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Brian should be much higher on this list! He is a Musical Genius! I never listened to guitarists until I heard Brian May play! Everything he does is PERFECTIOIN! Put him at the Top 5 where he belongs!
3/4 guitars are fine for children under the age of 11, or as travel guitars, but if you want to learn properly, then buy a full size guitar at the start. I started on a full size classical guitar right back when I was knee high to a grasshopper; initially it’s hard, but your fingers adapt fast enough and you will soon develop flexibility and dexterity. For children under 11, a 3/4 guitar is an option, but even then I still feel that full-size is better. Check out all the amazing 6 year-old kids playing amazing stuff on the internet, 9 times out of 10 they are playing full-size instruments.
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My favourite adage applies: buy cheap, buy twice. I rate the Yamaha Pacifica guitars (which start around £200/$350). They have a thin neck (which is good for rock) and consistently excellent build quality. I don’t think there is much of a question about the quality of these guitars and most of the other teachers I respect recommend them as well. There are many cheaper guitars out there but for the few pounds you will save you are much better off going for a Pacifica in my humble opinion. I never owned one myself (and I don’t have any kind of deal going with them at all), but have played many that students bought in over the years, which is why I recommend them to you!
On any given day, you can walk into Norm’s and see some of your favorite musicians and artists rocking out. Norm’s offers lessons, repairs, trade-ins, and written appraisals. Although Norm’s vintage guitars are the main attraction, he also carries an impressive collection of basses, amps, accessories, and clothing. You can purchase Norm’s popular Lucky Brand shirt that appeared in the hit feature film Forgetting Sarah Marshall or the infamous Norman’s Rare Guitars shirt that Nigel wears in the classic rock comedy Spinal Tap.
I recently saw this guitar player and he has truly been I guess hiding because he makes a lot of the names on your list look bad. His name is Tobi Hero. More people need to check this dude out. Help him if you can because he is something else.
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The Jackson Dinky is a modern classic, but their newer JS1X Dinky Minion is an even smaller, cooler playing experience – one which is perfect for beginners (especially if you have smaller hands). It features a 2/3 scale Super Strat double-cutaway body made of solid poplar, with a 22.5” scale length. As you may expect from Jackson, it comes in a range of eye-catching colors, such as Ferrari Red and Neon Orange. The playability is great, with a fast-playing bolt-on slim maple neck, featuring a rosewood fretboard and 24 jumbo frets. As we mention in the full JS1X review, this cool electric guitar is voiced by two Jackson-designed humbuckers, with simple controls, to offer a decent rock tone.
All the guys critisizing the list ranking please get your eyes checked by an eye-specialist. Mr. Klaus just noted 150 greatest guitarists, not rankwise, there might be some more. Brian how many of “your” Jazz guitarists can outplay Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Kark Hammet, Carlos Santana, Michael Angelo Batio??? There are many great jazz guitarists with amazing skill. But dear Brian your favourite jazz genre is much much much less popular than Rock. Take any guitar, amplifier, guitar-fx pedal manufacturer you will find them promoting their product through Rock or Blues guitarists, whyyyy!!! This is 21st century & old is not essencially gold. Be mordern & updated man. Modern Guitar is also about knowing the technical aspects. I don’t think any other genre knows more types of picking, legato, tapping, whammy bar & wah-pedal techniques than Rockers. Dear Eric Clapton haters beware, on top 10 most expensive guitar list you will find 5 of his used guitars!!! I listened to Ayub Bachoo. He is good, but not worth mentioning in this list.
Getting your guitar action set up by a good luthier can make a huge difference to your guitar’s playability (you’ll usually find someone at your local store). I have a number of private students that found an AMAZING difference when they had set their guitar up correctly, and of course I get all mine done too. If you are struggling to play barre chords on an acoustic guitar, then a too-high action could certainly be a part of the problem.
The greatest all time innovative guitarist to come out of the UK. Such a distinctive style and sound which is most important. Many guitarists have a similar sound and tone to others. This guy got me hooked on the sound of the guitar from a young age and I have tried to find others in a similar vein to no avail and I own over 2000 rock/metal CD’s and have followed the scene since the mid 80’s. A totally under estimated guitarist in my opinion. Long live The Cult.
You’re right, guitar playing is not about competition. I made the list for fun, to inspire people to listen to great guitar players. And for people to comment to the list and add their personal favorites.
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About 30 years ago, a fellow co-worker began teaching me how to play electric guitar. I believe it was an Aria Pro Strat. He had been playing for 20 plus years at this time and was a very good teacher, he owned a 1958 Les Paul. I have not played since he was in a car wreck in 1990 as he could not return to work. He was however able to continue to play, its just our schedules never allowed the time to take lessons. He passed away in 2011, and since I retired last year, I’d like to take up lessons. I found your article very helpful in selecting an electric guitar. It mentions a lot of things most people do not consider when buying.
You’ve decided to learn how to play guitar. Maybe you’re doing it to pursue your dreams of rock stardom or maybe you just want to have a new hobby. Strum a few chords by the campfire. No matter the reason, welcome to the club. There are a lot of us.

MAB’s Speed Kills is essential if you want great picking technique. The Troy Grady channel on youtube is really good for any technique related questions about pretty much anything. There are some amazing Guthrie Govan lessons out there, and I reckon there was a Buckethead tapping lesson in a magazine somewhere.
Number 1 is the index finger, 2 is the middle finger, 3 is the ring finger, and 4 is your pinky. You don’t use the thumb to fret, except in certain unusual circumstances. In those cases there would be a “T” inside the black dot.
Very good list. Glaring ommission but forgiveable would be the studio musicians who you have heard for years but never knew their names. Cats like Tommy Tedesco, Howard Roberts, Jerry Cole, Bill Pitman & Glen Cambell, Yes he could play. Other Country cats like Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, Jerry Reed, & Roy Clark. Jazz giants like Kenny Burrell, Pat Martino, & Barney Kessel – also a studio guy from the wrecking crew. Accoustic players like Leo Kottke, or Christopher Parkening.
Chords are massive. There are tons of songs that are based on a chord. In a lot of songs, usually, it only uses three chords in the entire song which is quiet amazing. Next thing we will be learning is a lot of songs that will be using some chords.
The guitar output jack typically provides a monaural signal. Many guitars with active electronics use a jack with an extra contact normally used for stereo. These guitars use the extra contact to break the ground connection to the on-board battery to preserve battery life when the guitar is unplugged. These guitars require a mono plug to close the internal switch and connect the battery to ground. Standard guitar cables use a high-impedance 1/4-inch (6.35-mm) mono plug. These have a tip and sleeve configuration referred to as a TS phone connector. The voltage is usually around 1 to 9 millivolts.
Although a power chord consists of only two different notes that are always five steps apart, such as A–E or C–G, the actual chord that you play may involve more than two strings, because you may be doubling each of the notes that make up the power chord.
We’ve all been there, and it’s actually pretty easy to fix once you know how. The reason we hit those walls in our playing or get bored with what we’re currently doing is that we start falling into set patterns with our playing (pentatonic scale over and over again, anyone?). Whatever we’re playing starts to feel stale and derivative because we’ve gone over it so many times, and it can end up being a pretty frustrating experience.
I’ve decided to take on a friends daughter as my first guitar student (which would light a fire under my behind to learn to play this instrument I’ve invested in) and I was wondering if you had any suggestions on a book or series besides the Hal Leonard. Something Suzuki-esque book wise if possible.
