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How Do You Play The Guitar?

Updated on December 27, 2012

So how do you play the guitar?

Playing the guitar is simply a matter of learning a few things in proper order. If you have a decent learning method it's not hard, it's not complicated and it's not voo-doo. YOU can definitely do it!

And guess what? Playing acoustic guitar is exactly the same as playing electric guitar! That's right, the names of the strings, the fingering you use, the chords you play, it's all identical. So it doesn't matter whether you learn to play guitar on electric or acoustic or what type of guitarthe teacher uses, it's directly transferable.

So let's lay out a plan of what you should learn when in order to play the guitar fairly proficiently:

The Parts of The Guitar

How To Sit and Hold The Guitar Properly

How To Tune

The Names Of The Strings

The Finger Numbers

Open Chords (Chords that have open (unfretted) strings)

Closed Chords (Chords that have no open (unfretted) strings)

Open Scales (Scales that have open (unfretted) strings)

Closed Scales (Scales that have no open (unfretted) strings)

It doesn't sound like all that much does it? Have you ever heard the saying "the devil is in the details?" Hmmmm... what does that mean I wonder?

There are some great online sites out there but it seems if they're good, they charge a great deal of money and typically if they don't charge, they aren't that thorough. They may jump right into chord diagrams without first giving critical instruction like the basics of holding, tuning, fingering and such.

Here's page 6 of a book called Guitar Shop by Bill Watson, which is one of the better tools out there for learning to play acoustic guitar properly.

Free Guitar Lesson #1


Page 7


Finger Numbers For Playing Chords and Scales - The C Major Chord!


Chord Diagrams - How To Read Chord Diagrams


Hey, you just learned your first chord, a huge milestone has been reached! Okay, it's not exactly climbing Kilimanjaro in a blinding blizzard but it's pretty exciting, right?

It may not sound all that good just yet, but keep practicing and you'll be playing Led Zep in no time!

Guitar Scales - What Are Scales Anyway?


Scales are a group of related notes played sequentially either ascending in pitch, or descending in pitch. They are the foundation you'll need to play lead guitar.

A scale is often played over a certain chord played either on keyboard or by another guitarist. The C Major Scale would work well played with a C Major chord. When the chord changes from C to a new chord, a new scale suited to it is played. Sometimes just one scale can be used over several related chords. The related chords played by the rhythm player are referred to as a chord progression.

Sometimes the notes in a scale or a part of a scale are played exactly in sequence but usually the scale is simply a guideline and there can be a great deal of embellishment such as sliding from a non-scale note into a scale note, changing the order of the notes, rapidly trilling back and forth between two or three scale notes and many otrher things. Creative embellishments add the detail that makes a solo interesting. Well, hopefully they do!

Amazon Spotlight On - Guitar Shop

This is the book the lessons on this Lens are drawn from. If you've enjoyed these few lessons, let Guitar Shop take you even further!

Guitar Shop : A Beginner's Guide to Learning Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Guitar Shop : A Beginner's Guide to Learning Lead and Rhythm Guitar

This is an excellent book for learning acoustic or electric guitar. Learn everything from the easier basic open chords you need to make many songs sound right to the scales that will be the foundation you'll need for improvising lead guitar solos and riffs.


Guitar Chords For Beginners


Basic Guitar Chords is a term that usually refers to open chords. Open chords have strings that are fretted as well as one or more strings that are not fretted but are still played and allowed to ring out.

Basic Guitar Chords are:

A Major (often referred to as simply "A" or "an A chord")

C major (often referred to as simply "C" or "a C chord").

D major (the same pattern as above applies to all these chords)

E major

F major

G Major

Each of these also has a minor form as well as a seventh form.

Chords are also categorized into "three chord groups" of related chords that sound good together. For instance, a D major chord sounds good with the G major chord and the the A 7th.

C, G, A7 is a three chord group.

In the diagram below the G7th completes the C, F, G7th group learned earlier in the book while the A, D and E7th chords are a complete group.

There are others but for now here are the 3 chord groups that are based on the open chords given above:

A, D, E7th

C, F, G7th

D, G, A7th

E, A, B7th

G, C, D7th

Notice that if you learn the A chord you've learned the first chord (also called the "tonic chord") of the A, D, E7th group.

But you've also learned the second chord of the E, A, B7th group! Two birds with one stone!

This Lens is "in Progress" yet but did you enjoy it so far? Did you learn anything? - Any Comments? Post Them Here!

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      Great info! Keep on playing!