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Lesson 0 : The Most Important Guitar Lesson!

The Most Important Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn

Be patient and don’t get frustrated. Learning to play guitar can be a long process. If you stay patient and practice you will improve eventually even if it feels like you aren’t. Always remember this, “The slower you go, the faster you will get there”.

This blog takes the nitty gritty approach – note by note, chord by chord, no stone left unturned. If you ever get frustrated when you see someone amazing playing ask them how long it took them to gain their skill. Like anything worth learning it takes gumption and it takes time. 

The Guitar

The guitar is one of the most popular instruments of all time. It makes a very pleasing sound. It is small and light enough to carry around and it has a romantic appeal.
The guitar is very versatile. It can be played on it’s own or within a band. It’s tone complements the voice and it gives a good full backing to singing. It has a wide range of notes and makes a good solo instrument as well. It is extremely satisfying and entertaining to play for musicians of all levels of skill.
Classical guitars generally have nylon strings, whereas acoustic and electric guitars usually have steel strings. Each type of string has it’s own character which suits different kinds of music and playing styles.
Nylon strings give a much mellower tone and are easier on the fingers then steel strings. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings (the thinner strings) are usually a single strand of nylon. The thicker 4th, 5th and 6th strings are nylon strands wound with silver or bronze plated copper wire.
Steel strings give a brighter, louder sound. Although they are a little harder on the fingers then nylon strings, you soon become used to them. The thinner 1st and 2nd strings are usually plain nickel-plated steel as well as sometimes the 3rd. The other thicker ones are tightly wound with wire.
Guitars come in many shapes and sizes and although they may all appear similar must of them are made very differently. Steel string guitars are built much more strongly because the strings have alot more tension and force on the wood. You should never put steel strings on a classical or nylon string guitar because the instrument will be easily damaged.
Nor is it a good idea to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar because the guitar will sound dead and the strings will buzz. If you have any doubt whatsoever ask your local musical instrument retailer.
Your choice of a nylon or steel strung guitar should depend on the sound you prefer and the types of music you want to play.


Classical and Flamenco Guitars

Sometimes known as Spanish guitars, these instruments are very suitable for Classical Style solo playing Flamenco Music and for accompanying singers. The nylon strings are plucked or strummed with the right-hand thumb or fingers – a pick is never used. The Flamenco Guitar is similar to the classical Guitar but has plates to protect the face of the guitar during golpe tapping.

Round-hole Steel Strung Guitars

The most common type of Acoustic guitar found in North America, these all-round instruments are used for most popular guitar music; pretty much everything except Classical or Flamenco. They may be finger-picked, or played with a Guitar Pick. They are suitable for accompanying singing and playing with others. Pick-ups may be added to those guitars for playing with an amplifier.
The Jumbo is a Round-hole Guitar with an extra large body which gives a deep bass sound.
The 12-string Guitar is similar to the Jumbo, but is a more specialized instrument. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.

Semi Acoustic Guitars

These very slim guitars give enough acoustic (un-amplified) sound for practicing, but are otherwise played with an amplifier. They are lighter than Solid Guitars and often have a better tone when amplified.
Cello Guitars are similar but have a thicker body. They are played with or without an amplifier and give a chunky rhythm sound.

Electric Guitars

Electric Guitars are only played with an amplifier, as they have no real acoustic sound. They are made in various shapes, styles and sizes and usually come with a solid body. You can also use effects pedals and different types of contraptions to alter the sound.
Semi-Acoustic and Solid Body Guitars have lower action then an Acoustic or Classical Guitar, and are ideal for fast ‘electric’ playing – Jazz, Rock, Pop, etc.
Electric guitars are generally played with a guitar pick.
All the best!