Fast Picking Guitar - 7 Tips on Taking Your Skills to New Speeds

I'm sure that we've all seen a fast picking guitarist and just thought to ourselves, "Wow! I wish that I could do that." The good thing about fast picking on guitar, is that you CAN, eventually, do that.

Really, all it takes to master fast picking guitar is consistent practice, dedication, and a few pointers to give you some direction. Here are some things that I've found can help you progress a little faster towards the fast picking style you want.

* Find a guitar pick that's right for your playing style.

Most of the time, fast guitar picking is really dependent on the guitar pick that you're using since they can come in all sorts of varieties. They come in different thicknesses, lengths, shapes, and materials. Take some time to experiment with your pick choice and you might find your guitar picking getting faster immediately.

* Change the position of your fingers on the guitar pick.

Most fast picking guitarists find that holding the pick closer to the strumming tip greatly improves the speed in which they're playing. Experiment with a few different placements of your fingers on the pick and see what speeds up your guitar picking.

* Practice slow to go fast.

I know that it seems like if you play guitar slow, you're never going to make it to fast picking styles. Well, that's simply not true.

If you start your riffs and scales slow, you're going to develop better technique and form. With better technique and form, you'll create a solid foundation to starting building your fast picking guitar style.

* You should be double-picking (up and down).

If you haven't figured this out yet, you can't achieve a fast picking guitar style if you don't double-pick. Limiting yourself to picking downwards only will not only put a cramp in your wrist, but one in your brain since you won't believe how slowly you're playing. haha

* Accumulate a set of riffs and scales to practice in your down time.

To achieve fast picking guitar, you really need to have lots and lots of constant practice. Find a set of riffs or scales that challenge your skills and turn them into a fast picking challenge as well.

If you don't know any scales, take a riff from your favorite song and practice keeping a steady tempo and a fast hand. Try playing along with a metronome for added rhythmic skill.

* Is your guitar right for fast picking?

Maybe you've been practicing over and over and nothing seems to be working. Could your guitar just be impractical to achieve fast speeds? It's very probable.

Play on other guitars with natural fast action like Jacksons or Schecters, and see if you notice a difference. It might actually be that old cliche of "It's my guitar, not me."

* Adjust the string distance from the fret board.

When you're practicing for a fast picking guitar style and it seems like you have to press too hard on the strings to make a solid tone, maybe the bridge needs to be lowered. Lowering the bridge so the strings are closer to the fret board can help develop lighter fingers that allow you to move quicker across the strings.

Don't get discouraged if you can't seem to get a fast picking guitar style going after a few practices. It's going to take some time!

Heck, some of the fastest guitarists have decades of playing under their belts! The important thing is to keep your goal in mind and not get discouraged when things seem fruitless.

Sing While Playing Guitar - 5 Reasons To Vocalize With Your Instrument

Have you tried to sing while playing guitar before? If it was your first time singing while playing guitar, you probably felt awkward and could not quite match up the lyrics with the rhythms of your strumming. And that's fine!

Playing the acoustic guitar or electric guitar while singing does not come easily to most guitarists because singing is in a league of it's own. There's hundreds and thousands techniques on just singing, let alone to sing while playing guitar.

However, if you learn anything from my posts, you'll discover that whatever I think is difficult on the guitar is most likely worth learning and this includes to sing while playing guitar. Just think about these 5 reasons why playing and singing at the same time can really set you apart from other guitarists.

1. You can develop perfect pitch.

If you think about the actions involved with singing while playing guitar, you're actually creating two different tones and pitches at once. (Unless you're making chords on your guitar, then it's multiple...) And sometimes, that's a lot to keep track of in your head.

But, eventually being able to separate those pitches accurately by singing and playing guitar at the same time can greatly improve your ability to memorize pitches. That's really what perfect pitch is all about. Memorizing the pitch, and hitting it accurately.

2. You'll learn to further separate your finger movements from each other.

Do you remember how hard it was to sync up your strumming hand with your fret board hand when you first began playing? But you did eventually, because your fingers learned to react independently of each other.

If you sing while playing guitar, you'll only be developing that ability even further by adding words and another melody line into the mix. And mastering all of these things at once can really help your fingers do their own thing.

3. You'll become more valuable to a band.

For anyone that's in a band, they'll tell you that finding someone who can sing while playing guitar is like finding a million dollars! Everyone would be looking to hire you!

Seriously, you can't walk through the park without tripping over someone who plays the guitar, but for someone who can sing too... you would be worth your weight in gold.

4. You can perform on your own.

Maybe you don't like to work with a band and you just think "Screw it." Well, you can play by yourself now!

Take your guitar down to an open mic night. Hire yourself out to bars and parties. Now that you can sing while playing guitar, you're a marketable item.

5. Writing your own complete songs is now possible.

Starting as just a guitarist, I'm sure you may have come across something to play that you just came up with, but that's all it was. It was just a set of chords that were fun to play.

