Acoustic Guitar Quality - Finding A Good Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar is such a beautifully-sounding instrument and for the best tones, you want something of high-quality. Maybe you're with a friend and you're examining their guitar or you're looking in the store for a new guitar of your own.

Whatever the reason...

It's nice to know that you can identify a quality acoustic guitar when you need to. Here are a few things to look for:

1. Where the neck meets the body should be seamless and tight.

Since the strings are constantly giving tension to the neck, you want to check for flaws. Make sure the body and neck are connected cleanly without gaps.

Check to see if the strings are getting the best of the guitar neck by actually bending it away from the body. That's not very good.

2. The action of the instrument is good for you.

More importantly, how does the thing play? It doesn't really matter how much of a high-quality acoustic guitar you have if you can't play it comfortably.

See how easily it is to play your common riffs and if the strings are easy to press down to the frets.

3. The twist of the neck can be present, but not crazy.

Turn the guitar so that you're staring from the bottom of the instrument to the headstock of the neck. (like looking down a rifle) You should be able to see if the neck is bending slightly.

Most guitars have a very slight bend when they have been used for awhile. A high-quality acoustic guitar has either a slight or almost no bend, but if you find one that's bending a lot...

that's a problem.

4. Dirty hardware should be expected, but only so much.

Your guitar's hardware is going to get dirty if you do things like play when it's hot out and you begin to sweat all over it. Finding hardware that's dirty is ok, but rusty means that this player kept very poor care of their instrument.

5. The general condition should meet your approval.

Just be honest with yourself. If you look at an acoustic guitar for its overall quality and you see a disgusting-looking thing, it probably hasn't been cared for.

Use some common sense when checking over a used instrument, or even in the stores so you can tell if you have your hands on a high-quality acoustic guitar or not.

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Guitar With Metronome - A Match Made For Perfect Practice

A guitar with a metronome is a beautiful thing. It really is.

Having the ability to play songs and licks by yourself is great, but a metronome is there to keep your tempo and rhythm in check. Learning to keep a consistent rhythm to a song is so powerful that you'll be desired by most musicians if you can grasp this concept.

Think about what you'll get, simply by practicing with a cheap little metronome.

1. You'll learn to respect the tempo of a song.

...And song tempos deserve respect. You can't expect a guitar tune to sound that good when it's being played at any speed you choose and when you can simply disrupt that speed at any moment!

Tempos demand respect and order, and they deserve it. Respecting the tempo means:
  • You'll be able to identify if you're rushing or lagging.
  • Following a drummer in a band is easier.
  • It makes you easier to play along with other guitarists.
It's all about identifying your own faults with the tempo and using it to accommodate others who you might be playing with. So, if you never want to play along with anyone in a band, fine.

Don't use a metronome, but you'll be missing out on a great deal of improvement.

* You'll be able to identify if you're rushing or lagging.

Sometimes you may not be fully aware how far from the tempo you really are. With your guitar and metronome working together, you'll never have to guess, and eventually, your brain will develop consistent rhythm on its own that will tick in your head like the gears of a machine.

* Following a drummer in a band easier.

Drummers are basically glorified metronomes. (Just kidding guys. I know that you do freakin' sweet rhythms that I can only dream of doing)

But, they are the prime suspects of keeping the beat that you need to follow. If you've been practicing with a metronome, it should really be a piece of cake and you won't have to have that awkward conversation at the next band rehearsal.

* It makes you easier to play along with other guitarists.

As much as you want to play better with others, others want to play better with you. With that skill of identifying your own rushing and lagging, you can almost sense the tempo between you and another guitarist.

2. It's a good way to mark your improvement of guitar speed.

If you take anything away from having a metronome with your guitar is knowing that it's a great way to keep track of your playing speed. You can look at the clearly-marked bpms on the device and increase them or decrease them to accommodate your playing level.

Really, the metronome is an awesome little guy that you'll want around with your guitar. Think about purchasing a cheap one.

Check out the wide selection of metronomes and other guitar equipment at the HTGT Online Guitar Store.

