Monday, October 30, 2006

Great Blues Guitar Blog

If you're interested in the blues/rock era and would like to explore where all those guitar gods got their inspiration, you need to check out this blog:

The name of the blog comes from that infamous line in the middle of Led Zeppelin's "Lemon Song" on Led Zep II. Zep, like most of their contemporaries, were heavily influenced by the blues. The "Squeeze" blog has a ton of stuff about the bluesmasters and some really cool links to some obscure videos. Check it out.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Best Gifts for Guitarists in 2006: Guitar Effects

By: William McRea

Are you looking for a great gift for the guitarist in your life?
They already have a guitar and amplifier so getting them another
is out of the question. And most guitarists seem to buy the
accessories that they need as they go along. Have you considered
purchasing guitar effects in the form of pedals or effects units?

With the guitar, the sound is generated using electrical
signals. When you take the signal and process it in certain
ways, this changes the sound. When you use a special device such
as a pedal or an effects unit, the signal is processed by the
device and the changed sound comes out through your speakers.

Do you want some advice on purchasing the best gifts for
guitarists in the form of guitar effects? Here is some advice
that will help you make a purchase.

Purchasing Pedals

Effects pedals either come with a series of options but the one
thing that is consistent is that you use your foot to make any
changes to the settings. Some, like the Line 6 PODSX Live Pedal,
have 11 channels each with a different sound. Others are just a
single pedal and you press it to turn the effect on or off.

When purchasing pedals, it is a good idea to do your research
and choose products that are highly regarded. Look at reviews,
compare prices, and ask the guitarist which effects they tend to
like. Here are some ideas for pedals:

o Line 6 PODSX Live Pedal with 11 Channels o Ibanez TS808
Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue o Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler Pedal
o Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah Pedal

Effects Processors

Effects Processors also take the signal and alter it. But, they
have different functions and uses than a pedal. Some are
designed to hook up to your computer and others hook up to your
computer. The type of effects processor you choose will depend
on your individual tastes and needs. Here are some good choices
for gift giving:

o Yamaha Magicstomp II Guitar Effects Processor o Boss RC-20XL
Loop Station o Boss GT-8 Guitar Effects Processor o ToneWorks
AX1500G Guitar Floor Effects Processor

Great Gifts

Effects processors make great gifts because they help a
guitarist expand and enrich their sound. You can use effects to
help enhance your creativity. You can also use them to convey a
certain emotion in a song you are writing. If you are unsure of
which pedal or processor to purchase, finding one that has a
variety of sounds is a good bet because then they can

About the author:
Guitar Warehouse is the source for guitars, bass and drum
kits.Buy a Guitar,
at Guitar Warehouse

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good Guitar Technique Will Allow You To Play Anything!

By: Chris Thomas

There are many philosophies when it comes to practicing guitar.
Some people don't practice at all, others practice for 10+ hours
per day! Steve Vai's legendary 10-hour guitar workout comes to
mind. But consider this...who do you think is the better guitar
player? The person who hardly practices, or the person who
practices on a regular basis? Of course it's the person who
practices regularly!

I'm a strong advocate of practicing on a regular basis because
with good guitar technique, you can play anything! If you think
about it, it makes perfect sense. If you can alternate pick most
any any lick or picking pattern, then any time you're trying to
learn something new you'll be able to pick it up much more
quickly then if you don't have good technique.

Obviously you want to practice things that you have difficulty
playing, or create your own exercises that are similar to those
things you struggle with. By focusing your practice time on
these things, you will improve much quicker. Then in the future
when you encounter things you previously used to struggle with,
you'll breeze right through it!

Think about it...if all you practice are power chords, you just
really limit yourself as to what you can potentially play. By
focusing on certain techniques, you'll be able to do so much
more. But you can still play power chords if you choose. I don't
know, maybe some people are happy only playing power chords, but
I digress...

Now I'm not saying that you should go out and start practicing
for 10+ hours per day. I never practiced for more then 3-4 hours
per day. I think that what you practice is more important then
how long you practice. Of course it's ultimately up to you. This
is just how I view the guitar.

About the author:
Chris Thomas writes articles and does reviews of the top online guitar

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Guitar Scales- An Important Exercise To Learn

By: Gabriel Adams

Do you know your guitar scales? If you're learning to play
guitar, scales are an important exercise for you to learn.
Scales are often neglected on the guitar, for some reason. But
you would be hard pressed to find a good pianist who didn't have
at least some level of proficiency at scales. The same should be
true for guitarists.

The benefits of learning guitar scales

Learning to play scales on your guitar can have many benefits.
One of the benefits is that you learn the notes of each
particular scale, and become comfortable playing those notes.
When you play a song in that key, you will already be used to
playing each of the notes and will know where they are.

Playing guitar scales also has great technical benefits. Playing
scales can help you increase your dexterity, precision, and
speed of your playing. If you play scales each time you
practice, over time you'll notice your playing skills increasing
from this simple exercise.

Learning and playing guitar scales

There are dozens of different scales, but you'll want to start
out with a few common ones. The most common scales for guitar
are probably C, G, D, & A. I'd suggest that you start with major
scales, as they are generally easiest and more commonly used.
Later you can go on to minor scales plus other scales.

When you first start learning a scale, play it slow enough that
you can play each note correctly and cleanly. As you get better,
you can speed it up. However, never play them fast enough that
you lose control. When you play a scale, each note should be
perfect - clean, and in steady rhythm, tone, and volume. As a
teacher of mine once said, "Make your scales like a pear
necklace - each note, perfect, round, and beautiful!" Follow
this advice and watch your playing improve!

