Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Beginner's Guitar Guide

If you're just starting out with guitar this book can get you up to snuff fast. It gives you all the basics in an easy to follow format and comes with a bunch of bonuses including chord charts and sound files. Most books I've seen don't cover all the bases. You'd need to buy several of them to cover what's in this course.

Check it out.

Get "The Beginners Guide To Unlocking The Guitar!"

Saturday, January 28, 2006

How To Improve Your Guitar Playing

Critical keys to better guitar playing

By: Dave Lloyd

What grooves you? Why do you want to improve? Regardless of your
intentions - whether to get started playing, learn a few licks
of your favorite tunes, or want to expand your repertoire to
include blues, funk, or rock and roll music, on your way to
recording yourself, there are resources out there that can help
you. Here are a few ideas that may help you better understand
your guitar playing and some solutions you can consider.

Guitar videos You can purchase guitar playing videos, either for
home or computer watching, that include hand position, strumming
technique, rhythm and timing, and finger exercises that take
through various type of songs. Essentially these become a mirror
for you in learning to play as you mimic what you're watching on
screen and then reproduce this on your own. With commitment and
determination, this can be a good one to go - especially for the
visual learner who likes to learn primarily on their own.

Guitar lessons You can find a community of guitar instructors in
your surrounding area who are either private tutors or work
through a community college. You'll want to consider their
expertise, the type of students they work best with, their
flexibility with your schedule, success stories, and of course
their fees, in considering working with them. In pursing guitar
lessons, you can either do one on one or group - both have their
plusses and minuses but either can work for you.

Playing partners Find someone in your local community who plays.
You can do this through asking the local community college,
posting online to a resource like craigslist, or asking the
guitar shop. The idea is to develop a friendship with someone
who is a bit better than you who wants the accountability of
practicing weekly. What you can provide is the commitment to
meet up with them weekly and practice. In return, you can learn
from their techniques or methods what works. Of course, you
always need to be aware of learning bad habits in situations
like these, which is why it's important to have a foundation in
guitar technique before starting.

Guitar theory Related to guitar technique is developing a basis
in guitar theory. Chord patterns, minor and major chord
progressions, note scales, and overlap with piano and percussion
instruments can all give you a basic structure upon which to
layer in the knowledge and technique you gain in your guitar

Playing guitar can be a wonderful expression of one's musical
and creative talent. And with a commitment to constant
improvement, it can provide a lifetime of enjoyment for
yourself, friends, and family.

About the author:
Dave Lloyd has written an online guide to playing guitar at http://www.improvemyguitar.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Guitar Lessons - Minor Pentatonic Scales

Guitar Lessons - Minor Pentatonic Scales
By Bill McRea

Minor pentatonic scales are used extensively in modern and classic rock. A strong understanding of how pentatonic scales work, and can be used for soloing and creating riffs, is extremely important. They are also the easiest and generally the first scales most people learn.

Minor Pentatonic Basics:

I assume you know how to read basic TAB format for this lesson. If you have not been exposed to TAB then you should review our lesson on reading guitar TAB before moving on.

The Minor Pentatonic scale consists of the following intervals: 1 b3 4 5 b7 1. In the key of A the intervals would be the notes of A C D E G A. There are 5 scale shapes in “box” patterns for the pentatonic scales. For the A minor pentatonic the box shape follows:







The 5 is the fifth fret and is the root note, thus the name of the key and scale is A, the intervals determines the type Minor or Major. This scale shape above is the most scale and is used in rock, blues and most styles of music. If you move this entire shape up to positions on the guitar and play the same shape you will have a B minor pentatonic. Likewise if you slide the entire shape down two potions you have a G minor pentatonic. See Below:







Practice this scale shape several times a day, moving it into different positions or keys, for variety. Many of rocks most famous licks are derived form this shape. If you are going to play guitar learning this one basic shape is mandatory.

Next up – The Major Pentatonic Scale.

Bill McRea is the publisher of The
Guitar Warehouse
and Guitar
Playing Techniques
. Both sites offer free lesson and product sales.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_McRea

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


This is one sweet piece of equipment.

PODXT Live is an uncomplicated, gig-ready tone machine that’s portable and adaptable to different real world stage and recording environments. PODXT Live can be used as the ultimate multi-effects pedal in front of any guitar amp, as a complete direct PA solution, or as the world-standard guitar recording workhorse in the studio.

At the center of PODXT Live is an incredible gathering of over 80 must-have stompbox and studio effects models. This handpicked collection of hits from our award-winning PODxt, stompbox modelers and Vetta II will give you rich and deliciously detailed tones at the touch of a footswitch. Effects can be positioned in front (stompbox-style) and behind (studio-post) the Amp and Cab models, giving you organic and dynamic tones normally available in only the most high-end guitar stage rigs.