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Guitar Scale Exercises - Learning A Minor Pentatonic Scale

When you do a few guitar scale exercises before you practice, you really have the chance to loosen up those phalanges for the work that needs to be done. We all really just want to dive into the material at hand, but a few good guitar scale exercises can get you ready.

Personally, I do eight different scales and practice riffs before I begin working on anything...

And that's after I've done a few nice finger stretches too.

This scale I'm going to show you is a Minor Pentatonic scale. I'm actually not much for learning the proper names and such, but I do believe that learning the association of notes within scales is very good for playing improvisational licks and solos.

(Which I lack. I'm more of a rhythm player confined to already written music myself.)

Here's the scale:

e------------------------------------------5---8--- b----------------------------------5---8----------- g--------------------------5---7------------------- D------------------5---7---------------------------

The key to tackling any guitar scale exercise is to approach it first with a very slow and controlled manner so that you can be precise with your finger placement. Don't try to do too much at once.

You really want to work on being fluent and connected between each note.

When you feel that you're up to the task, speed it up slightly. If you have a metronome to keep time, that's fantastic.

If you can play the scale pretty well going in one direction, try it going in another. Then, try to go directly from one direction into the other.

As soon as you play the guitar scale exercise well at a slightly faster tempo, increase it again. Repeat over and over until you're basically flying all over the guitar neck and looking like a beast.

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Learn Chords Guitar - 6 Basic Steps To Learning Any Guitar Chord

The moment that you start to learn chords on the guitar is the moment you start getting ahead in the game. Just about ever song every created for the guitar contains a basic set of chords, and fortunately for us, most radio hits use all of the same chords and progressions.

That means that once you start buckling down and learning a few of the most popular chords, you can start to dominate the most of the guitar tunes written. Here is a step by step process of what it takes to really learn to play a guitar chord well.

1. Know how to place all your fingers properly.

You learn the chord and then figure out how to properly place your fingers onto the strings on the fret board. Be precise and take your time figuring it out if you have to because you want the best finger formation that will allow you to transition to other chords smoothly.

2. Have good posture.

For every chord that you learn, when you understand where to place your fingers, you should work on having correct posture with your fingers and wrist on the fret board. Try not to accommodate for a weird chord by angling your hand or fingers, but always keep your thumb in the back of the guitar neck with your hand perpendicular.

3. Know the strings that you should and should not strum.

Not every string on the guitar neck is going to be strummed for every chord. On the contrary, only a few strings might be struck at a time.

If you're reading a guitar tab, notice that all of the strings to be hit are marked with a number while all the strings to avoid are marked with an 'x'.

4. Strike the appropriate strings evenly within the chord.

You want to get a rich and balanced sound when you strum through any chord, so it's important to strike all of the strings evenly. Picture your hand moving through a smooth arced path as your pick hits the strings while keeping your hand's distance from the guitar consistent as you move through.

5. Practice placing your fingers quickly into the formation.

Now, your hands are not going to automatically be in this chord formation from the start, so you need to practice getting to that point. See how quickly that you can form this new chord and then strum a sound cleanly.

Do this over and over again until you feel comfortable.

6. Transition between another chord.

You'll know that you're ready to use this chord in a real song when you can transition between this chord and at least one other smoothly. Pick a chord that you've already learned and practice going back and forth between them until the transition is very smooth and easy to accomplish.

There are a lot of chords out there to learn, but most of the songs created use the same ones. Remember these steps the next time you come across a chord that you want to learn and you should be tackling songs with that chord in no time.

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6 Easy Songs For Guitar Beginners

If you sat down and thought about it, you could probably come up with a massive list of easy songs for guitar beginners. Seriously... it could go on and on.

This list that I've come up with contains songs that I've personally played and realized that most beginners would have a fun time tackling.

1. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day

Green Day are the masters of power chords and just like any other of their songs, this one is jam-packed with them. There's only a couple progressions to the entire song and a few neat lead riffs that should give any beginner a tiny ego boost when completed.

