If you don’t mind getting calluses on your fingertips, and you’re willing to practice, you can learn how to play a guitar. This article will give you the basic information that you will need to know in order to start learning your new skill.
The first thing you need to have on hand, of course, is a guitar. Hold it on your lap with your left hand holding the neck, and your right hand draped over the body of the guitar. We are going to use a six-string guitar and play it with the right hand for this example.
The strings each correspond to a musical note, and they are, starting at the top of the thinnest string, and working our way down to the thickest string- E, B, G, D, A, and E again. Don’t be confused because the two E notes are the same note. They differ in that the top E is two octaves higher than the bottom E if the guitar is tuned correctly.
The individual strings or notes make up the chords. Chords are accomplished by playing certain notes or strings together at the same time. There are a number of simple as well as complex chords, but we are going to learn A, D, and E so we can play a song part.
The A Major chord is played by placing the fingertips of the first three fingers on your left hand directly behind the first fret on the guitar. (Frets are the bars on the guitar neck. When counting for finger positioning, ignore the first or largest fret bar.) This position may seem uncomfortable at first, but with practice, you will master all of the chords. Press the strings down firmly and hold them-one string per finger. Now use your right hand to strum the guitar strings from the top to the bottom. Do this several times and listen to the sound you are producing.
Next, the D Major chord is played by using the same fingers. Place the index finger on the third string behind the first fret. Place the next finger on the first string behind the first fret, and place the third finger on the second string behind the second fret. Again, hold the strings down at once and strum the guitar. Do this several times and listen to the sound you are producing.
Finally, the third chord you will learn is the E Major. Place your index finger on the third string in front of the first fret. Place the next finger on the fifth string behind the first fret, and place your third finger on the fourth string behind the first fret. Again, hold the strings down at once and strum the guitar. Do this several times and listen to the sound you are producing.
Now comes the tricky part. In order to play a simple song, you will need to switch the positions of your fingers from chord to chord. Again, this will take some time to learn, but, like the millions of other guitar players in the world, you can do it.
We are going to play part of the age-old favorite called “Amazing Grace.” Start out by strumming and playing the A chord, then switch the chords as marked. Singing along will help you know when to switch chords.
Amazing grace, how- play the D chord- sweet the-play the A chord- sound that saved a wretch like- switch to E chord- me. I- switch to A chord- once was lost but-switch to D chord- now am-switch to A chord-found, was blind, but-switch to E chord- now I- switch to A chord- see.