Category Archives: Guitar Gear

Playing Electric Guitar

5 Top Tips To Great Rhythm Guitar Playing

When playing guitar, you want to make sure that you learn the 5 top tips to great rhythm guitar playing.  This will allow you to set up a solid foundation for your guitar playing that will benefit you for years to come.

Tip #1  Learn your common open chords.

open position guitar chords

C A G E D & F major.  Along with a few minor chords like E minor, A minor & D minor.  These chords are important to know as they are commonly found in many songs.  Like they say “learn a few chords and you can play hundreds of songs” which is true because a lot of very popular songs on the guitar are made up of only a few chords.  Sometimes only 3 or 4 to be exact.

Tip #2  Know how to move them up the fretboard.

forming barre chords

Knowing how to move the open position guitar chords up the fretboard gives you more diversity and ability for rhythm creation.  This is done by learning to create barre chords, or by using a capo.  These two things take the place of the guitar nut.  Which is what holds the guitar strings in place.

By using your index finger to represent the nut you can take the open chords and move them along the fretboard.  This allows you to create different shades of color in your rhythm playing as well as be able to create chord embellishments.

Tip #3  Learn proper strumming and picking patterns.

Strumming and picking the chords is very important as well because it is this technique that actually creates the rhythm.  Your fretboard hand is designed to form, hold and move the chords once you learn them and the picking hand is designed to create the rhythm of the chords by either strumming them or picking them individually.

These two techniques (or a hybrid of both) are what really bring the chords to life and give the elements of the music, a listening quality to them.  This is what makes the listener want to tap their toe, get up and dance or just sit back and listen.

Tip #4  Learn chord embellishment theory.

common chord embellishments

Chord embellishment theory is what allows you to build upon the basic chord shapes mentioned in the first tip.  It is what allows you to make a major chord into a minor, diminished or augmented.  It is what allows you to create 6th chords, minor 7th chords, #5b9 chords and so forth and so forth.

By knowing your notes on all six strings along the entire fretboard you can form any chord you wish in nay type of inversion.  This is the science of music.  Especially for a rhythm guitar player.  The more you understand chords and how they are constructed, the better you’ll be.

Tip #5  Play in time.

I can’t tell you how many musicians over the years I’ve met who know the chords but can’t play in time and don’t have a good rhythm.  It is quite sad really.  This is a skill set that must be worked on.  You must work daily on developing good timing.

Good timing is everything!  Especially if you plan on playing with anyone in the future.  There are three ways to do this.

  1. Use a metronome

  2. Use a drum machine

  3. Play along to the song

Any of these three techniques will allow you to develop this important skill.  This is a must!  Because without it, all the other skills of knowing the chords and being able to play them all over the fretboard to create music will be useless unless you can play in time.

Rhythm Guitar Secrets

Since these skill sets are so important to play great rhythm, I have created a free training guide that helps in this are called Rhythm Guitar Secrets.  It goes into more detail exactly what has been taught here today.  So if rhythm guitar playing is something you are working on mastering, I recommend you grab my training guide.

Lesson conclusion.

To be a great rhythm guitar player takes time, patience, and effort on a daily basis.  It requires you to study the concepts, techniques, and principles related to rhythm guitar playing.  It requires you to experiment with these concepts and formulas very much like a scientist.

Develop a well in-depth understanding of chords, timing, rhythm sequences and how to put these elements together. This will teach you what great rhythm guitar playing is all about.  By keeping it simple, you will understand the fundamental principles of rhythm guitar playing.

Deeper dive.

That is why I wrote the book “Rhythm Guitar Alchemy

Rhythm Guitar Alchemy

An easy step-by-step method of study that is fun & easy to learn.  With secret elements, formulas, and properties that cater to the scientific development of rhythm guitar playing in theory and practice.

A comprehensive course on the inner workings of rhythm guitar playing.  From learning notes, forming chords, establishing timing and creating rhythm.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy will provide you with a progressive training guide that will help you to develop an intimate understanding of playing rhythm guitar.

You can find this book, along with all others I have authored, on Amazon in print and Kindle format.  As well as in my eBay store Dwayne’s Guitar World where if purchased here you will receive a personally signed author copy.

And as always, if you have any questions about what I teach or are interested in taking private guitar lessons, feel free to reach out to me through my website Dwayne’s Guitar Lessons. 

Best of luck with your learning.

Sincerely, Dwayne

 


Tom Morello

How To Enhance Your Guitar Tone With The SUPRO Boost Pedal

Enhance your guitar tone.

In this lesson, we are going to look at how to enhance your guitar tone with the SUPRO boost pedal.  One of the things that guitar players are always doing is working on learning how to enhance their guitar tone. Having the right guitar tone can make all the difference in your willingness to do what it takes to learn how to play the instrument.

There are many things that can help you to enhance your guitar tone. You can get familiar with your guitar itself as this has a lot of options for tone control. In fact, most guitars have controls on the instrument itself to help in this area.

Guitar Tone controls.

