Getting Comfortable

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Before we do anything else, let's go ahead give the open strings a big old open strum. This is the starting point for our guitar journey, and while it may not be the prettiest sound you've ever head, it's also not terrible. And that's pretty cool, cause on many other instruments you have to study for a long time before you can even make a sound that isn't terrible. And it only goes up from here!

The first step on our guitar journey is to make sure you're comfortable when you're sitting with the guitar, so let's talk about that for a second. Your guitar should be either hanging from a strap across your shoulder or resting on your thigh. Make sure it's upright and not at an angle, even though it might be tempting at times.

If you're resting your guitar on your thigh like I am, and your guitar is sliding down, you need to get your thigh to be more horizontal by either putting your foot on something like a book or lowering your chair.

We're holding the guitar with our left hand gently supporting the neck and our right forearm resting across the body. That should feel pretty effortless and you shouldn't feel any real tension in your neck, shoulders or elbows.

Now go ahead and give the open strings another strum. Do you feel comfortable and relaxed? Try not to overthink it, but if you do have some burning questions about posture there's a comprehensive tutorial in the trouble shooting chapter. But chances are you're ready to go, so let's get started!

Instructor Anders Mouridsen
Tuning And Playing Notes
Any Style

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Questions & Answers

3 months ago
i cant find my personal progress path
Mike Olekshy 3 months ago

Hello - thanks for your question! The Lesson Progress & History page can be found in the "Features" menu at the top of the page. Here is a direct link:

6 months ago
My high-E string broke and I don’t know if I should go to a shop. I’m a beginner think it would be hard to change it myself. Do you have any recommendations for what shop I should take it to?
Josh Workman 6 months ago

Hi, here is a tutorial on basic guitar maintenance and that includes changing strings: If you don't feel comfortable with that yet, I recommend taking your guitar for set up, anyway. Most guitar techs will happily show you the basics of changing strings while they're at it. A set up involves making sure the intonation is set for the strings that you use and also checking string height and adjusting the truss rod, if the guitar has one. Maybe look at some reviews for guitar repair places near you. Pretty much any local music shop can help you with this or at least recommend someone.

10 months ago
Or do i need to learn it this way?
Josh Workman 10 months ago

Hi Nathan, I've passed this and your previous question on to GT staff.

10 months ago
Are there lessons for left handen people? Cus am left handen and its kinda hard to learn it this way
Josh Workman 10 months ago

Hi Nathan, I will pass your question on to the GT staff. UPDATE: I found this free Chrome plugin that reverses the whole webpage but the Guitar Tricks videos flip horizontally and play perfectly. You could just turn the extension on when playing the videos.