Wednesday 20 February 2008

The "Capo"

If you want to play in a higher key, then you will need to acquire whats called a capo. This is just a clamp really with a rubber bit that rests on the strings and it normally stays clamped on using a spring. Jim dunlop is a very good make and is probably the best quality and you can pick one up for between £10-£20 which you may think is a bit much bit i find it is a lot better than the ones that wrap around the neck. There are many songs that require a capo and sometimes different tuning and the guitar capo can give your guitar a new fresh sound and it really changes the sound of some songs and can make them sound even better. So if your starting out learning guitar then you should acquire one of these.

Monday 18 February 2008

7 Ways to Learn Super Fast With Online Guitar Lessons For Beginners

It's never been easier to learn the guitar quickly using online resources. You can go on to Youtube and find instructions on just about any song and be playing pretty much anything you want - impressing the heck out of your friends and family in no time at all.
So that's great for the experienced and seasoned player but what's the best way to get started for the complete beginner? Read on and I'll reveal some top tips to kick start your guitar journey into top gear. Combine them with some high quality online guitar lessons for beginners and you'll be up and jamming like a pro before you know it.

Practice every day - you can't learn and develop at break neck speed if you just have a long session on the weekend. You need to develop your skill every day.
Get motivated before a session - practicing chords and scales can get boring so make sure you listen to and preferably watch one of your idols to spur you on through the tough times.
Set out a roadmap to follow - without an instructor you're going to develop your own course to steer you through.
Only focus on learning one or two songs at a time - The key word here is focus.. focus focus focus! If you try and take on too much at once you won't get anything done.
Break songs down into different parts - don't try and play a hard song all the way through when you start learning it, learn the verse, learn it very well then the chorus, then put them together - the adage "how do you eat an elephant? - one bite at a time" really rings true here.
Play along to music - this is the fastest way to develop skills, timing and overall technique.
Learn to read tab - last but not least this is essential. Reading tab is different to reading music, it's very easy and opens the doors to learning anything you want very quickly.
The biggest problem with online guitar lessons for beginners is having a structured learning progression and staying motivated. An instructor will be able to tailor your lessons to what you want to learn. Most of the online resources are 1-size-fits-all, but then again that is reflected in the price.
Learning the guitar from the beginning can be tough when you go it on your own. But you can do it, as long as you understand that it's down to you to manage your motivation and expectations. If you're smart you'll find a way to apply some accelerated learning and achievement tools to your guitar learning materials and achieve your dreams quicker than you thought possible.
Peter Webber is a self taught guitarist and author of the []Free Accelerated Online Guitar Lessons course which provides a completely unique mix of guitar learning materials with goal setting, learning and achievement tools to help budding beginner guitarists achieve their dreams using online resources only.
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6 Tips For Better Guitar Playing

6 Tips For Better Guitar PlayingBy []John Philips
It takes hard work and dedication to the learn guitar and there is no fast and easy way, but some techniques are much more proficient than others, resulting in faster progress. In this article I have illustrated a few tips that will hopefully put you on the right path to becoming a proficient guitar player. If you can keep in mind that to play well involves a lot of practice and commitment then these tips will give you a head start. The most important tip, however, is whatever you do don't quit.
Set Aside Your Own Space
Distractions can play havoc with your concentration and focus, making any practise session worthless. Learning to play the guitar is hard enough so make it easier by finding a space where you can be alone without any outside noise or interruptions.
Ensuring that your guitar is tuned correctly is paramount at the beginning of any practise session. Preparation is essential to good guitar playing and it is imperative to make certain that your instrument is in good condition
Understand Your Instrument
Surprising, as it might seem, not all guitars are the same, every one has a different tone and sound. Learn to know and understand your guitar, what every part is called and its different function. Appreciate your instrument and, although it's an inanimate object, learn to respect and care for it. Even though you might not appreciate it now it will make you a better and more experienced guitar player.
Recognise Your Level Of Expertise
Frustration can soon set in when, after a few weeks of practising and learning, you cant play the same tunes as Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page or any of your other guitar heroes. Realism has to kick in somewhere and the sooner the better. Learning to play the guitar is not an overnight thing. It takes time. Start with sensible goals, leave the advanced playing until later and progression will come with a growth in confidence. Show persistence at this point and you will reap the benefits later and it will be even more rewarding.
Pick Your Style
Being able to play a piece of music made famous by one of your favorite guitarists is an unbeatable sensation. When, and only when, you have completed the fundamentals and you are set to move on to something harder it's time pick a style of music you like and can identify with. Most songs are generally accessible as sheet music from a variety of sources and it's another level in your education. This is an exhilarating stage in your progress.
Set Goals
One of the best ways to focus you concentration on you progress is to set mini targets. Pick a time period for when you are going to play your first song in front of family and friends and let them know about it. This helps give a reason for your practise sessions and certainly grabs your attention the closer to the date of your debut performance. Once you have performed and enjoyed being in the spotlight it will give you a boost in confidence. It's no surprise, but your playing will improve after.
Hopefully, these tips will prove helpful and you will have many years of playing pleasure. Remember, learning to play the guitar is a never-ending process, but should always be fun, and if you continue to improve consistently there is no knowing how proficient you can become.
Learn more about []playing the guitar or any instrument of your choice at a popular website full of tips and advice.
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Sunday 10 February 2008

