Learn guitar with Online Lessons

Learn guitar with Online Lessons
Onlne Guitar Lessons

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Alternate G Chord - Online Guitar Lesson

Learn how to play guitar with these online guitar lessons from Center Stage Guitar Academy.

In this video blog by Center Stage Guitar Academy instructor Bryan Billhimer covers an alternate way to play an open G Major chord. With this fingering you can play a Gsus4 and alternate with a C/G chord in the style of Keith Richards. For more guitar lessons from Center Stage Guitar Academy visit http://csgacademy.com

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why The Blues?

Some may ask why a lot of the online guitar lessons focus on the Blues. Well, there are a few reasons for this. First, I am more versed in the Blues than most other styles of playing guitar, so it is natural that I would teach this way. Second, blues music is the foundation of rock n roll and nearly all forms of American music today. Without the blues, you would not have Zeppelin, Hendrix, Maroon Five, Cee Lo, or even Metallica. That being said, I feel it is important to learn the fundamentals of American music. Third, blues music is relatively easy for beginners to grasp. It's just 3 chords! It serves as a great vehicle to learn basic improvisational skills. If you can't solo over blues changes, then its going to be hard to solo over other more complex chord progressions.

I realize that not all of you dig the Blues to much, but I promise it will make things more understandable and easier to grasp in the future. And who knows, it just may grow on you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Thing About Tone

There are several factors to consider when establishing a good guitar tone. Lets start with electric guitar tone. With electric there are three major factors to consider...the guitar, the amp, and the effects. There are all types of guitars with all types of pickups. Single Coil pickups and humbucking pickups are the two main pickup categories. I prefer humbuckers for the simple reason that they are less noisy. I like the tone of a good single coil pickup but I have never had much luck with keeping them from buzzing terribly. This is especially a factor when you are playing gigs in dive bars or clubs with bad electric wiring. You are much better off with a humbucking pickup. If you are gigging musician I would suggest having at least one in your arsenal. Generally speaking your Fender strats have single coils and your Les Pauls have humbuckers. Just to give you an idea of the difference. Guitars with maple fretboards tend to be brighter whereas rosewood gives a little darker tone. The thinner the body of the guitar the less resonance and the less meaty the tone. Compare an SG with a hollow body guitar...the hollow body will tend to have a much fuller, bigger tone. Now lets talk amps. I have always felt like you could hand me a great guitar played through a bad amp and I would get a bad tone. However, I can make a bad guitar sound decent through a good amp. The amp, in my opinion is the most crucial part of your tone. I always prefer tube amps that deliver a much warmer, natural sound then the solid state counterparts. However if you are play jazz or something that requires a clean crisp sound, a solid state amp good be great. All the great rock legends used tube amps such as Marshall Plexi's, Vox AC30, Hi Watt, Fender Twins, Fender Bassmans etc. Now days they make all kinds of boutique amps that are modeled after these classic amps. Matchless is my amp of choice which is loosely modeled after the Vox AC30. As far as effects go, you just have to experiment. Just keep in mind that the more you add in the signal chain the more likely you are to have unwanted noise. I like to keep it simple. My effects pedals consist of a Boss Tuner, Boss Blues Driver, Boss Tremelo, and occasionally a Wah pedal. But that's just me. We just have to experiment. 

As for Acoustic guitars go, you are somewhat limited by the make and model of the guitar. You can make differences in tone by the type of picks you use and also the thickness of your strings. Actually the string factor goes for both electric and acoustic. The thicker the strings the fuller the tone. It kinda whatever you can stand on your fingers. I like to use 11's. Stevie Ray Vaughan used crazy thick gauges of strings and had an incredible tone. Bottom line...you have to try different things and experiment to find the right tone!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How To Practice

Developing a good practice routine is essential to learning how to play guitar and improving your guitar playing skills.  Like any physical activity, it is a good idea to warm up with some exercises.  I like to warm up by playing through scales.  I usually start with the Major scale and play through all 12 keys.  Then I move on to the Minor scale and play through all 12 keys.  I will repeat this process with all the scales and modes I know.  I might also throw in exercises of playing scales in thirds.  Practicing the connection of relative scales is great finger work and increases your knowledge of the fingerboard for improv purposes, so it would be good to practice this daily as well. After scales, I might run through some arpeggios as well.  Now that I am nice and warmed up I can focus on whatever particular technique or song I am working on.  Currently, I am working on Travis Picking and Ragtime style finger picking.  Once I am warmed up with exercises I play through several songs I have been learning in this genre.
Part of practicing is having the discipline to correct yourself when you mess something up.  If you are having trouble playing something it is always good to slow it down.  If you can’t play it slow, you will never be able to play it fast. Don’t just play through entire songs or pieces at once.  Stop and work on the sections that give you the most trouble. Once you have mastered the troublesome part, then move on.
When learning guitar online it is important not to rush yourself through the lessons.  My advice would be to watch a lesson and then practice that lesson for 4 to 7 days.  Do not move on to the next lesson until you have mastered the previous lesson.  Playing guitar is like any other talent.  It takes time, patience, and discipline.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Learn Payphone by Maroon Five on Guitar

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The days of guitar heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Perry are long gone unfortunately.  You rarely even hear a guitar solo anymore.  Even artists that used to have guitar in their recordings have moved to more synthesized sounds.  Are the eighties back?  Man, I hope not, but it sure is looking that way.  Maroon Five used to have some good guitar riffs in their songs.  Doesn't seem that way anymore.  

Learn Pay Phone by Maroon Five on guitar. It is literally four chords the entire song!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jimi vs. Jimmy

Several people have asked me in the past who I thought was a better guitar player, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page.  Well that is a tough one.  This is how I answer.  Personally, I like Jimmy Page a little better.  In my opinion, Page is a more eclectic player.  He played blues, slide, country, rock, classical, etc.  He was kind of a sloppy player but it had a ton of vibe.  You can always tell its Jimmy Page.  He also had many different tones to his sound and experimented with alternate tunings.  All these things keep my interest.  Don't get me wrong, Hendrix was incredible as well and hands down the most innovative player ever.  He did things with the guitar nobody ever thought of doing with an instrument.

The truth is I loved both when I was younger, learning how to play guitar.  I probably burnt myself out on both guitar legends.  It is sad sometimes when I hear Purple Haze or Whole Lotta Love and get kinda bored because I have heard them 1000 times.  It would be awesome to hear them for the first time again.  I envy you, if you have not had the "Experience" yet.  No pun intended.

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