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The acoustic guitar is a very transparent instrument – what you play is what you hear. There’s not a lot of digital effects to hide behind. So choosing the best acoustic guitar strings is important.

Now, you can go down the rabbit hole of obscure acoustic guitar string choices. I’ve done that, and even written a bit about it.

You can also go a little crazy trying to analyze the perfect string gauge, produced by the perfect manufacturer, made from the perfect materials… but most of us don’t have the time or money to do that, much less buy and test all the combinations.

So we’re going to provide you here with the top five acoustic guitar strings that players actually use. All of these recommended strings are great-sounding, general purpose strings. They are perfect for everything from bluegrass to rock, from strumming to fingerpicking.

Two quick notes on this list:

  1. This list is focused on “steel string” acoustic guitars. Those are the most common, and the kind used across rock, bluegrass, modern, pop, etc. Classical guitars (also used in flamenco and folk, commonly) use nylon strings. That’s a different list for another time.
  2. This list is based on customer popularity and customer reviews.  These are the strings favored by tens of thousands of happy players.
Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings
1. Elixir Strings 16545 Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings with NANOWEB Coating

String Gauges: .012 .016 .024 .032 .042 .053

Elixir Strings became popular by putting a custom, Teflon PFT (Polytetrafluoroethylene) coating over the standard bronze-wound guitar string. This coating protects the metal from the sweat and oils on your fingers, which means the strings don’t corrode and lose their brightness as quickly. They quickly became popular because strings simply lasted longer, and sounded better over that extended lifetime.

The latest version of their coating is “NANOWEB”, which simply implies it’s a thinner coating. This creates a more natural feeling on the string and allows more brightness in the tone.

This particular set of Elixir Strings is the bees knees and used by a LOT of players.

View on Amazon

*Also available as a 3-Pack, 5-Pack, and 7-Pack.

2. D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light Tension

String Gauges: Plain Steel .012, .016, Phosphor Bronze Wound .024, .032, .042, .053

D’Addario is a classic name in guitar strings, with an extensive selection for acoustic, electric and more. These strings (the EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze) are their most popular strings for acoustic guitar.

Unlike the Elixir’s, these strings are not coated, so they are the more traditional string choice for acoustic guitars. This is the same basic type of string that players have been using for decades and decades.

The D’Addarios strike a sweet spot between playability and tone. Their light gauge and lack of coating make the touch and responsiveness ideal. And their  Made-In-The-USA quality provide a warm, bright, even tone.

View on Amazon

*Also available as a 3-Pack, 10-Pack, and 25-Pack.

3. Martin SP Acoustic Guitar Strings – Light (MSP 4100) Phosphor Bronze 92/8

String Gauges: .01, .016 .025 .032 .042 .054

C. F. Martin & Company is known for it’s amazing, classic acoustic guitars. They are the ‘go-to’ guitar choice for acoustic players from all styles. They also, however, happen to make some great strings.

The Light SP strings are similar to the D’Addarios’ in that they are not coated. They are a standard, bronze-wound acoustic guitar string. The metal is a 92/8 composition alloy. Martin describes the alloy this way:

“One of the two most popular “flavors” of guitar strings (the other being 80/20 BRONZE), 92/8 Phosphor Bronze refers to the 92% copper/8% tin composition of the alloy of the wrap wire. In this case, it is the phosphor in the tin that gives this alloy its name.”

The reviews on these strings are great, though. Players seem really impressed with the sound, citing their brilliance and tone.

View on Amazon

*Also available as a 3-Pack.

4. D’Addario EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light, (12-53)

String Gauges: Plain Steel .012, .016, Phosphor Bronze Wound .024, .032, .042, .053.

D’Addario got into the coated-string game with this series of EXP16 strings. The difference is that D’Addario coats the thin wire, and THEN winds it around the string core. Elixir’s, on the other hand, wind the string and then coat the exterior. D’Addario (and some players) would say that the coat-and-then-wind process ensures greater corrosion protection and less flaking off of the coating, resulting in overall longer string life.

View on Amazon

*Also available as a 3-Pack and 25-Pack.

5. Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze String Set (12 – 54)

String Gauges: .011 .015 .022w .030 .042 .052

Ernie Ball is another classic name in guitar strings, with a huge presence in the electric guitar world. And it turns out they make some great acoustic strings also.

These Earthwood Medium Lights are uncoated, have a slightly thicker bass (.054) than the other string sets we’ve highlighted, and also use the 92/8 “phosphor” alloy mentioned above. You’ll see these all over players in the blues, rock, and pop world.

View on Amazon

*Also available as a 3-Pack.

