The Beginner Slightly-Better-Than-Beginner Transition

author: RockstarAdam date: 02/15/2012 category: for beginners
rating: 8.8 / votes: 20 
First of all, KNOW YOUR GUITAR. There are so many aspects of your guitar to understand. From top to bottom, here is a list and breakdown of your basic 6-string acoustic guitar. ################## GUITAR BREAKDOWN ##################
1.)The Head - This is at the very top of the guitar. Situated in the head are
              the machine-heads. These are the little knobs on either side of
              your acoustic's head. (Some guitars have machine-heads on one
              side of their head, but this is mainly electric guitars and
              basses). The machine-heads are used for tuning your guitar
              or lower. You can see how these make the strings tighter as
              they
              wrap around the small bar in the guitar head. Tighter strings
              mean higher pitches and vice versa. At the bottom of the head
              is the nut. This is the thick ridge that the strings pass
              over. It is used to keep the strings steady and make the
              notes clearer.
 
2.)The Neck - This is quite obvious but the neck is the long part of the 
              guitar that you hold with one hand and play the frets with.
              The main features of the neck are the strings which descend
              from the head, and the frets. It is also general knowledge to
              know that the strings are in the keys of "EADGBe" respectively.
              The 'e' on the end is in lowercase to show that it is the
              higher of the two E notes. The frets are those horizontal
              ridges that appear every few centimeters along the neck. They
              are responsible for changing the pitch of the notes that are
              played. As your hand travels lower along the fret-board (the 
              side of the neck with the frets on it), your notes will ascend.
 
3.)The Body - The body (on an acoustic) is usually very thick, much thicker
              than electrics. The prominent feature of the body is the
              sound-hole. This is the reason why acoustics have good sound,
              because the sound-hole allows the notes to reverberate around 
              inside. Below the sound-hole is the bridge. The bridge is yet
              ridge. It "collects" the strings at the bottom. You will also
              notice the knobs below the bridge. These keep the strings
              still and keeps them from falling out when tuning. Also on the
              body are the knobs used for tying a guitar strap to, although
              they aren't completely necessary (my guitar doesn't have any).
              Some acoustic guitars have a small electric system in the body
              which allows in to be plugged into an amp.
Congratulations, you have learnt your guitar's features and their uses. ########### EQUIPMENT ###########
The Plectrum (or Pick) - This is a small, thin, plastic object that is
                         helpful to a player. You hold the pick loosely
                         between your index finger and thumb and let it slide
                         over the strings. This is called strumming and it is
                         fairly easy to learn to do. A pick can also be used 
                         to do arpeggios (covered later).
 
The Guitar Tuner/Pitch Pipe - When you play your guitar for a while, it will
                              slowly fall out of tune. When this happens,
                              you simply activate your tuner and play each
                              string individually. The guitar tuner hears you
                              play each note and tells you how to adjust the 
                              strings (by using the machine-heads). You can 
                              also use a pitch pipe to tune your guitar,
                              although in my opinion they can be difficult 
                              to use for the untrained ear. A pitch pipe
                              generally has six small tubes to blow into,
                              each one emitting a different note that
                              corresponds with the guitar's ideal tone
                              (EADGBe). As this is to be used by ear, I
                              don't recommend it to any beginners because if
                              a string is even slightly off-key then it can
                              ruin an entire song.
 
The Strap - Although it technically doesn't count as equipment, it is also a
            basic part of the guitar that most musicians are never without.
            The strap holds the guitar close to you and doesn't let it fall,
            making it easier to play while standing. To apply your strap to
            the knobs on the body of the guitar (mentioned above). Although
            some guitars dont come with those knobs and you would need to go
            to a music store and have them install one. Some guitars have
            only one knob on the bottom side of the body. To attatch your
            strap in that case, tie a piece of yarn (or shoelace) to the
            bottom knob and tie a piece of yarn (or shoelace) to the top of
            the guitar neck. Make sure that you tie it ABOVE the nut or else
            the yarn will interfere with the strings' sound.
############## BASIC CHORDS ############## There are 6 basic chords, but many different versions of how to play them. The 6 basic chords are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Very easy to remember. These are called the Major chords, and they produce a "happy" sound. There are variations to these Major chords. They are called "Minor" chords and they produce a "sad" sound. They are written as Am, Bm, Cm, Dm, Em, Fm, and Gm. The major chords are played as follows: There are a few ways to view how to play a chord, including:
   C
  
e| 0 |     {The letters on the left represent each string. The letter above,
B| 1 |      in this case, 'C', indicates the chord played. The numbers in the
G| 0 |      middle show where on the fret-board your fingers play. In this
D| 2 |      case ('C'), you put your fingers on the 3rd fret, 2nd fret, leave
A| 3 |      the string open (don't touch it), the 1st fret, and finally
E| x |      leave the string open. The 'x' means that you DON'T play it}
The easier way to list a chord is to say: C = x32010 Therefore, here are the basic chords:
A = x02220
B = 224432
C = x32010
D = xx0232
E = 022100
F = 133211
G = 355433
 
Am = x02210
Bm = 224332
Cm = 446654
Dm = xx0231
Em = 022000
Fm = 133111
Gm = 355333
Thank you for reading, I will post more lessons later.
More RockstarAdam lessons:
+ The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 9 For Beginners 12/11/2012
+ Chord Changes For Beginner: Intermediates For Beginners 08/08/2012
+ The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 8 For Beginners 04/12/2012
+ The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 7 For Beginners 03/16/2012
+ The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 6 For Beginners 03/15/2012
+ The Beginner / Slightly-Better-Than-A-Beginner Transition. Lesson 5 For Beginners 03/13/2012
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