acoustic electric Archives

I Learned To Play Acoustic Guitar At Age 47

adult-guitar-lessons-125It’s been almost 10 years since I learned how to play acoustic guitar and the only thing I regret is not learning earlier. I wanted to learn back when I was just 27 but was a bit too shy to even play with friends and soon just gave my guitar away.

Twenty years past and I constantly regretted giving up just because I was afraid others would make fun of me but that’s life and at least I didn’t go any longer before learning to play guitar. It was kind of funny because I became a computer instructor and it was one, well two, of my networking students that got me started.

Now that we have the Internet and especially Youtube I have no problem because I never have to play in front of people, if I don’t want to. I’m still as shy and nervous as I was way back in the 70s but still learned because of online help.

There is a bucket load of online sites one can learn from and many courses, a few of them I have taken myself, and they are very affordable. And I don’t have to have some jerk that feels he’s better than I am make me feel small.

I was using CB Engine this morning to see what I could find for ‘Guitar Lessons’ on the Clickbank marketplace and found a site specifically for helping those of us who aren’t 20 any more, learn how to play guitar. It’s called Adult Guitar Lessons.

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acoustic electric guitarOne can learn many musical instruments, but when you learn to play acoustic guitar, it’s a completely different story. Something about the acoustic guitar makes it different from the rest. I believe it’s due, at least in part, to its versatility.

A Variety of Guitars

I’ve got a few friends who not only have an and another has a but by far it’s acoustic guitars that most start with. Unlike the solid electric guitar, the acoustic one has a hollow body and doesn’t make use of amplification to produce sound. Instead, it relies on natural sound produced by strings when its vibrations bounce around inside the guitar body’s hollow cavity.  So, there’s no need for an amplifier, well unless you own an .

Most people who are trying to learn how to play acoustic guitar often end up frustrated. That may be because they fail to pay heed to things that could help make the lessons easier. That’s not to say that acoustic guitar lessons are difficult. It’s far from it.

Start Simple And Hang In There

Today, with the Internet at your fingertips there’s no reason learning to play guitar should be difficult. There are just too many places online for you to learn to play a guitar that there really is no excuse other than you really don’t have your heart in it. My experience is that most who give up do so because their fingers begin to hurt. We all went through that so just hang in there for another week or two and they will toughen up and it will all be behind you.

My recommendation for two site where you can’t go wrong are Jamorama and Jamplay. Both are well worth the membership fee. Then you can add Youtube and learn just about any song by searching for it as a cover tune. I have learned so many songs there but it all starts with the two sites I mentioned first so that you can a good solid learning background.

The key to your success at learning to play guitar is to stay focused while practicing and to find songs that match the chords and stage you’re at right now and for me that’s where Youtube really shines.

As much as possible, you need to start with a song that has a simple chord progression. When I first learned I started with easy chords like C, G Am and D, which makes hundreds of songs available to learn.

I use Google to search for songs I like so I can find them with the chords included. That way I can download them to my computer and then follow along as I play the song on Youtube or from my collection of songs. But I do prefer Youtube over just having the song because so many people do covers for songs and use their acoustic guitars.

Keep Your Guitar Tuned Properly

The first thing you want to do before you ever start playing guitar is . This way you can be sure the guitar is tuned so that you are producing the right notes, otherwise something will not sound right. When a song doesn’t sound right it’s discouraging as well as frustrating because most people thing they are doing something wrong when it’s only the guitar not tuned correctly.

Example: Just yesterday the high temperatures and high humidity broke so the temp dropped and the humidity was gone. Almost immediately my acoustic guitar started to sound different. It had gone out of tune in just one hour and needed tuning.

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How You Can Tune Acoustic Guitar in Easy Steps

guitar tunerWhile it’s fun and enjoyable to learn how to play the acoustic guitar, it is not without its frustrating moments but I’ve found to be normal for most things I learn in life. Hearing the guitar play sounds that are out of tune is definitely one cause of frustration.

