Before You Play
- Having a good instrument (either an acoustic or electric guitar) is important. Ask your teacher if you want advice on what instrument/brand/model to purchase.
- Know the parts of your guitar; the head, body and neck. Make sure all the strings are there before play.
- Use a comfortable stool or a chair (without arm rests) that has no hindrances.
- Hold your guitar correctly – sit up straight, hold the guitar against your stomach and chest, make sure the thinnest string (No.1) is closest to the ground and the thickest string (No.6) is closest to the ceiling.
- Make sure your guitar is tuned properly to EADGBE (top to bottom) – an easy way to remember it is Every Amateur Does Get Better Eventually or Elephants and Donkeys Grow Big Ears! You can use an electric tuner, tuner apps or a piano/keyboard to tune your guitar correctly.
- Make sure you use a pick (or plectrum) – Hold the pick by grasping it perpendicular to your fist between your index finger and your thumb.
- Make sure you have a notepad and pen/pencil handy in order to make quick notes or jot down ideas/questions.
Starting to Play
- Don’t hold the guitar or pick too tight as this can cause discomfort and problems while playing.
- Read the music before you begin so that you know what is to be played.
- Use a metronome is important as this will help you play the exercise or song in the intended tempo. You can begin slowly and pick up the speed once you are more confident with the song.
- Practice the warm up exercises, scales and songs that your guitar teacher has asked you to.
- Play for shorter durations on a regular basis to get your fretting hand used to the finger pain. Regular play will create calluses on your fingertips and reduce the pain.