Monday, March 27, 2006

Tools For Learning Guitar

By: Jon Broderick

Guitarists are insatiable learners and the world is full of
great guitar learning material. First of all, there are
countless tablature books which show you in the easy-to-learn
guitar tablature format how to play all your favorite songs even
if you can't read sheet music. If you can read sheet music, then
there is sheet music available for every popular artist and
thousands of classical and lesser-known composers. There are
also "method books" that teach how to play a particular style,
and there are instructional guitar DVDs that show you and tell
you everything a single guitarist knows how to do. There are
books with CDs full of audio examples, there are DVDs that come
with tablature books; the list of available guitar learning
resources is endless.

Guitar lessons are still the number one way that guitarists pick
up new information. In-person guitar lessons with a local guitar
teacher are probably the most effective way to learn new things
about the guitar. The world is full of part-time and full-time
guitar teachers, who put their heart and soul into teaching
their students how to be an ever-improving guitar learning
machine. Guitar teachers are expensive, however, and not
everyone has the money or the time to commit to in-person
lessons. So while this is a truly effective method, it is not
for everyone.

Over the last 5 years, online guitar lessons have become an
outstanding resource for guitarists wanting to learn guitar at a
convenient pace and at very low cost. In my opinion, online
guitar lessons have come of age, and are now the best tool for
learning guitar available to anyone anywhere. I don't propose
that online guitar lessons should supplant books, sheet music,
DVDs, and in-person guitar lessons. What I would like to suggest
is that online guitar lessons are more convenient, cheaper, more
useable, and provide more breadth of information than any other
method available.

Convenience: Tablature books are OK, as long as they come with
some audio examples. DVDs are OK, as long as they come with a
book. The problem is that keeping your place in the book and
your place on the CD/DVD in synch is difficult. Every time you
take a break (every day basically) you lose your place and have
to synch up all over again. Online guitar lessons, on the other
hand, solve the problem of synching the tab, explanation, and
audio/video samples. A web page is the ultimate guitar lesson
format: audio, video, and text all together in one document.

Price: Books and DVDs have to be manufacturer, shipped, and
inventoried. If you have ever burned a CD or made some copies at
a copy shop, you know that manufacturing a product costs real
money. Imagine if you had to turn around and sell your product
at a profit? Shipping a book or DVD to the retailer is another
expense in traditional publishing that occurs before the product
is even ready to be sold. Inventory, the hidden expense, can be
the largest: every month the book sits in the store, it costs
the owner a percent of the price to pay for it to be kept out of
the rain, and if the inventory is bought on credit, there is
interest on the loan as well. All told, it is no wonder there
are few places that sell guitar lesson products even in a large

Breadth: Guitar books generally can only have a few hundred
pages; DVDs can only hold a couple of hours of video. A web site
can expand to the size of a whole library full of books and
DVDs. This is one aspect of the size advantage of online guitar
lessons, but the more important aspect is this: getting a book
published is so difficult, that many great guitarists simply
never try it. Publishing a web site is so easy that many
fantastic guitarists who would never previously have published
their knowledge can now publish their guitar lessons online
where you can find them.

As you can see, online guitar lessons have significant
advantages that should make them an important part of any
guitarist's learning strategy. As the internet continues to
grow, and the use of video on the internet spreads, look for
online guitar lessons to one day be the recognized leader in
helping guitarists improve their skills in a convenient,
inexpensive way.

About the author:
Jon has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He is the
webmaster for, which has been
publishing online guitar lessons since 1998. Guitar Tricks now
has over 2500 lessons from 43 guitar instructors from all over
the world.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The 7 Basic Abilities You Must Learn to Become a Great Guitarist

By: George Nellas

Today it seems that everyone is trying to be the next best
guitarist. So many people dream of playing in a legendary band
or being the next Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen, and have the
innate desire to learn the instrument inside and out and be able
to express their own style and play many different types of

No matter what any advertisement for a guitar course or private
instructor states, there are no shortcuts to mastering the
guitar, and no guarantee of stardom even after mastery. There
are basic skills that must be learned in order to get the most
out of the instrument that memorably fantastic guitarists have
achieved through hard work and many years in the business of
accruing various types of musical knowledge.

