Learning to Play the Guitar

Starting a New Instrument

Wanting to start an instrument? Have you started playing music, just wanting to try something fresh, something new? Well if the guitar is your choice, this is the place to be! Teaching simple chords, and simple techniques can get you far out into your musical career. You’d be suprised how many musicians use simple chords and techniques. Power chords and C, D, E, F, G, A, B scales and tuning, all getting you started on your road to musical success!

The six strings on an electric or acoustic are best tuned to standard tuning if you’re wanting to start out. Your lowest string on your guitar will be tuned to a low E note. If you’re near a keyboard/piano, find your low E note and press it. Match the note to the pianos sound. Match the strings in order going up the piano matching the notes. Lowest first : E, A, D, G, B, E.

Now that your guitar is tuned… hopefully, its time to move one to reading tabs. Tabs are simple, easy ways, bound to give you a boost in learning.

E—-0——-1—2–4–5—7–8–9———-

A—————–3——————————

D———————5————————–

G————————————————-

B————————————————-

E————————————————-

Each line represents a string with a letter of the note. The numbers represent the fret on your guitar neck. If the number is 0 the string is played open. You play the notes on the string in order. If two number are placed above/below eachother, you play them at the same time. Once you understand how these work, they will help you play many different songs. On the internet there are many different songs that you can learn via tab.

Now lets move on to simple chords!

C CHORD:

E——————————————–

A—-3————————————–

D—-2————————————–

G—-0————————————–

B—-1————————————–

E——————————————–

D CHORD:

E——————————————–

A——————————————-

D—-0————————————–

G—-2————————————–

B—-3————————————–

E—-2————————————–

E CHORD:

E—0—————————————-

A—2—————————————

D—2—————————————

G—1—————————————

B——————————————-

E——————————————-

F CHORD:

E–1—————————————–

A–3—————————————–

D–3—————————————–

G–2—————————————–

B–1—————————————–

E–1—————————————–

You play and F chord with your index finger holding down and the string with your other fingers on each fret.

G CHORD:

E–3—————————————–

A–2—————————————–

D–0—————————————–

G–0—————————————–

B–3—————————————–

E–3—————————————–

A CHORD:

E———————————————-

A—3—————————————–

D—3—————————————–

G—3—————————————–

B———————————————-

E———————————————-

B CHORD

E———————————————-

A—1—————————————–

D—3—————————————–

G—3—————————————–

B———————————————-

E———————————————-

Now that you know your chords, it’s always good to give them a bit of a practice. Practice going from one chord to another, it will greatly improve your playing. If you don’t practice transitions between chords, playing will become very difficult.

If it helps, play with a plectrum (guitar pick). You can vary sizes, thickness, etc. You can buy them from any music store within your area. You can play with your fingers, whatever you feel comfortable with. Playing with a pick helps very much with playing fast notes. Fingerpicking is a style of playing with your fingers (obviously), but that’s a different matter. For now, practice your chords and playing with picks and fingers. Feel free to look up tabs of songs, give them a practice wouldn’t do any harm. Most of all, have fun!

 

 

Learning How to Shred Your Guitar!

It’s Not Going to Be Easy, but You Too Can Play Wicked Guitar

From Paul Gilbert to Yngwie to Eddie Van Halen the guitar heroes of our time and times preceding never failed to wow us. Are they blessed, did they make a magic wish? Of course not! They spent hours and years building on talent and the desire to create incredible music. They used tried and true methods and even created some of their own. Presented here are some of the tips and tricks to help you on your way to shredding a mean Guitar, but keep in mind this is not for the faint of heart. A basic skill in guitar will help, but even if you are new to the axe you can set these tips aside for when you are more comfortable with the instrument. Now, on to the good stuff!

Thirty Second Note Legato Runs

Reading this article alone shows that you have an interest in increasing your skill so I am sure that you have heard many guitar solos. In many of these solos you have heard these runs. To many people this point impresses because of speed, although we know shredding is much slower. Developing legato techniques is important along your three notes per string scales and pentatonic Scales. Take the time to listen to Joe Satriani, will give you great examples of some excellent legato sequences.

Finger Tapping

For some insanity in your solo learn the art of finger tapping. A technique coined by the legendary Eddie Van Halen. For the most drama 8-finger finger tapping is best, but you will start with 2 than 4 than 6 until you build up and you will want to build your skill in the middle and upper register combined. Tapping arpeggios and being inventive will provide you with a more unique sound.

Shredding

A metronome will help you with your rhythm and timing while you practice increasing your speed to 16th notes at approximately 200 bps. The best on the axe shred up and down scales, but have also learned to arpeggios and Pentatonics at this speed. Get online or get a book that teaches you everything not just diad.

Tetra chords

Tetra chords demand intense finger stretching. These are four notes per string diatonic scales. It is a lot to tackle here but if you search on Google or simply look up Charles Gacsi, you should find great tips and lessons.

Tension and Release

Intense guitar isn’t about doing the safe soft melodies. It’s about stepping outside of the box! You can try chromatics to create tension or try a number of notes off a strange scale which will be released to a sound of contrast when you begin playing in key again. For the best release a simple melody repeated will do.

Guitar Face

Last but not least guitar face will provide you with uniqueness. When is the last time you saw a guitar hero droned out with a straight face? Never! Be sure to work on yours when you are in the mirror practicing your moves.

This will all take considerable time and practice. Just keep in mind that if you want to play like a pro you have to practice like a pro as well.

How to Learn To Play Guitar

Guitar Playing Simplified

Guitar players have always been known for their live-life-large attitude and massive female fan-following. Wouldn’t you like to become one of them? There is no other musical instrument which is as popular as the guitar. Guitars are basically of two types- Hawaiian and Spanish. Spanish guitar again has two categories- Acoustic guitar and Electric guitar. In this article, we will talk about playing acoustic as well as electric guitars.

Considering that you are aware of the basic parts of a guitar, i would directly talk about ‘learning how to play the guitar’. A good guitarist must have three things- speed, technique and style. With speed, I mean the speed of the right hand (or picking hand) as well as the left hand. Contrary to the general belief that one must concentrate on developing left-hand speed, I firmly believe that developing right-hand speed is indispensable for becoming a professional guitarist.

There are a few techniques using which one can develop speed. Practicing scales on the guitar making use of all the four fingers of the left hand will help develop speed as well as accuracy. Concentrate on building right-hand speed by practicing upstrokes as well as down strokes individually on each string. Practicing with a metronome will make you a fantastic guitar player.

Learning chords is very crucial. You must practice bar-chords as well as open chords. Take your time learning the chords. It takes a few months to master the basics. Ear-training is very important too. Do not just look up on the World Wide Web for the tabs of a particular song. Listen to a song again and again until you can play the song by yourself. There are hundreds of guitar learning videos on the Internet which would definitely help you.

Practice! Practice! Practice! There is no short-cut to success.

 

How to Make Your Own Guitar Picks from Gift Cards or Credit Cards

 

Guitar Project

Do you keep losing your guitar picks? Do you want to make you own or just happen to have an old gift/ credit card laying around waiting to be made into something? Well, here’s how to make your own guitar picks. If you use old gift cards, you’ll get a pick about medium thickness; however, you can try other materials if you want to.

To start, you’ll need a guitar pick to use as a template, an old gift card, scissors, and a nail file. First, place the template pick onto the card and trace it. Next, cut out the pick carefully with the scissors. Don’t worry if it doesn’t follow the tracing exactly, that can be cleaned up with the nail file later. Once the pick is cut out, match it up with the template pick and file the new one to match. Once you have the shape you want, round out the edges a little so that there won’t be a scraping sound as you pick the strings.

There you have it, a brand new, quick and easy guitar pick! What’s good about this project is that you can make your picks any shape you want, with any material you want. Try out different shapes and materials, find what you like and go make some music.

Guitar: The Basics and History

 

Guitar is one of the most unique instruments in music today. The range of sound you can get out of a guitar is very broad. Which is mainly why it is used for so many different types of music. The style that the electric guitar is known most for is rock and roll. This is the music that gave birth to the electric guitar. Styles such as blues and jazz will still use an electric guitar, but will use a clean tone instead of a distorted tone. Distortion is what gives the electric guitar the overdrive or “heavy” sound.

Aside from the electric guitar, there are Acoustic guitars, Banjos, and Bass. Acoustic guitar has a very powerful sound and doesn’t require an amplifier to get a great sound out of it. Banjo’s started with bluegrass and country style music. The bass guitar usually only has four strings but the sound that comes from a bass is very deep in tone. Basses are used to give a song structure or backing. It is also used to give the guitar player room to improvise within the notes or riff that the bass player is playing. Guitar used along with other instruments can be astounding. If you have four people that know music theory, you could take basic scales and notes and make a great sounding jam.

Over the last five decades the guitar in modern music is the most dominant force for modern audiences. Over the last fifty years of popular music, the guitar has had “Elvis gyrating behind it, Jimi setting it on fire, and Kurt bashing it to pieces”. Despite the reputation of guitar in popular music, it is more than the naughty stepchild of the strings family. For other musicians it can be a classical instrument with many unique possibilities.

In guitar theory, there are many scales which you can use to make riffs or leads. A scale with a guitar is a set of notes that sound good together when played with certain techniques. The major scale is one of the fire scales you should learn when you start playing the guitar. The major scale is the starting point for all types of music theory. The minor pentatonic scale is the most used scale in blues and rock style music. Pentatonic means five, so the scale only cycles through five individual notes until you are back at the root. The blues scale is the pentatonic scale with one extra note added in both octaves. Then there is the major pentatonic and minor scales. Many of these scales have similar positions and structure with just small changes to make it sound differently in a riff of lead.

Playing the guitar is a good skill to have if you enjoy music. If you are a beginner at guitar you should probably want to start out learning basic music theory first. Basic music theory consists of learning all of the letters assigned to each string on the guitar. It also consists of how flat and sharp notes sound and work together. Guitar works the same way as all other instruments as far as music theory goes. This is why the guitar sounds good with all different types of music. In my opinion the guitar is the most versatile and unique instruments because yo can get so much sound out of it in so many different ways.

Famous guitar players such as Jimi Hendrix, and Jerry Garcia started a revolution of using technical techniques in popular music. The grateful dead started a new genre of music in the 60’s and gave birth to what is now known as the “Jam band”. This type of music is based largely around the guitar shaping the songs structure. Jerry Garcia use the pentatonic and diminished scales to make music that many people have not heard before. Jimi Hendrix to many people is on of the greatest guitarists that ever lived. He has a style of playing like no one else. He played his guitar upside down and many times he even would use his teeth as a guitar pick. He is well known for his great live performances especially his version of the Star Spangled Banner, which he preformed at Woodstock in 1969.

The guitar has many ways of being played and technique is a big part of the type of sound you get out of it. Many guitar solo’s use techniques such as hammer-on’s, pull off’s, bending, sliding, tapping, and sweep picking. A hammer on is performed by bringing a fretting hand finger down onto one of the frets on the fretboard to get the sound of the note without actually picking out the note. The opposite of a hammer-on is a pull off. A pull off is when you pull your fretting hand finger off the fretboard quickly to get the sound of the note. When you use a lot of hammer-ons and pull offs together in a solo this technique is called trills. Trills produce a nice rippling effect and sound great with any type of rock solo.

 

Is it Hard to Learn Guitar?

How easy is it to learn guitar? Is it hard to learn guitar? Some people say it is difficult to learn guitar, others say it really isn’t that hard. Like they say, nothing worthwhile comes easy. If you’re attracted to the guitar and you can see yourself playing the instrument, then go for it. Go out and buy yourself a guitar, download some chord charts and guitar tabs from the internet, get yourself a guitar tuner, and try teaching yourself.

Learn your basic 4 count rhythms. It’s very important to learn the names of the chords. You may not want to learn music notation, but you should really know the names of the chords. Keep in mind, these chords will never change.

When you start learning how to play guitar, your fingertips are going to hurt from pressing down on the strings and you will feel uncoordinated. Don’t worry, it will get easier. You will build calluses on your fingertips.

Pick up a song book because the chords are usually displayed above the lyrics of the song you want to play and or sing. Learn the easiest songs possible. Your beginner books usually have a few simple songs you can learn. Most of the simple songs have two to three chords in them. Take your time and learn your chords and practice changing from one chord to the next. Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t get discouraged.

You could try taking some lessons with a guitar teacher. If you can afford that, you will always gain something from the experience, even if the teacher isn’t much good. Or you could keep teaching yourself, making use of guitar tutors that you can buy at your local music store the free guitar lessons on video that you can view on the internet.

You need to learn one thing at a time and memorize it. Do it over and over again until it becomes second nature. When you learn a chord, keep in mind where your fingers are positioned in relation to the dots on the fret board.

Try to get involved with other musicians as well, even a quick jam will help with your progress. Playing with other guitar players and musicians is the single most important thing you can do while learning to play your instrument. Your first session may not sound that great but you are making a very big step in your education. Your first jam will probably be with your guitar teacher. Try to find as many people as possible to jam with and share musical ideas.

Learning how to play guitar takes a lot of patience and time. Though a lot of things do, but you can learn if you really set your mind to it. The combination of using the ebook, games, and videos to teach you chords, basic techniques, and strumming techniques is by far the best for learning simple songs.

How to Set Up Your Bass Guitar for a Live Performance

bassist has his own set of gear that he or she uses. If you are just starting out as a bassist, then you will want to try out any and every piece of gear you can get your hands on. I’m going to give you a simple layout that you can use for the bass and change the gear up if you want to. Here are some things you should have:

  1. A direct box. I like the Boss DI 1. A Direct Box stabilizes unbalanced instruments to make them balanced. That’s another article in itself.
  2. An effect box, for the option of different sounds and a tuner. Not all bass players use the effects on an effect box, but having a tuner at your feet is very useful. There are countless effect boxes out there. I use a Zoom B2 effect box.
  3. 3 bass guitar cables.
  4. An amplifier. I like the Gallien Krueger 700RB-II with an Avatar speaker myself.
  5. A Shure SM57 microphone.

Start by inserting a cable into the bass guitar and then plug the other end of that cable and into the input of the effect box. Then take your second cable and insert it into the output of the effect box. Now take the other end of the cable that’s in the output and plug it into the input of the direct box. Use your final cable to plug into the output of the direct box. From there, plug in to the input of the amplifier. Your amplifier will generally have 2 input options. It will have an ACTIVE option and a PASSIVE option. This refers to the pick up on your bass. If your bass uses a battery for the pick-up, then it is active. If no battery is required, then it is passive. Once the amplifier is on and the volume is up you should be hearing sound coming out of the amplifier when you play. Find the effect you want to play with and get the volume and tone the way you like it on the amplifier.

You now have 2 options, you can either go to the mixing board directly from you D.I. box or you can use a microphone which you place in front of the amplifier. The benefit of going straight from the D.I box is that you don’t have to worry about the microphone picking up other sounds. The direct box is a solid line to the mixer. The benefit of using a microphone is that you know the sound you are hearing when you stand in front of the amplifier is what you want you’re bass to sound like. It may not sound like that going straight from the D.I box. It depends on how well your mixer knows your style and what you want. Try both and see which you prefer.

Using the Microphone Method

Once you get the sound you’re looking for out of the amplifier, take the Shure SM57 microphone, in a short microphone stand, and put it in from off the amplifier about 2 – 4 inches from the speaker cone, slightly off center. The microphone goes directly to the mixer and will pick up the sound from the amplifier which is set just the way you like it.

Now remember that the speakers out front of the stage are different then the ones in your amplifier. They may have a higher or lower character to them so you have to play and have someone listen out in front of the stage. If it sounds like it’s too thin and needs more bass then move the microphone closer to the amplifier. If the tone isn’t bright enough then move the microphone to the side, closer towards the center of the speaker cone. For a softer tone place the microphone more towards the outside edge of the speaker cone. You will need to play around with the positioning of your microphone to find where you get the best sound.

There is no set way to set you Bass guitar up. It all depends on your gear and your style. This is just one of many ways to do it. You can use this set up as a starting point for your own set up. Depending on your budget, developing your own personal set up can take awhile. Just keep playing and trying new things. As time passes you will develop your own sound.

 

How to Be a Girl Guitar Hero

 

Now you’ve done it. You pawned the Gucci handbag grandma bought you for Christmas and spent the money on a second hand flying V and a mean Marshall stack. (Can you say “whammy bar” grandma?)

Your spirit is strong. You are channeling the guitar-Zen of Jennifer Batten, the fury of Nancy Wilson, and the machine-gun rhythms of Gabriela Quintero. But that beast with the chrome finish is staring at you from it’s place on the wall.

Pick it up. Now.

