Sunday, April 08, 2007

Become A Better Guitarist By Developing Your Ear

By: Peter Edvinsson

Can you hear a melody and then play it on your guitar? To have a
good ear will help you a lot in your musical endeavors. Let's
see how we can improve this ability!

Learn to know your guitar

To be able to pick up your guitar and play any melody you hear
would be nice I guess!

To understand the relationship between the melodies you hear and
the frets and strings you have to use to play these melodies is
something you can practice in different ways. Here are some

1. Play around with your guitar. Yes, that's right! Have a nice
time with your guitar! First of all because it is fun and you
probably play the guitar first of all for this reason.

This means that you try out things on the guitar. Play notes and
listen how they sound. It doesn't really matter if it is
fantastic melodies you create. The important thing is that you
gradually will learn how notes, strings and frets relate to each

2. Learn scales. Scales can be played for many reasons. One way
is to develop a better understanding of the fretboard.

To accomplish this you should as soon as you have learned to
play a scale on the guitar try to use it, experiment with it,
try to create melodies with it, play patterns and so on.

3. Learn music theory. Well, this sounds a little bit
intimidating maybe. But music theory can be as simple as knowing
the names of the notes on the guitar. Take a few notes at a time
and practice playing them on the guitar as you say the notenames

4. Learn easy melodies. Yes, very easy melodies like Mary Had A
Little Lamb and other melodies with few notes in them. Then try
to play the melodies starting on a different place on your
guitar fretboard. This is a very effective way to learn to
understand the guitar.

5. Transpose songs. You will develop your ear and your
understanding of the relationship between chords by transposing
the chords of the songs you can play by heart to different keys.

Let's take the song Tom Dooley as an example. It contains only
two chords in it's most common form. If you play it in D-major
it will be D and A7. If you play it in E it will be E and
...well you can figure it out by yourself.

Try to play Tom Dooley in the key of C and see if you can figure
out the chords.

To hear a melody and then be able to play it on the guitar is
really both fun and of great use to a guitarist. By trying these
tips you might find yourself a little bit closer that goal!

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free sheet music,
guitar tabs, ebooks, music lessons and read his music blog at

Friday, April 06, 2007

Guitar Playing: What About Motivation?

By: Peter Edvinsson

What can you do to stay motivated as you practice on your
guitar? How can you increase and maintain the joy of playing?
Here are some tips on how to keep that joy that made you start
playing the guitar in the first place!

What can you do before setting goals?

The reason why we don't keep our guitar playing goals might be
that we haven't been honest with ourselves before the goal
setting process.

Before actually setting goals you have to decide why you want to
play guitar or want to be a better player. Make an honest survey
of your assets and wishes in the area of guitar playing.

Your inner wishes will probably conquer your goals if they are
not the same.

How to set goals

In order to set goals that you will actually work towards you
might ask yourself:

Do I really want to accomplish these goals?

Will I really feel good when I reach my goals?

I guess you will agree with me that the only goals that are
really meaningful are the ones that will take you in that
direction that leads to a place you want to be at!

I think that a part of your guitar playing goals should be
focused practicing melodies you want to play in front of other

One common reason for starting to play the guitar is to be able
to play the pieces of music you like.

This means that as you learn to play guitar, a goal might be to
learn a number of songs or melodies by heart so you can play
them in any setting.

These songs or melodies are to be learned so well that you don't
have to worry if you are asked to play.

One reason for having a repertoire with guitar pieces thoroughly
rehearsed is that you can feel that you perform at the top of
your ability when asked to play.

Remember, it should be guitar pieces you like to play.

If you do not like what you play you run the risk of memorizing
these feelings together with the material you play.

When you practice a guitar piece you will memorize much more
than the melody. At least these things will be memorized:

1. Hopefully the melody

2. Your attitude

3. Your level of body tension as you play

4. Your posture

5. The pressure you apply when pressing down the strings or
holding your pick

If you like what you practice this joy will probably be
transmitted to the audience when you perform.

In order to keep your motivation to practice on top and be able
to stick with your guitar playing goals I suggest that you
consider the following tips:

1. Ask yourself these questions to evaluate your future ability
to stick with your goals:

Why do I want to be a better guitar player?

Is it because I like to play guitar?

Is it because I am "forced to"?

Is it because I want to impress my friends?

What things do I like to play on the guitar?

2. Set goals that take into consideration what motivated you to
play in the first place. If you like strumming chords and sing
your favorite songs your goals should probably be in that area.

3. Learn pieces that you feel good about and let other people
listen to them and feel good too.

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson at Capotasto Music invites you to download your
free sheet music,
guitar tabs, ebooks, music lessons and read his music blog at

Thursday, April 05, 2007

3 Time-Tested Tips For Learning Guitar Chords

By: Fabian Tan

Learning guitar chords may seem daunting for a new guitar
player. However, it dosen't have to be that way. Remember, the
guitar professionals were once novices who didn't have a clue
about chords as well! In this article, I will divulge some
proven tips for learning chords quickly and easily.

Firstly, let's define what a guitar chord is. A guitar chord is
a collection of tones sounded in harmony by pulling two or more
strings on a guitar. It usually requires playing open strings.

Now that we have got the definition out of the way, it is time
to get straight down to the methods! Obviously, one of the main
difficulties in playing chords is using a few fingers a tight
space in an attempt to play a tune. Well, practice makes
perfect. You can speed up the process of learning chords by
referring to a guitar chord diagram. These diagrams show the
organization of the guitar chords you should be playing.

The second tip is to find a song, preferably an easy song, which
you like and to try to play the chords to it. Starting with an
easy song helps build you competence in chord playing

My third tip is to simply choose a chord family and really
practise it until you become really good at it! If you try to
learn too many chord families in a short space of time, you may
end up with information overload, and you will not be able to
learn as quickly. This is a common mistake many beginners make.

Learning guitar chords can be trying at first, but after a
while, you will begin to get more comfortable. Getting a large
repertoire of guitar chords under your belt is important as it
is the base for higher levels of guitar playing.

About the author:
Fabian Tan is a devoted guitar player and idolizes legendary
guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen. He is a big
fan of the Jamorama learning course, and reviews it at his Jamorama Review site.