How to learn to play guitar in one week?

1.Introduction to the article:

Music is a magical means of connecting to people’s hearts. People who can write music are the magicians. I always wanted to be that magician where I can entertain my loved ones. I got my first guitar when I was 12. I used to live in a place where I could not find anyone who could have guided me to become a good guitarist. The situation became a huge obstacle for me. I was not allowed to surf the internet, thus creating more hindrance. So today, I am with you with the ultimate guide to help you become a good guitarist only in 7 days. 

2. Introduction to guitar components:

Before you can start your first lesson, you must learn about the guitar components. Without proper knowledge, talking about the instructions can be very confusing. So let’s start with learning the names of different parts of the guitar.

2.1 Names of different parts of a guitar:

  1. Headstock
  2. Tuning Pegs/ Tuning keys
  3. Nuts
  4. Neck
  5. Freatboard
  6. Frets
  7. Fret Marker
  8. Body
  9. Soundhole
  10. Pick Guard
  11. Bridge
  12. Pickup
  13. Volume & Tone Knobs

(A) Headstock:

The headstock installed on the top part of a guitar. Headstocks works as a base for the tuning pegs or tuning keys.

(B) Tuning Pegs/ Tuning Keys:

Tuning pegs or some people might call it tuning keys, holds the strings. Tuning pegs work on bringing changes into the string’s tension to tune the guitar.

(C) Nuts:

Between the headstock and the fretboard, there is a piece of plastic with 6 notches. The notches work as the slots for the strings.

(D) Neck: 

Neck is the long piece of wood from the body of the guitar to the headstock.

(E) Fretboard:

Fretboard is the smooth board attached to the top of the guitar neck.

(F) Fret:

Fret is the vertical metal stripes on the fretboard. Frets are to play diverse melodic notes. Pressing down on a different fret of a string makes a different sound.

(G) Fret Marker:

Fret markers are marks (usually a dot) that help the guitarist to keep track on which fret they are playing. Fret markers mark the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 17th, and the 19thfret. 

Note: On the 12th and the 24th, there are two dots instead of one. 

(H) Body:

The sound quality of a guitar depends mostly on its body. The body also works as the base for the bridge, pickups, saddle, volume, and tone knobs.

The guitar body is separated into two pieces.  

  • Upper bout
  • Lower bout

(I) Sound Hole:

The sound hole is where the sound comes out. It helps the sound vibration to amplified. Thus, making an acoustic guitar cable of making sound without an amp. 

(J) Pick Guard:

Pickguard protects the guitar body from scratches caused by the pick while strumming. 

(K) Bridge:

The Bridge of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar is different. 

  1. Bridge of an Acoustic Guitar:

The purpose of the acoustic guitar bridge is the take the sound from string to the soundboard. The bridge also holds the guitar strings using saddle and bridge pins. 

  1. Bridge of an Electric Guitar:

There are many types of electric guitars. The difference between the guitars can be because of their bridges. But most widely used guitars are the Fixed-Bridge and Floyd-Rose guitars. The key difference between the two guitars is tremolo.

(L) Pickup:

There are many types of pickup (e.g., Single coil, P90, Humbucker). The pickup works as a capturing tool. It captures the vibration from the string and sends it to the amplifier.

(M) Volume & Tone Knobs:

The name is pretty self-explanatory. The volume and tone knobs are used to bring changes in to the volume and tones.

I would like you to go to the following link to get a better understanding of the whole topic we just discussed.

3. How To Learn To Play Guitar In One Week? – fundametal knowledge

Now that you know the names of fundamental guitar parts. You will work on learning about notes, string names, and tuning.

 3.1 Musical note

So now you might ask, what is a musical note? According to The Free Dictionary by Farlex. A musical note the notation which is representing the pitch. There are 12 musical notes, and 7 of them are the natural notes, 5 of them known as altered notes. 

Name of the notes are:

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#

The natural notes are

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

The distance between each note is called a half-step. (e.g., Distance between A and A# is a half-step, Distance between the A# and B is another half step). Two half-step makes one whole step. (e.g., Distance between A and B is one whole-step). 

Note: The # sign is pronounced sharp not hashtag.

The # sign indicates the note is one half-step higher than the note it represents. For example, G# means the note is one half-step higher than the G note.

3.2 The guitar string names:

 On a standard guitar there are 6 strings. The names are E, A, D, G, B, E from top to bottom. The names represent the string pitches. It means the E string will give us the E note if played open (not pressing down to any fret).

3.3 Tuning:

Most of us use a tuner to tune a guitar, but you should be aware that it is not possible to find a guitar tuner everywhere. So it is very significant that you learn how to tune a guitar without a guitar tuner. 

There are many ways to tune a guitar, but the standard tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E) is the most used one. The standard tune stars from the lowest pitch to the highest. The thick E is the lowest pitched string, and the thinnest E is the highest pitched string when played open.  

