Archive for September, 2009

Learning Songs to Boost Your Skills

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Over the last 12 years or so, I’ve primarily learned new techniques on guitar through learning specific songs I like.

I’ve found that many people simply stick with a very limited number of songs that they enjoy listening to, they get in a rut, and quickly stop their progress because they skip songs with more complex chords and progressions than they’re used to.

One of the best ways to increase your playing abilities is to seek out those tough songs with new and difficult techniques, chords, changes, or solos. Push yourself by picking a hard song, and mastering it over days, or even weeks of practice.

Keep brushing up on your “playlist” of songs you can practically┬á play in your sleep at this point, but always move forward too.

Comparison: Guitar Lessons for Beginners

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Many beginner guitarists believe that the only way they can learn guitar is through reading theory and doing exercises in books, or by paying $20-$50/hour for private lessons.

The trouble with this logic is that these same people frequently send emails.

“What does that have to do with it?”

Well, quite a bit actually…let me explain: A mere 15-20 years ago, the quickest way to send someone a written message was to hand write a letter and send it to them by postal mail. Now, the vast majority of us simply type an email, click “Send”, and the person on the other end can see it in a matter of seconds.

My point is that things have changed from the Internet, and guitar lessons are no different.

You do NOT have to sit in the same room as your instructor to take lessons, even if you’re a beginner! In fact, because teachers can record well-organized video lessons, then let 1,000′s of students watch the videos, they can charge a LOT less money for their services!

So, if you are searching for the best way to learn to play guitar, be sure to consider taking lessons online. I just finished writing a more in-depth article comparing the various ways to learn guitar, if you’re interested:

Guitar Lessons for Beginners – Don’t Take Guitar Lessons!

Also, that article includes a 25% off coupon code for the community I belong to and love. Check it out to save some cash…

5 Essential Chords to Learn on Guitar

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

When I first started playing guitar, about 12 years ago, I tried learning songs with individual notes (think “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, etc.), as opposed to full chords, because it was tough to play the chords.

However, as time went on, I found that chords were the basis for every song I wanted to learn to play, so I couldn’t stay away from learning them for long!

If you want to get a head start learning the chords that will have the highest impact on your song-playing abilities, these are the 5 most popular chords to learn on guitar:

  • C Major
  • G Major
  • D Major
  • E Major
  • A Major

While the order of importance of these chords is widely-debated, most anyone would agree that learning these chords (and being able to transition between them quickly) will get on you on track to playing 100′s, maybe 1,000′s, of popular songs.

To learn to play each chord, check out ChordBook’s interactive chord charts. They should help you learn the fingerings, but you’ll have to practice to learn how you prefer to switch between the chords quickly enough to play in a flowing manner.

Enjoy learning the top 5 guitar chords!

Sweet Acoustic Tapping Video

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

This is an old video from YouTube that I’ve watched at least a dozen times. It’s just so cool that I wanted to share it here:

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I do! If you’re into the “tapping” style, I’d recommend checking out Andy McKee as well. All of the guys at Candy Rat Records are really good at incorporating this difficult, high-octane, style with a strong foundation of classical guitar.

2 Easy Ways to Remember the Strings

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I’ve gotten a few questions about the notes of the guitar strings in Standard Tuning (EADGBE), so I figured I’d just throw this out there.

Here are my 2 favorite ways to remember the strings of the guitar:

1) “Every Average Dude Gets Better Eventually” – Mark Lincoln

2) “Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie” – Eddie van Halen

Hope that helps!