Before you start learning how to play an acoustic guitar, you must first pick the guitar that you’d be using. In picking a guitar, there are several types of it
After you’ve learned a few chords, the next thing that you need to take your attention to is how to strum by improving your timing. In this article, we will
When you decide to learn how to play the guitar, you should also decide to buy one of your own. If it is the first time that you are buying
Before you start learning how to play an acoustic guitar, you must first pick the guitar that you’d be using. In picking a guitar, there are several types of it that you need to know. Each of those types has something different that will make your experience unique from one another.
In order to give you an idea on which type of guitar would be suited for you, here is a list of them and a brief description of each:
Steel String Flattop
This type of guitar is usually the most commonly used by guitar players. This guitar is well-suited for strumming and finger-picking.
However, if you are going to do a complicated fingerstyle arrangement, it’ll probably be hard since it usually requires more strength for you to pin down a string.
Of course, this type of guitar comes in different sizes. Aside from the comfort that you feel when you’re holding the guitar, you need to choose the size depending on what kind of sound it produces.
For example, smaller guitars have a more focused mid-range and high-end tone. On the other hand, bigger guitars have more volume and have a stronger bass frequency.
Just like its name suggests, this guitar uses nylon strings in order to produce sound. The best thing about this type of guitar is that the sound it produces isn’t harsh. However, it isn’t as focused as the steel string counterpart.
Although, the good thing with nylon string guitars is that you can easily practice your music because of how easy the strings are to work around.
There are three types of nylon strings that you need to know about too. First is the classical guitar which is usually used to play classical music. There is a flamenco guitar to play flamenco songs. And a hybrid or a crossover which is an effective mix of both classical and flamenco.
The distinctive trait of an archtop guitar is its non-sustaining focused sound. You might be thinking that for a guitar, sustain needs to be present but in this case, no sustain actually works better especially for jazz music.
Sad to say, if you are playing acoustics, you wouldn’t really want this type of guitar as this is more effective to use in ensembles. But, if you are going for jazz music, then this one could really be an asset.
It is quite hard to specifically describe how tonewoods work and there’s no way to know if the type of tonewood used is the one that’s affecting the sound of a guitar.
Anyway, the only thing that’s certain is that most guitars use two different types of tonewoods, thus, producing a tone that’s a combination of the woods utilized.
Laminate and Solid Wood
There is a huge difference in the sound that laminated and solid wood produces. Laminated wood is a thin sheet of wood glued together while solid wood comes from a solid piece of a tree that has been cut off.
The problem with laminated wood is that the sound it produces doesn’t resonate as freely as solid wood. However, laminated woods are much cheaper than solid wood which is why such guitars still exist up to this day.
When choosing a guitar, you need to focus on things like comfort and function. Once the two of your choices are satisfied, then you’ll surely have the right guitar for yourself.
After you’ve learned a few chords, the next thing that you need to take your attention to is how to strum by improving your timing. In this article, we will be providing you with some tips that you can use in order to make strumming much easier.
Feel the Rhythm of the Music
In learning how to play the guitar, there are things that you call strumming patterns.
A strumming pattern gives people the idea when to go up or down when you strum. However, the problem with fixating yourself in such patterns is that you don’t actually give the rhythm that a song requires.
In order to perfect a song, you need to listen to it more than a few times and familiarize yourself with its rhythm. Once you are able to do so, try feeling that rhythm when you strum the guitar.
To be honest, seasoned acoustic guitar players don’t really rely on the strumming pattern, they rely on the beat of the music. Besides, it’s more fun creating sounds that way.
When you strum, the only thing that should move is your wrist and some part of your lower arm. You don’t have to get your entire hand to go up and down, your wrist should do that work because if you do so, it will just tire you out.
In addition to that, it is easier to increase or decrease a bit when you’re just relying on your wrist because you don’t need to exert too much effort on strumming. It would also avoid straining your arms from unnecessary movements.
Just Keep Going
Even if you miss a few strums every now and then, don’t stop. Once you are already in the zone, which means that you have already found your rhythm, don’t break it.
When your wrist slightly separates from the strings, slowly ease into it without having to break that momentum.
The reason why we want you to just continue strumming despite not producing sound is to keep your mind conditioned that you don’t have to focus on counting whether you’re strumming 2 ups or 1 down.
We want you to realize that this is a matter of familiarizing yourself with every rhythm and not just about flicking your arms around.
Don’t Hit Every String All the Time
It’s always a rookie mistake to strum every string whenever you are playing a song. Now, you don’t need to hit every string every single time because what we want to create here is an authentic sound and hitting every string could sound sloppy.
Knowing which string to hit depends on how strong or soft, high or low, a song goes. Hitting first to third strings will produce strong bass sounds which are good if you are playing rock or similar genre of music. Fourth to sixth strings are for softer and higher-pitched sounds.
There is actually a rule of thumb about this that you need to keep in mind. Usually, the first and third beat needs to hit the lower strings while the second and fourth beat should hit the high strings.
Well, you’ll be able to realize all of this when you’re actually strumming. Just keep in mind that when you’re having troubles, go back to this article and take note of the important parts when it comes to strumming.
When you decide to learn how to play the guitar, you should also decide to buy one of your own. If it is the first time that you are buying one, then you need to take note of the following acoustic guitar buying tips to ensure that you won’t be regretting your choice in the end.
What is your purpose of buying a guitar? Is it for performance or for practice? For advanced players or for beginners? You need to answer this question since the quality of sound that each guitar has is different. Knowing the real reason why you are buying it makes it easier for you to choose.