Based on the most prized amplifiers in the history of guitar, PODXT Live features 36 classic and modern amp models and 24 cab models, all run through 4 incredibly precise and dynamic microphone model options to provide a complete tonal palette for any type of live gig or studio session. This amazing collection of Line 6 Amp Models has been used on countless hit recordings and tours and is now on the floor at your disposal.

PODXT Live has 128 presets ready for instant recall via large, stage-ready channel footswitches. They come pre-programmed with a set of sounds to run in front of an amp, and another set for direct recording. Plus there's the vast online tone library with thousands of tones professionally programmed to nail the signature sounds of the greatest guitarists, bands, songs and gear of all time.

Features also include a large backlit display, dedicated stompbox on/off switches, combination wah/volume/tweak pedal, tap tempo/tuner switch, an expression pedal input, stereo 1/4-inch analog outs to feed an amp or line inputs, headphone out, aux input for your CD/MP3 player or drum machine, MIDI, and USB computer connectivity for digital I/O, plus deep editing using the free, downloadable Line 6 Edit or GuitarPort software.

PODXT Live of course has a standard analog guitar input - with a selectable pad and adjustable level to handle even super hot active pickup outputs and high output level stompboxes. But there’s also a Variax guitar digital connection. Now a Variax's collection of acoustic and electric guitar models, plus PODXT Live’s assortment of amps, cabs, and effects can ALL be instantly transformed into virtually any guitar-effect-amp rig with just the press of a footswitch.

POD is the world standard for guitar tone in studios around the world, and with PODXT Live, you can have total control of that history making tone at your feet.

Line 6 Pod XT Live

Friday, January 20, 2006

Buying Guide for Electric Guitars

Music123 has a very informative guitar buying guide online. Check it out here:
Guitar Buying Guide

1000 giveaway daily

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Guitar Lessons – Setting Action & Bridge Adjustments

By Bill McRea

Pickup Height Adjustment

Raising the pickup height closer to the strings should result in a little better tone for you guitar. Lowering the pickup should give a lighter tone to your instrument. You will need a little screwdriver to make the adjustment. Adjust the screws on either side of your pickups; tightening the screws to lower the pickup or loosening it to raise the pickup.

Be careful not to raise the pickups to close to the strings. Adjust the screws the same on both sides. For a better balance you can angle the pickups away from the heavier stings. As in all guitar adjustments, go slow and test frequently. Some change can have a big affect.

Bridge Adjustments

The action can be raise or lowered by adjusting the bridge. Raising or lowering the bridge by adjusting the screws on both sides of the bridge. If you adjust the bridge to lower your guitar could fret out. When you bend a note you won’t be able to reach the desired pitch. If your action is too high it will be more difficult to play your guitar. You have to find the right height.

Tuner Adjustments

If your tuners are loose they will need to be tightened. When you put new strings on your guitar use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on the tuners. Be gentle with all guitar adjustments to prevent damage. This will help prevent your guitar from going out of tune.

Bill McRea is the publisher of http://www.guitarwarehouse.com/blog/ and http://www.24hour-info.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_McRea

Monday, January 16, 2006

Beginner On Guitar? Learn These Ten Chords!

By: Joey Robichaux

It's a combination that just doesn't mix, but it always happens.
Take 1 part enthusiastic beginning guitar player, add 1 part
beautiful new guitar, and 1 part confusing "Learn guitar" chord
book. The result is rarely pretty -- it usually results in 1
confused and frustrated not-so-enthusiastic-anymore guitar

A "chord" is simply a mixture of notes played at the same time.
You finger certain positions, then strum the strings; what
results is a chord.

Most chord books are technically correct -- they do show you
finger positions for loads and loads of chords. However, they're
often functionally deficient -- they show you chords, but don't
show you which ones are important and why!

Rather than trying to learn hundreds of chords in order, it
makes more sense to learn the most important chords in the right
combination. I think that if you concentrate on learning just 10
chords -- in combinations of two or three at a time -- you'll
jump-start your guitar-playing career and have fun from the very

Let's start and see how easy it is!

The First Three

We'll still use your guitar chord book; you'll look up the
chords we mention to learn how to finger them. We just won't
learn the chords in the order presented in your book

The first three chords you want to learn are: G, C, and D. These
may be called G Major, C Major, and D Major in your chord book.
These chords are important for several reasons.

First, they form the famous "I-IV-V" Chord sequence, sometimes
called a "3 Chord Progression". Once you learn to listen, you'll
realize that probably 90% of all music uses this progression
(rock, country, blues, soul, even classical!).

Next, this particular "key" (key of G) is used in a lot of
popular music, especially country. This means you can "play
along" with songs and you'll be in the same key, or pitch.

