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The Best Guitar Songs For Beginners

5 Songs For Beginners To Play

You are just starting out on your way to guitar mastery, and you don’t know which songs, to begin with? You’d love to start playing, but cannot find simple songs to match your skill set? Don’t worry – this happens to so many aspiring guitarists. When you’re a beginner, every song sounds equally hard and intricate, and you feel frightened to even give it a shot and start learning one. Thankfully, it’s not so. There are plenty of songs that you can learn fairly easy, as they don’t require a lot of guitar knowledge. All you have to know to enjoy them is a couple of chords and a lot of practice, everything else will fall into place by itself.

Here are five songs perfectly suited for you beginner players out there. Mind you, this is just our list. There are numerous songs in the music catalog; you can start your journey in so many ways. Here we go.

1. Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
This is one of the most recognizable tunes of all time, and it’s really simple to play. It consists of only four chords; the tempo is a bit slower and laid back, which is great if you’re still not confident in your speed. It’s also one of the best songs by Bob Dylan, so it’s great to have it in your catalog. Plus, you’re not really considered a guitar player if you don’t know this one – it’s a given.

2. Honky-tonk Women – The Rolling Stones
Another rock gem, this song was heavily influenced by country, and it has a great atmosphere to it. Consisting of only four chords, it’s easy to play, and it suits both the acoustic and the electric guitar. There are two versions of it, one issued as a single and one on the album Let it bleed – you can make your pick and play along. Remember, you’re not a guitarist if you don’t know any Stones’ songs – that’s a fact.

3. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Credence Clearwater Revival
Here are another classic songs covered by many bands and artists, and it’s very easy. The tempo is relatively slow and gives you enough time to change through chords and keep up with the playing, which is very important for beginners. Again, only four chords are enough to make a classic tune that stood the test of time. It’s also a great melody, so if you like to sing, this is a great one to practice singing and playing. It’s especially good when played on an acoustic because it has that country-western twang to it.

4. Losing My Religion – REM
When this song came out in 1991, it became an instant classic. It’s one of the best tunes from the 90s, with great lyrics and harmonies. It has four chords (would you believe it?), but now it’s two minor ones and two major ones, which provides a great harmonic balance with an uneasy, eerie atmosphere. It’s very popular and often requested songs at parties and social gatherings, so if you don’t know it – it won’t do much for your reputation as a guitarist. Be sure to learn it – it’s a must-know.

5. Any 12-bar blues song out there
If you Google “12-bar blues songs”, you will find so many entries that will blow your mind. You wouldn’t believe how many songs in rock and pop have been structured according to 12-bar blues, which is basically three chords that go in circles, over and over again, through the cycle of 12 straight bars.This pattern is so effective when it comes to music-making that it borrowed itself to a great number of artists, and they have used its potential well. By mastering the 12-bar blues, you will open up the gate to the wonderful world of the blues, and learn dozens of songs instantly. You’ll become a walking jukebox!

There is no way that you can go wrong with the 12-bar. It’s one of the corner stones of popular music. Learn it well, and have fun in the process. Hundreds of songs are waiting for you to learn them; start with the simple ones and then move on. Good luck!

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Intro To Jazz Chords On The Guitar

Jazz Chords

Although jazz is widely considered to be a musical genre devoted entirely to melody and soloing, it is inextricably linked to chords and chord progressions. Jazz chords and progressions form the rhythmic basis of any song, and it would be hard to imagine any soloing without solid backing from it. Here, you will find everything you should know about jazz guitar chords.

How And Where To Start?

The most important thing is that you become good on your instrument. If your goal is to play jazz, it means that you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time and energy into it and develop into a solid guitar player. Don’t expect overnight success, and don’t expect to learn everything there is quickly and easily. Once you accept this, you’ll be on your way; otherwise, you’ll run around in circles.

The Basics

If you’re just starting out, be sure to learn all there is about the basics of jazz chords as well as jazz scales. There is no need to rush things. Take your time and lay a solid foundation for your future progress. You’ll be able to handle complicated progressions and chord changes after you’ve grappled with some basic chord shapes, also known as chord shells. Every chord has its so-called shells, and they the 3rd and the 7th note. Without them, there is no harmony. By changing the thirds and the sevenths, you’ll be able to create a lot of new harmonic sets. Also, chord shapes are very important, and you should memorize at least the very basic of them. Once you learn the basic chords and become comfortable moving them around, you can move on to harder endeavors.

The Difference In Jazz Chords

Unlike most common chords in pop and rock music, jazz chords are different because they are more intricate. In jazz, you’ll often come across something such as a Cmaj7 or Dminor7, because they are formed differently.
Fortunately, like all other chords, jazz chords also have their fixed finger positions and so-called boxes, so you can memorize them without learning the mind-boggling terminology of sevenths, nines, etc.
Of course, it’s much better if you know your theory, but while starting out – it’s enough to master the finger positions and boxes.

Common Problems

Jazz chords for the guitar are pretty hard to play because it’s difficult to master finger positions. In rock and pop, you can easily play without using barre chords, but in jazz – it’s almost impossible not to have barre chords in a song.
Plus, there are a lot of harmonic changes within a song, and sometimes – you have to move your fingers extremely fast in order to cover all the chord changes and progressions. Jazz guitar playing is not just about knowing a lot of chords but also knowing how to play accurately in high gear. Therefore, it’s good to practice your speed with your chord changes, because it will come in handy at a later stage.

Fingerpicking Style

Jazz is a very free-form type of music, and you can find a lot of different approaches to it, but when it comes to jazz chords – players usually tend to play by fingerpicking style. It simply gives them more control over what they’re playing at the moment.Once you develop into a fully-grown jazz guitarist, you are encouraged to find your own voice and approach to playing, but for the time being – it’s best to keep things simple and basic. Fingerpicking will enable you to feel the strings and master the chords much faster.

Don’t Confuse Blues Chords With Jazz Chords

Many people think that, because blues and jazz are very close musically, their chords are also similar and interchangeable. This is far from the truth. You can play blues with only three simple chords, or even one chord (depending on the style), but jazz includes a lot of chords in every composition, and those chords are much more complicated.Yes, there are some chord progressions that are similar, but basically – blues and jazz are two separate types of music and should be treated as such.
There are numerous online resources with tons of jazz chords and progressions; be sure to start small and then gradually develop you playing skills. They may be hard and complicated at first, but once you can to know them better, you’ll see that jazz guitar chords are so much fun.

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Intro To Reading Guitar Tabs

What is a guitar tab?

A guitar tab is a system of visually representing music that is played on an instrument, e.g. guitar, piano, drums and so on. The term tab is short for tablature, but this is rarely used. Most people simply refer to it as tabs.

Why Are They Used?

Guitar tabs are used in order to help players learn a piece of music better and with ease. Some musicians even think that tabs are the best way for learning to play music, because they are straightforward and extremely simple.
The interesting think about tabs is that there is no notation; you don’t have to be musically literate and know the note symbols in order to interpret tabs. They can be easily understood in a matter of moments.

How To Interpret Guitar Tabs?
Interpreting guitar tabs is extremely easy. All you have to know before interpreting a tab is the position of the strings on your guitar i.e. the names of all the strings, in their exact position. If you know this, you’re already halfway there.A tab is represented as a series of six horizontal lines, which actually represent the six strings of your guitar. The top line is the top E string, and the bottom line is the low E – the sixth string. Some tabs have names of strings written in the beginning of the line, and some don’t, it all depends. But you will know the order, and that will be enough to get through playing along the tabs in front of you. Just be sure to remember that the strings on the tabs start from the lowest to the highest E, not the other way around.

Additional Numeration
Apart from the lines, you also have numbers written on those lines. The numbers are there to represent the guitar frets.If, for example, you have the number 3 written on a string, it means that the third fret should be pressed, or that string should be plucked. If there is a zero (0) written, it means that the string in question is open – you play it as it is. Another very important thing to mention is that the tabs should be written just like words in a sentence – from left to right. If all the strings are marked with numbers that stand one above the other, in a parallel order, it means that they should be plucked simultaneously. If, however, numbers are written for one string at a time, then you shouldn’t play simultaneously, but in that exact order.

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Apart from numbers you can also have the x symbol; this means that the string on which x is written shouldn’t be played – it’s muted. There are some chords, or half-chords, that don’t require for all of the strings to be played; in these case, the symbol x is written to clarify the matter.

There are also other symbols that can be used in a tab, especially when the goal of a tab is to give extensive playing information on a song. Such symbols include:

/ slide up (moving your finger up to a note)
\ slide down (moving your finger down to a note)
h hammer on (pressing a note right after playing one before it)
p pull-off (enabling another note to be heard by playing one before it and pulling your finger away from the fret)
b bending (twisting a note in order to move its sound up the octave)
~ vibrato (moving the string up and down around a single note, in order to achieve the vibrating ring for it)

Advice For Playing Guitar Tabs

The most important thing when using guitar tabs is to know your limits and be realistic. Don’t overestimate yourself and think that you can pull off anything that comes before you. Start by learning a short melody, or a simple riff. After that, you can move on and learn more complex pieces, eventually reaching the most difficult one, if that’s your thing. Just like learning the guitar, reading the tabs is a skill. Treat it as such, and you will have a lot of fun playing your guitar with the help of tabs. After all, that’s why they have been invented in the first place – to help you go through guitar playing with ease.

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The Easiest Way To Learn The Guitar

Learning How To Play The Guitar

When it comes to learning the guitar, there are many roads you can go by. However, not every choice will lead you to the desired results in the same way, or in the same amount of time. Depending on your personal preferences, ways of learning the guitar may vary, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Here, you will find out a couple of the easiest ways to learn guitar.

Learn The Theory First

Sometimes it’s best to start from the very basics. You can go online, or find a book, and learn some of the very basics of the guitar. This is far from playing the instrument, but it will get you closer to it. Think of it like this: every book has a forward. Therefore, you’re learning guitar theory in order to better understand the instrument and everything around it. It may seem boring, trivial or unnecessary, but it will definitely be of some use to you at a point in time. You can know how to play well, to play solos as well as chords, but imagine that someone asks you “What is a fret?” and you don’t know the answer? It’s not essential, but you definitely should know these things, because they make you feel more confident and knowledgeable about the subject matter.

Once you learn the ropes and get familiar with the terminology and guitar theory, you are much better equipped to take on more serious tasks and continue the journey. Start with the acoustic/classical instead of electric. Many people, especially those who love rock music, fall in love with the electric guitar and decide it’s the best instrument to start playing on. Actually, it’s much safer to start on the acoustic guitar first, be it a folk or a classical one. This type of the guitar is the basis of playing because it was created before its electric counterpart, and the entire guitar-playing legacy is contained within it. Start with the acoustic, and then move on to the electric, because it will ground you in reality of the guitar and enable you to branch out later on.

Take Lessons- Easiest Way To Learn Guitar

This is the first real step toward actual playing, and it’s very important that you start in the right direction. When it comes to taking guitar lessons, you can choose between going online and finding a good video course, or go offline and find a guitar tutor. Both choices have their pros and cons, so you don’t have to think that one is better than the other. Depending on your financial status, time schedule, and character, you will choose what is best for you and make progress. It’s also good to combine the two methods (if possible). This way, you will become even better, because you will broaden your horizons and acquire all kinds of influences.

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s not enough just to take lessons or watch online videos. You basically have to work as hard as possible in order to master your instrument. That really is the easiest way to learn the guitar – through hard work and solid practice.
Everything else is false. Easy doesn’t mean skipping through, or hacking away – it means taking massive action toward your desired results. This is the best piece of advice you can get.

Start a band

This may sound as something that only experts could pull off, but it’s not so. You can start a band even after one month of learning the guitar. Even after one week. The key thing here is to find players who are on the same level as you and form a working unit. This is not the same as taking lessons or watching online tutorials. The experience of being in a band will completely transform you and open up new possibilities. When creating music, it’s very important to listen – and you will learn how to listen to yourself and other players by being a band.

Mind you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to perform in front of an audience. Your band can be a just a pastime activity with friends or neighbors because its goal is not to help you perform better but play better.
After a couple of months of learning guitar theory, taking lessons and playing with a band, you will become an aspiring guitarist. From then on, the sky is the limit.

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Jazz Scales For The Guitar

Jazz Modes

Many aspiring guitarists are somewhat uneasy when it comes to learning jazz and practicing jazz scales. Some are utterly terrified; others try to put it off as much as possible. There is no need for this. Learning jazz scales is fairly easy, once you get the knack of them. They can enrich your playing significantly, and lead you to uncharted waters where your style could be further developed. Without further ado, let’s delve into the subject.

What are jazz guitar scales?

If we refer to them technically, jazz scales for the guitar don’t exist; actually, “jazz scales” is not the best term to describe them, because there is no such thing as a separate part of music. What exists, however, are specific scales and guitar modes that are used for jazz playing, and that can be applied to jazz compositions. The term jazz scale is only used to simplify the nomenclature and facilitate referring to certain pieces of music.

What Approach To Take When Starting Out?

The most important thing when learning jazz scales is to realize that there is a big difference between jazz chords and jazz scales. This is especially important for jazz because in other musical genres you can somehow pass through as a fairly competent chord/scale player; in jazz, however, chords and scales are almost opposite poles of the spectrum. There are many players who are excellent chord players, but not so proficient when it comes to scales. Others excel at soloing through scales, but they are not so confident with chord-playing. That is why it’s very important to know from the start what it is that you plan to develop.

Arpeggios and scales

These are two different melodic approaches of jazz players. Some prefer to use only arpeggios, which are basically sequences of notes within one scale; other like to take on pure scale-playing, which means going up and down the fretboard, combining high and low octaves, achieving additional melodic effects.Arpeggios are usually combined with chords and are therefore mostly considered part of the chord-playing approach to jazz. Scale-playing is considered a somewhat purer form of playing, and these players are mostly focused on melody over chords. In the end, of course, it all comes down to personal preference.

Playing Major or Minor Scales?

Many people don’t know whether they can play both types of scales in jazz, and the answer is – yes. Both major and minor scales are acceptable in jazz playing, but what scale you’ll choose directly depends on the actual composition.
If a composition is positive, uplifting and energetic, you would usually use a major scale; if you’re dealing with a depressing, sad piece, then you’d be better off with a minor one. There are also many compositions that allow you to combine the two types of scales, but you should really know your craft before you dare to go in that direction.

The Myth Of Improvising In Jazz

There is a big aura around jazz that improvisation is everything, and that every great jazz player is the best at improvising. This, although grounded in reality, isn’t completely true. First of all, you have to realize that any type of improvisation comes from solid knowledge of scales, modes, and chords. You cannot improvise within a musical piece without knowing your chops.Therefore, before you are able to improvise and become very good at it, you have to learn as much as you can about the building block of jazz. After that, everything will fall into place.

How and where to start?

There are numerous resources, both online and offline ( I would recommend starting here–Click For More Info), for jazz scales and for learning to play jazz. The best advice you can get is – start small and don’t hurry. Unlike rock and pop, jazz is a more intricate genre of music, and you really need to be a master of your craft to be comfortable in it. Almost anyone can play a couple of pop songs on the guitar, but if you want to be a jazz player, then you’ll have to become well-versed in your instrument. By learning a couple of guitar chords and scales, you’ll be able to move on and develop you jazz scales playing.

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Alternative Guitar Tunings

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE GUITAR TUNINGS?
Many guitar players like to find a sound that fits a particular song by using alternative tunings. When we say alternative, we mean – something other than the standard tuning. The standard tuning is the main or the most common tuning out there, and the majority of people start out by playing in this tuning (E A D G B E). Alternative guitar tunings have strings in a different pitch, which means they differ significantly from the standard tuning. A guitar can be tuned up or down, depending on the type of tuning, and the effects can be really interesting and inspiring.

