Tag Archives: beginners guitar tips

How to Improve Your Guitar Playing

These So many guitar players want to improve their guitar playing but ignore some fundamental things.  Here are some tips that are easily missed by inexperienced players.

  1. Learn the notes on the fretboard
  2. Learn the sound / texture of chord types
  3. Learn how to hum and play simple melodies
  4. Learn something new every day
  5. Listen to all styles for inspiration
  6. Play music not theory, it might be clever but if it sounds terrible, why bother?
  7. Learn to play slowly and in time
  8. Learn each song in a couple of keys if possible
  9. Learn to memorise songs
  10. Don’t compare yourself to others or criticise

These things may seem simple  but they are things that are highly worth considering

Tony Hogan

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Filed under Acoustic Guitar, Guitar News, guitar tips, Performance Tips, tony hogan

Acoustic Guitar Made Easy or Easier

Acoustic guitar can be made easy and here’s two fantastic tips that you probably wouldn’t have considered.

Do you ever have the problem that when you haven’t played acoustic guitar for a while or when you’ve bought a new guitar, it’s not that easy to play; holding down the strings seems almost impossible and you get frustrated an almost give up?

Here’s a solution that I know works, I’ve tried it, so have many friends that I have told about it.

I’m a practical person, and being practical I often end up with good results.  This a time can mean being at odds with what the so called ‘experts’ say.  When you buy a new acoustic guitar and you’re a bit green/ new to things , you may end up with a great sounding instrument.  It sounded great in the shop when the salesman played it, you thought, well he’s good, he knows what he’s talking about, so you take his advice.  Good or bad you take it anyway.  He knows, you don’t.  Many of the guitar salemen that I have met have no idea about beginning guitar, or they forgot what it was like, ‘they suffered, you must suffer’.

The goal of every guitarist is to play music.  ( Well maybe not, one guy asked in my Online Guitar Survey, “Is it a chic magnet”. I haven’t yet answered, but it made me laugh and I do have an answer but will not due to the abuse that I would get from the female community.)   Oh..back on track, the sooner we make music the better.  So what you need is your guitar set up so it’s easier to play. Is that logical?  Yes.  Well here are simple things that you can do to make it easier, regardless what the salesman says.  And it’s so simple that it’s ridiculous and I have no idea why othr teachers don’t recommend it.

1).  Use Extra Light strings.  Many players say to use Mediums and Lights…”hey man you’ll get a better tone”.   Sure this is true but if you can’t hold the strings down, there’s NO TONE.  Start off with Extra Light strings and over a period of months or years, gradually move to heavier ones if it REALLY seems necessary.  

2) .  Tune the guitar down a semi-tone to E Flat ( Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb, note the little b  = flat = one note lower).  This works for me really well also because my voice is pitched to sing a lot of songs in G flat instead of G and E flat Minor instead of E Minor.  The benefit will be that it takes a bit of tension out of the strings and you’ll be playing a lot faster and with greater ease than struggling  Yes you’ll lose a fraction of volume but hey, the end result needs to be about YOU playing music and getting the enjoyment from it. To get around the tuning issues of playing with other players or recordings, just use a Capo at fret one.  I like the Shubbs,  I can keep my guitars in tune better with them. http://www.shubb.com/capos/index.htm NOTE:  One of the other sites will gladly sell you one, or duck down to your local music store and support them.  This technique of tuning down is common amongst a lot of twelve string players, the reason is obvious!

 Shubb Capo

The other ones that a lot of great players use are the Kaysers.  They are my personal second choice.

You’ve got to be prepared to throw a lot of traditions and accidentally made norms out the window if you want to become your OWN musician; find ways to fast track what you are doing, eliminate the unnecessary junk and focus on things like having good timing, a good ear, fluency in your playing, sensitivity, dynamics.

When using lighter strings and tuning down a semi-tone you may need to have a minor neck adjustment done to your guitar.  Always go to someone that is really a specialist.

These two ideas really work, I know from personal experience and that’s the only thing that matters for me. 

Ok, go ahead do the survey, I don’t want any more questions like ‘Is it a Chic Magnet” 🙂

 

 

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Filed under acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar