Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Guitar Lesson - Guitar Tabs For Beginners - The Entertainer

When it comes to reading guitar tabs, I can understand that it must be a bit confusing to look at guitar tabs at first. I too had to take a very hard and long look at guitar tabs before I started to see what whas going on, when I first started out playing guitar. There are a couple of things that you need to know that will make it easy for you to understand guitar tabs. But I will not only give you the basics and label things for you. I will teach you the first part of a song also as we go along.

I was thinking about what song to go with when it comes to explaining guitar tabs. And I ended up with a song called The Entertainer. This song is not an easy song to learn for a beginner. But we will only use the first part of the song (first 10 seconds to be exact) and actually once you get going it's not that hard. It's something for you to work on and maybe someday you will play the whole thing. Now the song The Entertainer is an old piano rag by Scott Joplin. It's an famous song, you probably have heard it already. A version of the song appears in the video game Gran Turismo 5 as the background music for the "GT Auto" menu screen. In the United States, "The Entertainer" is also commonly played by ice cream trucks, in order to attract attention.

I will show you a video of Chet Atkins performing the song The Entertainer way back in 1975. This video will show you how to place you're fingers. That's a thing when it comes to guitar tabs. They don't show you how to place you're fingers the best way on the fretboard. That's something for you to figure out. But the rule of thumb is to place the fingers so that you can move around on the fretboard with ease while playing. What feels right is usually the right way to play the song.

Chet Atkins performing Scott Joplin's - The Entertainer

Like I said before, we will only use the first 10 seconds of the song. So the below pictures show the guitar tabs for the first 10 secondes. And those 10 secondes I have split up into segments for you.

OK, this is the first part of the guitar tab. If you were to look at the video this would be the first 3 seconds. To make it easy for you to understand what's going on, I have put in an guitar fretboard at the top in this first picture. There you see there is a 12 in yellow on the fretboard and guitar tab. The 12 is the fret number you should start on. Counting down from you're guitar neck with 1 being the closest to the headstock, you should start the song on the 12th fret. Now the string that is pressed down here is you're first string numbered 1. Look at the string number to you're right. This is the thinnest string on you're guitar. So when you see a number on the guitar tab that's the fret. And then look at what string you should be pressing. And when you press the first string on the 12th fret, you will get an E. This should also sound the same as if you where to play the string without pressing anything, because the first string is an E string. The same goes with you're 6th string, that is also an E. If you play both strings, 1st and 6th they should sound the same.

The above guitar tab show you the beginning of the song again. But without the fretboard that I had earlier for explination. If you take a look at the guitar tab you will see that there is a pattern going on here. The only difference is that we have moved up the guitar neck and play more in the middle now. The guitar tab above show you the first 5 seconds of the video.

There is a few things you should know of the above guitar tab. This is the last part. And show the remaining 5 seconds. We have now moved almost all the way up the neck of the fretboard. And start to play on the 2nd fret. But we end up with a zero on the guitar tab. What does a zero mean on a guitar tab you may ask? You see the 1 on the guitar tab and you should know by now that it means that you should play the 1st fret and be on the 5ft string right. So what does zero mean? This means you play an open string. You play the string without pressing down. The zero on the guitar tab above is the 5ft string. So that means you should play the 5ft string without pressing down on the fretboard.

Then you see a bunch of numbers 5567 all at once. Well this is a guitar chord. Wait a minute, there ain't no guitar chords way down on the 5ft fret is there? For a beginner this might look a bit odd. It's actually only an A chord but instead of the usual A, to give the song that little bit extra. This is an A chord that sound a little bit more. Go ahead try it out. Go back and forth between the ordinary A chord and this new one and see what you think. There are A chords all over the fretboard. Not just the ones that you play on the 2nd fret. Same goes for all other chords.

What is this now, you look at the picture above and now there is a A chord but there is something that's wrong. What's wrong with this picture? Well there isn't anything wrong, but this picture above shows finger placement on the fretboard instead. Take the A chord. 1 2 3 means you simply should place you're fingers starting with you're first finger and so on. And this on the 2nd fret for the A chord and play the chord. If I where to make an guitar tab here now and put in a A chord, it would look like this instead.

So there you have it, pretty simple to understand once you go over it. Now the song The Entertainer that Chet Atkins play above is played in Drop D Tuning. This means that the 6st string that is normally in a E tune, is dropped down to a D tune. So the 6st string sounds the same as you're 4th string. But this you don't have to worry about. Because you only need to do this if you are planning on learning the entire song. If you would like to learn more about how to tune you're guitar in Drop D tuning. Go here Tune Your Guitar in Drop D

I hope it's not been too confusing for you, and that I explained the whole thing so you got to understand guitar tabs and how they work. There are a few more things that I could explain about guitar tabs. But usually if there is something extra like hammer-on and pull-off's on a guitar tab. It would be explained on the guitar tab itself by the author.

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Fender Presents: Getting Started on Electric Guitar -- A Guide for BeginnersGuitar Now: Intermediate Lessons [Volume 2] [VHS]Learn and Master Guitar, Expanded Edition, Steve Krenz, 20 DVDs, 5 Jam-Along CDs & Lecture Book, from Legacy LearningMusician's Toolbox: Learn Guitar Chords DVDeMedia Rock Guitar Method
Guitar Lessons: Fingerstyle Guitar how to play acoustic fingerpicking guitar instructional video learning guitar lesson DVDEASY METAL GUITAR DVD - Heavy Metal Guitar Lessons For Beginner through IntermediateGuitar for the Absolute Beginner, Book 1 (Book and DVD)Kids Guitar 1 : Ten Easy Lessons! [VHS]Master the Guitar in 7 Days! - Finding This Endeavor Rewarding and At Times, Very Trying! AAA+++
Your First Guitar Lesson (Beginning Guitar)Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition: Books & CD's 1, 2 and 3Eric Johnson: Total Electric GuitareMedia Guitar Method v5
Guitar Lessons: Learning Guitar Step 1 - How to play guitar instructional videoEasy Guitar Chords DVD Common Rhythms and ProgressionsGibson's Learn & Master GuitarThe Slap Bass Program [VHS]
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Guitar Pro 6: chord diagram, digital tuner, guiitar fretboard

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.