These three chords happen to use a lot of "open" strings --
strings on which you do NOT place your fingers. Open string
chords "ring" in a most pleasing manner and generally sound
richer than non-open string chords.

This key fits well with instruments such as violins, banjo's,
and mandolins -- that's another reason it's common in country

Finally, this particular key is one that most people find very
easy to sing in. It's not too high, not too low -- just right.

Play these chords in different combinations; try and become
adept in switching between chords (especially between the G and
the C). You'll quickly recognize the "I-IV-V" signature. For
instance, "Louie Louie" would be "GGG CC DDD CC". Most country
tunes would be something like "GGGG GGGG CCCC GGGG DDDD CCCC
GGGG". As you become familiar with the pattern, you'll start
recognizing different combinations ... maybe something like "DDD

The Second Three

Our next three chords are: A, D, and E. However, since we
already know how to play a D, we're really only learning two new

These three chords are also a "I-IV-V" chord sequence -- just in
a slightly higher key, or pitch. You can play the same songs you
might play with the G-C-D combo ... they'd just be a little
higher. It's more common to find the A-D-E combination in rock
music than in country.

The Third Three

Another "I-IV-V" progression -- this time, it's C, F, and G.
Since we already know C and G, we really only have to learn one
new chord -- F.

This key is about half-way through the scale from G. That means
you can sing either higher or lower to be in the proper pitch.
You'll also probably note that F doesn't "ring" as richly as the
other chords you've learned -- because it doesn't have as many
open strings. You'll probably find it the most difficult to play
of all you've learned so far.

It's worth it to spend time to get the "F" chord right. It will
really pay off further down the road when you begin learning
chords in different positions on the neck of the guitar.

Another Three

This time we need E, A, and B. We already know E and A -- we
just need to add the B. This does present a problem, though.

B is not an easy chord to play in first position. The easiest
way to play a B in this position on the neck is with a "bar
chord" -- however, beginning guitar plays are usually not quite
ready to play bars at first.

A good compromise is to learn the B7 chord in the open position
instead. If you count the string closest to you as "1" (the
fattest string) and the string furthest from you as "6" (the
skinniest string), then the fingering would be: 1-open, 2-second
fret, 3-first fret, 4-second fret, 5-open, 6-second fret. By the
way, early Beatles music uses this particular chord quite a bit.

The E, A, B (or B7) combination is another "I-IV-V" progression.
Why it's important is because this key is very often used in
rock-and-roll music. Don't know quite why -- it's not a great
natural key for guitar (because of the B issue), it's not the
easiest to sing in, and it doesn't mix well with instruments
other than an organ -- but it seems to have become standard!

The Final Three

We've now learned seven chords -- G, C, D, A, E, F, and B7. It's
time to slip in the last three. These will be "minor" chords.

The three chords are A Minor, E Minor, and D Minor. These are
also written as Am, Em, and Dm. You won't necessarily play these
three chords together -- although if you did, you'd have a great
blues progression. Play the A, D, and E progression -- then play
the same thing, but use Am, Dm, and Em instead. Yep, that's the
"blues", alright.

You'll probably use the Am and Em the most. The Am fits well
with the C, F, and G combination. Use it like "C, Am, F, G".
(Think of that little piano ditty, "Heart and Soul" -- remember
Tom Hanks dancing on the Keyboard in "Big"?) This combination
works well in both slow and fast tempos.

The Em fits well with G, C, and D -- the order would be "G, Em,
C, D". This is the same progression as the last, just again in a
different key.

This particular combination (addinging the minor with the I-IV-V
chords) is called a "I-iii-IV-V" progression.

What's Next

There's a lot you can do with just these ten chords. Playing the
normal "I-IV-V" and "I-iii-IV-V" progressions in different keys
will serve most singers and will cover many of your favorite
tunes. You'll also find other progressions with these same
chords -- for instance, try A, D, G, C and see what happens.

What chords should you add next? Well, you might want to add the
7th to some of these -- for example, G7, C7, D7, A7, E7. Next,
you'll want to start exploring different positions on the guitar
neck -- which probably means bar chords. I'd learn the B bar
chord with your finger across the entire second fret first. Once
you master this, just slide your hand one fret lower -- and
you'll have a B-flat chord -- which fits in between your F and C
to give you another "I-IV-V" progression in a new key!

Still, no matter how far you go and how many chords you master,
the odds are quite high that you'll find yourself most often
using these basic Top Ten favorites!

