Learn to Play Electric Guitar

The Ultimate Guide of Playing Electric Guitar for Beginners in 8 Essential Steps
James Delaney BY JAMES DELANEY 09 FEBRUARY 2022
Learn to Play Electric Guitar
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May I start with an electric guitar or do I have to learn to play the acoustic guitar first?

You like rock music, solo guitar and rhythm guitar, melodicity and feeling offered by artists and bands that play melodic rock music or electric blues, but also the brute force behind the sound wall created by the electric guitars of the bands that play heavy-metal and other harder branches of metal music. And so a few well-founded questions arise for a beginner who wants to start learning electric guitar: What should I learn to play first? Acoustic guitar or electric guitar? If my goal is to learn to play the electric guitar, would it be OK to start with the electric guitar?


Long story short, the answer is yes, you can start learning to play electric guitar. If your desire is to play the electric guitar and to become (eventually) a rock star, you don't necessarily need to start learning to play the acoustic guitar and only then switch to the electric guitar. Although an electric guitar has an entire ecosystem with which it can be used and may seem overwhelming to a beginner, the reward is commensurate, and when concrete results begin to appear, the feeling of satisfaction is fantastic.

Because of the differences in construction between the electric guitar and the acoustic guitar and the way they each sound, there are quite big differences between starting to learn to play the acoustic versus electric guitar.

The electric guitar has thinner and softer strings than the acoustic guitar, so from this point of view it is an optimal starting point for a beginner because it requires less pressing force, so he can better focus on the techniques of the guitar.

On the other hand, if you start learning to play the acoustic guitar, it is cheaper because it does not require additional equipment, and the transition to the electric guitar will be easier because the player will be accustomed to the stronger strings specific to the acoustic guitar. However, when you first learn to play the acoustic guitar, the start-up period can be more frustrating, as clear sound and visible results will be more difficult to achieve. 

Whether you want to have the world at your feet becoming a great guitarist or you just want to learn for your own satisfaction and to feel good practicing your favorite hobby, we will present you a guide in 8 essential steps that will help you you are fulfilling your dream.

 

1. Find a suitable electric guitar for you

An electric guitar is an essential tool for every musician out there, from beginners to professionals. A good guitar can make all of the difference in the world to your music, and also comes down to a matter of taste.

Choosing the right electric guitar for you can be a daunting task. With so many variables to consider, you may end up feeling a little bit confused. You could spend hours researching guitars on the internet or in music stores and still not even know where to begin. So if you are looking for the one that will be your best accessory for years ahead, choose one that suits your musical tastes and lifestyle, while not being too expensive.

Electric guitars are among the most versatile and popular instruments, but there are several different types of electric guitars available. Some have semi-hollow bodies, while others are made completely of solid wood.

When choosing an electric guitar, there are some things you need to take into consideration:

Style of music

Are you more into rock or do you prefer playing country and folk music? Semi-acoustics are often used for playing country and blues music, while solid-body guitars are designed with better sustain and allow players to use effects more freely. Finding out which type of music fits your style of playing the best will help you decide what kind of guitar to buy.

Price

Of course, price is also something that factors in when buying a guitar. You don't want to spend too much money on an instrument that doesn't fit your preferences, but at the same time, trying to get the best model with all the top features can drive up the price.

Weight

Weight is another important feature when choosing between semi-acoustic and solid body guitars. Semi-acoustic models tend to be heavier than their solid body counterparts because of wooden construction. If you're planning on traveling with your electric guitar, or if weight is an issue for you, then a solid body model might be better.

 

2. Choose the right minimal equipment with which you can start playing

You're interested in learning how to play the electric guitar, and you've decided that it's time to buy some equipment. Figuring out what to buy is intimidating when all you know are the names of the people who play for your favorite bands. Here's a rundown of the basic equipment you'll need, whether you're looking for a beginner's electric guitar or a more advanced setup.

To play electric guitar, the minimal equipment you need is an amplifier and an audio cable.

The amplifier is the most important piece of equipment if you want to play electric guitar (besides the electric guitar itself, of course). It's your means to amplify the sound of your electric guitar and turn it from a simple instrument into something that can both fill up a room with sound and make people stop and take notice.

A good amplifier doesn't have to be expensive or complicated, at least at the beginning of your journey in learning electric guitar.

You don't need to know how to play the electric guitar in order to buy one - it's just an essential piece of the setup. An amplifier is as much a part of playing the electric guitar as all of the other pieces of equipment mentioned here, so don't skimp on this part of your purchase. There are many kinds of amplifiers available on the market, with different prices and different effects. When you purchase an amplifier, make sure that it has separate channels for the clean sound and for overdrive (distortion). It is also important to have a "reverb" option. Reverb adds depth to your sound and makes it more rich-sounding.