Have some other strings you’d recommend? Add ’em to the comments below! Further Reading:

The Best Way To String A Guitar, According To Tommy Emmanuel (AKA: An Unorthodox Theory on String Brands)

The post Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Today I’d like to share with you a very useful chord shape for playing gypsy jazz.

Below is an image of one way of playing a ‘minor six’ chord shape.

Using ‘minor six’ chords in place of minor triads is very common in gypsy jazz playing. Doing this brings an extra and distinctive ‘gypsy’ flavour to the harmony.

But that is not the extent of this chords usefulness.

You can actually use this same shape to voice dominant 7th chords, as well as minor 6 chords. 

For instance, if you play through a G minor blues, you can do the following:

  • Play the shape at the 3rd fret to voice the Gm6 chord.
     
  • Play the shape at the 8th fret to voice the Cm6 chord.
     
  • Play the shape at the 5th fret to voice the D7 chord (in this case, a 9th is also added to the chord).
     

The versatility of a shape like this is just one of the great tricks worth knowing about gypsy jazz playing, and guitar playing general.

Want to dive a little deeper, and master all the chords needed to play gypsy jazz? Check out our online courses, for some in-depth study of this style.
Also, don’t forget to make the most of our backing trackschord book, and arpeggio book. Utilising all of these tools will help you fully understand how this style works, and help you to play your best

Wishing you all the best,

Harry Edwards
Harry is a guitarist from Tasmania, Australia, who has extensive experience as both a performer and educator of gypsy jazz. As the founder of www.studygypsyjazz.com, Harry is passionate about sharing his knowledge of gypsy jazz guitar with students around the globe.

The post A Very Useful Gypsy Jazz Chord appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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I’m attracted to the simplicity of acoustic guitar – just steel and wood, fingers and tone. There’s no hiding and, perhaps more importantly, there’s not many distractions. Just good, clean playing. And yet, even as acoustic players, we buy effects pedals and pedalboards, capos and tuners, and the list goes on. So how do we stay organized so that we can maintain that distraction-free, good, clean playing? Here’s a few tips:

1. Get a Guitar Case

A nice, simple gig bag will work wonders. You don’t need a hard case, necessarily. There are a lot of good soft cases with enough padding to protect your acoustic guitar. The point, though, is to have some pockets for storage. This is where you can keep a “minimalist” supply of equipment you need handy – picks, a ¼” cable, strap, and tuner.

2. Get a Separate Bag for Loose Ends

There are a lot of products for guitars, and many of them are quite useful. For example, a humidifier for those dry winter months, or an extra long ¼” cable for deep stages, etc. But you don’t want to carry those in your gig bag, and remembering to put them all in the back of your car is a hassle. It’s best to have a backpack or small duffle bag that has all of your secondary gear, ready to go and easy to handle.

3. Get Some Zip Ties

A lot of the clutter in any guitarists setup is…. you guessed it: cables. Cable craziness creates several problems:

  • It creates a sense of clutter, which affects your mental clarity,
  • It increases the hazard of tripping, or accidentally pulling out a cable, and
  • It makes the sound tech and fellow musicians life more difficult when they have navigate your mess to do their job.

Having the ability to quickly zip tie together a loose coil of cables or power cords is a simple way to quickly bring order and reduce the chance of problems.

4. Get a Place to Store It

Have a place in your apartment or house where your gear goes. Establish a place where you put your gear away. A closet, a room, a corner – it doesn’t have to be fancy. And it doesn’t need to be set up for playing (though that is helpful). It just needs to be a place where you know you can quickly grab everything at once. Finding a place is usually not a problem, the difficulty is in remaining disciplined to always put things back there. If you can keep up the discipline, it will solve a hundred cases of frantic, last-minute searches as you scramble to grab your gear and get out the door.

5. Get a Pedalboard

If you use a number of effects pedals – even just a pedal tuner and reverb pedal, perhaps – it’s worth keeping those organized with a pedalboard. A pedalboard allows you to strap those pedals down onto a small board and even keep cabling (¼” patch cables as well as power cables) in place. There’s two basic benefits to using a pedalboard: 1) It makes setup and cleanup of your rig more efficient, and 2) it minimizes the likelihood of errors from mis-connected cables, missing power adapters, etc.

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with…Well, 5 Steps.

Can you do more to keep your acoustic guitar setup organized? Sure. Using a binder for sheet music, and baggies for picks, and multi-guitar rack stands for tight stages – these are all great ideas. And, of course, there are many more.

But these five tips will get you miles closer to keeping a clean set up. And a clean setup will remove distractions, prevent mistakes, and nudge you back towards your first love – that clarity and simplicity of acoustic guitar that we love so much.

