Monday, July 31, 2006

Tips for Guitar Performance

Have you advanced in your guitar playing to the point that you're performing for others? Maybe you're interested in playing at a local open mic event, or are ready to do a solo for a school or church concert. Or maybe you're part of a band that has jammed and practiced and is getting itchy to do some real entertaining. Whatever the case, there are some things to remember when you start performing for a group.

First, make sure you have practiced the songs you want to do until you know them inside and out. Nervousness will creep in and you will forget what you thought you had embedded in your soul! Get those songs nailed down as well as you can. Drill yourself on those chord changes and tricky rhythms until they are second nature. Rehearse any lyrics you might sing over and over. Don't bomb out just because you have failed to put the practice time in.

That said, be aware that technical difficulties can ruin an otherwise stellar performance. There is nothing unprofessional about taking a minute to check the microphones and monitor to make sure things are going to work for your particular brand of music. If you get started pouring your soul into a song, but the people can't hear you, or worse, you can't hear your own voice, it's going to throw your confidence for a loop.

A third consideration, touched on in the paragraph above, is to plan to pour your soul into your performance. When people come to hear someone make music, they want to feel the excitement the musician feels about the music. It's an intimate experience for the musician, and the audience wants to get in on it. If you are too concerned about the impression you are making on the audience, you will not be attending to the music like you need to.

Here's another consideration. Is the place you are performing noisy? Is it filled with people talking, laughing, and doing their own thing? Maybe you're in an active night spot, or performing for people at a fair. These people have other interests going on as well as your performance. The best thing you can do is lose yourself in your music. Don't worry about trying to drown out the noise. In fact, sometimes if you quiet down and have your own personal music party going, the crowd will quiet down to see what's going on on the stage.

The bottom line in performing is that how you look or impress the audience is not nearly as important as how you sound. Remember, too, that you don't have to prove anything to the audience in most cases. They are not sitting in judgment on you, but rather are hoping you do great. They'll likely feel sorry for you if you flub a bit and will cheer if you pull it off. So don't look at those folks as someone to impress, but someone on your side.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Acoustic Vs. Electric Guitars: Which Guitar Is The Best To Start

Acoustic Vs. Electric Guitars: Which Guitar Is The Best To Start
Learning With?

By: Darren Armentrout

One of the most common questions I get from new guitarists is,
"should I begin on the acoustic or electric?" To be honest,
there really is no right or wrong answer. But let's look at some
of the differences to help us decide.

First, the biggest question is what kind of music do you like?
If you want to learn to play like Metallica or Greenday, then
it's obvious you need to get an electric guitar. If you want to
play like James Taylor or Dave Matthews, then an acoustic would
be the best route to go.

Parents, if you are helping your child decide what is best for
them, be sure to ask them what kind of music they want to learn.
Also, ask them if they know which kind of guitar they would like
and why. Asking these questions has always helped me figure out
which guitar would be a better fit for my students. Sometimes,
people just want to play the guitar because it's "cool"-- or
because they want to be a rock star. Or, maybe a friend is
learning to play drums and they want to start a band together.
In these cases I normally would recommend an electric.
Motivation is the key here. Sometimes simply buying the wrong
kind of guitar, can make a child lose interest in playing and
then you are out the time and money. I've seen many parents,
even with the best intentions, have a child start on acoustic
when the child really wanted an electric and it normally ends
the same way-- disinterest.

So, besides appearance, what are some of the important things to
consider? Generally, you can play the same things on either
guitar, and the basics are the same. The guitar is tuned the
same and all the scales and chords you learn will be the same
for either. However, the sound is different. What sounds good on
one may sound weak, out of place, or downright silly on the
other. When a lot of people think of guitar, they think of the
guy who comes to the front of a stage in the middle of a song
and plays a screaming solo. If this is the kind of playing
you're looking to learn, then you need an electric. If you're
wanting to learn to strum chords, kind of like the Beatles, then
get an acoustic. Electrics tend to be played louder, more
aggressively and have a raunchier dirty kind of sound. Acoustics
tend to have a fuller, more natural sound and have a little more
laid back kind of a feel.

