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guitar pollI am curious to know what guitar accessories people love most. It can be anything that you use in your playing, not including your actual guitar, amp, or cable. It can be your favorite pedal, your slide, maybe a capo. Really anything. Also let us know why you love that accessory so much.

measuring guitar progressMany guitar players get in a rut after they have been playing for some time. It usually happens at around 1-2 years. It happened to me. I’m sure it happened to you. For one reason or another we just get discouraged. Mostly because we feel we stopped making real progress. So what should we do to motivate ourselves to keep playing guitar?

First let’s try and find out why we lost our flare.

Throughout the first year or two of your playing you are learning so many new things on guitar. You’re like a newborn baby learning all about your new environment. Every day you find out fantastic new things. You learn what the string names are. You learn what a major chord is. You learn minor chords. You learn basic scales and their applications. But then you hit a wall. Where to go now?

Hybrid picking on guitar

Hybrid picking is a great way of adding another dimension to your sound. Players in many different styles such as blues, bluegrass, country, rock and jazz use hybrid picking when they play guitar. One of my favorite guitar players, Stevie Ray Vaughan, uses hybrid picking for his solo in the song “Lenny.”

Playing the eight bar blues

Now that you have an understanding of the basic 12-bar blues, let’s talk a little bit about the 8-bar blues format. Unlike the 12-bar blues format, the 8-bar blues is much less defined. And that’s part of the fun of playing an 8 bar blues-you can experiment with the chord changes.

washburn guitarsFrom Delta Blues to Modern Rock, Washburn Stringed Instruments Roll With the Times

(Chicago, IL. July 10, 2007) Washburn Guitars, a division of US Music Corporation is celebrating 125 years of stringed instrument innovations. From the 1880’s to today, Washburn has been producing stringed instruments for amateur and professional musicians combining design, innovation and technology to deliver quality tools to artists across all genres. Washburn guitars have been played by classic guitar icons including Greg Allman and Bob Dylan. Today rockers such as Nick Cantanese of Black Label Society, Scott Ian of Anthrax and Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy rely on Washburn to create the signature sounds that drive modern music.

The Great Pick Decision

choosing a guitar pick-dunlop tortex picksStuck on which pick to use for guitar? Here is a great post on chosing a guitar pick submitted by Giles Dickerson. If you want to submit a post to The Guitar Resource please contact me.

I figured I'd cover picks (or the plectrum, which is so strange to me I still can't say it and have it sound normal to me, it sounds more like a body part than a musical accessory) even though I didn't spend a huge amount of time on thinking about this to be honest. Sometimes to me a little advice communicated in the right way is all I need to make a decision. There are a lot of picks out there. In fact, it's a little ridiculous. Could each one offer something unique? There's every shape, size, density, material, and cost out there. How did I pick the ones to start with? My buddy handed them to me at guitar center and said "Here use these". My ignorant comment ofcourse was something like "Oh these are good?". No they're awful that's why I picked them out for you. So there you have it.

Just starting with the guitar? A master of the instrument? I recommend the Dunlop .60mm Tortext Standard Number 418 medium orange pick. Not too thick, not too thin, and according to their website they offer some sort of fantastic "memory".

This is a great finger exercise for guitar you can use to build speed and strength. The best part of this exercise is that you really don’t need to focus that much. It can be done with ease while watching TV or reading or even chatting with a friend.

So here is what you do. You are going to “trill” (rapidly hammer on and pull off) on the high E string (you can start at any fret, I normally start around the 5th) as fast as you can using various finger positions. Sound easy? Well guess what, it’s not. You are going to trill for 15 seconds straight in each position pictured below. And you are going to do it was fast as you can. And you can’t rest until you go through all 8 positions below. That’s two minutes of straight of trilling. And this is just to start off. The goal is to work up to a minute straight with each position.

The different positions to use are pictured below. Be sure that you can hear all of the notes clearly when you play, especially for exercises 4,5, and 8. If you need to slow down a bit for those ones, you should. Also, if your hand starts hurting at any point, stop and take a break. You don’t want to hurt yourself.

The numbers after each picture represtent the fingers you are using (1= pointer and 4=pinkey, you can figure out the other two)

guitar finger exercise trill 1(1, 2, 1, ect...)

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