Proper Body Posture & Fretting Positions & How to Play Guitar Tabs

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Since every guitar and guitarist isn’t the same you will have to experiment a little until you find a position that works the best for you. Many beginners don’t know that it’s not just your fingers you use when you play the guitar, but your entire body. This is why proper body posture is so important whether you’re sitting or standing.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to remain loose and relax your arms and shoulders as much as you can. When you’re sitting you should put your fretting hand in the best position that allows you to reach all areas of the neck easily. Keep your wrists loose and don’t over bend them. Unless your left handed you should rest the guitar on your right leg and keep the neck of the guitar elevated.

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If you are playing an electric guitar you’ll probably need to get a strap because most electric guitars have smaller bodies than the acoustic or classical and you won’t have enough surface area to balance the guitar the way you need to while sitting.

The proper standing position requires you keep the guitar as close to your chest as possible while playing. Many beginner guitarists make the mistake in keeping their guitar too low when they play because they think it looks cool.  If you have long arms you might have to turn the angle of the guitar upward a little so you can easily reach all areas of the fretboard.

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Your fretting hand should always be positioned over the sound hole of your guitar. Some electric guitarist will position their fretting hand around the middle but a little bit more towards the neck side of the instrument. Unless your playing a barre your fingers should always be curved.

You have the option of strumming your guitar with either your thumb and fingers or a pick. Both of these methods are effective and will give you a different sound. Your thumb will support the fingers  pressure on the fretboard by pressing the other side of the neck.

You can also use your thumb for playing downstrokes and upstrokes when strumming. However the nail won’t sound as smooth or clear like when you use your fingers. Keep the tips of your fingers close to where the nail begins.

beginner guitar lessonsIf you’re using a pick the best place to keep your hands positioned is on the bridge. This will allow your hand to easily move to any string you want. You shouldn’t grip your pick too lightly. You should hold it tightly while still allowing some flexibility. To get better control over your pick you shouldn’t leave too much of it exposed.

guitar lessonsLearning how to play guitar tabs can seem a little intimidating at first, but it’s really very easy. If you’re someone trying to become a professional guitarist I strongly recommend you learn how to read music properly. On the other hand, if you’re not trying to make a career out of playing the guitar then guitar tablature is what you should focus on learning first since it’s a much easier to read method.

Guitar tablature is way to read musical notes on stringed instruments like a guitar. There are six horizontal lines on the tab staff which represents the six strings on your guitar. The numbers on these lines will tell you what fret you should put your finger on for a certain song.

The horizontal line on the very bottom represents the Low E string, the next line from the bottom represents the A string, the next line up is the D string, next is the G string, after that is the B string, and finally the line at the very top represents the high E string.

Each string will have a number labeled next to it and you should play the string that is numbered. You will always read tablature from left to right. You should always read the numbers from left to right. Click on the image below to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

online guitar lessons for beginnersIf you notice that all the numbers are on a single line above one another this means you need to play all the notes at the same time as a chord. On the flip side if you notice the numbers are next to one another on the staff then you should play one after the other.

If you see the number this means you should play the open string. If an X shows up this means you should muffle the string on that line. I always tell people that you should forget about trying to learn to read the rhythm because there is no set rhythm notation in tab, and you can’t read the exact length of a note.

A lot of tab editors will either group the numbers far apart or together. However, tablature can definitely give you a little sign on how long a note is by leaving more or less space between the numbers. For example, if you see that the notes are spaced evenly it would be a guess that all the notes are equal in length.

As I stated earlier, guitar tabs are much easier to learn but if you really want to take playing the guitar seriously you should invest some time into learning standard notation. Sometimes guitar tabs are combined with standard notation so you can use the standard notation to read the rhythm and use the tab to know how and where to play notes.