Whether you’re young or old, there’s no better feeling than learning to play an instrument. While many attempt to learn the guitar, it is unfortunately very common for beginners to give up after only a couple of months. Guitar lessons with an instructor can be expensive and it can be frustrating if you’re not seeing progress immediately.
In this article, you’ll learn about choosing a guitar, how to play guitar chords, how to tune a guitar, and how to hold a guitar. You can also find out more about the ChordBuddy guitar learning system which has shown great success among beginner guitar players of every age.
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Use this handy guide to get started and learn everything you need to know as a beginner guitarist. You’ll be playing your favorite song in no time at all!
Buying A Guitar For Beginners
First things, first. Before you begin your journey of learning the guitar, you’ll need the instrument! While much of your decision will be based on personal preference, there are some key factors to consider when buying a guitar as a beginner guitarist:
- Player Age/Size
- Guitar Condition
- Where You’re Purchasing
Where to Purchase
As a beginner, it is best to avoid making a pawn shop, flea market, or yard sale purchase unless you are shopping with somebody who has experience in purchasing a guitar. Having never purchased a guitar, you may not know what to look for in terms of damage or guitar quality. With that being said, a local music retail shop is your best bet. You may also shop online with a reputable company, although be sure to review the business’ return policy.
Price of Guitar
While some suggest that a great guitar can cost you between $300 and $500, there are plenty of quality guitars available within the $100 to $200 range. Additionally, there are many “package” options that include not only the guitar, but also essential accessories, such as a tuner and gig bag
Electric vs Acoustic vs Classical Guitar
Though this decision can be based on preference, we think the best guitar for a beginner is the acoustic guitar. Classical guitars have a wider neck, which can be hard for younger students or physically smaller individuals to handle when learning guitar chords. Meanwhile, the electric guitar is designed to be played with an amplifier, which comes at an additional cost. Acoustic guitars are simple and require little to no additional equipment, making them ideal for beginner guitarists.
Condition of Guitar
There are numerous things to look for when purchasing a guitar. If purchasing a brand new guitar, these issues likely won’t be a concern, but they are worth checking for. Here are some steps to follow as you check the condition of a guitar:
1.) Slowly run your hand up and down the length of the guitar’s neck, as pictured below. It should be smooth, with no sharp edges or splinters.
2.) Turn the guitar over and check its heel, as indicated in the photo below. There should be no cracks or gaps between the guitar’s heel and neck.
3.) On the front of the guitar, check the bridge, as pictured below. Run a thin pick between the bridge and the body of the guitar to ensure there are no gaps.
4.) Check the guitar’s string height by pressing down on the first, second, and third fret. You should be able to do so with minimal effort. Come to the 12th fret and press down. The distance from the top of fret to the bottom of the string should be no more than three times. If it is five times, the guitar may have a warped neck or too high of a bridge.
How to Play Guitar Chords
In order to play your favorite song, you’ll need to learn guitar chords. Use the images and instructions below to learn how to play each chord. The ChordBuddy device can be used for assistance in knowing where to place your fingers In the images the circles represent where you will be placing your fingers (I=index, M=middle finger, R=ring finger, P=pinky). The X’s represent strings that you will not be strumming while the O represents strings that will be played without any frets.
How to Play the D Chord
- Place your index finger on the third string at the second fret, your middle finger on the first string at the second fret, and your ring finger on the second string at the third fret.
- Leave the fourth string open.
- Strum the bottom four strings.
- Pay attention to the sound. That’s the D-chord!
How to Play the C Chord
- Place your index finger on the second string at the first fret, your middle finger on the fourth string at the second fret, and your ring finger on the fifth string at the third fret.
- Leave the first and second strings open.
- Strum the bottom five strings and you’ll hear the C Chord!
How to Play the G Chord
- Place your middle finger on the fifth string at the second fret, your ring finger on the sixth string at the third fret, and your pinky finger on the first string at the third fret.
- Leave strings two, three, and four open.
- Strum all strings. That’s the G Chord!
How to Play The E-minor Chord
- Place your middle finger on the fifth string at the second fret and your ring finger on the fourth string at the second fret.
- Leave strings one, two, three, and six open.
- Strum all strings. That’s the E-minor Chord!
There you have it! Practice these chords and you’re well on your way to playing the guitar.