About the author:
Joey Robichaux is a long-time guitar addict who rides the Road
Warrior circuit; he also maintains "Free Sheet Music" at
http://www.freesheetmusic.net, one of the longest-running free
sheet music websites on the internet.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Don't buy a guitar without me.. 5 questions to ask before buying

By: Jake Randal

Buying a guitar is a very important, and potentially expensive,
decision. There are so many makes, models, styles, and colors,
that it becomes almost impossible to choose unless you know what
you're looking for. The question is, which one is right for you?
You could easily buy a poor quality guitar thinking you got a
deal, or you could get a decent guitar for a price that just too
high. Here are some questions to ask before you actually buy
that guitar.

1. Budget.

With so many guitars available, you shouldn't have a problem
finding one that fits your budget. The key is to know your
budget. You do get what you pay for and you should keep in mind
that you will be spending hours and hours practicing so you
should look for one you will enjoy playing. That said, remember
your budget. If you're just starting out and you're not sure how
you'll take to it, set aside an amount that's right for you. You
can always upgrade later if you want. Once you've set your
limit, do not waste time looking at guitars that don't fit into
your price range. The trick is to find something you can be
satisfied with and is right for YOU.

2. Music Style.

Your guitar should depend on your style of music. Rock music
should be played on an electric guitar for the maximum effect.
If you want to play blues and jazz you could get a semi-acoustic
guitar. An accoustic nylon string guitar is probably the best
choice for classical music. While you basically need some of the
same skills to play the different styles, if you know what style
you want to play before you start, you can begin to sound like
what you want to sound like a lot sooner if you buy the right
style of guitar.

3. Age.

A 1/2 size or 3/4 size guitar is perfect for a child. Because of
a child's limited reach, a regular guitar might not work and
could even stop the child's interest. If you can afford an
electrical guitar, you could buy that for your child because
they have a small neck and thin strings and are easier to play.
Necks vary greatly and the one you find needs to be right for
YOU. Some are round, some are v-necked. Thin necks tend to be
easier for small hands like a child's. Thick necks tend to be
stronger. A 7-string will have a thicker neck than a 6-string

4. Guitar tone and woodtype.

For the most part, the lighter the wood the lighter the tone and
the darker the wood the richer the tone.

5. What experience do you have?

Electric or an acoustic guitar with nylon strings are typically
the best for beginners. However, students with small hands may
find the wider neck of a classical guitar or acoustic guitar
hard to play because of the reach. Again a 1/2 or 3/4 acoustic
would be perfect. For intermediate and advanced players, more
depends on your style of music and specific interests.

What now?

The most important thing is sound, not looks. The sound that
comes from superior craftmanship is what you should look for to
give you the extra edge. Some of the best prices and selection
can be found at everything-instruments. Enjoy!

About the author:
Jake Randal also maintains
all-great-gifts for
the best gifts online.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Guitar lesson: The E F G of Learning To Play Guitar Sheet Music

Guitar lesson: The E F G of Learning To Play Guitar Sheet Music
By Peter Edvinsson

Is it really possible to conquer the guitar fretboard? Do you find the notes you want to find? Is tabulature cheating? Let me invite you to the guitar fretboard!

I suggest that you right now start to take command over your guitar. Usually when you are playing your first guitar sheet music melodies you will have to learn the notes in the first position on the guitar. To have a good grasp of these notes on the guitar I suggest that you learn them slowly and with concentration.

I usually begin by teaching the notes on the first string like E on open string, F on fret 1 and G on fret 3. On string two you’ll find B on open string, C on fret 1 and D on fret 3. With these notes you can play the song Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Using the previous notes the melody can be played as follows:


I hope you recognized the melody. This kind of music notation doesn’t give any hints as to how the rhythm is to be played but you already know the melody, right!

Is using tablature cheating? My father taught me some interesting things about learning to read guitar sheet music.

My dad was the only guitar tutor in the town where I lived and he taught mostly classical guitar pieces. His young students, I was one of them, learned those first guitar pieces very rapidly because he used a system similar to tablature showing the frets and strings to play, along with the sheet music. Tablature wasn’t common back then. I remember somebody remarking that his system prevented the children from learning to sight read sheet music.

His reply was that if somebody really wants to learn the notes they will anyway!

I agree with that and I have found that if a pupil is not motivated learning guitar sheet music they will not advance in this area whether they play with or without tablature.

Do you think your fingers has anything to do with guitar playing? I guess you'll answer yes!

A more important question is if the fingers you choose to use can have a bearing upon your guitar playing. Left hand fingering means which finger you use when playing a specific note.

Usually when playing the first pieces on the guitar on the first frets one plays the notes on the first fret with the index finger, notes on the second fret with the middle finger, notes on the third fret with the ring finger and notes on the fourth fret with your little finger.

Why mess up everything with this fingering stuff? Isn't it possible to play every melody with your left index finger and forget about fingerings?

Well, of course you can play melodies with your index finger but your progress will be very limited beyond just playing easy melodies.

