5. Changing Chords
Hopefully by now you’re at the stage where you can strum at least a couple of chords. Now here is the frustrating thing about learning guitar. Or any instrument for that matter! Just when you think you are getting somewhere, along comes the next thing you need to learn. It is normally more difficult too. Changing chords is no exception. You’ve got a bit of confidence up by playing through those first chords however, there is nothing quite like learning to change chords to bring you back down to earth. Indeed, this is the most common time when students drop out.
Ok. We’ve gone through some really basic stuff now. If I’m being honest, which I am, you don’t really need those first 3 sections to get playing. What you really need are some chords!
I’m not even going to bore you with a ‘text book’ definition of what Chords are. All you need to know is when you listen to music the chords form the basis of the song. Typically you would have a guitar, piano or keyboard playing chords. You might then have some drums adding a rhythm and a bass adding some notes to beef up the rhythm section.
3. Knowing your Fretboard
By now you should have become familiar with the String names. You can now start to learn where the notes occur along the fretboard. This isn’t essential for learning how to play guitar. It is however good practise and you should just do it! The musical ‘alphabet’ runs from A through to G. We also have Sharps and Flats – these are the black keys on a piano/keyboard. On this sheet we are just concentrating on where the main notes are. So we are talking A, B, C, D, E, F & G. For now…
2. Anatomy of The Guitar
Another very simple subject. What all the parts on the guitar are called. You don’t need to sit and memorise these like we used to do with times tables. It’s just useful to have sitting around for reference. There’s an Electric and an Acoustic version.
1. The Guitar Strings
About as basic as it gets this one. Each String is tuned to a note. That note becomes the ‘name’ of the string. The thickest string is called The Bottom E String or 6th String. We then go through A String – 5th String, D String – 4th String, G String (chuckle) – 3rd String, B String – 2nd String and finally The Top e String – 1st String. I always try and write my top e string in lowercase. The thinnest string/lowercase e.