Learn Guitar

Learn Guitar – Information about types, parts and history

This article is first in the series to learn Guitar, as part of various Music Courses in Karama offered by Mindbuilder Training Center. It provides basic guitar information and introduces the beginners to the various parts of guitars and main types of guitars in general. In subsequent articles, we shall discuss, individual types of guitars in detail in terms of construction and playing.

Introduction to Guitar

A guitar is defined as a musical instrument with frets and with six strings in majority of the cases. Frets are the thin strips of metal located at intervals that are increments of half steps on scale of 12 tones. Frets are provided on the neck of the guitar and usually cover the full width of the neck. Board where frets are placed is known as the Fretboard or Fingerboard.

Parts of Guitars

You are required to use Both hands to play the guitar. With one hand you can pluck the strings by either with your finger or fingernails or by using what is known as guitar pick. At the same time, with the fingers of the other hand you have to press the strings against the frets, also known as fretting.

The three main parts of Guitar are body, neck and head. The strings get anchored or terminated to the body of the guitar at a part which is called as bridge. The sound produced by the vibrating strings is transferred by the bridge to guitar body and hollow chamber that results in the sound output of the instrument. This process is referred to as projection. In case of electric guitar, an amplifier and speaker is used for the process.

The guitar falls into a category of musical instruments known as chordophone where vibrating strings connected between fixed points and in stretched condition produce sound. Other examples being Banjo, Piano, Sitar Violin etc.

Brief History of Guitar

History of guitar can be traced back to about 4000 years ago. Following are the versions which preceded and were responsible for its development to present shape.

  • Gittern
  • Vihuela
  • Four course Renaissance Guitar
  • Five Course Baroque Guitar

Types of Guitars

There are three main types of guitars as shown below:

  • Classical guitars having nylon strings
  • Acoustic guitars with steel strings
  • Electric guitars having magnetic pickups

These three types have many variations. In addition to these main types, there are also other types such as bass guitars, resonator guitars, 12-string, Seven-string and eight-string

Guitars for different types of music.

The use of different type of guitars is also related to the type of music you like or want to play:

  • Classical, Flamenco or bossa novas – Nylon string guitar.
  • Folk or country picking – Steel string.
  • Jazz – Hollow body electric.
  • Rock & roll or blues – Solid body electric

It is usually recommended to start with is a nylon string guitar because it’s having the wider fingerboard with more room and its soft string allows you to learn to have a better string control.

Brief Description of main types of Guitars

The main features of different types of guitars is summarized below. The main types of guitars shall be dealt in detail on separate pages.

Classical Guitar – Also known as the Spanish Guitars.

  • Having Nylon strings, plucking done by fingers and played in sitting position
  • Used for variety of styles including classical
  • Has a wide and flat neck portion enabling you to play scales and certain forms without much interference form adjacent strings as compared to other forms of guitar.

Classical Guitar

Acoustic Guitars or Steel String Guitars

  • Steel strung to have bright and loud sound.
  • Most Common type is Flat top guitar and specialized versions are arch-top guitars and other variations.
  • Standard tuning is from low to high (E-A-D-G-B-E).
  • Use of different woods, different constructional elements such as type of bracing affect the tone of the instrument. Also, there are many variations in size, depth and proportions.
  • The larger the body, the louder the volume.

Acoustic Guitars

Electric Guitars

  • Required to be plugged into amplifier and has a metallic sound with a lengthier decay period.
  • Two types – Solid body guitars and archtop with hollow body.
  • No requirement of acoustic chamber, hence available in contoured and thin body designs.
  • Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul are the two of the most popular designs.


Electric Guitars

Other types of Guitars

Bass Guitars

  • Hollow wooden body which is similar to acoustic 5 string guitar in construction but larger in size.
  • Has four strings that are generally tuned E-A-D-G.
  • In rare cases, comes with 5 or 6 strings to have wider range of notes with lesser up / down movement on the neck.


Bass Guitars

Resonator Guitars

  • All three types invented by John Dopyera. Purpose was to produce large sound. Hence largely superseded by Electric guitars, but still used due to its distinctive tones.
  • Appearance is similar to flattop guitar, but body can be made from brass, steel, nickel silver or even wood.
  • One of more Aluminium resonator cones are mounted to produce sound making the principle similar to loudspeaker.
  • Available as either round neck or square neck.


Resonator Guitars

Twelve string Guitar

  • Usually with steel strings.
  • Has wide usage in folk, blues and Rock & Roll.
  • Six courses are made up of two strings each similar to lute or mandolin. Highest two courses have to be tuned in unison while others in octaves.
  • Also made in electric form.

Twelve String Guitars

Eight String and Seven String Guitar

  • In 1980s and 1990s, seven string guitars with solid body became popular.
  • Some artists went a step further and used an eight string guitar which had two extra low strings.


Double Neck Guitars


Steel Guitars

Theory of Colors

Theory of Colors and the Color Wheel

Newton considered only spectral colors as fundamental colors. However, in stark contrast, Goethe’s followed a more empirical approach and recognized the essential role of magenta in a complete color circle, developed by him, a role that it still has in all modern color systems. In this article we will go through the main features of the color circle and all the terms associated with them.

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Colors & the Color Wheel

The color wheel shows the relationships between various colors.

The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. The primary colors cannot be made from other colors. These are shown inside the innermost triangle and are separated by 120 Deg in the Color wheel.

The secondary colors are Orange, Green and Purple. These are made by mixing the primary colors.

  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Blue + Yellow = Green
  • Blue + Red = Purple

Secondary colors are shown on the Color Wheel above as three outer triangles of the hexagon.

