Audio Guitar Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Consumer Electronics' started by v1gnesh, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. v1gnesh

    v1gnesh Active Member

    well.. after readin the "request for a new thread for musicians", thought i would start postin' stuff which i found useful.. :)

    Tuning a Floyd Rose Tremolo guitar

    YouTube - Floyd Rose Tremolo Setup (English)

    Guitar Tabs and Lessons

    1.Thenextlevelguitar Videos (found this very very useful and ideal for a beginner :) )
    2.ULTIMATE GUITAR TABS ARCHIVE | 250,000+ Guitar Tabs, Bass Tabs, Chords and Guitar Pro Tabs!
    3.MySongBook - The Ultimate Guitar Pro Tablature Archive

    Guitar Backing Tracks

    1.FREE Guitar Backing Tracks

    This is incase you need backing tracks while you're playing covers :p

    :hap2: hope there was something useful .... :hap2:
  2. soggy316

    soggy316 Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    cool, nice thread to have | Free, Legal Guitar Tab Downloads used to have an excellent set of guitar, drum and bass tabs, but with the songwriters doing a napster on the tab sites, most of the tabs are deactivated until the site is up and running again and then only "Legal" tabs will be available
  3. Powersurge

    Powersurge Casual Gentleman

  4. OP

    v1gnesh Active Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    and.. yeah..

    almost forgot.. :)

    for the easiest way to learn cover songs..

    get the software ..

    Guitar Pro v4/v5..

    v5 has Realistic Sound Engine..

    actually v4 should do.. :)

    you can find the required.. "guitar pro" tabs in :)
  5. OP

    v1gnesh Active Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    For more detailed video lessons..

    you can visit

    Next Level Guitar - Home

    This site has sooo many video lessons for beginners,intermediates,professionals,videos on guitar care,how important your cable selection and management is, n stuff.. (80% of the video lessons are paid lessons :p )


    They're open for a FREE 3 DAY PASS

    meaning.. you can sit n watch all the videos in those three days or rather.. download them n watch them later :)

    i find this site very very useful :)

    "Rock on good people" :bleh:

    EDIT:How many ever lessons we watch,it's the practice 'n' passion that's gonna make the difference ;)
  6. RiO

    RiO Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Speed cannot be attained through repetitive practice; more important than mindless practice is technique and discipline. A few pointers: It is equally important to train your picking hand as is your fingering hand - they have to work together. Don't just sit and play scales all day long - give your left hand complex chord changing exercises just as you would train your right hand with alternate/circular/sweep picking exercises.

    Coming to practice, #1 is put in at least 15-30 minutes practice each day - consistent practice is the key to making progress with any instrument. Practicing 30 minutes a day is way better than only practicing 12 hours on weekends. As well, when you find yourself stuck at some point, leave that lesson/lick and move on to something else - revisit the lesson/lick in a few days and you'll be surprised at how easy it will suddenly appear to be.

    All that said however, lead guitar isn't everything... learn to be creative with rhythm, it's fun and important should you choose to write music ;)

    And the most valuable advice I've been given was to listen and play more than one genre of music. Over the last 15 years I've played everything from blues to pop to rock n' roll to jazz to country to soft rock to hard rock to metal :) Doing this will not only help you subconsciously develop a ear for music (there are other ways), it will also bring out more creativity when playing. Example, I use a lot of blues scales and runs with rock/metal and it sounds great and non-bluesy when played fast.

    I could go on but I'll stop for now.
  7. Private Ryan

    Private Ryan New Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    This is a really gr8 thread for beginners like me...:)

    @Rio : I've just started with the guitar lessons in a video u think, i can pull it off (atleast at the elementary level) with a video tut?? Or its always better to do it the tried n tested old school join some good guitar class? Ur suggestions wud be very helpful...thanks in advance..:)
  8. RiO

    RiO Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    I always recommend finding a good teacher especially at the beginner level, because you have to get your basics right (everything else will follow :)). However, I do know a few people who have learned through books and videos... so try your luck at that. I'll be happy to answer specific questions whenever they crop up.
  9. OP

    v1gnesh Active Member

  10. OP

    v1gnesh Active Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    forgot to mention another site i was relying on :D - free guitar lessons from Justin Sandercoe

    rock on ! :D

    there are so many youtube video lessons (for free) in the above mentioned site :)

    EDIT: for those with 2mbps broadband.. lucky dawgs.. you can watch through MANY videos at a stretch :p
  11. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    During the process of learning the guitar, a lot of us come upon a stumbling block called theory.

