Guitar Classes for Kids: A Quick Guide to Learn Guitar

Types of Guitars

The most popular stringed instrument and played by millions on the planet! A guitar is a simple instrument usually having six strings but sometimes more. The internet is a place where you can find many guides and learning to play the guitar is fairly easy. In this guide to learn guitar, we will understand the basics of learning this amazing musical instrument.

Like any musical instrument, it can be a little intimidating to learn the guitar but you have to remember that consistency is key to learning almost anything in this fast-paced world. Many guitar players give up halfway because they think they cannot do it or because it became boring after a while. Remember that doing it consistently can give you amazing results!

Some guitar basics for you to start with:

Firstly, learn the anatomy of the guitar. Below is an image from sixstringacoustic.com showing the basic parts of a guitar:

Basic parts of a guitar
Basic parts of a guitar

We are going to start with an acoustic guitar. It has a wooden body and the hole in the middle facilitates the sounds that come out of a guitar. For starters, it is good to learn the main parts – the neck, the fretboard and the bridge. The neck is the part that is above the body and holds the tension for the strings to ring out. The fretboard has lines on it which means you have to use your left hand to play notes or chords – if you’re right hand dominant. And vice-versa. Left-handed guitars are available as well!

A fret is each individual rectangle on the fretboard. There are dots on the fretboard to tell you the number. For example, the first dot shows the fifth fret, the next one has two dots showing the seventh fret, and so on! And finally, the connection between the headstock and the bridge are the strings.

Let’s learn the popular types of guitar. The acoustic guitar is the most popular type. Follows that is the electric guitar. It uses a device called an amplifier to produce sound.

Types of Guitars
Types of Guitars

Shall we start learning guitar then?

Guitar learning can be fairly easy if you know what you’re doing. You can play it sitting down or standing up, whichever is comfortable. Left and right-hand coordination is the basic element of guitar playing. You can use a pick or your hands to play. A pick is an extra accessory you can use to strum the chords. It is a triangle-shaped plastic or nylon accessory.

The first musical aspect you must know – notes. Notes are nothing but each individual note on the guitar. Before that, it is essential to remember the direction of strings. On a guitar, the string which is the last/low e is the first string and thus you go upwards.

notes names
notes names

Looks complex? Don’t worry! The notes of the musical scale are – A B C D E F G. Do you see a thick line in the image with the letters E A D G B E? These are the open notes, meaning they are notes when you play each string without touching the fretboard. This shows the tuning of the guitar. You can use a tuner to make sure your guitar sounds like a guitar!

An important thing to note here is the spacing between notes. Only the B C and E F have a half-interval, meaning they are one behind the other. Other notes on the guitar have a full interval, meaning they have a space of one fret in between them.

Chords:

We will learn about one of the most important musical aspects of guitar playing – chords!

A chord is nothing but multiple notes played together. Strumming, which means a downward/upward movement with your non-fretting hand playing all the strings, is the way to play chords. There are four types of chords in guitar playing. Major, minor, diminished and augmented. Let’s not head in this direction and complicate things.

For now, we shall get into major and minor chords. A major chord is one that has the 1st,3rd and 5th degrees. To make it simple, let’s take the C major chord. It should have the root(C, in this case), the third note above C(E) and the fifth note above C(G). So when you find these notes on the fretboard, you will see that the C major chord looks like this: C D E F G A B C.

The full dots show where you must press upon and the empty dots show the open notes.
The full dots show where you must press upon and the empty dots show the open notes.

In this way, you can construct any major chord! The only way to find out is by trying out the notes individually and then strumming. Put your ears to the test and find out how they sound.

The only difference between a major and minor chord is that the 3rd degree becomes flat. This means that instead of holding down on the 3rd degree if you hold down the flattened 3rd(one fret below the 3rd). Learn patterns like these and practice them to lay the foundations of your guitar playing.

Here is an example of a minor chord:

The 'x' on the last string shows that it must not be played.
The ‘x’ on the last string shows that it must not be played.

It is now time to pick up that guitar and start strumming.

It is good to remember a few important things about guitar playing:

Before we finish this guide t learn guitar, it is important to remember the following-

  • Learn the notes and practice them everyday. No amount of theory learning can convert into practical learning. But that doesn’t mean you completely ignore the theory part!
  • Chords are the basic foundation of music no matter which type of music you choose to play.
  • Consistent practice is the only way to get better. You can never stop learning!
  • Have a warmup routine before you practice. This helps warming your fingers up to play for long periods and also – muscle memory!
  • The internet can help you only to a certain extent and the rest is up to you!
  • And finally, remember not to hold expectations to start playing complex songs with a few hours of practice. It takes a while but it is going to be worth it!

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and start learning how to rock!

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