You have your beginner acoustic guitar ready, so what’s next? Before you go strumming along and singing a song, you need to know there are some things you need to learn first before everything else. These things will serve as the foundation for the new knowledge and skills you will acquire as a musician, so it’s important that you get these basics down first.
Are you ready? Let’s list them down!
- The parts of your guitar – when you’re learning to play the guitar, you’ll be given instructions that will be easier to follow if you know the anatomy of your guitar. Knowing the different parts and their function will help you better understand how a guitar works, what you need to fix, where you need to put your fingers and so on.
- Proper grip and posture – you need to know how to hold a guitar properly without giving yourself unnecessary muscle pains in the process. Avoid hunching over your guitar and sit properly. If you have a straight-backed chair, sit on that whenever you practice.
- How to change the strings – it’s not uncommon for beginners to break a few strings when learning to play acoustic guitar. You may also want to change the strings to make your guitar sound better because strings do wear out. Because of these, you need to know how to restring your guitar on your own.
- Getting your guitar in tune – before any lesson or practice session, you need to make sure your guitar is properly tuned. This is best done with the help of an electronic tuner – so if you have one, you need to know how to use it. An acoustic guitar that’s out of tune simply won’t do!
- How to read guitar tabs and chords – when you’re learning to read and write, you get introduced to the letters and how words are spelled before you can write on your own. It’s the same with playing a guitar – you need to learn how to read tabs and read chord diagrams so you’ll know where to place your fingers on the fretboard and play chords. Having the ability to read notes on a staff is also a big plus, especially if you’re planning on having a career as a pro musician.
- Holding the pick properly – flatpicking is one of the skills you’ll learn when learning different acoustic playing styles. You should learn how to hold a pick in a way that is both efficient and comfortable. It can take a bit of experimenting but you’ll eventually see which pick grip works for you.
- Following a rhythm – playing a guitar involves being able to keep a good rhythm that fits with the songs you are playing. Your guitar playing would sound better and you’ll improve faster if you know how to strum in rhythm. This is why it’s recommended to use a metronome to when doing your rhythm drills to help you develop a keen sense of keeping time.
- How to take good care of your guitar – last but not the least of the basics is proper care and maintenance of your acoustic guitar. You need to learn how to clean the body and the strings to remove any dust, grime and oils from your fingers. You also need to be aware of the effects of humidity and temperature on your guitar so you can take steps to prevent the wood from warping or cracking. Keeping your acoustic guitar in good shape goes a long way in making sure it becomes your dependable companion all through your guitar-playing years.
Once you’ve absorbed and mastered these things, you’re really ready to play the acoustic guitar. Have fun learning!