How to play guitar in 30 days

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You can learn to play guitar in less than 30 days

If you want to play guitar then you’ve come to the right place. This is a series of articles which will teach you how to play guitar (Electric and/or Acoustic). This will make you familiar with the essentials and set the foundation for playing guitar. Here you’ll find less talking and more action. This resource is a crash course which will allow you to hit the street in the shortest possible time. If you are dedicated, if you are devoted and if you have the fire of passion then you will start impressing people in as less than 15 days. I GAURANTEE YOU, if you practice enough, then you will be able to play with a band in 4 weeks

What you’ll gets here:

  • Anatomy of guitar
  • How to hold the guitar
  • Introduction to the strings and Tuning
  • Introduction to Guitar Chords
  • Strumming
  • Chord progressions and musical exercises
  • Easy guitar songs

THE METHODOLOGY

There is no way to learn to play guitar in a week or 10 days, because when you play guitar the hands get conditioned, finger muscles are developed, the wrist flexibility gets improved and all this doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time.

The fastest way to learn to play guitar is to learn the basics and then use then in form of musical exercises. Later these exercises are developed into full length songs. So, in accordance to this article you will learn the basics, practice them in the form of musical exercise and then start playing songs. THE KEY IS TO STICK TO THE SYSTEM and not get distracted by the flashy guitar tricks because once you've mastered the basics the flashy ticks will come naturally to you.


Parts of an Acoustic Guitar
Parts of an Acoustic Guitar
Parts of an electric guitar
Parts of an electric guitar

Let’s get to know the anatomy of the guitar: what is called what

Head stock: is the top part of the guitar which is attached to the neck. The headstock has the tuning keys attached to it.

Tuning Key: is the device to which the strings are attached, it allows us to make adjustments with the string tension and get the tuning right.

Neck: is the long and thin piece which is attached to the headstock on one side and the body of the guitar on the other. The front side of the neck is called the fret-board or finger board. The fret board is divided into different sections by a piece of metal called the frets and the metal bars are called the fret-bars.

Strings: make the sound when hit or stuck. There are generally six strings on a guitar (and they have names E, A, D, G, B, E), however there are custom made guitars which have 6-12 strings and even more.

Position markers: are also called as inlay dots, they help us locate the frets on the fret-board effectively.

Sound hole: allows the sound to resonate and amplify when the guitar is not plugged into the electric amplifier.

Pick-ups: also help to amplify the sound through the electric amplifier, they are like the microphone for the guitar.

Bridge: holds the strings together.

Tone knobs & the pick up switch: help us dial the right and desired tone.

Plectrum: is also called a pick which is held by the guitarist to hit the strings and produce sound, they come in different shapes and sizes. Take a look.

Correct posture
Correct posture

HOW TO HOLD THE GUITAR

Before we start playing the guitar its important to know the correct technique to hold the guitar, without the correct technique playing guitar may not seem effortless.

As displayed in the picture, you want to make sure that:

  • You are sitting in a comfortable position
  • You are not leaning over the guitar too much
  • Your back is not hunched
  • Hold the guitar in such a way that the fret board is visible to you.

Holding the pick
Holding the pick

HOW TO HOLD THE PLECTRUM

There are no hard and fast rules to hold the plectrum but again, I will explain the most efficient technique that has worked for many great guitarists and me.

Bring your hand in front of your chest and keep it relaxed and lose. Now place the plectrum on the side of your index finger and then support it by gently pressing it with your thumb.

TIP: the pick/plectrum shouldn’t be held too tight or too loose. Hold it in a way that you don’t drop it while playing the guitar.

INTRODUCTION TO THE STRINGS AND TUNING METHODS

Its important to know that each string on the guitar is know by a name for example the thickest string or the 6thstring is called E, 5th string is A, 4th – D 3rd – G, 2nd-B 1stor the thinnest is called E as well, EADGBE



Tuning guitar with the electronic tuner

There are many ways to tune the guitar, the easiest way is to tune it with the help of an electronic tuner. If you have a tuner already start by tuning the heavy E (6th) string first. Strike/pic the string and try to get the E note value on the tuner, if needed rotate the tuning keys back and forth to make the adjustment. Use the same procedure and tune the remaining strings to the appropriate notes i.e. EADGBE

Tuning guitar with a computer based guitar tuning software

One can also tune with a guitar tuning software, such software produces the sound for each string and then you can match with your guitar. You can simple google keywords like "free online guitar tuner" and you can find tons of them.

