Learning how to play guitar makes for a great hobby and even profession. If you are a beginner, we suggest you learn how to properly hold a guitar before moving forward to actual playing. At first, there may be many challenges you will encounter. Simply remember that practice makes perfect and once you master down how to hold a guitar, it will make the rest of the process easier.

Why Proper Holding of a Guitar Is Important

This may not seem very important, however, when a guitar is held improperly not only will it create bad habits for the player, but it will also cause body pain down the road. Improper holding of a guitar – including posture – can result in neck, back, arm, shoulder or wrist pain.

Like exercise or working out at a gym, when your technique is incorrect, and you don’t fix it right way, you develop bad habits that are often difficult to get rid of. This means you are exposing yourself to getting hurt or developing muscular problems down the road.

 

The Importance of Your Sitting Position

Let’s start talking basics! You want to begin with a comfortable sitting position. Pull over your favorite chair and have a seat. With your feet resting on the floor, keep your back straight before bringing the waist of the guitar on top of your leg. If you are right handed, you’ll want to place in on your right leg and vice versa if you are left handed.

 

Keep in mind that the back of the guitar should fall nicely on your stomach or chest. Play around with it until you find a comfortable position. Make sure that the neck of the guitar is horizontal to the floor. Once you have this down you’re set to learn the basics of hand positions and consequently begin learning how to play.

 

Every day, practice picking up your guitar and bringing it to the correct position until you before so comfortable with holding your guitar that it becomes second nature. This is a crucial step in learning how to play guitar because improper posture can lead to bad practice habits. The last thing you want are the uncomfortable side effects or muscle pains we discussed earlier.

 

Additional Tips

There are a few other things you can do to make this an easy, enjoyable process. For instance, consider investing in a footstool. This will give you better control of the guitar and make it more comfortable to hold. Very inexpensive, you can pick up a footstool at any music store or online. If you want to play standing up, consider buying a strap. You can obtain a decent strap for as little as $15.

 

Another useful tip is watching videos and tutorials online if you are unsure of how to hold a guitar. Or you can also call a friend, relative, or even a teacher with experience and spend some time with them perfecting your form. Trust us, this will pay off in the long haul!

If you want to learn to play the guitar, it is essential to begin with the basics. One of the most fundamental things you will need to know in playing the guitar is how to properly strum it. In any song you play, you will be strumming the guitar over and over, so you want to make sure that you have practiced enough to be able to do so effortlessly and easily without thinking about it. Doing this helps you to progress much more quickly through guitar lessons.

Without further ado, this is everything you need to know about how to strum a guitar:

 

To Pick or Not to Pick? 

For many users, it is easier to use a pick, especially when you are just beginning. It’s not a requirement to use a pick when playing the guitar, but especially when you are just starting out, we recommend using one.

If you don’t have a pick or would prefer not to use one, there is nothing wrong with that. Instead, try using your index finger and thumb to strum the strings.

If you have one on hand, however, it is best to at least try to use the pick at first.

 

Getting Started

How you grip your pick and the angle that you use when strumming is going to be up to you. What’s most important, though, is consistency. You will find best results if you try different things until you find what is comfortable for you, and then stick with that. This will help you to produce a similar sound every time.

The next thing you need to do before you start strumming is relax. It’s common for new players to lock up their wrist and strum from their elbow. This can result in a lot of tension and an unnatural sound. Instead, strum naturally and with relaxation. One good technique is to pretend you are trying to flick off a feather that is stuck to your finger by a bit of honey. With that in mind, most of your motion will come from the wrist. Keep the feather and honey analogy in mind until you have perfected your strumming skills.

 

Mastering the Downstroke 

It’s wise to begin with a little downstroke strumming. Don’t worry about knowing any chords yet – for now, we’re just focusing on your strumming technique. Either mute the strings or play a chord if you know one. With the pick in your hand in whatever way is comfortable for you, place it at your preferred angle and strum through all six strings in a downward motion, keeping the honey and feather analogy in mind.

It may not feel natural at first, but in time, you’ll get the hang of it. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable with it.

 

The Upstroke and Beyond

Once you have mastered the downstroke, it is time to move on to the upstroke. To do this, you use the exact same technique, but strumming upwards instead. As you did with the downstroke, repeat this process until you feel comfortable with it.

The next step is to combine your upstrokes and downstrokes. Even if you don’t know a chord yet, you can mute the strings – but try and strum up and down over and over until you get the feel of strumming a guitar! This may take you awhile to get into the rhythm of it, but in no time, this movement will come naturally to you with a little bit of perseverance.

And there you have it – you now have mastered the art of strumming a guitar and can move on to the next step in learning to play this great instrument!

