Page name: Guitar For Beginners [Logged in view] [RSS]
2007-12-30 19:43:28
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Owner: green_day_gurl_
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Guitar For Beginners

Welcome to Guitar For Beginners!

Teacher: ???



1. [Law and Chaos]
2. [shadowyzman]
3. [Kiria]
4. [Truth . Beauty . Love]
5. [Dragonis999]
6. [kalpea enkeli]
7. [Nightmare_Knight]
8. [Flor]
9. [..Nightmare..]
10. [-pi-]
11. [Emma_Bun]
12. [Little miss perfect]
13. [Danboo]
14. [Lasagna Hater]


Brief Outline:

1. How To Read Tablature (TAB)
2. How To Read Basic Manuscript


How To Read Tablature (TAB)

***First of all, if you need help with terms, refer to this diagram***


Tablature, often abbreviated as TAB, is a diagram of the strings with finger positions indicated by numbers corresponding to the appropriate frets. It is the most common form of written music for guitar, and every guitarist should know how to read TAB.

Here is an example of some music written in TAB:


This written version is the same as playing each of the 6 strings on a guitar openly (without pressing down on any of the frets) from lowest to highest.

The phrase "EADGBE" is (in order) the note that each string is when it is played open, from lowest to highest. The high E string is called the first string, and the low E string is called the sixth string, so that each string is as follows:


You must remember the order of these strings!!
The way that I was taught to remember it (even though it sounds silly, it actually works) is this:


...To this day, I still repeat that phrase over in my head if I can't remember which string is which...

When reading TAB, remember that the highest-sounding string (the high E string) is at the top of the TAB diagram, and the lowest-sounding string (the low E string) is at the bottom.

The numbers in TAB tell which fret you should put your finger on while hitting the string that the number is on. For example, if a TAB is written like this:


Then you would play the low E string four times while pressing on none of the frets (0 means open string, which means you play it without pressing down on any of the frets). If, however, those four 0's were replaced with four 1's, you would still play the low E string, but this time you would play it while holding down that string with your finger placed on the first fret.

Oh, and before I forget, for all of you who didn't know, you don't place your finger on the fret place your finger between them, and the space between the bars is the actual fret.

SO, if you were to play the low E string (the 6th string) on the first fret, you would place your finger between the first and second bars.

If the notes (EADGBE) in the tablature of a song are changed, that means that the tuning of the guitar is different for that song. For example, if a TAB diagram were written like this:


that means that the originally low E string has been dropped down to a D, which is an even lower sounding note. This TAB arrangement is called "Dropped D" tuning.


How To Read Basic Manuscript

Okay, first of all, let's get this straight. Guitar manuscript isn't the same as for other instruments. Stringed instruments, maybe, but most likely only if there are 6 strings and they're all supposed to have the same standard tuning as a guitar (EADGBE). This lesson will teach you how to read manuscript for guitar, which is very useful if you want to start a serious band, as many serious musicians are able to read manuscript and find it conveniant to have a guitar player that can read manuscript as well.

How To Tune Your Guitar
(Without using any other tuning device other than your ears and a piano, although I really would suggest getting a tuner, because youre ears aren't always reliable if you've just started playing guitar, but you'll get the hang of it)

I'm thinkin that I really should have put this in the first lesson, but it must have slipped my it's here now, and that's all that matters! :)

Step 1. Using a piano, tune the high E string to the first E above middle C...if you don't have a piano, you can either get someone to help you, or you can just assume that the high E string is in tune and tune the rest of the strings to the low E string...

Step 2. Press the B (second) string down at the fifth fret and tune it (by moving the tuning pegs) until it sounds exactly the same as the high E (first) string when it's open. [Dumbed down version] In other words, play the high E string open, and the B string at the 5th fret while moving the peg that's connected to the B string until both strings sound the same. DO NOT tune the peg for the high E string unless you know for sure that it is out of tune, which is very unlikely, since the first step was to tune it!

Step 3. Press the G (third) string down at the fourth fret and tune it until it sounds exactly the same as the open B string.

Step 4. Press the D (fourth) string at the fifth fret and tune it until it sounds exactly the same as the open G string.

Step 4. Press the A (fifth) string at the fifth fret and tune it until it sounds exactly the same as the open D string.

Step 5. Press the low E (sixth) string at the fifth fret and tune it until it sounds exactly the same as the open A string.

Your guitar should now be in tune. You might want to double check it with a tuner, if you have one. They're always a BIG help!

