Showing posts with label 1. guitar lesson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1. guitar lesson. Show all posts

7 - Guitar Tablature (lead)

Ok, so you've got a guitar, it looks great! But how do you play it?! The first thing you should know is this lesson works for both accoustic guitars and electric, but bass players are going to have to find another place. Ok, now that's cleared. Here we go.
There are two different ways of writing down or reading songs. There is the professional way, with all the fancy note symbols and there is the basic, more common way. I will be teaching you how to read the basic type. These are called Tablatures.
The basic structure for a tablature (or tab) looks like this:

E|------------------------
B|------------------------
G|------------------------
D|------------------------
A|------------------------
E|------------------------

This may have confused you. Firstly, ignore the letters on the left. You have six lines. Each one of these lines represent a string on your guitar. Ok?The bottom line represents the top (thickest) string on your guitar. The top line represents the bottom (thinest) string on your guitar. Look at this:

Thinest     |-------------
2nd Thinest |-------------
3rd Thinest |-------------
3rd Thickest|-------------
2nd Thickest|-------------
Thickest    |-------------

Does that make sense? Now for the frets. This is the really awkward part. I will try and explain.A fret is the area between the two (usually metal) bars on your guitar. If you were told to play the first fret on the top string then you would push down on fret 1 on the top string with your finger and pluck the string. I'm really hoping that made sense.
The first fret is the furthest away from you. There are usually 21, 22, 23 or 24 frets on a guitar. If you look, they all get thinner as they get closer to you. There are also marks telling you what fret is what. There is a dot on the third fret, the fifth fret, the seventh fret, the ninth fret, the twelve fret, the fifteenth fret, the seventeenth fret, the ninteenth fret, and the twenty first fret and maybe more. This is to help you get around your guitar quicker. Now to put frets into a tablature:

E|-----------------
B|-----------------
G|-----------------
D|-----------------
A|-----------------
E|1-2-3-4----------

What this tab is telling you to do is first, to put a finger (The Index Preferably) on the first fret on the top/thickest string. Then you pluck the string. If you are pushing hard enough onto the fret you shall find that you get a nice, deep note. Next, you put your next finger (preferably your middle finger) onto the second fret on the top string. Now hit the string. You should get a nice, slightly higher pitched note.
Then you put your next finger (your ring finger) onto the third fret, if you are pushing down hard enough you will find that when you pluck the string you will get a slightly higher pitched note again.
Then you push your next finger (your pinky) down hard onto the top string pushing it down into the forth fret, pluck the string and you will get another, slightly higher pitched sound. If you followed this carefully you should be getting the idea. Look at this:

E|1-2-3-4----
B|-----------
G|-----------
D|-----------
A|-----------
E|-----------

On this one, you are doing the exact same as the last one but you are put your fingers on, and hitting the thinnest string. You should get a very high pitched sound. Try this:

E|----------
B|----------
G|----------
D|1-2-3-4---
A|----------
E|----------

Had a good try? If you're stuck, what you're doing is putting your fingers on the third thickest string, the third one away from you. So what about this?

E|---------
B|---------
G|---------
D|---------
A|---------
E|0-1-2-3--

A 0? What do you do with a 0? Fear not! A zero simply means you pluck that string without putting your finger on a fret. This is fret zero. Make sense? Here are two, infamous and simple riffs, try them out:

Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple:
E|----------------------------
B|----------------------------
G|----------------------------
D|----------------------------
A|----------------------------
E|0-3-5---0-3-6-5---0-3-5--3-0

Ring a bell? Note that the whole song is played on the thickest/deepest pitch string.

Come As You Are by Nirvana:
E|------------------------------
B|------------------------------
G|------------------------------
D|------------------------------
A|--------0---0---------2-----2-
E|0-0-1-2---2---2-2-1-0---0-0---

This song is played on the top two strings of your guitar. It looks hard but do it slowly at first and you'll have it in no time. These two riffs are the first things I ever learnt on guitar!Now you know how to play basic tabs! Now the advanced bit:
What does the EADGBE stand for? You may have noticed that between nearly all the tabs I have written here there is:

E
B
G
D
A
E

On the left of it. Why is this? Each letter represents a note. If you have ever played on a keyboard or a piano before you will notice that each note is written as a letter. C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. All the EADGBE is is different notes. The thickest string on your guitar is a low E, the thinest is a high E, in between them is A, D, G and B. You don't have to remember this but if you do then you're one more step closer to being a professional. I remember it like this:

Eddy
Ate
Dynamite
Good
Bye
Eddy

It works for me! I hope it helps. Next, bends, slides, hammer ons and pull offs. Sooner or later you're going to stumble on a tab with one of these three in it. I guarantee. It will help alot if you know what they mean.

