Learn How to Play Acoustic Guitar

All beginner lessons for guitar, whether they are electric or acoustic guitar lessons, must focus on the basics of music theory and chord identification before they can zero in on the specifics of how to play guitar.

Now that we have gotten the fundamentals out of the way, it is time to focus on some items specific to the acoustic guitar, such as acoustic guitar strumming techniques, fingerstyle guitar lessons, and alternate tunings, and we’ll take peek at some acoustic guitar tabs.

It’s a good idea for a beginner to consider purchasing an acoustic guitar before investing thousands of dollars on an electric guitar and the accessories—cables, amps, speakers, etc—that go with it, only to find that guitar isn’t your cup of tea.

It’s not necessarily easier to learn how to play acoustic guitar than electric, but, aside from being more reasonably priced, they are portable, require less additional equipment, and are quiet enough not to annoy your neighbors. The trick is knowing which type to buy.

Acoustic guitars are used for any and every style of music, even heavy metal and punk. However, they are primarily for use in folk, Country & Western, Blues, and classical music. Different types of acoustic guitars, as we have seen, are for use in different types of music: nylon-string for classical, steel-string for folk and rock, as well as six- and twelve-string guitars for producing different sounds.

All can be used in generally the same way, require basically the same fingerstyle guitar lessons and are used with the same acoustic guitar tabs. But if you’re unsure as to which style of music you intend to play or what kind of acoustic guitar lessons you plan to take, a safe bet is a steel-string, six-string. This is a versatile enough guitar to suit most any musical need, including learning how to play acoustic guitar.

There are also different styles of play for different styles of music. For example, certain guitar strumming techniques might be used for folk music, while others are used for classical. Likewise, different methods of “stopping” the strings are appropriate for different styles of music. For example, most musicians “stop” the strings by pressing them against the fretboard with their fingers, thus forming chords.

This is the fingerstyle guitar lessons cover most often. However, a technique common in Blues music is using a “slide” or a “bottleneck.” This is a metal or glass tube that the player slips over a finger of his left hand, whichever finger he prefers, and plays the strings by placing the slide against the strings at different places along the fretboard to produce different pitches. He doesn’t actually press the string to the fretboard with the slide; all he has to do is simply touch the string with the slide in order to play the note. This is a technique that requires a lot of practice and acoustic guitar lessons, but once it is mastered, it produces a sound that is easily recognizable and uniquely “bluesy.”

Two guitar strumming techniques we have already looked at include the use of a pick and the use of the empty hand. A guitar pick can be a tad clumsy and obtrusive when used to strum all the strings at once. For a more finessed treatment of the instrument and a more controlled sound, using one’s bare hand is recommended.

It is also useful for different kinds of acoustic guitar tabs, including those that require strumming that those that require fingerpicking. Learning how to play acoustic guitar by strumming with your empty hand can feel awkward at first, but you will find that it is the best way to control the volume of your acoustic guitar. The proper technique is to use the tops of the fingernails on the downstroke and the top of the thumbnail on the upstroke.