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    Stu JohnsonOffering private lessons in
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    Tooth & Nail Review on Fox & Hounds - ‘Whiskey Diaries’
    Posted by Stu Johnson - February 23, 2014 - 10:42 PM

    Even the most hardcore bluegrass fans will be attracted to this band. Opening the record with the title track Steve Fox (Bassist for the Columbus Band Spike Drivers) is as impressive as ever on this particular recording. At first listen I was immediately reminded that some the best songwriting is simple and catchy. Fox & Hounds demonstrate they have this part of the musical puzzle locked in tight. Adam Schlenker’s brilliant guitar fuses with Fox’s sparkling mandolin to form a coherent whole while still maintaining that the individual parts remain interesting. Since it’s release this album has been turning big heads and ears in the music industry.

    While retaining the musical defaults in Bluegrass Fox & Hounds are proven to go one step further playing melodies that certify them to hang with the biggest dogs in the industry. With impressive and intricate guitar courtesy of Adam Schlenker and tasty banjo plucking by Caleb Powers, just add Steve Fox and a really good Dobro Player (Tom Beardslee) and you’ve got a quick recipe for the best of scorching hot Bluegrass.

    Although there are a couple cover songs on the record, it still grabs you by the ears and demands attention. There are some parts of the record that are a bit rough but Fox & Hounds uses it to their advantage and really creates an atmosphere that every Bluegrass fan likes. What really stands out is Fox’s clever use of the bow on the upright bass with Schlenkers clever and tasteful guitar lines. Caleb Powers and Tom Beardslee round out the quartet with a proper background that thoughtfully carries the music forward and wraps the listener in beautiful country scenery.

    In fact some of the most interesting moments on the record are the melodic exchanges from Fox’s upright bass and Schlenkers artful and succinct guitar licks. Its obvious everywhere that Fox & Hounds have broken through to new and interesting Bluegrass territory. From the first track “Whiskey Diaries” to the last track “Rosa Lee McFall”, Fox & Hounds are guaranteed to keep you entertained and coming back for more. No wonder the execs in Nashville are eating it up. In fact, I’ll have another helping myself please.

    If you’re looking for a fun and extremely talented live act this is one for your list.
    The 3 categories of life, love, and loss are covered here and they will forever remain uncertain. One thing is for sure though, if you miss just one show with these guys you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    You can get lessons with Steve Fox here

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    Review by S. Johnson
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    Posted by Stu Johnson - June 12, 2013 - 1:26 PM

    Lecture 1: Major, Minor and Seven Chords

    Hi. Before we get started, I just want to make sure that everybody’s in tune. Let’s go ahead and start with the E string – the low E string – because if you’re playing along with me of course, and you’re out of tune with me, it’s going to sound really, really bad, so it’s probably not a good idea. So let’s do the low E string first. And I’ll go ahead and give that to you 3 times. If you need to pause the video, go ahead. And just try and sync up your string with mine. One more time.

    Okay. Let’s go to the A string now. And just try and sync that up with the A. Okay. We’re now ready to move on to the next one – the D string. Okay. Let’s go to the G string, and just go ahead and try and sync that up if you can. And then the B. And then last but not least, the high E string, which is the same as the low E. So hopefully you’ve got your guitar in tune now, and we can go ahead and start the lesson.

    The first chord we’re going to go through in the major family is A major, and it’s down here in the 2nd fret, and some people do it this way with these three fingers – index, middle, and ring – but I suggest you do it with middle, ring, and your small pinky finger because it enables you to do some things back here with this finger - say if you were moving to another chord next, this finger would already be back here and ready to do whatever it’s built to do for the next chord.

    So do it however you want, but this is how I recommend you do it. You want to have your middle finger on the 4th string on the 2nd fret, and your ring finger on the 3rd string on the 2nd fret, and then you want to have your little finger on the 2nd string on the 2nd fret. And then when you’re done and you have all your fingers all lined up, go ahead and give the chord a strum, and remember to push really hard. Push really, really hard on the tips of your fingers. The more it hurts, the more you’re doing it right – unfortunately, that’s kind of how it works with lessons, especially acoustic guitar.

