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Now we're getting somewhere! In order to become skillful on the guitar, we'll need to build the muscles in our hands, and learn to stretch our fingers. Scales are a good, albeit a not very exciting way to do this. Before we start, look at the diagram above to understand how fingers on the "fretting hand" (the hand that plays notes on the neck) are commonly identified. The thumb is labeled as "T", the index finger is the "first finger", the middle finger is the "second finger", and so on.
For those of you who play guitar, you might have noticed that some of my tasty licks aren’t so tasty. I’m no Stevie Ray Vaughn. You don’t need to be superstar to have tons of fun with this stuff. Despite not being the best guitar player, I’ve played my songs in front of 1000’s of people in live venues, had songs I’ve written and recorded played on San Diego’s leading rock station, and played in some super cool seedy dive bars to drunken hipsters. That’s just a few among a countless other memorable experiences. You don’t need to be a genius– half the battle is just showing up.
* Make your guitar talk - With a little practice, a whammy bar and a wah wah effect pedal you can make your guitar talk by simulating voices. The trick here is to start with the whammy bar depressed and raise it up while fretting notes and sliding to other notes. Try making words by alternating between depressing and releasing the bar during note changes. The wah wah pedal (or a phaser pedal) helps to give it this trick a more vocal sound.
The neck of the guitar adjoins the "body" of the instrument. The body of the guitar will vary greatly from guitar to guitar. Most acoustic and classical guitars have a hollowed out body, and a "sound hole," designed to project the sound of the guitar. Most electric guitars have a solid body, and thus will not have a sound hole. Electric guitars will instead have "pick-ups" where the soundhole is located. These "pick-ups" are essentially small microphones, which allow the capture the sound of the ringing strings, allowing them to be amplified.
So, don't get too caught up in strums, as the best approach is to start any new song with this basic down strum. Then, hit the strings on the way up as well, the down-up strum while counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and." This way you are making twice the amount of sound with the same hand motion, giving you a little more movement and fuller accompaniment to a vocal line (melody).
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