Are you mesmerized whenever you see an internet sensation playing a complicated solo? Do you wonder how they got so good on the guitar? Well, this post offers some tips for all aspiring Jimi Hendrixes out there, so stick around…
For starters, Monrovia Music Academy is a go-to music school offering tailored lessons to beginner and advanced learners. If you’re looking for guitar lessons monrovia residents love, consider the school. Their free in-person or virtual trial lesson can also help you get a feel for the academy’s learning environment before taking the plunge.
Perhaps you’re interested in learning to play the guitar but don’t have an inkling of where to begin. Well, here’re some of the aspects you should learn first to ensure you strum those stings and create beautiful music:
1. Guitar Parts
Before taking a car out on the open road, you should know its basic controls. Otherwise…So, pump the brakes for a moment and learn the anatomy of a guitar before you start jamming. Some of the basic parts include the following:
- Saddle – This part clutches the strings near the bridge.
- Tuning Pegs – As the name implies, these pegs keep your strings in tune and are positioned at the head of the guitar.
- Bridge – The point where the strings attach to the instrument’s body.
- Pickups – Small magnets that amplify sound when a string vibrates against it.
- Table – Part of the guitar’s body facing the strings and located between the neck and saddle.
- Fret – The metal wire that separates the neck into different notes.
These parts interact to produce sound, meaning it pays to familiarize with them before getting delving into other aspects. Plus, the better your knowledge of a guitar’s anatomy, the easier it will be to pick up other skills.
Rocking out on an out-of-tune guitar is more like trying to prepare a fancy meal without the right ingredients – most likely, it won’t happen. So, what’s the deal? Well, each string on a guitar is responsible for a specific note. And if the strings aren’t in tune, your song is likely to sound about as pleasant as a cat scratching a chalkboard.
Now, if you’re a tuning pro and can do it manually, good for you. But if you’re not with it, a predicament most beginners face, consider investing in a tuner. This handy device makes light work of tuning your guitar, so you can proceed to the fun stuff.
3. Holding a Guitar and Pick
We get it; you’re itching to play the guitar. But it isn’t a race, implying you should get the basics first. Thus, right-handed players should rest the left hand around the neck of the guitar, with the thumb at the back and the fingers ready to go. Meanwhile, the right hand should sit on the sound hole. If you’re left handed, opt for a guitar crafted for lefties. Alternatively, you can restring your guitar – in reverse order – and then adjust the pick accordingly.
What about the pick? The rule of thumb is to keep it between the index finger and thumb, with the pointy end extending beyond your fingers. It’s okay if you feel awkward initially; the key is to relax and practice until you get comfortable. Also, thinner picks are ideal for beginners since they tend to be more forgiving.
4. Basic Chords
Chords are the foundation of rhythm. Think of them as the ABCs of music. Basically, they’re groups of notes played simultaneously to create a harmonious sound. Start with open chords – combining fretted notes and open strings, such as C, D, G, and A – as they’re played closest to the nut. Thereafter, you can gradually move on to bar chords and minor variations.
5. Strumming in Rhythm
Let’s say you’ve learned a chord or two. That’s great, but it will sound like gibberish unless you learn to strum in a rhythm. The key to getting the rhythm right is to practice regularly while using a metronome or backing track. As you get better, you can add variations with upstrokes, downstrokes, and ghost notes for added pizzazz.
Chances are it will take multiple tries to get the hang of it. Trust the process; soon enough, you’ll grasp the nuances, and your finesse on the beats will improve, as will your comfort level.
While this primer doesn’t cover everything, it offers a great starting point. Sure, you’ll hit many wrong notes, but your stick-to-itiveness should help you improve your skill. And who knows? One day you may serenade the world with your guitar riffs and solos. Now, that’s a goal worth striving for, right?