Making A Sound With You Guitar
Guitar Tuition Course Part 1
Making a Sound
Your right hand is used to strike the strings of the guitar (which makes a noise), while your left hand selects what notes to play on the fret board. Depending on the style of song, you might hold a plectrum (or pick) with your right hand to strike the strings or you might use your fingers. You can also pick individual strings with your plectrum one at a time.
Using a plectrum is less complex than using the fingers of the right hand to start with as this makes the guitar louder and clearer.
The following photo which shows the correct way to hold a plectrum.
Your left hand fingers are numbered 1 to 4 starting from your index finger, the strings are numbered 1 to 6 from bottom to top, and the frets are numbered from 1 to about 19 or so, depending on what type of guitar you have.
Making a Sound 2
Your left hand is used to change the pitch of the strings by fretting (putting your finger next to a fret) the strings. Put the tip of your 1st finger left hand next to the 1st fret on the 1st string. Now pick the 1st string with the plectrum in your right hand. If you get a horrible buzzing sound look at your left hand 1st finger. Make sure it’s right next to the fret on the side closest to the machine heads, and standing upright bent at the first joint, then try again.
Now take your first finger off the fret board and experiment with your other left hand fingers. Try fretting your 2nd finger on one of the strings on another part of the fret board and listen to what it sounds like. Do the same thing with all your left hand fingers until you can get a clear sound with no buzzing. Once again make sure your finger is next to the fret on the side closest the machine heads and standing upright bent at the first joint.
Holding the Pick
- Always point the pick directly down towards the guitar
- Do not allow it to spin while picking
- Make sure your grip is comfortable
- Make sure you have a firm grip
- Rest your forearm on the guitar for stability and comfort
Here is a picture of the proper way to hold a pick:
Flatpicking Technique 2
It takes practice to develop speed with this, but this is the fastest way to pick once you get accustomed to it. This technique is similar to alternate picking which you alternate upstroke and downstroke on each note. The diagram below shows a C major scale. A downstroke is when you strum towards the floor. An upstoke is when you strum towards the ceiling.
^ ^ v ^ ^ v ^ v
Strumming with an upstroke and downstroke sound slightly different even though you’re strumming the same chord. This is because you pluck the strings in a different order. The different sounds of the same chord are called voicings, but that really isn’t too important right now. Try it and you’ll hear a slight difference in the sound of the chord.