Tuning the guitar Manually

The guitar can also be tuned manually, for this we need to match the 6th string to a reference note from piano, Casio or even some song. Once you have the E string tuned to a reference note we can easily tune rest of the other stings now.

  • We’ll now tune the 5th string, Place the first finger of your left hand just behind the fifth fret of theE string and pick/strike the 5th note of the E string it will give you a sound note called A. Listen to this A note carefully because this is how the 5th string should sound. Try to make the 5th string sound as the A note, you can also adjust the tuning key by twisting it if needed.
  • Fret the 5th fret on the 5th string, this will give you the D note, we’ll tune the 4th string to the D note.
  • Fret the 5th fret on the 4th string, this will give you the D note, we’ll tune the 3rd string to the G note.
  • Fret the 4th fret on the 3rd string, this will give you the B note, we’ll tune the 2nd string to the G note.
  • Fret the 5th fret on the 2nd string, this will give you the B note, we’ll tune the 1st string to the G note.

Now that we know how to hold the guitar, how to hold the pick and we are in perfect tune its time to learn the real thing that will get us started. In layman’s term there are two extremely important things that we need to learn to play guitar. CHORDS AND SCALES, you will also learn some techniques like arpeggios etc as you later run the road of an intermediate player.

LEARN TO PLAY CHORDS

A chord is formed by fretting/pressing few notes on the fret-board at the same time. Once in a Chord position few set of strings are struck together to produce a beautiful sound this is the sound of the chord that you are looking for to play complete songs in real time.

What is a Note: when few strings are struck together by the plectrum or hand its called strumming. A chord is formed when at least two or more notes are played together.

We will be learning two types of chords:

  • Major Chords
  • Minor Chords

Major Chords are the ones that give a positive, happy or bright sound. I generally incorporate these to play happy and peppy music. Music is all about expressing your emotions and the major chords help me express my cheerful and joyful emotions.

Minor Chords are those that produce a sad or melancholy sound. I use the minor guitar chords to express a sad (I'd rather say a distinct) feeling.

C chord
C chord

C chord

To play the C chord place the index finger on the B string first fret, middle finger on the D string 2nd fret and the ring finger on the A string 3rd fret. Now sting all the strings starting from the A string to the high E string, we don’t strike the low E string while playing the C chord. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

G Chord
G Chord

G chord

Place you pinky finger on the high E string 3rd fret, ring finger on the B string 3rd fret, index finger on the A string 2nd fret and middle finger on the low E string 3rd fret. Strike all the strings to play the G chord.

D Chord
D Chord

D chord

For a D chord, place your middle finger on the high E string 2nd fret, ring finger on the B string 3rd fret and the index finger on the G string second fret. Strike the strings D, G, B, and E to play the D chord.

A chord
A chord

A Chord

Place your ring finger on the B string 2nd fret, middle finger on the G string 2nd fret and the index finger on the D string 2nd fret., now strike A, D, G, B and the high E strings together to play the A chord.

E chord
E chord

E chord

To form this chord we need to place the index finger on 1st fret G string, ring finger on D string 2nd fret and the middle finger on the A string 2nd fret. All the six strings should be struck to play the E chord or the E major chord. Tutorial for some more chords.

STRUMMING

Strumming is a guitar playing technique in which we swing across the guitar strings to formulate some cool sound/s. There are various strumming patterns but for our learn to play guitar in 30 days agenda we’ll be learning three strumming patterns which are fairly simple and are applicable in all situations.

How to strum: We start by grabbing the pick (not to firmly and not too loosely) in the right hand and for a chord on the fretboard with our left had (say G chord). Now strike all the strings in one flow/one motion to make the chord right out, do this a couple of times in continuation and you are strumming already.

