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Learning Arpeggios- What are arpeggios and how should I use them? April 29, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Arpeggios, Chords, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Music Theory, Notes, Technique, Tips.
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Chances are 9 out of 10 (if not 10 out of 10) of your favorite guitar tunes have arpeggios in them. So what is an arpeggio? Simple. An arpeggio is chord notes played in succession instead of simultaneously. So if someone says to arpeggiate an Am chord what they mean is play it one note at a time, instead of strumming all the notes at once. Here is an example:

Am arpeggio

Using arpeggios in your solo is a great way to create interesting melodies and outline the chord changes you are playing over. A great way to do this is to use the arpeggio of the chords you are playing over to help indicate the chord changes and great nice melodies on guitar. Here is an example of using the arpeggios of the chord you are soloing over:

arpeggios over C and F chord

Having an arsenal of arpeggios at your fingertips will greatly improve your soloing technique and help you become a better player. Here are two great exercises to practice to help you learn arpeggios and improve your speed and technique. The trick to this exercise is to make sure you say the same of each arpeggio as you play it so you really learn their names. Also make you are alternate picking and using a metronome (Korg MA-30 Digital Metronome)! And lastly, make sure you are not going too fast for yourself. Always start slow.

The first exercise is to go through the C major scale and arpeggiate all the triad of the C major scale. First we will go up the strings in one position, then we will stay on the same strings and go up the neck:

(Quarter notes)
3 note arpeggio exercise in C diatonic scale

second part of exercise with arpeggios in c diatonic
Then play the same thing with 7 chord arpeggios

7th chord arpegio exercise in C diatonic
Then play triads on the A and D strings going up the neck and back down:
2 string arpeggio exercise in C diatonic

Now see if you can play the same thing but play 7th chord arpeggios. If you don’t remember how to make a 7th chord see the lesson on building 7th chords. If you go up the neck in a similar way as this you will need to use three strings to play the 7th note. I’ll get you started by showing you the Cmaj7 arpeggio:
—————–
—————–
————4–
—–2–5—–
–3————-
——————
See if you can figure out the rest ony your own going up the neck and starting each arpeggio from the A string. If you have questions post them to the comments!
After you master this in C you should play it in all other keys. That way you will know all the standard arpeggios in all keys and you will be able to apply them all to your guitar lines. Good luck!

Alternate Picking- Video Lesson April 22, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Picking, Technique, Tips, Videos.
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There are many picking techniques guitarists use when playing guitar. An there is no “right” answer on which technique you should use. In fact, many guitarists use different picking techniques for different situations. But the focus of this lesson will be on alternate picking. This is one of the most widely used picking techniques and it is essential for any guitarist to be comfortable with alternate picking.

The tendency of most novice guitar players is to play most down strokes. Or randomly play down and upstrokes. Training yourself to use alternate picking takes a bit of time and practice. But once you get it down you will see that your chops will be faster and more fluid. Below is a video of some helpful exercises to help you master alternate picking.

Note that these exercises will use strictly alternate picking, though in reality many guitarists may use a combination of alternate and sweep picking for these. But for the sake of this exercise use strict alternate picking. The tabs for these exercises are located below the video. Also note that in order to get the most out of these, and any guitar exercise you NEED to practice with a metronome. If you don’t have one i put 2 links to two great, cheap, metronomes at the very bottom of this post, under the alternate picking exercise tabs.

G amjaor Scale

———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
————————-2—4—5—4—2—————————————
————2—3—5————————-5—3—2————————-
—-3—5—————————————————5–3—————–

Chromatic exercise:
———————————————————————–1–2–3–4-
———————————————————1–2–3–4—————
——————————————-1–2–3–4—————————-
—————————–1–2–3–4——————————————-
—————1–2–3–4———————————————————
-1–2–3–4———————————————————————–

-4–3–2–1———————————————————————-
—————4–3–2–1———————————————————
—————————–4–3–2–1——————————————-
——————————————-4–3–2–1—————————–
———————————————————4–3–2–1—————
———————————————————————–4–3–2- 1
Move up to 2nd fret and repeat pattern. Go all the way up to the 12th fret

4th alternate picking exercise:
———————————————————————————-
—-7–8–7–5–7–8–7–5–7 –etc…——-6–8–6–5–6–8–6–5 –etc..
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

and try this too:
———————————————————————————-
-7–8–7–5–6–8–6–5–7–8–7–5–6–8–7–5—etc.——————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

and lastly:

—————-7–8–7–5—————-6–8–6–5————————–
–7–8–7–5—————-6–8–6–5—————-7–8–7–5 –etc.——
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

Getting a metronome will be one of the best investments you make if you are serious about playing guitar. Here are two great, relatively cheap, metronomes:

Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome


and

click one to buy!

