How to Care for and Maintain your Guitar

It’s not surprising that proper care of your guitar will give you a more consistent quality sound and a much longer guitar life. If you are serious about playing guitar you will want to get some accessories that are essential for the care of the guitar. A guitar player is only as good as the sound and the quality of the guitar he is playing.

The first item would be a hard shell case for transporting the guitar to and from the different locations that you will be playing the guitar. Many people use what they call soft or cloth “gig bag” which zip up and protect the exterior surface of the guitar. A major problem with this type of case is that the tuning nuts on the end of the neck of the guitar get out of tune almost every time you transport it as there is nothing to protect them from being bumped which causes them to turn and get out of tune. Also, if there is any kind of impact while loading and unloading the guitar, this could cause cracks or actual punctures in the body of the guitar.

A hard shell case prevents these things from happening as there is space between the neck and body of the guitar and the actual case. The case is designed to take impact while holding the guitar securely on the inside protecting the actual body and neck of the guitar and keeping it in tune. It is a bit more of an investment than a gig bag but in the long run it will help to make your guitar last much longer.

Another item that should be considered for care of the guitar is a guitar stand. You need this to put the guitar on while you are not playing it. Many people lean the guitar against a wall or couch or some other stationary object when they are not playing it. There are a couple of reasons why this is not a good practice. The first would be that if you do not lean the guitar in the correct manner you can very easily warp the neck of the guitar which makes it much more difficult to play.

Warping of the neck increases the distance between the strings and the neck which causes you to have to apply more force on the strings while playing. This can make for some very sore and blistered fingers! Also, leaving the guitar laying around makes it much more available for accidents to happen. Having a stand keeps the guitar in the same location when you are done with it and also supports the neck close to the body of the guitar which totally prevents warping of the neck – a small investment solving some big problems.

The last item that should be considered is an actual tuning device for the guitar. You will find that the longer you play the guitar the better you will become at tuning it by just using your ear. But for starting out, you will want to use something that gives you the exact sound and gives the guitar an accurate tune up. There are many devices that you can get that are very easy to use which will give you the exact tuning you need. When your guitar is not tuned correctly this can be very embarrassing – especially if you are singing along with the guitar!

Kevin is the publisher and editor of musicianhome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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The Guitars of Jimi Hendrix

To most people the truth about when Jimi Hendrix got his first guitar and what types of guitars he played throughout his career is somewhat of a mystery. Although, he was unarguably the greatest guitar player ever, and with his fertile musical mind, perhaps the greatest composer of our generation or ever for that matter. No disrespect intended, putting Jimi in company with Bach, Beethoven and the likes. True Genius.

The path that will be described here is what I would consider the most accurate, after a lot of research and a little voodoo-magic. Realistically though, boiling down the mixture may leave some people to disagree with me, and I welcome the input.

The evidence and consistencies suggest that his first guitar was a cheap acoustic his dad gave to him, as early as eleven years old. The story goes as such, that even at a young age of six years, his school teacher mentioned to his dad, Jimi obsesses over having a guitar so much that it may be contributing to some mental health issues. Not to discount todays teachers, but that was a very perceptive statement at that time.

His first electric guitar was bought from Myers Music in Seattle in 1959. Professed to be a white, single pickup Supro Ozark. The next axe that Hendrix played was a red Danelectro single pickup Silvertone, nicknamed Betty Jean. In’62, while doing some gigs with the King Casuals in Tennessee, he traded his Danelectro for an Epiphone Wilshire, which had dual pickups and a glued on mahogany neck with a solid mahogany body, as opposed to the bolt on Fender Stratocaster guitar necks.

In 1964, Jimi would play rhythm guitar for the Isley Brothers. During this nine month gig, he finally got his first Fender guitar, a blond’59 Duo-Sonic. He next played with Little Richard in ’65, and briefly played a Fender Jazzmaster. However, he switched back to a Dou-Sonic when he played with Curtis Knight and the Squires. Even though Jimi later returned to the Jazzmaster.

A point of interest is that none of the gigs he had with the bands mentioned above lasted very long, because Jimi’s guitar work stole the show. His unbelievable guitar abilities were noticed by all immediately, which took the focus away from the musical-icons he worked for.

