Friday, September 22, 2006

Learning Guitar Scales For Exciting Riffs

If you're an aspiring guitarist, you love those riffs played by your favorite guitar players. Taking some time to learn to play scales will help you acquire the skills needed to come up with your own improvised runs and riffs. If you think it sounds complicated, it's really not. It just takes time and practice and not giving up.

Scales can be played in 5 different "positions." When you've learned the positions for the type of scale (major, minor, pentatonic, chromatic, etc.) you want to learn, you will be able to play that scale in any key, depending on where you start on the fretboard. Ultimately you will learn the name of the note of every string on every fret, but you have to start somewhere. The keys of E and A are used often in blues and other pop music styles. E makes a great starting key, since the open sixth string is an E.

You will need a scale chart to see where your fingers need to go to make the notes of the scale. These are widely available in free online guitar lessons. These charts will show the root note in a different color so that you can keep track of them. The root note for the key of E is E. You've probably noticed that if a song does not end on a root note, you somehow don't feel like it has finished.

Here's a verbal description of how to play a basic E minor pentatonic scale in the first position. Your first note is the open sixth string. The second note will be at the third fret of the sixth string - this is a G. Now go to the open fifth string, an A. Next go to the second fret of the fifth string - a B. The next note is the open fourth string, a D. Now go to the second fret of the fourth string, and pluck an E. If you were reading a scale chart, this note would be in a different color because you're back to a root. But you're not done yet!

The next note is the open third string - a G. Now play the note at the second fret of the third string - an A. The next note is the open second string - a B. Then you play the third fret of the second string, which is a D. The open first string is another E, and would be noted again as a root on a scale chart. You can finger the third fret of this string for another G, and then reverse the whole process, going down the scale back to the original open sixth E string.

Practice this scale until you get proficient at it and you are on the way to being able to create your own improvised licks in the key of E.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Finding Online Guitar Lessons

By: Andrew Morris

Since the early 80's I have been searching for better guitar
lessons. I was not one of those who could listen to a record
once and repeat the licks note-for-note. I took a few lessons
locally, but couldn't find a teacher that clicked. This
frustration led me to order cassette-tape lessons by mail. Since
this was well before online lessons, I often waited weeks for
delivery. Little did I know that online lessons were coming our

Today, many types of guitar lessons are available online. These
include beginner's lessons in mp3 format, instruction videos,
and tab transcriptions of your favorite licks. Tablature, or
"tab", is a transcription method that tells you exactly when and
where to fret and pick. You don't have to read music to read

Online guitar lessons are very convenient, and learning this way
can also be cheaper and more effective. If you travel like I do,
you can learn new songs on the road rather than watching TV!

Here is a roundup of some sites that I have used to find online
guitar lessons:

Video Lessons: Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks features a library of lessons that you can access
anytime and anywhere to improve your ability. They currently
charge $5/month subscription fee, but offer free lessons (150)
to start. Their roster includes 48 instructors from all over the

Mp3 Lessons: Fender Players Club

This excellent site is devoted to helping you get started on the
guitar. Yes, barre chords are easier on an electric guitar!
Sample beginner's lessons include:

Chords in the open position - Learn the most basic chords and
practice switching between them; practice tips, how to read the
diagrams, and more.

Chords - Once you're used to playing the basic chords, it's time
to start learning some other ones. Included is a chart with a
whole bunch of chords.

Barre chords - When you have some strength in your fretting
hand, tackle the barre chords. They're tough, but don't give up.


If you like doing things the "old-fashioned" way, two news
groups are sources for guitar tablature:

Tablature Web Sites: Guitar Notes

This site claims to be the largest collection of guitar music on
the net. You can browse through their artist index or use their
search engine to look through over 150,000 songs.

Unfortunately, the mother of all tablature sites, OLGA (On-line
Guitar Archive)is currently offline while attempting to resolve
legal issues with the archive. I hope they get this worked out
shortly as this site is a valuable resource.

In closing, whether you're just getting started or are looking
to advance your ability, online guitar lessons can be a fun and
effective way to take learn guitar.

About the author:
Andrew Morris is a guitar player and author living in Austin,
Texas. He is often amazed and perplexed at the sounds an
acoustic guitar makes in the right hands. Find out more about
the world of online guitar lessons at Online Guitar

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tips On Buying An Electric Guitar

By: Phil Morris

The electric guitar is the cornerstone of an exhilarating
musical experience. A good guitar will enhance the musical
experience. If you love all kinds of music then your electric
guitar should be able to play all the genres of music well. But
if you want to play a specific type of music like jazz or rock,
choose an electric guitar that allows you to play only that
type. If you are interested in purchasing an electric guitar,
here are some useful tips to make your purchasing easier. It
will give you a good idea about the things you should look for
while buying the electric guitar.

Before purchasing the electric guitar, consider the following

· Decide on your budget: A good electric guitar can cost
anywhere from $99 to more than $20,000. Hence you need to fix
your budget before you start visiting the shop or going online
to buy the product. Since the price range of the good electric
guitar is high, once you fix your budget, it makes your task

· Choose the sound you want: One of the vital aspects of buying
an electric guitar is choosing the right sound you want. Some
guitars are better capable of switching from blues to jazz to
rock without anyone noticing a change. Others are meant for one
type of music, so you cannot change the sound immediately.
Before purchasing, listen to the guitar sounds of your choice.
Consult a music expert to determine the type of guitar used in
the recording. He will be able to help you determine the type of
guitar that will help you achieve the same result as in the
recording. Besides, you should be aware of the type of music you
want to play to help you in the selection process.

