Playing guitar with others

So you have the ability to play guitar decently well, but can you play well in a group. Many think once they learn how to play an instrument they can just jump into playing in a band or jamming along to a song but this cant be more far from true. One of the most common problems of playing in a group is timing. While you might be really good at playing a song by yourself you might end up not syncing well with the tempo of the group. You might also not have the correct strumming patterns down and this makes for a very messy sound. So if the drummer is playing in 4/4 and you are playing a slower 3/4 it just wont work. What to do if you have this problem? Honestly its simply counting, its a bit of a chore to tap your foot or keep count in your head but you will find the improvement not only beneficial to whoever you are playing with, you will find counting is a necessary skill to any guitarist that wants to take the next step into sounding like a professional. Another issue can be keeping up with the other members of group as they play on. If you have this issue you need to practice more, way more. You dont want to be the one that holds back the people you are playing with. Although if whoever you are playing with have patience you can always get the info from them. There are always gonna be problems with playing with others, but once you overcome the problems playing along with others can be a very awarding experience and can lead to some great friends. So if you are worried about playing with people I would recommend getting over it and get some friends together to cover or even create some great music, it will be very rewarding I promise, see you next week guys

Travel guitars and how to take advantage of portability

Playing the guitar is a great hobby and trait to possess but sometimes its heavy frame and size can be turned against you if you plan to take it places or travel. So thats why we are talking about the handy dandy travel guitar, while it has perks and flaws I’d say the perks are more beneficial in my opinion than its few flaws. Lets start on the perks, the first and foremost perk is obliviously the power of easy maneuverability, this not only will influence you to bring your guitar to more places, it will be easier on your back to not have to worry about carrying such a big guitar. Another perk is the travel guitar is they make you have a cool look to you playing something not many have seen and it will appeal to a lot of bystanders listening to you play. Now for some of the cons, while the travel guitar is handy to have it has a few issues with the sound it pumps out. Due to its small frame it makes a not as full sound as a regular acoustic would, another con is the strings habitually break and this lead to many trips to guitar center. There are electric acoustic guitars but I wouldnt say they are as cheap as a regular travel guitar. Some of the known brands for travel guitars are martins amd fender,ive found these two brands are very reliable for this type of guitar. If you plan on buying one be sure to use it to its greatest potential

12 bar/minor scale blues progression

Yesterday I decided that since I know enough about the minor scale I should take advantage of it and learn a more blues genre type playing style, well I found what I would call a very entertaining way to jam out on the guitar and in the end I started to look a bit like this guy

blues

Well no, I didnt suddenly turn into an old man but the emotions you can sense in the picture is what I felt. After playing for 3-4 hours the thought came across me to share this with my blog and thats what I did. So first what makes up the 12 bar blues?

The 12-bar blues or blues changes is one of the most prominent chord progressions in popular music. The bluesprogression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the IIVV chords of a key. – Wikipedia

Simply put the 12 bar blues is what you could say as a background chord progression that not only sounds good but works really well played along with a minor scale. Now for that minor scale, In an earlier blog post I showed the importance of learning the scales but now you get to show them off, the trick to this is really to feel the music and trust your instinct rather than following a set route. This is really what makes it so fun because you can create as you go, and if  you have a friend to play along, you can really create some amazing music. Well ill leave you all with a great site for learning this stuff, and as always play on guys.

http://www.justinguitar.com

off time on the guitar

Guitar can be fun and all but sometimes we all need a little time in between playing guitar every once in a while. But how often should you pick up the guitar or how long should be the maximum that you dont play. Well in my experience I would suggest that you should pick up an instrument at least one time a week for various reasons such as maintaining calluses(important) and keeping up your musical talent and not letting it drift away. I discussed in an earlier blog post how there are many ways to keep yourself interested in guitar and finding songs but out of self discipline you should make yourself practice just to keep in the flow of things. Sometimes you stray of the course and miss a few weeks but thats ok, just dont go out of the loop and end up not playing for months or more. If you were to not play in a really long time you would find picking it back up really hard. So never give it up and always play it out whenever you can. See you next week guys

pentatonic scales intro

Have you ever been to say a guitar center or your local music shop and see that guy jamming a solo on his guitar super fast and just seems to play on forever? You ever wonder how that guy is able to spit out these cool sounding riffs so easily? Well the pentatonic scale has many different forms and once you learn it, you can use it to pump out amazing tunes while just folliwing its easy stystem. But what is a pentatonic scale exactly

