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Learning How To Play Guitar



Learning How To Play Guitar



Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 03:32:15 +0000

 



Learn to play guitar � Warm up your hands before you play guitar

Wed, 02 Jun 2010 22:47:00 +0000

Before you ever pick up the guitar to play or practice, there are some great hand and finger stretches you should be doing to limber up your hands and get blood flowing to the finger tips. Playing the guitar requires a lot of repetitive motions and injuries could happen if you don’t take care of your hands.

Starting up at your shoulder, cross one arm over your chest, place the other hand on the outside of that shoulder and gently stretch the arm. This should relieve tension in your back near your shoulder blade. Repeat the same action for the opposite arm.

Next, bend one arm at the elbow and touch your back between the shoulder blades. Your elbow should be pointing in the air and you can grab it with the opposite hand. Gently pull the elbow toward your back which will allow you to reach further down your back. Hold for a few seconds and release and then repeat with the other arm.

Now, grab your bicep and wipe down your arm as if you were wiping water off the skin. Do this right down to the finger tips and be sure to do it 3 or 4 times on each side.

Moving onto the actual hands and fingers, reach your arm straight out in front of you with your fingers together and pointing straight up. Grab the fingers with the opposite have and VERY gently pull them back. This will stretch the muscles and small tendons in your forearm.

After removing any rings you may have on, wring your hands out a few times like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. You can even say aloud “Smithers, release the hounds” if you like, but it’s not a requirement. Each time you wring the hands, end up by going down a finger or thumb as if wiping water off. This will bring blood to the surface and warm up the finger tips.

Finish up by washing your hands in warm water with soap and drying them off. This removes sweat and oil from your hands which will make your strings last longer and it helps to warm up the core of your hands.

You can repeat any or all of the exercises part way through your practice session or gig and should take frequent breaks to shake out your hands and give them a rest.




Learn to play guitar � Identifying the parts of the guitar

Sat, 01 May 2010 23:28:00 +0000

To begin playing the guitar, you must be able to identify the various parts of the guitar. The body and the neck should be pretty obvious as they form the basic shape of the guitar and are what everything else mounts to.

Headstock - On the ends of the neck furthest from the body we have the headstock. Although headstocks are all shaped differently depending on the company that built the guitar, they all serve the same purpose which is to hold the machine heads or tuning pegs.

Machine heads – These are the devices that you turn to make the strings tighter or looser. Machine heads can be laid out in a number of different ways depending on the shape of the headstock but will typically be all along one side, half on one side and half on the other or even four on one side and 2 on the other.

Frets – The frets are the little metal bars that sit on the fingerboard or fretboard on the front of the neck. The frets break the neck up into smaller areas. As you push the string down onto the frets you are shortening the distance from the bridge to the point that stops the string length. The shorter the distance between the two points, the higher the pitch.

The bridge – This is the point on the body that is furthest from the headstock and it fastens the strings to the body. The bridge can be fixed or floating and can be made of metal or wood. Acoustic guitars generally have wooden bridges while electric guitars have metal bridges. A floating bridge will be suspended off of the guitar body by two metal bolts and may have springs attached to the back of the bridge. This allows the bridge to be moved up and down to raise or lower the pitch of the strings for some really cool effects.

Pickups – Are the magnetic devices that are mounted to the guitar body under the strings. They transform the vibration of the strings into a changing magnetic field which causes an electric field to be set up in the wire of the pickup which makes current flow and is transformed into sound. A single pick up is called a “single coil” while a double wide pickup is called a “humbucker”.

Acoustic guitars can also have pickups and they are usually either mounted in the sound hole of the guitar and visible from the front or they are thin metal strips mounted under the saddle of the bridge where the strings rest. These pickups are called “piezo” pickups .




Learn to play guitar � How to start a band without using a video game

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 12:31:00 +0000

A great way to assess your guitar playing and take it to the next level is to get together with other players and jam or play music together. The most important part of stating a band is not being afraid to just get it going. Some guitar players are afraid that they aren’t good enough players to join a band but it’s just not true. The sooner you start the better as you’ll see how fun it is and discover what skills you’re missing to make noise sound like music.

At first you should play with everyone and anyone. Don’t worry about what age they are or if they are “cool” or not because you can learn from every single musician you play with and that’s the goal. Everyone has to grow as players to become well rounded musicians.

Your band can consist of as few or as many players as you want but there must be at least two players! A simple way to start is just with a guitarist and drummer but you’ll want to build on that very soon after you start. Adding a singer, a bass player, a keyboardist or a second guitarist will really give you a lot of extra ideas and add to the fun and creativity.

The first few rehearsals or jams will likely just sound like a bunch of noise and that’s fine. Before too long you’ll find the drummer trying out new beats and you’ll come up with guitar riffs that sort of match or sound good with the beat and this is where things really get fun and start to take off. This is how songs are created and some of the biggest and best bands and the world have come up with the best songs in exactly this manner.

You can either make songs up or work on cover songs that you’ve learned. You will likely form your first band with friends so you may have common groups that you listen to. Pick some tunes from those bands, learn them as best you can and try them out. They never sound perfect the first time through but if you keep at it, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your band gets good at them and who knows, pretty soon you might be ready to have your band play live to an audience and that’s where you really get to rock!




Learn to play guitar � How to sing and play guitar at the same time

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 18:29:00 +0000

The fastest way to get all the chicks and impress your buddies at the same time is to sing while playing guitar. It might seem impossible when you first try it but it’s a hugely valuable skill to have. When starting a band, the singer is usually the most difficult player to find. If you happen to both sing and play guitar, you’ll be more likely to get the gigs in bands as so many guitarists will have skipped learning to sing.

Start with a very simple song. It can even be happy birthday. Figure out the chord changes that best fit the song and play through it once or twice to really get the chord changes into your head. Doing this not only develops your mind to memorize the changes but it also creates what is referred to as “muscle memory”. Muscle memory is basically the muscles being trained to feel out each chord and how it feels in your hand so you can confidently change to the proper chords without having to look down at the neck.

Next you’ll want to learn the lyrics to the song and make sure you pay attention to the starts and stops and variations in the singers’ voice. The first couple times you sing the song, you won’t be doing any guitar playing. You’ll simply sing along and get the vocal part down as well as you can. You want to go over the tune enough times so that your vocal inflections closely match those of the singer.

Now we get to put it all together. While playing thru the chord changes, we need to shift the chords to our brains subconscious so that you can play the song without concentrating on it. Next, just start singing at the appropriate part of the song and stumble through it. Each time you try the tune, you will make less vocal or guitar mistakes and the song will begin to sound better and better. It’s best to stick to one song until you can confidently play and sing through it. When you can do it well enough to perform it front of a live audience, you’re ready to move on and tackle the next song.

You’ll have to stick with it to train your brain to share its resources between your hands for playing and your mouth for singing and soon you’ll be able to play more intricate guitar parts while singing as well as singing more interesting vocal lines while playing guitar.




Learn to play guitar - How to buy a used guitar and not wind up with a lemon

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 06:24:00 +0000

Once you get fully into playing guitar you’ll most likely want to get more guitars as there are many different types and styles and they actually do have different features, they sound different and they even feel different to play.

Buying used guitars can allow you to grow your collection faster for less money but you want to be careful not to buy lemons or guitars that have too much wrong with them to make them worthwhile to fix up.

There are many different places to find used guitars to buy including online places such as eBay, Craigslist, and Kijiji but I would highly recommend you buy your first couple of used guitars locally so you can see, hold and play the instrument first so you can be sure what you’re getting.

Used guitars can be found in local music shops, pawn shops, flea markets and the local classifieds so start there and go see as many of them as you can. To become great finding the best used guitars for the best prices, you need to know what people put them through before they sell them and then you can move your used guitar buying to the online world.

You want to assess the guitars wear and condition in case you have to make repairs to it or have it repaired in order to play it or resell it. Check the body for dings, chips and scratches in the paint. While some people love the vintage guitars and actually pay more for that rough road worn look, it’s not usually a desirable feature for a guitar that’s only a few years old to have Uncle Ted’s belt buckle gouges in the back of an otherwise killer looking guitar.

Check the neck for warping and other damage. Hold the guitar up with the end of the body on your chin so you can look up the neck toward the headstock and tuning keys. What you’re doing here is called “sighting the neck” and you’re looking for high spots which will appear as shiny spots on the frets. If one area of the frets appears to stick out from the rest as being extra shiny, then the neck likely has a high spot there. If there is a dark area, that would be a low spot. A neck can be adjusted to bend backward or frontward by adjusting the truss rod inside the neck but it cannot be adjusted side to side. If it’s warped, it’s junk.

Check the frets themselves for wear. Fret wear can appear as dents or pits in the fret metal, flat spots, rust and burrs or sharp spots. Rust can be removed with steel wool and sharps spots can be filed down, but dents, pits, and flat spots will indicate that the guitar needs new frets which will run over $100 so make sure you really want to invest that kind of money if the guitar needs frets.

