Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Practicing The Guitar - Are You Kidding Yourself?

By: Sandy Knoll

Practicing the guitar is no different than doing anything else
to improve other aspects of you life. For example, if you're an
athlete do you improve your endurance by driving you car? No,
you do it by running or some other form of exercise that builds
muscle and cardio vascular endurance.

So it is with the guitar. Be sure that when you sit down to
practice that you practice. Avoid the temptation to kid yourself
by saying that you were practicing by just holding your guitar
of by just playing some familiar tune or chord.

If you really want to improve your level of skill, play some
new, challenging selections. Or, use your time to work on some
exercises your instructor has given you, even if its working on
basic guitar scales and chords. This will truly build your skill
when it's time to learn a new tune.

When practicing, avoid distractions such as TV, phone, food and
friends. Select a place and time to practice when you won't be
disturbed. Ask your family or friends to respect this time and
to not disturb you until you have finished.

Be sure that what you are working on is correct. If you have an
instructor, ask him or her to critique your practice techniques.
If you don't use an instructor, be sure to read any reference
materials you have to be sure that what you are practicing is
being done right. Practice may make perfect, but perfect
practice definitely makes perfect.

Before each practice session, spend a few minutes to decide what
you want and need to work on. If you have a plan and work your
plan, you stand a much better chance of improving your skills
quickly. Just sitting down and making some sounds because you're
not sure what to do is just a waste of time.

Remember, you want to learn to play the guitar. So, work on the
things that will get you to that point quickly. And, even if you
are an accomplished guitar player, you can still improve. That
improvement can only come by using good practicing techniques.

About the author:
Sandy Knoll, the author, loves all kinds of music but has a
particular affinity for the guitar. Her website, is a source for great information on
guitars. Please visit her site at often
for great information.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Free Shipping On Guitars and Accessories

Music123 is offering free shipping on guitars and accessories. This could save you a ton, especially on heavier items. You may find a better price on ebay but they get you with exorbitant shipping charges.

Free Shipping at Music123 on Web Orders over $49

Free shipping

Monday, September 26, 2005

An Interview with Angus Young of ACDC - Why He Plays a Gibson SG

By: Steven Rosen


Maybe more than any other guitarist ever, you're inextricably
linked to the Gibson SG? What was the evolution that brought you
to this particular instrument?


I started playing on banjos and re-strung them up with six
strings. [But] an acoustic guitar, an old bang up little
ten-dollar job, that was probably the first thing I started
playing on. Me brother Malcolm got a Hofner off of one of me
other brothers and he got a Gretsch and passed the Hofner on to
me after much squabbling.

It was semi-acoustic and had all been packed with cotton. But I
never used to really take it as a serious thing; I just used to
fool around with it. When I was about 14 was when I really
started playing it seriously. I got an amplifier for about sixty
bucks that used to distort all the time. It was a Phi-Sonic.
After that I got out and got a Gibson SG that I played until it
got wood rot because so much sweat and water got into it. The
whole neck warped. I bought it second-hand, it was about a '67.
It had a real thin neck, really slim, like a Custom neck. It was
dark brown. After about a year, you lose about half the power in
the pickups so you either get them re-wired or put new ones in.
Just ordinary Gibsons.


Did these early instruments still have that tremolo arm


They did but I took it off. I used to fool around with them but
you begin sounding like Hank Marvin.


And why did you remain loyal to the Gibson SG for the remainder
of your career?


It was light [weight-wise]. I'd tried the other ones, Fenders,
but you've really got to do a number on 'em. They're great for
feel but the wiring just doesn't got the balls. And I don't like
putting those DiMarzios and everything because everyone sounds
the same. All the other sort of Gibsons I tried like the Les
Paul was too heavy. Hip displacement.

When I first started playing with the SG there was nothing to
think about. I don't know how this came about but I think I had
a lot thinner neck. Someone once said to me they [Gibson] make
two sized necks, one was 1 ½ and one was 1 ¼ and this was like 1
¼, thin all the way up. Even now I still look all over and I
still haven't found one; I've been to a hundred guitar shops and
I found the same guitar [model] but with different necks.


Did you ever experiment with the Gibson SGs when they were
called Les Pauls [Eric Clapton's graphically appointed Cream-era
guitar is probably the most famous representative of this


Yeah, I had a really old one I bought, a 1962. But it had a very
fat neck; it was good to play but it felt heavier than all the
other ones. That's why I stopped using it. And when you're
running around a lot, it weighs you down.


So from High Voltage on it's always been the SG. Have you ever
tried using more modern types of instruments?


Yeah, I tried a Hamer but I wouldn't buy an expensive guitar -
especially in my case. It's always getting beaten around. With
the SG, you can do plenty of tricks with them.


And you've been faithful to Marshall amplifiers as well?


Ever since I've been in this band I've been using Marshalls.
I've tried Ampeg and they weren't too good for the sound I

On stage I have four stacks going, all hooked up with splitter
boxes. 100-watt stacks . it's good for your eardrums. I use a
real lot of volume, I turn that up; I turn the treble and bass
on about half and middle, the same. I don't use any presence. If
I don't think it's putting out enough top, I will kick up the

With Marshalls, if you're using a fair bit of volume, if you
whack the treble and bass at half, that's where they're working.
We get them from the factory, that's what we do. We go down
there and try them out and fool around with amps and tell them
what we want and they doctor them up. At the moment, they're all
back to the old style of Marshalls, they're very clean. They
don't have these master or preamp settings.


