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We can all generally agree that the harmonious sound of a typical standard in-tune guitar is incredibly satisfying for guitarists. But after a time of playing, you may be unsure about your next move. Your desire to take on new challenges and learn new songs may be a result of your need to escape the repetitive shapes, rhythms, and sounds.

So, would you like to stretch and develop your musical creativity? If so, using an alternate tuning for your guitar is the best approach to start your new musical journey.

Before we discuss many alternate guitar tunings for beginners in this article, let's concentrate on what alternate guitar tunings are.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Most guitarists adhere to the standard tuning method, which is a combination of the notes E-A-D-G-B-E (from string 6-1).

Alternate Guitar Tunings

However, the specific notes on the strings are sometimes altered, resulting in different note combinations. Whenever this happens, the note placements across the fretboard may be altered.

Alternate tuning is, therefore, a combination of notes on the six strings of the guitar that’s not the standard 6E-5A-4D-3G-2B-1E open-string tuning method. Now that we know what alternate tunings are all about, let’s get into the various alternate tunings you can try out. We’ll focus on seven different alternate guitar tunings.

Drop D

Drop D is one of the simplest alternate tunings. It’s well regarded and favored by guitarists. It basically entails the change in pitch of one string, which is your low E string (number 6).

You adjust its pitch by lowering it a tone down to D. The strings would, therefore, be 6D-5A-4D-3G-2B-1A2B-1E.

You can find a lesson for drop D tuning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_HVUCSPoXk

Alternate Guitar Tunings

DADGBD (Double drop D)

This tuning is achieved by first tuning a standard tuned guitar to a drop D, as previously discussed, then proceeding to tune the high E string (1st string) a tone down to note D. You’ll have achieved a doubled drop D.

Guitarists use this tuning to majorly play songs that are in the key of D, since strings 6, 4, and 1 are in D. “Black waters” by The Doobie brothers is an example of a song composed in drop D tuning. Here’s the link to the song: https://youtu.be/m4oZCtfmh44

“Bandit” by Neil Young is also an amazing song in drop D. You can find its guitar tutorial here: https://youtu.be/GWH_HWNvtWU

Alternate Guitar Tunings

DADGAD

This tuning is achieved by changing just one more string out of the Double Drop D tuning: the 2nd string, or B string. Lower the B string a tone down to note A to achieve a DADGAD set of turning. When you strum the open chords, you get a Dsus2 chord, which is so nice and gives this tuning a unique modality to work on.

Anything you play in D on DADGAD will sound heavenly since it’s built on open strings. Two of the most famous songs on DADGAD are “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin and “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. Here are the links to the two guitar tutorial lessons respectively: https://youtu.be/IDJIwD6on-Q and https://youtu.be/LhRx9nYbU_w

Alternate Guitar Tunings

4. Open D

A change in one more string from the DADGAD will give you an Open D. It’s often known as a D major Chord and is mainly heard in blues guitar music

To tune your guitar to Open D, you first lower your 1st and 6th string a whole tone down to D, and then lower the 2nd string a tone down from B to A. Lastly, lower your 3rd string half a tone down from G to F# to achieve an Open D tuning DADF#AD

“Kamera” by Wilco is a song that employs the use of Open D. Here’s a link to its guitar tutorial lesson: https://youtu.be/I1OL5xV0ljA

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Open E

Open E is almost the same as Open D tuning—only that this time, you’ll swap the D strings to E. A guitar tuned in Open E is in E Major chord when strummed.

To achieve an Open E tuning from a standard tuning, you’ll only be required to adjust the pitches of three strings: the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings. First, tune the 5th string a whole tone up from A to B, the 4th string a whole step up from D to E, and the 3rd string half a step from G to G#.

Your strings should, therefore, be tuned as EBEG#BE after you’re done. You’ll notice Open E and Open D have the same structure, so their fingerings will be the same.

Open E is common in rock, folk, and blues music. “Gimmie Shelter” by Keith Richards is a song in Open E tuning. Here’s a link to its guitar tutorial lesson: https://youtu.be/64motJ8-Bfs

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Open G

Just like Open E, Open G is similar to Open D. You may find it easier to tune than Open E.

We’ll start by tuning from the standard EADGBE tuning, where we will start with the 6th and 1st string and adjust them a whole tone down from E to D. Proceed to adjust the 5th string down a tone from A to G. You’ll, therefore, have achieved DGDGBD on your strings, which is an Open G tuning

In this alternate tuning, a G Major chord results from strumming the open strings. “Brown Sugar” is one of the tunes that Keith Richards wrote in Open G. Here’s a “Brown Sugar” guitar lesson link: https://youtu.be/HQ-4_hDTEKE

Alternate Guitar Tunings

7. Open A

The tuning of Open D and Open E is comparable to that of Open A and Open G. Open G tuning is essentially a step down from Open A tuning.

Start with standard tuning, EADGBE, and then adjust your guitar to Open A by raising the second string a tone up from B to C#, the third string a tone up from G to A, and the fourth string one whole tone up from D to E. Your strings will be in the format EAEAC#E.

Caution: Open A tuning puts a lot of strain on the strings because they tune up, which puts the strings at risk of breaking. Some guitarists use a capo on fret two to produce an Open A sound after tuning their guitars to Open G to prevent this.

Open A is popular in blues songs and slide guitar music. Johnny Winter’s “Mean Town Blues” is an example of a song incorporating Open A tuning. Here’s a guitar tutorial to “Mean Town Blues”: https://youtu.be/rxpHPskLvgU

Please note: In the video, the guitar is tuned to Open G. A capo is used to bring it up to Open A to avoid breaking the strings, as mentioned earlier.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Wrapping Up on Tuning

Although Drop D tuning and the Open tunings aren't the only options available, for a beginner, these are the fundamental different tunings that could set you off on a new musical journey. Explore the many tunings, experiment with the sounds, compose music, and enjoy music. The alternate tuning that sounds and performs best for you ultimately depends on your preferences.

Do you know that iconic guitar riff for the song “Hey Ho” by Red Hot Chili Peppers—the one with the really cool-sounding progression and hammer-ons?

Yeah, that’s probably a bit too advanced for you right now. As a beginner, you need to start with some easier riffs to build a strong playing foundation and good technique.

So where exactly do you start? It’s difficult for beginner guitarists, especially self-taught ones, to know where to start when learning riffs. So we’ve curated for you seven of the best guitar riffs for beginners to learn. These riffs are easy to learn but still challenging enough to take you to the next level as a beginner player.

1. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

This iconic riff is practically an anthem for beginner guitarists. It’s a simple sequence of notes that’s easy to learn, and you can play it with one finger.

At the beginning, the riff is played with just single notes, but as it progresses the same notes are played in power chords. This makes it not too repetitive and is a good way to brush up on your power chords as well.

The riff also uses a slide technique that is useful to learn as a beginner. It’s important to note that in the original the guitar is tuned to open A in case you want to play along but standard tuning is also fine. Once you learn the riff you can increase the difficulty by playing the tenth fret with your pinky.

You can find a good beginner lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHlTQ0biOig

Playing style: Single-note and power chords

Techniques: Slide technique

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Seven nation army guitar tab from ultimate guitar

2. Do I Wanna Know by the Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys are famous for their great riffs. “Do I Wanna Know,” in particular, is a fairly popular indie-rock song that’s a good choice for beginners.

It has an easy single-note riff for beginners to start with, but it has some challenging rhythms to keep you on your toes. It uses a minor pentatonic scale with a bluesy feel to it. It’s not fast, but it has a really good groove.

Here is a link to the full lesson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmz9AlS6Yjo

You can also get the full tab here.

Playing style: Single-note

Techniques: Hammering, vibrato, and slide

3. Back in Black by AC/DC

This riff is so popular that it has been a part of soundtracks for many iconic movies. It’s heavy on the power chords, but there’s also a short melodic motif. It requires you to learn how to mute in order to get that particular rhythm that it’s well known for.

This is one of the best guitar riffs for beginners to help you learn how to bend notes. It uses the bend technique on the second fret and might need some getting used to.

You can find a lesson for this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCyM7tjz2YA&t=19s

Playing style: Mostly power chords

Techniques: Muting and bending

Alternate Guitar Tunings

4. Beat It by Michael Jackson

This funky riff from “Beat It” by the King of Pop, MJ, is a good beginner song to add spice to your repertoire. The guitar is played by the legend Van Helen.

It’s an arpeggio in E minor, and it’s slow enough for beginners to play with ease. To play along with the original recording, you will need to tune your guitar half a step down, but otherwise you can play it in standard tuning.

The most important part of the riff is the rhythm, so pay close attention to it when playing.

You can find a good beginner lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJfwgrDcH3A&t=4s

Playing style: Single-note

Techniques: Sliding

Alternate Guitar Tunings

5. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

If you grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, then this song is a must-have in your library. The song has a simple riff that uses power chords in two shapes. You will need to memorize a few different positions, but they all use the same two shapes.

The famous riff in the intro and chorus has four power chords. The most challenging part about this riff is learning to mute. The verse has a simple two-note riff from C to F.

You can find the full lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlt0V3p31D8

Playing style: Power chords

Techniques: Muting

Alternate Guitar Tunings

6. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

“The Eye of the Tiger” is another classic rock song with a really cool riff. When you listen to this riff, there’s a very particular image that comes to mind with a character running up a long flight of stairs and at the end jumping triumphantly in slow motion.

This riff has been used to the point where it has become a running gag. The riff for this is heavy on the chords and has a very specific rhythm that’s achieved by muting the strings.

After the first three chords, the strings are muted to create that rhythmic percussive sound it’s famous for. This is a fun riff to learn as a beginner, and it’s repeated throughout the song, so you can play along with the original audio.

You can find a good lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWy4WxRHqs4

Playing style: Chords, one-note pedal

Techniques: Fingerpicking style, palm muting Alternate Guitar Tunings

7. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

Of course, we have to save the best for last. “Smoke on the Mirror” is a song that every guitarist, whether beginner or pro, has come across at some point while playing. It’s so common it’s almost nauseating, but there’s a reason why this song is so popular.

It’s very easy to play, which makes it a good beginner song. However, most people usually get it wrong. There are two versions of this riff. The first one with open strings is easier to play, but the second one, though more advanced, has better control over muting and the strings. The tab below shows the advanced version.

You can find a good beginner’s lesson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCQ0r7vqkFQ

Playing style: Power chords

Techniques: Sliding

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Final Thoughts on the Best Guitar Riffs for Beginners

There are hundreds and hundreds of riffs that are good for beginners out there. These are just seven of the best guitar riffs for beginners to learn in our professional opinion.

You should try out as many of these riffs as you can to increase your library and advance to the next stage. We hope you have a great start with this list!

Triads are three-note chords that are built vertically by stacking two minor or Major thirds on top of each other.

The simplest examples of common triads are the minor and Major chords. While the minor chord is constructed by stacking a Major third on top of a minor third, a Major chord is built in exactly the opposite way. A Major chord is built by stacking a minor third on top of a Major third.

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

The other forms of triads are Diminished and Augmented triads. We'll be diving into Augmented Triads and how to play them on the guitar in detail in this article.

What Are Augmented Triads?

If you were to build a triad by stacking two Major thirds vertically on top of each other, you'd end up with an Augmented triad.

Denoted by the "+" or "aug" symbol, Augmented triads can also be seen as a sharpened or raised fifth in a chord. This width is felt when hearing the chord, as two Major thirds occupy a larger area in the spectrum of pitches.

Augmented Triads, Equilateral Triangles, and Musical Intervals

Also symbolized by an equilateral triangle inside the circle of fifths, the Augmented triad is a stable entity in the world of geometry.

If laid on top of a clock, the triangle's three points fall at 4 o'clock, 8 o'clock, and 12 o'clock. These notes are C, E, and Ab.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

All these notes have a distance of a Major third, or 4 semitones, in music. So no matter which key you are in, the intervals will always be a Major third apart among the three notes.

Augmented Triads on Adjacent String Sets

Augmented Triads can be found in adjacent string groups on the guitar fretboard. The following string sets have augmented triads:

  1. 1, 2, 3 or E, B, G
  2. 2, 3, 4 or B, G, D
  3. 3, 4, 5 or G, D, A
  4. 4, 5, 6 or D, A, E

So, every Augmented triad can be played on either of these 4 string sets.

Finding Augmented Triads on the Guitar Fretboard

The Augmented triad is one of the easiest chords to figure out on the fretboard due to its symmetrical nature.

Built on Major thirds, the chord tones of the Augmented chord follow a diagonal line towards the nut from the bridge. The notes can be tracked by placing one finger for each fret in order.

For consistency in our examples, we've used the Augmented triad of E, Ab, and C.

String Set E, A, and D

Let's start with keeping your ring finger on the 12th fret of the low E string. Follow this with your middle finger on the 11th fret of the A string. You can now place your index finger on the 10th fret of the D string.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

This gives you the E Augmented chord. But since the notes of the Augmented chord invert themselves perfectly, the notes are the same for the Ab and C Augmented chords too.

String Set A, D, and G

Following the same notes–E, Ab, and C–we can now move on to the string set A, D, and G. This time, we start the Augmented chord from Ab on the 11th fret of the A string. You can place your ring finger on the 11th fret to play this.

Moving onto the next fingers, you can place your middle finger on the 10th fret of the D string, giving you the note C. Now place your index finger on the 9th fret of the G string, which gives you the note E.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

String Set D, G, B

Since the B string on the guitar is tuned to a Major third instead of a fourth, the patterns used before, change here.

You can start by placing your ring finger on the 10th fret of the D string, giving you C. Follow that by placing your middle finger in the 9th fret of the G string, giving you E.

Now tuck your index below your middle finger and place it on the 9th fret of the B string, giving you the note Ab.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

You need to remember this shape as being different due to the introduction of the B string on our diagonal pattern.

String Set G, B, and E

Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the G string, giving you E. Now follow that by tucking your middle finger below the ring finger. So your middle finger plays the 9th fret of the B string, giving you the note Ab.

Now, you can place your index finger on the 8th fret of the E string. You can get the note C by doing this.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

This completes our list of patterns for the adjacent string sets. The last two patterns can also be played by barring the notes on the G and B strings. You can choose to barre the strings if comfortable for you.

Augmented Inversions

While all chords and their inversions have different shapes to remember, the Augmented chords are some of the easiest to remember.

Due to their diagonal axis across the guitar fretboard, you can skip to the adjacent string to reach your desired inversion. The best part is, that you don't have to move your fingers to new shapes to achieve them.

Finding Augmented Inversions Across the Guitar Fretboard

The coolest part about the Augmented inversions is that you can find them every four frets on the guitar.

Being just a Major third away from each other, these augmented Inversions span a distance of 4 frets. You can find all three inversions within a distance of 12 frets or an octave.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

So, if you're improvising or practicing over Augmented chords, you can easily find your way across the fretboard by knowing this 4-fret pattern.

Modifying a Major Triad to an Augmented Chord

If you're playing a classic Major triad with your index finger barring the chord, it's not too hard to switch to an Augmented chord. Here’s how you can do that:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

In a classic E Major barre chord on the 12th fret, your ring finger and pinky lie on the 14th fret of the A and D strings, respectively.

All you have to do is to put your pinky on the 15th fret of the A string and move your ring finger to the 14th fret of the D string to get the desired result.

Your middle finger already lies on the 13th fret of the G string. No need to move that. This gives you an E Augmented chord, made from an E Major triad.

