Music is very therapeutic. It transcends through generations, countries, cultures, languages, and beliefs. It’s never too late to start learning about music from playing an instrument. If you have a guitar ‘sleeping’ somewhere in the house gathering dust and spider webs, it’s time to pick it up and learn to play it. You may think it’s hard but trust me it’s so easy. This article will inform you on the ABCs of the acoustic guitar.
Learn About Your Guitar
Remember when you bought a new car or went to a driving school? The first thing you’re taught before you get behind the wheel is the different parts of the car and their functions.
Your acoustic guitar is no different. You need to learn about the parts that make up the guitar and what they are meant to do. For example, most if not all guitars have a wooden body which is important as it amplifies the sound. The strings are meant to produce sound that goes through the sound hole to give you the song you strummed.
Learn To Hold Your Guitar
Before you start playing music from your guitar, you need to know how to hold it appropriately. Just like you’re told to hold the steering wheel of a car at 10 and 2, there’s a correct way of holding your guitar.
Your posture is very important as you hold the guitar. As a beginner, it’s advisable to sit down as you hold your guitar. You need to sit up with your back straight on a chair with or without a backrest. Then hold it the way you hold a baby.
The guitar should rest mostly on your lap and the back part to rests on your chest and stomach. Depending on what hand is dominant, leave that hand free. So if you’re right-handed, use the left hand to stabilize the upper part of the guitar, and the right hand will maneuver the bottom part.
Ensure Your Guitar Is In Tune
You can’t play good music before you tune your guitar. You may forget the first times, but as you gain experience, you’ll automatically tune before playing. When you tune, you’ll get to know how the strings respond to the notes.
The strings are important for bringing music to ‘life.’ You, therefore, know their names. It should be the first step before you start playing. They’re named from the thickest to the thinnest string according to the notes they each play; E, A, D, G, B and E
You can tune your guitar using the tuning pegs just above the neck of the guitar.
Practice Using The Fret And The Strings
The strings run across a section of the guitar called a fret. Before you become a pro, you need to master the art of using the fret and the string. The frets mark each note. Basically, practicing using the frets and the strings is teaching your fingers to perform functions they don’t normally do. When you maneuver one fret to another, the pitch will be higher as you move to the body of the guitar. Once the muscles of your hands get used to working the strings and the frets, you’re on the way to being the best
Use The Plectrum
It’s a triangle shaped plastic piece that you buy separately or sometimes comes with the guitar. Its main function is to isolate single notes and strums the guitar. Hold it between your thumb and index finger with a small fraction of it sticking out of your hand.
Learn How To Play The Chords
A chord consists of not less than three notes. The common chords are C Major, A Major, G Major, E Major and D Major. When you learn on how to play the chords, you’ll realize that your fingers on the left hand will take the shape of the chord. With time you can easily switch from one chord to another effortlessly.
Once you’ve mastered the chords, ensure that the sound the notes produced are sharp. If they seem muffled, you’re not pressing the frets enough with your fingers. So it’s better to train your hands to play those chords using those shapes.
When you play the chords, make sure your body and fingers are relaxed. This makes it easier to strum the guitar. Also handle the guitar gently, it will contribute to the rhythm of your hands and eventually the song
Take Care Of The Pain In The Fingers
As a beginner, your fingers will most definitely get sore when you’re strumming and after. With time, however, the hand adapts to the pain and strumming becomes so easy. Alcohol is an effective way to alleviate the pain you’ll get from strumming the guitar. Alcohol can be in the form of vinegar or rubbing alcohol. You can alternatively ice your fingers just like you do when any other part of your body is sore.
Know The Guitar Tabs
Every musical instrument has music tabs, and guitars are no different. With this knowledge, you can play songs done by others and with time write or compose your song. Once you’ve understood how the fret and strings worked and learned to play the chords, this should be the easiest part.
Be Open To Study From Other Guitar Players
No one in the world made it on their own. Even the great guitar players you know. They all learned from a mentor or a teacher. You can listen to some of their songs, take a few classes from a musical school, watch online tutorials or watch your teacher play. You can also find a group of people who love playing the guitar and learn a few tricks from them. This way you’ll better your skills.
To those of you thinking that playing the guitar is a talent, you’re wrong. All you need to do is learn every aspect of the guitar and practice through and through till you become perfect. And if you think you’re too old to learn to play the guitar, you’re not. It will be a way to kill those boring afternoons or evenings.