A pentatonic scale is a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note)scale such as the major scale and minor scale. Pentatonic scales are very common and are found all over the world.

So to put it simply you are playing notes down the fret board quickly and with different alterations for minor scales and major scales. A good example that I like to play would be a minor scale on any fret which looks like this

a-minor-pentatonic-guitar-scale-5th-fret

As you can see the first fret is barred while your other fingers hit the strings while climbing down and up again, if seeing it isnt your cup of tea you can always visit this link to get a more in depth tutorial on how scales can be played

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=pentatonic%20scale%20guitar%20tutorial&source=video&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC0QtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkK0Obntdzrs&ei=xjP3VMP9Nsb1oAS5xoKgCQ&usg=AFQjCNEcWRI4xZIY2Kgp-qxQ7CuKR3qP7w&bvm=bv.87519884,d.cGU

Alright guys talking about all this got me in the mood to play some scales so see you next week!

Branching out

Just a few weeks ago I began contemplating the idea that maybe I should try something new, I have already seen most of what the guitar has to offer so I was considering some other musical options. I attempted drums at first, which are honestly prett cool if you learn how to play them but I guess it just wasnt for me. Then all that was left was my semi -old yamaha keyboard, the idea of playing piano always seemed like something I could never do but I realized that if I never gave it a shot I would never really know for sure so I just fired up some youtube tutorials and started practicing. Its funny how hard something can appear until to you actaully end up doing it, I almost cant believe that in a few weeks I can play most to all beginner songs and even some intermediate stuff. So my general message to you all is that if you see a hobby or say an instrument that interest you but you are not sure wether to do it just try it out first. Not like try in out for a few minutes then give up, actually put in the effort to learn this activity and dont give up till you understand at least ther basics of it, if you do this more I promise you that you will end up growing your skill in the talent, but as an individual as well, alright guys see you next week

So I broke another string …

Yep, another string bites the dust and I do it with one of the most common mistakes that happens when tuning a guitar.So have you ever been tuning a string a noticing its not tuning up? And in your head you’re going, “hey maybe a few more twist and it’ll finally tune up, so you keep turning the knob then SNAP, your string goes flying across the room at a speed you just know would hurt if it hit you.What happens is you end up tuning up say the g string with the intent of the d string being tuned and all the pressure on the g string just snaps it.Because this is such a common mistake I urge you guys to always pay attention to your guitar when tuning, not paying attention can result in unwanted work or a hurt finger. While I’m at it I might as well mention another common guitar screw up which is not caring for your guitar. before I played guitar I used to use my acoustic as a doorstop to lock my room, yep a freakin doorstop for such a beautiful instrument, but now I have to pay for that with my guitar looking like it got dropped out of a moving car and dragged for a mile back to my house. Ok maybe its not that bad but a beat up guitar not only looks bad but sounds bad too. A busted neck or body will alter the sound immensily and that could ruin your guitar experience.I guess the overall message would be remember to care for your guitar and it’ll treat you right for a long time.Alright guys see you next week

What drives you to pick up your guitar?