Resources for guitar learners:

Find a guitar teacher for lessons near you: http://www.findatutornearme.com/guitar-lessons/
Find the best guitars for beginners: http://www.findatutornearme.com/best-guitars-beginners/

If you have decided to learn to play the guitar, one of the first things you are going to need to learn is how to hold a guitar pick. This is one of the basics of learning to become a guitar player, and it is fairly simple to get the hang of once you practice at it a little bit. Once you know how to hold a guitar pick, you can move on to learning how to strum a guitar, play chords, and combine them to create your favorite tunes.

Of course, it all comes back to holding that guitar pick. Without being able to do this, it can be difficult (and hard on your fingers) to learn how to play the guitar, so don’t put this lesson off if you are hoping to become an expert guitar player one day – or any type of guitar player, for that matter.

Without further ado, here is everything you need to learn about holding a guitar pick to ensure your best success in your musical endeavors.

 

The Basics

First of all, it is important to acknowledge that different guitar players will hold their guitar pick differently. Everyone has something different that is most comfortable for them, and that is what it is all about. If you are holding your guitar pick in a way that is twists your wrist or is uncomfortable for your fingers, then your music is going to come out sounding strained – because you are strained. So as you read on, remember that the most important thing is that you are comfortable.

That is not to say that holding a guitar pick will feel natural to you at first. It all comes with practice, but as you play more and learn the feel of your guitar, you will naturally adjust your position and the way you hold the pick within your fingers. By doing this, you will be able to find that “sweet spot” that works best for you as a guitar player.

When holding your guitar pick, you don’t want to grip it too hard or too loosely. With the former option, you may end up in pain, tense, and eliciting a bad sound. However, with the latter, the pick would end up flying out of your hand!

Guitar picks come in a wide range of weight and thicknesses, but as a beginner, you will likely prefer a lightweight one. Feel free to try out different types of picks until you find the one that is right for you!

 

Getting Started

You will want to hold the pick in your dominant hand and fret with your other hand. So, if you are right handed, hold the pick in your right hand. Shake out your hands to get all the tension out and relax. Then, pick up your pick and turn your hand, so your thumb is facing you. Insert your pick between the middle of the index finger and the thumb, with the pointed end sticking out. The pick should be sitting under your thumb with about half an inch sticking out. For strumming, allot a bit of extra space. For accuracy, a smaller tip allows you to get closer to the guitar strings.

 

Strum the Guitar 

From there, you can begin to strum the guitar by moving the pick from the thickest string downwards. This will give you an idea of how the pick feels in your hand. You can naturally adjust the angle you are holding the pick at or the angle you are strumming from to get a feel for what is most comfortable for you. With practice, you will begin to find the method that is most comfortable for you, and it will feel natural as you become a more experienced guitar player.

There you have it! Now you know how to hold a guitar pick! From here, you can begin to learn the next step of playing a guitar with the confidence that you have your pick technique mastered! You can also learn which guitars are best for newbies here.

 

 

The purchase of a guitar makes for an exciting, yet overwhelming process. There are so many options that narrowing down your search seems endless. We have composed a helpful list of 5 factors to consider before buying a guitar to ensure you’re happy with your purchase.

  1. Purpose

This reason is very straight forward. Why are you guitar shopping? Perhaps you are an experienced guitar player and it is time for a new, updated style. Or maybe you just want to learn something new and playing guitar seems perfect! Whatever your purpose, it is important to have a clear reason of your intentions so that you can find a guitar at a reasonable price and that fits your needs. You also might want to consider contacting a teacher before buying a guitar. They will have tips for buying one depending on your needs.

  1. Budget

Once you have established a purpose, an important question is how much you are willing to spend. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a top brand like a Fender or Taylor. If this is your first purchase, don’t worry too much about the names. Instead, focus on how it feels when you play it and how it sounds. While quality is important, you want to like what you are buying, especially if you are just starting out.

  1. Used or New?

Don’t push away the idea of buying a used guitar. This is a good way to know what you’re getting into before paying full price. Having in mind what to look for will help you score a great deal on a used guitar. Just like when buying a used car, you want to inspect the guitars sound and quality. Is it in good shape?

  1. Type

Are you looking for an acoustic or electric guitar? If you are unsure, think about the style of music you enjoy and would like to play. Talk to a friend or experience guitar player to learn about the pros and cons of each. You really can’t go wrong with either, but doing your research beforehand will save you a lot of time at the guitar shop.

  1. Online Shopping

While surfing the web for a guitar is a great way to familiarize yourself with brands or styles you may want, we suggest you stay away from online shopping if you haven’t done it before. Even though this may seem like the more convenient option, it is much better to walk into a shop and get a feel for the guitar you are looking for. This will save you time, money, and energy in the case that your online purchased guitar does not work for your tastes and needs. With that said, buying a guitar online is very easy, so you might still want to purchase on online. Here is our post on the best guitars for beginners.

So, should you buy a guitar? More than likely, if you are on this site, the answer is yes! You are committed to a purchase; however, you may be unsure about how to get the most out of your money. Keeping the above information in mind will help you come to an informed decision that you are happy with. We wish you the best of luck on your guitar search journey and happy shopping!

Guitar Strings: What’s available, and which ones should you buy?

How does a guitar sound great? It’s not just about who’s strumming the guitar, it’s also about the body woods, amps, and the strings that contribute to the beautiful sound. If you play the nicest guitar on the market with old strings it won’t sound any better than an old Johnson. For those who don’t already know this, the guitar strings are what really makes it sing. Having a good set of strings is crucial for a crisp and quality tone. If you’re looking to achieve the best quality of sound for your guitar you came to the right place. It isn’t easy looking for best essentials, such as picks, strings, or amps because the market is huge. We took the honor and chose the top guitar strings on the market this year, and put together buyers guide to help make your buying process effortless.

musician using new guitar strings

A musician using new guitar strings

How to Choose the Right Guitar Strings?

Picking out the best guitar strings is not easy. Don’t be fooled by any articles that date before 2013, because the market drastically changes as each year passes. Every year there is a new and better version of the guitar strings you bought last year. The only way to go about this right is by reading up-to-date reviews and staying in the loop of what’s new on the market. If you are an avid guitar player, you need to replace your strings every three months. Some strings can last three times that long, however, they may start to break. What this means is you better get good at finding the right strings because you will need to buy them more often then you may think. Don’t worry, we have exactly what you need to look out for when choosing the perfect set of strings:

Gouges: Heavy, Light, and Medium

Gouges refer to the size of the string, or in simple terms, the thickness of the string. There are three main thicknesses, heavy light, and medium. This essentially means there is no such thing as a defined gauge. Basically saying Elixir’s strings will not be the same as D’Addario’s; they are all different from each other. The gauge will be listed in the following format; 10-46, or .010-.046. It’s important to understand that acoustic guitars generally have thicker gauges and electric guitars have light to medium gauges.

Materials

Before you go looking for strings, you need to understand that there is a difference between electric, bass, and acoustic guitar. If you are a beginner player then is important for you to learn the material you need for your guitar. Generally electric and bass guitars need nickel-plated steel, or pure nickel strings to produce the most quality sound. For acoustic guitars, the best material for your strings is bronze and phosphor bronze.

Coating

In addition to looking for the right material, you also want to check for special coating for protection purposes. This is optional, your strings do not need coatings, however, it is beneficial. These coatings will give your strings a prolonged lifespan and much smoother and comfortable feel.

Top Guitar Strings

To assist your buying process, we have chosen the top five strings on the market today. Apply the knowledge you just gained, and buy the best pair of guitar strings:

1. D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor

The best-rated pair of strings on the market today are the D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor. With a .012-.053 gauge, these strings are made out of a high-quality phosphor bronze. This is D’Addario’s most popular set and comes in an EXP coated series tripling its lifespan.

2. Martin-MSP4100

These pair of strings are for the purpose of a long life. The next top rated pair on the market is the Martin-MSP4100. These bad boys are made out of phosphor bronze, with a light gauge. These Martin strings are made to enhance your guitar’s tone with a warm and rich sound.

3. Ernie Ball 2221 Regular

The Ernie Ball 2221 Regular strings are a great choice. They are made with a regular gouge and pure nickel. These strings are used by legends around the world. With its element shield packaging, it prolongs the string life and keeps it as fresh as the day they were made.

4. DR NMCE-10 DR Neon

If you have a bass guitar, these are the ones for you. The best bass strings on the market are the DRNMCE-10 DR Neon. With a medium gauge and bright tone, you will enjoy having crisp and quality tones.

5. Fender 3150R Original Bullets

The classic Fender bullets are the next most popular choice among guitarists. The Fender Bullets are made from pure nickel with a light gauge.

top guitars for newbies

The Best Acoustic & Electric Guitars for New Guitar Players

So you’ve had a burning desire to get a guitar for some time now. Good, playing the guitar is a great way of relieving stress, increasing brainpower and most importantly: it makes you feel great! However, there is a good chance that you are unsure which kind of guitar is the best option for a beginner. This is to be expected as there are so many guitars on the market, which makes it easy to feel overwhelmed and suffer from analysis paralysis. Fortunately for you we are here to help. Most beginning guitar players start out with an acoustic guitar, however, regardless of whether you decide that you want to learn how to play the Acoustic or Electric guitar, we’ve got you covered. In this article we will discuss:
• Tips for buying your first guitar
• The 5 best Electric Guitars for beginners
• The 5 best Acoustic Guitars for beginners

Tips for buying a new guitar

Before getting your first guitar, here are some useful tips:
• Make sure you know your musical goals before buying a guitar, because this will decide the type of guitar you need.
• Make sure you know what your budget is before getting a guitar, this will help eliminate options.
Nylon string acoustic guitars are easier on the fingers, but you might not like the sound of this type of guitar.
Steel string acoustic guitars offer a wide variety of models similar in feel to electric guitars
• Remember that you need amplification if you decide to go with an electronic guitar which adds to the cost!
• Only buy a second-hand guitar if you really know what you’re looking for.
• Think of buying your first guitar as an investment: If you buy a decent guitar you will always be able to resell it for a decent price.
• If you decide to go with an acoustic guitar, check out this amazing youtube tutorial.

The 5 Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

There are several things that a beginning guitar player should look for when buying their first acoustic guitar. The most important things to look for are:
• The manufacturer’s reputation.
• The kind of wood
• The kinds of tuning keys used.
• The finish.
• The dimension standards.

With that being said, here are the 5 of the best acoustic guitars for beginners with their prices:

Jasmine by Takamine S-35 Acoustic

The Jasmin by Takamine S-35 Acoustic is the Takamine brands version of the Gibson Epiphone. While the sound of this guitar may not be revolutionary, it’s still a great option because of it’s extremely low price. If you’re still in doubt whether playing is for you and you don’t want to break the bank, you should definitely consider getting this low-budget guitar.
• Costs around $70

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

The Epiphone Hummingbord Pro is an entry level guitar of the Gibson hummingbird. This guitar really shines with a warm sound and great playability for an affordable price. Because the guitar has a built in pickup, amplifying the sound is an option.
• Costs around $300

Yamaha FG730

As we mentioned earlier it is very important to look for a reliable brand when getting a guitar. Yamaha guitars are known as reliable, which is why the Yamaha FG730 made it to our list. Because of its excellent quality it offers amazing value for its price. Next to the FG730 a Yamaha LL6M is a great option as well.
• Costs around $300

The Washburn WD 10SCE

Because of the shape of the guitar the higher frets are more accessible than other acoustic guitars. It has a very round sound with a noticeable boost in the mid and higher frequency range. Comes with a preamp and tuner.
• Costs around $300

Seagull S6 Original

The Seagull S6 is one of the best-selling models of the Seagull brand and has won many awards over the years. It has an innovative design and produces a deeper, warmer sound then just about any guitar in this price range. It’s a great option for aspiring singer songwriters or jazz musicians.
• Costs around $400

The 5 Best Electric Guitars for Newbies

The factors that come into play when buying a beginners electric guitar are a bit different from buying an acoustic guitar. While there are a lot of factors to take into account, here are the most important ones:
• The action: You don’t want the action to be too low or too high as this will make playing really uncomfortable.
• Check the intonation by playing the 12th fret harmonic and the 12th fret note. They should be in tune.
• Check the tone and the volume; there should be no cracks or unwanted noises.

With that being said, here are the 5 best electronic guitars for guitar players that are just starting out:

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V

We also have one Yamaha on electronic guitar list. This axe is available in just about any color you want and offers a great price/quality ratio. Even though it’s primarily targeted to beginning guitar players, it’s also a good option for the more experienced players
• Costs around $300

Epiphone Les Paul Standard

The Ephiphone Les Paul Standard is a true classic and without a doubt one of the best options for a beginning electronic guitar player. Not only is it a very affordable option with prices around $300, the quality of this axe is simply amazing and has a very warm sound.

• Costs around $400

Squier Vintage Modified 51

The Squier Vintage Modified is definitely on top of the list of best guitars for electronic guitarists who are just starting out. Because of the unique look of this amazing axe it’s just as individual as your playing. When it comes to price/quality ratio it will be hard to find something better.
• Costs around $550

Fender Modern Player Telecaster

Fender has always had a lot of options for guitar players that are just starting out. The Fender Modern Player Telecaster is a classic guitar that will please both beginners and experienced guitar players. The real power of this axe lies in it’s versatility.
• Costs around $500

Once you get you’re new guitar, then we highly recommend hiring a teacher for private guitar lessons. This will dramatically improve your skills. Did you know that some of the best guitar players in the world started out with tutors, and still continue to seek professional coaching?