So far we have learned the DOWN STRUMMING pattern and the other way how we can strum is the UP STRUMMING PATTERN, for this just do the opposite of we have done and you have the up strumming pattern.

The three strumming patterns are

  • Down – Down – Down – Down – Down – Down
  • Down – Up – Down – Up – Down – Up
  • Down – Down – Up – Up – Down – up

TIP: Make sure that the motion comes from the arm and you’re not strumming with your wrist.

Strumming patterns

MUSICAL EXERCISES AND CHORD PROGRESSIONS

What we will do now is that we will take the basic chords that we have learnrd so far and develop some musical exercises out of these. We will practice these excercises in form of chord progressions.

Chord progression: is a sequence in which on chord is followed by the other.

Chord progression 1) G - C - D

Chord progression 2) E - D - A

Chord progression 3) Em - C - G - D

How to practice the progressions: In order to practice start by strumming each chord four times before switching to the other chord. For example - strum G chord 4 times, C chord 4 times and then D chord 4 times then repeat the progression of G-C-D but strum each for 3 times and then 2 times, 1 time and then take to all the way back from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 times. This exercise will help in switching from one chord to the other quickly.


Chord progressions for easy songs

Sum 41
Sum 41

Easy Guitar Songs

Its time we start to learn and practice our first guitar song, its called Pieces and is by a band called SUM 41. It's a fairly simple song and is definitely worth trying for beginners.

Play the chord progressions Em C G D one time and after that start singing or humming or whatever works for you.. (Em means E minor here and if its any major chord the small 'm' is simply not mentioned)

Em C G

I tried to be perfect, but nothing was worth it

D

I don't believe it makes me real

Em C G

I thought it'd be easy, but no one believes me

D

I meant all the things that I said.

C G

If you believe it's in my soul

D

I'd say all the words that I know

C G

Just to see if it would show

D C

That I'm trying to let you know

Em

That I'm better off on my own.

and so one the same progressions continues till the ends.

Easy song 2) Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam by Nirvana

its another easy song and the chords are E - D - A for the verses and Em - D for the chorus.

You can find the complete song here.

Here we are at the end of the course or whatever you want to call it. So far you know the basics (the bare necessities to play the guitar) but its only your initiation as there is a lot more. Music is like penance which continues for the lifetime. I wish you all the best, suucess and fame.

If you have any questions then you can ask me by leaving comments below, I hope this article was helpful. KEEP ROCKING

Comments 8 comments

Jared 5 years ago

Amazing information, just what I've been looking for. I will stick to this material as I definitely want to be able to play guitar in a month.

I am gonna hope for the best and forget the rest. Thanks again

you rock Mr. Author


Varun 5 years ago

Hi sir,

Good information for beginner's i like it too much :)......

I don't know much about guitar's but want to learn it, Could you please tell me which guitar is better for beginner's to learn, but i don't want to spend much money. And how to buy a guitar because i don't know anything about guitar's and have no friend who play guitar :( plz help me.


beautifullife profile image

beautifullife 5 years ago

My little cousin is taking special interest in this hub.


Pankaj Bhagat 4 years ago

Nice work bro...


aneesharyan profile image

aneesharyan 4 years ago Author

Thanks people...


Mayank Tomar 2 years ago

Thx a tonn for explaining it soo clearly! I am sticking to this course of urs. Thanks again & regards! U Rock! (Y)


Gopi 2 years ago

Man I have been playing guitar since 3 years but also I don't have much knowledge in it why???


joecseko profile image

joecseko 14 months ago from New York, USA, Earth

This is indeed a well written piece. I must say, though, to imply that a person can play guitar in 30 days is, well, somewhat preposterous. That's really the only problem I have with this piece (admittedly, I merely skimmed it).

I started teaching about 25 years ago, and while my method is totally different, there are definitely some good points here. I particularly like the fact that you stated there is in fact "no hard and fast rules to hold the plectrum". Steve Morse is a prime example of this, as is Marty Friedman.

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