Saturday, July 21, 2007

How To Play Electric Guitar-5 Tips For Instant Success

How To Play Electric Guitar-5 Tips For Instant Success
By Steve Laney




There are a million different methods and styles of how to play electric guitar, and to teach them all in one article would be pretty pointless, so I’m going to give you some tips that anyone who wants to know how to play electric guitar well should find useful.



How To Play Electric Guitar Tip 1:

Make sure the strings are fitted properly. Playing electric guitar often includes string bends, and if your strings aren’t fitted properly this can cause some real tuning problems. Hearing that “PING” sound as your guitar drops out of tune mid solo can be pretty embarrassing, so make sure your strings are perfect!



How To Play Electric Guitar Tip 2:

Get to know the guitar. Electric guitars have a huge range of different sounds and textures, all accessed by simply using the volume and tone controls on the guitar, as well as using different pickup selections. Any great guitarist with great tone understands this and will work their guitar to get the very best sounds.



How To Play Electric Guitar Tip 3:

Learn to mute the strings. When played at high volume the sheer power of the sound from the amplifier will make the strings on the guitar vibrate and ring out. This will ruin ANYTHING you are trying to play unless you can control it by muting the strings you don’t want to sound. This is mainly done by laying the palm of your strumming hand across the strings at the bridge.



How To Play Electric Guitar Tip 4:

Learn some simple scales and licks. You can spice up anything by adding a few ad lib notes or licks, providing you have the scale knowledge to back it up. Some tasteful blues licks can really add depth to all kinds of songs, and will give your sound its own personality.



How To Play Electric Guitar Tip 5:

Learn to bend strings and apply vibrato. To a guitar fan one of the best sounds in the world is the sound of someone bending up to a high note and then applying some good vibrato. Both techniques are fairly easy to get to grips with but tough to master, and will add even more personality to your sound. Using these techniques you can make the most mundane melodies sound interesting.



These guitar tips don’t even scratch the tip of the iceberg of how to play electric guitar, but hopefully they have given you an idea of what kinds of directions you can go with the instrument. Happy playing!


Click HERE to learn the secrets of the professionals and become a great guitar player in record time-there's never been a better guide to how to play electric guitar!
Steve Laney is the webmaster at http://www.dailyguitarlessons.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Laney

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How-To-Play-Electric-Guitar-5-Tips-For-Instant-Success&id=639317


Learn to play like Eric Clapton, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Bob Dylan in a fraction of the time it would take you with regular guitar lessons. Let me help you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Which Guitar to learn on?

There are three main types of guitar that you will encounter. They are:

Classical Acoustic - Acoustic - Electric
Chances are that if you have asked someone if you can use their guitar for a while, it would probably be an old classical acoustic guitar or maybe a steel string acoustic.
These guitars are excellent to learn on because electric guitars require things like leads, amps, speakers and power. With acoustic guitars you only need a pick.
The other great thing about acoustic guitars is that you can’t turn them up loud. When you are learning it is probably better to play on a guitar that isn’t going too be loud, only loud enough so your ears can hear your errors and your good performances.
If you don’t know which types of guitar you want to play on, ask yourself, ‘what kind of music do I want to play?’
Pick a song that you like for its guitar sound. Listen to the guitar sounds and only the guitar sounds. Are they clean, soft sounds? Or are they harsh, heavy or distorted? Generally, acoustic guitars are softer and cleaner. Distorted, heavy sounds come from electric guitars that are plugged into amplifiers and effects units. Can you hear individual notes being picked or are the strings being strummed hard? The harder you play, the thicker your strings need to be. You need to know what style you want to play.
OK you have found a style of music that you like. Try and find out what the band video for that song is and watch it. There will probably be a section in there where the band is playing. In this part, look at the guitarist. Is he/she playing on an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar? What brand is it? What style? If you know the exact guitar from the video, you can ask to play on it at your local guitar shop to see if it suits you.
People play guitar for many different reasons. You need to understand what it is that you want to get out of the guitar. To discover your tastes in guitar music, listening to different styles and genres. Ask musicians at music shops about what kind of guitars different bands use, or ask them what kind of amps/effects those artists use to get that sound.
The answers don’t have to be exact because they will get you thinking about what you need to buy to achieve the sound you are after.
For more information on achieving different guitar sounds, see our articles on basic guitar effects and guitar manufacturers and guitar models.
This FREE course in brought to you by Jamorama - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Learn to Play The Acoustic Guitar Mini-course #4


Welcome to Part Four of the Beginners Mini-Course on Learning How to Play the Acoustic Guitar.
In today's lesson we have a lot to cover. We will be playing all of the chords that you have learned: C, A minor and D, and we will be trying a new time signature with these chords. Don't worry too much about what this means it will be explained. By now you should be able to play and change between these three chords. If you followed the lessons carefully you should find these exercises a logical and easy progression from what you have previously done. It's great to have you with us...

