BASIC THINGS TO KNOW ON GUITAR
1. How to Tune Your Guitar
The first thing you need to do every time you pick up your guitar is to make sure it is in tune. Your guitar will not sound good unless it is in tune.
In order to tune your guitar properly, you should know the musical alphabet. The musical alphabet is the first seven letters of the alphabet, plus each letter has a sharp except for B and E: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#. Go to the Lesson 2 Page to get the full scoop on this (LESSON 2 click here)!
You also need to know what pitches to tune your guitar to. The most common is standard pitch or standard tuning. It is: E, A, D, G, B, E (Eat Apples Daily Go Bed Early)
There are different ways to tune a guitar: using a digital tuner, a tuning fork, or by ear and tuned to another instrument. I recommend learning both by ear and with a tuner.
2. Parts of the Guitar
Every musician should become familiar with their instrument(s), including how it is designed and constructed, the parts of the instrument, and how each part functions.
3. How to String Your Guitar
At some point you will need to change the strings on your guitar. I recommend changing them at least every 6 months. But, if you play more than a couple hours a day, you should change them more frequently. I change my strings at least once a month, sometimes more. You can tell if they need changing, because they will start to sound dull and the coils on the strings will start fraying. If the strings wear too much, eventually they will break. And find a good brand of strings and thickness that works for you. I use light gauge strings on my electric and medium gauge strings on my acoustic.
4. Open Chords
Chords are basic to playing music. Chords are a combination of notes based on the major scale (see Lesson 3 on this website, click here). Once you learn a few chords, the possibilities are nearly endless. There are millions of songs that use just 3 basic chords. Most songs have at least 2 or 3 chords. And here are the most common chords used in popular music (rock, country, blues, folk, bluegrass, etc):
More to come!
5. Power Chords
Power chords are chords that are often used in rock and heavy metal music, and usually played on electric guitar, that involve just playing the root and the 5th note of the chord, usually on two or three strings. Here is a chart showing some of the most commonly used power chords:
6. Barre Chords
Barre chords are chords that you can move up and down and all over the neck of the guitar. They are basically open chords that you can move around the neck by barring (or placing) your first finger across the strings on a specific fret to act as the nut moved down (just as a capo functions, but using your first finger). Here is a chart from lessons.com on basic barre chord shapes:
7. How to Read Music (Tablature and chord charts)
8. Notes on the Guitar
9. Chord Progressions
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More to come soon!