Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bored with Guitar? Try An Alternate Tuning

By: T.J O'Connell

One way you might try to get out of a rut, whether you are a
songwriter or just a regular player is to try out some alternate
guitar tunings. All the guitar gods at one point venture into
the world of alternate tunings and it can be alot of fun.

The reason the strings are tuned to standard tuning on a guitar
is because it is the most efficient for fingering the most
amount of scales and chords, but that doesn't make it better
than any other tuning, and if standard tuning is making you
bored maybe it's time to venture out into the world of alternate
guitar tunings.

Now some of this ground has been covered before for example
there are many popular alternate guitar tunings, such as Drop-D,
Open C, C Tuning, Dropped B, B Tuning, B-flat tuning, Dropped A,
Hardcore tuning, E-flat tuning. As you can see there is no limit
to the amount of tunings you can do. You can even come up with
your own; maybe it's one that no one in history has come up
with, who knows there is a whole world of possibility out there,

Some of the most creative and inspiring guitar players have
invented their own tunings and fingerings; just do a search on
your favorite guitarist with the words "alternate tuning" to see
if maybe one of your guitar heroes has invented one of these.

Some guitarists will even own more than one guitar and tune them
all differently so you can switch easily on the fly, whether you
are at a show or at home.

About the author:
The guitar really becomes a brand new world when you discover
the world of alternate guitar tunings. Check out some of the guitar tuning
at, if you would like to
delve into this brave new world.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Warm Up Tips for Guitar Players

By: Gerard Hiner

After years of teaching and speaking with other guitar players
it still amazes me how many players fail to warm up properly. I
understand the desire to pick up the guitar and start playing
but a few simple warm up steps will improve your playing and
practice and help reduce injury. That's right, you can get
injured by playing guitar, especially if your hands and fingers
are not warmed up.

Here are a couple of simple stretching exercises you can do
anywhere and no guitar is needed. Do this before a gig or
practice. You will feel better and play better. Be sure to check for more guitar tips and info.

Hold your hand out as if you are directing traffic and telling
someone to stop. Now with your other hand gently grab your
"stop" hand's fingers and gently pull back towards your body.
You will feel it in the lower wrist and forearm. Do this for
about 10 seconds and then switch hands.

Next do the same thing but have your hand pointing downward or
opposite the technique above. This you will feel in your upper
wrist and forearm.

Next do some simple massages. With your Thumb simply apply a
decent amount of pressure and rub the inner part of the opposite
hand. Now do so for each finger. Really give them a good rubbing
and switch hands. This will improve circulation and loosen up
the muscles.

Again do these every day if you can or at the very least before
you pick up your guitar and you should notice and feel the

About the author:
Owner of A website full of resources
for guitar players of all levels.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Guitar Lesson: Five Ways To Learn The Notes On The Guitar

By: Peter Edvinsson

To find your way around the fretboard of the guitar is very
important. It will help you in guitar improvisation, sight
reading, and in understanding chords and more. In this guitar
lesson we will explore five ways to learn the notes on the
guitar fretboard.

How much do you need to practice?

A couple of minutes a day with one of these exercises will help
you improve your skills in finding the notes. In this guitar
lesson we will focus on the fretboard and not the actual guitar
sheet music.

Learning to read guitar sheet music will be much easier when you
master the notes on the guitar keyboard. I have divided this
article in five lessons that you can alternate between until you
master the guitar fretboard.

Guitar lesson 1

Learn the basic notes, the notes of a C major scale (the white
keys on the piano) on every string. Let's test this on the first
string on your guitar. The first note is an E. You will find F
on the first fret. G on fret three. A on fret five. B on fret
seven. C on fret eight, D on fret ten and the next E on fret

The sixth string on the guitar is an E too. It's just two
octaves lower but you will find the same note names on this
string on the same frets two octaves lower.

