Tuning Your Guitar is best done with a guitar tuner. If you are unable to use a guitar tuner, here are some tips to get you guitar in relative tune.
The guitar is tuned E, A, D, G, B and E again. You can tune the guitar to itself and not worry about tuning to other instruments if you are playing without other instrumentation. If you don’t have a pitch reference to get started, just start with the lowest string which is E (it is the thickest of the strings). Play this E string on the 5th fret, and then play the adjacent string (A string) at the same time. Adjust the A string till you match the two notes.
Once you have the A string in tune with the E string, move on to the D string. Pluck the A string while pressing down on the 5th fret, and then pluck the D string at the same time. Adjust the D string until the two tones are matching. Now you can match the D and the G strings by playing the D string on the 5th fret and matching the open G string at the same time.
Now you have four strings in tune. The next string is the B string and you’ll need to play the G string on the FOURTH fret while plucking the open B string at the same time. Adjust the B string till both notes are matching. For the final E string, play the B string on the 5th fret and match the open E string to this note. Now, play your favorite 6 string chord and you are ready for your guitar lesson!
When it comes to private cello lessons, there is no shortage of parents who are frustrated about their child’s practice habits. Sometimes getting your child to practice the cello can be a tall order and the question “Have you practiced for your cello lesson?” is usually answered with a “No”. Motivating a child to practice the cello shouldn’t be too much effort but it does take a proactive parent to assist in the musical development of a child.
Practicing the cello can and should be a rewarding experience for young students and there is certainly a point when the development should lead to the student practicing for his or her own enjoyment. Here are a few tips to help your child enjoy practicing.
Praise: Don’t forget to reward your young student with praise. Every child wants to feel like his efforts are being appreciated. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Instead of berating a child for not practicing, find something in the practice that deserves praise. If you hear a nice melody or correct rhythm, let them know that is sounds great. Let them know that you enjoy hearing the song or piece being played in its entirety.
Listen: If you can take the time to sit and listen to them play the piece on a regular basis, the child will have motivation to make improvements. This can take some patience, especially at the beginning of their cello lessons but giving your full attention to your young cello student will provide added enthusiasm. Inspire your child with your positive support!
Family recognition: Using a progress chart can be useful. A simple piece of paper marked with song names and stickers can be placed on the fridge or any other place in the house where it will be highly visible. Mark X’s after each time the song is played to show how often they are working on the piece. Maybe a treat or reward of some nature can be given upon completion of preset goals.
Teacher: Be sure to communicate with the private cello teacher on a regular basis regarding both the lesson content and the child’s practice material. It helps to be familiar with the music and your child will be aware of your attentiveness.
Performance: Cello recitals can be a great way to motivate students, but holding “mini concerts” in your home on a more frequent basis can help as well. Gather a few family members once a week to hear the latest piece and to share in the progress of the music lessons.
B&B Music Lessons. “Because Music Matters!”
Q. How is the guitar usually tuned?
A. EADGBE, from lowest to highest.
Q. What are frets?
A. The frets are the steel pieces that separate the note changes on the fretboard.
Q. What is a distortion pedal?
A. The distortion pedal creates a fuzzy sound that can be manipulated to suit the needs of the performer.
Q. What types of wood are used for guitars?
A. Spruce is a popular wood for classical guitars. Cedar is also popular. Rosewood is frequently used for the sides and the back as well as mahogany.
Q. Who is Francisco Tarrega?
A. Francisco Tarrega was a 19th and 20th century composer who wrote “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”, possibly the most popular classical guitar piece ever written. Tarrega was known as the Chopin of the guitar.
Q. Who is John Williams?
A. John Williams is an Australian born classical guitarist who studied with the guitar master, Andres Segovia.
Q. How can the original Fender Squire model guitars be distinguished from following models?
A. The serial numbers start with ‘JV’ and the headstock was soon changed to prevent further confusion. The Squire series model of guitars provide guitarists with a professional quality instrument at a reasonable price.
Q. What is the guitar named ‘Black Beauty’?
A. Les Paul created a custom guitar in 1957 named the ‘Black Beauty’. It is finished in black and has three humbucking pickups.
Q. What kind of guitar does Angus Young of AC/DC play?
A. Angus Young prefers the Gibson SG. He started off with a Les Paul before switching to the Gibson. Angus still owns and plays his original ’68 SG.