The thing is most guitars new or old don’t stay tuned forever. So even if you know the basic techniques to play a favourite song, it’s not going to sound right once your guitar starts getting out of tune. This means it’s important to tune your acoustic guitar before you’re able to play acceptable music.

When I got my first guitar I knew it would need to be tuned periodically but had no clue how to tune it but a friend showed me how to use a guitar tuner to get the job done quickly and accurately, because I couldn’t tune it by ear, that was made clear pretty quick.

The first thing you need to realize is you will likely need to tune your guitar each time you use it even if it’s just a tiny bit but that tiny bit can make such a difference. Guitars have the habit of going out of tune on its own very quickly, especially when the barometer changes slightly.

Most of the time it’s from strumming and slightly stretching the strings. It took me a while before my ear would pickup slight changes but my guitar buddies would pick up on the fact I needed to tune it, rather quickly.

I practice on my acoustic guitar at least a couple of hours a day and that’s usually enough that I need to tune it pretty much daily. That’s why it’s important to tune your guitar regularly and as soon as you notice a difference in the sound coming out from it.

I’ve had a couple of different guitar tuners over the last 10 years but I still have my first tuner and it still works great. But I also have a tuner now that clamps on the guitar head along with my capo. I find it so convenient and is actually quicker to use than my first tuner.

Tuning, using a battery operated tuner only takes a couple of minutes and so worth the time so you get those pure notes you love to hear. Some of my guitar friends tune by ear and are always adjusting the tuning. I haven’t reached that stage and I’ve been playing now for more than a decade.

You could also try the fret method, which starts by setting the low E string to set the initial pitch for the E and then using that string to set the rest of the strings. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Take your index finger and push down the sixth or E string on the fifth fret which is the A note. If you follow the notes from E you will see that it goes E, F, F# G, G# A. You want to make the 5th string, the A string, match that note. Now you have the E string set as well as the A string.
  2. Next you want to hold the A string down at the 5th fret which is the D note and then tune the D string until those two notes sound the same. So with the A string you move down each fret to the 5th fret so the notes are A, A#,B,C,C#,D.
  3. Repeat the same procedure, playing the fourth string this time, which is still on the fifth fret (note G). You also need to tune the third string with open fingers until they sound the same.
  4. For the third string, you would hold your index finger down on the fourth fret (note B) and repeat the same techniques as in numbers one through three.
  5. Finally, play the second string on the fifth fret (we go back to note E), and do the same things as above while making sure the result produces the same sound.

I just tried to tune my guitar by ear, which I do every once in a while to see if my hearing is getting more sensitive and I get a lot closer to tuning it accurately than I used to but still not enough for me to rely on it. Enough if I was out in woods alone with no one to hear me.

So if you find the above steps just a tad complicated or you can’t seem to get it to tune right don’t fret over it. A pun was meant there, ha ha. You can always do what I do and keep an handy.

What does that mean? Well, there are electronic tuners sold in most music stores. Such a gadget can help you tune your guitar without difficulty. Nevertheless, if you feel strongly about tuning your guitar through hard work, then you can just use a tuner to fine-tune your guitar. With a fine-tuned guitar, you would be able to play the sweetest music.

acoustic electric guitarWhen you are deciding on which acoustic guitar to purchase you actually have a lot to choose from but you also have the option to go for a straight acoustic guitar or an .

I wasn’t aware of this when I purchased the two Yamaha guitars I’ve owned. Most of my guitar playing friends today have an electric acoustic and now I want one too.

What’s The Difference Between Them?

Well, with a traditional acoustic, you need to use a separate microphone or pickup to amplify the sound. On the other hand, with electric acoustic, pickups are already fitted in the body. These pickups are also referred to as piezoelectric pickups, which are the same as the under saddle pickups used in amplifying acoustic guitars. The pickups work by creating an electronic signal when you strum the steel strings of the guitar and these vibrate.

