The web has a vast number of resources available for learning how to play guitar. You can learn how to play songs, how to repair your broken instrument, how to play fancy scales, and much more. The trouble is, there just aren't many GOOD guitar lessons available to someone looking to start playing guitar. These guitar lessons are designed for people who own (or have borrowed) a guitar, but don't yet know the first thing about playing it.
What you'll need for these Guitar Lessons
A guitar with six strings. Any type of guitar will work fine.
A guitar pick. Medium gauged picks are recommended to start with, but any will work okay in a pinch.
A chair without arms.
A reasonable amount of patience.
Guitar Lesson Overview: What you'll learn
By the end of this guitar lesson, you will have learned: the names of many parts of the guitar, the names of the open strings, the process of tuning the guitar, how to hold and use a pick, how to play a chromatic scale, and how to play a simple song using Gmajor, Cmajor, and Dmajor chords.
Although there are many different types of guitars (acoustic, electric, classical, electric-acoustic, etc.), they all have many things in common. The diagram to the left illustrates the various parts of a guitar.
At the top of the guitar in the illustration is the "headstock", a general term which describes the part of the guitar attached to the slimmer neck of the instrument. On the headstock are "tuners", which you will use to adjust the pitch of
each of the strings on the guitar
At the point in which the headstock meets the neck of the guitar, you'll find the "nut". A nut is simply a small piece of material (plastic, bone, etc.), in which small grooves are carved out to guide the strings up to the tuners.
The neck of the guitar is the area of the instrument you'll concentrate a great deal on: you'll put your fingers on various places on the neck, in order to create different notes.
The neck of the guitar adjoins the "body" of the instrument. The body of the guitar will vary greatly from guitar to guitar. Most acoustic and classical guitars have a hollowed out body, and a "sound hole", designed to project the sound of the guitar. Most electric guitars have a solid body, and thus will not have a sound hole. Electric guitars will instead have "pick-ups" where the soundhole is located. These "pick-ups" are essentially small microphones, which allow the capture the sound of the ringing strings, allowing them to be amplified.
The strings of the guitar run from the tuning pegs, over the nut, down the neck, over the body, over the sound hole (or pick-ups), and are anchored at a piece of hardware attached to the body of the guitar, called a "bridge".
Examine the neck of your guitar. You'll notice there are metal strips running across it's entire surface. These pieces of metal are referred to as "frets" on a guitar. Now, here's what you'll need to keep in mind: the word "fret" has two different meanings when used by guitarists. It can be used to describe:
- The piece of metal itself
- The space on the neck between one piece of metal and the next