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How to learn to play the guitar

How to learn to play the guitar. I think it’s easier to count those who have NEVER googled “how to learn guitar” at least once. The guitar is certainly the most popular instrument of the last fifty years, more than the piano, more than the violin, even the drums.

Six strings, a soundbox, and a neck: pure simplicity. The only flaw:  it is not that easy to play,  even if a lot depends on the goal you set yourself.

To accompany John Lennon’s songs unpretentiously (accompanying them among friends, we mean) the road is affordable without worries; to become professionals of the rhythmic plectrum guitar is a whole other matter; finally, to let the six strings fly through a  fingerpicking or to aspire to perform the same repertoire of Segovia, the commitment required is completely equal to that necessary to learn to play the piano. How to learn to play the guitar

Which guitar? How to learn to play the guitar

First of all, you need to have the tool in your hands. The guitar is, on the whole, an economic instrument, especially for those who have to start and have no great pretensions. You can find a Yamaha classical guitar on the market starting at 150 euros, an acoustic one for a little more, and an electric one for less than 200 euros. I indicate instruments with minimal quality characteristics because there is no worse thing than starting with musical instruments that force fingers, body, and ears into positions and habits that are difficult to remove. Guitars for children are available in the market. I had my first guitar as a gift when I was seven years old. Getting close to music when you are a child is an important life-long privilege.

For those who want to learn to play the electric guitar, the one without an acoustic box, to be clear, the cost of an amplifier must be added, which to start is around 60 to 100 Euros. Moreover, it is not good to attach the guitar to speakers, speakers, and speakers to listen to music. Better if the amplifier is equipped with a  headphone output and perhaps also an “aux in” or “CD” input to which you can connect your smartphone or a source with backing tracks. These two small features will allow you to make music even in the condominium and even at night, perhaps being careful not to stamp your foot at full strength.

The Smartphone and the Guitar How to learn to play the guitar

Speaking of smartphones and guitar, there are adapters with related apps, which allow you to connect the guitar output cable directly to the smartphone. The most famous is the iRig Multimedia, of which there are different models, with or without microphone cable, for iOs or Android. Honestly, I have often used these adapters with electric guitar and electric bass. Instead of immediately paying for an amplifier, they are an excellent solution for those wondering how to start playing the guitar. Finally, a wireless adapter allows you to transmit and receive the guitar signal to an amplifier. No more cables !!

What is the difference between a classical guitar and an acoustic guitar? How to learn to play the guitar

The classical guitar is normally equipped with nylon strings, has a slightly wider neck and fingerboard than an acoustic guitar, has a darker, softer sound, and is mainly suited to the classical repertoire. The difference in keyboard width is important. I will return to this aspect later when I write about the guitar technique. Flamenco and many South American music play on the classical guitar and all the classical repertoire. Sometimes for Hispanic music, instrument use is very similar to the classical guitar but small.

The acoustic guitar and the electric guitar have metal strings, have a narrower fretboard than the classical one. The acoustic guitar does not need an amplifier (but it is often amplified when playing with a band); its has a bright and more generous sound. . It is played with a plectrum or even with the ” fingerpicking ” technique, i.e., using four of the five fingers of the right hand. It’s suitable for pop and jazz.

The guitar technique

The left-hand technique, the one that moves on the keyboard, is the same for all guitars. This also applies to tuning.

Often teachers recommend learning to play classical guitar because, in their opinion, it is more suited to mature a fluid and brilliant technique. In addition, the fact that the keyboard is a little wider accustoms the left hand’s fingers to move with larger movements. When you switch to acoustic guitar, everything should be easier.

There is a part of the truth, but frankly, I don’t see a boy possessed of rude rock getting passionate about Giuliani’s studies. In these cases, perhaps it is better to start directly from the acoustic or electric guitar.

Approaches How to learn to play the guitar

Many approach the guitar with the only desire to learn to play ” by chords, “that is, with the dream of accompanying their favorite pop songs for pure pleasure. In this case, the best choice is not a classic but an acoustic guitar. The sonority of an acoustic guitar offers more satisfaction if you play it for chords, and also, the metal strings are more suitable for playing with a pick. However, playing by chords is not that simple if you want to bring your technique to even a semi-professional level. The left hand must always deal with the most complex part of the guitar technique. It is important that no initial error, which over time could compromise the technical evolution. I’ll come back to this later.