Why are different guitar tunings used?
Once a guitar player becomes more experienced and has a good command of the instrument, it normal to try experimenting with alternative tunings. Alternative tunings are used for the sound they produce because a tuning can give you a slightly different sound. Also, some tunings are better suited for certain playing styles or musical genres, and that is another reason why musicians use them. Many songs that have been written in alternative tunings are now considered classics.

Is it hard to learn?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be hard, per-se, but it’s definitely different. The most important thing one should bear in mind is the difference in scales and chord positions. What goes for the standard tuning doesn’t apply to alternative ones, because everything is different. The finger position for playing chords in standard tuning has nothing to do with a lot of alternative ones, especially the so-called open tunings – we’ll discuss them here.

Is learning other guitar tunings best for beginners?
Probably not. You can do this only if your goal is to play a certain style of music or certain genres which, in itself, is very limiting. If you want to learn the guitar and know the instrument inside-out, the best place to start would be the standard tuning. That is the basis. After you’ve learned the standard tuning, you will have significantly fewer problems learning alternative tunings, because you’ll already know a lot about chord progressions, scales, and finger positions.

Can a guitar be tuned in any alternative tuning?
Yes, because alternative tunings have nothing to do with the type of guitar – they are merely modes in which to play guitar. Many people think that, for example, a classical guitar can only be played in the standard tuning, but it is not so. Famous guitarists of classical/flamenco guitars, such as Paco de Lucia, have used alternative tunings extensively throughout their career.

If you’re just starting out, you should approach playing in alternative tunings like learning a new musical instrument. The last things you want to do is think that you automatically know everything because you’re good at playing in the standard tuning. Every new tuning is like a new world to be explored; take your time, ask for advice, take lessons from experienced musicians, and you’ll be on your way.

What are some of the different types or tuning?
There are dozens of alternative tunings and as many variations on them. We will mention only the most frequently used. Also, know that there are two main types of alternative tunings: dropped and open. In dropped tunings, as their name says, some of the strings are dropped down a tone or two, and open tunings are those which will produce a chord even if you pluck the strings without pressing them; thus – open, because the strings are free, they are open. Here are some of the famous alternative guitar tunings (we will use the standard tuning as the basis for achieving them).

Drop D – This is the easiest alternative tuning because it’s very similar to standard tuning. All you have to do is lower the top E string by one tone, to reach D, and you have drop D tuning. It will give your chord more ring, and enable you to play all kinds of variations for hard rock/metal riffs.

DADGAD –This one is even called “Dad-gad” because of the sequence of tones the strings are tuned in. The top E goes to D, the bottom B goes to A, and the lower E goes to D as well. This is an interesting-sounding tuning, used extensively in Celtic music, but also in many famous rock songs, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”.

Open G – A household alternative tuning, Open G is created by lowering the top two strings, and the bottom one, by one note. If you pluck the strings open, you will get a G chord. This tuning is used in a lot of blues songs, by many musicians, and it has been cemented in rock history by Keith Richards, who used in in songs such as “Honky-tonk women” and “Start me up”.

Alternative guitar tunings are fantastic for experimenting, and broadening your horizons, but be sure to know your instrument well before moving on into the alternative territory. The aforementioned three tunings are a great starting point; once you learn them, you can continue embracing new alternative tunings and improving upon your guitar playing.

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How To Play The Guitar Faster

Playing The Guitar With Speed
There are many guitar players whose goal isn’t just to play well – they want to increase their playing speed. Although this is not a prerogative for quality guitar playing, speed can help you shine in soloing, or in providing sold rhythm-guitar work. Here, we will discuss seven proven methods for increasing your guitar playing speed.

1. Start slow and track your progress
Don’t make the mistake of rushing it. If you’re just starting out, or if you’re still a novice, the best approach is to start step-by-step, and gradually gain speed. There is no need to go through a chord change of, for example, seven chords, or to immediately go for complicated solos containing dozens of notes. Start by changing only two or three chords; move them around until you feel fully confident playing them. Likewise, when soloing – don’t run into a pile of notes, because it will soon tire you out. Later on, when you gain enough experience, you will be able to take on more intricate tasks.

2. Always know exactly what you’re playing
Again, this is something that many guitar students fail to go by. You cannot improve upon your speed by kinda knowing what it is you’re playing. If you want to practice a solo, then learn it well, and go through every note slowly. Then, try once more, but this time – ten percent faster. And so on. But remember that you will never achieve speed unless you lay the groundwork properly. Another important notion is precision; don’t fumble with the notes, play them. Don’t chop the chords, hold them down. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t get good at it.

3. Learn the scales and chord progressions
These are the two pillars of solid guitar playing. You will be able to gain speed if you know all the main chord progressions and scales. You won’t have any problems playing different songs in different genres, or styles, and you will generally have better command of the instrument. You don’t have to know everything right from the start, but be sure to set up a good basis for future progress.

4. Record yourself with a webcam
By doing this, you will see yourself from a different angle (literally) and maybe notice something that should be improved, or something that you’re doing the wrong way. When you’re playing, you cannot notice everything because you cannot be both the performer and the spectator. This way, your webcam video will show what you actually look like while playing and what your playing sounds like. You can also make a video collection of all your recordings and track your progress over time.

5. Practice on a regular basis
If you are serious about improving your guitar playing speed, know that it will not happen overnight. It is a process. That is why it’s important to practice regularly because it’s like a workout. The more you practice, the faster you’ll make progress. The human brain likes making patterns, and the practice schedule you make will be acknowledged by your brain like another pattern to be embraced. When you become comfortable with your new skill, it will seem effortless and easy, but it will actually be the result of hard work and regular practice.

6. Find your voice
Every guitar player is unique, which means that there isn’t one general rule of thumb for practicing speed. If you feel like you’d be better off working solely on riffs, or chords, so be it. If you want to be the best soloist, then focus on scales and lead guitar playing. All in all, there is really no need, or necessity, to be the best at everything because, after all, you’re not going to play “everything”. Find your true voice, and then move on to practicing speed.

7. Be patient
Unfortunately, many guitar players fail at this final step. They know that gaining speed is a process, but they somehow lose patience and become frustrated or demotivated. Don’t fall into the trap. Patience will separate you from others, and help you achieve the results you’re after. It only seems slow and meaningless, but don’t forget – you are definitely making progress with each practice session. Stay motivated, don’t lose focus, practice as much as you can – and you will play with speed and precision.

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Classical vs. Acoustic Guitar

Choosing Classical vs Acoustic Guitars

When it comes to these two types of guitar, many people don’t know which way to go. Some even think that classical and acoustic are two names for the same thing. This is far from the truth. Here, we will try to explain the main differences between the two types and help you choose the type which is right for your needs.

What are the main differences?

Purpose

The first major difference between these guitars, as their names tell us, is their musical purpose. Classical guitars are predominantly used for playing classical pieces, and acoustic, or folk guitars, are used for all kinds of acoustic music, from Celtic and country, to modern folk and pop. It is true that you can play classical music on an acoustic and pop music on a classical, but they are simply not particularly designed for those musical genres.

Shape of the neck

Classical guitars tend to have a wider neck than acoustic ones, which makes chord playing much easier on acoustic guitars. In that sense, acoustic guitars are similar to electric ones. Classical guitars are much harder in that way, especially if you’re a beginner. It can be especially difficult to make a transition from acoustic to classical, because you’re not used to the wider neck.

Scratch plate

This is a piece of guitar equipment that acoustic guitars have, but classical ones don’t. It is a patch of plastic right below the lowest string, used to protect the body from the pick strokes (while playing, it often happens that guitarists unintentionally hit the body too hard, which in time damages the surface). Classical guitars are meant to be played without a pick, so they don’t need the scratch plate. Some guitarist may place a scratch plate on a classical if they want to, but it is not originally there.

