Best guitar for children, at what age they can start?

Here the one million dollar questions: what is the best guitar for children and at what age they can start? Everybody knows that music has a positive effect on children from the earliest age. Since very young they are able to recognize the melody. It is certainly no mystery that listening to music stimulates brain functions but also physical ones. Over the years, everything learned as a child will remain firm in the child and help him develop his own musical culture. I would like to briefly describe some benefit of learning guitar on children and I will answer the two fateful questions.

The brain benefits of playing the guitar

One of the main benefits of learning to play the guitar is surely the self-esteem plus, logically, a personal enrichment. A guitar course requires self-discipline and this aspect often affects the success of a child at school level. All these little learning clearly improve their memory: they will learn to structure it, to associate pleasure and work by developing memory hastily. With music and guitar you can give expression to your feelings and better manage your emotions and give free rein to creativity.

The personal benefits of a guitar course

Learning music and guitar contributes to the development of personality in children who will learn to find a balance between their intellect and their emotions. Many children are shy. With the study of the guitar as any other instrument, they will be able to overcome their fear. They will have to relate to other people whether they are teachers or students. Playing will reinforce the confidence in his abilities, leading him to be more at ease in the express yourself and communicate through music.

The physical benefits of the guitar on children

Playing the guitar is practically a sport: it requires the knowledge of one’s body to manage it to the fullest. By achieving full control of their movements, developing and working on breathing, and learning to hold a correct posture, children will strengthen their hand and forearm muscles that must work to move the strings. Who plays free hormones of well-being because they will be immersed in their own universe.

The cultural benefits in learning the guitar

Playing the guitar allows children to have a greater openness to the world. Children will develop a culture both musical and general. Over the years, learning and discovering other cultures and other musical genres, the child will also perfect his historical knowledge with a playful approach to various styles, currents and eras. Music is a school of patience, discipline and commitment.

Best guitar for children, at what age they can start?
Here we are with the answer.

Surely we can say that children can start playing since the age of three. The cognitive faculties of children at this age are very strong. I think the answer to both questions can be found in LOOG GUITAR and its catalog designed specifically for children from the age of three.

Loog started as an academic project in 2010 when Rafael Atijas developed the concept as his Master’s thesis at New York University. Loog Guitars is driven by a passion for music and sustainable design. They source the wood only from responsibly managed forests and they are committed to quality and safety standards that meet or exceed government regulations. Loog is a line of small, 3-string guitars designed to make it fun and easy for anyone to play music. They come with an app that gets kids playing songs on day one.

The entry level which I think is really the best solution for a 3yrs old chap is the Loog Mini.

These are the Specs:

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck and fingerboard: Maple
  • Strings: Nylon
  • Number of Frets: 15
  • Scale: 15.6″ (390.0mm)
  • Length: 22.2″ (565.0mm)
  • Width: 6.9″ (176.5mm)
  • Depth: 2.3″ (58.5mm)
  • Weight: 2.2lbs (1.0kg)

In the box together with the Loog Mini there will be Loog flashcards and chord diagrams. From its app, a child can learn to play songs -not just scales or exercises- on day one. This gives little rockers a sense of accomplishment that stimulates them to keep going.

Of course the Loog Mini has different colors to suit all tastes: pink, black, white, green and yellow.

I hope you enjoyed this post and any comments will be welcome.

All the best and rock on

Benny

IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 – The Smart Way to Play Guitar

Hello Everyone,

let’s talk about one of the best smart accessories for all guitar and bass player: the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2, the smart way to play guitar. The iRig HD 2 offers a completely new level of mobile playability. With new intuitive features tailored for the guitarist such as high-quality 24-bit / 96kHz audio, an integrated headphone output with level control, a new selectable Amp output, the full versions of AmpliTube for Mac, PC and iOS, as well as mobility and total connectivity to play anywhere, anytime.
The technology used in smartphones is advancing at an impressive pace and the accessories keep pace, becoming more complete and powerful one edition after another. The latest incarnation of the IK Multimedia audio interface to connect the guitar to portable devices.

Main Features:

  • High definition digital interface for iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC
  • High quality 1/4 “Hi-Z jack instrument input
  • Lightning and USB cables included
  • Preamplifier input gain control
  • Headphone output with preamplifier and level control
  • 1/4 “amp out jack with selectable FX and Thru output
  • High quality low noise, high definition guitar preamplifier
  • 96kHz sampling rate – the highest in the category
  • Powered by the iOS or USB device
  • Comes with mounting clip on mic stand and velcro
  • Dimensions: 39 x 99 x 21 mm
  • Weight: 51 g
  • Price: $99.99
  • Cheapest place to Buy: Amazon.com
  • My Rating: 9 out of 10

Despite the aesthetics, the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 offers more control and connectivity than its predecessor. As on the first iRig HD, the user can manage the gain of the input signal and keep the level under control with an LED indicator. Even here the 6.3mm jack input is one, optimized for electric guitars and basses.
A second 6.3mm jack is added for a traditional external instrument amplifier and the FX / Thru switch that supports it.

The IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 provides the amplifier with the signal already processed by the device to which it is connected. This function is useful for those who want to play on stage with traditional instruments. But for those who use the smartphone as a tuner or record their performance simply and cleanly on their iPhone or iPad.

The Smart Part of the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2

Upon purchase, the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 includes AmpliTube 4 for Mac and PC and gives access to the full version of AmpliTube for iOS. The application is downloadable directly from the App Store. Comfortable in the studio but ideally live. The HD2 comes now with a clip-on fixing system with Velcro to secure it on a microphone stand.

This small tool is the perfect compromise for those who do not have much space at home or have neighbors who are not music lovers.

I hope this might be useful for you and don’t hestitate to comment if you wish.

Enjoy and rock on!

Benny

Rhythm Guitar Techniques

Let’s talk about the rhythm guitar techniques. We have previously seen the various basic techniques of the lead guitar but, it is good to say it, without a rhythmic support there would be no guitar hero! Many dwell on the lead’s skill but the fulcrum remains in the rhythm; it is undoubtedly easier to remember the rhythm of a song than solo. The rhythm guitar is the part that puts everything together, the solos of the lead and the grove of the drums and bass. My absolute favorites rhythm guitarists are: the late Malcolm Young from AC / DC, Dave Mustaine from Megadeth and James Hetfield from Metallica who can simply be called a rhythm machine.

Here are some rhythm guitar techniques and tips.

How to find the rhythm

In some genres such as rock, pop and funk we often find rhythms that can be recognized even for those who are not skilled musicians. There are several ways to find the rhythm in a song. The first one, which is also the most difficult, is to start from the basics of guitar study and then proceed with the basics of classical guitar. There are also some people who are born with a true and proper gift. The gift of recognize the rhythm only by listening. Others, before reaching this level, have to go through the basics as mentioned above. Nowadays, with the frenzy of “everything and now” the quickest way to access the score of a song is to buy the original songbook in every music store or directly in digital format by surfing the internet.

Here some tips to start with:

The foot

Often when attending concerts it is possible to see the artists keeping time with their feet. This is the simplest way to keep time but it must be done with full knowledge of the facts. Like a metronome, the foot must keep time correctly and without interruption, any effort will be in vain. Be it the right or the left or the alternation of the two makes no difference. It is always a single foot that carries the rhythm. The main concept to succeed is not to lose any beat.

At the beginning of learning you need to pay more attention, with time, it will be natural. I recommend practicing with a metronome for the first few times with a simple exercise. Adjust the metronome click on 60 bpm with a 4/4 rhythm (where you have to count from 1 to 4 for each bar / click). At the first click the foot is struck and must beat at the next click. Counting up to 2 for the movement in the lift of the foot and to 4 for the one in beat.

The strumming hand

Both for left-handed and ambidextrous the strumming hand works hand in hand with the foot that carries the rhythm. Like the foot the hand must never stop otherwise you risk losing the rhythm and being out of time. To start coordinating hand and foot, you can connect to the exercise you have just seen. Hand and foot move in unison, when your foot rises, even your hand that strums goes up, and the reverse when the foot goes down. Once your foot synchronizes with the rhythm, you can finally concentrate so that your right hand harmonizes with your foot.

The Metronome

The metronome is the ideal tool to help you follow the rhythm of a song. To start the rhythm exercises it is advisable to leave the instrument alone and try to practice only with the metronome; even 10/15 minutes a day. Surely it is a boring exercise without combining the instrument but the results will not be long in coming. If the first set of exercises is based on the sound and rhythm of the numbers that divide the 4 classic beats of most songs.

Turn on the metronome and try to follow it in with the movement of the foot, head or hand beating every 4 clicks; when you go at the same speed you have to continue the exercise for a few minutes. It will be easy to speed up or slow down the pace by always keeping the same click on the metronome. For example doubling the beat frequency can keep a 60 bpm click and play at 120 or 30 if you decide to slow down. Talking about smart guitar accessories, a good tool that combine both metronome and tuner is the KORG TM60BK.

