Learning to Play Guitar

Learning to Play Guitar

Paul Topazio, Staff Writer

Before learning to play the guitar, it is important to identify the components with which you are working with.  It’s not essential to go into great depth when learning about the parts, so you will only have to worry about the body, neck, frets, sound hole, and headstock.  The body is most commonly made out of wood and determines the shape of your guitar and the resonance of your sound. The neck of your guitar connects to the body and provides a base for your strings to run across along with a position for your frets. The frets of your guitar are the metal bits that run perpendicular to the strings across the entirety of the neck.  There are usually 20 to 24 frets on the average guitar, and every odd numbered fret (starting at the top, and making its way down) is marked by some form of inlay.  The twelfth fret is usually marked with a special symbol, as it produces a note that is a full octave higher than those played on the open note (I’ll get into this with more detail in a later lesson).  The sound hole is the pit in the center of the front of the guitar and behind the strings, and it is where the musician is supposed to strum above.  Finally, the headstock is found at the end of the guitar’s neck and is essential as it holds the tuners which allow the guitarist to maintain his or her strings. Refer to the article photo for reference.

The second step of this process is learning how to correctly hold your instrument.  If you are right handed, you want to position your guitar so that the neck is facing front and is positioned to your left, and the body is cradled comfortably on your right leg; it is vice versa if you are left handed.  Before you learn to strum, you want to comfortably hold your pick between your thumb and pointer finger and position your hand above the sound hole so that your arm forms a weak right angle.

Next week’s edition of the Omega will feature a continuation of this lesson with part 2 of guitar basics.  The next article will cover tuning, some of the basic guitar chords, and the correct way to interpret tabs.

Photo Credits: https://www.quora.com/I-am-totally-new-to-guitar-and-what-is-the-first-thing-I-need-to-learn; https://ledgernote.com/columns/guitar-guru/how-to-play-guitar/