This is also a barre-shaped version of the previous Augmented shapes we discussed.

Finding Augmented Chords in a Scale

Since the Augmented chords are made of two consecutive Major triads, they don't fit in the diatonic major and minor scales. This makes it uncommon to find Augmented triads in popular music.

But, that being said, an Augmented chord is native to the Harmonic minor and Melodic minor scales. Since both these scales have a minor third and a Major seventh as their third and seventh scale degrees, they can form an Augmented chord.

Having an Augmented chord on the third degree of a scale can add some interesting colors while composing with it.

You can improvise over a Harmonic minor and Melodic scale by using Augmented chords. As the third chord in the scale, it's easily usable in songs that use these scales.

Applying the Augmented Triads in Chord Progressions

You can insert the Augmented chords in the middle of chord progressions. Using it for dominant harmonic functions can lend you the tension that your progressions need.

You can also insert an Augmented chord inside a roundabout, and you have an interesting loop to sample. Another simple way to use the chord is to use an Augmented chord as a passing chord in your progression.

Using Augmented Chords for Dominant Function

Chord progressions use dominant chords to come back to the home key. Since the Augmented chords have a lot of tension, you can swap them for a regular V chord in a V - I resolution.

If we build an Augmented chord on the fifth degree of a scale, we get a tensed chord that wants to resolve to the I chord.

For example, in the key of C, we can replace the common V7 or G7 chord with a V aug or G aug chord. The notes of the G aug chord are G, B, and Eb, and the notes of the C Major chord are C, E, and G.

The B can resolve to the C as a leading tone, and the Eb can move up to the E, the third note of the tonic chord.

This kind of resolution is used in many songs, as it's a good alternative to the classic V-I resolution.

Guitar Songs That Use Augmented Chords for Dominant Function

After understanding the Augmented chord on the guitar, we can now proceed to use them in playing songs. Let’s look at a couple of popular songs.

No One Needs To Know Why - Shania Twain

No One Needs to Know Why” by Shania Twain uses an inversion of the Vague chord, going to the I chord. With the song being in the key of C, the notes B - Eb - G resolve to C - E - G.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

You can play this on the guitar on the string set G-B-E. You can start by placing your middle finger on the 4th fret of the G string and your ring finger on the 4th fret of the B string. Your index finger goes on the 3rd fret of the high E string. This is the inversion of your Augmented chord.

You'll proceed to the C Major triad from here. Your ring finger should be on the fifth fret of the G string, and your middle finger should be on the fifth fret of the B string. Your index finger is placed on the third fret of the high E string.

Crying - Roy Orbison

In “Crying,” Roy Orbison uses the Augmented chord as a secondary dominant chord. Extending from our dominant chords, secondary dominants are dominants built from dominant chords.

Starting from the root chord D Major, the song goes to the IV chord, G Major, before proceeding further. Instead of using a D7 as a dominant chord of G Major, Roy uses the Daug. So the final chord progression looks like this: D - Daug - G Major - Gmin - A7 - D.

To play this on the guitar, you can start by selecting a specific string set. Let's use the A - D - G string set for this example.

You can try barring with your index on the 5th of the A string. Your middle finger goes on the 7th fret of the D string, and the ring finger gets tucked inside on the 7th fret of the G string. Your pinky finger goes tucked under the ring finger on the 7th fret of the B string. That gives you the D Major chord.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Now, holding your index in place, move your pinky to the 8th fret of the D string. Your ring finger goes to the 7th fret of the G string, and your middle finger goes to the 7th fret of the B string.

If you find this awkward, you can alternatively barre the 7th fret with your middle finger on the G and the B strings.

From here, you can move to the G Major by moving your barring index finger down to the 5th fret of the D string. Your ring finger goes to the 7th fret of the G. This is followed by the pinky, which goes on the 7th fret of the E string. The B string is left unplayed. So you have to mute the B string with your barring index finger.

Finding Augmented Chords in Popular Music

Augmented chords can be found in these famous songs listed below:

Final Thoughts on Augmented Triads

Though these Augmented chords aren't the most commonly used chords in popular music, they still have been used more than one would imagine.

The intense and wide sound of the Augmented triads makes them difficult to use in regular songs due to the moods they create.

But there are always going to be songs that need a bit of width and tension to them. These are the times that the Augmented chords are going to be of great use.

Lending their instant color, they can transform any chord progression in an instant. Augmented chords are a great weapon to have in your arsenal. Especially as a guitarist, it becomes the most symmetrical shape to play on the fretboard. Easy to navigate and remember, these are some of the chords that offer great mileage.

So if you find yourself short of inspiration, don't fret about discovering the world of Augmented triads. They will most likely be a pleasant surprise when you need them the most.

It isn't uncommon for aspiring guitarists to walk into a guitar store, eager and exhilarated to get their hands on their first instrument. Looking up at the wall in front of them, they have a plethora of guitars to choose from. Just as they pick one up from the wall, they’re hit with this sinking feeling in their stomach as they feel, for the first time, how big the guitar neck is when held in their relatively small hands.

Unable to match the blazing scale runs across the neck or fast barre chord changes like their heroes, close to seventy-five percent of aspiring guitarists quit within the first year. A large portion of these guitarists cite their relatively small hands as a reason for this.

While this might be a statistical fact, it doesn't have to be the case. There are numerous ways for guitar players with small hands to fulfill their guitar-playing dreams.

If you've ever seen Japanese female guitarist Li-Sa-X play Racer-X's Scarified on a full-sized 24-fret Ibanez JEM, or seen AC/DC's Angus Young run around the stage playing with the fingers of an alleged 12-year-old, you know what we're talking about!

While guitarists like Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Buckethead might scare you with their freakishly long fingers, there is enough motivation in the world around you to keep you from quitting. Here are 10 tips for guitar players with small hands to keep you pursuing your axe-wielding dreams!

1. Consider Purchasing a 3/4-Size Guitar

While there might be many tips on making a full-sized guitar work for you, it's better to start with a 3/4-sized guitar if you know that you have small fingers. Making sure you have a positive learning experience in the first few months is crucial, as this builds up the necessary confidence to go after your dreams.

Choosing a 3/4th size can set you on the right track, as you avoid the biggest hurdle of having small hands: fretting issues. 3/4th size guitars have frets that are close together, making them easier to play in the lower frets.

As the overall size is around 36 x 13 inches as compared to the 40 x 15 inches of the full-sized guitar, you'll feel your torso and arms wrap around more easily around a 3/4th-sized guitar.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

With renowned manufacturers like Gibson, Fender, and Martin, amongst countless others, offering 3/4th sized versions of their regular models, there are plenty of options for people with small hands.

If you get comfortable with the smaller size and wish to continue, there’s no reason you have to switch to a full-sized one later. With the staggering rise of independent luthiers in the guitar world, you could easily get yourself a custom-designed high-end 3/4th size guitar made to your liking.

You get to choose the woods for the body, the neck, and the fingerboard. You get to choose your fret sizes, neck profiles, and scale lengths to cater to the size of your hands.

With so many avenues, we feel it's better to begin with a 3/4-size guitar if you're blessed with smaller hands.

2. Lighter String Gauges Require Less Effort to Play

While the choice of string gauges has to do with one's style of playing, it can be used to make it easier for someone with smaller fingers. Traditionally, heavier strings of 12-56 and above are used for getting a fatter tone, as opposed to the lighter 9-42, which is preferred for ease of bending.

Choosing a lighter string gauge allows you to be able to push down the notes easily. Choosing a light string set of 8-38 can be a great way to introduce someone to the guitar. The ease of playing can give them the necessary confidence to pursue the guitar seriously.

Once they're comfortable, they can go up the gauges as and when they see fit.

There’s nothing wrong with playing a super light 8-38 string set. A lot of guitarists in the '70s, including Jimmy Page and Frank Zappa, were known to use a set of 8-38.

3. Try Playing With a Thinner Neck

While some blues guitarists like Eric Clapton still prefer the '50s 7.25-inch neck radius, akin to a baseball bat, you don't need to stress about that! With modern guitars going all the way up to 17 inches, folks with smaller hands have it easy nowadays.

Doing a bit of research on neck radius before buying a guitar can save you the stress of having to wrap your fingers around a bulky guitar neck. Smaller hands prefer a flatter neck to wrap their fingers around. 16 and 17-inch neck radiuses are some of the easiest guitars to play fast on.

The only downside to playing on thin necks is that you don't quite feel the wood in your palms while playing. Some players tend to cite this as an issue, especially while playing chords on the first few frets.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

If thin shredder necks are too flat for you, you might want to consider going for necks with a compound radius. Compound radius necks are 16 inches in the higher frets but narrow down to 12 inches in the lower frets, which is great for playing chords. 12 inches is the standard Gibson Les Paul neck radius. So, you're bound to feel more wood in your palms while playing your chords.

Therefore, if you're an aspiring shredder with small hands, thinner necks are your quickest path to Rock N Roll glory!

4. Do Not Ignore Body Size and Contour

Acoustic and classical guitars generally boast a bigger body size than electric guitars. With little to no body contour on them, they can be quite difficult to place on your lap if you're a small person.

If you're set on learning the acoustic guitar, a good option would be to check out the Ovation. Ovations generally have a beveled body and are much more ergonomically suited for smaller arms to wrap around them.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

If you fancy playing the electric guitar, then headless guitars are worth checking out. Devoid of the headstock, they generally work with a Floyd Rose bridge. This allows them to get rid of a lot of unnecessary wood, which considerably reduces the guitar's weight.

Having a smooth contour and beveled body, these guitars are small enough for a young adult to wrap their arms around them with ease. So, if the guitar's bulky body size is getting in your way, do consider checking out these alternate options, as they add a dimension of maneuverability and comfort.

5. Choose a Shorter Scale Length

A shorter scale length rather than the actual size of the guitar is more important for people with smaller hands. Choosing a guitar with a shorter scale means that the frets are closer together. The makes playing on the lower frets much easier.

The Stratocaster-style models, which boast a scale length of 25.5 inches, are probably the hardest to play on the lower frets. The Les Paul, SG, and ES-335-style guitars all have a scale length of 24.75 inches.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

We call them "style guitars" since there are many manufacturers who make their versions of the original Fender and Gibson models.

If 3/4th-sized guitars are too small for you, then you can surely try out the 24.75-inch versions, as they offer you a taste of playing a full-sized guitar with a bit of leniency.

6. Exercise Your Pinky

While a lot of folks with long fingers tend to have an underdeveloped pinky, you can break that norm. A lot of players with long fingers play pentatonic scales with their index and ring fingers alone, which results in bad technique.

This affects their speed in the long run. If you can be disciplined in training your pinky well, the long-term results can be phenomenal!

The pinky finger, by default, is controlled by the ring finger as the tendons and bones of the last two fingers are connected. So, regardless of your finger size, you must make conscious efforts to make it independent.

Starting with four-note per string chromatic runs is a great place to start. Simply place your four fingers back-to-back in four adjacent frets. You can choose a comfortable pocket on the guitar like the area between frets 9 to 12. Now, go up and down the pocket while playing all the chromatic notes.

In this way, the pinky gets trained rigorously and doesn't suffer from the 'fourth finger floating syndrome'.

While you might find yourself going that extra mile, you're bound to reap the benefits of a well-developed pinky in the long run.

7. You Can Always Train Your Fingers to Stretch Wider

While we've only spoken about the ease of playing for someone with smaller hands, it's worth remembering that you still need to develop dexterity in your fingers.

While warm-up stretches are a great way to prepare for a session, it's important to practice playing across 6-7 frets on a string to develop usable stretching abilities.

Playing an Octatonic scale would have your fingers skip one fret each. You can try it out by placing your fingers on frets 7, 9, 11, and 13. This would result in a 7-fret stretch. It might sound like a stretch, but you would be surprised at how the fingers get used to these stretches in a couple of months.

If you do this exercise for just 10 minutes a day, it should give your fingers the dexterity they need to play complex chord stretches, let alone jazz-fusion runs, in the future.

8. Try Exploring the World of Tapping

Tapping with the index and middle fingers of your picking hand is a great way to add more notes if you can't stretch with your fretting fingers. Made famous by the legendary '80s guitarist Eddie Van Halen, tapping is a superb way to add a fourth note to every three notes played on a string by the fretting hand.

This means that you can play four-note per string scale patterns at blistering speeds across the neck without having to worry about the size of your fingers.

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Since the guitar is tuned in fourths, you don't need to stretch your fretting hand beyond three frets. The tapped note would play the extra fret, and going down to the next string would have you continue the scale from the perfect fourth onwards.

Please don't fret if all this sounds too technical! You can simply start by tapping a note every time it feels hard to reach with your fretting hand. As you get into the groove of tapping, you'll know when to tap a note and when to fret one.

What we've mentioned here as an example only scratches the surface. Modern guitarists like Niels Vejlyt, Hans Van Even, and Dan Mumm have taken this technique to the stratosphere by using all four fingers of their picking hand for tapping. Known as eight-finger tapping, these techniques cover so much real estate on the fretboard that it makes finger sizes quite irrelevant.

Be sure to check out these techniques if you're looking to find ways to evade finger size problems completely.

9. Using a String Dampener or a Capo Isn't Cheating

While using string dampeners and capos is generally looked down upon in the guitar community, it's best to sometimes ignore online opinions and do what's best for developing your guitar-playing skills.

While using a string dampener can help any style of playing, it's generally used for playing fast legato lines. Pushing down the strings just enough, so that the guitarist can execute smooth legato phrases with minimum effort and string buzz, string dampeners are highly effective.

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Besides reducing string buzz, string dampeners also make it easier for people with smaller fingers to push down on the notes. If you're a beginner who is getting discouraged by the amount of time and effort it takes to develop calluses on your fingers, we recommend trying a string dampener for some time.

Based on the same idea, you can use a Capo if you're finding it hard to push down bar chords. Having smaller hands can be tricky if you're playing a lot of songs with barre chords. Barre chords expect you to have a strong index finger with calluses along the sides to be able to execute them properly.

If you find yourself experiencing pain in your index finger or your wrist while playing barre chords, it's best to consider using a capo. The capo works like your index finger, barring the entirety of the fret you've put it on.

Now, you can take advantage of the capo by opting to play chords with open voicings. Instead of having to use your index finger to barre constantly, you can now fret certain notes while allowing certain strings to be played open.

If you can arrange your song smartly, you can get away with playing very few complex chords on the guitar. As the capo can be adjusted according to the key of the song, you can get a lot of mileage by learning how to use a capo.

10. Don't Give Up

Whether you've got small fingers or fingers like a deer's antlers, you've still got to put in the necessary hours of practice! It takes repeated and systematic hours of training to get your guitar chops in place.

While it's easy to cite your small fingers as a reason to give up, there are countless examples of guitarists who've gone far and beyond their physical limitations to achieve their dreams. We've listed some of the famous guitarists who've overcome career-ending accidents to reach the highest echelons of guitar-playing.

Black Sabbath Guitarist Tony Iommi

With missing chunks of flesh from his middle and ring fingers, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has helped shape heavy metal the way that we know it today.

With a terrible industrial accident at a metal factory resulting in the loss of his fingertips, Tony Iommi was staring down the barrel. Working his way up, Tony melted plastic onto his fingers and found leather to give him the right feel on the strings.

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Speaking of lighter gauge strings earlier, Tony tried stringing his guitar with light banjo strings for him to be able to push down the notes. Still unable to play certain chords, Tony ended up sculpting the iconic Black Sabbath sound with his impending physical disabilities.

