The more I play my guitar, the more I love it. If you want to start your own musical journey but are wondering how long it takes to learn guitar, you’re in the right place.
In this article, you’ll shortcut your path to guitar greatness by learning the most important things a beginner needs to know. Use these lessons to sound like a pro in no time!
Table of Contents
The Parts of an Acoustic Guitar
The shape of a guitar is iconic, but do you know what all the parts actually do? Each piece has been specially designed to help you create music.
In order to play like a pro (and look good doing it!), you need to know the different parts of the instrument and how they work together:
- The body is the largest part of the instrument. It’s where all the strings are attached and where the sound is produced. (Unlike an electric guitar, there are no electronics or amps to create sound.) The body is usually made of wood, although some guitars have composite bodies.
- The neck is attached to the body. It’s usually made of wood.
- The fretboard is the long, thin piece of wood that runs along the top of the neck. It’s where your fingers go when you’re playing.
- The strings are the thin pieces of metal that you pluck with your fingers to produce sound.
- The tuning pegs are the metal pieces that the strings are wrapped around. You tune a guitar by twisting these pegs to make the strings tighter or looser.
- The bridge is the piece that the strings are attached to. It holds the strings tight so they can be wound on the other end.
- The soundhole is the (usually circular) hole in the body of the guitar that the sound comes out of.
Now that you know the different parts of an acoustic guitar, let’s start making some music!
How to Hold the Guitar
Hopefully you’ll want to play for a while, so take a moment to get positioned the right way.
The first thing you need to do is find a comfortable position. You might want to sit down or stand up, depending on what feels best for you. (To stand up, you’ll need a guitar strap.)
Once you’ve found a position, you need to hold the guitar in the correct way. If you’re right-handed, you will hold the guitar so the neck is pointing to the left and the body is resting on your right leg. Elevating your right leg – on a foot stool or the bottom rug of the chair – helps get your guitar at the right level.
If you’re left-handed, you will do the opposite. Now that you have the guitar in the correct position, it’s time to start playing.
Use your left hand to hold down the strings and pluck them with your right hand. You can also use a pick if you prefer. You can hold it between your thumb and first finger, or between your first and second fingers. Whichever way feels more comfortable for you is fine.
Notes and Chords
As a beginner guitarist, one of the first things you need to learn is the names of the notes on the guitar. This is important because it will help you play chords, and later your favorite songs. Don’t worry, it’s not hard!
The average guitar has six strings, which are usually tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E from low (closest to you when you’re holding the guitar) to high (nearest the ground). To remember the order of the strings, a mnemonic device you can use is “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.”
Once you know the names of the strings, you can start learning chords. A chord is simply two or more notes played together.
There are many different chords that you can learn, and they can be grouped into a few main categories, such as major, minor, and seventh chords. Major chords are usually happy sounding, while minor chords have a more sad sound. Seventh chords are more complex and can be used to add flavor to a song. There are many more chords, but these are the basics.
Playing Your First Chords
Learning how to play chords is the building block of playing songs (aka the fun part!). You’ll be surprised how many popular songs you can play by knowing just a few basic chords.
The first chord we’re going to learn is the E minor chord because you need just two fingers. To play this chord, place your index finger on the second string from the top and your middle finger on the third string. Both fingers go on the second fret (counting away from the head) – check out this diagram. Strum all six strings and you’ve played your first chord!
Now let’s move on to the D major chord. The D chord is played by placing your index finger on the fourth string from the top (second fret), your ring finger on the fifth string (third fret), and your middle finger on the sixth string (also second fret). Strum only the thinnest four strings of the guitar, and you’re good to go!
The last chord we’re going to learn is the G major chord because it appears in so many songs. The G chord is played by placing your middle finger on the first string (third fret), your index finger on the second string (second fret), and your ring finger on the sixth string (third fret).
Strum all six strings of the guitar, and you’re all set! Now that you know how to play chords on an acoustic guitar, get out there and start strumming.
How to Strum a Guitar
Strumming is an essential part of playing the guitar, and it’s not as difficult as it might seem at first. To do this, you simply move your hand up and down in a sweeping motion.
Be sure to keep your wrist loose and relaxed; if you tense up, you won’t be able to strum as smoothly. One of the most important things to keep in mind when strumming is the rhythm.
You need to make sure that your strums are even and consistent. A good way to practice this is to count out loud as you strum.
For example, you might say “one, two, three, four” as you strum down on the beat, and “five, six, seven, eight” as you strum up.
As you become more comfortable with strumming, you can start experimenting with different rhythms. You might want to try strumming on the up-beats, or on the off-beats.
You can even try different strumming patterns, such as using all down-strokes, or all up-strokes. Once you’ve mastered the basic strumming technique, you can start adding in some personal flair.
Can I teach myself acoustic guitar?
Yes, you can teach yourself acoustic guitar. However, it will take longer to learn than if you had a guitar teacher.
Using the lessons on this site, we’ll show you what you need to know to become a confident guitarist.
How do you play an acoustic guitar for beginners?
There are a few things that you need to do in order to play acoustic guitar for beginners. First, you need to practice at least 30 minutes a day – it’s best to set a practice schedule with the same time set aside each day.
Second, you need to find a comfortable place to sit or stand while playing. Third, you need to hold the pick in your hand (if you choose to use it) and use it to pluck the strings.
Fourth, you need to use your fingers on your left hand to press down on the strings next to the frets. Fifth, you need to strum the strings with your other (usually right) hand.
Sixth, you need to practice changing chords – start slow. Seventh, you need to learn how to read tablature (“tabs”) or sheet music.
Is it hard to learn to play acoustic guitar?
The acoustic guitar is a relatively easy instrument to learn. The basics of how to play can be picked up fairly quickly, and with practice, one can develop a good level of proficiency. However, as with any instrument, becoming a virtuoso takes years of dedication and practice.
What is the easiest way to learn acoustic guitar?
There is no one clear-cut answer since everyone learns differently, and what may be easy for one person may not be easy for another.
However, some tips on how to learn acoustic guitar more easily include practicing regularly, starting with simple songs that you are familiar with, and using a guitar instructional book or online tutorial.
Learning to play the acoustic guitar can be a challenge, but it is definitely worth it. There are so many different styles of music that can be played on this instrument, and it is a great way to relax and unwind.
With a little practice, you will be surprised at how quickly you can learn how to play acoustic guitar. It is a great instrument to learn, and it can provide you with a lifetime of enjoyment.