Introduction to learning to play acoustic guitar

choosing classical guitar to buy

Introduction to the introduction

Getting started with learning the acoustic guitar doesn't have to be overcomplicated. It should be fun and be an exciting journey to explore

And while playing the guitar takes a certain level of patience and commitment. However, it pays off in the long run. 

learning to play guitar London guitar lessons

The awesome thing about the acoustic guitar is that, it's really accessible. And it's used for so many different genres of music too. 

Being able to play the songs you love is going to be motivating and inspiring. Not to mention more fun.

It is also useful for singer-songwriters, actors or just anyone who is passionate about music. 

A few things we are going to take about in this introduction: 

  • Choosing the right acoustic guitar 
  • Getting to know your new acoustic guitar
  • Getting started with learning to play the acoustic guitar 
  • Posture position with your acoustic guitar 
  • Learning the basics of playing the acoustic guitar  

Let's get started!

Choosing the right acoustic guitar

Acoustic comes in various body shapes & sizes ranging from small to bigger ones sometimes called "Jumbo size". 

It's fair to say that it's not always easy getting the right guitar for you.

Nonetheless, here are some factors to consider while choosing your acoustic guitar:

Size of your guitar

Depending on your age, you should choose a size that fits perfectly well and stays within your arms reach. And you should be able to reach the top of the guitar. 

Budget

Make sure the guitar stays within your budget and remember to think about getting guitar lessons, and accessories on top of just buying the guitar. 

Durability

One other important factor to consider when picking out a guitar is durability. Many guitars take a fancy look on the outside but are without quality materials.

If you can go to the store with an expert or professional. They can help you to examine the acoustic guitar before making a purchase for your first one. 

You will probably be taking your guitar to different places too, so make sure you get a good quality one. 

If you need more help, read our "Ultimate Guide to buying your guitar" to help you. 

sizes and shapes of acoustic guitar

Budget

Make sure the guitar stays within your budget and remember to think about getting guitar lessons, and accessories on top of just buying the guitar. 

Durability

One other important factor to consider when picking out a guitar is durability. Many guitars take a fancy look on the outside but are without quality materials.

If you can go to the store with an expert or professional. They can help you to examine the acoustic guitar before making a purchase for your first one. 

You will probably be taking your guitar to different places too, so make sure you get a good quality one. 

If you need more help, read our "Ultimate Guide to buying your guitar" to help you. 

Getting to know your new baby

After purchasing your acoustic guitar, the next thing on the line is identifying the various parts of the guitar.

Having a better understanding of the functions of each part helps your learning process go smoothly.

Different parts of your acoustic guitar

Let's check the parts of the acoustic guitar out:

Diagram of Acoustic Guitar

Introduction parts of an acoustic guitar

The main three parts:

Head 

On the head of your guitar, is your headstock. Which has your tuning pegs on. The tuning pegs are what you will use to adjust your strings - and tune your guitar with. 

Neck

The neck of your guitar is the fretboard. 
On your fretboard are metal ridges that separate individual frets. 

Most guitars will have markers on your fretboard so you can easily count which fret you are playing.

Body

The body of your guitar is where the sound hole of your guitar is. 

And be careful.... the sound hole will swallow up your picks whenever it can. 

You've also got the bridge of the acoustic guitar.  Which is what your guitar strings attach to. 

You might also have some electronics on yours to amplify your guitar. And some even have a tuner included. 

There is also a pickguard most acoustic guitars. Because you are going to be strumming a lot, it's good to have something to protect your surface of your guitar. 

strumming guitar learning to play guitar

Getting started with learning the guitar

As you proceed in with learning to play the guitar with the help of your guitar teacher or instructor. You will begin to get familiar with how to tune the guitar and get started with strumming some basic chords. 

The main trick about the guitar for a beginner is to keep to the pulse of the music. 
Every-time you drop a beat, it will really disrupt the groove of the music. 

pulse of the music learning guitar

To aid your lessons on the guitar, you should get an instructor acting as a guide on your journey as a guitarist.

Postures and sitting positions to help you

Also, there are certain postures you need to aid your finger movements and body balance. Some steps to these postures are:

  • Make sure the chair is not too high or too low to balance the guitar well on your lap
  • Ensure that your fingers are able to pick each string and notes well and easily.
  • Maintain a comfortable arm posture, ensure it's not too high.
playing guitar posture position

All things have been said, here are basic steps you need to follow as a beginner when you want to play the acoustic guitar.

Understanding what you are playing 

In the beginning

In the beginning, the whole guitar will seem like a massive puzzle. And might feel very overwhelming. 

When you first start, it's okay to just experience the instrument, learn some basic chords. And get playing. 

If we had to understand every single thing before we do it. That would take the fun out of things. 

For example. If you had to understand all the rules of football, and how a ball is made. Before you kick a ball around the field. That would be a lot less fun. 

When to introduce music understanding ?

Understanding music is an important part of learning to play guitar. Because it makes it easier for you to progress in the long term. 

If you have a great guitar teacher, they will be drip feeding you this understanding every step of the way. 

repertoire of songs learning guitar for beginners

Coming up on your own, try reading our "Understanding music for beginner guitarists". This will be useful for you if you have no previous music lessons. 

What to do about practising the guitar?

In the beginning, practising the acoustic guitar can feel uncomfortable. Especially when you are learning on a steel string guitar, because it hurts to press down on the strings. Slowly and surely, you will start to build callouses on your finger tips. 

And you will get used to have your wrist and arm in a strange position. 
Changing chords might seem like the hardest thing in the world in the beginning, but it does get easier. 

Read more about tips on practising guitar for beginners

What to get started with?

There are so many things you can tackle first. 
And if you are learning on your own, I would recommend picking some easy chords that are used often in songs. Such as Em, A, G, D. And don't worry too much about understanding what they mean right in the beginning. 

Find songs with these chords in and start playing. Focusing on keeping with the pulse of the music. 

If you have a guitar teacher, then they should be able to help you get a good head start. And to avoid getting bad habits along the way. 

The beginning of learning the acoustic guitar can be frustrating. But having someone to guide you along the path will help. 

I would like to find a guitar teacher

If you are looking for a guitar teacher in London, come speak to us to find out how you can get a free guitar lesson. To find out how you can get over this tricky hurdle in the beginning. And to have a tonne of fun playing guitar in a fun and supportive community.