TakeLessons offers great tips, tutorials and resources for learning how to play the guitar. Learn more here!

Spotlight on Daisy Rock Guitars

Close your eyes and imagine an amazing guitarist. They effortlessly tear through complex riffs with ease and

feeling, a true virtuoso of the instrument.

Beginner Bass: Get to Know the Bass

You might think that bass guitar is just like a guitar with fewer strings. Some people even think that the bass is an easier instrument to play because of this. However, the bass is just as complex as guitar and also requires a different skill set. In this beginner bass video, TakeLessons Teacher Chris S. shares what beginning players need to know about the bass to get off to a great start!

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Video: How to Buy a Guitar

The first thing any beginning guitarist needs is a guitar of his or her own to practice on. If you’re just starting out, you might not know how to buy a guitar. TakeLessons student counselor and guitarist Nick F. shows you what to look for in your first guitar so you can get the most out of this very important investment!

Do any guitarists out there have other tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

You might also like…
-10 Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners
-Video: Guide to the Acoustic Guitar
-Guide to Buying Guitar Accessories

Video: Ascending the G Major Scale in Thirds

Looking for a new guitar exercise to warm up your fingers? Follow along with TakeLessons teacher Jason M. as he breaks down an exercise that takes you up the G Major scale in intervals:

 

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-Exploring Blues Techniques and Solos
-Intermediate Guitar Video: G Major Scale Exercises
-Introduction to the Guitar Fretboard

Exploring Blues Techniques and Solos

No music is more emotional and influential than the blues. It has influenced every popular music genre from jazz to rock. As a guitarist, you can learn how to play blues guitar easily, but it can take you a lifetime to master its emotional depth. So what exactly is the blues? Who should you listen to and what can you practice that can help you learn how to play the blues? Let’s take a short trip deep into the North Mississippi Delta where legend has it, the blues were born! Read more

Intermediate Guitar Video: G Major Scale Exercises

Guitarists, are you ready to do some serious work on your fingering and picking? Sharpen up your guitar skills with these G Major Scale exercises from TakeLessons Guitar teacher Jason M!

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You might also like…
-Video: How to Play Notes on the A and E Strings
-Guitar Exercise: Strengthening the Ring Finger & Pinky
-Practice Tips for Guitar: Finger Exercises

Introduction to Phrasing on the Guitar

Changing the world through music is not something everyone can do. Many play to impress others or just simply for the love of music. A lot of fantastic guitarists have incredible speed and creativity, but whenever they get the chance to play, they seize the moment to show off every riff in the book at the speed of light, without putting any feeling or meaning into it. Unlike with singing and playing wind instruments, this mistake is a lot easier to make. This is because there are so many ways to say one thing through a guitar, and without phrasing it means nothing. What says more: a lightning-fast, 9-minute solo, or a couple of phrases that strike the soul? The answer is obvious. Guitar phrasing may take time to master, but the results are completely worth it. Read more

Introduction to String Bending Techniques

String bending is a finger vibrato produced by pressing one or two strings and then tightly and quickly twisting your wrist. The sound is the note, sustained. This is often used by classical guitarists.

Electric and acoustic guitarists produce another sound by holding the fretted string and wiggling it tightly, which takes the sound to another level. If you could visualize sound (and you can), the note would look like a brain wave pattern. Envision the vibrato as wavy lines, and that’s string bending! The technique is also referred to as “radial pitch shifting.”

String bending was first used in blues music, and quickly became the difference between playing guitar and playing lead guitar. Great string benders include B.B. King, Eric Clapton, David Gilmore, and T-Bone Walker. Read more

Exercises for Practicing Guitar Chords

There are several ways to master the technique of changing chords, so let’s look at a couple of exercises using basic guitar chords. The basic guitar chords are C, D, Dm, E, Em, F, G, A, and Am. Some instructors add C7, D7, E7, G7, A7 and B7. The F chord is always the most difficult for the beginning guitar player because you hold two strings down with one finger.

Ideally, you want your basic guitar chords to sound clean and crisp – no muffled strings. Keep practicing the individual chords until you feel confident you’ve got them down. Read more

Techniques for Playing Lead Guitar

The world of lead guitar is an exciting place. Whether you’re making the switch or just starting out, there are many differences between playing lead and playing rhythm. Both require dedication and hard work, but because lead guitar covers a lot of the technical area, it demands strong concentration. Naturally, you’re going to do a lot more picking in your lead guitar lifetime. One other huge difference is the type of guitar you’ll be using. Whereas an acoustic guitar would be suitable for rhythmic strumming, an ideal guitar for lead would be an electric guitar. However, even if you have the world’s smoothest guitar at hand, it means nothing without the proper knowledge to play it! There are countless lead guitar techniques, but these are the main ones that you’ll be using in your novice lead years: Read more

Tips for Playing the Guitar and Singing at the Same Time

Guitar players who sing tend to be either singers who want an accompaniment or guitarists who would like to sing with their music. It doesn’t matter which one you are; it is tricky for all of us to learn how to coordinate our playing and singing. There are several ways to master how to sing and play guitar, and as you’ve already discovered, practice is the key to learning this technique.

First, strengthen your hands and your voice. Guitarists have flat and tough fingertips from playing hours per day, and you can’t play well if you’re uncomfortable. You have to get past the initial discomfort (and sometimes, even blisters).

To strengthen your voice, practice slow deep breathing several times per day; inhale slowly and smoothly, exhale slowly and evenly 10 times. Once a day, lie on the floor or your sofa and place a heavy book on your diaphragm. Again, practice controlled, deep breathing.

Here are several guitar playing and singing methods for you to try, and I’m sure one will work for you. These methods are not something you will have to do the rest of your musical life; they will train you  how to sing and play guitar naturally. Read more

Top 3 Tips for Learning Guitar Chord Progressions

Chords are an essential part of playing guitar. If you’re playing rhythm, you need to know them to strum them. If you’re playing lead, knowing them helps to create lead lines. Most beginner guitar players can at least do as much as strum the chords. However, once you get into more in-depth playing, chords suddenly become a lot more complicated.

Learning the fingerings for the basic chords may seem simple enough, but when using them in a song, knowing how to change between them at the right time is the most important thing you will ever need – other than knowing how to properly strum them, of course. This can be a tricky task at first. It may seem like the song is moving faster than you can play and you get tangled up in the process. Don’t worry – perfection of guitar chord progressions will come with time and practice. Luckily, there are several exercises you can do to help you on your way: Read more

Introduction to the Guitar Capo

For beginners learning how to play the guitar, the more complicated chords can be tricky to master. If you’re running into problems learning chords, you might want to consider investing in a guitar capo, which changes the key you’re playing in and can change difficult chords into the more basic chords such as G, C and D.

A capo is a small device that is placed across the neck of the guitar and presses down each string in a certain fret. Guitar players can clamp the capo in different frets in order to achieve the key they desire or that is required by the song they are learning to play. Read more

Stratocaster Guitar: The Hype and the History

The Fender Stratocaster is a well-known, extremely popular electric guitar that is favored by musicians around the world. Since its creation in 1954 by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares, the Strat has been an integral part of the global music scene. The guitar’s influence can be heard in a diverse range of genres and song styles, and can also be heard on thousands of albums and recordings throughout the years. Although the Stratocaster was originally designed for country music, it can be heard in the rock, pop, jazz, blues, funk, and rhythm and blues genres as well. Along with the Gibson Les Paul, the Fender Stratocaster has one of the most widely copied body styles of any instrument. Read more

Figuring Out Your Ideal Guitar Setup

So you’ve just taken your new guitar out of the box,and after a few strums you feel like it’s just not feeling and sounding quite like the demo you tested in the store. Don’t stress, it’s rare to find a new guitar that has perfect playability!

When it comes to anything made from wood, there are ‘behavioral patterns’ to keep in mind, such as expansion or contraction due to changing weather and some not so expected, like random twisting. But that’s the beauty of the instrument, isn’t it? No two are identical. A few imperfections make your piece more loveable, and they may not necessarily be the manufacturer’s fault. While you could have had the guys at the store ensure your set-up was complete, you may be one of those musicians who likes to get intimate with your guitar set-ups to ensure that your sound is just that – your sound. If that’s you, you’ll find most of what you need to know in this handy guitar set-up guide. Read more