JLG Guitar Tuition - Tips and Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this page you'll find some really useful tips and resources to help you along with you're guitar playing - whether you're waiting on a slot to become free or need some advice I'm sure you will find some of the infomation here very useful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, plectrums come in many different shapes and sizes. Its best for rhythm playing to purchase a plectrum that has a bit of "give" i.e, it bends a bit letting it brush across the strings more easily. A few good makes of plectrum and Jim Dunlop, Fender Gibson and even some of the cheaper makes can be quite good. Nylon picks generally dont split as much as more stiff celluloid pics but after you have been playing a while you will have your own preference for which thickness and style of pick suits you.

 

Holding a Plectrum

 

 

 

While this may seem straight forward, the angle a plectrum is held makes a big difference to your ability to play rhythm and lead guitar. Generally the best way to hold the plectrium (as in the picture) is between your thumb and first finger - you will see different players holding it differently - there is no 100% right way to hold it but the above is generally the
best - given that the "point" of the plectrum will brush tacross the strings when you strum on a chord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plectrums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting Comfortably

 

Its important to be comfortable when playing guitar. Generally on stage nmost players will be standing, using a strap to hold their guitar up. This puts the guitar at a different angle to how it feels when sitting. Its a good idea to get used to sitting with the guitar first - especially when you start playing. A very bad habit that is very easy to get into is to let you strumming (arm) rest on your knee. The strumming arm shoudl be free to move about as some chords are easier to play with your arm moved out slightly rather than keeping it int he one position and trying to reach round those more difficult chords, i.e, a C Major Chord or a B7 chord.

 

 

 

 

You should be sitting comfortably with your feet on the ground (whether you are left or right handed). If playing acoustic, your "strumming arm" will probably be resting on the body of the guitar with the plectrum situated over the soundhole. A comfortable position for your strumming arm and your chord hand is essential to make it easier to play. Using a strap can help to hold the guitar upright even when sitting, though most people dont use one unless they are standing up. This takes a bit of getting used to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strumming Hand

 

 

 

 

The strumming hand (ewhether you are left or right handed) should be in a position to comfortably strum all the strums from the Low E to Top E and everything in between. This is also true for picking notes, some songs and styles will require the guitarist to go straight to a certain string for example if a song starts on the D (4th string). As mentioned above, holding the plectrum correctly will increase the dynamics of your playing especially for rhythm guitar as sometimes plectrum control can really add to the overall sound of a song

 

 

 

Tuning Up Manually (A forgotten art)

 

 

 

 

With everything being needed (right awat) these days its so easy to simply buy an electronic tuner and use this to tune your guitar. While it cant be argused that this is definitely the quickest and fastest way of tuning - being able to tune up manually has benefits - one of those being "ear training". It is important for your "musical ear" to grow as well as your guitar playing skills. Even working songs out by ear seems to almost be a thing of the past with the availability of Guitar Tab websites and everything being "at your fingertips". A bit part of my learning was spending time with a song and trying to workout what the chords etc.. were or what notes were being played if it was a bass line for example. This is good practice and something that shoudl be practised more often.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to tune your guitar (5th fret method)

 

 

 

It is a relatively simple process to tune your guitar without a tuner. As a general guide, whatever pitch the 1st or (E String) is at at the moment , you can then tune the guitar "into itself". If you have been playing a while and know the chords of a song try playing the opening chord and even getting one note of the chord and then use that as a basis to tune the rest of the strings.

 

 

 

 

The idea is to tune each string to a note of the string above....

 

 

 

 

Top E String - hit the Top E (Thinnest) then while it rings tighten or lossen the B string (Place your finger on the 5th fret of the B (2nd) string - this is also an E note) twist the tuning peg/machine head up or down (slowly so as not to break a string) wait until the two notes sound the same. Continue to do this for the rest of the strings. The only slight difference is that when tuning the B to the G string - use the 4th fret of the G string- then continue tuning D to G string, A to D string and E to A strings using the 5th fret again.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the pictures below as a guide....

 

 

Tune B to E Tune G to B Tune D to G Tune A to D Tune Low E to A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the above might seem like a lot of work - you soon get used to it AND more importantly, it gets your ear used to the sound the notes of E, A, D, G, B and E.
Strumming Chords - Which strings to hit

 

 

 

 

We will take a look at strumming chords and which strings etc.. to hit when strumming chords. Chords are made up of groups of notes a C chord for example contains the notes of C E and G. So when strumming this chord you woudl use 5 strings, starting ont he C note (3rd fret A string) and strum all 5 strings. You will notice that if you accidentially hit the Low E string it wont sound great. This is because chords are strummed from their "root" note.

 

 

 

 

So the rules for strumming chords are:

 

 

 

A chord - playing from the "A string" and strum the next five strings - A string is the "root note of the chord"

 

 

D Chord - played from the "D string" and strum the next four strings - D string is the "root note" of the chord

 

 

C chord - played from the 5th string or "A string" (because the third finger is holding down a "C note" and the strum must start from here - this note is called the "root note" of the chord
B Chord - played from the "A string" (because the first (index) is resting on the "B" or "root note" of the chord

 

 

F Chord - You can use all strings as the F "root note" is held down by the index finger on the first fret on the "Top E" string and "Low E" string.
The above is a very brief run through of how to strum chords, for ther chords themselves please see the Chords Videos I have posted and also feel free to download the chord sheets (there are some on this page) and others on the seperate video pages.

 

G Chord - You can use all strings on a G Chord as you can for an E Chord as the G note is being held down on the Low E string 3rd fret and the top E string 3rd fret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other useful resources
Below is a list of really useful downloads (PDF Format).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope to be adding more resources to the site at some stage (once its all finished..:) so keep checking back and if you have any questions I will do my best to help - just contact me here and I'll try and get back as soon as I can...

 

 

 

 

 

 

JLG Strings n Things
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