You have entered the modern age of electronics in your use of a
wireless system.


Yeah, I use the Schaffer-Vega. I've been using that since '77.
On the receiver you've got like a monitor switch you can boost
the signal and in the transmitter you've got the same sort of
thing. You can really give a guitar hell with 'em. I have used
the remote in the studio and it worked really good. I don't
believe I've ever had a wah-wah or a fuzz box. It's just the
guitar and the amp and if I need anything, if someone says they
want a different approach to the sound, then I'll get it with
the guitar.

About the author:
Steven Rosen is a Rock Journalist. Since 1973 he has accumulated
over 1000 hours of audio content and 700 articles and
interviews...all now available for licensing or purchase. Contact Steven Rosen for more information.

Gibson SG '61 Standard Reissue 6.27 lbs. 051252

Why Play Guitar?

By: George Nellas

As a full-time guitar instructor, I am constantly faced with
people in all walks of life who, for all different kinds of
reasons, believe that playing the guitar will add something to
their lives. Most people that are just starting the guitar for
the first time are young (pre-university) although certainly not
all. One of my favorite students last year was a 65-year-old
retiree who wanted to learn enough to be able to start a bar
band with his friends.

There is no "one" reason to play the guitar. This instrument can
bring joy to everyone regardless of their primary motivations
for taking it up. There's no such thing as being too old or too
musically inexperienced for the guitar either. Neither the
Beatles or Jimi Hendrix could read music, and I think most would
agree that they did all right without it.

Many guitarists will ask me, after their first lesson, how long
it will take them to become good at the guitar. I've never been
able to answer this question. No one can. Your success or
failure in playing the guitar depends completely on the effort
that you put into it. One of my favorite stories is about Eddie
Van Halen: he would come home after school and pick up his
guitar. He would sit at the edge of his bed and play until he
had to go to sleep. Not once, not every once and a while: every
day. Of course, most of us don't have the luxury of this much
time to practice, but this story helps to illustrate that
success isn't completely dependant on some inborn talent, but on
hard work. There's no easy way into it. Please, whatever you do,
don't take up the guitar if you are only going to practice the
last hour before your lesson. You'll just annoy me and you'll
never get any better.

Remember, if you go to an instructor or you take lessons online
or from a book, what you learn is, for the most part, up to you.
You're the one hiring the teacher and, although you're putting
yourself under their direction, it's your responsibility to
inform them as to where you want to go. Find a teacher who will
help you succeed in the style of music that you want to go into.

So, why play the guitar? There isn't a day that I don't wake up
and am glad that music is such a big part of my life. Music has
brought me more happiness than almost anything else. When you
accomplish something, the sense of success becomes real, whether
you've recorded your first song, or finally learned to play all
the chords to "Smoke on the Water". Playing music, like any
other art form or skill, greatly enriches those who study it.

About the author:You can learn more about playing guitar at You can find here lots of information for players from beginner toadvanced, as well as tips about and links to online guitarlessons and other great player's resources!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Great Guitar Playing Secret

Here's another excellent article by Peter Jones. This is the formula to follow to become the best guitarist you can be.

The Great Guitar Playing Secret

By: Peter Jones

So, you want to be a guitar player huh? You want to strut like
Chuck Berry, be as cool as Keith Richards, rock like Jimi
Hendrix and astound like Steve Vai. You want to wake up in the
morning a beginner and go to bed at night an expert. You want to
be hero-worshipped and have people chant your name. Idolised,
admired, remembered and revered. You want your money for nothing
and your chicks for free. You want all that and more!

Good for you! You have ambition; fire in your belly and a lion
in your heart. It takes a lot of gusto to want to be a great
guitarist. I wish you well and hope you achieve your dreams many
times over.

Now that we've established that you want to be a great guitar
picker, how would you feel if I said I know the secret of being
a great guitar picker? Furthermore, how would you feel if I told
you I was going to share that secret with you right now, free of
charge? I suppose you would think there's a catch and that
really I just want to sell you something. Well, it's true that I
do have an on-line store that sells great guitar tutorials. It's
also true that I would love you to visit and buy everything in
the shop. However, that's not why I'm going to share this secret
with you. No way, I have another reason for giving you this

When I was starting out playing the guitar, I always wished that
I could have known somebody who could already play and could
teach me a few things. Unfortunately, in those early days I
didn't know anybody that played. I had to struggle along trying
to learn chords, scales and arpeggios from the printed page. I
used to worry about whether I was holding the guitar correctly,
or if I was putting my fingers on the correct fret or string. A
lot of it was pretty much hit and miss. More often than was miss!!

For that reason, I would like to offer some advice to guitar
players that are just starting out. If you promise to listen and
take notice of my advice, I promise I will share with you the
secret of becoming a great guitar player. Deal? Ok, settle down
with cold can of fizzy pop, and read on......

