Guitar Lesson 1

Setting up and tuning

Previous Lesson

Songs for these Chords

I recommend that you visit the Tabledit site and download their free Player or buy the software -
each lesson will have TablEdit files with it.

Parts of the Guitar

This is my Manson Jumbo. Its 3 main sections are:


Different makers usually have their own Headstock design.
Here you find the tuning pegs and a small cover over the end
of the truss rod - a metal rod inside the neck designed to take
the strain of the strings .

Neck (or Fingerboard)

Here you find the frets and markers usually at Frets 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17 and 19.
The markers help you find the right frets for chords and notes.
The 12th fret should be EXACTLY half way between the Nut and the Saddle which sits in a slot in the Bridge.
This is a 14 fret guitar - the neck joins the body at Fret 14.
Many guitars are 12 fret guitars - a few are 15 or 16 fret, but rarely any more.

Strings run along the neck from the bridge, across the saddle, over the nut, and into holes in the tuning pegs. When you change your strings the 'ball end' goes into the bridge hole first, jammed in by a round peg.


String vibrations get amplified in here and the sound is projected through the Sound Hole.
Strings pass over the Saddle which sits in a slot in the Bridge.
Some acoustic guitars have a thin pickup under the saddle with a jack socket for a lead at the end of the body.

Strings and Tuning


Left Handed

On a right-handed guitar the strings are put on like this - thickest to the left and thinnest to the right.

On a left-handed guitar they are the other way round.

From thick to thin they are normally tuned E-A-D-G-B-E. This is called Standard Tuning.

To tune your first guitar you need a friend with some experience to do it for you or an electronic tuner which 'listens' to the sound of the string and usually moves from red colour to green as the string reaches its proper pitch.

Mine is a Korg.

Here is a TablEdit file just playing the strings in order at the correct pitch - TablEdit also has a section called Score > Instrument > Tuning which will play the right pitch for each string.

It's important to keep your guitar in tune - you will annoy your family and friends just by practising over and over - they get annoyed quicker if it's not in tune!

Previous Lesson

Songs for these Chords