The post 5 Tips to Get Your Acoustic Guitar Rig Organized appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Woody Mann is a masterful American blues guitarist. He was born in New York and learned his early acoustic guitar chops under blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis. From there, he has become a tour de force in acoustic guitar music, incorporating jazz, folk, and international music in his oeuvre.

Accomplishments include:

  • 15 Albums including original and covered tunes
  • Playing with famed artists like Lennie Tristano and John Fahey
  • C.F. Martin company released a “Woody Mann” signature guitar
  • Performed in Broadway music pits
  • Co-producer of “Harlem Street Singer” documentary
  • Conducted major workshops around the world
  • Faculty member at New School in New York City
  • Visiting artist at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA

If you’re interested in playing guitar like Woody Mann, you’re in luck. Because of his extensive career and teaching abilities, there’s a lot of resources you can get with Woody himself teaching you.

Here are a few recommendations.

Woody Mann’s Guitar Lessons: Fingerstyle Blues Guitar by Woody Mann

This lesson illustrates how traditional country blues guitar techniques and styles can be extended and explored to create new textures and feelings. Woody demonstrates blues in the keys of A, D and E and shows how variations and improvisational ideas can be developed. The playing ideas of Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broonzy, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Rev. Gary Davis and Scrapper Blackwell as well as other blues legends are discussed.

Get Lessons Acoustic Blues Guitar

Woody Mann teaches the sounds and techniques of the classic ragtime blues guitar style.

Get Lessons The Art of Acoustic Blues Guitar: Handful of Riffs With Woody Mann

Learn five repertoire building songs arranged for the intermediate fingerstyle guitarist. Inspired by Woody Mann s favorite traditional blues tunes, these easy to follow arrangements teach a variety of acoustic blues styles and sounds. Each song spotlights a specific technique for developing fingerpicking skills, rhythmic grooves, and dynamics in your playing. Woody illustrates the syncopated fingerpicking of Blind Blake, the single-line style riffs of Lonnie Johnson, the melodic playing in open G tuning of Memphis Minnie, and the unique riffs in standard tuning of Rambling Thomas and Bo Carter. Woody shows how the riffs and techniques can be applied from one tune to another and illustrates practical ways to create variations within a tune.

Get Lessons Woody Mann’s Discography
  • Stories (1997)
  • Stairwell Serenade (1998)
  • When I’ve Got the Moon (1999)
  • Heading Uptown (2000)
  • Been Here and Gone (2003)
  • Together in Las Vegas (2004)
  • Waltz for Joy (2005)
  • Road Trip (2005)
  • First Takes (2009)
  • Donna Lombarda (2009)
  • Out of the Blue (2010)
  • Originals (2012)
  • Tribute to the Reverend (2013)
  • Empire Roots Band (2014)

The post How To Play Guitar Like Woody Mann appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Bluegrass doesn’t have to be intimidating. When you listen to legends like Doc Watson and Tony Rice, it’s easy to be intimidated by the lightening fast, single note lead lines or the intricate fingerpicking. But much of the acoustic guitar’s role in bluegrass is strumming accompaniment, and often in guitar-friendly keys. Here are ten easy bluegrass songs for beginners that will get a guitarist up and strumming quickly.

How To Learn

When you’re learning these songs at first, just learn the basic chords and a simple strumming pattern. If you listen to recordings (suggestions are included below), you can usually hear the acoustic guitar player doing a simple strumming pattern in the background – that’s what you want.

Disregard the melody line, the fiddle riffs, and the banjo arpeggiated rolls. Those things are amazing, and make the song sound full and complex. But in order to get started, focus on learning the chords and basic rhythm.

How Did We Choose The Songs?

Choosing the top bluegrass tunes is both very simple and very difficult. Because bluegrass has been around for a while and has a healthy ‘jam session’ culture, there’s an established repertoire of songs-you-need-to-know. This provides a simple starting point. The difficult part is that there are different opinions of exactly what that repertoire is. And, of course, if you trim it down to ten songs…which ones can you afford to omit?

In order to make the list, we looked at several things:

  • Common recommendations in forums
  • Guitar publications
  • Instruction books and materials, and
  • Popular bluegrass musicians

We plugged all of these into an Excel spreadsheet (yes, a bit nerdy…) and ranked songs by frequency, ease of use, and popularity. So, based on that, here’s….

The Top 10 Easy Bluegrass Guitar Songs for Beginners 1.Blackberry Blossom

Blackberry Blossom is a very common bluegrass tune with a fast melody and cut time feel.

