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Guitar Finger Stretching Exercises

Scales Can Be Boring. Here’s a Better Way to Practice Them.

I know, I know, sometimes practicing those scales can get a little monotonous.

But, it is a necessity if you need to get better at guitar.

I really don’t think there is any realistic way around it.

However, I learned a long time ago when I was figuring these scales out that I can “spice it up” a little.

So, I would practice them in a slightly different way by playing the notes in different orders.

It kept my interest up. And as a bonus it helped with my coordination and dexterity too.

One exercise that I really like, and one that I teach my private lesson students, are what I call “Quads”.

It is simply ascending the scale 4 notes at a time, where your first note for each pattern ascends one at a time.

Kinda like this: note 1- note 2- note 3- note 4, then: note 2- note 3- note 4- note 5, then: note 3- note 4- note 5- note 6, etc.

Here is a picture of the 5 Major Scale patterns (courtesy of the Guitarists Scale Book by Peter Vogt):

I made a TAB with the first form you see above using the G Major scale as an example. Click the link and check it out:

Quad Pattern TAB

In the video below I use one major scale pattern to use as an example.

But you can use in on any major scale pattern.

You can also use it on any minor scale pattern.

Heck, you can use it on any scale pattern.

Have fun!

***As an added bonus and challenge: start using a metronome for this exercise. Use a tempo that works for you by playing each note on the click.***

Good luck!

Guitar Lesson: How A Toothpick Saved My Guitar

My toothpick saved my guitar

It’s amazing how some of the smallest things can have an impact on the bigger things

I also learned a little more about resourcefulness

The strap post on my Fender Stratocaster broke. That isn’t good when you need to put the strap on in order to play!

One day this will happen to you. Just wait….

The strap post was actually a strap lock. It literally locks the strap in place on your guitar.

For a small investment, you should look into locks for your electric guitars – and even some of the acoustic guitars (just be aware of the acoustics that have the cord plug in where you put the strap, it doesn’t work for those models). I can’t tell you how many times the strap finds its way off the strap post at the most inopportune times (like a gig….)

So, lucky you! I have a real short video to show you how it is done with a toothpick (thanks to my friend Greg who alerted me to what I found out was an old tried and true trick!)

Yes folks, a toothpick.

You have to see this to believe it

Watch this, and bookmark it for when it happens to you :-)…

Guitar Saved by a Toothpick

Rock On,

Tony G.

PS: Oh and hey, can you do me a favor? I’m starting a mission to grow my You Tube Subscriibers to more than 16 (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:

Six String Corner

Flying With A Guitar

Right now as I type this, where I live, it is the middle of April and it is snowing.

Terrific.

Time to start planning vacations to warmer climates

Thinking of bringing your guitar?

Thinking of flying to your destination…with your guitar?

I have done it a number of times. I wanted to give you this short note on what to expect and the best way to travel with your guitar.

First, if you own more than one guitar, try planning on taking the least expensive one.

Why?

In case something happens to it, you won’t be as sad.

No travel is perfect but there are steps you can take to successfully get your guitar from point A to point B on a plane.

Plan on bringing it as a carry on. Most airlines will let you carry it on board (sort of, I’ll explain below). However, checking it in presents all sorts of risks.

Ever sit in a gate area and look outside to watch the baggage handlers throw all the luggage on to the conveyer belt into the plane? Yeah, I think you know what I’m talking about…

That might be enough to convince you not to check them in. Even the most road worthy cases can be damaged, or worse, lost.

Imagine that $1000 guitar you checked in arriving at your destination all torn up. This is a rare occurrence but I know people this has happened to.

Or imagine it lost. Yep, that happens too.

So plan on bringing it to the gate. Yes, it will get through security (just keep all those sharp objects at home. Hint: it won’t go good for you!)

Also remember that it is considered a “carry on”. Keep that in mind if you have other bags or cases that you want to bring onboard. Airlines do have their limitations.

Here is what my experience has told me about this process:

When my turn is called to board, I simply bring my guitar with me. When I get to the plane entrance I always ask the flight attendant if there is room in their front closet. The closet is usually right in front where you walk in and is a place where the staff usually stores their own personal items. If there is room, they will almost always accommodate you. Many times they go out of their way to see if you can fit it in. It really is not a major hassle.

I would say 80% of the time that is the case.

There have been a handful of instances where it wasn’t a full flight and the attendant would tell me I can store it in the overhead bin.

That has happened to me maybe 10% of the time (very few flights I have been on have not been full).

If none of those options work out, you will have to do a check in on the ramp. Sometimes they will tell you before you ever get to the plane door while you are on the ramp. Other times, there is no room in the front closet and it is the only option left.

There is always an airline staff person that will take your case and give you a check in ticket. Unfortunately, at this point you have no choice.

And this is why I suggest not taking your most expensive guitar (if you have many). I have never had anything go wrong when I had to do this. Most of the time it will arrive at the baggage claim for you. There have also been a few times where we had a special location to get items that were checked in at the gate. Airline personnel will direct you where to go.

If you only have one guitar, the odds are greatly in your favor that it will arrive with you to your destination. But, as in everything, there can be slight risks that I wanted you to be aware of.

I hope this helps!

And if you have any other suggestions that might have helped you, please let me know!

Stay warm my friends!