    If you’re playing an electric guitar, congratulations, it’s not going to hurt as much. But the people that started out on acoustic have an advantage because when they get out of the waiting room so to speak, the electric is going to be way more easier for them. So I advise you to start on an acoustic, but electric’s fine. So just push down, and just make sure all those fingers are coming out and you can hear all the notes. Just do a string check, check each one, and make sure that they’re all coming out – and there you have it, A major.
    The next chord we’re going to do is called the B major chord, and B major is derived from A major directly.

    The patterns that A uses – or the configuration of the form that it uses – can just be moved up a couple frets. And if you watch the theory video series that I have – Essential Basics – you would’ve seen that that makes a lot of sense. I can still explain it a little bit, but you probably want to get the series if you really want to get some of this stuff that I’m explaining to you. It’ll enable you to understand the musical landscape a lot better, and navigate it as well.

    Okay. So our first chord is A, and it was back here in the 2nd fret, and our next chord is B, and we’re just going to take what we did here, and we’re just going to move it up 2 frets. So the three fingers that we have for A, we’re going to take these and we’re just going to move them up 2 frets. So 1 fret, and 2 frets – so this is up on the 4th fret, and it’s the same assembly of fingers. We got the same thing going on as we did last time, okay? The only difference is that it’s 2 frets higher.
    And if you look on your keyboard, you’ll notice that B is 2 half steps higher than A, and the mechanics are pretty much same.

    So you also want to make sure that you are closing this string off back here because if you don’t, what’s going to happen is is when you hit this, this note you’re hearing on the end is a part of the A chord that was down here. But if you do it up here – I mean, that’s a cool sounding chord, don’t get me wrong, you might want to use it something – but in order to do this right, we have to cap this off.

    And this is kind of a pain for a lot of beginners. People really have trouble with that their first lesson, so don’t worry about it. If you’re having trouble with this chord, it’s no big deal – everybody has problems with it. So if you’re kind of a perfectionist, [?] type personality, don’t worry about it, just strive for excellence – just be as good as you can, and here we go, let’s try it.

    So with this chord – per the diagram – you can see that you’re not supposed to hit these two – the E and the A string, the bottom 2 strings here. You’re just supposed to hit the ones you’re holding down only. So let’s go ahead and do that – and that’s what you get. And it’s kind of a wimpy chord and we’re not going to be really using it a whole lot. At first it’s just good that you know how to do it just so you can do it – just want to [?] do it. So there you have B major.

    Just go through, do a string check just like we did with A, and check each string and make sure the notes are coming out. And we’re going to push really hard on the tips of your fingers. You also might want to – if the notes aren’t coming out – you want to move your hand around a little bit to try different hand positions because you know, the margin for error could be less than a millimeter, you know – that could make all the difference if you put your hand forward like this, that could be the difference between not hearing it, and then hearing a whole chord – no joke.

    So give it a shot and see if that works for you and if it doesn’t, you can always come in for a lesson. And if you live on the other side of the country, well of course, that’s going to be a little harder, but I’ll do the best I can to express that stuff in the video series and get you through the hard times.
    Okay. The next chord we’re going to learn is C major, and C major is kind of a stretchy chord. It’s one of those chords that you know, some people’s hands just aren’t built for, and so you’ve got your first finger here – your index here – in the 1st fret on the 2nd string, and then you’ve got your middle finger on the 4th string on the 2nd fret, and then you’ve got your ring finger on the 5th string, on the 3rd fret.

    And what you want to do is just go through and make sure they’re all coming out, but you want to also be able to press down. So this is one where you have to stretch and push down hard at the same time, and that’s kind of a hard combination for somebody that’s just starting. If you can’t do it, I’ve got another series that simplifies all these chords down to about 3 notes – their called triads – and you can kind of work on those until you get up to speed, and then come back to it and see if you can knock it out later.

    But this chord here is C major, and as you see per the diagram, the bottom string – the 6th string, this one – is off limits, don’t touch that. And then just go ahead and start on the bottom and work your way – strum your way to the top – the bottom being of course, here, and then going this way – that’s how I think about it. So here we go – C major. And just do a string check. Make sure all the notes are coming out and if they are, you’ve passed the test. If they’re not, you still pass the test, it’s just going to take you a little longer. C major.
    The next chord is D major, and D major is kind of a favorite just because it sounds really cool and it’s easy to play.

