3. Presenting the guitar

So…do I have to take the guitar out on a date or… ?

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will accustom ourselves with the basic elements of a guitar. We will also learn about the standard tuning of guitars. So, let’s have some fun.

2. Guitar components and tuning

Before we go into chords, I think it’s best if we take some time to look at the basic components of a guitar. The example I am using is of a classical guitar, which is very similar to an acoustic one (the only difference being in the types of strings each guitar uses). And while an electric guitar is very different from these, the components of interest to us are the same.

Without further ado, here is a guitar in all its splendor (image courtesy of Pexels):


As you can see, there are many components there, but for this series we mostly care about the neck (or fretboard) and the tuning keys.

The fretboard is where all the magic happens. By using your fingers to apply pressure on different frets, you will be able to produce different notes when you strum the strings.

The tuners are there to help you keep your guitar in tune. What that means is that each string, when played on a certain fret, must produce a note with a certain pitch.

And that leads us to the standard tuning of a guitar. A standard guitar has 6 strings, each of which must produce a certain note when played open, meaning without applying pressure on any fret. And the standard tuning for a guitar (from the thinnest string to the thickest) is: E4, B3, G3, D3, A2 and E2.

The numbers after each note represent the octave of which that note is part of (more details on that can be found here). You don’t need to remember the notes by their octave numbers. As for how one knows when a guitar is out of tune, this comes in time as your ear becomes more accustomed to what the strings should sound like. If you’re unsure if your guitar is out of tune, there are always online or physical tuners which can help you figure it out.

A fairly good online tuner can be found here.

That about covers it for this tutorial. In the next one, we will be taking a look at guitar notations and notes. See you then.

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