How to Play the Guitar: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Play the Guitar: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Play the Guitar: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

You can use your guitar to play a variety of music, from death metal, classical music, and all sorts of other genres. Learning how to play the guitar is easier than any other instrument, as long as you've mastered the basics. You can also start studying on your own right away.


Part 1 of 3: Learning the Basics

Play Guitar Step 1
Play Guitar Step 1

Step 1. Get to know the parts of the guitar

Whether you play electric or acoustic, guitars are made of metal as well as wood. Copper-coated guitar strings vibrate to produce sound. Its wooden body resonates this sound to produce warm notes synonymous with guitar.

  • The strings will pass head part guitar, and then paired on stop knob which can be rotated to tighten and loosen it. The strings will also pass through the section bridge to be attached to the guitar body. On acoustic guitars, these strings are attached to the bridge using non-fixed pegs. For electric guitars, the strings are usually threaded through a small hole.
  • Part neck The guitar is a long piece of wood, which is flat on one side (called the fretboard) and curved on the other. The fretboard is lined with metal stripes (called frets) to mark the various notes.
  • Acoustic guitar has earpiece on his body. This hole will be where the sound resonates. On an electric guitar, there are three elements pickup magnetic field which will transmit the sound to the amplifier.

Step 2. Hold the guitar properly

Before you start playing like Jimi Hendrix, make sure you're holding the guitar properly. If you're right-handed, play the guitar by rubbing the strings about halfway between the sound hole and the bridge with your right hand, and pressing the strings against the neck of the guitar with your left.

  • To play the guitar, you must sit on a bench or chair with a straight back. When you orient your guitar to your body, the thinnest strings should point toward the floor and the thickest strings should point toward the ceiling. Hold the back so that the guitar touches your stomach and chest and rests on your dominant leg.
  • Place the guitar on your thigh, then lap it with your body. Use your left hand to stabilize the neck and strum the strings, and hold the neck with a V-shaped thumb and forefinger. You'll be able to move your left hand up and down the guitar neck without holding it.
  • Even if you hold the guitar properly, you may experience some discomfort while practicing playing it. Don't despair if your shoulders, neck, arms and hands hurt. Eventually you will get used to it.

Step 3. Tune the guitar

Playing a discordant guitar is no fun. In addition, you will develop bad habits if you are a beginner. Regular tuning will also familiarize you with the fret and string combinations that correspond to a note.

  • Learn the name of each string. The names are E, A, D, G, B, and E (starting from the thinnest strings producing the highest notes to the thickest strings producing the lowest notes). Use a system of mnemonics to remember this sequence, for example " Ein Ada Di Glucky Bset Edo!"
  • The electric tuner is easy to use and very accurate. Attach it to the guitar and strum the high E string. The tuner will tell you whether the sound is "sharp" (too high) or "flat" (too low). Hit each note and tighten the strings to raise them up, or loosen them to lower them. Make sure the room is quiet when you use the tuner, as the microphone can absorb other sounds.
  • If you can't afford a tuner, you can also tune manually. Do this by matching the sound of each note to the same note on the piano.

Step 4. Practice pressing the frets on all the strings

The fret is the area bounded by the metal strip. This strip is perpendicular to mark each note. To sound a note, press your finger between the metal strips (not over them). Playing the third fret means that you place your finger on the string between the gap of the second and third frets. Also, make sure your fingers are closer to the lower frets to avoid the buzzing sound. Hold the string firmly so that it only vibrates between your strumming finger and hand. Press the strings with just your fingertips.

Each time you move from one fret to another, the resulting note will be half as high as you are aiming at the body of the guitar. The closer you get to the neck/head of the guitar, the lower the pitch will be. Practice moving your fingers along the fretboard. Hit each fret and get used to it so you can play a note

Play Guitar Step 5
Play Guitar Step 5

Step 5. Use a pick

A pick, or plectrum, is a small plastic object used for playing single notes and shuffling guitars. They are cheap and available at all music stores. While you don't have to learn how to play guitar with a pick, people usually start here.