In conclusion

To play the rhythm guitar, with the necessary exercises for the ear, the use of the metronome.The practice of the right hand and picking, one can finally approach the rhythm guitar. In rock but also in other styles, the rhythm guitar is the instrument that gives the rhythm to a song. Specially when there is already another guitar that plays solo. Many think that the rhythm guitarist is a minor figure of a band. In reality it is the exact opposite. Remember the already mentioned Malcolm Young, Dave Mustaine and James Hetfield.

To be a good rhythm guitarist, you need to have a sense of rhythm. Be a person who knows how to work and collaborate with others. The main features are: knowing how to respect the times with precision and knowing the guitar techniques, the chords, the arpeggios, etc.

I hope you found this interesting; if you want to go bit deeper into this topic, I would suggest the below two books.

Even if they are metal oriented I think that these are a good starting point to learn the rhythm guitar techniques:

Lead Guitar techniques

Lead guitar techniques, in a nutshell, what makes a true legend of rock or, as more often called, the guitar hero!

Nowadays in every rock band there are always two or more guitarists: Lead Guitar or Rhythm Guitar. The difference is mainly in the roles they play when they play a song. Often these roles are well-defined within a band. Anyway, as happens in many heavy metal bands, the Lead and the Rhythm change roles.

Normally the lead role plays often the solos or the more technical parts of the song. If you have already made the switch on the electric guitar, curiosity and determination do not miss you and you want to try to play some songs; below is a brief overview of the various basic Lead Guitar techniques

Palm Muting

Palm muting or palm mute is a technique that involves damping the sound of one or more strings, with the palm of the hand pinching the string. This technique has the function of interrupting a sound, often used with guitar and electric bass, with the function of replacing breaks to avoid a void. Often is it possible to find in rock songs, while often used in heavy metal songs. It looks like the following pic:

Hammer on

It is by far one of the most well-known and used electric guitar techniques in heavy metal. The peculiarity of these techniques resides in the only hand that plays the note on the corresponding key, it allows passing from a lower note to a higher one, without therefore using the hand that touches the strings. The name hammer on is because the finger that play the note simulates a hammer that hits a nail. Generally in tablature looks as follows:

 

Pull-off

This technique goes hand in hand with the hammer on. In fact is the opposite. Unlike the previous technique, in which one moved from a lower note to a higher one, with the pull-off the opposite procedure is carried out. Practically passing from a more acute sound to a more serious one, pulling the string downwards. As before, it is the hand on the neck that makes the whole game the other is not required. The first note is played, having already the “next” finger already positioned on the lowest note of the same string. It is generally represented in the tablature as in the figure:

Bending

Bending is certainly the soul of every solo. Technique easier to learn and often learned first; compared to the previous two and by far the most widespread in the electric guitar world. Literally we go to bend the rope or the strings with the fingers of the hand on the neck (it is possible to start with two but with time one could be enough), up or down. In this way the played string is “dragged” upwards, or downwards, altering the height of the note played. With this technique it is possible to raise or lower the string you are playing by 2 semitones giving a “distracted” effect to the riff or solo. It is generally represented in the tablature as follow:

 

Vibrato

This technique is the direct consequence of the bending just seen. With vibrato, the note played is altered by semitone, up or down, using the same principle. In a nutshell, you need to simulate a modulation of the note like the singers do and in this case, in addition to the fingers to bend the chords, you can also help with the wrist that holds the neck in order to make the note sound longer. Here below how looks like on tablature:

Slide

You can find this technique mainly on electric guitar. It is possible to play a single note but also on with chords. In practice, you slide the finger of the note or the chord, which is playing on the neck without lifting it from the strings. It can be used both “up” by raising the tone of the note and “down” by obtaining the opposite effect. It looks like the tablature in the figure:

Sweep-Picking

With the advent of trash and speed metal at the dawn of the 80s this technique was widely used by the virtuoso of the neck. This technique allows you to play many notes in a short time. It allows the guitarist to make arpeggios or scales at absurd speeds. All the fingers of the hand on the neck are engaged, logically one note is played at a time and in this case the technique is extreme. The hand with the pick does not alternate the beat on the strings but repeats it in two or more strings at a time. Here a sample:

Tapping

With this technique for the virtuoso! It is not a technique for beginners. In practice the guitarist plays with the fingers of both hands directly on the handle of the keyboard, a hand plays the notes on the neck while the other one often strikes the string with the index “hammer on”. It generally looks like the tablature below:

To approach this topic, as I did many years ago, I would like to suggest the following manual, which is a great starting point for learning the basics:

As already mentioned in another post, the technique of metal guitarists is very advanced; if your level is not a beginner, perhaps you could learn more about the topic with the following manuals. The author is the same, and the manuals are two milestones of the genre:

All books are provided with audio support

I hope these tips to improve your lead guitar techniques can be useful.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Rock on

Benny

Different Guitar Styles

guitar styles

Hi Everyone,

let’s talk about different guitar styles.  Even if guitarist has his own style of playing the guitar, we can classify them into ten categories. These styles, or categories, if you prefer, have developed over the years, especially with the advent of electricity. Below the main ones according to my point of view.

