12 Steps to Learn to Play Guitar

Guitar LessonsYou finally got your hands on a guitar and have visions of you singing and playing at halftime at the Super Bowl (hey, it’s okay to dream). Well okay, maybe you’re more down to earth and see yourself playing and singing for your personal enjoyment or for family and friends.

Either way, most of us go through the up and down cycle:

Up – Excitement – you know, the “hooray – I got it” moment!
Down – The Question – we grab our new pride and joy and then THE BIG QUESTION hits …….
What the heck do I do now?

Well, here are some tips to counter that feeling and help you make the most of this experience.

Additionally, visit http://www.guitar-solutions.com to learn about the best online guitar lessons

Step one: Learn to tune your guitar

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but you’d be surprised the number of people who have a guitar but don’t know how to tune it. A digital electronic tuner can simplify this process, they aren’t expensive and you can find one in any music store. It’s a good idea also to try to learn how to tune the guitar by ear. To do this, you need to get used to the sound of the notes, which takes practice, but it’s great training and can bail you out when your batteries drain.

Another alternative in this internet age is the online tuning site. There are sites you can log into and they’ll play the notes you need to tune your guitar.

Step two: Learn the parts of your guitar

Again, this may sound obvious, but it’s important to be able to identify the parts of your acoustic or electric guitar by their proper names. This includes frets, fret board, bridge, tuner and so on. It’ll help you understand when talking with other musicians.

Step three: Learn the right way to hold the guitar

The position you use will have a lot to do with how well you play, how quickly the notes start sounding clear and sharp and also how much your joints and fingers bother you in the beginning. So, don’t just grab the guitar and go, learn the correct posture and positioning of the hands to help you begin and advance your play.

Step four: Learn the open string notes

Guitars typically have six strings. Each open string is a musical note. The six notes on the guitar starting from the string closer to you are E A D G B E. This will also help you in learning how to tune the guitar.

Step five: Learn the numbers for each open string

Guitar strings are often referred to as numbers from one to six. Number one corresponds to the high E 9 (the skinny string) and you work your way up from there. This, for most people is considered starting from the bottom rather than the top. Don’t know why they did that, but that’s the way it is. Learn it.

Step six: Learning the frets

Frets are technically the wires you see on the fret board (see, gotta know the names of the guitar parts) that run across the neck of the guitar. But when we talk about this or that fret when playing, we’re really referring to the spaces between those cross-wires. Frets also have numbers and the most common numbering puts the number one fret to be the one closest to the head stock.

Step seven: Learn to ‘fret’ your guitar

Fretting the guitar means to position your fingers on the fret board. Try placing your fingers slightly behind the fret wire as this position will produce a more clear sound.

Step eight: Holding the pick

There are almost as many right ways to hold a guitar pick as there are musicians. You’ll find what you’re comfortable with over time, but at least in the beginning, try holding the pick between your thumb and first finger with the pick facing outwards. You can adjust to your style as you progress.

Step nine: Strumming the guitar – the right way!

Strumming has two motions – Down strokes and up strokes (deep thought isn’t it). All strumming methods are based on these two movements. Start by learning these strokes and you’ll soon be able to do many combinations.

Step ten: Reading TAB

TAB, short for tablature, is a simple easy way to notate guitar music without having to learn how to read music in the traditional sense. The diagram has six lines that represent the six strings. So far, so good.

The numbers on the lines represent the fret you have to play. Other notations may vary according to the style and technique the song is written in. You’ll be able to find a TAB score for any song so being able to read TAB will be a lot of help, unless of course you’d really like to learn how to read music.

Step eleven: Choosing the right guitar lessons

Many people try to learn the guitar by being a “Google Guitarist”. They use Google to find lessons and end up bouncing from one site to another. If you do that, you won’t be able to make a real schedule and you’re unlikely going to learn anything except bits of riffs and tunes. The result will probably be to give up on your dreams.

What you should do is to choose a lesson program and stick to it. This will teach you the basics and, once you master them, you can advance more easily and then pick between different more advanced programs or, learn on your own.

Whether you choose DVD / hardcopy or completely online, or anything in between is immaterial. Once you choose one, unless is clear you made a mistake, stick with it. It may surprise you to know that you are the most important part of the equation, not the lessons. A determined student will learn to play, almost despite the course or coach.

Step twelve: Taking care of the guitar

If you have an acoustic guitar it’s most likely made of wood and you should be aware that changes in temperature and humidity can affect the finish and sound quality.

An electric guitar many not be as subject to these factors, but there are other things to consider like keeping the electrical components clean and dry to avoid sound quality deterioration.

Either way, take a moment to learn how to take care of your guitar, how to carry it and how to store it. Changing strings and using technical equipment are also things you should know.

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Meditation and Relaxed State of Body and Mind

There are many different forms and styles of meditation with all of them relating to the same point, awareness of oneself. The art of meditating seems easy at first to the beginner, after all, it is simply a matter of sitting or lying quietly and focusing on one thing to the point of inducing a deep and relaxed state of mind. However, there is more to it than that and focusing and remaining focused on one thing is harder than it sounds.

Choosing the point of focus is relatively easy in itself, you may choose to focus on your breathing, a sound, a piece of music, visualization, a mantra or an object such as a candle flame. Keeping your thoughts from wandering is the tricky part, starting off for the first few minutes will be no problem but then before you know it your mind will lose interest and unwanted thoughts start entering your mind again.

The basics of meditating

Start off by making sure the clothing you are wearing is comfortable and not too tight, while you are performing your meditation you can remain sat upright in a chair, lie down on the floor or bed or sit in the classical Buddhist pose, cross-legged. How you choose to do it is of no real importance other than you should feel comfortable and relaxed, however, if you choose to lie down particularly on the bed you might just fall asleep.

The whole aim of meditating is to free your mind from the day to day problems and worries and allow your body to totally relax to the point of sleep without actually falling asleep. People who have practiced meditation for years strive to reach such a state of total relaxation which is termed enlightenment; this is the state of the body and mind being at total peace and harmony with itself, the body has reached the state of relaxation when breathing slows and is asleep even though your mind is fully awake and alert.

Mantra meditation

A mantra is a very simple but popular form of meditation which can be practiced anywhere; it involves the use of a single sound or word being repeated over and over again to help rid the mind of everyday thoughts and worries. The words most often used in this form of meditation are “OM” and “AH”. The words can either be said out loud or only be repeated inwardly depending on the circumstances.

Insight or breathing meditation

Insight meditation relies on the person concentrating on their breathing to rid themselves of thoughts and feelings, by sitting quietly and focusing your attention on the way your breath moves throughout the body and is inhaled and expelled will help the person to become one with themselves.

Visualization meditation

Visualization is another popular form of meditation for the beginner with popular variations being visualizing yourself on a quiet, white sandy beach with the surf gently lapping against the shore to how you see yourself in the future attaining all the goals you set out for yourself. Visualizations are only limited by the imagination; this form of meditation is particularly popular as your thoughts tend to stick more easily with the task at hand than they do in other forms of meditation.

Merkaba Meditation