How To Practice Guitar April 16, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Introduction, Tips.
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Here is a helpful article i came across:


How To Practice Guitar

By Gen Mason

To begin to understand how to practice the guitar for maximum benefit you must first understand what practicing is. To practice the guitar is not the same as sitting down and playing the guitar. While replaying things you already have mastered has its place later on in the practicing regime, practice is truly learning some new material to further build whatever skills you have already.

However, what if you are a new beginner to the world of playing the guitar? Where do you start if you know nothing? There are several basics that all new players must develop before they can move on to learning and perfecting sounds or songs. They are:

-Toughening your fingers. The strings on a guitar can be very sharp and can cause pain to tender fingers that have never been exposed to the pressure needed to apply to a guitar string. So working your fingers into a calloused state where the playing of anything is no longer painful is essential to beginning guitar players.

-Start to work your fingers and build your knowledge base of the guitar by starting with learning individual notes. Once the basic notes are understood, you can move on to more complicated combinations and new sounds.

-Having learned the individual notes will lead you directly into learning the chords and structures used when playing the guitar in a more advanced way. Chords tend to be the starting block for most songs out there and thus must be learned for application in differing musics.

-Developing your sense of beat or rhythm is of course essential to anyone who strives to learn a musical instrument. You have to be able to mark a beat and carry it steadily as tempos change and a song progresses.

-Learning your frets goes hand-in-hand with this and is important to chord learning as well as to song learning. You need to understand your instrument to best use it to your benefit to produce the music you desire to play.

-And of course there are different strumming methods to be learned so as to be able to effectively use them as they are called for in any formalized music. As tempos and beats speed up and slow down, different strumming methods are required and you must learn them in preparation for when they will be called into use.

Once you have begun to learn the basics in using a guitar to make music, it is often advised that a beginner look into getting a tutor. In doing this, you expose yourself to someone who is much more efficient when it comes to using the guitar and who has developed a philosophy of the music he or she creates. This is why it is important to learn a lot about a tutor you may want to hire before you begin to actually work with him or her as you want to make sure that their philosophy is as close to your own as possible, thus creating the most conducive learning environment for yourself. Philosophy is crucial in your approach to making music on the guitar and must work as well for you as it does for your tutor.

Once you have hired a tutor you are comfortable with, you will most likely be exposed to learning to read music. This may seem daunting at first but it will help you immensely as you continue your pursuit of learning the guitar as you progress to more difficult pieces and more advanced playing situations. Also, you will probably be exposed to learning the theories behind playing the guitar and behind playing music in general, all of which will only add to your ability to play more effectively as you begin to understand music more completely.

You will also be presented with a practice plan and it is important to realize that setting goals for a single session is not as productive as setting your plan for a week. Practice times are not to be etched in stone and a definite number of hours and minutes is only detrimental to the learning process. You must be dedicated enough to put in appropriate amount of time but also you must feel the music as you play, and not be distracted by clock-watching.

It is important to remember that while you may have a tutor you are paying to guide you on your exploration with the guitar, it is still necessary for you to find time to experiment and explore different ways to play. Once you have learned a few easy songs, repeating them as is does little to expand your learning . . . but trying them in a different key or improvising with them to add new sounds to the original song does, and you should find time to experiment with your growing knowledge base in your practice sessions.

Listening to a variety of different styles of music is important as you begin to play music yourself. It allows you to see a variety of ways the information you are learning is being used by professionals and semi-professionals around the world. This can also inspire you to try something new in your experimentations that perhaps you never would have contemplated before if you had not listened to differing styles of music. Soon you will begin to be able to pick out changes in chords, musical patterns, tempo, and strumming styles and recognize where they began and where they ended up.

It is also so very important to always remember as you begin your desire to practice and learn the guitar for the maximum benefit that the art of learning the guitar is not a race. Everyone will learn at their own pace, and it is not a dead-heat to the finish line. Take your time and learn every step of the way to your satisfaction and the music you end up producing will be the most satisfying sounds you ever heard emitted from the guitar you are so patiently learning to play. Practice is important if you want to learn anything but especially so in the guitar as it is much more complex an instrument to master than others.

