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A guitar is an instrument that enables you to play either melodies, chords, rhythm, or everything at once. The simplest way to start, though, is by playing melodies. During this mini-course, you will acquire the main skills and knowledge you need to play melodies on a guitar both by ear as well as from sheet music and tablature. The only provision is that you have a guitar to use and a bit of time to practice. Just follow the instructions and try to be as accurate as possible from the very beginning, this way you will definitely reach your goal.
Let's get started!
1. Producing A Sound
Since a guitar is a string instrument, the sound is produced by the movement of the strings, amplified by the body of the guitar. Strings are moved with the right hand. There are different ways of producing the sound; during this mini-course, we introduce ourselves with a movement called rest stroke (apoyando in Spanish).
Put the right thumb on the thickest string (the 6th) and the index finger on the thinnest string (the 1st). Keep the other fingers away from the guitar! If you are doing everything the right way, it should look like this:
To make the string sound, press it a bit with the index finger and let the finger slide over the string so that it stops on the next string. The finger has to move from the first joint, that is from the fist, not from the middle or upper joint!
Repeat it a couple of times. The thumb is doing nothing, just resting on the 6th string and making sure the hand is stable. Only the finger moves, the hand must remain still. If you have mastered playing one string, try the following exercise:
Try to make the notes sound the same length, and when you've mastered that, try to make them sound evenly loud.
When the index finger has somewhat got used to the exercise, try the same with the middle finger. Those are the only fingers we will deal for starters. The thumb is still resting on the 6th string!
In real play, several notes in a row are not played by one finger only, but fingers are, in fact, used alternately to pick the strings. So, repeat the same exercise with alternating fingers.
Now it is your turn to play! This is our MatchMySound web app that can be embedded to any website. Press 'Play' to hear the reference and ‘Record’ to allow your browser to use a microphone and start playing. You will get instant feedback. Don't forget to tune your guitar first. You don't need to go to the front page for that, just open the three dot menu of the MatchMySound plugin and find the tuner.
The work of the right hand must be at first practiced on open strings. The left hand is doing nothing in these exercises. You can move on after you have mastered playing with alternating fingers. You can also try playing with the pick, which then has to move up-and-down. Even with the pick, you must start with practicing how to make a sound on open strings.These exercises are worth doing every time you start playing after a while make sure you manage to keep the strength and timbre of the sounds produced by both fingers even.