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How to hold a guitar in the best possible way to play well

4 positions pour tenir votre guitare

You must ask yourself how to hold an acoustic or electric guitar while being sited ? We’ll explain you all the possibilities to have a nice hands, arms and back position.

Why you must hold a guitar the right way when site ?

It is absolutely fundamental to have a good position when you play guitar. The posture is what will help you avoid a serious injury or improve the positioning skills of your fingers on the neck.

The aim of being sited, and not standing, while playing guitar

The standing position is mostly used during concerts. In a learning phase, it will be more interesting to practice sited in order to help you focus. Nevertheless, if you already have a rather sedentary kind of job as me (being sited behind a desk almost all day long in order to prepare your some nice pedagogical articles :p), then playing standing might be a great alternative .. but a little more tiresome. Think about having your computer keyboard or tablet at the same level as your sight to avoid having to bend often. A guitar weights a few kilograms and repeated movements to shift from an exercise to another increases the risk of making a wrong move. Thus, playing sited instead of standing allows you :

  • To limit the risks of injuries and many subsidiary pain such as back-ache (top/bottom), trapezius, shoulder blades, or even tendinitis.
  • To optimize the ease you have with your guitar playstyle. You moves will be faster and you’ll be able to place chords in an easier manner without blocking a single string.
  • To grant you a better focus that will help you play longer and by tiring yourself less.

There are, nonetheless, many positions used to hold a guitar while being sited. Through this short article / course, it’s important to differentiate the position of a left-handed guitarist from the one of a right-handed guitarist. Read this tutorial without modifying anything. If you have a right handed guitar, read this tutorial without changing a thing.If you have a left-handed guitar, you will simply need to invert the sense of the fingers. : )

The ideal way to hold a guitar for learning and practice purpose

Whether you play electric guitar, classical or folk, you can use these different positions by taking care to check there is no tension building in your body. You need to feel at ease. Of course, you’ll need a slight adaptation time.

The classical sitting position

This position is the one you should be being taught when starting classical guitar. The instrument has to fit between the legs. The curve of the guitar is set against your left leg. Even if this technic is mainly taught in classical music school as a traditional and fundamental way, it is not necessary the best one. It’s simple; there is no better one between this one and the one we’Il see together in a while. There are advantages and inconvenient to each of them and you’ll have to chose the one you feel the most at ease with. Its advantages are the followings:

  • The weight of the guitar is spread between many different points of your body, it avoids blood circulation cuts.
  • the neck is more accessible and allows you to have more amplitude.
  • your back will be straight and you’ll avoid arching.

On the other side, this position requires space. It is possible that your left arm will be faster tired because the blood flows a little less and the fact your eyes will be locked on the fretboard will force you to bend your neck forward.

A guitarist sitting in classical position
The position to hold a classical or folk guitar while being seated.
A guitarist holding his guitar in sitting position
This posture also work for electric guitar but the weight of the instrument makes it harder to hold.

The standard posture, or modern position

With this more casual posture, your guitar will be set on your right thigh and the neck, slightly oriented (about 45 degrees) upward. This way of holding the guitar is well spread in electric guitar playing and folk-associated styles. It grants your more freedom of movements and you’ll be able to pass over the unhealthy guitarist habits. For example :

  • you can see more easily where to set your fingers on the guitar neck.. but you might arch your back and hurt your back by doing so.
  • the style is way cooler, but the weight of the guitar might block your bloodstream and put your leg to sleep. I don’t even want to tell you about all those moments after a long guitar session when I could barely walk away from the chair!
  • To play technics such as fingerstyle and percussive play like Andy McKee it is way easier !

There too, I recomend you to do some tests to make sure which is the best way to hold the guitar according to your needs. On my personal experience, I started with this posture, by raising the neck a little. Some people prefer to play with the neck parallel to the ground. I learned the second way later and now I alternate both of the postures, the first one making me feel comfortable in fear of a potential back ache.

A guitar teacher holding a guitar on his right leg while being seated on a stole
I voluntarily shifted a little on the side in this posture. The neck is at a 45° angle.
A guitar teacher holding a guitar neck
The most famous electric guitar posture is the following, tilt a little the neck and the body side of the guitar outward.

A few accessories to help you hold a guitar

You are too scared that your guitar escapes you and you’re having trouble holding it against you ? Here are some accessories that would allow you to easily hold your six strings and improve its stability.

How to Comment surélever le pied ?

I encourage you to lift the leg supporting the guitar. To do so, you can buy a Guitar Foot Rest in a music shop. Using it changed my life, allowing me to have a better posture, thus avoiding hurting my back or having a stiff leg while playing guitar. You can also rest your foot on a pile of books for example. Some nicely old dictionaries might do the trick wonderfully!

The importance of a good stripe

You have the feeling your guitar is slipping away and you are afraid that it’s falling on the ground? It’s time for you to invest in a good guitar stripe. There are of all sorts. In fabric, leather, reinforced or not. I advise you to buy an adjustable one with a should pilow inside of the main part. It will help you hold the guitar closer to you and lift a little of its weight off of your leg.

A chair of a designed chair

You’re playing guitar on your sofa ? Sit better on a seat with a stiff support. There are many chairs specialized for guitarists taking shape of stoles. You can also buy some of them in music shops. Avoid laying on a couch while playing.. even if it is very soft and smooth.. I know it feels good but you’ll develop a very bad posture.

How to set your back?

I get back on a very important point. Your back and neck might be making you suffer if you force the same position at all time. Whatever happens, you need to keep a straight back without forcing. The ideal is to tell yourself « everytime I get a glimpse of the guitar neck, I have to check I have a straight back ». Take also the time to ask yourself the following « Do I have some knot in the body preventing me to play properly and even hurting?”. If yes, take the time to re-study your posture and straightens.