Bends:
E|--------------
B|--------------
G|--------------
D|-3b4----------
A|--------------
E|--------------

What do I do? What do I do? Fear not. Firstly, put your finger on the forth fret of D and play it. That is what you want it to sound like. Now, what you want to do is put your finger on the third fret, play the string and bend it so it makes the excact same sound as fret four. Got it? It's not that hard.

Slides:
E|------------
B|------------
G|------------
D|----7/9-----
A|------------
E|------------

This, too, is also simple. Put a finger on seven of string D, hit the string and quickly, making sure the finger is still pushing the string down onto the frets, slide your finger up to nine. If performed correctly you'll get a nice sound rising in pitch.

Hammer On:
E|-2h4-------
B|-----------
G|-----------
D|-----------
A|-----------
E|-----------

The "h" represents a hammer on, put your index finger on fret two of High E (the thinest string on the guitar) and pluck the string, quickly slam your ring finger down onto the fourth fret. It will change pitch and be a bit quieter. That's all a hammer on is.

Pull Off:
E|----------
B|----------
G|----9p7---
D|----------
A|----------
E|----------

The "p" means pull off. Put your little finger on 9 and your index finger on 7, pluck the string, and quickly slide your little finger off in a downwards motion (this keeps the string vibrating) and the pitch will change quickly from 9 to 7. I hope you understood that, it's hard to explain so please don't flame me if you don't get it.I hope this lesson helped you alot, tablatures are the most important thing you will come across when you try and learn guitar.

8 - Guitar Arpeggios

Beginners Guitar Lessons Part 8 – Guitar Arpeggios

 

Playing Guitar Arpeggios

An arpeggio simply means, broken chord. Rather than strum the entire chord, we’ll play it in an arpeggiated style, meaning that we’ll play the notes individually.

The ways to play guitar arpeggios are almost limitless, as we’ll find out, and it can make your playing sound very interesting, without a lot of effort. For starters, let’s take a C chord:
C Chord
Rather than strum the whole thing, begin by playing the first three notes of the chord in succession, and repeat four times. Begin by playing the C note, on the 3rd fret of the A (5th) string, proceed to the E note, on the 2nd fret of the D (4th) string, the G note on the open G string, and repeat once.
After you reach the open G a second time, play the open G once more, go to the C note, on the 2nd fret of the B string, the open E string, and repeat. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Try mixing it up a bit now. Play the C note (3rd fret, A/5th string), the open G/3rd string, the E note (2nd fret, D/4th string, the higher C (1st fret, B/2nd string), the open G/3rd string, the open E/1st string, back to C (1st fret, B/2nd string), and finally to the open G/3rd string.
With our new knowledge of guitar tablature, this is what this arpeggiated piece above looks like:
Guitar Arpeggio Diagram
Try other guitar arpeggios with different chords, and make up your own patterns…you might even get the start of a cool new song!

More Guitar Chords…

Here a few more guitar chords for you to practice and play around with:
Guitar Chord Diagram
The D, E, G7, and A7 chords are popular and easy to play. We’ll get to how these chords are use in particular keys in a future lesson, but that’s no reason to not have fun with them now.
The B and F chords may be difficult at first, but it will get you used to playing bar chords, which are perhaps the most used chord type, aside from those you are now learning, in pop, blues, folk, and rock music.
In the B chord chart, you’ll notice that the (1) has parenthesis around it. This means that playing that note is optional. If you choose to play it, lay your first finger across the second fret, and press down on all strings. This is what is called “barring”, used in bar chords. You’ll also do a simpler form of barring on the F chord, by playing the 2nd and 3rd strings on the 1str fret with your 1st finger.
It may be tricky at first, but keep trying. By the way, remember in lesson 5 we talked about hand positioning? Give it a shot, and you may find that the more difficult chords, are not all that difficult.