There are seven major abilities that are critical to the
development of any player that truly wants to become not only an
excellent guitarist, but also an excellent musician:


The greatest guitarists put an effort into fully understanding
the underlying techniques of guitar playing. Too many people try
to mimic a great guitar sound, merely doing whatever it takes to
copy it, rather than getting to know the underlying technical
applications that go into making the sound.


Playing in tune and keeping the instrument in tune is critical
to good guitar playing. Everyone has heard a band play live or
even on a recording that doesn't quite hit the mark in the
tuning category, and the results can be painful and sound


For many, the desire to become a guitarist is based on some
natural creative talent or inspiration that begs to be
developed. But many with this natural affinity for music and for
the guitar in particular mistake "inspiration" for skill and
musicianship. Just because someone has the talent to play the
guitar does not necessarily mean he/she needs less practice than
a person for whom music might not come as naturally.
Musicianship, or artistry in performing music, is another
essential ability for a guitarist, and like any other skill,
takes concentrated practice and effort to fully develop.


Another essential ability for great guitar playing is creativity
as it relates to flexibility. As mentioned previously,
creativity is both a cause and effect of musicianship and
practicing. But by practicing being creative by improvising with
basic technique on a regular basis, a guitarist will learn the
critical tool of flexibility.


Some claim that ear training is the single most important part
of being a great guitarist. It certainly does bring the ability
to process all the other skills - flexibility/creativity, quick
technique implementation, musicianship and even others such as
stage presence/confidence, but it is one of the more complex
skills to learn because it takes a lot of different types of
practice, particularly for those without natural aural abilities.


Stage presence and confidence are tied in with personality and
natural charisma, but even more so with practice and knowledge
of basic techniques and all the other skills mentioned that make
up a great musician and guitarist.


Practice is a difficult necessity for being an outstanding
guitarist because it demands time, but it is also the most
obvious way to tie in all elements of great guitar playing.
Practice is simply allowing time to implement the techniques and
musicianship, the ear, the confidence and all other elements of
the guitar and the guitarist as they develop.

There are different opinions about what is the most important
"skill" to learn in order to truly excel at the craft of guitar
playing, but a lot claim there is no one skill that can exist
alone or is all-important - all work together like puzzle pieces
to create a whole, functioning being capable of growth,
innovation and inspiration.

About the author:
is easy when you have a step-by-step program. Visit
our site to learn more.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Art of Playing Jazz Guitar - A True Preparation Primer

By: John Belthoff

I'm not going to kid you; playing Jazz Guitar is extremely
difficult at best and almost downright impossible at worst.
However there are things you can do to improve your
improvisation skills and feeling and we'll discuss them
throughout this multi part series so look for additional parts
in the near future.


What can I say about practice? Just do it and do it often! Do it
everyday. When you think you have done enough do it again.

I am not just talking about picking up the guitar and playing a
few songs I am talking about real practicing for the environment
that you will eventually be playing in which is, of course, in
an ensemble with other musicians who we hope will always be
better than you.

Here are the basics...

When practicing always use a metronome!

If I didn't make that part clear perhaps this may help:

If you feel that you don't need a metronome stop reading this
article, stop practicing and go get some ice cream because you
will get the same or even better results and you certainly will
enjoy yourself a whole lot more in the process if you do. If you
are committed read on.

Still with me?

When using your metronome try to feel your timing on different
clicks. For instance for a swing feel have your metronome click
on beats 2 and 4 rather than 1 and 3. This will give you an
instant swing feel and also take away that nasty crutch so you
are forced to know where beat 1 really is.

We never, ever, want to rely on our drummer, who may be in the
middle of a complex experimental improvisation just when you
need him/her the most, to tell us where beat 1 is. How many
times have you been in that situation?

Sound simple? It is!

Sound easy? Try it for a month and you let me know how it

Let's delve into this a little. When practicing using this
technique of displacing metronome clicks for beats try these:
practice a 3/4 tune using the metronome clicking once per
measure and only on beat 2. Then switch to only on beats 3. See
how the feeling changes. Practice it, learn it, feel it and then
you can start to own it.

If you want to get fancy place the metronome to click every
fifth beat while you play a tune in 3. This will shift the
accents and feeling from bar to bar and will also allow your
brain to break free from it's learned behavior which is designed
to make you not want to think.

What did you say?

That's right! More times than not the human brain is your
biggest enemy. It always seeks comfort and practicing in the
fashion described above is not at all comfortable for your
brain. In these cases I recommend telling your brain what my son
often likes to say, "To bad..., so sad!"