Now, you have a singing voice, and those useless chords are the sections of your very own song. You can finally stick beautiful singing melodies over those carefully composed guitar compositions.

Learning to sing while playing guitar is not the easiest thing in the world, but it's definitely worth it. You'll develop your pitch and muscle memory, become a marketable music machine, and start your way into creating complete musical compositions.

Learn Songs on Acoustic Guitar First?

A lot of beginning guitarists ask whether learning songs on acoustic guitar first is better than learning on the electric guitar. That's a very good question that can actually decide whether or not someone starting as a guitarist will probably want to continue with the instrument at all and continue playing guitar tunes.

Does it really matter whether songs are learned on the electric guitar over an acoustic guitar? Sure it does! Learning skills and guitar tunes on one or the other can really set the stage on how you're going to perform from the start of your musical career to the end.

Here are some points to think about when figuring how an acoustic guitar may benefit you in the beginning.

* You'll develop better technique.

Learning songs on acoustic guitar first can really give you a solid foundation when it comes to technique. Acoustic guitars are a little more difficult to press down on the strings and form chords as opposed to electrics.

In some instances they're more difficult to perform certain skills like pull offs, hammer ons, and vibrato due to how stiff the strings are. Learning how to play guitar tunes on the acoustic guitar first can really build up your "hard-work" ethic related to playing the guitar.

* The acoustic guitar can connect you to a variety of genres.

If you're someone that enjoys playing rock or metal, then learning songs on acoustic guitar first should really broaden your musical tastes. You might find that how jazz and indie guitar tunes are played really excites your interest and it'll push you to explore even more.

Having a good library of musical genres to perform can really make you a valuable guitarist. If you have the choice to try something new, try it! It might just be your new favorite.

* There isn't much heavy equipment to carry around.

Do you see how those guys carry their electric guitars, amplifiers, pedals, and everything else they need into the clubs on the weekends? Think of how nice it is to NOT have to do that. haha

If you learn songs on the acoustic guitar first, all you'll have to carry into a club or over to a friend's house is your guitar inside your case. Man, doesn't that sound nice? Of course, once you progress on to rock or metal guitar tunes with an electric, you're gonna need to start working out more...

* Acoustic guitars are not complicated to set up and go.

I can remember setting up my first electric guitar. I didn't know what any of the knobs did on my guitar or my amplifier, I had some crazy white noise coming from one of my pedals, and because of it, I didn't play for another week. haha

Just think. If you learn to play songs on the acoustic guitar first, you're not taking the time to set up anything. You just pull the guitar out of the case, grab a guitar pick and go. It's not complicated to start playing guitar tunes.

These are just a few reasons that people start playing songs on acoustic guitar first as opposed to electric. Let's be realistic though. Some people just HATE acoustic guitars and need to go to distortion. That's perfectly fine!

The important part to all of this is learning to enjoy the instrument, and not give up too quickly before you figure out what you're really capable of.

Guitar Vibrato Lesson - Another Important Guitar Skill

So let's have a guitar vibrato lesson. Vibrato is another guitar skill that can give any slower legato guitar tune a lesson in refinement and class.

Most guitarists utilize vibrato because it simply isn't difficult to learn. And how to make vibrato work the best is by combining it with other guitar skills you have had lessons in like hammer ons, pull offs, and etc.

What IS guitar vibrato?

Guitar vibrato is a wavering of the vibrating pitch caused by your guitar strings. It's similar to how an opera or classical vocalist rings out a note and you can hear "ripples" in their voice. You can also think of it as a very tasteful and fast action of bending and re-bending the guitar strings in a tune.

How do you DO guitar vibrato?

Place your index finger on the third string of the third fret and your ring finger on the 5th fret of the same string. Now, pick the third string and as the note rings, bend the string up above the pitch and then down below the pitch at a steady speed. That's a quick lesson in guitar vibrato.

What muscles do the work?

There's some controversy among instructors giving guitar lessons on vibrato about what muscles should be working. Most experts will tell you to use your entire wrist, hand, and finger to do the rapid bending, while others will tell you to just use your finger. The goal to vibrato is just to create a rapid bend above and below the pitch of the note and I recommend for you to use what's more comfortable.

Find out what speed suits you.

There's no lessons carved in stone about how quickly or slowly guitar vibrato should be performed. It actually depends on the style of the guitar tune.

If you're learning how to play a guitar tune that's more legato and flowing, keep your guitar vibrato very loose with longer spaces between each bend in the note. The opposite goes for more rigid and high-tempo guitar tunes.

You'll have more control with more fingers resting on the fret board at one time.

Playing guitar vibrato with just one finger on the fret board actually lacks a little control. You'll find that if you have other fingers (not necessarily contributing to the note) resting on the guitar, you'll realize how much easier it is to execute vibrato in a guitar tune.

So, WHERE is vibrato used?

