Guitar 101 Lesson – a much needed one!
November 29, 2009
I recently joined a free Guitar 101 session organized by a wellness circle in our office. They really treat this seriously and I’m glad I attended. Why? For one thing, I really like to learn how to play the guitar. Also, I bought my guitar way back in 2002 but until now, I still don’t know how to use it hahaha!
I learned a whole lot at this 2-hour lesson. There is soooooo much information!! Care to join me? I don’t know if you’ll learn anything from me but worth a shot right? So here goes:
There are different Types of Guitar:
- Classical Guitar – uses nylon strings, has a mellow tone and is good for beginners due to its soft strings.
- Folk/Acoustic Guitar – uses steel strings, has a bright sound and used for folk, country, rock, pop music.
- Electric Guitar – has “pickups” to enable guitar to be amplified.
Well mine is a classical guitar. It was the best one I could find in the factory in Cebu where I bought it.
There are 7 important letters to remember when learning guitar: C, D, E, F, G, A & B. They’re musical keys which corresponds to notes in a music sheet. The one in the image below is from a piano piece:
Things to remember regarding Notes/Music Alphabets:
- One Octave: C (Do), D (Re), E (Mi), F (Fa), G (So), A (La), B (Ti), D (Do)
- Notes Progression: C – C#/Db – D – D#/Eb – E – F – F#/Gb – G – G#/Ab – A – A#/Bb – B – C
- there is no sharp/flats in between B-C and E-F
- each fret is a half-step.
- each open string in the guitar is an alphabet (Easter Bunny Gets Drunk at Easter)
There is a system of notation for guitar. It is called Tablature or the Tab.
You don’t just play a guitar. You need to maintain it too. Not just cleaning but you need to tune it. Tuning is the most important thing to learn & do when you have a guitar. Your guitar must be in tune in order to play beautiful sounds. This is also crucial for bands who play musical instruments together.
There are several tuning methods:
- Reference Pitch from Piano
- Reference Pitch from Pitch Pipe
- Tuning Fork
- Computer, iPod, iPhone, MP3 Player
- Electric Tuner
So remember I mentioned notation & tabs? Well to play the guitar, you also need to know the Guitar Chord Chart. It is a list of chord diagrams that is a virtual presentation of a guitar chord.
- horizontal lines are frets, vertical lines are guitar strings
- a number beside the chord chart indicates the 1st horizontal line is on the nth fret
- 0 (don’t play), x (open string)
- 1st horizontal line is the nut
Too much information right? We do need to remember all of them though. Lastly, we ended the session by learning a very basic song for guitar playing: Happy Birthday.