Finally, the sound. The single most important factor in choosing a guitar is the sound which it will help you achieve. It’s here where things can start getting complicated. You’ll learn over time that while certain guitars may look the part, and may fit the budget, they simply won’t cut it for the style of music you’re trying to play. Over the course of this guide we’ll refer back to a guitar’s ‘tone’ – this is the term used by guitarists to describe the overall sound their guitar puts out. Some tones are better suited to certain types of music, while other tones can only be achieved using certain combinations of gear. Either way, it helps to have an idea of the kind of sound you’re trying to achieve as this will have the most critical impact on the guitars which will suit you and your playing best.
The cost of an electric guitar can be greatly reduced if you are willing to take the time to look for a quality used guitar. Close inspection of a used guitar by an experienced guitarist can act as a safeguard against buying a “lemon”. Used guitars can be found just about anywhere instruments are sold (even retailers sell used guitars), or from any of the many people who have at least attempted the craft. If you want a warrantied, brand-new electric guitar then it is possible to find good quality at a low price. Local music retailers offer you hands on testing prior to purchase, but if you are confident in knowing your ideal guitar specs, you can take advantage of online guitar sources such as the retailer’s site, auction sites, classified ads, or directly from electric guitar manufacturers.
Gilmour was made famous by his haunting guitar scores in Pink Floyd. This “replacement” guitarist surpassed expectations and helped shape Pink Floyd’s unique sound. You can always expect hairs at the back of your neck to stand whenever you hear one of his solos – be it for the first or hundredth time you’re listening to it. All the emotion that Gilmour’s poured into his guitar work lives on in the music and is channeled through anyone who’s ever wanted to cover a Pink Floyd song. I know several guitar players (myself included) who whenever playing the Comfortably Numb solo – whether they are alone in their bedrooms or on stage – have always been unwillingly brought to tears, near the point of crying. How could you not expect things to get esoteric and mystical when it comes to music?
After that, I don’t really care. But any person with an actual brain for music knows that Slash, Jimi and Stevie need to be at the top of the list. Come on. Syn is the best of the modern guitar players. That’s why he should be 4th, behind the greats.
Popular music and rock groups often use the electric guitar in two roles: as a rhythm guitar, which plays the chord sequence or progression and riffs and sets the beat (as part of a rhythm section), and as a lead guitar, which is used to perform instrumental melody lines, melodic instrumental fill passages, and solos. In a small group, such as a power trio, one guitarist switches between both roles. In larger rock and metal bands, there is often a rhythm guitarist and a lead guitarist.
In the 1970s, as effects pedals proliferated, their sounds were combined with tube amp distortion at lower, more controlled volumes by using power attenuators, such as Tom Scholz’s Power Soak, as well as re-amplified dummy loads, such as Eddie Van Halen’s use of dummy-load power resistor, post-power-tube effects, and a final solid-state amp driving the guitar speakers.
You should now know all the notes in between the “white” notes from your study of BC-152 • The Note Circle – Eventually, you should try and remember ALL the notes on the thickest two strings. You will use these time and time again, so they really need to be in your memory, not on the screen!
This guide is as marvelously written as it is exceedingly informative. It takes a long look at each of the major and minor American guitar companies — Gibson chief among them — and recounts the story of every guitar to come off their workbenches. Buoyed by scads of historical photos and thoroughly researched copy, this book earns its place at the top of this list.
I swear if we all spent as much time practising as we do deciding which guitar to buy there would be a lot more great guitar players in the world. Seriously, dudes and dudettes, when you are starting out, just get yourself a guitar that plays well. If you dig playing guitar and play for a few years you are almost certainly going to want another guitar, even if your first guitar was awesome. It’s called G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) and it’s a very painful condition for the wallet… I’ve been suffering for many years so now I’m just used to it!
The wood top of an acoustic guitar must vibrate in order to project the sound. This requires heavier gauge strings along with slightly firmer picking and fingering. The body of the acoustic guitar is much larger than the electric guitar, and usually has a thicker neck to support the tension of the heavier strings. However, some people find the immediate accessibility of an acoustic guitar resting on a stand appealing, making them more apt to pick it up and play more often.
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