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Learning How to Play the Guitar

Kevin Sinclair

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Learning to play the guitar is an aspiration that many people have. Unfortunately knowing how to play the guitar correctly can be more difficult than you had expected. This is why many people give in after only a few lessons. The same applies for many different musical instruments. It is important to take the commitment in learning to play the guitar, before you can succeed in playing it well.

Learning the basic steps is of great importance, as is making the time for practice sessions in order to be able to play the guitar well. These basic steps include:

1. Owing your own guitar is the first step. Even though it is possible to purchase guitars for a cheap price at places such as eBay and department stores, it really is worth considering spending a little more money and purchasing a well-made guitar if you are serious about learning. What type of guitar you wish to purchase is another decision that you need to take seriously. You may wish to begin with an acoustic guitar rather than an electric guitar. You may even wish to learn to play the bass guitar.

2. The basic open chords should be the first thing to learn to play on your guitar. Beginners typically learn C, D, G, and A. A chord progression is simply a series of chords that make up a piece of music. The G-C-D chord progression is generally followed in many rock songs. Therefore, once you have learned to play these chords, it should be possible for you to follow along with hundreds of songs. Handy charts of commonly used open position guitar chords can be found on the Internet which will get you started.

3. Tablature, or otherwise known as tabs, should be the next thing that you learn. These show you exactly where your fingers should be placed when you play a chord to a song. Tabs also show you where the words match to the music, and when to tablature for literally thousands of songs.

4. Barre chords should also be learnt. Barre chords are chord shapes whereby one or more fingers are used to hold down multiple strings across the fingerboard of the guitar. Barre chords are also known as bar chords or movable chords, due to it being possible to move them up or down the neck of the guitar as required.

5. Practice is the most important factor to playing a guitar. Never expect to become an expert overnight, because it won't happen. All musicians, regardless of how naturally gifted they are, have had to put in hours of practice. However, it need not be too hard. Practicing and playing songs is great fun, especially when they are songs that you really like. Give some effort when learning to play the guitar and you will be rewarded.

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of , a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.


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