Gen Mason is a guitar player from Florida. Discover free how to improve your guitar skills at Jamorama
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gen_Mason

How To Tune Your Guitar By Ear April 12, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Ear Training, Guitar Lessons, Tips, Tuning.
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Here is a good article I saw online about how to tube your guitar by ear. This should be helpful:

How To Tune Your Guitar By Ear
by: Mike Hayes

1. The very first thing you need to know is that learning to tune your guitar takes time.

Some things on guitar can be learned in minutes, some in days, and others in weeks, but tuning will sometimes take even longer, because you have to train your ears. If results come slowly or don’t seem to be making any progress, don’t be discouraged, just keep working at it.


2. It will help you to know that the ear is a very skilled instrument for taking in sound. Your ear hears four things in each sound: Pitch, Duration, Volume and Tone Quality.

Pitch is how high or low the sound is. Duration is how long it lasts. Volume is how loud it is. Tone quality is the “character” of the sound. If we were to play the same pitch, at the same volume, for the same length of time on piano, clarinet, flute, violin, guitar, doorbell, or car horn, your ear could tell one instrument (or car horn) from another because of the tone quality. That’s because each instrument has a different “character” or “personality” of sound. You can prove you have this ability to tell one sound from another by listening to sounds without looking where they come from.

The point I want to emphasize is that you already hear very well. Learning to tune your guitar is learning a new way of using your hearing.

3.The next thing to know is that when you are tuning your guitar you want to listen only to the pitch of the strings. The quality of the pitch will differ between two strings, and this may at first confuse your ear. You’ll mistake the difference in quality as a difference in pitch. For example when playing the first string open and the second string at the fifth fret, you may notice that the first string may sound ‘crisper’, while the second string will sound a little “darker” in quality. The darker quality of the string at first can be misunderstood to sound lower in pitch. (You may use different words to explain how the strings sound to you, but the idea is that the tone quality of each string will sound different). If you understand that the ear hears a combination of pitch, volume, duration and quality all at the same time, it will help you to filter out the quality from the pitch and overcome the basic problem of tuning.

4. The steps involved in tuning your guitar: The first step is to tune one string to a note from another source. You could use another guitar (one that has already been tuned), a piano, or somebody that know how to tune could guide you along.(click here to use my free online guitar tuner)

A better source is a tuning fork. (It’s better because you don’t need anybody else around or any other instrument. If, for example you learn to tune to a piano, you’re going to have a problem if ever you need to tune and there’s no piano handy).

A tuning fork is a U shaped piece of metal with a stem on it. The fork is designed to vibrate at a particular pitch. You can get one that gives you the pitch of the first string on the guitar. (Look for one that has the letter E and the number 329.6 stamped on the stem).

To use the tuning fork you hold it by the stem, tap the U shaped fork against something solid, and place the stem (not the tip of the fork) on either the body, or the bridge of your guitar. (For electric guitars can place it on the pickup). You should hear the note which the vibrating fork produced. The note is the correct “source”.

You now adjust the first string to match the pitch of the tuning fork. You do this by finding the correct tuning gear for this string and then turning the gear slowly in one direction or the other. After about half a turn you should hear the string change pitch either up or down. This will tell you which way you have to turn the gear to tighten the string (to raise the pitch) and which way to loosen the string (to lower the pitch).

Now compare the sound of the string with the sound of the tuning fork. If the string is lower than the tuning fork, tighten the string to raise the pitch. If the string is higher than the tuning fork, loosen the string to lower the pitch.

Go slowly. Do not turn the gear rapidly. Turn about a quarter of a turn and then compare the string to the tuning fork again. (You’ll have to strike them both again). You’ll probably have to repeat this process several times. When the string sounds close to the fork make smaller turns.

When you think the first string is in tune, use the following steps (one to five) to tune the rest of the strings. (Remember, you can only tune as well as your ears hear now. With practice, you can become a better tuner). The following steps repeat the process of matching one pitch with another. The difference is that instead of using a tuning fork you will listen to the string you have just tuned, and try to match the next string to this one.

1. Place the finger behind the fifth fret of the 6th string. This will give you the tone of the 5th sting. (A)

2. Place the finger behind the 5th fret of the 5th string to get the pitch of the 4th string. (D)

3. Place the finger behind the 5th fret of the 4th string to get the pitch of the 3rd string. (G)

4. Place the finger behind the FOURTH FRET of the 3rd string to get the pitch of the 2nd string. (B)

5. Place the finger behind the 5th fret of the 2nd string to get the pitch of the 1st string. (E)

About The Author

Mike Hayes is a guitar teacher, author, performing musician and session guitarist with over 30 years of professional experience. Mike’s methods are legendary and have earned the praise of top authorities in guitar instruction. He reveals his guitar secrets at http://www.GuitarCoaching.com

.

