Guitar Lesson #1 - The Big Picture

I've been thinking for many days about how to come up with the simplest way to help you guys learn the guitar online in an easy and effective way. Well, I don't think I can come up with a solid 100% foolproof guide so I will just try my best to help you all out. I will explain everything as if you all are complete beginners that don't know anything about the guitar (even though some of you already have the basics). So pardon me if I appear to be insulting your intelligence! wa haha... if you feel that I missed out some stuff that are important,

Guitar lesson #1 will just be an introduction to guitar and music - basically I want to give you the big picture of the guitar.

Types of Guitar

As we all know there are different types of guitars and different styles of guitar. Basically there are 3 main kinds of guitars that people play, the classical guitar, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. Im sure you know how does the electric guitar looks like so I wont have to explain much. Electric guitars can only be heard while playing through amplification. Unlike the acoustic guitar and classical guitar, they do not need amplification as their body are made hollow and sound can be produced. What's the difference between the classical and acoustic guitar? The first difference is that classical guitar uses nylon strings while acoustic guitar (folk guitars) uses steel strings. Thus the sound produced are different. Acoustic guitar produces a brighter tone than classical guitar. Another difference is the neck. Classical guitars have a wider neck as compared to acoustic guitars. Reason is because as classical guitars are used to play classical songs, chords/arpeggios, strings have to be wider apart so that single notes can be played and heard more efficiently. For acoustic guitars, necks are narrower and acoustic guitars are usually used for music like folk, country, jazz, pop and blues. Lastly, acoustic guitar usually have a slightly bigger shaped body. Therefore they produce louder sounds.

Types of playing

There are many ways to play a guitar but personally I would catergorise the types of playing into 2 broad groups - Plucking and Strumming.

Plucking is where strings are plucked to form melodies. In guitar plucking itself there are many ways to pluck. You can pluck it with fingers (like how classical music is being played) or with a plectrum (guitar pick) like how electric guitarists play. There are also techniques like hammering, pulling, tremolo.. But basically you just have to know that plucking can be done by fingers/plectrums. ;)

Strumming is when a few notes are pressed together to form a chord, and then the strings are strummed to produce a nice sound. You've seen how people sing with a guitar, and that's called strumming. ;) 

So after knowing these little fundamentals, what do you have to learn to start playing the guitar? Of course it depends on what kind of music do you wanna play from what kind of guitar. If you want to play classical music, a set of techniques have to be learnt. If you want to play acoustic/electric, well other different techniques are used.

How about let's just say you want to learn the very basics of a normal acoustic guitar? Here's what you need to learn:

-How to read chord diagrams
-How to read guitar tabs
-How to form different chords (open chords, barre chords, power chords etc.. )
-How to strum nicely to a song
-How to pluck to a song

After learning the above, it's more than enough to start playing songs that you like. So that's what Im going to help you all in the next Guitar Lesson #2 - How to read a chord diagram

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