Guitar vibrato is normally used in guitar solos or riffs played by a lead guitarist. Anywhere in a guitar tune where long strings of single notes are being played, that's a fine place to have a tasteful amount of guitar vibrato.

There's no lesson about guitar vibrato that says how fast, and how often it can be used, but from experience, guitar vibrato can really saturate a tune and turn it into something corny if used to much.

However, add this skill to your repertoire, and wow your friends and family the next time you play a cool guitar solo or riff. :]

Best Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Step-By-Step Secrets To Learning Acoustic Guitar

Research shows that the best method to learning a string instrument is through repetition and muscle memory.

Since this is so effective, many guitarists base their entire learning careers on these principles.

Guitar camps, private lessons, music school, etc... all of these places attempt to sculpt their students based on hours of repetition through scales and practice work.

Of course, these types of programs work, but they're tedious and sometimes boring, causing students to get frustrated and eventually... quit.

Wouldn't It Be Great To Learn Acoustic Guitar
In A REAL MUSIC Atmosphere?

Have you ever heard of a "jam pack"?

It's simply just a set of real music band samples that are specifically tailored for student guitar accompaniment. Pretty cool huh?

But won't you overlook the "guitar basics" if you dive right into real music?

Not with Ben Edwards' Jamorama Acoustic Guitar courses.

Does that name sound familiar to you, because it should. Ben Edwards is now a renowned guitar expert thanks to his sensational Jamorama guitar systems that have been used for years for thousands of new guitarists.

Let's check out some skills that you can learn:
  1. Learn To Play Almost ANY Song By Ear
  2. Be Able To Read Guitar Tablature Posted on THOUSANDS Of Websites
  3. Gain Experience Playing In A Live Band Setting
  4. Learn Chord Structures and Easy Memorization
  5. Read Actual Guitar Music
  6. Strumming Techniques
  7. Hammer-ons and Pull Offs
  8. Learn About Transposing Keys
This is really just the tip of the ice berg to what can be done with this system. It's massive with just about a year's worth of material to learn from.

I love courses like these because they're no nonsense and I know that you can learn so much from it.

Click Here To Check Out The Details of Ben Edwards Acoustic Guitar System---->

Fast Electric Guitar Learning Course

These are my recommendations...

Guitar Burning Speed
Jamorama Lead Guitar

-------------- But continue reading to find out why! --------------

Playing fast electric guitar must have come up in your mind at least once when you were learning guitar. It's usually the selling point for most guitarists when they think about taking up the instrument.

You want to play electric guitar, and you want to play fast...

Well... so why aren't you playing fast? There's usually a few reasons why guitarists can't get their electric guitar-playing to go faster. Here are the things you could be thinking:

*My hands are too weak to go faster.

*I get frustrated easily.

*There aren't enough hours in a day to get enough practice to go fast.

*I don't wanna play that generic stuff you're usually taught. I want to do awesome things like guitar sweeping!

These are a few complaints that you would hear if you walked up to someone and asked "Why don't you learn to play faster on the electric guitar?"

But, you know what? There are actually a good number of fast electric guitar courses being offered right over the internet that can boost your speed while you spend time in short sessions developing your skill.

The only problem with this is, how do you know if a fast electric guitar course is effective or not? Well, here's a list of very crucial things that an effective course to increase your guitar speed should have.

Now, you might have things that would personally benefit you that isn't mentioned in this list, (and you should make sure you get them) but this is really what the bare minimum should consist of:

* The course should build up the strength in your hands and fingers.

Really, if you're very weak in your hands and fingers, playing fast electric guitar is going to be difficult, but that doesn't mean you can't get strong! A good course should know what practice riffs and scales are needed for natural muscle-building in your fingers and wrists so you can pound through any new electric guitar riff that they might throw at you.

* Flexibility in your fingers needs to be learned.

There will always come a time when there's a sweet fast riff that could be played on the electric guitar, but it's a little bit of a stretch. With a good set of lessons, you should be able to learn how to make that difficult reach, and play it quickly at the same time.

I mean, there won't be any time to hesitate when you're up on stage and being able to hit a lick immediately is what we're all about.

* We want BOTH hands to get better.

It's not enough that you get your fret hand moving faster when your other hand is dragging along. Your electric guitar-playing is only as fast as your slowest hand! Remember that.

You need to get that picking hand pumping while your fret hand is laying out the licks and only when they learn to work together harmoniously will you achieve some awesome speed.

* Learning about tempo is essential.

It's really no use to you to learn how to play fast electric guitar if you can't even stay in a steady tempo. Learning to be consistent like a metronome will put your playing LIGHT YEARS ahead of the competition while they're just fumbling around trying to keep in a rhythm that they were never even taught before!

* You don't want just a couple lessons. You want a TON of lessons!

If you purchase a guitar course online and they e-mail you a folder with five lessons in it...


You're not going to learn hardly anything from them if they're not willing to teach you. You're paying really good money for an education, so you can't let it go to waste.

* There has to be a money-back guarantee.

