Tuesday 31 Jan 2012
This is the FIRST guitar lesson that I teach EVERY new student.
No matter the style of playing, EVERY student must understand a few basic principle techniques that they will use for the rest of their guitar playing.
THIS is the guitar lesson that covers them!
I’m going to break this down into some basic bite-sized pieces:
- Posture – Make sure that your guitar is supported by your guitar strap (don’t have it too low to play your chords correctly. No amount of “cool look” replaces bad playing). If you are not using a guitar strap, make sure that your guitar is supported by your legs, arm/body etc. so that you are NOT holding the guitar in place with your fretting hand. Doing so will insure that you won’t be able to play chords/scales well.
- Hold the guitar pick comfortably, but firmly between the index and thumb.
- Hint: If you are doing a lot of heavy acoustic-type strumming, check out some thinner picks, instead of medium and heavy gauge. They will tend to pull out of your hand when strumming the guitar, if they are too thick. Also, if you do go with a thin pick, get “nylon” type guitar picks as they tend not to split like standard picks do. Save the medium and heavy gauge picks for more intricate electric or acoustic playing. I use all different gauges depending on what I’m playing. My rule is: the more intricate the picking the heavier the gauge and vice-versa.
- FINGERTIPS!!! This is THE #1 rule for ALL beginner guitar players. For the fretting-hand, play on your fingertips! Playing on the “pads” of your fingers, is bad practice and will make for sloppy playing and all sorts of frustration later down the road. A good rule of thumb to remember is: ALWAYSkeep your top knuckle of the fretting-hand curved. The more, the better as a hard, fast rule. The only exception to this is if you are doing bar chords or double-stops.
Need some more pointers on this topic?
Watch my video below and then leave me a comment to let me know if it helped you.
Erich Andreas has been playing and teaching guitar for nearly 30 years. He has taught 100s of students for 1000s of hours, has authored several books on the subject, has over 40,000,000 video views on his collective YouTube channels and is passionate about creating guitar ninjas all over the world. His philosophy is, if you have the right instruction and do the practice there is NOTHING that you cannot accomplish!