Strings

Acoustic guitars use metal strings, and classical guitars use nylon strings. This creates a major difference in their sound, because of the material of the strings. Be sure not to use the wrong type of strings for your guitar, because it may cause permanent damage. If you use metal strings on a classical, the tension will pull the neck up and ruin the shape of the body. If you put nylon strings on an acoustic, the sound produced will be too thin for proper playing, and the tuning may even not hold for long.

Sound

The two types wouldn’t be that different if there wasn’t for the difference in the sound they produce. Whereas the classical produces a softer, gentle sound, the acoustic resonates with a sharper, mentally sound, because of its strings. To a novice, it wouldn’t pose much of a difference, but to an experienced player – it’s all the difference out there. A blues solo isn’t what it’s supposed to be on a classical guitar, just as a flamenco piece doesn’t produce the desired effect on an acoustic guitar. Simply put, the two types are on the opposite poles of the guitar world.

What are the pros and cons of playing each type?

When it comes to classical vs. acoustic guitar, there is no winner. Each type has its own benefits, because they are essentially different. Basically, it all comes down to the style you want to play in. classical is more suited for genres such as jazz, flamenco, etc., but acoustic will lead you into blues, country, pop-rock…

Acoustic guitars are easier to play because of their narrow necks, but their metal strings sometimes put too much stress on the fingertips, causing pain, or even blisters. Classical guitars are easier on the fingers for that matter, because of nylon strings, but their sound is less suited for popular music, and their range is limited, in a way.

Know that, when it comes to choosing a guitar, there is no such thing as the right or wrong choice. You start on a classical, and then move on to acoustic, which many people do; but you can also to the other way around, if you find the classical guitar more appealing. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable playing your instrument, and enjoy every second with it.

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The Best Way To Learn The Guitar

Wanting to learn to play the guitar?

Many people think about taking up the guitar, and becoming good at playing it, but unfortunately – a lot of them end up dissatisfied, and they give up sooner than they started. Why is this so? The main reason is that people don’t really lay the ground before starting out. Remember, it’s not enough just to want something – you have to know how to get it.

Two key questions

Before you actually start playing, you have to ask yourself two very important questions: “Do I really want to learn the guitar?” and “Why do I want to learn it?” Know that learning any skill, including guitar playing, is a process. A process means – it will take time. Now, the learning curve varies, depending on your abilities, desire and the number of hours invested, but it will take some time, that’s for sure. There are no strict deadlines, but don’t expect to be any good before a six months’ time. And if you know why you want to learn it, everything will be much easier. If your goal is to impress girls, or show off at a party, it will be fairly easy to achieve it; on the other hand, if you want to go pro, you are blisters away from dominating the stage.

How and where to start? What’s The Best Way To Learn Guitar?

Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve, you can move on to the actual guitar lessons. There are two paths you can go down – video lessons or private tutoring. In the past, video lessons weren’t as popular as today, because there was no internet, but the situation has changed radically. The advent of video-streaming services, such as You Tube, redefined music lessons, and now you have many online tutors posting clips on a regular basis, teaching people around the world how to learn the guitar. On the other hand, there are still private tutors, or music schools offering lessons for future guitar players. You can work one-on-one with your teacher, or in a group of several people. Let’s discuss these two options.

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Video lessons

Video lessons are highly popular, and for a reason. You’re two clicks away from the content you need, and you can replay as much as you want – but there are drawbacks. Even when the instructions are presented in a clear way, you may still find it hard to understand certain bits and pieces. You may pause, or slow down the video, but you will still get confused over something -and you won’t be able to ask the teacher. Yes, you can Google it, looking for an answer, but it just isn’t the same. However, there are no time restraints, and you can spend hours watching video clips such as guitar backing tracks and practicing along.

Private tutoring

This approach is very beneficial when it comes to problem-solving. If you get stuck on something, your tutor will be there to immediately come to your help and provide the right piece of advice. Human contact is still superior to technology, which is the reason why so many people decide to start learning with a school or a private tutor. Nevertheless, it may be costly to hire a really good tutor, and you’ll always be limited by the number of lessons you can afford.

Which way to go?