When you listen to the song, remember, don’t get intimidated by the melody!! You’re going to tackle the boom-chick guitar in the background. The chords are easy – G, C, D, Em, A7 – and the pattern is fairly short. The primary challenge here is in moving between chord shapes quickly.

Get the Video Lesson by Orville Johnson: See Lessons >>

Link To Chords >>

2. Old Joe Clark

A medium-tempo fiddle tune. Often taught as one of the first songs for a bluegrass musician. While the fiddle work is busy, the guitar accompaniment is straight ahead (even as far as bluegrass goes).

Watch the Video Lesson by Gareth Pearson: Go To Lesson >>

Link To Chords >>

3. Wildwood Flower

This is a classic flatpicking guitar song. It was popularized by the Carter family, and that recording is included just below. This song is great because the melody is fairly simple and the tempo relaxed, so it’s an easy one to get started with.

Watch the Video Lesson by Eric Lambert: Go To Lesson >>

Link To Chords >>

4. Soldier’s Joy

True to it’s title, “Soldier’s Joy” is a happy number. It moves at a decent pace (especially in the recording embedded below), so the primary challenge is to keep moving between chord shapes.

Watch the Video Lesson by Bryan Sutton: Go To Lesson >>

Link to Chords >>

5. Cripple Creek

Here’s another common fiddle tune taught to beginning bluegrass musicians. The fiddle parts are fast but, remember, just pay attention to the acoustic guitar “boom-chick” pattern in the background – that’s what you’re after!

Link To Chords >>

6. John Henry

This song is a story of a man who was driving steel for the railroad and died trying to keep up with the new steam drill.

This song has been covered by all sorts of folks, including (and embedded below) by Bruce Springsteen!

Watch the Video Lesson: Go to Lesson >> (specifically included in ‘Week 2’ lesson, so scroll down the page)

Link To Chords >>

7. Nine Pound Hammer

A great beginner song with very simple changes. The tempo can vary by performer quite a bit, but here’s a version by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with some fun harmonica accompaniment as well.

Watch the Video Lesson by Eric Lambert: Go To Lesson >>

Link To Chords >>

8. Salt Creek

An old and popular fiddle tune and a standard at bluegrass jam sessions. Check out Tony Rice’s version below.

Watch the Video Lesson by Orville Johnson: Go To Lesson >>

Link To Chords >>

9. I Saw The Light

This song is more of a Gospel song with a strong lyrical message. But the tune has been taken up by the bluegrass repertoire as a favorite. And it’s a great one for beginners.

Link To Chords >>

10. Man of Constant Sorrow

This is an old song, in fact, but was popularized in contemporary culture by the move O Brother Where Art Thou. This tune is interesting because the tonality is a bit more “flat 7th” and less straight-ahead major sounding, and because the guitar gets to strum a bit more than the usual boom-chick pattern.

Watch the Video Lesson by Nick Amodeo: Go To Lesson >>

Link To Chords >>

Got more suggestions? Think there should be some different ones in the list? Put ’em in the comments below! Further Reading

Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar

Ultimate Beginner Bluegrass Guitar Basics: Book & CD (The Ultimate Beginner Series)

Bluegrass Beginner Songs

Flatpicker Hangout Top 20 Bluegrass Songs

7 Easy Bluegrass Songs on Guitar

What Bluegrass songs are worth learning on the guitar?

Top 10 Bluegrass Songs You Should Know

Easy Bluegrass & Folk Songs on Guitar

Top 10 Best Easy Fingerpicking Songs for Guitar

The post Top 10 Easy Bluegrass Guitar Songs For Beginners appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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In the vast pantheon of Irish Ballads, there are those you almost never hear, those that are quite common, and those that have been done so often you may never want to hear them again, or at least you’ll want to give them a rest for a while. That said , almost all of them are played with a  handful of pretty standard chords.

If you aspire to building a repertoire of songs for playing in the company of your fellow music lovers, you might consider picking a few from each category. To start, let’s take a look at one that is quite common in the repertoire.

The Leaving of Liverpool

The Leaving of Liverpool is a song well embedded in the tradition, and if played in a C or G chord shape,  you can very effectively accent the melody notes as well as keep a chord accompaniment going, much like Maybelle Carter’s style of playing melody on the bass strings.

Here’s a quick video of the first few bars to illustrate the point: 

The Leaving Of Liverpool - YouTube

Link to chords ‘C’ >>

Link to chords in ‘G’ >>

It’s a great, strong song with a sing-along chorus- which can come in handy in a crowd.

Stay tuned for some more song examples.