Singer-Songwriter Joni Mitchell

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is well known for her wonderfully odd-sounding guitar tunings. While most might think of it as a conscious choice, very few people know about Joni's disability.

Affected by polio in her childhood, Joni tuned her guitar differently so she could be able to play the guitar to her liking.

Using alternate tunings lends her a characteristic sound and makes her fretting hand have to do less work in the process.

Guitar Players With Small Hands: Use These Tips

While we've only listed these two guitarists with physical anomalies, there are countless others, including the great Django Reinhardt, who have fought against the odds to pursue their guitar-playing dreams.

With countless gadgets that are being innovated each day to make guitar-playing easy, we see no reason for guitarists with small hands to give up. The guitars being manufactured nowadays are getting more and more sophisticated, with increasing attention to detail. Even if you have seriously small hands, you're still bound to find a type of guitar and a specific playing style to suit you.

If you would like to know more about how you could take your guitar playing to the next level, be sure to check out our other guitar articles.

Entering the world of the guitar can be pretty challenging, if not intimidating, at first. Most of us who have picked up a guitar know the feeling of staring down at the strings while wondering how our fragile fingers will be able to push down all those complex chords that our heroes seem to play effortlessly.

While it might look challenging at first, it doesn't have to be that way. There's no reason for a beginner to have a terrible first few weeks trying to push notes down on the guitar. If we went about it systematically, we could avoid many of the pitfalls that so many aspiring guitarists fall into.

Your journey of learning to play the guitar can be a joyous ride, filled with anticipation and excitement about the material you're preparing for. Having clarity on what you're about to play and how to go about it is as important as knowing where to place your fingers.

In this article, we've delineated a step-by-step approach to going through the learning process of progressing from beginner to advanced level chords so that you can have the best learning experience possible.

Open Chords

It’s ideal for a beginner to start with open chords, as most of the heavy lifting is done by the guitar nut. You aren't expected to push down all the notes of the chord. Pressing down two to three fingers at the most will do the trick.

Starting with open chords is recommended, as once you can visualize their shape, you can move them to other parts of the guitar too.

It's also quite motivating to hear yourself be able to play chords immediately, which makes the learning process more exciting and fun.

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Preparation

Before getting into the names of the open chords, it's ideal to do a round of finger preparation and relaxation. This preparation can be done before playing each of the open chords to get you in the right frame of mind while starting a song.

Place your thumb on the back of the guitar neck, and allow your fingers to curl up against the frets you're about to push down. Relax your fingers and make sure that your muscles aren't tensing up.

Now squeeze the guitar neck with your thumb from behind the neck until your fingers from the front touch the strings. Make sure to be relaxed while doing so. You can pause and hold this hand posture for a few seconds.

This is the default hand posture that you're going to be coming to while switching through chords in your song, so make sure to feel comfortable while holding this posture.

The E and A Shapes

As 'mother' shapes on the guitar, the E and A shapes form the backbone of countless rock 'n' roll and country tunes. Knowing these two simple three-finger chords can get you playing songs in no time.

Both minor and major forms of E and A can be played in the open position. For ease of understanding, we'll proceed from the major form to the minor form.

How Do I Press Down on the E Major Chord?

As we discussed in the preparation section, we start by placing the thumb on the back of the neck. Now, allow your index, middle, and ring fingers to curl around the fretboard.

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The index finger needs to be placed on the first fret of the third string, or G string. Make sure that the index finger is right behind the 1st fret.

The next step is to bring your middle and ring fingers above your index and let them hover over the 2nd fret. The ring finger goes on to the 2nd fret of the 4th string or D string. The middle finger goes on to the 2nd fret of the 5th string or the A string.

Once you get this shape right, you will notice that your ring finger naturally gets tucked below the middle finger in the process. Make sure the fingers feel comfortable in this posture.

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Now try strumming this chord softly across all six strings. Don't worry if the notes you've pressed down don't ring out well. Once your fingers develop calluses, you should be able to get your desired sound.

Try to keep your fretting fingers relaxed whilst strumming at all times.

Go through the preparation process to check for tension in the fingers before proceeding to the next chord.

A Major

The A Major chord is easier to remember, as all three fingers fall on the same fret. You can start by placing your thumb at the back of the guitar's neck and curling your fingers in a relaxed manner.

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Place your index on the 2nd fret of the D string. The middle and ring fingers go on the 2nd fret of the G and B strings, respectively. You can leave out the low E string or the 6th string while strumming the A Major chord.

Just relax your fretting hand wrist as it might pop out while playing the A Major. No need to worry. This is common in the beginning, as you're trying to cram three fingers into one fret.

E minor

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Now that we've played the E Major, E minor can be played by just removing your index from the third string. The middle and ring stay on the 2nd fret of the D and G strings, respectively.

You can strum all six strings for the E Minor.

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A minor

The A minor shape is similar to the E Major, just transposed one string below. Your index falls on the 1st fret of the B string. Your middle and ring fingers fall on the 2nd frets of the D and G strings, respectively.

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You can leave out the low E string and strum the rest. Again, just make sure your fretting fingers aren't tensing up.

Playing the D Shapes

The D Major and D minor shapes involve a bit of finger twisting. They also involve strumming only four strings.

D Major

Place your index on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string, or G string. Now place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string or B string. You can now place the ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st string or E string.

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You can practice coming into the D Major position from nowhere as you need to get the shape correct. As far as strumming goes, you can skip the low E and A strings and strum the rest.

D minor

Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string, or G string. Now place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string or B string. Follow this up by placing your index on the 1st fret of the first string or the E string.

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Similar to the D Major, you can skip strumming the low E and A strings.

Let's Begin With Mini-Barre Chords

Before we dive into the full-sized barre chords, let's get our fingers trained with two simpler shapes. These shapes, also called the C and F shapes, involve all four fingers. The F shape will introduce us to the world of barre chords.

The C Major Shape

You can start by placing your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string. Tuck your pinky below your ring by placing it on the 3rd fret of the A string. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, or D string.

You can let the 3rd string or G string be played open as it's a note of the chord. Now place your index on the 1st fret of the 2nd string, or the B string.

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You can strum all the strings except the 1st string or the E string. Make sure to keep your wrist tucked in and nicely relaxed, as it's another one of those chords where the wrist tends to pop out.

The F Major Shape

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The F Major chord is similar in shape to the C Major. You can start by placing your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string, or the A string. Tuck your pinky under the ring finger by placing it on the 3rd fret of the 4th string or the D string.

Follow this by placing your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string or G string. We'll have to barre with the index for playing the last two notes.

The Mini-Barre in the F Major Shape

Let's enter the world of barre chords by starting with a mini-barre chord. Place your index on the 1st fret of the 2nd string or B string. Now, straighten your index such that it can also press down the 1st fret of the 1st string or E string.

This might be difficult at first, as calluses haven't yet developed in your barring part of the finger.

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It's okay if your chord doesn't ring out clearly at first. But do not try to compensate by adding more pressure, as we want to avoid the pitfalls of having a bad technique.

Be patient. With regular practice, your index would form calluses, after which you can advance to the full-sized barre chords.

Full-Sized Barre Chords

Once you're comfortable playing the min-barre chords, we can venture into the world of full-sized barre chords.

The full-sized barre chords are based primarily on the E Major, E minor, A Major, and A minor shapes that we just learned. The nut acted as a bar when we played them as open chords. This meant that we just had to play all the notes other than the ones inside the bar.

Now, as we enter barre chords, we'll be playing all those open notes in the open chord with our index fingers.

This might seem intimidating at first. But, as the sides of your index begin to form calluses, it'll get a lot easier. But the important thing is to not apply unnecessary pressure on the barring finger, as this might lead to a tense fretting hand in the long run, which is detrimental to fast playing.

E Major Shaped Barre Chord

The E Major-shaped barre chord is played with the leading note or the tip of your index finger on the 6th string or low E string. Moving it around the 6th string will give you all 12 Major chords.

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We can start by playing the E Major barre chords on the 12th fret. Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the A string. Now tuck your pinky finger inside the ring, playing the 14th fret on the D string. Now place your middle finger on the 13th fret of the G string.

Now that all three fingers are placed, the index can focus on its barring duties. Softly place the index on the 12th fret of the 6th string or low E string. Make sure your index is erect and covers all 6 strings.

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Now softly strum across all 6 strings. Don't worry if all the notes don't ring out, as it's bound to take time.

As you develop, pay attention to the index on the 1st and 2nd strings or B and E strings. This might be the toughest area to get the notes to ring out.

A Major Shaped Barre Chords

There are two ways to play this barre chord. You can choose whatever is comfortable for you.

A Major Ring Finger Barring Technique

In this technique, you can start by barring the D, G, and B strings on the 14th fret with your ring finger. Be careful not to barre the high R string with your ring finger. The high E string should not be touched.

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This may cause your ring finger to look slouched. But don't worry. As calluses develop on your ring finger, you can achieve this with minimal pressure.

Now barre the entire 12th fret starting from the A string. You can skip the low E string for this chord. If this feels too awkward, you can try the second alternative explained below.

A Major Shape With Only the Index Being Barred

Place your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky on the 14th fret of the D, G, and B strings, respectively. This might tilt your wrist a bit. Don't worry, as this is bound to happen.

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Now barre the entire 12th fret starting from the A string. You can skip the low E string. If this seems easier, feel free to skip the ring finger barring technique, as both of them give you the same sound.

E minor Shaped Barre Chord

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Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the A string. Tuck your pinky inside your ring finger and play the 14th fret on the D string with it. Now barre the entire 12th fret with your index. You can strum through all six strings.

A minor Shaped Barre Chords

You can start by placing your ring finger on the 14th fret of the D string. Tuck your pinky under your ring and play the 14th fret in the G string with it. Place your middle finger on the 13th fret of the B string.

Now barre the whole of the 12th fret, except the low E string. You can strum all five strings, except the low E.

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These four barre chords can be played anywhere on the low E and A strings. The note played by the index finger's tip is the chord's name. These four shapes allow you to play all minor and Major chords starting on the E and A strings.

Entering the World of Seventh Chords

At this stage, we can enter the four main groups of Seventh chords: Major 7th, minor 7th, Dominant 7th, and Diminished 7th. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

A Major 7th

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Start by placing your pinky on the 12th fret of the A string. The ring goes on the 11th fret of the D string, and the index is used as a mini-bar.

Place the tip of your index on the 9th fret of the G string while barring the 9th fret of the high B or 2nd string. Transpose this shape across the A string for different Major 7th chords.

E minor 7th

This is similar to our E minor-shaped barre chords. Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the A string. Now barre the entire 12th fret with your index.

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You can strum all across the six strings. The added minor 7th note, D, is barred by the index on the 12th fret of the 4th string.

A Dominant 7th

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Start by placing your ring finger on the 14th fret of the D string. Stretch your pinky and place it on the 14th fret of the B string.

You can now bar the entire 12th fret, leaving the low E string. Now strum across all five strings starting from the A string.

E Diminished 7th

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Place your middle finger on the 13th fret of the A string. Now, barre the entire 12th fret with your index finger.

You'll only be strumming or fingerpicking the E, A, D, and G strings. Avoid hitting the B string by mistake, as it's a jarring note in this chord and would spoil the sound of your E diminished 7th.

Building Chord Progressions With the Chords We've Learnt

Once you're able to play these chords properly on time, we can move on to forming common chord progressions.

The numbers denote the note degrees of a scale. Play the chords on that degree of the scale to get your sound.

Practice switching between the chords, as that's vital to be able to play on time.

1 - 4 - 5 - 1

This classic blues progression is found in countless rock and country songs. The chords move from Root to Sub Dominant to Dominant and back home to the Root.

So if you're in the key of A min, the chords move from A min to D min to E min and back to A min.

You can start by playing these as open chords. If you feel you don't need such an open sound or you feel you can handle barre chords now, then progress on to the next step.

1 - 6 - 5 - 1 or 1 - 5 - 6 - 1

Just adding a 6th minor to the progression will give you a 1 - 6 - 5 - 1. As a common progression, you can play a large number of pop tunes with these. For example, F minor would be the 6th chord in the key of A Major.

You can again choose to play them as open chords or as barred chords.

1 - 6 - 2 - 5

Similar to the previous one, we just add a minor chord on the second degree of the scale. For example, in the key of D Major, the second chord will be E minor.

2m7th - 5 lDom7th - 1Maj7th

The classic jazz progression, which is instantly recognizable, is a staple of progressions using 7th chords.

In the key of D Major, you can play the E minor 7th as the 2nd chord. You can play the A Dominant 7th as the 5th chord and the D Major 7th as the 1st chord.

Following this progression will give you the classic jazz feel. We know it's difficult to be able to play all these chords one after the other, in time. But if you can simplify it by following the finger changes, it's possible to get the progression right.

Knowing this progression will have you playing most jazz tunes in their simplest version.

What Kinds of Songs Can I Play With These Chord Shapes?

You can have quite a versatile repertoire by playing songs that use these chord progressions. We've listed below some of the many songs that use the progressions that we discussed.

1 - 4 - 5 - 1

The following songs use this chord progression:

  • “Time is on My Side” by The Rolling Stones
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Stir it Up” by Bob Marley
  • “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett
  • “Blitzkrieg Bop” by Ramones

1 - 6 - 4 - 5 or 1 - 5 - 6 - 1

The following songs use this chord progression:

  • Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam
  • “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke
  • “I Would Do Anything for Love” (chorus) by Meatloaf
  • “Purple Rain” by Prince
  • “All I Have to do is Dream” by the Everly Brothers

The Beatles’ Staple Chord Progression

As a staple of The Beatles, several songs have the same chord progressions. The following songs use this chord progression:

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  • “Glass Onion” by the Beatles
  • “A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles
  • I’ll Get You” by the Beatles
  • “Octopus’s Garden” by the Beatles
  • “This Boy” by the Beatles

1 - 5- 6 - 4

Called the Axis chords, these chord progressions can be found all across popular music. The following songs use this chord progression:

  • "Pictures of You" by The Last Goodnight
  • "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley
  • "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground
  • "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon Five
  • "With Or Without You" by U2

The Famous Jazz 2m7th - 5 lDom7th - 1Maj7th

This is a staple Jazz chord progression found in countless Jazz standards all over the world. These can be found in the Jazz real or fake books, which are called in the Jazz circles. The following songs use this chord progression:

  • “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”
  • “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
  • All Of Me” by John Legend

Progressing Beyond 7th Chords

Knowing how to play these chord progressions properly opens up a whole new world for you. As you go ahead, you can start to add extensions to your chords. For example, adding a 2nd and a 6th in the higher octave will give you a 9th and a 13th of a chord.

This kind of chord extension can add a new dimension to your sounds, making them more intricate and artistic.

Going From Beginner to Advanced Level Guitar Chords: Wrapping Up

Your journey of learning to play the guitar can be a joyous ride, filled with anticipation and excitement about the material you're preparing for. All we wanted to do was to make a step-by-step approach available for learners.

The most important aspect of mastering chords and chord changes is to know how to prepare for what you're about to play. For example, an athlete or a sports person would prepare for their upcoming game by running through their techniques before the game.

If you can get into such a frame of mind while learning these chord progressions, you should be well on your way to achieving your musical dreams.

Gbm is a pretty common chord, but it is better known as F#m for practical reasons. The Gb minor chord is used mostly in genres such as rock and blues. The sound of this chord is mostly dark and mysterious, but by playing it with other chords, you can get another feeling from that sound. Today, we’ll look at how to play the different shapes that Gbm has in store for us.