Today's lesson is based around trying to play a specific rhythmical strum on the guitar. The first three lessons have challenged your fretting hand. This lesson is going to challenge your strumming hand. It's a bit different to what you have already learnt but if you are patient you will pick it up in no time. Being able to play particular strums and rhythms is an important and often under practised part of playing the guitar. Many musicians get caught up in learning crazy chords or playing speedy scales. This can often lead to the neglect of rhythm which is the basis for all music.

Remember in the last lesson we talked about warming up and using the correct fingering. Before you start this lesson, just try another one of these warm up fingering drills.

This following warm up exercise involves the 6th, 5th and 4th strings (three thickest strings). Once again I would like you to use correct fingering when you are playing this. Remember your index finger is number 1, you middle finger is number 2, your ring finger is number 3 and your pinky is number 4. Play in down strokes and take your time. Try and make each note ring clear. Remember it is better to play slowly and accurately than to sound muddy and unclear.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 1 (2.53 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 1 (3.48 MB)

Now that you have finished that warm up pattern it's time to move onto the main part of the lesson which is some work on strumming. Before you start on this I am going to explain some simple music theory to you. Don’t get intimidated by this as it is pretty simple.

You may or may not have noticed that most of the things you have played previously have been in groups of fours or numbers that are divisible by four. Most music is like this and if you don’t believe me turn on your radio. Try and count out in fours while listening to the playing. I am confident that you will be able to count out in fours to most pieces of music you will hear.

So previously when you were strumming up and down you were playing HALF beats. That is why I had you count out, "one AND two AND three AND four AND", to split each beat in half and strum in eights. What we are going to do now is instead of working in groups of four, we're going to work in groups of three. So now you will count "one AND two AND three AND". This splits the everything into three. It's actually very simple.

In this next exercise we will play just A minor for two bars. This time playing in groups of three. Keeping the same style of strum. So you strum down and up and count aloud "one AND two AND three AND"

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 2 (1.41 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 2 (1.90 MB)

What you've actually been doing is playing in 3/4. This is a called a time signature. It's called 3/4 (three four) because you count "one, two, three". In the previous lessons you've been playing in 4/4 (four four) becuase you count "one two three four".

Ok, let's push those boundries a little...

Exercise:

Basically, what I want you to do is skip one of the strums in the 3/4 strum pattern. In terms of what you have been counting I want you to skip the AND of the first beat when you are strumming. So what I want you count now is "one two AND three AND". Watch the video to see what you need to strum or give it a go and see what I mean...

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 3 (2.82 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 3 (3.90 MB)

Note that I have put hollow strumming symbols below the tab chart. This is because I want you to make the strum but I don’t want you to hit the strings. When you see the hollow strum symbol, that's what that means. Listen to the count on the JAM track and try and play along. This will feel a little awkward at first, but like everything we have asked you to do, it is achievable. Keep working at it and you will be able to do it. You may notice that the JAM track provided is quite slow. This is because I want you be able to play this perfectly and in time.

Now it's time to learn a new chord. This new chord is called E:

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 4 (2.80 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 4 (3.88 MB)


Now that you've got that chord we're going to do a slight alteration of the E chord. It's very simple but very effective. We're going to play the E7 chord. Basically the '7' part means that you alter the normal E chord slightly. All you have to do is remove your 3 finger from the chord. Here's the E7 chord:

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 5 (2.80 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 5 (3.88 MB)

Now we're gonig to play the E chord and the E7 chord back to back using the strum pattern we had before when we were play in 3/4. I still want you to count aloud because this will help with changing your chords in time.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 6 (2.89 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 6 (3.93 MB)


Now we're going to do a quick exercise with the chords we've learnt so far using the 3/4 strum pattern you've been practicing. Things are getting quite tricky now so pay attention to the video and be sure that you are getting the changes between each chord. These exercise is the hardest and longest you've done so far so keep up the good work, its not easy stuff. This is a neat little progression and you will hear how nice it sounds.

Remember that if you're having troubles listen closely to the audio tracks and watch the video. These are invaluable tools in helping you with these exercises.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 7 (2.80 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 7 (3.88 MB)

Well done on that last exercise. Things are really looking more and more like a song and soon you'll be playing "House of the Rising Sun" in no time. There's just one more thing for you too look at in this lesson. We're going to look at one more chord. This one is a tricky one and may take a little while to learn. This is because this next chord you have to hold down 2 notes with one finger! Sounds trickey, its not easy but it's possible with practice and patients.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 8 (2.80 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 8 (3.88 MB)

Now you have six different chords at your disposal, C, D, A minor, E, E7 and now F. That's great! These are all the chords you will find in "House of the Risin Sun". So now all we've got to learn is the structure of the song. You're almost there. You're well on your way to becoming a complete guitar player

Next lesson we'll look at the chords that go together and the first part of the song.

If you have been completing the lessons in full then you are doing well and I think you are committed to becoming a good guitarist. Keep going! There are only two more lessons to go before you can play the whole song with the Jamorama Band.

Until next time!
You can learn more about Jamorama – the ultimate guitar learning kit! by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Learn to Play The Acoustic Guitar Mini-course #3



Welcome to Part Three of the Beginners Mini-Course on Learning How to Play the Acoustic Guitar. This mini-course gives you a taste of what's covered in The Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit! In this course you will learn powerful tips and skills to get you playing the acoustic guitar with the fluency and accuracy of a professional, and by the end of it you will be able to play a full song by yourself

This lesson continues on from lessons one and two. In lesson one you learnt how to start playing and how to play the chords C and D. In the second lesson you were shown how to read tab. This lesson will be similar to the second part of lesson two, however I plan to introduce you to the chord A minor. Once you have mastered A minor, we will try and practice changing between the three chords we have learnt; C, A minor, and D.

So far, the chords that you have learnt have all been major chords. Major chords give music a happy feel. Minor chords, on the other hand, lend a sad or melancholy feeling to music. Minor chords are constructed in the same way as major chords except that the third or middle note of the chord is flattened (something that is explained in full later in the jamorama book).

Let's take a look at the A minor chord:

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 1 (2.14 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 1 (2.5 MB)

Exercise:
With this exercise, I want to get you strumming up and down. I would like to introduce to you a new technique to help with your playing. When you are practicing the lesson above I would like you to count out loud. This sounds easier than it is, but it is something you need to learn and it is an achievable skill. It works like this; on your down strum I want you to count “1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4” and on the up strum I would like you to say “and”. So you should be saying “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4”. Most guitar music is broken down into beats of four but later on in the course we'll look at something a bit different. Try the exercise below and remember to take a look at the video if you have any problems:

A minor chord

Tip: You can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 2 (2.30 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 2 (2.80 MB)


As you can see the difference between practicing this chord and the previous chords you have learned is that you are doubling up on the strum. The way I would like you to do this is by strumming up when you bring your hand back up. Take your time with this. Watch the video provided and try and play along. Your strum should be constant and in time. The track provided is slow and with a little pratice you should be able to play A minor with up and down strum.

Now we are going to work on changing between A minor, C and D. As above, I would like you to continue using an up and down strum and counting out loud. So if you continue with your, “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and”, it will help make the next lesson a lot easier.

Exercise:

Next I want you to practice going from A minor to C. This should feel like a realitively smooth and easy chord change. It also sounds good and should with a bit of practice feel very natural. Just to remind you, you should be strumming up AND down while you perform this exercise and counting out aloud, "one and two and three and four and", in time with your strum. Note that each 'and' is written as '+' in the following exercise... This is just so that it fits properly under the TAB.

Tip: You can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):


Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 3 (2.33 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 3 (2.88 MB)

Adding the up and down strum may mean that this will take a little longer to master than the previous chord changing exercises in lesson 2. Don't worry though, just keep working away at it until you can play along comfortably with the audio track provided.

Now we will move onto the next exercise. This one starts on C and then goes to D. Once again I would like you continue with the up and down strum and the counting aloud as in the previous exercises in this lesson.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 4 (2.33 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 4 (2.87 MB)

You're doing great here! Just as a quick note, when you play a group of chords in order it is called a ‘progression’ or a ‘chord progression’.

By now you will have come across some of the difficulties and pain that come with learning the guitar. For most of you, just pressing down the strings and trying to play chords will have caused some moderate pain. Most of this pain will be in your fretting hand ( left hand for right handed players). This pain is normally felt in a few places; pain in your fingertips, sore wrists, stiff forearms and pain between your thumb and your fingers. Most of this pain is inevitable and will pass with time.

If you have serious continued pain in your hands then you should contact a health care professional. Repetitive Strain Injuries (R.S.I) and carpal tunnel syndrome are the most common serious problems that guitarists encounter. However for the vast majority of players these problems are not an issue.

The best way to avoid pain when you are playing the guitar is to dedicate some time to warming up. There are many ways you can warm up and every guitar player has a different method. In this lesson I will show you some basic warm up techniques. These techniques will also help you build hand strength and a little bit of speed.

Unlike the previous exercises in this lesson there is no need to continue with the up and down strokes. All the strokes in these two exercises will be single notes using down strokes. It is important to note that in these warm up exercises you will be playing single notes as opposed to chords which you have been practising in this lesson and in lessons 1 and 2.

In this first warm up exercise I want you to get used to using particular fingers. If you look at the diagram below you will see that each finger is numbered. Your index finger is 1, your middle finger is 2, your ring finger is 3 and your pinky is 4.


This following exercise is excellent for warming up, improving hand strength and increasing
co-ordination. You will notice that I have tabbed out some single notes for you to play. Above the TAB I have written some numbers. These numbers indicate the fingers I would like you to use when doing the exercise.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 5 (2.50 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 5 (3.05 MB)

As you can see, this is just a simple ascending and descending pattern on the 1st string (thinnest string). First, you use your index finger, then your middle finger, then your ring finger and finally your pinky. The second part is just the same thing but in reverse.

This second exercise I want to show you involves three strings; the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. It is important to notice the fingering used. This may feel a little awkward and frustrating at first but this is the correct way to play the guitar. Getting in the habit of using correct fingering will pay massive dividends as you progress with your guitar playing. This time you will notice that this exercise is played using a combination of UP and DOWN strokes...

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 6 (2.90 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 6 (3.52 MB)
The two exercises shown above are excellent for warming up your hands and increasing your dexterity. If you are having severe pain when you are playing. STOP! It is much better to rest your hands and forearms for the next day's practice than to force yourself to injury. Work hard on the exercises shown in this lesson.

In tomorrows lesson we have a lot to cover. We will be playing all of the chords that you have learned; C, D and A minor, and you will be introduced to the strumming you will need to play the song 'House of the Risin Sun'. If you followed the lessons carefully you should find these exercises a logical and easy progression from what you have previously done. It's great to have you with us.

Until next time!
Jamorama.com


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Learn to Play The Acoustic Guitar Mini-course #2


Guitar Lesson - How to Read Guitar Tablature
TAB or tablature is the most common method of writing out music for the guitar. It is different from classical music notation in that; TAB uses ordinary numbers and keyboard characters as opposed to standard musical notation which uses symbols. Because of this format, anyone with a computer can write or read TAB making it the most user friendly way to read and communicate guitar music and therefor the easy way to learn to play the guitar. Also TAB relates directly to the fret board of your guitar meaning that you may easily see where you put your fingers.

In the full version of Jamorama, both standard musical notation and tablature are used. But for this six day course we will only use TAB. The reason for this is that tablature is very easy to read and you should have no problems learning TAB in a few short minutes of reading.

TAB has some weak points, the worst of which is that rhythm can't be easily indicated. This shouldn't pose a problem though, as I will indicate the rhythm for each exercise using the strum indicators that were introduced in lesson one.

OK. To start I want you to look at your guitar and you will clearly see that it has six strings going from thickest to thinniest. On a TAB diagram, the thinnest string, (or 1st string as its most commonly called) is at the top - The thickest (or 6th string) is at the bottom. This is clearly demonstrated in the 1st example below.
The following diagram shows you how tablature relates to the guitar fret board:Some of you may notice that this guitar seems upside down in relation to how you play. This is simply the way that guitar music is generally written. Now if you transfer this same model to a written format you will get TAB, which can be seen below.
So the lines above indicate the strings on a guitar. The top line of the TAB being the thinnest string of the guitar, and the bottom line on the TAB chart indicating the thickest string of the guitar. Now if you look at your guitar you will see metal bars that raise up from the neck of the guitar called frets. TAB uses numbers to show you which one of these frets to press down and play.
For example, look at the tab diagram to the right and you can see that the 1st string (thinnest string) is being played. The number refers to the fret that you should press down. In this case the number zero is displayed. This means that you shouldn’t press down anything.

So if you were to play the above piece of TAB on your guitar, you would pick the thinnest string once with your plucking hand and do nothing with your fret hand.

Tip: If you are having trouble with this concept, you can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):

Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 1 (1.39 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 1 (1.7 MB)

Now let's see if we can start pushing down some strings. Look at the next example below and try and play the note that the TAB chart displays.


If you pressed down the thickest string at the 3rd fret then you played the exercise correctly. If you are still unsure whether you are doing the right thing or not, refer to the video below.

Tip: The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):


Video Available:


QuickTime - Exercise 2 (1.07 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 2 (1.2 MB)

Let's try another one. Play the following piece of TAB:

This TAB diagram above indicates the 2nd string (second thinnest) and you should be pressing down on the first fret.

Tip: Once again, there is video available for this example. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):


Video Available:


QuickTime - Exercise 3 (1.15 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 3 (1.4 MB)

Things become a little more complicated when you are required to play chords, however the basic principals I have already outlined still apply. The only difference is that you will be required to play more strings and hold down more strings with your fingers. In this next example I will show you how to play the chord ‘C’.

The first and 3rd strings are played open while the second, forth and fifth strings are played at the first, second and 3rd frets. The sixth string is not played in the C Major Chord and this is often indicated by an empty space on the stave or sometimes by an 'X'.

If you have read the TAB correctly your fingers should look like this:

Video Available:


QuickTime - Exercise 3 (1.15 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 3 (1.4 MB)

Before we move on, I would like to introduce to you a musical symbol that we will be using from now on:

The symbol on the right is called a repeat sign. When you see this symbol, you go back to the start of the piece of music you are playing and play it over again.



Exercise:

Just to make sure that you are getting the TAB concept, I want you to play the following D chord. Take note of the repeat sign:

If you were playing the D chord, you were correct. Check with the video below:

Tip: You can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):

Video Available:
QuickTime - Exercise 4 (2.14 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 4 (2.5 MB)

So now you know how to use basic tablature as it applies to notes and full chords. In this introductory set of lessons you will use TAB to learn different chords and by lesson six you will be able to play the full song, 'House of the Rising Sun'.

Don't forget, for the Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit which includes step-by-step written lessons, video lessons, audio lessons and sophisticated software games to accelerate your guitar learning. Visit Jamorama.com to find out more.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Learn to Play the Acoustic Guitar mini-course #1



Welcome to Part One of the Beginners Mini-Course on Learning How to Play the Acoustic Guitar. This mini-course gives you a taste of what's covered in The Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit!

In this course you will learn powerful tips and skills to get you playing the acoustic guitar with the fluency and accuracy of a professional, and by the end of it you will be able to play a full song by yourself.

In my mini-course, this is what you'll learn:

Part One--Introduction to the Acoustic Guitar and How to Play Chords

  • Getting into Position. Information that every beginner should know before they start out!
  • Introduction to Chords. The basis of all music - Learn C and D and see why learning them with Jamorama is easy.
  • Strumming. One of the most important things you must know if you want to progress with your playing.

Part Two--Reading Guitar Tablature

  • The Fret Tablature relationship. A little tool that will break down the music reading barrier and super accelerate your learning!
  • How Tablature works. Get inside information on this brilliant time saving concept.
  • The repeat sign.

Part Three--The Art of Chord Movement

  • Learn the A minor chord. Add to your database of chords.
  • Eigth Note Strumming. And to think, two days ago you could hardly strum a thing.
  • Chord Changing. Now you are really cooking with fire and it's sounding hot!
  • Warm up exercises. One of the most important things you will ever learn about playing the guitar!

Part Four--Developing your Strumming Hand

  • Playing in three. This trick will blow you away!
  • Building speed. Faster isn't always better, but it's a hell of a lot of fun.
  • Mixing chords E major and E7. It's really coming together now!
  • The F major chord.

