Different Types of Guitars

February 28th, 2017 by admin No comments »

What are the different kinds of guitars?

An Introduction

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments today. There are different kinds of guitars that are available out there for different guitar players. Guitars are different in terms of playability, overall appearance and sound quality.

types of guitars

Different Guitar Types

Here are some of the types of guitars that guitar players or aspiring guitar players can choose from:

Acoustic

If one wants go get into the guitar world, you can start learning with an acoustic guitar.

Acoustic guitars are dependent on their structures and body shapes in resonating sounds. Unlike the more modern electric guitars, they don’t rely on other external devices in making sounds. The natural vibrations of the strings are resonated by the body of the guitar.

Acoustic guitars are generally made out of wood. The neck is usually made from mahogany and the fret board is made out of maple or rosewood. There are many kinds of acoustic guitars, here are some of them:

1) Classical

Classical guitars are very popular. They are usually the choice guitar for beginners. The strings are usually made from nylon. These are usually played in a standard sitting position and used in playing classical music. Classical guitars produce think and whole sounds which are very warm to the ears.

Flamenco guitars are almost similar to the classical guitars; however, these guitars produce crisper and thinner sounds than the classical ones.

2) Steel-top

Steel-top guitars are much similar to the classical guitar. These, however, are constructed to be more resilient. The parts of the steel-top guitar are reinforced and their bodies are significantly larger than the classical guitars. They produce a warmer tone than the classical guitar.

3) 12-String guitar

A normal guitar usually has 6 strings, but the 12-string guitar, as its name implies, has 12 strings. Each string is accompanied by another string with the same note but is usually tuned in a higher octave. This kind of guitar produces a semi-chorus effect which is very pleasant to the ears.

4) Resonator

This type of guitar is similar to the steel-top guitar, but the steel in the middle of the soundboard is used to resonate the sound from the vibration of the guitar strings. This produces a very thin and distinct sound. These guitars are usually used in playing the blues. There are also variations of the resonator guitar; the square-neck resonator guitar is played on the lap like a piano or organ. The round neck resonator guitar is played like a common guitar. Resonator guitars work very well with glass or metal slides.

5) Archtop

The archtop guitar is inspired by other instruments such as the violin and the cello. An archtop guitar usually has the f-hole design. Jazz players prefer archtop guitars. Some archtop guitars can reach prices of about $25,000 USD.

6) Acoustic Bass

Acoustic bass guitars are bass guitars without electronic pick-ups. The body of the guitar is used to produce the sounds. These are usually 4-stringed guitars but there are acoustic bass guitars which have 5 or 6 strings.

Electric

Electric guitars make use of electronic pick-ups to amplify the vibrations of the guitar strings. They are usually connected to electric amplifiers. Electric guitars usually have a solid or semi-solid body type. They don’t use the body for sound resonance and thus, they usually make very little or no sound when played without an amplifier. The concept used by electric guitars is- the energy of the strings are diverted into electrical impulses are not directly into sound to be able to achieve an amplified sound.

Electric guitars usually have control knobs for changing the volume or the tone of the guitar. There are also pick-up selectors in electric guitars. Many electric guitars use multiple pick-ups to achieve the best guitar sounds. These pick-ups gather and produce different tones from the guitar. The tone knobs are usually used to shift from a bass-intensive sound to a treble-intensive sound or vice versa.

Some electric guitars also have whammy bars. These bars are attached to the guitar to shift notes without changing the finger positions in the fret board. Whammy bars are used to produce “crying” guitar sounds. This is a very useful tool in doing rock and roll songs or even ballads. The use of the whammy bar in less expensive guitars is not advised because it may cause the strings to go out of tune.

These are some of the basic types of guitars that are available out there for everyone. Guitars are made to fit into the preferences of the player in terms of playability and sound. Choose the guitar that best fit your preferences.

History Of The Guitar

February 28th, 2017 by admin No comments »

History of the guitar

guitar historyThe guitar has been one of the most popular musical instruments today. Most of the kinds of music that one hears from the radio use guitars in many ways. Pop, rock, reggae, blues, ballads and everything else is influenced by the guitar.

The guitar, together with the drums and the piano compose the modern music scene equipment set. The playability of the guitar has made it one popular instrument. A guitar can be played by a learning child or an experienced guitar player. It’s not picky with its players.

