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Our top 12 steps to getting started with guitar

How to get started with guitar

There are many reasons why the guitar is such a popular instrument to learn to play; it’s versatile, great to compose songs with, and relatively easy to learn. But rocking out like a great takes some dedication, passion and flare. Yet, every great guitarist started as a beginner.

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Here are our top steps to getting started: –

1. Select an acoustic or electric guitar.

First and foremost, you must determine and select the type of guitar you wish to play. When first starting out, choose between acoustic and electric guitars. Our blog contains comprehensive shopping tips for both acoustic and electric guitars.

The acoustic guitar

Acoustic guitars are an excellent choice for beginning guitarists. For novices, an acoustic guitar with nylon strings is usually the most accessible alternative. Furthermore, an acoustic guitar is rather inexpensive. If you’re serious about learning to play the guitar, don’t get the cheapest instrument you can find. Investing in a high-quality acoustic guitar ensures you have a long-lasting instrument you can play even after you’ve progressed past the beginning stage.

The electric guitar

An electric guitar will almost certainly be more expensive, but it will be a more versatile instrument. It’s a good idea to start with an electric guitar if you want to play more than just chords and want to play more than just chords. Just remember to purchase an amp and possibly a good distortion pedal if you want to rock out.

2. Learn the guitar parts

If you wish to play the guitar, you should be familiar with its components. Among the most essential guitar parts are:

fretboard frets neck headstock strings tuning pegs

Depending on whether you choose an acoustic or electric guitar, the instrument may additionally feature a sound hole (if you choose an acoustic) and numerous knobs and plugs (if you choose an electric guitar).

Successful student passing his grades in guitar

3. Figure out how to hold the instrument.

Another part of playing that is influenced by whether you use an electric or acoustic guitar is how you hold the guitar. This is also a matter of personal preference. Acoustic guitar players frequently sit with the instrument on their lap. You can place the guitar against either your left or right leg.

You can play an electric guitar sitting down as well, although some guitarists prefer to play standing up. In this situation, you’ll also need a guitar strap. Guitar straps for acoustic guitars are also available.


When gazing down, hold the guitar so that the thickest string (the low E string) is closest to you. The fretting hand is the hand that holds the guitar’s neck. The other hand, in this example the right hand, is referred to as the picking or strumming hand. Left-handed guitarists pick using their left hand.

Left-handed guitar players can utilise a standard instrument and play it just like right-handed musicians. They can also choose to turn the guitar around and utilise their right hand as the fretting hand. Another possibility is to seek out a left-handed guitar.

4. Acquaint yourself with the guitar strings and fretboard.

The fretboard and strings, as previously stated, are an important aspect of the guitar. The strings are named E, A, D, G, B, and E, beginning with the lowest string. When holding the guitar and gazing down, the low E string is also the one closest to you. Initially, pressing the guitar strings against the fretboard (also known as fretting) may cause pain in your fingertips. However, as you play the guitar, your fingers will strengthen and eventually stop aching.

When opposed to steel strings, nylon string guitars are ideal for beginners since the strings are easier to press on the fretboard. The strings will not ring properly if you do not press them hard enough. Remember to press the string at the appropriate portion of the fretboard, not precisely on top of the fret.

Check out your guitars tuning

5. Check your guitar’s tuning.

If your guitar is out of tune, learning to play will be an unpleasant experience. As a result, we always recommend double-checking your instrument’s tuning. You don’t need to worry about different guitar tunings as a beginner; instead, concentrate on learning the conventional EADGBE tuning first. EADGBE refers to the six guitar strings, from low to high, and how they should be tuned.

An electric tuner equipment makes it simple to tune your acoustic or electric guitar. The simplest (and cheapest) method, though, is to use a free online guitar tuner tool, such as GuitarTuna. You can take a guitar tuner app with you wherever you go. You don’t need to carry a separate gadget; a mobile phone will suffice.

6. Start with some basic guitar chords.

Let’s start with guitar chords before moving on to strong guitar solos. You’ll become better acquainted with guitar chord charts at this point because they’re a fantastic method to see how different guitar chords are performed. Begin by studying the fundamental open chords, commonly known as cowboy chords. These are classified as major and minor chords.

Check out our guitar chord charts if you can’t remember how to play a specific guitar chord.

Chords on the major scale

It’s best to take things slowly while first learning to play the guitar. Begin by learning a few basic chords. A song can be played entirely with just a few simple guitar chords! The A, D, C, and E chords are wonderful major chords to start with. Here’s an example of a major E chord guitar chord chart:

Guitar Minor Chords in E Major

The minor A and minor E chords, on the other hand, are excellent minor chords for beginning guitarists. Minor chords are denoted by the letter “m” in lowercase. To put it another way, these two chords are written as Am and Em. Here’s how to play a minor E chord:

Guitar Chords in E Minor

The sound of a chord distinguishes between major and minor chords: A minor chord sounds darker and sadder than a major chord, which is brighter and livelier.


Basic Guitar Chords

7. Discover how to strum guitar chords.

Strumming many strings at the same time is required to play a guitar chord. Some guitar chords, such as D and C, require you to leave one or more guitar strings unplayed. As a result, some chords are more difficult to play than others. In addition to not playing specific strings, you must avoid accidentally muting any strings that should be played by placing your hand on top of the strings.

Once you’ve mastered the basic open chords, you can explore with up- and downstrokes, as well as more complex strumming patterns and chord progressions.

8. Understand guitar tablature

Guitar tablatures or “tabs” will come in helpful if you want to play more than simply chords. Guitar tabs are a simple way to learn to read musical notation and play the guitar. Individual notes are represented as integers on horizontal lines that symbolise the strings of a guitar. The character 0 represents open strings, while the letter X represents muted strings. The bottom line represents the lowest E string, while the top line represents the highest E string.

Tablature for Traditional Guitar

Guitar tabs can also be used to play chords. Tabs, on the other hand, are a more adaptable tool for guitarists of all skill levels because they can demonstrate slides, bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, double stops, and much more. These methods may not be the first to learn as a beginner, but they are important to begin practising as you mature and improve as a guitarist. If you wish to play more intricate melodies than just chords, you should also learn how to read guitar tabs.


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9. Experiment with picking and utilising a guitar pick.

Individual notes can be played with your thumb and other fingers. This is referred to as fingerpicking. A guitar pick, on the other hand, will come in helpful, especially if you’re playing an electric guitar. A guitar pick is also an excellent tool for strumming chords on an acoustic guitar. Guitar picks exist in a variety of sizes and materials, but the most crucial feature of a guitar pick is its thickness.

Guitar Pick

Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger when picking individual strings with a guitar pick. Keep the other three fingers free and don’t grip the pick too tightly. The pick should protrude from the side of your thumb, with the nail of your thumb facing you. At first, pick individual strings slowly. Then gradually increase the speed and pick up and down. Don’t be discouraged if you pick the wrong strings at first because you’re still getting used to playing with a pick.

10. Understand minor and major scales.

When you first start learning guitar scales, they can be scary. However, as you’ll soon discover, they’re an excellent method to explore the guitar fretboard and learn where to find various notes. Guitar scales can also help you improvise a guitar solo or begin writing your own songs on the guitar. Major and minor scales exist in the same way that chords do.

Root 6 Position on the G Minor Pentatonic Scale

Use apps that include excellent workouts for learning and mastering various guitar scales. Scales can be memorised more effectively by playing them up and down. As your fingers become more accustomed to playing the scale, try playing it faster to increase dexterity and improve your playing.


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11. Begin listening to your favourite songs.

Now for the moment, you’ve probably been looking forward to playing your favourite song on the guitar. The days of carting around huge books full of guitar notes and chords are long gone, as the internet now provides guitar tabs for almost every song you can think of. Simply Google the song title plus the word “tab,” and if you’re lucky, someone else has already gone through the trouble of transcribing the music into guitar tablature.

In addition to standard guitar tabs and chords, interactive music-learning tool may be used to play guitar songs. Go ahead and browse popular songs to locate your favourite artists, bands, and musical genres. Perhaps your favourite guitar music is also waiting for you there.

12. Practising, Practising, Practising.

Once you’ve mastered how to play guitar chords, tune your instrument, navigate the fretboard, and read guitar tablature, it’s all about practice and repetition. Make practising and playing the guitar a daily habit. Although your fingertips may hurt initially, your hands will get used to playing the guitar as you increase finger strength and muscle memory.

Pro Music Tuition can teach you how to play the guitar!

Although practising your guitar skills is essential, don’t forget that playing should be enjoyable. If you take things too seriously and don’t make playing the guitar fun for yourself, your motivation will dwindle quickly.

Learn more here, and book a lesson today! 


June 2023
Pro Music Tuition Halesowen