In case of pain, a physiotherapist or an osteopath might be of good advises. They are used to meet musicians. Some doctors are even specialized in injuries and pain linked to the practice of a musical instrument. They would be far better expert than me to help you improve your posture and avoid injuries cause by repeating the same mistakes. Every year, I take an appointment to my osteopath to check all that. Between sport, music and work, it is obvious that some adjustments made to the way we treat our body would do us good.

FAQ – How to use the MyMusicTeacher Guitar Lesson’s application

faq mymusicteacher

Welcome to the FAQ, or « Frequently Asked Questions » section of the MyMusicTeacher application

If you’ve met a problem or a bug with our service, you might be able to find its solution right here. This article makes the inventory of the main errors met by our users and the steps to solve them.. It is important to precise that the MyMusicTeacher application for smartphone and tablet needs a version of Android OS higher or equal to 4.0.3. An stable and efficient internet connexion is necessary to maintain the quality and functioning of the application.

// You wish to better understand how our interactive exercices work? See you on the Vous souhaitez mieux comprendre le fonctionnement de nos exercices interactifs ? Rendez-vous sur le MyMusicTeacher’s interactive exercises operative manual ! //

Summary :

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” Impossible to download the application from Google Play Store (Errorr 693) “

It is possible that on a few Android devices, the setup doesn’t install the MyMusicTeacher app after downloading it on the Google Play Store. Google refers to this problem under the Error Code 693. It is a problem concerning the SD card slot of your device. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. Here is the way to solve this problem:

  • In the Settings/Applications, you need to empty the cache of the Google PlayStore and Google Play Services.
  • Then, in Settings / Storage, chose the option « Uninstall the SD Card »
  • Back in the Google Play Store, check that you have the latest version up to date.
  • Once all that is done, you will be able to setup the applications that didn’t want to install
  • Finally, you can reset your SD Card
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” The notes check green even when I don’t play. “

If you meet this problem, it’s because the microphone of you PC, Smartphone or Tablet detects the sound emitted by the backing track of the application. It is advised to play with earphones or a headset plugged and in a calm space so the detection system works in the most optimized way and only hear the sound of your guitar. You can also deactivate or reduce the volume of the application’s sound in the Settings.

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” The application doesn’t start when I click on its icon. “

If nothing happens when you launch the application, it means the installation has been corrupted. Check that you are connected to the Internet (preferably in Wi-Fi), deactivate the « battery saving mode » if it was active. In the “ Application “ menu of your device’s settings, select MyMusicTeacher and click on the button ” Force closure “. Try again to launch it. If the problem remains, you will need to uninstall and reinstall the app entirely.

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” At the launch, the application displays stripes on my screen and closes itself after a few seconds. “

It is possible that this problem arrives by also producing a high pitch sound. This means your device doesn’t have enough memory to run the application properly. You need to free some space on your hard drive or deactivate all the other applications running in background, bridling the performances of your device. In the “ Application “ category of your device’s settings, select MyMusicTeacher and click on the button ” Force shutdown “. Try again to launch the game, if the problem remains, you will have to uninstall and redownload the application. If unfortunately this hasn’t changed a thing, it means you device doesn’t meet the technical specifications required to run the application. MyMusicTeacher. We then advise you to better try the PC or Mac version.

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” The application turns off or stops working when the loading of an exercise achieve 7%, 44%, … “

This case might be linked to two factors: on one hand, an internet connexion problem (mostly true if the app suddenly blocks). Check that your internet connexion is stable and has a sufficient bandwidth (domestic Wi-Fi is the best). If the problem remains, check if it’s not your anti-virus or firewall software that could possibly block the access of our app to our gaming servers. On the other hand, it might be that the authorizations that are needed by the app have not been given to by your device. Check in the settings of your phone that MyMusicTeacher has a granted access to your microphone and close all the background applications that might use it. In the end, if the application shut down, it might be necessary to empty the cache of MyMusicTeacher. To do so, you need to go back to this « application » category in the settings of your device, select MyMusicTeacher and click on the button « Delete the cache » at the bottom of the page. If the problem remains, uninstall and re-download MyMusicTeacher to have a clean base.

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” Impossible to log in with Facebook “

If you’re already registered on MyMusicTeacher, your account will be automatically associated with your Facebook profile at the first connexion using the button « Connect with Facebook ». If even then you can’t log in, it means our server might be having momentary issues or temporary synchronization trouble. We invite you to better use the ID and Password you’ve created your MyMusicTeacher account withs.

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“The registration is too long, helllppp ! “

Don’t worry ! You may have met a temporary loading problem ! The registration to the application only require a valid mail address, a password and a nickname. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds. If you’re blocked facing a loading screen, don’t hesitate to contact the support and we’ll try our best to solve the problem step by step with you.

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” Impossible to register, it is said that my mail address is invalid! “

If you meet this problem, You might have badly written your address in the field ” E-Mail ” from the registration from. The address has to be written accordingly to this shape XXXXXXX@XXXXX.XX. If the problem remains, try to register on our website and use the newly created account to connect on the application.

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” I tried to reset my password but the link I received by mail sent me to Erreur du serveur dans l’application ‘/’

When you wish to reset your password through the « Forgotten Password » tool of our application, an e-mail is sent to you with a link to our reset form. It is possible that when clicking on this link, you are sent to an empty page with a red error message saying : Erreur du serveur dans l’application ‘/’. This means that a special character from your unic ID Key wasn’t read by your mailing client and broke the link before its end. This way, the URL opening in your browser isn’t complete: the blue part stops before this special character. You simply need to copy-paste manually the entirety of the link (don’t forget the characters passed the blue part) in your browser. That will work !

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” My guitar is tuned but the tuner of MyMusicTeacher assures me the contrary! “

Our guitar tuner, still in beta test, must be used in a quiet environment where only the guitar string you try to tune has to vibrate. If you’ve previously tuned your guitar with another way and are convinced of its rightness, then proceed despite what our tuner might say. Sometimes, the microphone can detect unwanted interferences messing up the signal.

