When a strong willpower is backed by the right amount of patience, dedication and sincerity in efforts, the final outcome can be quite overwhelming! If you are really determined about learning to play the guitar, then nothing in this world should be able to dampen your spirits.

Remember, even the simplest of melodies cannot be played unless an individual has grasped the basics. Knowledge of the chords, pitch, frequency, and scales are absolutely indispensable for your progress. A professional instructor would be of great help for the beginners.

A solid foundation is a cardinal prerequisite for mastering the ability to play the guitar. Here’s how you can build yours.

  • Familiarizing Yourself with the Parts of Your Instrument

Your guitar lessons would appear to be far less complicated once you get accustomed to the fundamental terminology. For instance, the ‘neck’ refers to the long piece of wood. The ‘fret-board’ is the flat portion lined with metallic ‘frets’ for demarcating various notes.

Anatomy of the guitar
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

The guitar strings occur between the ‘bridge’ and the ‘headstock’. In case of electric guitars, the strings are usually suspended through single eyelets, while in acoustic guitars these are attached to the bridge using pegs. Acoustic guitars have ‘sound holes’ for resonance while the electric ones have magnetic pickups for transmitting sounds through amps.

  • Maintaining the Correct Posture and Holding the Picks

Beginners must get used to holding their guitar correctly. Besides causing severe discomfort, a faulty posture can even affect your ability to play. Sit in an upright position and firmly hold your guitar with the smallest string pointing towards the ground and the thickest one pointing at your ceiling. Right-handed players use their left hands for fretting the strings and stabilizing the neck.

Picks are small plastic pieces for assisting you in strumming your guitar. Firstly, you need to make a fist. After that grasp the pick between your index finger and thumb, perpendicular to the fist, with a tiny portion jutting out of the hand.

  • Improving the Strength and Flexibility of Your Fingers

Guitar beginners often have to deal with pain in their fingers and the inability to quickly navigate between chords. Performing a couple of finger exercises would significantly enhance strength as well as flexibility.

the right posture when playing the guitar
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

The formation of callus on fretting fingers would gradually alleviate your pain. While at rest, you can rub ice-cubes or dip your fingers in antiseptic alcohol.

  • Practice Reading the Guitar Tablatures

Investing a few minutes in learning how to read the music notation or tablatures (tabs) would accelerate your learning process. It would enable you to play your favorite musical piece in a couple of hours! However, patience is the most crucial factor while learning to play songs by reading guitar tablatures. The ‘staff’ of tablatures contain lines corresponding to the guitar strings. There are numbers too for indicating ‘frets’.

If you are unable to deal with the challenge of reading tablatures, then there is absolutely no point in wasting time on a particular piece. Split a song into smaller fragments and focus on one at a time.

  • Learning to Keep Your Guitar in Tune

Tuning your guitar regularly would help in clarifying your notions regarding the string-fret combinations and the corresponding notes. Introduce yourself to the names of all the strings starting from the thickest to the thinnest. Mnemonics would speed-up the process of memorizing.

Electric tuners are very user-friendly and can make accurate detections regarding sharpness or flatness of your guitar. A tuner must be used in peaceful surroundings since its microphone is extremely sensitive.

  • Getting to the ‘Chord’ of the Matter

A ‘chord’ refers to a group of musical notes played together. Once you have successfully mastered a couple of single-note melodies, you can attempt to play the first-position chords. These can be played using a combination of open and pressed strings which belong to the first triplet of frets. Keep an eye on the notes and learn the appropriate finger placements. Then move on to barre chords and you would be finally geared up for playing songs!

  • Keen Observation of Guitar Techniques

One of the best ways of learning the guitar is to observe the techniques of seasoned players.

holding a chord
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

In addition to formal lessons, online videos and tutorials can enrich you with expert tips and tricks for a better learning experience.

  • Playing Your First Musical Piece on the Guitar

A couple of easy songs would make the learning process much more lively and exciting for beginners. Playing a song is quite different from harping on a set of unfamiliar notes. After mastering the easier ones, you can try your luck with complex pieces and steadily progress in your journey of becoming a rock-star!

  • Selecting Your Own Style

After you have warmed up and accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge about guitars, you can think of figuring out your own style. This would entirely depend on the genre of music which you love to hear, or would like to treat your audience with.

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