Most everything else on a guitar can easily be repaired. Small scratches can be buffed out with automotive scratch remover or rubbing compound. Wires can be re-soldered or pickups replaced and strings are cheap. Your main concern is the neck followed by the condition of the body and lastly by whether or not the instrument feels good in your hands.




Learn to play guitar � How to Buy a new guitar without getting ripped off

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 07:38:00 +0000

If you’re looking to buy your first guitar, upgrade the guitar you have or add to your growing collection, you’d be very wise to do your research first to make sure you get a decent instrument that you’ll be happy with. It makes no sense at all to rush the process and wind up hating the guitar you get because you’ll never play it, be angry with yourself that you wasted the money and you might lose money on it when you go to re-sell it.

Most will tell you to go down to your local music shop and try what they have and we will get to that point but there is some fun and easy legwork you need to do before you ever set foot in a music store especially if it’s one of the one’s crawling with commissioned sales people. You’ll need to narrow down what type of guitar it is you’re looking for. The two basics types of guitars are acoustic (hollow body) and electric (solid body). After you’ve picked the basic type you also need to consider what you want the guitar to look like. While this makes absolutely no difference in what the instrument will sound like, you’re going to have it for a long time and you want to be proud of it. What the guitar looks like is an extension of your personality so don’t be ashamed to make the look of an instrument a priority.

guitar magazines can be great sources of information as they usually have monthly reviews of guitars and equipment. Be careful with these though. While most guitar magazines will give honest and unbiased reviews of instruments if you flip through the magazine you’ll also notice that the magazine has full page ads for most of the top companies. The companies pay the magazines big bucks to run those ads so obviously saying their instruments are junk in a review wouldn’t be good for business would it? The relieving this is that most companies now make entry level guitars and many levels above so a magazine is not likely going to bother reviewing guitars that are likely to be terrible.

Next you’ll want to check out the web. Go to www.google.com and type in forum:guitar and you will get a whole list of forums that are based on guitars. Of course this will cover all aspects of guitar playing, guitar lessons, and even guitar players but it will give you a starting point to find forums that contain honest user reviews.

After you’ve trolled the forums and found some reviews you should be narrowing down the choices and reading up on a few models. Before you head to the music shop to try them out, check out what your favorite guitarists are playing. Many have signature models which generally cost more but they’ve customized them based on years of experience and trial and error.

Armed with all of this knowledge you’ll be able to make a very informed purchase and buy a guitar that you’ll be happy with for years to come!




Learn to play guitar � Disciplined Guitar Practice

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 21:32:00 +0000

Many guitarists start out with the dream of becoming a great guitar player and it’s well within the reach or anyone willing to put in the work to learn their craft but the work is what stops many people. Practice won’t always be exciting and will sometimes be downright boring if you don’t go at it with a plan and some discipline . When you first start to play guitar, it’s easy to practice because you’re basically just sitting around noodling away and getting to know the instrument, you have no real direction or agenda and things are pretty simple. Sooner or later you’re going to see or hear other guitar players that are playing things a little beyond your current ability and you’ll want to ramp your skills up so you play that well.

The good news is that everyone starts basically at zero and builds on their skills from there. How fast you excel or how far you go is entirely up to you but you can rest assured that having disciplined practice will allow you to go further faster.

You’ll want to pick specific times for practice. Pick times when you can concentrate just on the task at hand without anything interrupting you. Have all of your household chores and duties done and out of the way, homework done, dog walked, and everything else that could interrupt and interfere.

Create a practice plan and stick to it until each topic is very well understood and you can play it very fluidly and easily. You can break things up into categories like this for example:

- Warm up - Major Scales - Free jamming - Minor scales - Riffs from songs you like

...and so on.

The idea is that you’ll stick to the plan every day until you‘ve master the topics. Play slowly and cleanly and with a metronome if possible.

Resist the urge to want to play fast too soon. It will come with time, but you’ll be a much better guitarist if you take the time and effort to cleanly pick every note.

So you want to practice regularly and with a plan as well as playing everything you learn very deliberately so as to get it perfect before you move on. Once you’re confident that you’ve got it down, move onto something else to keep challenging yourself.




Learn to play guitar � Developing Your Own guitar playing style

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:34:00 +0000

Learning to play guitar is fun and rewarding and all of the hard work pays off when you can confidently rip thorough other people’s songs as if you wrote them yourself, but how do you go about developing your own sound? It seems like to would be pretty boring to just sound like everyone else.