Jimi purchased his first Strat from Manny’s Music in New York in ’66 in the summer. Early on he would use a variety of CBS Strats with rosewood fretboards. While he was staying in Greenwich Village in late ’66 and ’67 he narrowed down his choices to a ’60’s era Reverse Fender Stratocasterblack or white Fender Strats using maple fretboards. Which, most likely is the reason the Fender Stratocaster is the most important guitar in the history of guitars and music.

From then on he played Fender Stratocasters with large headstocks. One of his many unusual playing techniques was to play a right handed guitar backwards, or in the left handed position, obviously because Jimi was left handed. In order to do that one must reverse the strings and (bone) nut so the low E was still on the top. My understanding was that he preferred the controls on the top of the guitar. Apparently he could work his magic easier with the voluminous amount of tricks he performed, partly by messing with the volume control knob. Jimi was not much on tone controls or guitar setup. Mostly Jimi spent the bulk of time modifying his tremolo to do things like lower the pitch more than usual and create trem sounds otherwise unheard of.

Naturally Jim Hendrix had purchased and played a tremendous assortment of guitars in his lifetime. During my fact finding mission, this is the list of the other guitars Jimi most likely owned and played; a Gibson ES-330, a Gibson Firebird, a Mosrite electric resonator guitar, a Guild 12 string acoustic, a Black Widow Spider acoustic, several Rickenbacker’s including a bass Rick, a double neck Mosrite, a Hagstrom 8 string bass(it was the on played on Spanish Castle Magic from the Axis Bold As Love album’, a ’67 Gibson Flying V, a ’67 Gretsch Corvette, a lefty Guild Starfire Deluxe, a Hofner electric, a ’55 Gibson Les Paul, a Gibson Dove acoustic, a Martin acoustic, a ’68 Gibson SG Custom and a black lefty Flying V. Wow!

It is not surprising that Jimi owned so many guitars. The depth of knowledge and pure unadulterated playing style was not limited to just electric guitars and Stratocasters. His unique abilities allowed him to play any guitar with the deep soul jarring vibes that were all his. It would be unrealistic to think he was limited to one style of guitar. Or for that matter, one type of music. Jimi’s interest in music extended to the world of classical music as well.

Lost to many, is the fact that Jimi was one of the best rhythm guitarists ever, most folk know him for his lead and solo guitar work, he was also an adept bass player too. And last, he was a master at the acoustic guitar, using chords in a manner unknown to mankind at that time. This combo of skills and abilities produced the man who will be forever the patron saint of rock guitar.

A long article to read indeed. A true joy putting the info together. It turned out to be a long path to find the truth. Enjoy it.

For more information about Guitar Players Center Guitars of the Great Players or Guitar Players. Feel free to visit our website, ask questions, share it with others, make comments or simply enjoy.
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Some Very Useful Guitar Clean-up Tips

Guitar, a dynamic musical instrument, is played in almost all kind of music; be it pop music, rock music, lounge music, country music or even contemporary classical music. The modern music can`t be imaginable without guitar.

The demand of guitar in every music sphere has made it one of the most sought after musical instruments. As guitar is an expensive musical instrument, it only makes sense to take proper care so that you can continue playing it for years to come. Here are a few tips discussed in the following on how to clean this amazing musical instrument so that its longevity can be increased.

Dust is the main form of debris that is collected on the surface of guitar. Don`t let dust cover on your guitar for dust buildup that can actually affect your guitar`s performance. A very simple approach to keep your guitar clean is by regular dusting. You can wipe off your guitar with a clean and soft cloth. You can either opt for any of your old but clean cloth or you can purchase special cloths that are available in music stores.

If you are a bit fancy about your cleaning, then you can choose many products available in the market that are designed for cleaning guitars. Guitar cleaners, fancy cleaners, liquid solvent and even solutions especially meant for cleaning the fretboard of guitars are available. If your guitar has a matte finish surface, it is suggested to use a water-based guitar cleaner as the creamy polished cleaners have a tendency to be slightly abrasive.

Often sticky residues from tape or stickers are left on guitars, which are a bit tough to remove. Use only mineral spirits or any other lighter fluid such as naphtha to remove the stains on your guitar. These solvent won`t harm the finish of your guitar. You just have to damp cloth with the solvent and wipe off the tape and stickers of your guitar. It might be surprising, but if you clean and dry your hands before you start playing on your guitar, it will significantly lengthen the life of your strings.

