Guitar tips for beginners
I play guitar for like 20 or more years. I thought I will share what have I learned so far.
The Guitar is not an easy instrument, not like piano which is easy to play on a guitar you need a technic to hold the strings properly in order to achieve any sound. On the electric guitar it is easier.
First how to learn it
To make it simple one way to learn to divide your learning into
If you are not a supertalent it takes these first to play like Al Di Meola, Jimmy Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton or any other famous guitar player.
If you play alone chords are essential, if you use a backing track and only play the solo, chords is not so essential, but essential to understand music.
Tuning the guitar
So first, how to tune the guitar:
the standard tuning is from the lower bass strings, E A D G H (or B) E, there are many other tuning existing as well, for example the low E lowered to D or others as well. In the beginning I stick with the standard tuning.
If it is difficult for you to properly tune the guitar, I suggest to use a software, any device or a buy a guitar with a built in tuner.
The manual action without the tuner is the following:
Pick the fifth fret on every string to match the next more high sting, except the g (third from top) where you get the 4th fret. You can calculate it as well we start at E, F, Fis, G, Gis, A – which is the second string.
C, cis (C sharp), D, dis (sharp), E, F, Fis (f sharp), G, Gis, A, Ais (B), H, C. This 12 note exists on the guitar. If you notice there are two places where we have half notes: before the C, H-C and E-F.
The basic major and minor chords are consists of only three notes: the 1,3,5th notes of the scale. For example in C, the notes are C, E, G. This is the major chord. The major and minor only differ in half note, of one note. The C minor consists of C, Es, G notes.
Chord shapes are very easy to get from anywhere, I include some of the basic ones below. The more interesting ones are which includes all the strings this way it is possible to move them up and down the neck. The two most used ones are the “E” and “A” shapes. The “E” shapes is when we get the following notes: the two E strings open, second fret on A string, second fret on D string, 1st fret on G string. A chords is when we get the 3,4,5 strings both at the second fret, other strings open. For move these shapes upwards it needs to bar the whole fretboard below these notes.
More complicated chords
There are many other chords as well with names like G7/5b, or Fmaj, or Esus or diminished chords.
Easy chord sequences for simple songs
Major chords with big letters, minor with small letters
C-a-F-G with this sequence repeated again again I guess you can play hundred or more songs.
Perhaps this is more interesting than the chords. First I suggest to learn the minor pentatonic scale as this is the way most used scale in music. The pentatonic scale is the easiest, only five notes. What we do get the scale of Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do or c-d-e-f-g-a-h-c and omit two notes, from it the 2nd and the 6th notes. But don’t forget the original scale because sometimes we use that notes as well.
First the root note, it is very important, I didn’t understood it properly first, and this way the picture cannot come together. The root note of the scale which is usually starts the melody and come back there as well. This note is when you start something to sing like la la la, and naturally end up that note, because it is in harmony with the sound.
The music is simplified to play the root not, creat some tention and go back to the root note again, or repeat that kind of the pattern more times.
For start I suggest the 4/4 rhytm, which goes like one-two-three-four. It is also useful to use a tool, or you can make the rythm with your legs while playing with the same manner. Left leg-right leg- left leg-right leg. There are many more complicated rythms out there but for start is the most useful.
How the scale is build up ?
First the guitar has two octaves between the upper and the most high strings, so most scales on the guitar usually has two octaves at least. This is one position, you don’t need to move your hand to play the whole scale.
There are longer scales as well. The whole possible length is usually 3 or 4 octaves, simply there is not more space on the guitar. If the guitar has 24 frets, than it has 4 octaves. But most guitar has only 20 frets, so 4 frets is missing for a 4 octaves.
The scale is always starts at the root note and ands up there as well. Usually learning scales is memorizing patterns which often includes notes additionally compare to the root note (on the first and last string), but musically as we play it is important to start and end up on the root note.
Usually most songs has a key in which they play it. This is the root note, and the main melody is composed around it. There are other two notes which is very important, the 4th (subdominant) and the 5th note (dominant). In case of the C key these notes are the F and G. Mosts songs use these chords in different orders, like c-ffff-c c-f-g or cccc-f or cfcf and many other combinations. The 4th and the 5th notes create tention with the root note, but after we go back to the root note to release the tension.
How to find out the chords of a given song ?
If the song is in one key, which is like this most of the time the following chords built up the song (I assume the song is in C):
C (major root) d(minor) e(minor) F(major)G(major) a(root minor it is the same notes as the root but started on the 6th note) h(diminished, little more complicated chord we discuss later) C(back to the root).
This is not only true for the “C” key but good for any key, but the relative distances must be kept.
For example if we in F, we have F(root)g(minor second)a(minor third)A#(subdominant major)C(dominant)d(root minor)E(diminished)F(back to root).
Uppercase major, lowercase minor chords.
In order not to calculate to much I put all there below in all twelve keys:
|Root||Minor second||Minor third||Subdom.||Domin.||Root minor||Diminished||Root|
|D||e||fis||G||A||h root||Cis dim||D|
|Dis||f||g||Gis||Ais||c root||D dim||Dis|
|E||fis||gis||A||H||cis root||Dis dim||E|
|F||g||a||Ais||C||d root||E dim||F|
|Fis||gis||ais||H||Cis||dis root||F dim||Fis|
|G||a||h||C||D||e root||Fis dim||G|
|Gis||ais||c||Cis||Dis||f root||G dim||Gis|
|A||h||cis||D||E||fis root||Gis dim||A|
|Ais||c||d||Dis||F||g root||A dim||Ais|
|H||cis||dis||E||Fis||gis root||Ais dim||H|
|C||d||e||F||G||a root||H dim||C|
Most used keys are: C, G, D, E (blues, flamenco), A, F suggest to learn these ones first
If we find out the root than theoretically we know all the other chords as well, just we need to select from the chords.
Most used notes in the solo
For example we in C. You can find the most used notes in the solo, the notes in the chord in this case C E G. Usually these notes are repeated, bended, and heard more times.
If you right handed you pick the notes usually with your left hand’s fingers. I suggest to be simple and dedicate each finder a note, half step one after each other. This means you put index finger first on the first fret, after middle, ring and pinky fingers. Usually at the same position you go up and down the neck on all 6 strings.
If other notes are needed usually move your arm with all the fingers. I do not really like to stretch like get notes from 6,7 fret from each other, for beginning you certainly not want to do that.
minor scales – apart from the normal natural minor scale there are two more minor scales, the harmonic and melodic minor. These scales also build up on the natural minor scale but little altered.
Apart from the pentatonic, major and minor scales there are many more existing. The most useful is the phrigian dominant scale, which is similar to the harmonic minor.
Will be continued.