Monday, October 31, 2011

Choosing an Acoustic Guitar for Beginner to Play

There are quite a few choices to make to narrow down what acoustic guitars for beginners you would buy for playing. In order of preference I would choose the acoustic based on:
1. Type of guitar.
2. Price of guitar.
3. Quality of guitar and hardware.
4. Guitar Brand.
5. Style or look of acoustic guitar.

I will go though each of these to help you make a choice.
1. Type of guitar.
There are two main types of acoustic. The nylon strung guitar and the steel strung guitar.
The nylon strung guitars are used for classical or Spanish guitar playing. They are not as robust as a steel strung guitar so I would only consider them if you need one to study classical or Spanish guitar playing. The steel strung acoustic guitar is more durable than the nylon strung guitar and more versatile with their sound.

2. Price of guitar.
For a nylon strung guitar they tend to go from really cheap (under $100) to really expensive (over $300). I would not pay under $300 for a nylon strung guitar for beginners. The steel strung guitars can go from $30, $100 up to $1000. I would get one in the price range of $200 to $350.

3. Quality of guitar and hardware.
If you stick to the price range above from step 2, then you will get a reasonable quality guitar. You want a guitar with good hardware that will stay in tune, and will last you for as long as you want to play the guitar. The best way for a beginner to get this is the price range you pay.

4. Guitar Brand.
There are big well known brands. Not all electric guitar makers are in the acoustic market but Fender, Squier, Gibson and Epiphone are. Stick to ones you have heard of. There are some that are more expensive quality acoustic guitar makers like Martin or Ovation that if they in you budget you should get.

5. Style or look of acoustic guitar.
Basically how it plays, sound and the quality are the most important things. How it looks is the last thing you should look at but probably is the first thing you did look at. Good news, you can get whatever you want. You can get whatever colour you want. Nylon string guitar have only a few styles and usually have different sizes.
The bigger the body in all acoustics the louder they sound. I would recommend a medium sized guitar and don’t get a jumbo sized dreadnought unless you absolutely have to. By the way the dreadnought is the usual shape of an acoustic guitar. Steel strung guitars can have cutaway at the neck and the body. It is up to you if you want a cutaway or not.

I hope that this has helped you make some decisions in what you want for an acoustic guitar. Follow the guidelines above and you will get good acoustic guitars for beginners.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Electric Guitars For Beginners Shopping Checklist

This is a post about picking electric guitars for beginners.  You would normally get an electric guitar if you are thinking about playing more rock, metal, blues or electric guitar pop.

Here is your shopping checklist for what to look out for and what to avoid.

Handed:  You can get left or right handed guitars depending on which hand you use.

Recommended price range:  $300 to $600.
Any cheaper than $300 the guitar may not be the best quality.  The components may be of poor quality, the neck may warp, strings may be hard to keep in tune.  I did own a good $150 Kay Les Paul copy guitar.  It was okay for the money but when I bought a more expensive guitar I did notice the jump up in quality and sound.
Over $600 is too much to invest in your first guitar until you know you are going to continue playing.  You would want to think about playing professionally to invest more than $600.  You can get a great electric guitar for $500 which could do you for the rest of your life.

Style and colour:  What ever colour and style you want.  You have probably looked at your favourite guitarist and imagined playing their guitar.

Electric Guitar Hardware

Bridge:  A fixed bridge is better than a tremolo unit or whammy bar for the beginner.  You won’t use the whammy bar until you playing for at least a year or more.  At the start it be hard for you tune your guitar with a tremolo unit and it will go out of tune easier.  If you are getting one with a unit, get a floating Floyd Rose unit.  They are very good and you can easily fix it in place till you learn how to use it.  The best first choice is to get a fixed bridge.

Pickups:  Your guitar should have at least two pickups.  A neck and a bridge pickup.  This will give you different sounds for rhythm and lead guitar playing.  If you are playing rock or metal a humbucker pickup will you a fuller sound.  A single coil pickup is used for a lighter sound like in blues.  Whether it is a humbucker or a single coil pickup, guitar effects can be used later on to change the sound as well.  A guitar with two or three pickups (third one in the middle) but guitar with one pickup is no good.

Machineheads:  These are the guitar tuners on the headstock of the guitar neck.  Try and get ones with enclosed gears (ones you can’t see the gear cog).  They are better mechanically.  It really is a marker of better quality in an electric guitar.

Guitar Neck:  It doesn’t matter about what material the neck on electric guitars for beginners is made off.  It will be made of some hardwood such ebony, rosewood or maple.  Different types of woods give different sounds, tones and sustain qualities. 
Until you are playing a few years and have identified your sound you will not care what kind of wood it is.  Also you will only use the first 12 frets at the start.  So don’t worry about getting a guitar with 27 frets.  22 or 24 frets will do you for a beginner guitar and maybe quite a bit longer.  Personally I haven’t actively used above the 17 th fret.

There quite a few good electric guitars for beginners.  The two best known electric guitars have a budget model available.  The Fender Stratocaster has a cheaper model in the Squier brand name.  Ephiphone have the cheaper copy of the Gibson Les Paul.  Both of these are good for blues, pop, rock and metal.  The Fender Telecaster is better known for country music.  Other brands for rock are Ibanez, Jackson, ESP or the Yamaha Pacifica range.  B C Rich is quite popular for metal and thrash.

Short checklist for electric guitars for beginners:Price: $300 to $600.
Bridge type:  Fixed (or Floyd Rose which is fixable). 
Pickups:  2 minimum.  Avoid 1 pickup guitars.
Choose single coil (blues) or humbucker (rock) pickups depending on type of music you will play.
Neck:  22 frets min.
Machineheads:  Enclosed, cogs not visible.