Patsy O’Brien
Hailing from Cork in the south of Ireland, Patsy O’Brien has traveled the globe, guitar in hand, accompanying, creating and recording with some of the giants of Irish music. An award-winning songwriter and much sought-after guitarist, his ability to meld songwriting and guitar styles seamlessly caught the attention of NPR who featured his arrangement of The Star Of The County Down (see below) on their All Songs Considered program. For more info, visit his website, or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

The post How To Play “The Leaving of Liverpool” appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Today I’d like to chat about the style of picking used in gypsy jazz guitar, otherwise known as ‘rest stroke’ picking.

This picking technique is what allows gypsy jazz guitarists to produce such a strong sound on their instrument, and once mastered, is a real asset to your guitar playing.

To get started using this technique, it’s important to follow a few rules whenever playing lead:

  • Every down-stroke should be a rest-stroke (IE after the stroke is completed, the pick should rest on the string underneath. The exception is the high ‘e’ string of course).
     
  • Whenever you move to a new string, always begin with a downstroke.

As a good introduction to this, try the following exercises slowly to a metronome, utilising open strings. Be sure to pay attention to picking directions:

I hope you’ve found this a useful introduction to utilising gypsy jazz picking in your guitar playing.

If you’d like to learn more, please consider taking the course Lead Guitar Fundamentals, where I will take you through applying the picking to melodies, arpeggios, and etudes.
.
Wishing you all the best!

Harry Edwards
Harry is a guitarist from Tasmania, Australia, who has extensive experience as both a performer and educator of gypsy jazz. As the founder of www.studygypsyjazz.com, Harry is passionate about sharing his knowledge of gypsy jazz guitar with students around the globe.

The post Gypsy Jazz Picking (Rest-Stroke Picking) appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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There are three or four different types of glue on your acoustic guitar right now, and one of them is super glue. While your acoustic guitar is a piece of woodworking mastery, and luthiers used refined techniques (and a host of tools!) to shape, bend, fit, and smooth those beautiful tone woods together… at the end of the day, the whole kit and caboodle is actually held together with glue.

First, A Little Background: Types of Glue Used in an Acoustic Guitar

Wood glue is used extensively on modern acoustic guitars to join wood-to-wood joints, such as joining the neck to the body, or binding, or sections of the body together.

Expanding wood glue is a popular choice by luthiers for the fretboard. The wood glue expands, filling cracks and crevices, firmly attaching the length of the fretboard to the neck.

Hide Glue is used more rarely on modern acoustics, but was the exclusive choice for early luthiers. So this glue is probably the only glue used if you own a vintage instrument. (Fun fact: hide glue often comes as small shavings of animal gelatin, which you have to heat with water yourself – you actually make the glue yourself!)

Super glue, surprisingly, is also used on acoustic guitar extensively. While super glue ranks right next to duct tape in the things-that-can-fix-anything-around-the-house category, it’s also helpful for guitars. Let’s take a look at how and why.

Wait, You Mean the Stuff At the Hardware Store?

Just to be clear, super glue is technically called “ethyl cyanoacrylate”, or just “cyanoacrylate”. Hence, the product names often include the letters “CA”, short for cyanoacrylate. We often see it in the store as Super Glue, Krazy Glue, Gorilla Glue, Hot Stuff, etc.

Super glue comes in a variety of viscosities, or thicknesses. We tend to think of those little super glue tubes we buy in the checkout aisle of the hardware store that I just mentioned. But, in fact, industrial grade super glues come in different sizes, viscosities, and even colors.

High quality super glues are also typically sold with applicators that attach to the nozzle. These applicators extend and narrow down so that you can apply the glue to very tiny, specific locations.

Why Super Glue for Acoustic Guitars?

Luthiers and guitar techs keep different types of glue on their bench for different reasons.

Super glue has gained in popularity because it has particular advantages:

  • It holds strong
  • It dries fast
  • It dries clear
  • It can wick into small cracks.
  • It sands easily
Quick Note: When Not to Use Super Glue!

As we’re going to point out in a minute, super glue is good for SPECIFIC tasks in guitar assembly and repair. But it’s not good for everything.

Because super glue is so strong, it’s not a good choice for any wood-to-wood joints. It would never be used to attach the neck to the body, for example. Removing a piece of wood from another that has been super-glued together will pull bits (possibly quite big bits!) of the wood out.