We as musicians need to experience and comprehend the natural
tendencies of the brain's normal behavior so we can learn to
truly challenge ourselves to open up our minds to the gargantuan
creative possibilities that await us when we do. This doesn't
happen by accident nor does it happen by itself nor will it come
easy. It takes an extreme effort on our parts.

Whether you have your instrument with you or not you can
practice your timing. If you get a small battery operated
metronome, which I recommend, you can bring it with you when you
are driving back and forth to work. Practice the above examples
in your car while singing. Don't worry if you can't sing you are
trying to own these feelings and if you can't articulate these
feelings with your voice you will never truly own them.

I have outlined several examples for displacement of beats. The
idea is simple enough so that you can come up with more
deviations on your own and you should keep changing them when
you practice.

The point here is that true understanding and your eventual
ownership of various beats and feelings associated with them do
not reside strictly inside those beats and feelings. By
looking only inside the beats you are shutting off all
creative thinking that is necessary to truly exploit their full

Real understanding resides outside and you must find out
what that means. To truly find it you must force yourself and be
willing to look everywhere else but the beats themselves. This
simple metronome technique will get you started and point you on
your journey to achieving that goal. Don't limit yourself to
applying this technique only to timing but that statement is for
another part of this series.

Have fun, practice and always play your heart out!

About the author:

John Belthoff is a Professional Audio Engineer and an Avid Web
Developer who plays and also teaches Jazz Guitar in his spare
time. His latest projects include the Internet Production
and he owns a small Asp Hosting Company. You
can contact him at his personal web site Studio JB.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Guitar Strings Last Longer With Proper Care

By: Al Wielder

Metal guitar strings are subjected to many conditions that
shorten their life. The life of guitar strings can be extended
with care and proper maintenance. This article will help you
extend the life of your guitar strings.

Guitar strings can lose their tonal quality prematurely due to
factors that include:




Stretching: Guitar strings naturally stretch during tuning and
while playing the guitar. Over time strings slowly lose their
elasticity and their tone quality. Guitar strings that are
stretched no longer produce rich tone or harmonic overtones. As
a result, the guitar becomes difficult to tune and the sound of
the strings become dull and lifeless.

Wear: Guitar strings wear during the process of playing. This
process comes from moving the metal strings against the metal
frets on the fretboard. Of the two most common types of strings,
wound and plain steel, wound strings are more susceptible to
fret wear. Wound guitar strings tend to "flat-spot" more rapidly
than plain steel strings. If left unchecked, the flat spots can
create breaks in the windings of the strings. Flat spots and
broken windings will decrease tonal quality and can also cause
the strings to "buzz".

Corrosion: Metal guitar strings are subject to tarnish, rust and
corrosion. Metal guitar strings are also subject to the body
chemistry of the individual guitar player. Individuals with
higher acid levels in their pH will get less life from their
guitar strings due to an accelerated rate of string corrosion.

There are several things guitar players can do to get extended
life from their guitar strings. Taking the time to follow these
simple steps will ensure that you get the most from your strings
and reduce the cost associated with premature string failure.

*Do not over-stretch your strings during the tuning process.

*Be careful not to crimp the strings at the tuner peg when
replacing the guitar strings.

*Periodically, check the condition of the guitar bridge and
bridge saddle to avoid breaking a string during the replacement

*Monitor the condition of your guitar frets and replace any
frets that develop excessive wear or sharp edges.

*Always clean your guitar strings when you finish playing the

It is impossible to say how long a new set of guitar strings
should last. The life of guitar strings depend on many factors
and variables. It is possible to extend the life of guitar
strings through proper care and maintenance. Be sure to take the
time to care for your guitar strings and you will get the
longest life from each set.

When the time comes to replace the strings, choose quality
replacements and change the strings carefully.

About the author:
Al Wielder is a host and instructor at Riff TV. Contact Al Wielder at Riff, your source for guitar tab, guitar lessons
and free video guitar training.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How to Look After Your Guitar

By: Ian Williamson

It is no big secret that proper care of your guitar will give
you a more consistent quality of sound and an extended for the
guitar . If you are at alls erious about playing guitar you will
want to get some accessories that are essential for the care of
the guitar. A guitar player is only as good as the sound and the
quality of the guitar that they are playing.