The thing is the electric acoustic guitars actually look pretty much the same as traditional ones. These are also made of wood and have six strings. Each guitar features a sound hole, just like normal acoustic guitars, which amplify the sound vibrations caused by the string.

However, with an you can plug it in an amplifier to produce sounds that resemble that coming from a traditional acoustic with the touch of an electric guitar. When you unplug it, it goes back to playing the same sound you can get from an acoustic guitar. In effect, it’s like getting two kinds of guitar in one instrument.

There are many electric acoustic guitars available in music stores and certain online stores. However I like to checkout eBay to find some great deals on used and new guitars. Here are a few samples you can checkout.

Be sure to checkout any reviews that are available online so that you have as much info as you need to make an educated choice and then get it and start jammin’.

I am no expert but through reading reviews and trying those owned by my friends I’d have to say some of the best brands of electric acoustic guitars are Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, and Squier.

You’re probably wondering why you should opt to invest on the best .

As I became better and better over time I started to realize my acoustic guitars didn’t give me everything I wanted in a guitar. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly served their purpose while I was learning but now it’s time to move up a little.

Indeed, there are many reasons why owning an is a good idea. I like the fact I can control the volume of playing so that it’s easier for those are our guitar jams to follow along.

playingguitarbyearRealistically, you can’t expect yourself to be a genius playing guitar chords if you’re just learning how to play the acoustic guitar. Everyone who plays the guitar, even the famous ones like B.B. King, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and Slash all had to start with basic, simple, and easy acoustic guitar chords for beginners.

The truth is these basic chords lay down the foundation for all succeeding lessons. So once you have mastered the easiest chords, you’ll be well on your way to learning intermediate and then more advanced chords.

guitar-neckYou may find that you breeze through the basic chords which is great however if you want to be really good at learning guitar chords, you need to acquaint yourself with the basic anatomy of an acoustic guitar.

You need to keep in mind that the chords are usually show in a pattern that’s printed making it important to learn how to read chords charts.

The main component of an acoustic guitar that you will be working closely with are your guitar’s strings and the fingerboard of your guitar.

guitar strings (2)Your acoustic guitar will most likely have 6 strings, although I have a few guitar playing friends who have 12 string guitars.

A right handed guitar player holding their guitar facing away from them will have the six strings starting with the top as Low E, A, D, G, B, High E. Just like in the image to the right.

Going down the neck of your guitar you will have metal bars that cross the neck at specific locations. These are called Frets and allow you to change notes while you’re playing.

If you play or pluck each individual string without placing any fingers on the strings they are called open strings. When you place a finger on one of the strings at a fret it will give you a specific note.

Example: When you put your finger on the first fret holding the low or high E string down it will produce the note F. If you move that finger down one more fret so that it’s on the second fret and pluck it you will hear a F# or F Sharp. Holding the string down at the third fret will produce a G note.

g-chordThe diagram on the left shows a G chord. The black dots show where to place your fingers and the blank circles at the top of the chart show which strings to play open. Open means you don’t put a finger on that string. So this combination will product a G chord and is just one of many ways to play a G chord and is the most basic.

d chordNow if you wanted to play a D chord you would use the finger positioning shown in the diagram on the right. Again the black dots are where you place your fingers and the blank white dot is played open.

The other two strings in this case don’t get played at all. So when you see a chart like this one and it has no black dots on a string or no white dot above the string it doesn’t get plucked.

Here is a diagram of the basic chords I learned first. Learning these simple chords allowed me to learn dozens and dozens of songs I have loved over the years.

simple or basic guitar chords

Do you feel overwhelmed already. Don’t fret, ‘pun intended’ it’s not as hard as most people tend to think it is. Although the ends of one’s fingers can get a bit tender when first learning but you can soon get over that as you practice.

There are hundreds of combinations that make up chords at various positions along the fret board but concentrate on the basics and you’ll find it less frustrating or overwhelming.