Let’s talk a bit about music theory first. Chords that go pretty well with the Gb minor chord are Ab diminished, Bbb+ (E+ double flat), Cbm, Db, Ebb (E double flat), and F diminished, which belong to the key of Gb minor. If you would like to use different chords, you could try using the chords that belong to the key of Db minor.

Since the standard Gb minor chord is a barre chord, it could be challenging for beginner guitar players, but know that with some practice everyone can learn how to play this chord. Nevertheless, here we will give you different options that you can try while you’re still learning how to play the standard Gb minor chord!

Easy Gb Minor Chord Shape

This chord shape that we have for you here is a simplified version of the standard Gbm chord, but it will be helpful for you if you’d like to get as close to the sound of the standard version as possible. Moreover, it will help you train your fingers to play the standard version. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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Gb Minor Triads Chord Shapes

Gb minor triads are not only the easiest shapes that you can try to play a proper Gb minor chord but exploring these different shapes along the fretboard of your guitar will make you a more versatile player, as each of these chord shapes has a unique tone even though they all play the same chord. Let’s check some of the triads that you can try right now on your guitar:

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Standard Gb Minor Chord Shape

The standard Gbm chord shape consists of a barre chord in which you play every string. This might sound overwhelming, but with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem. We would recommend you learn the previous shapes before trying this one.

Follow these tips on how to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Gbm chord shape:

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Gb Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play this as a barre chord. It’s the same level as the standard shape but is equally useful. We recommend you learn the standard version first since you don’t have to worry about avoiding playing any strings. Here, you’ll have to either mute or control your hand to avoid strumming the 6th string. Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

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Typically, people will identify this chord shape as Gb, but you should know that it can also be interpreted as F# depending on the scale you’re using. This chord is fairly common, and it has been used in many rock songs before. The Gb chord has been used to create some of the most legendary songs such as Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Guns ‘N Roses version), I’m Still Standing by Elton John, and even All-Star by Smash Mouth. Today, we’ll show you some of the Gb shapes that you can start strumming today!

Before anything, let’s talk about some music theory. If you would like to compose using the Gb chord, then it’s recommendable to try mixing it with chords such as Abm, Bbm, Cb, Db, Ebm, and F diminished, which are all part of the Gb major scale. Other scales that you can try with the Gb chord are Db major, Eb minor, and Bb minor.

Since the standard Gb chord shape is barre, it can be a bit challenging to play. Therefore, we have prepared for you a list of alternative chord shapes that are much easier! Without further ado, let’s look at the first shape!

Easy Gb Chord Shape

Usually, barre chords are challenging to play, but this simplified version of Gb not only will help you play this chord but also start training your finger for the barre chord version! Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord shape:

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Gb Triads Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different inversions and positions that this chord has along the fretboard will give you many options to play this chord. Not only that, but it will also help you find other sounds using the same chord! Each chord shape has its own sound and feel, and it would be great for every guitarist to know them! Let’s check some of these chord shapes:

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Standard Gb Major Chord Shape

The standard Gb major chord is pretty interesting sounding. It has many tones of dark and bright sounds with a cheerful twist, making it pretty good to play around with!

Since this is a barre chord, we recommend you to practice as much as possible, since it can be a little challenging for beginner guitarists. Don’t be afraid! It just takes a few hours of practice and you’ll be ready to play this and almost every other barre chord!

We recommend you follow these tips on how to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the correspondent fret. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Without further ado, let’s check the standard Gb major chord shape:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Gb Major Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you can play the Gb major barre chord! It has a higher pitch, and the sound is even brighter. We recommend learning the standard version first, since this one is a bit more challenging. Follow the next image to learn how to play the second Gb major barre chord:

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The F# major chord, also known as Gb major, has become one of the most popular chord shapes in popular music. It has been featured in many genres, mostly in rock, pop, and blues. The sound of this chord is fairly cheerful and energetic, making it a powerful chord with many tons of emotion. Today you will learn how to play all the useful shapes that this chord has in store.

Before anything, let’s talk about some music theory. If you’d like to compose using the F# chord, then try mixing it with chords such as G#m, A#m, B, C#, D#m, and E# diminished, which are all part of the F# major scale. Other scales that you can try with the F# chord are C# major, B major, D# minor, A# minor, and G# minor.

Since the standard F# chord shape is barre, it can be a challenge to play. Therefore, we have prepared for you a list of alternative chord shapes that are much easier! Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first shape!

Easy F# Chord Shape

Usually, barre chords are challenging to play, but this simplified version of F# not only will help you play this chord, but it will also start training your finger for the barre chord version! Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord shape:

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F# Triads Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different inversions and positions that this chord has along the fretboard will give you many options to play this chord. It will also help you find other sounds using the same chord! Each chord shape has a distinct sound and feel, and it would be helpful for every guitarist to know them! Let’s check some of these chord shapes:

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Standard F# Major Chord Shape

The standard F# major chord is pretty interesting sounding. It has many tones of dark and bright sounds with a positive twist, making it pretty good to play around with! Since this is a barre chord, we recommend you practice as much as possible, because it can be a little challenging for beginner guitarists. Don’t be afraid! It just takes a few hours of practice and you’ll be ready to play this and almost every other barre chord!

We recommend you follow these tips on how to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the correspondent fret. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Without further ado, let’s check the standard F# major chord shape:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

F# Major Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you can play the F# major barre chord! This one has a higher pitch, and the sound is even brighter. We recommend learning the standard version first since this one is a bit more challenging. Follow the next image to learn how to play the second F# major barre chord:

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The Eb minor chord, also known as D# minor, is one of those rare chords in popular music. It has a mysterious and dark sound, and it has been used in genres such as metal and rock. Even though it is not very popular, every musician should know how to play it since it can be found in other keys such as Ab minor. Today, you’ll learn how to play the different chord shapes that produce the sound of Ebm!

If you’re interested in composing some music using this chord, we recommend you to try the other chords that belong to the key of Eb minor, such as F diminished, Gb+, Abm, Bb, Cb, and D diminished. If you’d like to go beyond that, you can try some chords from other keys like Ab minor, Bb minor, Gb major, and Db major!

We’ll show you the different shapes that you can try to play this amazing chord. This way, you’ll have options before you can produce good-sounding barre chords. We’ll show you these chords in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest one!

Easy Eb Minor Chord Shape

Since the standard version of this chord is a barre chord, we should learn how to play a simple shape first. Here we have a great alternative that you can use while you’re still learning how to play the standard Eb minor chord shape. Try it with your index finger pressing all the strings. This way, you’ll train your finger to play barre chords!

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Eb Minor Triad Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different inversions and positions that this chord has along the fretboard will give you many options to play this chord. Not only that but it will also help you find other sounds using the same chord!

Each of these chord shapes has its own sound and feel, and it would be great for every guitarist to know them! Let’s check some of these chord shapes:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard Eb Minor Chord Shape

Playing this chord can be a little challenging for some beginner guitarists, but just with a few hours of practice, you’ll be strumming beautiful Eb minor chords! Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t sound as good as you would like it to sound on your first tries! Every guitarist, even legendary shredders, has struggled with this type of chord.

We recommend you follow these tips on how to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the correspondent fret. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Eb minor chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Eb Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play this as a barre chord. It’s on the same level as the standard shape, but is equally useful. We recommend you learn the standard version first since here you must apply a more complex barre chord, which means that you press your index finger a bit more. Ultimately the sound is extremely similar, but this version has a fuller tone. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The Db minor chord, also known as C#m, is a fairly common chord that can be found in many popular songs nowadays. It has a dark sound that fits very well with genres such as rock, blues, and metal. It also can be used to make melancholic-sounding chord progressions if it’s mixed with major chords. Today you’ll learn how to play the standard shape of Db, and other useful chord shapes!

Let’s start with music theory, though. Chords that go pretty well with the Db minor chord are Eb diminished, Fb, Gbm, Ab, Bbb, and C diminished, which belong to the key of Db minor. If you would like to use different chords, you could try using the chords that belong to the keys of Gb minor and Ab minor.

Since the standard Db minor chord is a barre chord, it could be challenging for beginner guitar players, but know that with some practice, everyone can learn how to play this chord. Nevertheless, we’ll provide you with different options that you can try while you’re still learning how to play the standard Db minor chord!

Easy Db Minor Chord Shape

This chord shape that we have for you here is a simplified version of the standard Dbm chord, but it will be helpful for you if you’d like to get as close to the sound of the standard version as possible. Moreover, it will help you train your fingers to play the standard version. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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Db Minor Triads Chord Shapes

Db minor triads are the easiest shapes that you can try to play a proper Db minor chord. Not only that but exploring these different shapes along the fretboard of your guitar will make you a more versatile player, as each of these chord shapes has a unique tone even though they all play the same chord. Let’s check some of the triads that you can try right now on your guitar:

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Standard Db Minor Chord Shape

The standard Dbm chord shape consists of a barre chord in which you play every string. This might sound overwhelming, but with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem. We recommend you learn the previous shapes before trying this one.

Follow these tips on how to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the correspondent fret. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Dbm chord shape:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Db Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play this as a barre chord. We recommend you learn the standard version first. Here you must apply a more complex barre chord, which means that you press your index finger a bit more. Ultimately the sound is extremely similar, but this version has a fuller tone. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The Eb major chord, also known as D#, isn’t just one of the most played chords in popular music but also one of the first chords all guitarists learn. It has a significant presence in genres such as rock and pop, and even bands like Owl City and Imagine Dragons have written some of their most popular hits using the Eb chord. Today, you’ll learn how to play some of the shapes that Eb has in store for us!

Before anything, we should talk about some music theory. If you’d like to compose using this chord, make sure to check out all the different chords that you can find in its key, which are Fm, Gm, Ab, Bb, Cm, and D diminished. If you feel that these chords aren’t enough, we recommend you check out the chords on the keys of Bb major, Ab major, C minor, G minor, and F minor.

Since Eb isn’t an easy chord to play for some beginner guitarists, we’re sharing different shapes that you can try today if you feel like the standard Eb chord is a bit challenging. Let’s begin with some of the easy shapes!

Easy Eb Major Chord Shape

Recreating the standard Eb chord shape and the barre chord shapes could be challenging. Because of this reason, here we have for you a simplified version of the Eb major barre chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Eb Triads Chord Shapes

There are many ways in which you can play the Eb chord, and by learning how to play the different triads that Eb has, you’ll also learn the different tonalities that it has. Each of these chord shapes has its own sound, even though they each play the same notes. Therefore, they’re a great addition to your repertoire of chords! Follow the next images to learn how to play the different Eb triads:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard Eb Chord Shape

Now that you have different options that you could explore in the meantime, let’s see how to play the standard Eb chord shape. This chord could be challenging for some beginner guitarists, but know that everyone can learn how to play this chord after some practice! We recommend you learn the previous versions first, as they share some elements with this chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Eb chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Eb Barre Chord Shapes

Barre chords are an amazing option for those musicians who’d like to have a fuller sound in their compositions. This chord shape can be challenging, but don’t get discouraged since almost every guitarist has gone through this before. Practice them as much as you can, and learn the previous shapes very well (especially the easy and the standard shapes).

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Eb major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

The Db major chord is undoubtedly one of the most popular chords. It has been featured in almost every genre and some of the most legendary songs such as Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses, Mr. Brightside by The Killers, and many more! The sound of this chord could be played around with to sound either melancholic, cheerful, or even energetic.

Before going into the chord shapes, let’s talk a bit about music theory. Some chords that get along pretty well with the nature of the Db major chord are Ebm, Fm, Gb, Ab, Bbm, and C diminished, since they all belong to the key of Db major. Other keys that have chords that could go pretty well with the Db major chord are Ab major, Gb major, Bb minor, F minor, and Eb minor.

The standard shape of the Db major isn’t easy to play, and for some beginners, it could seem challenging. Here we’ll show you the easiest Db major chord shapes you can try and the most challenging ones. But remember that everyone can learn how to play any chord shape with some time and practice!

Easy Db Major Chord

This chord shape is a simplified version of one of the two Db major barre chord shapes. This shape will be extremely helpful for those who struggle with the standard version, and it’s also a great way to practice using many fingers to play just one chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of the Db major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Db Major Triads Chord Shapes

Exploring the different triads that Db has along the fretboard will help you play this chord in easier ways than the standard shape, and it will also improve your guitar skills. Each of these shapes has a unique tone, which will ultimately make you a versatile guitarist. Follow the next images to learn how to play the different triads Db major has for us:

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Standard Db Major Chord Shape

The standard chord shape might seem a bit challenging, but with time and practice, you’ll be able to play this chord with no problem. It’s rooted in the 5th string and goes all the way to the 2nd string. Get your fingers ready because you must stretch them a bit to play this chord! Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Db Major Barre Chord Shapes

Barre chords are an amazing way to approach any chord since they’re usually played using the lowest strings. This means that barre chords produce a fuller sound that goes from low to high pitch sounds. The thing is that they’re not easy to play, and most beginner guitar players will find them challenging. However, with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem!

We would recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Db major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

The D# chord, most commonly known as Eb, is one of the first chords every guitarist learns. It has become a popular chord shape in popular music and has a strong presence in rock and pop. The sound of this chord is energetic and cheerful, great for powerful songs!

Before anything, we should talk about some music theory. If you’d like to compose using this chord, check out all the different chords you can find in its key, which are E#m, F##m (F double sharp minor is the same as Gm), G#, A#, B#m, and C## diminished.

You may feel that these chords aren’t enough. If so, we recommend you check out the chords on the keys of D# major, A# major, and G# major.

Since D# is not an easy chord to play for some beginner guitarists, we’ll share different shapes that you can try today if you feel like the standard D# chord is a bit challenging. Let’s begin with some of the easy shapes!

Easy D# Chord Shape

Recreating the standard D# chord shape and the barre chord shapes could be challenging. Because of this reason, here we have for you a simplified version of the D# major barre chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

D# Triads Chord Shapes

There are many ways in which you can play the D# chord, and by learning how to play the different triads that D# has, not only will you be learning easier ways in which you can play this chord, but you’ll also be learning the different tonalities that it has.

Each of these chord shapes has its sound, even though they play the same notes. Therefore, they’re a great addition to your repertoire of chords! Follow the next images to learn how to play the different D# triads:

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Standard D# Chord Shape

Now that you have different options that you could explore in the meantime, let’s see how to play the standard D# chord shape. This chord could be challenging for some beginner guitarists, but know that everyone can learn how to play this chord after some practice!

We recommend you learn the previous versions first, since they share some elements with this chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard D# chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

D# Barre Chord Shapes

Barre chords are an amazing option for those musicians who would like to have a fuller sound in their compositions. This chord shape can be challenging, but don’t get discouraged, since almost every guitarist has gone through this before. Practice them as much as you can, and learn the previous shapes very well (especially the easy and the standard shapes).

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard D# major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

The C# major chord is one of the most popular chords in genres such as rock, country, and indie rock. One thing every musician should know about this chord is that it’s the same as Db major, and it’s more common to see it represented as Db. This chord has a cheerful and energetic sound, but if you play around it, you could get a melancholic sound that not many chords have.

Before going into the chord shapes, let’s talk a bit about music theory. Some chords that get along well with the nature of the C# major chord are D#m, E#, F#, G#, A#, and B# diminished, since they all belong to the key of C# major. Other keys that have chords that could go pretty well with the C# major chord are G# major, F# major, A# minor, and D# minor.