Most guitars have both a volume and a tone control knob. This gives the guitarist a wide variety of options. The volume knob turned all the way up can give a loud hard tone.  But if rolled down a bit, it can give a much softer sound. And if barely rolled up at all, it can give you a nice shift in the dynamics of the music.

The tone knob, on the other hand, can give you some variety as well. When rolled up all the way it gives a nice bright tone that can be very beneficial for some applications in the type of music being played with the guitar.

When the tone knob is rolled down it can give more of a darker tone that might work well in different places of the song or for different styles of music. Since you get a different sound from the guitar with the tone knob rolled down, you get inspired to create in a different way than when it is rolled all the way up.

The pickup selector switch.

On most guitars, you also have a pickup selector switch that can give you some nice ways to enhance your tone as well. This switch allows you to select which pickup you want to play. As they give you different tone options. Usually, you have a neck pickup and a bridge pickup. Sometimes you might have a middle pickup too.

These different pickups allow you to really shape your tone which can shape your style of playing. That’s the thing that is great about playing electric guitar, which is that you can create your own sound and style that is known only to you.  Another way to enhance your guitar tone is through using effects pedals.

Boosting your signal with effects pedals.

Enhancing your tone with guitar effects pedals is probably the most common way to do so.  Some of the pedals that are great options are guitar pedals such as Reverb, Delay, Overdrive, Distortion, Wah pedal & signal booster.

These types of pedals can do a world of good to your tone.  But when it comes to getting a nice clean boost for enhancing rhythm or playing guitar solos I recommend you try out the Supro Boost pedal.  This pedal is an excellent choice for this option.

Supro Boost pedal.

The Supro Boost pedal.

Supro Boost pedal

This pedal is great for this option because of its transparency to drive a nice amplifier.  Especially if that amplifier is a tube amp.  The J-Fet based pedal design delivers up to 20dB of noiseless gain boost plus optional high pass or low pass filtering to contour your over-all tone when the pedal is engaged.

The Supro Boost pedal is also straight forward and effective at remaining clean & sweet at all settings no matter what tone you are currently using or which pedals you have in the pedal chain before it. The Supro Boost pedal will always deliver a nice clean boost without compromising your guitar tone.

It also remains frequency linear as the gain is adjusted, allowing you to set the desired amount of boost with a nice big knob.  This knob allows for easy visibility when making adjustments on the fly without any need for adjusting any other volumes in pedals or at the amplifier.

The Supro Boost pedal is well constructed out of aluminum so it is lightweight but roadworthy if need be.  It can be powered by a 9v adapter or it can be used with a 9v battery.  The pedal has a nice, easy access compartment on the side if you choose to power the pedal this way.  This makes for easy portability and quick setup.  Just plug it in and you’re ready to go.

Lesson conclusion.

So as you can clearly see that there are many ways to enhance your guitar tone.  From the knobs on the guitar to using guitar effects pedals.  Too many to list in this lesson but if you do use pedals, make sure you learn how to set them up properly. Also, be sure to keep your hands and fingers in shape.

Make sure also that you acquire the right amplifier for playing rock music as well as take some time to learn about your guitar and all the neat things it can do for you on its own.  If you set guitar goals and work on these things I have taught in this lesson, you will be able to get the tone you are looking for and boost the signal with the Supro Boost pedal.

Also remember to keep practicing daily and keep learning new things about music, your guitar.  Also, take time to learn about how to maintain your guitar so that is will always be ready to play with peak performance.  This is something I can’t stress enough as it will serve you well over the years.  Just take a little time and work on it when you can and you’ll see how learning to maintain your guitar will affect your guitar playing.

And as always, if you’re having any issues with anything that you are working on, feel free to reach out.  You can shoot me an email here, or contact me on social media.  I will do my best to help you get over that hurdle.

Thanks again for reading and until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins


GHS Fast FRET

How To Keep Your Guitar Strings Clean And Sounding Great With GHS Fast Fret

When playing guitar it is very important that you maintain your instrument. Learn how to keep your guitar strings clean with GHS Fast Fret string cleaner.  This product is great for many uses.  In the lesson below we are going to look at some of these benefits and why it’s a good idea to have it in your guitar toolbox.

Keep your strings maintained.

This a great product that should be in every guitar player’s toolbox. As it will provide a couple of things that will help your strings stay clean and make your guitar tone last longer. Which a lot of it comes from the pickups that pick up the vibration of the guitar strings.

So the shape that the guitar strings are in is a very important part of your tone. If your strings are corroded with finger sweat and have been on the guitar for a long time and are flat (from being stretched on the fretboard) it will affect your overall tone.  And not inspire you to want to play.

GHS Fast Fret

GHS Fast Fret is a quality product that helps prevent this problem. When using fast fret you put a coating on the strings that allows them to sound brighter and allow you to play faster. This also allows for less hand fatigue as you won’t need to have to work so hard to get a good tone out of your strings.

Easy application.