    I'll try and share what limited knowledge I have, in three parts:

    1. Notes
    2. intervals (which will also cover some basic theory on scales)
    3. chords.

    I will not complicate the postings with references of how to find those notes or chords on the guitar fretboard - there are hundreds of web resources that will help you get those, some of them in this thread - check v1gnesh's post for links to beginners' sites.

    Or look for Nut chords on Music Software - Computer Music Resources - Shareware Music Machine

    Remember that some of the world's best players knew little to no theory. Howling Wolf and Blind Willie Mctell probably knew very little of conventional theory, but the music they produced was indescribably beautiful and emotional. Would they have produced better music if they knew theory? I don't know - but musicians like them are rare indeed, and a lot of us have to work hard at it. I'm one of those with very little natural talent, so I had to learn a bit of theory to get myself going.

    With all that said, let's get moving, shall we?

    1. What are notes?

    Notes are quite simply, a single frequency that causes a vibration in the air. It can be visually represented by a waveform. Pure notes exist only in instruments created to generate it. Most natural sources emit multiple notes at the same time. This is why instruments and voices sound different from each other, even playing/singing the same note.

    Generally, computers (when programmed), tuning forks, pitch pipes etc will generate pure tones. Musical instruments, cars, animals and people will generate complex tones that are a combination of multiple notes, harmonics and distortion.

    There is a technical difference between note and tone. Note is a pure frequency pitch, and since most sources don't have a pure single frequency coming off it, the resultant sound is known as a tone. In fact, a note does not really exist in the context of musical instruments, it's only a representative of the main frequency (called the fundamental) that the instrument should emit. But for this stream of thought, we will use the terms interchangeably.

    Look at this graph:


    Notice the difference between the note coming off a computer, guitar and piano. The guitar is the most harmonically rich of the three. That may not be always the case, depending on the specific instrument.

    All musical instruments have a harmonically rich structure, yet we play notes, right? Then what is this 'Tone' all about? Basically 'Note' is what you play, and 'tone' is what comes out of the instrument!

    Scientists like to refer to tones and frequency, musicians call them notes and pitch. When musicians refer to tone, they're talking about the quality of the sound, not a measurement.

    2. Notes, why are they needed?

    The same reason you need a liter, or a kilo, or a meter - it's a measure of the pitch of a note. The human ear has an approximate range of 20Hz - 20,000Hz. That is, there are 19,980 possible pure frequencies that can exist (not counting fractions). Can the human ear distinguish all of them?

    As it turns out, no. Human hearing is much more sensitive to direction and timing of sound (for example, if that wild beast was coming to eat it) than its frequency (to judge whether said animal was happy or sad).

    So we can only detect incremental differences in sound, and our perception gets better as the intervals get bigger. If you play a pure tone at 20Hz and the next one at 20,000 Hz (assuming the listener can hear it, as most people's hearing tapers off to about 10 Khz by the time they're 40), you'll be able to immediately tell the difference. If the same two tones are at 5000 and 5001 Hz, it's pretty certain nobody will know a difference. The surprising thing is that if you play them at the same time, you will immediately hear a pulsation about once a second, and you can tell there are two different tones. We will return to this when we talk about tuning.

    Every double of frequency is heard by the ear to be exactly the same thing. Play a G on the open string and on the 12th fret of the 3rd string, they sound the same. They are not the same pitch/frequency, but the ear hears them as the same 'note'. Therefore, every time the frequency doubles, it's known as an 'octave', and the frequencies an octave apart are given the same name.