Here is a compilation of some fun guitar facts to help keep your interest in private guitar lessons. Enjoy!
1. Lets start with money. The highest price paid for an electric guitar at an auction was $959,500 in 2004 for Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster. That is a lot of guitar lessons!
2. The Telecaster was originally named the Broadcaster but there was already a drum set with the same name. There was a period during which there was no name for the guitar and Fender produced guitars with no name on the headstock. These “Nocasaters” are pretty valuable as they are prized collector items.
3. The Fender factory keeps busy. They produce nearly 90,000 strings a day. This is about 20,000 miles per year which is enough to circle the globe. They also make about 950 guitar necks per day! Some years they produce over 250,000 guitars. Banjos, mandolins and violins are also made there.
4. In 1950, Leo Fender tested the strength and durability of the guitar necks by balancing the neck between two chairs and standing on it!
5. Leo Fender wasn’t a guitarist, but a saxophonist. The current head of the Fender company is also a sax player!
6. Talk about love for your guitar. In 2001, Chris Black married his stratocaster. Now that is devotion!
7. Jimi Hendrix’s tombstone has a Fender Stratocaster carved into it.
8. Les Paul was in a car accident in 1948 and he asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar playing position.
9. In 1952, Gibson didn’t use serial numbers. So if you have a Gibson guitar with no serial number, it is a 1952 model.
10. Guitar lessons can make you a better player, but you really need to practice!
11. There are certain guitars that have a reputation of their own. A few examples are the Stratocaster #0001 owned by David Gilmour, Lucille owned by B.B. King, “The Duck” Stratocaster owned by Yngwie Malmsteen, “Muddywood” owned by Billy Gibbons, the “Frankenstein” Strat built and owned by Eddie Van Halen, the “Red Special” owned by Brian May and the “Space Bass” owned by Bootsy Collins.
Basically you are playing harmonics every time you pluck a note on the guitar. However, you usually don’t hear them because the main note (the “fundamental note”) is much louder. So to play “harmonics” on the guitar, you need to eliminate the fundamental note. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
Open String Harmonics
Open string harmonics are also referred to as natural harmonics. To do this, you simply place your finger on the string at certain fret points, and don’t push the string down to the fingerboard. So lightly touch the string just over the fret. The natural harmonics occur at fret numbers 3, 4, 7, 9, 12 and then the cycle repeats from the 12th fret (the 12th fret is one octave above the open strings and the following frets are a repeat of the first octave).
Fretted harmonics are more difficult to achieve but give the guitar player significantly more options. The idea is that you finger the fret of the note to be played, then touch the same string 12 frets above the fingered note. The touch of this string is similar to open string harmonics technique, in that you don’t push the string to the fret board. You will then need to pluck the string above both of your fingered notes so that the string resonates.
Here is a video of Eddie Van Halen playing a solo with harmonics. Enjoy!
We do our best to find teachers for guitar students as soon as possible. However, if you have a few weeks before lessons begin and your child is ‘chomping at the bit’ to sound like his favorite guitar hero, here are a few steps to help get started up without having to wait for the first lesson.
Let’s begin with a few easy chords that you can help them learn quite easily. They are the E minor chord and the A minor chord. The E minor chord only needs two fingers of the left hand while the A minor chord uses the same two fingers plus one more. The link below will give you these two chords as well as countless others:
Go to this page then select the ‘root’ of the E minor chord by choosing the letter ‘E’. Then ‘select type’ by clicking the small ‘m’ for minor. You can see the two finger chord at this point, and the numbers on the notes which state the correct fingers to use. The fingers are 1 for index, 2 for middle, 3 for ring and 4 for the pinky. So you’ll be using the second finger and the middle finger for the E minor.
For the next chord, choose ‘A’ for the root and leave the ‘select type’ on the small ‘m’. This will produce the A minor chord and it uses three fingers; the 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Now have your child switch back and forth from E minor to A minor by strumming all 6 strings for the E minor and then if possible just 5 strings for the A minor (omitting the low E string). The 2nd and 3rd fingers will hold the same structure as you move them up and down between the two chords, with the pinky being used only on the A minor chord.
One important factor to keep in mind while practicing a musical instrument is that consistency and accuracy are the most important points to focus on. This applies to drums, guitar, bass, piano and all other instruments.