2. "Radio" by Alkaline Trio

Personally, I just love this song and Alkaline Trio is known for creating easy songs for guitar beginners since there's only one guitarist in the band.

I know that there are quite a few three person music groups, but it seems that they chose to take the Blink 182 route as opposed to like System of A Down (not counting the singer).

3. "Adam's Song" by Blink 182

Right there I just mentioned Blink 182, and here they are in the next song. "Adam's Song" is a good way to dive into Blink 182 since this one's a bit slower and helps you to realize their system of Intro/Verse/Chorus/Intro/Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus.

4. "Wonderwall" by Oasis

If you're alive...

people want to hear this freaking song. Seriously, don't show your sorry face at a campfire unless you know this song, otherwise someone is going to call you out and accuse you of not knowing anything.

Well, let's hope that your friends are nicer than mine. Either way, this is another easy song for guitar beginners.

5. "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty

Tom Petty makes classics that just about anyone can play and "Free Fallin'" is one of them. If you enjoy this one, take a stab at "Mary Jane's Last Dance" too.

When I was in a classic rock band, all we ever got were requests for us to play Tom Petty. Again... pretty popular.

6. "Wild Thing" by The Troggs

This one is seriously easy and any bar that's had the drinks flowing for a least a couple hours is going to love it. Add this one to your line-up and watch those drunks go nuts... a good way.

It's pretty interesting how some of the more easy songs for guitar beginners are some of the more popular ones. Try out a few of these and get the attention of your friends and family.

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Delay For Guitar - The Good and Bad Of Guitar Delay Pedals

Once delay for guitar came around, a whole bunch of new crazy stuff could be done and that's awesome. I believe that there are still plenty of things that are untouched in the realm of guitar effects, and the full value of guitar delay might be one of them.


As much as guitar effects are cool, I think there's a certain responsibility that comes with them to serve the crowd and the song than just your ego.

So what are the awesome things that delay for guitar can be used for?

1. It's great for stand-alone guitar parts.

If it's just you and the crowd or you have a solo where the band is completely silent, let that delay pedal rip. You can create some pretty gnarly echoes and things that portray a certain level of mysticism and ambiance.

2. Delay is usually the basis for loop stations.

If you haven't had the chance to hear a loop station, check out this video below. It shows just an average guy and how he tries out his own personal riffs with his nifty loop station and creates some neat things.

3. It sounds great on a clean channel.

I know that a lot of electric players hate the idea of losing power or depth when they play in a clean channel, but here's an excuse to do it. There's just something mesmerizing about hearing a delay effect on a clean channel electric. Try it.

So how can you get carried away with the power of delay?

1. It can clash with other guitars in a full band setting.

Delay for guitar is great when it's by itself, but when it starts inviting friends over, it gets nosy and wants to top everybody else. Use it sparingly in a full band, because you might be just taking away from the pure abilities of your natural tone.

2. Delays with long echoes are annoying.

This might just be personal preference, but when I hear a delay pedal where a lot of notes are being played and the echo goes on into infinity... my ears just turn off and I'm not interested anymore. Anyone else?

3. You have to be particular with your delay preferences.

Not every song can be easily improved with the same settings for a delay pedal. Remember that you can slow down the delay rate, the echo length, and the amount of effect to include.

I think delay pedals are the bomb, but sometimes they're not serving tunes as well as they could be because of the guitarists operating them.

Go out and try one for yourself, but watch out... they're addictive :]

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Rock Band Audition - Have A Better Chance Of Becoming A Band's Guitarist

When you consider yourself good enough on guitar for a rock band audition, that's when things can be exciting. You may have learned that your friends are looking for a new guitarist and you think you stand a decent chance of making the cut.

However, if they conduct this audition in a very professional manner, what should you be working on to make sure you stand a chance? There are quite a few things that can help a panel of band members decide if they want to include you in their group. Here are a few of them:

* Find out the required material to learn.

Most bands will just come out and say exactly the tunes that you need to learn in order to jam with them and be considered for anything. If they don't, you'll need to ask questions about the music they like and the songs they already know.

If you're ambitious and want to make a good impression, learn more songs than you're required. It will really show them that you're willing to work hard to get what you want.

