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What Is an Acoustic Guitar? Learn About Acoustic Guitars and Tips for how to learn guitar as a begin

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Acoustic Guitar
acoustic guitar

What Is an Acoustic Guitar? Most beginner guitar classes will recommend learning to play Acoustic guitars if you are just starting out to learn guitar. Acoustic guitars are fretted musical instruments that make sound by vibrating strings over a hollow chamber in the body of the guitar. The vibrations travel through the air and do not need any electric amplification to be heard loud enough. The guitar may be heard in a classical concert, a jazz solo, or a rock music song, to cite a few examples. And although the electric guitar may be used in a variety of genres, it is its elder relative, the acoustic guitar, that has the widest range of applications.

Six strings are found on most acoustic guitars. The most frequent variant of this is a 12-string guitar, in which each string is doubled by another string that sounds the same pitch as the first, providing a rich and full chorus effect.

Acoustic guitar players make sounds with their fingers as well as using a pick on their instrument. These changes are based on the musical genre being played, the style of the guitar being used, and the personal preferences of the musician.

Picking your very first acoustic guitar for beginner guitar classes

Nylon String Acoustic Guitar

The early acoustic guitars looked a lot like the nylon string guitars that are still in use today. Classical guitars, Spanish guitars, and their different derivations are all included in the "nylon string" group of musical instruments. These are a few of their most distinguishing characteristics:

The guitars are constructed of hollow wood and have a huge sound hole in the middle of them. The kind of wood used for the top panel differs from guitar to guitar, however, spruce is the most often used material for this panel.

This kind of guitar is characterized by having a broad, flat neck that allows the instrument strings to be spread quite far apart. The materials used for the neck also vary, although rosewood is a common choice.

Nylon string guitars offer a mellow tone with a lot of resonance in the lower-mid ranges of the spectrum. Catgut (literally, dried cat intestines) was formerly used to make the strings for these guitars, although nylon is now the most often used material. We at Mela Music School, also offer guitar classes in the classical style of guitar playing, if you want to learn guitar.

Steel String Acoustic Guitars.

The category of steel-string guitars has more varied than nylon-string acoustic guitars. This category comprises the vast majority of acoustic guitars that are used in rock, folk, country, and blues musical styles.

Its body structure is like a nylon string guitar, with the exception that there are more regular variances in form and size.

From smallest to biggest, the names of these guitar forms are Range, Parlor, Grand Concert, Auditorium, Dreadnought, and Jumbo, in that order.

Currently, the Dreadnaught design is the most popular pick for acoustic guitarists of all styles. Martin Guitars, as well as Gibson, is especially well-known for their dreadnaught guitars. Taylor, a competitor brand, has earned more of a reputation for itself with its grand concert and stadium type guitars.

Spruce tops are nearly universally accepted as the industry standard. Some steel guitars, such as the resonator guitar, are constructed entirely of metal. These instruments, which are played with a slide, are, however, less typically employed by novices than other instruments.

The necks of steel-string guitars are typically narrower and more rounded than those of nylon string guitars. Most necks are made of rosewood, while pau Ferro is also a common choice.

Despite the term, "steel string" guitars may have strings composed of nickel, aluminium, and other metals, in addition to steel strings. The metal strings on these guitars provide a considerably brighter, treble-focused tone that can be heard clearly at higher volume levels.

How To Hold The Acoustic Guitar

Now that you have identified the acoustic guitar you will learn to play in your guitar classes, the next step is to figure out how to hold your brand new acoustic guitar.

There are a variety of ways to hold your acoustic guitar, but we will just discuss the most frequent one: the casual method. Casual guitar holding consists of just placing the instrument on your right thigh, if you are right-handed, and pulling it in close to your body, as seen in the image below. When you are just learning to play the guitar, the temptation is to let the instrument slide down your thigh so that you can see what is going on. Try to stay away from it. Pull the instrument close to your body and maintain a straight posture.

The 3 Numbering Systems

1. Frets: The metal strips that run down the length of the guitar's neck are called frets. If you are right-handed, the first fret is the one that is the farthest to the left of your index finger. The second one is the one immediately to the right of the previous one, and so on. Even though this is an easy concept, it's necessary to grasp it before moving on to mastering chords and scales.

2. Fingers: The numbering system for the fingers on your fretting hand is simple, but it is quite significant. Your index finger is the first finger on your hand, your middle finger is the second finger on your hand, your ring finger is the third finger on your hand, and your pinky is the fourth finger on your hand. Again, this is quite easy, but it is extremely crucial when you are learning where to place your fingers to form chords.

3. Open strings of the guitar: The last numbering scheme is for the guitar's open strings. The first string is the thinnest string, and the sixth string is the thickest string in the string set.


Guitar Classes 101 Basic Strumming with your acoustic guitar

The use of a guitar pick and proper strumming technique are the two key topics we will be concentrating on here.

The Pick for the Guitar

Choosing a Pick:

A lot of students just starting out to learn guitar is curious about the sort of pick they should use. We propose beginning with a standard-shaped medium-thickness pick of approximately.73mm thickness as a starting point. From there, you may experiment with different thicknesses and thicknesses of picks until you find what you want. You do not need to use a pick if you do not like to do so. Using your thumb or your thumb and index finger, you may easily produce strumming movements on the guitar.

Pick Grip:

The way you hold your pick, often known as the pick grip, is entirely subjective. You may start with a very general pick grip and then experiment with other variations. Using your index finger, press the pick into the thumb pad and bring it back down to the pick When strumming, many just starting to learn guitar, have difficulty maintaining control of the pick. It's always okay to try holding on to the pick with your thumb, first and second fingers if that's what you're experiencing. That just provides you with a small amount of more control and steadiness. Experiment with several pick grips to find out which one works best for you.

Strumming Technique

It's ideal to imagine that you have a feather attached to your pinky finger with some honey. Maintain the appearance of just attempting to shake the feather off. When strumming, the action of your wrist and elbow working together is an excellent mechanic to keep in mind. It assists you in remaining calm and prevents you from relying only on your elbow for the move. Take your selection and practise a few comfortable downstroke movements with your chosen instrument. Remember to consider the comparison of the honey and the feathers as you learn guitar.

Upstroke strumming your acoustic guitar:

At first, upstroke strumming might be a difficult skill to master in your beginner guitar classes. The first advantage of using an upstroke is that you do not have to strum throughout all six strings, even if the chord you are playing makes use of all six strings in total. Most beginner acoustic guitar students, simply use their upstrokes to strike the first 3-5 strings of their instrument.

The second piece of advice is to just use as much of the pick as you need to strum at the level that is acceptable for the song you are currently playing. If you drive too much of your pick into the strings, you will most likely have difficulty getting it through all of the stings. Keep practising this, as you learn guitar to improve!


The vast majority of songs are in four-four times. Simply put, this indicates that there are four beats in each measure of musical composition. Consider the time you hear a percussionist count out the beat of a song: "1 2 3 4." It is those numbers that provide the rhythm of the song. Then, when you count, try strumming with downstrokes on the "1" of each cycle while counting out loud "1 2 3 4" Strumming full notes is what you're doing when you do this. Then, while you count down the numbers, try strumming on each number with downstrokes or alternate down and upstrokes. Strumming quarter notes will be achieved by strumming on each and every number.

Now that you have hopefully understood some of the basics of learning to play the acoustic guitar, you can always get in touch with Mela Music School, if you are stuck somewhere as you learn to play the guitar!

Happy Playing!

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