Tips for Beginners
There are various gadgets and devices that can help every guitarist to improve their skills in playing the instrument. For beginners, check out these 11 basic guitar accessories that you should have:
Of course, you cannot play guitar without the strings. The two most common types of guitars are acoustic and electric which use different string materials. The acoustic guitar usually uses nylon strings, whereas electric guitars have steel strings. It is recommended to change guitar strings every month.
String cutter is very important in changing the strings. You will use them to snip off the remaining length of the strings after they were installed in the fretboard.
A tuning machine will determine if your guitar is out of tune or not so that you can adjust the tuners to achieve the right notes. Also, there are plenty of tuning apps that can be installed on smartphone devices.
A capo is used to achieve chords that are difficult to handle by our fingers. To use a capo, you need to clip or place it on any part of the fretboard.
Pedals are specialized devices that help you achieve a more defined sound output. There are plenty of types of guitar pedals with different uses and functions.
Pick and Pick Holder
This is one of the most important accessories especially to those who do not want to strum their guitar with their fingers. Of course, your pick should also have a holder to avoid misplacement.
Humidifiers are very important for guitars because they maintain the moisture of the guitar, especially those that are made from wood. The humidifier will try to balance the temperature inside the guitar.
You need to protect your guitar. So whenever you are done using it, make sure you place your guitar inside a specialized bag or case that will protect your guitar from scratches and dents due to transporting.
If you do not have a bag, you can place your guitar on a stand. It will hold your guitar in a standing position.
Straps are also very important because they make it easy for you to play the guitar, especially when you are standing. Straps will hold your guitar around your neck.
Cables are responsible for connecting your guitar to amplifiers to provide more volume and definition to your sound output.
Alright! These were just a few of the basic accessories that you should invest to for your guitar.
If you want to create and play music through guitar, you have to be certain about your genre and style that best suit your taste and preference so that you can express yourself better.
Here are some of the most common styles and genres of music that can be played on a guitar:
This technique allows the guitarist to combine chords, melody and bass lines. Fingerstyle technique allows the playing of chords and individual notes at the same time.
Classical is a combination of fingerstyle technique and strumming of nylon-strings to produce an organic quality of music.
Folk reflects the stories and experiences of the common people. It is usually a narrative in song, played through a folk guitar.
Country music is an American origin that combines folk and blues. It is commonly accompanied by acoustic guitar.
Blues is one of the most popular music genres that inspired jazz, country, and rock. It is a characterized by distinct lyrics, instrumentation, bass lines and melancholic rhythm.
This American genre of music is usually played with a fast, happy-spirited tempo. It uses an acoustic guitar and a resonating guitar to support the bass lines.
Flamenco is a Spanish genre of music that is characterized by an aggressive style and fast rhythm. It can be upbeat or downbeat. Of course, this is accompanied by a flamenco guitar.
Jazz is a unique blend of classic melodies and intricate harmony that is also characterized by swing and blue notes. Moreover, it has instrumental voicing and complicated chord structures played by a jazz guitar.
Metal music is characterized by blues rock and psychedelic rock. It is played by electric guitar supported by various equipment to produce loud and mechanized sounds fit for the modern world.
Rock is a genre of popular music that gave birth to dozens of sub and fusion genres, including hard rock, punk rock, and alternative rock. It is accompanied by different types of guitar.
Reggae is a Jamaican origin that produces a very distinct, cool dance vibes. It uses different types of guitars accompanied by drums to produce the Reggae mood.
The guitar is the most popular accompaniment used to play gospel songs. Gospel music provides a soothing feeling and spiritual message.
Other styles and genres include pop, funk, R & B and more.
Guitar is definitely the best instrument that has ever existed. It creates the calmest sound that gives birth to the millions of the most relaxing and the most dynamic music – from classical, blues and folk to electric, rock and heavy metal. Even all pop songs are translated to acoustic music.
The guitar has been an instrument to millions of brilliant songwriters and musicians worldwide in relaying their message. The guitar has helped them express their true selves.
Let us take a look back to the greatest guitarists of all time, according to Rolling Stone, that have contributed to the world’s music masterpieces:
Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist and singer-songwriter that is considered to be the greatest and most influential electric guitarist of all time. His most popular tracks are Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Foxy Lady and The Star-Spangled Banner.
Eric Clapton is no doubt the most popular on this list. He is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter who loves English rock and blues. He managed to have at least 20 albums and has continued to shine even at this present time. His famous songs are White Room, Tears in Heaven, Wonderful Tonight and Change the World.
