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Friday, November 26, 2010

How to Change Guitar Strings

Changing guitar strings might seem tricky. If you're only starting out to play the guitar, this might seem intimidating and complicated for you. But this is a skill that you must acquire and something that you as an guitarists must master. It's not a hard thing to do, it's actually pretty simple. 

Now I take it that because you are reading this, something happened while you were playing. Or maybe you simply heard a "plonk" and not really sure what that sound was, you had a look around and found out that it came from you're guitar. It's common that only one guitar string break at a time.

And because of this you go ahead and change the broken guitar string and continue playing.. WRONG. Don't go mixing old and new guitar strings. This will ruin the sound of you're guitar. It's nothing that will hurt you're guitar. It's more that the sound of the old strings and one new will not sound good at all.

That's why guitarist always change all the strings when the change their guitar strings. And so should you. Sure it's a bit more expencive but we are only talking about $5 - $10 so it's nothing really. That new guitar string sound can't be beat. It will give new life to you're guitar, and will also affect you and you're playing because it sound so good. When you go and buy new strings, you can also try and buy a couple of different brands. Because some guitars sound better with other makes of strings. But this is something that you will need to play around with.

Before you start make sure that you have you're new strings and a guitar tuner. If you don't have a guitar tuner, I would recommend you get one. Or you can have a look at some of the videos how to tune you're guitar. This will help you get the guitar in tune once you're done. Also a good tool to have is a peg winder. You don't need a peg winder but it saves time to have one.

Now go ahead and turn you're tuning pegs down to loosen up the guitar strings. This can take some time to get all the strings loose enough so you can remove them if you don't have the peg winder. Take note how the guitar strings are fastened down at the bridge of the guitar. Some guitars have bridge pins, now these can be very stubborn to get out. There are bridge pin pullers that you can buy to help you with this. But some people simply use pliers to pull them out. You need to be very carefull if you do use pliers because you can easily damage the bridge pins and saddle if you do. You can also push the bridge pins out from the inside. You need to loosen the guitar strings so much that you can stick you're hand inside the guitar if you are doing it that way. You can use a penny or something hard to help you push the pins out.


Some guitar strings have "nuts" or something at the end that will allow them to just slide in place so that they are fastened. This is more common with electric guitars that use steel strings. But some makers don't have this, if that's the case you need to "tie" the guitar strings at the bridge. The picture below is from a classical guitar that use nylon guitar strings.

Guitar string order E-6 A-5 D-4 G-3 B-2 E-1

It's much easier to change the guitar strings on a guitar with nylon strings, because they will come of easy and you only need to tie the guitar strings back. If you look close you only need to stick the strings in from the top and then twist around 2-3 times. Then when you start to tighten the tuning pegs the strings will lock in place down at the bridge.


You can go ahead and clean you're fretboard and get all that dirt of the guitar when you have the guitar strings off. It's much easier and if you look close at the frets you probably will see some dirt that's collected over time. This is skin oil, skin and dirt that you have there. You can use some fretboard cleaner and polish to get that nice look back to you're guitar. If you don't have anything handy you can do it afterwards also, but it's much easier to do when the strings are off the guitar. Don't use water when cleaning or any other household cleaners. Some say you could use citric acid, but this will dry out the fretboard. I have used a little cooking oil or olive oil on my guitars fretboard. And it worked very well. But I would not put anything else on the guitar, because the wood will soak up anything and if done wrong this will damage the guitar.


Put the guitar strings back in the right order. The thickest gauge guitar string is called E-6 this one is the first string you see when looking down at you're guitar when you are playing. And then it goes down to the thinest string that also is a E string but called E-1. So the order is E A D G B E. Have a look at the picture above and you can see how it should look if done right.


Putting the strings back is pretty easy, put the stings back in the tuners and turn you're tuning pegs. Try and get the guitar strings to lock in place so that they don't slip. And try and get the winding to look good. If it looks good it will sound good. And also give more life to you're new strings. 



Tune the guitar up to tune. Put some tension on all the strings and then tune one at a time. Now this is where that guitar tuner will come in handy. Because you would not want to overtune the guitar because you can snap a string if you go to far. So have a look at some videos and try an listen to how the tune should be and you will be alright. Have a look at the video of Tommy Emmanuel that I have here for you:
Tommy Emmanuel - String Talk
Tommy Emmanuel gives some very good advice for you how to tune and get the stretch out of you're guitar strings. 



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Guitar Pro 6: chord diagram, digital tuner, guiitar fretboard HideMyAss.com

Some thoughts about guitar courses and guitar lessons online

Pointers when you buy guitars like electric guitars and acoustic guitars with all the guitar gear avaliable


Nowdays you can find electric guitars for sale and acoustic guitars for sale on the www. You can even find some nice pa speakers and guitar gear if you want. But back in the day and probably even still today, it's a common thing that you would look around, maybe in the newspaper or go to town to look if you could find an acoustic electric guitar for sale that you like. Most would go to a music store that have electric guitars for sale or acoustic guitars for sale and then spend some time in the music store playing before they make the decision and buy a guitar. Now let me tell you that going to a music store would probably be best for a beginner because he or she would then also get advice from the store about what guitar gear and guitar accessories that would be best to look at also for the beginner guitar player.