Brand and Body Style
Once you are able to pinpoint your purpose, you can then proceed to choose which body style is appropriate for your purpose. For example, if you are planning to use the guitar for an acoustic gig or something similar, you would go for a steel string guitar.
The body style will depend on what kind of sound you want to produce.
The brand just helps in assessing whether a certain guitar is worthy to be bought. Although it is not always the case but, it is easier to find reviews that will help you decide whether it’s good to purchase a specific guitar or not.
Of course, knowing what your budget is, is a very important part of the decision-making. No matter how much you research, when you don’t have the money to buy that guitar, your research wouldn’t even mean a thing.
Yes, there are tons of guitars available for you to buy. If you are after specific price ranges, plenty of review sites like Guitar Fella have dedicated articles. But the real challenge lies in picking which one is the right fit for you and your music.
In order to familiarize yourself on how to play the guitar, one technique to employ is practicing a song over and over again. However, most beginners find it so boring that they would deviate from it and start practicing a different song without perfecting the other.
So, to avoid this scenario, we have come up with 5 ways that will help you learn a song. Through this way, you can increase your pace of learning and will avoid getting bored in the future.
Know the Song Like the Back of Your Hand
This means that you need to make sure that you have memorized in your mind every shift and turn of the music. Of course, since you’ll be playing the acoustic guitar, you need to focus your attention on the guitar part.
With this way, it will be easier for you to play it because you already know how it should sound like. Also, this could affect the way you strum.
For seasoned players, it is not enough that you know different kinds of strumming, what’s more important is that you know how to strum in order to make a sound that is the exact same thing from the song you’re listening.
Study in Parts
Instead of trying to learn the entire song right away, why don’t you just focus on parts of the song? The thing about this technique is that you get to acquaint yourself with the finger transition, timing, and strumming of that part.
There will be parts that have the same pattern which would mean that it will be easier for you to perfect the song.
Do it With Feelings
One of the downfalls of aspiring acoustic guitar players is that they just play for the sake of playing and nothing more. Real musicians play from the heart which is why if you do want to play a song without a problem, you must feel it with your heart.
Another advantage of putting your feelings in a song or while playing is that it also touches your audience. Believe it or not, the audience could feel whether you are sad, happy, or angry when you are playing.
And, they can definitely tell when you don’t like what you are doing. Practice this as early as now.
Get A Mental Picture
Some say that this doesn’t work but there is also a part of the population that say it does. Well, for those who say that it does, they claim that painting a picture in your mind actually stimulates a perfect performance since you can see, and apparently hear, what you are about to play.
Change the Key
For us, it is easier if the song that we are playing is in our key. The reason for this is because when you play the guitar, you tend to sing along with it. If you are not in your own key, it will just let you off and you’ll probably be lost in what you are playing.
For beginners, changing the key can be hard since you’ll need a reference tone in order to set every string. But it still is lucky for you because there are mobile applications that allow people to prep a guitar by tuning it the right way. It is also adjustable depending on the key that you want to use.
When learning a song, don’t give up right away. The first few tries are going to be hard and you’ll surely get calloused fingers. But, once you are over that, you’ll realize that everything you did was all part of the process, and it was worth it.
Studies show that diversifying the techniques in learning is more effective than sticking to one type. In learning acoustic guitar basics, sometimes, it isn’t enough that you practice non-stop, you should also explore other ways that would help you in learning the guitar.
One of the techniques that one can use in order to learn faster and easier is to watch shows by seasoned guitarists. In order to know why, here are some of the reasons that should convince you to watch such shows.
The problem with recurring practices is that it eventually gets you bored. When you get bored, you’d want to stop practicing and just end up procrastinating.
When you watch shows, aside from learning new chords or learning about new finger styles, it delights not just your eyes but your ears and stimulates your mind as well.
Explore More Songs
Most acoustic bands that play in a bar or a similar establishment where they are allowed to sing, cover songs from bands that have been famous a long time ago. Maybe, because of this, you’ll find the right jam for you.
Something that’ll keep you motivated to keep playing until you perfect a playing style.
Sometimes, when you are at a bar, listening to a band play, you’ll hear stories. Stories that are usually about the people who are playing in front. People will talk about their struggles and how they got to where they are now.
Well, even the performers tell their audience about such experiences too.
The advantage of learning their struggles is the fact that it encourages you to move forward. It’ll make you understand that good things take time and that with perseverance and commitment, you’ll eventually get there.
In life, you just need a little push in order for you to step forward. And we are certain that going to shows will help you understand and appreciate acoustic guitar basics more.
When people reach a slump, the initial reaction that they have is to give up. If you have experienced that, you don’t have to worry because everyone has their days. But, do you know what we all just need? It’s just a little push.
For aspiring musicians like you and me, having inspiration is good especially when that inspiration is from a fellow musician as well. So, in what ways would another musician impact our life?
With how a lot of people view artists, it is not new to see them striving hard just to produce what they love. If you ask musicians about what their life was like, you’ll see that most of them sacrificed the good life to pursue what they want to do in life.
As a beginner, you need to realize that not everything comes easy. If you want to get better, to get noticed, and to take another step forward, you need to work for it. The most important thing is that you feel fulfilled and happy doing it.
As mentioned before, becoming a musician is not easy. You will encounter rejections, under-appreciation, and you can even go broke. But, when you do want something, no matter how hard it is, you commit to doing it. As a future acoustic guitar player, you should commit to learning too.
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The greatest guitar players didn’t just sit around, they worked hard for what they have and the same should go for you. Don’t just keep on wishing that one day you’ll be able to play the guitar. Do it.
A musician’s life may not be a fairy tale, but it sure can keep someone who wants to succeed motivated and inspired. And to be honest, that is more than enough.