The first item on th elist would be a hard shell case for
transporting the guitar. Many people use what they call soft or
cloth "gig bag" which zip up and protect the exterior surface of
the guitar. A major problem with this type of case is that the
tuning nuts on the end of the neck of the guitar get out of tune
almost every time you transport it as there is nothing to
protect them from being knocked which causes them to turn and
get out of tune. Also, if there is any kind of impact while
loading and unloading the guitar, this could cause cracks or
actual punctures in the body of the guitar. A hard shell case
prevents these things from happening as there is space between
the neck and body of the guitar and the actual case. The case is
designed to take impact while holding the guitar securely on the
inside protecting the actual body and neck of the guitar and
keeping it in tune. It is a bit more of an investment than a gig
bag but in the long run it will help to make your guitar last
much longer.

Another item that should be considered for care of the guitar is
a guitar stand. You need this to put the guitar on while you are
not playing it. Many people lean the guitar against a wall or
couch or some other stationary object when they are not playing
it. There are a couple of reasons why this is not a good
practice. The first would be that if you do not lean the guitar
in the correct manner you can very easily warp the neck of the
guitar which makes it much more difficult to play. Warping of
the neck increases the distance between the strings and the neck
which causes you to have to apply more force on the strings
while playing. This can make for some very sore and blistered
fingers! Also, leaving the guitar laying around makes it much
more available for accidents to happen. Having a stand keeps the
guitar in the same location when you are done with it and also
supports the neck close to the body of the guitar which totally
prevents warping of the neck - a small investment solving some
big problems.

The last item that should be considered is an actual tuning
device for the guitar. You will find that the longer you play
the guitar the better you will become at tuning it by just using
your ear. But for starting out, you will want to use something
that gives you the exact sound and gives the guitar an accurate
tune up. There are many devices that you can get that are very
easy to use which will give you the exact tuning you need. When
your guitar is not tuned correctly this can be very embarrassing
- especially if you are singing along with the guitar!

About the author:
This article is brought to you by Ian Williamson from Play Guitar at

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Guitars - The Fender Stratocaster Is A Thing Of Dreams

By: Bill McRea

The very first guitar I ever played was a Candy Apple Red Fender
Stratocaster. It was love at first touch. I wanted that guitar
SO bad. I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, David Gilmore and
Jimmy Hendrix, and during my college years I was a huge fan of
Stevie Ray Vaughn. The Fender Stratocaster was the guitar of
choice for these incredible guitar players and many more.

My tasted in guitars evolved as I learned, and I discovered that
every guitar had their own personality in my hands. Some were
sassy and bright, others were bad and loud, and still others
just wanted to sing the blues. One of the coolest parts about
owning a music store was being able to play thousands of
different guitars of all makes and styles.

But my roots have always been with the Fender Strat. The secret
to the amazing tone for the Strat lies in the traditional single
could pickups, two piece body and the types of tone woods used
to make the guitar. Fender offers the same pickups played by
Jimmy Hendrix, or Eric Clapton. Fenders custom shop '69 pickups
will do the trick, or if you're into Stevie Ray Vaughn you need
Fenders Tex-Mex specials.

Probably the best way to play the same guitar as your guitar
heroes is to purchase their signature model. Fender has
signature models available for Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Robert
Cray, Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy
Guy, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson and more.

Rather a "c" or "v" neck dressed up in maple or rosewood,
nothing feels like a Stratocaster and nothing plays or sounds
the same. In everyone's life a little rain must fall, and in
every guitarist life a Stratocaster must be played.

Strat's are best known for their warm unique tone, but not all
Strat's are created equally. The tonal range will depend on the
tone woods used in the neck and body as well as the type and
configuration of pickups. When selecting a Strat to purchase
take your time and research the various online forums to learn
everything about the model you want to purchase. You may even
want to visit your local retailer and play a few, just to get a
better feel for the playability of the model you desire.
Sometimes you may find that what you think you want and what you
really like are quite different. Once you are convinced of what
you HAVE TO HAVE, you should check out the various online
retailers. In most cases you will find better prices on line
then at your local store.

Buying your Strat will be one of the best days of your life. So
enjoy every moment and remember that you are not purchasing just
a guitar, you are purchasing something from your dreams.

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of
and . Both sites offer guitar
products, free information and guitar lessons.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Guitar: Can You Learn To Play Guitar Without Goals?

