Guitar Guru

Everyone wants to learn the king of all instruments, but as soon as they start they quit. We know why and that’s why this column provides all you need to know about the guitar in a way that won’t drive you nuts or be too difficult. Once you’ve mastered the ole git-fiddle, check out our other columns to push your music to new heights.

Guitar Pedal Order Matters! - The Signal Chain & Effects Loop Guide

Updated: Guitar Guru
effects pedal order matters

This nightmare question gets asked once per musician, they spend a couple days tormenting themselves over it, then it finally all clicks into place. That question? "What's the best order for my guitar pedals?" The problem arises from realizing you may be using as many as six or even 12 pedals, and even more on a pedalboard. The number of various ways you can mix […]

Types of Guitar Pedals: 23 Must Have Effects That Define Your Style

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar pedal types

We all have heard that tone starts in the hands of the guitarist. Different players can play thru the exact same amp and guitar rig and produce sounds on opposite ends of the spectrum. I like to refer to this base sonic level as the DNA of a player. Thanks to mad scientists tinkering in their evil laboratories of sound, we now have the ability […]

Beginner Jazz Guitar for Non-Jazz Guitarists

Updated: Guitar Guru
learn to play jazz guitar

Learning to play jazz guitar might seem like rocket science to some, and while there is a world of information and approaches out there, taking things in small steps will yield the best results. Remember that music is not a competition. It is art for its own sake. In this lesson, I'll attempt to give a general overview of the basics while being as comprehensive […]

How to Build Guitar Calluses: Take Care of Your Fingers!

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar callus

Forget about the tall tales, the marketing schemes, and the urban legends. Nobody wants their fingertips raw and wounded from playing guitar. Mainly because that means you have to stop playing until you heal. As a beginner, it's bad enough to need to restrict your practice time because your fingertips are tender and squishy. You might only play for 30 minutes but the next day […]

What is Guitar Tone? Understanding & Dialing In Your Sound

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar tone

Depending on who you're talking to, you'll get various definitions on what tone is and where it comes from. Many purists will even tell you where it should come from, too. The reality is that various genres of music and guitar playing are accepting of more and more layers of signal processing and effects, and the more that they use regularly the more forgiving and […]

Guitar Inlays - All About Those Fretboard Markers

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar inlay

“Playing guitar is easy, just follow the dots!” Playing the guitar is that easy, huh? I guess that explains why my grandma shreds like Steve Vai, right? I guess that's why nobody rage quits daily... There may be some truth to that "dot" statement, but we can’t always follow the dots these days. Sometimes we have to follow the diamonds, vampire bats, roses and thorns, […]

General Guitar Maintenance & Care: Keep Your Instrument Pristine

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar maintenance

Guitar maintenance is one of the most important, but also the most overlooked parts of guitar ownership. A properly maintained guitar will give you the best performance possible, no matter how cheap or expensive it is. On the other hand, lack of maintenance can severely limit what that guitar can give you. What many guitar players don't realize is just how complex this instrument really […]

Bigsby vs. Fender: The Merle Travis Guitar Story

Updated: Guitar Guru
merle travis bigsby fender

Of the many American musicians known for writing country and western songs, none are as synonymous with the genre as the great song-crafting guitarist Merle Travis (1917 - 1983). Others come close but they don't come before this historical icon. He gained popularity in a time and place when the people needed a voice for their experiences and emotions that otherwise weren't being validated. His […]

How to Play Guitar – The Fool’s Gold Method for Beginners

Updated: Guitar Guru
learn guitar fools gold method

The first time I grabbed a guitar, 50 years of guitar gods from Jimi Hendrix to Jack White riffed, soloed, and whammy barred their way through my head. But the cavalcade of axe men quickly disappeared, replaced by a flood of doubtful thoughts. I was confused. I was intimidated. I wondered if my age and my “real world” responsibilities were too much to overcome. The […]

Guitar Strings Guide - All You Need to Know... (And More!)

Updated: Guitar Guru
guitar string guide

Every player has said to themselves, “These strings are still ok, ill just keep on picking them…” Next thing you know, your intonation is shot and you break a string while wiping off the accumulation of six months of rust and dead skin cells. "It’s economical and a time saver," I kept telling myself, “I saved a few bucks and got more life out of […]

Miking Your Acoustic Guitar Like a Pro: Placement & Techniques

Updated: Guitar Guru
acoustic guitar miking

Acoustic guitar has a variety of voicings, from the instrument itself as well as how it’s played. It can be full-range, evocative, and expressive. Driving rhythms can also explode with surprising power. The softest whispers of delicate strings can frame quiet, emotional vocals. The voice your guitar gives depends on so many factors and each of these impacts how best to capture the particular sound […]

Types of Electric Guitars - Body Styles & Shapes

Updated: Guitar Guru
electric guitar types

When I was a kid, I had a natural attraction to organized sounds. Music has always been a part of my life, whether my family was singing together at holiday gatherings or my friends where writing their favorite band names on their Trapper Keepers. Music is so pervasive in our day-to-day lives. It's always present, whether through the radio, in commercials, movies and TV, and […]

Types of Acoustic Guitars - Body Shapes & Sizes

Updated: Guitar Guru
types of acoustic guitar shapes

It’s definitely important to buy an instrument that you like the look of, but upon closer inspection, you'll find that the shape of the body effects the tonal properties of the guitar more than you may have previously realized. Let’s take a look at some of the varieties of acoustic guitar bodies, and why a player may choose an instrument based on its sound as […]