Fast Fret is a great product in the fact that it is not a typical spray can. Most string cleaners you need to spray on (which is fine) but Fast Fret is a little bit different. It comes with an applicator that allows you to just wipe it onto the strings (see the video of this example above) and take the cloth that it comes with and just wipe it off.

Easily portable.

With the canister that it comes in you can just toss it into your guitar bag and have it ready to be used whenever you need it. Since it is not a spray can, it won’t spill or break. Which can be very handy if you move around a lot like when you play gigs playing in a band.

Specially formulated.

Since it is a different type of product than most on the market, it will work on all stringed instruments because it is specifically formulated to give you the lubrication you need to help you play faster and sound better.  Since it is specially formulated it will help you in many ways.

    • Cleans strings
    • Lets you play faster
    • Brightens your sound
    • Prolongs fingerboard life
    • Long-lasting
  • Won’t damage your finish
  • Won’t soil or stain
  • Cleaning cloth included

Lesson conclusion.

With all this that this product does, I highly recommend you look into acquiring it for your guitar.  No matter if you play acoustic or electric.  GHS Fast Fret is a great product that will keep your playing and sound at peak performance for many years to come.

And if you are serious about your playing (which I’m sure you are or else you wouldn’t be here) you want to make sure you have in your possession all the right products to help you sound your best.  Of course, the best product for that is your hours of practice you put in.   But you already have that down right?

That’s what I figured.  Now if you don’t I’d get that going as quickly as possible.  Because there is no maintenance product or any other learning product on the market that will make up for string time put in.

And as always if you need additional help with your playing, feel free to contact me here or on social media and be sure to check out my books on Amazon. These will help in all areas of learning guitar.  From getting started on the path to guitar greatness to improving your rhythm creation and understanding the mysteries of lead guitar playing.

Best of luck in your studies and until the next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne


guitar cleaner

Tips On How To Maintain Your Guitar Fretboard

In this lesson, we are going to learn tips on how to maintain your guitar fretboard.  This is very good to know because your guitar is a precision, highly crafted instrument.  And just any other professional tool, the more you take care of it, the more it will take care of you.

Why do guitar maintenance?

Guitar maintenance is important because many things can affect the way the guitar plays.  Like for instance, the guitar neck is designed to move so that it can hold up to climate changes.  That is why all-electric and acoustic (except classical) guitars have a metal rod through the guitar neck (called a truss rod) so that this adjustment can be made from time to time.

Also, since tuners and guitar bridges are held in place by screws, these can tend to get loose as well over time due to playing the guitar.  So these might need some maintenance as well.  Not to mention sweat from your fingers can corrode the strings over time from hours of playing.  Along with beverages being accidentally spilled on the guitar body.

All this activity can cause a guitar to not play at it’s best.  That is why preventive maintenance is important from time to time throughout the life of the guitar.  If you take care of your guitar, it will take care of you and last for generations to come.

Maintain the fretboard.

When changing strings it’s a good idea to check the fretboard.  A lot of times sweat and grime get on the frets from playing the guitar and it needs to be cleaned from time to time.  Sometimes you might need to clean the fretboard with a non-scratch soft brillo sponge to make it look good.

This is a good thing to have in your guitar maintenance toolbox.  It can come in handy in other areas of your guitar playing as well.  Like maintaining your amp and pedals if you use any.

In addition to that, you might see that the fretboard is a bit dehydrated.  The guitar, after all, is wood and wood can be subject to all kinds of climate changes.   Especially if you travel with the guitar.  If you keep it in your room and that’s the only climate it deals with then your probably ok.

But if you go from a humid area like Florida and then take the guitar to somewhere like Colorado or Arizona where the climate is dry.  The fretboard could get a little dehydrated due to climate change.  That’s why it is a good idea to sometimes if need be, rehydrate your fretboard with some lemon oil.  This will refurbish the fretboard, make it look good and smell nice.  I recommend using Gerlitz fretboard honey oil Designed to protect the fretboard from moisture sweat and grime.

The guitar tuners and bridge.

Periodically the screws that hold the tuners in place (some models are held in place by pins) will tend to get loose.  This is another preventive maintenance item you can check from time to time.  And it’s best to have a set of small screwdrivers in your maintenance toolbox to keep these in check.

Also from time to time, you want to check the bridge of the guitar.  As this is held in place by screws also.  In addition to that, the string height can be adjusted at the bridge but requires a different type of tool than the screwdriver.  It requires an Allen wrench.  And a very tiny one at that.  So it is a good idea to get a set of Allen wrenches as well.  To make sure the strings are at the correct height for maximum playability.

These come in both metric and standard and it would be best to get both as they will come in handy for other projects you’ll run into.

Polish the guitar body

It is also very important to keep the finish of the guitar looking nice as well.  This can be done with the all-in-one Music Nomad Guitar Cleaner.  Specifically designed to keep your guitar looking good at all times while protecting the finish by removing stains of all kinds.

By keeping the guitar looking good you’ll always be inspired to want to pick it up and create magic with it.  Whether that be learning a song your favorite artist wrote or expressing yourself through a song that you have created yourself.  Keeping your guitar looking good will make you want to spend maximum time with learning and playing it.

Change strings regularly.

One thing that can make a world of difference in your guitar playing and one of the most important of all the maintenance duties is to keep fresh guitar strings on your guitar at all times.  Especially if you play a lot.  Changing out your strings regularly will help to prevent string breakage, dull sound and unwanted corrosion from hours of playing.

If you reside in a humid area or possibly a really hot area, this can wreak havoc on your guitar strings which affect your guitar tone and inspiration to want to play.  Some strings that are great to have in your maintenance toolbox are:

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky, Ernie Ball Super Slinky

For electric and Ernie Ball Earthwood for Acoustic.

And last but not least……..

Lubricate all moving parts

The guitar is designed with a lot of little parts all working in harmony with each other to produce great guitar magic.  So it is a good idea to once in a while keep all moving parts in good working order by keeping them lubricated as well.

Like for instance anywhere there are parts touching.  Like the guitar strings touching the nut or saddles on the bridge.  The volume and tone knobs tend to get a little dist in them.  Things like that.  So I recommend you keep this part of your guitar maintained with products like Big Bends Nut Sauce which,

  • Ends Pitch Drift
  • Ends String Breakage Problems
  • Stops Wear & Tear at Bridge and Nut
  • Increases Sustain and Harmonics
  • Improves Overall Performance of ALL Stringed Instruments

And for keeping the electronics sounding great at all times I recommend you use Electronic Contact Cleaner which,

  • Cleans protects, lubricates, and improves conductivity
  • Reduces intermittent connections, arcing, and RFI as well as wear and abrasion
  • Safe for use on all metal connectors and contacts and will not harm plastics
  • Dispensing Type: Spray
  • Volume: 5 oz

Maintenance Conclusion.

If you take some time and keep your guitar maintained in the areas mentioned above, I guarantee that your guitar will perform well for years to come.  Preventive maintenance is one of the things that will make your guitar sound good every time you play it, look good and inspire you to want to learn it and perform as it should while creating your guitar magic or replicating your favorite players.

Always be sure to keep progressing forward in your learning.  Keep up with your finger exercises and hand warm-ups as these will allow your hands and fingers to stay in shape.

Keep progressing at learning your guitar chords and discovering different things you can do with them and why as this will enhance your creativity and fretboard knowledge. If you like to play rhythm, this is a great place to start.  As all music is based on good quality rhythm creativity and understanding the inner workings of chords and timing.

If you’re into playing guitar solos, study techniques used by the masters to enhance your guitar solos.  Learn what they do and put those ideas into your playing.  That’s what they did with the people they were inspired by.

And always remember to have fun with your learning.  Whatever works for you is best.  Everyone is different and it is best to find what works for you.  If you need help with learning guitar no matter if it’s acoustic or electric, check out my book Learn Guitar Simple Method.  It’ll help guide you along the way.

If you need help with your lead guitar playing, check out my book Lead Guitar Wizardry Vol 1.  This will help get you going in the right direction.  And if you need accessories for your guitar playing, check out my eBay store Dwayne’s Guitar World.  Where you’ll find all kinds of items to help fuel your inspiration.

Thanks again for your support and until the next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne


Tuning your guitar

How To Tune Your Guitar And Play Your Very First Chords

In this lesson, you are going to learn how to tune your guitar and play your very first chords. This is very important because without being properly in-tune, anything you play on the guitar will not sound right.  It might even sound quite unpleasant.  So we can avoid this by learning how to get our guitar in-tune.

Once you get your guitar, amp and tone set, you can then progress forward with where the fun comes in. Learn to tune up your guitar and play it!  Start off with open chords first. These are great because they require only one finger to form and play them. Chords like Open E, Open A & Open D. These are the easiest to learn and will set a solid foundation for your development of playing rock guitar.

But first, we must get in-tune!

Before you start playing anything on the guitar you want to make sure that you’re in-tune.  Meaning that all six strings are at the correct pitch relative to each other.  This way when you play them they will be in harmony with each other.  And for this, we need a guitar tuner.

When it comes to guitar tuners, there are many to choose from but for getting started I recommend you get a simple clip-on tuner.  These can be found at your local store or online at a place like Amazon.com

How to tune your guitar.

Now that you have learned a little bit about the guitar, you are ready to learn about how to tune it. But before you do, I’d recommend you learn the name of the guitar strings.  This will allow you to know what to tune the guitar strings too.

Names of the Guitar Strings

The names of the strings are (from thickest to thinnest)

6-E

5-A

4-D

3-G

2-B

1-E

A good way to remember this would be to use an acronym.  Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie.  Or you could do it in reverse.  aster Bunnies Go Dancing After Easter.  Either way is fine, it doesn’t really matter as long as it helps you to remember the strings name.  After you learn and you remember your strings name, you are now ready to tune your guitar with a guitar tuner. I recommend a Snark clip-on tuner.

Learning your first chords.

Once the guitar is in tune and everything is set to go we can now proceed to actually play the guitar and start to make music with it.  And this is where it starts to get fun.

The very first chords you want to learn are your open power chords.  We start with these because they are the easiest to play.  As stated before, they only require one finger.  Your index or first finger will do.

In addition to that, it is best to learn a little bit about how one might read these chords on a sheet of music paper as well.  Like tablature.  This is simplified sheet music for guitar.  Here is an example of what they look like.

Chords in tab

Open chords:   E            A            D

your first chords

The horizontal lines represent your guitar strings.  Biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top and the numbers represent the frets in which you will put your fingers.  Except for the 0 which stands for open, which means you play the string without putting your finger on it.

In the example above for the Open E chord, you will place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the fifth string and strum only the sixth & fifth strings.  For the Open A chord same thing just a string down and same for the Open D chord.  These three chords are all formed and played on the second fret.  They just change strings that you play them on.

Strum only two strings.

When playing open power chords with one finger, be sure to only strum the two strings that the chord is on.  This will make it easy to get a good sound out of your guitar to start.  Eventually as time progresses and you learn more complex chord voicings, you’ll strum more strings and get more sound out of your guitar, but for now, just strum the two that the chords are made of.

By taking this approach to form and play simple one-finger chords, you will be able to build self-confidence fairly quickly and you will be setting up yourself for closed power chords.  Two note chords that move up and down the fretboard.

Lesson conclusion.

In this lesson, we have learned about how to tune our guitar and start off playing simple one-finger chords.  By doing this we are now setting a foundation for our other chords that are needed to learn for playing the art of rock guitar.

There are many guitar chords to learn but these are the easiest and most common to start with for playing rock guitar. Not just guitar mind you, but rock guitar.  This is a certain style of guitar playing.  Very much like Jazz or country or blues.

Rock Guitar 101

Now if you are interested in learning more about how to get started playing rock guitar I recommend you check out my book Rock Guitar 101.

Rock Guitar 101

A is a simple step-by-step method book for beginners.  It is designed to teach the fundamental principles of the art with easy to understand lessons and full-color pictures so you can learn easily and get quick results.

It goes over everything that is needed to get started.  From what type of guitar, amp, tuner, chords to learn, how to develop timing for better rhythm playing, intro to lead guitar and much much more.  It even has a rockstar training quiz at the end to make sure the student fully understands the material.

And the best thing about it is no previous musical knowledge is necessary.  This book can be learned by anyone at any age who wishes to learn the art of rock guitar playing.  All that is necessary is the desire to learn and want to get better.

Additional training

So if you have that desire, check out the book and get started enjoying the fun of playing rock guitar.  You’ll be glad you did. And if you haven’t already, I recommend you grab my FREE action-guide Beginner Guitar Secrets that’ll give you insider tips to excel your guitar playing.  And if any further help is needed, I’m only an email away.

Best of luck and until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins.


Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review

Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review

The Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review is a great option for a beginner.  Although I teach guitar and promote learning it for many reasons, I think it is also good to try out the ukulele. This is another stringed instrument that is fun to play and very similar to the acoustic guitar.

Which is the best to start with?

In my opinion, if you’d like to get started and don’t want to invest a lot of money right off the bat (not quite sure if you’re going to like it or not) I recommend starting out with the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.

This is a great started Ukulele for many reasons. It is designed around a bound Lindenwood body for exceptional sound and exceptional looks. It offers a bound fingerboard for comfortable playability with classic open-key tuning machines and natural wood color.

In addition to that, the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele comes with an instruction book to allow beginners with no prior musical training to easily get started having fun. With full-color diagrams, tuning tips, and easy songs to help build self-confidence.

Learning to play ukulele is a lot of fun and something anyone can do if they want to. You just need a good quality instrument and the desire to want to learn. If you have that desire, then all you have to do is get a good quality ukulele. The Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele is that instrument.

How about a quicker way to learn?

In addition to the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele, I highly recommend a video course that can help you to take your playing to the next level quickly and easily. Ukulele Lessons For Beginners. This video course is well designed and makes learning to play the ukulele fun.  Having fun always makes learning easier with video lessons that are simple to understand.

All you need to do is play along with three7-minute videos a week and you will see your progress skyrocket with a proven system.  And one lesson alone is worth the price of the course.  And while following along with the course you’ll learn how to develop solid practice habits.

Also with a quick and easy video course, you can learn when it is convenient for you.  Whether that be in the morning, afternoon or evening.  You are in control and can learn 24 hours a day 7 days a week and since it is online, you can take it anywhere and have class anywhere you choose.

Ukulele lessons for beginners are highly recommended if you are serious about learning and want to progress fast.  Just purchase the course and you are ready to start having fun.  It can’t get more simple than that.

Lesson Conclusion.

As you can see, the ukulele is a great alternative to the acoustic guitar.  A little bit of a different instrument but a lot of the same concepts apply.  A lot of the chord voicings are similar and the way you approach playing the instrument is similar as well.

So if you’d like to get started with an instrument that sounds great, has easy playability, looks fantastic and is at an affordable price, don’t overlook the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.  And if you get the video course I recommend up above, you’ll be having fun inspiring others to want to learn in no time.  You might even get good enough to teach others how to play.  Wouldn’t that be neat?

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will guide you in the right direction.  Learning and playing a stringed instrument is fun no matter if it’s a guitar or ukulele.  I’m often asked why I don’t teach the ukulele and it’s simply because I don’t have time.

But can still offer advice and guidance to those who do want to learn and experience the fun of playing a stringed instrument like the ukulele.

Best of luck and until next time, take care.

Sincerely,

Dwayne Jenkins.


Marshall rock guitar tone

How To Get A Good Rock Guitar Tone Out Of Your Amplifier

Know your amplifier

Knowing how to get a good rock tone out of your amplifier is essential to your guitar playing. In fact, most guitar players spend many, many hours searching for the ultimate tone.

Now for our purposes here, just getting started we don’t need to do that. All we need to do is get familiar with our amplifier. How it works and how to set it up to sound the way we want it to.

What do the amp knobs do?

The amp knobs are the heart and soul of the amplifier aside from the speaker. But the speaker is only going to project what the knobs are dialed in to so we want to make sure we get this part right. And to do that, we need to first learn and understand what they do and how they function.

Marshall MG10 faceplate

Most amplifiers are two-channel. One clean channel and one rock channel. I call it the rock channel because it is the channel that has the gain knob that is needed to dial in your rock tone. After all, you can’t be a good rock guitar player without a good rock guitar tone.

In addition to the two channels, the amp is going to have two volume knobs (one for each channel) and either a contour knob (on the smaller practice amps) or a three-knob equalizer (bass, mid & treble) to help shape the tone once you get it dialed in.

The proper configuration for a rock guitar tone.

When it comes to amp settings, it is important to know how to configure them.  This is how you get the best rock tone possible.  You combine a little bit of this knob with a little bit of that knob and before you know it, you’ve got the rock tone you’re looking for.

The clean channel is usually just the volume knob and some form of contour knob or a three-band equalizer set up.  Very much like your car or home stereo.  With these knobs, you shape your tone.  Add more bass, take out the mids, or have partial treble.  It’s really all personal preference.

Then there is the second channel the “rock” channel as I like to call it because it has the secret weapon!  The gain knob!  The gain knob is what gives you that sound.  That overdriven distortion sound.  You know, the sound that makes you want to turn it up!  yeah, that’s the sound of rock!

Dial it in and crank it up!

Well if your just getting started you don’t want to crank it up too much, but you know what I mean.  Channel two on the amp (the rock channel) has everything the clean channel has except for the gain knob and when turned clockwise it adds gain to the overall signal.  Your gain is determined by how much you turn the knob.  This is how you create your rock tone.

Learn what your knobs do by experimenting with them and find the tone that you prefer.  It really comes down to you taking the time to learn your amplifier and what it’s all about.  Then and only then will you be able to dial in your own rock guitar tone for maximum playability.

How about an alternative?

Well, an alternative to using an amplifier would be to use guitar pedals.  Preferably an overdrive or distortion pedal of some sort.  There are many to choose from but my recommendation would be to choose BOSS pedals.

BOSS pedals have been around since the ’70s and have been used by a lot of the great rock guitar players.  They are made of quality components and have shown they can stand the test of time and is used in the studio and on the road in a band on a daily basis.

I recommend you either choose the DS-1 Distortion pedal

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

(great for getting a classic rock tone like AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc)

or another great choice to produce a great one is the MT-2 Metal Zone.

Boss Metal Zone

Which works well for more heavier stuff (like Metallica, Slayer, etc)

There are many pedals to choose from and these are just two I recommend.  It is always best as with anything, to try out a few you like for yourself.  Test them out.  Plug into them and start turning knobs and see how they react and what kind of tone they produce.

Lesson Conclusion.

And like the guitar amplifier discussed earlier in this guitar lesson, you want to experiment with the knobs and find the tone that works for you.  Finding and developing a great rock guitar tone is not too difficult if you put in the time.  Where people have issues is they don’t want to put in the time.  They want someone to just tell them what to do.

That’s the last thing you want.  Music is very personal, so take the proper time to learn your tools of the trade and how they work.  Before you know it, you’ll come up with a sound that is unique to you.  And in the process, you’ll have fun doing it.

And if you’d like to learn more about getting started with learning rock guitar or know someone who is, be sure to purchase my Rock Guitar 101 book on Amazon and get started in the right direction with the fun and easy guitar lessons.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne.


Marshall amplification

Best Type Of Amplifier To Use For Playing Rock Guitar

When it comes to playing guitar, you want to make sure you know the best type of amplifier to use for playing rock guitar. Knowing which amplifier is best when playing electric guitar is vitally important because, without the right one, you won’t be able to get the tone that works with that style of music.  In this case. rock music.

What is the best type of amp to use?

Now since rock & roll’s inception back in the ’50s with Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley (and many others for that matter), guitar players have been searching for the proper guitar amplifier.  The one that has been most popular for years is the Fender amplifier.  Leo Fender saw there was a demand for a better amplifier for the new revolutionary electric guitar that was getting popular at the time.

He could see that guitar players were having trouble getting a good tone.  So he designed amps that worked great for the electric guitar. And after all these decades later, it is still an amp favorite today of many great guitar players.

But as guitar playing progressed and rock & roll music developed into more of an expressive art form, guitar players who were learning how to play guitar wanted something with more of an edge.  People like Pete Townsend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton of Cream.

Enter Mr. Jim Marshall.

Jim Marshall was a drummer, teacher, and store owner who sold drum equipment to his drum students.  Every once in a while, they would bring their guitar playing friends in with them and they asked “why he didn’t sell guitar stuff”  well, he saw the demand and started doing that as well.  By selling guitars and guitar related products he knew he could help guitar players get better also.

Then in 1962, he noticed a request for something with more of an edge.  Something that would give that overblown sound of a radio that distorts when you turn it up too loud.  So,  Jim got a group together and set out to design the first rock amplifier.

Marshall amplifier

His idea takes off

His amplifier was a hit!  More and more people liked his style and sound that he came up with that it became the go-to amp for rock guitar players.  It had that sound that they were looking for.  That sound with an edge.  Throughout the generations, guitar players all over the globe have plugged into a Marshall.  Some of them won’t use anything else.  That’s how awesome it is.

Over the next four generations, Marshall amplification dominated the rock & roll landscape.  Creating all kinds of different models for different applications.

Amp and speaker separate like in the infamous 1/2 stack

Marshall stack amplifier

Or possibly something a bit smaller for playing in the bedroom like a combo amp.

Marshall combo amplifier

I remember when I was younger playing in bands, you were taken seriously if you had a Marshall.  Anything else was considered inferior.  And when it comes to playing rock guitar today.  I think that still stands.  Of course back then you’d have to get a second job to afford such a Cadillac of guitar amplifiers, but when you actually got one and saw why so many great guitar players chose it all the hard work was well worth it.

Since Marshall amps were so popular with rock guitar players it helped to propel rock guitar playing forward.  Over the decades Marshall Amplification has defined the sound of classic rock and if you have a favorite classic rock song (anything from the late 60’s to the mid-’90s) it’s very possible it was recorded using a Marshall!

In fact, it has been said that a Gibson plugged into a Marshall is the sound of rock!  If you look at most rock guitar players n the 70’s they were most likely playing a Gibson plugged into a Marshall.

Gibson guitars

Personally, I like Ibanez.  I think Ibanez is more the modern style of rock guitar.  Of course, it wasn’t dominating the market like Gibson was back in the ’70s but either is both great guitars to plug into a Marshall.  And let’s not forget to mention Fender.  The Fender Stratocaster is an iconic guitar plugged into a Marshall.

Fender Stratocaster

Lesson Conclusion

So as you can see, Marshall amps have been played over the years by all the masters of rock guitar.  People like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Ace Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Pete Townsend, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Zack Wylde.  And that’s, just to name just a few.

So when it comes to getting a good solid rock amp. which one are you going to get?  That’s right, a Marshall!!  And as always if you have any questions about purchasing one just reach out and contact me.  I’m always here to help.

Good luck finding your rock amp.  Be sure to join my guitar club for great insider tips and training to help get your playing to the next level.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins


Ibanez S Series

Best Type Of Guitar For Playing Classic Rock Music

When it comes to playing rock music.  Especially classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Ozzy, & Metallica, you must have the right type of guitar.  A rock guitar.  A guitar that can handle both low and high volumes, gain without feeding back and still producing a great tone.

Playing rock music requires a certain type of guitar for getting its sound.  In fact, every type of music has a guitar that is best suited for it.  If your playing jazz, you want to use a hollow body type guitar as they sound great for that style.  Or if your playing country, a nice Fender telecaster works well, and if your playing blues a nice Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster works well.

Now, of course, you can use one guitar to play all styles like a Fender or Gibson but typically some work better than others for certain styles of music.   And it would be best to look around.  But here are some suggestions.

What’s best for rock music?

Well, when it comes to rock music thee are a few that work really well.  A Gibson Les Paul has bee known to work wonders in the rock genre of music for decades.  And the Fender Stratocaster has been known to produce quite a few guitar heroes in its day.

Leo Fender was considered a genius and was the one to put rock guitar on the map back in the day and players like Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton have influenced millions to pick up an ax (as it’s called in the music world) and carve out their own original musical creations.Fender Stratocaster

 

 

And of course, people like Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin fame) and Slash (of GnR fame) has inspired legions of fans to pick up a Les Paul.  Either by Gibson or Epiphone.  Whichever you can afford.  Both Work well.  In fact, if you look at rock bands of the 70″s most of them play a Les Paul.  That is how influential it was.

Gibson Les Paul

Guitarslinger Extraordinaire!

