Ezine Articles

Playing Guitar by "Letting Go"

ezineLearning new scales, licks, runs and progressions on the guitar typically requires a lot of focus. Sometimes, intense thought is needed to "teach" the fingers to learn something new. Developing the motor skills to play new techniques effortlessly is often a matter of deep concentration.

And while learning new things on the guitar is a matter of focus - successfully "creating" music is often the opposite, and requires the ability to "de-focus", or simply "let go".

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Learning Guitar With the Beatles

ezineThere seems to be yet another resurgence in the popularity of The Beatles. I say "yet another" because, since the mid-eighties, there have been new Beatles explosions every decade or so.

Recently, the launch of a new video game, of which sales are skyrocketing, and the re-release of the complete Beatles catalog, all digitally re-mastered have served to expose the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo to another whole new generation.

And for those of us who can still remember listening to "Love Me Do" through the scratchy speaker of a transistor AM radio, all this Beatles hoopla opens a floodgate of memories and re-ignites our passion for the Fab Four.

One of my earliest childhood musical memories was listening to my mother's 45 RPM record of "I Want to Hold Your Hand". And I have admittedly been a die hard fan ever since.

Years later, when I started playing guitar, it was a natural gravitation toward learning the songs of the Beatles that - in retrospect several decades later - had a profound effect on my playing and songwriting.

A beginning guitar student could do a lot worse than strive to learn the music of the Beatles. With styles ranging from the simplicity of the early Liverpool days, to the psychedelic orchestrations of the latter years, there is a wealth of guitar chords, progressions, lead licks, and song structure to be gleaned from a study their music.

Whether your parents let you stay up late to watch the "British Invasion" on Ed Sullivan, or you are hounding your parents to buy you the re-mastered collection - guitar players of all generations would be well served to devote a good portion of study time to one of the most legendary groups in modern history - The Beatles.

Guitar Amps - Bigger Doesn't Always Mean "Louder"

ezineOur regular bass player was out of town during a recent gig, so we had to hire a sub come in to play the job.

The guy we got to fill in has - like the rest of us - been around the musical block many times, so there was no apprehension about him pulling off the gig, he's a pro.

However, if we all hadn't known him for many years, our apprehension level may have shot through the roof when he arrived at the gig rolling in an Ampeg SVT amp with an 8-10 cabinet!

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Simple Guitar Lessons With the Beatles

ezineOnce again, the music world has turned its attention on The Beatles. The video game featuring the Fab Four and the re-release of the newly mastered Beatles collection have served to focus the spotlight back on the music of the boys from Liverpool.

As a guitar player, the study of Beatles songs could literally be a full time endeavor. A close listen to their music reveals a variety of influences in writing styles. Traces of blues, country, pop, early rock, middle eastern and classical can be heard in their tunes, and efforts made by guitar students - of any generation - learning Beatles songs, would be time

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How to Play Electric Guitar

If you've always wanted to learn how to play electric guitar, but didn't know where to start, you might be surprised at how easy it can be.

You may have already decided that the electric guitar is the way you want to go, as opposed to an acoustic guitar. If not, just be aware that the electric guitar requires an amplifier to be heard, so there can be a little more of an investment of the front end.

Here is a quick list of things you will need to play electric guitar:

1. Guitar - (Duh!) Take some time to shop around. Visit your local music store, and look around online. There are some nice package deals out there for under $200.

2. Amplifier - Amps, like guitars, come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. If you're just starting out, shoot for getting an amp in a package deal (as described above) until you know that you are going to stick with it.

3. Cable - You will need a decent cable to plug from the guitar to the amp. Again, package deals usually include these.

4. Tuner - A good digital tuner is a must and they are inexpensive, often under $20 or less. They can also be found in many package deals.

5. Gig Bag
- Nylon gig bags are a great investment when you are traveling with your guitar to take lessons or jam with some friends.

6. Picks - Although guitar picks come in various shapes and thicknesses, start out with a standard shape medium pick. These provide enough flexibility for strumming, but also are rigid enough for single not picking.

7. Lessons - Grab a book, sign up at the local music store, or enroll in an online program - but save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the beginning by getting some kind of lessons under your belt.

Learn your first chord

Here is a great first chord to get started on. It's the "E" major chord, and because most guitars are tuned to E standard, this is a good one to learn early in the game:


Now you've got your gear checklist, and your first chord - so jump on in there!

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