Page is another English musician who plays guitar and writes and produces music. He is best known as the founder and the lead player of the rock band Led Zeppelin. His most popular tracks are Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused and Kashmir.
Richards is an English guitarist, singer-songwriter, and author who is most popular as a founding member of the rock band Rolling Stones, which created almost 40 albums since 1964. Their famous songs are Satisfaction, Gimme Shelter, Start me up and Sympathy for the Devil.
Jeff Beck is a rock guitarist from England. He has recorded two hit albums and a solo act in 1975 and 1976. Beck also worked with other music legends including Clapton and Page. His key tracks include Beck’s Bolero, A Day in the Life, Heart Full of Soul and Freeway Jam.
Riley B. King or B.B. King was an American, singer, songwriter and electric guitarist. He was best known for his sophisticated style of playing music. He specialized in electric blues. He is best known for The Thrill is Gone and Sweet Little Angel.
Chuck Berry was an American musician who was considered to be one of the pioneers of rock and roll. He was noted for his songs, including Maybellene, Roll Ober Beethoven, Rock and Roll Music and Johnny B. Goode.
Eddie Van Halen
Halen is a Dutch-American songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of American hard rock band Van Halen. His key tracks include Eruption and Hot for Teacher.
Allman was an American guitarist and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band. He died at the early age of 24 years old due to a motorcycle crash. But some of the popular tracks he worked on such as Whipping Post, Blue Sky and Statesboro Blues remained in the hearts of his fans.
Townshend is an English singer-songwriter who is the lead guitarist of the rock band The Who, where he worked with for more than 50 years. Their works include My Generation and Summertime Blues.
Who is your favorite guitar player?
As a guitar player, we aim that we produce the best sound. In order to do this, some guitarists resort to using various equipment that will help them achieve better results. One of the most helpful tools is the use of guitar pedals.
Guitar pedals are specialized electronic devices that help you enhance the sound quality of your instrument by creating certain effects. They have individual settings for desired results. They are connected to the amplifier.
Here are 10 guitar pedals that every guitar player should have:
Guitar Tune Pedals
Tuner pedals allow you to tune your guitar even without stand-alone guitar tuners. There are various smartphone applications that can be used as an alternative to this pedal.
Boost Guitar Pedal
Boost pedals are used to boost the signal of the guitar. It allows guitar players to hit the front end of the amplifier to increase the signal and provide more output gain.
Volume Guitar Pedals
Volume pedals allow guitar players to have total control over the volume of their output. Guitar players can be able to volume in or out not just the output of the guitar, but including certain sound effects and output of other guitars connected to this pedal.
Wah Guitar Pedals
Wah pedals can add a lot of tonal expressions and effects to your sound output. Most popular guitar players use this pedal, including Jerry Cantrell, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton. Today, there are digital wah pedals that are equipped with advanced capabilities.
Overdrive Guitar Pedals
Overdrive guitar pedals are used to mimic the sound of the amplifier. This helps electric guitarists so that they do not have to crank their amplifiers to achieve the grunge sound they wanted. Overdrive pedals are usually used in playing blues and other applications.
Distortion Guitar Pedals
Distortion pedals act similarly with overdrive pedals in boosting the signal, however, it differs in its function of clipping or holding the waveform of a guitar signal. This pedal is perfectly used in rock and heavy metal music.
Chorus Guitar Pedals
A chorus pedal is one of the favorites of guitar players. It can add depth, fullness and more definition to the sound that the guitar produces. It makes one guitar sound like three guitars.
Digital Delay Pedal
Delay pedals can be very helpful for guitarists. It can repeat the sound or notes being played at a specific period or interval. Delay pedals can be analog or digital. Most prefer digital delay pedals because of its better time delay and note clarity.
Looper Guitar Pedals
Looper pedals are best paired with delay pedals. They work together in delaying the notes while maintaining definition to the sound. Looper pedals allow guitarists to repeat sounds that are recorded.
Compressor Guitar Pedals
Compressor pedal functions to automatically volume in and out the sound output. It equalizes soft and loud sounds. You can adjust the range or the effects that your compressor pedal can do.
There are a lot of guitar pedals that can help you in achieving better sound quality. However, you should never depend too much on guitar pedals. They are only made to enhance sound quality, not to better your guitar skills.
In doing things, it is our primary objective to be better every day. We don’t want to get stuck being on the same level. As beginners in playing guitar, we should strive to be professionals. We should set goals for ourselves and gradually reach them towards success.