Different Guitar Styles

The Blues

Blues is the basis of modern guitar styles. The sound is very recognizable and can almost always be traced back to the same rhythm. Many say that to play the blues you must have a dark and sad soul, in fact often the blues is combined with moods and love such as anger, anger, but also hope. Rhythmically the blues can be traced back to the progression of 3 chords, 12 measures and a specific tempo. There are no real techniques to learn but it is clearly advisable to know the bottleneck to create a lot of warm and vibrant. My absolute favorite is definitely B.B. King with his inseparable Lucille.

The Rock’n’Roll

Rock and roll can be defined as a direct descendant of blues and rhythm and blues. Appeared in the 50s in the United States, where he found in the immense Chuck Berry. He was one of the founding fathers who pushed this musical style and gave a new dimension to the music scene of the time. Normally the best guitars for this genre are the vintage half case or the “solid-body”. The rock’n’roll, over the years has never changed, he did and continues to make so many lovers of good rhythm dance. Usually you have to equip yourself with powerful amplifiers and almost always without any pedal except for some cases where you can recognize the use of reverb in the songs. The rhythm is rapid and syncopated to favor very decisive sounds.

The Rock

Rock is the quintessential style for every guitarist. It is a very easy and intuitive style to learn and it is with this style that true legends have been created (Page, Hendrix to name just a couple). The style is minimalist: few chords, usually derived from the blues, and a very powerful sound. Here too, the key to success lies in good and powerful iconic or not electric amps and guitars. The most used effects in this genre are the “FUZZ” and the “WHA-WHA”.

The Hard Rock

Along with heavy metal (further on) this is my favorite genre. This genre developed from rock, exaggerating the feeling of rebellion. Many world bands are recognized above all for the iconic guitarists and their sound. The list could be endless but surely those who approach this genre certainly know the AC / DC, the Black Sabbath, the Led Zeppelin. Knowing how to play hard rock requires mastering the basics of the guitar and pushing them to the extreme limits using distortions and powerful sounds. The riffs are heavier, have different distortions, the volume is extremely out of nature and also the posture is different by moving the instrument downwards.

The Heavy Metal

Yet another extreme, the base is the hard rock and from here we start with even harder sounds and heavier riffs. Heavy metal also has a correlation with classical music, guitarists of this genre are the undisputed masters of all the techniques that reproduce at crazy speeds, over the years heavy metal has given birth to numerous genres. The sound of heavy metal is mainly full of powerful distortions, syncopated rhythms and variations inside that alternate several times within a single song.

The Funk

Quite different, funk is a musical style that brings grooves to the rhythm. Groove and rhythm are the distinctive elements of this musical genre. Besides the basic notions one must to play the funk is to master the rhythm. Precisely this particular makes it special and in this case it takes a lot of practice with the metronome. Especially for the right hand that controls precisely the rhythm of the rhythm / groove. The most used effects are without a doubt the Wha-Wha and / or the Phaser.

The Reggae

This style sees in Bob Marley a real icon that has cleared this genre all over the world and has not limited it to the Caribbean islands from which it originates. Generally played with the pick, the right hand dictates timing and counter-time while the left is used to stop the sound in order to create the syncopated sound trademark of this genre.

The Country

This style is mainly American and distinctive of the southern States. It is essential to know how to use the pick. The sound is recognizable thanks to its chords, rhythms and above all the strings that must preferably be of metal.

The Jazz

It is certainly one of the bases of all contemporary music. The best guitars are usually the “solid-body”. This style has introduced full-fledged improvisation in music. Using amplifiers with a clear sound but powerful and generally without effects. You need to have an expert level to try your hand at this genre since it is practically based on improvisation.

The Pop

Last but not least, pop. Born from the folk movement in the United States, he later adapted to the contemporary style. Most famous current is that of the Brit-Pop in which you can include groups such as: The Beatles, Genesis, The Police or Oasis that have become famous all over the world. Pop music derives from the arrangements of rock, especially modifying its effects.

I hope you enjoyed this article on differnt guitar styles and don’t hesitate to comment.

Rock On

Benny

 

The benefits for those learning to play a musical instrument

Good day Everyone,

What are the benefits for those learning to play a musical instrument? From the moment I started playing the first chords on the guitar I realized that it would only bring me benefits. Over the years the suspicion has become a certainty and finally it has become a real conviction. The studies on the matter have been wasted over the years but all have come to the same conclusion. Learning to play a musical instrument, whatever it is, brings advantages to the mind and the body. Below is a brief overview of the benefits that the studies have shown to bring. I fully agree with them. So, here we are with the benefits for those learning to play a musical instrument.

Intelligence

This is certainly the most obvious benefit! It is obvious that in order to produce a melody it is necessary to memorize the passages. Choose how to carry out in the most convenient way with your instrument the notes written on the tablature. Keep the tempo and many other small things. To cope with all these problems, the brain is solicited every time in finding a solution (problem solving) and is put to the test to perform analytical reasoning.

Just think of any musician. Every time he/she has to perform in front of a public. No matter if is a stadium or a small private concert. He/She has the obligation to memorize and reproduce what is written on the music sheet. Learning a musical instrument also means learning to read the music from the tablature and this fact exponentially increases the ability to read. Playing means developing the ability to recognize patterns that are repeated, variations, new and old elements that mix together, so that mathematical and logical thinking can benefit from them.

Sociality

Music has the great value of fostering relationships with others. Those who play an instrument are, as a rule, in close contact with others: teachers, classmates, colleagues, friends and consequently develops more the relationship skills with the next one. Playing in an orchestra, singing in a choir, forming a rock band develop in the individual the need to relate and communicate with others. It is indeed necessary to learn to work together for a common goal. Just think of an orchestra made up of many musicians: the importance of understanding each other to play well in unison and fundamental and often based on sincere and trusting relationships. For many, especially boys, the social component and the desire to make groups is the main reason that pushes us to learn to play a musical instrument.

Self-esteem

I have never been too shy. Learning to play an instrument and performing in front of other people have clearly improved my self-esteem. Those who start to juggle with an instrument as a child, once an adult will have less difficulty speaking in public. The fact that they improve their technique little by little thanks to their commitment and becoming more and more skilled obtaining the desired results opens the doors to the self-esteem by systematically making improvements . Making a presentation or speaking in public with others will become easier tasks after you have performed in public for concerts, reviews or for many other occasions.

Creativity

Playing an instrument also requires a good dose of creativity and ingenuity. Music is one of the ways in which we can express ourselves better without needing words. I am convinced that this should be placed at the center of every training course together with the search for a high level technical performance. Basically all the musicians have highly developed expressive and creative skills as well as an excellent technique. The technical improvement, the knowledge of the music, of the instruments becomes the means to which all must aim to be able to fully express their person.

Learning an instrument or simply playing it implies an active listening to the contemporary and past world music scene to appreciate its various aspects and to leave them for the creation of new melodies. Being creative also means mixing the new with the old giving a personal touch and making everything harmonious and innovative.

Self-Discipline

Another benefit that a musical instrument brings to learning is that of discipline. Often on television we see musical groups perform a jam session, a concert and it is clear that there is an innate harmony between the individual members. Before reaching this level, constant sacrifice and practice are required, which are always carried out most of the time. This need has the great merit of promoting self-discipline and encouraging the rational use of time available. Playing is fundamentally easy. The importance lies in the time spent studying your instrument or music every single day to train constantly and keep the goal you want to achieve well-established.

Health

Perhaps the most important benefit of all. There is not much to say but playing an instrument favors the capacity of the immune system, increasing the number of cells active in fighting disease. Older people who play tend to be physically healthier and suffer less from depression, anxiety and loneliness! it is obvious that a healthy life without excesses will contribute greatly to the improvement of life itself.

Stress relief

Playing helps to reduce stress. Often when the tension accumulated during the working day is too much, just play 15 or 20. Playing lets you create a suspension from the normal flow of your life and at the same time sincerely express your emotions. When a person plays he needs to focus on success against stress.

In conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article on benefits for those learning to play a musical instrument. Everyone can learn to play an instrument, the economic commitment can be minimal but time and dedication must be maximum.

This is the only way to succeed.

See you soon and Rock on

Benny

How long does it take to learn to play guitar

Hi Everyone,
Here we are with the one million dollar question: how long does it take to learn to play guitar?
It all depends on several factors, not just your own skills. Of course having a talent for music and a good ear will help you achieve results faster. A guitarist who practices diligently and in the right way will know how to overcome the talented.
Playing the guitar means learning completely new movements of the hand and fingers. In some respects it’s almost like learning to walk. The muscles of the hands must be strengthened and at the same time learn new very precise and coordinated finger movements. The only way to learn these movements, improve the muscle memory of the hand and really progress when playing the guitar, is to practice regularly every day even for a few minutes. Constancy is the key!