If, for some reason, after you've confirmed all of the other bullet points I've mentioned, you join and then you're unhappy, you should be able to leave with no questions asked. It's really as simple as that.

If you can think of anything else that you want in particular from a fast electric guitar learning course, that's great. Make your own list and strive to receive only the best instruction that you can find on the internet.

Like I said before, these are my recommendations.

But I encourage you to click the links and form your own opinions!

Guitar Burning Speed
Jamorama Lead Guitar

What Kind of Guitar is Right for a Rhythm Player?

If you've ever thought about the kind of guitar choices there actually are , it can be a little overwhelming. Before giving you some help with the kind of guitar that's good for rhythm players, let's focus first on the "choice."

Early on, you may have disregarded your kind of guitar choice and first thought about whether you want to lean towards playing RHYTHM guitar or LEAD guitar. Of course there are pros and cons to both.

If you want to be a rhythm guitarist, your kind of knowledge is all about chords. Learn your chords and learn appealing progressions for guitar tunes. Yes, there are single notes involved, but your specialty is working with the bassist and laying a strong, meaty foundation to any song.

If you want to be a lead guitarist, your kind of knowledge is all about riffs. You need to focus on pull offs, hammer ons, and long strings of notes. For someone like you, it shouldn't be that difficult to get involved in a jam band setting and be able to riff for quite awhile.

After getting past all of this, if you have decided to become a rhythm player, then great! How you picture your next guitar is important for the kind of player that you are. Think of these points here:

* Lean towards guitars with adequate amounts of low end.

A kind of guitar with a natural boost in low tones works very well with the bassist and drummer of a band. (mostly the kick drum) Sure, you can turn up the bass knob on your guitar amplifier during your a set of tunes, but guitars that provide that bass gain tend to perform much smoother than a high-pitched shredding kind of guitar.

* Make sure the guitar has a working tone switch.

These days it's hard to find a kind of guitar without a tone switch, but just make sure. Having a tone switch and knowing how to properly accommodate for the changes in a guitar tune is valuable knowledge. Those switches aren't there to look pretty, (although some are just plain fabulous) so put them to some good use!

* A good rhythm guitar has partial space between the strings and the fret board

Now, some guitars have a perfect amount of space for adequate string vibration and some guitars are just poorly made. If you buy a beginner's kind of guitar to play your tunes and it's difficult to play chords because you have to press down so hard, that string height needs to be lowered. However, you DO want a little space between the strings and the frets if you're going to be doing constant rhythm strumming. You need that room for good, strong vibrations.

* Consider a guitar with more pickups.

If a guitar can provide more tone for output, your sound is going to be richer. If you consider guitars like Les Pauls by Gibson and Epiphone, (honestly I can't tell the difference between them) they brag about their special "humbucking" pickups that are great for rhythm players. Make sure there are good quality pickups on any guitar especially for playing rhythm.

There's going to be obvious similarities between lead and rhythm guitars. (Like the fact that they're both guitars.) But, think of what can give your guitar more depth and smooth tone. That's the real key to a fine rhythm guitar sound.

If you're looking for smooth rhythm techniques that can be used over and over again, check out Jamorama for some great instruction.

Photo from

Executing a Guitar Pull Off

A guitar pull off is another early skill for beginners that's very beneficial to add to your guitar arsenal. It's simple trick that's easy to understand, and for the most part, easy to execute with a little practice.

The guitar pull off is a great technique that can be mixed into guitar solos or any place where long strings of notes are played. The guitar pull off technique is associated with the hammer on guitar trick. It isn't essential to learn them together, but a good understanding of both is beneficial.

So let's start with what a guitar pull off actually is. A guitar pull off is the action of having a finger placed on a string on the fret board and pulling at the string without picking in order to create a vibration to make the string sound. It's a simple trick, but here are a few things to keep in mind during execution.

* We are pulling off and not bending the note.

When executing a guitar pull off, we merely want to create a vibration on the string that's similar to guitar picking. We are NOT looking to alter the pitch of the note however.

* Mix guitar pull offs with other already learned skills.

If you know the hammer on guitar technique well enough, practice these two skills together. They're usually played together during lead riffs, so why not get a head start? You can start sounding cool earlier than you thought.

* Practice your guitar scales using guitar pull offs.

If you have a group of scales that you commonly practice (or my blog post on guitar practice scales) you can replace notes with the pull off technique in order to establish a better flow and rhythm between the notes.

Of course pull off are not the hardest thing to do, but using them tastefully within a guitar composition is the REAL challenge. See if you can sprinkle your guitar pull offs in something that you have created to add a little more flare.

photo from BuffaloBloodDonor

Hammer On Guitar - Learning the Hammer On Technique

Among the many skills of a good guitarist is the hammer on. If you've ever heard any famous solos/guitar tunes, like "Eruption" by Eddie Van Halen, you would have noticed that hammer ons provide a tasteful and diverse feel to any section of a song.

