Month: November 2012

A Novice Guitarist’s Guide: Tips for Beginners

An avid lacrosse player, Cliff Kigar is also a talented guitarist. He started playing a couple of years ago and has since enhanced his skill level, even performing Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” on stage with a local band at a venue named Hoggy’s in Delaware, Ohio. Novice guitarists like Cliff Kigar can run into several speed bumps when they try to learn too quickly, play too fast, or skip out on the fundamentals of playing guitar. This article will serve as a brief overview of the first steps an individual can take once he or she buys a guitar.

1. Learn how to hold the instrument. This depends on if you are right- or left-handed, but the guitar should rest on your right thigh and only touch the right half of your abdomen when sitting down.

2. Practice strumming. Once a beginner guitarist learns the rhythm of the down stroke (on the beat) and the upstroke (on the offbeat), he or she will be able to tackle more difficult strumming techniques. Tapping your foot also helps with this step.

3. Learn where to put your fingers. The tip of your finger should rest against the back end of the fret on the string you want to play. Remember to press somewhat hard so that the strings won’t buzz against the other frets.

4. Relax. Playing guitar is a skill that feels more natural with time, and the more relaxed your body is while you are holding the instrument, the easier and more quickly you will understand the fundamentals of playing guitar.