How to learn to play the guitar: a detailed guide for the most independent

Before You Begin

Many people consider mastering the guitar as an impossible task, which takes many years. This is partly true, but only if you want to own the instrument on a professional level.

Much more often people want to learn how to play the guitar to perform their favorite songs in the company or just for the soul. In this case, training does not take much effort and time: for two or three months you can easily learn the basic chords and ways of playing.

Do not give up, even if you already had a bad experience. Talent is only a tenth part of success. Much more important purposefulness and regular practice.

What will you need?

  1. Guitar.
  2. A wish. It is even more important than the instrument itself.
  3. Time for classes. You can also find it easily if the desire is strong enough. Especially since you have 30 minutes a day.
  4. Training aids. With them, in general, no problems: you can buy a self-instruction manual in the book, watch video lessons on YouTube, and find chords on the Internet.

As you can see, there is nothing supernatural.

Choosing and buying a guitar

We will assume that you have the desire and time. It remains to acquire an instrument. They say that any guitar is suitable for a beginner, but it’s not so. When the strings touch the frets and cut into the fingers, and the guitar does not hold the system, there can be no progress about any progress.

A bad tool will almost certainly take away all the hunt to learn.

So it’s better to find a good guitar. At first you can borrow the tool from one of your friends, and then, if it goes and you like it, get your own. Not necessarily expensive and branded, most importantly – more or less quality.

There are two main types of acoustic guitars: classical and dreadnought (western). There is an opinion that newcomers are more suited to classical guitars because of the wide neck and nylon strings. The first feature reduces the chance of accidentally touching an unnecessary string with your fingers, because the distance between the strings is greater than that of the dreadnought. And the nylon strings are softer than metallic ones, so they do not so much dig into the pads of the fingers and fill the corns less.

How to learn to play the guitar: classic Yamaha and dreadnought
Yamaha Guitars: on the left – classical, right – dreadnought

On the other hand, if the performance of classical compositions is not included in your plans, it is better to take a dreadnought right away. This guitar sounds louder and more sonorous due to metal strings, and on a narrower neck it is more convenient to take chords. Again, when playing on metal strings, the fingers will quickly become coarser and callosities will no longer be.

As a compromise, you can take a dreadnought and replace the metal strings with nylons, at least for the duration of training.

Going to the store for a guitar, take a friend with you who can play: each instrument has a lot of trivia and a beginner can simply not notice them. Choose a guitar not only in appearance, but also in convenience. Pay attention to the possibility of adjusting the neck, the mechanism of pins, strings.

Acquaintance with a guitar

The tool is bought (or taken from acquaintances), and you are one step closer to the goal. Look carefully at the guitar.

The most part is called a deck. It is attached to the neck, ending with a head with pins: with the help of string strings.

The neck is divided into frets with metal paddles, to which strings are pressed to extract sound. The first mode is at the head of the neck, the last one is at the deck.

There are only six strings. Counting starts with the bottom, the thinnest.

Guitar tuning

Before trying to play, the guitar needs to be set up. Do not worry, this is even for the beginner. And without this skill you can not play.

By the tuner

How to learn to play the guitar: Tuning the guitar with a tuner

You will need a tuner in the form of a separate device (you can buy it in a music store or on the same AliExpress) or applications for a smartphone. In both cases, the tuning consists in alternately pulling or loosening all the strings according to the tuner’s prompts.

On the fifth fret

This method does not require any additional equipment. Its essence is that the strings, squeezed in certain modes, sound in unison and they can be adjusted relative to each other.

According to the rules, the first string should be tuned to notes using a tuner (for example, its online version) or another customized instrument. However, this only makes sense when playing in a team, so that all instruments sound in one key.

If you play alone, let alone learn, the first string can be tuned arbitrarily, roughly matching its tension. All the others are configured like this:

  1. The second string is pressed on the fifth fret and loosens or stretches until it sounds like the open first string.
  2. The third string is pressed on the fourth fret and tunes in unison with the open second string.
  3. The fourth string is pressed on the fifth fret and you adjust under the open third string.
  4. Fifth press on the fifth fret and adjust to the open fourth.
  5. Sixth in the same way tighten on the fifth fret and adjust in unison with the open fifth.

It sounds complicated, but in reality everything is simple. Each string, pressed on the fifth fret, should sound in unison with the previous, lower string. The exception is only the third string: it needs to be clamped not on the fifth, but on the fourth fret.

The process of setting is also very simple. For example, to adjust the second string, you need to loosen it, and then pull open the first one and gradually rotate the second peg until the sound of both strings is merged into one tone. That’s all.

