Join Jared Meeker for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting to know your tools, part of Beginning Acoustic Guitar Music Lessons.
- Alright so, there's a lot of material that we're gonna cover in this video, that you should definitely have a good understanding of, so I wanna just present some stuff to you guys up front, so that throughout the rest of the video, we're all on the same page. And this is gonna be things like how to hold the guitar, the different parts of the guitar, how to hold your pick, and those kinds of things. If you've never played the guitar before, then you probably wanna seek a little bit of instruction from a teacher, or a very basic book before you start this.
If not, then I'll quickly review this stuff, and hopefully that will catch you up. Alright, now let's go over the parts of the guitar. So, starting over here, this is the body, this whole section, and that's the resonating chamber of the guitar. On it, is the bridge, and that's where the strings, which are these, obviously you guys probably know what the strings are, but that's where the strings are attached to the body of the guitar. This is the sound hole, and that hole is basically where all the sound from the body is projected out into the room.
Down here you have a pick guard, and that's to save any scratching, or potentially scratching or nicking of your instrument, as you're strumming away. Over here, you have the neck, and on the neck is the fretboard. Glued onto the fretboard are these little metal wires, called frets that run perpendicular to the strings. At the end of the fretboard is the nut, and the strings travel through the nut, to the headstock, which is this whole section here.
And then to their final destination, which is onto the tuning machines, which you tighten or loosen to change the pitch of the strings. Now for the natural curve of your body okay, one thing that's very important as you guys are playing the guitar, is to stay relaxed, and not position your body in any, you know, totally uncomfortable or unnatural position. First of all, keep your shoulders relaxed. Try not to play the guitar with your shoulders way up. Just stay relaxed, and also with your hand, make sure that your aren't bending your wrist too much, okay? If you are bending your wrist, you're definitely gonna constrict your tendons, and it could cause a lot of pain and issues, so keep your wrist straight.
Let's go over how to hold the guitar. There are a few different positions that you can use. You can either put it on the right leg, which is how I'm gonna do it in this video. Or if you'd like to do a more classical position, you could put it on your left leg. Most guitars are also equipped with a strap button. This guitar actually has two of them, it has one here, on the side of the body, and then another one here, however, a lot of guitars only have one strap button, and you'll actually just feed the other end of the strap through the nut, between the strings, and tie it on there.
And you know, that is a good way to practice, if you guys are gonna play a lot, and perform in front of other people standing, then you should definitely practice that was as well. Okay, so now let's go through the left-hand position. So, like I was mentioning, don't bend your wrist too much. You wanna definitely press down with the fingers, into the fretboard, and the thumb is pressing the opposite way. Keep your thumb in the back of the neck. Okay, for left-hand position, we're gonna refer to the left-hand fingers as follows.
The index finger is one, the middle finger is two, the ring finger is three, and the pinky is four. Now, as your fretting notes, make sure to fret directly to the left of the fret. If you fret on top of the fret, you'll get a nasty buzzing sound. Listen to this. That is not what you want. Fret directly behind the fret, and it will sound like this.
Okay, now for the pick. So the pick looks kinda like a teardrop, and the tip of the pick is the sharp pointy part, and that's what you play with. So, as you're holding a pick, you want to grip it with your index finger and thumb. So keep your index finger flat, and clamp down with your thumb, so that the flat angle is completely held down by the thumb, and then bring the tip down to strike the strings.
If it helps, you can put some of your fingers down to brace your right-hand position.
- Styles of acoustic guitar masters
- Getting to know your tools
- Reading music
- Playing chords
- Flatpicking and fingerpicking
- Music theory
- Switching chords
- Understanding musical expression, phrasing, and dynamics