Archive for December, 2010

New Year Resolutions for the Guitar

Monday, December 27th, 2010

We, here, in the United States just love New Year resolutions. It’s a fresh start, clean slate, or whatever else you want to call the resolutions that normally do not come to fruition.

This year, however, we challenge you to be different. We challenge you to set actual New Year resolutions specific to the guitar. If you wish, you may find it easier to refer to them as goals rather than resolutions. Regardless, let’s make all of these happen in 2011!

1. Listen to more music!

I know, easy right? Your first target for 2011 is simply to listen to more music. You will find that your most creative moments on the guitar will likely come while or right after you’re under the influence of your art — music. However, the goal is not too just listen to your favorite tunes but also explore new artists and different genres. The point is to expand your musical boundaries! Be brave, create a list of 5-10 to artists you’ll become familiar with in the New Year and target 1-3 new genres. Now go to Amazon or iTunes and start shopping.

2. Pick up a new course

You know the old adage “You’re never to old to learn”? Apply it! For beginner guitarists this really makes sense as you will only learn much faster and be more productive with your time thanks to the direction of a knowledgable course. For moderate to advance guitarists, we recommend finding a book on a specific subject or skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire. Many of these beginner, moderate and advance skills and lessons can be found in our Top 5 rated guitar courses on the Web.

3. Start a Band/Find a partner

If you feel that you’re advanced enough on the guitar but always jam solo what is stopping you from joining a band? Sometimes, music is best consumed with others. This is even more true when you’re the one creating it! If you love collaborating, be brave and look to hit up the local nightlife for some of the acts doing it locally. Who knows, they might need a new guitarist. If you want to reach out even further, try selling yourself on Craigslist. Not confident enough to play in a band? Try to find someone you can play with ocassaionally. You’ll both inspire each other and learn way more than if you always strummed solo.

4. Treat yourself to a gift

If you spent all of 2010 playing the guitar but still live in your parents basement chances are that you probably have not received any new gear for your guitar in awhile. Consequently, you should reserve a small amount of cash for the New Year dedicated exclusively to something related to your guitar. Perhaps you can only afford a new set of guitar picks? Or you have always wanted to upgrade your amp but always talked yourself out of it? Regardless, reward all your hard work with some kind of gift in 2011. You deserve it!

5. Write a Song

Not much of a lyricist? Who cares? This goal is either something you have always wanted to accomplish or more a joke than anything. Regardless, learning and playing the guitar should be fun and that is the whole point of this resolution. The song may be goofy or it may be deeper than a Radiohead tune. It does not matter. The point of writing an original song is to prove that you’ve made it – from the first day you picked up an instrument to now — you are now able to play the guitar. Relax, it’s not like we’re asking you to play it in front of your girl.

Got Resolutions? We want to hear your goals for the New Year as well.

10 Awesome Christmas Songs for Guitar

Monday, December 20th, 2010

This is your mission should you chose to accept…

Your Christmas party is likely coming up this Thursday or Friday night. At that party, you are going to impress all of your co-workers/friends (single guys=single women) with a few Christmas renditions on the guitar.

Hey, who does not like music? Furthermore, who can possibly turn you down after they’ve downed five egg nogs?

Case closed.

This message will self-destruct in five seconds…

A lot of people will wait until the New Year to make those resolutions but we here at GLC have one more challenge left for 2010. What about learning a few X-Mas tunes on the guitar?

Sure, you may only perform these songs for one month out of each year but they make for a highly original way to celebrate the holidays. Additionally, all of the songs below are pretty easy and appropriate for most beginners who know a few open chords and can strum.

So let’s get into our exclusive playlist:

  • Deck the Halls
  • The First Noel 
  • Frosty the Snowman 
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • Jingle Bells
  • Joy to the World 
  • O Come all Ye Faithful 
  • We Three Kings 
  • We Wish You a Merry Xmas 
  • White Christmas  
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Jingle Bells

Learn to play this simple classic with the chords displayed (above the lyrics) below.

C F 
Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh/
G7 C 
O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way/
C F 
Bells on bobtails ring, making spirits bright/ 
G7 C 
What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight, oh/


C C7 
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way/
F C D7 G7 
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hey/
C C7 
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way/
F C G7 C 
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh/

*Continue to strum each chord until the next chord comes up in the lyrics.

Merry Christmas!

Check back next week as GLC introduces New Year’s Resolutions for the Guitar.

Phenomenal Guitar Apps

Monday, December 13th, 2010

If you’ve been watching television of late you can probably testify to the abundance of Christmas ads. And if you’re someone who takes pride in being up-to-date on the latest electronic products you can also probably testify to easily one of the hottest gifts of Christmas 2010 — the Apple iPad.

