This is article 2 of Where to begin: Playing Guitar for the Guitar Illiterate. I hope you’ve read the first article, so you are a little familiarized with the instrument.

It doesn’t matter if you have an electric or acoustic, both are quite suitable for you to start playing guitar. It doesn’t even matter if you have an electric without an amplifier. It still makes sound, just more quietly. Which if you’re a beginner might be preferable to whomever you live with, because you’ll be making some racket if you have an amp and don’t know what you’re doing.

Whatever your preference in music is, it’s good to listen and take notes on what you like and what you don’t like. What sounds good(even if you aren’t fond of it) and what sounds bad. What’s even better is to watch videos of good guitar players. You will notice different playing styles or similarities between different players. There isn’t always a right or wrong, but there are easier and more effective ways to play than others.

Having the right positioning as we talked about in the first article is important. It makes it easier to play. The guitar is designed to feel natural and if you hold it right it will.

Lets start with rhythm. Rhythm is the beat of the music. It is foundational. Most guitarist are categorized as either rhythm or lead. Lead is more complex and often includes solos. Rhythm is necessary for both to know. You can’t skip rhythm if you want to know lead. Most rhythm is simply playing chords in a short pattern and repeating it over and over. Almost all music you’ll hear on the radio is what is called 4/4 or standard time. To count this out emphasize the first number.

1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, and so on.

This is the beat. The rhythm guitar basically follows the beat. This time count as you did in the above example and pick the low E string(the thickest one) as you count each number. It wont be very melodic since you’re only playing 1 note, but some songs do start that way. Right now we are just getting you familiar with the basic concepts. You’re doing great, so far. For further guidance on where to go click the button below to get started with guitar lessons.