I'm going to list these pieces of advice one by one in a
bulleted list. Remember, the deal is you read and digest the
information and then I will tell you the great guitar playing
secret. Press your focus and concentration buttons.........Now!!

1. BUY A GUITAR TUNER AND TUNE UP! If you don't know anybody who
can tune the guitar for you, and you can't yet tune it yourself,
then you need to invest in a tuner. Do this today! Don't
struggle along on a guitar that sounds like elastic bands on a
shoebox. You will not get any enjoyment whatsoever from an out
of tune guitar. So, piece of advice number 1 - Tune it and keep
it tuned!!

2. CONSIDER LESSONS! When beginning anything in life, it is good
to get off on the right foot. A teacher, a mentor, an advisor,
call it what you will. To teach is one of the most fantastic
things we can do. Find a teacher that takes great pride in what
he does. Usually the best ones are found by word of mouth. Ask
people, make enquiries, e-mail, telephone, write a letter,
anything it takes to find the right person. Remember, no matter
how good you get there is always somebody who can teach you
something new. Hiring a teacher is not just for when you are
starting out, it is something you should consider throughout
your guitar playing life. A good teacher will advise you on
technique, theory, performance, attitude and practicing. He or
she will set you goals and reward you when you accomplish them.
He or she will also explain the small things such as the
importance of using a metronome in your studies, keeping your
instrument clean and changing strings. Advice number 2 - Find a

What does that mean "Practice, but not too much?" Well, if we
want to get good at anything then obviously we do need to
practice. With regards to learning the guitar, we need to get
our hands to play the right notes in the right way. Although
great technique takes a lot of time, effort, commitment and
PRACTICE, we need to be aware of when to draw the line.
Sometimes we can get that wrapped up in something that we are
interested in; we can forget that there are other things in
life. Our family, our friends, sports, the theatre, cinema,
books, etc... Advice number 3 - Practice to get good, but chill
out and relax to get even better! 4. KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO LEARN
AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO YOU NOW!! There are so many things to
learn on the guitar that it is inevitable that you will get
distracted. Chords, scales, arpeggios, licks, tunes, exercises
etc... They all have to be learnt as they are all important. If
you realise the importance of learning these things before you
start to practice them, you will stand a better chance of
keeping your focus and completing your studies. If you are
learning a new chord for example, think about why it is
important that you learn the chord. How will it benefit you? How
will it help you to advance? How will it help you to evolve into
a better musician? Everything you learn is important, understand
its importance. Advice number 4 - Make sure you know the
relevance of everything you need to learn.

5. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!! Ok, this piece of advice has two
parts. The first part means listen to a lot of music. Try and
have many influences. Remember, there is no bad music, only bad
musicians. Be open to jazz, blues, rock, funk, pop, country,
classical, anything! We can learn such a lot by listening. It
plays a major part in our musical development. The second part
of this piece of advice involves you training your ears. Try to
learn to recognise chords just by the sound they make. Be aware
of the subtle differences between a 7th chord and a 9th chord.
It takes a long time to be able to do this properly. Stick with
it and don't worry when you get them wrong. Each time you try,
you improve a little bit more. Advice number 5 - Use those ears!!

6. PLAY WITH OTHER PEOPLE!! Join a band or form a band as soon
as you can. You will learn so much from playing with other
people. Put an advertisement in a music shop advertising your
services as a guitar player. Don't worry if you don't feel
ready, do it anyway. The experience will be priceless!
Everything improves when you play regularly with other
musicians. Your time, your feel, your technique, your
confidence, EVERYTHING! Make sure you do this at the earliest
opportunity! Advice number 6 - Take the licks out of your room
and into a band!!

7. LEARN YOUR THEORY!! Ok, your guitar teacher will probably
stress the importance of this to you. The more theory you learn,
the more your guitar playing will improve. Learn chord
construction, diatonic harmony, learn about triads, intervals,
major scales, relative minors, modes, etc... A lot of guitar
players don't like studying theory. Make sure you are not one of
them. Advice number 7 - Read lots of music theory books!!

8. VISUALISE!! A lot of people do not realise how powerful a
tool this is. There is nothing you can't do in your mind!
Visualisation will not improve your technique. The only way to
improve technique is to sit down and play for long hours.
Visualisation helps in other ways. It helps you commit things to
your long term memory. Use it when learning chords, scales,
arpeggios, songs, in fact, anything. There is however, a time
and a place for visualisation. You can use it while travelling
on a bus, waiting for your date to turn up, while falling asleep
at night, sunbathing or relaxing. You must NOT use it while
doing anything that requires your full attention. For example;
driving, using tools, cooking and riding you bicycle. You get
the idea, right? Also, do not ever think that visualisation is a
substitute for hands on practice - it isn't! You have to do that
as well. Advice number 8 - Practice in your mind!!

9. BE INQUISITIVE!! The more you play the more chance you have
of meeting other guitar players. Never, ever be afraid to ask
them questions even if they haven't been playing as long as you
have. We learn off everybody. Ask probing questions to see how
they developed their technique. Check out the chord shapes they
use. If you see one that you don't recognise, ask them what it
is. Remember your job is to improve your playing at every
opportunity - do your job! Advice number 9 - Ask lots of
questions and you'll get lots of answers!!!