But we guitarists that have been playing now for many, many years are more and more starting to look on the www when it's time for us to buy guitar however we are not always after new ones though. I have been having my eye on one acoustic electric guitar for sale now for some time, it's a Yamaha but it's the handcrafted one and it's got a great guitar sound. However if I go ahead and buy guitar at the local store that would cost me a bit more, so that's why I have been turning more to WWW music stores that have this acoustic electric guitar for sale. Most of the time. However because it's a handmade guitar few stores have it in stock. So I'm still searching but maybe someday I will find a place that have my acoustic electric guitar for sale so I can be happy with my buy.


The thing is that when you do come across a place that let you buy acoustic guitars and you find your acoustic electric guitar for sale or a place that have a lot of different electric guitars for sale you start to look at what more they got in stock. Like oh lets see, I could use new pa speakers and some guitar gear would be nice. I don't think you could have to little guitar gear because you are kind of limited in your guitar playing otherwise. Well I think it's like with everything else that in the end you come out with an even more expensive acoustic electric guitar or whatever it was than the one you had you're eye on.


Want the hear something silly? Did you know that now you can even get guitar jewelry I mean what is that? They didn't have guitar jewelry when I grew up, or at least it wasn't that "big". When I was a kid you would be lucky if you got a music stand or guitar case to go along with your new guitar. I think this have more to do with the fact that a lot of artists today have rap jewelry or music jewelry that they wear. You know there are also gold guitar picks now.. Well I don't think gold guitar picks are somethig that new but if you start to look at the whole picture. You begin to see with all this guitar jewelry and music jewelry with gold guitar picks and, did I leave something out? Oh yeah rap jewelry is not to be forgotten. So you know there is a lot of stuff out there.


Now I don't think you can have enough of either acoustic guitars or electric guitars but because you now easily can buy electric guitars on the www and easily buy guitars on the WWW you might want to think a bit about which guitars you want before you go on a spending spree. Make up a plan, look at your style of playing and go from there.


So now you have your guitar and guitar gear but how do you play?



Well everyone started out somewhere didn't we. I however did not take any guitar courses when I started out. Well actually now that I think about it I did take a basic guitar course back in middle school. But this was a few years before I really picked up the guitar and made a effort to learn to play guitar and play my first songs. And back then we only played some really easy chords, you know simple stuff. Now more than 13 years on looking back at how I have evolved as a guitar player I do see that I could have very much evolved quicker with guitar lessons online than without them.


However back then we didn't good guitar lessons online that you can get today. There are even some good free online guitar lessons out there now that would be suitable beginner guitar lessons for you young people. However I know that there are a lot of you "old" guys and gals out there that also want to learn how to play guitar and just because your not young and "nimble" does not mean you can't learn to play guitar also. I know there are some very good musicians out there that didn't start to play until they were middle age and it turned out that they could play really good.


When it comes to guitar lessons online you should not get turned off if you come across guitar lessons online that don't suit you. Because we all learn different. Some of us are quick learners and other (like me) it takes us a bit longer. And how well we learn to play guitar is not only up to you but also the guitar teachers. If you are lucky you find some guitar courses with guitar teacher that you like and stick with them.


But again we all learn different so what works for some might not be what works for you. Me on the other hand I tend to play guitar as a hobby, and because of that I don't like to play if I'm not in the mood. That's another thing that's great with online guitar courses because you get to decide when it's the best time for you to learn to play guitar not the other way around. Otherwise you would need to keep an appointment to your guitar course and be "forced" to play even though not really in the mood. On the other hand playing guitar makes me in a good mood, so don't get too upset about you sending your kids away to their guitar courses


You should look around at what guitar courses are available and if your a beginner then some beginner guitar lessons are where you should be looking for first. And even though you know a little how to play guitar already. I'm sure it would be good for you to start out with a beginner guitar lesson first because there are always something that you can learn. You would not want to "play wrong" for a number of years only to find out way later that you should not move your arm when you strum the guitar now do you? Well Steve Vai does that, and he's pretty good you know, but that's one thing that guitar teachers point out that you should not do. Move your wrist instad, that gives you better control. It's the small things like, holding a guitar pick and sitting straight that you miss out on without some good guitar lessons and I'm not kidding.


Something like that could happen to you if you don't get your basics right from the start. So go ahead and look around for some good guitar lessons online I have a selection on this page at the top if you are interested. And remember it should be fun, but it will take some practice but that's one thing that good guitar teachers should be able to help you with.

Songwriters and music producers usually started out after learning guitar

So now you have you're guitar and know how to play


We all evolve, with anything we do we get better and sooner or later we start to seek more challenges. The natural step for a new guitar player would be to either join a band or start a band. However some of you will go on and make your own music and become music producers or songwriters full time. There are a few things that differ though. If you're in a band, probably a small one.. What you really need is recording labels or a record deal to get you onto the big stage. Someone to promote music that you make, of course you can promote your music yourself. One thing you can do to promote your band is to join a music contest instead. That will help PROMOTE MUSIC because it will get people talking if you are good enough. There are some major record labels accepting demos that you can go to but if you promote your band doing music contests and win you might even get music promotion companies to get their eyes / ears open to your music and contact you.


There's no secret that music agents and music publishers are present in the crowd from time to time, and if you do good this will get you offers from recording labels for sure. If you're a songwriter or lyricist you probably want to sell music and the big question is how to sell music to record companies if your an unknown lyricist. There's no big secret really, if your music is good and you make yourself seen chances are you will get in contact with independent record labels and if you start to get out there and get yourself known, then upcoming bands will also be in contact with you.

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