The audio cable is an essential part of the electric guitar setup because it allows you to connect your instrument directly to your amplifier. An audio cable is a cable specifically designed to carry audio signals from one device to another. You won't be able to hear the sound that comes out of your electric guitar until you connect it to an amplifier via the audio cable. The cable should be at least 10 feet long so you have enough room to move around freely while playing your guitar.

In addition to the minimum equipment, for better sound and greater comfort in playing the guitar, you may also need a guitar pick, a guitar strap, and some guitar effects.

Both of the first two items in the list (the guitar pick and the guitar strap) are very inexpensive and can be purchased online or at a music store near you or online. A guitar pick is small and easily lost, so if you do lose one you can purchase another one without breaking your bank account. A strap helps keep the guitar in place while you play it so that it doesn't slip out of your hands and fall down.

Guitar players and enthusiasts looking to learn how to play electric guitar have probably stumbled across the term guitar effects. With the purpose to have versatile electric guitar sound, you need some simple effects.

Minimalist guitar effects pedals are devices that are adding a bit of reverb for depth or manipulate with pitch or delay. Effects may increase volume or contrast between notes with complementary chords, add distortion for "roaring" sustain or increase sustain.

The most common guitar effects that create different sounds for your music are reverb, delay and distortion.

 

3. How to hold the electric guitar

Beginners should hold their instruments in whichever way is most comfortable. The important thing is that you feel steady and solid, without straining or stressing your hands or arms. You’ll have a much better time getting around on your instrument if you feel at ease with it. If you’re just starting out, try different grips until you find one that feels natural and comfortable.

Your fretting hand should rest in a relatively loose position, with your fingers resting lightly on top of each fret. The index finger is usually held in place by pressing it against one of its neighboring fingers, while your thumb rests behind. The other two digits can be positioned in different ways that allow you to adjust your fingering technique and have more control over your chords and notes.

Tip: Try developing thick skin on your fingertips by rubbing them across something coarse (like sandpaper) until they begin to build up a little bit of callus!

You don't need to press any harder than necessary when holding down your strings; avoiding excess pressure will reduce fatigue and help prevent injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

As you become more experienced in playing electric guitar, experimenting with what works best for you will help keep things interesting!

 

4. Learn the basics: Fretboard notes, basic chords and elementary music theory

There are several basic principles you must learn in order to play electric guitar. These include the names of the notes on the fretboard, how to tune your guitar, and how to play basic chords.

Fretboars notes

The guitar fretboard is a map of the guitar neck. Each fret represents one musical note in the scale. On acoustic and electric guitars, the frets are metal strips that divide the fingerboard into semitones.

The first thing to master when learning electric guitar is fretboard notes. Learning notes on the fretboard will help you learn different scales and make music theory easier to understand. The simplest way to start learning fretboard notes is by memorizing the first four frets of every string from low E to high E string.

The next step is learning basic chords on the guitar fretboard. It's best to learn open chords first and then move on to barre chords later on once you've got the hang of playing open ones. Play along with other people and practice switching between chords quickly so that you can keep up with the rhythm of your favorite songs.

The open chords of the guitar are the most basic form of the chord that you will need to play a variety of songs.

Open-position chords are so named because they're played in the open position on the guitar, meaning that all six strings are free and unfretted (open). The names of these chords refer to the root note, which is the name of the chord's base or lowest note (such as C or G). The root note can be determined by finding the letter name on your fretboard diagram.

In this article, we will go over the five major open chords and the three minor open chords that are essential for any beginner guitarist to know. These eight chords will allow you to play a great number of songs, and their variations.

Learning these chords should be your first step in learning the guitar. Once you know these chords, we may recommend learning other types of chords as well.

To be a good guitarist, you need to know music theory. You should know some music theory anyway, even if you don't play the guitar. Music theory can help you understand and appreciate music better; it can help you improvise on songs you already know and write your own songs, and it can also help you when playing on other people's songs.

 

5. Learning scales for electric guitar

Scales are a bit of an oddity when it comes to playing music. On one hand, they’re really not that important. You don’t need them in order to be able to play songs (although most good guitarists have at least a passing familiarity with scales). However, scales do serve a very important purpose: musical language. They give you a way to talk about what you’re doing on your instrument; and if you speak more than one language, you know how valuable a tool that can be.