The main thing is to buy your first guitar and get playing it.  With practice you can learn to play it.  So get go ahead pick one and buy your first electric guitars for beginners.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gary Moore Dead Former Thin Lizzy Guitarist

Gary Moore aged 58 years has died today.  He was found in his hotel room in Costa Del Sol, Spain while on holiday.

Gary moore
Gary Moore Guitarist (Source Exxolon)
Gary Moore was a well reknowed blues and rock lead guitar player from Belfast, Ireland. 

Gary had played guitar with Thin Lizzy live and recorded (Black Rose album) and with Phil Lynott (Out in the Fields).  He was also well known for his solo work with the The Gary Moore Band where he played both rock and blues.  He also had played Parisienne Walkways

Gary Moore's cause of death will be unknown until a Post Mortem is carried out later today.

I seen him play a tribute for Phil Lynnot at The Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland when they unveiled the statute for the Thin Lizzy singer on Harry's Street, Dublin. 

Gary was an incredible guitar player to listen to and watch.  A sad loss for rock fans and rock music.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vivian Campbell on Row with DIO, Joining Thin Lizzy and Leaving Def Leppard?

Vivian Campbell was recently interviewed by Classic Rock where he spoke about a few of his bands. Vivian Campbell was well known for playing with Ronnie James Dio on the Holy Diver and Sacred Heart albums. He said he had not spoken to Ronnie in 25 years. A few years RJD blasted him and was caught on video. He did later apologize apparently.

Vivian spoke about Dio's death for the first time publicly.  Vivian's mother had died ten previously and his father that year so he was numbed.
“The news about Ronnie James Dio just bounced off me. It was a difficult relationship on a personal level anyway. I was really proud of the music we made together but it was tough being in a band together. But he died way too young.”

Vivian Campbell with Def Leppard (Source: Weatherman90)
He also said that being in Thin Lizzy was more interesting than playing in Def Leppard. 

He is touring with Thin Lizzy at the moment with Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick (The Almighty). He said in other words he found Def Leppard a bit boring.

“It’s very exciting – it’s reconnected me to the electric guitar. I’ve been in Def Leppard for 20 years and if I’m honest it’s not a terribly challenging job for me as a guitar player. Phil Collen plays most of the widdly parts and I do what I do. But this job has reignited my love for guitar playing.”

It had looked like he had settled in Def Leppard but could this be the sound of him leaving. He had done a solo blues album in recent years, The Two Side of If in 2005.  So he mustn't have really enjoyed that as much as Lizzy.

For Guitars For Beginners I recommend Holy Diver and Rainbow In The Dark as easy guitar songers for beginners to play.  Well the rhythm not the lead solo.

Sources Rush on Rock.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Golden Guitar Awards 2011

There was a gaffe at the Australian Golden Guitar Awards 2011.  The award was given out the the wrong person in the Country Music Awards, CMA.  Not that guitars for beginners will be winning it.

Golden Guitar at Tamworth Source: Lyndi and Jason

There is now an investigation going into the Golden Guitar Bungle.

"At the Tamworth music event last month, a Golden Guitar award was handed out to Lee Kernaghan instead of Graeme Connors, causing the CMAA to be "embarrassed" and "incredibly sorry"."

This is not the first time that a winner has been announce wrongly in Australia.  Last year the wrong winner was announced at Australia's Next Top Model.

So if you want to start your career in anything, start playing guitar in Australis, you could be an award winner with a few easy guitar songs for beginners in Golden Guitar Awards 2012.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Guitar Notes For Beginners Online

When playing guitars for beginners, the first thing you need to do before playing guitar chords is to play guitar notes for beginners.  The notes on the guitar neck are called A, B,C ,D, E, F, G.

We will start with the names of the strings.
The sixth string is the fattest wound string at the top.  The first string the smallest smooth string at the bottom.

The strings are called.
6th  E
5th  A
4th  D
3rd  G
2nd  B
1st  e     <- same note as the 6th string, different octave.

If you pluck the 6th and 1st string together you will hear they go together to make a lovely harmony.  Pluck two other strings together and it won't sound as nice.

There are also notes along each string on the frets.  We will look at the sixth string for the notes of frets.
Open 6th string is the note E, this is why the string is the E string.  1st fret is the next note on the scale called F, 3rd is G, 5th is A, 7th B, 8th C, 10th D, 12th is E an octave higher.  And it repeats with F at the 13th fret and so on.  See the picture below.

Guitar Notes on the guitar neck for the 6th E String.

You will notice there is a space between the guitar notes except for the E and F and also the B and C.  The other notes have a half note between them.  They are a called a sharp if after or a flat if before the note.
ie. A sharp is the same as B flat.

More guitar notes for beginners online, A string begins with A open string, B on the 2nd and so on.  Similar pattern to the E string except for moved to start with the A note.

Hope you found this introduction on guitars for beginners useful.  Please feel free to ask me anything on this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guitars for Beginners and beyond

Welcome to Guitars for beginners where you will get information and tips on playing guitars.  There will also be some guitar beginner tips on tuning guitars and stringing guitars.  This is perhaps one of the most difficult things for a beginner to do and does stop many people from playing.

Guitar playing can be difficult but there are two things that will help you.  Focus and practice.  Get focus on your playing, where you want to be.  Practice every day.  10 minutes a day of focused guitar practice is good enough at first.  Working on playing up to 30 minutes a day every day.  Then an hour or more once you get a bit better at playing the guitar with some easy guitar songs for beginners.

Well anyway I hope you find the blog and posts useful and find something to help you improve your guitar playing.  The next post will be on guitar notes for beginners.  We will discuss what the music notes on the neck of the guitar are called and where they are.

If you want to see anything added or discussed about guitars or guitar playing please feel to leave a comment.

Thanks for now,
Guitars for Beginners.