By: Peter Edvinsson

In many articles on the net on learning to play guitar you will
find many article authors stressing the importance of setting
goals. Well, it would be interesting to find out if you can
learn to play guitar without goals. Let us investigate the

I have many memories of my first attemps to play the guitar.
Like many boys I had many interests like reading, playing piano,
singing, listening to music, athletics, chess, stamp collecting,
painting and other things at different times. Playing guitar was
just one of them.

I remember that I had my own way of practicing guitar playing. I
always had my guitar on my bed waiting for me. I sat down on my
bed many times everyday playing for a while and then starting to
do other things.

Sometimes I felt inspired to play guitar for an hour or two and
other times just for a minute. Did I have goals or not?

I know that I was developing as a guitarist quite fast and I
think it must have been something in my way of playing and
practicing guitar that was good.

I believe that some of the reasons for my progress during those
early days of my learn to play guitar career were:

1. I felt no pressure to become an accomplished guitarist. I
just felt the joy of sitting down with my guitar trying to find
out the treasuries in the land of music.

2. My father was a guitar teacher giving me lessons at times and
I always heard him play guitar in our home. Other guitarists
visited our home many times and these visits inspired me a lot.

3. I never felt a pressure to play fast and thereby building
tensions by playing too fast. This is one of the big mistakes
beginning guitarist and even accomplished guitarists sometimes

4. As I mentioned previously I did a lot of other things besides
playing guitar and I guess all these things I was involved in
kept my mind quite healthy and helped me retain my joy when I
learned to play guitar.

I guess in a sense I had goals that was not so apparent to me
that directed me towards somewhere even if I was quite content
being on the road of progress towards guitar land.

Can you learn something from my early guitar experiences? At
least you can learn the following:

1. When learning to play guitar always remember to enjoy the act
of playing without thinking too much on what you can or cannot
do as a guitarist.

2. Try to associate with good musicians and guitarists that
inspire you to play musically and that give you the motivation
to learn to play new things on your guitar.

3. Beware of playing too fast on your guitar. There is a risk of
building up muscle tensions and thereby actually reducing your
ability to play fast. A remedy for this and a way to tame
yourself is to use a metronome at a low tempo to reduce your
speed to a level where you can play your guitar in a relaxed

4. To become an interesting guitarist and musician you might
benefit from being involved in other activities like listening
to good music, having another hobby, reading good books,
assiciate with other people and more.

Do you have to have goals to become a good guitarist? Well, even
if you don't have learn to play guitar goals in the ordinary
sense you can help yourself to play everyday by having easy
access to your guitar.

I had my guitar on my bed. Maybe you want to have your guitar in
your favorite armchair. I guess you understand the principle....

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit
his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and
learn to play guitar resources at

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

5 Tips For Choosing The Right Electric Guitar

By: Al Wielder

Purchasing an electric guitar is very exciting and fun. The
process can be made more efficient by following several basic
guidelines and using several tips provided below. Are you new to
guitars and ready to make your first electric guitar purchase?
Are you a seasoned player who owns several guitars and you find
yourself adding to your guitar collection? No matter which
category you find yourself in, getting the most from your
instrument purchase is very important. It is also important to
understand the types of electric guitars available.

The choices include:

1. Solid Body Electric Guitars 2. Hollow Body Electric Guitars
3. Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitars 4. Acoustic/Electric
Guitars 5. Pedal Steel Guitars 6. Hawaiian Style Lap Guitars

Guitars, and particularly electric guitars are not created
equal. There are many brands of electric guitars to choose from.
Making the right choice when purchasing a guitar will depend on
some basic factors, including:

1. Your particular situation

2. The specific application when using the guitar.

For example, if you are a beginner, there is little reason to
consider investing several thousands of dollars into a pro level
guitar such as a custom Les Paul or a Paul Reed Smith. Another
example regarding a specific application would be if you are a
traveling musician. Traveling guitarists may want to consider a
slightly less expensive guitar to take on the road while saving
their finest instrument for a studio environment. Regardless of
your situation or the application, the bottom line is there are
several factors to consider. Understanding your position as a
potential guitar buyer will help you make the right decision and
ensure that you make an informed purchase.

Here are 5 tips to help you in choosing the right electric

Tip 1. Evaluate your level of committment to the instrument and
the art of music.

Before you choose your electric guitar be sure you understand
the level of committment that you are prepared to invest into
the instrument. Electric guitars can be expensive and
understanding the level of dedication you plan to invest in the
instrument should play a vital role in choosing your guitar.

