NotesWe use notes playing riffs, practicing scales or in guitar solos. This can be done by just hitting a string, known as playing an open string. To create other notes you will need to press a finger down on a string against the fretboard of the guitar. By moving up the string you make the pitch of the note higher.
Placing your finger in the middle of the fret or towards the metal of the fret wire will create the best sound. If you place a finger to far back in the fret you will start to hear a dead sound. Try and play using the tip of your finger rather that the fleshy part. This will create better sound, known as tone.
Power ChordsPlaying two or more notes together creates a chord. The easiest chords to create on a guitar are power chords. They can be played using two fingers. While physically easier to create they are not just used for simple guitar playing. Power chords are the sound of rock music.
I recommend learning power chords as the first type of chords you start playing on a guitar. They will help you develop hand strength needed to form more demanding hand shapes.
Open ChordsThe next challenge for guitar players is starting using more fingers to create larger chords. Unlike power chords where you have one shape to learn, open chords require learning a combination of different finger shapes.
Open chords are much more physically demanding to learn as we try and form the shapes. It is also a challenge to remember where to place your fingers. I recommend learning open chords over the course of a couple of months. First learn the shapes. Do not be concerned about the sound at this stage, just where to place your fingers. You can not improve the sound of a chord unless you know how to create the correct finger shape. Next concentrate on sound improvements and where to strum from. Finally start trying to change from one chord to another. Look for the smoothest passage between one chord to the next.
Barre ChordsOpen chords only give us a limited amount of the chords needed to be played in music. As a guitarists we at least need to learn ways to play all major and minor chords. There are 12 major and 12 minor chords to learn. Barre chords fills the gaps left behind by only learning open chords. Like power chords these shapes are moveable. By learning one shape you can make multiple chords. It will help you to learn the note positions of 6th and 5th strings. This will make finding where to play certain chords simple.
There are four barre chord shapes to learn when playing major and minor chords. Learn major and minor shapes for 6th string and 5th string.
Jazz ChordsThis is a miscellaneous category of chords that are created with four or more notes. The way to recognize a jazz chord is when there is a number in the title, such as C major 7. The chords are not only used in jazz songs. These chords can be played with open chords and barre chords skills. Jazz chords add extra color to the sound of major and minor chords. If you are unaware how to create the chord you can remove the numbers associated with the name and play a simple major or minor. This will at least get you through the song you are learning. It will lack the special character associated with the additional notes a jazz chord contains.
Learn about these 5 topic areas and you are well on the way to being a confident guitarist.