Like cleaning, polishing is equally important. A polish from a good brand not only gives your guitar an excellent shine, it also preserves the wood of your guitar. However, you should always choose a polish that is designed specifically for guitars as any general polish might ruin the smooth finish on guitars. But be careful of covering only the major surfaces of your guitar. Areas such as bridge or tuners or even the neck region of the guitar should not be polished.

Another major area which needs regular cleaning is the fingerboard of a guitar which includes the strings and the fret wire. These areas are prone to high-temperature and humidity and also of acidity by the constant touch of the player`s hands. The lower-end manufactured guitars especially suffer from this fret buzzing problem.

Though some simple adjustments raising the string action can correct the problem for some time, but this is not a permanent solution. If the surface of the fingerboard is not much damaged, a simple application of lemon oil can prevent the wood from further cracking. It is suggested to use a piece of extra fine grade steel wool to clean the fingerboard of your guitar. Don`t wet the steel wool; just rub it in up and down motion of the fingerboard area without catching the ends. The frets will be shiny only after a few motions.

Last but not the least is how and where you store your guitar. A guitar-case is a must and it should not be stored in too humid, warm or even too cold surroundings. Also make sure it does not get bumped around. An interior closet is the best place to store guitar.

You can have access to portuguese articles about guitars from page www.polomercantil.com.br/instrumentos-musicais.php Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for www.polomercantil.com.br
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How To Change Guitar Strings on a Floyd Rose bridge Part 4 of 4

Guitar repair video, “Here is Part 4 of 4 on how to change the strings on a Floyd Rose Bridge.
Visit www.rockguitarpower.com to learn more!” from Youtube user rockguitarpower

A Look At The History Of The Electric Guitar

Electric Guitars

The Electric guitar hasn’t been around nearly as long as the Acoustic and Classical guitars. In fact, the Electric guitar was created just 70 years ago (the 1930s) by Adolph Rickenbacker. Since that time, the Electric guitar has greatly evolved to the where it is today. In this article, we’ll go over the history of the Electric guitar.

The History

Guitars, or similar instruments, have been around for thousands of years. The Electric guitar was first manufactured in the 1930s by Rickenbacker. Original Electric guitars used tungsten pickups. Pickups basically convert the vibration of the strings into electrical current, which is then fed into the amplifier to produce the sound.

The very earliest Electric guitars featured smaller soundholes in the body. These guitars are known as semi-hollow body Electric guitars and still are somewhat popular today, mainly due to the fact that they are flexible guitars.

However, with the use of pickups, it was possible to create guitars without soundholes (like the Acoustic and Classical guitars have) that still had the ability to be heard, if plugged into amplifiers. These guitars are called solid body Electric guitars.

The Electric guitar’s popularity began to increase during the Big Band era of the ’30s and 40s. Due to the loudness of the brass sections in jazz orchestras, it was necessary to have guitars that could be heard above the sections. Electric guitars, with the ability to be plugged into amplifiers, filled this void.

The Electric guitar that is most prevalent today is the solid body Electric guitar. The solid body guitar was created by musician and inventor Les Paul in 1941. It is a guitar made of solid wood with no soundholes. The original solid body guitar created by Paul was very plain-it was a simple rectangular block of wood connected to a neck with six steel strings. Les Paul’s original solid body guitar shape has, of course, changed from the original rectangular shape to the more rounded shape Les Paul guitars have today.

During the 1950s, Gibson introduced Les Paul’s invention to the world. The Gibson Les Paul, as it was and still is called, quickly became a very popular Electric guitar. It has remained the most popular guitar for 50 years.

Around the same period of time, another inventor named Leo Fender came up with a solid body Electric guitar of his own. In the late 1940s, Fender introduced the Fender Broadcaster Electric guitar. The Broadcaster, which was renamed the Stratocaster, was officially introduced to the public in 1954. The Strat, as it is now known, was a very different guitar in comparison to the Les Paul. It had a different shape, different hardware and was significantly lighter. Fender’s Stratocaster Electric guitar is the second most popular guitar in the world, second to only the Les Paul.

Over the years, other companies, such as Ibanez, Jackson, Paul Reed Smith, ESP and Yamaha have all produced solid body Electric guitars of their own. However, most Electric guitars still feature the familiar shape of a Les Paul or Strat guitar.

Gray Rollins is a writer for GuitarsLand.com. Learn how to improve your guitar playing skills. If you’re interested in a great program for learning the guitar, check out our review of Jamorama.
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