Today, the electric type of guitar is mostly used in musical production. The guitar has gotten a very good accompaniment in the form of the effects box. Today, guitars can emulate the sounds of a piano, a violin, even the sounds of the human voice. The guitar is continuously widening its horizons.

With the functions and features of the modern electric guitar, one can’t help thinking about the beginnings of the instrument. Where did the guitar come from? This article tries to give a brief history of the wonderful musical instrument, which is the guitar.

The creation of the guitar cannot be traced to a single person. The guitar came about through the evolution of its predecessors. Its image has also undergone change throughout the centuries. Today, playing the guitar is a symbol of talent and musical prowess, but during the early times, the guitar was actually a symbol of being poor and it was refuted by most classical musicians.

Predecessors

There have been many guitar-like musical instruments in the ancient times, up to at least 5,000 years ago. Instruments which look like the guitar were seen in statues which were recovered in archeological expeditions in the Iranian region of Susa. However, the very first documented mention of the instrument dates back to the fourteenth century. Back then, the said guitar-ancestor had three pairs of strings (usually referred to as double courses) and a single string with the highest tone.

Some say that the word “guitar” came from the word “qitara.” Qitara is an Arabic name for the different kinds of lutes during the early times.

Evolution

The guitar, as we know it, is said to originate in Spain. It is believed that the people of Malaga invented the instrument. The guitar evolved from having three pairs of strings to four pairs of strings and eventually six single strings.

The guitar began to become popular in the 16th century. It was played by the lower and middle classes as a counterpart for the vihuela which was played by the aristocrats. The vihuela was tuned like a lute but had a body similar to that of the guitar.

The guitar took serious evolution during the 18th century: the double strings where replaced by single strings and a sixth string was added. In the 1800s, Antonio Torres de Jurado gave birth to the classical guitar. Basically, he increased the size of the body of the guitar. The guitar still struggled during these times because it was considered as an instrument for the taverns – an instrument which cannot be used for classical music. In Spain, where people hated the piano, the guitar found refuge. However, it was also tainted with views that guitars are for undesirables.

Electric guitar

The modern electric guitar was born in 1931. The electric guitar uses electronic “pick-ups” to be able to produce sound. The pick-ups convert the vibrations from the strings into electric signals. The body of the electric guitar is semi-solid or solid, depending on the design. The structure of the guitar took a great leap when the electric guitar was born, no longer did its sound depend on the structure and construction of the body, but on the quality of the pick-ups and soundboard.

The sounds of the electric guitar can also be altered to be able to achieve a desire tone. The use of guitar effects box has given the guitar a wide array of sounds. The electric guitar is continuously garnering popularity in all fields of music, even in classical music.

The guitar is a very dynamic musical instrument. Through evolution, the guitar has made its mark on the modern music scene. From crude instruments with many variations, the guitar has become a real and much-sought after instrument.

Learn more about guitar history here

Making a Living as a Guitar Music Transcriber/Arranger

February 5th, 2009 by admin No comments »

Making a Living as a Guitar Music Transcriber/Arranger
By Dale Turner (Originally written/published in 1994; slightly revised in 2004)

Since I began playing guitar, I’ve always enjoyed figuring out tunes and solos of various artists. This is something any musician does, especially if they’re interested in popular music (rock, blues, jazz, country, etc.), as a means of increasing their repertoire and their musical vocabulary. As a musician continues to develop, he/she may find that they can play their instrument with greater dexterity, better tone, stylistic appropriateness (taste), and spontaneity. Through time, a musician’s aural skills also develop. A good ear combined with a solid musical education can not only enhance your ability to perform effectively in a variety of musical situations, but also open up a few possibilities for employment in other non-performance-oriented musical fields—like professional transcribing and arranging!

If that sounds interesting to you, read on! This article will enlighten you to the tricks, tools, and traumas of the transcribing trade, as well as provide a realistic battle plan—if you’re interested in seeking work as a transcriber/arranger—for preparing materials to approach a major publishing company.

What’s Expected of a Transcriber?

