How to learn to play guitar

Playing a musical instrument is a very rewarding thing. Music is very emotive to us and being able to create it can give one a great sense of satisfaction. It can also become a very social thing, as people will musical talent usually flock together to share and create music together. Guitar is a versatile instrument with acoustic, electric and bass options. By learning to play guitar you’ll be able to create many different sounds and styles of music. If you want to learn to play guitar there are some steps you’ll have take to learn the basics:

Tuning your guitar

Tuning your guitar is very important especially when you’re learning to play. This is because if the guitar is not tuned properly the notes will not sound like they’re supposed to. So as not to adapt bad playing habits you should always make sure your  guitar is always properly tuned. To do this you’ll need a guitar tuner. Which helps you tune your guitar by recording the notes and letting you know if it is too Sharpe or too flat. You can get electric tuners or even tuner apps for your smartphone. These are easy to use and accurate. To tune the guitar, you tighten in order to get a note higher and loosen it to get it lower. For best results you should tune your guitar in a quiet room so that your tuning device can clearly pick up each note and give correct feedback.

Forming chords

The chords may seem difficult to form and even remember, but with practice it will be come easy. The key when it comes to properly learning your chords is to listen to how they each sound. This will help you when it comes to song playing and even writing. Your fingers will also become more flexible and gain more dexterity with practice.

Chords are a grouping of at least three notes that creates a harmonic sound. There are two main basic chord types to learn in the beginning. These are first position chords and barre chords. You should begin with the first position chords. These are played within the first three frets. The common major chords include; C major, A major, G major, E major and D major. You should practice forming each of these chords and then practice switching between then as quickly as you can until you get the movements down. Then you can move onto the barre chords. These are good for when you begin playing songs.

Fretting the strings

Frets are the metal strips that run perpendicularly to the strings up along the neck of the guitar. One would for their chords between the frets. The fret closest to the head of the guitar being the first fret. The next one down from that one being the second. And so on. To play a chord half a step higher, you’d play in a fret closer to the body. To get a chord to be half a step lower, play the frets near the top end of the neck. Practice playing your chords up and down the frets. Get used to the how the sounds change. Get used to how each chord sounds in each fret. Practice and get used to exerting enough pressure on the strings. Figure out how much pressure you need to play your chords properly.

Practice strumming

Strumming is a combination of upward and downward strokes of the strings. These are often in various combinations to create different sounds etc. To perfect your strumming technique you should remember, the key is in your wrist. To get a smooth sounding strum you should keep your elbow tight against the guitar and shouldn’t move much. Your wrist should do most of the strumming up and down. Most people use a guitar pick to strum with as this is the easiest manner to strum as well as being easier on the fingers. Brush your pick up and down all the strings. Practice different combinations of up and down. Practice different combinations of speeds and pressure. Listen to the sounds as you strum. Have fun with it. That is the best way to get used to strumming and for and perfect your own techniques.

Stay determined

You may not learn guitar as fast as you thought you would. Your fingers might begin to hurt so badly when you first start playing that you’ll want to stop. But you shouldn’t stop there. If you keep playing it will get better and it will become easier. You’ll develop your skill. Give yourself patience. Give your fingers time to get used to the pain, movements and speed. Keep practicing even if you feel like you haven’t improved. Whether you realise it or not, know that you are.

If you still feel like that however, you can get some help. From a friend or a teacher. You can also watch some DVD’s, read books, and do some online research.  There are many online tutorial videos and even YouTube videos that can teach you to play certain songs. This may help you progress if feeling stuck. Once you’ve mastered the guitar you’ll be glad you did.