Learn to Play an Acoustic Guitar

An acoustic guitar relies on sound resonating from the strings without electrical amplification. It may be plugged in for amplification but this is not a requirement. In learning to play the acoustic guitar it is useful to decide which kind of music you wish to play at first as this will determine which type of acoustic guitar to begin playing on.

One of the main distinctions between acoustic guitar types is the sting type. These are either nylon or steel strings. Another distinction is whether the guitar is designed for six or twelve strings. It is generally recommended that you start with six strings and progress onto 12 strings later if you wish to.

Before You Strum

When considering the essentials of learning how to play an acoustic guitar, there are a few of important things to learn before you simply strum or pick away. First of all, you will need to tune your guitar. Spend some time learning to tune your own guitar as this is a skill that you will need to use every time you pick your guitar up to practice or play.

If you wish to learn classical guitar, you will begin with a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar. Most classical music is recorded as notes written onto sheets. In order to master this you will need to learn the individual notes and not just chords. This lays a great foundation for all music reading and is essential if you want to learn to play most classical music.

If you only want to strum chords you can jump straight in there if you wish. Chords can best be described as a grouping of notes that are played together, usually strummed. This requires some patience and one of the simplest ways to get playing quickly is learning guitar "tabs". Search around online and you'll find lots of sources of information on tabs and getting started.

It's a good idea to pick up a book, or check online for a simple guide to guitar tabs before you even pick up a guitar. Next, practice the major chords. Playing the acoustic guitar requires strumming as well as tab movement. It requires a lot of concentration and this can take some time. Practice the different chord finger placements before adding the strumming. Keep in mind that this is going to take time and practice. Your fingers need to find the rhythm of your guitar.

Four Tips for Easy and Effective Learning

1. The fastest way to learn how to play the acoustic guitar is practice, practice, and more practice. The more often you play, the better you will become. Practice good habits from the start and they'll become second nature.

2. It's a good idea to pick up a book or find an online program on the basics of acoustic guitar. Everyone wants to skip the first few lessons and go straight to the classic songs; however, if you don't learn the basics, you will have trouble learning in the future.

3. There are several online resources that can help you. Many resources are free and include tips on everything from holding your guitar to remembering the hand placements for each chord. You can have five free online lessons emailed to you at http://www.get-guitar-lessons.com. Other websites offer the guitar tabs to thousands of different songs. Remember to start with the easier stuff. You may want to dive right into "Stairway to Heaven" but this could lead to frustration and a loss of confidence.

4. Another tip for learning how to play the guitar - if you can afford it - is to hire a teacher to meet with you a couple times a week. They can track your progress and make sure you are picking up the correct playing style. A teacher will be able to help you overcome those acoustic obstacles. If you can't afford a teacher, ask a guitar playing friend for some help.

The best way to learn how to play the acoustic guitar is by combining all four tips. Check the internet for advice; pick up an acoustic guitar for beginners book; hire a teacher to help you along the way; and, most importantly, practice like a rock star!

by: Philip Hugo