Free Video Guitar Lesson – How to Maintain Your Guitar – Part 1

So you own a guitar and you notice the sound has changed or you hear some “buzzing” when you play. Maybe It just doesn’t feel the same when you fret your strings or your electronics are making a strange noise (or no sound at all)! What’s up with that?

Performer and Guitar Teacher Steve Falter speaks with Luthier Peter Taylor of Chellee Guitars about common maintenance and repair issues for guitars.

Part 1 – Intro, Set up, Frets
Part 2 – Strings, Cleaning, Electronics, Routine Maintenance Tips, Tuning Issues, Shipping Your Guitar
Part 3 – Typical Repairs, Modifications, Recovering a Stolen Guitar

 

Feel free to check out my other Free Resources, available for you to use and share, at my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site, below.

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Free Guitar Lesson – How to Use a Guitar Pick

Guitar picks come in a lot of different shapes and thicknesses, in addition to being made from many different materials.

There are a few “basic” shapes that you will find, regardless of what brand you come across. Three common shapes are the “teardrop”, “triangle”, and “Dorito”. Every manufacturer has its own name for each style, these are just what I call them.

Teardrop

Triangle

Dorito (TM)

Picks also come in a lot of different thicknesses. Some manufacturers simply say “Thin”, “Medium”, “Heavy” or “Extra Heavy”, while others measure thickness in mm. Settling on a guitar pick is a personal choice and, fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive, so you can buy several and try them out to decide which works best for you and your playing style.

My preference is the triangle. I have fairly large hands and it’s easy, and comfortable, for me to hold. For thickness, I like Medium.

Now let’s talk about how to hold the pick, strum the strings and get great sound.

This is always better to demonstrate and may be hard to do from reading an article, so watch the short video below.

You want to hold your pick between your thumb and forefinger. If you are using a larger pick, you may want to also use your index finger. Hold it firmly enough so it doesn’t just flop on the strings as you strum and/or fly out of your hand.

Now, hold the pick so it’s at a right angle to the strings and rest it on the 6th string with the tip of the pick a little past the string, like this.

Next, angle the pick about 45 degrees.

I like to strum with my forearm, so my wrist is kept straight. This lets me easily, and painlessly, adjust my strumming anywhere from gentle to strong.

Now, strum your strings, one at a time and stop to rest on the next string. Just push down and smoothly slide off each string. Kind of like you would stroke a dog or cat.

Do this a few times.

Now, let’s strum all six strings in one motion. This will be like we just did, except we are not going to stop on each string.

Do this 6 times.       How does that feel?

Practice these strumming exercises on your own until it is smooth, effortless and you don’t even have to think about it.

I hope you found this helpful. Visit my Online Music Studio and check out the Resources page for plenty of free worksheets and links.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel or Blog to hear about new lessons as they are posted. See you next time!

Feel free to check out my other Free Resources, available for you to use and share, at my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site, below.

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Free Guitar Lesson – Barre Chords

The beauty of Barre Chords is that they use a Movable Chord Form. Once you learn them, you can play chords anywhere on the neck.

Barre Chords come in 2 shapes, A and E.  

So, how do you know when to use the A or E chord forms? Simple. If your chord’s root is on the 6th string (E), use the E chord form. If your chord’s root is on the 5th string (A), use the A chord form.

By A and E Chord Forms, I mean A (major), Am, A7, Asus, Amaj7 and E (major), Em, E7, Esus, Emaj7.

OK, let’s fret a F# Barre Chord.

We need to know two things to do this. First, the root, F#, is on the 6th string, 2nd fret. Second, that it is a Major Chord.

Think of your 1st finger as a capo.

First, you fret, or “Barre”, all six strings with your first finger on the root’s fret, in this case, the 2nd fret. Next you fret/finger the rest of your chord, just like an open E chord. using your 2nd, 3rd and 4th  fingers.

If we needed and F#7, we would put our 2nd and 3rd fingers in the same position as an E7, but at the3rd and 4th frets

OK, now let’s fret a B Barre Chord.

The root, B, is on the 2nd  string, 2nd fret and it is a Major Chord. Barre the 2nd fret with your first finger, and use an open A chord shape on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings at the 3rd fret.

This takes some getting used to, especially your hand and finger strength. You will usually want you thumb pressing right in the middle of the width of the neck, directly behind your first finger.

Barre Chord Exercise

I have my students start with and E major chord form at the 7th fret, then and Am chord form at the 6th fret, and so on, down to the 1st fret. So, you are alternating chord forms back and forth one fret at a time.

