Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How To Start Learning Guitar

     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...

  •      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.

     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.. 

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How To Start Learning Guitar Chords - 5 Basic Chords

 Where to Start Learning Guitar Chords

     You're probably like me, and you don't know where to begin learning guitar chords. These 5 basic chords are where I began, and they're where you should begin. With these chords, you can begin to make small tunes and songs. As I learned these and put them together in different ways, it really made me feel accomplished. Remember to focus on accuracy, not speed, yet. 
     When I say focus on accuracy, I just mean that you should focus on where your fingers go in-between chords. You need to know the proper way to change your finger location while switching chords. Remember to look at your fingers, watch where they go, and finally, just keep doing it. This is the most vital point when learning. You need to build your hand muscle coordination, and the only way to do that is to do it over and over.

 How Often Should I Play?

     When you first begin learning guitar chords and playing in general, you need to know when to stop. If you're fingers start hurting at ANY point - stop. When using the tips of your fingers, they will become sore. This is because they are forming calluses, and they need time to heal. If you keep playing while they hurt, they will hurt much longer and will not heal properly. You will most likely be left with scars on your fingertips.

  • When first starting how to learn guitar, a minimum of 15-20 minutes a day will suffice. If you do this every day your fingers aren't sore, you'll build coordination, accuracy, and speed.

Best of luck to you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How To Finger Pick - Fingerpicking Basics

How to Finger Pick - Fingerpick Basics

     Fingerpicking is an elegant style of playing guitar. It utilizes the sound of each string and note you're playing, for an incomparable beautiful lullaby. When first learning how to fingerpick, you must know where to place your fingers. Your thumb will hover over strings 6, 5, and 4. Your index finger will be used to pluck string 3. Your middle finger will be used to pluck string 2, and finally your ring finger will be used to pluck the first string. 

How to Apply Fingerpicking to What You Know Already

     After you've learned those 5 basic chords, you can begin to fingerpick immediately. My favorite rhythm of fingerpicking is plucking the strings 5, 3, 2, 3, 1, 3, 2, 3. This is the pattern you will use for one chord. You can do multiple chords in a row with this pattern for a nice sounding tune. As your chord knowledge grows, you can fingerpick many different sounding patterns. After you learn how the strings sound when you pluck them, you can create your own fingerpicking patterns. There are millions of patterns you can create.

      I would advise watching videos of your favorite fingerpicking songs and practicing. I will be creating YouTube videos very soon, and will cover all the basic in video.

Thanks for viewing and best of luck to you!