Every publishing company that prints note-for-note guitar anthologies of popular music includes all lead and background vocal parts, guitars (in standard notation and tablature), and sometimes other instruments (mandolin, banjo, piano, bass, or saxophone—arranged for guitar) in their publications. The vocals are an extremely significant element in a transcription in that they often dictate the tune’s arrangement. For instance, if the first verse of a tune is 16 bars long and the second verse is only 12, chances are you’re going to need to write out both verses in their entirety without being able to use any arranging devices like repeat signs or D.S. al Coda. The song’s lyrics also need to be written out below the transcribed vocal melody, written in direct accordance to the way they are syllabically hy-phen-at-ed in a dictionary. This means you will need to look up some words! (Also, all capitalized letters need to be underlined in red pencil!) The lyrics to each song are usually included in the sleeve of the compact disc and are occasionally labeled with section headings like 1st Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Interlude, Guitar Solo, Bridge, etc., which you may find valuable in determining the song’s form (the order of a song’s sections, once arranged, referred to as a song’s road map). Early on in a transcriber’s career, this stage can be one of the most frustrating—trying to organize a tune on paper in a “user-friendly” manner (i.e., easy to learn) while keeping the page count to a minimum to save the publishing company in printing/transcribing costs (transcriber/arrangers are paid by the printed page) can eat up a lot of hours! Like anything else, with practice, this process becomes far less tedious. Once you have a good sense of how you want to arrange the song, the next stage is usually to figure out all the guitar parts, using text-based shorcuts to recall figures—like Rhy. Fig. 1, Riff A, etc.—whenever possible.

Transcribing Tools, Tips, and Tricks

Some aspects of transcribing guitar parts are more difficult than others, and vary depending on the artist. The tuning of the instrument (dropped-D, tuned down 1/2-step, open-G tuning, etc.) and/or presence of capos must be assessed at the outset. (In either case, listen for open strings that pop up, either on purpose or by accident—like after sliding out of a note—to establish tuning. Harmonics may also tip you off.) Do yourself a huge favor and subscribe to every guitar magazine under the sun so you can read interviews of current artists to see if they reveal any of their trade secrets. When a new album comes out it’s quite common that the interviewer will mention a specific tune and want to discuss any peculiarities (strange tunings, mechanical/noise-making devices used, harmonizing effects, etc.) that may exist in that particular recorded performance. The ability to hear deep into the mix of a tune is another skill that needs to be cultivated, since it will help you determine how many different guitar parts exist on the recording to begin with. Here are a few tricks to try:

  1. If your stereo has an 1/8-inch phone jack and you are using headphones (always use headphones!), try pulling the jack out slightly. On some stereo systems this will actually remove the vocals, enabling you to hear guitar parts more clearly.
  2. Invest in a stereo system that has a karaoke feature. This system (I use AIWA) has a vocal fader that removes vocals almost completely, while boosting other frequencies giving, among other things, distorted rhythm guitar parts a little more clarity and definition. I’ve personally encountered a few instances where the initial notes played on a guitar with extremely heavy digital echo (during a solo) were difficult to hear. The delay was on another track and disappeared from the mix just as the vocal did when I used this same feature.
  3. Those of you who own a four-track cassette recorder that records at double speed can record an excerpt of a blazing solo and have it play back at half speed. This drops the pitch an octave but allows you to hear more subtleties in phrasing that can help immensely when it comes to trying to discern the exact location of a particular lick. (Make sure you check your rhythms at regular speed though, so you don’t overly notate vibrato rhythms as pitch bends, among other things.)
  4. The Eventide Harmonizer has a sampling/real-time compression feature that enables you to record (sample) then play back music at a slower tempo (by time-stretching the audio file) while maintaining the instrument’s original pitch. (NOTE: This article was written well before the widespread availability of digital recording technology. Nowadays, it’s easy to sample a section of a fast solo and time stretch the waveform on a personal computer, slowing the lick down while retaining its original pitch.)

Extreme methods like the above are often necessary to help speed up the transcribing process, given the publishing company’s strict deadlines for each assignment. (Also, realize that the more familiarity you have with a particular style, the more you can use “guitar logic” to your advantage—chord forms, arpeggiation patterns,doublestop moves, etc. to at least put you on the path towards figuring out stuff that’s difficult to hear.)