Besides you’ll have to move your hand all the time as you change frets and, most importantly when reading sheet music, you’ll have to look at the guitar fretboard all the time instead of looking at the sheet music.

The important thing when learning to play the notes on the guitar is to make a conscious effort to learn the notes and not to work on too many notes at the same time.

Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and learn to play resources at http://www.capotastomusic.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Edvinsson

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Learn to Play Guitar Online - Discover Guitar Lesson Tools

By: Anna Rowe

You can learn to play guitar online - and it's never been

Whether you wish to become a jazzy crooner, a country strummer
or a jamming rock star, the guitar is one of the easiest
instruments to learn. There are a variety of lessons, tools and
help out there in cyberspace. And, you can learn enough to strum
along with your first song after only one lesson!

To learn how to play guitar online, you need several tools in
addition to your guitar. Some guitar lessons and tools designed
to assist you in learning how to play guitar online, include:

- Step-by-step guitar lessons

- Chord lessons and chord charts

- Guitar tab lessons

- Song lyrics with chords

- Guitar lesson ebooks and software programs

- Sheet music

- Sound files and guitar jam tracks

- Online guitar site forums

If you are a beginner, look for online guitar lessons directed
toward the new guitar player. These lessons should include the
basics, such as; how to hold a guitar, choose a guitar, basic
chord instruction, learning frets and how to choose guitar

Of course, the beginning guitar player will need charts for
learning the various chords, so, at the very least, look for
these visual aids. With practice, it won't be long before you'll
be ready for intermediate guitar lessons.

The intermediate guitar player can also benefit from quality
online guitar lessons and resources which illustrate the many
chords. Furthermore, intermediate guitar players will be
interested in learning to read guitar tablature.

There are many websites that offer free guitar lessons, but you
may choose instead to get help with an online guitar lesson
program. Although there's nothing wrong with teaching yourself
guitar for free, many beginners find that it's easier, and
faster, to learn to play guitar from a pro.

With professional guitar instruction, you'll learn how to play
guitar the correct way, while learning which mistakes and bad
habits you must avoid. It's truely a highly effective way to
learn to play guitar. You'll learn valuable tips and techniques
designed to reduce the confusion and frustrations that many
people experience when learning to play a new instrument.

By choosing a guitar lesson program, developed by a professional
guitarist, you'll get all levels of training needed. Most
professional online guitar lesson programs are very affordable,
and come with all the "bells and whistles" of proper guitar

In Closing:

It's never been easier to learn to play guitar online. Of course
it takes practice, but many of the greatest guitarists taught
themselves most of what they know about guitar playing. Because
of the Internet, you can play along with guitar jam tracks,
learn unusual chords, find chords and lyrics for songs you want
to learn, and even learn to read guitar tablature. You can even
join an online guitar players forum to get one-on-one help,
support and to ask questions. And because of the high demand of
learning guitar online, if you choose to invest in an online
guitar course, the prices have never been lower than they are

About the author:
Article by Anna Rowe. Visit her online guitar lesson reviews site to compare
the best online guitar learning programs.
Get free guitar lessons and guitar playing tips.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Guitar Lessons - Playing Harmonics

By: Bill McRea

A harmonic is a tone that's created by the guitar by touching
the string above a fret on an open vibrating string. There are 2
types of harmonics Natural and Artificial or I prefer to call
them pinch harmonics.

Natural Harmonics

Natural Harmonics can be produced by touching your index finger
on your fret-hand above at the 5th, 7th or 12th fret. Just place
your finger on the string above the fret, don't press to hard or
you will mute the note, pluck the note and then pull your finger
off. Try it on the A string.

E------------ B------------ G------------ D------------
A----12------ E------------

Timing is critical when playing harmonics. The length of time
you keep your finger on the string will determine if you hear a
harmonic, muted sound or just a regular note. Natural harmonics
occur in various locations along the fretboard. The most common
ones are on the 5th, 7th, and 12th fret. The harmonics in those
positions will ring for all 6 strings on the same fret. Try
playing them in all 3 positions. Place your finger across all 6
strings and play from the Low E to the high E lifting your
finger as your pick strikes each individual string. You have to
work at this and it takes some time, but it sound so cool.


Pinch Harmonics

Pinch harmonics are done with the pick hand hand. I found this
technique very difficult to master. The best method is to
"choke" down on your pick so there is very little pick exposed
between your thumb and your index finger. With time you'll learn
the pick has to be mobile in your hand, and you will move it
into different position depending on how you play. Now when you
pluck a string with your pick the trick is to hit the pick first
and then slightly twist your thumb so that it touches the string
immediately after hitting the string.