The Staff

The music staff is divided into 5 lines and 4 spaces, and each individual note and space has its own note (look at the picture to see which line/space has which note).


The order of notes on the music scale goes as follows:

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A

It is very important to memorize this!!

As you can see in this picture:


each fret has it's own note. These correspond with the notes in manuscript.
For example, if you wanted to play a C note, you could do so by playing the low or high E string at the 8th fret, the A string at the 3rd fret, the D string at the 10th fret, the G string at the 5th fret, or the B string at the 1st fret. There are also many other places to play a C note on the guitar, but that would take too long :)

Next up on the agenda-how long do you know how to play a note?
This is the reason why manuscript is better than TAB. Tab tells you how to play a note, but not for how long to play it. Manuscript tells you all of this.

To read manuscript and be able to play it, you have to know the time signature of the piece of music you want to play (you know, the little numbers at the left that look kind of like a fraction). The number at the top of the time signature tells you how many beats there are in a measure, and the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets one beat. The most common time signature is 4/4, or four beats per measure with a quarter note (1/4 is one quarter, hence the name "quarter note", if you didn't know already) receiving one beat. A time signature of 3/4 means that there are 3 beats per measure with a quarter note getting one beat, 3/2 means that there are 3 beats per measure and a half note gets one beat, and so on.

If you do not know what a quarter, whole, half, eighth, sixteenth, etc. note is, please ask me and I will tell you. It would take too long for me to explain here.

Here are the different types of rests (along with an example of a time signature):


A whole rest is held for four beats, a half rest is held for two beats, a quarter rest is held for one beat, an eighth rest is held for half a beat, and a sixteenth rest is held for a sixteenth of a beat (don't worry, sixteenth rests aren't used all that often!).


Go or return to:
- Musics
- Elftown Academy

Past teachers: [green_day_gurl_]

Username (or number or email):


2004-08-04 [green_day_gurl_]: you're welcome :)

2004-09-30 [Nightmare_Knight]: I wouldn't mind learning guitar.

2004-10-01 [Kelaru]: woo hoo!!! Lessons!

2004-11-05 [green_day_gurl_]: Hey guys! I'm about halfway done with the second lesson, and it should be done within a week (at the most!). Sorry it's taken me so long...I've been really busy with school lately. Be patient-it's coming! :)

2004-11-09 [Nightmare_Knight]: no problem. I have such a short attention span I probably won't even realize the time passing.

2004-11-30 [-pi-]: Im curious to know if I still can join here... I dont know how many lessons youve done already, but...

2004-12-01 [green_day_gurl_]: you can join any time you want to! all of the lessons are going to be kept up on this page, so it doesn't make a difference at what time you join

2004-12-01 [green_day_gurl_]: by the way guys, the lesson is taking a bit longer than planned (duh!)...the only free time I've had is on the weekends (which isn't much, actually)...It'll get done eventually, I promise!! Manuscript (the way I'm teaching it) is a lot harder to teach than tab :P

2004-12-01 [-pi-]: Nice to know, that I can still join... =D

2004-12-02 [green_day_gurl_]: DONE!!! yay! lol   How To Read Basic Manuscript

2004-12-02 [-pi-]: Oh, good, I read it, but as I play piano and viola I knew those things already... Yes I know some of the people dont... lol =D

2004-12-03 [green_day_gurl_]: haha, well, that's okay :)

2004-12-03 [-pi-]: Good... =)

2004-12-13 [Nightmare_Knight]: its hard to read TAB. I think I'm not understanding. I'm trying to see it in my head but it isn't working

2004-12-13 [green_day_gurl_]: yeah, I can understand how you's hard to read if you can't visualize it. if you need help with something in particular, just ask me.

2005-02-23 [♥Flames♥]: Can I join? I'm going to buy a guitar sometime in this month and I don't have enough money for lessons, so I thought this would be a great idea! I can already read music, and I'm pretty cool with the theory side of things.

2005-05-16 [sKeLeToN]: haha.. i finally have my own guitar but i don't know how to play it..i think this is the right room for me..:D

2005-07-13 [Kiria]: Hey can some one help me out here? I'm tring to tune the guitar and I don't know how to do it. ^^U

2005-07-13 [Kiria]: Never mind I found it. lol

2006-06-13 [Danboo]: you should put how to play certain songs, like begginers songs, like peter gun, outer space

2008-07-08 [Danboo]: wow whoever did this wiki is freaking smart

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