For many, learning guitar can be a daunting task. As you begin your journey on learning how to play guitar, you may feel as if you'll never get it right. When first learning the basics, it can be a challenging task that may make you question your abilities. Overall, there's so much you're learning when learning guitar. You're learning a discipline, an art, and a creativity outlet. With my tips as a 2 year old self-taught guitarist, you'll find you're getting better every day!
First Thing's First...
From the moment you walk out of the store with your very first guitar, you may wonder, "Where will I start?" When I first got my guitar, I didn't know where to start either. This is perfectly normal. First, get attuned to the feel of the guitar. Go ahead and strum it some and get a feel for the strings. As a beginner, you mainly want to get a feel for which strings you're strumming. This is because sometimes you may not want to strum them all, but instead strum 5, 2 and 1 solely. As you learn, you'll get more accustomed to playing only a few strings, and with more speed then ever..
- Guitar Strings are counted as 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The top string, (the thickest and lowest pitched), is the 6th. Once in a standard E tuning, the strings will have the notes of: E (6), A, D, G, B, E.
What to Begin Learning?
After getting a feel for your guitar, go ahead and get started on a few basic chords. Here are some diagrams to get you started on easy but widely used chords.
These are the exact five chords I began learning. They are used in many, MANY songs. The chords are read from right to left stringwise, as the left side starting with the 6th string. Notice how, for example, the G chord has the three black dots at the top, in a row. These strings are going to be played open. By open I mean that you will not hold down that string on the fret. In turn, the Xs on the top of the chord, means that you must mute them. This can be done with either your thumb for the 6/5th strings (if you can reach it around), or by using a free finger that's not holding a fret, to lightly hold the string. As long as you don't push down too hard, the string will be mute.
After you have a feel & learned basic chords and chord structure..
you should focus on accuracy, not speed. As you develop better accuracy for switching these chords, your fingers will have a natural coordination. This is essential in learning how to play guitar. Only after you have good muscle coordination (and calluses, haha,) will you be able to pick up speed and play songs. Good luck to you all!
More posts frequently; next: Fingerpicking 101 future: scales, speed; more chords.