It's like all of your friends learn Spanish but only you study Chinese, and when you are together, suddenly everyone else is speaking Spanish, while you’re trying to sort out "Du Sichuan ni hao ma?".

That being said, playing scales is one of, if not THE most important thing a new guitarist can do. Scales are great for teaching you where your fingers need to be and how much pressure you need to apply when playing each string. There's no wrong way to play a scale. As long as your fingers are in tune with each other and you're fretting all of them properly, then you're doing it right.

No matter what instrument you play, learning scales is a great idea. But just like any new skill or concept in music, practicing scales takes time and patience - and sometimes tough love from your teacher or parent - so bear with yourself as you start working toward mastery!

 

6. Start playing your favorite songs (the ones that contain the easiest riffs to play)

Pick a song by one of your favorite artists, go through all of its notes, and look at how they're strung together. There are many different ways you can do it, but it will almost always be something like down-up-down-up, down-up, etc. This is an easy way to start learning fast; it just takes practice.

Here is some simple advice that will guide your choices:

avoid picking a song that requires you to change chords frequently or move your fingers up and down quickly. Instead, focus on songs with open chords. Also, avoid playing with a plectrum at first because it can be hard to learn how to switch between different chords with one in your hand.

•  the shorter and simpler a song is, the easier it will be to master. The trick is to pick something that fits your playing style. If you want a B chord riff but can only make an A or E sound right now with your hands, then don't force yourself into learning something too difficult. Start off with a simple riff that's fun for you and challenge yourself from there.

1. Smoke on the Water 2. Layla 3. Rock You Like A Hurricane 4. Smells Like Teen Spirit 5. Sweet Child O' Mine 6. Free Bird 7. Sunshine of Your Love; these are a few of my favorite songs that contain easy-to-play riffs for a beginner.

Remember: Start slow and learn one new song at a time! While you may want to try out your new skills on a cover of your favorite band's hit single, it's more important that you build up your finger strength and start getting used to playing proper notes. Keep it simple!

 

7. Improve your playing style: Find the online guitar lessons platform that suits you best

If you are a beginner and want to learn how to play the guitar, you'll need some good beginner guitar lessons. Learning guitar with the help of an instructor is crucial for beginners because it speeds up their progress and gives them the right foundations.

It's best to find a program that provides you with all the basics and even some extra information on how to play the electric guitar.

Trying to find the best electric guitar for beginners online can be difficult. There are a number of different websites and platforms out there that fit these criteria, but few of them are worth your time or money. There are three things that we'd recommend when looking for the best online guitar lessons platform:

 The course should be easy to follow and shouldn't require any previous experience in playing an instrument;

 The course should have plenty of video content that allows you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule;

 The platform should offer several different, high-quality learning methods (such as video lessons, audio lessons, PDFs, and more) that appeal to different learning styles and preferences.

There are dozens of companies offering great guitar lessons but very few of them will give you more than you are willing to pay for. So how do you make sure that you're getting the best guitar lessons for your money? It's easy. We've narrowed down our search for you and we've come up with our top of the Best Online Guitar Courses available today.

And if you're still undecided, look no further than JamPlay, the leading brand in the online guitar lessons world. Jamplay has a range of high-quality videos, as well as useful tabs and sheets you can download to help with your practice. The video courses are very well designed, and they're not just demonstrations, but interactive lessons where you can actually learn something. There's a lot of material to work through, so it's definitely worth checking out for this reason alone.

 

8. Practice, practice, practice

No matter how good you get, you’ll never be perfect. Work at it every day. Be diligent with your routine; make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule. Your practice will improve all aspects of your playing—not just that one skill, but you as a musician, too. Because learning an instrument has so many benefits (building discipline and confidence and improving communication skills, among others), practicing should be seen as an essential part of being a musician.

The more consistent you are with practice time, the better you'll get. Even if you don't feel like doing it, keep going!

There are a number of reasons why practice is so essential:

• playing music requires coordination and fine motor skills;

• listening to music helps develop your ear and your sense of rhythm (both important elements of becoming a musician);

• it also helps you become familiar with how different notes and chords sound when they all played together at once (this is crucial as music tends to feature multiple instruments playing at once);

• and lastly - and perhaps most importantly - there are social benefits, too.

Eventually, you'll look forward to spending time in your music room or jam space. That's when you know things are working :) Don't rush yourself and take things slow. Also, remember not to compare yourself with others: You're unique in what you can do and how quickly you learn things because everyone learns differently. Enjoy yourself along the way and celebrate even small victories. Practice makes progress! Don't beat yourself up if something isn't clicking right away. Just keep working at it - the pieces will eventually fall into place.