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    How To Play Guitar

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    How To Play Guitar

    Brought To You By Guitar Burning Speed

    Here's are a few simple steps you can take to make your Guitar sound much better...

    The word used to describe how a Guitar sounds (as many of you will already know) is called 'Tone'. The tone of the Guitar is what we are wanting to change for the better.

    We are going to focus more on electric guitars here, but many of the principals here still apply for acoustics.

    Even though we scraped the surface of some of these in lesson one, take extra note of the following points...

    Strings:

    The biggest difference in strings is the gauge (how thick the strings are). The most common gauge in electric guitar strings worldwide is 10's (0.010"), I can almost guarantee that 85% of the people reading this will have them on their guitar right now! The advantages of having thinner strings is that it is softer on the fingers, easier to tap and bend. However because the string is thinner you have to bend it more to reach the desired note. The down side to having thinner strings is that the tone starts to sound weaker. On the other side, the thicker your strings are the 'thicker' your tone will sound, but you need to play them harder to get the same volume and it is also harder on your fingers.

    Before you go jumping off a cliff there is a solution! Find what is best for you. This means go and experiment! Go buy a pack of strings, then decide if you want to try thicker or thinner gauge strings. Find the tone that sounds good to you and keep it.

    When you have had your strings on your guitar for quite a while, they can start to sound dull and lifeless, you can help this buy wiping down your strings and fretboard after every time you play it. It doesn't even take 30 seconds and it is well worth it considering you are helping your guitar sound better for longer!

    Get it Set Up:

    Follow these instructions (exactly!)...

    1. Grab Guitar, take to local Music store.

    2. Ask for your Guitar to get set-up.

    Getting your guitar set up includes getting the truss rod adjusted, the intonation set and the nut slots filed or filled (depending on the current state of your guitar). Not all of these things may be necessary but it is better to ask for them to check if it needs doing than not at all. Guitars should generally have 2 truss rod adjustments a year (Truss Rod = The metal rod that goes up the neck of a guitar to determine the 'bow' of the neck) simply because of the two extreme seasons, summer and winter. Both of these will affect the wood in your guitar, causing it to move, in some cases making guitars un-playable. Getting your guitar set up not only will improve your tone but will also make it much easier to play. A very, very worth while thing to do for your one true love!

    Amp Settings

    Most (only a few don't) guitar amps come with an EQ (Equalization) panel. That is the Bass, Middle Treble knobs on the front. Don't jump in blind and start trying to find your 'Dream Tone' because it doesn't come straight away. I would firstly recommend doing an online search for an artists amp settings that have a tone you are trying to emulate. Of course the 3 knobs on your amp aren't going to make a cheap Les Paul sound like an expensive one, but it will sure help. After this, play around a bit, putting levels up and down to see what sounds come out. After that you would have started your journey for perfect tone!

    Leads

    They are easy to overlook, to most people they either go or not, but there is much more to Guitar leads than meets the eye. Having a cheap and nasty lead is not going to do you any good, not only can you expect it to not last very long, but chances are it will be make your guitar sound dull and lifeless. So I would recommend investing in a quality lead, using how important quality tone is to you as a guide of how much to spend.

    These days there are even cables which have been developed through hi-fi technology to carry the treble, high middle, low middle and bass frequencies through their own core to give any guitar a much bigger tone. I use these cables myself and can tell you they are definitely worth the money.

    Pickup Selector Switch

    If you have never experimented with that little knob that will either have 3 or 5 options (depending on your guitar), you should be ashamed of yourself!

    In a nutshell, that switch changes the pickup that your sound is getting pulled from. When it is down the bottom, it is coming out of the bridge pickup, and at the top it is coming out of the neck pickup. The bridge gives a more harsher, trebly kind of sound, generally used for most distorted riffs.

    The neck position give a rounder tone, which is great to help shredding sound a lot cleaner. It is also used a lot for clean channels on amps as the rounder tone aids in giving a softer tone. The selections in the middle are generally less extreme versions, or a mix of the bridge and neck position tones. Again, as with most things on this page it is all about personal preference, so experiment! And remember it is normal to change your pickup position a number of times in each song.

    Well that's enough reading for you for this time, so go grab your guitar and do the one thing I must have said a hundred times in this lesson 'EXPERIMENT'.

     

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    How To Play Guitar