How To Play Acoustic Guitar For Beginners (Step By Step)

You are currently viewing How To Play Acoustic Guitar For Beginners (Step By Step)

How to start playing acoustic guitar? So you want to learn how to play acoustic guitar. You tried looking some tips to get started, however it all seems super confusing.

Does that sound familiar?

Don’t worry.

In this guide you will learn step-by-step what you need to do in order to get started with acoustic guitar. You will find out how acoustic guitar works and learn how to play your first song right now.

How to start playing acoustic guitar

So here you have your first acoustic guitar holding in your hands. What do you start with?

Maybe you want to play some chords?

Or practice strumming?

Or music theory?

No. No. And no.

The first thing you learn is how to hold a guitar correctly. The correct way of holding an acoustic guitar is the basic fundamental for everything else about the instrument. You learn it wrong and everything you learn and do about a guitar will feel wrong and uncomfortable. The techniques you learn won’t be as effective as they should be. Playing the instrument won’t be as fun as it can be.

You can think of it as a foundation of a house – you get it wrong and whatever house you build on top of that will be defected.

The main this you need to do is find a way to hold a guitar that is comfortable to you.

Your posture shouldn’t be tilted forward too much. It is okay to be tilting a little bit since you need to see the fretboard to find the chords and notes. However, too much tilting is bad because it will put your body in an unnatural position and your muscles will get tired very quickly.

Recommended for reading:

Playing guitar does require muscle work from your hands, shoulders, neck and lower back. Tilting forward impacts these muscles causing them to get tired faster. As you may imagine, playing an acoustic guitar while half of your body is exhausted is going to be neither useful nor fun.

Next, learn open chords.

Before you move on, consider watching this lesson from Marty Schwartz.

You don’t have to learn all of the chords – start with a few easy ones and practice fretting them. Make sure you play all the notes of the chords. It may take some time if your hand is not used to the shapes.

Remember – playing the guitar is a life-time marathon. Once you learn how to do it – it will be with you for the rest of your life.

Once you feel comfortable playing a few chords – take it to the next level – combine them together.

Again, it’s easier said than done.

Changing chord shapes can be really tricky for beginners so don’t expect to learn it in a day (or even a week).

Once you get comfortable with playing chord progressions – it’s time to take it further.

Now you will be learning how to play in time. Use a simple metronome or a backing track and try to play the chords to the beat or the rhythm of the song.

The above exercises may seem easy and obvious, but mastering them takes a lot of time and effort. However, you shouldn’t try to rush things. At the same time, you shouldn’t forget the importance of an acoustic guitar that is good for beginners – the instrument has a lot of impact on your playing.

As I’ve said, playing guitar is a life-time hobby so you have all the time in the world to practice.

When practicing acoustic guitar, remember this proverb:

“The slower you go, the faster you’ll get there.”

If you have any questions (or if you just want to say hi to me) – let me know in the comments.

Further reading:

Alan Jackman

Meet Alan, the guitar-slinging, blog-running, lesson-giving machine. By day, he shreds on the six-string like a rockstar, and by night, he shares his knowledge with the masses on his online blog. With Alan, you'll learn how to play the guitar like a pro!

Leave a Reply