Guitar Lessons Online: Meet your Guitar

Author: classic-guitars  //  Category: Guitar Lessons Online
Luis BONVIN asked:

So, you got your new guitar, and you are ready to start learning to play it. Of course, you are very excited. And, perhaps, a little troubled, too. Now, let us meet your new guitar, to start a long and rich friendship.

Always remember to treat your guitar the same way you treat a person you are fond of. Pick it slowly and with caution. Caress it. Handle it with care. Learn to have a feeling of fondly care, not a feeling of fear.

Now, let us go through the following steps, so you will get acquainted with your new guitar:

Get your new guitar tuned, or tune it yourself, at least roughly (that will be the topic of a new article coming soon).

Sit properly, with your left leg standing on something five to six inches high. Feel your body, legs and arms relaxed.

Place your guitar on your raised left leg. The tuning machine should be at the same level as your head. Place your right arm on the guitar body. About your left hand, as you will not fret any string by now, it does not matter where you place it, as long as it does not interfere with the sound. Try to feel most comfortable.

As in the next steps we will be talking about strings, you should learn, first, that guitar strings are named, from bottom to top: first (the thinnest), second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth (the thickest) strings.

Well, let us now get into the action! Make a downward stroke (strumming), playing all six strings with the nail of your right hand middle finger. Make it neither very slow nor quite fast. Make it tenderly. Wow! That was your first sound out of your guitar! Did you like it? Sure you did. Can you do it better? You bet!

Try again. And again. And again. Not less than twenty or thirty times. Every time you play it, try to find out what you did not like, and focus on doing it better the next time.

Do the same downward strumming, but now using the fleshy part (not the nail) of your right hand thumb fingertip. Again, make it neither very slow nor quite fast. And make it tenderly. Not less than twenty to thirty times. Focusing on doing it better the every time.

Now play the sixth, fifth and fourth strings with a downward plucking motion of your right hand thumb finger. It does not matter, by now, whether you pluck them with the nail or with the fleshy fingertip. Then, without interruption, and with an upward plucking motion, play the third string with your index finger, the second string with your middle finger, and the first string with your ring finger. Again, it does not matter, by now, whether you pluck them with the nail or with the fleshy fingertip. Play all strings slowly; you are not strumming.

Do that not less than twenty to thirty times, focusing, more than ever, on doing it better every time.

Do all exercises several times, taking a break every time you feel tired, or feel a sore back, shoulder, arm or hand. All that is usual at the beginning.

From now on, you will bear in mind that every time you play your guitar your most important second goal (we will discuss the first in a new article coming soon) will be sound quality: a clean musical sound. Do not ever forget it even for a single second: sound quality!

Well, now you surely are much more familiar with your new guitar.

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