    It’s down here on the 2nd fret per the diagram. You can kind of see it’s a triangle shape, and what the triangle does is it just kind of scrunches your fingers together here – and these triangle shapes are actually kind of fun. They’re easy and there’s other stuff that you can do around this area once you solidify something like this, but we’ll go into that later – those are in other videos.

    But for right now, let’s just learn the roots. Let’s learn the fundamentals and then we’ll go from there, that way you know your head won’t spin off your shoulders and you won’t get all confused because it can happen pretty easily if you’re taught too quickly, or if you’re trying to cram 24 notes into one measure to show you how good I am – and actually, I’m really not that good, I’m not that fast.

    Okay. So you’re going to put your index finger in the 2nd fret on the 3rd string, your ring finger is on the 3rd fret on the 2nd string, and your middle is back here on the 2nd fret on the 1st string, and the bottom string in this – per the diagram – once again is off limits. And so you want to just do from the 8th string – the low A – up. There we go, D major. Good.
    Remember to go through and do a string check. If any notes aren’t coming out, just make sure you try different hand positions, try moving your fingers around a little bit, try swinging your elbow out sometimes – that helps – and just try to move stuff around a little bit because like I said before, the difference between getting a chord and not getting it is really – sometimes it’s just so small, it’s like less than a millimeter. So you can usually do it if you just try and move stuff around a little bit, you normally end up getting it. So there you go, that’s D major. Very good.

    Okay. The next chord is E major, and E is down here on the 1st fret, and you’re going to put your 1st finger – per the diagram – [?] set, and you’re going to put your first finger – your index – here on the 3rd string on the 1st fret, and you’re going to put your middle on the 5th string on the 2nd fret, and then you’re going to put your ring finger on the fourth string on the 2nd fret. And this is one where you get to play all of the strings. So you just – you don’t have to just stay on – there’s no restrictions in other words – you can do whatever you want.
    So just go ahead and hit them all [?] on the pinky sticking out here. And you can do that, or you can put it under, it really doesn’t matter – wave to the people with it. That was stupid. But hey, I’m a comedian – what can I say. Okay. Go through, make sure all the notes are coming out. It’s a very popular chord to use in a lot of songs. Remember to push really hard and to move your fingers around if the string isn’t coming out.

    Just work on it a little bit – it’ll happen eventually, it will. You just gotta keep practicing, trust me, I know. I’ve been doing this a long time and practice doesn’t make perfect, but it definitely makes excellent and if you keep practicing, you’re going to be good – there’s no question. So good job. See you on the chord.

    This next chord is F major, and F major is a chord that nobody really likes – especially the beginners – just because it requires a lot from your hand. It’s kind of the chord that fell through the void. It’s the one that kind of go the short stick when people were drawing straws when they invented the musical system for the guitar.

    So it entails you to do a little more than the rest of the chords, and it comes from the E form, which is the one that was down here which we use these fingers for okay, but we’re going to use a different set of fingers -

    Learn the true fundamentals of music to Improve your skills

    Guitar Lessons Columbus Ohio - Music Lessons Columbus Ohio
    Posted by Stu Johnson - June 12, 2013 - 1:14 PM

    If you are looking for guitar lessons in Columbus Ohio then you should be looking for someone who can show you
    how the musical system is put together. Most times we are taught bits and pieces of a bigger picture but are not
    often enough taught how they all work together to form music as a whole.

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    It important to know your instrument and how to read the language but bear in mind it is also good to have a solid grasp on
    the concepts that hold the pieces in place. Of course it is also good to learn things in a sequence that helps both to speed
    learning and improve comprehension too.

    Most folks are visual learners which means they need visual assistance to fully grasp difficult concepts in the
    shortest time. If these approaches are used the student success rates have shown to go through the
    roof and comprehension improves dramatically. The ability to grasp higher concepts is also enhanced
    by this straight forward no nonsense method as well.

    Learn how to piece things together and see the big picture

    Make 100% sure that when screening a teacher for guitar in Columbus Ohio that you choose someone
    who is somewhat multifaceted and that you can relate to personally as well as learn from their way of
    ;communicating ideas to you.

    Some folks have a different 'dialect' of learning, but most people need visual aids to help break up the monotony.

    Learn the 3 crucial things you need to play guitar and really understand music here...

    Guitar Lessons in Columbus Ohio and 3 Critical Things to Know...
    Posted by Stu Johnson - October 29, 2012 - 4:46 PM

    Most Guitar Lessons in Columbus Ohio are excellent. Columbus is a great town for music lessons because we have some great musicians here.
    When looking for an Instructor for guitar lessons in Columbus Ohio be sure to try a few different ones before you put the hammer down and
    decide. It is always good to have a proficient teacher but it does not always lead to understanding or even the ability to play!

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    The number one determinant for most people is simply "Do I like my Teacher". If the answer to this is no, it is no surprise to most folks that the lessons
    will most likely not be effective. Another criteria is their teaching style. Do they teach 'note reading' right off the bat? Do they require you
    to read staff before you can play your favorite tunes? To some this might be okay, but I can tell you teaching guitar lessons in Columbus
    Ohio for 17 years that most people just want to be able to start jamming right away and are willing to skip the preliminary sturm and drang.
    And yes, even if they are going to "pay for it later". Most people taking lessons aren't planning on going to Julliard or Berkeley College. They
    simply would like to be able to play their favorite songs for themselves and/or their children etc..

    Learn how to piece things together and see the big picture

    So, make sure you select a teacher that fits your goals and accommodates what you are trying to do (not what they want you to do). It is the job
    of a good Instructor to have an established curriculum too. Most Instructors teach a little here and a little there. Not only is this piece-meal approach
    non-effective, it also places the onus on the student to put things together and make sense of it. This is the job of the Instructor (to explain everything
    and hook it all together). If you are looking for quality lessons at a competitive price, you should check out

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    Guitar Lessons Columbus Ohio - The Mystique Of Acoustic Guitar Solos
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:18 PM

    The acoustic guitar still holds a fascination for music lovers even after all these decades of our ears being bombarded by electric guitar music. Electric guitarists love playing with the sounds they get from different tone settings, effects, the use of the different pickups and feedback. The acoustic guitar has only the tone given to it by the wood it is made from and the skill and inspiration of the guitar player. So let us take a look at some acoustic guitar solos and the guitars and guitarists who made them.

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    If you do not know the name Erik Mongrain, you will find some examples of his guitar playing on video sites on the internet. I came across a very nice solo called Air Tap. He was given an acoustic guitar when he was fourteen, and learnt to play it by ear. While he learnt and experimented with the guitar he discovered the technique of sitting the guitar in his lap and tapping, the strings and body to produce music. If you go looking for him on the web you will find pdf files of his music and tutorials on his techniques.

    Use 3 crucial techniques to broaden your knowledge of scales and triads, and keys

    Paco de Lucia introduced the world to a new brand of flamenco in the 1970's and paved the way for a new generation of flamenco guitarists who were inspired by his passion for oriental scales and jazz influences. Entre Dos Aguas was an improvisation begun during a recording session because the LP Paco and his accompanying musicians were working on was short on material. The resulting rumba was a worldwide hit and established Paco as a force to be reckoned with well outside the boundaries of Spanish folk music. Paco sponsors his own line of flamenco guitars.

    Back in the 1990's MTV decided to coax guitar hero Eric Clapton into playing some songs without the adornments provided by an electric guitar and amp. The resulting album won Grammy awards, gave Clapton's career a shot in the arm and reinvented the song Layla as an acoustic showpiece. The solo on Layla is far removed from the original theme conceived by Duane Allman which made the song a rock anthem.

    Use 3 crucial techniques to broaden your knowledge of scales and triads, and keys

    In the late 1960's Mason Williams surprised himself by writing and performing an acoustic guitar solo which became a hit and remained popular for the decades since. The tune was called Classical Gas, and is striking for its simplicity and popular appeal. Classical Gas was born in an era when instrumentals such as The Lonely Surfer, A Walk In The Black Forest and Love Is Blue were standout hits for musicians who were otherwise unknown. But only Classical Gas retains the ability to make people sit up and listen.

    So if you play the acoustic guitar a little and would like to learn how to play solos, you can use the world wide web to
    learn more about soloing techniques for acoustic guitar. One easy way to start is the clawhammer technique used in folk songs, or you could learn to improvise your own licks using the minor pentatonic or "blues" scale. If you are stuck for an idea on how to begin improvising or making up your own tunes, start with a nursery rhyme or some other popular melody, and begin adding notes to it and changing things around to produce something original.