There are options for learning how to play guitar today. I started with books and chord charts I picked up at a local guitar shop. I also learn a ton of cool stuff at local guitar jams but where I learned the most is from online sites such as Jamorama.com, Jamplay.com and YouTube.com.

I do prefer the online methods of learning as I do so much better with show and tell than learning from books, but that’s just me. I also tried hiring a guy to teach me but he was an ass and it cost me more than I wanted to pay.

If you’re keen on learning acoustic guitar chords for beginners, you will find these tips indispensable:

  1. Take advantage of the power of the Internet. It’s rife with online tutorials and instructional for learning chords. Just be wary of choosing the right website, as there are those that require payments so you can access the lessons. Patience is the key to finding sites that provide free lessons.
  2. When it comes to acoustic guitars, it pays to spend time studying the instrument and familiarizing yourself with its different parts. You don’t just play the guitar. Instead, you need to know it like the back of your hand. This is important as it lets you understand how each component of the guitar works together to produce sound.
  3. Rather than just strum the strings on your acoustic guitar, try to understand how the tension in the string affects the sound emitted by the guitar. You’d be surprised to find out that the sound differs depending on the length and size of each string.
  4. You need to know that there are different ways to play acoustic guitar chords. This allows for versatility. In addition, once you’re able to play chords in various ways, it would be easier for you to transition from one chord to the next.
  5. It may be cliché, but practice makes perfect. Hence, devote 20 to 30 minutes each day in practice. Don’t try to learn the chords in one go, or you’d end up frustrated and overwhelmed. It’s impossible to learn everything in one sitting, so make do with the pace you’re most comfortable with and don’t rush yourself.

By following these simple tips, you’d be reading chords like a pro in no time. 

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learn to play guitarIf you turn your nose up at the thought of buying a , you really need to rethink things a bit.  There is no better way to stretch your dollars and get more guitar for your money.

When I was learning to play guitar, about 10 years ago, I bought a used guitar from a friend buying a new guitar. She learned on a used and was ready for that new one giving me the opportunity to get a good guitar, although used, for just $75.00.

Then it was a matter of money for me but even my second guitar was a used one and at that time I didn’t have money issues. I have been more than happy with them.

So, here are some reasons why a used guitar might turn out to be a better option that a new one in some cases.

Reason #1 – Really the design of the guitar hasn’t changed much over the past few decades so unlike computers or electronics which seem to be updated yearly.

Reason #2 – For The Price.  This is probably the biggest and best difference.  A used guitar be as much as 50% cheaper than the same model new and there are many used guitars that show so little wear or marks that you’d swear it was brand new.

Reason #3 – Guitars are made of wood and wood ages over time changing the sound.  This is especially true with acoustic guitars if you offered me a 30 year old Martin or Gibson acoustic in good condition or said I could have a brand new one for the same price, I’d take the old used guitar every time.

Now I’m not saying that ALL old acoustic guitars are a great buy.  The aging of the wood causes changes in the humidity.  If the guitar has been subject to drastic changes in humidity and/or temperature it could crack. 

Reason #4 – Bringing a used guitar to life and making it your own is very rewarding.  You bring the guitar home, remove the strings, clean the fretboard and vacuum the inside of the body out (if it’s acoustic), oil the neck, restring it and polish it and now it’s as good as new and it has some of your personality added to it.

Reason #5 – Many used guitars have actually seen very little use in the first place.  They get bought and then strummed every now and then before the owner decides they don’t use it enough and wants to sell it off.  This is where you swoop in and get a great guitar for a great price.

Reason #6 – Some older guitars are built from woods that either do not get used as much anymore or simply cost a lot more.  Wood such as Brazilian rosewood and bubinga are beautiful woods that create a rich and full sound but they are more rare these days so your best bet of getting a guitar built with them is to buy used.

Reason #7 – Construction techniques have become automated.  Some older guitars were handmade and there was a lot more attention to detail.  That’s not to say that there aren’t companies today using automation and building great instruments, it just that your chances of getting something unique are very low.

