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Tag: acoustic guitar

Tips to Play Acoustic Guitar

by on May.11, 2011, under General

These mini guitar lessons have been put together for the beginner acoustic guitar student who feels a  need to play music but is a bit short on steering.

Lesson One – What kind of guitar are you going to buy?

If you have a uncut idea of what kind of music you want to play, the next step is to find yourself a guitar.Let’s start with the basics – nylon string or steel string. A nylon string guitar was made to play classical and folk music. Acoustic guitars make their music by sending the vibration of the strings to the soundboard. The vibrations are then amplified in the body of the guitar. Nylon string guitars make a mellow tone; steel string guitars make a brighter, more metal(a) sound. One of the main things that will form you in deciding what kind of sound you want is the guitar your favorite performer plays.

If you are just starting out you will not need a top of the range guitar but it is best to get the nicest one in your price range. A cheap, poorly made guitar will be an stiff battle to play. A good instrument will make your practice sessions something to look forward to.

Try different guitars. See how the neck feels. Check out if one neck feels more comfortable to play than others. Another consideration is the distance of the strings from the fret board which is called the “action”. Low action is easier to play but if you are planning on strumming enthusiastically or picking loudly the guitar may have a tendency to buzz.

Lesson Two – Go ahead and learn.

The very first step toward learning to play acoustic guitar is to develop confidence and to overcome your instinctive reluctance to try new things. Lack of money, lack of time, or lack of a good teacher are three big obstacles to your guitar learning progress. The other three big obstacles are all you. You may be your own worst enemy. How do you respond to a challenge? Challenges are your friends. If you find yourself getting frustrated, and not wanting to continue your practice, it might be time to downsize your goal, at least for a while. If you have two chords that you have trouble with, work on the first one alone for a while. Once you have improved a little, go to the next one.

Lesson Three – Daily Practice

As far as your daily practice goes look at starting with half an hour a day. If you can do more, great, you’ll become a guitarist faster. The way you carry out your practice is crucial. Putting in the time isn’t the only requirement. If you rush or try to fit too much in, then you’re working against yourself. Err on the side of too little material at first. If you really are accomplishing what you set out to do in less than thirty minutes, then add a little more.

 Lesson Four – Tuning Your Guitar

You can find online guitar tuners to help you get your acoustic guitar in tune. Take a day or two of your practice time to get the knack of tuning. When you start to develop an ear for tuning, try tuning the guitar without the tuner.

 Lesson Five – Holding Your Acoustic Guitar

Long hours of practice can take their toll. Learning how to sit and play your acoustic guitar is an art in itself. There are places on the internet that have illustrations showing you how to sit when you’re playing, but it would be good to find somebody with a little experience to show you. But don’t just go with the way one person plays. If he’s self-taught, then you don’t want to pick up his bad habits!


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Acoustic Guitar Pickups

by on Dec.29, 2009, under General, Guitar Talk

Acoustic players consider acoustic guitar pickups because there comes a time in the life of every acoustic guitar player when they have honed their skills enough that it is time to perform. There are lots of venues where confident musicians can put the music they have perfected out on display. Almost all acoustic players, though, will want to make sure that they have some type of pickup on their guitar in order to maximize the performance potential.

What kinds of acoustic guitar pickups are there? There are dozens of styles of acoustic guitar pickups, each developed by one of dozens of manufacturers. There are two basic types: a pickup that is built into the guitar, and one that can be installed by the guitar owner. Pickups that are built in are the more desirable of the two, as they were placed and mounted within a guitar intended for the purpose. The pickup is located right where it can pick up the vibrations of the strings with maximum effect, and is usually also very accessible to the player for easy sound adjustment.

There are also several ways in which acoustic guitar pickups can be put through to an amplifier. The most common method is through a patch cord (which usually also needs an adapter in many types of sound systems). There are also dual pickup systems which can incorporate either a patch or a cord used for a microphone, but like with a combination TV/VCR player this type of acoustic guitar pickup will not always function at a premium level.

Classifying Acoustic Guitar Pickups

The kind of acoustic guitar pickups a person is using depends on the number of magnets that are incorporated into it. Single coil pickups are those with one magnet, around which a copper wire is wrapped. The audio given off by these types of pickup are typically brighter with more “twang”, useful for producing a country sound. The single coil, however, is also known for producing a buzz sound or hum. Double coils, which consist of two magnets, eliminate this hum and also have a heavier sound. Many guitar manufacturers will use a combination of single coils or a double coil to produce their sound.

Most acoustic guitar pickups will also have a range of features on board that allow the player to adjust the tone of the guitar. Typically, there will be a control for volume, bass, treble, mid, and an equalizer knob. These adjustments will help to set the tone with the already established levels on an amp when giving a performance.

Acoustic guitar pickups are a relatively new chapter in acoustic guitar history. Even the term acoustic guitar is a bit misleading, since up until the middle of the century almost all “guitars” were acoustic; the pickup had not yet been invented to broadcast the sound. The invention of the pickup meant that it was possible to play the acoustic in a band setting without compromising the level of the other instruments.

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