How hammer ons are executed, is not difficult by any means. They just need to be practiced diligently in order to be perfected or at least executed with minimal problems during your guitar tunes.

So what really IS a hammer on? A hammer on is simply the action of playing a single note on the guitar without actually picking the string. That means you're laying your fingers on the strings and hearing a note ring without any vibration caused from picking that string.

Here are a few tips on how to execute hammer ons correctly and how to add them into a guitar tune tastefully.

* Practice making a direct hit on the string with your finger

Using hammer ons with your guitar tunes really involves making an accurate hit on the string with your finger. When you execute a hammer on, make sure your finger doesn't hit above or below the string. Practice good precision with placing your finger so the string resonates well.

* Use a good amount of force with your hammer on finger

Another way to ensure a solid note strike is to be accurate while giving some force to the guitar string. Ordinarily, when strumming a string, you wouldn't worry about that, but since there's nothing else to cause the string to vibrate, you must rely on the force of your finger.

* Experiment on multiple areas of the fret board

You'll find that executing hammer ons on your guitar can vary in difficuly on different areas of the fret board. Experiment with different strings and frets and find that sweet spot that you can work into some of your guitar tunes.

* Create impressive runs with hammer ons in a guitar tune.

Hammer ons are a great way to make fast runs with your fingers with minimal effort. Of course, doing it too much can appear juvenile and distasteful, but it's still a valuable skill. Practice hammer ons with one string and three frets all adjacent to each other. Place on finger in each fret by hammering on. That should get the wheels started on how to improve your guitar tunes.

One example of a guitar tune that uses lots of hammer ons is the solo for "Free Bird." If you have the chance, listen to that solo. (if you have a few's long I know) At one point, almost EVERY note is a hammer on.

Hammer ons, aren't difficult but they just take some practice when learning how to execute them well in a guitar tune. If you're looking for some really intense instruction from an online guitar program that can teach you hammer ons and tons of other skills from an established educator, check out Jamorama Guitar. There's some great supplemental videos used as well.

How to Get Guitar Tone You Want Without Scooping

There are hundreds of sources out on the vast internet that can explain THOUSANDS of ways on how to get great guitar tone. There's explanations on getting guitar tone for punk, classic rock, metal, and etc. I can't tell you the best way how to get guitar tone you want, BUT I can tell you something that beginning guitarists tend to do that can be detrimental to your guitar's tone.

I'm talking about scooping your guitar tone.

Am I making some sort of metaphorical association with an ice cream cone? Not really. Scooping your guitar tone simply means using extreme neglect on one tone range versus the others. In most cases, the mid range knob on a guitar amp is turned completely down to zero and the guitar tone suffers.

I've played with a lot of beginning guitarists that just don't have the experience to get guitar tone without realizing that cutting one tone source completely out of the mix isn't the best solution. They usually cut out their mid range, and then their guitar gets lost in the white noise or underneath the bass during a tune.

Here's a few tips on how to get guitar tone for different kinds of tunes that you may play. These tips are NOT set in stone, but work for my particular preferences of where a guitar should be in a live mix on stage.

* Punk, Pop Rock, Rock and Rhythm guitarists

Put the most emphasis on your mid range knob keeping it around 3 quarters up while your bass and treble knobs should be a little below the halfway mark.

* Metal and Lead guitarists

How to configure your guitar tone here is with your treble know at 3 quarters up. Keep the mid range at a little less than half and your bass range at about half.

* Jazz and Classical

I actually don't have much experience in how a live jazz or classical guitarist would like to have his tone, but I imagine it's pretty even across the board but leaning more towards the bright side. Probably keep everything halfway with the treble about a notch to a couple notches higher for brilliance.

Obviously, these are not hard and fast rules about how to get guitar tone that you want, but scooping the tone is never a good idea. Of course, there are studio engineers who do some really neat things with guitar amps that are not encouraged for live performances, but that's something entirely different.

So, from now on, try to work all three ranges into your guitar's tone mix and then tweak them each by a couple notches to find that sweet spot that can really kill.

photo from Radioactive Culture

Locking Guitar Strap - How to Keep Your Guitar on Your Strap

A locking guitar strap could become your new best friend if you're having problems keeping your guitar on your strap when playing your tunes. These simple devices lock your guitar's strap attachment to your strap in order to maintain a secure fit.

The reason you may be losing your guitar vs. your strap is most likely due to increased pressure on the strap as you jump around or perform some dazzling guitar tricks like guitar whips. Whatever the reason is, a locking guitar strap can prevent catastrophic events (like your guitar smashing to the floor) if installed properly and securely in place of no device at all.

If we stand back and analyze the circumstances here, we'll get a better perspective of the stress that you may be putting your poor guitar strap through. (sorry little guy) More and more stress is exhibited on your guitar strap when you play guitar tunes more times than you think.

