Useful Tips



It is difficult to imagine a musical instrument that would be more popular than a guitar. Contrary to popular belief, playing it is not as difficult as people used to think. Of course, it will take years to comprehend all the subtleties and nuances, but you can master the most basic techniques in 1-2 months, and after a couple of months you can confidently play the songs of your favorite groups. So how do you learn to play the electric guitar?

In general, learning to play the usual acoustic guitar is not very different from learning to play the electric guitar, but, of course, there are still some differences. Acoustics and electric guitars have different sound extraction techniques. Most often they play the electric guitar as a pick, and fingers play the acoustics. And while playing on the acoustics with a pick is also possible, then you won’t play with your fingers on an electric guitar, because your fingers aren’t able to give such a sound as a pick. This is to the question of whether it is possible to learn to play the electric guitar, and not the acoustics.

Misconception №1

In order to learn how to play, it is not necessary to splurge on an expensive and good instrument. On the contrary, if you study on poor-quality guitar, when you switch to a more sensible instrument, playing will be much easier.

This is a fairly common misconception among beginner guitarists picking up an instrument. It is dictated either by banal greed, or no less banal ignorance. As you know, avaricious pays twice.

The professionalism of the guitarist is never measured by the degree to which the instrument is "killed" by it. Poor-quality guitars very often have bulging, unpolished frets, an uncomfortable fingerboard, which can lead to improper arms and even injuries (scratching bad frets is not easy, but very easy, especially when you play something fast).

Such guitars often sound bad, and this is fraught with injuries already for your hearing, and it is more difficult to restore it than scratched fingers. Buying branded guitars of famous guitarists is also not necessary, because it is far from the fact that you definitely decide to realize yourself in this area further.

Now a quality tool for a beginner can be purchased at a very affordable price. For an electric guitar, it ranges from 8 to 15 thousand rubles. We will talk about how to learn how to play the electric guitar and choose your instrument in this article.

How to play the electric guitar

How to play the electric guitar? So, first things first. The first and most important question a novice guitarist should ask himself is: where to start? First you need to determine the direction: solo or rhythm. The difference lies in the fundamental difference between the techniques of playing the guitar.

Solo is a powerful, beautiful emotional outburst, which is the final touch, giving any song its own, unique charm. A rhythm is the basis upon which music is built. An experienced guitar player, as a rule, knows both techniques. However, knowing in which direction you want to develop, it will be much easier for you to answer the question of how to learn how to play the electric guitar.

If we talk about how to learn how to play solo on an electric guitar, it should be noted that this type of game includes such techniques and techniques as: tapping, slides, vibrato, flag-flops (usually artificial), etc. The rhythm game, in its essence, forms the very framework on which the entire track is built. Typically, this is a mixture of solo elements with alternating riffs.

Misconception №2

I cannot learn to play the guitar because I have no hearing.

Everyone has a hearing. It’s just that for someone it can be better and sharper, while for someone it is not sufficiently developed. Hearing can always be developed, since there are many exercises on the web for this.

Another similar misconception: it's hard to learn how to play an electric guitar without hearing. Yes, if for some reason you don’t want or cannot improve your musical ear, you won’t be able to pick up a melody by ear or transfer it from sound, but you can play without it - by notes or tabs.

Misconception №3

You need to sing with a guitar, but I don’t know how.

Is it difficult to learn to play the electric guitar without singing? Maybe this error makes sense in the circle of unprofessional guitarists, but basically it is complete nonsense. If you want to sing and accompany yourself on an instrument - please, if you do not want to - without problems, too, focus on the technique, on the complexity of the music itself.

You can often see how the performance of complex and beautiful passages and melodies causes a very restrained reaction among people ignorant of music, and from the three “thieves” chords that can be mastered in three days, if not less, the crowd will be delighted.

Try not to pay attention to it, if you play really well, musicians will respond positively about your work, and their comments are much more important for professional growth than reviews of mothers, grandmothers, friends, etc. Never let anyone blame you for being unprofessional. due to the fact that you play an independent part and don’t sing, the opinion of the person who made such a remark should not have any influence on you.

