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
- Types of Guitars
- Shall we start learning guitar then?
- 7 Best Guitars for Beginners
- Few important things about guitar playing
Some guitar basics
Firstly, learn the anatomy of the guitar. Below is an image from sixstringacoustic.com showing the 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.
Types of Guitars
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.
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.
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.
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.
Major and Minor Chords
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.
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:
It is now time to pick up that guitar and start strumming.
7 Best Guitars for Beginners
Now, we will tell you about the 7 best guitars that a beginner can start off with. We will try to include durability and value for money for each guitar. Remember that this is a guide only to help you refer and make the best choices.
This article is only for acoustic guitars and for electric guitars (two most popular guitar types) the price range significantly goes up due to the technicality involved. There are different shapes sizes in acoustic guitars. You can get a full-sized, medium or small-sized guitar depending on your comfort level. There is no stopping once you have the right guitar in your hands!
Also, note that the best guitar is the one that feels just right in your hands. Trying a few guitars or getting someone to try it for you can help you make a better choice. With that said, let’s kick off our list of the 7 best guitars.
Cort AD810-OP Guitar
This may sound like a lesser-known company but let me tell you it’s not. There is a reason why this guitar has made on top of our list of the 7 best guitars for beginners. In fact, Cort makes guitars for some of the most popular brands like Fender and Ibanez. You can find plenty of low-budget models from Cort to suit a variety of music types. They have been in this business for 50+ years and they know exactly what you need!
- It has a dreadnought body made of laminate wood.
- Features a mahogany back that looks quite good.
- Great tone clarity with a tight bass.
- Standard sized body.
- Rosewood fretboard for durability.
These are just some of the features but this guitar has. Cort has kept beginners in mind while designing this guitar. The strums have a sweet tone to them and having open pores gives further improves the tone. The volume is also loud and makes you want to keep playing. Add a pickguard and it looks stunning!
Yamaha F310 Guitar
This is one of the best guitars for beginner level to intermediate levels. The price is a little high but it offers excellent value for money. Yamaha is a well-known brand for not just bikes but also for their keyboards and guitars. They don’t compromise on quality and will always deliver.
- Natural-finish laminate body.
- Full body size.
- Rosewood fretboard and bridge.
- Amazing tone clarity with good bass.
- Good playability.
- Decent volume, can sound better with good strings.
- Locally sourced wood with a glossy finish.
The reviews on amazon for the guitar are proof of the value it offers. The powerful bass along with the response makes it great to play. The action can be a little high when it’s new but once you start playing it sounds crisp.
Epiphone Pro-1 Guitar
Another guitar that has made it in our list of the 7 best guitars is the Epiphone Pro-1 Guitar. Known for its signature electric guitars, Epiphone from Gibson offers the best playability on this list. It is slightly more expensive than the Yamaha F310 but the features really make up for it. It is especially good for beginners as it has a low neck profile offering a very good grip.
- Special fretboard lubricant for smooth playing.
- Overall balanced sound with good tone and decent bass.
- Available in two-tone sunburst, black.
- Pin-less string through bridge.
This Epiphone guitar makes learning fun due to its playability. For the price range, it is one of the best-featured guitars. The clear and balanced tone highlights its sound projection, with good sustain as well.
Fender CD-60 Dread V3
No guitar list in the world is complete without a Fender! It is a well-known brand with lots of offerings in different price ranges. The Indian market has plenty of budget mentions from Fender. This particular one isn’t exactly cheap but it is just great for any beginner to fiddle with.
- Laminated spruce body.
- Offers a rich tone that goes with Fenders.
- Balanced sound with good clarity.
- Great build quality for the price.
- Walnut fretboard.
You can trust Fender to always deliver a product that never disappoints quality-wise. This one comes in black colour and sunburst that is so good on the eye(in your room as well!) Since Fenders are popular you can come across counterfeit ones, so be careful while buying online. It’s always good to visit a nearby store so you can play the guitar as well before buying it.
Another Yamaha guitar? We had to add this one due to the fact that it’s just so amazing! If you’re a bass-lover this guitar will just blow your mind. It sounds just as good as the 310 but with more features.
- On-board pickups with preamp.
- Equaliser system for customisation.
- Greater control with playing
- LED indicator for the battery on the preamp.
- Does not require a microphone for live performances.
If your guitar-playing goals are long-term, then look no further than this one. You won’t have to spend to upgrade once you’re ready to pay in front of an audience. The feature-rich equaliser onboard offers you customizability along with a loud bass that can impress. You may have to spend on an acoustic amplifier but it’s totally worth it!
One of the up and coming brands in India with budget offerings. This guitar is their premium offering and still falls in the price range below some of the Fenders and Yamaha ones. If you’re looking for something that looks premium and offers a decent life, you can check this out.
- Ashwood veneer body with an exotic finish.
- Balanced tone, not too rich.
- Adjustable truss rod.
- Lubricated machine heads.
Kadence Frontier Series
The Kadence brand of guitars have become quite popular in India and any guitar from this series offers great value for money. They look good as well so make sure to visit a store so you can choose better.
- Decent sound, overall balanced.
- Clarity is good but packs a punch for the price range.
- Rosewood bridge.
- Comes along with bag, strap and picks.
- Average playability.
Juarez JRZ38C Guitar
If your budget is tight or you’re looking for something more short-term, this guitar by Juarez is the pick. It has a good look that offers decent playability.
- Linden wood body.
- Ebony wood fretboard.
- Good grip.
This guitar is good if you’re a beginner who does not intend to spend too much on a musical instrument. It looks affordable and is not good for a professional look.
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!