You're putting natural pressure on it when you:

* Wear it with the guitar standing up (obviously)

* Put the guitar on or take the guitar off after playing your tunes

* Walk around while wearing your guitar

Now, you're putting EXTRA pressure on your guitar strap when you:

* Run or jog while wearing your guitar

* Jump while wearing your guitar

* Perform guitar whips

I've actually been to a show in which a guitarist whipped his guitar over his shoulder during a break in the tune and his instrument released itself from its strap, slamming to the ground. I was surprised as to how his guitar worked for the rest of the tune, but it did.

If you're a very active player that enjoys putting on a very thrilling show by moving around and performing tricks on stage, I would highly recommend using a locking guitar strap for your axe. It's hard learning how to play your next guitar tune with a broken instrument :[

For more information, check out these items on

* Dunlop Dual Design Straplok System

* Schaller Strap Locks and Buttons Pair

photo from

Guitar Practice Scales

Guitar practice scales should be a standard part of your warm-up process when beginning to play the guitar for another set of tunes. I've known quite a few friends and fellow guitarists that overlook how important this part of practice is by neglecting their scales. Yes I know, practice scales are boring, but they're important for developing fast and fluent finger movements for beginning guitarists.

Before jamming on guitar tunes with a band or in my own home, I usually whip out a few guitar practice scales to get my fingers warmed up. These scales that I do are not crazy insane difficult, and you won't waste a lot of your practice time doing them.

Personally, I don't focus on major or minor scales to practice, but focus rather on what scales give me diverse finger movements. Remember to practice each scale with a steady and consistent tempo. Use a metronome if you need to.

These first two guitar scales that I'm going to show you here are best practiced together.

Scale 1

Scale 2

Keep a steady tempo when practicing these two. You'll really benefit when it comes time to learn how to play guitar tunes later.

Here's a trickier guitar riff that's best tried slower, then over time, increase your playing speed and make your fingers nice and nimble.

Scale 3


And here's one final scale that I will show you today that is fairly simple, but can actually stir some improvements in your guitar playing style.

Scale 4



And so on. Working your way up to all four finger moving on this guitar scale is probably all the practice you'll need for this particular one.

Now, by no means am I suggesting that you HAVE to play guitar practice scales in order to improve before moving on to guitar tunes. That isn't the case. This is just what works for me however. I encourage you to discover how to improve by any means necessary. If you enjoyed these scales, there are slews of other scales that can be learned from the Jamorama Guitar program.

How To Callous Your Fingers: Playing Through the Finger Pain

How to callous your fingers probably sounds like a ridiculous statement when it comes to anything. (even playing the guitar) However, any experienced guitarist will vouch that developing finger callouses when learning how to play the guitar is essential. I just want you to realize, here at How To Guitar Tune, finger pain and developing callouses is a common process to developing your guitar skills.

Many beginning guitarists get discouraged from finger pain and blisters when learning a guitar tune, but developing calloused fingers is essential to becoming a good guitar player. Yes, you're going to experience a week or two of slight discomfort, pressing your fingers against the metal of the strings, but you need to learn how to play through the pain.

After that painful week (or two) you can welcome steady improvement to your guitar skills by playing scales, practice riffs, or whatever guitar tunes your little heart desires. The important thing is realizing how to deal with one puny week of discomfort.

A large portion of beginners, including myself when I began learning guitar tunes, have tiny blisters form on their fingertips instead of callouses.

I can understand that this might be a semi-gross topic to discuss, but I feel it's something that should be confronted. Of course, the best (and easiest) way how to handle a blister is to...

dun dun dun...

Pop it. Yep, it's gross, but honestly, those blisters will either grow and grow and grow and just hurt (like little sons of you-know-whats) unless you pop them. It's not important how you do it (keep the gory details to yourself) but pop and drain those blisters. You might see them regrow and you'll have to repeat the process.

The important thing is to keep your fingertips clear for callouses that are vital to playing the guitar from here on out.

And you know how to keep callouses on your fingers? Keep playing! That one's simple.

I apologize for this health lesson on phalanges and their development, but calloused fingers really ARE important. Teach yourself to play through the pain if your time hasn't come yet and you'll be playing guitar tunes in no time.

What is a Monster Cable Worth?

What is a Monster cable worth exactly? Monster cables have a pretty good reputation, but are they worth it to use as electric guitar cables. I'm gonna let you know why my guitar cables are not Monster and what I think IS worth it.

I've owned a few different electric guitar cables for my guitars including my Epiphone Les Paul Custom (Black) which is my favorite guitar by far. (Me being more of a rhythm guitarist by trade)

The current cables that I use are VTG Audio Low Noise Cables. I've been using them for a little over a year now and I've definitely got my money's worth from them. They carry a good tone and haven't gotten fidgety on me, causing the signal to turn into white noise or to fade in and out (even though it eventually will like most cables react with age)

But, I want to mention Monster Cables. Monster Cables have been on the market for years and have a high-satisfactory rating in studios as standard mic, and sound connections. And they should, because they stand as high-quality cables...except for guitars and basses.

