Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Acoustic Guitar Lesson - Useful Tips For The Beginner

Are you just embarking on your journey to learn to play acoustic guitar? Great job! You are well on your way to something fantastic - taking acoustic guitar lessons, and being able to play the guitar is a wonderful thing. In this article I have a handful of tips, that could very well enable you to make some good decisions.

Guitar chords

I believe, to make you feel that you're making improvement real fast, you probably should start with studying the basic open chords. Ignore studying notes, playing guitar scales and all that music theory. You're here to play guitar, right? Who cares if you don't recognize every single note that creates a chord?

Many people advise you to learn A, E and D first of all. It's not at all a poor advice, you must know these and they are among the simplest chords to play. Nevertheless, let me mention that there are 4 guitar chords giving you a head start, whenever it comes to playing melodies. They are G, Em, C and D.

A lot of songs make use of those four chords only. Just by figuring out those four basic open chords, you can live for 100 years and never have to play any same song two times. Here's how to play them:

The numbers indicate on which fret you put your fingers.

The G chord:

E - - 3
B - -(3)
G - - -
D - - -
A - 2 -
E - - 3

I actually play the G chord having an added finger on third fret on the B string. It truly is optional, in general you won't play it that way. But I personally think it sounds great.

E Minor (Em) chord:

E - - -
B - - -
G - - -
D - 2 -
A - 2 -
E - - -

The C chord. The "x" means "don't play that string".

E - - -
B 1 - -
G - - -
D - 2 -
A - - 3
Ex- -(3)

Occasionally, to provide some depth into the C chord, I press the lower E string on the third fret. Completely optional.

The D chord.

E - 2 -
B - - 3
G - 2 -
D - - -
Ax- - -
Ex- - -

You won't need very much practice to play any of these chords since they are fairly easy to play. And the chord progression G-Em-C-D is found in so many songs you hardly can believe it.

The Use of Plectrums (picks).

I remember when I was a real noob at acoustic guitar playing. I was about 15, and getting an acoustic guitar lesson was truly impossible. I only had one single plectrum, a pretty thin reddish, almost see-thorugh, sharkfin pick. And while it was a guitar with steel strings it produced floppy sound. So if you're playing on a steelstring i would recommend that you use a pick of moderate thickness.

When you are getting better at guitar playing, this are not so much of a problem. By then, it will be your own preference. When you are learning, though, I believe it's a wise decision.


I would suggest that, in the beginning, you use lighter strings, especially if you are playing on a steel string guitar. If you work with the lighter gauge such as 0,10 or maybe 0,11, you'll find that the strings are easier to fret.

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