10. SMILE!! Sometimes the stress of being a practicing guitar
player can get us down. Maybe a lick you are working on just
isn't happening, or no matter how hard you try you just cannot
execute a new scale properly. This is normal. Sometimes it's
better to put the instrument down and come back to it later on.
Never, ever let it get you mad and never, ever get frustrated.
Fight back at these challenging situations with a big smile. Try
it now, right this minute. Think of something that is bothering
you although deep down you know it isn't important. Visualise
it. Ok, hold it there and.......SMILE! Laugh even. Not just a
chuckle but a big laugh right from your belly. Go on, feels
good, doesn't it? Treat your guitar playing challenges in
exactly the same way. Deep down you know they aren't really that
important. Tomorrow is another day. I'm not saying don't take
your guitar playing seriously; just stop and smell the flowers
now and again. Be optimistic, be bold, be the best you can be!! Advice number 10 - Playing the guitar is fun
- Enjoy it!!

There you go, that's my advice to you.

Right, all that's left for me to do is tell you the great guitar
playing secret. Are you ready? Well, don't tell anybody but the
secret of being a great guitar player

. everything you've just read!! Sorry guys, but there
ain't no shortcut to greatness. If you follow the 10 pieces of
advice I've just given you then you won't go far wrong. I still
haven't achieved it and I may never will. One thing is for sure,
I'm gonna keep on plugging away, and, who knows, maybe one day
I'll get pretty close. The fun is in the trying.

So, you want to be a guitar player huh? You bet your life I

About the author:
Peter Jones is the Managing Director of Jack Sky Ltd. Jack Sky
is based on the banks of the River Mersey in the great city of
Liverpool. The company is dedicated to providing excellent
guitar tutorials to advancing guitar players.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Play the Blues

Here's another good guitar article by the guy with the inexpensive ebooks. A lot of guitarists start with the blues chords and scales because they are the base of rock music. Do you still remember how to play them?

Hey Guitar Players! Can you play the Blues??

By: Peter Jones

Hey, I'm looking for a rhythm guitar player for my virtual blues
band. Can you play the blues? You can? Great! Would you like to
audition? You would? Fantastic! Come on, step into my virtual
rehearsal room and meet my virtual band mates. We've got a big
virtual tour coming up and we desperately need a virtual rhythm
guitarist. By the way, what's your name? Stevie? Nice to meet
you Stevie, I'm Pete. Come on, come inside.....

CUT TO.....


A dimly lit room with graffiti on the walls. The drummer and
the bass player are jamming a jazz blues. Pete and Stevie

PETE: (Shouting) Guys

They don't hear him

PETE: (Shouting louder) Guys, QUIET!!!!!!

They stop playing.

PETE: Thank you. This is Stevie. He says he can play the blues.

JAKEY THE DRUMMER: Hi Stevie, I'm Jakey


STEVIE: Nice to meet you both.

JAKEY: So you play the blues, huh?

STEVIE: Sure, anybody can play the blues.

PETE: Ok, grab a guitar Steve. We'll have a jam.

Jakey adjusts his high hat. Colin turns the volume up on his

COLIN: Ok, how about something simple to start off with.

JAKEY: A 16 bar?

PETE: Sounds good, key of C sharp.

Jakey starts counting in

JAKEY: 1...2...3..

Stevie interrupts

STEVIE: Sorry, a what bar?

PETE: A 16 bar

Stevie has a blank look on his face. Colin and Jakey exchange

PETE: Have you played a 16 bar before?

Stevie shakes his head.

PETE: Ok, erm...I know let's try an 8 bar blues.

COLIN: Yeah. Let's do it in A flat

JAKEY: Great! 1....2....3....

STEVIE: (Interrupting) Hold on guys.

Everybody looks at Stevie.

STEVIE: I'm sorry, I'm not too sure how to play an 8 bar.

PETE: I thought you said you could play the blues...

STEVIE: (Angry) Sure I can play the blues. I've been playing
the blues for years. I grew up playing the blues.

PETE: Erm, ok then, let's try a minor blues in F sharp,

JAKEY: 1...2...3...

STEVIE: (Interrupting)

PETE: But you did say you can play the blues.

STEVIE: Course I can play the blues.

COLIN: Ok, your call Stevie, what shall we play?

STEVIE: Well, how about a 12 bar blues in E?

PETE: Yeah, ok. Let's give it a go. We'll make it a quick
change 12 bar in 12/8 time. Oh yeah and lead in with the

JAKEY: 1...........

STEVIE: (Interrupting) Erm.......

Pete, Jakey and Colin are puzzled

PETE: What?

STEVIE: Quick change? 12/8? Lead in with the turnaround?

PETE: But you said you can play the blues.

STEVIE: yeah, well not this sort of blues.

An awkward silence fills the room.

STEVIE: (Embarrassed) Erm...maybe.....I

Stevie turns and leaves

Jakey and Colin glare at Pete

PETE: But he said he could play the blues....

Cymbal crash - THE END!

Ok, let's step out of virtuality and back to reality. I have a
question for you.....

If you were in Stevie's shoes, what would you have answered
when asked you if you could play the blues?