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” I don’t find my microphone (or audio interface) in the dropdown list of the MyMusicTeacher’ settings. “

It can happen that when you try to setup you microphone with the MyMusicTeacher app, you won’t find your device in the dropdown list of the same name. If such is the case, you first of all need to check that your mic is installed and working. Does it work with tiered applications like the « Windows Recorder », « skype » or any other recording software? If yes, you need to make sure that you microphone is set as your default recording device. On the Windows desktop, right click on the speaker icon in the task bar. Select « Recording Peripheral », right click on your microphone appearing in the list and chose the option « Define as your main recording peripheral ». Back on MyMusicTeacher, you should find your microphone in the dropdown list of the settings.

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” I play in front of my microphone (or plugged in the Line entry of my audio interface) but the application doesn’t detect the notes “

Before anything, you can check if it really is a detection problem. To do so, you can start the MyMusicTeacher Guitar Tuner and play a few notes. If the needle don’t move, it means your mic is not set with the application. You need to enter the “ Setting “ menu, at the bottom left of the home screen, and chose your microphone in the dropdown list of the same name. Once the mic selected, the app should hear what you play!

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” My microphone is detected and works with other applications but the notes aren’t detected on MyMusicTeacher “

If your microphone is usable, activated and selected in the dropdown list « microphone » from the MyMusicTeacher’ settings, it means the problem resides in its configuration. On the Windows desktop, right click on the « speaker » in the bottom right of the task bar. Select “ Recording Peripheral “ and, in your microphone properties lower (or increase) the volume “Gain”. It is possible that the level of your mic is too low to be detected on MyMusicTeacher, this should solve the problem.

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” [ON PC] When I launch the MyMusicTeacher application, a small window opens then it stops working / loading “

Our application uses many peripheral of your computer to work properly (graphic card, microphone, etc..). If you meet some launch errors, it might be because a background tiered application uses too much of the quoted peripherals. For example, softwares such as Skype or Adobe Photoshop, already open in background, can provoke the unplanned arrest of MyMusicTeacher. To solve this, you simply have to close all applications susceptible to enter in conflict with MyMusicTeacher before starting it.

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” The application works well when I’m connected to the mobile network (H+, 3G, 4G,..) but not anymore with Wi-Fi “

Some Wi-Fi Hotspots (internet box, external router) can filter the internet connexion to distant servers. A common practice to limitate the access to websites such as Facebook, Skype or YouTube in public areas. In some rare case, a wrong setting of the Wi-Fi access point could block our application. This can be noticed by the impossibility to access a video lesson or an exercise. To solve this, you need to access the settings of your Wi-Fi access point (filter) and grant access to the network ports :62330 and :62329.

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” There is a slight offset between the sound I hear and the video / guitar tab played!”

In few cases, you might be able to notice an offset between the sound you hear and the current progression of the video or exercise you are playing on MyMusicTeacher. Chances are those problems are linked to your audio output peripheral. If you use a headset or Bluetooth speaker we invite you to deactivate it and plug them to the principal wire. The direct entry will solve the problem.

If you experience any other problem, our teams will do their best to solve it. You simply have to contact us by mail and we’ll come back to you under 24 hours !

Are you really a bad guitarist ? How to overcome that and get better ?

nul a la guitare

Which beginner guitar player has never said, at least once in his life those words ” I am such a bad guitarist ” ? That is an unavoidable moment occuring pretty often within the first moments of an instrument practice. Finding yourself bad at guitar can translate into a decreasing motivation that can even lead to throwing your instrument away .. giving up. But if we think straight, could we really suck at playing guitar ?
 

The reasons : why do I think I’m a bad guitarist ?

Even past 10 years of guitar playing experience, it can happen you find yourself bad at it. That was, for instance, my case, soon after seeing this video of Steve Vai improvising. To be reassured, we can say that technical mastery isn’t all, and playing with emotion is far more important. One thing leading to another, you’re now facing a video of Jimi Hendrix, or Carlos Santan. Once again, you’re there… feeling like a bad guitarist.
 
What’s hard to comprehend, but which is crucial, is that guitar playing isn’t a competition. There will always be faster, funkier, or blusier player… In 2016, there is even that internet proverb saying that any performance you exceel at can be exceeded by a kid somewhere on the planet. It’s for example the case of the south-korean guitar hero Sungha Jung playing a fingerstyle version of Hotel California in this video :

Hard to believe right ? You see, guitar is not necesserilly executing with absolute perfection a song from A to Z, to shred like Yngwie Malmsteen or splashin’ the groove of John Frusciante. It’s about us. About our ability to feel the music and play accordingly.
&nbps;

The solutions : why, in fact, you’re not such a bad guitarist !:)

 
By practicing a little, don’t forget that you are always in advance next to those who don’t workout at all ! The knowledge of te guitarist doesn’t only consist in reading tabs or tuning your guitar. It’s also your ear that’s improving with time, a sense of the rythm growing where maybe there wasn’t anything before. So many uncunscious mechanisms turning you into a complete musician. That of course, pass thourhg hours of training, repeating the same melodies, scales, and chord sequences. It requires time and a will to hurt yourself a little.

But what if, instead of feeling sorry, you tried to act on ? Then, uncunsciously, your play will improve. You’ll know your favorite songs till the tip of your fingers, and, without thinking, you’ll play crazy solos. If Kirk Hammett masters so well the solo from Master of Puppetts it’s because he played it for more than 30 ans !

Don’t let your heroes intimidate you, focus on your own path and don’t burn the steps. You’ll succeed !

It’s almost guaranteed because of a phenomenon called muscle memory. While you play, your muscles record the moves you produce. With the habit, those moves get sharper and the thinking time you need to execute will go down. That’s how, from a day to another, you can feel that a song became easier to play.

