What guitarists should know.
As I was making this list I realized that this is more of a “work in progress” than a completed list. This list could also be applied to other instruments as well. Like the bass guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, or any stringed instruments.
January 27, 2017
- Be familiar with your guitar.
- Be able to name the different parts of the guitar and know what they do.
- Be able to tune your guitar with an electronic tuner or app or by ear using the 5th fret method. You can also tune your guitar using this video. Start learning how to tune by listening to pitches and matching them on your guitar.
- Start playing melodies to songs or other pieces of music. Beginner Playlist
- Be able to play 7 simple songs up to speed.
- Study and learn the basic Open Position Chord Chart. Memorize all 16 chords on this chart and be able to play them. (Simplified chords are good too.)
- Learn how to use a pick.
- Be able to play either a Simple Chromatic Exercise or the Chromatic Exercise.
- Learn about rhythm. Be able to strum the chords on the Basic Open Position Chord Chart using your thumb, your finger, or a pick.
You will be an Intermediate guitarist when:
- You can tune your own guitar.
- Play a chromatic exercise. Simple Chromatic Exercise or Chromatic Exercise
- You can play 8 of the 16 chords on the Open Position Chord Chart. (Simplified chords are acceptable.)
- When you can play the melodies and chords to 7 songs. (Memorizing the songs is recommended.)
After learning the basics and being able to play a few songs and chords you should start learning more in depth about your guitar. There are three intermediate levels.
Intermediate Level 1
1. About Your Guitar
- Be able to change your own strings on any of your guitars or instruments.
- Be able to describe what intonation is and why it is important to your playing.
- Does your guitar have a truss rod? Understand the truss rod in a guitar neck and what it does.
- Understand what the action is on a guitar and how it affects your playing.
- Be able to tune your guitar by ear listening to pitches on a video, a piano, or from another instrument.
- Be able to tune with an electronic tuner or app, by ear using the 5th fret method, and one other method. (Tuning fork, pitch pipe, harmonics, etc.
Intermediate Level 2
Intermediate Level 3
- Be familiar with the different kinds of guitars and the kinds of tones they can produce as they are used by different artists.
- Be able to tune your guitar with an electronic tuner or app, and by ear using the 5th fret method, tuning fork, pitch pipe, harmonics, 7th fret technique from the low to high strings, 7th fret technique from the high to low strings,
- Understand intonation, what it is, how it affects your playing, and how to adjust it on different guitars like the acoustic guitar and different kinds of electric guitars.
- Understand the truss rod in a guitar neck and how to adjust one.
- Understand what the action is on a guitar, how it affects your playing, and how to adjust the action by adjusting the truss rod, filing the nut, and seating and sanding the saddle.
If you are into classic rock here is a video – Joe Walsh Les Paul Set Up – Where Joe Walsh talks about intonation, action, the truss rod, and walks us through the set up of a Gibson Les Paul.
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