Buy a Guitar-How To! April 5, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Guitar Gear, Tips.
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Here is a great article on how to buy a guitar. Check it out:

Buy a Guitar-How To!
By Carlos Gamez

You’re off to buy your first guitar. I remember the first guitar I fell in love with. I used to go and just look at it in the store window. It was a Fender Telecaster.

Of course in those days my family couldn’t afford to buy a guitar, so it was 10 years later when I finally did buy my first guitar.

So what do you do? How do you know which one is right for you? Should you buy the same one your friend owns? Do you choose a Gibson, Martin, a Taylor? How about Fender, Yamaha, Takamine, Guild, or Ovation? Should you buy a Vintage guitar, a used guitar, a cheap guitar?

With the huge number of guitars available on the market today, going out to buy a guitar can seem to be an overwhelming task. But with a few basics under your belt you can buy a guitar easily.

While the proven brands (like those I mentioned above) are generally the best built guitars using the best materials, they are also considerably more expensive than lesser known brands. But those lesser known brands, beginner style guitars, have become surprisingly good values in the last couple of years.

You will hear many opinions on what to look for when you buy a guitar. for example I was recently in a guitar store when I noticed a young couple looking at guitars. I overheard the husband saying that his friend had told him he needed to buy a guitar “with a spruce top”. He kept saying this over and over again while looking over every guitar in the place.

His wife kept looking over the guitars saying “this one is pretty, don’t you think? or “This one looks nice.” The husband kept repeating his mantra ” We need one with a Spruce top.”

When it was obvious to me that he didn’t really know what a “spruce top” was and that they were both quite lost and didn’t have a clue on how to buy a guitar, I decided I’d better save them!

So I talked with them for a few minutes and within 10 minutes they were happy, smiling, and on their way with a new guitar.

When you buy a guitar I feel there are 4 aspects of major importance. The points listed here are for an acoustic guitar. I believe that should be everyone’s first guitar.

1. You have to be happy with or like the way the guitar sounds. Play around with a few guitars or if you don’t know how to play yet, have the salesperson play them for you. Have him play the same tune or melody (so you can compare apples to apples). Listen to the way they sound. Some are loud, some have a deep wooden quality, and some ring with a crystal like tone. There isn’t a right or wrong sound there is only which do you like best! After a while you may decide to buy a guitar for each sound. For now though pick the one you like the best. When you have settled on a couple that you like the best go on to the next steps.

2. The guitar must be comfortable. Have a seat on a stool or a chair (no arms on the chair please) take hold of the guitar and place the bottom curve of the guitar(if you are right-handed) on your right thigh (if you are left-handed) place the bottom curve of the guitar on your left thigh. Lean it back slightly so that you can see what you are doing and ask yourself, Does it feel comfortable ? Does your strumming hand feel comfortable on the front of the guitar? Is it too big? Is it too small? Do you have to bend over too much or sit up too straight? Now strum the guitar, can you do that comfortably? If the guitar is not comfortable put the guitar away and repeat this step with another guitar. Don’t bother going on to the next steps. If you are not comfortable with the guitar DON”T BUY IT. Try other guitars until you find one that meets your comfort level only then go on to step 3.

3. Now lets look and work with the neck of the guitar. It must be easy for you to wrap your hand around comfortably. There are many shapes to the guitar neck and various widths as well. The most Important thing in buying your first guitar is that it must be easy for you to wrap your hand around comfortably. When you find a guitar that is comfortable, check two more things. The frets( the wire strips that go across the fingerboard). You have to make sure the ends are finished correctly if not they will be sharp and can cut your fingers when you play the guitar. You must also check the string height If they are too high they will be tough to press down and play. Too low they will buzz and clunk when you strum or pick the notes. Sometimes the guitar shop has a set up or repair dept. that will “set up” your guitar for you but this can sometimes be expensive . One you have found guitars that you like the sound of are comfortable in your lap with a neck that is th correct size and shape, you are ready for the last step.

4. You should buy a guitar that is within your budget. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a guitar that is decent and will serve your purpose.. My daughter surprised me with a guitar she bought for $100. I was ready to take her back and set the clerk straight for taking her $100.00 and ripping her off. “How could they do that, take her money…” That’s what I was thinking. Well, to make a long story short, she brought me the guitar and I must say it sounded better and felt more comfortable than guitars I’ve seen that cost $250.00 to $350.00 ! So you can buy a guitar and stay within your budget. Once you become a better guitar player then go invest in a really good guitar for now remember something, You are playing the guitar to have fun. So have some fun playing the guitar and learning the guitar and you decide when you want to buy a guitar of higher value!