How long does it take to learn to play the guitar?

Practically all this means that you will have to practice with the guitar every day as a minimum. It is much more effective to play 30 minutes a day than 3 hours in a row once a week. If 30 minutes seem too long, a good alternative is to divide the time: for example, play 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.

The ideal time frame to devote to guitar exercises varies from 30 minutes to an abundant hour. The time to devote to the study is entirely personal. You have to adjust it together with the time dedicated to work commitments of study and so on. Thus, practicing between 15 and 30 minutes of guitar a day. It will be possible to hope to be able to play the first rhythms on the guitar with chords and some melodies after about a month. Later, habit and practice will allow you to play increasingly complex songs.

The most important thing is to maintain the constancy of regular practice. It is essential not to neglect the instrument for several days in a row. A period of pause is not dramatic, as long as it is not recurrent.  I’m not suggesting not to go into vacation for the sake of the guitar but only to reinforce the concept of continuity.

Sometimes giving yourself a few days off can also be useful in terms of motivation. This will give you the right charge after a stressful period. It is important to stay motivated and not be discouraged by the first difficulty. Learning the guitar is a long-term job and you have to consider that even the greatest guitarists have reached their level through perseverance.

From one week to 2 months

During the first week you should already be able to coordinate your right hand and left hand to sound a clean note. During the other weeks you will be able to decipher a basic tablature, strum a couple of chords and be able to reproduce some simpler tunes. From the second month you will begin to have the very first bases to play the guitar. To approach at the instrument I would suggest to buy starter kit or bundle kit, for adults there are entry level and good proposal with reasonable price while for the kids I would suggest to go classic.

From 3 to 6 months

After a few months, you will be able to play some songs a little more difficult, which requires some more technical elements. For example, songs that require pull-offs and hammer-on and other slightly more complex guitar techniques, play a simple arpeggio on a chord, know five or six open chords and be able to concatenate some chords without hesitation.

After 1 year

You will be able to play songs of intermediate level, including many popular songs, riffs, blues, and so on. You can start to get a more definitive feeling for the chords, managing to play an arpeggio with a change of chords and so on. Between the first and second year of practice and with continuous improvements, surely increases the curiosity towards the electric guitar. As for the classic or the acoustic ones, different bundles can be found on the market by price range: entry level, medium level, high level.

After 2 years

If you practice enough, you could play the guitar with most of the songs in about 2 years. You’ll have to practice before you can actually play them. Larning a song at this stage is very fast, as you probably have already learned most of the technical elements. At this point you will have the knowledge 10 and more chords, the major and minor scales, as well as the pentatonic scales.

From 2 to 4 years

From the second year of operation onward, you will probably be able to perform the first improvisations. Furthermore, you will know the five positions of the minor pentatonic scale together with the different intervals. You will probably be able to play synchronously with another musician being able to improvise correctly. You will start to use more refined effects and compose more complex songs.

From 5 onward

Those who practice guitar over a period of over five years can safely call themselves advanced guitarists. You will realize how much you want to learn even more and to experiment with new instruments such as bass, ukulele, banjo and more. At this point your collection of barges will reach a number of 10-12 units.

In conclusion

How long does it take to learn to play guitar? The brief descriptio above is a generalized overview of the time that learning to play the guitar might take.

As said in the beginning not everyone has the same level of learning. There will be people who in 2 years will be able to play more complex songs. While some others will have to insist with the exercises, as good starting point i would suggest the following exercise book.

Enjoy it and Rock on

Benny

Guitars Accessories, the basics.

Hello Everyone,
let’s talk about guitars accessories. These accessories are often indispensable for playing the instrument in the best way. Metronomes and tuners, picks, string sets and amplifiers and pedals effects.

The advice I show you in general I will go into more details later with other posts. Each guitarist has his own perception, explanation, style and experience, different from the others. My personal experience is related to the use I experienced. As for the other post, here an overview on the basic ones.

The Picks

In a completely simplified way, the plectrum is nothing but a simple piece of plastic or another material of a generally triangular shape, more or less rigid, normally between the thumb and forefinger.  But everyone will have his own way of holding it. Thanks to this object, you can have a stronger attack and greater sound power than just finger strength. In addition to being differentiated by the type of material, an important factor is the thickness which can range from 0.1 millimeters to even 2 millimeters.

The Strings

When buying your guitar the first thing to do is replace the strings. In fact those coming along with guitar itself are always of low quality. To take the right choice, before proceeding to purchase a new set, it is important to know the various types of material with which they can be made.

The Materials:

Pure Nickel: strings built completely in Nickel, make the sound warmer and more balanced. They are the most suitable strings for common electric guitars and are the softest to the touch.