    Use 3 crucial techniques to broaden your knowledge of scales and triads, and keys

    Music Lessons Columbus Ohio - Classical Gas - An Enigma Of Modern Music
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:16 PM

    Classical Gas is one of the most requested and most familiar instrumental pieces of all time. In an episode of The Simpsons called "Last Exit to Springfield" Homer leads the workers of the nuclear power plant in a strike to recover their lost dental plan. While they picket the plant, Lisa plays a bleak worker's song. As she finishes, Lenny shouts, "Play Classical Gas". Lisa plays the guitar and everybody watching the episode on TV goes, "Oh, yeah, THAT tune!" Classical Gas is always asked for whenever a bunch of people and a nylon string acoustic guitar are in the same room. It is not really a great technical showcase for finger style guitarists but it is a great vehicle to show off the sound of the classical guitar.

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    Classical Gas was released into the world in 1968. A song by The Doors prevented it from turning into a number one hit but it remained in the second place for two weeks. Forty years later it is still among the most familiar tunes of all time and, along with The Anonymous Romance and Leucona's Malaguena regarded as an essential element of the classical guitar repertoire. And nobody can say why.

    The impact of Classical Gas is way more than the sum of its parts. There are very few musical ideas in the tune. It is mainly repetition of a theme made up of a few notes. There are a few parts that are unforgettable "surprises" making use of syncopation, scales, strums, and abrupt time signature changes. Somehow all the bits link together like pearls on a necklace, and the final note adds a sublime resolution.

    Increase your playing speed and play more accurately

    The composer, Mason Williams, states on his website, "I didn't really have any big plans for it, other than maybe to have a piece to play at parties when they passed the guitar around. I envisioned it as simply repertoire or "fuel" for the classical guitar, so I called it Classical Gasoline." Mason Williams' day job was as a comedy writer and stand-up comedian who had lots of other projects besides writing a classical guitar instrumental.

    It was Mason Williams' work on the Smothers Brothers' "Comedy Hour" which gave him the opportunity to have his pet composition heard by the American public. The original score of the piece shows only chords and a few notes. Mason Williams had a twenty-three year old composer named Mike Post finish off the arrangement.

    At the Grammys it won Best Instrumental Composition and Best Instrumental Performance for Mason Williams and Best Instrumental Arrangement for Mike Post who has had a career full of triumphs in the field of TV theme music. His latest victory is the theme(s) for the "Law And Order" series.

    Increase your playing speed and play more accurately

    Classical Gas has been employed as the theme music for several news programs, the background music for the Apollo 4 movie, and featured in a number of other movies and TV shows. Many people have mistakenly attributed Mason Williams' solo version of the tune for a cover by Eric Clapton.

    Classical Gas is quite an easy piece to play, the challenge is to play it with passion and dynamics because it appears to non-guitarists, more difficult to play than it really is. Maybe this is the reason it is among the most requested guitar pieces ever.

    Increase your playing speed and play more accurately

    Music Lessons Columbus Ohio - Beginning Acoustic Guitar
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:12 PM

    So you have decided the acoustic guitar is the instrument for you. What are the first steps to take to get your guitar playing off to a flying start? How about we cover the really basic stuff here, like what kind of music will I be playing? Am I aiming to be a professional guitarist? What type of amplifier do acoustic guitar players use, and what strings are best for which genre of music?

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    After we have covered these topics you will have a clear idea of the way ahead in your guitar playing career.

    Learn how to piece things together and see the big picture

    Right, so what is your acoustic guitar repertoire going to consist of? Which music attracted you to the acoustic guitar should really be your guide here. The most obvious acoustic genre for many people is folk music. This genre really took off as a form of popular music in the 1960's and now there's a tremendous volume of material for you to choose from. A lot of musicians who are interested in singing ballads go for the acoustic guitar because it's so easy to pick up the instrument and go ahead and sing. Providing your guitar is in tune of course. But in general the acoustic guitar is a great companion for the ballad singer because it won't compete with your vocals.

    While we are on the subject of repertoire, don't forget the acoustic guitar is ideal for singing your own simple arrangements of popular songs from many styles of music. Two examples of rock and roll songs that were hits all over again as acoustic ballads are "Layla" by Eric Clapton and "Light My Fire" originally recorded by The Doors, and reworked by Jose Feliciano.

    Learn how to piece things together and see the big picture

    To let your audience hear your playing, you can choose to amplify your guitar by simply playing into a microphone as classical or flamenco guitarists do, or make use of a pickup and an amplifier. The question of which amp to use is a matter for experimentation and talking it over with more experienced guitarists. Generally speaking you wouldn't need any kind of effects for acoustic guitar music; it just needs to have the volume to reach your audience in a restaurant or hall. So just bear in mind you are looking for a nice clear sound from your amp to help carry your vocals rather than set up shop in competition with them.

    The choice of strings for the beginner acoustic guitarist is a no-brainer. Learn on nylon strings till your fingers are toughened up. You will form callouses on the tips of your fingers during the first few weeks of playing, after that you can start on a steel string guitar if you wish without slicing your fingers. Regarding the sound of the different kinds of strings, nylon will give you a mellow, unobtrusive sound, and steel strings have a sharper sound which demands attention from the audience. This can augment your vocals and enable you to do solos if you want to.

    Now you have got the basic topics covered all that's left for you to do is enjoy your journey as an acoustic guitar player.

    Learn how to piece things together and see the big picture

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    Guitar Lessons Columbus Ohio - The Lure Of The Nylon String Guitar
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:10 PM

    As a fan of the electric guitar and an enthusiastic player of acoustic music, I would like to share some of the most fascinating aspects of the nylon string guitar to give you an idea of the beauty of this instrument as a stepping stone for beginner guitarists or as the subject of a lifelong devotion. Although a nylon string guitar fan can go on and on about the wonderful mellow sound and the potential for extracting new meaning from music, maybe we can focus on the more practical aspects of the nylon string acoustic like the different styles of music played on it and the advantages it can hold for an amateur or professional guitarist.

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    First let's talk about the types of guitars using nylon strings. Many experts say the flamenco guitar with its dry sound is more typical of what a guitar was like before the emergence of the sonorous and lyrical sound of the classical guitar which evolved in the first half of the twentieth century. The flamenco guitar has always been common in some areas of Spain, and it is simply the musical instrument used by a family or group of friends to play the local folk music.

    The classical guitar was developed to play the classical style compositions which became popular in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A descendent of the classical guitar is the basic nylon string acoustic guitar you see in music stores today. It lends itself to the accompaniment of all types of songs and was made popular in the 1960's folk boom by artists like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul And Mary. These artists captured the public's imagination with their songs and planted the sound of the nylon string guitar firmly in the realms of popular music.

    The sound of the nylon string guitar is much more peaceful compared to the brighter sound of the steel string acoustic. Another major advantage of the nylon string guitar is that it provides musical accompaniment to songs without distracting attention from your vocals.

    Discover the one unchanging rule that the musical system operates...

    By the way - did you know that players of electric guitars or steel string acoustic instruments need to develop callouses on their left hand fingers? Nylon strings are generally a little kinder to your hands. You will find that your nylon string guitar is easy to tune and you can just pick your guitar up and play it at any time of day or night without disturbing anybody in the immediate environment. Also the wider fret board allows you to play chords and single notes without accidentally touching the wrong string.

    Nylon string guitars are kinder to finger picking guitarists. Anybody can learn finger style guitar on nylon strings without running too much risk of breaking fingernails, plus you will be pleased at how your first finger picking efforts are rewarded by the more beginner-friendly tone of the nylon acoustic.

    Now you have some idea of the attractive aspects of the nylon string acoustic guitar, I do hope you will find some time to devote to this beautiful and, in recent times, neglected instrument.

    Discover the one unchanging rule that the musical system operates...

    Guitar Lessons Columbus Ohio - The Influence Of Blues Guitar On Modern Music
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:10 PM

    Anybody interested in modern music sooner or later asks the question, "Where did it begin?" Well, if you leave blues guitar music out, you will not have much of an answer. So let us look at where the blues came from, where it went and who it met on the way. We will also take a look at the "blues guitar sound" and how it has its unique effect on our feelings.

