Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Some Guitar tips from my point of view

Hey all!
So today I suddenly though of talking about guitars.
 I do own one and its an acoustic guitar.
It ain't branded at all but I love it and weirdly I got it from a christian guitar shop.
So I guess I own a hole-y guitar...Ok bad pun.

Anyways, I am self-taught so there are many little things I've learnt over the years by myself
It may not be any professional advice and to some it may just be some worthless advice
but I'm just going to type out anyways.

1. Strings 
I had no idea about strings until 2 years back when my 1st string snapped
(My advice to those who are afraid of the 1st String snapping is to slowly turn your 1st string slowly when you tune it. When it is about to snap you will feel that string seems to be too tight even though its not tuned yet, so that is the point for you to stop turning and change to a new one..that is if you are afraid of it snapping.)

That was when I started to look into the type of strings for acoustic guitar and came across this website.
It explains what are the difference in the strings and what type of strings there are.

I personally like to use Light because it gives a strong and clear sound but bright as well.
However I recently changed to Extra Light and the first time I changed it I disliked it because the string's vibration echoed a far too much to my liking and it was too bright for my ears, however I'm getting used to the sound now. It sounds a bit brighter then the Light strings. The brand I've tried so far is D'Addario.

My advice to you on strings it to experiment. Try different string types than brands to figure out what type of sound you think would best suit you or suit the songs you play on the guitar.

2.Playing bare chords
When I first tried to play bare chords I gave up because it seriously hurt my hand and the sound just doesn't come out right and I got irritated (yes I am impatient).

There isn't any simple straightforward tip for this but for me I practiced my basic chords everyday so that my fingers had calluses so that pressing on the strings wont hurt as much as when my fingers are just plain raw flesh. Another thing I do is that I place my thumb behind my 2nd or 3rd finger(depending on the bare chords I play, in the picture below it eh F chord) so that it seems that i'm pinching the fret with my fingers and press it down together.This would help to stop the buzzing you hear whenever you try and play the bare chords.

Curve your 2nd finger, by doing so you will bare whatever fret you would want to barre.
Also I place my 2nd finger near just before the line so that i dont have to stretch out my other fingers. If you find it hard to play a F chord, try the Bm. To get the hang of it, try practicing by moving down one fret one at a time after you get one chord.
My Style of playing barre chords 

3. Guitar Chords
I am still currently learning how to read tabs so i rely a lot on chords to play my favorite songs.
I normally Google in this format "Song name artist chords" and always tend to choose
'Ultimate guitar's' website.

This is as some of the song have different version you can choose so if you find that version too hard to play, you can easily change the version OR you can transpose it.However I find that transposing the chords makes no difference.

One other good thing about ultimate guitar is all the chords have guides.
So for example if you don't know how to play cm7 you just hover over it and they will show the guide.
If you think that its still hard to play, press 'variations' to see other methods you can play the chord by.

Also if you want to play without scrolling down there is a 'launch auto scroll' whereby it will help you to scroll down automatically and you can choose the pace for it to scroll.
Do enlarge it for a better view
4. Plucking 
For plucking you just got to work with the song. Don't try to pluck with the music on in the background as of course it would be hard for you to catch up with the song. Try to have the melody in your head.

I tend to have my thumb on the 6th string and take it as the base. and ignore the 5th string and use my 2nd and 3rd finger to pluck up the 4th and 3rd string. That sound to me matches any song its just whether your rhythm is fast or slow. As a start learn from this video, more than words. Its a easy song to learn and get a feel of what plucking is like. 

So that would be my be on my list of the 4 things you need to know about guitars.
Also, one more thing is don't give up.Ever!
Honestly when I first diverted my attention from the piano to the guitar I gave up.

I got my guitar when I was 12 and honestly I didnt know how to play and it was painful to press my fingers on the strings after playing for 30minutes. I couldnt even read chordsa and I didn't know what tools I had to learn my faverite songs. I also dreaded bare chords so I tried to avoid songs that had them but realised that many songs used barre chords.

However 2-3 years back I had some time to spare and started practicing everyday. Finding sources to learn from and achieving my goal of getting a hang of barre chords.
SO never ever give up. Just try playing your favorite songs and if you feel sick of the guitar take a break. Sooner a later the guitar will call for for you..haha.

Okay then I hoped these stuffs has helped you,
if  it didnt and you feel they are not the right techniques then well I'm sorry.
 As I said before I was self-taught and these are the things I learnt to grasp each things easily.

Alright then! Till my next post!

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