    As you can see on the guitar there are twelve frets, which means an octave is split into 12 parts. Why 12 and not 4 or 24? the answer to this is that it wasn't always like that.

    Upto the 16th century, music was primarily orchestral, and written for ensembles. In the ensemble string instruments had to play with fixed pitch instruments like the wind instruments and piano. These were tuned to different temperaments, and the string sections had to adjust their playing to the pitch of those instruments. That is one of the reasons why violins, cellos and upright bass were all fretless. Micro-intonation was not just possible, it was the only way for the string section to play with the winds and pianos.

    Soon the emergence of the guitar, vihuela and more 'portable' instruments led to fresh music being written for these instruments, this led to the emergence of 'equal temperament', or the division of the octave into 12 intervals.

    3. Temperament, intervals and other musical compromises. Heavy going, please skip if desired.

    What is temperament? It is the progression and timber that defines the music as heard by the human ear. There are many kinds of temperaments, and the Indian system and the western system are different from each other in their temperament and tuning, though the concepts of notes, scales and intervals are common.

    Pythagoras found that the ear finds certain frequency ratios very appealing. The most appealing is 1:2 (the octave mentioned earlier), or double the frequency. The next most pleasing was the fifth (2:3) and then the 3rd (3:5). These intervals were known as 'Pythagorean' intervals, and for a long time were the defacto standard (and still are the basis) of most 'western' music.

    When the piano was being designed initially, it was with the pythagorean system. But if you had an instrument which played in strict pythagorean intervals, you would not be able to play the same melody across different keys. This was limiting instruments like piano from becoming an ensemble instrument, as mentioned in the previous section. Music was moving from solo to multiple instruments, and composers needed to be able to write for multiple instruments across keys.

    A bit of explanation here of range. Each musical instrument (including the human voice) has a bottom note and a top note beyond which it cannot comfortably reach - at the right volume and intonation. Construction of musical instruments dictates their 'range', so a cello and a violin reach different ranges of the spectrum. To enable ensembles to go beyond the limitations of the pythagorean system, a new system was needed.

    Therefore, equal temperament tuning emerged. It is a tuning for fretted, wind and percussive instruments that divide the musical spectrum between octaves into equally compromised intervals, so that scales can be played in 'unison'. The old systems, because of their concentration on the absolute frequency, had some tonally perfect intervals and some horrible intervals to dump the frequency errors into (and therefore unusable).

    Using this tuning system, we end up with 12 tones with equally spaced frequencies, with the 'tonal center' at A, or 440 Hz. Since the spacing is equal, starting from any tonal center would guarantee the same sound if the same intervals were used.

    This is not the only way to divide the octave, though - There is a 43-step system in existence as well. Just that this system is the most modern one - and the only one on our guitars. A lot of people don't like the equal temperament system because some intervals sound odd.

    4. Whew, so I still haven't learnt anything except history - where is this going?

    Actually nowhere, so let's get going. I'll steamroller through here.

    Remember we had put our finger on octaves, take it off. We divide the octave and end up with 12 notes from C to B, defined as C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B. # denotes 'sharp'. Each interval is known as a semitone or half-step. When we get to C all the notes repeat again, and you get to the next octave. The A is 440Hz, which is obtained from a pitch pipe. There are no sharps between E and F, and between B and C.

    This is not arbitary - the first scale was middle C, and the 'correct' intervals were defined on this basis, which led to the chopping of E#/Fb and B#/Cb. 'b' denotes a flat, because it sound like that when you play the note after the fundamental. All flats are 'enharmonic' (sound the same as) with the sharps. These are Db=C#, Eb=D#, Gb=F#, Ab=G#, Bb=A#.

    In the piano all the notes are arranged in a line, with the sharps (flats) in the little black keys and the pure notes in the white keys. C major scale on the piano is simply all the white keys in a line.

    Next instalment we will talk about intervals and the circle of fiths, and begin to apply these to our playing.