Tailor-Making Your TABs to a Specific Publishing Company

Every publishing company has their own copyrighted notational style. This means that Hal Leonard, Warner Brothers, CPP/Belwin, Cherry Lane, Amsco, and others all have slightly different ways of notating pitch bends, vibrato bar usage, hammer-ons and pull-offs, fingertapping, harmonics, etc. Keeping this in mind, if you’re serious about trying to get a career as a transcriber off the ground, I offer the following recommendations:

  1. Choose one company to submit a sample of your work to.
  2. Go out and buy one of their album folios (transcription book of an entire album) of a band that plays tunes with a lot of metrical shifts, involved background vocals, multi-tracked guitar parts and intense guitar solos. The newer the book the better because every year or so it seems that a company comes up with a more specific way of notating certain things. (An example would be the addition of microtonal bends indicated in standard notation with alterations to standard flat or sharp signs in recent Hal Leonard publications.)
  3. Pick a current song containing many of the stylistic elements previously mentioned—one that, to your knowledge, has yet to be transcribed in a magazine or book. Use that company’s transcription book to model every aspect of your work after. That means everything from placement of tempo markings, chord symbols, and figure recalls, to section headings, slurs in tablature, etc. REALITY CHECK: When an editor receives a manuscript, he/she expects that it will be accurate, legible, intelligently arranged, and in accordance to their company’s notational style so it can to be sent straight to the engraver. (NOTE: The “engraver” is the person who manually inputs notes and TAB from your handwritten manuscript into a notational program like Finale, Sibelius, etc.) It’s important to put your best foot forward!
  4. Next, find the name of the company’s Music Editor and the company address (usually listed on the first page of their TAB books). Send that person your transcription, as well as a personal biography (highlighting your music education and versatility as a player) and business card in a large #7 envelope (so big that it can’t fit easily in the person’s mailbox so they have to deal with it). Then toss him/her a call the following week.

Getting Work

If your work is impressive, at the very least, it’s possible your name will be forwarded to another working transcriber in your area who may be looking for an apprentice to incorporate into his/her transcribing team. (California, Wisconsin, Florida, and New York are considered “hotbeds” for this.) This is a “win-win” situation for both parties because a small transcribing team allows the established transcriber to accept even more work. (You will be credited in the book as well, but expect them to take a small cut of your pay because it is they who are getting the work, editing yours, and guaranteeing that it’s all up to par.) Better yet, the publishing company you submitted your work to may invite you to audition by having you TAB out a song for one of their current folios in the process of being transcribed. This means better pay, but possibly less steady work. (The company will also likely send you a Style Manual at this point—a book containing almost all of that company’s specfic notation preferences, featuring numerous “real life” musical examples.)

In short, the work is out there. It’s up to you to go out and get it. (Disciplined and detail-oriented need only apply!) Good luck 🙂

About the Author:

In addition to being a performing/recording musician, Dale Turner is also West Coast Editor of Guitar One magazine, an instructor at Hollywood’s Musician’s Institute, and has authored numerous guitar publications for Hal Leonard, Cherry Lane, and Warner Brothers. His latest CD, INTERPRETATIONS – Solo Arrangements for Guitar and Voice (available online through CDBaby.com, TowerRecords.com, and Amazon.com), has just been released on the INTIMATE AUDIO label.

© 2004 Dale Turner ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What Is Guitar Tablature?

February 5th, 2009 by admin No comments »

The ability to read music (standard notation) may be a desired skill, but it is not a prerequisite for playing the guitar well.  Contemporary guitarists are fortunate to have an abundance of interesting material presented in a special notation system called “tablature.”

Guitar Tablature consists of a series of horizontal lines forming a staff (or stave) similar to standard notation. Each line represents one of the instrument’s strings therefore standard guitar tab has a six-line staff and bass guitar tab has four lines. The top line of the tablature represents the highest pitched string of the guitar. By writing tablature with the lowest pitched notes on the bottom line and the highest pitched notes on the top line of the tablature follows the same basic structure and layout of Western Standard Notation.

The following examples are labelled with letters on the left denoting the string names, with a lower-case “e” for the high E string. Tab lines may be numbered 1-6 instead, representing standard string numbering, where “1” is the high E string, “2” is the B string etc.