Tip 2. Identify your particular application for the instrument.

If you are a beginner and just learning to play the instrument,
your application will be quite different from an intermediate or
advanced guitarist who is adding to their collection. Determine
your particular situation and application for the guitar you
will purchase. Consider whether or not you will be keeping the
instrument at home or frequently traveling with it. For example,
if you plan to keep the instrument at home for recreational use,
you may want to consider including a less expensive case for the
guitar. Road cases can be costly and will not be neccesary if
you do not travel with the guitar.

Tip 3. Identify your budget and include patience regarding your
guitar purchase.

Many aspiring guitarists have wandered into the local music
store only to be overwhelmed by the vast choices and different
price ranges of guitars. As with any purchase, pre-planning and
understanding your budget is critical. Prices for electric
guitars range from a few hunderd dollars to tens of thousands of
dollars. If you are serious about playing the guitar, selecting
your instrument will be one of the most important decisions you
make. Be sure to take ample time during this stage of the
process. Patience is more than a virtue when selecting your

Tip 4. Consult a professional to get tips on guitar quality and

It is a good idea to take the time to visit several musical
instrument dealers in your area. Retail guitar shops will be
more than happy to help you understand what to look for when
buying an electric guitar. Get several opinions if you are new
to guitars. Most guitar outlets will have seasoned players on
staff who will be happy to impart their experience and wisdom.
Ask questions. Find out what you need to consider when selecting
an electric guitar. Getting several opinions in this area will
shed light on the overall picture and will be very beneficial
information when it comes time to buy.

Tip 5. Include additional items and training resources to help
you get started playing the guitar.

Once you have made the right guitar purchase, be sure to have
additional items on hand that will be vital to the process of
learning. You will need an extra set of guitar strings, some
extra picks, a tuner and a stand for your guitar. It is also
very important to purchase some beginner books that include
chord charts, guitar tab and chord progression exercises.

Learning to play the electric guitar is fun and exciting. There
are few things in life that will provide the relaxation and
feeling of accomplishment you can experience by becoming
proficient with guitar chords, guitar tabs and guitar chord
progressions. Applying the knowledge you gain from the right
learning resources to your favorite style of music is very
rewarding. Carefully select your electric guitar. Be sure to
practice to develop skill, musical knowledge and basic music
theory concepts. Apply what you learn on a daily basis and you
will be amazed at the progress you will make with your new
electric guitar.

About the author:
Al Wielder is a host and instructor at Riff TV. Contact Al Wielder at Riff, your source for guitar tab, guitar lessons
and free video guitar training.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Guitar Lessons: Guitar Playing Must Be A Passion

By: Bill McRea

The first time I picked up a guitar my whole life changed. I
think I slept with it the night I brought my first new guitar
home. It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but it is true. I
remember the feel of the guitar in my hands and the shape, which
reminded me of a girl I once dated. But seriously it was love,
pure love.

Then I plugged it in and hit those first magic notes..... Wow
did it sound awful, maybe the worst noise I ever heard in my
life. So started my journey in the world of music some 23 years
ago, I found my one and only mistress, the guitar.

Today I am happily married with 3 kids, a real job, and my
guitars. The only thing my wife has ever been jealous over is my
guitars. I told her once I could have girlfriends or guitars,
she said she'd settle for the guitars. Thus is the secret to a
happy marriage.

Oh more importantly, the guitars. No two are the same, even the
same model, made in the same year, with sequential serial
numbers, are going to play and sound different. They have their
own personalities, their own feel and their own mood swings. I
have Fender's, Gibson's, Washburn's, Parker's, solid bodies,
hollow bodies and semi-hollow body guitars.

Every week I go to a friend's house, or a local store and just
pickup every guitar I can and play it for a few minutes. It
really is an obsession. I think, dream and dwell on playing
guitar 24 Hours a day.

Is this story the same as your's. As humorous as this may sound,
many of my playing friends say the same thing. You can never
have enough guitars, or spend enough time playing your guitar.

Do you have a passion for playing as well?

About the author:
Bill McRea is the publisher of The Guitar Warehouse
and Guitar Playing
. Both sites offer free lessons and product sales.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Learn To Play Guitar Online

Learn To Play Guitar Online: In Your Own Time With No High
Teaching Costs.

