[20 Jan 2012 | 5 Comments | ]
The Guitar Nut (how it could help your guitar sound and play better)

 
 by Tom Bills
If you are seeking a way to improve the tone of your guitar or thinking of having a custom guitar made for you, one small detail you might consider that can have a big effect on the tone and playability of your guitar is the nut. The nut is the part of the guitar that the strings rest on as they come from the tuning machines and head down over the fingerboard of the guitar. It is typically made of white bleached cow bone and on less expensive …

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[26 Apr 2012 | One Comment | ]
Stealin’ Steel Stuff

by Sam Smiley
Let’s face it, guitarists are thieves. We steal from other players, other styles, and even other instruments. One of my favorite places to steal from is the pedal steel guitar. It’s a lot of fun and always perks up a few ears in the audience. Plus you can get instant cred with the Americana crowd.
Finding great pedal steel music is not all that difficult. Listen to some of the Bakersfield sound artists (Merle Haggard, Buck Owens) for a goldmine of this stuff. Let’s start the heist by grabbing …

Featured, Fingerstyle »

[26 Apr 2012 | Comments Off | ]
Sound Check

by Richard Gilewitz
In regards to a successful performance, at this point I’m convinced it all comes down to a combination of elements such as repertoire, momentum, execution of the selected pieces, the player’s personality, and for me one of the most important items – exquisite sound quality.
There are, without a doubt, a multitude of other points that can be made about what’s involved in a good show.  I’m not sure if I can even argue that there are only a few answers since there are so many possible environments and …

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[26 Apr 2012 | One Comment | ]
Guitar Scale Length

by Tom Bills
What is it and why is it so important?
 
For many guitar players the concept of scale length may be something that they have heard of once or twice but never really understood. Many players may simply view it as a measure of how close or far apart the frets will be on the fingerboard. While that is a component of the guitars’ scale length, it is only the tip of the iceberg when considering how far reaching the impact that this single dimension has on nearly every …

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[26 Apr 2012 | Comments Off | ]
Don’t Be Weak at the Bar

Richard Gilewitz
If I had to pick one topic students and players have asked me about regarding difficulties in playing the guitar, I still believe I would lean towards addressing the frustrations that are shared when beginners (in particular) attempt bar chords.
While observing some players as they approach applying bar chords within tunes, I often sense that it might be somewhat similar to when we are driving through a parking lot and we see a speed bump.  There is that sense of anticipation, a slowing down, and then a mild relief …

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[1 Jan 2012 | Comments Off | ]
Stumbling on New Chord Voicings

by Harper Willis
A lot of guitarists add chord voicings to their repertoire by learning the root position of a new chord type on a given set of strings, and then all of its inversions on that same set of strings.
 
Example of Major7 Voicing and its Inversions
 
Learning chords as part of a set of inversions can help you organize your practice, but it can also lock you into you using the same chords in every situation.
 
I have started using a much more disorganized way of finding new voicings, which forces me …

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[1 Dec 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
Stealin’ Steel Stuff

by Sam Smiley
Let’s face it, guitarists are thieves. We steal from other players, other styles, and even other instruments. One of my favorite places to steal from is the pedal steel guitar. It’s a lot of fun and always perks up a few ears in the audience. Plus you can get instant cred with the Americana crowd.
Finding great pedal steel music is not all that difficult. Listen to some of the Bakersfield sound artists (Merle Haggard, Buck Owens) for a goldmine of this stuff. Let’s start the heist by grabbing …