In the end, you need to brace yourself ! There is absolutely no logical reasons to feel bad.. It’s only a matter of time invested in practicing. Good luck !

 

Easy guitar riffs to play for beginner to impress your world

Apprendre des riffs de guitare simples, faciles et efficace en étant débutant à la guitare, c'est possible !

You wouldn’t believe how many easy guitar riffs there is to play ! Our whole learning method on MyMusicTeacher is based on guitar riffs for beginners to play great songs as fast as possible. Progressively, we’ll shift the lessons toward more complicated songs step by step !

First of all, what is a guitar riff ?

Before speaking about a guitar riff, let see together a very easy definition of this small and looping melody, omnipresent among guitarists.

The definition of a riff

Also called more generaIly « ostinato » in music theory. It’s a short melodic routine mostly made of linked notes but also including chords sometimes. The aim is for it to be played in loop. We speak about signatur riff when it refers to the hook of the soong. It has a general duration of 1 to 8 measures. To give you an example, listen to the guitar part of the song Prayer In C from Lilly Wood & the Prick. The signatur riff is repeated every 4 measures. It quickly became one of the most famous and known electric guitar riff of all. Little precision : guitar riffs can be played either on an acoustic guitar or on an electric one. There is no restrictions.

Some example of various easy guitar riffs

Here below the riff of Lilly Wood and the Prick for the guitar. As we said before, we observe 4 measures. This is a perfect melody for a beginner, once learned, the motivated part is that you’ll be able to play it all along the song. Beware though, a signatur riff is not necessary playing during the whole song. That would be a specific case inbound to electronic music.

The riff from Prayer in C from Lilly Woord & the Prick
Voici un riff facile à jouer à la guitare dans le style rock electro.

A selection of great and easy guitar riffse

3 easy riffs to begin with

The essential Smoke on the water de Deep Purple in its most simplified version . You can find and entire guitar lesson with the guitar solo dedicated on MyMusicTeacher here. This song is very well advised for beginner starting the guitar and looking for easy songs. The simplified form of this guitar riff is mostly played with an electric guitar.

A simple riff to learn if you only focus on notes to play. It will give birth to many other versions and guitar riffs.
A simple riff to learn if you only focus on notes to play.

I can’t Get no Satisfaction from The Rollings Stones : one of the most famous riff, easy to play because essentially on a single string. This riff isn’t repeated all along the song but still covers a great part of it. Be advised that everybody will recognize this song by only playing the first notes !

2 measures to make an interplanetary hit on electric guitar. It’s also possible to play it with an acoustic guitar:-)
2 measures to make an interplanetary hit on electric guitar 🙂

Let’s end this sequence with Seven Nation Army from The White Stripes. A very very famous and easy to learn guitar riff. This version is also one that can be played on a single string. The real one, from original tab is meant to be played with guitar chords.

An easy guitar song with a melody sang in the biggest football stadium of the world, it’s seven nation army !
An easy guitar song with a melody sang in the biggest football stadium of the world, it’s seven nation army

2 guitar riffs of intermediate level

Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana. We use a few chords and muted notes, the whole along a powerful drumming !

The main riff of Smells like teen spirit which made the success of the Seattle grunge band : Nirvana.
The main riff of Smells like teen spirit which made the success of the Seattle grunge band : Nirvana.

The signatur riff of Seven nation army,this time a little less easy than in the previous version but more efficient and powerful.

The officiel version with the power chords played during the chorus.
The officiel version with the power chords played during the chorus.

1 complex riff on electric guitar

The guitar tab of the signatur riff of Cowboy from hell from Pantera. Thought it’s pretty easy rhythmically, you’d need a certain speed with a pick to succeed playing this riff while still having agile fingers.

Semiquavers everywhere for this distorted and heavy guitar riff !
Semiquavers everywhere for this distorted and heavy guitar riff !

I want to learn some more easy guitar riffs !

Join us on our adventure and discover more than 2500 riffs and complete songs for electric guitar, classical or folk ! Our application allows you to play your melodies over an adaptative backing track that corrects your play in real time ! Whether you like blues, funk, metal or hardrock riffs, you’ll be happy ! That said, if we speak about a blues riff, we will for sure include riffs in A tuning and twelve bar blues. With live courses and detailed lessons to learn how to play any song, you will be well trained ! Moreover our team is available to answer your every question in order to avoid you making the same mistakes as most beginner players. Great music to you all ! : )

 

What is it, and how to use an Equalizer, or EQ pedal for guitar ?

boss GE

From all the available effect pedals for guitar, the EQ pedal (or Equalizer) is probably the most depreciated and underestimated. “ What is worth having another equalizer if I have the Bass, Mid, and Treble settings on my amp ? That’s enough no ? “ … A Good EQ thought, could save you a lot of time in your quest to reach the ultimate sound. It’s an essential element to add what’s missing, and remove what’s in it too much.. or even to fix the soup coming out of your effect chain.
Equalizer

The Equalizer, a matter of position?

Before all, where do we plug the EQ pedal inEQ an effect chain ? A wise person would say you’d need one after each other effect EQ to ” readjust ” the leaps between the sound. Let’s not be so dramatic, leaving an Equalizer at the end of your effect chain, just before the combinated effects (refer yourself to our article on effect categories), will be sufficient to refine the frequencies of your final sound.

How to set your sound with an EQ Pedal

To start, all the knobs have to be set on 0. To work with an EQ Pedal, Equalizerit’s willing to isolate from the already established sound the frequency you want to increase or decrease in particular. The first frequencies to set, are the basses. It’s what consistue the foundation of the signal, and what refers to the final amplitude of your sound. Use it to carve some parts of your sound, but utilisez not so much to avoid having your guitar ring like an empty tin can. The Trebles come in second, they constitute the “ crispy part “ of the sound specter.This grain a little crunchy and high pitched will be the hardest to set properly because it will highly depend on the strength you put in your picking technic. In the end, the Mids, or middles, will be separate into two categories : the low-mids and high-mids, will be the cornerstone of your EQualization. Giving all its relief to the already installed bass frequencies, it will also refine to the maximum the clarity of your guitar sound. The low-mids helps you set the warmth of your sound while the high-mids, the precision.

