by: Ismael D. Tabije
The guitar is considered the friendliest musical instrument there is. It is because the guitar is the handiest musical instrument that could stand on its own. A group can enjoy music with just a guitar even without the accompaniment of winds and percussions. The term “acoustic” is referred to, in the music context of today, the rendition of songs in all the glory of guitars. No percussion and piano and other instruments needed, just guitars. Sometimes, it can be the jamming of more than just one guitar. Acoustic is a favorite type of music today because of its relaxed and soulful rendition of songs.
The guitar can be carried everywhere and is one of the easiest instrument to be learned in no time. All you need is a songbook or song hits and you’re ready to take the stage and perform to your heart’s desire. It may sound so easy and can be done in a snap, however, playing a guitar is an art that needs to be perfected with constant practice. There are basic steps you need to know before mastering playing the guitar.
Basically, a guitar is like a friend you need to familiarize yourself with. Get to know the guitar and you’ll be able to make good music together. For beginners, the first lesson starts with getting to know the guitar and its parts. Some examples of different types of guitars are the electric guitar, the base guitar, the 12-string guitars and the non-electric acoustical guitar.
Parts of a guitar:
Head – is where the tuning keys are found. The strings are wound up around pegs which can be twisted to loosen or tighten the strings.
Tuning Keys – are the keys which hold the strings. These keys are twisted to adjust the tones of the strings
Nut – found at the edge of the fret board on which the strings pass before wrapping around the tuning keys
Fret board – is where pitch and expression of the tones are controlled.
Frets – 19 divisions on which fingers are placed
Little Metallic Bars/Fret bars – thin metallic bars dividing the frets
Neck – accommodates the fret board
Sounding Board – the body of the guitar
Sounding Hole (Rosette) – sounds produced are resonated. This serves as the amplifier of the acoustical guitar
Strings – are of different sizes made up of either steel or nylon which are the foremost cause of sounds
Bridge – the part where the strings are attached opposite. It is found at the body of the guitar.
Tuning the guitar is the next thing a guitar player should know. It is where he can further intensify his mastery and familiarity with the guitar. It is a gift if a person has the remarkable natural ability of hearing. He can determine if the guitar has good quality through hearing its tune for the first time. However, there are people who do not posses that certain gift. But there are other ways of tuning the guitar. One way is the ordinary method.
The first step to the ordinary method of tuning the guitar is finding a tuning instrument like a piano or an organ to base the tune.
The E chord or the 6th string should be based on the sound of the lower “mi” key of the piano or organ.
Press the same string on the fifth fret, which makes it the A and base its sound on the sound of the “la” key of the piano or organ.
Press the 5th string on the fifth fret, which makes it the D and base its sound on the sound of the “re” key of the piano or organ.
Press the 4th string on the fifth fret, which makes it the G and base its sound on the sound of the “so” key of the piano or organ.
Press the 3rd string on the fourth fret, which makes it the B and base its sound on the “ti” key of the piano or organ.
Press the 2nd string on the 5th fret, which makes it the e and base its sound on the higher “mi” key of the piano or keyboard.
Make sure that every string’s tune sounds just like the sound of its corresponding key on the keyboard. And with that, you now know how to tune your guitar!
Knowing the parts of a guitar and learning how to tune it are vital aspects in picking or choosing very good quality of guitar. In choosing your own guitar, you must first try the accuracy of the frets. To do this, you must tighten all the six strings and check to hear a full tone when strummed or plucked.
Then do a complete scale for each string by, first, plucking the open string, then press the 2nd fret (of the same string), then the fourth fret, fifth fret, seventh fret, ninth fret, eleventh fret and twelfth fret. Each scale must produce the exact sound of the musical scale: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do. The sound when the twelfth fret is pressed must be one octave higher than the sound when the open string is plucked. This process is called the mechanical test.
After completing the mechanical test, the next step is tuning the guitar. Since you already know the process in tuning, what you must achieve is to look for the fullness or roundness of the tone and not the loudness.
Lastly, the next thing you must consider in finding the best guitar for you is the comfort you will achieve while playing it. Choose a guitar that would require you to exert minimal pressure in pressing the frets in order to produce a full and booming sound. In this way, you would avoid blistering your fingertips which would make your practices easy, enjoyable and painless.
About The Author
The writer, Ismael D. Tabije, runs the website www.song-lyrics-with-guitar-chords.com that features guitar lessons, guitar chords, guitar song books, guitar sales and unlimited MP3 music and video downloads.