How to play a guitar
©2016 W. KUFAKUNESU ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This book is designed to teach absolute beginners to intermediate guitar players who would want to learn or increase their guitar playing skills.
If you are reading this book it means that you either want to learn or increase your guitar playing skills, let me assure you, you are at the right place. In this book I will teach you how to play a guitar from the scratch. That is even if you are a first timer you will be ready to play in no time. All you need to do is to go through all the parts in this book. By the time you will get to the last part you will be able to play a song.
Go through the book step by step.
Do not give up till the end, sometimes things may be hectic and too much to understand, just take a rest and try again every time you come back you will be better.
Do not try to fully understand everything at the start, just get a basic understanding and pass, everything will make light in the future.
Playing a guitar is more about practice, the more you play the better you become.
I wish you luck and a better and quick understanding.
If you think this book is too shallow for you go and check out my other book for advance beginners and intermediate players.
How to play a guitar
A guitar has a lot of parts but I won’t bother you with all the unnecessary parts. The only important parts are those which you use when playing a guitar.
The strings (acoustic) are arranged with the thickest string on top and the thinnest string at the bottom. The strings of a guitar are arranged in a common way called the standard tuning. The order is E A D G B E. This is the order which is mostly likely to be on each and every guitar but this order can be changed into any order to suit your song.
Nb. The thickest string is called the bottom or low E string and the bottom or the thinnest string is called the high E or the top string despite their positions, this is because of the notes in music were the hoarse notes are the low notes and the sharp notes are the high notes.
Standard tuning [* E- A-D- G- B- E *]
A guitar has up to twenty one frets. On most of the guitars there is a dot or a marking of some sort on the 3rd fret 5th fret, 7th fret, 9th fret, 12th fret, and the 15th fret.
From the first dot on the third fret, you skip one fret to land on the other dot on the fifth fret, this is the same up to the dot on the 11th fret where you skip two frets to the 14th and two more to the 17th fret.
These markings maybe on the frets or on the side of a guitar or both, either way the main reason for these markings is to make it easier for the player to know the position which you are on when playing the guitar.
Playing a guitar
When playing a guitar, you can either strum the strings all together or pick each string solely.
When holding a guitar chord you can use any fingers you want, however you should make sure that you are comfortable with the position and the way you are holding the will make it easy for you to transition to the next chord.
Practice and learn
These are some of the symbols which I will use in this book to stand for the right and left hand.
Thumb – T. T
Index – I or 1
Middle. – M or 2
Ring. – R or 3
Pinky. – P or 4
There are four most basic and common chords which are Eminor, Cmajor, Gmajor and Dmajor, but in this book I will teach you how to play six chord. I will add on the Aminor chord and the Fmajor chord which is a bar chord.
FIRST DRILL. STRUMMING
Em M- 2nd fret 5th string
R- 2nd fret 4th string
C I- 1st fret 2nd string
M- 2nd fret 4th string
R – 3rd fret 5th string
G. R- 3rd fret 6th string
M- 2nd fret 5th string
P- 3rd fret 1st. String
D I- 2nd fret 3rd string
R- 3rd fret 2nd string
M- 2nd fret 3rd string
Play the sequence Em – C –D -G
Hold the Eminor chord and strum downwards 4 times
Then change to C and play again 4 down strokes
Continue with the sequence till you get to the last chord (D)
This is the first round
Now play one a down stroke on each chord following the sequence
This is the second round
Pay these two rounds together to make the full drill.
Continue playing and every time try to increase your tempo (pace).
Nb. When holding a chord your fingers should be in between the fret markers
If you hear a buzzing or a muting sound it means that you are either not pressing hard enough on the string or you are you are pressing on the fret marker so hold your chord tightly or place your fingers in between the fret
Tip. It is much more comfortable to hold a chord if the thumb follows your middle finger. That is if you place your thumb somewhat close to the fret which the middle finger is holding.
For fast and smooth transition try not to move your whole hand but rather move the fingers only and for those chord transitions where you only change some few string and the others are the same, do not lift the finger at all
SECOND DRILL PICKING
T – 6th, 5th and 4th strings
I – 3rd
R – 1st
P - The pinky finger may be used for balance. You can place it on the board to guide your hand- this not a must.
In this drill we are playing the sequence G- Em- Am- D
You are already familiar with the other chords except Am, if not go back to the previous part and check again
Am I- 1st fret 2nd string
M-2nd fret 4th string
R- 2nd fret 3rd string
Play the sequence G-Em-Am-D
Hold the G chord first and play
[* G- 6- 3 -2- 1 *]
Use your thumb to pluck the 6th string and then use your index to play the 3rd string, middle-2nd string and ring plays -1 s, still holding the G chord play going upwards, 2nd,3rdand 4th string. The 2nd using your middle finger 3rd index finger and 4th with the thumb.
That is the full bar, play it twice. Continue the same sequence for Em and then change to C. Now the root or the lower note is the A or the 5th string. Start on 5th string and end on the 4th and play it twice
The same sequence goes on to Am and then change to D. This time the root note is the 4th string for D. Start at the 4th and end at the 4th
The sequence and strings
[* G 6 - 3- 2- 1- 2- 3- 4 *]
[* Em 6 - 3- 2- 1- 2- 3- 4 *]
[* Am 5 - 3- 2- 1- 2- 3- 4 *]
[* D 4 - 3- 2- 1- 2- 3 -4 *]
Notice. Only the first or root note is changing with the chord, everything else stays the same.
For each chord play twice
This technique takes a little time to master but it is super easy so be patient.
Practice at least ten rounds at a time.
After you have mastered this technique go back to part2 and practice the strumming with the root not remember the lower note for chord C is A/5string
F bar the 1st fret with your index finger
M – 2nd fret 3rd string
R – 3rd fret 5th string
P – 3rd fret. 4th string
Hold any chord e.g. C and play 3 times downwards strokes and then change to F, then play 3 downwards strokes.
Keep on playing with this intervals and then change the first chord when you are used to it.
Playing a song
In this part I will teach you how to play ALL OF ME by John Legend. If you are not familiar with the track I suggest you take time to listen to it first and the try to play the song.
Put a capo on the first fret of your guitar, if you do not have a capo never mind you can still play the song without a capo.
Play the sequence
Play 3 downwards strokes on each chord and try to mimic the piano being played on the song.
You can play this for the whole song, however you can add on a bridge by holding an Em chord and playing it twice before getting into the chorus.
For the chorus, you can play G-Em-Am-D. Strum or pick each chord twice.
You can spice up your song by picking the sequence in part one
Congratulations you just played your first song
This book is designed to teach absolute beginners to intermediate guitar players who would want to learn or increase their guitar playing skills. If you are reading this book it means that you either want to learn or increase your guitar playing skills, let me assure you, you are at the right place. In this book I will teach you how to play a guitar from the scratch. That is even if you are a first timer you will be ready to play in no time. All you need to do is to go through all the parts in this book. By the time you will get to the last part you will be able to play a song.