The main advantage of an electric guitar when beginning to play
is the string gauge. Electric guitars usually have strings that
are much thinner than the strings of their hollow bodied
brothers. This means that it's a little bit easier to push the
strings down on electric. The strings are thinner, though, and
may feel a little sharper than the thicker acoustic strings.
But, guitarists who start on electric and then pick up the
acoustic sometimes find they have to develop their hand strength
a little before they can get comfortable on the acoustic. One
disadvantage of the electric, is that it is noisier. The pickups
of an electric are much less forgiving of mistakes than an
acoustic is. Because an electric is sensitive to every little
nuance of touch, finger placement and pressure, tiny mistakes
beginners make will ring more clearly on an electric than on an
acoustic. Another disadvantage of the electric guitar is it's a
little more expensive to get everything you need to start on it.
Not only do you have to buy the guitar but you have to buy an
amp and a guitar cable to go with it. On average it will cost
$40-$80 more to start on an electric than an acoustic of similar

The main advantage of an acoustic is it's portability. The
acoustic can go almost anywhere and be played anywhere. So you
can practice or perform wherever you'd like-- whether at home,
on a trip, or around the campfire. There is no extra equipment
required, just pick it up and play. Another advantage of the
acoustic is the volume. I have never been asked to stop playing
my acoustic because of noise-- even when in the dorms at college
or playing in my apartment at two in the morning. I have been
asked on several occasions to turn down my amp or to stop
playing all together by a frustrated roommate or neighbor.
However, if your main concern with an electric is noise, most
amps have a headphone jack you can use to keep others happy.
Getting a clean sound is a little easier on an acoustic than an
electric. But, guitarists who start off on acoustics and then
switch to electrics may find the required precision to control
the noise a little difficult to handle at first. Another
disadvantage of an acoustic is it's a bit quiet when playing in
a band unamplified. So playing with a band (especially drums)
may require extra equipment to be heard.

So there you have it, the main differences between starting on
the acoustic guitar or starting on an electric guitar. What
choice you make depends on:

The look you want: Are you going for the rock star look? The
sound: Do you prefer the pure natural sound or the crunchy
distorted sound? The tradeoff: Ease of pressing strings down, or
more forgiving of mistakes? Price? Portability?

In the end, most guitarists who stick with playing a year or
two, soon pick up the other kind of guitar as well. So, what you
start on depends on what is most important to you.

About the author:
For more guitar related articles by this author, answers to
common guitar related questions, and free blank tablature and
blank guitar charts visit www.fishmanmusic.c
Darren Armentrout has been playing guitar for 13 years,
earned a Bachelors in music, and has been teaching guitar for
over 5 years.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Choosing The Right Guitar For You

By: Jakob Culver

There are many different types of people in the world, and
because of this there are many different guitars. There are
different types of music and depending on what kind of music you
are looking to play you will need to have the right guitar.

An acoustic guitar is much less
expensive than an electric guitar. It also requires less
equipment because for an acoustic it's optional.

If you are interested in an electric guitar, here are some
things to consider so that you may get the right one for you.

Be sure that you are interested in playing the sort of music
you are choosing an electric for. Electric is usually meant to
be used for rock music. Remember you can start small.

Don't go for the big name brand first. Pick a cheaper brand to
practice and learn on. This will also help if you should decide
you don't want to play after all. Then you wouldn't have spent
too much on something you don't use.

Once you have learned then you should look into more expensive
equipment. Then you will know for sure that this is something
you enjoy and you can know that you deserve the equipment.

Second hand guitars are also an option open to you. You can
find second hand guitars in many places. Think of ebay, the
newspaper, or pawnshops. Some guitar stores will also have
second guitars sometimes.

About the author:
is a music entertainment information portal founded
by Jakob Culver.

To find out more information about this topic and more visit the


Tips For Beginner Guitar Lessons

By: Morgan Hamilton

Does this sound familiar? A guitar case lying around in your
house doing nothing but gather dust. Chances are that despite
your best intentions, you have one and probably never learned
how to play, or started taking beginner guitar lessons and soon
lost your enthusiasm, or something else got in the way. Taking
beginner guitar lessons in the traditional manner sometimes just
doesn't work all that well when you're busy with little things
like life. However, if you have a computer, and who doesn't
these days, you can easily find many online sites that offer
beginner guitar lessons gratis, for free, or you can buy guitar
lesson packages with DVDs and instructional manuals that can be
sent to your home if you would prefer. Have no fear if you can't
read music; beginners are also taught how to read tablature,
which is easier to learn to read than music. Trust me, it really

