Lesson Topics

15 Strumming Songs For Beginning Guitarists

Classic rock and folk music offer a wealth of simple songs that are great for those who are just starting their guitar lessons. These tunes feature mostly open chords--chords that use the open guitar strings. Open chords and strumming techniques form the foundation of beginning guitar. Taking the time to get good at this sort of rhythm playing will make it much easier down the road when learning more advanced techniques. If you want to practice the basics while still playing actual music (good music, too), here's a list of easy strumming songs to check out:

What Type of Piano Should I Buy?

Before you start piano lessons, you need to find an instrument to practice on. Most teachers have a piano you can use during lessons, but like any other musician, you need our own instrument. But unlike other instruments, deciding what piano to buy can be a daunting task. There are a lot of considerations to take into account, any for many people, it boils down to whether they should buy a digital or "real" piano. Below you'll find a quick guide to the pros and cons of each type.

4 Maintenance Essentials Every Guitarist Must Know

An important part of taking guitar lessons is knowing the anatomy of the instrument and how to keep it properly maintained. The guitar is a unique instrument in that almost all of its components can be tweaked exactly to your liking, and it requires frequent check-ups to ensure its health and longevity. Here's a brief description of some of the most common guitar adjustments. Feel free to ask your guitar teacher if you have any questions about these basic guitar mechanics.

An Intro To Open Chords

Rhythm and chord playing is too often overlooked by people wanting to learn guitar. Students think of big shredding solos and fancy licks and are somewhat disappointed with learning open chord strumming. The truth is, guitar is a rhythmic instrument and a member of the rhythm section, and playing rhythm makes up at least half of a guitarist's job. Plus, you won't be able to solo well without solid rhythm, which is learned best by basic chord strumming.

Head-To-Head: Differences Between Drum Head Styles

Drums heads are just one of the many parts that make up a drum, but they are certainly one of the most important. They are the "skin" of the drum, the thing you hit with your drumstick, and you can mix and match heads to achieve different customized sounds. Many musical styles prefer one drum head style over the others. Here's a quick description of each of the different head styles and what style of music favors them.

From Double to Dubstep: Bass In Its Many Forms

Despite being a very important instrument in all styles of music, there are not as many people pursuing bass today as guitar or piano. People tend to focus on ripping guitar solos or belting out exciting vocals, but without the bass providing a solid foundation, nothing in the band will sound right. The lower number of bass players today leaves a serious demand for bassists in the whole musical spectrum, as well as less competition among established players. So as a bass player, you may be in a better position to get gigs and go pro than other more "popular" instruments.

Classical Guitar Lesson Topics

The classical guitar (not to be confused with it's steel-stringed cousin, the acoustic guitar) has a rich history going back several hundred years, and has been written for by composers including Bach, Satie, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Holst. Classical guitar is a specific style, with a technique handed down from teacher to student for generations. While the style can be a little difficult in the beginning, due to the unique fingerstyle method of playing, the rewards outweigh any initial discomfort.

Folk Guitar Lesson Topics

Folk guitar is most commonly played on a steel string acoustic guitar with either pick or fingers, and is the sound commonly associated with singer/songwriters. It's a style of guitar that is designed to give a full sounding accompaniment to singers and instrumentalists, although folk guitarists often play solos as well. The use of alternate tunings and capos is fairly common in this style.

Blues Guitar Lesson Topics

Blues music is beautiful, in part, because of the infinite possibilities contained within the style's simple form--that is to say, the blues can basically be whatever you want it to be. A blues can be a slow ballad, a pulse-pumping dancefloor burner, a hushed confessional or a deafening roar. All musicians can deepen their understanding of music through a study of the blues, and guitarists in particular will find that their ability to "speak" with their instrument--their ability to play with emotion and dynamic range--is enhanced after playing the blues for a while.

Jazz Guitar Lesson Topics

Jazz guitar is one of the most challenging guitar styles, but if you explore it, you'll be able to tackle all kinds of things with greater ease. This is because jazz is mostly improvised, and improvisation takes a mastery of not only the instrument, but of the elements of music, including melody, harmony, and rhythm. A good jazz guitarist is not only a great soloist, but also a great accompanist for other instrumentalists and singers. You'll find that the skills you pick up from learning jazz guitar transfer to all the other styles of music.

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