The best advice you can get is – make good use of both of these approaches, because that will provide you with the most beneficial results. If you’re a complete beginner, a newbie, you can start with online guitar lessons to warm up and get the hang of the core basics. Then, once you learn a little bit, you should definitely go for something more, to broaden your horizon. A good book, video course, and, finally, a private tutor will be of great help during this “journeyman” process. When you learn enough to play on your own, you will notice it. Slowly, you’ll be able to copy the chords of songs you hear on the radio or play on a device, and you’ll be on your way to playing in public with confidence.

The importance of practice

All of the aforementioned won’t be worth much unless you practice, even if your goal is to play in front of friends and family. Practice is practice – treat is as seriously as possible. You may know just one song, but if you don’t practice playing it – you won’t know it, simple as that. The more you practice, the more experienced you’ll become.
Points to keep in mind

– Know why you want to play the guitar
– Be realistic with your expectations
– Combine two learning methods
– Practice

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The Pentatonic Scale

Among all the scales played on the guitar, the pentatonic scale has a special place. For more than five decades, it has been the “scale of choice” for may musicians.
The reason for this is because the pentatonic (as most guitar players refer to it) forms the basis for playing all types of popular music, from blues and some jazz to rock and alternative.

Its influence on popular music is enormous, which is why every aspiring guitarist wants to learn how to play in it.

What is the pentatonic?
The pentatonic (from the Greek pente and tonos), as its name suggests, is a scale consisting of five notes – two notes less than in seven-note scales, both major and minor.
What is very interesting about it is that it is found in a large number of musical traditions around the world. This may explain its global appeal and the influence it has had on world music during the late XX century.

In one form or another, the pentatonic scale has been present from ancient times, as it occurs in Native American traditions, sub-Saharan Africa, the music of Southeast Asia, as well as certain times of early European music, such as Gregorian chant.

What makes it to appealing?

The fact that the pentatonic has only five tones actually makes it more powerful and applicable than its seven-note counterparts. If for example, you play a minor harmony, it would be impossible to play a major seven-note scale over it, because you would be off key. Vice versa, you cannot play a minor seven-note scale over a major harmony, because the dichotomy will not work in your favor.

The pentatonic, on the other hand, will sound just right in over any chord progression, be it a minor or a major one. There is no need for you to adjust the scale to a specific harmonic framework – the pentatonic takes care of itself, and works instantly. This is the basis of its lasting appeal.

The Different Types

Basically, there are two types of the pentatonic: major and minor. The major pentatonic consists of the first, second, third, fifth and sixth note of a major scale.
The minor pentatonic also consists of these five notes, as the major pentatonic does, but there is one slight difference: the first tone in this scale (usually called the tonic) is three half-notes down in comparison to the major pentatonic.

Here is one example: the C major pentatonic has notes in this exact order, C – D – E – G – A.
The C minor pentatonic has the same notes, but they are arranged in a different way, A – C – D – E – G. Notes that are used in a minor pentatonic are the first, minor third, fourth, fifth and minor seventh of a scale.

How to memorize the pentatonic scale for the guitar?

When it comes down to memorizing this scale for guitar playing, it comes down to this: you should learn the positions, not the notes.
Unless you’re a professional guitarist, there is no need to bother yourself with the notes. Guitar playing is a skill based on finger positions, and that is the best and the easiest way to develop your playing.

There are a couple of so-called boxes or fretboard positions for the pentatonic scale, and that is all you need to learn it. Once your fingers get used to the exact positions, playing the pentatonic scale will come to you naturally, and you won’t even think about it.

How to play in the pentatonic scale?

As we mentioned, the pentatonic is used extensively in blues, rock, and alternative music. If you’re keen on playing these genres, the pentatonic is perfect for it.
Once you become comfortable with the pentatonic scale and the boxes, you can go on and learn a couple of riffs. A riff is a sequence of notes used as the musical theme of a song; the majority of riffs are composed within the pentatonic.

A good way to perfect your playing is to use special techniques, such as bending, pull-offs, and hammer-ons because they will enable you to give extra flair to your soloing, as they go hand-in-hand with the pentatonic scale.