When thinking in terms of practicing guitar scales and guitar chords, many guitarists tend to overlook the overwhelming value of such practice. After all, some might argue, practicing a guitar scale just for the sake of practicing a guitar scale, doesn’t seem like a very exciting prospect. The same argument, for some, is also applied to learning and playing guitar chords. In other words, why learn a major 9 chord, when a major triad is easier to learn and play? We’ll examine the answer in a moment.
Modal scales, or modes, are the different ways the major scale can function and sound. Any one of the major scale’s seven notes can function as the root. Each root, or mode, has a unique tonality and sound. All music is either based on or thought of in relation to the major scale and its modes. Using and understanding modes is critical to developing a knowledge of guitar music theory and understanding popular songs. Modal scales have caused an enormous amount of confusion and frustration, perhaps more than any other musical concept. Unfortunately, most modal instruction is either incorrect or misleading.Modal scales, or modes, are the different ways the major scale can function and sound. Any one of the major scale’s seven notes can function as the root. Each root, or mode, has a unique tonality and sound. All music is either based on or thought of in relation to the major scale and its modes. Using and understanding modes is critical to developing a knowledge of guitar music theory and understanding popular songs. Modal scales have caused an enormous amount of confusion and frustration, perhaps more than any other musical concept. Unfortunately, most modal instruction is either incorrect or misleading.
Most guitarists, when in their formative years of learning and playing, tend to focus on learning chords. Lead guitar is often something that comes later on, as you need to understand how harmonies work over the existing backing chords.
First, define your objectives and determine your approach. These objectives may change as you progress, but a goal is important before starting to play the guitar. Begin by forming good study habits. Part of your study will be physical performance and part will be mentally engaged in the study of theory, listening to recordings, tapes and the radio, watching television, Internet and watching live performances.
Hello my friends in guitar land. The most frequent question I receive from my fellow guitar players is how do I get my own sound. First, I would like to say that in my opinion a signature sound comes from your hands not from your gear. And also from a picture you have in your mind of what you want your “voice” to convey. But the idea that certain equipment will help reproduce the sound you have worked so long and hard to achieve is relevant. So I will give you an idea of what I think is a good set-up for certain types of music and specific roles being played in a musical setting. Please remember that I humbly submit these opinions in good fun and are based on over 30+ years of playing live and in the studio, as well a collecting guitars and amps during those years. I know there are plenty of guitar players out there who know a helluva lot more then I do about guitaring.
The days, weeks, months, and years of shedding and learning your craft are behind you. You are a guitar player, capable of making a living at this noble craft, but now what? Here is what, I think, are some tasks that will take you to the next level.
This month I will be discussing a much overlooked aspect of guitar playing and appreciation, the professional setup. As I always say – this is not MY Guitar until it is setup to my specifications. I think perhaps 90% of today’s guitar players do NOT have a personal guitar repair technician that they work with. People have a favorite video / music store with a favorite clerk that helps them with selections, a tailor, a banker, a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer… yet they don’t have a favorite guitar tech. Why? Here are three scenarios that will exemplify this point.
Hello to all out there in guitar dominion, this month’s column will I hope reveal some of the great secrets of some of our favorite guitar players as well as dispel some common misunderstandings. One of the greatest musicians of the 20th century was also a damn good guitar player, he stands alone as a composer, instrumentalist and satirist beyond compare. His name was Frank Zappa. Frank is still IMHO the most underrated musician in the rock and roll era.
Since its inception, legions of surf guitar players have engaged in heated debate about gear. Suffice it to say, everyone has an opinion. However, newbies often want a simple answer to the question, “What do I need to get going?” Below, I lay out the answers, based on the classic traditional surf sound of the Sixties. Whether you want to nail the sound with vintage gear, or whether you are on a budget, you’ll find useful guidelines here.
This month’s column focuses on my pet peeves and some very important and yet overlooked aspects of guitar playing and your enjoyment of your guitar: tuning and set-ups. Everybody deserves to have a guitar that plays well, stays in tune, and is in tune with itself. This is not just the privilege of globetrotting superstars, but everyone who owns a decent instrument.
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