Most every guitarist thinks they should be practicing more often. But sometimes life gets in the way and it’s hard to juggle which chores, hobbies, etc. that you should be focusing on. Luckily, Odd Quartet created this handy flow chart to help you figure out if you should be practicing your guitar right now.
You can see more music related humor as part of the Odd Quartet web comic.
Fender has released a new series of Stratocasters with Major League Baseball logos in partnership with MLB. Justin Norvell, Fender marketing vice president said, “Through this relationship, we’re excited to ‘team up’ to provide one-of-a-kind collectibles for musicians and baseball fans alike.”
As I understand it, items become collectible over the years when they were NOT initially sold as a collectible. I can understand owning a vintage instrument or an autographed one and displaying it on a wall, but buying a brand-new guitar that is destined for the game room in the basement isn’t what I’m going to spend my money on.
To look at these 6-string baseball bats, check out the article in Guitar World.
Guitar World’s Acoustic Nation has a new lesson by Justin Horenstein on a simple trick to create more interesting guitar strum patterns. By muting the strings with your left hand during the course of a normal strum pattern, you can create a percussive sound. Justin refers to this technique as a rake, but you make also hear it called muted strumming.
You can practice this by simply alternating between playing a chord and then muting the strings and strumming down again. So for example, play a basic C chord with a down stroke, then relax your left hand to mute the strings and strum down again. You can practice this over and over again until it becomes natural. Then try taking the strum pattern from a song you like and work a muted strum into one of the down strokes. As you get more comfortable, you can start adding more muted strums throughout patterns to create a funky percussive sound. For more on this concept, check out our Creating Strum Patterns lesson package.
Guitar Scales are a way of organizing the notes on the fret board. As a beginner, it’s a good way to practice picking and fretting notes at different places on the neck. As you get more experienced, you will arrange notes from the scale to create melodies, licks, solos, etc. In this video lesson, Peter Vogl will teach you how to play open or first position versions of the Pentatonic, Blues, and Major Scales. Practice these scales until you feel comfortable playing them at a medium tempo.
As popular and iconic as they are, one of the complaints with Les Paul style guitars is that they are very heavy. If a lighter type of wood was used for the body, that would help with the weight, but of course it would also change the tone. To maintain as similar a tone as possible to its solid-body counterparts, some models are offering chambered bodies. This is where sections of the body under the maple top are routed out, creating “chambers.” In addition to reducing weight, these chambers are also suppose to increase resonance.
While I understand Gibson wanting to market their guitars to people who have weight issues, I can say that from my experience of owning a chambered Strat that there was a huge decrease in resonance. To me, it’s like having a hollow-bodied guitar, but the wood is too thick to really vibrate well.
In my opinion, if the problem is weight, there are lighter woods that can be used. The tone is part of the solid mahogany body. Creating chambers in an asymmetrical fashion in my opinion will not increase resonance while reducing mass.
What’s your opinion? Read more about different chamber types and see what some pros have to say on both sides of the issue at Gibson.com