Nickel plated: Nickel plated steel strings have a bright but balanced sound and are the most used strings by guitarists.

Stainless steel: stainless steel strings have the brightest and sharpest sound ever. Under the fingers they are more tense and more rigid. If you play hard rock these are the right strings for you!

Chrome: strings plated with chrome, and are the favorite strings of those who play jazz.

Gold: gold strings for those who are allergic to nickel.

Coated: covered ropes and his are different types of coating from the chemical to those covered in fabric.

Polymer coated: nickel-coated steel ropes, have a chemical treatment to extend his life and shine and delay rusting.

Calibration (thickness) is also important to choose the correct set. Remember that the first string must always be your  reference point.

Thinner strings (so with a smaller diameter) will produce lower action, simpler bending, and in general will give greater compactness than the sound on the contrary if you opt for a set with thicker strings, you will have more vibration, which will be better received from pickups, and that will produce more articulate and full sounds.

The Metronomes and tuners

Finally, a guitar and some brand new strings. Now before you start playing you have to tune them! The most gifted manage to find the perfect tuning by ear while I have always relied on the prodigies of the technology and and I consider fundamental these guitars accessories. There are different types of tuners on the market: clip or table. Clip tuners attach to the head of the guitar and they will tell you which frequency you are playing based on the vibrations of the neck those on the table instead show for each note the degree of tuning on a display.

The ones with clips are the best ones and the advantage lies in the fact that despite his being sound noise (house full of noises, loud friends, in a concert, etc.) and whatever background noise his is, it is picking up the vibrations of the neck to tell you which note is currently being played. The metronome instead is a tool that serves to measure time and consequently the rhythm. With its constant beats, it allows the musician to practice precision avoiding accelerating or slow down depending on the piece or exercise being performed. the best product at reasonable price that combines both metronome and tuner is the KORG TM60BK.

The Amplifiers

With the switch to electric guitar it is mandatory to do a little introduction on the amplifiers. The amplifier is that accessory that cannot be missing in the instrumentation of every musician, the goal is always to amplify the sound of the instrument, without ruining its original sound, finding a versatile solution and most important easy to use. Each and every guitarist rely on these tools to find the right tone they are looking for. On the market you can find dozens of brands each with strengths and weaknesses divided by size and power, doesn’t must say also that bigger does not mean always better or powerful, there are some little tiny monsters that can generate an unexpected power and quality of sound as well.

The Guitar Pedals

Hand in hand with the switch to the electric one also opens the world of pedals and guitar effects. Each guitarist, after having learned the rudiments and the main secrets of the guitar, tends to ask his instrument for something more. They try to build his personality and modulating the sound to look for a particular effect for each piece. Here you enter a real jungle, I believe that on the market you can find thousands of different effects. Notwithstanding that the style is generated mainly by the guitar, the amplifier and your fingers, I must admit that the pedals succeed to transform the sound and personalize it according to our musical taste. Among the most popular effects are certainly the following: Wah Wah, Overdrive, Distortion, Compressors, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, Looper, Fuzz, Phaser, Flanger and many others.

We are almost there with the guitars accessories

By now we’re almost ready to start. This is just a brief overview of the main guitars accessories.  We’ll dig deeper into each category to make it even more clear.

Rock On

Benny

Best guitar to buy for beginners

What is the best guitar to buy for beginners?  There is no specific age to learn to play a musical instrument. I started when I was 14 year old, many friends started later others before.

What counts is the dedication in the exercises and the desire to always learn new things.  Many people ask me what is the best guitar to buy for beginners but the answer is always the same “get one, start to play and have fun”.This answer may be vague but it is an exhortation to start.

How to start: what choose first

We can’t talk about a real process that imposes the classic or the acoustics as a starting point, a lot of people prefer to go directly by holding the electric. Below is a general overview of the various types of guitars in circulation, also divided into macro-groups.

The Classical Guitar

Classical guitar is often refers to as the Spanish guitar due to its origin and almost all of them start with this model. They are considerably smaller than the acoustics. They have a thinner body that makes them much more comfortable to play while sitting. It differs from the acoustic guitar for the handle which is wider and for the strings. Strings are made of nylon rather than steel and produce thick and soft tones.

The Acoustic or Folk Guitar

The acoustic guitars is the ideal instrument for everyone: from beginners to professionals. It is versatile, rich in tones and resonance and is a must for every guitarist. The steel strings are what gives the acoustics its versatility to any musical genre. They are suitable to be played in very narrow spaces, but also in large ones. Pickups, built-in microphones and amplification are needed. A variant of this model is the 12-string guitar.