Why play a pinch harmonic.....well because they are very cool
when playing solos. You can combine string bends with pinch
harmonics and vibrato to get totally cool sounding "squeals".
They even sound great when you do them by accident. The trick is
to devote some of your practice time everyday to just playing
cool licks and try adding a pinch harmonic with some demonic
vibrato. Oh yea, it makes you want to play more guitar because
you can just create some of coolest sounds!

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of http://www.guitarwarehouse.com
and http://www.kansasfans.com

Monday, January 09, 2006

Guitar Tapping Tips And Techniques

By: Brad Finley

Although made popular recently by Eddie VanHalen, guitar tapping
or right hand 'legatos' is a technique players have been
executing for years. Country players know the benefit of laying
down a nice subtle lead and just putting in those quick hammers
with clear guitar tapping. And while it's not the easiest thing,
guitar finger tapping techniques are really nothing much more
then fast hammer on and a pull offs. Whether you use your middle
finger or your first, most times you can hold the pick as usual
to execute your guitar tapping and get the speed and positioning
essential to good guitar tapping techniques. But like anything
else, guitar tapping takes practice and patience.

Since this is a highly specialized, yet popular way of playing
we hear a lot of player's guitar tapping these days...and just
as many tapping badly. Especially when a guitar is cranked
through distortion, a whole host of extra noises will come out
if the player's guitar finger tapping techniques aren't the
cleanest. An important trick to 'clean-up' when you are cranked
through that Marshall Stack and you're in "overdrive", is to
rest the back of your right hand on the lower strings for
muting; what you want to avoid is these string making a lot of
extra noise while you get that guitar tapping in one steady
movement. Of course, if you're a rock player you are most likely
already dreaming of the all-too flashy 'cross-handed tapping'
but this is so impractical it only ever works when playing live
(and even then it is a hard to get those guitar tapping
progressions cooking in this way!) Admittedly though, this
particular type of guitar tapping, above all other types of
guitar finger tapping techniques, creates a truly distinct tone.

There are hundreds of videos and books that show guitar tapping
tips, but as it is with everything else, you can't even begin to
understand how guitar tapping works until you get up and do it
yourself. Although modern listeners have been conditioned to
want speed like Eddie V., it is more important to get the strong
and clear sound of each note then to sacrifice technique for
potential sloppiness. Guitar finger tapping techniques are only
good if you can do them; nothing sounds worse then reaching for
a flashy technique and not being able to pull it off. As with
everything else you learn on guitar, if you mater a technique on
acoustic then you can feel all that more confident trying it on

Playing a difficult and flashy exercise, such as guitar tapping
or lightening fast arpeggios, sometimes seem to be easier on an
electric; you get-off on the sound you are creating, the noise,
but don't catch nuisances or mistakes. Try tapping on an
acoustic guitar (or you want a big challenge-try guitar tapping
on an acoustic bass!) Guitar finger tapping is hard on an
acoustic; cross-handed guitar tapping is almost impossible (it
takes a ton of strength and precision), but master guitar
tapping on an acoustic and you'll find you are that much more
prepared for what you might do on your electric.

About the author:
Brad Finley is senior editor of MyGuitarWorkshop - Guitar Tips and Music
. Website provides guitar lessons and instructions for
all level guitar players. Click for more Guitar Tips And

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Guitar Lesson - String Muting

By: Bill McRea

String muting is another technique that can help you define your
own personal style. There are two types of string muting, the
palm mute with your picks hand and the string mute with your
fret hand. They serve very different purposes, but both are
important to good guitar playing.

Fret-hand muting is particularly important when playing chords
and power chord. The purpose is to use part of you finger tips
and fingers to mute the strings you don't want to include in the
chord being played. For example the C majors chord is played
from the 5th string to the first, your are not supposed to hit
the 6th string. I use the tip of my 3rd finger that is holding
down the 5th string 3rd fret to rub up against the sixth string
thereby muting the string. I use this same technique with power
chords, but in addition I use the fat part of my index finger to
lightly lay across strings 1,2,3. with just enough pressure to
mute the strings. The beauty is if you get a little wild with
your pick it still sounds right. Fret-hand muting is used

Palm muting is more commonly used in distorted rock songs. The
technique involves resting the heel of your pick-hand palm on
the strings as you pick. Most people rest it directly over the
bridge, but you can experiment with different positions for
different sounds. Also try different levels of pressure to
regulate the level of muting. This technique creates a
percussive, muffled or chunky sound. Combine fast down strokes
with palm muting in various patterns with moderate distortion
for sounds similar to Metallica or other metal bands.

Both fret hand muting and palm muting are very individual and
stylistic techniques. Incorporate practicing this technique
every time you pick up your guitar and before long you'll master
this necessary skill.