The days of a luthier hand selecting each guitar top based on the one it produced when he tapped it and listened to the wood are over for production line guitars and reserved only for the high and or custom handmade guitars.

In conclusion I really feel buying a used guitar is the way to go for those of us on budgets. I learned to play guitar from friends, Youtube and Jamorama and Jamplay. Take a look at them if you want to learn to play guitar.

Best Acoustic Electric Guitars from Yamaha

yamaha acoustic electric guitarJohn Lennon, and Paul Simon are just a couple of names of people would have appreciated the ability and quality of and have extensively used it to perform live on many different occasions.

Yamaha acoustic electric guitars are been in use for more than twenty years by various musicians all over the world. John Lennon had the best Yamaha guitar made the CJ5S. Yamaha has been well known for generations for their high quality sound instruments and also providing the music lovers a wide range of acoustic and acoustic electric guitars.

Some of the best Yamaha acoustic electric guitars:

  • A- Series: The A- Series guitars are designed by an American team of experts and are recognized as the first US designed acoustic electric guitar from Yamaha and hence the name A-Series. The A-Series of guitars features some exceptional pick-up system specifically designed and custom made for the American markets. It comes with some stunning aesthetics and a slick new neck profile. The A-Series is created to deliver high performance, with Yamaha excellence and value for money. Models under the A-series are the A3M, AC3M, A1M, A3R, AC3R, and AC1M to name a few.
  • FX Series: The FX series are designed for students who would love to play guitar as well as for any expert guitarist. The FX Series guitars are also very affordable.
  • FGX/FJX/FSX Series: These series of guitars are designed to deliver some stunning well defined sound quality, with range features which are very dynamic with very clear and quality response. The FJX series is the most recent series in the Yamaha range of electric guitars made from rosewood at the back and sides. The onboard electronic of this series include chromatic auto tuner and a three band equalizer. It also comes with different color options to choose from.
  • APX Series: These series of electric guitars stress more on excellent playability emphasizing on style and performance. It comes with a stylish thin line profile and also a slim neck. Some of the other features include A.R.T system which helps in achieving an optimum and dynamic balance. There are around eight models in the APX series to choose from.
  • CPX Series: The CPX series of guitars consists of a full range of guitars which are finely crafted with exceptional tonal woods with beautiful inlays and excellent finish. There are around seven models under the CPX series of guitars with various features to choose.
  • LLX/LJX/LSX Series: These are finely handcrafted from select quality materials by some of the best master craftsmen offering one with high quality sound features tone, feel, and experience.

Yamaha offers some of the best and aesthetically appealing acoustic electric guitars for students as well as for a professional guitarist. are well known for their quality, sounds and performance for generations.

This guest post was written by: swapnamanoj

How to Play Guitar Scales For Beginners

I can’t help feeling a little bit of regret over the fact I never learned to play guitar when I first started. Wish I hadn’t been so shy and lacking confidence that I didn’t use my friends to help but I just couldn’t even try to play in front of anyone. I so wish the Internet had been around way back then.

Today, even if you don’t like playing or trying in front of others you can learned to play like a pro using the Internet. You should definitely take a look at Jamorama.com and JamPlay.com to see what they have to offer you. I love them both.

However, if money is huge issue as it is with many today, mostly due to the economic turmoil we have to deal with these days, then I would suggest you seek out the free training available. It will take more time learning but if time isn’t a factor you’ll do great.

Using YouTube To Learn To Play Guitar

I’ve probably said this a hundred times already but Youtube is my home away from home. I spend so much time on Youtube learning how to play guitar songs that would take me too long to figure out on my own.

But that’s not the only reason I frequent Youtube. I also love the fact I can find so many riffs, licks and scales to learn and practice that it can be hard to get back to my work from home online business. Well okay, part of my business is sharing articles, videos and how to play guitar tips but it’s only a fraction of my business. So I have to leave Youtube periodically to do other things.

