How to play guitar

Learning to play the guitar is a popular choice among many budding and hobbyist musicians. Arguably one of the easier stringed instruments to learn to play, the guitar is composed of strings and frets and is played by plucking the strings according to the note to be played. There are a variety of guitars including acoustic, electric, bass, and steel, and the number of strings varies but is typically six.

The six strings from the top to the bottom are E, B, G, D, A, E. When strummed alone, these notes are referred to as “open”, but depressing a certain string within a certain fret will play different octaves of the note. The frets run down the neck of the guitar and are often marked with a dot in the centers of the third, fifth, seventh, and ninth fret. The guitar strings can be plucked with or without a pick, and typically the bass guitar, which has fewer strings, is played without.

Music can be played on a guitar by strumming individual notes or chords. Chords are groups of notes that are played together simultaneously and involve depressing more than one string at a time. Learning the fingering of notes and chords is the basis of learning to play the guitar. There are chord finders that can help you quickly learn.

Many people learn to play the guitar without ever learning to read music. Rather, they learn to read tabs. Tabs are like a diagram of the strings with the fret number written over a corresponding string. They indicate which string should be depressed and in which fret. They can be confusing at first, but with careful study, can be much easier to learn than reading music. Still other people have such an ear for music that they can easily play the guitar by ear alone.

Whatever way you decide to learn to play the guitar, if you have already picked one up and fallen in love with its sound, the best way to learn to play is with lessons from an experienced player, but as with anything worth learning, practice is the best teacher.