No matter if you choose to start your beginner guitar lessons on
the computer or with the traditional educational material, you
start out with the raw basics about guitars and accessories,
like picks and tuners, strings, bridges, etc. Students are
taught how to correctly hold a guitar and pick, and how to tune
it so that it sounds good! Sure this may sound really simple,
but there are people who feel really awkward at first, and are
helped a great deal from a few pointers. Another great bonus to
taking beginner guitar lessons in the comfort of your own home,
is that the embarrassment factor is almost completely
eliminated! Lessons are usually rather easy to understand and
are available to you to play over and over until you have
mastered that level. You know the saying, practice makes
perfect. Beginner guitar lessons include basic scales and chord
formations also; it is kind of important to have some basic
music theory behind you because you will always benefit by
looking back to it for basic guidance, even after you are an
accomplished musician!

A fantastic method to get started or brush up on the basics,
beginner guitar lessons let you begin where you feel
comfortable, and move alond at a pace that is comfortable to
you. Beginner guitar lessons are readily available to you online
and there are many quality sites to choose from. Some can be
downloaded, or you can have beginner guitar lessons delivered to
your doorstep, whichever you decide. The whole idea behind it is
to get you playing, whether it be the first time, or to get you
back in the saddle again! Guitar is actually one of the easiest
instruments to learn how to play, contrary to what you may have
heard, and fits in real well with just about all types of music.
You certainly don't have to run out and buy a brand new guitar,
unless of course you want to! For beginner guitar lessons, you
just need anything with six strings and that can be tuned and
strummed. After just a few lessons you'll be amazing your family
and friends with your incredible talent! Where is that music
contract... bring it on.

About the author:
Morgan Hamilton offers his findings and insights regarding the
world of Fine Arts. You can get interesting and informative
information here at Beginner Guitar Lessons

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Learn How To Play Guitar - 4 Tips To Improve Your Guitar Playing

Here's another good article by Tim Lee. There's some good tips
that will improve your playing a lot. Enjoy.

By: Tim Lee

Playing guitar as a hobby or professionally can be very
fulfilling. It is a great outlet for one's creativity and
passion, and is the perfect expression of one's self. Whether
you are a beginner guitar player or not, you could use the
following tips and instructions to improve your guitar playing.

1) Good posture is Truly Underrated

While you can play guitar in almost any position, good position
is integral to getting the most out of your guitar. Without good
posture you could put yourself in greater risk for straining
muscles - not to mention that wrong posture is truly awkward and
uncomfortable to the player. You could even acquire or
exacerbate back pain playing in the wrong position.

In a sitting position, sit up straight and cradle the guitar
with your legs. Armless chairs are better for this sort of
playing. If you are a classical player you might want to
purchase a foot rest to elevate your left leg (if you are

While standing, make sure you have good footing, with feet
properly spaced. Keep the guitar high on your chest. If you have
a guitar strap then you could avoid getting fatigued while
playing your guitar.

2) Hold Your Pick the Right Way

If you are a pick player, one common mistake you can avoid is to
hold your pick the right way. The proper way to hold a pick is
to grip is firmly but not too tightly.

If you hold your pick to firmly, you could get your arm tired
real easily. If you hold it too loose you could easily lose your
pick during a very vigorous strumming session. The best place to
hold your pick is somewhere in its middle.

Choosing the right pick is also another important choice you
will have to make. If you are a beginner, you may want to use
soft picks for strumming. They are also easier on the arms and
do not need to be gripped too tightly. However, most flabby
picks do not perform well when used to pluck individual strings,
bass strings, or when flat picking.

3) Practice your arpeggios

After giving strumming a thorough work out, try working on
arpeggios as they could seriously improve you playing style and
will open you up to new guitar skills. Some players start with
arpeggios before jumping into serious lead playing or
complicated playing.

It also gives your playing much more variety than would be
available if you stuck to simpler chord playing. And as
mentioned, arpeggios are the gateway to higher level playing

4) D Chord Secrets Revealed

The D-sus chord is a beautiful flourish when used to lead back
to the D-chord. It is easily done by adding your pinkie finger
to the chord at the third fret. Practice how this chord is used
and you will find that it easily integrates into most
contemporary songs.

You could also use this with other chords. You may refer to most
chord charts to find out how these chords are done.


In the end practice is still the best way to get better at
guitar playing. However, you can avoid wasting your time during
practice by learning to practice smarter instead of just more.
The tips mentioned above will help you get started on this road.

About the author:
To learn how to play guitar using the easiest to follow method,
please visit http://www.Guitar-