Archive for the ‘Guitar For Beginners’ Category

Guitar Lesson 1

Guitar Lesson 1

Get to Know the Parts of Your Guitar

Parts of the guitar

This guitar is called a semi-acoustic. It is a cross between an acoustic steel string and an electric guitar. It is just one example of the many varieties of guitars. Non-electric acoustic guitars have all of the above parts, except pick-ups, volume and tone controls. One of the beauties of the acoustic guitar is that you can practise or play without an amplifier.


Find the seating position that is the most comfortable and practical for you.

This will vary from person to person. The type of guitar that you use will also make a difference. It is important to feel comfortable and to keep a good posture while playing. Guitarists have a tendency to slouch forward over the guitar so they can see the neck easier; try to avoid this. This seating picture shows the guitar resting on the right leg. The guitarist has good posture, and the guitar is in a horizontal position.

You could also try sitting with your right or left leg crossed, and the guitar resting on the crossed leg. Some people prefer to stand, adjusting their guitar strap to obtain the best position for the guitar.

seating position

The Left HandWith the guitar resting on your leg, place the neck of the guitar in the palm of your left hand. The guitar neck should fit comfortably in the curve between your index finger and thumb, with your thumb resting on top of the neck. Place your index finger on the fretboard side of the nut, slightly before the first fret. Only bend your wrist slightly, and try not to strain your wrist. Move some of your left hand fingers and place them on the strings. Some discomfort is normal, as long as you do not strain your wrist. Move your hand up and down the neck and get used to the feel of the guitar.  

The Right HandYour strumming arm (right arm) should rest comfortably on the guitar. Place it in a position centered between the end of the guitar neck and the bridge. This position can vary. On acoustic guitars the strumming hand is usually over the sound hole. On electric guitars it is usually between the pick-ups. Left handed players can apply these details in the opposite direction.  

The Pick

The pick, or plectrum, is what most guitar players use to sound the strings.Picks come in different shapes and thicknesses. They are usually made of plastic.The type of pick has a significant effect on the sound that a guitar produces.Place the pick on the index finger of your left or right hand as shown below. A thin pick is usually better for playing chords. Try a pick with a gauge between 0.4mm and 0.9mm. As you progress through the book, experiment with different picks until you find the one that is most comfortable and that makes your guitar sound at its best.Clamp the pick between the thumb and index finger.

Holding the pick

Using the diagrams as a guide, place the fat end of the pick on the index finger of your right hand. Your thumb will then work as a clamp. When the pick is held in place, the amount that protrudes can vary. For strumming the strings, the more pick that is used the better. Try and get about one centimetre to start with, then experiment with different amounts.

While sitting comfortably, practise holding the pick in different positions starting with a one-centimetre protrusion. Then pick the strings one at a time, before trying to sound them all together.

If you are playing an acoustic guitar, try to keep your pick hand in the center of the sound hole. If you are playing an electric, keep your pick hand between the pick-ups.

Use this time to get comfortable with your seating position and holding the pick.

You will learn how to strum the strings with the pick in more detail in a future lesson.

You need to learn how to tune the guitar before strumming. This is covered in the next lesson.

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