3.4 How to tune by ears:

At first, tune the 1st string to higher E string. Since you are just starting to play the guitar, You can take help from the tuner to tune the 1st string. Try to memorize the pitch of the high E. So that you can easily tell which one is the high E note after a few days of practice. So now pluck the 1st string. If you plucked the 1st string with your right hand, put your left hand on the 2nd string’s corresponding tuning peg. Now the formula is to play the 5th fret on 2nd string and try to figure out if it sounds like the 1st strings (high E) open note. You have to match the 2nd strings 5th frets sound to exactly like 1st strings open-note. After completing the previous step, try to match 3rd string’s (G string) 4th fret to 2nd string’s (B string) open. Following the same rule try to match 3rd string’s open note to 4th string’s 5th fret. Then 4th string’s open to 5th string’s 5th fret, and lastly 5th string’s open to 6th string’s 5th fret. This may sound complicated at first. But after performing the tune by ear a few times it becomes easier.

The link below is a video link on how to tune a guitar by ears

4. First practical class:  

  4.1 How to hold a guitar:

Properly holding the guitar is very important. You can come across many obstacles if you are not holding your guitar in the right way. The way people hold the guitar is the same for everyone. But the guitar placement can be different.

To hold a guitar in the right way, you have to sit straight, put the guitar on your leg and hold it against your body. Put your right arm on the guitar body and put some force into it to make sure your guitar neck is not leaning down. You have to hold your guitar horizontally. If you are a right-handed guitarist, you want your right hand to do the strumming and left on the fretboard.

To continue, we will name our fingers (placed on the fretboard) by numbers.

  4.2 How to hold a guitar pick :

How to hold a pick:

5.FINGER EXERCISES: 

This will be your first practical lesson. I will provide you with exercise on fingers and chords. 

Finger exercise can be monotonous, but it will be your ultimate friend in the long run.

Exercise 1.0:

So your first exercise will be on fingering. Before you can play some chords you should be able to move your finger freely. This is why you will need a finger exercise. 

So we already know how we will call your finger by numbers. So now I want you to play a note on 1st fret of the thickest string with your finger 1. Then play the note on 2nd fret with finger to and continue to process till you reach 4th fret with finger 4. 

After that, you have to do the same thing but on the 5th string, following by 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st string.

Do the exercise until you can move all the fingers comfortably. 

Exercise 1.1:

Exercise 1.1 is the same as exercise 1.0, but this time I want you to focus on the stroke. When you pluck the 1st and 3rd fret, pluck it with a downstroke, and for the 2nd and 4th fret, do it with an upstroke.

Video link on exercise 1.0 and 1.1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2dH0B5Vwj4 

Exercise 2.0:

In exercise 2.0 you will work on advance finger exercise. 

Follow the steps –

  1. On the thickest E string play 1-2-3-4 
  2. A string 2-3-4-5 
  3. D string 3-4-5-6
  4. G string 4-5-6-7
  5. B string 5-6-7-8
  6. E string 6-7-8-9

Play this first note with finger 1, second note with finger 2, Third note with finger 3 and fourth note with finger 4

Exercise 2.1:

Exercise 2.1 is the opposite of Exercise 2.0 

Follow the steps –

  1. On the thinnest E string play 9-8-7-6 
  2. B string 8-7-6-5 
  3. G string 7-6-5-4
  4. D string 6-5-4-3
  5. A string 5-4-3-2
  6. E string 4-3-2-1

Play this first note with finger 4, second note with finger 3, Third note with finger 2 and fourth note with finger 1

6.Chords:

There are many types of chords (e.g., Major chords, minor chords, Power chords). But today I will teach you four basic open chords.

The chords are G, D, Em, C. These chords are easy to learn.

The diagram indicates how to hold the chords. The number in the dots represents the finger.

Exercise 3.0: 

For the first chord exercise go to the following link and try to keep up with the music.

Exercise 3.1:

Exercise 3.1 will be the most exciting one yet. You learned 4 chords and worked on in the last exercise. Now you are going to play a song, not just any song it will be Perfect by Ed Sheeran.

Video on how to play Ed Sheeran:

Exercise 3.3:

Watch the video and learn 4 more chords.

To do list:

  • DAY1:  Read about the guitar body part and knowledge. 
  • DAY2:  30 minutes for all the finger exercise and 10 minutes of one of the 4 chords.
  • DAY3:  20 minutes of all the finger exercise with a metronome and 30 minutes of chord       exercise.       
  • DAY4:  Complete exercise 3.0
  • DAY5:  Complete exercise 3.1 and learn your first song!
  • DAY6:  Complete exercise 3.3 
  • DAY7:  Find the remaining major and minor chords. Work on different progression.

7.Make it your way of life

A true guitar master is a mixture of both knowledge and practice. To be a great guitarist, you should practice every day. There are more than just chords while playing a guitar. Noone can be a master of the guitar only in seven days. A proper but amusing start-up can motivate you to learn and practice more. I intended to serve you with that guide.

Further Reading

Different Parts of an Acoustic Guitar

The most common and widely reputed Acoustic Guitar is an essential musical instrument that produces music via its vibrating steel strings just above the hollow

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