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of http://www.guitarwarehouse.com
and http://www.kansasfans.com. Bill has been an owner of a
successful guitar retailer and a guitar teacher.

Friday, January 06, 2006

How To Get Your Guitar To Sound The Way You Want

By: Brad Finley

No matter how well your guitar plays when you first bring it
home, you will come to find it doesn't play exactly the same way
after a time (sometimes even a small period of time). In some
cases the instrument's action and feel is pretty much to your
liking, but you still want to make adjustments to fit your
particular playing needs. Whichever the case, you will want a
guitar set-up to make the guitar play the way you want it to.

Guitar set-ups are something you can do yourself (if you have
the time and tools) or a good tech can accomplish this in about
an hour. In some cases you might be well versed in acoustics but
you don't know how to setup an electric guitar and you want your
first one to sound and play as good as the acoustics you own. In
other cases, you might be a died-in- the-wool blues player who
has just bought a great hollow-body and you are looking for a
basic jazz guitar set-up. Don't be discouraged, most guitars
need a set-up sometime during their lifespan (often times more
then once) and sometimes these guitar set-ups require mechanical
skills you do not have.

Every tech would agree that the most basic part of guitar
set-ups is adjusting the truss rod. This is done for setting-up
strings for the right height and play, or 'action' (according to
your particular tastes, of course) and adjusting string
intonation for accuracy. What you ultimately want is just the
right amount of movement in the middle of the fret-board so your
strings can vibrate freely when plucked, but not be too loose.
Whether it is a classical guitar set-up or the completely
opposite end of the spectrum and you're getting your jazz guitar
set-up, how much play or action you want is really up to how you
play, and how you want to play. And if you change the gauge of
your strings, you might want another guitar set-up to

All of the above is achieved by adjusting the truss rod in the
guitar's neck. This would be for a basic electric guitar set-up
or acoustic.

In a basic electric guitar set-up, you will also be checking
your pick-ups. If they are not close enough to the strings (or
too close) or they are corrupted in anyway this should all be
dealt with during guitar set-ups. If you own an acoustic guitar
with a pick-up, say built into the bridge, all the electronics,
battery check, dial controls can also be checked during a basic
guitar set-up.

Frets are another story entirely; from classical guitar set-ups
to electric guitars, to every type in between, your frets need
to be smooth and tight. A set-up is the perfect time to get
those frets filed so they are smooth or re-glue any loose ones.
Be warned though, this is where you could rack-up the cost in
guitar set-ups, as fretwork can get costly.

Irregardless if it is a basic electric guitar setup, acoustic
or a jazz guitar setup, professionals should be charging around
$35.00 for guitar set-ups. As mentioned before, fret leveling
and re-gluing will increase the price. But set-ups are well
worth it if you want to really get your guitar playing sounding
the way you want.

About the author:
Brad Finley is senior editor of MyGuitarWorkshop - Free Guitar Lessons.
Website provides free guitar lessons and instructions for all
level guitar players. Click for more Free Guitar Lessons

Thursday, January 05, 2006

How To Connect A Guitar To A Computer

By: Brad Finley

So many players want to record guitar playing on their computer.
Digital recording is more popular than ever for pros and
amateurs alike. But there are some things to be considered when
you connect a guitar to a computer; mostly how you want to
connect the instrument, and the quality of the recording you
hope to capture. The type of guitar computer interface you
choose will greatly affect the sound of the electric guitar
through the computer and the overall recording you can expect.

While it is possible to play guitar through a PC just by
plugging it in, this basic approach is likely to be fine for
most though many players don't like sacrificing a good sound for
the ease of quick setup. Electric players need a 'high
impedance' input to get their electric guitar to connect to a
computer, and though most computer soundcards come with high
impedance inputs, these inputs are usually not strong enough to
get a good guitar signal or in the long run, for recording
guitar effects for PC. This lower 'impedance' can cause noise
problems too. A player can avoid all this of course by plugging
the guitar into a 'line-in' jack, instead of the 'mic-in', but
then the all-important preamp is needed.

Almost any one attempting to connect a guitar through their
computer or familiar with recording a guitar into a mixing
consol should be familiar with a preamp. The preamp does exactly
what its name implies, it "amps" the signal before it goes into
the plug-in. Therefore your guitar's signal will get that extra
boost it needs when you record guitar on a pc...or into any
other device that is not an amp. There are plenty of external
interfaces that combine computer soundcards with a preamp. Or if
you like more components to you set-up you can always buy a
preamp separate from your sound card. There are a lot of
stand-alone vintage preamps out there that will not only boost
your signal, but warm your sound before it goes into the
'cooler' digital domain of your pc.

It's not only the pristine quality of digital that makes
recording guitar on a pc so much fun, it is also portability.
With very little equipment you can put down a riff (or an entire
song actually) into a laptop! And added to all this wonderful
technology is the fact that there are so many recording guitar
effects for pc now on the market, a player can access different
amp sounds and settings, effects. Well after you have wrestled
with how to connect a guitar to your pc and have recorded a
strong signal, you can call record guitar effects with pc during
recording or in post-production.

Of course information about how to connect your guitar to a pc
and the wonderful wide world of effects is available through an
on-line pc guitar tutor and websites devoted to digital
recording. You can even purchase a computer guitar tuner (some
programs include a free computer guitar tuner) so everything you
will ever need is self-contained in your rockin' pc! Some
players are even recording parts, then downloading and sending
these pieces of tunes to musician's half-way across the world.

The possibilities really are unlimited for the guitar player
who says: "I want to connect a guitar to my pc"; he or she will
be amazed at the varied and easy results they can achieve when
they simply start recording guitar on a pc.

About the author:
Brad Finley is senior editor of MyGuitarWorkshop - Free Guitar Lessons .
Website provides guitar lessons and instructions for all level
guitar players. Also click for Free Music Theory


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Guitar Lessons - Hammer-on, Pull-offs

By: Bill McRea

One of the primary legato techniques all guitarists must learn
is the hammer-on, pull-off. This technique is important because
it allows for nuances in tone and expression, and it allows the
picking hand a "break" since it does not have to pick the notes
on the hammer-on or the pull-off. This results in a faster
progression of notes, sometimes called licks.

The hammer-on is accomplished when you pick a note and then
using another finger hammer down on the same string. The sound
of the hammered note is less pronounced than the picked note.
For example place your first finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd
string, and the hammer down your third finger on the 7th fret of
the 3rd string. Don't use your just quickly strike the second
fret position with the tip of your 3rd finger. This would be
described in guitar tab as 5h7 or 5 hammer 7. Keep your first
finger on the 5th fret because you are going to pull-off of the
7th fret in the next example.

The pull-off results when you release a plucked note with enough
force such that the second fretted note rings. This may require
a slight side way motion to create enough friction to cause the
string to ring out. The sound of the pulled-off note is less
pronounced since you aren't using your pick to create it. This
would be illustrated in guitar tab 7p5 or 7 pull 5.

If you combine these techniques you can create very fast note
runs or licks. Imagine how this sequence of hammer-on,
pull-off's would sound when played very quickly 5h7p5h7p5. In
deed the hammer-on, pull-off technique is the cornerstone for
legato and most speed playing techniques.

It takes time to perfect the technique but it is worth the

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of www.guitarwarehouse.com and

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Guitar Lessons - String Bending

By: Bill McRea

Bending strings is used to give the guitar a more personalized
and harmonic quality. The technique is used mostly by lead
guitar players but is also applied in all styles of playing.
String bending and vibrato techniques are two large components
in making up a guitar player's style. The combination of these
skills more or less defines a considerable part of what makes
your playing different than the next guy.

Bending the strings far enough to reach a desired pitch is the
goal. One of the keys is to use three fingers to bend the
string, instead of just one finger. Use your third finger on the
fret you're bending and place your first and second fingers on
the frets behind it, and use the strength of all three fingers
when you do a bend.

Fret the note on the 7th fret of the third string with your
third finger. Your other finger should follow on the 6th and 5th
fret. Our goal is to bend this note up one step (the equivalent
of two frets) and then release the note to its original pitch.
Before you do your first bend hit the note on the 9th fret, this
will be your reference note. When you do your bend the goal is
to make the tone of your bend "reach" the tone of the reference
note. Repeat: hit your reference note, then immediately jump to
the correct position and play a bend until to can consistently
match the reference note.

The length you hold the bend, how quickly you release it and any
vibrato you add to the bend will define a large part of playing
your style. It's good to just have fun and try doing a number of
bends and releases to hear all the different sounds you can
generate. Try bending the note before you strike it so you just
hear the release, or try using a wide or narrow vibrato so act
character and color to your bends.

Be patient you haven't used these muscles before, and is will
take time to strengthen. Keep practicing, and you'll get the
hang of it eventually.

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of www.guitarwarehouse.com and

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cream Reunion

The Cream reunion finally happened after 35 years. After several viewings of the concert DVD, my conclusion is that it is brilliant. The musicianship is outstanding. Jack Bruce is the original bass virtuoso and he hasn't lost anything. Ginger Baker combines power drumming with exquisite touch and timing. Eric Clapton is superb as usual and just seems to get better with age. The biggest surprise is how good the vocals are. It was a pleasure to hear Bruce's deep commanding voice again. As with his guitar playing, Clapton's vocals seem to get better all the time, too. The harmonies are right on target. For more reviews and the setlist, check it out here: