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Guitar Basics

To become the guitar player you want to be, itís important to know the basics.  So
in todayís tutorial you will learn:
• The parts of the guitar

• How to properly hold the guitar, and pick

• The basics of fret-hand positioning

Guitar Anatomy

How to Hold the Guitar

The best way for a right-handed player to hold the guitar, is to position the guitar on the left leg.  The right leg should be used for
the left-handed guitarist. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but positioning the guitar on the appropriate leg will make it easier for
you to stretch your fingers.

How to Hold a Guitar Pick

Guitar picks, or plectrums, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  It is best to use either a medium or heavy pick.   Thin picks
flop around too much and will slow you down. The pick should be held between the thumb and the first finger as shown below.
When you play the guitar you will either pick an individual string or strum several simultaneously.  You should use only the very tip of
the pick to strike the string.


In order to lessen the confusion between left and right-handed guitar players, we will use the term fret-hand to denote the actual
hand you use to play any notes on the neck of the guitar. Your fret-hand fingers are numbered accordingly:
The thumb is generally not used to play notes.

Fret-hand Position

To produce clear notes, it is necessary to maintain proper hand positioning.  The palm of your hand should not make contact with
the neck of the guitar---use only the tips of your fret-hand fingers. 

Position the fingers as close as possible to the metal fret wire.  Placing your finger on top of the fret wire will produce a muffled
note.  Your thumb should be placed on the back of the neck, in line with your second or third finger.  When your hand is in proper
position, a thick highlighter will fit between your palm and the neck of the guitar.
This tutorial has been excerpted from The EDGE: CORE Beginner Guitar Lessons Volume 1.
Don J. MacLean

Don J. MacLean is one of the world's leading authorities on accelerated learning systems for guitar-with students using his methods in
more than 50 countries worldwide. Don is the author of over 60 books including The Ultimate Guitar EDGE; The World of Scales; the
Absolute Essentials of Music Theory for Guitar; How I Got Killer Guitar Chops While I Was Still in High School: Confessions of a High
School Shredder; 21 Secrets to Learn any Guitar Song Super-Fast; 7 Secrets to Learn any Guitar Chord Super-Fast; and Guitar
Essentials: Chord Master Expanded Edition.
To your guitar success,
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