(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

If it were a m11 would it not also need a b7 in the chord as all extended chords automatically have the b7 in them? It's this that made me figure that it be a sus4, and it could be argued that this is incorrect anyway as sus2 and sus4 chords usually omit the 3rd. Some chords can be named a few different way and it's not always that a chord can be named if they are a bunch of unrelated notes.


(6 replies, posted in Acoustic)

The best chord you can call all the open strings (no capo) would be Em(sus4) so with the capo on fret 1 it would be Fm(sus4)



(3 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Originally it was played with the capo on the 2nd fret putting it in the key of D. You can move the capo up if you need however I'm guessing that the song is already too high for you rather than too low. If you change the key you may risk loosing the nice ascending   and descending bass line that the walks through the song. If you want to finger pick the song there is a good tab arrangement of the song for downloading on my site www.nofretguitarlessons.com.au I think the tabs also have the chords in them.


(27 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Like everything else on guitar finger picking take a while to get used to. There is a list of tabs that are graded in difficulty on my site www.nofretguitarlessons.com.au have a look and download some if you like.


(8 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I had a Maton (Oz guitar) for about 30 years until the neck twisted and I had to buy another guitar. The Maton was great by the way, solid timber all round and a sweet sound and I'm in the process of replacing the neck. Anyway I had been playing Taylors is shops over the years and very liked them very much so when my Maton died I bought a Taylor 324-CE-L10 it's Limited Fall Edition and has a hardwood face on it (Hawaiian Koa) and man it's the best sounding guitar, rings like a bell, I've heard nothing better. I reckon a person should pay as much as they can afford and buy quality (even if need to mortgage your house or sell your wife!)



(12 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I totally agree with vxn911. Elixir strings are the only ones to use. I have been using them of about 5 years with out fail, well at least till the other day when I found I'd run out of spare sets and the local store didn't have any Elixir so I was forced to buy some normal strings(a well known brand). Even new they didn't sound the same and after two days (I do play a lot and I play hard) they had lost the little tone they had to begin with. After four days I took them off and replaced them with Elixir....never again. Here in Oz they cost about $30 and a regular set costs about $20. The Elixir last about 6 times longer and even when they're flogged out they still sound better than the rest.



(57 replies, posted in Acoustic)

There's some great reference material and barre chord tabs at www.nofretguitarlessons.com.au it's worth looking at.


(14 replies, posted in Acoustic)

I agree with bigdj... not many learn guiitar properly these days, I've been teaching professionally for about 10 years and over that time I 've noticed a big shift to Dropped D tuning and 5 chords. In a few lessons and with enough distortion students can put together a basic song. All that is fine however there is a lot more than that to guitar (as must of us know) Unfortunately they are interested in learning as little as possible as they see so many bands these days that only use Dropped D and 5 chords. It's a bit like saying your an airline pilot and and the only thing you can do is navigate your way to the front of the plane.


An acoustic guitar is a remarkable piece of engineering. It is at the same time quite fragile, yet also remarkably strong. The entire structure is built around the need to produce a good sound while resisting the force of approx 180 pounds (800N) of tension exerted from the strings which are trying to pull the head of the guitar around toward the body. When this tension succeeds physics has won the battle and the guitar then ranges from difficult through to impossible to play. This can take a long time to occur, sometimes years, and we only start to notice when it’s getting too late to save the guitar. Only an expensive guitar is worth repairing (if it is repairable) and it will need an expert guitar repairer, usually at great cost.   

Extremes of temperature and humidity greatly aid nature in its quest to bend a guitar out of shape. The inside of an acoustic guitar is unsealed timber. Timber will absorb and release moisture according to the environment it lives in and the weather it is exposed to. Timber will swell a little when exposed to high temperature and it will shrink a little when exposed to cold temperature. Timber will also swell when exposed to high humidity and will shrink when exposed to low humidity. If you combine high temp with high humidity or low temperature and low humidity the results are compounded.

If a guitar has change in environment it will adjust to the change without a problem, it’s the repeated change in extremes that does the damage so it’s best to avoid extremes and repeated sudden changes of temperature and or humidity.  If your guitar lives in an air-conditioned environment then the guitar will have low moisture content, if you take it into and hot moist atmosphere will cause the timber to swell rapidly and if the guitar is then returned to the air-conditioned room it will then loose the moisture again causing the timber to shrink again. If you do the opposite will have the same effect except in the reverse order. Also, do not to leave your guitar in a closed car in the sun, as this can raise the temp of the guitar to extreme heights.

A lot is said about keeping your guitar in its case to keep the guitar more stable. I’m not sure of the worth of this thinking as 1. The guitar case would have to be quite air-tight for this to work and 2. I would be very concerned with putting a guitar that has a high humidity content into a guitar case as this would help lock the moisture in thereby greatly increasing the risk of mould developing inside the guitar. Timber and mould do not get along together at all.

Just be sensible and you will get a number of decades out of a quality guitar.


It doesn’t really matter the price range that you have in mind. Years back a low cost guitar would be a nightmare to play, and for a beginner it was worse, I had one for my first guitar. These days with advanced machining and mass production techniques there are a large number of guitar manufacturers turning out quite good guitars at low cost.
Regardless of the price if you take any two guitars of the same make and model, even with consecutive production numbers it’s quite likely that one will be easier to play than the other.

How well a guitar plays is determined by the action.The action on a guitar is the distance between the underside of the strings and the frets. The frets are the thin metal strips that lie across the neck. The maximum distance is found in the area where the neck and body join. If the distance is greater than say 3mm then it will be harder to play the guitar up the neck than it should be and for a beginner it can totally discouraging. Keep in mind that that a small difference can mean a lot.
A 4mm gap is a big step up from 3mm. 

There are four things that influence the action.
1. The Saddle Height
2. The Nut Height
3. The Truss Rod Adjustment
4. The Neck Angle

The first three can be adjusted. If the neck angle is bad then adjusting the other three will bring about little change to the action. Picture a guitar lying level on its back and you place a straight edge along neck and extending down to touch the bridge. The bridge is the piece of timber attached to the body of the guitar that has the strings attached to it, and the saddle is the (usually) white plastic strip that sits in the bridge and has the strings running across it. When the neck angle is good then the neck and the top of the bridge will be on the same line. When the angle is bad then the straight edge will point to a spot closer to where the bridge joins the body and is a really bad case it would touch the body of the guitar first.

Now we cannot carry out this test in a music store, however what we can do is sight down the neck and it’s fairly easy to see where the line of the neck points to, it should be in line with the top of the bridge.

This is all probably a lot to absorb in one go, the important thing is to be aware of the action and any good guitar salesperson should know all this and be able to point them out to you so you can make the best choice so you have a guitar that is easy to play.

Lastly do not buy a guitar because you like the color of it, buy the guitar that sounds good and plays well.
Good Luck



(30 replies, posted in Acoustic)

It's very important to keep the barre finger very straight from the finger tip through to the knuckle where the finger joins the hand this will help put pressure on the B&E strings. If the barre finger is bent at the middle knuckle it takes pressure of the top two strings, just what you don't want. For more info and tabs to works barre chords go to www.nofretguitarlessons.com.au