Obviously, this guitar doesn’t have six standard strings but 12. The second set of strings is thinner than the standard ones and their position is just next to the corresponding standard string, which produces the same note except for a higher octave, 12-string guitars are excellent for chord progressions.

The Electric guitar

A brief preface is a must for this paragraph because we are talking about a very important tool that has characterized entire generations of guitarists. Electric guitars have different body styles, they are made with different types of wood and each one adapts to the type of music you want to play. Although it is possible to tackle any style with the same model, it is also true that over the years some models have characterized real musical genres.

Solid Body

This is by far the most common type of electric guitar because it is the most versatile. Depending on the skill level of the musician and the extra accessories, you can play anything from jazz to indie, from blues to rock, from country to heavy metal. As the name suggests, the guitar is a solid piece of wood that lacks a hole, a characteristic of its acoustic related. For this reason it is less prone to feedback than semi-acoustic electric models, which emit a completely different sound. Pickups and electrical components are on front of the body.

Semi-acoustic

Semi-acoustics is probably closer to jazz and blues. Semi-acoustic guitars look more like a traditional solid-body electric guitar, but will have different shapes, sizes, body depths and splits. The empty or semi-empty chambers provide an acoustic fullness and a warm tone compared to the solid body ones, but they are more prone to unwanted feedback. A semi-acoustic guitar has stronger tones and volumes played in disconnected mode than a solid-body electric guitar, but it must be connected and amplified to project the best sound.

Archtop

Arched guitars, both acoustic and electric, look the same. They could appear as huge violins thanks to the violin-shaped holes or to the wings equipped on the guitar soundboard. The internal sound blocks have been integrated into hollow body guitars to offer a soft and warm tone that jazz musicians love. On an electric guitar, the arches have pickups. The full-bodied arches offer the warmth and tone of the acoustic equivalent when disconnected. But its thin twin can minimize unwanted feedback better than the full-bodied one when connected to an amplifier.

Few words on the Guitar’s cousin: the Bass

The standard bass differs from the guitar by the number of strings. Generally, they require four steel strings, but there are models with five or six strings. The sound is more precisely and together with the drums it ‘s the core of every song being an essential part of the rhythm part.

Most people who dedicate themselves to this instrument always choose the electric version, which will always need amplification. The electric bass has a solid body, hardware and the pickups are on the front. The acoustic bass is less common.  Instead of using amplified sound pickups and being slaves of electronics.

Semi-acoustics are the bass versions of semi-acoustic electric guitars, they require a source of energy to have a better sound. The semi-acoustic bass has a semi-empty body.

Finally there is the electro-acoustic bass, this can be called the ideal hybrid. It resembles the acoustic four-string bass and hollow body, but it shows the electric combos needed for amplification.

After this overview: what is the best guitar to buy for beginners?

As written before the important thing is to start, the market for musical instruments is vast.

You can start with a single guitar or consider complete sets that you can find on each site online but also in major stores. I always suggest starting with a classical / acoustic guitar to learn the basics and, as in my case when I started, to have fewer problems with the neighbors.

Once bases are sound, I suggest switching to the electric guitar. If the neighbors remain a problem, the best solution remains a nice pair of headphones. I hope I have made some clarity in your minds and not to have created even more confusion. I wish you all the right choice and start as soon as possible with your new guitar.

Click here to find a good compromise for the best guitar to buy for beginners.

Benny

I’m Benny and this is my page

Hello Everyone and welcome to my Smart Guitar Accessories website. Playing guitar has been a passion since I was 14 years old, I have purchased numerous courses and accessories to improve my skills, techniques and of course instrument set up.

Time has always been a limit to my practice but as soon as I had free time I fully dedicated it to learn new tricks or test new stuff.

I would now like to share my experience with you all. Since the first time I practiced a guitar, I have always focused on techniques, having a rocker soul for me was and still is very important. knowing the basics was a foundation for me and helped me perfect my techniques.

Practice, practice and practice

Practicing is the core guitar playing, there are talented ones born like this, but that was not my case. Whenever I had the chance my priority was always to study and learn new and cool stuff. Once grow up the time to dedicate to the guitar decreased a lot and for me was a must to really steal the time from my daily routing in order to enjoy my passion.

The Guitar player 2.0

At the beginning there was just an electric guitar, one pedal, pre-amp and amp, today there are dozen of gadgets and courses that make life simple and practicing’m going to show the majority of them.

No more talk

Let’s start to look around, I hope you might find some good and useful trick/link on this web site. If you have something to share back I would be happy to hear your experience.

To your bleeding fingers

Benny F.Beringer

Founder
Smart Guitar Accessories