The numbers that are written on the lines represent the fret used to obtain the desired pitch. For example, the number 3 written on the top line of the staff indicates that the player should press down at the third fret on the high E (first string). Number 0 denotes the nut – that is, an open string.

For chords, a letter above or below the tab staff denotes the root note of the chord.

Examples of guitar tab notation:

The chords E, F, and G:

e|---0---1---3---
B|---0---1---0---
G|---1---2---0---
D|---2---3---0---
A|---2---3---2---
E|---0---1---3---
     E   F   G

Various lines, arrows and other symbols are used to denote bends, hammer-ons, trills, Pull-offs, slides, and so on. These are the tablature symbols that represent various techniques, though these may vary:

h – hammer on.

p- pull off.

b – bend string up

r – release bend

/ – slide up

\ – slide down

v – vibrato (sometimes written as ~)

t – right hand tap

s – legato slide

S – shift slide

asterisk – natural harmonic

[n] – artificial harmonic

n(n) – tapped harmonic

tr – trill

T – tap

TP – tremolo picking

PM – palm muting

\n/ – tremolo bar dip; n = amount to dip

\n – tremolo bar down

n/ – tremolo bar up

/n\ – tremolo bar inverted dip

= – hold bend; also acts as connecting device for hammers/pulls

<> – volume swell (louder/softer)

x – on rhythm slash represents muted slash

o – on rhythm slash represents single note slash
Guitar Tablature is not standardized and different sheet music publishers adopt different conventions. Songbooks and guitar magazines usually include a legend setting out the convention in use.

What’s The Difference Between Fingerstyle And Flatpicking?

February 5th, 2009 by admin 2 comments »

The pick-hand technique involves the thumb (T), index (1), middle (2) and ring (3) fingers working independently, allowing polyphonic pursuits. The main and obvious advantage that finger-style has over playing with a “flat-pick,” is the ability of each finger to “control” a string. This finger-style method enables a player to produce melody, harmony and (rhythmic) bass line simultaneously, on any string set. You can easily play arpeggios (used in all styles of music) with numerous finger and thumb combinations, that can provide an endless source of melodic and rhythmic variations. Finger-style playing opens a world of musical possibilities that the flat-pick simply can’t deliver. (conversely, flat-picking has its advantages) Despite their differences in technique, a large percentage of ALL guitar repertoire is in the keys of G, C, D, A, E, (F), and their related minor keys. This is because these “idiomatic” keys are related to the open strings. The open-string chord, with its resonating sound, is the heart and soul of blues, folk, rock, and C&W, as well as flamenco and classical guitar music.

Flatpicking and Fingerstyle

How Do I Play A Chord On Bass Guitar?

February 5th, 2009 by admin No comments »

Heres an example that should help:
Lets take the simple C Chord on which you play the root or C note (3rd fret, A String). The all important lower 5th or G note is right next to the C on the E String while the upper 5th is only 2 frets up on the D String. The octave C is right next to that on the G String.

This is true for all chords up the fretboard. The upper 5th is 2 up, one string over, the octave is 2 up, two strings over, and the lower 5th is same fret one string lower.

To see how it looks go here:

Bass Guitar Chords

Cheers!

Steps To Take When Buying A Guitar

February 5th, 2009 by admin 1 comment »

Before you start tearing your instrument apart, or if you’re thinking of buying a particular guitar, there are some steps you may want to take to determine whether guitar repair or setup is even necessary. Your approach may be different depending on the guitar makers and the woods and parts they use. Whether you’re evaluating for electric or acoustic guitar repair, following are some pointers to help guide you and evaluate a new or used guitar:

Buying A Guitar

Information On Chords

February 5th, 2009 by admin No comments »

Thanks for visiting Easy Guitar Lessons. If you’re looking for a lot of great info on chords, try Guitar Player Resources.

If you have some interesting voicings or other chord related info, feel free to share it here.

How do I form a minor chord?

February 5th, 2009 by admin 1 comment »

The basic theory (yuck – don’t like that word) behind the form of a minor chord is, for example, let’s take E major.  E major contains the notes E (root), Ab (3rd) and B (5th).  To form a minor chord you flat the 3rd, so in this case you flat the Ab.  Now it becomes G (open) simply by lifting your finger off of the fret board.  That is if you’re in the first (open) position.

Have fun!