OK, Those are the tips I have successfully shared with others when they ask me how to buy a guitar. Good Luck on buying your first guitar!

Carlos Gamez has been playing guitar and performing for many years. His website, http://guitar-magician.com was established to help others learn how to play guitar and to help already established guitarists improve their guitar playing skills. Guitar-magician.com is committed to providing useful, practical, information on playing the guitar. It is a resource for beginning guitarists and more advanced players as well.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carlos_Gamez

Essential lead guitar techniques-Video April 1, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Introduction, Technique, Tips, Videos.
1 comment so far

Here is a video demonstrating the most essential guitar techniques for anyone playing lead guitar. Sorry for the poor audio and video quality, I don’t have such a great recorder.

The guitar techniques shown in the video are: hammer-ons, pull-offs, trilling, bending (and releasing), sliding, and vibrato. There are guitar tabs for each of the examples below the video. Enjoy!

Hammer-on************* Pull-off ********** Trill
——————————————————
———————————————————-
–5h7——————-7p5————5h7p5h7p5h7 etc….
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Bend*********** Bend Release************** Vibrato
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
–7b(9)————7b(9)r7——————-7~~~—
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Slide ********* Multiple slides ********* bend + vibrato
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
–7/9———-9\7\4\2/4/7———————7b(9)~~~—
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Multiple techniques used together
———————————————————————-
————————–8p5—————————-8b(10)~~~~
–7b(9)——7p5~~~————7p5———5~~——————
——————————————-7—————————-
————————————————————————
————————————————————————

Guitar Tuning Tips – Want Some Techniques You Can Use to Keep Your Guitar in Tune? March 29, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Guitar Hardware, Tips, Tuning.
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I don’t have time to write my own post tonight due to the new job i started. But instead of leaving you with nothing I figured I would share this good article with you on keeping your guitar in tune:

(If you don’t already have a guitar tuner you can go to my link at the end of this article to get one)

Guitar Tuning Tips – Want Some Techniques You Can Use to Keep Your Guitar in Tune?
By David O’Toole

Keeping your guitar tuned is THE first step in sounding hot and professional. Tune-up perfectly and THEN play is the order of the day. Tuning tip number one starts right here. Get yourself a decent and well made guitar that naturally stays in tune without constant tweaking. No matter how much you perfect the art of guitar tuning, a cheap instrument will seriously hamper your efforts.

No matter how well you play your latest lick or arpeggio, it won’t sound hot unless your in perfect Guitar Tune Nirvana either! Conclusion: Invest in a good or even great guitar and your halfway there regarding guitar-tuning dilemmas.

To start off, here are 2 simple but BIG tuning tips for any type of six-stringer:

After every sweaty, no-holds barred, gig or rehearsal, CLEAN YOUR STRINGS! It may sound painfully obvious, but this is the biggest guitar tuning problem and string-killer of them all. Some people, including yours truly, can rust and destroy a set of strings overnight, by gigging with them and not cleaning the chemicals and sweat off, immediately afterwards. When this happens, tuning can be almost impossible.

So cleaning your strings is step one to guitar tuning nirvana. This simple precaution lengthens their lifespan, maintains tone AND tuning. Use a lint-free cloth, wrap it under and around each string, one at a time, and wipe up and down, with a slight pressure, cleaning the complete surface.

Use pure alcohol on the cloth if necessary, you can buy a small bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol in the chemists. Squeaky clean!

WARNING: Be careful with this stuff it’s poisonous if taken internally!

Be careful not to run your fingers along the string too, it cuts deep and hurts like hell! I tie the cloth around the neck afterwards (they tend to mysteriously disappear for some strange reason just when needed), and make it a regular habit.

Unless you’re an experienced player, DO NOT PUT NEW STRINGS ON YOUR GUITAR BEFORE A GIG! … hi John ;-). If you must, try and allow about 30-45 Minutes to fit, stretch and warm them and yourself up.

If you have ever played a guitar which sounds fine in the lower regions but goes out of tune as you move up the neck, the answer could well be dirty or kaput strings. If you change them and the problem goes away, then you know. If it doesn’t go away, it could be the guitar intonation. Get a good and trusted guitar-tech to check it for you.