I’ve noticed the last few weeks that im lacking the drive to just pickup my guitar and start playing for a while. Its not an uncommon tendency to just not feel like playing guitar for a few weeks, in fact its something everyone who plays an instrument has to go through time to time. Thinking about it for a while I decided to call it instrumentitus notinthemoodtoplayus,for short lets call it I.N. So for the big question, how do you cure I.N?  There are many known cures for this common disease, and Im here to share what I found cures my problem for the time being. My number one fix is usually finding a new song that I have the need to learn cause it sounds cool and if I knew how to play it I feel it would be even more exciting. Many people listen to songs and feel they dont have the talent to play it but you would be surprised, most songs can be broken down into something you could play. So if you’re suffering from I.N you should attempt to try learning your favorite song or discovering some new songs that would entice you to learn more about the guitar and the song at the same time. Some other cures for I.N for me include playing the guitar for family occasions or impressing friends, jamming out with others who know guitar or simply cause the guitar happens to catch my eye and I just know it destiny to start playing. With all that being said about me, how about you? What ways do you help yourself become motivated to play and instument or perform any action that requires a little effort? Feel free to share or simply apply some of my methods of fixing I.N to your daily life and you’ll find yourself back on track playing again until you lose the passion, then you repeat the process! ok thanks for reading guys, see you all later!

my guitar setup

Hey I’m sure many of you were wondering what my setup is, well this weekend I thought I should take a picture of my guitar + amp for you guys cause you know, why not right? The story of how I got this bad boy goes way back when I was around 13 or so in a guitar center and the most beautiful guitar caught my eye, it was a Gibson though so affording it was another issue. Since my dad was in a good mood that day though he decided to buy me a c.giant electric guitar and amp just cause hes a guitar fanatic. Ive had the guitar ever since and play the hell out of it mostly every weekend. So this weekend I was touching up spoonman and heart shaped box in drop d on my guitar when all of a sudden one of my strings just snaps on me. This brings up an issue if you dont have like 50 backup strings like myself so as an extra tip I recommend you stock up if you plan to be playing alot. Replacing the strings is a breeze with online guitar string replacing tutorials so I never need to worry about that. But you know if you replace one string something inside you says hey, you should replace them all while your at it. So thats what I did, and I was pretty impressed by the look of the new strings so I thought I would take a pic for you guys so here you go

reddit-gifts-guitar

Have a rocking day and play on you guys!

fingerpicking……ahhhh

Hey, everyone. I’d like to digress a bit in this blog post. For the past few lessons, I’ve been writing about basic chords and frets across the fretboard. This time, I’d like to discuss basic fingerpicking patterns.

One of the most rewarding musical experiences of me playing guitar would be fingerpicking,The path is very demanding. The learning of fingerpicking was a serious challenge, and I practiced anywhere between one to three hours a day.

The one thing I noticed about fingerpicking guitar that made it different from all the other styles was the emphasis on technique. Without certain fingerpicking techniques, you couldn’t play the song the way it was meant to be played. Although I don’t play fingerpicking guitar exclusively, and I certainly cannot practice up to 3 hours a day anymore, I still use certain techniques when I fingerpick — all of which I learned from studying videos on fingerpicking guitar.

This is one of my favorite exercises to develop finger independence in the right hand.

In case you are new to fingerpicking, the fingers on the right hand now have letters to denote which finger patterns you will play in a particular section. The thumb is p, the index finger is i, the middle finger is m and the ring finger is a. So the right hand now spells out pima.

Get used to it. You’ll be seeing a lot of this.

We usually don’t use the pinky for typical fingerpicking patterns and songs. In this exercise, we finger an open E major chord. We place the “i finger” on the third string, the “m finger” on the second string and the “a finger” on the first string. We do not move these fingers from these strings! Pretend they are cemented there to where they dont move.

The “p finger, thumb, will start on the sixth string but will float from the sixth, fifth and fourth strings according to the pattern. There are six patterns we will encounter during this exercise: pima, p ami, pmia, piam, pmai and finally paim. All these patterns are demonstrated consecutively in the example given and such.

for example,pima is in measure one, pami is in measure two, etc.Notice that the thumb, the bass note, moves from the sixth, fifth and foutth string and back again during this exercise.. make sure every note is clear, even and in time. In the next blog post, we will expand upon this further.

As always, thank you for reading! feel free to comment whenever you like = )