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The Amazing Spider Dude on Guitar

The Amazing Spider Dude on Guitar

“My music is best understood by children and animals.” – Igor Stravinsky

“I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” ― Angus Young (AC/DC)

“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.” ― Frank Zappa

How has 2019 been going so far?

Reached any goals since New Year’s Day yet?

It’s never too late to set them, even in March!

I dislike the term “New Year’s Resolution”. It seems we never follow through with them.

However, we always want to set a goal, no matter what time of year.

What is yours on guitar? Do you have one?

I tell you what, setting one, even something small, can be so motivating. And it will definitely make you a better player.

You want to be a better player? Set a goal.

Here’s some ideas:

How about that song you always want to play? (Caution, find something that doesn’t sound so ridiculously out of your abilities. For example, if you have been playing for only 6-12 months, maybe Cliffs of Dover is a little out of reach…)

Maybe a technique that would be cool to master. Something like getting those hammer-ons and/or pull-offs to sound good.

Perhaps it is a song where you can master getting chord changes to sound right?

Maybe you want to take that first crack at learning an actual guitar solo. For example, I decided way back when, that I was going to tackle my first solo: it was Rush’s Fly By Night. It sounded within range of my abilities but just enough to stretch me beyond where I was at that time.

Try tackling a new scale to play.

Whatever it is, find it and try to set a time frame: maybe it is a week, or a month, etc. Work towards it. Didn’t make it? Reset it! That kind of stuff happens all the time!

This year, hopefully I can continue to offer you a number of tips, exercises, songs, etc. to help you get to whatever goals you want to reach.

Just for fun, here is my tribute to Marvel Comics and the late, great Stan Lee: The Amazing Spider–Dude – Into the Guitar-Verse

Superhero guitars are cool! Stick around for the very end!

Thanks for watching!
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Rock On!
Tony G

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Replacing Guitar Strings: How Often Do I Change Them?

When was the last time you changed your guitar strings?

I’m waiting…. 🙂

If you are like me, many times I can’t answer that question.

Also, most likely if you can’t answer that question, it probably means that it is time to change them.

I think that as guitar players, this simple maintenance on the instrument is often overlooked.

I think I know why.

Boiling a Frog

Ever hear the fable about the boiling frog?

Whether it is true or not (I hear it isn’t), the lesson is very spot on. Simply put, the tale goes like this: if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out; but if you put it in cold water and slowly turn the heat up to boiling, it will stay in and get boiled alive.

Yeah, not a fun story.

Now think of your guitar in a similar way: you pick up a guitar that has very old, dull strings. You play it. It sounds “ok” but not that great.

You change the strings on it. It then sounds so much better! the notes seem to jump out at you!

But then, time goes on.

And on…

And on…

You practice your scales. You play the guitar in your room. You jam with friends. You play with a band.

And the guitar, well, it still sounds good. Right?

Not really. At least until you change them again, for “whatever reason”. Then it sounds so much better and the cycle starts all over again!

So how often DO you change them?

It depends…

Yeah, it’s not the answer you were looking for but it really does depend on several factors:

How Often You Play

If you play a lot (gigging frequently or practicing several hours a day), it might be every couple weeks.

If you just play occasionally, it might be longer. Many times if you wait too long, the first thing that happens is you break the string.

Oh, and of course it will be in the middle of a rocking solo you are doing! (sorry, I have NO idea what this is like… LOL)…

When You Break a String

{See above}

{And below}

And really, don’t wait for this moment.

Really…

Bad Condition

If you leave them on for a long period of time, and they don’t break, the strings just get dirty, oily, scummy, etc.

I can easily tell just running my finger down one of the unwound strings. If it doesn’t move smoothly, it’s probably time.

Acid Hands

Yeah, this is a real thing. Some people have this kind of acid that their hands have that causes the string to wear faster. If you break strings a lot, and your guitar is fine, it’s something you might want to look into.

Here is an article from cleartonestrings.com that explains this stuff much better that me (and how to change to a healthier diet, yes, that means all of YOU who like Big Macs! LOL):

Why Strings Die So Quickly

Bottom Line

The bottom line is to be aware of when to change those guitar strings of yours. They don’t last forever and they do deteriorate in quality over time.

Don’t let your strings be the difference from you sounding “just ok” to sounding “incredible”!

Do It Yourself

I strongly recommend that you learn how to change strings yourself. It will save you time and money. Check out my article (and video) on how to do it:

Changing Strings Yourself

Oh and hey, can you do me a favor? I’m starting a mission to grow my You Tube Subscriibers to more than 32 (Ha!). No, seriously, if you can quickly hop over there and “Subscribe”, it would be so very awesome!

I promise that the videos (most of them at least) will be entertaining and informative!

Here is the path to arrive there:

Six String Corner

Choosing the Right Guitar Pick

“What kind of guitar pick should I use”?

I get asked this a lot. And the answer is almost always:

“whatever works for you”

I know, not much of a help there, but at the end of the day it does come down to personal preference.

Regardless, give some thought on what kind of pick to use. It might just help you a little more with your playing.

What I can offer are the following thoughts and suggestions:

If you are primarily a strummer on acoustic, you might want to go with a lighter pick. It doesn’t offer that much pick/string resistance as you strum. It makes for an easy movement across the strings.

If you do a lot of single note picking, especially soloing, you might want to look at heavier picks. This would mostly be for electric players but it can also be for acoustic players too.

And if you do a lot of both, like me, you might want to find something in between.

Here is a good starter set to purchase for $4 where you can find what you like. It’s a variety pack from Dunlop (a brand I favor):

Variety Pack

I use Dunlop Tortex picks in the following way:

.88mm for my electric

.6mm for my acoustic. I should note that because I strum and pick a lot, this is a good “hybrid” for acoustic. Sometimes, if I am only picking notes on acoustic, I’ll grab the .88mm for that song, then switch to .6mm for the next song. I really don’t use the light picks because of my style of playing. But, it might be good for you.

Here are some ideas for light picks:

.46mm Tortex

Dunlop Nylons

Fender Thins

For electric players who do a lot of single note picking and/or soloing, this is a long time favorite of many players (including me):

Fender Medium

Hopefully you get the idea. I think the best way is to simply try a bunch yourself and see what works best.

And as always, I’m here to help to!

I hope this helps make you more successful in your playing!

Rock On,

 

PS: I just made my TOP 10 Favorite Alex Lifeson Riffs Video taken from his huge catalog of Rush songs. It was a lot of fun to make! Let me know what you think: Best Rush Songs on Guitar

PPS: I’m also on a roll creating some CRAZY 30-60 sec guitar solos using some exotic scales. It sounds pretty cool:

Hungarian Gypsy Minor in F

Hindustan Scale in G

PPPS: Oh and hey, can you do me a favor? I’m starting a mission to grow my You Tube Subscribers to more than 22 (Ha!). No, seriously, if you can quickly hop over there and “Subscribe”, it would be so very awesome!

I promise that the videos (most of them at least) will be entertaining and/or informative!

Here is the path to arrive there:

6 String Corner

Px4…S:

Want to know the 4 Techniques to help you play your favorite songs? Get the eGuide here: Chronic Chord Condition