I know my favorite iPad commercial is the one in which Apple quickly highlights many of the iPad’s incredible features including (drum roll please) the ability to hook up your electric guitar and use the small device as an amp!

Pretty cool, right?

What’s also great about any Apple product is the ability to download apps, many of which are free. So in celebration of the new iPad and that guitar amp feature, we thought ’tis the season to highlight some of the best guitar apps on the market.

Check it out…

ChordBank for Guitar

Everyone likes stuff that’s free. Consequently, ChordBank is awesome because you get access to over 1,300 guitar chords for the price of nothing. That’s zilch, zip, nada. Strum to hear any chord played out loud or pluck individual strings to pick out individual notes. It’s all there with 22 complete fingerings.


Gibson Learn & Master Guitar

You may recognize Learn & Master Guitar, one of GLC’s top five rated guitar courses available. You may also recognize Gibson guitars, arguably the most famous guitar manufacture in the world. Together? They form quite a potent combination — the Gibson Learn & Master Guitar.

This application provides you with essential tools to help you become a better guitar player as well as free full length lessons from the award winning Learn & Master Guitar.



Don’t own a guitar?

PocketGuitar is a good place to start. It will transform your iPhone or iPod touch into a virtual guitar. Users can press and strum strings and when they get tired of being the next Slash, of course you can always jam out with the electric bass or ukulele. PocketGuitar also has some really sweet distortion effects as well.


Fret Surfer Guitar Trainer

The Fret Surfer Guitar Trainer is seriously worth noting (no pun intended). For the price of $3 (less than a bottle of water these days), owners can learn every…single…note on the guitar. It’s a great resource with tons of customizable features.



GuitarToolKit features both a stellar reputation (very highly rated on iTunes) and loads of killer guitar utilities. The tuner is amazingly accurate and you also get a library of over 500,000 chords.


Do you agree with our list? If not, what fantastic apps can you add?


Cool Guitar Tricks

Monday, December 6th, 2010

What always has been and always will be attractive about the electric guitar is how cool it looks on-stage. Yeah, some people may argue that the lead singer is “coolest” guy in the band but I beg to disagree. Of course, us guitarists may be a little biased but at least we play an instrument (assuming you do not sing and play guitar).

Therefore, when you have mastered the basic fundamentals of the guitar you may want to add some really sweet guitar tricks to your arsenal — especially for that next live performance (or just to show-off in front of friends).

While some of the skills below are somewhat easy to learn (and look really cool when executed properly), we cannot stress the importance of first learning the basic fundamentals of the guitar! You would not attempt to dunk a basketball before you have first learned to shoot a jump shot and you should not expect to make such a profound leap with the guitar either. With that being said, if you think you’re advanced enough, let’s move on to some really sweet guitar tricks!

Artificial Harmonics Effect

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Whenever a guitarist lightly touches the string at specific positions on the neck and then plucks the string they are creating what we like to call “Artificial Harmonics Effects”. When you incorporate this subtle but dynamic guitar trick you in turn create a bell-like quality thanks to the simultaneous vibrations of both sections of the string.

In order to pull off artificial harmonics you need to have some hand-eye coordination because the right hand performs the light touch and pluck simultaneous with the string being fretted by the left hand. Consequently, you have a lot going on for a few simple notes but it’s pretty cool when you do it right.

Double Harmonic Trem Drop

Do not get intimidated by the long name. When you double harmonic trem drop all you’re really doing is hitting two pinched harmonics simultaneously and then dropping the tremolo bar. The effect is a twisted in-and-out phase in which one sound goes off while the other comes back down.

Horse Effect

Basketball is not the only game that can play H.O.R.S.E. because the guitar has a really cool guitar trick called the “Horse Effect”. Made famous by guitarists like Steve Vai, guitarists deploy the special effect by fretting the natural harmonics at the second, third, fifth, seventh and twelfth frets. Then, by using the tremolo bar, advanced guitarists press down on the bar to create a high pitched whinnying sound.

Dropping the Bar Down E Trick

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This trick should probably be renamed “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” because the legendary guitarist is allegedly the first ever to perform it. It all depends on who you ask but regardless, dropping the bar down E trick is really sweet thanks to the end result of a “squealing sound”. In order to pull off Jimi’s move, pick the string and then lightly touch it with the thumb.

Funky Licks

This cool guitar trick is no laughing matter. The funny lick can be used to either jazz up a funky/fusion style or add contrast to guitar solos. Regardless of the purpose, expert guitarists use funny licks to break up the monotony in an otherwise bland verse or solo. The ultimate goal of funny licks is to utilize chromatic notes and rhythmic displacement.

“Your Name” Trick

What’s so sick about the guitar is that you can never stop learning. You may really love to discover guitar tricks and that is great! Explore all that guitarists have introduced and last but not least, do not be afraid to explore a little. Who knows, you may completely invent something new!