7 Tips On How To Make Yourself Play Guitar Everyday

Learning guitar is not always easy & can sometimes be harder than we thought.  So here are 7 tips on how to make yourself play guitar everyday.

1.) Set a Goal for what it is you want to accomplish with the guitar.

Most people don’t stick with it because they think it’s easier than it is and when they come across a hurdle they can’t get over they quit.  But if they had a crystal clear goal of WHY they’re doing it, they’d have reason to press on.  So make sure you follow this first step.  It can make all the difference.

2.) Write it down & put it in places you can see it.

Having it in your head is not enough.  You must write it down & look at it everyday to keep your mind primed on why your doing it.  If you don’t have a strong enough WHY, you won’t stick with it in the long run, especially when times get tough.

3.) Devise an action-plan to get you there.

Knowing what to practice on a daily basis has a huge impact on your ability to stay focused & motivated.  If your just learning stuff off of youtube you’ll get there.  Eventually!!  But you want to get there faster, you’ve got to know how to make yourself play guitar everyday.

4.) Put that plan into daily action at once.

Once you have your plan figured out you can then begin to implement it.  You can get focused on what’s needed to learn.  Start with just a few things.  Don’t take on too much you’ll get overwhelmed, just keep it simple.

5.) Design a productive practice space.

This can make a world of difference in your daily progression as well. If you have  solid place to practice & you can stay focused for say 20-30 minutes a day, you’ll do much better than if you try to practice in a place that has distractions.  Leave that for later when you get better.  For now keep it short & laser beam focused.

6.) Keep it fun.

Practicing guitar should not be a CHORE!! Like any other skill that we choose to develop we should want to do it.  we should want to get better because it’s fun.  But it’s up to us to make it that way.  When were doing exercises & warm ups, they can be kind of boring, but they’re so essential to your learning that you don’t want to overlook them.

7.) Stay Consistent.

This is by far the most important!  without it you will fail.  You must be consistent in any thing you do in order to get better.  Learning guitar is no different.  This where people get off track.  You know why?….  Because they didn’t do what is stated above.  They just winged it without any thought for clear & concise direction.

And eventually drop off or just play once in awhile but don’t get better..  You want to get better??  Get focused & stick with it until you do. When will you know??  Oh you’ll know,…. believe me, you put in the “string time” you’ll know.

And what’s really cool, is that through it all you will build confidence & self esteem.


Follow these 7 steps & I guarantee you can’t go wrong when it comes to getting better.  And if you do it diligently enough, you’ll amaze yourself.  If you have any questions just let me know.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more tips & tricks to improve your playing.

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How To Play Natural Chords For Beginners

Learning to play natural chords for a beginner is one of the hardest things to accomplish when first starting out. You have to put your hands in weird positions & they tend to cramp in the process. Not a very fun experience in the beginning.

But I’m here to tell you, It gets better as time goes on.

The issue is your using muscles in your hands & fingers & bring to get them to do things they’ve never done before. So naturally they are going to ache during the process. one thing that can really help this is finger exercises.

It’s all part of the learning curve so as guitar players we have to go through it. But it doesn’t have to be a chore.

Here are some tips to help you learn your first natural chords.

Use these as a starting point for your natural chord vocabulary and keep building. As time goes on, you’ll see what I mean as you continue your development

There are literally thousands of chords you can play on the guitar.

Major, minor, diminished, augmented, harmonic,etc, etc, etc.

You don’t need to learn them all, just the most common ones.  And once you do, you’ll have set yourself up with a foundation for playing rhythm & creating all kinds of cool sounds with the guitar.

Never underestimate the power of playing rhythm.  It’s the foundation of all songs & a lot of them use these natural chords.  So take the time & discipline to learn how to play natural chords for beginners & you’ll be set.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me, or connect with me on Facebook.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more “insider secrets” to improve your guitar playing.


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How To Create Your Weekly Guitar Workout

One of the things that keeps beginners from progressing in a timely manner is that they don’t have a guitar workout.  With the proper workout, you can progress faster & get to your destination much quicker.

But where do we start?  How do we get it all figured out?  Is it really necessary??

Yes it is!!  It can really make a world of difference.  Think about someone who’s trying to get in shape.  They have certain workout they do to get there.  As apposed to just exercising once in awhile.

Same goes with you and your learning.  You want to get on track, stay on track & keep going until you reach the finish line.  Which is your goal you set for yourself in the very beginning of your journey.

Now if by chance you haven’t done that, or need to review it (which is more than ok) you can grab my free action-plan on Goal Setting for your guitar playing.

Now.  How do we create our workout?  Well we need to decide a couple things.

1.) What’s going to be addressed in the workout?

2.) How long is it going to be

Well when it comes to guitar, their are quite a lot of things you can learn but you want to start with the fundamentals.  I know they are not always the most exciting (and can be boring sometimes) but they are essential to your learning & I recommend you DO NOT OVERLOOK THEM!!!

So lets say we start on 7 things to cover during the week.

Day 1.) Getting in tune & finger exercises.

Knowing how to get your guitar in tune & knowing how to keep it that way is vitally important to your success as a guitarist. Finger exercises & hand warm ups are vitally important as well.  So be sure to take some time to focus on these.

Day 2.) Forming & moving chords,

Knowing how to form & move chords is vitally important also.  Be sure to take some time to learn your different forms & shapes.  Majors, minors, etc.  This is the foundation of playing rhythm.

Day 3.) Picking & strumming 

After learning how to form chords, you want to work on developing your picking hand.  This will make a world of difference in your rhythm playing.  So be sure to take time to practice this.  As it will pay huge  dividends in the end.

Day 4.) Scales & soloing

If you like the lead guitar stuff.  This is what you want to study.  Scales, guitar licks & improvising.  This is a bit more advanced & requires much discipline.  You can do it.  You just have to get focused & dedicated.

Day 5.) Reading music

Being able to read sheet music for guitar can really be a huge asset to you as a guitar player.  You can just watch youtube videos which is ok, but if you learn to read the written word (at least the basics) you’ll discover things that you won’t find watching videos.  So be sure to spend some time on this one.

 Day 6.) Learning Songs

To me this is where the fun comes in.  After you’ve done all your finger exercises, formed & moved chords etc, etc, etc, you can now start learning your favorite songs by your favorite artists( like say Metallica) that inspired you to play in the first place.

Day 7.)  Crating your own sound

This is what it’s all about in the long run.  To be able to create your own sound, possibly music & just bring you & your personalty out through the instrument.  That’s what all the greats have done.  You will want to eventually do this too.  So study this as well.

Now that we know what to work on, how long is our workout going to be each day?  Well let’s say we work on each thing for just 20 minutes a day.  That would come out to 140 minutes.  Which is roughly about a two hour workout. If breaks are taken, maybe a bit longer.

Now that’s a long workout session for just starting out.  I’d wait till your fingers get conditioned (finger exercises) to try that long of a session.

But if you broke it down into a weekly schedule.  Then you could practice for 20 minutes a day & cover one topic each day.  That way all topics are covered & not too much practice is required.  What is required will be FOCUS!!

Lesson Conclusion:

The more focused you are on what your trying to accomplish & where your trying to get too is what’s going to get you through the learning curve (everything you learn, no matter what it is, has a learning curve) when things get tough & hurdles need a bit more work to get over.

Now we know how to create a weekly workout that’s not going to leave us exhausted practicing 10 hours a day.  If you want to, that’s fine.  But if your just starting out, you want to take it easy.  Don’t rush your hand & fingers development.  It will only disable you in the long run.

Do all this stated above & I guarantee you will see some leaps & bounds in your improvement.  But you must get focused, set your goals & keep at it until they are reached.  You can do it, you just have to believe in yourself.

If there is more I can do, be sure to email me or connect with me on Facebook.

Be sure to join my guitar club to be updated on “insider secrets” to improve your playing.

Dwayne Jenkins


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One of the most important things to to master when learning guitar, is knowing all your notes on the fretboard.  By learning  your notes on each string you step into a much better world of understanding.  Your able to understand how chords & scales are formed.  How to alter chords & scales & most importantly, how to communicate your musical ideas.

Here are 7 reasons why you should know your notes on the fretboard.

1.)  Understand what your playing. This goes back to what I mentioned above.  The better understanding you have of the guitar, the more you can do with it.

2.)  Simplifies reading sheet music.  By knowing your notes on the fretboard, you’ll be better at understanding how sheet music for guitar (tablature) is written.  In doing so, you’ll discover a whole new world of how things on the guitar work.

3.)  Moving chords to other positions.  By knowing your notes & understanding chord forms & scale patterns, you’ll be able to find where you might be able to play something easier in a different position.  This is why you see people play things differently.  Because by knowing your notes on the fretboard, you can do that.

4.)  Improve improvisation.  Being able to fully express yourself on the guitar is what its all about & improvising can be made much easier by knowing the notes on your fretboard.  It gives you a road map on where to go.

5.)  Open up creative possibilities.  This is important if you want to write your own songs.  Now you can just fumble around until something sounds good, or you can do it the professional way & learn your notes.  The latter will serve you much better.

6.)  Apply concepts from knowing theory.  Of course you need to learn some music theory first, but once you did (let me know if I can help in this are) you’d be able to come up with some interesting concepts by knowing your notes on the guitar fretboard.

7.)  Improve communication with other musicians.  This is vitally important if you want to play in any type of band or ensemble.  Communicating your ideas to others is not always easy.  But taking time to learn your notes & real understand the fretboard, will allow you to do this task much easier.

So there you have it.  7 reasons to know your notes on the guitar fretboard.  Let’s look at the diagram below to get you started.  But first we must know our musical alphabet.

A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#  As you can see there is no H I J etc.  Just A-G  wth sharps (#) in between except for two.  Can you see which ones they are??

Once that’s done, take a look at the fretboard diagram & see how this alphabet works on every string.

Make sure to memorize this.  It will really help you out in the long run.  If more help is needed be sure to grab my free action-guide on how to memorize the fretboard quickly.  

And as always, If you have any questions, be sue to let me know and I’ll be sure to guide you in the right direction.

Be sure to join my guitar club to keep informed on “secrets” to help improve your playing.


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When it comes to learning guitar, one of the most important things to work on is chords. Chords are essential to playing guitar and that’s why it’s best to start with open & closed power chords.

These chords can really help get you started with the least amount of discomfort.  When it comes to chords, there are literally thousands of them that can be played on guitar.

Crazy huh?  I know.  Who would of thought?  Anyway,  it’s not necessary to learn them all.  Just a few will get you headed in the right direction.  That is why we look to open & closed power chords.

These are chords that stay the same shape once you learn to form them.  The open power chords all stay at the second fret while the closed power chords allow you to move up & down the fretboard.

Lesson Goals:

♦  Play the chords clearly and visualize the chord patterns

♦ Learn the proper fingering for the E5, A5 & B5 chord

The first chord we will work on is the Em chord. Look at the diagram below.

One Finger Chord (first finger)

This is the easiest chord to play because it is played with one finger.  The guitar neck is facing upward and the strings are from left to right (6-1) Biggest string to the far left, smallest string to the right.  If you have a problem understanding this, view my post on how to read chord charts.

In this diagram you place your first finger on the 5th string second fret and strum the top two strings.  This is called a open E chord. The reason for this is because when you play a string without putting a finger on it, it’s called “open”   In this example, the 6th string (E) is not being fretted therefore, is open so the chord is called a “open E chord”

Now if you place your finger one string down on the 4th string (same fret) and strum the 5th and 4th string you will now be playing a open A chord.  Same reason as above.  The 5th string (A) is being played open and the fourth string is being fretted at the 2nd fret.

As you can see the chord is exactly the same as above, just one string down.  Instead of playing the 6th and 5th string you are now playing the 5th and 4th string.  In the picture above, you can also read the chord facing sideways.

This is a very good way to start building your chord vocabulary because they are played with 1 finger and you just strum 2 strings.  Learn to read how this is written & thoroughly understand it, and you will reap some great rewards.

These kinds of chords are very popular in rock music. These types of chords are called Open Chords because one of the strings being played is open. Meaning that you do not put your finger on it as the diagrams to the left note.

