Guitar Werks.com: 2007
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Advertlets- the better choice for guitar advertisements?

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Well..chanced upon Advertlets.com from Galvin's (www.galvin.worshipsingapore.com) site.

Was quite intrigued to find out what it actually was, and its advert "Blog advertising has finally arrived in Singapore" caught my attention at first glance.

Upon re-directing to the home page, I realized that Advertlets is actually strikingly similar to Kontera's pay-per-ad advertising system, which i do use on my other blogs. However, what really impressed me was that it is an Asian-targeted one, and it had already made payouts to its Malaysian bloggers who joined, and was now expanding its Malaysian reach to Singapore. (I've been waiting eagerly for someone to launch a Singapore version, and I'm glad Advertlets has done it!)

Ok, here goes the workings of Advertlets... It's almost similar to how Google Adsense works;- You insert code to allow Advertlets to display targeted ads to your theme topic on your blog, and relevant ads are displayed, which bring in revenue for you when visitors click on them.So for a try, i decided to try Advertlets and experiment if it can bring in better focussed ads relating to guitars on Guitar Werks. Advertlets also does allow user-defined polls to be placed on your blogs, so that you can better keep track of the profiles of users to your site, thus bringing in more targeted ads that generate more revenue.

So far, it looks really promising. I do hope that Advertlets will help take Guitar Werks one notch higher in terms of providing relevant and quality ads to my visitors, not just any other irrelevant ad that so often surfaces with other platforms. So here goes Advertlets.com...check it out!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Beginner Guitar For Toddlers?

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Ever imagined a 2 year toddler playing a guitar to the tune of the the 'ABC' song? I just had that stray thought shoot past my mind. I'm sure its quite difficult to fathom that picture, but to see if that could be true, i did a search on Youtube and saw a video of this little kid who could strum a song on the guitar perfectly in rhythm!So, its a reality!



Also,from the Google search results I discovered a company named iPlayMusic.com that actually sells beginner guitar videos that are tailored for a fun and interactive family learning experience for parents as well as their little ones. Check it out at the iPlayMusic website here..

Well, thats it for a long time away from posting on this blog due to military service. And happy Deepavali to all my friends as you enjoy the public holiday!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Playing guitar...Is it difficult?

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I'm not going to kid you; playing guitar is extremely difficult at best and almost downright impossible at worst. I am not just talking about picking up the guitar and playing a few songs I am talking about real practicing for the environment that you will eventually be playing in which is, of course, in an ensemble with other musicians who we hope will always be better than you.

In this world with all kinds of styles of music and bands, finding someone to teach you what you really dream of playing is kind of tough. The problem is finding a teacher who’ll give you a good guitar lesson that doesn’t include all the stuff that really doesn’t matter when it comes down to just playing a song.

What's interesting is you can use the note intervals of whatever mode you're playing and use each note as a starting point for the next mode in sequence. The students who work hard on this area of their playing always do better than those who don’t. Your playing will open up to a diverse range of styles.

As such,I've divided learning the guitar well from past experience into three main parts:
Learning,Practicing and Tuning.

Learning

I have found that learning to play guitar is like many other activities. The main considerations in choosing guitar gifts are experience level, style of music preferred, and what gear and learning material they already own. A person can get along fine these days by learning a few chords and knowing how to read tab, right.The traditional way of learning guitar is by taking private lessons from a guitar teacher.

The array of choices is staggering, ranging from free online guitar lessons, to high-end distance learning guitar instruction leading to a certificate from Berklee College of Music,. The best and easiest path to becoming a competent guitar player is by learning some chords and then applying them to learning the rhythm parts of songs. Chord Diagrams are the single most powerful tool for learning and improving your guitar playing.

Practice

There are many principles involved in an effective practice session and I think some of these are a motivation founded on a love and passion for the music you can produce on the guitar, an acceptance of the fact that you must practice on that technical level you have reached, a working knowledge of muscle tensions and how to minimize them when you play and how to work on reducing them when you don't play. Is there a best way to practice on your guitar? If you decide on an electric guitar, then you'll want to purchase a practice amp too.

The most basic requisite is that you want to learn this art and with this desire you will find ways to practice improvisation in all your guitar playing. For example, take a two bar passage in a classical guitar piece that you like and practice it until you master it and then memorize it. The remedy for this is of course to practice reading the sheet music without looking at the fretboard.

Tuning

By cleaning your strings you not only increase their tuning life but they will retain their crisp, bell-like tone for longer. Worn strings are by far the most common cause of a bad tone and contribute to a lot of tuning problems. I have always used pitch pipes, and great though automatic tuners are, you cannot beat the training given by tuning the guitar with just a pipe and your ears.

Some things on guitar can be learned in minutes, some in days, and others in weeks, but tuning will sometimes take even longer, because you have to train your ears. In order to keep the string in place during tuning (winding) put a ½” 90 degree bend at the end of the string with a pair of pliers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Don't waste money on guitar teachers!

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Do you spend $80 to $100 on a guitar teacher each month? That's a whole lot of money for two hours of lessons. 1/3 of the lessons are getting tuned and warming-up. You're basically paying for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or less) of guitar instruction because who knows how many students your teacher had during the hours before you. You spend time talking about other things outside of guitar playing too.

This leaves time for what? Learning one song or technique for $100 per month?

A great guitar teacher can be good for a Rock guitarist as a beginner or someone who plays in the other styles like Jazz and Classical. But in my opinion, if you can learn how to tune, change your strings, learn your chords and scales on your own, there's no need for a private instructor at any stage.

Instead of having one over-paid private guitar teacher, why not have several guitar teachers for less? For $20 or more you could invest that money into guitar lessons DVDs created by some of the most skilled guitarists today like Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, and Michael Angelo Batio. Not to mention older videos by top pros like Joe Pass and Frank Gambale. Also, you can get instructional DVDs about theory, chords, soloing, scales, and about playing in any style or using any technique you want to learn.

You could go online (recommended for better selection) or to your local music store and put that $100 per month into 4 or 5 guitar lesson videos with all sorts of teachers, jam-packed with several lessons. I assure you that the teachers in DVDs are far better than your guitar teacher. No offense to him, but you're overpaying that guy. Unless your lessons with your teacher are lifechanging, consider investing in videos instead.

What else is there?

Not only are there DVDs featuring some of the best guitarists ever, there are plenty of method books with audio created by top names like Hal Leonard and even Berklee College of Music. Funny thing is most guitar teachers hand you one of these method books and teach you from it. If you've already learned the basics, good technique, and how to read tablature or notation, I recommend you buy good guitar books and learn it yourself. The methods explain everything brilliantly. And don't forget about all the digital method e-books and online programs.



You also have the option of joining up with a guitar lessons membership site where you can learn from a variety of great teachers. Combing instruction DVDs, method books and audio, and using a membership site where you can often interact with teachers, you'd have 100s of lessons per month benefiting from tons of different guitar teachers, and you'd be paying the same as for 1 hour and 20 minutes of lousy private lessons.

Anything else?

Oh yeah. There are free guitar lesson videos on YouTube and free-to-use forums where you can talk to guitarists who are way better than you about any question you might have. There are tons of free guitar lesson sites, guitar teacher blogs, and anything else you can think of.


Lonng time away from this blog

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It's been suppppppppppppppper long since i've last updated guitarwerks..I apologize for that because i had to serve my compulsory military service in July and am only back for a break now, and was held up with lots of web projects in the months of april and may..

Well..It seems that even though the blog has not been updated, it has been seeing consistent traffic! In fact, guitar-werks gets an average of 60 unique visitors daily, and a small handful of repeat visitors..I really wanna thank those who've supported this blog!


So do look forward to more guitar articles to come..

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Guitar Hero-A cool guitar game

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Was just surfing around on the Net, and i came across this quite cool guitar game called "Guitar Hero 2". From what i read, it is both available for PS2 and Xbox 360s, and the gameplay represents a cross between "Dance Dance Revolution"(Hey Mr Wonderful...Aye Ayee Aye,I'm Your Little Butterfly Remember?) and O2 Jam..

I did further research and found out that someone actually wrote a review about it. So here goes(courtesy of Pauline Go):

"Guitar Hero is a great music video game. The game is developed by Harmonix Music Systems, and it is published by RedOctane. The primary controller is designed to simulate the playing of electric guitar. Guitar hero was first released in North America on November 8, 2005. Then it was released in Europe on April 7, 2006.

The player must press the corresponding button according to the scrolling notes of a song. The player can also use the “Dualshock System” by pressing X, L1, L2, R1, and R2. The player will earn points for every note hit. Chords have twice the value of single notes. When the player hit ten consecutive notes, chords will count as one note. The player can temporarily double the score by using the Star Power. Using the Star Power effectively, the player can multiply his points up to eight times.

Player score are shown at the end of the song. The player can also view his longest note streak and accuracy percentage. Guitar Song is quite a complex game. The average song can usually have about 400 – 600 notes. The difficult song can contain up to 1000 – 2000 notes.