Tool selection

The price never determines the quality, but the chance to buy a good guitar for 20 thousand is much more than for 5. Consult your acquaintances guitarists. For starters, you can choose an electric guitar for a small price, but a well-known and trusted brand.

Take the tuner to the store, tune the instrument, make sure that all the strings sound and do not mow up or down the sound. Swipe your hand along the side of the fretboard to see how well the frets are polished; Make sure that you like the guitar in color and shape, this is a very important psychological point: a pleasant-looking instrument will give motivation for learning.

First steps

You bought your first instrument, brought it home, unpacked it, sat on the sofa and thought about how to quickly learn how to play the electric guitar.

First, configure it, even if the store has already been configured. A tuner is used for tuning, it can be purchased at the same music store. Take the guitar in your hands as you feel comfortable, the main thing is that you do not feel discomfort in the muscles of the arms and back.

Connect the guitar to the combo amplifier, if there is none, for the first time you can download a special program on your PC that replaces it and connect the guitar to it. You don’t have to rush to find the notes of your favorite songs and solos, for now you can still play them, but you can learn to play scales and simple melodies. On an electric guitar, the teaching principle is slightly different from acoustics, but in general there is nothing complicated there.

Right Hand Extraction

The left hand clamps the strings in frets to change the pitch, and with the right hand this same sound is extracted, so all guitarists play: both righties and lefties. There are special guitars for left-handed people, where everything is the other way around, but as practice shows, they also play great on right-handed models, and left-handed guitars are a bit more expensive.

Position your right hand so that the forearm rests on the bend of the guitar, and the brush itself hangs over the strings, like a twig. With your thumb, try to extract sound from the uppermost sixth string. To do this, simply gently pull the string down and a little away from you. The sixth, fifth and fourth strings are considered bass: the sound is extracted from them with the thumb. The index finger is responsible for the third string, the middle finger for the second, the ring finger for the first.

Sound is extracted from the lower strings as follows: with a fingertip, you pull the string from the bottom up and slightly towards yourself. To fix the extraction with your right hand, you can play the brute force. The simplest is played like this: the sixth string, the third, second, first, second, third. Do not forget that each string is “tied” to a specific finger.

This enumeration is used in the introduction of Metallica's Nothing else matters. After two weeks of classes, when you will feel more confident with the instrument, you can try to learn the introduction of this song completely. They don’t advise a beginner to go beyond the introduction, since this song contains a barre technique, which can cause difficulties for a beginner. Other searches:

  • bass (sixth, fifth or fourth), third, second, third, first, third, second, third,
  • bass, first, second, third,
  • bass, third, second + first (pull at the same time), third,
  • bass, third + second + first.

Left Hand Extraction

The thumb is located behind the neck of the guitar and is pressed against it, as if leaning. It’s not worth it to press specially, he himself will lie on the bar when you start playing. Form a kind of dome from the brush, as if holding an apple. It is worth pressing the strings with the fingertips so that when pressed, the finger retains its shape, does not spread out on the neck, does not twist.

Important: to press not with those pillows that we see when looking at our palm from the back, but with those that we see when we look under the nails. All fingers of the left hand should produce sound equally high quality.

Left hand exercise

  • “Snake” - you hold the string with your index finger, extract the sound with your right hand, then hold the next finger on the same string with the middle finger, without releasing the index, and again extract the sound. As a result, all 4 fingers should be in a line on the string. Then we do the opposite: remove the little finger, extract the sound, remove the nameless, extract and so on.
  • "Spider" - the beginning is the same as in the "snake", but after all our fingers are on the string we don’t remove them, and we transfer the index finger to the string higher, but in the same manner, while the remaining fingers remain on the same string. So alternately rearranging the fingers “crawl” up, and then also “slide down”. Make sure that in these exercises all the notes you have sounded clean, do not rattle, press the strings tightly. Gradually increase the pace.

How to read tablature?

