Basic Guitar Chords for Beginners

Basic Guitar Chords For Beginners

Basic Guitar Chords for Beginners
Guitar Chords for Beginners

 

 

The Basic First Position Guitar Chords

Basic First Position Chords Basic First Position Chords

 

How to Choose a Guitar Tuner

When I first started to play guitar, I got my first guitar tuner when I started playing on my mother’s acoustic guitar. It was a 1969 Gibson. Back then, like most beginners, I did not have an understanding about how to tune the guitar. My mom suggested that I tuned the guitar using what is called a pitch pipe.

Using The Pitch Pipe…

The pitch pipe is a small device in which you blow. The note that it produces is a reference note for which you can tune the guitar. Although this is a very good idea, there are some downsides to it.

The problem with the pitch pipe is the fact that you have to be able to hear what note you are producing (reference note) in order to tune the guitar strings properly.

Having a good ear is obviously a strong asset which any musician should have. You want to be able to develop your ear as a guitar player. However, when it comes to tuning your guitar you don’t want to have to think about it too much. Especially in the beginning stages.

Let us assume that you have a pitch pipe but you are unable to hear what note the page pipe is actually producing. How are you going to be able to know whether or not the string you’re tuning is in fact in tune? This is why I am very hesitant to recommend a pitch pipe for beginners.

The Tuning Fork

Another similar device is called a tuning fork. This works in the similar way as the pitch pipe in the sense that it requires you to hear the note that the pitchfork is making as you hit the fork on the table. If you are reading this you’re probably thinking: “wow that sounds tedious and confusing!”

It really is not that difficult to hear the reference note once you have played guitar for a specific amount of time.

However, this is a skill that you may have to work on, and in the beginning, it can be difficult to rely on your ears to hear whether or not you are in tune by using a pitch pipe or a tuning fork.

The Electronic Tuner

I always tell my own guitar students that the best tuner that they can get is an electronic tuner. There are of course very many different kinds of electronic tuners on the market today.

You can get what is called a clip-on tuner. You simply clip on (place) the tuner on the headstock of your guitar and start tuning.

The great thing about the clip-on tuner is the fact that you often have two kinds of settings. The first setting is a microphone setting in that simply picks up the notes on the guitar and you can too from there.

The other setting is a setting which actually picks up the vibrations of the strings. That means that no matter how noisy it is in the room when you are tuning, you are still able to tune your guitar.

If your tuner only has a microphone function, it will pick up any and every noise and sound around you making tuning your guitar quite difficult indeed.

Tuners for the Electric Guitar…

If you happen to play electric guitar, there are also a wide variety of tuners available.

Here you should get a tuner that you can plug in to the guitar and from there, into your amplifier. These kinds of tuners are usually in pedal or stomp box format. This means that you place the tuner on the floor, and when you want to tune up, you simply press the pedal with your foot and tune. Once you are done, press the pedal again, and you are ready to play again, in tune.

Most of these tuners actually block off the signal/sound as you tune. This is a great feature since you can focus on tuning your guitar, without your audience, or anyone else, having to hear it. The tuner will tell you whether you should tighten or loosen the string tension to get in proper tune.

Finally The Clip-on Solution…

So, which one should you get? ArtisanStrings.com definitely recommend the clip-on tuner. They are lightweight, ultra portable and very handy.

If you play electric guitar, you really should acquire a pedal/stomp box tuner. This guitar tuner will make things a lot easier when tuning both in rehearsal, and even performance situations.

 

 

 

 

Parts of a Guitar

Somebody call a guitar doctor!!! My nut is loose! Okaaayyyyy………

Believe it or not, there is a part of the guitar which is called the nut. In this article, we will be looking at the names of some of the most crucial “bits”, that is, the guitar anatomy or parts of a guitar that you should know about and be aware of. Why? Because if there is a problem with your guitar, you need to be able to somewhat understand what that problem is. In addition, knowing about the different parts of the guitar is also interesting, it aids in the understanding of your guitar lessons and can make you appreciate the instrument on a different level than just playing it.

Let us look at some of the most basic, yet crucial parts of the guitars anatomy.

Parts of a Guitar

The Fretboard

The fretboard is where you place your fingers to play your chords, solos, melodies and so on. Basically, without the fretboard, there can be no music because without the fretboard, there can be no guitar.

On the board you have separate frets. A given fret is always spaced a half step away from the next. If you counted the space between two frets, you would have a whole step.

Often, you may hear people talk about how many frets there are on a guitar. The more frets there are, the higher range is available as you climb up the guitar.

Tuning pegs

These are the small pieces that you use to tune your guitar with. When you turn the pegs one way, you tighten the string tension. And turn it the other way and you loosen string tension.

Headstock or Head or Machine head

This is the top of the guitar. This is where your tuning pegs are placed and where you insert your six strings when changing them. The headstock of your guitar usually has the name of the guitar brand you are playing written on there.

Sometimes it may even have the specific model (Think of the Gibson Les Paul, and the Fender Stratocaster)

The Nut

In the beginning, I joked about my nut being loose. The nut is the little piece of plastic or wood that is found where the fret meets the head stock. If the nut really happens to be loose, you may want to have it fixed or replaced by a guitar technician.

Sound Hole

This is where the sound comes out of your acoustic or classical guitar. An electric guitar will not have a sound hole since electric guitars rely on pickups to create and produce the sound.

The Rosette

The rosette is the circular part that surrounds the sound hole. It is often painted in a beautiful artistic pattern or may even include gorgeous inlay.