Be honest, would you have said yes? I think most guitar players
would have. It seems as though a lot of people think the blues
is an easy music. Three chords in a 12 bar format. Well, a lot
of it is three chords and a lot of it is in a 12 bar format.
There is no denying that. But, there is also a lot more to it
than most people think.

Let me ask you another question. Once again, answer honestly.

Imagine it was you in the audition room and not Stevie. Could
you have played the 16 bar in the key of C sharp? How about the
8 bar or the minor blues? How would you have coped with the
turnaround intro or the quick change? Would you have known what
12/8 time was? Would you have been comfortable in the keys that
were suggested? C sharp?, A flat? F sharp? Remember, you are
being asked to play these things on the spot.

If you answered yes to all the above then, great! You need read
no further. Go reward yourself with a jam doughnut, you deserve
it. For those of you that answered no to all, or just one of the
questions, we need to do some work. Maybe you could argue that
"feel" would have got you through the audition. What is this
word; "feel?" Well, it's great to have it, but a bit silly to
rely on it. Sometimes we need a little bit more than feel to get
us through tough situations. The truth is we need knowledge!

If you are serious about becoming a professional guitar player
then you really do need a good knowledge of the blues. It is a
language that all musicians love to use. The way to get this
knowledge is to work hard and commit yourself to your musical
education. A solid understanding of blues progressions is
essential to your development. Sorry but a 12 bar in E just will
not do.

That's why we, at Jack Sky Ltd, have produced an excellent blues
rhythm guitar study entitled "Blues Progressions." This 32 page
e-Book covers 8 bar, 12 bar 16 bar, minor blues, jazz blues plus
many variations of these progressions. It also includes a chord
syllabus with chords that are commonly used in blues music. It
really is packed with information that will equip you with the
skills required to jam with any blues band.

The next time somebody asks "Can you play the blues?" make sure
you are in a position to stick out your chest, lift up your
head, look em in the eye and reply...."Yes, I play the blues!"
Grab this fantastic e-book today. Visit our on-line store at

Knowledge breeds confidence. Confidence will, in turn, create
opportunities. Opportunities will bring experience. Experience
will bring success!! Here's to your success! Work hard and feel
yourself improve......

Oh, and by the way, can you play the blues...........?

About the author:
Peter Jones is the Managing Director of "Jack Sky Ltd." Based on
the banks of the River Mersey in the great city of Liverpool,
Jack Sky Ltd is committed to providing top class guitar
tutorials to its customers. A warm welcome awaits you at

Monday, September 19, 2005

Win Guitar Gear For Life

As mentioned some time ago, ZZounds has the $100,000 gear contest heating up again.
Not only guitars but effects, amps, keyboards etc. It's free to enter so check it out here:
Win Guitar Gear

Check out some of their current guitar specials while you're there.
We'll review some of the new effects boxes that are coming out in the near future so stay tuned. One of the partners played with some new Line6 stuff so we'll review that when he lets us in on it. The digital technology has come a long way in a few years. We see more and more guitarists using digital modeling amps live all the time. You can't beat the versatility.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How To Master The Fretboard

This is a good article with a link to a cheap valuable e-book which can improve your guitar skills immensely. Check it out.

The Fretboard Master

By: Peter Jones

Having been a guitar player for over 20 years, I am often amazed
at the number of guitarists that have never taken the time to
learn the notes on their fretboard. I have met guitar players
that gig on a regular basis, and yet are unable to find a C# on
the 3rd string, an A natural on the 4th string or an F natural
on any string! Little do they know that by learning this one
simple thing, their playing and enjoyment of the instrument will
increase ten fold!

It was while studying at the Guitar Institute in London that I
first realised that many players do not develop this part of
their playing. This realisation prompted me to want to find a
way that guitar players could learn this simple thing with the
minimum of effort. Some of them could play every guitar solo
Jimi Hendrix recorded, yet couldn't name one single note!

My feeling was that most guitar players just didn't want to
spend time on something that they felt wouldn't benefit them
that much. Unless their practice time resulted in them learning
a flash guitar lick they just didn't want to know. Always one
for a challenge, I decided it was my duty to show these poor
souls the light. How would I do that?

I decided to use my good friend, Paul, as a guinea pig. Although
he played quite well, he, like countless others, hadn't learnt
his fretboard. I asked him why. His reply went something like
this: "Why would I want to spend time learning the notes on the
fretboard when I could be working on a Jimi Hendrix solo? No,
it's not for me, it just seems like so much effort for nothing.
I'd rather learn a new chord shape or a hot guitar lick. I
honestly don't see the point."

Paul's response was pretty much the same as the other people I
asked. "Waste of time," one said. "I'll probably get round to it
one day," chirped another. Little did any of these people know,
familiarising themselves with their fretboard would not only
improve their guitar playing it would DRAMATICALLY improve their
musicianship!! I set to work on Paul.