There are two lines of thinking when developing your own sound. The first is that to some degree, you ARE going to sound like everyone else. If you were to take all of your influences, the guitar players you admire and have been learning from, and mix them all together the sound that comes out would be you plus your own flavor.

To take this and develop your own sound from it, you’ve got to be open to new things. You’re going to start out emulating all of the guitarists who’s playing you enjoy and you’ll learn all of their songs and licks. Without realizing it, you automatically be putting your own twist on things which will lead to developing your own style and sound.

As you go through some lead passages, the original guitarist might have used all down strokes with the pick will you might decide to alternate pick and this will create a slightly different sound. Developing your own sound comes from your preferences and the choices you make including picking as mentioned above but also how you hold the pick, how aggressive you pick the strings and even how you hold the pick.

If you take one of the guitar greats and make him play on a totally different guitar and amp setup, it’s still going to sound like him with his signature sound and playing style. While you may not notice it right away, the same will be true for you. If you play anyone else’s gear, it will still sound like you.

To develop your style, listen to players in other genres and decide what you like or think might work for you. A country guitarist can take ideas from a rock guitarist, or jazz, or blues even. As you build your bag of tricks based on what sounds and licks sound good to your ears, you’ll start to hear your own sound come around and it will be made up of all of the preference you’ve had over the years.




Learn to play guitar - Buying an electric guitar amp

Wed, 10 Mar 2010 01:11:00 +0000

Having a great guitar amp might just be more important than having a great guitar. Sure both are important but you can sometimes plug a poor quality guitar into a great amp and have it sound good but a great guitar plugged into a terrible amp still won’t sound that good. There are basically four types of guitar amplifier and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Tube amps – The tube amp has been around the longest and is the amplifier that all others are modeled after. A tube amp uses glass vacuum tubes in its power section and preamplifier section. Because of the tubes, these amps have a warm tone that feels natural and offers a lot of sustain and power. The drawback to tube amps is that the tubes wear out over time and as they wear out, the sound of the amp changes. Tube amps also store a lot of voltage and therefore require a specially trained technician to change the tubes every few years.

Solid state – The solid state guitar amp has the benefit of sounding the same every time it’s switched on as it doesn’t rely on parts that wear out to create its tone. A solid state amp uses transistors in its preamp section rather than tubes. While this does make the amplifier slightly more reliable, the tone is generally grittier and more sterile especially on overdriven or lead tones. Solid date amps almost always cost less than tube amps.

Hybrid – The hybrid amp is a new breed of amplifier that blends a tube preamp section with a solid state power amp section to try to achieve the much desired tube tone. Marshall started this trend with their Valvestate line of amps and Line 6 has partnered with world renowned tube amp manufacturer Bogner to create a modern hybrid amp. A hybrid amp naturally costs a bit more than a solid state amp but are still less expensive than a high quality tube amp.

Modeling amp – These are amplifiers that have a digital processor built in that attempts to replicate the sounds of many different guitar amplifiers, cabinets, rooms and microphone placement. They are very flexible and usually have effects built in as well as a tuner, and a direct line out for recording. Most can be switched via a foot controller so that different sounds can be brought up on the fly. They are versatile amplifiers that can generate many different sounds and are getting closer to sounding like tubes amps all the time, but many are just not there yet.




Learn to Play Guitar � 7 Ways to Practice guitar effectively

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 17:45:00 +0000

It makes no sense to spend a lot of time practicing guitar if you’re all over the place and playing things that do not get you closer to your goals of becoming a better guitarist.

Here are 7 methods to practice effectively and take your playing to a whole new level:

1) Always follow a plan. You didn’t go to school and just kind of “wing it”. The nice people that taught you how to read and write and do arithmetic had a plan or a curriculum for you. To become an excellent guitarist you need to develop a plan to follow, master it and then modify it so it challenges you and keeps you moving forward.

2) Never put off practicing. To learn to play the guitar you’ve got to practice and the more you practice, the better you’ll get. When you set up your plan, you most likely set specific times to practice. Never assume you’ll “get around to it” because most people will never come back to it and will have missed their session for the day. Make it a habit to just get into your practice time when you’re supposed to.

3) Don’t limit yourself to one genre of music. A rock guitarist can learn an awful lot by checking out what great players in other genres are doing. Learning a few jazz or country licks will really spice up your playing.

4) Do have a great place to practice. While it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it should be comfortable enough to allow you to practice in peace and quiet. It also needs to have the proper tools like a music stand and light, a metronome, a stool or something to sit on and a TV and DVD player if you’re learning from a DVD program. Avoid the TV unless it is being used to learn from.