Also notice the diagram shows a 0 for the string being played open.  The x means the string is not to be played.  Now lets move on to the two note chord.  The Power Chord! After you learn how to read and play easy 1 note chords you can move on to easy 2 note chords.

Eventually you will move on to 3 and 4 note chords but that’ll be for later.  For right now lets stick with 2 note chords.  The example below shows a diagram of a two note chord.  Two fingers on 2 strings with a fret in between.

Two Finger Chord (first & third finger)

As you can see you are now playing 2 strings.  In the picture above it shows how the chord is formed.  It’s just up a fret so it’s actually playing a C chord.  But it’s there for reference.  One on the 5th string 2nd fret and one on the 4th string 4th fret.  This chord is usually played with the 1st and 3rd fingers, but you can also use the 1st and 4th if it’s easier for you.

This chord is a bit harder to form than the open chord because it requires two fingers instead of just one, but that’s the whole point.  Your progressing from using one finger to using two.  Be sure to spread out your fingers & watch for spacing.

What’s great about this chord shape is that it always stays the same.  This is called a 2 note Power Chord.  What’s a Power Chord you ask?  It is a simple 2 note chord that has a lot of power behind it when played properly.  Especially when you play with hi gain or distortion.

This chord type is very popular and once you learn it you can play many, many rock songs.  So I’d recommend learning how to play these types of chords to start.  Then you can progress to playing natural chords.  These are popular as well but a bit harder to form & move.


Like stated before, these are great chords for starting out with and many songs can be played from learning them. If you feel you are having difficulties with them, email me and I will do my best to help you further.

Remember, it takes time and effort to learn guitar and you must be patient. Take your time and don’t get frustrated.  Playing music is a lot of fun once you get it down and like anything else their is a learning curve.  Go through the learning curve and you will come out a victor.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more awesome tips to improve your guitar playing.

Until next lesson, take care.




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What are guitar tabs?

Guitar tabs are the universal way that guitar players read sheet music.  It is a simplified version of standard notation (regular sheet music your normally used to looking at in music books) and resembles a framework that is specific to the guitar.

Is learning to read guitar tabs important?

Yes!  The reason why, is because it allows you to discover musical passages that you otherwise might not of learned.  Watching someone play guitar on video is fine, but when your looking at the written page, your brain processes this information quite different.  If you can learn how to read tabs, they are not only going to open your eyes to something more, but also allow you to be able to remember what you are playing.

How to understand guitar tabs.



As you can see from the pictures above.  Guitar tabs are the same thing as regular notes.  They’re just written differently.  Look at the chart above and see clearly at the top you have regular notes, and on the bottom you have numbers. In the guitar picture you can clearly see that the numbers represent the frets & strings.

These numbers, represent the notes, just presented in a different way to make it easier to read.  The only thing that’s confusing about tabs, is that your biggest string is on the bottom, but on the top of your guitar fret board.  So when reading tabs you must remember this.  The reason for this is because in sheet music, the lowest note is always on the bottom.

The lines above are on what’s called a musical staff that are made up of five lines.  The tab below represents the 6 strings of the guitar, and the numbers represent where to put your fingers on the fret board.  So basically, we’ve converted hard to understand notes, into easy to understand numbers.

This is great fro kids (because they understand numbers) and great for adults, because they do too.  Also If you notice. the numbers are in the same location as the notes above, meaning they are the same.  Just written differently.

What do the number’s mean?

The numbers mean that’s, where your going to place your fingers on the guitar fret board to play the written music.  In this example above, the 2 represents the 2nd fret, the 3 represents the 3rd fret and the 0 represents no fret (open)  This means you pick the string without putting a finger down on the fret board.


In this example, there is no staff line above, just the guitar strings and the numbers.  This makes it even easier to read, and how it’s now commonly written.  As you can see, this is a musical passage that uses all 6 strings and 1-4 frets.  The vertical lines in between, represent the measures, or break up of the beats of music.

You know, 1 2 3 4.  In some books you’ll see the count underneath, but not always.  In this example you have 8 beats per measure (1-8) 0r 4 (1&2&3&4&) depending on how you count it.

So in remembering how to read guitar tabs, I recommend these 5 easy steps.

Step #1.  Guitar tabs are written like standard notation (just simplified)

Step #2.  They don’t give every bit of information (but enough to get you started)

Step#3.  The numbers represent what frets to play on the guitar fret board.

Step#4.  0 = Open (pick the string without putting a finger on the guitar fret board)

Step#5.  Horizontal lines represent the 6 strings of the guitar (biggest on the bottom, thinnest on the top)

So there you have it.  5 easy steps to learning how to read guitar tabs.  Follow these steps and you can’t go wrong.   If you want to learn standard notation, great it’ll just make you better.  But start off with tabs first.  You’ll get to playing faster with much less frustration.  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Be sure to join my guitar club for more awesome tips to help your playing.


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unknown One of the most important things in learning an instrument is knowing how to develop good practice habits.  This is especially true for playing guitar.  Playing guitar is one of the easiest to get started with, but one of the hardest to master.  The reason for this, is because of the wide variety of approach you can take to playing the instrument.  By developing god practice habits, you’ll be able to progress your learning and ultimately progress your fun.

Practice Time

It is always best to start out in very small increments of time.  This will allow your muscles to develop.  Muscles in the hands, wrists and fingers need to be developed and this can only be done through time.  With proper practice habits this can be accomplished which will allow you to progress more rapidly.

Start with 10 to 15 minutes, then proceed to 30 minutes, 45 minutes and so on and son.  This will accomplish two things.  Develop your muscles consistently, and develop retaining the information you are learning on a day to day basis.

One of the most common mistakes that people make with learning guitar is that they practice for a hour or two for one day and then don’t practice for two or three days.  Don’t make this mistake!

Practice Space

Have a specific space to practice in.  This could be a extra bedroom, basement, or a garage.  It doesn’t really matter where it is as long as it’s a place that makes you want to pick up your guitar and learn how to play it.  A place where you can play what you have already learned.

Having a place to practice is helpful, because when you sit down to learn, your mind gets focused and you concentrate better.  With the proper environment, you will see that you progress much faster and more easily.

Practice Daily 

You’ll progress faster if you practice a little everyday and retain the information.  You’ll notice your progress, start having fun, and will feel motivated to keep going.  Practice what you’ve learned, and work on learning new things.

Another common mistake is for students to only practice what they are already good at.  This is fun and all but progress in learning is stopped.  Don’t make this mistake either!  It’s best to review what your good at, continue to work on things that your not so you can get better, and work on putting it all together in application.

Know Your Notes and Chords 

Get to know how all the notes work to form chords and scales.  How songs are constructed.  Why putting together some things work, and putting together some things don’t. This is a bit more advanced if your just starting out, but be sure to retain your basic fundamentals at all times.  What string are you playing on?  What chord are you playing?  ?Major or minor  What type of chord is it? What notes are in the chord?

Practice Routine

Practicing guitar should be much like working out in exercise.  You want to plan out what your going to work on and work on each thing for a specific amount of time.  Example:  Basic chords (5 minutes) Finger exercises (5 minutes) Songs you already know (10-15 minutes) Knowing your notes (5-10 minutes) new songs your currently learning (10-15 minutes) and any scales you might know if your at that level.

Practicing just these few things that have been mentioned above will allow you to put in plenty of time to continue getting better on a daily basis.  If you have something specific that you want to accomplish (a specific song perhaps) then work on that for the duration of time.  The main point here is that you practice consistently.  Do this and you will see good results in your playing.

Practice Habits Conclusion

If you get focused, set goals and practice a little bit daily, you will see clearly and quickly why this is important and continue to do so.  Work on getting clear tone when forming chords. playing scales, and  developing your signature sound.  Follow these examples and progress forward.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will try to guide you in the right direction.

Until our next lesson, develop good “practice habits” and see your fun of playing progress.


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 images-3 When it comes to buying your next guitar be sure to learn what to look for.  So that you can make a more informed decision, and the buying experience a lot more pleasant.

Finding the right guitar for you can be a very fun or frustrating journey.  Depending on if you know what to look for.  Guitars come in all different sizes, styles, colors and shapes.  Especially electric guitars.

Acoustics maybe not so much, but their is still a variety to choose from.  So here are 5 things to look for when buying a guitar new or used.

Tip #1)  Acoustic or Electric. 

Depending on the type of music you plan on playing is going to determine this.  Although many styles of music incorporate both, it is best to decide which one you want to play.  Even though they are very similar, they are also quite different.  Nylon stringed acoustics (classical) are easier to push down on the strings, but have a much wider fret board for forming chords.  Regular acoustics (type you commonly see) have a thinner fret board, but have steel strings which are harder to hold down when playing chords.

Electrics have a easier fret board to work with, but can be heavier and not quite suited for playing certain styles of music.  Although if they are, then you want to find one that fits your personality.  That’s what I love about guitar over other instruments, they are all different and you can find one that’s unique to you and your playing style.

Tip#2)  Strings are not too high off the fret board

Since guitars are all made a bit different, this can make a difference.  Make sure when you look at the guitar, the strings are not too high, or too low from the fret board.  If they are too high, they will be harder to push down on when forming chords and will cause muscle strain.  If they are too low, they will cause fret buzz.  This will make the guitar sound off and not pleasant to the ear.  Both is very important to look into.

Tip#3)  Fretboard buzz

This is very important to look for, because it can’t be seen with the naked eye.  You have to play the guitar if you expect to find it. Especially if your buying your guitar used.  Now you don’t have to know chords or anything if it’s your first guitar and your just starting out, you just have to pluck each string while pressing down one by one on each fret along the entire fret board. By doing this every fret should have a nice clean tone.  If not, this could be fret buzz.  You’ll know it when you hear it, because it won’t sound right. This can sometimes be fixed by adjusting the steel rod in the guitar neck.  I’d highly recommend leaving that to a guitar repair professional.

Tip#4)  Size and weight

Since all guitars are different, they are all different sizes and weights.  You want to find one that fits comfortable when you pick it up. You don’t want it to be too heavy (especially starting out) or you’ll never want to pick it up and play it.  You also don’t want it to be too small because that might not inspire you to play it either.  You want it to be just right.  (like Goldilocks and the 3 bears)  The guitar should feel right when you hold it.  The right size, the right weight.

Tip#5)  Color and design

This is important because this is what’s going to make you want to play it.  If you don’t like the way the guitar looks, or the way you look holding it, your not going to want to learn how to play it.  On the other hand, if you like the way it looks, color, size, shape, etc.  You will be inspired to pick it up and go through the process of learning how to play it.


The guitar is a very personal instrument and much thought should go into purchasing the right one for you.  Use the 5 tips above to help in making your decision.  Whether it’s an acoustic, electric or both.  The guitar can be a great addition into your life.  If you shop online,  you can do it in the comfort of your home, and if you have any problems with your purchase, they will gladly take it back and find you what you want.

So if your in the market, be sure to take into consideration 5 things to look for when buying a guitar new or used. If there is anything I can do to help, be sure to let me know.  Best of luck to you and your purchase.

Until our next lesson, take care.



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unknownOne of the most important things in your over all tone is going to be your amplifier.  The amplifier is the backdrop of your sound.  You pluck the strings, they vibrate through the guitar it goes through the cord, through effects (if you use them) and into the amp.  It goes through the amp and comes out the speaker.  The sound you hear in the end result is you.  You as a guitar player.


Depending on what kind of music you prefer, what amp to get is crucial.  If you like blues like  Stevie Ray Vaughn I’d go with Fender.  If you like the sound of Metallica go with Marshall.  If you like amps with all kinds of knobs and effects built in, go with Vox, Roland or Line6.


All the models mentioned above are great in their own way.  It’s like a car versus a truck.  Which one is better?  Depends on what your use of the vehicle is.  Same with amplifiers.  Each one is different and just like guitars and effects, I’d try out different ones.


Now me, although I have different amps I play through, I prefer Marshall Amplification.  Why?  Well I’ll tell you why.  First of all, almost all the guitar players that have influenced me play through Marshall or have at one time.  Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Slash, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Van Halen, AC/DC, Deep Purple, etc,etc,etc.  Too many to list here but you get the point.


I figure, how can so many great guitar players be wrong?  You see, these guys can choose any amp they want and they choose Marshall.  Why?  Because Marshall has a nice bright tone that cuts through just like a amp should.  Now if your looking for a darker tone then maybe one of the other amps out there will be best suited for you. Mesa Boogie.  But I prefer the bright sound of Marshall.


Plus when I play songs by bands mentioned above, I get their tone because that’s what they use.  I also like Marshall because it’s simple.  Although through changes in the times, they are getting more versitile with effects built in.  I think they still sound great.


I personally don’t like too many knobs.  Too much option.  Much like the effects processors (see my post on effects) it takes too much time to dial in a nice tone.  I like simplicity.  Plug in, turn up to 10 and rock out!   Effective and much more concentration on playing and not so much time spent on tone dialing.  But that’s just me.


Tone dialing and adding effects on amps is fine and much more will be posted later on getting good tone out of your amp(which ever one you decide to use) I recommend trying a few out and seeing which one fits your personality and music preference.


Research what amps are used by your favorite players as I’ve done.  Use what they use.  If your just starting out, get something small and portable that’s not too expensive.  That way you can carry it if needed and if you decide to change later you don’t have too much invested.


And as always, practice and remember to have fun.  Go shopping.  Plug into a amp and check it out..  Dial in a tone & see how it sounds.  You don’t have to play too loud unless you choose to.  If so, rock out!


Or maybe,  just be cool mellow and low key with not too much attention.  Which ever fits your personality and style of playing is best.  If you ask me, choose Marshall.  Take care and e-mail me or contact me on Facebook if you have any questions. I will do my best to help.

Until our next lesson, take care.  Dwayne Jenkins

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images-3Tuning your guitar is one of the most important things to know when learning to play.  Although this is good for ear training, it is a bit of a lost art.  Today you have all kinds of gadgets that help in this area.  Electronic tuners, amps with tuners built in, guitars with a switch that automatically turns the guitar into a specific tuning.

All this modern technology is fine, but it is still good to know how to tune the guitar to itself.  The thing that is most important to listen for is the vibration of the strings.  Know that when you turn the tuning key it is either going to make the string vibrate faster or slower.  In this case we want to eliminate the vibration, so that the two strings sound the same.  So lets get started.

1.)  First, pick the 6th string (If your not too sure which one, it’s the biggest one) listen for it’s vibration.  Once it sounds close to the pitch of E (which will take some time to get your ear trained, but that’s ok for now) put your finger on the 5th fret and pick the 6th and open 5th string (A) together. If they vibrate, turn the tuning key of the A string until it stops vibrating.  As mentioned above, it will either vibrate faster or slower depending on which way you turn it.

2.)  Once this is done repeat the process with the 5th and 4th string at the 5th fret.  Finger on 5th fret of 5th string and play 4th string open.  Eliminate vibration and go to the 5th fret of the 4th string and play the 3rd string open and check  the vibration.

3.)  When you get to the 3rd string, move down to the 4th fret and folloow the same process.  Finger on 4th fret of the 3rd string, 2nd string open and check the vibration.  On the 2nd string, move back to the 5th fret and pick the 2nd string with the 1st string open.  Check for vibration.

4.)  Following this simple procedure should allow you to be in tune to yourself.  Being in tune with someone else or in tune to a recording or the radio might require a electronic tuner.  If using a tuner, make sure the tuner reads what the strings names are.  If your not sure what the names of the strings are, be sure to read my article on tuners.

5.)  Having good ears is what music is all about and can take years to develop this skill, but if you practice and have fun working at it you will see this happen.  Once you get tuning down it will all start to make sense.  What I’ve covered here is just basic getting the instrument in tune.  What’s neat about the guitar is that it can be played in many different tuning for different types of sounds and playing ability.

Conclusion:  If you here some rock music that sounds kind of strange or really deep in tone, it’s a good chance they are using what’s called alternate tuning.  But I’ll explain that later in another post.  For now get your guitar, get it in tune and start having fun.  If you have any questions contact me and I will help you out.

Until our next lesson, take care.


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