When you put new strings on (if you have a Floating Bridge, do them one at a time, DO NOT take all the old ones off at once), tune them up to concert pitch, then spend about 20 minutes stretching them by hand. Left hand holds everything down at the nut, place 4 fingers of your right hand underneath one string, and slowly pull it out until you feel the tension and gently sort of bounce it forward and backwards, and S-T-R-E-T-C-H…and loosen…and S-T-R-E-T-C-H…and loos…

Slide your hand position up the neck along the string, pull it out at various points and so on, covering the entire length from nut to bridge. Then retune it and do it all again. The first few times the string tuning will drop by as much as an octave. After a few stretch/tune ups you’ll notice it doesn’t drop anymore. If you let this stretching happen naturally, it can take a week or so until the guitar strings stop jumping out of tune every 2 seconds. Your guitar will be as fit as a fiddle.

So adhering to these two simple but effective steps will improve any guitars tuning and even playability. Once you get into the habit of cleaning and stretching your guitar strings and it becomes second nature, you can turn your attention to other important playing points without having to tune up every few minutes. It’s well worth the effort.

Next we look at some Fender Stratocaster whammy bar tips, Lee Chang specials to avoid, and how a humble home pencil can save your guitar life :). [Note: this is not refering to my blog. The author of this article wrote that].

***

David O’Toole is a guitar player, music fan, and musician from Ireland. He is the webmaster at the UniGTR­+ Center and editor at the BellaOnline Musician Site

A keen player and experienced guitar teacher, he is also the author of the popular standard, lefthand, reverse guitar, and piano / keyboard series of Basic Chord Families — Not just another random selection of 1000s of chords, but the key to fast learning and playing 1000s of songs with under 60 chords!

This article may be freely reproduced as is, provided it is keep it intact, and that the above resource box is maintained – thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_O’Toole

Click the image below to buy a guitar tuner!


Practicing Guitar With A Metronome -Why And How You Should Do It March 21, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Introduction, Technique, Tips.
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For some reason most of the self-taught guitar players I know do not own a metronome. Whether they don’t understand the importance of being able to play in time and to tempo, or they think they can keep tempo just fine by tapping their foot, or they are just plain lazy, most self-taught guitar players do not practice with a metronome.

If you want to build speed, timing, and rhythm you need to practice with a metronome frequently. Once I started using one my chops started getting faster, cleaner, and more precise in just a few days. Yours can to.

You can get a metronome for very cheap. I even put a link to buy one at the end of this post.

How to use your metronome:

Once you have a metronome you have to know how to use it. The first thing to remember is that you should start slow! You should be playing slow enough that you can hear every guitar note you pick cleanly. This means turn off your distortion so you can really hear how well you execute each note. There is no reason to be ashamed if you have to start practicing a lick at 60BPM, or even 40BPM. Start as slow as you need to. Practice the lick/song/scale at that tempo until you can play it comfortably multiple times. Then increase the speed by 4BPM and start again. Keep repeating until you can play it up to speed.

Counting beats and Note durations.

Most metronomes have different time signatures. I am just going to talk about standard 4/4 time. This means that there are four beats every measure (bar). The following durations apply to 4/4 time signature only.

Each beat is a quarter note. So every beep on your metronome you count a number up until 4. Once you count 4 beats the measure is over and you start over. So you count 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,etc… and each number is a quarter note. So if you play a new note every time you say a number you are playing quarter notes

If every beat is a quarter note then that means every 2 beats is a half note. So if you play a note and hold it for two numbers you are playing half notes. So you would play on 1 and hold that note until 3 and play a new note on 3 and hold that until the 1 of the next beat. Or you could do the same thing but start on 2 and 4. You can start whenever you want as long as you are holding the notes fore 2 beats.

If a note 2 beats long makes a half note then what do 2 halves make? A whole! So a note 4 beats long is called a whole note. So if you play on 1 and hold it through beat 4 you are playing a whole note. So any note held for 4 beats is a whole note

Now for 8th notes. 8th notes are shorter in duration than quarter notes. If you but an “and” between every note then you will be playing 8th notes. So every time it beeps you count a number and between every number you say an “and”. So “1, and, 2,and, 3, and, 4, and, 1, and, 2, and, 3, and, 4, and etc…If you play a note every time you say a number and on every “and” you are playing 8th notes.

16th notes and 32nd notes are also common. But I won’t go into them now b/c they are pretty fast and you should be starting with the basics.

If you have any questions please post them to the “comments” section.
Here is a great metronome if you don’t have one(click it for more details and to buy):
Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome


Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome