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Looking to buy your first guitar? Congratulations – this is a date to remember! Learning the guitar is a life-changing experience, and opens you to a new range of possibilities. But before you can learn, you need a guitar on which to practice and perform.
Following the death of Les Paul, TIME website presented their list of 10 greatest artists in electric guitar. As in Rolling Stone magazine’s list, Jimi Hendrix was chosen as the greatest guitarist followed by Slash from Guns ‘N’ Roses, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page,and Eric Clapton.[11] Gigwise.com, an online music magazine, also ranks Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitarist ever, followed by Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Keith Richards and Kirk Hammett.[12]
There are several string configurations available with electric guitars, including 4-string, 6-string, 7-string, and 12-string configurations. Although each configuration can make a slightly different sound, the differences are mostly down to personal preference. Nontraditional configurations include 5-string, 8-string, 9-string, 10-string, and 18-string versions.
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‘Power’ Chords are used in most styles of music but are particularly useful for rock guitar; they even sound cool on acoustic (check out Nirvana’s Unplugged album for an awesome example). The basic idea is that you only have to learn one chord shape, and that one shape can move around the fingerboard to make other chords. It uses no open strings, and muting the unused open strings is a very important part of the technique.
Anyhow. For those of us who can’t jump in at the expensive end, rest assured that the sheer variety of guitars out there to suit any budget is mind boggling. So while price is clearly a factor, don’t let it put you off at the start. Play the long game.
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Some guitars have a fixed bridge (3.4). Others have a spring-loaded hinged bridge called a vibrato bar, tremolo bar, or whammy bar, which lets players bend notes or chords up or down in pitch or perform a vibrato embellishment. A plastic pickguard on some guitars protects the body from scratches or covers the control cavity, which holds most of the wiring. The degree to which the choice of woods and other materials in the solid-guitar body (3) affects the sonic character of the amplified signal is disputed. Many believe it is highly significant, while others think the difference between woods is subtle. In acoustic and archtop guitars, wood choices more clearly affect tone.
Jazz guitar playing styles include rhythm guitar-style “comping” (accompanying) with jazz chord voicings (and in some cases, walking basslines) and “blowing” (improvising solos) over jazz chord progressions with jazz-style phrasing and ornaments. The accompanying style for electric guitar in most jazz styles differs from the way chordal instruments accompany in many popular styles of music. In rock and pop, the rhythm guitarist typically performs chords in dense and regular fashion to define a tune’s rhythm. Simpler music tends to use chord voicings focused on the first, third, and fifth notes of the chord. In contrast, more complex music styles of pop might intermingle periodic chords and delicate voicings into pauses in the melody or solo. Complex guitar chord voicings are often have no root, especially in chords that have more than six notes. Such chords typically emphasize the third and seventh notes of the chord. These chords also often include the 9th, 11th and 13th notes of the chord, which are called extensions, or color notes.
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The solid-body electric guitar is made of solid wood, without functionally resonating air spaces. The first solid-body Spanish standard guitar was offered by Vivi-Tone no later than 1934. This model featured a guitar-shaped body of a single sheet of plywood affixed to a wood frame. Another early, substantially solid Spanish electric guitar, called the Electro Spanish, was marketed by the Rickenbacker guitar company in 1935 and made of Bakelite. By 1936, the Slingerland company introduced a wooden solid-body electric model, the Slingerland Songster 401 (and a lap steel counterpart, the Songster 400).
These days things are different. Thousands of guitars are available to you at the click of a button. You can find everything you need online, from any kind of guitar you could imagine, to amps, strings and even some top-rated guitar lessons for beginners.
If the chord chart is depicting frets higher than the fourth fret, the top line on the chart will not be bolded (or doubled) and fret numbers will be shown, either to the left of the sixth string or to the right of the first string, to help orient you on the fretboard.
Twelve-string electric guitars feature six pairs of strings, usually with each pair tuned to the same note. The extra E, A, D, and G strings add a note one octave above, and the extra B and E strings are in unison. The pairs of strings are played together as one, so the technique and tuning are the same as a conventional guitar, but they create a much fuller tone, with the additional strings adding a natural chorus effect. They are used almost solely to play harmony and rhythm parts, rather than for guitar solos. They are relatively common in folk rock music. Lead Belly is the folk artist most identified with the twelve-string guitar, usually acoustic with a pickup.
The Fender Stratocaster is one of, if not the best known electric guitars in the world. Above all, it favours versatility, comfort and style, and is the first port of call for many budding players. Over the years, Stratocaster shaped guitars have been used by pretty much everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, and its impact in the world of rock and blues cannot be underestimated. It features three ‘single coil’ pickups, which offer a range of different tones, and is hands-down one of the simplest guitars to pick up and play. Players of heavier music styles tend to overlook the Strat as its pickups aren’t geared towards driving amps with tonnes of gain, so if it’s a bona-fide metal machine you’re after you may want to look elsewhere, but if it’s a solid all-rounder with a range of different tones you’re after, you should definitely make a Strat your first port of call.
Another negative I found was that this book focuses more on traditional music notation, and places guitar tablature into the background. As a guitar teacher, I believe that tabs are the next best thing to sliced bread, since it makes learning soooo much easier for beginner guitarists. And since learning the guitar is hard, anything that makes it simpler is more than welcome. On the other hand, if you want to learn to read standard music notation, this will be the way to go for you.
Klaus its pleasing to see that you’ve included Rory Gallagher, he quite frequently gets ignored because he shunned commercialism to stay true to guitar playing. Admittedly I’m biased, Rory was related to me but I had the pleasure to meet and talk to him a few times and his down to earth personality was a credit.
The white circles along the top of the chord tell you that you should still be strumming those strings with no fingers pressed on them. If you see an X above a string that means you should try not to strum that string while playing the chord.
I was in the store this week, getting a string change, and found a G…REAT thinline double humbucker telecaster with locking tuners and had been re-fretted. AWESOME. Pretty huge selection of guitars and basses there at the moment (as of yesterday). See More
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Having been just released, this new edition doesn’t have any reviews yet at the time of this writing. The previous 3rd edition had 79% 4 and 5 star reviews from customers. All in all, if you want to stick with learning from a guitar book, this would be my recommendation.
I have played guitar since 1966 overall the list is good you have people like Johnny Winters ,Pat Travers on and on and on… where are the influences in your life as a guitar player like George Harrison that influenced the sound of the Beatles I don’t think one can be fair in a list I do know one guitar player that will be influencing people in the next 10- 20 years Joe Bonamassa you guitar players keep your eye on this guy.. he brought me back to the guitar and now I’m playing some killer blues good luck everyone!!
An excerpt: “The Dobro brand name has been identified with resonator guitars since 1929 and is currently owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation. Despite its registered trademark status, the Dobro name has at times been used generically to refer to woodbodied instruments with 1) an aluminum cone or “resonator” mounted so that the cone opens toward the top of the instrument and 2) an 8-armed spider assembly supporting the bridge.”
well.. first.. i’am bassist, and also an audio engineer for my band. and my my guitarist is struggling to find an affordable Electric Guitar, so.. i showed her this web. and she ended up buying the fender modern player tele. and it sounds beautiful!! i was amazed by the tone of this guitar. well.. Many Thanks, mate!!!
Try to get your 1st finger to lay softly on strings 3, 2 and 1. You don’t want those notes to sound; you just want to mute the strings. This is very important as it will sound really bad if you let them ring out.
This is due to what Fender calls a “slim-taper” C-shaped neck, made from mahogany and borrowed from the company’s electric lineup. I’m no shredder, but what quick playing I can do was speed up considerably when I sat down with a $700 matte-black Redondo Special, one of the large dreadnought-style guitars in the range.
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.
An excerpt: “Steeped in mystery, hogwash, and pop voodoo, guitars have become period pieces of almost totemic significance — some timeless, others dated as a crew cut; some spiffy as a showroom Bugatti, others funky as a Studebaker up on blocks.”

6 Ritchie Blackmore Richard Hugh “Ritchie” Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World’s “100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time” in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the …read more.
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