    5. Practical application:

    What you can do is learn your way around the fretboard.

    Basically pick a note and play it on any string. So think of a note, and then play it on each of the 6 strings where it occurs. Ask a friend to call out the notes. Try and get the smallest time between your notes.

    For example, call A, and play the high E string 5th fret, b string 10th fret, G 2nd fret...

    You get the idea. This will also help when we get to chords two instalments later, and enable you to quickly pick up basic chords.

    Use this image to help you at first:


    Guitarnoise is a great resource for lessons, do stop over there and have a look. I've learnt a lot of concepts and songs there, very good if you like folk and standards.

    Try and not look at the image for at least some notes, wean yourself off them. If you're practising your scales, then call out the notes as you play them.

    6. Bonus section: Tuning your guitar.

    Every lesson has to give you something useful, so here it is:

    A lot of people ask the question "How do I tune the guitar" and get all sort of answers. The truth is you can tune your guitar any way you want, but it may or may not sound good. It is possible to tune a guitar such that you can play a single pentatonic scale across the open strings, but it may be boring. OK for one song or two, but boring.

    So a guitar is most commonly tuned in standard tuning, which is (starting from the thinnest string) e, b, G, D, A and E, with the heavier strings going lower in pitch. You can use a reference pitch from a piano, PC program, pitch pipe or tuning fork, for the note A. The best way to tune is to match the reference note to the same note on each string. This also will help you find your way around the fretboard quickly.

    A good way to tune when you're just starting out, is to sing the reference note and the guitar note, to know whether it's high or low. When I started I was tone deaf (not that I've improved much) so I would find other ways to tune the guitar, mostly to my voice, and sometimes to harmonics. It would never play in tune with other instruments, but I found myself learning many songs quickly that way. I do not advise this, it's better to tune up to reference notes.

    Once frequencies get close, you will be able to hear 'beats', or the differences between frequencies. It will pulse and the sound will sound like it's literally 'beating'. Once the beating stops, you're either dead tuned, or way too high or low. Use this aural trick to tune up quickly.

    7. Further reading

    If you want to get into temperaments and historical tunings in-depth, the wikipedia page on equal temperament has a decent explanation but the links are outstanding, do drop in and take a look. There's history, maths and music all together in it.

    Equal temperament - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    8. Feedback and questions

    Do let me know if there's something you felt was missing or unexplained and I'll try my best to answer. Also If I've made boo-boos, I would love to be corrected.

    The part after this is pretty heavy, but I'll try and simplify it.
  12. OP

    v1gnesh Active Member

  13. Ero-Sannin

    Ero-Sannin New Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    i learn my guitar from online tabs read stuff like crazy
    usually play nu-metal stuff now shifted to more subtle stuff like tool and deftones been trying my hands on Lamb of God but was not quit successfull at it
    i usually tune my guitar to drop C tuning since i get to improvise on more chords and different sound. and ya my bro's a drummer and we jam almost at any free time. i have a Kramer Focus Series bass guitar also soo i pretty much play all RHCP stuff and RATM.
  14. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Looks like I'm the only one here who only plugs only his computer into an electric outlet.

    I have but one electric guitar, and it hasn't been touched in two years. I took it out and cleaned and restrung it for a photoshoot recently, along with a couple of acoustic buddies. I mainly play the acoustics in the pic. I also have a Yamaha Nylon string which is ready for the dumpster, and a really cheap Reynolds acoustic that intonates so badly it is out of tune by the 4th fret. And a Nice Ronnie Acoustic that has been donated after repair to a friend for learning, and I just sold off a Takamine acoustic to a friend. Can't lay claim to the last two, but WTH!

    Sorry for the pic quality. Guitars - a photoset on Flickr
  15. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    OK here is the much promised post on intervals and scales. I will use concepts from the previous post, and try not to make a fool of myself.