Why the heck would I say that?

A couple years back I had to take my Yamaha Pacifica in for maintenance because the cable input was becoming fidgety. It just wasn't working properly.

After the repair guy brought my guitar out, he told me that the input had been STRETCHED. I didn't really understand until I studied the size of my monster cable ends compared to other cables I owned.

Monster Cable jacks are actually larger than standard cable jacks. What does this mean? It means they have a more secure fit into your guitar. That's kind of their selling point. But what else?

It means, they'll stretch your input and tear at your guitar's electronics. I mean, it's nice to have a secure fit into a guitar jack, but Monster cables haven't quite figured it out yet as far as I'm concerned.

Stick to any other brand when thinking of guitar cables. Monster are very good at just about any other cable, but I wouldn't recommend them for electric guitar use. Not worth it.

What Kind of Guitar Should I Buy?

So you walk into your local music store and there's a few guitars... or maybe there's HUNDREDS to choose from. What do you look for? Do you go for the pretty ones? The heavy ones? The acoustic? The electric?

Finding a guitar for a beginner is an exciting and overwhelming process at the same time. It might seem difficult, but finding the best kind of guitar is based on where you want to go with your guitar-playing. Do you want an electric guitar leaning towards rock, blues, or metal? Are you more of an acoustic player leaning towards folk, easy listening, or jam band?

Here are a few tips to determine what's right for you when looking for a new axe.

1. Do you like the way it looks.

Let's get serious here. If you don't like how a kind of guitar looks, you're most likely not going to want to play it or let alone keep it! Pick out a sick-looking instrument that really represents you personally. Don't get tossed around by the salesperson. They just want commission anyway.

2. Check the workmanship.

You can't go from a first glance on how professional a guitar may be. I've picked up $1200 Fender guitars in a store and noticed huge gaps between the body and the fretboard. This is a huge detriment to your sustain.

Pick up the thing. Look at the paint job for scratches or marks. Pay attention to how well all the pieces fit together and whether their are gaps. Stare down the fretboard from the headstock end and notice if it has the "natural curve" to the neck that all guitars should have.

Just be nosey and picky. You're paying out the nose for a new guitar. You want it to be practically perfect for your taste and your budget.

3. Play it!

This one is simple enough. Ask the sales person to hook the thing up and jam. Check out the action on the neck. Can you move from one chord position to the next as quickly as you would like. Are you more of a lead guitarist? If so, can you play single notes at the speed you think you should.

Try it out on a few different amplifiers in the store if you're able to. You need to get in touch with the natural sounds of the guitar.

4. Bring an experienced player along with you.

The main attribute to bringing along an experienced player is that they can give you an honest opinion of whether it's a good guitar and that's what you really need. Let them pick it up, give it a once over, and play it.

They'll let you know if it's a junker or a finely-crafted instrument.

These are just a few tips on picking out a guitar that's right for you. Usually when I walk into a music store, there's so many guitars that are just plain out of my budget. Just think to yourself, "Someday." Until then, be picky and pay attention to detail. Hopefully you can walk out with something that will last you until your NEXT big purchase.

Finger Picking Acoustic - Do You Need Fingernails to Finger Pick?

Finger-picking acoustic guitar is considered a very refined style of playing the acoustic guitar since people had been playing guitar (or an earlier version of the instrument) without picks (just their fingers) for decades. The acoustic guitar resonates very personal and intimate sounds when finger-picked. Consider finger-picking acoustic guitars for a change to your guitar-playing skills.

So, do you need fingernails to finger-pick the acoustic guitar? I've heard this question many times. At one point, I asked this question myself.

The answer however is no. You don't need to have long, strong fingernails to finger-pick on a guitar. I'm not simply talking about using those plastic finger-picks that are similar to standard guitar picks that you slide on your fingers either. Those are a simple alternative, if you would like a very distinct and strong string strike. (check out that awesome alliteration)

I'm talking about finger-picking with only the bare skin on the tips of your fingers. Yes, it's done more than you think and it's more of a skill adopted by more contemporary folk musicians and acoustic guitar players. Just check out this musician (William Fitzsimmons) and his very fluent finger-picking style with just his bare fingers.

I know what you're all thinking right now. Well, if he's not using a pick or anything like it, does he need to have callouses on his fingers? Yes, that's the idea. Finger-picking will become very fluid and easy once you have developed callouses on your finger tips just like the ones on your opposite hand used for forming your guitar chords.

If you're looking for a great place to start with learning finger-picking, consider Jamorama Acoustic Guitar. You can gain a lot of free information that will start you on the way to very refined acoustic guitar playing methods.

So, go out there and get those callouses on your fingers. I want to hear everyone finger-picking very soon.

How To Guitar Play - Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists

If you've picked up a guitar without knowing anything about the instrument, you might think that learning how to play the guitar is practically impossible. I mean, how is a guitar played with 6 strings in thousands of finger positions across over 22 frets in rhythm and tempo?