* Learn their fashions.

As judgmental as it sounds, band members are likely to survey your taste in clothing and make a very deep impression based on that alone, before you even play. Check out some of the threads that your possible band mates are sporting and attempt some subtle conformity for best results.

* Bring extra equipment in case of a disaster.

If there's a chance that your guitar, amp, pedals, or strings might fail you at this rock band audition, you need to be prepared. Bring extras of anything that might be at risk of screwing up your audition.

* Be agreeable and polite.

Of course your guitar-playing comes into judgment with these guys, but they want to know that you'll work well with them and be polite. Express very good manners and keep the swearing to a minimum unless you find that to be their casual language choice.

* Be yourself.

If you walk in and put on a show that isn't really you, they might expect this "fake" version of you any time after the rock band audition. If you just be yourself, you're more likely to play better, be more confident, and have a better chance of getting the spot in general.

* Accept their decision gracefully.

There's no better way to show your mature character than accepting the band's decision, whether good or bad, with dignity. Even if they don't choose you, just knowing that you were so understanding of their decision will keep you in high consideration if their first choice doesn't work out.

It's a bit tricky to know what a band might want when you try out for them, but getting a sense of how they work and interact is half of the mystery. So when you go to your rock band audition, put on your sharpest clothes, learn your sickest riffs, and be confident in your abilities.

This video has really nothing to do with a band audition, but this guy is a very talented musician who is covering a very talented musician named William Fitzsimmons.

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Guitar Chorus Pedal - Blending The Chorus Effect Into Your Tunes

There are so many sweet effects for you to use with your guitar and the guitar chorus pedal stands among them. With its ability to emulate the sound of multiple guitars from one tone, it can add a whole new sensation to your live show.

But what are some opportune times to actually use this neat effect without taking away from the song? There are going to be better places than others to use this effect. Here are a few suggestions:

Stand out in the middle of a guitar solo.

You know that it's your time to shine when it comes down to you wailing above the rest during a powerful guitar solo. Try your guitar chorus pedal the next time you blaze the frets and you can leave a better impression.

Use it to boost your lead parts in a heavy rhythm section.

Sometimes an intricate rhythm section that consists of constant strumming can drown out a weak lead riff. With some chorus on your guitar you'll be able to cut through more of the bass and middle ranges to be heard over the top easier.

Add more bulk to a rhythm section.

A guitar chorus pedal is mainly used to create the illusion of multiple instruments playing in sync with each other. If you want to give more bulk and power to a rhythm section, flip on your effect and suddenly you'll have other tones backing you up.

Now, not everything that you attempt with an effects pedal is going to be beautiful music to your ears. It's very easy to do too much and potentially wreck a song. Check out these tips to check your intentions with the effect.

Think about your purpose.

If the only reason you can find to use your guitar chorus pedal is "just because" then you probably shouldn't. Always have a purpose to use your effects, because they can create really awesome drama when used in moderation.

Always serve the song.

Using the chorus effect too much can run the risk of ruining a song. You'll know deep down if a part of your guitar tune has too much going on and you really shouldn't attempt to fit anything else in.

You can't be in the spotlight the entire time in a full band.

As much as we all wish we were the center of attention 100% of the time when we're playing with a band, we can't be. Check your ego at the door so you're not putting attention on yourself with an effect that isn't necessary.

A guitar chorus pedal can add some really neat and new dimensions to your playing, but you have to make sure your intentions are pure and what's best for the piece. As long as you stay true to the tune, you should be in good shape.

This video is of someone playing a beautiful little melody using the chorus effect. Niiice.

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Private Lessons Guitar - The Benefits Of Taking Lessons From Professionals

Besides guitarists, private lessons are a common consideration for any struggling musician that hates the difficulties of teaching themselves. Sometimes beginning musicians do not have the patience and goal-oriented mind-set to reach the success they require.

That's why there are real professionally experienced guitarists that offer private lessons at your local music store for reasonable prices. Here are just a few of the benefits you'll receive by signing up for these important lessons.

