The "height" (top/bottom) is how high or low the sound is.
Tune your guitar. This will not only help your playing sound better, but it'll also familiarize you with which string and fret combinations correspond with which notes. A useful mnemonic to remember the string arrangement is "Every Body Gets Dinner At Eight" (going from high E to low E).
Learn how to read guitar tabs. Guitarists have their own system of music notation called guitar tablature, or "guitar tabs" for short. The basic idea is to look at the tab in the same way you look at your guitar; each line corresponds to a string, and each number tells you which fret to hold down when plucking that string.
On the first fret
Place your fingers correctly on the frets. Right-handed players use their left hand for fretting and vice versa. The frets are the metal strips that run perpendicular to the strings. You actually press your finger down between the metal strips, not on them. For example, if you're playing the third fret, you place your finger on the string between the second and third metal strip. Hold the string down firmly so that it only vibrates between your finger and your strumming hand. Place your finger as close to the fret as possible to create a good sound.
C Major chord
· When you hold down multiple strings at once at different frets (to play chords), it can be a little tricky (especially if you have short, inflexible fingers). There are usually several different ways to position your fingers for the same chord, so research them and experiment to find which one feels most comfortable for you.
· Keep in mind that every time you move from one fret to another, the resulting pitch will be half a step higher or lower (i.e. "sharp" or "flat"). This is important for if you want to eventually read and play from sheet music.
· Some people find that placing the thumb in the middle of the back of the neck, not coming over the top, leads to better finger placement because it allows better reach and strength of the fingers on the frets. Ultimately, however, do what feels best for you.
- Strum with your other hand. This can be the most difficult part to learn without having a teacher demonstrate. Strumming consists of downstrokes and upstrokes in various combinations. Count every beat and off-beat as "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and..." (every "and" is an offbeat). Each beat and offbeat can be an upstroke, downstroke, or no stroke. No matter which direction you use, make an effort to sweep across all of the strings with even pressure and steady speed. You don't want to strum some strings a little harder than others, or start off fast then slow down as you get to the last few strings. The motion should come mostly from the wrist, not the forearm.
- You can do this with a pick or with your fingertips. There are various kinds of picks you can use, but beginners are usually advised to start with a thin pick, held between the thumb and the side of the index finger.
- Keep your arm going in a constant up-and-down motion, sticking with a rhythm whether or not you're actually strumming. This motion functions as a metronome for beginners. As you get better at strumming, you can tap your foot, bob your head, or jerk your knee like Elvis instead.