Buying Your Guitar
You may have in mind whether you want an electric or an acoustic guitar already and if that is the case I will not try to change your mind. But if you are not sure which one you want let me recommend starting off with acoustic guitar. Why? Because with an acoustic guitar you will be concentrating on learning how to actually play the guitar rather than the noise that you may be making with an electric guitar. It's also much easier to step from playing an acoustic to an electric than visa versa. The skills you learn playing theacoustic guitar will be easily transferable to the electric guitar but that is not as much the case the other way around.
You can purchase your guitar online at www.GuitarCenter.com which has a huge selection of guitars to choose from and free shipping. They also have a huge amount of guitar pedals and amps to choose from if you are going the electric guitar route.
If you are buying a guitar for your young son or daughter you may be thinking you should get a small guitar but this is not the case. It is a better idea to get a full size guitar and let them grow into it. Why? Because this way your child will learn the proper distances between the frets instead of getting the wrong idea with a smaller guitar.
Tuning Your Guitar
While you can tune your guitar using an electronic guitar tuner (and you may want to use one to set your starting pitch at least) it is a good idea to learn how to tune your guitar by ear. This is a form of ear training. A huge part of being a good musician is being a great listener. You can't really play well if you can't hear well.
In standard tuning your guitars six strings should be tuned (from the bass strings to the high strings) E A D G B E.
Generally when tuning by ear you will tune each string in comparison to the string below it. You could start off by tuning the high E string either with an electronic tuner or by comparing it to the E on a keyboard. You will then tune the B string to ring in unison with the open high E string with your finger on the 5th fret of the B string. You will then do the same thing with the G string in comparison to the open B string except for with your finger on the 4th fret of the G string. You will then make the D string ring in unison with the open G string with your finger on the 5th fret of the D string. You will then make the A string ring in unison with the open D string with your finger on the 5th fret of the A string. And finally you will make the bass E string ring in unison with the open A string with your finger on the fifth fret of the bass E string.
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What is a chord? Simply put it's a combination of notes played at the same time. Normally the word chord refers to 3 or more notes played simultaneously but a "power chord" consists of just two notes.
Most people start off playing the guitar by playing simple open chords like C and G or if they are more interested in a punk or heavy rock style by playing barred power chords.
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