Lets say that you can play a piece perfectly 9 out of 10 times. So you’re feeling pretty good about that, right? Well, imagine if you have a 5 piece band and everyone plays the piece 90% correct. Well, the percentage of overall accuracy just went down substantially. Or if you imagine that each person in a big band or symphony plays his or her piece correctly 90% of the time. Now the overall percentage drops dramatically!
Therefore, it is best that you can play your required piece closer to 98% or 99% correctly on a regular basis. The main thing here is that you focus your attention while practicing so that you get the most out of your practice time because the standard for performing in a group is pretty high!
Keep practicing… “Because Music Matters”!
I came across your website after a few Google searches and it sounds like you might be a good fit for me. I’ve been playing guitar (with varying levels of dedication) since I was 13 (but I took a pretty significant hiatus somewhere in the middle there). Over the last year or so, I’ve been slowly putting together a rock band, and as I’ve been playing more seriously, I’ve been noticing that there are some pretty sizable music theory and technique holes in my playing. I thought it could be useful (and fun) to have a teacher again.
I’m self employed, so I have a fairly flexible schedule — but after 5 pm during the week would be the best time for me.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been playing in a band for the last six months. I do almost all of the song writing for the band, so a lot of my guitar playing time is spent on writing and arranging. For what it’s worth, here’s a short list of the music I’ve been listening to recently, and thus the music I’ve been trying desperately to rip off (in no particular order): The Black Keys, Dr. Dog, Patrick Watson, Titus Andronicus, Heartless Bastards, Monsters of Folk, Neko Case, The Breeders, The Low Anthem, Deer Tick, The Weakerthans, Alberta Cross, Wilco, The Hold Steady, Dan Auerbach, The White Stripes, Liz Phair, Okkervil River, Surfer Blood, Built to Spill, ah, Led Zeppelin, etc., etc. Basically, a bunch of indie rock bands that are trying in their own way to sound like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.
I should also mention that up until recently I’ve never thought that much about the amps and pedals I was using, and I did very little to get the best sound from the stuff I’ve been playing on. As I’ve been playing in the band and playing almost exclusively electric guitar, I’ve begun obsessing over tone. So another thing I would like to talk about is the technical side of equipment and some of the additions/alterations I’d like to make to my equipment set up.
If you are interested in getting your child started on an instrument, it is a good idea to consider the age of your child in relation to the instrument that might best fit their needs. We hear from a lot of parents who have 4, 5 and 6 year olds who are begging for guitar lessons. Maybe the cool videos on MTV or more likely the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band have added to the number of youngsters getting into the guitar.
Generally we recommend that students under the age of 8 start on the piano. This is because the guitar takes more coordination and effort to play. The piano is accessible to virtually anyone who can press their fingers down on the keyboard, while the guitar requires both hands to play a note. And you can only look at one hand at a time. We have a lot more students between the ages of 5 and 8 on the piano than we have on the guitar. We welcome children of all ages to give the guitar a try but we’ve seen what happens too often. So unless your child is especially drawn to the guitar and at the same time has a better than average ability to focus, we would recommend the piano.
Remember that the knowledge drawn from the piano will transfer well to other instruments. Theory and ear training are more easily learned and assimilated through the piano or keyboard than most other instruments. Either way, the student should be expected to practice 10 to 15 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week so if you have a young child interested in the guitar, be sure to support their curiosity by urging them to practice routinely. Without practice, the chances of making significant progress are minimal.
B&B Music Lessons has a flexible policy so if you think it is worth trying guitar lessons between the ages of 5 and 7, we’ll accommodate you. However, we urge parents to consider the piano as a more practical alternative at that age.
Do you gentlemen perform at private parties or just in public? We’re thinking about hiring a band for a party in our backyard (we live in Silver Spring, MD). Can you play outside if the weather is nice? We’re thinking about the weekend of April 17th and 18th (not sure whether Saturday or Sunday yet).
Thanks! David D.
Thanks for your interest in our service. We perform at private parties all the time. Usually when we’re not playing at our regular gigs (Bhagwan plays on Saturdays on U Street and I’m at ESL on Wednesdays) it is because we are at a private event instead. Playing outside can be great when the weather is nice although it can be a drag when it is really hot or too chilly. We do require shade since certain instruments shouldn’t be in the sun.
Here are some videos of different configurations. Let me know if you have a preference. How many people are you expecting and what time of the day would it be?
Here are the videos: