If you are looking forward to know how to play acoustic guitar for beginners, at first you need to know the various parts of the instrument.
Table of Contents
The Anatomy of an Acoustic Guitar
First let us look at the Fretboard. This is the place, where you have to press your finger for playing various chords or notes. Learning how to play acoustic guitar is much simpler than learning its electrical counterpart, as there is no need to know about amplifier and sound amplification. Knowing the left and right hand playing technique will suffice the purpose.
One of the first steps of learning is, knowing what the bridge is. It is the point where all the strings are held together in place. In an acoustic guitar, the strings are generally fixed with the bridge with the help of small pegs.
Then there is the head-stock of the guitar. It contains some keys that can be turned either way in order to change the tension of the strings. These are called machine heads and they play a pivotal role in adjusting the tune of the instrument by altering the string tension.
How to Play Acoustic Guitar - Important Things to know
Notes ‘n Strings
Now it is time to know one of the most important aspects of the guitar – the notes and the strings. The acoustic guitar has 6 strings. The 6th string is the thickest one, while the 1st one is the thinnest, and in most cases prone to snapping. The 6th string is tuned to E, the 5th is tuned to A, the 4th is tuned to D, the 3rd string is tuned to G, the 2nd one to B, while the 1st one is tuned to E. The best way to remember the order is by remembering the line, “Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears".
Now let us know what the basic difference between the notes and the chords is. While a note is essentially a solitary pitch, a chord is a set or a collection of notes that are played together simultaneously.
The Elementary Notes
The first lessons of playing acoustic guitar involve learning some elementary notes. One of them is the C Major 7. This is one of the elementary chords and is extremely easy to play. In order to play this particular chord, you need to place the second finger on the 3rd fret of the String A and then place the first finger on the 2nd fret of the String D. Once done, you can now strum from the String A.
Two most important chords in an acoustic guitar are C and G, and that is the reason these two chords are really useful.
Another fundamental chord is the E Minor chord. In order to play this chord, you need to place your first finger on the 2nd fret of string A. Then you need to place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of String D. Now, once it is done you need to strum all the 6 strings simultaneously.
The last of the three fundamental chords is the Dsus2. In order to play this chord, you need to place the first finger on the 2nd fret of the String G. Now place the 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the string B. Once done, now strum from string D, by making sure you avoid strumming from the 5th and the 6th string.
Finally, coming to the strumming the acoustic guitar, it may very well be a difficult practice when you begin, but with practice you can master the art quite comprehensively.
The First Step: Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar
The first step of learning to play acoustic guitar is of course learning how to fret the chords correctly. The first and foremost thing that you need to remember is that you need to use only and only the tips of the fingers of your playing hand. However, do not use the fleshy portion of the fingers. Instead, use the portions where your fingerprints are.
You need to use the finger tips as it will allow you to utilize maximum space between each of the strings. This will help you ring the individual notes in a correct manner, without being messed by unwanted fingers during the middle of playing. Make sure that each and every note you strike is clear and distinctive, and this practice will help you exactly to do so.
Do not place your fingers ON the frets – instead, place them in the middle of the frets. Make sure the gap is filled up by your finger. In this way, you will be able to stop the deadened notes. This is one of the most essential lessons that you need to know if you are to learn how to play acoustic guitar in a comprehensible and accurate way.
Managing your Thumb
Coming to the thumb, in case of the most of the chords, it should be placed on the middle of the neck and should ideally e pointing towards the ceiling, or in other words, upwards (in case you are playing outdoor!).
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The Technique of Strumming
Strumming is another technique you need to master. In fact, one of the most important aspects of playing an acoustic guitar is developing a strong as well as a rhythmic strum. Unlike what you find in electric guitars, you will not be able to conceal lack of proper strumming and its effects behind a distorted amp. That is why, when it comes to playing acoustic guitar, the strumming as to be absolutely accurate and bang on.
When you strum the guitar, what you need is a nice swinging motion that should ideally originate from the elbow and a little bit of movement of the wrist. Still, almost 90 percent of strumming effect is controlled by your elbows. Hence, you need to make sure that the wrist is straight and is not angled like the neck of a swan when you hold the instrument.
These are the basic principles that you need to follow if you want to know and learn how to play acoustic guitar. All said and done, all you need to do is practice, practice and practice to better your skills, and make sure you make a sensation whenever you pick up your favorite instrument to perform.