It also shouldn’t be used with plastics. The interaction between the chemicals can cause damage to the guitar.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not a “how to”, but if you rush out to fix your guitar with super glue, remember:

  1. Work in a well-ventilated area. Asthma and breathing problems may arise in poorly-ventilated areas. An ideal place would be near an open window or in a porch.
  2. Wear safety glasses. Even a tiny drop splashing onto your eyes would be very dangerous.
  3. Open the container carefully and only after you are ready to work. Before opening it, hold it a safe distance from your face.
  4. Don’t wear cotton and wool. All product indications state this because cotton and wool clothing may react with cyanoacrylate and cause a fire.
  5. Wearing gloves is highly recommended. However, with or without gloves, never touch your face when you have glue on your fingers.
  6. Always have a good solvent near and ready. You will need to clean your fingers or quickly clean any surface that the super glue may splash out.
5 Acoustic Guitar Fixes Using Super Glue 1. Fretboard Cracks

Fretboards can crack along the length of the neck if they dry out too much. To avoid this, you can make sure you use fingerboard oil on it once a year. But if there is a crack, super glue can be used to fill in the crack.

For a few more details on this process, and some tips on how to match a rosewood fingerboard color, check out this Strange Guitarworks post.

Type of Super Glue: Medium CA Glue

Starbond Medium CA Adhesive View Product 2. Nut Placement

When seating the nut at the top of the fretboard, it’s helpful to use a little glue to keep it in place. This will keep it from moving, or falling out when you change strings.

If you’ve ever replaced the nut on your guitar, you may have experienced the same frustration I have: the previous person put glue on the BOTTOM of the nut. So when you remove the nut it tears bits of wood from the bottom of the groove. It’s better to seat the nut and then apply a drop of super glue to the FRONT of the nut, at the seam with the fretboard. For more details on that recommendation, see this article from Premier Guitar.

Type of Super Glue: Super Fast Thin Glue

Starbond Super Fast Thin Glue View Product 3. Fret Seating

Frets may pop up in response to heat and humidity changes, which can alternately shrink the wood, loosening the fret, and then expand the wood, squeezing the fret out of the groove. If a fret on the fingerboard pops up, it can be pressed down and held into place using a small amount of thin super glue.

Have some cotton swabs and razor blade handy so you can clean up the glue completely. For tips on the process, see this article.

Type of Super Glue: Super Fast Thin Glue

Starbond Super Fast Thin Glue View Product 4. Inlay Repair

Inlays are typically thin and delicate, but need a very strong attachment to the guitar. Particularly on the fretboard and around the soundhole where your hands are constantly applying pressure, sweat, and heat. A very thin super glue is the perfect solution (pun intended).

For more details on fixing an inlay with super glue, check out this excellent walkthrough by Guitar Repair Bench.

Type of Super Glue: Super Fast Thin Glue

Starbond Super Fast Thin Glue View Product 5. Filling in Chips

We’re not talking about big chips here. But acoustic guitars often get small chips knocked off around the headstock or edges of the body. When this happens, it’s rare to actually have the chip of wood to put back in. Usually it’s a small, thin layer, and may even have been a series of small knicks that added up over time.

When this happens, you can actually fix this through a three-step process of: staining the exposed wood to the correct color, filling over it with super glue, and then sanding down to a smooth, matched finish.

For a nice walkthrough on this, see StewMac’s tutorial.

Type of Super Glue: Medium CA Glue

Starbond Medium CA Adhesive View Product Bonus: Accelerator

A super glue accelerator can be used with glues to make them dry faster. This is typically used with the heavier viscosity versions, or dyed versions, since these dry a bit slower.

An accelerator can also be used to prep a surface that may not bond as easily, or in cold and dry climates where bonding is slower.

An accelerator can also prevent the hazing that can happen when super glue’s actually dry too fast.

Starbond Super Glue Accelerator
View Product Further Reading:

In addition to the recommended tutorial links listed above, here a few more articles that are helpful:

What is the Best type of Guitar Building Glue?

What Is The Best Glue For Guitar Building? (Luthier Glue Guide)

Repairing Acoustic Guitar With Super Glue

Glues Used in Guitar Repair

Guitar Shop 101: Using Super Glue In Guitar Repair

The post 5 Acoustic Guitar Fixes Using Super Glue appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Today I’d like to share with you a very useful shape.

One of the most versatile arpeggios you can learn as a gypsy jazz guitarist is shown below.

The great thing about this shape is that you can use it to improvise over three chord-types. 

For instance, in the example given above, if you treat the 3rd fret on the 6th string (the low e string) as the root note, then you can use the shape to improvise over a G minor chord.

If you treat the 7th fret on the 5th string (the a string) as the root note, you can use the shape to improvise over an E minor7b5 chord.

Lastly, whilst there is no ‘C’ note contained within the arpeggio, you can use this shape over a C7 or C9 chord to outline key notes within the harmony.

It’s very useful to have a shape that can be used for multiple different chord types. Why not load up a backing track and try this one out?

