Acoustic Guitar Basics

The Acoustic Guitar Basics Your Should Know

There are several acoustic guitar basics that one should know to make learning acoustic guitar that much easier, the following are what I consider the five must know basics.

5 Acoustic Guitar Basics You Should Know

Acoustic guitar basics tip #1: Use lighter strings

First of all, acoustic guitar string tension tends to be heavier than strings on an electric or classical guitar so if while you’re practicing you find your fingers are getting tender quickly, try changing strings to a lighter gauge set.

Usually acoustic guitars are fitted with 0.12 gauge from the factory so you can ask at your local music store to get your guitar restrung and set up with a lighter gauge like 0.11 or 0.10 gauge. You’ll instantly notice that the strings are easier to fret and play.

You sacrifice a tiny amount of volume and tone with lighter strings but while you’re learning, it probably won’t even be a noticeable thing so if it helps, go ahead and do it.

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Acoustic guitar basics tip #2: Correct pick (plectrum) choice

My recommendation is to use picks that are of a medium thickness when learning the acoustic guitar. Even though pick choice is a personal preference, a medium thickness pick will provide enough firmness to be able to strum and pick individual notes with reasonable volume.

If the pick choice is too soft, you’ll find you can’t get enough attack and if the pick is too firm, you may find you are hitting the strings to hard or that the pick won’t easily ‘glide’ across the strings.

In time as you progress and get better, you’ll find you’ll develop much better control with your strumming hand and so this won’t be so much of an issue but while you’re learning a medium thickness pick is best for acoustic guitar playing.

Acoustic guitar basics tip #3: Dedicate regular, consistent time for practicing

This is so very important, half an hour to an hour of daily practice will be so much more beneficial to you than a couple of hours once a week.

The reason for this is because through regular and repetitive practicing, your fingers start to develop ‘muscle memory’ where by certain motions and actions are trained into you and they become more automatic to perform by habit.

It will gradually take less effort for you to think about doing certain things when playing guitar as what used to take conscious effort to play something becomes more subconscious. Just like you can speak without having to put effort into forming your sentences, the same happens with repetitive and regular practicing for guitar, playing will start to take less conscious effort.

Acoustic guitar basics tip #4: Know your open chords

Another of the fundamental acoustic guitar basics you should get familiar with are your open chords. Open chords are all the chords that are played at the beginning of the fretboard near the headstock which incorporate ‘open’ strings when you play them.

These are much easier to learn and play as compared to barre chords which are more of an intermediate level skill. The easiest ones to learn are the A, D and E chords. A good book or learn guitar course can show you the best way to properly hold an acoustic guitar, the easiest method to fret the strings to form the chords and of course how to switch between chords while strumming out a chord progression.

Acoustic guitar basics tip #5: Learn tablature

Tablature is a specialized form of music notation especially for guitarists. When you can read tablature, you’ll find most of your favourite songs available online and in music bookstores written in this notation.

It makes learning songs easy because you’re not actually having to read music as such, rather you’re reading a method of notation which describes the fret you should be playing on the right string in order to play a certain guitar part.

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Now that you know some acoustic guitar basics, make sure you put them into action.

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