Here are 10 simple ways on how to transform yourself and become an expert guitar player:
Aim for new things
As mentioned, do not get stuck at one. Learn new things. It can be a new chord, a song, a melody, a strum pattern, or guitar maintenance like tuning your guitar, changing your strings and cleaning your guitar.
Learn the major scale intervals
If you learn the major scales, it will be easier for you to learn and discover many chords. According to Guitar World, in order to understand the structure of a major scale, we can begin by forming triads, seventh chords or extended chords.
Review every chord you know
Sometimes, we get information overload and we forget about the things we learned from the past. It is important to make every chord a skill, not a learning. Review every chord you know until you master them
Play in groups
Be involved in a community of guitar enthusiasts. You will learn a lot of things from them. They will also tell you about what to improve in your skills. Moreover, playing in groups boosts confidence level and promotes a better learning environment.
Master your favorite songs
Before you jump to learning new pieces, make sure that you have mastered your favorite songs. Your personal favorites will be your basis if you are ready to move on to new songs.
You have to evaluate how you play your guitar. To do this, try to set up an audio or video recorder. Check out the recording and identify how you can improve your guitar skills.
Take advantage of technology
There are various equipment that will help you better your guitar skills. Also, there are plenty of applications and software that you can install in your smartphones and other devices. They will help you tune your guitar, learn chords and more.
Track your progress
In the process of improving yourself, make sure you track your progress. Keep a diary of your improvements, strengths, and weaknesses. This will include the chords you mastered, the exercises you performed and your speed in changing chords, among others.
Write a song
You do not need to be a professional composer to do this phase. You just have to be true to yourself and aim that you can be able to express your ideas and feelings through the song. By writing a piece, you can assess how good you are in playing the guitar.
Play a gig
This is the most exciting part! Gather your members, prepare your masterpieces, practice and practice until you are ready to book a gig. You can perform in clubs, bars, schools and other avenues where you can showcase your guitar skills.
In everything we have, maintenance is a must. It is our duty to take care of our gadgets, appliances, car, house, and instruments. The key to this is consistency. We have to be dedicated to providing maintenance so that our things will remain functional for the many years to come.
A guitar is one of these things that need care and maintenance. It requires patience and consistency to keep our guitar look and sound good.
So if you want to create music until the end of time, here are seven pro tips on how to take good care of your guitars:
Change the strings regularly
It is our duty to keep our guitar string up-to-date. Strings lose their quality over time. The more we play our guitar, the faster the strings will deteriorate. This will affect how the sound our guitar makes. The frequency of changing your strings depends on how much you play. Let us say you play an hour a day, we recommend you change every month. Also, make sure you choose the perfect strings for your guitar.
Condition the fretboard
Our guitar, especially the fretboard is at risk to oils, dust and dirt buildup that will affect its sound quality. It is very important to condition your fretboard. There are many ways on how to clean your fretboard. You can brush it with a soft bristle toothbrush. You can also gently wipe the fretboard with a soft cloth. Lastly, there are guitar conditioners and cleaning products that are suitable in conditioning your guitar.
Polish your guitar
Of course, we have to make our guitar look brand new. There are various cleaning solutions and polishers that we can use in cleaning our guitar regularly. These products will make our guitar look shinier. They can also prevent our guitar from acquiring dust and other dirt over time.
Keep your guitar humidified
You also have to learn the science of humidity in guitar. Our guitar needs enough moisture, especially the ones that are made from wood. To ensure your guitar gets humidified, you can insert a wet sponge in your sound hole every week. Also, you can buy humidifier products.
Store guitar in room temperature
Do not leave your guitar unattended at either too hot or too cold environments. This will affect the humidity of your guitar body. Overexposure to sunlight may also change the finishes of your guitar. It can also promote cracks. Thus, it is important to store your guitar in a stable room temperature.
Avoid scratching your guitar
Just like how you take care of your car or smartphone, avoid scratching your guitar. Be careful when transporting guitars. Make sure you do not scratch or ding it with hard surfaces. It is advisable to keep your guitar inside a guitar bag or case.
Bring your guitar to a technician
If humans need to go to doctors, guitars should also be brought to technicians. Technicians are pros in installing the strings, aligning the neck, making adjustments to the bridge, and other tune-ups.
What other secrets you have in taking care of your guitar?
Today, pop music dominates the airwaves. Radios and music-hosting platforms play pop music most of the time. There are thousands of pop stars and recording labels which make instant hits.
It is no doubt that pop music can make other types of music fall into oblivion. But wait! We know some of you are still huge fans of classical music. Well, good for you. Classical music provides a lot of health benefits that are backed by science.