The standard shape of the C# major isn’t easy to play, and for some beginners, it could seem challenging. Here we’ll show you the easiest C# major chord shapes you can try as well as the most challenging ones. But remember that everyone can learn how to play any chord shape with some time and practice!

Easy C# Major Chord

This chord shape is a simplified version of one of the two C# major barre chord shapes. This shape will be extremely helpful for those who struggle with the standard version, and it’s also a great way to practice using many fingers to play just one chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of the C# major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

C# Major Triads Chord Shapes

Exploring the different triads that C# has along the fretboard will not only help you play this chord in easier ways than the standard shape, but it will also make you a better guitar player. Each of these shapes has a unique tone, which will ultimately make you a versatile guitarist. Follow the next images to learn how to play the different triads C# major has for us!

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard C# Major Chord Shape

The standard chord shape might seem a bit challenging, but with time and practice, you’ll be able to play this chord with no problem. It’s rooted in the 5th string and goes all the way to the 2nd string. Get your fingers ready, because you must stretch them a bit to play this chord! Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

C# Major Barre Chord Shapes

Barre chords are an amazing way to approach any chord since they’re usually played using the lowest strings. This means that barre chords produce a fuller sound that goes from low to high pitch sounds. The thing is that they’re not easy to play, and most beginner guitar players will find them challenging, but with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem!

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard C# major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

The G# minor chord can also be interpreted as Ab minor, depending on the point of view we’d like to see it. This chord’s standard shape is a barre chord, which could be challenging for beginner guitarists, but it also has an easier open shape that you can try!

Even if it’s easier to play the open version of this chord, the player will get the best sound by playing its barre chord shape. Today, we’ll show you the easiest to the most challenging shapes that the G# minor chord has in store for us!

Before that, let’s talk about some music theory. G#m’s relative chords belong to the key of G#m, such as A# diminished, B+, C#m, D#, E, and Ax diminished. If you’d like to compose using the G# minor chord, we suggest using those chords. In case those chords aren’t enough for you, you could try using other chords from the keys of C# minor, D# minor, B major, and E major.

Since barre chords are usually a bit challenging to play, we’ll show you different shapes that you can try while you’re still learning how to play G#m’s standard shape. Without further ado, let’s check some of these shapes!

Easy G# Minor Chord Shape

This version of the G# minor chord is the easiest shape you can try to start learning to play the rest of the chord shapes. You can do it in two ways: you can either play the three first strings with your index, middle, and ring finger, or you can bar all those strings! Follow the next shapes to learn how to play it both ways:

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Both of these chord shapes have the same sound. The only thing that changes is the fingers that you use, and by using the second shape, you’ll be training your finger for barre chords.

G# Minor Triad Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the chord triads that G# minor has in store for us will allow us to play this chord in simpler ways than the natural form. Not only that, but every triad has a unique ring, even if they’re playing the same notes.

Adding these chords to your repertoire will help you now and even later! Follow the next images to learn how to play the different G# minor triads:

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Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard G# Minor Chord Shape

The standard chord shape of G#m is a barre chord, which isn’t unusual. Many other chords are similarly played as a barre chord.

We recommend you practice the previous chord shapes on this page since barre chords can be a little bit tricky for beginners. Don’t get discouraged! Even though they’re challenging, beginner guitar players could be able to play them with some practice!

Follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard G#m major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

G# Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play G#m as a barre chord. This version has a much higher pitch and can be a little more challenging than the standard version. Follow the next image to learn how to play this G#m barre chord shape:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Depending on the perspective you see it, the G# major chord can also be the Ab major chord. Often, we’ll find this chord written as Ab since understanding it from the perspective of G# can be a bit challenging.

This chord doesn’t allow an open chord shape. Therefore, the standard version has the shape of a barre chord. It has been used in many genres, but especially in rock, blues, and metal. It’s a very interesting chord that can be played with shapes other than the barre chord, and today we’ll explore some of those shapes.

If you’re interested in composing some music using this chord, we recommend you try the other chords that belong to the key of G# major, such as A#m, B#m, C#, D#, E#m, Fx diminished. If you’d like to go beyond that, you can try some chords from other keys like Fm, Cm, and Eb major!

We’ll show you the different shapes that you can try to play this amazing chord. This way, you’ll have options before you can produce good-sounding barre chords. We’ll show you these chords in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest one!

Easy G# Major Chord Shape

Since the standard version of this chord is a barre chord, you should learn how to play a simple shape first. Here we have a great alternative that you can use while you’re still learning how to play the standard G# major chord shape. Try it with your index finger pressing all the strings. This way, you’ll train your finger to play barre chords!

Alternate Guitar Tunings

G# Major Triad Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different inversions and positions that this chord has along the fretboard will give you many options to play this chord. Not only that but it will also help you find other sounds using the same chord!

Each of these chord shapes has its sound and feeling, and it would be great for every guitarist to know them! Let’s check some of these chord shapes:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard G# Major Chord Shape

Playing this chord can be a little challenging for some beginner guitarists, but just with a few hours of practice, you’ll be strumming beautiful G# major chords! Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t sound as good as you’d like it to sound on your first tries! Every guitarist, even legendary shredders, has struggled with this type of chord.

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard G# major chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

G# Major Barre Chord Shape

If you’d like to learn another way in which you can play a G# major barre chord, then stay here. For this chord, you’ll have to mute the 6th string—or at least avoid playing it—and change the position of some fingers. We recommend learning the standard version first! Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The G minor chord is one of the most famous chords in modern music. It’s featured in many songs and goes across every genre. Normally, this chord is used to give off a dark and gloomy mood, but mixed with its key chords and other relative chords, it can help a song have an interesting turn. Jazz is known to be one of the genres that use this chord the most, but we can find it in rock ballads, blues, and even heavy metal bangers!

If you’d like to use this chord for your compositions, we recommend you check out the chords that belong to the key of Gm, such as A diminished, Bb+, Cm, D, Eb, and F# diminished. If you’d like to go beyond that, you can also try some chords from the keys of Cm, Dm, and Fmaj!

Unlike many chords, the standard shape of G minor is a barre chord, and this could be challenging for beginner guitarists. But fear not! Here we’ll show you some alternative chord shapes that you can use to play the Gm chord. Apart from that, we’ll show you how to play the standard version and provide some useful tips!

Without further ado, let’s see some of the easy versions of this chord!

Easy G Minor Chord Shape

First of all, here we have a simplified version of the standard G minor chord. Even though it doesn’t have the full sound of the standard Gm chord, it’s still a great alternative for those who are still struggling with the standard shape.

Not only that but there are two ways in which you can play this chord. Either you place your first three fingers in their correspondent position, or you use your index finger (this will help you train your finger to play barre chords). Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of the Gm chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

G Minor Triad Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different digitations and note positionings that you can do along the fretboard will help you become a better guitarist! Not only they are easier than the standard Gm chord shape, but they’re also great additions to your chord repertoire, since each of these chord shapes has its sound! Let’s explore some of the Gm chord triad shapes:

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Standard G Minor Chord Shape

The standard Gm chord shape could be somewhat challenging for some beginner guitarists. It consists of a barre chord, which is not easy to play at first, but with some practice, everyone can learn how to play it! We recommend you practice this chord shape as much as possible. It will help you with almost every other barre chord!

Follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Let’s check how to play the standard G minor chord shape:

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G Minor Barre Chord Shape

If you’d like another alternative to the standard Gm chord, here we have for you another barre chord that you can try. We recommend you learn the standard version first, but if you feel ready, follow the next image to learn how to play it! Remember to follow the tips given above!

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The F minor chord is one of the first barre chords any guitarist should learn, it’s relatively easy and has become a famous chord in the heavier genres of music. This chord is commonly used in metal, hard rock, and blues! Of course, pop musicians have also used this chord. The sound that F minor produces can be interpreted as melancholic, dark, or mysterious depending on how it is played.

If you’d like to compose using this chord, then you may wish to explore the other chords that are in the key of Fm such as G diminished, Ab+, Bbm, C, Db, and E diminished. Alternatively, the Fm chord can also be found in other keys such as Bb minor, C minor, and Ab major, among others!

Since the standard version of the Fm chord is a barre chord, we’ll show you some alternatives to play this chord, from the easiest to the most challenging. Therefore, you’ll have options while you’re still learning to play good-sounding bar chords! Without further ado, let’s explore some F minor chord shapes!

Easy F Minor Chord Shape

This version of the Fm chord is the simplest shape and it shares some of the notes that the standard Fm chord has. All you must do here is play the first three strings while pressing the first fret! Follow the next image to learn how to play this simplified version of the standard Fm chord:

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See? It’s pretty simple, and you can also try playing those three notes only with your index finger. That way, you’ll also be practicing the elemental aspect of bar chords, and that is to play several notes with only your index finger.

F Minor Triad Chord Shapes

Exploring the different shapes and note positioning of the Fm chord along the fretboard can help you have different alternatives for playing this chord. Knowing to play the different chord triads also makes you a better musician, since each of these shapes has its sound and feeling, even though they’re all Fm chords. Let’s explore some of these chord shapes:

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Standard F Minor Chord Shape

The standard shape of the Fm chord can be a little challenging for those who are starting to learn how to play guitar, but anyone can learn how to play with time and practice! Moreover, this barre chord is one of the best ways to learn how to play first.

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to play barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Now let’s check the standard Fm chord shape:

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F Minor Chord Barre Chord Shape

If you feel like one barre chord isn’t enough, here we have another one for you! This one starts on the 8th fret, but we’re going to avoid playing the 6th string.

We recommend you learn the standard version first. As soon as you have that one, you can move along to this one. Follow the next image to learn how to play this barre chord alternative:

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Alternative Fm Chord Shapes

Here we have some alternative chords that you can use instead of the examples given above. On this list, you’ll find the Fm7 chord and the F power chord. These two chords are simplified versions of the Fm standard chord, in case you find the other chords a little too bright-sounding.

Follow the next images to learn how to play these chords:

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Every beginner guitarist has to start somewhere, and knowing the E major chord is a great way to start understanding guitar chord theory. The E major chord not only is a very popular chord used in many genres but is also an easy chord to play!

The E major chord mixes very well with chords such as F#m, G#m, A, B, C#m, and D# diminished, which are all in the key of E major. For anyone interested in composing songs, we recommend you try those chords with E major!

The chord of E major has a very easy standard shape which any beginner should add to their repertoire of chords. Without further ado, let’s dive deep into the easiest ways to play this amazing chord that has been part of the rock, blues, and country scene for decades!

E Major Standard Chord Shape

In this case, E stands for Easy. The standard version E major chord isn’t only important to play, but you’ll learn quickly how to play this chord! This version of the chord is an open chord, and to play it you’ll need only your first three fingers.

You don’t have to worry about muting any strings or anything too advanced. Follow the next image to learn how to play this amazing chord:

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Easiest E Major Chord Shape

We have for you here the easiest way in which you can play the E major chord. The sound of this chord is very bright. Therefore, it might sound strange mixed with other chords. To play this version of the chord, you’ll only need to use one finger and the first three strings! Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of E major:

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E Major Triad Chord Shapes

There are many ways in which you can play this chord, and by learning to play the different triads that E major has, you’ll unlock a ton of different E major chord shapes. Each of these has a unique tone and sound even though they’re all E major chords! Follow the next images to learn how to play the different triads E major has for us:

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E Major Barre Chord Shapes

If you’d like to step up your playing a notch, learning how to play these barre chords will help! Barre chords aren’t easy to play, but even beginner guitarists can learn how to play them with just a few hours of practice. Having these chord shapes in store will make you a more versatile player. Because of this, we recommend you learn these chord shapes if you feel ready!

To play barre chords, you must press all the strings on one fret, and you do that by using the side of your index finger in most cases. To get a good sound out of it, you must practice a lot. However, remember that it’s completely achievable for everyone!

Follow the next images to learn how to play the E major barre chord shapes:

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E Major Substitutions

Some chords can replace the sound of Emaj and give it an interesting twist. Here we’ll show you some of the easiest and best-sounding chords that can be played instead of the standard Emaj chord! Follow the next images to learn how to play them:

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Due to its relatively melancholic and sad sound, the D minor chord has been very popular in genres such as blues, rock, country, and many more! It has been used for many rock ballad songs, and you can start using it too for your compositions! This chord is very simple, and it’s one of the first chords every guitarist learns.

The Dm chord can be mixed with other chords such as E diminished, F+, Gm, A, Bb, and C# diminished, which belong to the D minor scale! By learning this chord, you’ll be unlocking many doors due to the uniqueness of its sound. Plus, you’ll be able to play some of the best rock ballads ever made.

Without further ado, let’s explore some of the different ways in which you can play this wonderful and mysterious chord!

Standard D Minor Chord Shape

This is a fairly easy chord to learn. You’ll only need to use three fingers, and you’ll place them on the first three frets. You’ll also like to avoid playing (mute if possible) the last two strings on your guitar. This way, we’ll be able to play a good-sounding Dm chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

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D Minor Triad Chord Shapes

By looking for the Dm triads all along the fretboard, we can find some interesting alternatives to the standard Dm chord shapes. Each of these chords has a unique tone, and they’re great additions to your chord repertoire. Learning these chord shapes can help you become a more versatile guitar player. Let’s explore some of the Dm chord triads:

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D Minor Barre Chord Shapes

If you feel that you need a bigger challenge, then we would recommend you learn how to play the D minor barre chords! They’re an amazing addition to your collection of chords and will help you become a better guitar player. These chords aren’t easy, so we recommend you learn the previous chords.

Barre chords are a bit challenging, but any beginner can learn how to play them. To get a good sound out of this type of chord, you’ll need to press with the side of your index finger the series of strings over the right fret! Practice them as much as you can. This is the only way in which you can play this type of chord correctly. Follow the next images to learn how to play the Dm barre chord shapes:

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It’s not common to find songs that have the C minor chord. It’s used almost exclusively in jazz and blues, but it’s not a popular chord in other genres such as rock. The C minor chord is mostly played in its barre chord shape, but today we’ll show you all the possible ways in which you can play this chord!

On the C minor scale, we can find chords such as D diminished, Eb+, Fm, G, A, and B diminished, which mix very well with the C minor chord. In case you’d like to compose using this chord, we recommend you use the chords on that scale.

We’ll show you now several ways in which you can play the C minor chord, going from the easiest to the standard version of the chord. Without further ado, let’s explore the different ways in which you can play the C minor chord.

The Easy Version of C Minor

This version of the C minor chord is one of the easiest ways in which you can play it. It is an alternative to the barre chord version, which is more popular, but it’s still as useful and good sounding! This version of C minor is one part of the C minor triads. Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of the C minor chord:

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C Minor Triad Chord Shapes

By learning to play the triads of any chord, we open a door of possibilities. Each of the different versions of C minor triads that we can find along the fretboard has a unique tone, even though they play the same notes. Let’s explore some of the C minor triad chords!

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Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard C Minor Chord Shape

The standard C minor chord shape is essentially a barre chord, which could be tricky for many beginner players, but even they can learn how to play it with just a few hours of practice. We’ll use all our fingers to play this chord, and we’ll also try to avoid playing the 6th string (mute it if possible).

Barre chords can be tricky, but to play them, you must press with the side of your index finger a whole set of strings on a specific fret—in this case, the third one. Then you’ll continue to place the other fingers on the fret and string in which they go to play the standard Cm chord. Practice as much as you can to get the best sound out of it!