Make a fist with your dominant hand. Glue the thumbs to the bent fingers. Hold the pick by gripping it perpendicular to your fist, between your thumb and index finger. Leave only a few centimeters of the protruding part of your hand

Part 2 of 3: Playing the Keys of the Guitar


Step 1. Learn common keys

A chord is a group of at least three notes that sound in harmony. There are two standard types of chords that you should learn to start playing guitar: regular chords and bar chords. A regular chord can be played with a combination of pressed and opened (unpressed) strings on the first three frets on the neck of the guitar.

  • The main important keys are C Major, A Major, G major, E major, D major.
  • Once you've mastered the shapes of all of these keys, practice changing keys as quickly as possible. Write down a random arrangement of the keys you play and move your fingers as fast as you can after you ring them.
  • Make sure you play the appropriate notes. In A Major, for example, the low E string is not strummed. They'll be marked on the tablature with an "X". Develop good habits now for success in the long run.

Step 2. Learn the finger locations for each common lock

Here's the placement:

  • Key C:

    Place your ring finger on the third string on the fifth string. Place your middle finger on the second fret on the fourth string, and your index finger on the first fret on the second string. Sound it. Then, play each string individually while keeping the key pressed. Make sure the sound of all the strings is clear.

  • A major:

    Prepare the index, middle, and ring fingers. Place it on the second fret on the second, third, and fourth strings. Its position will form a straight line on these three strings. Play all the strings except the sixth string.

  • G key:

    Place your middle finger on the third fret on the sixth string. Place your index finger on the second fret on the fifth string, and your ring finger on the third fret on the first string. Make sure the sound of each string is clear.

  • E Major:

    E major is one of the easiest keys. Place your middle and ring fingers on the second fret, on the fifth and fourth strings, respectively. The index finger should hit the third string on the first fret.

  • D Major:

    Place your index finger on the second fret on the third string. Place your middle finger on the third fret on the first string, and your ring finger on the third fret on the second string. Play only the bottom four strings.

  • E minor:

    The shape is similar to E major, only you won't be using your index finger here. Place your middle and ring fingers on the second fret on the fourth and fifth strings.

  • A minor:

    Place your middle and index fingers on the second fret on the third and fourth strings. The index finger should hit the second string at the first fret. The shape is exactly the same as E major, only one string is lowered. Ignore the sixth string.

  • D minor:

    D minor is very similar to D major. Place your middle finger on the second fret on the third string. Place your index finger on the first fret on the first string, and your ring finger on the third fret on the second string. Play only the bottom four strings.


Step 3. Practice producing a clear sound from each string in the chord

Once you've placed all your fingers on the fretboard, play each string in the corresponding chord. Make sure the strings are ringing, not blocked or stuck.

  • If the notes don't sound clear, it's possible that you didn't press hard enough, or that your fingers touched some of the strings, making the guitar sound slurred. Did your other fingers touch the strings?
  • Keep your fret-pressing fingers bent over the fretboard as they touch the strings, as if they were all resting on a glass ball, or marble, in each fist. This way, you get room for the open strings to sound.

Step 4. Hit the guitar with a shuffle technique

The shuffle involves moving up and down in various combinations, and playing all the chords evenly and rhythmically. Use your wrists to practice smooth up and down movements. Keep your elbows firmly pointed at the guitar and sweep all the strings downwards. Elbows should not move much, because the whisk should be done from the wrist.


Step 5. Learn bar locks

Bar chords, or flexible chords (because they are easy to move), are very useful for playing songs. In this key, the index finger will hit all the notes on a fret. For example, to play the F chord, which is the first chord on the neck of the guitar, you must hold all the notes on the first fret with your index finger and play the E chord one fret further back. Press the strings with your middle, ring, and little fingers in this position.

The same finger position will be used on the second fret to play the chord of B. On the third fret, it sounds in the key of G. This finger position is difficult to learn, but the results are well worth the effort: you can quickly learn rock/pop songs once you master the shuffling technique. guitar and playing chords. For example, the Ramones band only uses a bar chord but can produce quality songs

Part 3 of 3: Keep Playing the Guitar

Play Guitar Step 11
Play Guitar Step 11

Step 1. Treat finger pain

Eventually, you'll find yourself in a desperate situation: you can't switch keys as fast as you'd like or your fingers hurt. If this happens, it looks like you want to give up – this is why most guitar players stop playing after a few weeks. However, if you continue to play for several months and years, the fingers on your non-dominant hand will develop calluses so that the pain of pressing the strings for long periods of time will be greatly reduced. Everyone who learns to play the guitar must experience sore fingers. Learn to love this pain and relate it to all the things you love about music and guitar.