The EQ pedals often offers 8 different knobs to set the many frequencies making up the sound. The two last buttons, available on some pedals, will be used as a noisegate and an additional volume setting.

Don’t hesitate to try many settings until you find what fits the most to your idea of the perfect sound. The EQ, in the end, is a powerful effect that might affect drastically the result of a record or a live performance.
Otherwise, there’s not only the EQ that can affect so much the sound you perceive. We often forget a very important parameter: the position of the amp.

How to play perfect slides on your guitar with a bottleneck ?

bottleneck

Ain’t nothing like a good resonator guitar and a bottle neck to sing the blues with an open heart. The perfect combo that smells good rural America and saloon’s cowboy. A great mix to highlight your bottleneck play. Ideal to enjoy some good slides.
bottleneck

A bottleneck, a slide ? What’s that ?!

To make it easy, the slide is a guitar playing technic consisting in sliding your finger from a note to another (higher or lower) on a same string. By letting it vibrate, you get a well-used technic, hearable in many famous songs like Enter Sandman from Metallica or Samba Pa Ti from Santana.
A bottleneck, on the other side, is a small hollow tube usually made of glass that guitarists slip around their left ring finger (or right for left-handed). By scrubbing it against the guitar strings, a metallic, sizzling sound is hearable. The expression Bottleneck comes literally from the neck of glass beer bottles bluesman were drinking. By smashing them and keeping only the neck, they discovered great sounds coming from the scrubbing. Nowadays bottlenecks are made from different type of material. Accordingly, the sounds produced will be either warm or cold.

Playing with a bottleneck

The bottleneck playstyle is quite particular. To get a right note, the bottleneck must be placed over the fret of the desired note. The sound will be identical to the fretted note but will be muted if you press too much with the glass part. To create perfect note, the bottleneck needs to brush against the string without being too far. You will need to tune you guitar in a special way to get the best out of your bottleneck experience. The point is to play freely with open chords modes. The Open G tuning is the most used in this case : D G D G B D. It’s a great reminder of blues melodies from the 1930’s.

A bottleneck playing example

Many famous guitarists are bottleneck experts. It’s for example the case of John Butler, Jack White, Ben Harper or even Eric Clapton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VkohqIg7aQ

All about the Open Chords on the guitar and how to play them

Un guitariste tient une guitare en réalisant un accords ouvert

The very first chords you learn to play on a guitar are the open chords. In fact, in contrast with the most-feared barre chords, these ones will be quite easy. They will stack on the first 4 frets of the guitar fretboard and be played without having to barre anything with your pointer finger. Here is the list of the Open Chords and how to play each of them.

Open Chord’s list

Here are the main open chords, there is a total of 8 of them. There exists many different kind of chords, like the seventh, ninth or suspended. We’ll only care here about the major and minor ones. They are the easiest to learn and the most versatile ones when you want to play your first electric or acoustic guitar melodies.

  • The Mi major (E).
  • The Mi minor (Em).
  • The La major (A).
  • The La minor (Am).
  • The Ré major (D).
  • The ré minor (Dm).
  • The Sol major (G).
  • The Do major (C).

Of course, I won’t leave you without a chord grid to read in peace. I advise you to set your fingers and memorize their English and international notation. You then can practice them on our interactive exercises. Our detection system will tell you in real time if you played the right or wrong notes and if your finger are well set.

A picture representing the open guitar chords under the grid notation with majors on top (A C B E G) and minors on the bottom (Am Dm Em) width=
The main open chords on the guitar.

What are the chords that aren’t open?

The chords that aren’t open are the barre . When we speak about barre chord, we mean that some notes composing the chord will be played with only one finger. It will be laying on the same fret but covering many strings. Thus, the F major chord is the most renowned barre chord of all, and the first one to be learned. Fat mistake ! At our online guitar school, we’ve optimized the learning method of the barre chord with a theme-path called “ Definitely vainquish the barre chord “ to offer you progressive exercises. You will first learn how to lay your index finger on the fret along the strings. Results are rather exceptional! To the point that playing barre chords would almost become a pleasure (please don’t curse me 🙂 ). If you know what a capodastre is, it’s main purpose is to replace the index to generate open chords from anywhere on the guitar.

How to play those open chords ?

Nothing easier if you know how to read those chord grids. Here’s an easy training :

  1. Take the chord grid and try to memorize them visually.
  2. You’ll notice that a minor chord has one note fewer than a major chord, that’s a story of interval. Minor chords are sad while major ones bring a more joyful taint. It depends on its third notes and other complicated concept from music theory.
  3. Try to link the english notation to the international one in your (Mi = E, Sol = G, etc..).
  4. Play the minor and major forms in a row if they are still (for example, only E major and E minor).
  5. Go from one to the other and reset.
  6. Then take those chords in any order you want to play them each after another.
  7. The next day, do the same thing by trying to detach yourself from the chord grid.
  8. Try to win points on mymusicteacher by playing the exercises 🙂

Here we are, there is no more to know on those famous open chords that are the first to be learned as a beginner guitarist, on electric, classical or folk guitar. They will serve you in any kind of music style. It’s a perfect exercise to start your first songs and play along your singing. Good luck !

What is an effect pedal for guitar, how to use it and what are the effects ?

effect pedal guitar

You might sure have heard already of effect pedals for guitar, either in a music shop, or from another guitarist with a little more experience. The words distortion pedal, overdrive, reverb and loop tell you anything? Don’t worry, we’ll detail together all sorts of guitar pedals that are essential to your play style, to enhance your sound or add effects.

