Have you always been fascinated by the guitar and would you like to learn how to play it?
Have you always had this desire but have you always put off your first lesson?
Learning something from scratch can seem really challenging.
To play like a pro it takes years of study and practice, but it will take you a few hours to start strumming a few songs!
You can then insert new chords and techniques over time, but the first satisfactions will come in the short term
Types of guitar:
Classical guitar, acoustic guitar, or electric guitar?
The classical guitar is an instrument designed to play the classical pieces.
Although it is also often used in other genres, such as flamenco or jazz, it is rarely used in the most common genres, namely pop, rock and the like.
Its neck is wide and there is a greater distance between the nylon strings than that found on other types of guitar
The acoustic guitar, also called “folk” has a narrower neck, strings that are “closer” and metallic.
Its sound will remind you of many songs you listen to on the radio and therefore proves to be an excellent option to start practicing the chords you will learn in the first lessons and start accompanying you on the notes of the most famous songs.
The electric guitar is ideal for genres such as rock, hard-rock, metal, but not only.
The neck is very thin and the strings are not too tight, making them easy to handle.
Choosing the guitar:
Each type of guitar has its pros and cons for a beginner: some teachers recommend starting with the classical, as the larger neck allows you to press the right strings without touching the others, moreover the strings are softer.
Other teachers find the acoustics more suitable, because the narrower neck is in other ways more practical, but the strings are more rigid and “sharp”.
The electric has the disadvantage of the amplifier, but has a narrow neck and slightly taut strings. If you get used to an electric, it will be much harder to switch to another type of guitar in the future!
Everyone agrees on one fact: if you already know you want to play acoustic, classical or electric, you can immediately devote yourself to the specific chosen type.
Our advice? If you want to contact a teacher, ask him for advice, if you want to learn self-taught, choose the type of guitar you intend to play.
The cost of a tool is one of the main factors to take into consideration.
A beginner should of course consider purchasing entry-level products, which still guarantee a decent quality: it is useless to save for a guitar that you forget every time you play a chord!
With the same quality, the cheapest entry-level models are those of the classical guitar, for this reason it is often chosen as the first instrument, even if we have seen that it is not the preferable.
The cost of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar for beginners is not very different, however, it must be taken into account that an electric model requires the purchase of an amplifier.
The electric guitar is not in fact equipped with a resonance chamber, so it needs an amplifier to be played with a decent volume.
Parts of the guitar
The guitar consists of several parts:
Other parts are:
- the pick guard, which is a thin protective layer that prevents the guitar from being damaged by using the pick
- the pick ups, which transform the vibrations of the strings into electrical impulses and which are therefore only present on electric guitars. In fact, they do not have a rosette and the sound is emitted electrically.
- knobs, which are used to adjust the pick ups in the electric
- lever, present in the electric, is used for the “tremolo”
- jack, present in the electric and some acoustic, allows you to connect the instrument to an amplifier by cable
Change the strings
The strings sooner or later break and need to be changed every time.
Definitely when a rope breaks! But not only that, even when they start to wear out.
Wear is given by time, but also by the frequency of use: those who play a couple of hours a week will change them less often than those who practice and perform regularly for many hours a day.
Change them all or one at a time?
There are several theories: some guitarists believe it is better to change them
all together, others that it is better to change them one at a time, still others that only replace the broken string from time to time.
Changing all strings ensures that they all sound the same, while changing only that course, even if with one of the same make and model, the sound can be different.
A professional guitarist will surely want a perfect sound, while an entry-level can also change only the broken string, unless the others are also very old and it is worth changing them all …
If you decide to change them all, do you have to change them one at a time or remove them all and then mount the new ones?
Here too there are conflicting opinions: some take advantage of changing the strings to take them all apart and clean the fretboard, others argue that removing all the strings the neck can lose its “original shape”, embarking or screwing.
In general, we can say that leaving a neck without strings for the time of changing the suit has never had consequences, it is different to leave it bare or with some strings absent for a long time. you can choose the digital piano as your first musical instrument.
In the case of a mobile bridge, you must be very careful when changing the strings! If you have taken an electric with a mobile bridge, get help from an experienced friend or your teacher for the first few times.
Before putting on the new strings it is clearly necessary to remove the old ones or in any case those you want to replace.
The guitar should be laid out on a clean surface covered with a padded cloth, in order to avoid scratches on the back of the instrument.
You will need some wire cutters and possibly a cord winder: it is not essential and you can also proceed by hand, even if the operation is thus less easy.
The first thing to do is to loosen the strings completely. When they are fully extended you can cut them with the nippers and remove them.
Make sure the strings have been fully loosened, or you could get hurt!
Cutting the strings is very practical, but if you want you can also unwind them completely and take them off the bridge.
Depending on the type of guitar, the attack can be different: a knot or blocking by means of pegs can be provided.
Once the old strings have been removed, you can proceed with the assembly of the new ones.
In what order? Here, too, there are conflicting opinions: some argue that it is better to start with the thickest rope, others with the thinnest.
Another theory argues that it is better to change them in order 1, 6, 2, 5, 3, 4. This methodology causes a more uniform tension on the neck.
Secure the strings to the bridge, with pegs or ligature depending on the type of guitar.
Insert the strings into their respective key holes and turn the tuners to tighten it, but without reaching the total tension level.
Make sure you leave some margin – you’ll cut it later.
Once all the strings have been assembled, you can proceed with the tuning and removal of the excess string parts.
Now we are ready to take the tool in hand.
Correct posture is not only important to be able to play correctly, but also to avoid pain and damage to the back and joints.
Let’s start with the posture used in the study of the classical guitar.
Sit down and place a small stool under your left foot and rest the guitar on your left leg, parallel to your torso.
If you have positioned it correctly, you can also remove your hands and she will be balanced by herself.
The first nut must be brought to approximately eye / neck height.
Hold the guitar with your right arm, resting it on the upper side band.
The elbow must be kept free and the hand must be able to “dangle” in front of the rose window.
With the acoustic guitar, on the other hand, there is a more instinctive position, with the body resting on the right leg and the neck on the same line, moved “out” with respect to the guitarist.
For the electric one is generally studied already planning to play standing up.
These are general lines and the posture may also require adjustments based on the style played: with acoustics, for example, the angle of the neck can vary according to the height of the musician and the technique used.