The Tertiary colors are created by mixing a Primary color with a Secondary color. These are shown in the outer circle of the Color Wheel and located between the Primary and Secondary colors they are made from. Secondary colors include

  • Yellow + Orange = Yellow Orange (between Yellow and Orange)
  • Red + Orange = Red Orange (between Red and Orange)
  • Red + Purple = Red Purple or Red Violet (between Red and Purple)
  • Blue + Purple = Blue Purple or Blue Violet (between Blue and Purple)
  • Blue + Green = Blue Green (between Blue and Green)
  • Yellow + Green = Yellow Green (between Yellow and Green).

In the name for Tertiary Colors, first the name of Primary Color and then the name of Secondary Color is mentioned.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are the colors which are diametrically opposite each other on the color wheel. Examples of complementary Colors are

  • Blue and Orange
  • Red and Green
  • Yellow and Purple.

From the above, you will notice that Primary color and the secondary color not involving the Primary are complementary to each other. Blue and Orange (made from Red and Yellow, thus not involving Blue) are complementary to each other. Similarly Red and Green (made from Blue and Yellow, not involving red) are complementary to each other.

Child’s Brain and Skill Development by doing the right activities at the right time


Your child’s understanding of the world changes and builds with age and experience. Brain Development, Skill Development, Emotional Growth, Personality Development, Communication Skills Development of your child happens effectively if you match activities and exercises with Child’s age and stage of progress. Doing the right activities at the right time encourages healthy intellectual expansion with the least effort and the most pleasure for both you and your child.

How children learn

In order to stimulate your child’s growth, it helps to understand exactly how children learn. Our ideas about the brain and skill development have changed considerably in recent years.  Earlier, parents and educators used to believe that children were empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. Later on, we adopted the notion that children were more or less fully formed beings at birth whose fate is determined mostly by their genetic make-up, no matter what happens in the environment.

The truth lies somewhere in between

Many Scientists helped change our ideas about how Brain and Skill Development proceeds. Psychologists who studied children from the 1920s has published what has become one of the most influential and respected theories of learning. They believed that children gain knowledge by exploring their surroundings and trying to make sense of the world. They also observed that most children learn in predictable stages of development that occur at about the same age.

Scientists broke these stages Brain and Skill Development into a series of four schemas, or basic units of knowledge, that serve as building blocks for understanding.

Here’s a brief rundown of those four stages:

Stage 1 (By Birth to age 2)-Sensorimotor Stage.

Infants use their senses to inspect the world and begin to see a distinction between themselves and other objects. They have no concept of “Object Permanence”. When their mother or anyone else disappears from sight, the infant believes that person is gone forever.

Stage 2 (ages 2-7) – Pre-Operational Stage.

This is where children begin to acquire language, use mental images and symbols, and understand simple rules. They see the world only from their perspective. For example, if they cover their faces and cannot see others, they still believe that means others cannot see them.

Stage 3 (ages 7-11) – Concrete Operations Stage.

At this stage, children distinguish between fantasy and reality. They become more logical, less egocentric. They can concentrate and solve problems better and begin to understand the relation between time, distance, and speed, as well as other rules that govern the world.

Stage 4 (ages 11-adult) – Formal Operations Stage.

Stage focuses on the child’s growing ability to deal with abstract ideas, understand ethical principles, and reason about rules and regulations.

Each of the four stages is characterized by increasingly sophisticated and abstract levels of thought. Your child navigates through each stage by questioning and investigating everything around him. He moves to the next stage by building on what was learned in the previous stage.

Progression through these stages is not automatic nor is it guaranteed, simply by growing older. Some studies show that only 40 to 60 percent of the students and adults fully achieve Stage 4 maturity. In many developing countries, educators believe even larger percentages of the population never reach this ability to reason and entertain abstractions.

How children interact with the world

Popular scientists and other prominent educators now agree upon is that how much children really learn at each stage depends on their active involvement with their parents and their surroundings. Children are like little scientists, constantly testing their theories of how the world works by interacting with the world they are exposed to. They are building their world view, step by step.

Children will proceed to a full understanding of the world faster and more effortlessly if they receive from their parents both encouragement and autonomy. Children need the freedom to wander, as well as the sense of security that comes from knowing that their parents will be there when they return to share the excitement of their latest discovery.

Skill Development

Make your children do right activities like Abacus, Brain Gym Exercises. Provide them with a rich habitat, give them the freedom to venture forth, and be there to listen when they come back to tell you what they have discovered. Children learn about the world through natural play. By manipulating everyday objects, they begin to understand how things operate and why things happen the way they do. Children are naturally curious and motivated to explore. If the materials are there, they will use them.

For children, mastering an object is its own reward. With mastery, they also gain a feeling of competence and self-esteem. For example: when your child learns he can pour water from a pitcher into a glass.  They feel happy, effective and competent individuals. That is a far greater motivation than fear of punishment or the fear of failure that accompanies anxiety.

Furthermore, children learn faster and retain the information better when they do Abacus and Brain Gym Exercises. They use both left and right brains. So it is best for parents and teachers to present new exercises or information using more than one of the senses, whenever possible. For example: when playing a game, you might want to call attention to sights as well as sounds, or allow your child to experience the scent of an object as well as its feel.

We often find that in midlife, we return to the hobbies of our childhood. We play with clay, draw, and take up our old musical instruments. We don’t do it because we are great artists or musicians. We do it for the sheer joy of it. The powerful smells, sounds, sights and feelings we remember from those happy days when we first learned just for the fun of it.