Want to dig a little deeper, and master all the arpeggios needed to play gypsy jazz? Check out the Gypsy Jazz Arpeggio Book as well as our online courses, for some in-depth study of this style.

Harry Edwards
Harry is a guitarist from Tasmania, Australia, who has extensive experience as both a performer and educator of gypsy jazz. As the founder of www.studygypsyjazz.com, Harry is passionate about sharing his knowledge of gypsy jazz guitar with students around the globe.

The post A Very Useful Gypsy Jazz Arpeggio (with TAB, picking, & fingering) appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

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Can I tell you a secret?

As a vocal coach, some of my favorite students are guitarists.

That’s because without learning to play guitar, I never would have become the singing teacher I am today.

I actually didn’t even care about my voice until I started playing and singing in the train stations of San Francisco every day.

At that time, I would play and sing until my voice gave out, which usually didn’t take very long.

After months of this, I finally decided enough was enough:

It was time to take a singing lesson.

And within 30 minutes, my teacher had me singing notes I didn’t think were possible.

Why do I bring this up?

Because I’ve been there.

And now as a singing teacher I get to help guitarists get the most out of their voice every day.

And if I can learn to sing better, I guarantee you can too.

So if you’re a guitarist that needs some vocal help, this article is just for you.

The truth is that as a guitarist, you need some vocal techniques that are different from someone whose only job is to sing.

So today, I want to show you my 10 favorite vocal tips just for guitarists.

And I promise that if you practice these techniques regularly, you won’t believe how much better you sound!

Ready to get started?

Read on…

Tip #1: Keep a Tall Posture

Here’s the bottom line:

Fixing your posture is one of the simplest things you can do as a guitarist to improve your singing.

Unfortunately, most guitarists forget good posture the moment they strap on a guitar.

So, if you’re looking for a simple way to improve your singing, start with your posture.

Now, before we get into the right posture for singing, let me say this:

You can fix a lot of posture problems immediately by standing up when you play guitar.

That’s because when we sit, we’re more tempted to slouch over and collapse the muscles that support great singing.

Now that that’s out of the way, the correct posture for singing is called the tall posture.

Tall posture simply means that you’re keeping your body upright and your chest comfortably lifted.

Here’s how you stand with tall posture:

1) Stand so that your feet are about shoulder width apart.

2) Using your feet as a guide, make sure that your hips are in line with your feet.

Your feet and hips should be in a line like this:

3) Keep your shoulders even on your side so that your feet, hips and shoulders are all in a line down your side.

4) Next, keep your chest and neck lifted comfortably so that your entire posture is straight and tall.

Your posture should look something like this:

You should feel that this posture automatically makes singing feel a lot easier.

Tip #2: Keep Your Head and Neck Straight

This is a big one for guitarists!

Keeping your head and neck straight is one of the best ways to improve your vocal tone.

That’s because if you’re constantly craning your neck to see what you’re doing on the guitar, you’re losing support from some of the muscles that help you sing.

Don’t make this mistake!

Luckily, keeping your head and neck straight is super easy to do. It just takes some practice.

Try this the next time you’re singing a song:

1) Standing with your tall posture, pick a spot on the wall directly in front of your gaze.

2) Make sure that the spot you pick is in a straight line in front of your face.

3) Now, play the song but keep your gaze fixed on that spot, making sure that you don’t raise or lower your chin as you sing.

It should look something like this:

You should feel that your voice already feels stronger and more resonant in this position!

Tip #3: Breathe from your Diaphragm

Can I tell you a secret?

Most voice teachers make breathing way too complicated!

It’s not.

Actually, singing from the diaphragm is easy when you learn how to do it correctly.

Unfortunately, many guitarists don’t breathe deeply enough when they sing.

That’s because when you’re holding a guitar, you’re more likely to breathe from your shoulders, rather than from your belly.

But you’ll be amazed at how breathing from your diaphragm improves your vocal power and tone.

That’s why learning to sing from the diaphragm is one of the most important steps in learning how to sing.

So let’s learn how to do it right!

Here’s how to breathe from the diaphragm:

1) Standing with tall posture, place your hands around the bottom of your belly like this:

2) With your hands around your stomach, inhale and exhale feeling the movement of your belly as you breathe.

3) Now, inhale so that when you breathe in, your belly moves outward.

Your inhale should push your stomach out like this:

4) Next, exhale so that when you breathe out, your belly comes back in like this:

5) Finally, practice this diaphragmatic breath making sure that your shoulders and chest are not moving as you breathe.

This may feel a bit unnatural at first, but breathing from the diaphragm is the most powerful breath you can have as a singer.

So take some time and get this breath right so that when it’s time to perform, it feels totally natural to you.