Part Five--Playing "House of the Rising Sun".

  • A quick warm up.
  • Song sections 1, 2, 3 and introduction. Let's break it down Jamorama style!
  • Putting it together.

Part Six--Play along with the Full Jamorama Band!

  • You can download a full version of the song that you are going to learn by clicking here!


This mini-course will give you some basic guitar skills and get you playing a song, but I can't possibly teach you everything in just six emails. That's why I've put everything into my course, Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit! It's got so, so much more. It's packed with cutting edge material to help you fast track your guitar learning. You'll learn how to play almost any song you hear by ear. Click on the link below to see exactly how you can learn to play guitar like a professional!

www.jamorama.com

Now, let's get into todays lesson.

Getting into Position

Sitting Positions

There are two sitting positions for holding the acoustic guitar; classical and casual.

1. Pick up the guitar and make sure that the guitar body is supported by your leg.
2. Position yourself at the edge of your chair.
3. Ensure that your back is relaxed but straight.
4. Lean the guitar back towards you slightly.

Standing Position

1. Pick up the guitar and place the strap over your shoulder. Adjust the strap so that the guitar is positioned mid-body.
2. Use your left hand to support the neck of the guitar.
3. Rest your right hand over the bridge of the guitar.

Hand Positions

It is important that you relax your wrists and hands. Straining them can cause injury.

Front View Rear View











Warning! Make sure that you never position your hand like this:



Your thumb should never be placed this low on the neck of the guitar as it puts
unneccessary strain on your wrist and thumb.

Fretting

When you play the guitar, you use your left hand fingers to press down the strings on the fret board of the guitar and use your right hand to pluck or strum the stings at the bridge end of the guitar. Using your left hand to press the strings on the fret board is called fretting. Here are some tips you will need to know:

1. Short fingernails are essential.
2. Use only the tips of your fingers to press the strings.
3. When making a chord, be sure that each fingertip is placed within the frets.
We will cover chords in lesson one.
4. Check each string that it rings clearly and is not muted or buzzing.

As a beginner guitarist, it may hurt your fingers to play. This is normal. Every guitarist starts this way for the first couple of weeks. With practice, you will develop guitar fingers (hard skin on your fingertips).

Holding the Pick

Position the pick between thumb and index fingers like in the diagram below:

Time to take a break. Well done, you've just completed the first part of this newsletter. Next you are about to learn about chords and by the end of this lesson you'll have learnt the C Major chord.


Don't forget, for the Jamorama Acoustic Guitar Learning Kit which includes step-by-step written lessons, video lessons, audio lessons and sophisticated software games, visit Jamorama.com

Now you are ready to start your first lesson. Your aim in this lesson is to learn the C and D major chords and to introduce yourself to reading guitar tablature. This lesson is very important, so I want you to really focus.

Remember! It is more beneficial for you to practice several times during a week than to practice for one long session. This is because your brain processes information in chunks at a time and it can only hold a certain amount in short term storage.

For example, with phone numbers, it is very difficult to remember any more than 7 digits at a time. Yet if you give yourself time between practicing, even if it is just 10 minutes, you’ll find that your brain is much more efficient at turning your short term practice into long term knowledge. More information on effective learning is contained in Jamorama at Jamorama.com.

Ok. That aside, let’s get started on the lesson. To start with, I want you to have a look at the guitar neck diagram below and make note of all the relevant pieces of information.

Frets
The guitar neck is divided into what we call frets, making a fret board. Most guitars have around 20 frets. In these first lessons, we will focus on the first four, also known as the first position. Notice that we number each fret starting at 1 at the head of the guitar







Note: Each string on the guitar is numbered. When you hold your guitar as you would when using the casual playing position, the 1st string is at the bottom and the 6th string is at the top.

Notice also the term, ‘Tuning’ at the bottom of the above diagram. Tuning refers to the notes that the guitar strings are tuned to. In the above diagram, I have given a very common tuning called standard E tuning that consists of the notes E, A, D, G and B. Strings 1 and 6 are both tuned to the note E. The open 6th string is called low E. The open 1st string is called high E as it is two octaves higher than the 6th string open E. I will explain notes and octaves to you in a later newsletter, but for now, you only need to know the names of the notes in standard open E tuning.

