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Stringing an Acoustic Guitar

One difference between changing guitar strings on and acoustic versus and electric guitar is that an acoustic uses removable bridge pins to hold the strings in place at the bridge. Bridge pins require [more…]

Proper Hand Position for Playing Guitar

Guitars are user-friendly instruments. They fit comfortably into the arms of most humans, and the hand position that comes naturally is pretty much the position from which you should play. In this article [more…]

Holding Your Bass Guitar

If you watch other bass players, either live or on television, you may notice an array of different ways to hold a bass guitar. Some definitely look cooler than others, but you may have difficulty playing [more…]

Perfect Postures for Playing Guitar

You can either sit or stand while playing the guitar, and the position you choose makes virtually no difference to your tone or technique, provided you maintain good guitar-playing posture. Most people [more…]

Writing Country Songs Plain and Simple

Country music prides itself on being the heartbeat of the working class. The common messages and plain language ("Write it like you talk it" is a popular saying among country songwriters) of its song lyrics [more…]

Tuning Your Guitar to Itself

Relative tuning is so named because you don't need any outside reference to which you tune a guitar. As long as the strings are in tune in a certain relationship with each other, you can create sonorous [more…]

Choosing the Right Notes for a Bass Guitar Groove

The bass guitar is the foundation of any band, so playing a good bass groove can make or break a song. Here are a few guitar-playing guidelines to remember when you're creating a bass groove. [more…]

Examining the 12-Bar Blues Pattern

If you've ever spent any time around a serious blues musician or music aficionado, you've probably heard the phrase "12 bar blues" tossed about. A bar is a musical phrase, a way of measuring the music [more…]

Processing Gain-based Rock Guitar Effects

In the world of rock guitar, the terms fuzz,distortion, and overdrive are often used interchangeably. Regardless of what you call it, to make your guitar solo rock, it must produce one or more of the core [more…]

The Nuts and Bolts of Electric Guitars

Recognizing the different parts of the guitar is important, but knowing what makes an electric guitar work as a whole is essential to differentiate it from, say, a bassoon, accordion, or kazoo. Not that [more…]

Ten Famous Guitar Pioneers

Regardless of style, certain guitarists have made their mark on the world of guitar so that any guitarist who comes along after them has a hard time escaping their legacy. You'll find here, in chronological [more…]

Playing Quintessential Blues on Slide Guitar

Slide guitar may have become a stylistic choice over fretted guitar out of necessity by players who didn't have the skills or patience to fret the guitar and found it easy to slide a smooth, rounded object [more…]

Playing the Blues Guitar: Acoustic Meets Electric

Electric guitars came on the scene only in the late 1930s, and then only to those who could afford them. Thus, the acoustic guitar in blues had a long run, and the style continued even after the advent [more…]

Discovering the Blues of John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) is firmly established as one of the true giants of the blues, along with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Howlin' Wolf. Hooker is often called the [more…]

Exploring the Delta Blues

Delta blues also goes by the moniker Mississippi blues, but either term refers to the blues style of playing that came out of the Delta region of Mississippi, the fertile cotton-producing area of the state [more…]

Switching Out Guitar Strings

Playing the guitar can be a sweaty, muscular, gritty activity — if you're doing it correctly, that is. And while your guitar can handle pretty much any abuse you deliver [more…]

Joining Two Rock Guitar Styles: Progressive Meets Heavy Metal

It's not surprising that as progressive rock and heavy metal both took off in the 1970s that they would eventually cross over. Bands like Jethro Tull, Kansas, and Rush successfully mixed the muscular guitar [more…]

How to Tune a Guitar to Itself Using the Fifth-Fret Method

Tuning a guitar to itself using the fifth-fret method is an important and useful guitar skill. The fifth-fret method is the most common type of relative tuning, and it's all you need if you're planning [more…]

How to Read the Circle of Fifths

Understanding how to read the circle of fifths will help you understand the relation between music's major keys and their relative minor keys. A major key and its relative minor use the same key signature [more…]

How to Read Key Signatures

Key signatures are important when reading music. You must understand how to read key signatures in order to know how to play the notes the way the composer intended. The key signature is a grouping of [more…]

What Is Music Theory?

Understanding music theory means knowing the language of music. The main thing to know about music theory is that it is simply a way to explain the music we hear. Music had existed for thousands of years [more…]

How to Recognize the Beat in Music

Recognizing the beat in a song means finding the pattern and speed of the music. If you know how to recognize the beat, you can control all of the other elements of the music. [more…]

How Musical Notes Are Constructed

You couldn't read or write music without notes. If you think of music as a language, the notes are like letters of the alphabet. If you know how to recognize the notes, you can learn the language. [more…]

How to Find Notes on a Guitar

Finding notes on your guitar is not the same as reading notes on sheet music. To understand how to find notes on a guitar, it helps to break up the neck of the guitar to see where all the notes lie. [more…]

Understanding Half Steps and Whole Steps

The distance between any two musical notes is called and interval. In Western musical notation, the smallest interval is the half step, or semitone. A [more…]

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