Start With Basic Guitar Scales

I use guitar scales to help me improve my playing and to increase speed. Guitar scales also help me to use more of the fret board when playing, although I’m still pretty slow compared to a few of my guitar jam buddies.

Let’s start with a video by Peter Vogl. I like it when there is a link to a page that will give the tablature of what I’m learning so I can have it in front of me to keep my mind focused until I have the chart or tab memorized. Here is a beginner lesson from Peter. Oh and I better include the link to the Basic Scale tablature.

To get really good you will wan to learn to go forward and backward with the guitar scales you are learning and practice until you can do this without errors and you’ll get faster and faster as you continue practicing. Kinda like most things in life.

I doesn’t matter if you are using an acoustic guitar like my Yamaha or an acoustic electric like Peter is using or even an electric like my friend Peggy uses, it’s all about the practicing.

Learn How To Play Guitar Quickly

gibson-guitar-headstockGuitar is an amazing instrument and has made my life so much better. It’s a great choice to make if you want to play music and be mobile. I love going to guitar jams and playing guitar around a campfire.

As one interested in learning how to play guitar and as a beginner guitar player you need to focus on a few things that make the learning process more efficient. This way you will not be so likely to give up like I did when I first started all those years ago.

Learn The Parts of Your Guitar

What Are The Guitar Parts Called

know your guitarWhen I first started to play guitar I wanted to learn all about my guitar, not as much as I wanted to learn to play though.

To begin learning acoustic guitar or for that matter, any type of guitar, it is important for your to learn the parts of the guitar first.

It’s easier to follow guitar learning instructions if you know the name of important parts of your guitar.

Some of the important parts to remember are, the fret board and frets, tuning keys, the head nut ( "Barre" in French) and the bridge with string pegs.

Know Your Beginner Guitar Chords A Thru G

basic guitar chords

Guitar chords are the language of guitars and the more of the language or chords you learn to use the more songs you will be able to play. Starting with the basic chord shapes in the image above is a great place to start.

I made a point of learning a lot of chords shapes when I learned to play my acoustic guitar and today I am light years ahead of my of my guitar playing friends as they are limited by their lack of learning chords like barre chords. They have been playing 20 years longer than I have as well.

I really believe it’s how you start learning to play guitar that’s important. If you learn only the basic guitar chords and then stop learning you are missing so much, as my friends have now learned.

Learn How To String Your Guitar

guitar stringsIn order to use your guitar whether it’s an acoustic or electric you have to put strings on it. Knowing the name or letter of each string is important. Get them mixed up and it won’t sound correct at all but worse you will likely break your strings before even getting to play them.

Holding your guitar in front of you in the standing position and facing you of course, your strings are: E, A, D, G, B, E

You have two E strings, the thicker string on the left as you’re looking at it is the low E string and the thin string on the right is high E.

Once you have your strings memorized you will be able to follow and learn each not on every string as you go down the fret board. This will also help you when you start doing barre chords.

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A Quick Review Of The Yamaha APX500

This review of the Yamaha APX500 is designed to let you see if this really is the acoustic guitar for you. With there being so many out there on the market it is always wise to read up what others think before you go and part with any of your cash.

To begin with the price is very fair indeed as there are certainly many other makes on the market that are going to cost you a lot more if you want an electro acoustic guitar. Do not however think that because it is not as expensive as others that it will be missing something as that really is not the case at all.

You will be very surprised at the tone you get from this model as it really is perfect and it will also be very comfortable for you to hold as well as play. It should be able to suit various styles of music and can be used by experienced people as well as those looking to just switch to this form of guitar.

The frets and tuning plugs are nice and tight and you really can just lift it out of the box and start playing it. It may not be the fanciest guitar out there on the market but this is mainly due to them focusing on getting the basics right in order to get that perfect sound.

Its versatility is what makes it suitable for a range of people and it is fair to say that within this genre of guitars it really is one of the best out there. The only problem you may encounter is if you are continually playing low notes as due to the thinner body it could struggle at times.