What’s an effect pedal for guitar ?

A guitar effect pedal is a small electronic device that you can control with your foot and which, according to its characteristics, apply an effect to your sound. You can plug in your electric guitar, bass or even an electro-acoustic instrument to transform your sound. You can power it with a 9V battery or straight from the plug. I advise you to quickly buy a power supply ! Pedals are very greedy in batteries and you might spend your time buying new ones otherwise.

  • an agressive saturation with effects like Distorsion or Overdrive.
  • some kind of reverberation, that could give you the feeling of playing in a wide church.
  • a programmable echo, brought to you by a delay pedal.
  • or some particular effects linked to the signal of your guitar like the wah-wah.

By pressing with you foot, you will activate the effect of the pedal. Another push on the footswitch will turn it off. We call that the « bypass ». In general, the average price of a pedal is set between 40 and 180€ according to the quality of craft and the type of effect.

The difference between an analog and a digital effect pedal for guitar

You are hitting here a conflict of purists. At first, an effect pedal was made from an electronic circuit with transistors. It’s in 1962 that the first pedal was born. For the more curious of you, we’re speaking about the Fuzz Pedal, I will write about it in the following of the article. Thus an analog signal treated the electric signal from the guitar with its components, before injecting the newly altered signal in your guitar amp.

The digital pedal came around in the early 1980’s. It’s aim was to sample (cut) the audio signals in a digital flux. Then, the different components inside (such as a microchip) will process digitally the signal. In the end, the digital signal is reconverted into a audio signal.

The great conflict opposing guitarists holds there : purist prefers analog while new wave only swear by digital effects. In the end, it’s a simple matter of point of view.

Advantages and inconvenient of the analog pedal :

  • Its authenticity and vintage vibe.
  • Doesn’t undermine the quality of the signal digitally/

Advantages and inconvenient of the digital pedal :

  • Lower price for far advanced features.
  • Possibility to mix all kind of effects in a single pedal (multi-effects vs pedalboards).
  • Possibilité de mémoriser plusieurs réglages.

From a personal vantage point, I love the vintage vibe coming from the good old analog pedal. It’s even possible to find tube pedals to give even more colors to your sound. Some became almost historical, such as the whammy or wah-wah, the Zoom G2 or the Boss series “me” de boss (like “me-25” or “me-70”). But on a practical level and to access a richer variety of sound, the digital effect pedal, notably in its multi-effect form is the most incredible and funny solution.

Multi-effect Pedals, Ali Baba’s cave

Thanks to the digital era, it became possible to mix a lot of effects in a single pedal. Imagine, a larger pedal with a screen, that helps you get a hundred-different effect, with the possibility to mix the way you want a databank already gathering dozens of presets giving you the sound of your favorite artist in a click. Moreover, those pedal also host an inbuild guitar tuner, metronome and drum box simulating rhythms. With this kind of pedal, you will be able to have fun months and months.

I personally love the amount of possible settings the multi-effect pedals allow us to manage. I have a Boss GT8 that I use during the live courses to set in the reverb, distortion or many other type of effects pleasing my ears. Everything easily controllable from my feet . You can switch from a dirty to a clean sound in a switch of the foot. Quite nice during live performances or concerts !

How to plug your effect pedal in your existing sound chain?

From scratch, an effect pedal must be wired between the guitar and its amp. Nevertheless, it is possible to set an effect loop (FX Loop), thus plugging the effect pedals after the pre-amplification stage of your amp. You can constitute what we call a “rack” of effects. An assembling in series to obtain different sounds thanks to a connected pedal network. If you have a lot of them, we can also advise you to build yourself a pedalboard. A kind of suitcase where all your pedal fit, connect, and are ready to be used and transported. For those you like to vary, you can also try the Four Cable Method cables.

A pedalboard containing a distortion pedal, a compressor, and reverb.
A beautifully set pedalboard, the perfect gift to a guitarist. The assembly line is logical but nothing prevents you to do some experiments

The different kind of sounds and effect pedals

You wouldn’t doubt it, engineers and electronicians had fun building pedals to create crazy sounds! Know that it is possible for you to assemble your own pedal at home by buying a crafting kit. Many tutorial exists on internet.

Saturation : distorsion, fuzz and overdrive

You love saturated sounds and desire to create a nice crunchy feel to your sound ? Those pedals are made for you !

  • The overdrive enable your sound to reach a clean and powerfull saturation or to give a crunchy vibe to it.
  • The distorsion is made for metal fans, it let you push your sound to the threshold.
  • The Fuzz pedal is rather particular. Imagine a drooling distorsion pushed to extremness. The Big Muff, for instance, is a reference and absolute must try !

Echo: reverb and delay

You wanna do some beautiful guitar solo ? Don’t look any further, those effects are the ones you seek :

  • Reverb grants you the feeling of playing in a church. You can set the intensity with the mix, the lenght or the depth for example.
  • Delay will give you a sensation of echo. By playing, the sound will repeat many time in a row, less and less loud.

Those two effects perfectly mix, I advise you to always set a little of it to embelish your sound. Less is more, in the end, no ?

To refine your sound : Compressor and EQualizer

You think your sound is way too loaded with bass or trebles ? With an EQ pedal, or “ equalizer “, you will be able to act on the different frequencies composing the specter of your signal. By boosting the bass, carving the mediums and cuting the trebles for . It exists under two shapes :

  • A Multi-band Equalizer allows you to set precisely each frequency band.
  • The Parametrical EQ enables you to carve the sound with an amplitude (Q) setting, on asserted frequency bands.

The compressor pedal, in opposition, will allow you to compress the sound to give it more room and impact.

To improvise : the loop pedal

You play 4 chord, push on your pedal and let it play for you in loop. You now simply have to you’re your guitar over what you’ve just recorded. Easy as a loop ! If you love to improvise in solo or live, this pedal will be a whole lot of fun. .Let’s take a look at its principle :

  1. Activate the pedal and play your chord sequence
  2. Press again once the sequence is over.
  3. The pedal has recorded the sound and will simultaneously play it in loop.
  4. Have fun and improvise over it !