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    The blues as a musical phenomenon began around 1911 when W.C. Handy published popular songs, notably "Memphis Blues" and "St Louis Blues", which affected the hearts and souls of the black people. By the nineteen twenties the general population were beginning to hear this new music through its influence on jazz. Early blues singers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday sang with jazz bands while others played with "jug bands" accompanied by fiddle, kazoo and washboard.

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    Of course to people like W. C. Handy who were brought up singing in church, the piano was the natural instrumental accompaniment to their songs. But the guitar is portable and always was popular so it had to have a place in blues and jazz. Blues guitar players like twelve string guitarist Leadbelly and future electric guitar player B.B. King were making sure the guitar would be an integral part of the blues. Other blues guitarists made their living in smoky saloons playing slide guitar using a bottle neck or the blade of a knife to fret the notes.

    After the Second World War young artists like Elvis Presley and Bill Haley were wrapping the blues in a new package called "rock'n'roll" and the players of the electric blues guitar like B.B. King were heralding the arrival of the lead guitar, soon to be a great attraction for both musicians and audiences. Throughout the evolution of the blues the guitar had always taken its turn for solos in jazz bands but now it competed with the singer for the attention of the audience.

    Discover the one unchanging rule that the musical system operates...

    Blues guitar can be played in any key that takes your fancy and comes in three basic forms: eight bars, for example "Heartbreak Hotel", sixteen bars like "Saint James Infirmary" and twelve bars like "St. Louis Blues". For some reason the twelve bar blues form is way more singer-friendly and popular with audiences than the other two, and it is the basis of many great songs outside the blues idiom.

    If you go poking around the internet you will find that the blues scales are just your garden variety major and minor scales except that the third, fifth and seventh notes are played flat. However, you may be astonished to learn that blues players managed for centuries without knowing about European musical theory. They learnt to sing and play from their families and friends just as many of the young white blues players of the nineteen sixties learnt from imitating the artists they heard on records.

    Discover the one unchanging rule that the musical system operates...

    And this is where the blues takes another direction. After years of imitating their idols something odd happened to the white blues guitar players in Britain and the USA. They developed their own authentic, original styles. The older blues players even began using the new arrangements of classic songs and adopting some of the unbluesy musical innovations introduced by young white guitarists like Eric Clapton. So the beat goes on. A foreign culture influences American popular music and in turn gets fresh input from a new generation of guitar players from all over the world.

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    Guitar Lessons Columbus Ohio - Acoustic Guitar Tablature - Is It Real Sheet Music?
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:07 PM

    As a beginner acoustic guitarist you're probably wondering whether learning your songs from guitar tablature is as good as getting them from "real" sheet music. Learning to play acoustic guitar is a great adventure which is sometimes spoilt a bit by the prospect of having to learn to read music. But for most acoustic guitar players, learning all the symbols and theory connected with musical notation is not really necessary.

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    Tablature for acoustic guitar has certain points giving it an edge over standard music notation. Actually historians tell us that tablature was used to record musical compositions long before conventional notation. They don't seem to have much idea how musicians attributed note values to compositions they has never heard played. Maybe it wasn't an issue in the sixteenth century.

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    So what do you learn from tabs? Tablature shows diagrammatically where finger positions are indicated using numbers representing the guitar's frets along horizontal lines representing the strings. The note G played on the first (thinnest) string is shown by the number 3 written on the top line of the tablature. Sometimes the person writing the tablature will group the notes together to show that they are all the same value but this is not a hard and fast rule.

    Hammer-ons, string bends, pull-offs and other techniques are shown by symbols. Each tablature writer has his own idea of the best way to show how to play the music, and he usually includes a legend showing his symbols on each tab. With the aid of guitar tabs, you can learn new music quickly without going to the additional trouble of learning conventional music notation.

    Despite the fact that tempo and time signatures are not included, sometimes it's easier for the guitarist to pick up music from tablature. The ease with which you can learn to read tablature means that your progress on the guitar is not slowed by the need to cope with such things as the use of alternate tunings.

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    Another bonus is in the ease in sharing acoustic guitar music on the internet. Guitar tab is easily written on a computer by way of ASCII code, which makes it easier to email or post on the web. Maybe when you get some guitar playing experience under your belt you could try writing some music down for yourself. A great chance to see the difficulties facing composers for the guitar. Unfortunately debate over copyright issues has made posting guitar tab a little bit contentious, but you can still share tab privately by email.

    A lot of guitar teachers proclaim the virtues of learning to read sheet music. Some even think you are not a "real" musician unless you can read "real" music. If you have a burning desire to follow a career in music then the versatility given you by the ability to read music will be a definite advantage. But if you look at playing music as a way of each individual expressing themselves in their own unique way, then how you write your music down is not one of the biggest issues in your life!

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    Quality Guitar Lessons in Columbus Ohio - Easy Guitar Songs to Easily Learn Play the Guitar: Songs in the Key of Success
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:07 PM

    As the old adage goes, music is the language of the soul – it speaks what words cannot reveal. No wonder most people would love to hear or learn to play musical instruments such as the guitar.

    Playing the guitar, in particular, is one of the best ways to express the sentiments or feelings of a person. It is also one way of expressing the artistic skill of an individual who loves music. That is why many people are enticed to learn how to play this instrument.

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    When somebody is playing the guitar, it is assumed that the person has taken some guitar lessons from an instructor or that he has learned to play the instrument all by himself. Whatever method of learning is employed, it is important to use the correct techniques in order to learn how to play the instrument properly.

    One of the best ways of learning to play the guitar is to use some simple guitar songs that make it easier comprehend the guitar tablatures. If a person knows how to “sight read” a particular guitar song, it is easier for him to learn how to play the guitar. This is more appropriate in a higher level of expertise. Some experts assert that some guitarists have started by singing along with their favorite songs and trying to play it on the guitar as they go.

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    The importance of using easy guitar songs to learn how to play the instruments is broken down into different aspects. Here is the list:

    1. It helps the beginner learn the proper pace and rhythm of the song.

    Easy guitar songs initiate proper pacing and rhythm enabling the beginner to learn to play the guitar easier. Just by listening to the song, the beginner can easily make some use of the strings and try to associate it with the tempo and the pattern of the notes.

    2. Creates an ear for music

    Using easy guitar songs provides the chance to create an ear for music. Once the guitarist learns how to listen attentively, he will be able to distinguish the right note coming from the right tab from those that are wrong.

    Indeed, using these easy guitar songs can really make a big difference in every beginner’s learning session. As the experts insist, it would be easier for a beginner to learn the instrument if he will use tools that are not hard to use.

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    Bass Lessons in Columbus Ohio - Beginner’s Tips in Playing Bass
    Posted by Stu Johnson - September 7, 2010 - 5:05 PM

    Playing bass is plain and simple, just play the music from the heart, feel the piece and let the listeners enjoy the melody. Here are a few basic tips that could help beginners.

    Make a decision about the bass sound to be played. Will it be like a real smooth bass player or just a machine going wild over the sound? It will depend on the rhythm you want to use.

    It’s not against the rule to do some personal experiments. Move the track forwards or backwards to see which sounds better. A 2 or 3 millisecond in increments can be used in audio. When the bass is ahead, the drums can sound far behind but if the bass is left behind, the drums may sound “burning”.

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    Shorter notes sound better than the long ones if a bass part of the audio is “pitched”. Edit some notes taken from other parts of the song to fit them into a totally different phrase. The melody is still familiar but with a different cut because it was inserted on a different line.

    Leave some space in the bass part of the song. Notice that famous bass players put emphasis on holes when they try to emphasize a feeling of pressure into the sound. It leaves the listener’s ear hanging in anticipation and then satisfying them just a few beats later.

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    Avoid making bass melodies that can cause difficulties when playing and playing will not be as enjoyable. Some parts of the bass can be very attention grabbing especially if the rhythm is extremely fast. The trick is keeping the frets static until the melody changes. Like playing drums, bass can be recurring as well, so manage to break lines and chords for some variety. It is not bad to go back to the first simple bass chords just to avoid having a “wreck” with the sound at the end.

    The inspiration for playing to suit the bass chords depends on the way the song is played. Sounds with more bass melodies are best heard when the notes are kept higher. Never hesitate to edit notes so that they are comfortable to play. The best advice is to listen to the edited bass chords and be decisive on the good and/or the bad timing. Remember that too much of a good thing can turn out badly, the same with playing bass, when exaggerated, it could ruin the whole piece. A little highlighting on the initial beat of a song’s phrase can do the trick. Enjoy playing!

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