Then in the late 70’s a young guitar slinger named Eddie Van Halen came out of Pasadena California and set the guitar world on fire (literally) with his own original concoction of a Strat and Les Paul combined.  Creating a sound that is still emulated to this day.  He says it is due to years of experimentation.

 

Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat

Eddie Van Halen introduced something new to the rock world with his home-made guitar that had a tone that is out of this world.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just listen to that first record “Van Halen” you’ll understand very clearly what I’m talking about.

Modern Age Rock Guitar.

So when you are looking to play rock music with a guitar, all the above mentioned can do the job.  But to me, they don’t do nearly as good as an Ibanez RG or Ibanez S series.  These guitars (very much like the Marshall amp) were born to rock!  Designed to play high voltage rock n roll!

Ibanez RG Ibanez S Series

Plug into one and play it and within the first 5 minutes (if not sooner) you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.  These guitars are designed with high output pickups, sleek body contours and a slim fast neck for fast playing.  Not to mention a floating bridge for getting all those cool rock sounds that send shivers down your spine.

Conclusion.

When you set out to find your guitar.  You know the one that is right for you, be sure to take your time.  Look around and try out a few.  You’ll eventually find the one that fits you best.  Whether that be a Fender Strat, Gibson Les Paul (or one like Angus uses, the SG) or an Ibanez RG or S series.  You will find what you are looking for if you put enough time and effort into it.

Once you do, you’ll have acquired your first and most important tool for playing rock guitar. Now it’s off to find the perfect type of rock amp.  That’ll be in the next lesson.

Until then, good luck finding the right rock guitar for you.  And if you have any questions be sure to reach out.  That’s what I’m here for.  And be sure to grab my starter book Rock Guitar 101 on Amazon and join my Guitar Club for exclusive training tips sent right to your email.

Sincerely, Dwayne.


BOSS DS1 Distortion Pedal

Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Product Review

The Boss DS1 distortion pedal

One of the most popular guitar pedals on the market today.  And has been used on countless classic rock song recordings.  Not to mention in recordings of other styles of music.  The reason why is for its diversity in application.

A true icon in the world of guitar effects. It was first introduced in 1978, and as BOSS’s first distortion pedal it defined a whole new sound.  It can deliver a multitude of applications.  From a bone-crushing hard-edged attack to a warm smooth milky tone with sustain. The ds1 pedal can do it all.

Ease of use.

With simplicity in design and three-knob configuration allows the guitar player to easily create their own original sound.  The way they envision it to be. This ease of use, the Boss DS1 distortion pedal can easily be used for creating a nice solid rhythm tone or used as a boost for guitar solos.  The Boss DS1 distortion pedal is constructed of sturdy metal and will provide enjoyment that will last a lifetime.

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

All-time Best Selling guitar pedal.

Boss DS-1 distortion pedal is one of the top-selling compact guitar effects ever.  Its original design has not changed.  Although it has been imitated by other pedals that look similar, it continues to top the charts in inspiring musicians everywhere to create great music.

Classic DS-1 tone is behind the sound of numerous rock legend recordings and is ready to fuel your own artistic style to make you a rock legend.  You just have to get one, plug it in, dial in your tone and let your fingers fly.

A new innovation in sound.

Most distortion pedals of the past produced a harsh, buzzy tone that was muddy at high gain settings. Then engineers at Boss changed all that by developing a unique distortion circuit for the DS-1 that produces a tight, hard-edged gain with rich harmonics while retaining the unique characteristics of different guitars and playing techniques.

Popular across the board.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, and the DS-1’s tone had a major influence on the rock genre of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk. As these styles began to flourish the popularity of the DS1 grew as well.   In time other distortion pedals have hit the market to provide a variety of choices.

DSI distortion pedal alternatives.

MXR  M75 Super Badass Distortion  

 MXR distortion pedsl

This highly responsive Distortion pedal covers a full spectrum, from early ’70s low gain overdrive to modern “scooped” metal distortion and every shade of dirt in between.

Electro Harmonix Nano Big Muff Distortion

Big Muff distortion

The Nano Big Muff Pi works and sounds identical in every way to our classic NYC Big Muff Pi.  Crushing distortion, singing sustain, and true bypass.  As you can see, very similar to the DS1.  A three-knob sound creation option as well as working with a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter.

Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Review Conclusion.

There are many more options when it comes to distortion pedals.  These are just a couple.  I recommend you check them out as well as others at your local music store.  Look at reviews online and find the one that is right for you.  What’s great about guitar pedals is that the variety is so, that you will find one that fits your personality and style of playing.  If you look hard enough.

You can’t go wrong with the Boss DS1 distortion pedal.  It has stood the test of time for a reason.  I personally use one and have for over 20 years.  It has been consistent, reliable and held up over many gigs, recording sessions and guitar lessons.

Thanks for reading my review and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.  If you haven’t already, be sure to join my guitar club for insider tips to improve your guitar playing.

Best of luck in finding your sound with a distortion pedal.

Sincerely, Dwayne.