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Guitar For Dummies

Guitar For Dummies

Have you always wanted to play guitar? Who wouldn’t? Think of Jimi Hendrix wailing away on his Stratocaster. . . Chuck Berry duck-walking across the stage to “Johnny B. Goode”. . .B.B. King making his “Lucille” cry the blues. No doubt about it—guitars are cool. Guitar For Dummies 2nd Edition tells you everything a beginning or intermediate guitarist needs to know: from buying a guitar to tuning it, playing it, and caring for it, this book has it all—and you don’t even need to know how to re

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Riff Master Pro

Riff Master Pro Review

The biggest problem when you’re trying to learn a new guitar solo is that you’re not Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, or Eric Clapton, or whoever’s solo it is that you’re trying to play. Even if you’ve got the guitar tab in front of you, you just can’t get it right.

If you’re learning the solo from guitar tab, you’re playing the right notes but it still doesn’t sound right when you’re playing along to the music. If you’re learning to play it by ear, you just can’t seem to pick out all the notes, especially if it’s one of those lightning fast guitar solos.

Riff Master Pro is software that you install on your computer and it lets you slow down music without changing the pitch so that you can play along to it, perfect it, and speed it up gradually, until you’ve got it mastered at full speed.

If you’re as old as me and tried doing this with vinyl records you’ll know it doesn’t work too well. You can slow down a 45 rpm single to 33 1/3 rpm but the pitch changes. I could even slow down 33 1/3 long play records to 16 rpm (not that I’ve ever seen a 16 rpm record).

With Riff Master Pro, you can slow down a whole song, or just part of it, and the pitch stays the same. You can get the timing of all the notes right and then speed it up until you can play along at full speed. You can even change the pitch if you want to learn the song in a different key.

Slowing the song down but keeping the pitch correct will help you transcribe or tab tunes if you learn them by ear. It will also help you get them spot on if you learn them from tabs or sheet music. It doesn’t just work for the guitar, you can use this for any instrument.

Riff Master Pro has a 10 day free trial – well worth trying it out.

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How To Guitar Solo

Learn How To Create Great Guitar Solos

Many people learning how to play the electric guitar want to learn to solo on guitar. They either want to create their own solos or be able to play the solos of their favourite guitarists.

The first thing to remember is not to run before you can walk. This doesn’t mean it’s going to take ages before you can reach your goal. You just need to slow it down and learn some guitar principles first.

If you want to copy other guitar players solos, the good news is that it’s easy to do. All you need to do is go on the internet and download the tablature to the songs you want to learn to play. Someone else has already done the hard work for you. You just learn how to read guitar tabs and you can learn the songs.

I’ve made that sound a lot easier than it actually is. Some solos are quite tricky to learn. One tip is to break them down into smaller pieces. Work on playing the same phrase at a slow tempo in the beginning and increase speed while improving it until you get it just right before you move onto the next piece. If in increasing speed you start making mistakes, slow it down again until you get it right.

Creating your own solos will need a lot more knowledge. You will need to learn scales, chords, and notes. You should be doing this anyway. Doing this will make the difference between you being an OK guitarist and a good guitarist and will teach you about improvisation.

The pentatonic scales and the different scale positions are usually the ones that are learnt first. From this you will be able to put together guitar licks, riffs, and solos,  and generally be able to improvise.

One common scale that was learnt is the blues scale. It’s only one note different to the pentatonic scale. Many top guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page started out by playing 12 bar blues.

Once you’ve learnt the basics and got past the beginner stage, you can start learning the guitar solo techniques such as bends, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, alternate picking, etc. This will improve your lead guitar playing and your soloing techniques will improve with practice.