How To Play Electric Guitar

5 min read Jun 26, 2024
How To Play Electric Guitar

How to Play Electric Guitar: A Beginner's Guide

Are you ready to rock? Learning to play the electric guitar can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be intimidating if you're new to music. Don't worry, we're here to help! In this article, we'll cover the basics of how to play electric guitar, from getting started to playing your first chords.

Getting Started

Before you start playing, you'll need a few things:

Electric Guitar

You can choose from a variety of electric guitars, but if you're a beginner, consider renting or buying an entry-level guitar. Look for a guitar with a comfortable neck and body shape.

Amplifier and Cable

You'll need an amplifier to hear your guitar. You can start with a small practice amp, and later upgrade to a more powerful one. Don't forget to get a guitar cable to connect your guitar to the amp.


A tuner helps you keep your guitar in tune. You can use a digital tuner or a tuning app on your smartphone.


A pick (or plectrum) is a small, flat tool used to strum the strings. You can start with a light-gauge pick and experiment with different sizes and materials.

Holding the Guitar

To hold the guitar correctly:

  • Hold the body of the guitar at a slight angle, resting it on your left leg if you're right-handed.
  • Hold the neck at a slight angle, with your left hand supporting the guitar.
  • Keep your back straight and your arms relaxed.

Basic Hand Positions

Left Hand

  • Place your left hand on the neck, with your thumb over the top and your fingers curled around the bottom.
  • Use your index finger to press the strings against the fretboard.

Right Hand

  • Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger.
  • Rest your right hand on the bridge of the guitar, with your wrist straight.

Basic Techniques

String Selection

Use your left hand to select the strings you want to play. Place your finger on the fretboard behind the string to mute it.

Downstrokes and Upstrokes

  • Use a downstroke to strum the strings with the pick, starting from the top and moving down.
  • Use an upstroke to strum the strings from the bottom up.

Finger Independence

As you get more comfortable, practice moving your fingers independently to play different strings and chords.

Playing Your First Chord

The simplest chord to start with is the E major chord. Place your fingers on the fretboard as follows:

  • Index finger: 2nd fret, 5th string
  • Middle finger: 2nd fret, 4th string
  • Ring finger: 0th fret, 3rd string

Strum all six strings to hear your first chord!

Tips and Tricks

  • Practice regularly, even if it's just for a few minutes a day.
  • Start with simple chords and gradually move on to more complex ones.
  • Experiment with different pick sizes and materials to find what works best for you.
  • Listen to your favorite songs and try to mimic the guitar parts.


Playing the electric guitar takes time and practice, but with patience and dedication, you can become a rockstar! Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of learning. Happy playing!