Guitar Scales- An Important Exercise To Learn


Do you know your guitar scales? If you’re learning to play guitar, scales are an important exercise for you to learn. Scales are often neglected on the guitar, for some reason. But you would be hard pressed to find a good pianist who didn’t have at least some level of proficiency at scales. The same should be true for guitarists.

The benefits of learning guitar scales

Learning to play scales on your guitar can have many benefits. One of the benefits is that you learn the notes of each particular scale, and become comfortable playing those notes. When you play a song in that key, you will already be used to playing each of the notes and will know where they are.

Playing guitar scales also has great technical benefits. Playing scales can help you increase your dexterity, precision, and speed of your playing. If you play scales each time you practice, over time you’ll notice your playing skills increasing from this simple exercise.

Learning and playing guitar scales

There are dozens of different scales, but you’ll want to start out with a few common ones. The most common scales for guitar are probably C, G, D, & A. I’d suggest that you start with major scales, as they are generally easiest and more commonly used. Later you can go on to minor scales plus other scales.

When you first start learning a scale, play it slow enough that you can play each note correctly and cleanly. As you get better, you can speed it up. However, never play them fast enough that you lose control. When you play a scale, each note should be perfect – clean, and in steady rhythm, tone, and volume. As a teacher of mine once said, “Make your scales like a pear necklace – each note, perfect, round, and beautiful!” Follow this advice and watch your playing improve!

Emg Guitar Pickups

EMG, Inc first started manufacturing guitar pickups back in 1976, known as EMG pickups. Over the years they have earned the reputation for quality, clear sounding pickups used by many professional artists. ESP guitars and Jackson guitars currently use EMG pickups as their standard pickup design. Their high output is preferred by hard rock and heavy metal guitarists because of the pickups higher gain output as opposed to most lower output pickups. Some of the bands and artists who currently endorse EMG pickups are Tom Morrello, Zakk Wylde, Stephen Carpenter, Metallica, Slayer and many others

The most common EMG pickups are the EMG 81 and 85. The EMG 81 is usually considered to be the lead pickup and is more commonly used in the bridge position, while the EMG 85 is mainly used as a rhythm pickup more used in the neck position. In my opinion, for the Les Paul 6 string guitar the EMG 81 is best suited for distortion and the EMG 85 for clean tones. The EMG 85 in the neck position lacked the clarity of the bridge position EMG 81 when it came to distortion sounds.

Personally, I have had great success with using EMG pickups in a Gibson Les Paul and 7 string ESP guitar especially if you are into heavier sounding music. The clarity, deeper tone, and added gain are what make the pickups more suitable. One negative thing about the EMG active pickups is the need for a 9 volt battery, but it’s not much of a problem because the battery lasts for a long time. You just need to make sure you replace the battery at least every 6 months because of tone loss over time.

Installation for a set of EMG pickups is fairly easy depending on the type of guitar you have. With the right tools I was able to install a set of Zakk Wylde custom EMG’s in Gibson Les Paul in under an hour. As long as you follow the right installation diagrams for your type of guitar and have basic soldering skills you should not run into any problems.

Guitar Lesson – How To Practice In 20 Minutes

Many guitarists don’t have enough time to practice for long periods of time. But if you want to progress fast, you need the guitar in your hands as regularly as possible.

It’s better to practice for 10-20 minutes every day, than 4 hours on just one day of the week.Getting into a rhythm of regularly picking up your guitar for a quick practice session is a great habit to get into.

So if you don’t have enough time for a full practice session, and you have 10-15 minutes to spare, here’s some ideas for what you should practice:

Practice a chord change.
Perhaps switching from an F barre chord to a D open is causing you difficulty?
If you spend just ten minutes going over and over the change, you will increase your ability to do it at the level you require.

The key is to focus, and hone in on one skill that you can improve in a short period of time.

Work on a song you want to memorize.
This will give you a chance to actually play some music! You need to have fun in your practice to keep you fresh and focused.

Listen to a song on a CD and jam along.
This is a great way to improve your playing, and it’s particularly suitable for short practice sessions.

An important part of learning guitar is to train your ear, and jamming along to a CD is the perfect way to do it.

Work on a lick you want to learn.
You’d be surprised how many times you can work through a lick in just a few short minutes. You can also combine this practice technique with practicing chord changes.

This will improve your skills in a short period of time.

Work on picking skills – do drills up and down the neck.
You can use your metronome to work on speed picking skills, or you can slow everything right down and work on keeping your body in a relaxed so that you develop an ease to your playing.

Work up and down a scale.
In ten minutes you can play through a scale around 50-100 times. This will improve your stamina and also help you build speed.

Remember to use a metronome when you’re trying to build speed though. Because you want a smooth rhythmic sound to your speed picking, not a struggling, hurried sound.

So build up gradually.

Be Creative!
Play some chords in combinations that sound good to you, or play some single note melodies. Again, this improves your ear and you could maybe work out some parts to a song of your own.

Okay, that’s all the ideas I’m going to give you for now. Use your imagination to come up with more things you could try, and mix it up so it doesn’t get boring.

Also, keep your guitar ready and set-up. Sure, it’s protected all hidden away in your case, but if it’s ready for you to have a short practice session, then you’re more likely to pick it up and practice, even if it is just for a short time.

