Learning Guitar: The Beginner’s Guide

Buying a Guitar: Electric, Acoustic or Classical?

Buying a guitar that suits you is the first step in learning how to play guitar from scratch. There’re a variety of guitar types out there, with different levels of difficulty. The guitar condition will go a long way in influencing the success of an enthusiast’s learning.

It's essential to get a guitar that sits well in a player’s hands and create the beautiful sound they want to make. The three different types of guitar available – electric, acoustic, and classical – offer unique advantages and sounds. An individual’s choice will depend on their learning goals and the type of music you want to play.

Electric guitars are easy to play, with the strings close together and neck narrow, allowing you to play for a long time without hurting your fingers. However, mastering the guitar can be very difficult. Also, it comes at a higher price than other guitar types. An acoustic guitar is the best option for learning the basics of guitar playing – chords, scales, riffs, and chord progressions. However, the strings are likely to hurt a person’s fingers in the first weeks of learning. Unlike acoustic guitars with steel strings, classical guitars possess nylon strings, which are very nice and soft to play on. On the flip side, classical guitars are the hardest to master due to the airy sounds they emit.

Learn How to Tune a Guitar

With the choice of a suitable guitar settled, the next step is tuning the guitar properly. In standard tuning, there are six notes on a guitar – E, A, D, G, B, E – arranged from thickest to thinnest. The guitar’s headstock has small keys known as machine heads. Each guitar string is attached to a machine head, and turning the head will change the pitch of the string.

Knowing the pitch or note of a string will help tune the guitar quickly and accurately. There’re four ways to do that: electric tuners, smartphone apps, other musical instruments, and tuning with the ears. The use of mobile apps to tune guitars has become increasingly popular. Some popular guitar-tuning apps include GuitarTuna, Real Guitar, and Pro Guitar Tuner, which are fast and easy-to-use. 

Learning How to Play Guitar Chords

Chords are the essential elements of music, so it’s vital to know all there is about them. Some apps like Justin Guitar and Guitar 3D allow users to learn and practice chords, as well as guitar playing techniques.

The first step is to learn the guitar strings and their relation to one’s fingers. The next step is learning to number one’s fingers: the index finger is 1, the middle finger is 2, the ring finger is 3, and the little finger is 4. The thumb is usually labeled T, but beginners won’t have to use it.

It’s better to focus on learning a single chord before moving to the rest. In music, a chord consists of two or more notes sounding together. If an individual is starting with the D chord, for instance, they have practice with two or three notes within the chord. When that's mastered, they can try out other chords, and practice till they become a pro. 

Learn How to Hold a Guitar

Learning how to hold a guitar properly plays a vital role in becoming a good guitarist. There are important tips and tricks you should follow to maintain a good guitar posture. Choosing the right place to sit on is the first step, and armless chairs are the best fit. Guitar beginners usually have to avoid sitting on a sofa, high stool, and armchair, as they all make the process extremely difficult.

The right sitting posture is keeping the back straight and your legs at a right angle to give you enough control over the guitar. The elbow should rest on the guitar body, between the strap button and the front ridge. Some guitar learning apps like Coach Guitar teach users where to place their fingers to strike the right chord.

Playing Your First Song

After you purchase your guitar, getting to play the first song after several hours of practice is usually an exhilarating experience for many people. To make the process easier, many guitarists depend on mobile platforms like to learn how to hold your pick and strum the guitar. With Justin Guitar Beginners Lesson app, users can learn the different strumming patterns and how to play different music genres.

It’s better to play while sitting down and start with a relatively simple song. That said, constant practice helps improve strumming, rhythm, and other techniques. Silent Night, with just three chords, is an easy song for many people to play. Knowing the lyrics of the song you eventually choose is also important, and some lyrics apps make that easy. 

Learning guitar can be an easy endeavor with the right guide. You can learn how to get the chords right, tune properly, and strum correctly with the help of mobile apps. Consider checking our list of the best apps for learning guitar to begin your journey.