Now make sure that your guitar is tuned to standard E tuning (the most common tuning). If you don't know how to tune your guitar, then download my free guide to tuning your guitar from: http://www.jamorama.com/tuning/tuning.pdf. Or if you are already a member of Jamorama.com, you can use our guitar tuning software to help you tune your guitar.

**Note: To open the above tuning.pdf file you'll need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download a free copy of this from: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

We will stick to standard E tuning throughout this newsletter, but you can find other tunings to play with in our member’s area at www.jamorama.com.

Introduction to Chords

Now we are going to look at guitar chords. Guitarists use many different chords to make progressions or riffs that can then be used to create songs. If you are not familiar with some of these terms, it’s ok. We will cover everything that I am talking about in good time.

A chord is defined as a combination of 3 or more notes played together. To examine this, I want to take a look at chord diagrams. Chord diagrams are used to illustrate how a chord is played. They are very easy to use because they look very much like the neck of the guitar, in fact, the Jamorama chord diagram is a guitar neck.

As I said above the Jamorama chord diagrams are going to be pictures of an ‘actual’ guitar neck so it’s easy to make the connection between strings and fingering. There is also a picture of the type of chord diagram that appears in most other Guitar learning guides. I want you to be aware of that form of ‘standard’ chord diagram because you may want to use it when writing up chords on paper at home.

So, now that you know what a chord diagram looks like and how it matches with the neck of your guitar, it’s time to come back to what I said earlier about a chord being a combination of 3 or more notes played together. Finger placing symbols are added to the chord diagram so we know which notes to play. To start with, let’s look at your fingers.

We give each playing finger a number that we can then match up on the chord diagram (see below).





And now, let’s look at a full chord diagram. We will use the example of the C major chord:

Chord Diagram - C Major Chord
In the chord diagram below you can see that the C major chord uses fingers 1, 2, and 3. Take note of how this chord diagram looks - we will use this style from now on.

The C major chord is constructed of the notes C, E and G. We will cover notes a little later. For now, we will make chords without knowledge of individual notes.

Note that there is a red dot marking the 6th string on the above chord diagram. The red dot tells you that you are not to play that string. The sixth string of the C major chord is not played, but you play the rest.

Throughout this newsletter series, every chord diagram will be accompanied by a picture of the chord being held on the fret board and video and audio of the chord being played for you to check with. Pictured below is the C major chord being played.

Exercise: Playing the C Major Chord
Position each finger with care, according to the above diagram. Make sure that each fingertip is placed directly behind the fret. Firstly, pluck across the strings one by one with your right hand, checking that each string rings clearly and is not muted or buzzing. Play the first Audio or video example to hear how the chord should sound.


Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 4 (2.30 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 4 (2.73 MB)

Now that we’ve looked at chord diagrams, I want to move on to strumming.

Introduction to Strumming
In a strum there are two types of guitar stroke. There are up stroke and down stroke. Throughout this book these strokes will be notated as follows:

While you play this, see if you can say out loud an even 4 count. Another option if you are a Jamorama.com member is to use the jamorama metronome - it will help you to stay in time.

Tip: You can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):


Video Available:

QuickTime - Exercise 4 (2.30 MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - Exercise 4 (2.73 MB)

Try your best to start your strum from the fifth string each time you strum. C major, doesn’t sound bad if you accidentally hit the top string, although if you want your music to sound professional, you’ll want to play this chord properly. Remember to stay relaxed. Your fingers may hurt a little but they will get stronger.

Now that you are playing the C major chord properly, let’s take a look at strumming another chord...

The D Major Chord
The D Major Chord is constructed of the notes D, F# (F sharp) and A and is played using fingers 1, 2 and 3:


As with the C major chord: try strumming the D major chord in downward strokes with your right hand.

Tip: You can download a video example of the above exercise to see and hear it for yourself. The download links are below (right click on the link and select "save as"):


Video Available:

QuickTime - D Major (3.91MB)
WindowsMediaPlayer - D Major (4.05MB)

Note: The top two, or fifth and sixth, strings are not played in the D major chord. Make sure that you start your stroke from the forth string each time you strum D major, it doesn’t sound bad if you accidentally hit the fifth string, although as with C major above, if you want your music to sound professional, you need to play this chord properly.