Here are 10 reasons why you should listen more to classical music:
Improves Brain Function
According to a study by Northumbria University (UK), students were able to answer faster and better when they listened to Vivaldi’s Spring and Autumn concerto while doing the tests. Thus, classical music improves brain functioning.
Promotes Sound Sleep
There are plenty of research that can support the effects of classical music on sleep quality. One study suggests that listening classical music 45 minutes before going to bed promotes sound sleep. Also, therapists use classical music in treating insomnia.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Researchers from Oxford University conducted a study in which they played different styles of music to respondents. They found out that classical music reduces the blood pressure of the participants. Classical music is believed to have natural sync with our body.
Relieves Stress Levels
Listening to classical music has similar physiological effects as a massage. A study found out that pregnant women who listen to classical music experience less stress than those who never listen. Researchers claim that classical music eases both anxiety and depression.
In a study conducted in Mexico, listening to classical music can help lower your risk to the symptoms of depression. Glasgow University also performed a research in which they found out that classical music boosts responses that can help relieve emotional pain.
Heals Chronic Pain
A London research found out that patients who listen to classical music experience less pain. Other studies suggest that listening to classical music can reduce the chronic pain experienced after surgery. Many therapists use classical music to relax their patients who are experiencing headaches.
According to a study, playing classical music in the background allows students to express more ideas. Classical music promotes cognitive expression which creates a creative mindset allowing the flow of thoughts and recall of experiences.
It is proven that classical music can improve mental alertness. Thus, it can help your productivity. According to a study, classical music allows individuals to enjoy doing repetitive tasks. Another study also found out that classical music improves radiologists’ accuracy and efficiency in work.
Keeps Heart Healthy
Based on a study, listening to a music with slower tempo help regulate heartbeat. Also, listening to classical music encourages the release of hormones that make us feel relaxed and calm.
Makes You Happy
Lastly, classical music provides us endless joy. According to a study in 2013, listening to classical music help people have a better mood. It promotes the secretion of dopamine which provides us the feeling of pleasure and happiness.
What are your favorite Classical pieces?
Are you looking for a classical guitar? Still confused about what brand to buy? Well, in this article, we wish to present you these 14 top nylon-string guitars that are highly-recommendable for beginners and professionals alike.
This premium guitar is perfect for experienced players. It is made in Bulgaria and has used high-end materials. It also features a neck made from Honduran cedar and Indian ebony fretboard.
Cordoba Iberia GK Studio
This lightweight guitar features an unclassical neck which makes thumb-around positions easy, especially for beginners. It is designed to produce a more flamenco-type sound.
This guitar has a solid, laminated body for a modernist approach. It has no acoustic chamber making it feedback-resistant.
This is a sophisticated electro-acoustic guitar that offers a quality performance at an attractive price. The back and sides are made from Indian rosewood while the top is made from solid spruce.
Alhambra Crossover CS-3 CW E5
Alhambra is one of the famous classical guitar makers in Spain that has been in service for more than four decades. This crossover guitar produces a sharp, clean and more defined sound.
The top of Yamaha CGX102 is made from solid spruce, while its neck, back, and sides are made from nato wood. It features the contact pickup and 68 preamp system.
Epiphone PRO-1 Classic
Epiphone makes this classical guitar for beginners and even professionals. It features a slightly short scale length, with a top made from solid cedar, whereas its back and side are made from mahogany.
La Patrie Collection Q1 EQ
This Canadian-made guitar is made from all-solid wood. It has a variant that has optional EPM Quantum 1 pickup and preamp system. This guitar produces a highly consistent quality sound.
This guitar is perfect for beginners, intermediates and experienced players who love to play rock and metal music. It follows a traditional design for the body – mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard and spruce top.
Yamaha NTX700C features an amplified tone and quite subdued volume to produce a balanced acoustic sound. According to MusicRadar, it is a modern nylon-strong electro guitar.
Admira Virtuoso EC
Admira Virtuoso EC is made from Spain. It one of the most favorite electro nylon strong guitars of musicians. It has a top made from solid cedar and back and sides made from laminate rosewood black.
This guitar has a steel-string influence which includes treble and bass controls, rotary volume and under-saddle pickup, among others. Its body is made from spruce and rosewood.
Another guitar that has steel-string influence is Ortega Coral-NY. It features Clasica II preamp system, Fishman under-saddle pickup, EQ rotaries, tuner and phase switches.
Lowden Jazz Series S25J
Lowden Jazz Series S25J has a body made from all-solid cedar and rosewood. This guitar is designed for both classical and steel-string players. It features a Lowden’s tremendous craft and cambered fingerboard.