9 - Major Keys

Major Keys

We’ve learned that C major is the only major key that contains no sharps (#) or flats (b) but what does that really mean? We covered the chromatic scale and the major scale structure formula in lesson two, but here is a refresher view:
Chromatic Scale: A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, back A and infinity.
Major Scale Formula in Steps: Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half (WWHWWWH)
If we apply the step formula to the chromatic scale, starting on C, it just so happens that no sharp or flat notes are included. This isn’t the case with any other scale. But there’s another pattern there as well. As we move on to later lessons, you’ll find that the scales we’ll learn have an increasing number of sharps or flats, and the pattern will begin to become apparent.
Let’s begin by learning the G major scale, or to put it another way, the major scale in the key of G major:

Key Of G Major

Key of G Major
At this point, I’d like to call attention to the F#. Since F# is the same note as Gb, why is it called F#? The answer is alphabetical order. If it were called Gb, it could create some confusion, since we already have a G in the scale. Remember that music has rules, and this one of many that makes perfect sense.

Relative Minor

Remember that the sixth note of any major scale is called the Relative Minor. In the case of G major, the relative minor is E. You may have heard talk of songs being played in minor keys, and this is where they come from. A minor key is really a sort of misnomer, as minor keys are actually Major Keys played in a different order.
To demonstrate, let’s take E minor as an example. Now, there are a few different modifications of minor scales, but for now, we’ll deal with the natural minor scale. The natural minor scale begins with the sixth note of the major scale, and continues along for eight notes: E, F#, G, A, B, C, D, E. We’ll talk more about minor keys in another lesson, as there are a few commonly used rules in the modern use of minor scales.

An Endless Repetition Of Notes

To make this scale extension concept a little easier, think of any scale as an endless repetition of notes, as if it were written in a circle. If you start at any point and move around the circle, you’ll end up going around as many times as you’d like. As a linear example, think of a scale as a never ending line, starting at a given point:
GABCDEF#GABCDEF#GABCDEF#GABCDEF#GABCDEF#G…and so on.
The linear and circle example can also be applied to the chromatic scale, and applying formulas to get other scales, which is the case in the major scale formula in steps: WWHWWWH
We also talked about the basic chord formula for major scales: “M” stands for Major, “m” stands for minor, and “d” stands for diminished. We’ll use G major for our chords:
Major Chords - G MajorSo how do we use this information? Well, let’s start by learning a new chord, F# diminished (F#d). You’ve already learned the other guitar chords in G major, but we’ll do a refresher on those as well.
F#Dim Chord Diagram
So now we have the complete collection of the basic G major chords. Try playing them in order…
Basic G Major Chords - Chord Diagram
Now let’s try playing the major scale, G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, using guitar tablature. To make things a bit easier, we’ve placed a chart below the tab, telling you which fingers to use, and the note names. You will sometimes see tablature written in this way:
Major Scale - Tablature Diagram

Guitar Exercise

Here’s an exercise, using the chords in G major. A slash above the chord tells us to strum…
Guitar Exercise Using Chords In G Major

10 - Minor Scales

Minor Scales – Beginners Guitar Lessons Part 10

Minor Scales

We’ve discussed major scales in some detail, so let’s switch gears to minor scales. Minor scales are simply major scales starting with the sixth note in the scale. We’ll use C major as our example:
C Major Scale 
The sixth note, “A” in our C major example, is the relative minor. So to play the scale, we simply play all the notes in order starting with “A”. ABCDEFG – simple enough.
But of course, with most things in music, there are frequent twists to rules, and Minor Scales are no exception.
This particular minor scale: ABCDEFG, is called a Natural Minor scale, as it uses the notes within the major scale without modification. The other types of minor scales are as follows:
Harmonic Minor: Sharp the 7 note in any minor scale: ABCDEFG#A
Melodic Minor: Sharp the 6 and 7 notes in any minor scale: ABCDEF#G#A
(Incidentally, you can also see where the alphabetical logic of # and b notes is useful. “G#” leading “A” rather than “Ab” leading to “A”).
Where do minor scales fit in if all they consist of are major scale notes? That’s a great question. Minor scales create a “mood” that can be described as “less happy” sounding when compared with major scales.
Lets do a refresher on chords that work within C major:
C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim, C
We’ll try a chord progression beginning with C: C, G, C, F (repeat)
Now let’s do something beginning with Am: Am, Em, F, G (repeat)
Even though we’re using chords that belong to C major, we’re concentrating on using more “minor-sounding” chords to create a mood. We can use any chord within the key, but by favoring certain guitar chords, we can totally change the mood of the song.

 

11 - Guitar Cleaning

Guitar Cleaning and Maintenance – Beginners Lesson 11

 

Guitar Care – Humidity

The biggest enemy of wood is humidity, and even though much of an instrument’s surface is protected by a paint finish, the unfinished bits, such as the fingerboard on electric guitars, are not. Humidity is even more of an issue with acoustic guitars. The interior of the guitar is quite susceptible, and in addition to the fingerboard, bridges are often unfinished.


