The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments. You can learn at any age as long as you practise consistently and stay motivated. Learning a new instrument can be intimidating at first – but it’s also an incredibly rewarding experience. You can practise creativity, confidence, and self-discipline just from learning to play.
Follow this quick guide to get started with the guitar.
Acoustic or electric guitar
Think about the type of music you want to play and the advantages of acoustic versus electric guitars. Electric guitars have thinner strings and slimmer necks, making them easier to grip. An acoustic guitar is often more affordable and doesn’t require other equipment.
What strings do I need?
You can play different chords by making different patterns with your fingers on the neck of the guitar. You can change keys quickly by moving your hand up the neck. You can fret all six strings at once to strum the guitar. As you practise, you can play more complex tunes with a variety of tones.
You need a strap, cable tuner, picks and potentiometer for your guitar. First up, you need to decide which kind of pick you want for your guitar. There are countless shapes, sizes and thicknesses of picks. Plastic picks are best for flexibility and grip – and beginners usually go for the standard size. You will find your personal preference as you play the guitar and find your groove.
You can find padded straps to make it more comfortable to play the guitar. A strap helps to stabilise your guitar – particularly when standing up. Your fingertips are likely to sting after playing for a while. The least you can do is find a padded trap to prevent shoulder and neck pain as well.
A cable tuner can help you tune the guitar far more accurately – especially if you’re new to music. You can also use a clip-on tuner attached to the headstock of the guitar. It will tune through the vibrations of the strings.
A potentiometer is a resistor that changes the tone or volume of your instrument through resistance. You can add a capacitor to the pot to turn it into an EQ. Just turn the wiper to adjust the resistance and frequencies that can pass through.
Strumming in rhythm
It takes time to learn rhythm and more advanced strumming patterns. Start with a one-stroke per beat pattern, and work up from there. You can use a metronome to keep you on time, so you don’t play too fast or slow.
Learning a new instrument is overwhelming. Try to enjoy the process of learning the guitar instead of focusing on the end result.
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