By: Susan Dean

So, you would love to learn to play the guitar? Then why not
learn to play guitar online. Yes you heard me right learn on
line! Who said you had to pay ridiculously high rates to a
teacher when you can learn it yourself. No more trying to fit in
lessons when they don't suit you because you can do it at home
at any time that suits you.

You may ask how do you learn to play guitar online? Well just
like buying books from stores that help you learn instruments at
home you can use ebooks. These online books will show you how to
play your instrument easily and successfully within no time at
all. Of course with any instrument you are learning you must
remember that you have to practice, practice, practice. Without
this practice you will not succeed.

You will find ebooks that teach you electric, base, lead,
acoustic guitar and many other instruments as well. You can hold
your lessons whenever it suits you to. How convenient is that?
You just follow easy instructions and learn as you go in your
own time and in the comfort of your own home. Many people learn
to play guitar online quite happily while there are others that
need that one on one instruction. If you think that you can cope
without having the one on one instruction then this style of
learning will be perfect for you.

You maybe someone who doesn't have the money for lessons so this
could be a great opportunity for you also. Most people who learn
this way love the fact that they can do it at any time of the
day. No traveling required or times to juggle. If you're a mum
with little kids then it can be done when they are in bed. In
this day and age most people's lives are very fast paced and
there is often little time for going back and forth to lessons.
If this sounds like you then why not take the plunge and do
something that you have always wanted to do in the privacy of
your own home and for a minimal amount of money.

About the author:
Susan Dean is the webmaster and publisher of http://www.guitar-p

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What It Takes To Be A Guitarist

By Larry Ford

True interest in playing guitar comes from a burning desire to be what your heroes are. Its a blind passion. But, before you even pick up a guitar, you must first ask yourself these questions: Do I listen to music differently than my friends who don't play guitar? when it comes to listening to music, do I see myself being able to not only play all of the guitar parts, but be able to play all of the guitar parts on stage? Do I see myself playing guitar above anything else under GOD?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, chances are you have what it takes to become a serious guitarist. Now, you should pick up your guitar, and if the burning passion's there, never put it down. Never let it go. By now, you should know that playing guitar is much more than just something that you do, You are a musician, and that's not just something that you do, its who you are. So be proud, not just anybody can say their a musician. Your an artist, and that's a beautiful thing.

Now that you've figured out that you are a serious guitarist, you should now set out to be the best guitarist that you can possibly be. You are about to set out on a lifelong journey. a very fulfilling journey of mastering your craft.

So what do I do first? You might ask. You get lessons, buy books on learning guitar, video tape your heroes every time their on television, and then study them, whatever it takes to increase your skill as a guitarist. You should keep in mind that no matter what, if the passion is there, you will learn. So don't worry if you can't afford lessons, or afford books on learning guitar, if you have the undying desire and burning passion with or without help. No matter if the odds are in your favor or if the odds are stacked against you.

How do I know? Well, since me and my brother were old enough to remember, we've had a very close kinship, and a great understanding of music. But, unfortunately, our family was very poor. We were twelve before we got a guitar to create on. Our parents couldn't afford guitar lessons, so what we did was got our friends that were learning to play at the same time, and borrow their books on guitar, and then we would watch as they played the way their teachers taught them to play. We practiced night and day. We very rarely played outside like other kids. We never learned to swim because we played guitar all the time, we didn't go swimming. But, because we sacrificed so much for our craft, it wasn't long before our skill was unparalleled by our peers and we were teaching our friends teachers. We were showing guitarists twice or three times our age who were playing guitar before we were even born. We didn't have a guitar teacher, yet by the time we were the age of fifteen, we were the teachers. When we played talent shows at our high school, we were the talk of the school and very respected.

Now, I'm not saying by any means that you have to do to become a great guitarist. I'm just saying that this is how me and my twin brother learned. You should take your own path. Your path is always the best path to take.

Well, that's it. As always, I hope you found this article both informative and entertaining. May GOD bless you always, and in always.

Larry Ford runs a website providing information for guitars. You can find it at

Article Source:

Friday, March 03, 2006

Your Best Guitar Practice Routine

By Griff Hamlin

Coming up with the best guitar practice routine is a matter of first deciding what your goals are. For most guitarists when they think of a practice routine, the goal is to improve speed and technique. For some, sight reading may also be an area that needs work, as well as improvisation, soloing, rhythm and timing issues. What follows is what I've used and developed over the course of the last 20 years to get my technique and artistry to where I want it to be.

