Music Guitar Music

How To Play the Guitar

Published at 01/24/2012 08:41:34


The guitar is one of the common instruments learned. It is accessible and can be learned easily. In learning how to play a guitar, it is important to follow these steps.

Step 1

Step one is to learn the parts of the guitar. The top of a guitar is the headstock, where the tuners are located. Tuners are used to adjust the pitch of each string. The strings are guided from the tuners to the neck by a small piece of material called the nut. The neck connects the headstock to the body of the instrument. Along the neck of the guitar are metal strips in the surface called frets. The first fret is located between the nut and the first piece of metal. For acoustic guitars, a sound hole can be found which projects the sound. For electric guitars, a pick-up amplifies the sound.

Step 2

Step two is holding the guitar. It is important to be comfortable while holding a guitar, so this means no slouching. In holding a guitar, the back of the body should be tangent to either the stomach or the chest. A right handed person holds a guitar with the headstock pointing to the left and vice versa. However, a guitar player needs to get a guitar that caters to which hand would be used; a lefty needs a left-handed guitar. The guitar can be played sitting down or standing up. For standing, it is advised to have a guitar strap to have it hang from the shoulders. For sitting, for the body of the right handed guitar player, the body can be settled at the left leg. The hand closest to the headstock is called the fretting hand. The thumb can rest behind the neck of the instrument which leaves the other four fingers poised above the strings.

Step 3

Step three is choosing how to play. Some guitar players choose to play with their fingers and some would choose to use guitar picks. Each way of playing produces a different quality of sound. The hand used to play the guitar is the one closest to the sound hole or pick up. Before playing a guitar, it is important to have it tuned.

Step 4

Step four is to learn the chords in the guitar. The first most common learned chord is the G major or the “G”. The index or first finger is placed on the second string in the second fret, the second finger is placed on the first string in the third fret, and the ring/third finger is placed on the last string in the third fret. The next chord is the C major where the index/first finger is placed on the fifth string on the first fret, the second finger on the third string in the second fret and the third finger on the second string in the third fret. Then, a D major where the index/first finger is in the fourth string and the second finger on the sixth string both in the second fret, and the ring/third finger on the fifth string in the third fret.

Step 5

Step five is to learn songs. Songs are made up of chords and interchange them throughout. One of the few songs that can be played using the guitar with the G, C and D chords is John Denver’s Leaving on A Jet Plane which interchanges G and C chord. Use the hand nearest to the sound hole to ‘strum’ the strings four times before changing from one chord to the other.


It is important to set a routine to practice playing the guitar. The key is to learn how to use the fingers fast and to produce quality sound. Nothing is easy from the start and everything takes hard work and determination. Do not be discouraged and just keep on practicing.

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