Every guitarist who thinks about how to learn to play the electric guitar from scratch also thinks about what to play. This can be done either by notes or by tablature. Notation in itself is nothing complicated, but few people manage to understand it on their own, the teacher’s explanation will be the most successful option: this is about the question of where to learn how to play the electric guitar.

Tablatures are much easier to use. It has six rulers, the highest - the thinnest string. On these rulers are numbers indicating frets. Thus, we see from which string and on which fret we need to extract sound. The only significant drawback of the tabs is that it is almost impossible to track the rhythm on them. Yes, the creators of tablatures try to compensate for this in every possible way: they make spaces between the numbers where the longer notes are located, but you won’t be able to follow the rhythm just like by notes or by tablatures.

Guitar sound

So, let's start. If you pick up an electric guitar and (without plugging it in) pick up a couple of chords, then make sure that it sounds very quiet and poor compared to an acoustic guitar. This is because the body of the electric guitar is a solid piece of wood. Well, or a few pieces glued together. True, there are very cheap guitars from sawdust, or plywood there - with them you can impress ignorant friends with your cool look, but playing them is not recommended.

You can get a real “guitar” sound by connecting an electric guitar through one or through a chain of several (for sophisticated guitarists, their number reaches almost ten) of the so-called effect pedals (“lotions”), in a special combo amplifier (in common language “combo” )

A beginner has a combo, as a rule, transistor. Its main advantages are reliability and low price. Tube combo amplifiers, as a rule, are an order of magnitude more expensive than transistor ones, in addition, the electric lamps in them must be periodically changed (about once every six months). What are tube amplifiers good for? I’ll tell you a secret - the topic of “tube sound versus transistor” was the cause of more than one holy war, we just note that tube amplifiers produce a more “correct” guitar sound. Moreover, with an increase in volume, the sound of the tube amplifier becomes more and more “correct”, while the transistor one wants to turn off more and more.

Effects pedals

As for the effect pedals, there is a really big variety of them. And each gives its own unique sound. They are called pedals because they are small boxes on which, in addition to various controls, there is a power button (it is also a power button), which the guitarist presses with his foot. Well, the box itself, respectively, lies on the floor. This button is often made in the form of, somewhat reminiscent of a car pedal - hence the name.

Perhaps the most popular type of effect is distortion (English distortion - "distortion"). It is used by a large number of musicians playing music of various styles - from pop rock to heavy, aggressive styles like thrash metal. To get an idea of ​​what kind of distortion sounds, I suggest listening to the song “Break Stuff” by the band Limp Bizkit.

However, if you want to play solo (if anyone still does not know what it means to “play solo”, I will explain that when playing solo at one particular moment in time, sound is extracted using only one string). So, distortion here will be a bad choice, this effect distorts the signal too much. For solos, another very common type of effect is good - overdrive (English overdrive - "overload"). It minimally distorts the signal, and the solo sounds legible and melodious when used.

When the pedal is in the off state, it passes sound through itself without making any changes. This makes it possible to include effects in a chain - sequentially, so that you can quickly switch from one to another - turn off one, turn on the other and all - no switching wires.

In real life, the guitarist often needs to switch entire groups of effects during the game, but he has only two legs. For such cases, they came up with a special pedal switch - the so-called foot switch (English footswitch - "foot switch").

Another very common effect is delay (English delay - "delay"). It works in conjunction with other effects. Its essence lies in the fact that the sound of one note becomes longer, as if extended in time. As a rule, the delay works in tandem with overdrive, however, options are possible here, because the imagination of people is unlimited, and if these people are also guitarists ...

Also, there are more complex devices - effect processors. These are digital instruments that can emulate the sound of a large number of different effect pedals and combo amplifiers. With their help, you can immediately play “in line” (ie, into a regular amplifier or input from a computer’s sound card). Their main advantage is size. A small processor is much more convenient than a suitcase of lotions and a huge combo in addition. But, firstly, emulation is an emulation, no matter how high-quality it is, and secondly, you don’t poke a foot on the processor - you need to turn its numerous switches, and this is not always acceptable due to lack of time.