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C Minor Barre Chord Shape

The barre chord we previously showed you is the standard version of the chord, but here we’ll show you another way in which you could play the C minor chord as a barre chord. Remember to practice these chord shapes as much as possible to gain the ability to play them without any problem.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Alternative C Minor Chord Shapes

Here we have for you some alternative ways in which you can play the Cm chord—in case you’d like to have more substitutes while you’re still learning how to play the Cm standard chord shape! Follow the next images to learn how to play the alternative Cm chord shapes:

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Depending on which perspective you’d like to see it, the Bb minor chord can also be called the A# minor chord but is most commonly known as Bb. Indie, rock, and blues are some of the genres that have a strong presence of this chord. We encourage you to check the different ways in which you could play this chord since it’s a great addition to your repertoire of chords!

Let’s talk a bit about music theory first. Chords that go pretty well with the Bb minor chord are C diminished, Db+, Ebm, F, Gb, and A diminished, which belong to the key of Bb minor. If you’d like to use different chords, you could try using the chords that belong to the keys of F minor, Eb minor, Gb major, and Ab minor.

Since the standard Bb minor chord is a barre chord, it could be challenging for beginner guitar players, but know that with some practice, anyone can learn how to play this chord. Nevertheless, here we’ll give you different options that you can try while you’re still learning to play the standard Bb minor chord!

Easy Bb Minor Chord Shape

This chord shape that we have for you here is a simplified version of the standard Bbm chord, but it will be helpful for you if you’d like to get as close to the sound of the standard version as possible. Moreover, it will help you train your fingers to play the standard version. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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Bb Minor Triads Chord Shapes

Bb minor triads are the easiest shapes that you can try to play a proper Bb minor chord. Also, exploring these different shapes along the fretboard of your guitar will make you a more versatile player, as each of these chord shapes has a unique tone even though they all play the same chord. Let’s check some of the triads that you can try right now on your guitar:

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Standard Bb Minor Chord Shape

The standard Bbm chord shape consists of a barre chord in which you play every string. This might sound overwhelming, but with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem. We recommend you learn the previous shapes before trying this one.

Follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Bbm chord shape:

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Bb Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play this as a barre chord, it is on the same level as the standard shape but is equally useful. We recommend you learn the standard version first since you don’t have to worry about avoiding playing any strings.

Here you’ll have to either mute or control your hand to avoid strumming the 6th string. Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

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The Bb major chord, also known as A# major, is fairly common in popular music since it belongs to the key of F major, one of the most universal keys since the ‘80s. This chord, even though it gives out a positive sound that could be associated with happiness, can be played with and mixed with other chords to make it sound melancholic. This chord is mostly used in genres such as rock, folk, and indie!

If you’d like to compose using this chord, you could try using chords such as Cm, Dm, Eb, F, Gm, and A diminished, which are all chords that belong to the key of Bb major. But you don’t have to get stuck in those chords, since you can also try using chords from the keys of F major, G minor, C minor, and D minor!

The Bb major chord isn’t an easy chord to play, it has an unusual digitation that could be challenging for some guitar players. Here we’ll show you many options that you can try while you’re learning how to play the Bb major standard chord shape!

Without further ado, let’s check some of the Bb major chord shapes from the easiest to the most challenging ones!

Easy Bb Major Chord Shape

Since the Bb major chord is pretty challenging, we have a useful chord shape that will help you play this chord more easily. This chord shape is the root position of the Bb major triads; we’ll check the rest in the next section. Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of this chord:

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Bb Major Triad Chord Shapes

Now that you know the first triad that Bb major has for us, it’s time for you to learn the rest of the triads that you could use to play the Bb major chord. It would be recommended that you learn each of these very well. Not only will they help you play the Bb major chord more easily, but they’ll give you a broader repertoire of sounds that play the same chord. Let’s check some of the Bb major triads that you can play right now:

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Standard Bb Major Chord Shape

Playing this chord will require you to stretch your hand a little bit more than usual. Therefore, it’s recommended to learn the previous chord shapes. This shape might be challenging for some beginner players, but with a few hours of practice, you’ll be strumming this chord! Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Bb major chord shape:

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Bb Major Barre Chord Shapes

If you’d like to add another level of difficulty, you could try playing the barre chord versions of Bb major! They’re as challenging as the standard version, and if you got that already, you should have no problem learning how to play these chord shapes! Remember that these shapes are challenging, and you might not play them correctly on your first try.

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the Bb major barre chord:

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B major chord is a fairly common chord in popular music. It has been used in almost every genre, especially in blues, rock, and pop music. B major's cheerful yet mysterious sound has been the base of many popular songs’ intros, but if played differently, it could be interpreted as so many other things without losing its essence.

Other chords that are commonly mixed with B major are C#m, D#m, E, F#, G#m, and A# diminished, which belong to the key of B. In case you’d like to compose some songs using this chord, you should try the ones we mentioned, they sound great together.

Normally, beginner guitar players fear this chord due to its unusual shape, but today we’ll show you easier ways in which you can play B major, and provide an explanation of how to play the standard B major chord. Let’s begin with the easiest shapes for B major!

B Major Triad Chord Shapes

In this case, we should start with B major triads, since they’re the easiest way to play this wonderful chord. Here you’ll find all the combinations that you can practice to play B major chord shapes! Each of these has a unique tone, even when we’ll be using the same notes B, D#, and F#.

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Each of these chord shapes has a unique sound, making them a great addition to your chord repertoire! Not only will they make you a more versatile guitar player, but some of these chords will train your finger to play barre chords!

Standard B Major Chord Shape

For early beginner guitar players, this chord shape might seem a little challenging, but it’s very simple and easy to play after some practice! This chord is an essential addition to every musician’s chord repertoire since it appears in many songs, and it can be mixed with so many chords for those who would like to compose some music. Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard B major chord shape:

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B Major Barre Chord Shapes

If you feel that you need something a bit more challenging, then you’re in the right place. Barre chords are a bit more challenging than the previous chords we’ve shown you. The great thing about them is that they have a unique sound and could be used in many different ways. You won’t regret practicing them, trust us. Follow the next images to learn how to play the two B major barre chord shapes:

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Alternative B Major Chord Shape

There’s another easy way in which you can play the B major chord, and it’s very similar to one of the triad chords we showed you before. The only difference between that root position chord shape and this one is that we’ll add one extra note to this amazing chord. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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Also known as G#m, the Ab minor chord has become a popular chord since the arrival of rock n’ roll. This chord is intriguing since it’s usually played as a barre chord even though it has an open chord shape. Even if it’s easier to play the open version of this chord, the player will get the best sound by playing its barre chord shape. Today, we’ll show you the easiest to the most challenging shapes that the Abm chord has in store for us!

Before we get into all of that, let’s talk about some music theory. Abm’s relative chords belong to the key of Abm, such as Bb diminished, Cb+, Dbm, Eb, Fb, and G diminished. If you’d like to compose using the Ab minor chord, we suggest using those chords. In case those chords aren’t enough for you, then you could try using other chords from the keys of Gb major, Db minor, and Eb minor.

Since barre chords are usually a bit challenging to play, we’ll show you different shapes that you can try while you’re still learning how to play Ab minor's standard shape. So, without further ado, let’s check some of these shapes!

Easy Ab Minor Chord Shape

This version of the Ab minor chord is the easiest shape you can try before you start learning how to play the rest of the chord shapes. You can do it in two ways: you either play the three first strings with your index, middle, and ring finger, or you can bar all those strings! Follow the next shapes to learn how to play it both ways:

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Both of these chord shapes have the same sound. The only thing that changes is the fingers that you use, and by using the second shape, you’ll be training your finger for barre chords.

Ab Minor Triad Chord Shape

Knowing how to play the chord triads that Ab minor has in store for us will allow us to play this chord in simpler ways than the natural form. Not only that, but every triad has a unique ring, even if they’re playing the same notes. Adding these chords to your repertoire will help you now and even later! Follow the next images to learn how to play the different Ab minor triads:

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Standard Ab Minor Chord Shape

The standard chord shape of Abm is a barre chord, which isn’t unusual; many other chords are similarly played as barre chords. We recommend you practice the previous chord shapes on this page since barre chords can be a little bit tricky for beginners. Don’t get discouraged! Even though they’re challenging, beginner guitar players could be able to play them with some practice!

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard Abm major chord:

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Ab Minor Barre Chord Shape

If you’d like to know another way in which you can play the Abm minor barre chord, follow the next image and don’t forget to follow the previous tips:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Depending on the perspective you see it, the Ab major chord can also be the G# major chord. This chord doesn’t allow an open chord shape. Therefore, the standard version has the shape of a barre chord. It has been used in many genres, but especially in rock, blues, and metal. It’s a very interesting chord that can be played with different shapes other than the barre chord, and today we’ll explore some of those shapes.

If you’re interested in composing some music using this chord, we recommend you try the other chords that belong to the key of Ab major, such as Bbm, Cm, Db, Eb, Fm, and G diminished. If you’d like to go beyond that, you can try some chords from other keys like Fm, Cm, and Eb major!

We’ll show you the different shapes that you can try to play this amazing chord. This way, you’ll have options before you can produce good-sounding barre chords. We’ll show you these chords in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest one!

Easy Ab Major Chord Shape

Since the standard version of this chord is a barre chord, you should learn how to play a simple shape first. Here we have a great alternative that you can use while you’re still learning how to play the standard Ab major chord shape. Try it with your index finger pressing all the strings. This way, you’ll train your finger to play barre chords!

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Ab Major Triad Chord Shapes

Knowing how to play the different inversions and positions that this chord has along the fretboard will give you many options to play this chord. Not only that, but it will also help you find other sounds using the same chord! Each of these chord shapes has its sound and feeling, and it would be great for every guitarist to know them! Let’s check some of these chord shapes:

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Standard Ab Major Chord Shape

The standard Ab major chord is pretty interesting sounding. It has many tones of dark and bright sounds with a cheerful twist, making it pretty good to play around with! Since this is a barre chord, we recommend you practice as much as possible since it can be a little challenging for beginner guitarists. Don’t be afraid! It just takes a few hours of practice and you’ll be ready to play this and almost every other barre chord!

We recommend you follow these tips to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Without further ado, let’s check the standard Ab major chord shape:

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Ab Major Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you can play the Ab major barre chord! It has a higher pitch, and the sound is even brighter. We recommend learning the standard version first since this one is a bit more challenging. Follow the next image to learn how to play the second Ab major barre chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The A# minor chord is most known as Bb minor, but in some instances, it will appear as A#. Indie, rock, and blues are some of the genres that have a strong presence of this chord. We encourage you to check the different ways in which you could play this chord, since it’s a great addition to your repertoire of chords!

Let’s talk a bit about music theory first. Chords that go pretty well with the A# minor chord are B# diminished, C#+, D#m, E#, F#, and Gx# diminished (G#/G chord), which belong to the key of A# minor. If you would like to use different chords, you could try using the chords that belong to the keys of F minor, D# minor, C# major, F# major, G# major

Since the standard A# minor chord is a barre chord, it could be challenging for beginner guitar players, but know that with some practice, everyone can learn how to play this chord. Nevertheless, here we’ll give you different options that you can try while you’re still learning how to play the standard A# minor chord!

Easy A# Minor Chord Shape

This chord shape that we have for you here is a simplified version of the standard A#m chord, but it will be helpful for you if you’d like to get as close to the sound of the standard version as possible. Moreover, it will help you train your fingers to play the standard version. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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A# Minor Triads Chord Shapes

A# minor triads are the easiest shapes that you can try to play a proper A# minor chord. Exploring these different shapes along the fretboard of your guitar will make you a more versatile player because each of these chord shapes has a unique tone, even though they all play the same chord. Let’s check some of the triads that you can try right now on your guitar:

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Standard A# Minor Chord Shape

The standard A#m chord shape consists of a barre chord in which you play every string. This might sound overwhelming, but with some practice, you’ll be strumming this chord with no problem. We recommend you learn the previous shapes before trying this one.

Follow these tips on how to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard A#m chord shape:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

A# Minor Barre Chord Shape

There’s another way in which you could play this as a barre chord. It’s on the same level as the standard shape but is equally useful. We recommend you learn the standard version first since you don’t have to worry about avoiding playing any strings. Here you’ll have to either mute or control your hand to avoid strumming the 6th string. Follow the next image to learn how to play this chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The A# major chord, also known as Bb major, is fairly common in popular music since it belongs to the key of F major, one of the most universal keys since the ‘80s. This chord, even though it gives out a positive sound that could be associated with happiness, can be played with and mixed with other chords to make it sound melancholic. This chord is mostly used in genres such as rock, folk, and indie!

If you’d like to compose using this chord, you could try using chords such as B#m, Cxm, D#, E#, Fxm, and Gx diminished (these chords are the same as Cm, Dm, Eb, F, Gm, A diminished), which are all chords that belong to the key of A# major. However, you don’t have to get stuck in those chords, since you can also try using chords from the keys of F major, G minor, C minor, D minor, and D# major!

The A# major chord isn’t an easy chord to play. It has an unusual digitation that could be challenging for some guitar players. We’ll show you many options that you can try while you’re practicing how to play the A# major standard chord shape!

Without further ado, let’s check some of the A# major chord shapes from the easiest to the most challenging ones!

Easy A# Major Chord Shape

Since A# major chord is pretty challenging, here we have for you a useful chord shape that will help you play this chord but in an easier way. This chord shape is the root position of the A# major triads. We’ll check the rest in the next section. Follow the next image to learn how to play the easy version of this chord:

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A# Major Triad Chord Shapes

Now that you know the first triad that A# major has for us, it’s time for you to learn the rest of the triads that you could use to play the A# major chord. It would be recommended that you learn each of these very well, because not only will they help you play the A# major chord more easily, but they’ll give you a broader repertoire of sounds that play the same chord.

Keep in mind that each of these shapes has a unique sound but will ultimately play the A# major chord. Let’s check some of the A# major triads that you can play right now:

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Standard A# Major Chord Shape

If you feel that you know very well the chords we previously showed you, then it’s time for you to learn the standard A# major chord shape. This isn’t an easy shape, and it could take some time for you to learn how to get a good sound out of it if you’re a beginner, but know that anyone can learn how to play this chord shape.

Get your hand ready, because this shape will make you stretch some fingers! Follow the next image to learn how to play the Standard A# major chord shape:

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A# Major Barre Chord Shapes

If you’d like to add another level of difficulty, you could try playing the barre chord versions of A# major! They’re as challenging as the standard version, and if you got that already, then you should have no problem learning how to play these chord shapes! Remember that these shapes are challenging, and you might not play them correctly on your first try.

We would recommend you follow these tips on how to get your hand used to playing barre chords:

  • Press with the side of your index finger the whole set of strings on the first frets. For now, just use that finger until you produce a good sound out of all of the strings.
  • As soon as you can play all of the notes with your index finger pressing them, you can proceed to place the other fingers where they belong to play the chord.
  • Practice the chord as much as you can. You can do that by pressing and releasing the strings while following the shape.

Follow the next image to learn how to play the standard A# major chord:

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Blues, the centuries-old genre, is still one of the most relevant genres out there, and many guitarists have taken the path of learning how to play guitar while specializing in blues. Not only is it a great genre, but its theory can be applied to other genres, especially rock! Sites like Guitar Tricks, TrueFire, and Udemy, among others, offer amazing online blues guitar courses that you could sign up for right now!