Trying to play

Finally we got to the most interesting – actually the game. It seems there is nothing complicated. Know yourself to press the strings with your left hand and hit them right: you have seen it a million times and have certainly tried it yourself. Why then it is impossible? The strings are rattling, the pads of the fingers are burning, and the joints are tired and numb.

It’s all about the experience that comes with practice.

Take the guitar and sit on the edge of the chair or sofa, resting your foot on the leg or putting your left foot on a low stand, such as a stack of books. So the tool will not rest on the chair and slide out of the foot.

The right hand should be relaxed, and the hand is not twisted. The left covers the neck, but the thumb is always parallel to the fret. Pressing the neck that there are forces, too, is not necessary, otherwise the brush will quickly get tired.

You already know that the numbering of frets begins with the head of the neck, and the strings – with the thinnest, bottom. Try playing any notes, pressing the first string with your index finger in different modes. Try to fully press the string to make it sound clean. It will not be easy, but with time the technique will work out.

Try to play on other strings, and also connect the remaining fingers, giving them to get used to.

We play tunes on one string

Just extracting sounds is boring. Therefore, to make it more interesting, you can learn simple melodies on one string and train on them. Here are a few melodies for an example.

Classic “Grasshopper sat in the grass”:

“Smoke over water” Deep Purple:

Introduction to “Iron Man” Black Sabbath:

Melody from the movie “Boomer”:

“Imperial March” from the “Star Wars”:

Give the game on the same string for a while. Bring your actions to automaticity and achieve a harmonious work of both hands. Exercise until the melodies are sounded smoothly and cleanly, without stopping and stumbling.

During this time, the fingers will get used to the loads, which means that it will be possible to move on to more complex things.

Playing chords

The next step, which you have to climb, is the game with chords. This is much more complicated than the melodies on one string, but do not get discouraged. Having studied the chords, you can already play full-length songs.

The principle here is the same, but you will need to press more than one string, but several at once: usually three, rarely two or four. There are many chords. However, for performance of the majority of songs, only five or seven are enough. First, learn the three main, so-called thieves: Am, Dm, E.

All chords are indicated in Latin letters depending on the main note:

If there is a small letter m beside the chord symbol, it means that the chord is a minor chord. If such a prefix is ​​not – major. Chords are read either by letter designation or by name. For example, “a-em” (Am) or “G major” (G).

Schemes of chords are called fingering. They draw a neck with strings. Lades are signed in Roman numerals. Arabic stands for strings and – in circles – fingers that should be pressed on strings (1 – index, 2 – medium, etc.). Nolik opposite the string means an open sound (uncompressed string), and a cross is that the string should not sound.

Let’s return to our thieves chords. Here are their fingering:

How to learn to play the guitar: chords Am, Dm, E

To take the chord Am, you need to press the second finger on the first fret with the index finger, the middle string – the fourth string on the second fret, the ring finger – the third string on the second fret.

By the same principle, the other chords are taken: we look at what frets and what strings need to be pressed.

On these three chords you can already play simple yard or army songs. But it is better to learn three more chords with which the repertoire will significantly expand. Here they are:

How to learn to play the guitar: chords G, C, F

With the first two difficulties there should not be, but the third is slightly different from the previous ones. It uses a barre – reception, when the forefinger clamps all the strings in one fret. Chords from the barre are a bit more complicated than open chords, but, having practiced, you will master them.

As always, to learn was more interesting, you can train right away on some song. For example, on the canonical “Pack of cigarettes” of the group “Cinema” or “Watchmen” from “Boombox”.

Also you can find on the Internet any other songs that you like (for example, on request “on Labutenas chords”). If the selection comes across unfamiliar chords, you can try to find another one or just learn something new.

Combat and Combat

There are two ways to sound: bust and fight. Some songs are played only by brute force or only by combat, others by both methods. The chords are used the same, the only difference is whether you are fingering the strings with your fingers or hitting them.

There are a lot of bustings, like battles. And in different songs they, of course, are different. Usually, in parsing along with the chords, it is indicated, what sorting or fighting is worth playing.

Consider for example a few of the most common. The rest you will learn on the go.

What’s next

Now that you’ve become familiar with the basics, you’ve learned the chords and you’ve got a little bit of your hand, the main thing is not to throw your workouts. The fingers will ache and get tangled when you rearrange the chords, and the strings will not always sound.

Do not stop and just keep playing. Every day you will get better and better, and in the end you will achieve the goal.

Finally, a few tips to help yourself learn how to play the guitar and will not give up:

  1. Always use several sources of information to fill in the possible gaps and inaccuracies of one teacher from another.
  2. Play every day: regular exercises will give confidence. Remember that talent is only a tenth of success, everything else is practice.
  3. After learning a couple of songs and be able to play them naturally, be sure to invite friends and play for them. Listeners will help develop charisma and point out the shortcomings.