How to Play Guitar for Beginners

If this is your first time picking up a guitar and you want to learn how to play your favourite songs, it is all about learning the simple fundamentals for a beginner. The better you are with simple chords, simple strumming patterns, and simple picking, the better equipped you will be to move on to more complex music.

Time and effort are the only things standing between you and playing the songs you want to play on guitar. Here is how to play guitar for beginners.

1. Learn the parts of the instrument

Learn what each part of the guitar does. The headstock has tuning pegs which control how each string is tuned. The nut creates tension on the strings. The neck of the guitar contains the fretboard. The guitar’s body is where the soundhole is and where the resonance of the wood originates.

2. Learn your basic guitar tuning

The standard guitar tuning is, from low to high, E-A-D-G-B-E. Most beginners will not be able to tune by ear, but using an electric tuner or downloading a guitar tuner app on your smartphone, will be all you need to successfully tune each string to the correct note.

Any time before you start playing, check each string’s tuning to make sure you’re hitting all the right notes.

3. Choose the right guitar

Finding a guitar that is easy to play and represents your personality is the goal of buying a guitar as the fretboard feels. The shape of the guitar. The guitar finish, whether it’s classic guitar lacquer, oil, wax, or something else. All these characteristics impact the right guitar to play for you.

4. Start by learning chords

The first place to start learning how to play guitar for beginners is by learning a few simple open chords. The best open chords to start with are E minor, E, A, A minor, C, D, D minor, and G.

There are thousands of songs you can play with a combination of these basic chords. This will build confidence in your abilities on the guitar.

5. Focus on your strumming

Different chord shapes take up your left hand, but most of the hard work on the guitar comes with strumming or picking. This is where beginner guitarists will want to focus a lot of time. Learn as many strumming patterns as you can. If you prefer fingerpicking, there are many patterns to follow that can be found by searching out guitar tabs and lessons online.

6. Switching between chords

As you get better at strumming with your right hand, you want to return your attention to the left hand. Ensure all the strings are ringing out on your chords. Focus on easy movement from one chord to the next. Allow your fingers the chance to build some strength. Before long, the common chords we mentioned will be memorized, and switching will become intuitive, but practice makes perfect.

7. Find high-quality guitar tabs

You can search for guitar tablature or guitar tabs for your favourite songs online. They will tell you the chords and individual notes to play. You can learn guitar solos, fingerpicking, and various simple and complex techniques. As you grow your skillset, most beginner guitar players rely on tabs to get better and better.

8. Play the genre and the songs you want to play

We are all inspired by different music. A beginner on guitar needs inspiration to keep going and a reason to play. For that reason, zero in on songs that you want to play. Be realistic. Make sure they’re achievable. That said, if you want to play blues, there is no point in learning classical metal, or if you want to play country or rock, play country or rock. Focus on what makes you happy hearing come from your instrument.

9. Always learn songs slower than they are

Someone can spend a lifetime learning the guitar. There are endless avenues to go down. Different genres. Different techniques. Different styles. Different scales. There are all sorts of stuff one can learn on the guitar.

As a beginner, go easy on yourself. Slow down songs to learn the proper technique to play them. When you’re ready, speed up what you’re doing to match the original tempo of the piece.

10. Play a little bit every day

Be ready to commit to getting better. A beginner on guitar requires a little practice every day. It doesn’t take much. Even 15 minutes a day is enough to sharpen one’s skills.

If you can commit to practicing at least 15 minutes daily, you will be surprised by how far you get within a month or two on your instrument of choice. Frequency of practice is important. This is the only way to keep progressing and to see improvement.