(16 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Flat picking is definitely another avenue you can take.  However, if you're going more toward country and folk music, knowing the how to finger pick would help greatly.  Other artists like Pat Simmons (Doobie Bros.) and Derek Truck, use their finger picking expertise when playing electric guitar.  No pick is used here. 

Either way, it's good to get a jump start on it now!  IMHO.

Tekaran wrote:

hrmm, now i need to look up flat picking.  smile

Thanks again


(4 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I agree with Southpaw!  Open chords sound great, but to be a complete player, you'll need to be able to move them up the neck.  You'll have more to choose from when playing a song.  Capo is also a good idea to practice with as well!


(16 replies, posted in Acoustic)


Welcome to Chordie!  You'll find a abundance of resources and experts here!  About finger picking, you should start dabbling into it now!  It's not an expert technique.  The basics for playing an acoustic is different between left and right hand.  Although both hands play the same instrument, both hands also play independently to make music. 

Learning finger picking should be part of your daily playing!  Even Electric!  There are several types of picking, including Travis picking and Chicken picking.  Do some research on the net or on this site.  You'll be picking in no time! 

Also, listen to finger picking artists, like James Taylor, Harry Chapin, Dan Fogelberg, Jim Croce, etc.  You'll learn different techniques between each one!

Good luck!


(9 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Check out the Public song book section.  It has tons of easy songs you can play.


(35 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

I too, have recently gone back to the elixir strings.  My last set was a D'addario, and the tone went dull after a few plays.  Luckily, I still had a set left from my Ebay purchase last year.  And, wow!  That elixir sound was sure delightful to hear once again.  In my view, the sound and tone stay true longer than other strings.

I was told that they are not compatible.  Because the acoustic uses bronze, while electric uses nickel.  Plus the set up is a bit different between the two.  There are also different wound type on electric (ie flat vs regular).

You can also consider the Fender Squire line as well.  They are comparable to the LP Special.

You may also want to consider a few more things when changing strings:
1. How much slack are you leaving on the tuning pegs?  Too much or too little slack can cause the guitar to be out of tune. 

2. When changing strings, did you thoroughly inspect the tuning pegs for loose nuts or excessive play?  This is fairly common on less expensive guitars. 

3.  When winding the strings to the pegs, did you make sure that the first loop is wound "under" the string hole?  There is a technique used when winding the strings, which "locks" the loop.  So, they don't slack up during play. 

Just my two cents!


(6 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)


Make sure that your electronic tuner is set to the standard 440hz, if you're doing standard tuning.  Electronic tuners have options for other tuning styles, where other signals apply!  Just my two cents!


(4 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Sounds like an Ovation guitar.  Hence, the deep bowl back!


(11 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Depending on how much you're willing to spend for that "better" guitar.  For a good midrange (price) guitars, I would suggest Ovation, Takamine, some Martin and Epiphone.  Of course, if you have the funds, a nice Martin, Taylor, Guild, Gibson are also good investment.


(4 replies, posted in Electric)


It's natural to be growing out of a smaller amp.  However, you don't need to go too big.  Most great sounding amps are between 30-50 watts!  If you're on a budget, Line6 makes good amps for the money.  If you want name brand or tube amps, you'll be paying much more.   A good Fender tube amp will run between $350-$750.  Other brands like Vox, Peavey, and Marshall may be in the similar ballpark.  But, you will run into some great deals like Craigslist or Ebay from time to time.  I found my Fender Hot Rod on Ebay for about $150.  But, it needed a new reverb pot.  That cost me another $100, but she runs great now! 

Good luck!


(7 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)


I should have been more clear.  The 12th fret is the start over point, similar to where the nut is at the top of the neck!  So, you can put a capo on the 12th fret, you can play the same chords as you would at the nut.  That's why the double dots are there. 

etc_04 wrote:

The nut is at the end of the neck. Most guitars normally have double dots on the 12th, I think because thats where the string is perfectly in half.


