Things to Help You Learn How to Play Guitar
- A chord book is one of your most important tools when learning to play the guitar. It's like an encyclopedia of all major chords, scales and progressions. A good chord book includes diagrams that show you where to put each finger for each chord. Additionally, chord books have versions of each chord written in musical notation so you can learn to recognize them while reading sheet music. Many chord books also come with tips, lessons and instruction.
- Chord diagrams are written in the form of tablature. Tablature is like a shorthand way of reading guitar music. No knowledge of formal musical notation is needed to learn tablature. Guitar tabs show a beginning player where to put her fingers, which fingers to use for each string and how long to hold each note. Because tablature is written as a visual representation of the strings on the guitar, many beginners find it much easier to read than sheet music.
- In order to get the right sound from your instrument, you need to routinely tune it. A guitar tuner is a device that helps you get your guitar in perfect tune without having to rely on your ear. Guitar tuners are either mechanical or digital and usually small enough to carry in your pocket. As you advance, switch between standard tuning and another type, such as drop D or open E tuning. A tuner assists you in switching between different tunings.
- Part of learning to play guitar is learning how to care for and maintain your instrument. Eventually the strings your guitar came with will wear down and break. You need to have on hand a set or two of replacement strings. Light strings are good for beginners who don't put too much stress on their guitar. Heavier string sets withstand more shock, but also are more difficult to string. Have someone teach you the appropriate way to restring your guitar in order to avoid wasting extra strings.