Play Better Guitar
Welcome to better-guitar.com. I’ve created this site to help people become better guitar
players. Within these pages you’ll find advice and opinions on all aspects of playing: gear, tone, technique,
theory, rhythm, lead, ear training, etc.
The guitar is, hands down, the best instrument in the world. Below are just some of the
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Back to the reasons why the guitar is such a great instrument!
Multiple notes simultaneously. Unlike any of the single-note instruments
(e.g. flute, trumpet), a standard guitar can play up to 6 notes simultaneously. This provides an individual guitar
player with the ability to play many musically interesting and complex chords which in turn allows the player to
perform sophisticated rhythms.
Speed of articulation. Because a very minimal amount of motion is required
in order to cause a note to sound, guitarists can play musical sequences at very fast speeds whereas many other
instruments are incapable of achieving similar speeds.
Same note multiple times. Unlike most other instruments including pianos
and keyboards, the guitar has some of the exact same notes (i.e. same musical pitch) available in multiple
positions. In fact, some of the notes appear in six different positions on the fretboard. While this can be a
source of confusion for guitarists, it also opens the door to interesting musical possibilities that are difficult
to achieve with other instruments.
String techniques. As a stringed instrument, a guitarist has at his or her
disposal numerous musical techniques that are just not possible on many other instruments. These include: vibrato,
bending, palm muting, natural harmonics, pinch harmonics, etc. Some electronic keyboards attempt to approximate
some of these techniques with a pitch wheel, but the results just sound cheesy if you ask me.
Alternate tunings. The idea of tuning a guitar to some tuning other than
standard is in many ways a completely natural extension of the instrument. Again, this flexibility opens the door
to many musical possibilities. It could be as simple as tuning a half-step down from standard tuning and using a
heavier gauge of strings for the purposes of tone (a la Stevie Ray Vaughn). Or it could be as complex as completely
crafting an entire song around an alternate tuning as Jimmy Page did with The Rain Song (which uses DADGAD
Over the last twenty years, I’ve accumulated a lot of experience with learning and improving on
this great instrument. Unfortunately, I haven’t always chosen the easiest route. Often I’ve learned things the hard
way – learning them wrong, eventually realizing why they’re wrong, and finally going back and learning them the
Of course, nobody sets out to learn or do things the wrong way (well, most people don’t). It’s
just one of those things that happens when you’re navigating through unfamiliar territory. But the fact of the
matter is that learning guitar is challenging enough as it is. The last thing you need is something needlessly
making it more challenging and more frustrating.
The good news is that I can help you avoid many of the pitfalls out there. Within the pages of
this site I explain many if the things I’ve learned after paying a high price in terms of wasted time and
accumulated frustration. This knowledge, hopefully, will give you the ability to make real progress on the guitar
while keeping your frustration level to a minimum.
Are you improving too slowly on the
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