Tip #4: Sing on Pitch

The fact is most people can tell if you’re singing off pitch within a matter of seconds.

So, if you’ve been struggling to sing on pitch, let’s start there.

There are a lot of reasons that you might not be singing in tune but having taught more than 500 students, I can tell you this:

Almost anyone can learn to sing on pitch.

It just takes some practice and the right ear training exercises.

But before we get into ear training, let me say this:

Just because you can’t sing on pitch doesn’t mean that you’re tone deaf.

After all, as a guitar player, you probably can hear the differences between lots of different notes.

But you may still have trouble singing them.

No matter what reason you’re singing off pitch, what you really want is good feedback.

Feedback just means being able to hear where you’re off pitch and how to fix it.

Getting feedback could mean working with a singing teacher or singing into a pitch app on your phone.

While any app can tell you if you’re flat or sharp, a good vocal coach can help you understand why you’re off pitch and how to fix it.

But for now, let me show you a simple trick you can use to boost your feedback so you can sing on pitch.

Try this:

The next time you practice, play and sing facing the corner of your practice room.

When you sing facing the corner of the room, you can hear yourself better because the sound waves from your your singing travel a shorter distance than when you’re in an open space.

The end result?

You can hear where you’re off pitch and fix it.

Tip #5: Learn to Project

Want to know one simple thing you can do right now to improve your singing dramatically?

Learn to project as a guitarist.

So many singer/songwriters come to my studio for the first time and are blown away at how great their voice sounds after just one exercise!

That’s because learning to project improves your vocal tone and control immediately.

Unfortunately, lots of guitarists think that in order to sing well, they need to sing breathy.

But the more breathy your voice is, the less power and control you have.

Imagine trying to play a hard rock song without a pick.

It would sound totally different than if you played it with a pick.

The same is true if you’re singing too breathy when you sing; you lose some of the same control.

Don’t make this mistake!

Luckily, learning to project your singing is really easy to do.

It just takes some practice and the right singing techniques.

So here’s an easy way to project your voice:

1) Select a phrase from a song that you need to sing.

2) Now, pretend that you’re on stage in an auditorium and speak the words of the phrase out loud in a way that would reach the back of the audience.

Project the spoken words in a way where you’re not yelling or whispering.

3) Next, sing the melody keeping the same power as when you were speaking them.

You should already feel that the notes that you’re singing are way more powerful.

By the way, if you want to see how to apply this to your own voice, here’s a cool video to walk you through it:

10 Singing Techniques to Improve Your Voice - YouTube
Tip #6: Expand Your Vocal Range

Here’s the brutal truth:

Most guitarist write vocal melodies that stay completely in their comfortable range.

But if you don’t have any high notes in your songs, you’re missing out on some major opportunities to make your songs stand out.

Now here’s the good news:

Almost anyone can expand their vocal range.

It just takes some practice and the right vocal warm ups. And there are tons of vocal exercises to help you expand your range.

But today, let me show you one of my favorite exercises for hitting high notes.

It’s called the “Gee” exercise and here’s how you do it:

1. Select a phrase from a song that you’re working on.

2. Now, say the word “Gee” out loud like you’re saying the word “Geese”.

3. Next, sing the “Gee” on each note of the melody in the phrase that you’re working on.

So basically, substitute each syllable of the lyrics with a “Gee”.

4. Finally, go back to the actual lyrics of the song and try to keep the same powerful feeling you got from singing “Gee” on each.

If you’re confused about how to do the “Gee” exercise, here’s a cool video where I walk you through it:

Professional Singing Warm Up - All Male and Female Keys - YouTube
Tip #7: Keep Your High Notes Relaxed

Here’s the bottom line:

No one cares if you can hit high notes if your voice sounds strainy.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that while you’re expanding your vocal range, your voice is staying relaxed.

And unfortunately, many singers add strain in their voices without even realizing it!

One of the most common places that singers have strain is in their larynx, or voice box.

Your larynx houses your vocal cords and you can feel it by gently feeling your Adam’s apple between your thumb in first finger like this:

Now try this:

With your thumb and first finger in place, swallow.

You’ll feel that your larynx rises as you swallow.

But when you’re singing, you want to keep your larynx relaxed to prevent it from rising and making your voice sound “squeezed”.

That doesn’t mean to hold your larynx down as you sing.

Instead, let me show you one trick to keep your larynx relaxed as you sing:

1) Gently, feel your larynx between your thumb and first finger like this:

2) Now select a phrase from a song that’s been giving you trouble.

3) With your fingers gently feeling your larynx, try to sing the phrase without raising your larynx.

4) If..

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