Do not forget that for the effects pedal you need your own power - as a rule, this is a 9-volt battery like "Krona". Instead, you can connect a network adapter to almost all gadgets.

How to connect everything?

Both the guitar and effects are connected using a cable with jack-type connectors at the ends. It should be said that the shorter the cable - the better, the less distortion there will be, the less your combo will catch the radio, and comics, oddly enough, love to listen to the radio. This is especially true for the cable connecting the guitar and the "lotion." Its best length is 2-3 meters, no more.

Also, a lot depends on the quality of the plugs and the wire itself. Here the law is simple: the more expensive the better (by the way, anyone who knows how to solder can easily make a cable for the same money on their own, while using components more qualitatively than in a ready-made factory cable). Thus, if your chain looks like a “guitar - effects pedal - combo", you will need two jack-jack connecting cables.

Safety precautions: belt and straps

Suppose that we have already connected a guitar, and our hands immediately reached out to play something on it. Now-now, another safety note. Inspect your guitar, see how a belt is attached to it. Most likely, you will see such "hats" for which the belt is fixed on both sides.

Holes were made in the belt with slots into which the “caps” enter and the guitar rests on the belt due to its own weight. The most common mistake novice guitarists make is to throw the belt over themselves without looking to see if the tip of the belt is twisted.

Ironically, a belt is often locked in the wrong position. When this happens, the guitar falls to the ground as soon as you release it, and this, you see, is very sad.

Для того чтобы обезопасить гитаристов от подобных коллизий, а дорогие инструменты – от непоправимых увечий, были придуманы так называемые стреплоки (англ. straplock – «замок для ремня»). Стреплоки встраиваются (вернее, ввинчиваются) на место «шляпок» и надежно крепят ремень в любом положении. Most new guitars are produced by manufacturers without streploks, as if leaving the guitarist a choice - to put those streploks on the guitar that he likes more.

Let's play rock!

So, I sincerely want to believe that you got to this place of the article with an already connected and tuned guitar. Let’s try to play something!

Honestly, I am offended by those newcomers who are forced to play immortal things like “A grasshopper sat in the grass” when they get to know the instrument. The man decided to play the electric guitar, he had already stocked up on the Metal Zone, he wants it to be louder and heavier, and you will give him the Grasshopper.

Therefore, I propose to learn how to play a simple, but at the same time cute driving riff from the song “Fight For Your Right” by Beastie Boys. At the same time, we will learn what “power chords”And how tabs are written.

To begin, let's listen to a fragment of a song, the riff to which we will learn to play.

In this song, the guitarist uses a distortion effect. I recommend not including distortion at first, but simply playing the combo directly (guitarists call it “clean" - clear sound). Playing on a clear sound will let you know what mistakes are made, where the finger went not to where else what happened. It is important for beginners to remember that playing through distortion lubricates individual errors. Not that they are imperceptible, it’s just harder to understand where you made a mistake.

The riff of our study song is entirely built on the so-called power chords (English power chords - "powerful chords"). Although in the generally accepted musical sense they are not quite chords, they sound really unusually powerful even without overloading, for which they got their name. Power chords are ubiquitous in rock music. There is even a special guitar system for playing power chords - Drop D. More about it is a little lower.

What is a tablature?

How to play this or that composition, musicians record using notes. For guitarists, a more convenient form of recording is tablature ("Tabs"). Each string has its own line on the tabs. Here, please, a clean tab:

The top line corresponds to the thinnest string, the bottom, respectively - the thickest. You can also find such a tablature option - with letters - here everything is the same:

And now, please love and favor, here they are - tabs for our educational song:

How to quickly learn to play the guitar

Each person has different goals. In order to answer the questions of how to quickly learn to play the guitar, is it difficult or easy, how long can you master this instrument from scratch - you need to understand what you want to achieve.