About the author:
Andrew Koblick's Guitar Improvement DVDs include... Amazing Guitar-
Improve Fast
& the Ultimate Blues Primer
- Play the Blues
Plus check out our Free Guitar

Thursday, October 19, 2006

How Do Different Types Of Guitar Strings Effect Your Sound?

By: Chris Thomas

There are so many different brands of guitar strings out there,
and within the brands there are many different gauges and types.
This can be overwhelming for beginners, so I want to briefly
discuss different types of strings and associated sizes and why
you want to carefully consider the types of strings you would
want to use.

First of all let's briefly discuss nylon strings. These strings
are used on classical guitars and are conducive for
fingerpicking. If you own a classical guitar or are considering
purchasing one, these are the strings you will use.

Now if you're playing a standard electric or acoustic 6-string
guitar, you're going to want steel strings. Some of the more
popular brands are D'Addario, Dean Markley, Ernie Ball, Elixer,
GHS, and Fender. Try the same size of each brand and you will
begin to notice differences. I remember trying D'Addario, Dean
Markley, and Ernie Ball .009s and I was partial to D'Addarios
because it seemed like my pick would get caught on the strings
to o easily. So definately experiment with different strings to
find out which you prefer.

As for the different sizes, they come in sizes ranging anywhere
from sets of .008's to .013's. Now, you may wonder what this
means. Well the .008-.013 range describes the thickness in
inches of the high E string. So when someone says 8's, 9's 10's,
they're typically referring to a set of guitar strings with the
high E string of that thickness. The remaining strings are also
thicker or thinner depending on the thickness of the high E
string, although you can buy individual strings to suit your
personal tastes.

What thickness should you choose? I prefer D'Arddario 9s for my
electric and Elixer 10s for my acoustic. For me, anything
thicker then 10s give my fingers a tough time. But also know
that the thicker strings will have a much better tone. As a
beginner, I wouldn't recommend set thicker then 9s for starters
until you build up some left hand strength. I don't recommend 8s
at all as they tend to break too easily.

If you're going to be playing dropped tunings, then you should
consider thick strings in the .012-.013 range (Ernie Ball Not
Even Slinky Strings are great). This will allow you to tune down
and still have tight strings that don't flap around. The thinner
strings will usually be too slack when you're tuned down.

About the author:
Chris Thomas writes articles and does reviews of the top online
for his site Guitar Lesson Comparisons.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Guitar Players

Here's a great article. We sometimes overlook the simple things.

By: Tony Williams

1.Change the strings regularly - there is perhaps no more
important aspect of playing a musical instrument than that of
maintaining it properly. Guitar strings wear out with regular
use and even more quickly become coated in grease and dead skin.
So it is imperative that you wipe the strings after playing and
also change the strings as often as needed.

But how often do strings need changing? Well, if you only play
your guitar a couple of times a month then you will probably get
away with a couple of sets of strings per year. But if you play
in a band a couple of times a week or more then you should renew
the strings at least once a week. And forget the old wives tale
about boiling strings, that is for fools and practical jokers;
fit new strings every time.

2.Play what is required, not what you like - Just because
you have mastered that tricky right hand tapping technique does
not mean that you should try to use it at every opportunity.
Instead, concentrate on what feels and sounds right for the
piece you are working on. It might not be as self satisfying to
play five notes where you could have squeezed in fifty, but it
can often be far more effective - and remember that you will
always get the chance to impress your mates on another song.

3.Practice effectively - Do you have a regular practice
schedule? If not, then you should develop one! Your guitar
practice should include different techniques, slow playing, fast
playing, rhythmic playing, etc. Don't just play what you enjoy
playing during solo practice sessions, but instead remember to
devote some time to the stuff you find difficult.

4.Play with the band, not over them - Never turn your amp
up to eleven and expect the rest of the band to join you. Not
only is it a recipe for tinnitus and premature deafness, but it
will quickly get you replaced by a more considerate guitarist.
An effective guitar player will be listening to the whole band,
not just him/herself, and if the guitar sounds too loud the
effective guitar player will turn the volume down to a level
that matches the rest of the band! if you think you might be
guilty of this then try listening objectively to the whole band
next time you play and ask yourself if it sounds well balanced.

5.Be original - Don't just copy your guitar heroes. Of
course it is natural and essential to actively learn the chops
of your favourite players, but don't just copy them verbatim;
instead you should try to mix and match the techniques you have
learned to develop your own original licks.

6.Keep an open mind and ear - Just because your favourite
player uses a Marshall stack or a Mesa Boogie combo, and plays a
Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul doesn't mean that you
have to do the same. All of the best player's sounds are unique
and exclusive, and it goes far beyond the equipment used. Think
of the different sounds produced by for example Jimi Hendrix,
Hank Marvin and Eric Clapton - they are all Strat players but
all sound different and apart from each other.

7.Enjoy yourself - the fact is that successful guitar
players actually enjoy what they do; think of Eddie Van Halen
leaping around the stage with a wide smile on his face. I'm
willing to bet that the reason he became such a great player in
the first place is because he actually loves what he is doing.
So when the time comes, go out and enjoy it!

About the author:
Tony Williams is a musician, writer, and self-confessed
eBay fanatic. He is also the editor and webmaster of MuZiCk, the irreverent rock music
, and Rich
Pickings, your online guitar advisory service