Guitar Hero
has over forty seven songs. Thirty of these songs are from the covers of the originals. The player can choose to be eight playable characters in Guitar hero. Six of them can be played from the beginning of the game. The rest of the characters must be unlocked as secret characters. Each characters have their own unique personalities and playing style."






Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bloggerwave--A 3rd Way to finance your Guitar

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I recently signed up with Bloggerwave,

Another very useful blog company that pays people to blog about product reviews etc.

Bascially, it works pretty much based on Opportunities, meaning offers to allow a blogger to write about that can fetch anywhere between $5-$50 per post depending on the advertiser.

Here's my review of Bloggerwave:

  1. Could potentially be the next big thing in 'pay to blog' services
  2. It has lots of bugs still (it is still in beta testing)
  3. Very simple, and creative interface.
  4. It has got very few opportunities at the moment for bloggers, as it is a new company.
However, Bloggerwave is willing to pay between $5-50per blog post, provided it has been approved and that it remains in your blog for 30days. After 30 days, it will pay you the money into your Paypal account.

On the whole, i see lots of growth potential with it. We just need to give Bloggerwave some time before it rapidly gains a huge following, and i believe it will be comparable to Pay-Per-Post. The best thing about Bloggerwave is that its criteria for acceptance is not as stringent as Pay-Per-Post, as it only requires that your blog to be about 3weeks old to qualify.



Friday, April 20, 2007

New classifieds to sell,buy, trade your guitar and stuff!

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I've just set up a classifieds section for any guitarist or person looking to sell or buy their stuff.. This is just an added convenience for all blog readers, so hopefully you can find your sales leads here!


Guitar-Werks Classifieds



Filed Under: [Resources]

Just how rejected this young generation feels?

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The face of Rejection




Ho Seung-Hui, shot dead 32 people before killing himself in Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Shootings


Excerpt from the video message that Cho sent to NBC

"You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today ... Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

"You just loved to crucify me. You loved inducing cancer in my head, terror in my heart, ripping my soul."

"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust fund ... your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough ... to fulfil your hedonistic needs."

"When the time came, I did it. I had to."


Eerie,evil,Rejected..

Just how warped has this young generation been influenced to do extremely wicked things, in this case psychotic Korean Ho Seung-Hui going around shooting and killing 33 people at Virginia Tech.(including 4 professors)?

In the manifesto that he mailed to NBC shortly before he started walking around killing his victims, Ho let out an angry tirade of profanities against the rich and numerous unspecified enemies. One such message that he made:


'You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.'


What could be the reason that motivated him to do so?

Rejection.

A moving incident was told by Dr James Dobson about his friend Alice's daughter, who was only 3 years old when it happened:

"Alice's daughter always loved to hang out at their local playground in the evenings, and Alice would always bring her daughter to play there daily. Alice daughter, being very young, loved to befriend and follow a group of 5 year old children who also often played at the playground. Being still a very young toddler,she toddled after this group of 5 yr olds wherever they went. However, these 5yrs didn't really appreciate the company of Alice's daughter, and pretty soon, they found her a nusciance. So,they would always leave her out of their catching games around the playground, and Alice's daughter was always left alone.

Then one day, she came running up to Alice, and said "momma, i want a lollipop..and a lollipop now!". Alice, assuming that her daughter was hungry, brought out one stick from the house. However, her daughter said "momma!not one, but three lollipops!". By now, Alice knew that her daughter wanted to give the extra lollipops to her 'friends'.. So, rushing in to bring out a whole basket of lollipops, she gave it to her daughter. As Alice stood watching the whole scene, what happened next made her swallow her throat.

Her daughter ran up to that group of friends at the playground, and said to them "Here are your lollipops, they're all for you". The three 5 yr olds stared at Alice's daughter for awhile, and with a wide grin on their faces, snatched all the lollipops and ran away in different directions, with a mocking laughter from their mouths as they ran off."

This just demostrates to us how the youths of today try to yearn for acceptance from their family, and friends, but they are replied and challenged with remarks such as:


"You dumbass!Why can't you do well in school like your brother??"

and

"Hey bitch, you want to be our friend?Prove us by the number of times you have slept in bed with those guys!".

Even to the point of letting others abuse their bodies. Even to the point of being motivated by deep rejection and depression to kill others with a Glock and Walter semi-automatic pistol.
This generation of youths are always constantly feeling they can't leave up to their parents and friends expectations. What would have happened if the father said to his son :"Mr Wonderful, I've seen your school grades, but I still love you son because you're wonderfully made!"


Ho was described by teachers as a 'loner' and 'withdrawn' student who even one lecturer said he did not know "we had a Korean person who was in the English department and was male until I met him in class.".


I've experienced the malady of rejection myself before(but thank God I've found salvation in Jesus's mercy and accepting love), and I found out that what stems from within the heart, will ultimately show forth on the outside. If you breed a seed of rejection just because of one incident where you parents called you a 'Failure', and do not remove it, it will continue to grow, and grow , and it will begin to sink you into the depths of depression, and as it grows more, you begin to think of ways to end your life, and as it grows, you feel like the world owes you everything, and finally when that seed of rejection is fully grown.. WHAM! it brings forth death.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ"
Rom 6:23

This generation of youths need fathers who will tell and shower them with "I love you, my son!". This generation of youths need the right friends who will tell them "I accept you unconditionally for who you are, no matter how bad a failure you may be". This generation of youths needs upright mentors who will teach and instruct them "Broad is the gate to destruction and hellfire, but narrow is the way to eternal life"

But most importantly, this generation needs Jesus!

Who shall Jesus send to take His Good News to this lost generation?

Lord, send me..

Signed out,
John

How to re-string your guitar?

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Changing your guitar strings might make you feel a litte uncomfortable if you have never done it before, but it's really quite simple and should become a regular part of your guitar care routine. Before you do anything, first take time to make some personal observations such as:

1. Which way do you have to turn the tuning keys to tighten or loosen the strings?

2. How are the strings aligned from the nut to the bridge?

3. Which is the heaviest string?

Taking mental notes will probably save you some frustration and make the job much easier.

Below you will find some helpful steps to follow for changing your strings. Once you've changed your guitar strings a couple of times your confidence should begin to grow and you won't need to refer to these steps any longer. I like to remove all of the guitar strings in order to give my guitar a thorough cleaning, but you can remove and replace them one at a time if you prefer.

Guitar Care and Maintenance Tools:

- Needle-nose Plyers (to cut string ends)
- String Winder
- Soft Cotton Cloth
- Guitar Cleaning Polish (do not use furniture polish, oils, or wax)

REMOVING THE STRINGS

Acoustic Steel String Guitar-

1. Using the string winder , begin slowly loosening the string(s) until completely slack.

2. With the needle-nose plyers, carefully grab the string from the capstan (the part it winds around) and pull through the hole until it is free.

3. Taking the string winder again, use the cut-out at the end of it to grab the pin at the bridge. Gently pull the pin until it comes out of the hole.

4. Continue this process until all the strings are removed.

5. Clean guitar surface thoroughly.

Classic Nylon String Guitar-

Follow steps one and two above. When you come to step three, take your needle-nose plyers and carefully loosen the figure eight knot at the bridge. Pull the string free.

Electric Guitar-

Follow the same procedure as described for an acoustic steel string guitar. However, if you have an electric guitar with a movable bridge you may want to take it to your local music store and have them show you how to do it safely. If the bridge is moved from it's correct position you will not be able to tune your guitar after restringing it.

RE-STRINGING YOUR GUITAR

Acoustic Steel String Guitar-

1. Bend the ball end of the string slightly and place it inside the hole below the bridge. Some steel string guitars do not have pins. When this is the case, just pull the string throught the hole.

2. Line up the string with any grooves in the pin. Insert the pin into the hole, making sure it is secure.

3. Take the other end and insert into the hole on the capstan.

4. Pull the string through leaving a fair amount of slack between the capstan and the bridge.

5. Bend the string at the point it comes through the capstan to keep it secure.

6. Watching out for your eyes, begin turning the key with your left hand. Once you get it started it may be easier to use the string winder. (For safety reasons, you might want to cut off any excess string. I usually wait until after they're all on to do this).

7. As you are winding, apply some tension to the string with your right hand to help keep it taught. Make sure you are winding in the right direction! On the bass strings you will be winding counter-clockwise (away from you). On the treble strings you will go the opposite direction.

8. Continue to wind each string until all the slack is taken up. Do not worry about tuning yet.

9. Cut off all excess string length.

Classic Nylon String Guitar-

1. Put the string through the top of the hole found just below the bridge.

2. Pull about 3 inches through.

3. Bringing the string up over the tie block, pass it underneath itself at the original point of entry.

4. Come down over the tie block again and wrap the end of the string around itself in a figure eight type pattern.

5. Insert the other end of the string down through the hole on the capstan.

6. Wrap the string around the back and then underneath itself in order to secure it in place.

7. As described above, begin turning the key with your left hand while maintaining some tension with the other until all the slack is taken up. With a classical guitar you will wind clockwise on the bass strings and the treble strings.

8. Keep the string as straight as possible as it continues from the capstan through the nut and down onto the neck.

9. You should not have any excess string length, but if you do, cut it off.

Electric Guitar-

Follow the same procedure as described for the acoustic steel string guitar.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another Way to finance your guitar-Earn money for bloggging!

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Oh,

I just joined this program that pays you to blog about topics that interest you. Its call Blogvertise, and all you've gotta do is sign up. Then you wait for the admin approval of your blog, and if approved, the admin will send you a link and the task to do. In the task itself(a posting actually), you're expected to have at 75 words typed about the product, and to include at least 3 links.
Then you submit you blog entry back to admin for approval, and you must leave the entrythere for 30 days. After 30 days, Blogvertise will pay you accordingly to the tasks assigned.

Each task can fetch up to $10, so its quite worth it.

I'm still awaiting the admin's reply now..

Check out http://www.blogsvertise.com for more details

Signed out,
John

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ok..i've found a very INNOVATIVE way to finance your guitar..

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Oh well! If you're planning to set you eyes upon buying a guitar soon but want to earn some extra income in the meanwhile, this may interest you.

I was just surfing blogs on Friday, and happened to chance upon the blog of this guy who says he's being paid to set the URL of this new search company to his homepage, and to use it normally like you would with Google.

Thought it was kinda interesting, so i thought would just check it out and sign up. Basically, the company is called SlashMySearch, and it is a new search engine that is paying people to use its services and promote it. They have a 3 tier revenue generating structure: You, the first level,
Your direct referrals(60% of their earnings), and your referrals referrals(20%).

It says that it pays you just for surfing activity on the net. So i tried it out, and guess what, within 30mins of surfing and trying their engine, my earnings increased USD$0.05cents just like that! So, i thought i was cool, and i referred another 3 friends, and 1 of them referred another 3 more, and just 2hours ago, my earnings shot up from $0.12 to $0.40 in just 1 hr of doing nothing!And it was continually increasing even up till hte point i wrote this (now it's $0.45cents)

So i made a calculation, and did an excel formula spreadsheet, and i calculated how much i could earn assuming the following factors remain constant:

1. Each hour a person surfs,he earns $0.25,
2. He surfs for 2 hrs daily..
3.My targeted direct referrals are 10 people for this month(level 2)
4.Each of my referrals refers 10 more referrals=100 referrals(10 X 10)(level 3 downline)


I would earn easily USD$405 in just one month.

Here are the workings screen shot from Excel:

Myself (level 1)


Ave. $$ earned per hr

0.25
Ave.hrs surfed per day 2
Total $$ per day
0.5
Total $$ per month
15




Direct Referrals (level 2)




Signups

10
Total $$ per month-individual 15
Total $$ per month-all 150
Total Comm from Direct Lines 90




Referrals Referrals (level 3)




Signups

100
Total $$ per month-individual 15
Total $$ per month-all 1500
Total Comm from Down Lines 300




Total earned Per mth(USD) 405
Total earned Per mth(SGD) 611.55


Hows that just for taking a bit of effort to use the search engine and to promote it to your friends?

Plus its 100% completely free to join, so we have nothing to lose!

Why not check it out below?


Check out SlashMySearch



So, buying that Taylor guitar isn't a too faraway dream after all for you...


Signed out,
John

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Looking to buy a new guitar(but you have got no cash)?

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Ok..

So you're eyeing that Taylor Jumbo which costs $1200, but you have got no money to afford it right now. Or maybe you have got a savings plan all clearly laid out, but the possibility of buying it is only next year, after you get your Ang Pow money from Chinese New Year (especially if you're a schooling student..).

So what do you do?

Let me offer a very simple piece of financial advice tip for you. It sounds like a financial planning lesson, but truth to told is that we must all practise some financial wisdom!


Practise The Cookie Jar Concept!!!

"During the period of WWII, the concept of 'Cookie Jar' to save one's money emerged in England. Basically, as the English back then in the early 1940s were going through a horrific times like enduring the daily bombings by the German airforce, food was scarce, and commodities were very expensive. That was where families would set apart a portion of their wages daily, and put these savings into empty cookie jars and hide them in a safe place. If they wanted to purchase a transistor radio which may have cost GBP50 back then, they would accumulate enough savings in their cookie jars, which were often labelled with the name of the specific items they were intending to buy..."


And they bought the transistor radio when they had saved enough..

Sounds simple right? There's no rocket science to the Cookie Jar concept. Just plain old discipline. With a world that offers quick cash, quick satisfaction, quick money, quick success, the discipline of the Cookie Jar is often being overlooked. But if we would practise it, i guarantee you, that you can buy anything you want.


In our time, most people do not use cookie jars to store their money anymore. They use the electronic equivalent, which is the bank. But the sad thing is that even banks promote 'credit' in the form of credit cards, to give you cash to get instantly anything you want. And so without practising the 'Cookie Jar' concept, people rake up so much credit that they get stuck in deep debt.

So the solution to this is to practise discipline. If you really are setting your eyes upon a guitar to buy and have a one year savings plan, why don't you take the extra effort to deposit your daily savings into a one-year fixed deposit scheme at your bank? In this way, you practise the Cookie Jar concept, and besides, it earns you interest of anything between 1-4% per annum!

Note: I know of a friend who saved up $60,000 over 2 years using the Cookie Jar concept, just to buy his new Hyundai Sonata car, and guess what, he paid in COLD HARD CASH(imagine the notes he had to carry haha)!




It will pay off in the long run, and I think its well worth it to practise this age-old advice to save up for your Taylor guitar!



Cheers!







Rhythms and beats-- Training with the Guitar Metronome

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Besides learning chords and learning how to strum the guitar, a very useful tool for any beginner is also the metronome. The metronome is a device that will train your strumming to be in tempo with beat.

To start with, try learning the 4/4 beat first, which is probably the easiest beat to catch. Most living things survive on sync with the beats of their heart rhythms, so the 4/4 is the most natural beat the human body can adapt to. For a detailed guide to getting the 4/4 beat right, read the previous post I made in March about "Beginner-Guitar-Lessons-Strumming"

Also, i've found another free, very useful metronome tool to help you.Its called Metronome for Windows. It plays tempos from 40 to 340 beats per minute, so you may download it below.

Cheers!


Download Metronome For Windows Here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

How to sell your used guitar (and gear..)

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Three years ago, i bought a cheap, $150, Samwick electric guitar when i first started learning to play the electric.

About the beginning of last year, i sold it off to a contact of my friend for $100 as i decided to stick with the acoustic guitar.

Also, two years ago, i bought a $200 Marshall Stack Amp from Davis Guitars at Peninsula Plaza, and sold it off in Sept last year for $140 to a electric guitarist who saw my ad at Luthermusic's Classifieds.


Are you also keen to sell your guitar? or maybe it could be your digital effects pedal, or your limited edition Kapo..

Here are 5 very practical tips to note when selling your used guitar online:

1. Take a flattering picture of your instrument.

Since this is a used guitar that you are selling the buyer will want to see a clear picture of the condition of the instrument. Try not to conceal anything. Make the picture look good but don't try and deceive the buyer.

2. Write a compelling description.

Try and inject a bit of passion into your description without creating hype. Also, it is useful to tell the potential buyer why you are selling. Are you just tired of the instrument? Have you decided to sell your acoustic guitar because you are only interested in playing electric?

3. Decide how you will accept payment.

Don't forget that the buyer may live on the other side of the country. Do you want to wait weeks for a money order to arrive? One service that many people use is PayPal. You receive your money instantly and there is also a comfort level for the buyer as they can always use PayPal in the event of a dispute.

4.Figure out shipping costs(if any)

Make sure that you figure out what the shipping costs will be to various parts of the country. You need to also decide whether you will sell outside of your country. If you live in Singapore, will you ship to the United States or to Spain ? Also remember, that when you ship across borders there are custom and taxation issues. Are you paying this or is the purchaser?

5. Where do you want to post your ad?

You can use an online auction site like Ebay or a classified ads site like Kijiji, Craig's List or Guitars for Sale Online . If you use Ebay make sure you are clear on how the auctions work.If you live in Singapore, Luthermusic's classifieds is a very good classifieds source also.

What happens if you find a buyer through an ad in Craig's list and yet your auction has a week to run on Ebay and you have some bids. You can probably get out of the auction but just make sure you know what you are doing so that you don't find yourself locked in an uncomfortable situation.

Lastly, a very good channel of selling your guitar if you have it listed on a forum like Ultimate-Guitar.com. Trust me! I advertised this blog in that forum, and got like 102 hits in just one day..

Yup.Those are some key points to take note. If you have any extra suggestions or questions, feel free to comment.


Signed out,

John

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kindly give your feedback..

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Dear reader,
I'm so glad that you are taking time to read this post. If you have been a regular reader of this blog, I so thank you for it!

I would really appreciate if anyone could just give feedbacks regarding the blog. Is the blog informative for you?Or do you think there's something that can be improved? Please do let me know.

As you may notice, the design has been changed again. I'm experimenting with trying to make the blog more lively, so pardon me if you think the color combinations are horrible(i have bad color combi!haha). Feel free to leave comments ok?

John

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What if you are a left-handed guitar player?

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As read this, you may be wondering..


"All the lessons that I've learnt in the past have got to do with right handed guitar players. So what do I do if i'm a left hander?"

Glad you ask that!

A distinct and important group of guitar players are the left-handed guitarists.

The left-handed guitar is held with the freeboard in the right hand and picking done with the left hand. The strings are reversed, and the guitar looks like a mirror image of a right-handed guitar.

One thing you must consider is how available left-handed guitars are. Until recently, they have been pretty hard to find and you’re still going to have some trouble located a left-handed guitar is you’re set on one particular style.

However, good musical instruments manufacturers make no assumptions, and are not biased toward only the right-handed player. The left-handed player is equally dear to them. They make it a point to give this player many options and do their best to accommodate the left-handed guitar player. They are adding several new lines of left-handed acoustic guitars including 6 or 12 strings, either metal or nonmetal. Many manufacturers offer left-handed players the option of specially ordering a specific guitar. The price depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the acoustics, the material body and visual appeal. Those with finished necks and mahogany bodies are usually very expensive. Guitars manufactured by left-handed guitar specialists also cost more. Some manufacturers and music shops offer free lessons especially made for left-handed beginners.


Ok, so you need not worry. There willl always been an available left-handed guitar that you can ask from any local guitar dealer:- you just have to make a special request, and they'll be more than glad to help you...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Need to find guitar cords?

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Are you looking at how to play guitar cords, but do not know how to? For example, Am7, C#maj7, but you have got no idea how it works?

I face the same problem , but i've found a free guitar cord finder program you can download to assist you in finding chords. Nutchords is a free program to help you find the chord notations , as well as to assist you in alternative tunings.

It is a Zip file, so please unzip it before installation.


Download NutChords Here.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The 5 types of people who learn.Which one are you?

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In every activity that we do, we will always be at one level or another.

If you ask the usual Shea O' Neil obessed, 8year old basketball kid at your local basketball court what NBA means to him, he'll most probably reply that he wants to be like Shea when he grows up. However, if you were to ask Shea himself what NBA means to him, he would probably reply that basketballing is his life. Why? Because NBA basketballing has become the life that this basketball maestro walks, talks, and lives out.

It's the same way with people who learn the guitar. Which are you?

5 types of Learners

1.The Bummer

These people who are clueless and are at the bottom level. They are ignorant and just waste their time. These people have a dead end job that they hate. But they don't want to invest in themselves and in educating themselves.This is the person who just uses the Internet to waste time. Watching videos, chatting with friends, reading with email, surfing the net aimlessly so on. Basically, its just a pastime and a means of pleasure. They believe there is no way they can master anything because they think that they have no time or the resources. They think that world class guitarists are naturally talented and 'gifted', so they can't compare to them

My advice to these people:Stop making a fuss and get a life!

2.The Pretend- to-Be

These people have heard of how exciting learning the guitar is, and they often dream of learning the guitar to romantize their partners, and also how they can use it for fame and glory. Or they may also want to learn the guitar for a good cause(etc. a career). However, these people always say "I'm interested to learn guitar", but never ever dare lift a finger to do anything, because most of the time, they want results without sacrifice. And because of the excuse of not knowing where to start, they get lazy and never want to put an ounce of effort in. They talk alot, but never ever get anywhere.

My advice to these people:What are you waiting for? Get it going.

3.The Newbie

These people are actually on the track. These people have some knowledge and they have done their homework. They simply lack the technical know-how to get to where they want to be. They've bought guitar books and might have a few guitar courses under their belt. They tend to learn by observing others play, but in time they get overly confused while trying to learn everything, because they just want to get everything right the first time instantly. They may know how to play 2 or 3 chords, but that's all they'll stop at. However, they are heading in the right direction.

My advice to these people: Take things one at a time, and never be afraid to ask for help.

4.The Master

These people know what it takes to play good guitar, the sacrifice required, and have been doing so faithfully for a long time(Maybe even 5 years!). Along that path, they have acquired numerous skills, and have attained the level of 'skillful'. They have a guitar playing flair and skill that sets them apart from the ordinary learners. However, there comes a time where they think 'that's all there is to guitar", and so they get stuck in their usual rout of playing the G family, then doing some hammer offs here and there, and playing the same songs over and over. They have not come to understand that there comes a time where progressing in skills means being able to humble yourself, and starting anew all over again learning the guitar to gain insights and skills they've never knew existed in their fingertips, because they have not polished up small areas of their skills which need improvement.

My advice to these people: Swallow your pride, and start from the basics again.


5.The Giver


These are people who have mastered the guitar inside out for many years, and are role models of continual learners. They have attained a stage where it is almost impossible to even catch a single mistake in their rhythm and strokes, and have become synoymous with excellence. However, what sets them apart is that they continually invest their life experiences and skills back into the beginners, in hope that someone else will benefit greatly from their wisdom.

My advice to these people: Give back to society!



I guess i've been stuck in Master stage for way too long.. Need polishing in some areas of playing guitar, such as my timings.

What about you?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Tommy Emmanuel-Aussie Folk Style

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Tommy Emmanuel on the acoustic guitar, playing "Amazing Grace" in his native Aussie fashion.

Do notice that with the acoustic guitar, there's more to than simply strumming and chords, but that there are a million and one tricks that can be incorporated into your playing!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Ahhh! Search Engines have finally found this blog!

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Just to sidetrack a little..

I found out that Google search engine has just successfully indexed guitar-werks blog on its search engine! So that means it is gonna be very easy to search for this blog from the search engine..

Just an update too..

I've just started work with as a receptionist with a telemarketing company two days ago, and guess my job scope?

-Hear customers scold me.
-and for me to scold them


That's right! I've got tons of customers making queries about SIA's Krisflyer Services, and i've got a couple of 'hard knocks', especially Singapore ones.

Here a transcript of what happened for one such case:

John: Helo madam, this is Krisflyer membership services, how may i help you?

Lady:I would like to know why ah, but why do i have to keep giving my Krisflyer ID when the customer service reps never ever call back?

John:Ma'am,its because we have to verify your identity and to assist you

Lady:What's the point of doing so? Why can't you just use the system and check for me my details?

John:Ma'am, you have to understand that I am just a receptionist, and i have to pass your details on to our cust service reps,so that they can process your request asap.

Lady(screaming..):THIS IS PLAIN STUPIDITY! WHY CAN"T YOU JUST USE THE SYSTEM WITH MY ID? THAT'S SO STUPID AND REDUNDANT YOU KNOW...

John: But Ma'am, you have to understand we're doing our best to speed things...

Lady(still screaming): THAT"S THE REASON WHY SIA SERVICE LEVEL HAS DROPPED SO MUCH THESE FEW MTHS. LIKE THAT STILL DARE SAY SIA HAS GOT THE BEST SERVICE. WHAT A JOKE! YOU KNOW WHAT?I'VE BEEN CALLING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, AND EACH TIME THE STUPID REPS JUST KEEP SAYING THEY WILL CALL AND THEY NEVER DO!

John: Okokkok ma'am..listen to what i've to say...(interrupted)

Lady(still screaming):LISTEN WHAT LISTEN?I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU. YOU BETTER BLOODLY PUT ME ON TO A CUSTOMER SERVICE REP NOOW!

John: But Ma'am, they are experiencing a high call volume, so please co-operate with us.

Lady(still screaming): CO-OPERATE? DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME WHAT TO DO OK!!ELOO, I AM THE CUSTOMER ,AND WHO IS IT THAT MUST BE HEARD?

John(frustration level 70%): Yes ma'am, you're the customer, and we take priority over our customers. But ma'am, if all you wana do is to shout your way, i won't be able to help you. Please listen ma'am, help me to help you.

Lady( screams till no voice): YOU KNOW THE WAY YOU TALK TO ME, YOU SOUND LIKE THE VERY IMPATIENT TYPE YOU KNOW THAT? AND YOU DARE CALL YOURSELF 'RECEPTIONIST'..YOU KNOW WHAT? I'M STARTING TO GET OFFENDED, AND IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PUT ME ON THE LINE FOR A REP NOW, I SWEAR I'M GOING TO WRITE IN A LETTER TOMMORROW MORNING TO THE CEO OF SIA, AND SAY HOW LOUSY THIS WORLD CLASS AIRLINE IS!!!!!

John(frustration level 90%):Ma'am, call me impatient, or whatever it is ok? but understand i'm here to help you, and stop messing things around for us and yourself OK? listen, i can put you on hold, but all our reps are busy, and i can only roughly assure you that they will call you back within the next 24 hrs.

Lady: 24hrs??? (hahahahah laugh sacastically), what lousy SIA is this?Looks like i'll just go ahad and write in the letter.

John: OK, you may. But let me offer you a proposal. They call you in the next 30mins ok?

Lady: next 30mins? YOU BETTER MAKE SURE NEXT 30MINS THEY CALL ME UNDERSTAND ANOT! IF THEY DON"T CALL ME BY 1030pm SHARP, I PROMISE I WILL SEND IN THE OFFICIAL COMPLAINT, DO YOU GET ME??

John: Yes ma'am

Lady: ok,make sure they call me. Wait wait wait..now i have another extremely frustrated Krisflyer member who wants to talk to you...(hands phone to her angry friend, and whole process repeats...)


See what I mean? thats my job scope.hahah..looks like blogging about guitar is better. But sometimes in life you just have to be thick-skinned. agree?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Visit to Swee Lee

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Went to Swee Lee Music Company last tuesday, and tested a high quality Cort acoustic guitar.
Swee Lee is a local singaporean music company, that has a diverse range of acoustics, electrics and bass guitars.



This is the Cort MR-727F Acoustic Guitar. It was surprisingly resonant for its price, and has crisp fretwork on the fretboard. It is made of Maple wood, and is currently going for a price of SGD$640.

Reasonable quality for its price.








This is a good guitar for beginners who have a long term usage aim in mind. More details can be found at http://www.sweelee.sg.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Guitar Chords Site To Relaunch Legal, Inferior Version

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Several websites have sprung up to help musicians share these notations, but as soon as they get encyclopedic enough to be really useful, they tend to get closed down. One of them -- MXTabs.com -- is being resurrected by MusicNotes as a legal service....

Perhaps, it's high time we learnt the art of transcribing music by ear. After all, sharing guitar tabs freely in the past used to hurt the artistes pockets. What do you think?

read more | digg story

Need a hand in tuning your guitar?

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Please feel free to use this free guitar tuner.







Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Passion

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I'm typing this entry from a cyber cafe now. (What a place to talk about guitars, with CounterStrike 1.6 and Dota blaring in the background haha!)


Well, i want to tell you that it has been 6 nice years of guitaring, and i'm still learning. It is a temptation for a person who has many years of experience under his belt, even outside the realm of guitars, to say that he has learnt enough. As was with the previous post, great guitar legends are not born from complacency, but with an imbuilt desire to keep advancing, and advancing, and advancing in knowledge, skills and competency. However, passion is the thing that drives them!

I remember in the first two years when i just starting improving in my skills, that i would faithfully spend at least 3 hours every 3-4 days in a week to practise my guitar. Back then, i owned a classical guitar, so that was where i begun training. In fact, in those two years, I nicknamed my guitar 'grandfather', because it knew me inside out (especially my armpit and fingers hah!).. As age wore on with time (polytechnic etc..), i found that i had less time to practise.

This was where passion really came in, and though my time spent practising the guitar wasn't as long as 2-3hrs a day, I still eeked out spare time to play it (like before going to bed, sometimes i even refused to bathe just to play it!), and i still maintain this pattern till now.

Therefore, passion will drive you far, even in the boring times where you pick up your guitar and feel like there's nothing new to play. Keep pressing on!

Signed out

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Learn from the experts..

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Another cool way of learning guitar fast is by learning from those who are much more skilled than yourself. If we ever want to improve, we must be willing to be humbled and to learn from better guitarists.

I remember sitting at the feet of my pals who were WAY better guitar players in the past, I benefitted from acquiring new tricks and styles from them. I'm a classical, contempo player with the acoustic, but as i was exposed to my friend Jeremiah's playing on the electric, i picked up palm muting technqiues from him which have carried me a looooong long way. (thanks dajie!)

Yup..it never hurts to learn more. The wise person is one who is ever willing to humble himself and learn more, while a fool would think that he knows everything.

Signed out

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Doyle Dykes -

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Ok fine..These previous posts were for aspiring beginner guitarists. I found this video of world reknowned maestro guitar player Doyle Dykes doing his stuff. Honestly, one of the best ways I learn the guitar very quickly is by getting tips and learning techniques from such pros in their videos. So sit back, relax, and be inspired by Doyle Dykes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Beginner Guitar Lessons- Tuning the Guitar (Part 9)

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One of the fundamentals of guitar, besides actually learning how to play, is learning how to tune the guitar. It is an inevitably challenging task at first, but like changing the strings on a guitar, it is something that becomes easier over time and is important—if your guitar isn’t tuned right, you won’t sound good no matter how well you play.

Fortunately for beginners, the current electronic tuners make tuning a breeze. It is still worth learning, however, to tune a guitar the good old fashioned way—using a piano or other reference. In this lesson, we’ll go over both methods of tuning.

Using an Electronic Tuner to Tune:

Electronic tuners, such as the excellent Korg CA-30, offer an extremely quick, easy and effective way of tuning the guitar. The instructions for using such a tuner are quite simple:

  • Turn the tuner on by pressing the “power” button.
  • Pick the low e string open. The tuner will show what note it is. If the tuner shows a D note, you’ll want to increase tension (tune up) by turning the tuning peg counterclockwise. If the tuner shows an F note, then you’ll want to decrease tension (tune down) by turning the tuning peg clockwise. Keep decreasing/increasing tension until the note shows up as an E.
  • Next, pick the A string open. The tuner will show what note the string is. If it’s a G#, tune up; if it’s a B or C, tune down. As with the low e string, repeat the process of decreasing/increasing until the note shows up as an A.
  • Repeat the above process with the last 4 strings until they show up as D, G, B, and E notes, respectively. You want to tune all six strings into standard tuning: E (6th string, closest to you) A D G B E (1st string, furthest from you).

Using a Piano/Keyboard to Tune:

If you want to develop your ear, or just don’t want to buy a tuner to tune the guitar, the alternative is to use a Piano or Keyboard as a reference. You’ll do the following to tune this way:

  • Find a piano and locate the E key. Look for the two white keys with no black key between them. The first white key is an E, the second an F.
  • Play the E key.
  • Next, play your low E string. Play the E key again and try to match the open low E string with the sound of the E key.
  • When the two sound identical, or almost the same, you can move on to tuning the rest of the strings.
  • Play the 5th fret of the low E string. Then play the open A string. If the two notes you have played sound practically the same, then the A string is in tune. If not, tune your A string to the sound of note on the 5th fret of the low E string.
  • Now, play the 5th fret of the A string and then the D string open. Tune your D string to the sound of the note on the 5th fret of the A string.
  • Play the 5th fret of the D string. Tune your G string to the sound of the note on the 5th fret of the D string.
  • Play the 4th fret of the G string. Tune your B string to the sound of that note. It is worth noting that this is the only string where you play the 4th fret, and not the 5th.
  • Finally, play the 5th fret of the G string and tune your high E (first string) to the sound of that note.

If you don’t have access to a piano or keyboard, you can always find a reference (perhaps an MP3 of the low e string) and tune the strings to that using the second method described.

Developing your ear to hear the individual notes will take time, so there probably will be some frustration with the above method of tuning. In spite of this, it is still an excellent idea to learn both methods of tuning, not just the first one.

At this point, you have completed a basic course in learning the guitar. For some further reading, some excellent online guitar learning material I feel are worth paying for are shown below:


1.Jared Crebs-The Beginner's Guide To Unlocking The Guitar

2. GuitarTutorPro

3.Guitar Burning Speed

Beginner Guitar Lessons- Strumming 4/4 beat (Part 8)

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If you are learning how to play the guitar, the basic 4/4 strumming technique is one of the first guitar playing techniques that you must be able to master. This is usually used by beginners to hone their guitar skills and get the feel of the instrument.

In learning the basic 4/4 guitar strumming, you must be knowledgeable about the different basic requirements for guitar playing:

Strokes

Guitar strumming is basically composed of two different strokes: the downward stroke and the upward stroke.

The downward stroke is done by drawing the picking hand (usually, this is the right hand) from the uppermost string down to the other side. The upward stroke is the opposite of the downward stroke.

Finger placing

When reading guitar instructional materials, the fingers are usually assigned numbers. The left-hand fingers are numbered from 1 to 4: the index finger is numbered as 1, the middle finger is numbered as 2, the ring finger is number 3 and the little finger is 4. This numbering is important to remember because tablatures show a beginner how to form chords by placing the fingers properly on the fret board.

The fingers of the left hand are supposed to be placed near the succeeding fret bar to ensure that you get quality sounding vibration from the strings. You must remember not to stress your fingers when pressing the frets.

4/4

If are playing the guitar by reading notes, you can refer to the beat shown near the clef sign to determine if the song should be played with a 4/4 beat as this is what you call the time signature. The time signature looks like a fraction when written in musical notation, the upper number tells one how many beats there are in one measure and the bottom number indicates what kind of note will receive one beat.

D-A-G-A

In learning the basic 4/4 guitar strumming, one can use the different chord families when practicing. One of the most popular chord patterns used in practicing this particular technique is the D-A-G-A chord pattern. It’s very popular because the chord patterns are easy to remember and very easy to perform.

You must first memorize the placement of the fingers on the fret board to be able to do the chords. This can take some time and beginners must be patient. Learning the guitar takes time and dedication and cannot be done overnight.

When you are able to master the chords, you should practice doing the chords one after the other, and this is where the 4/4 strumming comes in. In strumming the guitar in a 4/4 rhythm, you should count 1-2-3-4 repeatedly for each chord and shift to the next chord as you repeat the count. You can use downward strokes for each chord when you begin and then practice strumming the chords upward and then downward-upward.

A beginner will almost always find that the left hand is left out when practicing strumming because the fact is that the fingers are still adjusting to doing the chords properly. It will take time and a lot of practice to do the 4/4 strumming technique but it will be worth it.

When the left hand is being left out, you must not stop the right hand and wait for the left hand to form the chord patterns. Be consistent in your counting and strumming to prevent the right hand from becoming slower and train the left hand to be faster in forming the chord patterns.

After you become comfortable doing the 4/4 strumming technique with the D-A-G-A chord pattern, then shift into doing other chord patterns such as C-E-F-G or G-C-F-G. Opt to learn the different chords and familiarize your fingers with forming them. Learning the chords and strumming should be done simultaneously which will allow you to be able to learn at a much faster rate and understand the mechanics behind playing the guitar.

You must remember that the guitar is an instrument of passion and you cannot be a guitar expert in one night. There are many things that you must learn about the guitar to truly appreciate the beauty of the instrument.

Beginner Guitar Lessons-Learn to play chords in A (Part 6)

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With a guitar you have many easy nice sounding chords at your disposal. Let's play a few open guitar chords in the key of A.

Guitar tab

Guitar tab notation is a way of showing how to play melodies and chords on the guitar. It usually consists of six lines representing the six strings on the guitar and numbers that indicate the frets to play.

In this guitar lesson we will use a form of guitar tablature that uses numbers instead of a tablature staff. I have found that ordinary guitar tab staff notation sometimes will be displayed uncorrectly on article sites.

How to read this notation

I will use two numbers to show how to play the notes. The first number indicate the fret and the second the string to play. An example:

3/2

This tab notation tells you to play the third fret on the second string. It is the note D on your guitar. For clarification: The first string is the string with the highest pitch.

A turnaround in the key of A

What is a turnaround? It is a set of chords that can be played over and over again on your guitar as an intro to a song or between verses and so on.

We will start with an ordinary A major chord that with the guitar tab notation previously explained will look like this:

0/5 2/4 2/3 2/2 0/1

We will omit the sixth string to get a cleaner sound. Let's add an E chord. We will not use the ordinary E major och E7 chord. Instead we will use an easier chord that is called E major with A as bass note notated E/A.

The guitar chord looks like this:

0/5 2/4 1/3 0/2 0/1

We will finally add an Asus chord. The guitar tab notation looks as follows:

0/5 2/4 2/3 3/2 0/1

You can play the chords in the following manner:

A E/A Asus A

You can strum the chords with two or four downstrokes on each chord. As I mentioned before this chord progression works as a turnaround and can be played over and over again.

A turnaround in the key of A minor

We will start this turnaround with the plain and easy A minor chord. It looks like this with guitar tab:

0/5 2/4 2/3 1/2 0/1

If you release the finger pressure a bit and slide the chord up two frets you will get the following chord:

0/5 4/4 4/3 3/2 0/1

A nice sounding chord that can be named in different ways. We can call it B minor with A as bass note and an added E note. Abbreviated it will be Bm/A add 11.

By sliding the chord up one more fret and changing just one note (by pressing down your little finger) you will get the following guitar chord:

0/5 5/4 5/3 5/2 0/1

This will be an A minor seven chord. The short notation is Am7.

Played in the following order the chords will create a turnaround:

Am Bm/A add 11 Am7 Bm/A add 11

These two turnarounds are easy contributions to your guitar repertoire and can be changed and developed as you like.

Beginner Guitar Lessons-Learn to play chords in D (Part 5)

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A guitar is an amazing instrument. Sometimes hard to play but with easy nice sounding guitar chord secrets everywhere. Let's explore some easy but nice guitar chords.

Our first guitar chord will be Dmaj7. It is played in this way for example:

Dmaj: 0/4 2/3 2/2 2/1

An explanation of the notation. The first number indicates which fret to press down. The number after the slash which string. 2/3 means, press down the second fret on the third string.

If you lift up your fingers from this chord you will get a very easy guitar chord to play indeed! We can call it an Em7. It will look this way:

Em7: 0/4 0/3 0/2 0/1

This little chord progression makes a nice little intro to a song in D-major. If we write down a little guitar chord sequense it might look like this:

Dmaj7 / / / Em7 / / / Dmaj7 / / / Em7 / / /

We will now spice the second chord a bit by playing a Gm6. It looks like this:

Gm6: 0/4 3/3 3/2 0/1

We can use this guitar chord in an intro with the same function as the one above:

Dmaj7 / / / Gm6 / / / Dmaj7 / / / Gm6 / / /

Let's introduce a new guitar chord. We can call this chord D11:

D11: 0/4 5/3 5/2 5/1

As you maybe already have figured out you can slide the Dmaj7 chord up a few frets and you will get this chord. We will now create a progression with these three guitar chords:

Dmaj7 / / / D11 / / / Gm6 / / / Gm6 / / /

The next guitar chord is easy to play too. It is a G-minor chord. It is actually the same chord shape as the guitar chord Dmaj7 but on the third fret. It looks like this:

Gm: 0/0 3/3 3/2 3/1

Now we will create a guitar chord progression with these four chords together:

Dmaj7 / / / D11 / / / Gm / / / Gm6 / / /

The art of sliding chords to new frets is an exciting and easy way to find new guitar chords and sounds to use in your playing.

We will end this article on easy guitar chords in D by experimenting a bit with the D-major chord. Here is the most common D-major chord:

D: 0/4 2/3 3/2 2/1

By sliding this guitar chord up three frets up you will get the Dm7 chord or D-minor seventh. It looks like this:

Dm7: 0/4 5/3 6/2 5/1

Slide it up two frets from this position and you will get a G-major chord. It looks like this:

G: 0/4 7/3 8/2 7/1

The last guitar chord to explore will be A-major with D bass, notated A/D. Here it is:

A/D: 0/4 9/3 10/2 9/1

Let's make an impressive intro with these four chords but with the same chord shape by sliding the D-major chord up:

D / / / Dm7 / / / G / / / A/D / / /

The guitar really is an amazing instrument. Many more chords can be changed in similar ways to create new interesting sounds that will enrich your playing!

Beginner Guitar Lessons-How to read Chord Charts (Part 4)

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Diagrams of guitar chords are an essential tool for all guitar players, from beginner to advanced. They are a simple way to visualize exactly how to finger chords on the guitar fretboard.

Diagrams of guitar chords can be used as a tool to learn new chords, chord progressions, and the rhythm parts of songs. Groups of chord diagrams can be conveniently presented in the form of a chord chart.

The ability to understand and use chord diagrams does not require the ability to read musical notation. This greatly simplifies the process of learning to play the guitar, and is a big reason why the guitar is such a popular instrument.

In the spirit of the Guitar Player’s Toolbox focus on providing only practical , “how to” tools, the following info is provided below:

• Types of Guitar Chord Diagrams and How to Read Them
• Tips for Using and Finding Chord Diagrams
• Additional Resources for Chord Diagrams and Charts

NOTE: If you already know how to read and use diagrams of guitar chords , you may want to jump straight to Guitar Chord Charts

Types of Guitar Chord Diagrams and How to Read Them

A chord diagram visually illustrates how to form a chord, and can provide additional musical information. Diagrams of guitar chords come in various flavors. The most common type is a simple “chord box” (see Figure 1 below) that shows the fretboard in a vertical orientation, with the six strings running up and down. The low E (thickest) string is on the left, and the high E (thinnest) string is on the right. The horizontal lines are the frets. The thick solid line at the top of the box represents the nut of the guitar (end of the fretboard).

Figure 1. A basic chord diagram example

Another common way of showing diagrams of guitar chords is to have the strings run horizontally, usually with the low E (thickest) string on the bottom and the high E (thinnest) string on the top. The same B5 chord is shown in Figure 1 on the left.

These example diagrams of guitar chords show the use of some standard symbols that illustrate exactly how to finger a particular chord.

• The circles (or dots) show which strings to finger at which fret
• The numbers on the circle / dots indicates which finger to use on that string (1= index finger to 4 = little finger).
• A “O” symbol at the top of the box means the string is played open
• An “X” symbol at the top of the box means that the string is NOT played
• (Sometimes, the musical notes corresponding to each fretted string are also shown).

The next example below ( Figure 2) shows a Barre chord diagram, in this case a Bm7. These example illustrates another important point about reading chord diagrams.


Figure 2. Example of a Barre chord diagram

Do you see the arc shaped thing on top of the box, just above the 4 dots on the 1st fret? This arc shape indicates a Barre chord formation, with one finger laid across the fretboard to form multiple notes.

Note: Guitar chords can also be illustrated in the form of guitar tabulature. Guitar tabs are another essential tool to help learn chords, and more importantly to learn to play the rhythm parts of songs. Click here for more info about Guitar Tabulature and how to read it.


Beginner Guitar Lessons-Chord Charts (Part 3)

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Basic Guitar Chord Charts

A Great Tool for Learning the Basics

If you’re a beginning guitar player, basic guitar chord charts are an indispensible tool for learning chords. Chords form the backbone of most rock and pop music. You can play thousands of songs with just a dozen or so fairly easy chords!You should practice these basic chords repeatedly until you know them cold, and can transition from one to the next quickly.

What are basic guitar chords?

When you are first learning to play guitar, concentrate on learning basic chords to build a solid foundation. There are three basic groups of chords: major, minor, and dominant seventh (7th) . These three groups of chords make up much of the world's music.

The Basic Guitar Chord Chart below shows you how to play 15 chords. These are “open chords” played with one or more open strings and with all fingering near the end of the fretboard near the nut. Open chords are the easiest type to learn and play, and are the best place to start.

After you have mastered these fairly easy chords, you can always go on to Barre Chords, and other more complex chords later. Master the basics first! A good way to make practicing these basic chords more interesting is to play them in groups known as Chord Families. This will alow you to pretty quickly play some great chord progressions and songs.



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The Basic Guitar Chord Chart

The Basic Guitar Chord Chart below shows a good variety of some easy-to-play open chords. The chords are represented in the form of a guitar chord diagram or “box” that is much easier to read than standard musical notation.



(Disclaimer: The chord chart above is not mine. It belongs to Peter, from http://www.guitar-players-toolbox.com . )

Beginner Guitar Lessons-Basic Chords (Part 2)

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The basic guitar chords are very important for the aspiring guitar player. That’s because without the basic guitar chords actually playing your favorite songs would be impossible and making music with someone else wouldn’t be that easy either. So, the basic guitar chords are where you should start if you want to play music, especially your favorite songs. Did you know that the majority of rock and pop songs can be played by only knowing the basic guitar chords? That means you could learn the basics and still play some of the most popular songs!

Chords are not notes; instead they are combined of notes. A chord has at least three notes that are played together and sometimes more. A guitar can only have six notes in a chord because there are only six strings. The way to play a chord on the guitar is to strum three of the strings at the same time. The resulting sound is a chord. All chords can fit into one of three groups depending on what notes make up the chord. The groups include Major, Minor, and Seventh. The Major chords are the richest sounding chords while the minor chords are a little more solemn. Seventh chords do not provide a rich sound like the Major chords and actually sound like they may be missing something although these chords work well for certain types of music.

The problem with learning the basic guitar chords is that there is not an agreed upon list of what those chords are. There is, however, a list that includes up to 18 basic guitar chords that most everyone agrees upon. So, you should make it a goal to learn all 18 of these basic guitar chords. Doing so will ensure that you are able to play all the songs, almost, that you ever dreamed of and you will have more fun playing.

The approved “basic guitar chords” come from keys A, G, C, and D. These chords are played by pressing down on one string while strumming the others. These are easier to play than other chords that are complex. Some of the basic chords are A, Am (A minor), C, D, Dm, E, Em, F, and G. You can learn the chords anyway you want, but the recommended way is to learn them by the keys, or chord families, so that you can start playing a bit as you learn. The chord families include the keys of A, D, G, and C. A is made up of A, D, E; D is made up of D, Em, G, A; G is made up of G, Am, C, D, Em; and C is made up of C, Dm, Em, F, G.

Learning the basic guitar chords is not hard if you are dedicated to doing so. There are a couple of tricks, however, that might help you learn faster and start playing the songs you love. For instance, use a guitar chord chart as you are learning. This ensures you will learn proper finger placement from the start. Another tip is to master one chord family or key before moving on to the next. When you are an expert at one chord you can start “playing” already and learning the others will be a lot of fun! There are a lot of tips to learn to play the guitar, just follow the ones that seem most helpful to you and have fun!

Beginner Guitar Lessons (Part 1)

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Have you just bought a guitar or are you thinking of getting one, but you just do not have the first clue on how to strike a chord? If so, getting guitar lessons is definitely something you should consider.

It may be that you can even play a little bit already, but taking guitar lessons can still help to improve your playing abilities and your confidence.

The lessons that are available are categorized in nine different sections -

- The basics
- Technique
- Chords
- Scales
- Tuning
- Music Theory
- Music Styles
- Guitar Tech
- Forming a band

The categories are broken down into individual lessons, offering you the chance to start from the very basics and work your way up to even being part of a band.

What You Need to Know About The Basics

So what should you expect to learn from the first lesson? Well, as with everything, it is important to start with the very basics and work your way up. It is a good idea to know your way around a guitar and you should expect to know all of this after your first lesson. You should also learn how to look after your guitar, tune it and also how to use the pick.

Generally, once you know the basics on how to look after the guitar, it is good to start off learning the basic chords before trying anything else. Many people find that the best way to start is by learning the G chord and working your way from there.

Obviously, before you start, you will need the basic equipment. Basic equipment includes a guitar, a guitar pick to play the chords, a comfortable chair and it is also wise to have a great deal of patience. Make sure that you buy quite a few guitar picks as they are small and they can be easy to lose or break. It may be an idea too, to buy medium gauge ones to start with because they are not too hard or too flimsy and they are good for beginners.

Now you know all about the guitar, it is now time to learn how to hold it correctly before you start to play anything. So grab your guitar and sit comfortably in your chair with out slouching, as it will bring on bad habits while playing the guitar. Your instructor will talk you through each step and, before you know it, you will be putting together your first sequence of chords.

Overall, to play a guitar the only thing you really need is passion. If it is something that you feel you want to succeed in, having guitar lessons will help you immensely. The more advanced a person becomes, the more tricks they can perform with their guitar that will help to bring confidence to their playing. Remember it is a good idea to keep practicing and it will soon pay off.

The First Step and Most Important Thing in Learning Guitar

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Most of the guitar lovers playing guitar for few years but still unsatisfied with their progress. They feel like still stand at the starting point and can't enjoy their playing. This mainly caused by most of them don't build up a strong foundation at the begining. I found that some of the guitar learners even just playing guitar for one to two years but are more better than so many that playing for over five years. This is the foundation problems. Me myself was an example when I started playing guitar long time ago.

The secrets of learning guitar are mostly base on the foundation.To have a good foundation for future success,we need three important factors :-

1.Listening:

Ear training is a MUST basic training that every guitar learner should have. But most of them avoid this as quite a boring and time-consuming job. Without a good listening, we are unable to move to higher level. To overcome this problems, I suggest that guitar learners may choose one of the well known Ear Training software on internet. I found that there are few really good software that will improve your listening step by step and really FUN. You feel like playing game when you learn.

2.Daily practice: (Both fingers and ears)

Daily practice is another important thing we should do.(Ex.fingers exercises, practice for the basic scales) I suggest that beginners practice PENTATONIC SCALES at the starting point because this scales are the most simple scales that only have 5 tones. Try to practice 20 to 30 minutes daily. Remember that even just 20 minutes of RELAX and CONCERNTRATION DAILY practice is more effective than few hours of unconstant practice.

3.Look for a teacher:

You may find either private guitar teacher or guitar lessons on internet. For my opinions,learn guitar from internet maybe better because of the convinience of time and cheaper. There is just one question of learning from internet that what lessons to choose, what lessons are really work. Myself as a guitar lover have been playing guitar for 15 years.

I do the research on guitar lessons from internet over 5 years for myself and my groups. I've spent a lot of money for it. Recently I just built up my own little web page telling guitar lovers a few good guitar lessons that really work and would like to share with all of you.

The Different Types of Guitars

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There are different types of guitars. There are acoustic guitars, electric acoustic guitars, semi-hollow guitars, electric guitars, twelve string guitars, four string bass guitars, five string bass guitars, the list goes on.

I will take some time here to give a brief overview of some of the guitar types listed above...

Acoustic guitars: They are those guitars that produce big enough sound for a very small audience without any form of amplification. They are popularly used in country music and classical music. They come in different shapes and sizes. However, they all have the following in common: A hollow body, a sound hole, a bridge, a neck and a tuning machine.

Electric guitars: These do not produce loud volumes without amplification. In fact, you'll hardly hear it even with the slightest background noise. They usually have solid bodies, usually have longer necks than their acoustic counterparts and also have in-built pick ups for sound amplification. They are very popular in pop and rock music.

Electric acoustic guitars: These are basically acoustic guitars with special amplification. The amplification is such that you can't achieve with a regular acoustic guitar mic'ed without having feedback problems. This one comes with a special pick up that amplifies the sound without compromising the acoustic character of the guitar. The very good ones are usually very expensive.

Electric Bass guitars: These are special guitars that are built to produce those deep notes. They are specially built to handle the stress and strain of the pull by those big strings. They are mostly built with solid bodies. Although there are a few that have semi-hollow bodies.

They are usually the longest of all guitars (I mean their necks). The standard electric bass guitar is the four-string bass guitar. However, five string bass guitars are also becoming very popular. There are also six string bass guitars.

There are other types of guitars like I mentioned at the beginning. However, they are all variations of, or a blend of, the three I've described here.

Buying Your First Electric Guitar

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Buying your first guitar is a big step, and there are a lot of things to consider. Electric, rather than acoustic guitars are the most frequent choice for budding guitarists, as they are generally easier to play and, for many beginners, more fun as well. Knowing which equipment is a necessity and which is overkill, comparing prices and brand names, and sorting through a mountain of technical jargon and specifications can all make the process intimidating. This is particularly true for budding musicians or people trying to find that perfect gift for the musician in their lives.

But buying a guitar doesn't have to be hard. In fact, many professional musicians look back on buying and learning to play their first guitar as one of the most fun times in their lives. This article will sort out of a few of the most confusing aspects of guitars and accessories, and at the same time make the process of buying your first guitar as personal, easy and fun as possible. After all, you're not really interested in buying a guitar, you're interested in playing it!

By using the menu below, navigate through the rest of this article, including what you'll need to get started, as well as how to select the right guitar and amplifier.

Necessary Equipment

There are a few absolutely essential pieces of equipment that are needed to play the electric guitar. The bare minimum set of equipment includes:

  • A Guitar This one should be obvious, but read the section on choosing the right guitar for more information about which features to look for when buying your first guitar.
  • An Amplifier (Amp) Some guitar amplifiers come with built in speakers and some don't. Many have particular features which put them ahead of others in their class. Read the section on choosing the right amplifier for more information.
  • An Instrument Cable At least 6 ft. long, to connect the guitar and amp.
  • A Set of Guitar Strings
  • A Guitar Pick

The contents of this list may seem obvious to some, but overlooking any one of these items will require an inconvenient trip to the music store or your favorite music supply website before you can start playing. In addition, there are several other items that are not strictly essential, but many musicians would say they cannot live without:

  • Distortion and Effects A key element of a guitar's sound is the effects that are used to modify it. The most common, essential effect for rock music, jazz, blues, and most other forms of modern guitar is distortion. Some amplifiers come with built in distortion, some don't. Read the section on amplifiers for more information.
  • Guitar Carrying Case It's pretty hard to move your guitar around without damaging or detuning it, so a hard guitar case or soft "gig-bag" are an important piece of equipment.
  • Instruction Book If you're just starting out playing guitar, having an instruction book to guide you will definitely help. It's no substitute for taking professional lessons, but it's a start.

Since there are many pieces of equipment needed to play electric guitar, one attractive option is to purchase a single "kit" containing all the neccessary items and accessories. An example of a good quality, affordable guitar kit is the Vintager Guitar Pack.

Now that you know which equipment you'll need to start playing, read the sections below for more information about selecting the right equipment to meet your needs.

Choosing the Right Guitar

The most important and possibly most intimidating part of putting together your first electric guitar "kit" is selecting the guitar itself. Music stores have walls full of guitars with a wide range of quality, features and price tags. So how can a beginner sort through the ocean of terminology, brand names, and jargon without getting lost? The choice really comes down to three essential elements: body construction, electronics, and budget.

Body Construction

Although electric guitars derive a lot of their sound quality from their electronics, the construction of the guitar's body is even more important. The way sound resonates through the body of the guitar will determine whether it produces a warm, solid tone or a hollow one. As common sense might dictate, a solid-body electric guitar will produce a stronger more solid tone than a hollow-body guitar. Although some people do like the thinner sound that comes from a hollow body guitar, a solid body will be the most versatile, and most appropriate for beginners and veteran guitarists alike. In addition, a well constructed guitar should have the entire body, neck and fretboard made of wood, not of laminate or plastic materials.

A second consideration is the guitar's size. A "standard" electric guitar has 22 frets, meaning each string is capable of producing 22 different notes. However, many electric guitars, particularly those marketed to beginners are smaller in size. Except for small children who lack the wingspan to reach a full sized guitar, this is undesirable, as it limits the range of notes the guitar is capable of producing. Therefore, teenagers and adults looking to purchase their first guitar (and 10th guitar, for that matter) should look for full-sized, 22 fret guitars.

Finally, the last important feature of an electric guitar's construction is the bridge. The bridge is the part of the guitar where the strings attach to the guitar body. There are two types of bridges: fixed bridge and floating (vibrato) bridge. For most aspiring guitarists, the vibrato bridge will be the best choice. This allows the guitarist to "bend" notes as they are being played using the included "wammy-bar". This is a common technique in rock, blues and jazz music. Although the bridge won't have a large effect on other aspects of the guitar's sound like those listed above, a floating or vibrato bridge really makes guitar playing more fun and expressive.

Electronics

Another essential element of a guitar's sound is the system of electronics it contains. The most important element of an electric guitar's electronics is its pickup (or pickups). Pickups are like small microphones that sit just beneath the strings. The position and quality of the pickup(s) in the guitar will have a large impact on the guitar's sound. Pickups placed near the bridge produce a sharp "twangy" tone, while those placed near the fretboard produce a deeper more melodic tone.

The best option for a beginner (and many more advanced guitarists) is a guitar with multiple pickups. This allows the guitarist to choose the appropriate sound for the type of song being played, and greatly increases the guitar's versatility. A common setup is a guitar with three pickups and a switch that allows the guitarist to select which pickup(s) are being used. In this case, a 5-way switch allows for any pickup to be used, as well as combining multiple pickups to produce a unique sound.

Budget

Just as with any product, budget is an important factor to consider when buying an electric guitar. Guitars can range in price from about forty dollars to several thousand. And just like with most products, the top of the price range spectrum is occupied by "designer" guitars with celebrity endorsements that don't offer much more in the way of quality than those in the middle of the price range. In short, they are the equivalent of a designer handbag: inflated price without much real functional benefit.

The truth is that most of the name brand guitar manufacturers (Fender, Ibanez, Behringer, Jackson) produce an affordable beginner model, and most of these models are of perfectly good quality for a new musician, and will last for years. As long as you stick to the guidelines in this article for body design, electronics, amplifier design, etc., you can't go too wrong.

The next important task is selecting the right amplifier to go with your new guitar!

Choosing the Right Amplifier

Most people (but perhaps not all people) realize that the electric guitar does not produce any sound by itself (except an almost inaudible twang). The sound you here from an electric guitar actually comes from the amplifier, which is connected to the guitar by an instrument cable. Therefore, the quality of the amplifier is as important as the quality of the guitar itself in determining how the guitar will ultimately sound. Much like selecting the guitar itself, the process of selecting an amplifier can be intimidating, but can be boiled down to a few essential features.

Power

When reading about a guitar amplifier, the first thing that is always listed is the power rating. The power of a guitar amplifier is measured in watts (abbreviated W). The higher the wattage, the louder the sound it can produce. However, although this feature of an amplifier is important for stage performers, it is not the most important thing to a beginner guitarist.

Practice amps are available with as little as 5 watts of power, while amplifiers with hundreds or thousands of watts of power are typically used for stage performance. Realistically, a power rating of 10-15 watts is more than enough to wake the neighbors, and you'll rarely if ever max out the power of your practice amp. The more important aspects of an amplifier are its features and effects, as these will affect the sound quality.

Features

One important feature of an amplifier is the type of electronics it employs. There are basically two types of amplifiers: solid state and vacuum tube. While almost all modern electronics, including guitar amplifiers to some extent, have phased out vacuum tubes and replaced them with transistors, it is still widely accepted that vacuum tube amplifiers produce better tone, better distortion, and better all around sound quality. In fact, many if not most professional rock, blues and jazz musicians use vacuum tube amplifiers because of their superior sound quality. Most practice amps in the price range affordable by beginner guitarists do not include vacuum tubes, but there are a few companies that have made this option available. The Behringer AC108, included in the Vintager Guitar Pack, has a vacuum tube that can be turned on or off, allowing for increased versatility and sound quality, while still maintaining an affordable price.

Another desirable feature of guitar amplifiers, particularly for beginners, is a CD input. This allows the guitarist to plug a CD player, cassette or iPod into the back of the amplifier, and play along with his / her favorite tracks. If you've ever tried to learn to play guitar, you probably realize that this is something beginner guitarists do all the time during the learning process, and the convenience of a CD input makes this process much easier.

Effects

The last major element to consider when buying a guitar amplifier is the built in effects it includes. Effects such as distortion, reverb, and equalization (EQ) allow the sound produced by the amplifier to be customized, thereby increasing its versatility. The more effects that are built into the amplifier, the fewer effects you'll need to go out and buy separately to produce that perfect sound you're looking for.

The process of buying an electric guitar can be confusing, but it should be fun, too. Music isn't meant to be about instruction manuals and long spec sheets – it's about fun and inspiration. Hopefully, by providing some basic guidance on what you'll need to start your guitar career, this article will make that process easier and more fun.