With too much humidity, wood swells, joints and glue becomes weak, and once the process begins, it is difficult or impossible to correct. Dry conditions suck moisture out of wood, and can cause wood, glue, and joints to split and crack, which also is difficult or impossible to correct when it reaches a certain point.
Commercial guitar humidifiers and dehumidifiers are inexpensive and reliable, and should be used according to seasonal and atmospheric conditions. Always store guitars in their case when not in use, and avoid basement or garage storage. As a general rule of thumb, if humidity levels are uncomfortable for you, your guitar probably feels the same way. Proper humidity levels for guitars are between 45 and 55% relative humidity.

Guitar Cleaning

Guitar cleaning not only makes your axe look good, it also protects the finish. Guitar finishes are designed not to clog wood pores, they allow acoustic soundboards to vibrate freely, and electric bodies to resonate properly. Guitar finishes are much different than furniture polishes, so furniture polish should never be substituted.
Guitar Cleaning and MaintenanceFurniture polish can contain waxes and other substances which may clog finish pores, and may actually damage the guitars finish eventually. Always use a commercial polish or cleaner made especially for guitars, and use a dedicated clean, dry, cotton cloth… one for polish application, and one for final buffing.
Generally, it is not advisable to apply cleaners to unfinished guitar parts, such as fingerboards and bridges, but it is worth checking the manufacturer’s literature or web site for specifics. For some instruments, these parts can be treated and cleaned with a small amount of linseed or lemon oil. In all cases, a wipe with a cotton cloth very lightly dampened with water, followed by immediate drying is using sufficient.
Clean metal parts with a damp cloth, and there are some commercially available guitar hardware cleaners or combination finish/metal cleaners that will do a fine job. Another rule of thumb for guitar cleaning: Use the mildest possible cleaner, progressing to stronger formulations only if necessary.

Guitar Strings - MaintenanceTips On Guitar Strings

Guitar strings should be changed whenever you are unhappy with the sound. There is no set rule when to change strings, and it is a matter of preference. It is best to always tune your strings up to pitch so there is constant tension on the neck.
If the guitar is to be shipped, or will be stored for long periods of time, strings should be loosened. Of course this may result in neck adjustment when the guitar is ready to be played again, but the neck’s natural tendency to relax without strings is better than forced tension with strings installed over long periods of time.

12 - Guitar Restringing

Guitar Restringing – Beginners Guitar Lesson 12

 Unless your guitar is fitted with special locking tuners or vibrato tailpieces, for which you should consult the owner’s manual or website, restringing guitars is very similar no matter what make you have. First up is an audio guitar lesson, followed by a written step by step instruction on Guitar Restringing.

 

Guitar Restringing – Step 1

Place the guitar on a flat, padded surface, such as a table covered with a blanket or towel.

Step 2

Elevate and secure the neck by placing a small cardboard box or foam block underneath the neck below the nut.

Step 3

Notice how the previous strings were installed, and make mental or physical notes if necessary. In particular, note the wraps around the tuning posts, and the direction in which they are wound. Of course, this is assuming that the strings were installed correctly in the first place. Plan to restring your guitar one string at a time to minimize neck tension shock.

Step 4

Loosen the 6th string (low “E”, or thickest string) by hand or with a peg winder, turning clockwise until the windings are loose.

Guitar RestringingStep 5

Unwrap the windings, and pull the old string out of the tuning post hole.

Step 6

Remove the string from the tailpiece, which will be on the top or underside of the guitar, depending on bridge type. You can snip the string with wire cutters to facilitate easier removal, as the bent winding end of the string may be difficult to pull through, but this is optional.

Step 7

Thread the new string through the bridge hole, and pull all the way through.

Step 8

Wrap the string around the machine head several times, and insert the tip into the tuning post hole. Pre-wrapping takes the guesswork out if some other string slackening methods, and allows a suitable number of wraps to prevent string slippage.

Step 9

Secure the string by grasping the end near the tuning post hole with needle-nose pliers and pulling snug. Bending it up at a 90 degree angle will lock the string into place.

Step 10

Bring up to pitch by turning counter-clockwise. Hold the string and pull up slightly as you tune, which will help to pre-stretch the string, but don’t pull too hard! This may need to be repeated several times until the string stabilizes.

Step 11

Repeat steps 3 through 10 for additional strings.

Guitar Restringing – Step 12

Guitar tuning after restringing – Stretch and tune all strings two to three additional times with a tuner, pitch pipe, or tuning fork, to further stabilize.
That’s about it! Guitar Restringing does require some practice, but is a vital part of the learn the guitar puzzle. You may investigate other methods, but over many years of professional playing, this method has proven to be quick and reliable

13 - Guitar Adjustments

Guitar Adjustments – Beginners Guitar Lessons Pt13

 

Intonation

Intonation is the pitch of all notes over the entire guitar neck. The basic idea of intonation, is that a string’s length from the nut to its center (the 12th fret octave) must be must the same distance to the bridge saddle. If its not, notes higher up on the fretboard will sound out of tune.


Improper intonation can come about when changing string gauges, improper neck adjustments, action set too high, or instrument damage. Since each string is of a different thickness, slightly different lengths are required for the notes to sound true.
Electric guitars are normally fitted with adjustable bridges, allowing individual string saddles to be adjusted accordingly. Most acoustic guitars are equipped with non-adjustable bridges, called compensating bridges, and are pre-set at the factory.

Guitar Inotation

Intonation cannot be accurately determined by ear, so guitar shop personnel use a stroboscopic (strobe) tuner when performing the procedure. The technician frets each string on the 12th fret (the octave) and checks the tuner to determine if the note is sharp (high) or flat (low). If the note is sharp, the technician adjusts the saddle backwards to add length to the string. If the note is flat, the saddle is adjusted forward to shorten the string’s length.
Intonation should be checked as part of your guitar maintenance schedule, particularly when making other adjustments and string modifications. Improper intonation will not harm your guitar or cause playability problems, but will cause the guitar to sound out of tune in the higher note registers.
Unless you own an accurate tuner such as a strobe, and don’t bother fiddling around with your instrument, intonation is best handled by professionals.

Guitar Adjustments – Action

Guitar ActionEvery guitar player searches for the guitar’s perfect “action” or string height. While this is normally accomplished by adjusting the bridge up and down on electric guitars, or shaving or shimming the saddle on acoustic guitars, it’s not always as simple as that. While lowering the bridge will bring the strings closer to the fretboard, neck or fret misalignment can cause buzzing notes and flat spots.
As with intonation, unless you are prepared to fiddle about for a while, with no positive results guaranteed, these type of guitar adjustments are best left to professionals considering all the variables involved.

Guitar Adjustments – Neck

Neck adjustments are perhaps one of the most important guitar adjustments needed, and should be taken care of before all else. A maladjusted neck will cause buzzing frets, intonation issues, and action problems. Performing string adjustments with a neck out of whack will cause undesirable results, and may make problems worse.
Guitar Neck AdjustmentsGuitars are usually supplied with a neck adjustment tool, typically a hex wrench, but attempting to adjust a neck on your own can cause disastrous results if done improperly. Guitar necks contain an internal truss rod, which expands or contracts when adjusted, prompting the wood to follow suit. Truss rods can break, sometimes causing wood damage and always causing the neck to adjust whichever way it likes, resulting in very expensive repairs or neck replacement.
A warped neck is when the guitar neck warps upward toward the strings. Frets are pushed up as well, causing the guitar to play badly, sometimes to the point of being unplayable. Warped necks are just plain bad!
A bowed neck is when the neck is bowed away from the strings, which is how a properly adjusted neck should be. If too much bow exists, the action and intonation will be affected, and the guitar will be difficult to play, and can sound out of tune. Bowed necks are good, as long as they are not bowed too much.
A reliable way of telling whether a neck needs adjusting, is not sighting the neck down the center, as many believe. This is okay to do when inspecting a guitar to see if the neck is off-kilter side to side (which is rare), but frets will create an optical illusion, preventing visible evidence of warping or bowing. To do this, look at the guitar fingerboard from the side. Press the low “E” string down on the first fret with one hand, and the last fret with the other hand. If the frets are making positive contact with the guitar strings (indicating a possibly warped neck), or if there is a considerable gap between them (indicating a possibly bowed neck) the guitar should probably be brought in for adjustment. Doing this adjustment check with a straight-edge or ruler of sufficient length is also acceptable, and will actually give you a more accurate indication. The string method is handy when a straight edge is not available.
Hope this clears up some of the mystery of guitar adjustments and terms. A bit of advice: When purchasing a new or used instrument from a store, always ask them to throw in a complete set-up, which will include string change, intonation, neck and action adjustments. If they refuse, and you have to pay a bit for set-up, it’s totally worth the expense. You’ll know that your guitar is starting out its new life properly adjusted, and you will better be able to feel the difference if problems come up.