Reading U-teach-U chord diagrams

  • The strings with the yellow line over them are NOT to be played. They will sound funny if you strum them. Well maybe not funny... just bad.
  • In the chord diagrams you will see a green number, from one to four, on some of the strings.

  • These numbers represent the recommended fingers to use.

 

Lefties

If you play left-handed, (if you strum with your left) when you look at the chord diagrams, pretend you are looking in a mirror. You will have to string your guitar left-handed as well. (big string at the top, small string at the bottom.) If you play left-handed and upside-down, then you are on your own. The placement is the same but the finger numbers will be different. When playing like this, what side of your brain are you using?

 

String Names

  • The First string is the bottom string, or the smallest string. (this is an E note)
  • The Sixth string is the top string or the biggest string. (by coincidence this is an E note too)
  • Check out the diagram below. You might see a pattern forming.

Here is a saying to remember the string names; Every Bad Girl Deserves An E.

For more guitar info go to Guitar Anatomy.

 

About Strings

  • A classical guitar will have Gut strings. (Settle down, they're not from a cat, they are made out of plastic.) These soft strings are great for beginners.
  • If you have a Steel string guitar, then buy light or extra light strings. Use a light gauge pick on light gauge strings. The lighter the string the easier it is on your fingers.

Fingering

No. This is not a rude gesture. Its a very important part of making the strings sound right.

Place your finger on the string and push down. Slide your finger close to the fret to stop the muffled or buzzing sound. But not too close. With practice you will get this sounding just right, or sweet. (as we say in the music business)

 

Tuning

I recommend that you purchase a digital tuner. There are two basic types.

  1. Chronographic. (No, you don't have to be over 18 to use this tuner) It means the tuner can recognize any note. (you don't need this one)
  2. Guitar tuner. This tuner recognizes just the six notes of the guitar strings. (this is perfect, and cheaper)

With a digital tuner your guitar will be in perfect tune. Your ear will learn this perfect tuning and in time you will be aware of the slightest tuning imperfection. Plus, its way easier than tuning it by ear.

But, some of us are old fashioned. So, if you have to, you can Tune By Ear .

 

Audio Examples

All audio examples are mp3 files recorded at low resolution to keep the files small, so they will load fast. No, I'm not afraid you will copy them and sell them to your friends.

 

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