For any serious blues guitarist player, finding your own unique tone that says what you want it to and it something which defines your playing and sound is kind of a holy grail. Many spend years searching for their tone and go through many different amps and pedals while others simply seem to fall over their own killer sound as through it was something which always belonged to them. Whichever way you find it, it should be one of your highest priorities.
Once you’re done learning how to play an A barre chord or other basics for example, turn your attention completely to tone.
The first thing I would advise is that you use .11 strings. You really do need some thicker strings in order to pump some extra heart and soul into your blues phrasing. Blues is all about extracting the maximum amount of emotional content you can from every note you play rather than running all around the neck string skipping through arpeggios and sweep picking! For the latter .009 strings are the standard and more ideal however for blues, keep it heavy – 11′s or 12′s are the way to go.
Next it’s really important that you have a tube amp. These will give you the best kind of distortion and break up more depending upon how hard you attack the strings with your pick. In short, they are really responsive. You have the volume up and to get more distortion you simply attack the phrase harder with your picking, you clean up you lighten your attack. This creates a very personal and responsive guitar sound which is perfect for blues.
On top of this you can inject some extra juice with by adding a pedal or booster in to the signal. Stepping on and off this pedal should give your sound a little charge of turbo and the Ibanez Tube Screamer is one of the most popular to use. Stevie Ray Vaughan was known for liking these a whole lot and in fact would use two of them on stage. One set up to boost his signal while the other was set to inject some added distortion.
Ok so you’ve gone out and bought the acoustic guitar, the strings, the pick and the guitar tuner… maybe even a book too but if you want to teach yourself guitar at home then online guitar lessons are where it’s really at!
You can find lots of fingerstyle guitar lessons on the internet and many of them are for free but the problem is that you’ll only learn in bits and pieces. A much better approach is to invest in a subscription membership to an online guitar site where you’ll be able to complete entire courses from start to finish and establish a secure foundation upon which to build.
Most people learning guitar lessons online are complete beginners so the first thing to look at will be your chords and strumming patterns. It only takes about 1 month to master enough of them to be able to start playing some easy guitar songs. This is assuming however that you’re taking guitar lessons 1 with good a quality guitar website and practicing on a daily basis.
Interactive Guitar Lessons
The more sophisticated sites tend to offer students a more interactive experience with their guitar teachers. You’ll also find that there will be up to 20 guitar instructors to choose from. As online guitar lessons through webcam become ever more popular students are able to watch the tutorials in real time “live” and ask questions directly into a chat box.
This is probably as close to real 1-1 guitar lessons as you can get online!
What I like about this kind of personal approach is that you don’t feel so isolated which can be a problem when learning guitar completely on your own. There are many times when a student will become very de-motivated and frustrated to the point of wishing to give up but it’s at these times when having someone to encourage you can really save the day.
Online Guitar Instruction
So in summary it’s well worthwhile putting in the necessary time to research the web for guitar sites. Think about it…
- You can learn at your own pace
- Practice guitar only at the times that suit you
- Get to learn guitar much cheaper than taking traditional private lessons
- Learn from many different, high quality tutors from around the world
- Can cancel your subscription at any time or even get your money back if you’re not satisfied
All this makes taking online guitar lessons 2 a complete no-brainer in my opinion and for really spectacular results try combining different forms of learning together – offline, online, books, dvd’s and so forth.