I wrote out a diagram of the fretboard with 12 frets and 6
strings. I then wrote in all the notes and handed it to Paul.
"What do you want me to do with this?" he asked. "I want you to
learn it," I replied. "Take it home, study it, and then let me
give you a test." He wasn't overly keen on doing this, but I
managed to persuade him. I gave him two weeks to learn it all.
He placed the sheet into his guitar case and took it away with

It was actually three weeks later that I next saw Paul. "How did
you get on with the fretboard study,?" I asked him. "Ok," he
replied. "Right, let me test you." Paul took out his guitar and
placed it on his knee. "Ok, an easy one to start. Show me an A
on the 6th string." Paul thought for approx 15 to 20 seconds and
then successfully placed his finger on the 5th fret. I
congratulated him, "Well done" Let's try another. Show me where
to find an E flat on the 3rd string." Paul's face sank. He
thought about it, and then he thought some more, and then, he
played me......F sharp! I was disappointed. "Wrong! Let's try
another one. How about D on the 2nd string?" This is quite an
easy one, but once again, after some thought, Paul failed to
find D. "Ok, a C natural on the 3rd sring." Once again Paul
couldn't do it. I asked him why. "Well, I did try, but it is
just too mind numbingly boring. It'll take ages for me to learn
the whole neck," Paul complained. Now I couldn't let this go. It
wasn't a light hearted challenge any more. Paul was going to
learn the fretboard whether he liked it or not.

I set to work on an instructional booklet that would make
learning the fretboard easy and fun. I also knew that I had to
make it motivational and inspiring. I worked hard typing up the
study. In 5 days I had a rough copy. I printed it off and took
it round to Paul's house. "Not again," muttered Paul when I
handed him the booklet. "Just humour me, and give it one more
go," I pleaded. He reluctantly agreed. I didn't want to push my
luck too much, so I quickly left and wished him well.

Four days later there was a loud knock on my front door. "Ok,
ok," I yelled as I rushed to answer it. As I pulled open the
door, I found an extremely excited Paul with his guitar case in
hand. "Test me again," he demanded. He pushed past me to the
living room and opened up his case. "Go on, ask me any note on
any string." I sat down and called out G flat on the 3rd string.
The words had no sooner left my lips when Paul was on the 11th
fret playing me the requested note. "And another," my friend
requested confidently. "Ok, C sharp same string." Paul played
the C sharp. I then asked for a D on the 1st string, an F sharp
on the 2nd, a C on the 4th. Paul played each one without any
hesitation. "What do you think about that?" he asked smugly. Oh
no, I thought, I had created a monster!!!!

Paul then went on to play notes all over the neck, calling them
out as they sounded. I couldn't believe it, I knew my fretboard
study was good but I didn't expect these results. Paul was
delighted. He thanked me for the study, and also for encouraging
him to master his fretboard. He said he now knew what I had
meant when I told him how much this knowledge would improve his
playing. "That study is dynamite," he told me. Maybe he had a

Now, a few years down the line, I realise just how true Paul's
words were. The study IS dynamite. I have used it with many of
my students and they have all reported results that are equally
as impressive as Paul's. After much encouragement from my
students and friends, I have now decided to make it available
worldwide. For the small price of £5.00 (five pounds), you too
can experience what Paul did all those years ago, and also what
countless other people are experiencing today. If you are
serious about being a guitar player you really need to know your
fretboard. Visit our website at for your copy
of this great ebook. You will not be disappointed.

Improve today - Grab the Fretboard Master!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cleaning Your Guitar

We spend a lot of time with our guitars. But how often do we clean them and what's the proper way to do so? Here's a good article on guitar cleaning.

Cleaning Your Guitar

By: Robert Shawn

If you could play your guitar without touching it you wouldn't
have to clean it. Just take some time to clean your guitar each
time you play it. This will extend the its life and can prevent
any number of problems in the future.

First make sure you use a soft cloth preferably cotton. There
are flannel cloths at most music store that work great and can
be used on any instrument. One idea is to use an old clean
T-shirt. Make sure when using a T-shirt that you are not
cleaning with the printed area facing the guitar this can
scratch the guitar. Don't use paper towels they can also scratch
the guitar finish. Disposable shop towels work great as well but
they are a little on the expensive side for a through away.

Wiping down you guitar after you play will keep your guitar
looking new. For hard to reach areas such as under the strings,
use a ruler and wrap with a soft cloth.

In regards to the guitar strings, you can increase the tuning
life if you clean them aggressively each time you play. Just
wrap the cloth around each string and wipe down the length of
the string.

Keep the fingerboard clean by just wiping the whole board down
strings included.

After cleaning the guitar you notice areas that just didn't
clean well like smudges, etc. Just add a little moisture and a
mild detergent. Add this to a cloth and do not add directly to
the guitar. You want to use as little moisture as possible to
keep from getting moisture in the areas that could cause damage.

After cleaning just buff the guitar down again with a dry cloth
to remove any additional streaks caused by the moisture process.

Now that was easy wasn't it?

For more information on Electric Guitars log on to
their website at

About the author:
Robert Shawn is a writer and marketer for a number of
information resource directories.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Make a Game of Your Guitar Practice and Surprise Yourself

Here's an interesting and unique way of practicing guitar. Check it out.

Make a Game of Your Guitar Practice and Surprise Yourself
By: Jeremiah Thompson

So you want to be improve your guitar playing?

Well, like any thing, guitar skill progress takes time and
practice, but many of us have much difficulty practicing
regularly because it is so easy to let other things take
priority over our guitar lessons.