Acoustic guitars How to learn to play the guitar

Acoustic guitars can also be electrified, equipped with an internal pickup capable of connecting via a jack plug to an amplifier. Often the cost of an electrified acoustic guitar is slightly higher than a non-electrified acoustic. But it is not essential. Indeed, many times the Sound Engineers prefer to record the acoustic guitar with the microphones, taking advantage of the vibrations emitted by the soundbox.

The acoustic guitar technique is very similar to that of the electric guitar, so those who can play one have no difficulty switching to the other.

The classical guitar How to learn to play the guitar

For those who want to start from the classical guitar, it is important to have some information clear right away.

The classical guitar is played exclusively without a pick, plucking the strings with the right hand’s nails. Playing with the nails improves the sonority of the instrument but implies a particular “manicure” care. The right-hand pin must be in a size that allows you to pinch the string accurately without hindering the general joint. That is, they must be just longer than normal.

If you see someone wandering around the streets below the house caressing their fingernails with a piece of outstanding abrasive paper, this is certainly a classic guitarist; and it is all an advisable practice because the nail must be well-round without roughness. But, again, these are things that are quick to learn with experience.

The classical guitarist uses a  footrest, 10 to 15 centimeters high (there are special adjustable footrests), on which to place the right foot to raise the right leg, where then the hollow of the guitar rests. On the other hand, an amateur often puts the excavation of the guitar on the left leg, and this is because it is believe that great attention should be paid to the joint of the right hand, the one that pluck the string. However, after a few months of studying, we realize that the right-hand movement is not so complex. While what makes the study of the guitar challenging is the work of the left hand.

Left hand setting How to learn to play the guitar

The care of the left-hand setting, which applies to any guitar, is crucial for the entire technical evolution of the guitarist. Particular importance must be given to the thumb, which must never cling to the handle but must rest with the fingertip on the back of the handle itself. This error is a classic of all beginners. And it is equally classic to lose hours of work to correct the wrong setting.

The left hand’s nails must be reduced to a minimum, and, in the beginning. It will be good not to overdo it by playing for too many hours at a time. It is good that a calloused tissue gradually forms on the fingertips. That will allow you to press the strings more correctly without feeling pain.How to learn to play the guitar

The strings of the guitar

How to learn to play the guitar. The metal strings should be changed periodically when they oxidize or are a less brilliant tone. In this case, the whole “change” is  replace. That is, all six-string is changed.

The nylon strings instead replace when they break, and since this is often the case, it is always good to have a pack of spare lines in the guitar case.

One last mention of tuning. The guitar needs to be turned in before each study session and often during the session itself. Today, apps that help to tune can be download to any smartphone. But for the more experienced, it is enough to have a reference. The famous “A” on which the tuning of all the other strings depends. 

The study of the guitar

In practically all civic, municipal, or private schools, there is at least one guitar teacher. So it is not difficult to find a teacher who knows how to introduce the instrument’s study properly. Play the guitar for beginners Starting with a teacher is always better than starting alone. A teacher gives you the basics of setting, posture, and hand position. A teacher should always supervise children and the very young. However, it is important to be clear right away about what your ambitions are.

Most of the guitar teachers come from classical studies. And tend to start their studies with a classical guitar and with the classical method.How to learn to play the guitar

As already said, the indication is often right. But a boy is not always willing to follow the classic path. Even if only for the repertoire.How to learn to play the guitar

Sometimes you want to immediately learn how to handle the acoustic (or electric) guitar. Simply accompany a plectrum, or discover the rhythm guitar or fingerpicking technique. In these cases, it is right to look for a modern guitar teacher. The two worlds, the classic and the contemporary, are not so close. Better be sure to start with the right teacher. Take a look at the guitar the teacher handles. If she is classical, she teaches classical guitar. If it is electric, it teaches modern guitar.

Learning to play the guitar by self How to learn to play the guitar

The guitar can also be tackle by self-taught (with more difficulty for the classical guitar). It is mainly a adult who make this choice.

There is an infinite number of methods and collections of chords for the simple accompaniment guitar. Also available on the net. For the classical guitar, I recommend Roberto Fabbri’s “Self-taught Classical Guitarist,” 

For the rhythm guitar, there are two possibilities: “Guitarist from scratch! Method for beginners”, or the complete method is “A Modern Method For Guitar” by William G Leavitt. Now available in Italian and with cd. The method is in three volumes and is complete. If you get to the bottom of the third volume, you are almost professional!

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