All in Tips

Creative Use Of Loopers At Home

Loopers have been around since the 1950s when Les Paul hid reel to reel tape decks off stage and controlled them using a box attached to his guitar. This allowed him to record and play back parts, and accompany himself live. He called the box the “Les Paulverizer” and it must have seem like magic to 1950s crowds. Nowadays, most of us

It’s Not Just For Sore Throats, It’s A Pick Container Too!

I buy picks by the dozens because they are inexpensive and I lose them frequently. I also give picks to students who forget to bring theirs to lessons. When my wife and I were on vacation last year in Santa Fe New Mexico, we were looking in the gift shops and kept seeing a lot of hand made pottery. That’s when the thought came to me that maybe I could find something hand made to keep picks in.

Playing The “Shuffle Jam”

Being a guitar teacher and in bands I play guitar a lot. I enjoy it, but there are certain expectations and requirements involved. So occasionally I like to play guitar just for the pure fun of it. No audience. No expectations. Just fun. One of my favorite ways to do that in the past few years is what I call the “Shuffle Jam.”

I Want To Be A Clone

Many guitar players start out by copying their heroes. It is only natural to want to learn the music you like and copy the players who inspire you. When I was a teenager, I also wanted to play like my guitar heroes. But I wasn’t very good at copying their style.

Learning Songs On Guitar

Most people learn to play guitar because they want to be able to play songs. That is the fun part of playing any instrument. There are several ways to go about learning songs on guitar. The most common are printed music, videos lessons (YouTube or paid websites), TABs from the internet, private lessons with a teacher, and by ear.

Tips For New Guitar Players 9

Start Writing Songs

Song writing, like guitar playing, is a skill that takes time to learn but brings great benefits. Once you have the ability to play a few chords, you should try writing songs. You don’t need to be a great player or singer to write songs. Start with a simple three-chord progression, or a cool guitar riff, and try coming up with a melody line.

Tips For New Guitar Players 8

Get Good Tone

Basically, tone is the audio quality and musical characteristics of sound. Some guitars are said to have good tone, and without a doubt some guitars (and amplifiers, effects, etc.) sound “better” than others. The trick is to know your instrument and play it in a way that brings out its best tone for each song. If you own an electric guitar, learn what each pickup sounds like and use the correct pickup or combination of pickups for the song you are playing.

Tips For New Guitar Players 7

Play Time

They don’t call it “playing” guitar for nothing. Practicing is essential if you want to improve, but practicing is just repetition. Anything you want to learn will eventually come with repetition. But don’t spend all your playing time just practicing. Every time you pick up your guitar you should play at least one thing for pure enjoyment.

Tone Tips For Playing Electric Guitar In A Band

Many guitar player spend countless hours perfecting their tone at home and then when they get in a band setting their tone seems weak or their guitar is hard to hear when the band is playing. This is the hard reality of guitar tone. A great solo guitar tone is not always a great band guitar tone. It’s really all about tonal balance and interaction with the other instruments in the band. Here are some general tips to help you improve your “band” tone.

Tips For New Guitar Players 6

Memorize Music

You should try to memorize songs you like. Memorizing is just a matter of playing the same thing over and over (repetition) until you can remember it. It is a great skill to develop, and every musician should have numerous songs they can play without the aid of written music.

Tips For New Guitar Players 5

Be Open To Different Musical Styles

People often have very rigid views of what “good” music is. While there is nothing wrong with only liking one style of music, you should try listening to styles of music you aren’t familiar with. Listen to the guitar players in other styles of music. You may not care for that particular style of music, but you should be able to appreciate good guitar playing.

Tips For New Guitar Players 4

Record Yourself

Record your playing regularly. It doesn’t matter what you use to record, just make recordings. Computers today are powerful enough to be virtual recording studios, so get an audio interface and get started. Or use a tablet or a phone. Recording can help you remember ideas. Many times in my life I had a great song idea and didn’t record it. Then the next day I couldn’t remember it. Recording the ideas prevents them from getting forgotten. 

Tips For New Guitar Players 3

Practice Standing Up

Many new guitar players spend most of their time practicing while seated. However, you will rarely play live sitting down — unless you are doing an acoustic guitar set on a stool, or playing classical guitar. It is a good idea to start spending time practicing the guitar while standing. Buy a strap if you don’t have one and adjust it until the guitar is in a comfortable position (not too high or low) similar to where it would be sitting down. 

Tips For New Guitar Players 2

Play With Others

Nothing will improve your guitar playing quite like playing with other musicians. Whether it’s a guitar teacher, a friend who also plays guitar, starting a band with friends, being part of a jam session, playing at church, playing at school, or anything that involves playing with other real live musicians, it is good for you. You will invariably pick up ideas, riffs, chords, techniques, or just experience that will improve your playing and make you a better musician.