So keep that guitar out and ready to practice!

You may not think these short practice sessions help much, but doing this builds up your skills fast – and you’ll surprise yourself by how much you improve just be having the guitar in your hands regularly.

However, you don’t want to solely rely on these quick practice sessions. Like most things, you need to strike a balance. A good way of finding that balance is to set a routine.

When you have a routine, you will find it gets easier to find the time for practice. Once you’re in a habit of practicing regularly, you’ll find it harder to break out of, and that’s a good habit to have!

A Look At The History Of The Electric Guitar

The Electric guitar hasn’t been around nearly as long as the Acoustic and Classical guitars. In fact, the Electric guitar was created just 70 years ago (the 1930s) by Adolph Rickenbacker. Since that time, the Electric guitar has greatly evolved to the where it is today. In this article, we’ll go over the history of the Electric guitar.

The History

Guitars, or similar instruments, have been around for thousands of years. The Electric guitar was first manufactured in the 1930s by Rickenbacker. Original Electric guitars used tungsten pickups. Pickups basically convert the vibration of the strings into electrical current, which is then fed into the amplifier to produce the sound.

The very earliest Electric guitars featured smaller soundholes in the body. These guitars are known as semi-hollow body Electric guitars and still are somewhat popular today, mainly due to the fact that they are flexible guitars.

However, with the use of pickups, it was possible to create guitars without soundholes (like the Acoustic and Classical guitars have) that still had the ability to be heard, if plugged into amplifiers. These guitars are called solid body Electric guitars.

The Electric guitar’s popularity began to increase during the Big Band era of the ‘30s and 40s. Due to the loudness of the brass sections in jazz orchestras, it was necessary to have guitars that could be heard above the sections. Electric guitars, with the ability to be plugged into amplifiers, filled this void.

The Electric guitar that is most prevalent today is the solid body Electric guitar. The solid body guitar was created by musician and inventor Les Paul in 1941. It is a guitar made of solid wood with no soundholes. The original solid body guitar created by Paul was very plain—it was a simple rectangular block of wood connected to a neck with six steel strings. Les Paul’s original solid body guitar shape has, of course, changed from the original rectangular shape to the more rounded shape Les Paul guitars have today.

During the 1950s, Gibson introduced Les Paul’s invention to the world. The Gibson Les Paul, as it was and still is called, quickly became a very popular Electric guitar. It has remained the most popular guitar for 50 years.

Around the same period of time, another inventor named Leo Fender came up with a solid body Electric guitar of his own. In the late 1940s, Fender introduced the Fender Broadcaster Electric guitar. The Broadcaster, which was renamed the Stratocaster, was officially introduced to the public in 1954. The Strat, as it is now known, was a very different guitar in comparison to the Les Paul. It had a different shape, different hardware and was significantly lighter. Fender’s Stratocaster Electric guitar is the second most popular guitar in the world, second to only the Les Paul.

Over the years, other companies, such as Ibanez, Jackson, Paul Reed Smith, ESP and Yamaha have all produced solid body Electric guitars of their own. However, most Electric guitars still feature the familiar shape of a Les Paul or Strat guitar.

Guitars – The Fender Stratocaster Is A Thing Of Dreams

The very first guitar I ever played was a Candy Apple Red Fender Stratocaster. It was love at first touch. I wanted that guitar SO bad. I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, David Gilmore and Jimmy Hendrix, and during my college years I was a huge fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn. The Fender Stratocaster was the guitar of choice for these incredible guitar players and many more.

My tasted in guitars evolved as I learned, and I discovered that every guitar had their own personality in my hands. Some were sassy and bright, others were bad and loud, and still others just wanted to sing the blues. One of the coolest parts about owning a music store was being able to play thousands of different guitars of all makes and styles.

But my roots have always been with the Fender Strat. The secret to the amazing tone for the Strat lies in the traditional single could pickups, two piece body and the types of tone woods used to make the guitar. Fender offers the same pickups played by Jimmy Hendrix, or Eric Clapton. Fenders custom shop ’69 pickups will do the trick, or if you’re into Stevie Ray Vaughn you need Fenders Tex-Mex specials.

Probably the best way to play the same guitar as your guitar heroes is to purchase their signature model. Fender has signature models available for Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson and more.

Rather a “c” or “v” neck dressed up in maple or rosewood, nothing feels like a Stratocaster and nothing plays or sounds the same. In everyone’s life a little rain must fall, and in every guitarist life a Stratocaster must be played.

Strat’s are best known for their warm unique tone, but not all Strat’s are created equally. The tonal range will depend on the tone woods used in the neck and body as well as the type and configuration of pickups. When selecting a Strat to purchase take your time and research the various online forums to learn everything about the model you want to purchase. You may even want to visit your local retailer and play a few, just to get a better feel for the playability of the model you desire. Sometimes you may find that what you think you want and what you really like are quite different. Once you are convinced of what you HAVE TO HAVE, you should check out the various online retailers. In most cases you will find better prices on line then at your local store.

Buying your Strat will be one of the best days of your life. So enjoy every moment and remember that you are not purchasing just a guitar, you are purchasing something from your dreams.