How you can help them.
As you may have guessed based on the “#1” in the title, There will be a few of these. But don’t worry we will make them as short and simple as possible.
These blogs are here to help you support your little ninja between their sessions with us. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have something nailed, only to find out you have been practicing it wrong all along and have to re-learn it from scratch.
These blogs are here to help you help them.
The fundamental important bits
These are the important bits they will learn in their first few sessions:
- The parts of the guitar
- The string numbers
- The fret numbers
- How to read TAB
The most important thing they will probably want support with is reading TAB. It is simply but has one thing that trips up even the experience player from time to time.
The Parts of The Guitar
Before you let the images below scare you, There are only a few names that are important in the early stages.
The Three main parts:
And these smaller parts:
The best way to help them with this is to have the image open yourself point to a part of the guitar and ask them what it’s called. Give them a few seconds to answer and then tell them if they’re stuck. After doing this a few times, these basic parts will settle in and we can start adding more parts to the challenge.
The String Numbers
All you need to remember is that we count up. Therefore, when sat down with the guitar, the string closest to the leg is the 1st string and the one closest chest is the 6th string.
The numbering of the strings is pretty simple, however the strings can have a few names. The most confusing on which is the Bottom string is actually at the top, and the Top string is actually at the bottom. This is because musicians have names them based on their musical pitch and not on their positions. So work on the numbers as its easier, but we thought it was best to know, incase this comes up anywhere.
The E, A, D, G, B, E is the note that the string is tuned to. This will come up later in their lessons, but isn’t important right now.
The frets are the spaces between the strips on Metal on the neck of the guitar. This is where we place our fingers to make the notes and chords that we want.
The frets are numbered from the head towards the body as follows.
It is as simple as that, the numbers will carry on all the way up the neck. Usually one of the frets will have two dots instead of one marking it, that will be fret number 12. The dots are just there to help you know where you are quicker than counting all the way up every time.
TAB is the form of written music that guitarists use. It is quick and easier to read than any other form of written music. However as mentioned earlier there is one thing that can trip even the best of us up.
TAB shows you 6 lines, each line represents a string. This is the complicated thing. The strings seem like they’re flipped over.
Our first string is closest to our leg when playing (so at the bottom) but is represented at the top when looking at TAB!
The easiest way to remember this is to lay the guitar down on your lap so the strings are facing upwards, and lay the TAB down in front of you. now the line closest to you is the string closest to you. But remember to have your little ninja pick the guitar back up before playing.
Now you have the strings the rest is quite easy. We go along the lines like a time line looking at all 6 strings together. on the lines will be numbers. The numbers tell us what fret to play. a “0” means we play the string open (Without a finger on it)
The above TAB would have you playing the following notes in order:
- The 6th string (the fattest one) open so without a finger on the neck
- The 6th string (the fattest one) again, but this time with a finger in 3rd fret
- The 5th string (the one below it) open so without a finger on the neck
- The 5th string again, this time with a finger in 2nd fret
You now have the basic knowledge to support your little ninja in their practicing. This isn’t a job for you. you don’t need to remember this stuff, but instead a check sheet for you to look at if they get stuck or if something doesn’t sound right.
Remember, practice makes progress, so encourage them to practice. However we don’t learn much unless we want to, so as well as working on the new stuff from each lesson, let them play their favourite things. Any play time with the guitar will make them quicker and better.
As always we are part of a community of guitar lovers so please feel free to share or ask questions whenever you have them.