5) Change up your curriculum. This is not boot camp and it needs to be fun. Some people do not enjoy learning and memorizing scales and modes so it’s nice to slip in some fun break time playing in between the more tedious tasks just make sure to get back on track after a short break.

6) Warm up your hands. Many people overlook this when learning to play the guitar but it’s very important. There are light hand stretched you can do before you ever touch the guitar that will limber up your hands and get blood flowing to the finger tips.

7) Share your skills. The best way to learn is to teach as it tests what you do know. You can either hook up with another guitarist once in a while or you can even give lessons to someone else. This will make it very clear what you do and do not know and you can adjust your learning from there.

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Learning How to Play Guitar - Initial Steps

Sun, 02 Aug 2009 17:15:00 +0000

The first step before you can begin any type of play guitar for beginners instruction, is to buy your own guitar. The guitar should have soft strings so that they don’t hurt your fingers as bad at first. Also, don’t choose a guitar that is too heavy or big for you, you won’t be comfortable when you use it.

Don’t spend too much money for your guitar, especially if it’s your first one, because there are many cheap guitars that are efficient and dependable. So long as the weight and size are good, you can pick up a reasonably priced second hand guitar too.

After you get your own guitar, you need to tune it before you play it. Tuning your guitar is a little complicated for beginners like you, so it would be better if you just buy an electronic tuner. Another useful tool is a pick. It is not advisable to use long finger nails to strum or pluck the guitar. Your fingers are going to be sore enough, even if you use a pick. You don’t want to have to give up practicing on your guitar because your fingers are too sore.

Next is to learn the guitar chords. Any play guitar for beginners material you invest in should cover this topic. Use the right fingers on the designated strings. Beginners should learn how to play guitar chords before learning guitar tabs.

There are also videos for beginners who want to learn how to play the guitar. You can watch it on your computer and learn from it. Carefully watch how they move their hands and fingers. Also notice their finger positions and how they hold the guitar. Most of the play guitar for beginners lessons will cover this very well.

Once you finished memorizing and learning the guitar chords, you can play songs for beginners on your guitar. So long as you have the proper learn to play guitar for beginners instruction, you will be able to move quickly from not knowing how to play at all, to being able to play a few songs.

Obviously, playing the guitar is like any other skill. The more you practice it and the more you put into it, the more you will be able to get out of it. It won’t come easy to you at first. It will just take a little determination and the proper encouragement from the right learn to play guitar for beginners material to keep you motivated until you move beyond novice into intermediate.

learning how to play guitar

learn to play guitar online



Play Guitar for Beginners: The Initial Steps

Fri, 29 May 2009 14:48:00 +0000

The first step before you can begin any type of play guitar for beginners instruction, is to buy your own guitar. The guitar should have soft strings so that they don’t hurt your fingers as bad at first. Also, don’t choose a guitar that is too heavy or big for you, you won’t be comfortable when you use it.

Don’t spend too much money for your guitar, especially if it’s your first one, because there are many cheap guitars that are efficient and dependable. So long as the weight and size are good, you can pick up a reasonably priced second hand guitar too.

After you get your own guitar, you need to tune it before you play it. Tuning your guitar is a little complicated for beginners like you, so it would be better if you just buy an electronic tuner. Another useful tool is a pick. It is not advisable to use long finger nails to strum or pluck the guitar. Your fingers are going to be sore enough, even if you use a pick. You don’t want to have to give up practicing on your guitar because your fingers are too sore.

Next is to learn the guitar chords. Any play guitar for beginners material you invest in should cover this topic. Use the right fingers on the designated strings. Beginners should learn how to play guitar chords before learning guitar tabs.

There are also videos for beginners who want to learn how to play the guitar. You can watch it on your computer and learn from it. Carefully watch how they move their hands and fingers. Also notice their finger positions and how they hold the guitar. Most of the play guitar for beginners lessons will cover this very well.

Once you finished memorizing and learning the guitar chords, you can play songs for beginners on your guitar. So long as you have the proper learn to play guitar for beginners instruction, you will be able to move quickly from not knowing how to play at all, to being able to play a few songs.

Obviously, playing the guitar is like any other skill. The more you practice it and the more you put into it, the more you will be able to get out of it. It won’t come easy to you at first. It will just take a little determination and the proper encouragement from the right learn to play guitar for beginners material to keep you motivated until you move beyond novice into intermediate.

learning how to play guitar
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