Playing Basic Notes

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Introduction to Guitar Playing Some Chords

In this section, we will learn how to play a note on the fretboard and finger placement.  We'll cover how to hold the guitar pick and how to pick the strings downward, as well as upward.  Some key points to keep in mind are:

  • The strings are labeled 1 to 6, starting with the bottom string (1), to the top string (6)
  • Bring your fretting hand up from underneath the neck of the guitar
  • Arch your fingers, pressing the string with the tip of your finger and don't let them lay flat across the other strings
  • Only pick the string you are fretting, not accidentally hitting other strings
  • Pick the string with the tip of your pick
  • Make sure the note sounds clean and isn't muffled
  • The note should sound the same whether you are picking downward or upward

Remember that at first, it may seem like you have to apply a lot of pressure to get the note to play correctly.  This will get easier with practice over time, so that it doesn't seem like you have to press very hard.  The key is practice -- the more time you spend working on technique, the easier things become.  Things will start to sound better and feel more natural when you practice!