You'll get one on one attention.

Maybe you're the type of student that needs to speak with the professor or teacher after a class to solidify what they've lectured even better. It's harder to do this with online or video courses, but a private lesson has an instructor right in front of you to clarify any questions you might have.

Playing and learning takes place in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere.

Playing your guitar can really stink if your practice space consists of barking dogs and screaming children. At the very least you'll finally get a quiet and comfortable place to practice your riffs and licks without interruptions.

Your teachers are experienced professionals.

There's a lot of controversy about some of the online courses being offered due to the credibility issue, but it's hard to cover that up in person. Really, if you want your personal private lessons guitar instructor to prove himself, tell him to show off a bit and you'll find out immediately if these lessons are worth the money.

Learn at a pace of your choice.

Do you like to pump through practices quick with no nonsense, or do you like to take your time and work thoroughly? If it's just you and your instructor, they'll encourage you to learn as quickly or as slowly as you please to ensure the best results with your talent.

Taylor the learning experience to your preferences.

Other courses might have a very set agenda on what you're going to learn, but what if none of that sounds fun or appealing to you? With private lessons, you can simply speak your mind and the teacher will start guiding you based on your interests in order to keep your business.

Instructors can help you set goals and complete them.

The most important thing for a personal guitar instructor is for them to see you succeed. As much as getting paid is fun, they love to see their students enjoying the guitar and reaching their goals. So, tell them what you're dying to accomplish and they'll help you get there.

Honestly, there's a great deal of awesome information that's provided on videos and online courses over the internet, but they all lack that very intimate and personal setting that private guitar lessons provide. Maybe it might benefit you to head down to you local music store and start asking around about some lessons for yourself.

Here's a fun video from the movie "School of Rock" where Jack Black does some teaching of his own.

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Reading Tabs Guitar - Learn To Read Guitar Tabs

I've posted quite a few things here concerning songs, practice scales, and such, but I may have forgot the fundamental skill it takes to really learn these things. In fact, I just assumed you knew. (which was wrong of me since I'm creating a blog aimed at beginners)

So let's talk about reading tabs. What are guitar tabs?

Tab actually stands for tablature which is a short-hand version of sheet music that's able to be understood by those without much knowledge of musical theory and how to read the musical staff.

Honestly, it has its own limitations, but that's expected in a shorthand version. In reality, you can't fully comprehend a guitar tab unless you've already heard the piece that the tab is about.

Kinda sucks, but it's true. You see, guitar tabs have a very difficult time conveying tempo and rhythm without spending much more time on the tablature's composure.

At that point, it's not really short-hand anymore. You see the irony?

So what do all these things on the tab represent?

Well... let's start with the strings.

------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------

I'm sure you've probably gathered as much that these lines represent the actual strings on the guitar, but in a different perspective than you may expect.

e----------------------------------------------- b----------------------------------------------- g----------------------------------------------- D----------------------------------------------- A----------------------------------------------- E-----------------------------------------------

See, when I add the actual tone names, you'll notice that they are labeled by how YOU would view the guitar when you're looking down when it's in playing position.

e---3---3---3---0---0---0---0---0---0----------- b---3---3---3---0---0---0---2---2---2----------- g---0---0---0---1---1---1---2---2---2----------- D---0---0---0---2---2---2---2---2---2----------- A---2---2---2---2---2---2---0---0---0----------- E---3---3---3---0---0---0---x---x---x-----------

The numbers that appear on the strings are the fret numbers. These actually tell you where to place your fingers on the fret board.

You notice that these fret numbers are all lined up. That's because they're making chords. When you see them all lined up in this fashion, that means all of those strings are to be strummed at once.

So for the first chord, which is a 'G Major,' the tab says to press down the 3rd fret on the 'E' string, the 2nd fret on the 'A' string, the 3rd fret on the 'b' string, and the 3rd fret on the high 'e' string. Then strum all 6 strings.

You strum all 6 of them because the number 0 indicates a string to be struck, but not to be fingered.

There are also a couple 'x' indicators on the guitar tab. That means do not strike as part of the chord. Simple enough.

The entire guitar tab just says to strum the 'G Major' chord 3 times, then the 'E Major' chord 3 times, and then the 'A Major' chord 3 times. (while missing that first string on the last chord)

This is most of what you'll encounter as fast as guitar tabs, but there are a few who attempt to show tempo and rhythms in their tabs and you might see this...

____1___+___2___+___3___+___4___+___1___etc. e---3---3---3---0---0---0---0---0---0------------ b---3---3---3---0---0---0---2---2---2------------ g---0---0---0---1---1---1---2---2---2------------ D---0---0---0---2---2---2---2---2---2------------ A---2---2---2---2---2---2---0---0---0------------ E---3---3---3---0---0---0---x---x---x------------

Now that I look at this, it's a pretty dumb rhythm, but oh well. Numbers will be placed on the top of the tab in order to count out a rhythm. It's usually pretty tough to imagine in your head, so listening to the song first can really turn things around.

Be prepared for some weird stuff to show up in guitar tabs, or for them to be completely wrong! Remember, anybody can write and submit them, but that doesn't mean everybody can really write music by ear.

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Guitar Pawn Shop - Helpful Tips For Buying A Secondhand Instrument

There may have been a time when the thought of getting your next guitar at a pawn shop crept into your mind. Really, they can be pretty good sources for used instruments at reasonable prices, but this is only if you know what you're looking for.

Too often, a guitar pawn shop takes advantage of customers who don't know what they're looking at and don't know much about their purchases. Here are some helpful tips to go into a pawn shop with confidence and come out with a reliable instrument without getting burned.

1. Do your research first.

One of the most common mistakes that a guitarist can make when they're looking to buy a new instrument is to go in blind. Do some research before you actually go to the stores by comparing reviews and prices of guitars online or in catalogs.

Popular music store sites to compare prices are:

2. Beware of the salesman.

Guitar pawn shop salesmen are there to make sales at almost any cost and they usually hold a reputation of not being the most trustworthy individuals. Try to keep your space if they start following you around the store so that you can make a conscious decision

without feeling pressured to buy right away.

3. Be confident in your choices and decisions.

As soon as the salesmen recognize you as someone who isn't sure of what they want, they'll take you for a ride and clean out your wallet along the way. Tell them exactly what you want and what you don't want to let them know that you're not going to settle for an instrument that's an over-priced piece of junk.

4. Identify bogus prices.

As part of your research before you go into a guitar pawn shop, you should have been looking up all sorts of prices. With this knowledge, you'll know within seconds if you're going to find some good deals or just a bunch of expensive garbage.

5. Ask to play the guitars.

Employees love to spin their selling technique on you, but the only way you'll really know the guitar inside and out is to just get your fingers on those frets. Ask to play any guitar that you're interested in, and if the salesman says otherwise, there might be something fishy going on.

6. Bring someone with you.

If you don't really know much about good guitars, the best thing to do is to bring someone who does. They'll be able to tell you if a guitar is well-made, if it feels comfortable, if it's easy to play, and if it's a reasonable price.

The guitar pawn shop can pull a few scams every now then, but they're also known for holding a few really great instruments at some great prices. Remember these tips when you go out shopping for your next guitar and you could walk out with a fantastic deal.

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What Is The BPM?

"What is the bpm?" is a common question asked by beginning musicians, not just guitarists, when a seasoned musician, recording engineer, music instructor, or anybody of a similar career choice starts mentioning a tune's tempo. With so many things going on in a tune, there's plenty to worry about, but being concerned with the tempo is high-up on the list.

So anyway... what is the bmp?

Bpm is an acronym that stands for "beats per minute" and is a unit of measurement for most musical tempos.

I was in high school band (nerd don't know the have of it) and at the top of our sheet music we received you could view a general tempo marking which is a semi-broad term to describe a piece's tempo.

For instance, the word allegro means somewhat fast and andante means at a walking pace.

Now, occasionally, composers would mark what the desired bpm (beats per minute) of the tune was intended to be played in as well.

In that case, our director would pull out her giant ancient metronome that could beep out the tempo indicated at the top of the page. We would hear the beat, she would count us off, and then boom...we began.

So any common metronome that you purchase for your guitar will most likely keep track of the tempo using bpms.

A nifty trick for making a close estimate of a tempo without a metronome would be to really consider the term's meaning. BPM actually counts the number of beats per minute right?

That means if you hear a song where the beat appears to hit with nearly a second between the next, then that tempo is closer to 60 bpms. And so if something sounds twice as fast (like you can fit 2 beats into a single second) then it's closer to 120 bpms.

So now you should have a common understanding of this musical acronym and you can give a brief explanation the next time someone asks YOU "What is the bpm?"

I'm in a bit of disbelief that someone actually wrote a song about beats per minute, but leave it to Kylie Minogue.

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Guitar Palm Mute - Simple Exercises To Improve Your Technique

If you listen to any kind of music, then you've heard a guitar palm mute before. (Seriously) It's really as simple as that.

Guitar palm mutes are everywhere in different tunes and genres and it's a pretty fundamental skill that every guitarist should know how to execute well to perform any genre of music with a shred of competency.

If you're a beginning player and want to know the basis of a guitar palm mute, please visit my post:

How Palm Mute - Learning To Control The String Vibration

...before attempting the exercises mentioned here.

The main thing to palm-muting is knowing how to comfortably change between regular (open-strumming) and palm-muted notes or chords.

Exercise 1.

We're going to try a palm-mute on open strings, but we're going to completely disregard the tones we hear by muting the strings with our left hand.

Left hand mute: Place your 4 fingers (of your fret hand) on the strings without pressing them to the fret board. Use should hear a rigid tone (the opposite of a clean pitch) when any of the strings are struck.

The '*' will indicate palm-muted notes or chords from now on.


This guitar tab starts you on the low 'E' string with 4 open-struck notes, and then 4 palm-muted notes. Then it's repeated to the 'A' string.

Go through each of the strings from the lowest to the highest:

E - open then palmed
A - open then palmed
D - open then palmed

Exercise 2.

Repeat Exercise 1, but release your left hand from the fret board. (un-mute the strings)

You should hear clear tones and short ones during the palm-muted sections. Even though the strings are muted with the right hand, the pitches should still be very clear.

Go again from the low 'E' string to the high 'E' string.

Exercise 3.

We're going to double pick now at this point by using down-stroke
s and up-strokes with our picks WHILE we palm-mute the strings.

So... instead of putting only 8 notes to a pitch, we'll use 16 this time.

Do this exercise going slowly first and try to keep the down-strokes AND the up-strokes to be more consistent.

You probably don't need to mute the strings with your left hand. That was only to realize in the beginning whether your palm-muting was executed correctly or not.



Start with the low 'E' string, then to the 'A' string and so on until you've covered all 6 strings...

E - 8 open, 8 palmed
A - 8 open, 8 palmed
D - etc.

Exercise 4.

For this exercise, we're going to do the same work as Exercise 3 but with a faster tempo.

When you transition from doing slower palm-mutes to faster ones, you'll notice that the motion needs to be more fluent and automatic with double-picking.

Let one note move smoothly into the next with each stroke.

Exercise 5.

Now the next thing to take a stab at is palm-muted chords. With chords, the only difference is keeping more than one string palmed as you strum them.

You can use any chord of your choice for this exercise. (preferably one that's comfortable for you and without too many fingered strings like D or A)

I like to palm-mute the E Minor (Em) chord for instance.

So I'll form an Em with my index finger on the 2nd fret of the 'A' string and my middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 'D' string.

For this chord to sound correctly, I can actually strum all of the strings if I want. Check that you're not strumming more strings than you need for this exercise. (so your chord doesn't sound ugly)

I'm only going to strum the first four strings for this exercise to make things easier (realistically, you won't need to palm-mute all 6 strings very often)

Just like Exercise 2 we're going to do 4 slow and open down-strokes on our chord, then 4 slow palm-muted down-strokes. We'll repeat that action 3 more times after the first.


This is what it would look like for me when I do the exercise with my Em chord.

Exercise 6.

You guessed it. This time we'll take that palm-muted chord and apply it to double-picking.

We'll be playing 16 total chords with 8 open chords and 8 palm-muted chords.

Again, try to keep your picking consistent and fluent between each chord strummed. Even though some chords are open and others are close, we still want them to sound like they belong together.

This exercise would look like this with my Em chord:


Remember you're going down and up with your pick. Repeat this 3 more times.

Exercise 7.

Now, take those chords you just played and speed them up to a faster tempo. You're still going to do 16 total strokes, but just with a slightly faster tempo. Then repeat the process 3 more times.

Make sure you're doing a good job of controlling the strings' tone with your palm-muting hand resting on the strings down near the tailpiece.

Run through these exercises and you should be tightening up your ability to switch between palm-muted and open notes and chords over time.

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How To Guitar Play- Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
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Playing Chords On Guitar - Get Your Technique Smooth and Steady

Playing chords on guitar is kind of the meat of the instrument. Depending on your style if you choose to be a rhythm or lead guitarist, you might play more chords than the other.

However, learning chords and learning to play chords on guitar in a smooth and reliable fashion can determine how well you perform common tune from then on. Here are some things to think about when focusing on your chords.

1. Pay close attention to your posture.

It's hard to complete a few of the simplest chords when your hand is all folded up and contorted into an odd arrangement. Relax your fingers, use only the tips, and keep your hand perpendicular to the guitar neck.

2. Hash it out even when it's frustrating.

Playing chords on guitar is bound to make anyone frustrated in the beginning with the weird finger formations and strumming patterns to add, but you can't give up. Learning to suck it up and roll right through the discouragement is important to playing better.

3. Don't worry about speed at the moment.

You have to start slow in order to go fast and chances are, you can't play very fast to begin with. There's no sense in beating yourself up when you don't have any speed because you're probably not at the point where speed is that important anyway.

4. Stay loose.

There's a lot that you can focus on with your playing technique, but keeping your fingers nimble and loose by any means is important as well. Do some stretches before you practice and when you're not near the guitar squeeze a stress ball or do some typing on the computer.

5. Practice the transitions.

The most difficult part of playing chords on guitar is getting smooth transitions from one chord to the next. Practice making one chord and seeing how quickly you can get to the next. Switch up the combinations and time your efforts or listen for any faults in your movements.

6. Play more REAL songs.

Guitar tunes are all around you and just about all of them use chords to play. So that means if you're busy learning a typical guitar tune, you're doing something to improve your guitar chords.

Sometimes there's no greater source of frustration than playing chords on guitar, but the sooner you get over that hill, the sooner you'll be open to libraries of guitar tunes. Try a few of these strategies out for yourself and start making your chords smooth and steady.

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How To Guitar Play- Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
Fast Electric Guitar Learning Course
Best Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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Teach Guitar To Yourself - Yea, It's Not That Fun

When I come across other guitarists my age that say that they just learned how to play the guitar, I usually feel the curiosity to inquire how they did it. About 8 out of 10 times the person will reply with "I taught myself to play."

Now, as much as people might say this, you have to admit that it's a bit of a contradiction.

I mean really, how would you have the knowledge to teach yourself a skill that you formally had no knowledge of? Did I just blow your mind?

But seriously, there may not really be such a thing as knowing how to teach guitar to yourself, but knowing where to get your information and how to acquire skills from reliable sources is what it's all about.

There are always going to be guitar courses and lessons for beginners and that's what teaching guitar to yourself involves really. It's about having the initiative to create your own guitar future by making intelligent choices that will build upon yours skills.

Next time that you're faced with a decision to read, watch, or purchase anything having to do with your guitar skills, think about its intentions and if they fit into your play of learning the guitar of your own accord.

For more information please read my article:
Teach Guitar To Yourself - Unlock The System To Learning Guitar

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How To Guitar Play - Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
Fast Electric Guitar Learning Course
Best Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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How To Guitar Tune