I have found that it is much easier working from higher frets to lower frets and develops muscle memory, hand and finger strength quickly, and at the same time.

Here’s the video version

Feel free to check out my other Free Resources, available for you to use and share, at my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site, below.

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Mods for Guitar Effect Pedals – Gain and Clipping in Overdrive, Distortion & Fuzz

Isn’t it all the same thing? Nope, it all depends on the type of tone/sound you want and that determines how it is achieved as far as the electronic circuit is concerned.

When we use the term “Gain”, it refers to overall volume. Typically, more gain = louder volume = loss of clarity, or distortion. In simple terms, when you turn up the volume on a Tube Amp you are increasing the electricity/sound going through the tubes. As more electricity/sound is forced through the tubes, you get distortion, sometimes referred to as “Breakup” as the tube is getting pushed closer to its limit.

In the electronics tech world, we call this breakup “Clipping”. There are two kinds of Clipping, Asymmetrical and Symmetrical.

The clipping you get in a Tube Amp is Asymmetrical. By the way, we refer to these circuits as “Analog”.

Solid State Amps use Integrated Circuits (ICs) and/or Transistors instead of tubes. When you increase the Volume (more gain), it just gets louder. Too much volume/gain and the sound gets screechy as the circuit gets overloaded. This kind of “Digital Distortion” is not pretty.

The clipping you get in a solid state circuit is Symmetrical. By the way, we refer to these circuits as “Digital”.

Asymmetrical Clipping is more responsive and dynamic. If you want more of the detail in your playing technique to be heard, this is the way to go.

“Overdrive”, in its simplest terms, is pushing the gain up. “Distortion” pushes the overdrive to distort your sound. “Fuzz” pushes the distortion even further until it becomes, well, fuzzy.

 

The good news is that we can build a distortion, overdrive or fuzz circuit to generate pleasing, and adjustable tone. This circuit can be built into the amp (onboard), or an Effect Pedal that can be plugged into any amp or PA.

There’s even better news. If you don’t like the way your circuit sounds, it can be changed. These changes are called “Mods”, or modifications. That’s where I come in.

Here are a few things I can do for you.

– Increase the gain/volume

– Change the tone of your existing circuit

– Change the clipping from Symmetrical to Asymmetrical

– Make the clipping smoother

– Mellow out the high end (treble) of the distortion

– Reduce the “brittleness” of your sound

– Allow more highs, or lows, to be heard

I can currently mod over 75 different Guitar Effect Pedals, and the list is constantly growing. Whether your pedal is Distortion, Fuzz, Overdrive, Chorus, Tremolo, Echo, Delay, EQ, Wah or more…..

Manufactured by ArionTM, BossTM, DanelectroTM, DunlopTM, DODTM, Electro HarmonixTM, FulltoneTM, H&KTM, IbanezTM, JacquesTM, MarshallTM, MaxonTM, MorelyTM, MXRTM, NoblesTM, Pro-CoTM, RadialTM, Visual SoundTM, Voodoo LabsTM….

I can mod your tone. Contact me for a complete description of what I can do for your pedals.

Check out my Facebook Page, under VintageToneUSA. While you’re there, take a look at POPA, my Plain Old Power Attenuator, and how it can help your Tube Amp Sound!

ArionTM, BossTM, DanelectroTM, DunlopTM, DODTM, Electro HarmonixTM, FulltoneTM, H&KTM, IbanezTM, JacquesTM, MarshallTM, MaxonTM, MorelyTM, MXRTM, NoblesTM, Pro-CoTM, RadialTM, Visual SoundTM, Voodoo LabsTM, FenderTM, GibsonTM, BognerTM, Mesa BoogieTM and any other company mentioned here are used respective of their trademark.


Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Free Guitar Lesson – Using A Capo

A Capo is a very powerful tool to have in your guitar arsenal. Personally, I use one a few different situations.

My music is in one key and the song will be sung in another key.

Rather than transposing on the fly (as I play) or taking the time to rewrite my chart or sheet music, I can use the capo to transpose my existing chords to the singer’s key.

I want a higher pitched sound when I finger pick.

For example, when I fingerpick some songs, I prefer a mandolin type sound. To my ear, it just sounds prettier. Often the notes, may sound a little muffled when finger picked with bare fingers, and the capo helps them stand out more. Two examples, from my set list, are Amie (Pure Prairie League) and The Wedding Song (Paul Stookey).

I like playing a particular chord progression in a different key.

We all have some accents we like to use and may not be familiar with playing them with certain chord forms. A capo lets you maintain your playing style in the required key.

