I have had many people ask me how to play the electric guitar!
This article will answer those questions and more so read on for some great tips on how to go from just knowing how to hold your instrument correctly all the way through playing chords, riffs and licks that make you sound like an expert player in no time at all!
How to Play an Electric Guitar
You may have seen a guitar and thought, "I want to learn how to play!" Before you hit the music store, it is important for you to know that there are two types of guitars: acoustic and electric. This blog will focus on the latter option.
If you're playing at home, you may need a guitar amp, cables, drumsticks or some other percussion instrument, as well as a few accessories like picks and strings.
If this sounds intimidating or confusing then don't worry! The rest of this article will teach you all the things that you need to know about how to play electric guitar!
How to hold the guitar
The right way to hold the guitar is with your left hand on that bottom part of the neck, and your right arm wrapped around. You will then strum up from this position with your fingers or a pick (no need for an actual drumstick).
If you want more control over how hard you hit the strings, try using just one finger at a time instead of two!
That way you will typically need to strum a guitar's string corresponds with whichever hand is on top.
If your left hand is holding onto the neck at the bottom, then you would use your right arm to fret each individual string before using one finger from your left hand (or thumb) to pluck them individually as needed! Now we know how to play electric guitars!
An effects pedal board can be used if desired but isn't required if there are only simple sound effects needed like reverb or delay.
There are three main types of amplifiers: tube amps which give off a warmer tone than solid state; combo amps which have both functions in one unit; and head-only units where the amp is only in the head and it can be used with a variety of speakers.
The parts of an electric guitar
The guitar has six strings, with the first string being the thickest and lowest-sounding, while the other strings are a higher pitched.
Common chords in an electric guitar
There is no one set rule for how these should be strummed, as they often differ depending on which genre of music that you're playing from rock to jazz! However we can give some general guidelines:
Major chords use your index finger at first fret and middle finger second or third.
Minor chord use index finger at third fret while Powerchord (aka barre) requires two fingers across all six strings
How to tune your electric guitar (and how not to)
There are several ways to tune an electric guitar. The most common is the A-E-A tuning, which has two bass strings tuned down by a semitone (this leaves you with standard E as your lowest string).
How do I make chords?
You can either use a chord diagram or invent one yourself using this formula: index finger on first fret; middle finger second fret and third for minor; ring finger third fret then fourth if needed.
Most of the time you will be able to work out what chord it is from playing around! But don't forget there are some tricks like starting at D major instead of A to get different sounds!)
Once you have an idea of what kind of guitar sound you want to create, it will be time for the fun part - playing your electric guitar!
Start with a few chords that are easy to play (you don't need any fancy scales yet!) in order to learn how the instrument works to see if this is something you enjoy or not 🙂
What kind of electric guitar should I get?
So you've decided on an electric guitar and now it's time to take a closer look at what kinds are available.
There is such a wide variety that the best thing for you to do is stop by your local music store or research online until you find something in your budget range, but with all the features that work for you.
A good electric guitar should be lightweight and have a small neck.
There are many factors that go into your decision, but it's worth noting the most popular guitars in this category include Fender Stratocaster Company electric guitars, Gibson Les Pauls (and its variations), Ibanez Guitars, ESP Italia S.P.A., Jackson Guitars Inc., Dean Markley Bluegrass models and more!
If you're looking for something heavier to play with distortion or reverb then consider a guitar from brands such as B.C Rich, PRS Sonoran Desert Mahogany Series Electric Guitar Models of 2013-2014 by SE Custom 24 Limited Run 2016 Reissue Model/American Standard Telecaster made famous by artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan & Bob Marley.
When picking your guitar of choice consider the thickness, shape and material of the instrument.
How to choose a perfect guitar for beginners?
A Fender Stratocaster would be great because they’re very affordable as well as being easy to play
A few things you should look out for when buying guitars is how the neck feels in your hands (or on your lap) if it’s too wide then there will inevitably be some discomfort while playing this instrument.
How many strings should I look at when buying an electric guitar?
For those who know they're going to buy a six-string acoustic/electric model, there's only one option: standard tuning. A 12-string can also be tuned down to two semitones.
For those who want four strings there are a few options: standard tuning, one octave lower than the six-string (D'''), or two semitones down from the 12-string.
If you're not sure how to tune your guitar, here's an easy way to do it yourself!
Tune each string using this system by following these steps:
Every fret on every string should be tuned with its note name before playing anything else. The open strings -- EADGBE for standard tuning and D'A"AE for those who want four strings-- will be automatically in tune when they need to be played later.
Play both of the notes that form a half step apart starting with the A string at whichever end is easier for you.
What accessories should I get when playing a guitar?
An amplifier for electric guitar players
When you're looking at an amp, don't let cost be your only consideration.
Some of the most expensive models out there are not even worth it. Spend some time researching what's available in different price ranges before making a decision about which one to buy.
More important than anything else is how well any given model delivers on tone and other features that matter to you as an individual player or band member.
Another guitar accessory you need is a guitar strap.
The two most popular varieties are the classic leather straps with metal clips that fit over your shoulders, and nylon straps with a plastic clip or swivel mechanism to attach them at different points along one side of your body.
You also need to invest in a guitar case.
These cases are made from different materials; with the most popular being hard-backed acoustic guitar gig bags and rigid electric ones that offer better protection.
A cable is also necessary to connect your amp or amplifier to the guitar if you want an amplified sound.
Lastly, don't forget about spare strings!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does one learn how to play an electric guitar?
Learning instruments is never easy but there are ways we can help you get started or improve your skills as well.
The most important part of learning this instrument is finding what style of music speaks out loudest inside of you if it's classic or rock.
An effects pedalboard is important if you want to play with distortion or reverb for example!
How much do guitar lessons cost?
Guitar lessons can cost anywhere from $15 an hour to more than $100 depending on the instructor.
Some people think you should get lessons so that they will have a better idea of how to play, others believe it's just as easy to teach themselves. It all comes down to what you feel is best for yourself and who your available resources are at home or school.
Lessons could be helpful since most teachers have knowledge about guitar books (such as scales), songs and techniques.
However, some may even discourage self-teaching because they want students’ full attention during their lesson time with them; then again there are those who find teaching themselves enlightening in its own way and claim that learning music theory was difficult after taking guitar lessons.
Should I learn to play guitar on my own first before taking lessons?
In my opinion, it's best to learn the basics and how to read music notation before taking lessons.
If you're very passionate about learning guitar on your own then here are some suggestions:
Learn basic chords first, which can be found in most any beginner guitar book or through online tutorials and videos (here is a good video that I like).
You'll need two hands for this so if you have someone who could teach you, great! Otherwise fingers will do just fine.
Make sure not to press down too hard with your left hand since it may hurt quickly if not used properly; likewise make sure not to hit the strings too hard when strumming them because they might break after repeated use of wrong technique.
Finally, you need to know how to put your hands together so that they form shapes properly without having problems while playing!