How to play the guitar kind of sounds unbelievable. However, approaching the guitar with an organized schedule and reasonable goals can actually set the stage to how well you'll learn how to play guitar.

If you really want to get down to business quickly, online courses like the... a great place to start. But, check out these very important beginners tips for anyone interested in how to play guitar.

1. Get information from a music store.

The real place where you're going to learn the most about how to play guitar is from people who play guitars as a profession or extreme hobby. Go to the music store and chat with the guy who hangs out in the guitar section and see how much he has to say about about learning to play.

If you have a close friend that's been playing guitar for a long time, talk with them about how much they like it and what's difficult, etc.

2. It's time to own a guitar!

Even though it sounds good to go out to where guitars are sold, the best thing to do is to go online and do some major research first. Check out what the best guitars for beginners are by reviews and comments from advanced players that know a lot about the subject.

Even after you finally find the guitar you've deiced you want to learn how to play, you don't get it until you've really compared prices everywhere. Compare prices from Ebay, Amazon, music stores, online music stores, pawn shops, garage sales, and classified ads. Be sure to ask your friends if they know anybody who has a guitar that's collecting dust too.

3. Get serious with guitar courses or lessons.

If you want to convince yourself that you're not messing around on how to play guitar, you sign up for guitar lessons or courses. Sure, you can go down to a music store where they charge $10 a lesson and get a great guitar education, but certain programs that can be purchased online are just as beneficial if not more.

I recommend the Jamorama Guitar Course for its reputation in high satisfaction. More, importantly, the instructor actually has a degree in education which is more than most other online courses can say.

4. Guitar tablature is your way into the world.

If you're learning a from a good guitar course, guitar tablature should be becoming more familiar to you. Guitar tablature is actually the short-hand version of sheet music for instructing you how to play specific tunes on the guitar.

Guitar tabs(as they're more commonly reffered) are available at hundreds of sites across the web and most of them are free to the public. That's a lot of music to learn!

5. Chords and smooth changes are the foundation of almost every song.

Chord charts are available for free at dozens of websites. Knowing only a few basic chords and having the ability to change between them smoothly will blast your playing skills to the next level.

6. Focus on a reasonable amount of material at a time.

If you have a couple guitar tunes that sound easy to you, make a goal that those guitar tunes are what you're going to learn how to play for awhile, and that's it! Knowing two guitar tunes great is better than knowing ten guitar tunes poorly.

Realize that you've only just begun and that it's going to take awhile to play a guitar tune up to a performance's expectations.

7. Get tips from your friends.

Just about everyone I know has at least one friend that plays the guitar already. Well, it's time to call them up and see what they have to offer.

They might be able to tell you where to get the best gear, what's easy to play, and how they've learned something faster than others. Share your secrets to!

Learning how to play guitar can really focus your mind and teach you discipline. Honestly, only guitarists that possess patience and discipline become great guitarists.

Again, that link to learn tons of great lessons and methods is here...

How To Guitar Tune Correctly

How to guitar tune isn't very difficult but it's something that EVERY guitar player should know how to do before playing your tunes. Tuning your guitar not only keeps you in good standing with the other instruments, but teaches you how to develop your guitar ear for more advanced guitar tuning and playing methods.

If you're an experienced guitar player, you may no by now, the "secret" of using the 5th fret (and your fine-tuned ears) to tune your six strings. However, how to master this technique is only consistent if you've played the guitar long enough to recognize when two strings aren't in tune. You'll hear a slight wavering between the two guitar strings when making a comparison.

The most reliable method for your guitar however is to use an electronic tuner. When you're on stage, you really don't have the environment for very detailed listening to go by your ears alone. That's why the help of an electronic tuner is always best.

Another explanation of how to guitar tune is by using a piano. This is the most popular in a recording setting (and when a piano is present ...duh). Simply play the guitar notes respectively to the piano keys. Ex: E A D G B e

If you haven't learned the 5th fret method to guitar tuning, then I will explain. This method is only used if you know your lowest string (commonly E) is in tune from the start.

Place your index finger on Low E and pluck back and forth between that string and the next string, (A).

Those two pitches should be the same.

Place your index finger on (A) and pluck back and forth between that string and the next string, (D).

Those two pitches should be the same.

Are you seeing a pattern. Actually, all the strings work this way except for the (G) string. When you get to the (G) string, put your index finger on the 4th fret instead. (It's a pain I know)

This is a VERY basic way of tuning your guitar. For best results, tune more than one way before you play and your guitar should stay in tune longer.

And REMEMBER, ALWAYS tune BELOW the note and then TIGHTEN UP TO IT.

Here is a real-working online tuner that will give you the pitches in order to tune your guitar.

However, it's best to own a tuner for use away from your computer (where you'll mostly use it). Check out the How To Guitar Tune Store for a wide selection of tuners and guitar equipment.

Have fun!

Electronic tuner applet is from