Congratulations on getting through your first lesson. Before you go, I want to mention one last thing. You have the power to transform your guitar playing, even if you don't think it. That's because learning guitar is easy when you are in the right frame of mind and have the right materials. If you transform your attitude towards learning and motivation, you can achieve an amazing level of skill. Guitar fluency begins with you!

In Part Two we will review the 'C' and 'D' chords, we will also be learning how to read TAB. TAB is a special kind of guitar music. The lesson will be no problems because TAB is easy to read and easy to use.

Each lesson will follow on from the last so you’ll need to practice.

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Learning How to Play The Guitar


I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar but I never had the chance to learn before so I searched for some lessons for beginners. As I am not a child anymore, I thought that it was probably too late for me to learn to play my favourite guitar songs.

Until a friend of mine told me about Jamorama and explained to me that this was a method through which I could learn to play guitar in an easy and exciting way, even if I was total a beginner. He told me that if I wanted to learn guitar with Jamorama, I would have a wide variety of funny activities such as games and recorded song files that would allow me to learn in a fast and effective way.

If you want to play guitar at home for your own pleasure or to be in a band but you are not good enough at it or if you want start to learn to play the guitar like the great Mark Knopfler (let’s call it a dream!). You will start with a method that will allow you to learn guitar skipping the ineffective methods that take too long and are too boring. So I found this Kit and I knew right away that I could increase my knowledge and skills. I searched and Jamorama provided the solution: the Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit which included lessons not only for beginners but also for intermediate and advanced players. I was sure then that I would be able to play guitar as I always dreamed of.

I was persuaded by my friend and now I am a big fan of this method of learning to play the guitar. I can assure you that Jamorama is a complete learning system which includes 148 video lessons, 1000s of lines of tabulature and step-by-step instructions.

Here you will find a six part beginners mini-course on how learning to play the lead guitar, just to give you a taste of what's covered in The Jamorama Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Learn to Play The Guitar mini-course Lesson 6




Welcome to the 6th lesson in this 6 part series. First up I want to show you another warm up pattern, before getting into the song and then getting you to play along with the band. This final part should be fun and easy as you have already mastered the song and it should be a matter of just doing what you have already done but with the accompanyment of instruments.

Ok. Let's get into another one of our warm up techniques. This one will once again use all your fingers and all the strings. The following pattern is similar to those that I have already shown you, so you should have no problem playing it. Now, as always I would like you to use correct fingering. The correct fingering is written out below on TAB.

You will have noticed that when there is a zero on the above tab there is no fingering indicated. That is because a zero indicates an open fret, therefore you don't need to use a finger to push down on the string. Keep working with this pattern until you feel that you are playing it smoothly.

Ok. Now it's time to put the song together. This should be a lot of fun. Just remember, it's the same as the tab on the last lesson. If you handled that you should get through this no problem at all.

Play the piece by yourself a few times over.

House of the Rising Sun

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Once again here's the video of the song. Once you've mastered it on your own its time to move on to the really fun part - playing with the band!

Video Available:

QuickTime - House of Rising Sun (6.47 MB)

Now that you've got that part sorted it's time to play along with the Jamorama band. This is where all your hard work pays off and you can finally rock out!

Play along with the band on the following JAM track:

Audio Audio Backing Band mp3 (5.34 MB)

If you need a copy of the words, I have written them out below.

House of the Rising Sun

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the 'Rising Sun'
And it's been the ruin of many a young poor boy
And God, I know I'm one

My mother was a tailor
Sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans
Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcae and a trunk
And the only time he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk

Oh, Mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun
I got one foot on the platform
And the other foot on the train
I'm going back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain

Well there is a house in New Orleans
They call the 'Rising Sun'
And it's been the ruin of many a young poor boy
And God, I know I'm one

Awesome! You have now come to the end of our six part mini-course. Click on the link to see a personal message from Ben Edwards.

Video Available:

QuickTime - Video Message (5.49 MB)

If you want to continue learning how to play the guitar you should click on the link below and begin using Jamorama – the Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit. Jamorama comes in three books and includes 84 step-by-step guitar lessons, 54 high-quality video lessons and 16 exclusive Jam Tracks so you can jam along the band. Jamorama takes you on a journey from where you now to advanced in your guitar playing.

CLICK HERE to continue learning with Jamorama – the Ultimate Lead Guitar Learning Kit!


www.jamoramalead.com

Until next time!

Coming soon: Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar mini course