Multi effects units

Multi effects units are also very popular and i do own one. They are a digital effects unit with just about every effect you could think of all rolled into one which is a lot handier if you dont have a lot of space as lots of seperate units do take up space after a while. On the other hand though, i would say the quality of the single units far outweigh the multi-unit ones. So i would say if you are on a budget and you just play as a hobby, get the multi effects unit as it does the job judt fine, however if you are going to be playing on stage then you would be best getting at least a couple of single units such as a distortion or reverb effects pedal.

The Wah Wah pedal

The wah wah pedal is another commonly used effect as pictured to the right.
As you push down with your foot and back up again the sound you get as you strum or play the notes is a "wah" and then "oouwh" as you come back up again. This kind of effect is most commonly used in funk and soul kind of music but has been made famous by Jimi Hendrix also.

The E-bow

On the right is a picture of an e-bow. This little device is used by many people to create a unique sound with your guitar and to mimic a stringed instrument that you would play with a bow. You hold the device just touching the strings and move it closer or further away from the pickups. It has a 9 volt battery in it and when turned on this creates an electro magnetic field which vibrates the strings like a bow and the result is a sustained sound. There are many strange and cool sounds you can make with this mimicking a cello or violin or similar instruments. It usually costs about £70 - 90 which is a fair bit but it is a great piece of gear and lots of fun.

Diagram of parts of the guitar

Friday 8 February 2008

Even more effects pedals!

There are still a few more effects which need to be covered.
Chorus is one which gives your guitar a bigger sound like there is more than one guitar hence the
"chorus" name. Delay is also similar to echo when obviously the signal is delayed and you can adjust the settings so it repeats the note over and over. I also have what is called a phase modulator which makes lots of strange sounds. The ring modulator is one part of it which makes a very industrial futuristic kind of sound but it is not something that is used that often.

Tuesday 5 February 2008

More Effects Pedals

Another highly popular guitar effect is reverb which gives an echo sound which makes your guitar sound great. It can be added to many other effects which makes it very versatile. Again the settings can be adjusted on how much reverb and feedback you want. I've always thought it was best to buy the effect pedal on its own especially with reverb, rather than buying the multi-effects units. It produces a much better sound, much clearer and brighter and just generally a more quality sound.

Monday 4 February 2008

Effects Pedals

Guitar effects pedals are a great way to enhance your guitar sound. There are endless different sounds that you can make with effects pedals. The guitar on its own without any interference is referred to as a "clean" sound. This is without any effects at all and depending on what kind of guitar you have got it can tend to sound quite clangy and not so nice on the ear.

The most common type of effect is distortion which is used in most rock music type genres. It produces a distorted sound of course and can be adjusted to suit the sound you are trying to make. Too much disortion and you can't hear any notes that you are playing and too little it ends up being pointless. Distortion can be used to bulid up a lot of sustain on your notes and when used correctly can sound great for those long guitar solos.

More to follow soon on other effects.

Saturday 19 January 2008

Learn Guitar From Home

Learning to play the guitar is an ambition of many people but most people never have the time. Guitar is possibly the most sought after instrument for budding musicians or people who just want a hobby. I myself have learned to play the guitar and i have been playing for 6 years now. I taught myself how to play by trying to learn songs by my favorite bands at the time. It took a long time and a lot of practice (and some very sore fingers!) to get better. I do regret not getting proper lessons though as you tend to pick up a lot of bad habits. Getting lessons is difficult for some people though as they have jobs to go to or have no one in their area who can teach them.

As far as equipment goes it depends on what your budget is really. I started with an all in one starter pack that included an electric guitar, amp, strap, spare strings and cables and a couple of picks. You can find these kind of deals at most guitar shops and online but it just depends on each dealer as to the quality of the equipment. I had an Epiphone les paul and a Peavey amp to begin with and i found the les paul quite a good one to start with as it has quite a warm sound and tone and is good for a punchy kind of rock sound. The neck was quite a thin one which also helped for the fingering techniques and to reach all the strings for trickier chords which is a big help when you start to learn the guitar.

When i started i just played songs i like and the easiest guitar songs to learn were, for me, from bands like Oasis, Verve, Travis, Stereophonics and so on, because many of the songs had only 4 or 5 different chords and they were the same chords in most of the songs.

I would definitely recommend learning the songs you like to begin with as it will keep your enthusiasm up and you will enjoy it more. You can buy official song books with the guitar tabs in them or you can find many guitar tab sharing sites in the net to download the tabs and keep it on your computer. There are also many sites where you can learn guitar online from the comfort of your own home.

You should just look around and see what takes your fancy. The internet has plenty of sites that offer great deals all the time especially for people starting out at playing the guitar.
Certainly practice is the most important thing when it comes to playing an instrument and guitar is no different. So get practicing!