The essentials effects : flanger, chorus, vibrato and phaser

Specials effects without saturation or echo made their way in to open the guitar world to new experiences. Especially in the production, I introduce you to :

  • The flanger, nicely nicknamed the “hoover”. A pedal that listen to your sound and add time and frequency perturbation. It feels like the sound is being bend in every possible way and your guitar doubles. (not like with an octaver, that takes the sound of your guitar and double it one octave higher or lower).
  • Le chorus vous donne une sensation similaire au flanger. C’est un des effets les plus connus, mais plus harmonieux que le flanger.
  • The phaser will shift your signal and mix it with another one, a little late. It then feels divided into phases, one past, one from the future, according to what you play.
  • The vibrato : is a rather original effect that will make your signal undulate the way it would with a vibrato bar you activate with hand

Expression pedals : wah-wah and pitch shifter

A few pedals can make the sound vary according to the way you bend a footswitch. That’s what we call an expression, or expressive pedal. It’s the case of the two we’ll present you now :

  • The pitch schifter will affect the “pitch” or height of your sound by sending it to the stratosphere of trebles. You can higher it or lower it for many octaves with a very simple foot move. The Digitech Whammy is a good representative of this technology.
  • The wah-wah is surely the most popular guitar effect. Used by legends like Jimi Hendrix or Dimebag Darrel, the famous Crybabyy from Dunlop is the ultimate reference to have. It’s a by-pass filter you can control with your feet. If the pedal is in low position, trebles are highered up. If it’s in high position, lows are amplified. The quick shifting creates the famous “wah-wah” sound

Tools pedals : guitar tuner or noise gate

Some other pedals will not vastly affect your sound but improve your playing comfort :

  • A tuning pedal or guitar tuner can be inserted in your effect chain to control the tuning of your guitar at all time.
  • A noise gate is a very interesting pedal. It will remove all the parasitic noises below a defined volume. You can play without ever worrying about dirty interferences.
  • A volume pedal : to contrôle de volume of your instrument. Better than turning on and off the amp no ?
  • A rhythm box : to play along adaptative rhythms and pre-recored drum track

Conclusion : is it mandadory to purchase a guitar pedal ?

Not at all, you can simply play sounds with your guitar amp without having to buy a pedal. At my humbile beginings, I bought a distorsion pedal… then I regreted it. Then, I bought a multi-effect…. And I also regreted it. But only because I lacked the experience to understand its whole utility. Today, I re-use those pedals to work on my sound. It never stopped me in my learning or in the way I practiced my instrument all those years. Everything depend on your interest in the technology, if you want to have fun creating crazy sound or simply to take pleasure in experiencing.

How to play the pentatonic scale with a guitar ? What are its uses ?

gamme pentatonique la mineure

What is the pentatonic scale ?

The pentatonic scale is a must-learn to all guitarists ! It’s often the first scale they learn to play ! I Allow me to guide you on a path to discover the secrets of the pentatonic scale : how its made and how to play it.

First of all, the word pentatonic is made of two concepts : penta, which mean « five » and tonic, meaning « note ». Thus, this scale is made of 5 notes that will repeat at different heights, octaves. There are many existing pentatonic scale. The one, most-used, is the pentatonic minor scale of A (or A minor pentatonic scale).

We draw a scale this way on a guitar neck. This is a scale diagram for guitar.

A minor pentatinic scale This scheme represents the guitar fretboard. Dots refers to the notes composing the scale. Set on the guitar neck. To play this scale, you have to start from the thickest string. From left to right, before jumping to the next string… and still left to right. Each « dot » is a note to be played, a string to be picked on

The A minor pentatonic scale

A minor pentatonic scale

To well understand how the scale works, you have to understand the notion of step, half-step, and intervals.

This scale is made of the following leaps :

1,5 step, 1 step, 1 step, 1,5 step, 1 step.

Thus, starting from an A, we get A, C, D, E, G and so forth. 5 notes which will repeat in the minor pentatonic scale. Here we find a minor third of 3 half steps, meaning 1.5 step, so the pentatonic scale is minor.

To complete the position of the notes on the guitar fretboard, we will simply look for their octaves, so similar notes of an higher or lower pitch.

The A major pentatonic scale

Voici la gamme majeure pentatonique. Voici sa notation, on y remarque a major third .

major pentatonic scale The intervals of the major pentatonic scale :

1 step, 1 step, 1,5 step, 1 step and 1,5 step.

Starting from an A, we find the following sequence : A, B, C#, E, F# and so forth with their octaves. The leaps between A and its third, C# is two steps. This is so a major third note.

A well know example is the pentatonic scale

These scales are a lot used in rock, blues and metal. On this topic, the A scale is the most well-known, to the point that whenever we speak about a pentatonic scale, it’s the first one that comes to mind. Now, we still need have to learn how to use it to improvise.

Here’s an example of Eb minor pentatonic scale in the style of Jimi Hendrix on Voodoo Child (from 00:08)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OTvz1lJzmI

Example of the different forms of the minor pentatonic scale

Each scale encases as much position as it has notes in it. In this case, it means 5. Don’t bother learning them all. They’ll come naturally to your fingers when you’ll improvise. We name those forms and schemes with a roman number : « Form I » « Form II » and so forth until V (5 in romans number) Below, you’ll find the A minor pentatonic scale

gamme_pentatonnique_mineure
Minor pentatonic scale, form I
gamme_pentatonique_position_2
Minor pentatonic scale, form II
gamme_pentatonique_position_III
Minor pentatonic scale, form III
gamme_pentatonique_position_4
Minor pentatonic scale, form IV
gamme_pentatonique_position_V
Minor pentatonic scale, form V

You can shift from a form to another to furnish  you guitar solos ! Give it a try ! 🙂

Now that you master the pentatonic scale like a real professional, it’s time to reflect on the different modes to be used according to the scales. Know that we offer exercises and video guitar lessons on climbing and descending of pentatonic scales. With our system that detects the notes you play and the possibility of slowing down the rhythm we can assure you they are very efficient !

Best guitar solo for beginner and easy to play

best beginner guitar solo

The guitar solo is a little like the cornerstone of Rock’n’Roll. Wanting to play some straight at the begining of the practice is among the top objectives of the guitarist. They might though reveal themselves to be a little complicated… won’t them Eddie (Van Halen) ? For the beginners, we’ve assembled a little guide of the best guitar solo for beginner and easy to play !

Best guitar solo but solo of an intense efficiency !

 
Nothing better than few songs that became mythical in the course of the past twenty years to learn while having fun.
 

Smells like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

 
The first guitar solo reaching my head is the one of Smell Like Teen Spirit, the iconic song from Nirvana. Recorded in 1991, Kurt Cobain delivers a powerful rhythmical sequence of chords and a half-way solo that would set everybody on the same side. No crazy effect, simply a repetition of notes in legato and a bend. The solo copies the melodic sequence in the verses and, this way, creates an electric and entertaining echo.
 

 

Holiday – Green Day

 
Simple but efficient, that could also be the moto of the californian punk band Green Day. With more hits in their sleeve than a poker player about to throw a striaght flush, Billie Joe Armstrong has the sens of the melody when it’s about guitar solos. Songs such as Holiday or Wake Me Up When September Ends mix heavy rhythm with langorous melody in legato. A play in two strings particularly easy to execute but boy, how efficient !
Solos that can be played with the pointer and middle fingers and that are set on two strings. An ideal workout exercise to untie the fingers and warm up your moves as you play a signature melody from an original band.
 

 

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

In third place, we can count on the Red Hots Chili Peppers with their song Californication. The guitar solo charged with emotions from John Frusciante is a little more complex than the two previous ones because played on three strings. A great exercise to workout alternate picking technics and pick synchronization.
 

 

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

 
The last solo we can advise you to learn is the one of Seven Nation Army, from The White Stripes. Extrêmely fuzzy, it allows an interpretation with a bottleneck that would leave country blues fans breathless. The song is a true chance for beginners. A legendary riff of such that can be heard in huge stadiums and an easy guitar solo ? Well, where do we sign ?
 

 

Some more solos that can’t be missed

 
If we had to evoke an iconic rock solo, we would think about the well-bended Highway to Hell from the new-zealanders of AC/DC. A unic groove amplified by the duck walk of Angus Young and his flying strings.
On the blues side, we offer you Thrill is Gone, from the very great B.B King ! Nott the easiest in the list therefore quite alright, but intensly emotional. The play is mainly made of slides and slow nuanced notes. A good exercise for anybody who want start improvising and make blues solos.

Heavy Metal & Rock’n’rollist ? We offer you the solo from the cover of Knocking Heaven’s Door by the Guns’n’Roses. Then, the ultimate solo of Nothing Else Matters, from Metallica. Two pieces of choice to diversify your play style where solos are usually made of a million staccato notes.
Special mention to two songs we hold very dear in our heart at MyMusicTeacher :

  • Guantanamera, from Compay Segundo : A cuban blues routine that might be redundant but which is an excellent way to workout. Its solos which are not really makes a good introduction to turnarounds and blues licks. A great first course for any beinner willing to improve quickly on beautiful melodies.
  • Brothers in Arm, from Dire Straits : tha hardest beginner guitar solo, but certainly the most beautiful. The song itself is quite complicated and require a fast paced finger play. Some sequence are nevertheless intensly enchanting and makes of Brothers in Arm a masterpiece to have in your guitar armory.

How to learn efficiently a guitar solo

Until now, we have given you many ideas of nice solos to play. But what about putting it in practice ? Learning a guitar solo when we are not used to might be a rather hard step. Here are some advices to help you achieve this goal :

  1. Take the time to listen to the song : before mastering the music sheet, you need to have an idea of what it sounds like with your ears. How are played those notes, where are the accentuations ? Are there fast successives notes or some unprobable breaks ? Untile where do the bend climbs and how much time do the tremolo last, etc… Musically mapping the song in your mind will help you find its rhythm naturally and anticipate its execution.
  2. Knowing the music sheet on the tip of your fingers : to play a solo in rhythm, your brain can’t lose its time looking for the note that follow. You need to proceed step by step. Cuting through the solo and its many parts and learn them by heart. The more the nots will come naturally, the better you’ll play in rhythm.
  3. Workout with slow tempo : nothing is worth running before walking in guitar. Slow down the tempo to the max to workout your muscle memory. By repeating the same patern over and over, your fingers will remember alone what is up to play. In the end, the less you’ll think about it, the easier you’ll play the solo.
  4. Play along somebody : playing over the original song, using backing tracks or on the interactive exercises of MyMusicTeacher. If you’re willing ot invest in a loop pedal, record a short rhythm to then play over it. There is nothing more motivating than feeling part of something bigger when you play a music instrument.
  5. Don’t become a copy : if one or two notes are played differently, it’s not a problem. On the contrary, don’t be afraid to reivent music, to adapt it according to what you feel. Xith enough time and practice, anybody can play as fast as Van Halen, but how many will have his touch ? From your very first guitar solo, let yourself carry by the music, own the songs you play.
beginner guitar solo
Music is sharing, don’t be afraid to play a beginner guitar solo to your friends.
Guitar tabs to play beginner best guitar solo ?

By chance, you can find all those songs on the MyMusicTeacher’s application. Bonus : you will be able to contrôl the song’s tempo in live, detect you play and be corrected in real time along with being backed up with a virtual track !