You have to play a song in a key you’re not comfortable with.

The capo will give you the chance to play along, learn, and give you a good chance to practice new material at your own pace.

Using a capo works two different ways, depending on your approach.

First, let’s say that my sheet music is in the key of G, using G – C – D, and the song will be sung in the key of A. I can put my capo on the second fret and G – C – D will actually sound like A – D – E.

Here’s what is happening. We know that there are twelve notes in music, A (A#/Bb) B C (C#/Db) D (D#/Eb) E F (F#/Gb) G (G#/Ab). Each time I move my capo up one fret, I am raising the notes played, and the chord, up to the next note. So, in the previous example, I changed my open G chord up to Ab (capo on 1st fret) and then to A (capo on 2nd fret). Yes, it’s just that simple!

Second, a capo can also be used to play music in the existing key, but using simpler chord forms. For example, a lot of music written for keyboards, brass and woodwinds aren’t in G, C, D, E or A. They are often written in Ab, B, Bb, Db or Eb and the chords on guitar may be harder to play or just not sound nice enough. This is when we use the capo to find another key to play in and the key drops one note for every fret.

For example, let’s say we have music in the key of Ab and the progression is Ab – Db – Eb. If we put the capo on the first fret, we can play G – C – D and it will be heard as Ab – Db – Eb.

Both examples do the same thing. It’s just that in the first, we are adjusting the music to fit our chords and in the second we are changing our chords to match the music.

There are several different styles of capo.

You have to try them and see which one is best for you. For example, some physically stick out from the fingerboard (away from you) and others from the neck (towards you). I prefer the second style, my hand just keeps bumping into the first and moves it.

Ask your teacher, or a friend, with a similar playing style, what they like and try their capo(s) out. Most music stores will let you try a few before buying, also.

Here is a simple chart for using a capo to transpose to various keys. Using a Capo for Guitar Chord Transpositions 

Feel free to check out my other Free Resources ,available for you to use and share, at my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site, below.

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Free Guitar Lesson: Basic Practice Routine

Practice Routine

1. Tune Guitar – strum all strings before tuning

2. Chords – Say, Finger, Play

3. Homework from 2 lessons ago (ex. Strumming Exercise #1)

4. Homework from 1 lesson ago (ex. Strumming Exercise #2)

5. Homework from last lesson (ex. Strumming Exercise #3)

Don’t stop for mistakes, keep playing

 6. Enter in your Practice Log


Time – 30 – 60 minutes

How often? At least 5 days each week


Why?

1. This routine lets you warm up first

2. Makes your fingers stronger

3. Builds calluses

4. Develops muscle memory

5. Helps you learn new lessons faster

Music, a Gift For Life!

Steve

Songwriter, Musician, Entertainer, Instructor

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.

Free Guitar Lesson Worksheets and Links

Free Guitar Lesson Worksheets and Links are available at my Online Music Studio, and you don’t even have to register or log in!

 

Check out videos, including

How to Buy a Guitar

How to Change Your Guitar Strings

How to Clean Your Guitar

 

Download Free Worksheets that I designed for my students, including

Parts of Acoustic Guitar

Tuning Your Guitar

Strings & Notes

Finger Numbering

Basic Chords

Key & Chords

Blues Scales

Mellow Scales

Capo Transposition Chart

and more!

Feel free to download, print and share this information.

All I ask in return are 2 things.

Please give me credit for the material

Come back and leave a comment about how this information helped you

 

Music, a Gift for Life!

Steve

Songwriter, Musician, Entertainer, Instructor

Visit my Guitar Lesson Studio Web Site

Visit my Musician/Band Web Site

Check out my YouTube Channel

Listen to me on IM Radio


Interested in taking Lessons in person (locally), or worldwide (via Skype) or booking Steve for a Private Party, House Concert or Office Function?  Just leave a comment and I will contact you by email (your address shows on my admin panel).

Steve started playing guitar in ‘69, and has been performing regularly since ’90. His involvement with recording and sound engineering began in the early ‘70’s.

Steve, and his bands, have always given back to the community, supporting Special Needs Families, Christian Outreach, Food Pantries, Homeless Shelters and Medical Research.

As a songwriter and registered artist with BMI, Steve’s songwriting and gig sets span the Blues, Rock, Folk, Country and Christian genres.

2009 was the start of a busy solo performing schedule as well as sharing his love of music by teaching both Guitar and Live Performance Techniques. Steve teaches his guitar students to play the music THEY want to play, right from the start, without getting bogged down with music theory. With Live Performance Techniques lessons, students learn how to move from the living room to a live stage.