Whether you’re someone who strives to be a blues legend like Robert Johnson, a casual bluesman who plays at social gatherings, or someone looking to learn blues musical theory, you need a tutor. Let’s explore some of the websites that offer amazing courses for those who are willing to dive deep into this amazing genre.

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Guitar Tricks’ Blues Section

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Guitar Tricks isn’t just a website where you can learn how to play guitar, but it’s also a place where you can learn how to play any genre. Blues is a genre that has a wide variety of course options on Guitar Tricks. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player. On this site, you can find a course that suits your level!

On Guitar Tricks, you’ll learn techniques, licks, orchestration, theory, and much more! Through exercises offered by the website, you can train yourself to be a great bluesman. For the price of $19.99 a month, or $179.99 a year, you can gain access to all these amazing courses and all the other interesting content Guitar Tricks has to offer.

TrueFire’s Blues Section

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TrueFire, the website built by musicians for musicians, features many courses to help students learn lead blues guitar, rhythm blues guitar, blues music theory, and many other things! Here, you’ll learn how to play the most basic blues techniques, riffs, and chord progressions, as well as the most complex and advanced.

The tutors at TrueFire are some of the best. You can even find lessons taught by amazing guitarists such as Greg Koch, Jeff McErlain, and many more!

All of these lessons are significantly more affordable than private lessons. You can find lessons for around $25, and these will be available for streaming and even downloading. TrueFire’s blues section is worth checking out!

Henry Olsen’s “Beginner to Advanced Blues Guitar Masterclass” on Udemy

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Have you ever wondered if you can go from beginner to advanced with just one guitar course? The answer to this question is yes. Olsen’s blues guitar course will guide you from the fundamentals of blues guitar to the most complex and elaborate blues licks, riffs, theory, and more. Here, you’ll learn not only how to play and understand blues, but also to improvise when playing with friends.

Olsen’s course is rated 4.7 out of 5, and it has over 12,000 students. This course includes 11.5 hours of video lessons and 35 downloadable items such as PDFs with theory and guitar exercises. By signing up for Olsen’s “Beginner to Advanced Blues Guitar Masterclass,” you’ll get mobile and TV access for a lifetime!

This course costs $84.99, making it one of the most affordable taking into consideration the weight of its content.

Erich Andreas and Corey Congilio’s “Beginner Blues Lead Guitar Lessons, Electric Guitar Soloing” on Udemy

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This course will teach you all you need to know about blues soloing on an electric guitar for beginner and intermediate guitar players. Instructors Andreas and Congilio will give you the right techniques for you to start soloing and improvising while playing blues. No prior knowledge is needed for this course. All you need is your guitar, an internet connection, and the willingness to learn something new.

Beginner Blues Lead Guitar Lessons, Electric Guitar Soloing course offers 5 hours of video lessons, 112 downloadable resources, lifetime access, and accessibility through mobile devices and TV. For $84.99, you gain access to all this amazing content. If you want to improve your soloing abilities, then this is the course for you!

Active Melody Blues Section

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This website offers more than 400 lessons that will help you improve your blues knowledge. You can find lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitar players. In Active Melody’s blues section, you can find lessons that will teach you new techniques, music theory, exercises, and much more! We especially recommend Brian Sheryll’s course, as it will give you a stylistic perspective on how to play lead blues guitar.

These lessons not only help you get better at playing blues but also help you improve your technique when playing related genres such as rock. For $12 a month or $89 a year, you get access to all this amazing content and much more!

Electric Blues With Kenny on JamPlay

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Kenny “Blue” Ray offers a 64-lesson course on JamPlay that goes over all the aspects of playing blues on an electric guitar. Kenny covers basic blues scales and some soloing techniques, which are useful for all guitarists who’d like to learn how to play blues. Even though this course is not as complex as many other courses, some knowledge is recommended to start taking this course.

Kenny’s course offers downloadable resources, such as tabs and documents with information that will help the player better understand the lessons. The lessons are recorded with 6 cameras positioned to record different angles of the guitar and Kenny. This way, you can see all that’s going on while he’s playing.

For $19.95 a month, you get access to all this content, but you also get a 30-day free trial.

Most guitarists need help at some point. However, for a genre as complicated and extensive as metal, guitarists may need a hand more often than campfire guitarists.

If you’re a guitarist who is looking for help in developing guitar skills for playing metal, then you’re in the right place! Today, we will show you 5 of the best online metal guitar courses.

Metal is one of the most difficult genres to master, and it has many licks and structures similar to classical music. Sites like TrueFire, Guitar Tricks, and JamPlay have some of the best online metal guitar courses. Let’s explore what these sites have to offer to the metal community!

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Guitar Tricks Metal Section

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Guitar Tricks offers a wide variety of courses for intermediate and advanced guitar players. These courses cover all you need to know about the whole genre. Whether you’d like to play lead guitar or rhythm guitar, Guitar Tricks has your back. The extensiveness of the courses allows you to branch into any of the metal subgenres and will give you the techniques and music theory knowledge to understand what you’re playing.

Whether you want to play heavy chord progressions or unforgettable solos, Guitar Tricks will provide all you need to know to become competent. One of the best things about this website is that Guitar Tricks provides access to all these courses for $19.99 a month or $179.99 a year, with a 14-day free trial!

Stephany Bradley’s “Cybernetic Shred” on JamPlay

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Bradley’s metal course appeals to beginner guitarists who’d like to specialize in metal. Her course takes on some fundamental areas of guitar playing while keeping it in the genre.

This course’s first half is recommended for those who are still learning the basics of guitar, but some skill level is needed. Advanced and intermediate guitar players may find this course a bit too easy or irrelevant, but that’s because it doesn’t tackle the most complex aspects of the genre.

If you’re a beginner and you’re looking for a metal guitar course, we encourage you to check this one out!

Beware of the second half of Stephany Bradley’s course, as it gets much faster. You might want to take your time to practice these lessons. Advanced and intermediate players might be interested in this half since it contains more complex exercises that might be useful to them.

Guitar Masterclass Metal Section

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Guitar Masterclass offers not only one course but a series of courses that will help any guitarist become better at this genre. This website’s approach to metal is a bit different from those of the other ones.

It doesn’t just acknowledge what is useful to today’s metal scene, but it also incorporates techniques from older metal scenes and classical music. With more than 1000 courses, Guitar Masterclass has much to offer to those who are willing to subscribe to its website.

Here, you will learn all you need to know, like shredding, chord progressions, riffs, licks, and music theory. You’ll be able to learn how to play any genre on this website. That includes classical and neoclassical music, which shares many elements with the progressive genres of metal.

We encourage you to check them out, as they have much to offer!

Guitar Tricks Metal Song Lessons

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Guitar Tricks’ song library includes many genres, including metal. Here, you’ll find many songs that have gone down in history as hymns of the genre. By learning how to play your favorite songs, you’ll be also learning techniques, and practicing your hand ability to play extreme music.

Guitar Tricks’ library is pretty much infinite, and it has many of the best metal songs.

It’s important to note that not all these songs include the full parts. However, the songs from mainstream bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, and many more have been licensed to have every part including the solo.

Angus Clark’s “Hard Rock Survival Guide” on TrueFire

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Even though Clark doesn’t focus on metal, he gives essential elements that are also important aspects of metal. He has made two separate courses: one for rhythm guitar and the other one for lead. Both are well explained, entertaining, and fundamental for guitarists who want to dive deeper into the extreme genres.

Angus Clark will guide you through his course while giving many examples from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Hard Rock Survival Guide is a course you should check out if you’d like to understand how these genres are structured, and how to play them without diving deep into anything too extreme.

When it comes to learning how to play guitar online, there are many options available, especially online. Through courses, lessons, and YouTube videos, you can learn to play your favorite songs and master the theory behind them!

The process of learning may vary depending on the style of teaching you want to receive. Normally, guitar lessons and courses fall into the category of progressive, slow, but ensured learning. YouTube videos, even though they’re helpful and free, won’t be as in-depth. Read on to find out more about your online options for learning how to play guitar.

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Online Guitar Courses

Guitar lessons are one of the most common and effective ways to learn how to play, and due to the current situation, online lessons are the safest bet. Below, we’ll cover some of the best free online guitar lessons as well as the best paid ones.

Guitar Tricks

This website offers three different modalities: Beginner Lessons, Experienced Lessons, and Song Library. Each of these lessons appeals to different demographics. Advanced players who’d like to learn new songs can go to the Song Library, where there are over 1000 songs to learn step-by-step.

Guitar Tricks also offers two other courses: Guitar Fundamentals I, and Guitar Fundamentals II. These are for players who are completely new to the instrument.

Also, this website offers a free trial for those who aren’t sure if they’d like to continue.

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Fender Play

The acclaimed instrument company, Fender, also offers guitar lessons that can be paid for either annually or monthly. Their method of teaching is song-based, meaning that most of the lessons are taken from chord progressions, licks, and single-note progressions that already appear in popular songs.

Another awesome thing that Fender Play offers is a massive discount of 50% if you opt for an annual membership, dropping the price from $99.99 to $49.99. Plus, they have a two-week free trial.

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Your Guitar Academy

YGA offers a variety of courses to help you enhance your technique, knowledge of theory, and overall guitar playing skills! Every course offers a different perspective on guitar playing, and YGA even has a library of songs and jamming loops so you can learn songs and try each chord that you’ve learned!

You can also find private lessons for those who struggle to learn by themselves. This innovative feature is almost unique to this website, as it’s not common for online guitar courses to offer this kind of service.

Free classes are also a feature that YGA offers. Through live webinars, guitar players who’d like to see the quality of YGA teachers can join a free live class that’s taught to thousands of online spectators.

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Justin Guitar

This website offers a variety of lessons, some of which are completely free. What’s innovative about this course is its mobile-friendliness. You can watch lessons through the Justin Guitar app available on Android and Apple. Guitar technique and theory are divided into 7 courses that go from beginner to advanced.

Justin Guitar offers over 1200 free lessons, and 679 song lessons are explained step-by-step. If we must recommend one guitar course to anyone willing to learn, we’d suggest starting with this amazing and well-explained course.

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True Fire

The True Fire guitar course is dictated by the best of the best. Grammy award winners, the best studio players, and legendary guitarists teamed up with True Fire and designed a course that’s interactive and informative.

This online course teaches users how to play, going from the most basic exercises to the most advanced. It also teaches how to read tabs and notation.

True Fire offers progress tracking, where you can check what you have done and go back to any when necessary.

True Fire has been listed as one of the best guitar courses in 2022, and it’s obvious why. With teachers such as Steve Vai, Andy McKee, and Robert Jones, it’s impossible to have a bad experience while learning through this course.

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Another Way of Learning to Play Guitar Online: Private Online Guitar Lessons

During the pandemic, many 1-on-1 guitar teachers went online. Let’s look at a couple of the best options for private online lessons.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a great platform to find guitar teachers who are willing to dictate their courses online. Rates range from $5 to $100, but you can find many great teachers at the price of $25 per class. Most of them use platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype to teach, and according to a good number of reviews, some of these teachers are great!

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Lessons

Lessons is a platform in which you can find any kind of teacher for any skill, and guitar is no exception. Lessons offers a rate of $40 to $60 per hour, or $30 per half hour. The teachers that work through this platform can teach you how to play acoustic or electric guitar for any skill level. In-person classes may vary in price and are taught through Skype.

Whether you want to learn how to play rock, blues, jazz, pop, or any other genre, the instructor will go over music theory and apply those teachings to the genre that you would like to master.

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Online Guitar Lessons vs. In-Person Lessons

Should you book online guitar lessons or stick to the classic in-person modality? That depends on you and your ability to understand the exercises and theory without further explanation.

With in-person lessons, the teacher will always be there to help you grasp a concept. Through online lessons, you can either stick to pre-recorded lessons or look for a person who teaches in real-time through Skype, Discord, Zoom, or any other video call platform.

Classical music is one of the most popular genres for instruments like piano, violin, and cello. However, there are some great pieces that either were written for the guitar or have been adapted for guitar.

Thankfully, Guitar Tricks, Udemy, This is Classical Guitar, TrueFire, and LAGA offer some great online classical courses that will help you improve your classical guitar skills and knowledge.

This amazing genre is the grandfather of many genres that we listen to today, and it contains everything you need to know about music theory. Let’s check some of the online guitar courses that will help you become better at this genre!

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The Best Online Classical Guitar Courses

It’s recommended to have a classical guitar to take these courses, as it might make it more comfortable to play the complex exercises. Moreover, the sound of a classical guitar is much warmer, which is perfect for this genre. If you already have one, then you’re almost ready to be playing the best pieces this genre has in store!

Valentin Spasov’s “Classical Guitar Course Level 1” on Udemy

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Valentin Spasov designed a course that centers itself around classical guitar. It’s for those late beginners who’d like to start learning this genre of music.

Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals of music theory, classical guitar techniques, chord techniques, notation, accompaniments, and much more! All you need to have by your side is a guitar with nylon strings, a footstool, and an armless chair. No skill level is required to take this course.

Classical Guitar Course Level 1 has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 and over 900 students. This course consists of 6.5 hours of video lessons, 4 articles, and 37 downloadable resources — more than enough for a basic classical guitar course.

Originally, the price is $74.99, but you may find it with an 81% discount, meaning that the course is going to cost $13.99!

Guitar Tricks’ Classical Guitar Section

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This series of courses on Guitar Tricks were made by Christopher Schlegel, a wonderful guitarist who has specialized in the genre of classical music. The courses are mainly for either beginners or advanced players, and this is where we encounter a small problem: There are very few intermediate courses. In general, the content is great for both sides of this spectrum.

As a beginner, you’ll learn the basics of music theory, a few classical guitar techniques, and some songs. If you’re an advanced player, there are essential techniques that will serve as a decoration to your pieces, and songs in which you can use the techniques learned.

Intermediate lessons are mainly songs that are labeled as “easy classical guitar songs”. In general, the course is amazing for beginners and advanced players, and if you’re either one of those, you can start learning for the price of $19.99 a month or $179.99 a year.

This is Classical Guitar

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Through this website, you can start learning the essential aspects of classical guitar now for the price of nothing! This is Classical Guitar is a website that offers a series of courses for free and has tons of resources that will help you get better at this genre. On this website, you’ll find exercises that are designed to help you develop hand independence, improve technique, learn music theory, and much more!

This website is perfect for those who aren’t sure about choosing classical music as their main genre, for those who’d like to get a better grasp of this genre to complement their knowledge, and for those who don’t own a classical guitar and aren’t sure if they’d buy a classical guitar only to play this genre. If you’re a beginner, we encourage you to check out this website!

TrueFire’s Classical Guitar Section

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TrueFire has a small section of its website dedicated to classical music. Here, you’ll find some courses that are mainly for intermediate and late intermediate players. However, there are also courses for beginners and advanced guitarists.

If you’re a beginner guitarist, we encourage you to check out Andrew Leonard’s classical guitar courses for beginners — which will guide you through the fundamentals of classical guitar, such as technique, theory, and exercises.

Each of these courses has a price. That said, they’re not as pricey as individual classes, and you’ll get lifetime access! The only negative aspect of TrueFire’s Classical Guitar Section is that it doesn’t offer much, but what offers is great content that will help you get better at this genre.

LAGA Online

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Los Angeles Guitar Academy offers a series of courses for those students who are serious about getting into the guitar. This website isn’t for those who’d like to casually play a classical song. Instead, it’s for those who want to specialize in this genre.

Here, you’ll not only learn the techniques and basics of classical music but also right-hand and left-hand coordination, sight-reading, and ear training.