On the second string you will find the notes on the following

fret 0-B, 1-C, 3-D, 5-E, 6-F, 8-G, 10-A, 12-B

On the third guitar string you'll find the following notes:

0-G, 2-A, 4-B, 5-C, 7-D, 9-E,10-F, 12-G

I guess you can figure out the names of the notes on the next
strings by yourself but here they are in case you will double
check. The fourth string:

0-D, 2-E, 3-F, 5-G, 7-A, 9-B, 10-C, 12-D

The notes on the fifth string or the A-string:

0-A, 2-B, 3-C, 5-D, 7-E, 8-F, 10-G, 12-A

I would suggest that you concentrate on one string at a time and
learn the names as you play the notes on your guitar maybe by
saying the note names aloud as you play.

Guitar lesson 2

Learn a specific note on all strings. This is a great way to
learn the notes and quite amusing too. Let's use the note G.
You'll find it on the third fret on string six. Where can you
find the note G on string five? Right, on fret 10.

The G notes on the strings from the sixth string to the first
are on the following frets:

3 10 5 0 8 3

You can make an exercise of this by playing the G notes from
string six down to the first string and back again. Try this
with other notes too. For example E.

If you devote a couple of minutes a day on this exercise you
will soon be able to play the sequence of strings fast, spotting
the notes without effort.

Guitar lesson 3

Learn the names of the notes on a fret. We can start with the
open strings starting from the sixth string to the first. The
names will be:


Now, play the notes on the third fret in the same order. At the
same time try to say the names of the notes aloud. I will help
you this time only by writing the note names down:

G C F Bb D G

Try this exercise on different frets and say the names of the
notes aloud.

Guitar lesson 4

Learn the notes in a chord. Play any chord and name the notes
aloud from string six to string one. This guitar exercise will
also help you to understand how the chords are built.

Guitar lesson 5

In this guitar lesson you will use your ability to create random
notes on the guitar. As you play notes on your guitar at random
you also say the note names aloud.

Play in an even pace, just fast enough to make this exercise a
challenge for your mind so your mind will concentrate on the
task and not wander off.

All of these small guitar lessons can be used together with a
companion. One playing the notes on the guitar and the other
saying the note names.

As I mentioned before I think it's best not to overdo these
exercises. Choose one of the guitar lessons and work a couple of
minutes a day on mastering the exercise.

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit
his site Capotasto Music with free guitar sheet music
and his free sheet
music blog

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How To Play Guitar Without Reading Music

By: Richard Smith

Treble clefs, three quarters time and learning all the other
musical jargon is not one of the many easy ways to learn guitar,
in fact it puts a great deal of people off musical instruments.
Luckily there are ways that you can learn how to play guitar
without reading music

Music that you know from school and books is usually of the
classical notation variety, that is the same for all
instruments. In fact, guitar has its own music notation which
looks very different from other notation. It is called "tab"
which is short for tablature. It looks just like the six strings
of the guitar and uses numbers on the strings, which indicate
where to place your fingers on the fretboard. This makes it one
of the best easy ways to learn guitar.

Often, tab is accompanied by normal, regular sheet music. It is
usually put underneath. Even though you can learn how to play
guitar without reading music, you will find that tab will allow
you to learn a little about sheet music, that will help you with
your timing. But, if you like, you can throw away the sheet
music and still become an accomplished guitar player.

Tab is best for riffs and intricate finger work. However, you
may have seen chords. These are where you hold several fingers
against the fretboard and strum most, if not all, of the strings
to produce a nice harmony. In fact, chords are considered by
many to be one of the best easy ways to learn guitar because you
can play many songs if you know only three or four chords! Once
you learn a few chords, a song is usually a few chords switching
back and forth between them each and within no time you will
have memorized a song and be able to know how to play guitar
without reading music.

About the author:
For a FREE 6-Part Beginners' Lead Guitar E-course ($37 value),
k here
and scroll down to access the e-course.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How To Play Fast Guitar

By: Steve Higgins

How to play fast guitar-7 tips to improve your skill in 7 days

Playing fast guitar is something that eludes many guitarists,
yet is something which all of us aspire to at some point. I'm
here to bust open the myths and the "secrets" which people seem
to think hold the key to playing fast. Implement this stuff and
you will be faster in seven days. I guarantee it.

1-Practice-It's obvious but many people claim they want
to be a great guitarist yet don't put the time in. You get out
what you put in! Even if you don't have much time to spare, half
an hour a day is enough to help you improve.

2-Focus your practice-You can increase the benefits of
your guitar practice exponentially by practicing the same stuff
each time. A good way to start this is to choose 4 licks or
scales or parts of scales (anything except chords will work just
fine), and play through each lick in a loop for 15 minutes. By
the end of the FIRST WEEK you'll be two or three times as fast
as you were with those licks to begin with.

3-Think long term. Focused practice everyday is great,
but it's even better to have a goal in mind. for example if you
want to learn a particular piece, gear your practice toward
licks and techniques used in the piece and then dedicate the
last 15-20 minutes(depending on how much time you have) to
practicing the actual piece. Nothing helps you stay focused and
motivated more than being able to see your daily progress.

4-Work on legato-Legato actually means smooth, or
flowing, but in guitar circles it is the term given to fretting
notes with your left hand and making them sound without actually
picking anything with your right hand. It could also be called
the art of hammering on and pulling off. Excellent practice as
it will strengthen your left hand, not only making you faster
and smooth, but will improve your vibrato and chord changes too.
It just makes your hand fitter! A great way to practice this is
to run up and down some scales, but only pick the first note on
each string, so you will be hammering on going up and pulling
off on the way down. It's tough at first but persevere and you
will get rewards!

5-Use a metronome. Other musicians seem to use metronomes
with no trouble, but guitarists are allergic to them, or at
least seem to be! I'll spell it out - An hour with a metronome
does A LOT more good than an hour without. It's simply the best
tool for highlighting the weak areas and inefficiencies in your
technique. There is a learning curve but stick with it-your
playing will change for the better, permanently! Buy one!

6-Use a hard pick. Controversial? I know that people
should use whatever pick they want to, but a softer pick WILL
slow you down, and a harder one won't. It's simple physics. Most
picks have a degree of flexibility, so after picking a note we
have to wait for it to return to its proper shape before we pick
again, or the note is not picked cleanly. Put it this way-trying
to learn to pick fast while using soft picks is like putting
bicycle wheels on a Ferrari and then trying to drive fast. Not
going to happen!

7- Start slow-Work on something until you can play it
with no mistakes at all before you crank up the speed. This will
do more for your all round musical skills than just pushing the
metronome up a few beats every few minutes. If you move forward
before your skills are ready your playing will be very very
sloppy, and that will be a real hard habit to get out of!

Hopefully those tips will help you break out of a rut and get
your fretboard burning!

About the author:
Steve Higgins has been a guitarist/musician for over 20 years,
both playing and teaching in his local area. If you find these
tips useful and would like to learn more please click here

Monday, February 05, 2007

David Lee Roth back as Van Halen singer

This is hilarious. Check out the story and then read the comments. LOL.

LOS ANGELES -- The rumors were true. Van Halen will reunite with original singer David Lee Roth for a summer tour of North America.

"I am very excited to get back to the core of what made Van Halen," guitarist Eddie Van Halen said in a statement posted Friday on the band's Web site announcing a 40 city tour. No specific dates have been named.

It will be the first time that Roth performs live with the band since 1984, when he was replaced by Sammy Hagar. A brief reunion with Roth in 1996 resulted in two new songs but no tour.

Original bassist Michael Anthony will not be a part of the reunion. Late last year he was replaced by Eddie Van Halen's 15-year-old son Wolfgang.

More: Van Halen Reunion