest string (typically this guitar strings name is referred to as 1)

There are six strings on a guitar and each string has a different name and pitch. The strings from lowest to highest pitch are:

E – the lowest pitched string

B

G

D

A

E – the highest pitched string

Now that you know the names of the strings, it’s time to start learning about frets!

Frets on the Guitar

If you are getting started with guitar, you may not know what a fret is. A fret is simply a raised area on the fingerboard that you press down on when playing a note.

The number of frets on a guitar varies but most guitars have at least 20 frets. The more frets a guitar has, the higher the range of notes that it can play.

To find out where to place your fingers on the fretboard, you can use a guitar chord chart. A chord chart shows you where to place your fingers to play different chords.

First Guitar Exercise for Beginner Guitarists

Now that we have the basics of your instrument down, let’s try a basic exercise. This will help build your finger strength and get you use to holding and playing your guitar.

To start, place your index finger on the first fret of the low E string. After pressed, use your right hand holding the pick to play the string. If it sounds muted, it means you have not applied enough pressure.

Repeat this same process but now use your middle finger and press down on the second fret of the low E string. Continue on the low E string with your ring on the third fret followed by your pinky on the forth fret.

Repeat this for each string making sure each note played is clear and not muted. If you have a metronome, now is the time to use it. Set it to 60 bpm (beats per minute) and strike the string with each click of the metronome. This will help you to learn to play in time.

If you don’t have a metronome, that’s okay! You can still practice this exercise without one. Just make sure that each note is played evenly and in time with the others.

Now that you have the hang of playing some notes, let’s move on to learning some chords!

How to Play Your First Chord on Guitar

Now that you know how to hold a pick and play some notes, it’s time to learn your first chord! A chord is simply two or more notes played together.

There are many different chords that you can learn on guitar but we will start with a basic one, the C major chord.

To play a C major chord, place your fingers according to the image below where your index finger = 1 in the chart followed by your middle finger (2) and finally your ring finger (3).

Guitar C Chord

Once your fingers are placed strum all the strings with the exception of the low E string. If done correctly, all the strings should ring clear except for the low E string which should be muted. Ta-DA, you just played your first chord on guitar!

If any of the strings sound muted or buzzing, go back and check your finger placement and make sure you are not touching any other strings with that particular finger.

The key is to not get discouraged, it will take some time to master your finger placement and build up finger strength. Eventually you will develop muscle memory and the shape of the chords will become second nature. Just keep practicing!

Now that you know how to play your first chord, let’s move on and learn one more!

Common Guitar Chords for Beginners

As a beginner guitar player, there are certain chords that you should learn first. These chords are some of the most commonly used and are easy guitar chords for beginners.

For this lesson we will learn one more chord. By knowing two chords to start it will allow you to practice chord changes. This is an important skill to learn as you will be constantly switching between chords when playing songs.

The next chord we will learn is the A minor (Am) chord. The shape of the Am chord is very similar to the C major chord so it will make for an easy transition. See the image below for reference:

Beginner Guitar Chords

Once you have all three fingers in place, strum all six strings with your right hand. You should now know two of the most common chords used in guitar playing, the C major and A minor. Try switching back and forth between these two chords and get a feel for the difference in sound.

What’s Next

In order to progress as a guitar player, you will need to learn new chords. As you learn more chords your options for different songs will increase as you progress from beginner guitar songs to more advanced techniques.

After you have become comfortable with Chord progressions, you will want to start learning some beginner guitar scales to start to understand music theory. These concepts will help you to understand how chords are built and how they work together.

You may also want to invest in a guitar teacher or online guitar lesson to help guide you in the early stages of learning guitar. A good teacher will be able to help you learn the basics more quickly and answer any questions that you may have.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article on Getting Started With Guitar – First Guitar Lesson! Stay tuned for more beginner guitar tips and techniques. Thanks for reading!

FAQ

How Can I Learn Guitar Fast?

Unfortunately, there is no method to learn guitar fast. There are methods which will speed up the process but in the end it will come down to practice and dedication.

How Do I Choose the Right Guitar?

When choosing a guitar, it is important to consider what style of music you want to play. Different guitars are better suited for different genres of music. For example, a classical guitar is typically used for classical and flamenco music while an electric guitar is better suited for rock and metal. There are also acoustic guitars which can be used for a variety of music genres.

It is also important to consider the size of the guitar when making your decision. If you are a child or have small hands, it might be difficult to play a full-sized guitar. In this case, you would want to choose a smaller guitar such as a 3/4 size or Parlor guitar.

How Much Should I Practice?

When starting out, it is important to practice at least 30 minutes per day. As you get better, you can increase the amount of time you practice. However, it is important not to overdo it as this can lead to burnout.

What Are The Name of the Strings On A Guitar?

The strings on a guitar are typically named after their note. The lowest string is the 6th string and is also called the low E string. The 5th string is called the A string, the 4th string is called the D string, the 3rd string is called the G string, the 2nd string is called the B string and the 1st string is called the high E string.

How Do I Tune My Guitar?

There are a few different ways to tune a guitar. The most common method is to use an electronic tuner. You can also use a pitch pipe or another instrument to help you tune your guitar.

What Is A Capo?

A capo is a device that is used to attach to the neck of a guitar. It is used to raise the pitch of the strings, which makes it easier to play in a different key.

How Do I Change My Guitar Strings?

Changing your guitar strings is a relatively easy process. You will need to remove the old strings and then thread the new strings through the bridge and tuning pegs. Once the new strings are in place, you will need to tune your guitar. We have a full guide on how to change guitar strings to help you.

How Can I Improve My Guitar Playing?

The best way to improve your guitar playing is to practice regularly and to learn new techniques. You can also take guitar lessons from a teacher or online course. Learning new songs is also a great way to improve your guitar playing.

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Hi, I am Dan your host here at Sound Check Music Blog. I have been a guitar player for the last 35 years. Although I no longer get to play live shows I am still active in the recording industry. I look forward to sharing with you some great gear reviews.