You won’t become the next girl guitar hero by staring at it.

First, don’t be afraid to turn it up. Feedback and dissonance are part of nature’s glory; things collide in chaotic and random ways. Harness the power of this chaos and give harmony a rip in the pants. Realize that anything played loud enough, with enough force and confidence, will either sound incredibly cool or incredibly intimidating. Either is acceptable.

Second, learn to play power chords.

The End of Guitar Hero

On Wednesday February 9th, 2011, Activision Publishing announced that it would be discontinuing the Guitar Hero game series. This move brings to an end the game series’ six year life and potentially signals a shift in the direction in the future of musical gaming.

Activision cited a severe decline in sales as the key reason for this move, but there are a few other factors that have hurt Guitar Hero’s sales success. Only a couple of years ago, the game pulled in over $2 billion dollars in sales, but has experienced a steady decline since then. The latest installment of the series, “World Tour” moved under 100,000 units. This seemingly was the final straw that pushed Activision to direct their financial and manpower resources in the direction of their much more profitable projects, including World of Warcraft and the Call of Duty series. The Guitar Hero series demand quite simply depleted to lows that Activision viewed as financially irresponsible to continue to pursue.

The evolution of music gaming was, of course, another factor. The development of Rock Band for example, expanded the concept of interactive musical games from just one instrument, to multiple ones, allowing for a more diverse field of attention for their games.

Other factors include the rise in popularity of dance based games, such as those offered by X-Box 360 with the recent release of its Kinect technology. The trend of these games seems to be moving players away from music games involving any hand held technology, and allowing for more free-motion based experiences.

Along with Guitar Hero, Activision announced that the DJ Hero series will also be ending. While there is some speculation that for some period of time there would be new, downloadable game packs available with new songs for the Guitar Hero series, it is unlikely that this will last for long. Activision’s intent is to shut down all development for this series, and move on to more profitable projects. They have, however, stated that support would still be available for the defunct series to users who continue to play the Guitar Hero games. There is no timetable on the longevity of this support at this time.

 

Guitar Playing Tips

This article is a collection of tips for any guitar player, beginner to advanced that will help you learn and get the most out of your practice time.

Find a quiet place to practice all to yourself

You need a room or space all to yourself. This can be a bedroom, place by the computer or a full studio. Make sure you have all your equipment ready. You will need a music stand or another place to put your books, picks, music books, and tuner. Try to keep this area clean and free of clutter so you can concentrate on your music. If you live with other people tell them not to disturb you unless it is very important. The more distractions you have the less you will accomplish. Another tip is to turn off your cell phone or other electronic devices. Unless you need that phone for work, turn it off and get to work.

Warm up before you practice

You would be surprised how many guitar players do not warm-up before playing. You will need a good 15-30 minutes to fully warm-up before you begin any practice routine. By doing this you are fully stretching your muscles and tendons in your hands and avoiding injuries. Play scales and simple exercises before you move into any wide stretching or complicated moves. This is especially important when coming in from cold weather, Warm up your hands first before beginning. You can also wash your hands in warm to hot water this will get the blood moving and help to relax your hands. Take your time and you will find your playing is easier when you are fully warmed up.

Focus on your weak areas

If you keep practice the same songs, riffs, and scales over and over you will not improve much just get a little better or faster at what you already know. The trick is to challenge yourself with every practice session. You need to learn something new and apply it to your routine. This can be as simple as one new chord or a whole piece of music. Push yourself to the limit and see what you can do. This way of approaching practice will make you a better player and introduce new ideas into your daily practice. Buy a new book or explore the internet just keep improving and growing.

Maintain a positive outlook

One of the best things you can do doing practice is to stay positive. No matter how hard something seems you can overcome it. Even if this involves practice one piece a thousand times. You will be rewarded if you keep at it and don’t give up. Stay positive and replace all those negative feeling you may have about your own playing. Every player is unique and has something to say. Music comes from within.

Write and record everything

You need to write down or record everything you practice. If you come up with a riff or lick you like write it down or record yourself playing it. Do this with everything even scales. Record yourself playing the scale and listen to it. Make note of any mistakes and try to correct them. Keep a notebook of your ideas and refer to it often. Save your recordings as well for future reference.

I hope these tips help you with your playing. Good luck and keep jamming.