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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guitar Pioneer - Lester William Polsfuss known as Les Paul [June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009]

If Les Paul were to still be alive he would have become 96 years old today. His real name was Lester William Polsfuss but he is known as Les Paul. Les Paul was an American jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. Les Paul did many innovations over the years but the biggest one would be the Solid Body Electric Guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible".


Les Paul's innovative guitar, called "The Log", had been built after-hours in the Epiphone guitar factory in 1940. It was one of the first Solid Body Electric Guitars. There was only Adolph Rickenbacker that had marketed a Solid Body Guitar in the 1930s and Leo Fender also independently created his own in 1946.

Les Paul had approached Gibson with his idea of a Solid Body Electric Guitar, but they showed no interest until Fender began marketing its Esquire which later became known as the Telecaster models. So because of this the first Gibson Les Paul Guitar went into production in 1952. It had two P-90 pickups, a one-piece trapeze tailpiece and bridge, strings that slid under a steel stop bar and a golden finish.

To this day, various models of Gibson Les Paul guitars are used all over the world by both novice and professional guitarists. His guitars have entranced many great guitar players of our time like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Duane Allman and a host of other giants, and continues to have magical appeal today. A original Gibson Les Paul Electric Guitar will be pricey but a less expensive version of the Gibson Les Paul guitar is also manufactured for Gibson's lower-priced Epiphone brand.

Les Paul's innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.


Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Collection Electric Guitar, EbonyGibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar, Worn Brown SatinThe Best of the Capitol Masters: 90th Birthday Edition
The Best of the Capitol Masters: 90th Birthday Edition Les Paul & Mary Ford (Audio CD - Jun 7, 2005) $12.88
Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar, Worn Brown Satin $799
Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Collection Electric Guitar, Ebony $249


Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed.

Les Paul is also credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
In the beginning there was no magnetic tape, not until the allied soldiers had gotten their hands on nazi technology after the second world war. So recordings were made not with magnetic tape, but with acetate discs. This was not that efficient, Paul would record a track onto a disk, then record himself playing another part with the first. He built the multitrack recording with overlaid tracks, rather than parallel ones as he did later. By the time he had a result he was satisfied with, he had discarded some five hundred recording discs.

Paul even built his own disc-cutter assembly, based on automobile parts. He favored the flywheel from a Cadillac for its weight and flatness. Even in these early days, he used the acetate-disk setup to record parts at different speeds and with delay, resulting in his signature sound with echoes and birdsong-like guitar riffs. When he later began using magnetic tape, the major change was that he could take his recording rig on tour with him, even making episodes for his fifteen-minute radio show in his hotel room. He later worked with Ross Snyder in the design of the first eight-track recording deck (built for him by Ampex for his home studio.)


Paul had never been happy with the way his records sounded. During a post-recording session talk with Bing Crosby, the crooner suggested Paul try building his own recording studio so he might be able to get the sound he wanted. At first Paul discounted the idea only to give it a few more minutes thought before deciding Crosby was right. Paul started his own studio in the garage of his home on Hollywood's North Curson Street.

The studio drew many other famous vocalists and musicians who wanted the benefit of Paul's expertise. The home and studio are still standing, but both had been moved to Pasadena at some point after Paul no longer owned the home.

On August 12, 2009, Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. His family and friends were by his side. Paul is survived by his four children and his companion Arlene Palmer. His attorney told the media Paul had been "in and out of the hospital" because of illness. His last concert took place a few weeks before his death.

Les Paul: Live in New YorkLes Paul & Mary Ford - All-Time Greatest HitsLes Paul - Chasing SoundChester & Lester
Chester & Lester Chet Atkins (Audio CD - Jul 24, 2007) $8.35
Les Paul - Chasing Sound Les Paul (DVD) $21.99
Les Paul & Mary Ford - All-Time Greatest Hits Les Paul & Mary Ford (Audio CD - Nov 1, 1995) $7.28
Les Paul: Live in New York Les Paul, Keith Richards, Steve Miller (DVD) $16.49




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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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