How do I get started (How to play guitar)?

If you want to learn how to play guitar, you have to start somewhere. Fortunately, it’s easy to get started! You’ll want to learn how to hold the guitar, how to hold a pick, and a few easy open chords. Practice making these chord shapes and changing between them. This will teach you several essential skills such as: fretting the strings properly, changing between chords smoothly, strumming, holding the instrument, and more! From there, continue seeking knowledge and practicing daily. There are no secrets; there is only practice!

What should I buy for my first guitar?

Buy the guitar that you can afford and that you can play. There will eventually come a point where you want to upgrade your gear, but the limiting factor in your playing will be YOU for quite a while. Besides, you don’t know how long you’re going to stick with this just yet. See if the local thrift store has a used acoustic guitar, then buy a new set of strings! Guitar doesn’t have to have a high barrier to entry.

Should I learn to play on an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar?

You CAN learn on both, and you can learn to play both at the same time. However, acoustic has a few benefits. An acoustic guitar will let you know when you’ve made an error, which makes it easier to correct your mistakes. Learning the basics on acoustic will transfer to electric better than the other way around. If you learn on an electric, please turn the distortion off to practice! Distortion masks your mistakes and hinders your progress; you can’t correct the mistakes if you can’t hear them!

What is a chord?

A chord is a group of three* or more notes played simultaneously. The notes that make up a chord are typically taken from the same key in order to produce a harmonious sound.

*You may have heard of a “power chord.” Technically this is an interval, as it consists of two notes: the root and the perfect fifth.

What is a scale?

A scale is a set of musical notes ordered by a fundamental frequency. The smallest fundamental frequency in Western music is called a semitone. In the western chromatic scale (the set of all notes we use in western music), there are 12 notes. These notes are: A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, and G#/Ab. All scales in western music are made of a select group of notes from this chromatic scale.

What does it mean to play a scale over a chord?

Playing a scale over a chord simply means that you play the notes of a scale while a chord plays in the background. For example, playing the A major scale over AMaj could mean that your friend plays an AMaj chord at the same time that you play the A major scale. This would sound good because the notes of the AMaj chord come from the A major scale.

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