First, let's look at where you are. If you don't already know how to play the Pentatonic scales and diatonic scales, you need to do that first. Once you have them all memorized, let's look at how to work with those, and chromatic exercises as the basis for the best guitar practice routine for you and your needs. There are links to pdf files of these scales on my website as well as many others out there.

To start with, you need to set aside about 30 minutes for nothing but technique practice, and it shouldn't be the very first thing that you do. My suggestion is to start with reading practice while you get your fingers warmed up. That way, they're ready to go when you start with the metronome. If you're not working on your reading, then warm up with some easy music. I like to warm up with a couple of studies from the book "Classical Studies for Pick-Style Guitar" by William Leavitt. There's 2 studies in there by a violinst named Kreutzer that I really like to use. I use these for warm-up, so don't try to play them at top speed. Paganini also has some famous violin pieces that have been transcribed for guitar and make good practice tools.

If you are practicing your reading, my former teacher, David Oakes, has a great book called "Music Reading for Guitar" that is very good. In addition, I like the "Reading Studies for Guitar" book by William Leavitt. There are certainly others, but these are well known and respected books on sight reading for guitar, which we all know is a big problem. As for the amount of time, I've done everything from 2 hours per day to very little, and I can't see that past about 15 minutes there's a huge amount of benefit. If you read for about 15 minutes per day, you will get better, it's that simple. Reading is something that must be practiced daily or close to it to keep your chops up.

Now that you're all warmed up, let's start working the scales and pushing the speed a little bit. I start with the pentatonic and blues scales. You'll notice that they are all written in the key of A minor/C major. Once you have learned them in this key, they transpose to other keys simply by moving them. If you want to be in the key of F minor, just move all of the boxes down 4 frets from the A to the F and away you go. What I like to do is set a metronome at an easy pace, around 120, and play all 5 boxes in F minor at that pace. You can use eighth notes, triplets, or sixteenth notes depending on your level of proficiency. In other words, either play 2 notes per beat, 3 notes per beat, or 4 notes per beat depending on how fast you can already play the scales.

Once you've finished all 5 boxes, move up to the key of F# minor, and increase the speed on the metronome by 5 BPM. Repeat the process with every key. Once you get up to around B, you'll probably start running out of fretboard. No problem, when it gets too far up the neck, just go down an octave by subtracting 12 frets. You'll be playing the same notes, just one octave lower.

Once you've done this with all of the pentatonic and blues scale patterns, move on to the diatonic scales. You can do one scale in all keys, then move on, or do all the scales in one key, and then move on. I would start with F# since you'll have open strings if you use F. What I do is to start with G major, then A dorian, B phrygian, C lydian, D mixolydian, E aeolian, F# locrian. Then move on to G# major, A# dorian, etc.

Once I've done just the scale patterns, I go back and practice the broken thirds and stepwise thirds and usually stepwise fourths as well if I have time. Another fantastic book to add to your collection is from the Guitar Grimoire series and it's the Exercise Book. The author, Adam Kadmon, has written out what effectively has been my own personal practice routine for years. It's an outstanding book if you want the best guitar practice routine right in front of you without having to come up with it.

After all of that is done, take a break! Your hands will likely be tired, and you've been concentrating which tires your body out. Get up for a few minutes and walk around. Shake out your hands and wrists. Get some water, a bite to eat, whatever.

After all of that, it's play time. Depending on what you're trying to learn right now, this is always open ended. If you're working on your improvisation, then play with some jam tracks and work on licks. If you're learning a song, now's the time to do that. Spend some time at the end of every practice session doing what's really the most fun to you. You should notice that after having practiced all of your scales and taken a few minutes of break, you're playing better than you have before. Now go practice!

Griff Hamlin is a professional guitarist, singer, and songwriter in southern california. For more information on him or his music, please visit For access to Griff's Guitar Community pages visit

Article Source:

Guitar Tabs
Piano Tabs

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tossers in Chicago

Spend St Pat's in Chicago with The Tossers

Compliments of Washburn Guitars, Victory Records and Music123

Enter today for your chance to win a trip for 2 days and 1 night in Chicago to spend St. Patrick's Day with the Tossers. Airfare and hotel accommodations will be provided for arrival in Chicago the morning of March 17th to see and meet the Tossers at the Metro.