Every beginner guitar player asks the same question, “What should I learn first?” If you don’t have a guitar teacher or appropriate guidance, chances are very high that you will end up wandering the wrong path & quit learning guitar.
Indeed, the guitar is one of the toughest musical instruments to learn to play. At the same time, it is a very beautiful & melodious instrument to play music & have fun. If you accept this truth & still want to learn to play guitar, then congratulations! You are mentally prepared to take your first step to learn to play guitar.
In this article, I have rounded up 6 things every beginner guitar player should learn first. I found the things usually beginner guitarists like to ignore. If you have already started practicing to play guitar you can check out the list & find out which one you have missed.
1. Learn The Guitar Anatomy
It’s important to get familiar with different parts of the instrument from the very beginning. An acoustic guitar is divided into three parts. They are headstock, neck & body. Follow the picture below to learn more.
2. How To Hold A Guitar
This part is simple but still challenging for beginners as they might never pick up a guitar before. To get the finest sound out of your guitar, you’ll need to learn how to hold it properly. Follow the following procedure to hold a guitar perfectly.
- Rest the guitar on your right leg.
- Place your right arm on top of the guitar to stabilize it.
- Make sure your guitar is already stable enough without using your fretting hand.
- Avoid leaning the guitar back towards you.
- Always maintain the correct posture.
Beginners have a natural tendency to hunch over & see what are their hands doing. Stop doing it. If you learn the proper method of holding a guitar, your whole guitar journey would be much easier.
3. How To Hold A Pick
The guitar pick is a small plastic piece used to strum the guitar strings. You can strum with your finger too. But using a pick for strumming produces sharper & brighter tones.
The primary rule is to place the pick between your first and second fingers. Of course, once you get into the swing of things, you’ll discover your own unique holding style.
Picks come in a variety of styles, from thin to thick. As a beginner guitar player, you can start with a thinner pick. Thinner picks are easy to use in playing simple guitar rhythms.
Many beginner guitar players suffer at this point. They may play some open chords & rhythm but can’t play competitive music because of not knowing how to tune a guitar. Playing an untuned guitar is like driving a car without any breaks. You will not have any control of the tones it will produce.
As a beginner guitar player, you can easily use a digital tuner or any guitar tuning app to tune your guitar. Standard guitar tuning is the most popular tuning in the guitar world. But feel free to use alternative guitar tunings as well to simplify some hard-to-grab chords.
After some stage, you should learn to tune a guitar by ear & understand how the tuning mechanism works to produce specific musical notes. It is a part of ear training to figure out the relative pitch.
5. How To Read Guitar Tabs
Guitar tabs are based on a set of symbols that will guide you to visualize how to play the songs & music pieces on a guitar. Learning to read guitar tabs will direct you to the collections of almost every guitar learning material.
So, it is important to have this skill from the beginning. Reading tablature and chords is quite simple. What you’re seeing is a schematic that shows you exactly which fret to press with which finger & which string to play.
6. How To Change Guitar Strings
I have seen almost every beginner guitar players have a fear of breaking the strings & it’s true they often tore the strings apart. This fear keeps them away to play the guitar freely.
To overcome it, the medicine is to learn the proper method to restringing your guitar. It will help you to understand how the string tension works to play music notes. Plus, it will boost your confidence to play more freely, as you know how to restring a guitar if you lose one.
Learning these six things might seem a bit boring at the beginning. New guitar players like to jump to play guitar & have fun from the very beginning. But knowing these things will help you to understand the instrument & practice it more efficiently.