(31 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I think that if you're going to barre a B chord on the 2nd fret, might as well do it the right way.  This is because other barre chords also use this same shape.  Other barre chords like C, D, E, and F all use this shape right up the neck.  So, why not do it right, so you can run up and down the neck without changing shape? 

Just my two cents!


(20 replies, posted in Acoustic)


Up strumming, to me, helps with keeping the timing throughout the song.  Even though you may not strike the strings.  If you watch Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, his strumming hand  consistently strum up and down.  But, he only makes contact (some times) only on the down strum stroke. 

Another good reason to strum up, also, is when you play reggae songs.  Take Bob Marley and UB40 for instance.  Most of their songs uses only the up strum to create that "Island" sound! 

yu217171 wrote:

Thanks for the advice.  Quick question about strumming though.  What is the difference between strumming up vs strumming down?  Does it change the tone of the song?  Why can't I use all downstrokes?  Is it because I wouldn't be able to meet the tempo?  Thanks again.


(8 replies, posted in Electric)

I was told that if you change the speaker from the Eminence to a Celestion, the sound would be better.  I haven't done it, so I'm not sure.  Thoughts??

shredfiend wrote:

Why on earth would you want to modify your hot rod deluxe!? I happen to think they have an awesome tone without touching a thing. Maybe you would want to upgrade the speaker, but they sound glorious from the factory. I'd advise saving your money and upgrading parts on your guitar or maybe buying a couple pedals.


(3 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)


Welcome to Chordie!  Regarding your question, it really depends on your budget and your future plans.  Are you planning on joining a band or do gigs?  If so, a 50 to 100w amp would do fine.  If not, then a 30-40w amp would do the trick. 

One thing you didn't mention was what guitar are you playing?  Acoustic or electric?  For acoustic, several brands like Crate and Roland are good.  For electric, Fender, Vox, Line 6, Marshall, Peavey are some brands to look at.  If you're playing electric, invest in a good tube amp!  It might a bit pricey now, but you won't be disappointed with the sound.

Good luck!


(7 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

I thought that the double dots normally represents the nut, which is normally on the 12th fret!  Maybe I'm wrong here, so anyone please correct me!


If you're a casual player, a Mexican made one would do just fine.  Of course, if you have the money, an American one would be a good investment.  For me, the not-ready-for-prime-time player, I will have to stick with the cheaper one for now.   It sounds good and plays well for me!

SGinCYQX wrote:

I keep hearing they're more than the sum of their parts-maybe I need to try an MIA.


(8 replies, posted in Acoustic)


I play this song also, but I simplified it!  Instead of trying to play Dsus4, I just a basic D.  The same goes with the C9, I just play the regular C.  It sounds just about the same. 

This is a good song to practice, but the strumming pattern may throw you off a bit.  But, don't get discouraged.  This is a good song, but may take a bit longer to make it perfect. 

Good luck and play often.

que522 wrote:

well I can hear music in my head I have heard the song about 1/2 a million times. Its a matter of PLAYING it thats got me a little flustered, however since my last post I have got my problem area down for now.

I am not have a hard time with the fret hand, I can generally go to the right frets, not that they are that hard of moves but even so. My problem comes from my right hand going DAAAA what sting??

It goes string wise  "6-4-2-3-6-4-2-3-5-4-2-3-4-3-2-3" So I was having a hard time going up when I should have been going down, ect.

does this just mean chord these out, meaning go Em, play the strings you need, Dsus4, play the strings you need and so on?

    Em    Dsus4    C9    G








(20 replies, posted in Acoustic)


I couldn't agree with you more.  I too, work in the computer field, and we tend to get too analytical about everything we do.  No fear, however.  It's good to be organized, but letting go is the main reason for playing an instrument in the first place.  Once you can let go of the "mechanical" aspect in playing, you'll start to allow your creative side to shine. 

The Neil Young's song is a good one to practice with.  I would suggest, also, that you get yourself a metronome and practice strumming to the same beat timing as the song (but without playing the song.)  This will help you work your timing and chord changes.  Once you're more comfortable with one speed on the metronome, try increasing it a few beats per minute (BPM).  This will help you with quicker chord changes accuracy and speed. 

Like the others here have said, practice at least 30 minutes a day for a few days.  Then take one day break, and then practice again.  This will help reinforce habits, but not burn you out.  Hope this helps.

yu217171 wrote:

Thanks so much for everyone's replies and encouraging words.  I guess being a computer programmer, I over analyze things just based on my profession.  I try not to play free-form too much, otherwise I won't be able to measure my progress but at the same time that's probably why my progress is slow.  My short term goals are to be able to play and sing a song or two.  I was trying to learn Neil's Young's, Heart of Gold (http://www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?id=90) but I could not perform the chord progressions fast enough, which is what prompted me to structure my practices the way I have.

I used to play through a book, Guitar Method 1 by Aaron Stang but it got overly repetitive because I used to replay and replay the exercises in there.  I'll keep plugging away and hopefully I'll get it.  At least I've built up callouses now and the pain has started receeding smile

I too, have to add that I do love my Mexican Strat!  Having played other guitars in the past, I've found that the Strat is the most versatile and has more sound options.  In addition, it's much lighter than its main competitor: the Les Paul. 

For me, I also like its thinner neck, at which is comfortable for my smaller hand.  Just my opinion, of course.


(20 replies, posted in Acoustic)


Glad to hear you're practicing and learning progressions.  My feedback, to you, would be to just sit and play and not get too analytical about playing.  Playing an instrument,  although could be mechanical, is more feel and confidence of one's ability to create music through one's instrument. 

Of course, one also needs to have a measuring stick of some kind to provide feedback.  And, the best measuring stick here would be your confidence and being able to play those progressions without reference and/or having to question whether or not you did it right. 

Having said that, however, I would think that setting milestones is a great motivational tool.  Milestones can be anything that may seem unreachable now, but can be accomplished in let's say, three to six months.  You also mentioned hammer down on chords.  I wouldn't be too concern with this for now.  Focus on your chord progressions, timing, and strumming.  Knowing these three will get you from starting to finishing a song.  That, to me, is a milestone! 

I'm sure others will have additional thoughts.

Good luck!

yu217171 wrote:

Hi everyone,

I just started playing guitar and I would like some help with a practice routine.

Let me outline my current routine.
I have learned a few chords (A, C, D, E, G) and here's what I do to practice them.

I have a spreadsheet with one chord progression: Say C --> D.  I record the number of times I can switch between them in one minute and then two minutes.  I then record the times I can switch between them (C to D = 1 progression) and I do this for 1 week.  I then move to the next one C --> E for instance.

I find my progress is really slow.  I also find that I cannot hammer down on any chord.  What I mean by this is: I must put one finger down on the string/fret, then my next finger and then my last finger and not simulatenously.  I have trouble putting all three fingers in the proper position at the same instance.  Is this normal?  It's quite frustrating at the moment and was hoping if anyone has any tips on how to practice or to speed up my progress?

Thanks in advance!


Thanks Jay.  I had just bought a used Behringer powered mixer from Craigslist.  It has 250w per channel and works great.  I'm now looking for a set of speakers that we can use for future small gigs.  Thanks to you and Southpaw for providing input.


jaygordon75 wrote:

I've had really good luck with a Carvin   (  www.carvin.com )  PA system. They sell complete kits with quality microphones, cables, and everything. Mine is a 6 channel 200 watt and we've had it for about ten years now.


(55 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Yes, I remember now.  The high action would make barring much harder--especially on an acoustic!  For me, I leave the adjusting of the truss rod to someone I can blame if it's breaks!  I guess I'm too lazy to want to do the set up myself.  Well, probably more with being afraid of doing something that would ruin a good instrument.