If you want to check out other best-performing classical guitars, visit this page.
If you are a beginner, you may have a hard time choosing the best type of guitar. Here are the 13 different types of guitars:
Acoustic guitar is the most common type of guitar that is recommended for beginners. Its strings may be made up of nylon or steel strings. Acoustic guitar is perfect for strumming.
Electric guitars are plugged into high voltage amplifier to boost its sound. It is usually used for rock and jazz, as well as blues and pop music.
This type of guitar is composed of twelve strings which are played in pair. The tone that twelve-string guitar produces is brighter and more defined.
An archtop guitar is the favorite of jazz guitarists. It has an inner electromagnetic pickup. It is available in full-bodied and thin line styles.
Basically, this type of guitar that originated in Hawaii is heavier because it is made of steel. It is accompanied by a pedal steel which changes the pitch of every individual string.
It is different from all other types of guitar because it has no sound hole. Instead, it has a circular plate with various holes that resonate the sound.
Bass guitars are characterized by wide, thick strings. It provides players a variety of notes, including the lowest four strings. Bass guitars can be acoustic or electric.
This guitar is basically composed of two different guitars in one body. The first guitar is six-stringed while the other one has twelve strings. This is used in multi-chorded pieces.
Classical, or sometimes called Spanish guitar is constructed using wood designed like a female torso. It also utilizes gut strings to produce a calmer and more relaxed sound.
Flamenco guitar is almost similar with classical guitar, except that the Flamenco’s fretboard is wider. Flamenco guitar is used by country musicians.
Semi-acoustic guitars have a huge hollow sound box that is usually made up of metal. Its body is similar to electric guitar. However, there is no need for an amplifier to boost up the sound.
Red Neck Guitar
Apart from its distinct physical features, red neck guitar has a different combination of strings. This guitar allows solo musicians to add flexibility in blending notes.
Hollow Body Electric Guitar
This type of guitar has a resonating chamber in the body. Its solid body is sleek in design. This type of guitar is perfect for jazz musicians.
Apart from these, there are other innovations of the guitar. They have varied features and specifications that match the preference of musicians. With this information, we hope that you are able to identify what type of guitar you will buy for yourself. Also, do not forget the essential accessories that will be helpful for you to better your guitar skills.
Music is the best! We cannot imagine the world without music. It would probably be lifeless, dull, boring and silent. Thank the Almighty for He has provided us with the gift of music, the ability to compose songs and play instruments.
Well, for a music lover, you might want to learn an instrument. String instruments are the best type of instrument that every beginner should learn. It allows you to create music with the strings and chords.
Let us round up the 10 best string instruments that you should learn:
Everybody in the world knows what a guitar is. It is the most popular string instrument that usually has six strings that are played through strumming or plucking. The sounds can be produced acoustically or electronically. It is believed that guitar was invented over 4,000 years ago.
Piano is also one of the most popular stringed musical instruments that is invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700 in Italy. It is played by pressing the keyboard or a row of white and black keys that strike the string to create a sound.
Violin is a wooden string instrument that was first known in the 16th century in Italy. It is the smallest and the highest-pitched in the violin family. A violin is typically played by drawing a bow across its four strings. Violin is perfect for creating country and jazz music.
A cello is the bass member of the violin family. It is the second largest and second lowest-pitched stringed instrument. It also has four strings that can be bowed or plucked to create music. It is perfect for orchestras and some types of rock bands.
Viola is another member of the violin family that is bowed or plucked to create music. It is slightly larger and has a lower sound than a violin.
Ukulele is a small string instrument that belongs to the lute family. It has four nylon or gut strings that can be strummed or plucked. It was believed to be introduced by Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii in the 19th century. It was used to create Hawaiian folk songs which have gained popularity in the whole United States.
Sitar is a string instrument that is plucked to create music. It originated in India as an important part of the Hindustani and Indian classical music in the 16th century. A sitar can have 18 to 21 strings.
Harp is a popular ancient string instrument that flourished in Asia, Africa, and Europe as early as 35000 BC. This instrument is made up of a triangular wooden frame that has an indefinite number of strings made of nylon or metal. Commonly, lap harps can have 19 strings while pedal harps have 40 to 47 strings.
Banjo is another string instrument that has four to six strings across a thin membrane stretched over a frame called as the head. Banjo is used to create country, folk and bluegrass music.
Mandolin is another member of the lite family that flourished in Italy during 17 century. A mandolin has various courses and styles. It can be played by plucking.
Which among these string instruments have your learned already?