First, you need to absolutely make up your mind that you want to
improve your guitar playing and then make sure that your
progress is truly is a priority for you.

Make a list of the most important things that you need to focus
on in your life right now and honestly assess where guitar fits
into your list.

Ideally, you want to be engaged in a guitar lesson for at least
an hour a day in order to make any significant progress.

However, you may have to conclude that at this point you are not
going to be able to devote even an hour a week to the task.

If that is the case, try to spend some casual time reading
guitar-related publications or listening to your favorite
guitarists to nurture your love of the music. When your
priorities change and you have more time, you will then at least
still have a strong interest in becoming as good a guitarist as
you can. Listening to Eric Clapton or other greats will only
kindle your interest and may even cause you to reprioritize your
guitar lessons.

Once you see where your guitar practice fits in with the rest of
your life, make a true appointment with yourself. Put your
practice into your schedule. Get it in your planner or it won't
get done!

Okay, now that you are regularly spending time with your beloved
guitar, what should you do?

First, make sure it is quality time. Don't have the television
on or be hanging out with friends. Then, make sure you are
working on skills that you need to sharpen.

If you spend time strumming popular solos and cranking up your
amplifier, you may have some fun, but you will not improve your

Think about the chords and scales that you struggle with. Grade
yourself on them on a scale (no pun intended) of 1 to 10 and
then re-evaluate every week or so. Re-grading every practice or
guitar lesson is not appropriate because it is unfair to measure
progress that frequently.

No one improves in a straight line. You may hit a certain chord
great one day and then have two of the strings sound very
unclear the next day. However, if you work diligently you will
make progress when measured every couple weeks or so.

Do the same thing with scales and even notes depending on your
current skill level.

Once you have a way of measuring your progress, you will be
inspired to continue with your regular practice regimen and
guitar lessons.

As an advanced step, after you have made progress with a certain
group of chords and scales, you should find a song you like that
uses many of those elements and work on that as a way of
applying your improved ability.

This can be very rewarding.

You may even want to start with the song and work backwards, but
make sure that you do spend a great deal of time on the
fundamentals before you get serious about the song.

The key to all this is regular consistent work and a measurement
of results. Achieve this, and you will enjoy your practice time
more and more. Challenge yourself to be at a certain grade by a
specific time.

Make a game of your practice efforts and you will surprise

About the author:
Jeremiah Thompson is an amateur guitar player and true lover of
the instrument and its rich sounds. He enjoys writing about guitar chords and guitar

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Guitar Practice Tips

Many guitarists learn and practice on their own much of the time. If you want to get good, it sure helps to have a some goals and plans instead of just fiddling around. The following article has some good ideas to get you making some progress.

6 Simple Steps to Becoming A HOT Guitar Player!

By: John Bilderbeck

Learning how to play guitar well is not easy. There are so
many methods and so many conflicting opinions, it makes
it difficult to know what to do.

But the simple fact is, if you want to be the best you can,
as soon as you can, then all you need to do is - copy what
the pro's do...

Master the Basics!

Mastering the basics means being able to play in all keys.
Being able to transpose any song to any other key - on
the spot preferably.

Did you know that 95% of guitarists DON'T master the
basics. Oh yes, they mean to get around to it, but they
hardly ever do.

Why is that? Well, it's because they think it's boring,
complicated and too much hard work. And most of all - no
fun! And mostly they were right. Well, it needn't be that
way. Mastering the basics can be a lot of fun if you go
about it in a methodical set-by-step way.

What does mastering the basics entail?

There are 6 basic steps you need to follow:

1. Learn the names of all notes on all strings, one string at
a time.

2. Learn how to construct a C Major scale.

Basic must-know guitar theory. Easy stuff.

3. Learn how the chords of the major scale are made and
what they are... their names etc. C Dm Em F G Am Bdim.

Basic chord construction knowledge.

4. Learn the triad patterns for the C major scale all over
the fret board.

Triads are simple 3-note chords. Easy and fun to learn and

5. Learn to play those triads with common chord

Learn to play and apply the triads to the most common
chord progressions that fit thousands and thousands of

6. Learn to do step 5 in all keys.

Once you can do steps one to five in the key of C, it's real
easy to learn it for the other 11 major keys.

Hint: It's much easier than you think. All the patterns are
exactly the same as what you learn for C major. You don't
have to learn any new patterns. Cookie cutter stuff.

It really is not hard at all. All you need is a methodical
step-by-step method that makes sense and is easy and
fun to use.

About the author:
John Bilderbeck makes it easy to master guitar basics in a
step-by-step fashion. Fast and easy! To claim your "Mastering
Guitar" eBook join his
Guitar Chords
website now.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Guitar Practicing Tips for Newbies

By: Peter Lenkefi

It is often the case that individuals just learning to play the
guitar want to sound like a professional when they really need
to focus on guitar playing/practicing tips for newbies. Guitar
playing/practicing tips for newbies may sound like fundamental
information that is not fun, but that all depends on how serious
you are about learning to play the guitar. The best advice for
you at this stage of your learning is to take it slow and learn
as much as you possibly can. This short tutorial, which features
guitar playing/practicing tips for newbies will present you with
the basics for honing your skills. By following the steps below
you will be playing like a pro in no time at all.

Step 1: Warm Up Your Hands and Fingers

Your hands will get a good workout when you play and practice
the guitar. Just as a typist whose hands perform repetitive
motion for a significant number of hours can develop carpel
tunnel syndrome, so can you too injure the delicate tendons in
your hand. You can experience very painful cramps and in extreme
cases could lead to loss of ability to play the guitar at all.
You should spend at least 5 minutes warming up your fingers and
hands before you perform either of these activities. One of the
most important guitar playing/practicing tips for newbies is to
take a break if you play or practice for longer than an hour.
The following exercises are ideal for warming up your hands and

* Use each hand to gently massage the other one; concentrate on
the base of the area located at the base of the thumb * Place
your hands against one another, pressing your fingertips
together * Stretch your fingers out as far as you can and then
curl them inward; repeat twice

Step 2: Practice Chromatic Scale

While playing either major or minor chords is a traditional
method that guitarists use when they start practicing, this
feature of guitar playing/practicing tips for newbies would be
remiss if it did not recommend that students of the guitar
practice the chromatic as often as they can. The chromatic scale
is among the guitar playing/practicing tips for newbies because
you play all 12 notes on the guitar in half steps. This scale is
contrary to a whole note scale, which consists of playing the
notes in whole steps.

Step 3: Get Down to Playing

You have looked forward to another opportunity to play your
guitar and here you are. If you haven't prepared for your
practice session by choosing your lesson beforehand, the guitar
playing/practicing tips for newbies for this step include
suggestions for what you could practice/play during your session.

* Learn a new chord * Choose to learn one section of a new song
* Practice picking, strumming, plucking, or all three

Step 4: Cooling Down

The cooling down phase is a time to bring your session to a
close. Instead of abruptly stopping and putting your guitar
away, this is the time to sort of reward yourself by leaving the
session on a positive "note." Whether you are practicing or
playing the guitar, you are probably challenging your skills. In
the cool down you ease out of the challenging phase.

The following are the best guitar practicing/playing tips for
newbies for cooling down:

* Play a short, familiar piece that is comfortable for you *
Don't focus on playing your finale piece with perfection; just
play it * Closing your eyes while you play the finale can help
to calm you if the practice session was difficult or frustrating

About the author:
For more more information about guitar practicing please visit

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gibson Guitars: Explorations in Innovation

By: Peter Lenkefi

The tradition of quality associated with Gibson guitars dates as
far back as the late 1800s when Orville Gibson started the
company with his skill and interest in the guitar. Probably one
of the keys to the success of the company then and now is its
tangent for innovation. This innovation continued through
economic hardship, which saw the introduction of the L-5,
ES-150, electric guitar. While the company originated as a
manufacturer of mandolins and guitars, it was the design of the
ES-150, the company's first electric guitar that hailed them to
the top of the list of guitar manufacturers. The innovation in
the company originated with guitarists such as Lloyd Loar and
Les Paul, whose ideas were used to create some of the company's
most innovative designs.

Reviewing the Original Gibsons

The Les Paul Standard is by far the most popular of all Gibson
guitars. It was way back in the early 1950s that it was
introduced as the company's premier solid body electric guitar.
Today the Les Paul Standard has several variations, including
the Les Paul Standard Faded, Les Paul Standard Double Cut, Les
Paul Standard Limited Edition, and Les Paul Standard Premium.

While many guitar manufacturers find ways to cut corners to
assemble guitars as fast as they can, Gibson continues its
tradition of hand making each guitar it produces. The Gibson
acoustic is the classic tradition of guitars. Gibson continues
to make the classic acoustic guitars in natural wood. It's
probably the case that if you learned how to play the guitar in
elementary school, that your music teacher had an inventory of
Gibson guitars. The value of these guitars has not decreased,
although many musicians probably wish the price would decrease!
Classic Gibson acoustic guitars such as the SJ200 and the
Hummingbird are still as popular as when they were first
introduced, although most people purchase them as collector's

Electric guitars were made to play rock music, right? This
message couldn't get any clearer with Gibson's release of a
replica of the guitar associated with Angus Young of AC/DC.
Usually when makers of guitars reproduce a classic, they tend to
add additional features that actually take away from what was so
great about the original. The Angus Young Signature SG is
basically a mirror image of the classic guitar.

The list of famous individuals who have counted on the
traditional quality and innovation of Gibson guitars is long.
This relationship is probably due in part to the Gibson
company's solicitation of professional guitarists to assist in
designing innovative Gibson guitars. Who else knows more about
what "serious" guitarists want than the professionals who push
them to their limits? Celebrities that have been longtime fans
of Gibson guitars include Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page. Aside
from the outstanding pickups, Gibson guitars for electric guitar
lovers are generally custom-made to order. It is probably the
case that the Gibson electric guitars feature some of the most
unique styles and designs. The Gibson Firebird Studio Electric,
L4 CES Archtop, and the Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul electric
guitars prove that there are no limits in the how Gibson is able
to allow a guitarist to explore the creative limits of Gibson

About the author:
For more more information about Gibson Guitars please visit

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