Are you wondering how to play the guitar? Then you are in the right place. We’ll cover all the steps needed for a budding beginner guitarist to learn quickly.
Before you can learn to play the guitar, you should purchase a dependable guitar that is not too expensive. (Your first guitar will likely take on a lot of wear and tear!)
A $150 to $300 guitar will work for you just fine. Although they are awesome, you probably don’t want to purchase a Gibson Les Paul as your first guitar. Instead try Epiphone, which is a quality brand for learning the guitar as a beginner. You will probably strum too hard and over-tune in the beginning — resulting in scratching and overuse of the tuning pegs that sit on the head of the guitar.
An electric guitar is the best guitar for beginners. If you want to learn on an acoustic guitar, the only difference is acoustics are usually more difficult to press down on the strings.
So, did you pick out your first guitar? Get those fingers strumming with our guide on how to play guitar for beginners.
Steps on How to Play Guitar For Beginners
Step 1: Guitar Basics
Learning how to play the guitar starts with the guitar basics. The basics consist of the strings, fretboard, picking, and finger placement.
A guitar consists of six strings that vary in size. From top to bottom the strings are numbered 6-1. The thickest string that sits atop the guitar is called the low E or the sixth string.
After the low E, the strings decrease in size in the order of A D G B and high E. The low E has the deepest or lowest sound. The high E sits at the bottom of the guitar and is the thinnest chord, resulting in the highest pitch.
Ernie Ball is an excellent brand of strings for all levels of guitarists.
The fretboard is the long wooden fingerboard of the guitar in which you place your fingers. A standard guitar consists of 22 frets. Each fret has a metal barrier separating it from the other frets.
The 1st fret is the one closest to the head of the guitar. Frets are numbered in order from 1-22. When practicing the basics of the guitar, count the frets to familiarize yourself with their placement.
When you place your finger on a fret the key or sound of the string will change. Each fret results in a different note for every string.
For example, when placing a finger on the first fret of the low E string, the note will change from an E to an F.
Every guitarist has their own specific picking form. There are many different ways to pick, so experimenting with how you hold the pick and strum will depend on you.
The most important thing to know about picking is that a guitar pick should be held between your thumb a pointer finger. The pointy edge of the pick will face the strings of the guitar. The rounded edge will be placed under the thumb and on the side of the pointer finger.
One of the most important aspects of learning the guitar is finger placement and finger strength. Before you play notes and chords you must become comfortable with the placement of your fingers.
The thumb is used to hold the neck of the guitar. The pointer, middle, ring and pinky fingers will all be used on the fretboard. A good beginning guitar lesson will familiarize yourself with where your fingers should be placed.
Memorize this idea. Pointer is for the 1st fret, middle is for the 2nd, ring is for the 3rd and pinky is for the 4th. When you get the 5th fret, the finger placement will reset, once again beginning with your pointer. This idea will remain the same for the remainder of the fretboard.
When you play the guitar for the first time, you will find it difficult to press down on the string. You need to strengthen your fingers to become comfortable with the sensation. This can only be accomplished through repetition and practice.
Step 2: First Lesson on How to Play the Guitar for Beginners
When someone says, “teach me how to play a guitar,” they expect to play a song right away. Learning the guitar does not work that way. You must devote time to the basics of the guitar before anything else.
Your first guitar lessons will help with finger placement and finger strength.
Start on the high E string. This is the thinnest and easiest string to press down. Place your pointer finger on the first fret, middle on the second, ring on the 3rd, and pinky on the forth. Place each finger one at a time. It will feel awkward, so don’t worry.
Once you get to the 4th fret with your pinky, release your fingers and start over. However, this time, do it in reverse order starting with your pinky on the 4th fret, ending with your pointer finger on the 1st fret. This will help you learn the necessary movements needed to play the guitar.
After you become comfortable with this movement, you can either move to the 5th fret of the high E string or move to the 1st fret of the B String.
Knowing where to place your fingers is the best guitar help for beginners.
Step 3: How to Learn Guitar Chords
A guitar chord is a set of notes played at the same time. Once you have become comfortable with your finger placement and finger strength, you can move onto chords.
A guitar tuner is a helpful tool for beginners. You can play a chord perfectly, but if your guitar is out of tune, it will sound horrible. Tuning can be done without a tuner, but that is another step beyond the basics.
We will look at an E Minor chord as an example. E Minor is easy because it uses every string of the guitar.
Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. Next place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of G string. Hold your fingers in place and strum every chord in one motion.
Different chords utilize different frets as well as strings. Some are easy to learn, others take more. Once you have a better understanding of the basics of how to play the guitar, you will be able to play chords without even looking at the fretboard.
Key Takeaways of How to Play Guitar for Beginners
Learning the guitar will take time. You can’t become the next Hendrix if you go into the learning process thinking you will be able to play “All Along the Watchtower” the first time you pick up a guitar.
Keep at it, even if playing becomes a challenge!
Know the basics and study the different parts of the guitar.
The strings and fretboard are the most important for beginners. Before you learn how to play songs, you need to be comfortable holding the guitar, holding the pick, and moving your fingers around the fretboard.
Do not get discouraged if you cannot grasp a certain basic aspect. Like learning a language, playing the guitar takes a lot of practice and dedication.
Are you ready to learn the guitar?
Leave any questions or comments below!