Soundhole and Rose

Bridge Nut or Saddle

Yep, there is one more nut! First, the bridge is located at the end or bottom of the guitar where the strings are inserted. (So, when changing strings, you insert them near the bridge and tie or connect them with the pegs on the machine head.)

The saddle will often have small white bone or plastic inserts which hold the strings down. This is usually found on acoustic and steel string guitars.

On a classical guitar, you tie the nylon strings at the end of the bridge. So there is a difference in setup and string changing when it comes to classical guitars and steel string guitars. See the anatomy of a steel string acoustic guitar.

Pick Guard

The pick guard is a very thin piece of plastic that is mounted on the bottom of the guitar under your high E string. Not all guitars have a pick guard. The function of a pick guard is, as its name indicates, to prevent scratches or dents made from your guitar pick as you play and may hit the bottom part of the guitar when playing.

 

 

Best Guitar For Beginners

What is the best guitar for beginners? Put aside the price of the guitar for a moment, although this is a consideration in that you get what you pay for. However, the main consideration initially is the following… how does it feel for you when you pick it up and hold it, and are you comfortable playing it? If you feel positive about your answers to these two questions then this is the right instrument for you.

How to Choose a Guitar

A lot of my new students ask me what is the best beginner’s guitar and want to know whether it is best to start out learning on an electric guitar, a classical guitar or a steel string acoustic guitar.

This is really a matter of personal preference. A lot of new guitar students find it easier to start out learning on a classical guitar simply because these guitars have nylon strings which are not as tough on the fingers as an electric or even an acoustic guitar with its steel strings.

However, the basic concepts, chords, scales and the theory is the same for all three guitars.

Electric, Classic or Acoustic

best guitar for beginners

I have taught little kids who found it just as easy to play on the electric guitar as on a classical or acoustic. It really depends on the individual. But there is no doubt that steel strings are tougher on the fingers for a beginner than nylon strings are.

Another thing to keep in mind is the difference in sound that a guitar with steel strings makes compared to one with nylon. Although you are playing the same chords or melody, there will be a difference in timbre.

A guitar with nylon strings is most commonly used in classical music, and Spanish flamingo music. Guitars with steel strings are more commonly used in folk, rock, pop and country music.

A Question of Size

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a guitar is its size.

There are guitars that are smaller in size that make it easier for kids to learn on. Some kids have a difficult time holding a regular sized guitar, and here it might be wise to get a smaller one. A regular sized guitar can be too difficult for a child to learn on because of the overall body size and neck width.

If you are an adult or teenager, a regular size guitar would be just fine. However, some people actually like guitars that have a smaller body.

Also keep in mind that the shape of a guitar should be considered. Some guitars have funny shapes and forms that, although the look cool and interesting, they may feel awkward and therefore not be the best guitars to start out learning on.

The Cost

I had a student recently who asked me why some guitars are so expensive whereas others are extremely cheap. There are many factors involved when it comes to pricing guitars.

Some guitars are quite simply better quality than others. It’s like anything else we buy and pay for. Just like certain clothes, cars, phones and other products have different price range and quality, the same goes for guitars.

Sometimes it is the parts that are used in/on the guitar that raises the price. Craftsmanship often plays a role.

Some guitars are custom made, or special edition series. These types of guitars can also be quite expensive. Supply and demand also determines the price.

Think of the Gibson Les Paul, or the Fender Stratocaster. Those are probably the two most sought after type of electric guitars.

The Conclusion

As you can tell, choosing a guitar can be a personal matter indeed. If you have a teacher, it would be a good idea to ask him/her for advice on the best guitar for a beginner to purchase. Or, find a good sales representative at the music store that you are considering buying from. Or, simply ask your friends who may have one or even several guitars if you can try it/them out and get an idea of the one you would like to learn to play on. Once you have chosen your instrument check out our recommended courses to learn how to play it here at ArtisanStrings.com.

Go here for more tips on purchasing that first guitar

Guitar Lessons

 Guitar Lessons: A Beginners Guide

These four videos contain very basic but useful short guitar lessons for people who have never played guitar before… Jacques Darville talks a little about string names, chords and the basic equipment and gear you need to start on your journey of learning to play the guitar.

Guitar LessonsGuitar Strings

He begins by running us through the string names… E, A, D, G, B, E, and with regard to how you number the strings in your mind when starting out, he mentions the important things to be aware of when you purchase new strings.

Jacques recommends a couple of tuners that are readily available, this is a MUST purchase item, and he demonstrates how to tune a guitar using one of these tuners. Follow this link for more information about guitar tuners.

Basic Guitar Chords

In video two and three Jacques takes us through the chords. He talks about the sound effect of the major and minor chords. Then how to distinguish between these two versions of a chord… Jacques demonstrates each of the chords whilst working between the major and minor version of the chords.

Music is about listening and he recommends you try to develop your ear and try to distinguish the differences between the major and minor chords, this is a great skill he says, it is one that will enhance your level of musicianship and go a long way to help develop your playing ability.

Useful Guitar Gear

In Video four Jacques looks at some useful equipment and gear that you should purchase… he starts with the Metronome which is used to develop good time in your playing. He mentions the Capo which you clip on the guitar and it is used to change the sound of the chords you are playing. Jacques talks about the guitar strings and the gauges or types you can purchase that will change the tone and sound. If you have not yet purchased your guitar check out our best guitar for beginners guide for a few important points to consider.

Lastly Jacques takes us through the types and sizes of picks to use. Browse through the videos, you are sure to pick up some useful information. For more about guitar lessons and recommended guitar courses browse ArtisanStrings.

Beginning Guitar…

Chords: Major and Minor…

Chords Continued…

Equipment & Gear…

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