  • Ice your finger after playing or soak it in an apple cider vinegar solution to relieve the pain.
  • Dipping your fingers in rubbing alcohol after playing can help speed up the growth of calluses. However, don't do it beforehand.

Step 2. Learn to play some songs

Guitar is more enjoyable when you play a song you know, not just a series of chords or notes. In fact, 90% of songs are only made based on 3-4 key combinations. Follow the links in the bolded sections to find ten songs you can play in just four keys.

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the speed as you get used to the rhythm of the song. At first, you may be frustrated that your sound is too stiff/cramped. However, the more you get used to changing keys, the better you'll get at playing the guitar.
  • Once you've mastered the easy songs, move on to the more complex ones. Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is actually just a repetition of the keys of D, C, and G, although the sound sounds much more complex because it uses the lead guitar part.
Play Guitar Step 13
Play Guitar Step 13

Step 3. Learn how to read tablatures

Guitarists have their own musical notation system, called tablature, or guitar tabs. The basic idea is to look at each line in the tablature in the same way you would look at a guitar. Each of these lines represents one string, and the number listed tells you which fret to hold when playing that string. For example, to play the tablature part of the song "Sweet Home Alabama," play two notes on an open D string, an open B on the third fret, an open G on the second fret, and so on.

  • E|------------------------------------------------ -||
  • B|-------3---------3--------------- -||
  • G|-----2---------0-------------------2p0--| |
  • D|-0-0------------------------0--0----0h2p0--------||
  • A|------------3-3-------------2---0p2-------0------| |
  • E|-----------------------3-3--3------------------- -||
  • Switching between lead and key playstyles is fun. You'll feel like you're really playing music, not just "learning guitar." Make sure your chord shape is correct and that you don't lose your rhythm while playing the lead.

Step 4. Learn from others

The most effective way to learn guitar is to pay attention, listen, and imitate other people's techniques. You don't have to be formally educated to learn the guitar, but you can use friends to play with and share tricks and advice.

  • YouTube tutorials can be very useful for both beginners and expert players. Watching Stevie Ray Vaughn solo or Jack Johnson strumming your favorite song is an effective learning experience.
  • If you want to play jazz or classical guitar, or even want to learn how to read sheet music, take formal lessons. Teaching yourself is a great way to develop your play style, but know that the lessons you can learn will be limited if you don't find a good mentor.


  • Don't be frustrated if your keys don't sound good. Practice finger strength and stay committed, and the sound will improve.
  • Realize that you will make mistakes; You are not alone, everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
  • If a key doesn't "sound" the way it should, play each string on the key. You may accidentally hold or play the keys the wrong way. This way, you can pinpoint the problem. Make sure you use your fingertips to press the chords so that your strings produce a clearer sound.
  • Plucking the thick strings may make your fingers sore. To prevent this, use pick.
  • Search for the songs you want to play. Prepare the tablature and practice the song. Your guitar playing session will be even more interesting!
  • Print out the key diagram and hang it where it's easy to see. You will be very helpful.
  • You may not be able to ring the key smoothly at first. Do not worry. You need time to get used to the fingers to get stronger. If you practice two hours a day, you will quickly master the finger position within a few weeks. If you practice less, you will need more time.
  • If you're having trouble hitting the frets, try using thinner strings. The sound quality is poorer, but the strings are easier to press and cause less fingertip pain.
  • If you have trouble forming locks with your fingers, practice strength first. Also develop finger agility and familiarize yourself with the guitar.
  • Practice fingerpicking technique. Look for fingerpicking patterns online, or try finding patterns for some of your favorite songs on the guitar.


  • Relying on video or written tutorials without the help of an experienced teacher can lead you to develop bad habits that are difficult to change. While you may be able to study effectively without formal classes, these courses can actually be useful for dealing with personal play problems.
  • Be careful not to overdo it at first. Just one hour a day. Don't hurt your fingers.

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