Do you want to be the soul of the company, play beautiful light tunes and sing your favorite songs around the campfire? With the right approach, you can learn this on your own in a very short time without leaving your home. Of course, the chords of the song “Blood type” and others that use the “barre” technique will be difficult at first. It is important to observe the regularity of classes. For beginners, it’s enough to devote 2-3 hours to playing the guitar every day and learn the basics in order to see the first results in two weeks.

How long does it take to learn to play the guitar and become a professional guitarist? Maybe you want to know how to learn to improvise, play classical pieces, master the genres of flamenco, jazz, blues, fingerstyle and masterfully water solo sweep? Here we are talking about completely different time intervals.

Professional guitarists also began their guitar lessons from scratch. What I will tell you about later is the foundation without which neither amateurs nor professionals can do.

I suggest, for starters, to get acquainted with the recommendations of famous guitarists for beginners, and only then to understand everything in detail.

How to play blues on an electric guitar

The technique of playing the blues genre is used on a large number of slides and flagolettes. So how to play the blues on an electric guitar? Unlike metal, the blues uses natural flagships, extracted at 19, 16, 12, 9 and 7 frets. Of course, when playing in this style, you can forget about Distortion mode. As a rule, more gentle, deep tones prevail here to give more melody. The blues genre is full of blues chords, gamma and pentatonic boxes. A combination of rhythm, slides and brute force is also used.

How to play rock on an electric guitar

When playing in the style of rock, as in metal, there are a huge number of tricks that incline this genre in one direction or another. Slides, vibrato, and bands are used here. How to play rock on an electric guitar? Classic rock is a mixture of rhythm and solo. The combo goes into Distortion mode. Tremble and bass are added. The most important thing to pay attention to is the power of Distortion and the presence / absence of processor effects. Due to the fact that there is too much of one or the other, a rock-style game can be turned into either a full-fledged metal or a shapeless set of sounds.

How to play jazz on an electric guitar

The first and most significant difference between jazz and other styles: improvisation. This is exactly what this style is based on. How to play jazz on an electric guitar? You need to start with interval exercises or rhythmic attacks. In jazz, as in blues, there are chords that you need to learn for a novice jazz guitarist. Training includes the study of keys and scales. Having mastered this knowledge, the guitarist needs to use it in the last and most important thing: improvisation.

What type of training is the best

In the realities of our world, guitarists are divided into two types: academics and self-taught. Both of these skills have insignificant differences in their skills. The difference lies in the training methodology. As the name implies, academic learning involves laying the foundation: studying notes, working at a pace and the constant presence of an experienced mentor (usually these are graduates of musical institutions or acting musicians). The biggest and most important plus of choosing this path: clear, formulated, brought to mind skills. The disadvantages include the duration of training and the need for a lot of patience (90% of the time you have to play is not what you like. As a rule, 20-30 times per lesson ...)

Speaking of the second method of training, it is worth immediately highlighting its main plus: flexibility. Literally from the first day you can learn to play something of what you like, or what you have heard more than once. Of course, the first time you can’t play something like Ozzy Osbourne - MrCrowley or Pantera - Floods. However, the fact that you will play only what you like, and when you want to, is an absolute plus. Another advantage is the fact that the most popular songs have been beaten hundreds of times with detailed analysis on Moreover, in different languages.

It is not difficult for a novice guitarist to fill his arsenal of 30-40 popular solos with his own individual style. Despite the fact that self-study has such obvious advantages, do not forget that the ease of this path is very misleading. Self-study, like studying at a music school, is hard, painstaking work.

To study on your own, or to engage with a professional, in this case it is up to you. In the author’s personal opinion, 5-6 years of methodical study of the tool, regardless of the form of training, instill certain skills in one way or another. In most cases, very, very good. Summarizing all of the above, the choice can be made based on what level you want to master the tool. The author personally knows people who have advanced to the level of a master in 1 year of smooth, continuous training.

If you decide to start the process yourself, then be patient. A guitar is a complex instrument, but is studied through non-linear progression: the greater the skill, the faster the development.

Which way to start moving, choose only for you. And it is possible that the choice has already been made ... Success!