Saturday, August 1, 2015

Guitar Basics-- Part One

The most important thing to remember about proper finger notations is that the THUMB is notated as "T" and not by the number "1".  The other four fingers are designated "1--2--3--4".

The strings are NUMBERED in Reverse Order.  Start from the string on the bottom and number from 1 to 6.  The heaviest or Bass (lowest sounding) string is the 6th string.  It is the TOP string on the guitar.   The lightest (or highest sounding) string is the 1st string.   It is the BOTTOM string on the guitar.  This appears a bit backwards at first, but not for long.  

ALSO-- learn the strings randomly, as well as in order.  If I were to ask you, "what is the 4th string?"  you should be able to immediately answer, "the D string".  Conversely, if I asked you, "which string is the B string?" you should be able to tell me, "the 2nd string."

There are a number of memory tricks or techniques for remembering the string names.  You may NOT think of this-- learning the strings-- as important, but you will soon see its importance.  Use the following acrostic sentences (if helpful) as memory tools.

E-very  A-ngry  D-og  G-rowls and  B-arks at  E-veryone

E-ddie  A-te  D-ynamite.  G-ood  B-ye  E-ddie.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fingering Notes & Chords-- Airplane VS Helicopter

Here's a one-page primer on Fingering Notes and Chords.  This is one of the MOST important and LEAST understood concept for Beginner Guitarists.   Most new guitar players realize that a LOT of their notes do NOT sound exactly right.  In fact, sometimes they sound odd or do NOT sound at all.  But many of them pay little or NO attention to (1) how they are playing notes;  and (2) how they can make it better.

READ the following and then be sure to also READ the additional notes at the bottom.

Most fretting errors can be traced to one of two common problems.  Oftentimes, it is a combination of both of these.
  • The fingers are being placed in the wrong locations.  This could be done from :  
(a) Ignorance of WHERE the fingers should be properly placed-- not understanding chord charts or the guitar fretboard;
 (b) Fingers inadvertently moving or slipping out of their proper position, due to inability to stretch and reach notes;
(c) The fingers are in the proper -fret- location, but located TOO CLOSE to the metal fret bar, which causes muting of the notes.
  •  The fingers are not fretting the notes properly, due to:
(a) Not pressing the finger hard enough against the fretboard;
(b) Not using the fingertips, but instead playing with the finger PAD or SIDES of the fingers;
(c) Improper or uncomfortable positioning of the hand.  This is sometimes remedied by repositioning the THUMB against the BACK of the guitar neck. 
Hope this will help solve some of your Playing Problems and get you on the Right Track!