    I play a little game, so try and do the same. We need twenty-four pieces of paper. On each, we will write the name of the notes like so:

    1: C

    2: C#

    3: D

    4: D#

    5: E

    6: F

    7: F#

    8: G

    9: G#

    10: A

    11: A#

    12: B

    13: C

    14: Db

    15: D

    16: Eb

    17: E

    18: F

    19: Gb

    20: G

    21: Ab

    22: A

    23: Bb

    24: B

    Whew, done?

    Now lay out the first twelve in a line, and the next twelve below that. You should have all the same notes just above each other, and the enharmonic sharps and flats above each other. Now each square denotes a half-step, this is the basis of the interval (and scale) system for western music. We will try and learn this concept in a simple way that hopefully you can use in a practical and easy way.

    To start with, I'll name the intervals, starting with 1.

    1: Unison/octave

    2: Minor second

    3: Major second

    4: Minor third

    5: Major third

    6: Perfect fourth

    7: Augmented fourth/Diminished fifth

    8: Perfect fifth

    9: Minor sixth

    10: Major sixth

    11: Minor seventh

    12: Major seventh

    13th would be octave again. Going down the notes does not change the interval, we just count it the other way (12 to 1).

    Here's the first fun part - scales. All scalar music is based on the major or minor scales. Music is also written in Diminished, Augmented and other scales. Just for fun let me know if you want to see how many scales there can possibly be and you can get a nice surprise in your email inbox. Can't post it here because it's pretty big.

    Anyway back on topic: We will tackle the major and minor scales. All scales are defined by a set of intervals. For the major scale it is:

    Root, Major second, Major third, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, Major sixth, Major seventh. So that's your seven-note major scale.

    Look at your pieces of paper. If you pick out the notes according to the above starting from C, you will get C, D, E, F, G, A and B. Simple, na? But now how about a funny key like G#? Simpler still. Shift all the pieces starting from C till G, and move them to after G#, keeping the order intact. Cut and paste.

    Now count the same intervals, and you'll get G#, A#, C, C#, D#, F, G. Simple again? You can draw out a single long line and write the name of the intervals on it, to help you find a scale easily. Place the pieces above and below it. This is also excellent for learning piano, as once you see the notes drawn out you will know exactly which keys to play (black and white, remember?).

    So you see that a C to G is a perfect fifth, but G to C is a perfect fourth.

    Use this exercise in conjunction with the earlier exercise of calling out notes, to be able to effortlessly play the major scale.

    For minor scale the same concepts apply. The intervals for the two most commonly used minor scales are:

    Natural Minor: Major second, Minor third, Perfect fourth, Perfect Fith, Minor Sixth, Minor Seventh.

    Harmonic minor: exactly the same as above except the last Minor Seventh is changed for a Major Seventh.

    A quick note: The most commonly used sharp and flat terms are C#, Eb, F#, and Bb. For the last note both Ab and G# are used. They are totally interchangeable, so don;t worry if you see some conky names in the tabs you download ;) just use the method above and you'll be good to go.

    Practical application: An easy way to use the system is to look again at your guitar. Every string is tuned at the interval of a perfect fourth, except for the 2nd string, which is a Major Third. This will become very important in the chord lesson, as it is fundamental to the chord shapes in standard tuning.

    For this bit, note the following:

    Each note below the note you have played, is a perfect fourth.

    Two steps towards the body of the guitar, is the perfect fifth.

    Below the perfect fifth is the octave.

    Three frets towards the nut is the major sixth.

    Above the major sixth is the major third.

    These five notes form the 'shape' of the major scale. The Major second and Major seventh are contained within this shape. If your scale uses the b string, just shift the notes one fret to the right.

    Did you know the major scale is so called because it has only major and perfect intervals?

    Next up is the cycle of keys or the circle of fifths.
  16. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    I'll try and make this shorter, I get the sense that the posts are too long. We will learn the cycle of keys, I prefer to call it circle of fifths as it easier to remember conceptually.

    The circle of fifths is the tool we use to transpose keys across songs, and find chords in a particular key. After some practice you will not even need to remember it - it will happen unconsciously.

    The guitar also helps a lot, as everything is contained within shapes. But if you only play shapes, original composition becomes difficult. The circle helps you find new compositions and combinations. Advanced players can use it to find breaks and bridges.

    Basically we arrange all the pieces you had from before, but in a circle. The arrangement basically places perfect fifths one after the other. We will run out of paper pieces, so write the notes down on a separate piece of paper first. When we count fifths we should get the following sequence:

    C G D A E B F# C# G# D# A# F

    When you make the circle ending with F, the perfect fifth of F is C and the circle starts again. Now arrange all the enharmonic flats and sharps in a bigger circle, so you can go all the way around in either direction.

    How is this useful? Here's the magic.

    Pick a note - any note. The note to the left of it is a perfect fourth, the one to the right is a perfect fifth. The three notes to the right of the fifth are the major second, the major sixth and the major third.

    To avoid repetition, we will do it with D for this example.

    G is the perfect fourth, A is the fifth, and E, B and F# are the other three notes in the key of D. Later when we build chords in a key, we will see how this circle will help us find all the chords for a key in two seconds flat.

    For scales, the concept is very simple. For every movement to the right, we have to sharpen the fourth of the previous scale.

    For example if you are playing a C major scale, the notes are CDEFGAB. For transposing to G major, we sharpen the F to F# for GABCDEF#G. Now if you move to a D major scale, we sharpen the C to get DEF#GABC#D. every time you move to the right, we keep adding one sharp. The key of B major, for example, will have the notes BC#D#EF#G#A#. My head hurts - 5 sharps? A popular song written in this key is Coldplay's 'Yellow', and for the old fogies, CCR 'Long as I see the light'. After F# (which also has 5 sharps) the process of sharpening begins to bring back the findamental notes, so once you hit F and convert a A#/Bb to B, we come back to a scale of no sharps or flats - the C major scale.

    We can also go the other way, with the logic being that for every step to the left, we flatten the seventh of the previous key. Transposing in fifths is the easiest way to transpose if your voice cannot make it in the original key. Also when writing you could compose a song in odd keys easily with this system, no need to stay in G or C like we all do.

    For minor scales, the relationships become a little more complex. What I do is to quickly refer the Minor third, and use the major scale from that third. For F#m, I find the key of A and use those notes. Important to note that though (notes of F#m) = (notes of Amaj), the scales do not sound the same as they are played over a different set of chords.

    Next week I will get a little more into the detail of chords and how to use all the concepts presented so far in constructing and playing over chords, and we'll finally move all of this onto the instrument.

    Have fun, and looking forward to your feedback.
  17. RiO

    RiO Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Yeah, the circle of firths saved me when I started learning... took me a long time to understand but when I figured it out, it was really really helpful. I've uploaded a pic for you guys, and you can read up more about it here.

  18. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Guys I'm really sorry, posted a boo-boo.

    The goof is that in conventional terms, the C# scale has 7 sharps (one is E# (=F) and the other is B# (=C), so I generally use a loose definition of 5 accidentals, this may cause an argument with a teacher) but I've mixed it all up.

    Thanks to RiO for posting that link to Wikipedia! Jogged my memory about 5 versus 6 versus 7 sharps.

    We'll see how to practically apply it next week. I should have some sound files - any idea where I can host them? Not Soundclick, any other place is fine. Don't want to get booed, as I'll be recording some acoustic chords and intervals.
  19. tracerbullet

    tracerbullet Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Informative once again! But where you mentioned that one should sharpen the fourth of the previous scale, in order to transpose scales in the circle of fifths, I find it quicker to flatten the root of the scale you're moving to.

    For example, if you're transposing from D to A, you need to play G# instead of G.
  20. cranky

    cranky Well-Known Member

    Re: For guitarists of all levels...

    Couldn't understand you - if you play G# instead of G, you're sharpening G, and G is the fourth of D.

    The root of D is D, and the root of A is A. If you flatten either, you get neither major scale.

    Or maybe I'm not understanding your method correctly?

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