· Get the feel of the electric guitar: If the guitar doesn't
excite you when you hold it, it is not the right choice for you.
Look around in other shops both online as well as in the market
before settling on the perfect guitar for you.

About the author:
Click for great bass
guitars advice
or recommended guitars advice. For
great general interest information go to

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Acoustic or Electric Guitar - Which Is Best For The Beginner

By: Al Tan

Having played the guitar for a number of years, I am often asked
this question by eager learners - "Should I start learning with
the acoustic or electric guitar?" In this article, I'll talk a
bit about both so you can come to an informed decision.

First of all, let me get something straight. The actual notes
and fretboards work the same for both, so if you start with
either one, its always interchangeable, although the playing
techniques might differ.

Most younger players would gravitate towards the electric guitar
thanks to MTV and the "cool factor". The acoustic guitar seems
to have a more "folksy" image to it. Both sound very different,
with the acoustic relying purely on natural acoustic principles
to generate the sound, using the body of the guitar as an
"amplifier". The electric guitar on the other hand needs an
electric amplifier to generate sound. There are of course
hybrids, but that is not relevent in this article.

So, which is better for the beginner? I'll cover 3 aspects below
- cost, convenience and playability.

Cost Both are about the same, you can get really expensive
custom built electric of acoustic guitars. However, the electric
can start to get more expensive simply because of the tempting
options and accessories like amplifiers, pre-amps, effects
pedals, volume pedals, etc. The acoustic on the other hand might
be simpler to start with. It plays right out of the box!

Convenience Again the acoustic wins as you can take it almost
everywhere without worrying about a power socket. There are
personal practice gadgets available for the electric guitar
which allows you to practice with headphones.

Playability My personal preference here is the electric guitar.
I find it easier to play, with the strings being softer and thus
less effort to play.

Either way, they both should be respected and used for what they
are and any good guitarist should be adept at both. For the
beginner, I would prefer the acoustic as it helps a lot in ear
training as you get accustomed to the vibrations of the body
making the tuning of the strings are easier to detect.

My final piece of advice is to don't get too obsessed with your
instrument while you're learning but focus on the music instead.
Once you start to get better at it you'll know instinctively
what sort of 'ax' you'll need. I've met my fair share of
musicians who are so into the gear but have not improved in
their skill much and on the other hand, have heard some amazing,
soul-stirring music from blues masters that have played the same
guitar all their life!

About the author:
Al Tan tries to be a guitarist when he's not building websites.
One of the best resource to learn guitar online that he's come
across which has step-by-step guitar lessons on video is For acoustic guitar, try

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Choosing An Electric Guitar: Main Points To Consider

By: Peter Mack

Ask any guitarist, and they will you that nothing comes close to
jamming with a guitar. In fact, no other instrument has
influenced modern music so much as the guitar, and its ongoing
popularity is reflect in its ubiquitous appearance in bands,
radio stations and music videos throughout the world. Certainly
one of the coolest instruments, the guitar is synonymous with
contemporary pop and rock music. That said, no guitar is more
symbolic of rock music than the electric guitar.

Whether you are an expert or a mere learner, getting a new
electric guitar is a thrill. Perhaps you have only ever played
an acoustic guitar, and want to branch out? Maybe you are simply
learning guitar from scratch? Whatever your reasons, buying an
electric guitar means you will be able to play searing riffs and
haunting melodies like you have never experienced with any other

There are a number of things to decide upon when choosing an
electric guitar.

The first decision you need to make is what body shape you want
your guitar to be. To date, the most popular guitar shape is the
solid-body Les Paul shape. You can also opt for the SG Style,
which has a thinner double cut-away body. Other most common
shapes are the Stratocaster and Telecaster.

Once you have chosen the shape of your guitar, you will need to
decide what pick-up you want, either single or humbucker pick
up. These refer to the copper wire that is wrapped around the
bar magnets. As its name implies, the single pick-up it is
composed of one copper wire wrapped in a single coil around a
single bar magnet or several rod magnets. The humbucker pick-up,
on the other hand, uses two coils which tends to increase the
intensity of a guitar's sounds.

Choosing the right bridge is another important step. You will
need to decide between the stock tremolo, double-locking or
Floyd Rose double locking system. Depending on the style, the
strings may be positioned differently, looser or tighter, and
more or less responsive to your touch.

These are just some of the things you will need to consider when
you select your new electric guitar. The choice you ultimately
make will vary depending on the sort of music you want to play,
as well as your knowledge and level of experience. Your budget
will also bear upon your decision, and for those with less
money, secondhand guitars are always an option.

Seeking help from friends who play the electrical guitar, or
staff at the music store is always invaluable. Once you have the
right guitar, your playing will be more enjoyable... and the
better for it.

About the author:
Peter Mack writes for electricguitarshow
a website of
electric guitar
articles and