How To Buy A Guitar Without Getting Ripped Off In Seven Easy Steps

Buying a new guitar can be a great feeling. Maybe you’ve bought a few guitars in the past and you’re looking at adding another to your collection, or maybe you’re about to buy your first guitar and you’re not sure where to start. This guest post attempts to give would-be buyers some important tips on how to buy a guitar without getting sold a lemon.

Joe Bonamassa Guitar Collection

Joe Bonamassa Guitar Collection

What qualifies me to give anyone advice on buying music gear? I’ve owned, sold and traded a myriad of guitars over the past five years. Some were quite expensive vintage collectables and some were your run of the mill, off the shelf cheapies that I picked up on spur-of-the-moment purchases. At one point I was stashing so much gear, that when I took someone into my music room, I would always get asked if I was running a music store from home. Nope, I just had a severe case of GAS… So, let’s get started… Continue reading

Smoothly Does It – Legato Technique for Guitar

This guest post was written by Chris Lake, from a professional guitarist and guitar teacher of over 25 years.

Legato is a term that you will hear a lot once you start getting into lead guitar playing, but what exactly does it mean?

Translated literally as ‘tied together’ the term legato tells you that you should let the notes you are playing flow smoothly from one to the next, without any pause between them. With legato you get a very smooth flowing sound to the music, as opposed to ‘staccato’ in which each note played is sharply detached and separate from the following notes.

Legato Technique

Legato Technique

To achieve a legato sound different techniques are employed for different instruments. Take a wind instrument such as a flute. To produce legato here the player would play all the notes under one breath. With a bowed stringed instrument, the player would play the notes under a continuous bow.

To play legato on the guitar you need to minimize the use of the pick. This means using ‘hammer-ons’ and ‘pull-offs’, and when talking about guitar technique this is precisely what is meant by legato.

So, when employing a legato technique for guitar these are the two main techniques you will need to master. By combining the two you can play fast, smoothly flowing runs with ease.

So, to begin with let’s take a look at hammer-ons.

Hammer-ons are used to go from one note to a higher note on the same string without picking the new note. You can use a pick to play the very first note, but the subsequent notes will be played by ‘hammering-on’ to the string with your fretting fingers.

So for example, suppose you are playing the note E on the fifth fret of the B string with your first finger, and the next note you want to play is an F# two frets above. You need to use the tip of your ring finger to strike the string at the 7th fret to make the note sound.

You need to come down on the string perpendicular to the fretboard, and with enough force to produce the same volume, more or less, that you would with a pick. That’s about all you need to know about hammer-ons. Continue reading

Tips for Travelling with Your Guitar

Guest Post By Johnny Peters, Follow Johnny on Google Plus here… and on Twitter here…

There are some really important precautions to take when traveling with a guitar if you want to make sure that your beloved instrument arrives in one piece.

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Image has some rights reserved by cathyse97

Things like choosing the right case, paying attention to the weather, and making sure you’re following all the correct regulations when taking your guitar on an airplane, are all things we’ll discuss more in-depth. Also, we’ll talk about a couple of really useful tips to help prevent your guitar from being stolen while you’re travelling.

First things first, a protective case…

Those soft gig bags might be okay for taking your guitar back and forth from your buddy’s place, but if you plan on doing any serious traveling with your instrument then you’re going to need a hard-shell case, plain and simple. Hard-shell cases are a little bit more expensive, but the soft bags barely provide any protection at all and they’re just not good enough.

Thinking About the Weather

You might not realize how important the weather is when it comes to traveling with your guitar. Sudden changes in humidity can cause the guitar to warp or bend ever so slightly, but still enough to totally mess up the sound and the alignment of the fret board. If you’re going to a dryer climate, you can purchase little sponges that soak in water and help to keep the humidity correct inside your guitar case. Continue reading