The courses consist of many video lessons and a good bunch of resources like PDFs and other documents. Since this isn’t a website for casual guitar players, they recommend you to train at least 2+ hours per day. As a beginner, you’re expected to finish all the levels within 20 to 28 months. As you can see, this is an extensive course, designed for those who are willing to dedicate their music path to classical music.

Most of us picked up the guitar without any previous knowledge, and instead of signing up for pricey lessons, we went straight to YouTube and started learning through pre-recorded video lessons. As we know, YouTube is completely free, so it’s an excellent platform to start learning some basic things about this instrument!

A good portion of content creators who focus on teaching guitar post tutorials on how to play specific songs. Most of these YouTubers have dedicated their entire channels to teaching their audience how to play.

Are you ready to play guitar songs on YouTube? Read on as we explore some of the top creators so you can find the ones that interest you the most!

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Song Tutorial Channels

Since some of us want to get straight to the point, we search for tutorials on how to play our favorite songs. From Smells Like Teen Spirit to the most underrated song you know, you can probably find a tutorial on YouTube on how to play it. Here are a few places to look!

Marty Music

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Some of us veteran YouTube guitar students will remember this name. Marty Music, better known as Marty Schwartz, posts tutorials of the most requested and popular songs out there. Everyone who has been through his channel can agree on the same thing: he’s great at what he does.

Marty not only shows you step-by-step how to play your favorite songs, but he also mentions the setup he has, the pedals he uses, and the guitar he would play that song with. We recommend you go check out his tutorials!

GuitarZero2Hero

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GuitarZero2Hero teaches his audience how to play songs from scratch. His videos are detailed, going over each section carefully so the viewer can understand easily. His tutorials are about 20 minutes long, and he posts new tutorials weekly.

Creating content since 2015, GuitarZero2Hero not only teaches how to play visually but also includes the tabs of the song he is teaching. You can find thousands of tutorials on this channel, but that’s not the only thing you’ll find. He also reviews some products and records some vlogs from time to time if you’re interested in knowing more about him.

Lee John Blackmore

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This creator focuses on posting guitar tutorials, but you can also find some covers and vlogs here and there. Lee posts guitar tutorials weekly, and his mission is to teach and inspire others to learn how to play this historically bombastic instrument.

Lee has a wide variety of songs that you can learn, going from the rock classics to Christmas music that you can learn to show your friends and family during the holidays. Overall, his channel is varied and teaches in a way that everyone can learn.

GuitarLessons365Song

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Focusing mostly on rock and metal songs, Carl Brown teaches his viewers how to play songs that have gone down in history as the most memorable songs. Going from Pantera to The Beach Boys, Carl teaches you in broad detail how to play the songs he covers.

Carl uploads tutorials that can range from seven minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the song. Overall, most of his videos last around 20 minutes. He explains every detail of the song, goes over some of the sections, and plays them slowly and then at a normal tempo so you can catch on.

Elite Guitarist

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For the fans of classical guitar, Elite Guitarist offers several tutorials on how to play some of the most beautiful songs ever created for classical guitar. But he also adapts songs made for other instruments to the classical guitar, teaching you how to play it in several videos. Not only that, but he also has tutorials on how to play some of the most beautiful flamenco and jazz songs.

Certainly, Elite Guitarist is not a channel for everyone. You need to have some level of expertise to learn the songs that he features in his tutorials. Don’t get discouraged, though. We trust that with some time and practice, you can also learn how to play the songs Elite Guitarist teaches through his YouTube channel.

Guitar Force

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Even though Guitar Force is still a relatively small channel, his tutorials are explained professionally. The best thing about this channel is that it offers an endless variety of songs that you can learn from him. From BB King to Death, you can find anything on this channel.

His tutorials are usually over 15 minutes long because he takes his time to thoroughly explain the sections of the songs he covers as well as the transitions that they have. In some instances, the host has made separate videos to explain just one song, but that has only happened with a few artists.

Another thing that makes this channel great is that he includes the tabs for each song along with the actual tutorial. This feature is very uncommon among guitar song tutorial channels and makes it stand out. We encourage you to check out this 10-year-old YouTube channel!

Instead of paying for expensive in-person guitar lessons or online courses, you can learn through free YouTube videos!

This has become a great learning modality for many musicians. Some of us don’t have the time or the money to spend on personal guitar lessons. Through this platform, you can explore different content creators, find the lesson you want to practice, and go through each video at your own pace!

Ready to learn guitar techniques on YouTube? Let’s explore some of the platform's best guitar teachers!

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Guitar Technique Tutorial Videos

Sometimes, we struggle with the way we play, or maybe we don’t understand how some genres are composed, especially at the beginning of our journeys as guitarists. That’s why some content creators dedicate their channels to teaching how some genres, or how some basic techniques, work. Whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, or country, you can find lessons on YouTube to improve your playing.

New Secret Guitar Teacher

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Nick Minnion, the owner of the channel New Secret Guitar Teacher, teaches guitar techniques, licks, and scales, among other things, to help his viewers improve their blues playing and composing skills.

Through his videos, he explains and teaches some of the fundamental techniques that every bluesman should have. Nick not only uploads videos about this, but he also has a few song tutorials, informative videos, and blues theory explanations.

Jens Larsen

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For all those jazz enthusiasts, Jens Larsen offers a series of videos that explain not only theory but also techniques that will help you improve your ability to play jazz. Among his videos, there’s a wide variety of lessons on different aspects of jazz, but he also has others that tell you how to piece together jazz licks, chord progressions, arpeggios, and more!

Jens has dedicated his channel to talking about jazz, and as we know, jazz requires some level of previous knowledge before getting into it. Even though what we previously said is true, Jens has videos for those who are extreme beginners.

Andy Guitar

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Andy, the owner of the channel, offers completely free guitar lessons to the viewers that visit his channel! If you’re a beginner, we recommend you go check out his channel, because he explains everything you need to know to become a good guitarist. Among his videos, you can find guitar tutorials, guitar lessons for any skill level, and other guitar-related content.

Not only are his lessons great, but his videos are really fun, making guitar learning much easier! Besides his free YouTube lessons, Andy also offers more help through his website, where he teaches people how to play guitar and Ukulele. He’s someone who has dedicated tons of time and effort to spreading his passion for music and making people more interested in it!

Jason Stallworth

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If you’d like to improve your guitar skills while also learning some of the basic techniques most used in metal, Jason’s channel is for you. He offers lessons on most of the most important aspects of metal guitar playing while also making it fun. Not only will he teach you how to finger tap, chug the strings, and make great chord progressions, but he will also give you some tips on how to compose metal riffs.

Mainly, Jason Stallworth focuses on thrash metal riffs, melodic death metal progressions, and soloing. You should check him out if you’re interested in learning how to make music in the most intense and brutal genre out there. And if lessons aren’t enough, there are some videos in which he talks about some of the gear he has. That way, he can also help you figure out your sound.

Active Melody

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Weekly, the channel Active Melody uploads different kinds of guitar lessons. Of course, not all of them are for beginners, but if you’re anywhere from an intermediate to an advanced player, the lessons on this channel will help you out immensely. However, some of his lessons can also help beginner guitarists in their first steps on their journey.

Active Melody makes you feel like you’re in a big community of guitar players who are learning, instead of just being a spectator. His videos are fun to watch, and the lessons aren’t only interesting but also useful to the big majority of guitarists. Finally, there’s someone who’ll explain to us how to play barre chords.

Your Guitar Academy

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This channel, which also has an online guitar course platform, teaches its audience various things. They have lessons on rock, metal, and blues, and they even teach you how to play like some other artists! Taught by some of the best tutors in the UK, Your Guitar Academy has tons of free lessons on their channel that you can check right now!

Besides that, they also upload interesting techniques through YouTube Shorts, which is also helpful for advanced guitar players. We totally recommend you go check them out!

Becoming a teacher isn’t an easy task. There are many boxes you must check before signing up to a platform where you can find students.

Today, we’ll go over the main aspects that are necessary for you to become a teacher. These include things such as guitar expertise, gear, internet connection, and platform selection. It’s important to deeply consider each of these aspects so you can provide the best experience to your students and become a more valuable teacher.

Working as a teacher isn’t a job for everyone. More than anything, you must have a lot of patience. Not every student will learn at the same pace, and you need to be prepared to give them enough time to understand each exercise while providing them with the right tools to become better guitarists. Read on to find out how you can achieve that.

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Internet Connection

Since you’re planning on becoming an online guitar teacher, you must have a good, stable internet connection. This means that you need at least 25 Mbps of download speed. Anything below that could disrupt your lessons.

As an online guitar teacher, you’ll interact with students from all over the world. This is also an important aspect to consider: Your students could have a high ping even though both of you have excellent internet connections.

Ask your students to be clear about which region they live in. The further your student lives, the higher chances of having an unstable internet connection.

Guitar Expertise

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Every teacher must have a good amount of knowledge of the guitar and music theory. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing guitarist when you don’t know how to teach your students the most basic concepts.

Have a solid understanding of what’s necessary to know as a beginner guitarist, and make sure you know how to explain the music theory aspects of each exercise.

We recommend you look for guitar books that go over each level on the guitar. This way, you’ll find everything that your students need, and you’ll be able to provide them with useful information for the level they’re at!

Gear

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It’s important to have good gear for your students to be able to hear and see you in the best quality possible.

Not only do you need a guitar in top-notch condition, but you also need a good microphone, a nice camera, and a good amp (if you’re teaching with an electric guitar). Take time to find the best positions for your microphone and camera.

Now, let’s explore further some of the things you need for your guitar lessons!

Microphone

This is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have before beginning to teach online guitar lessons.

It’s essential that your students can hear you clearly. Therefore, we recommend you invest in a high-quality microphone that will last for a while. Let’s look at a couple of the best microphones that you can get without going bankrupt!

Audio Technica AT2020

The Audio Technica AT2020 is one of the best microphones for studio recording. This microphone will pick up every sound that you play in front of it. It doesn’t clip at high volumes, and it also comes with anti-pop for when you speak.

The Audio Technica AT2020 costs $99.00 on Amazon and has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

AKG P120

For $94.00, the AKG P120 has been a surprise for the audio industry. This microphone works amazingly with voices and instruments alike.

The AKG P120 picks up a clean sound without any distortion, and the best part is that it can pick up a good amount of volume without clipping, which is perfect for loud guitars.

This microphone is available on Amazon and has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Audio Interface

If you’re going to use one of these two mics, or any with MIDI output, you’ll certainly need an audio interface that can process the sound into your computer.

In the realm of audio interfaces, it’s recommended to use a high-quality device. However, it’s not necessary.

Many solid audio interfaces are affordable. For example, the Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 is a decent quality audio interface, and it sells for $45.

If you’d like to go with a fancier option, then we would recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation, which is more than double the price of the previously mentioned Behringer.

Headphones

You don’t have to think that much about this, nor do you have to spend tons of money for some amazing quality headphones.

Using the best headphones you can get is ideal, but almost any pair of headphones or earbuds will work for online lessons. Unless you’re planning on using some 10-year-old headphones with ripped cables, you should be fine.

Amplifier

Since you’re not going to play at a stadium, you won’t need something that sounds extremely loud.

It’s recommended to use an amplifier with a clean tone and maybe a reverb effect built into it. This means that almost every amplifier will do its job correctly if it’s under 50 watts.

If you don’t own one already, we recommend you check out the Fender Champion 20, Fender Champion 40, Donner Electric Guitar Amp 30W, or the Orange Crush 20RT.

Unless you’re going to teach with an acoustic guitar, you’ll need this.

Guitar

Any guitar will work for your lessons. You don’t have to own a specific guitar with particular mods or pick-ups.

Just make sure that your guitar is in good condition and that you always have a new set of strings nearby. Whether you’d like to teach on an electric or acoustic guitar, be sure that your guitar is in optimal conditions for your lessons.

Choose the Right Platform to Teach Online Guitar Lessons

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You must be careful when selecting the platform for your lessons, because not all of them are good for such a thing as a guitar lesson.

Avoid Skype as much as possible and stick with either Zoom or Google Meet. Both of these platforms work amazingly because of their servers, so they won’t have as many connection issues as Skype.

Not only that, but they also offer many features that Skype doesn’t, such as recording, pointing with your mouse, making notes on the screen, and more. It’s recommended to let students pick their platform. However, if it’s your choice, pick one of these two and you’ll have an amazing experience while teaching your online guitar lessons.

For players who’d like to join the smooth side of the force, there are some great online jazz guitar courses. These courses focus on the genre of jazz and its subgenres, so some experience with guitar technique and theory is required for most of them.

Courses such as Jazz Guitar Online, Jazz for the Curious Guitarist by Udemy, True Fire, and GuitarTricks are some of the online courses that offer the best content for the cost.

Thankfully, some of these courses offer free trials. You can check them out, and if you don’t feel comfortable after the first few modules, you can have your money back. But trust us, you won’t want to quit. Read on for our rundown of the top jazz guitar courses.

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Jazz Guitar Online

Learning jazz can be tough, but with this course, your path to becoming a jazz master will be easier and much more fun! Jazz Guitar offers a variety of forums, courses, and lessons that will help you understand the theory and technique behind this great genre.

This online platform offers several free lessons that introduce you to the more complex areas of jazz. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player in any other genre, these courses and lessons will help you start grooving in no time.

Jazz Guitar also features a printable PDF that contains 87 classic jazz patterns, 75 jazz guitar licks, 8 different explanations on how to put these patterns in a musical context, and 7 small studies on how to use a single pattern through a jazz standard.

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Jazz for the Curious Guitarist

This course is offered in the vast and incredible selection of courses that Udemy has in store. Jazz for the Curious Guitarist promises to teach you all that’s needed to start playing jazz, such as theory, chords, patterns, scales, and arpeggios.

The course is offered for any kind of level. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, Jazz for the Curious Guitarist has something for you. The best part of this is that each course has a reasonable price of $18.99.

The only requirement for this course is that you own a guitar with 6 strings. It doesn’t matter whether you have an electric, acoustic, or classical guitar. No basic level is needed — only you and your instrument.

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GuitarTricks

Jazz is one of the most desired genres to understand among musicians, and GuitarTricks offers 39 different jazz courses that will help advanced players. Even though not all of these courses are jazz, many touch on aspects of jazz that are very important when it comes to musical assembly and theory.

It’s important to note that all of these courses aren’t for beginners. The guitar player who would like to approach these courses must have an advanced level. For anyone who’d like to start from the beginning, we recommend another course or private lessons.

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TrueFire

TrueFire, the learning platform built with famous artists, offers a wide variety of jazz-related courses. These include video lessons, eBooks, PDFs, and much more. This website features courses taught by excellent teachers as well as legends of music.

The platform offers the user countless courses that go from complete beginner to advanced, and there’s even a course dictated by the one and only Pat Martino.

Not only that, but the jazz modules also include lessons about bebop, smooth jazz, and jazz blues. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you go with this website, as it has amazing options and good prices.

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ArtistWorks

Artistworks has great courses for any kind of genre, and jazz guitar is no exception. They have brilliant tutors that have years of experience in the matter and can dissect the theory and technique in understandable ways.

One specific course that’s dictated by Dave Stryker breaks down different warm-up exercises, explains different jazz standards, and pushes students to go beyond their current guitar technique.

The way Artistworks evaluates the performance of their students is by encouraging them to submit videos of them playing a piece. These performances are reviewed by tutors and help students fix those little mistakes we all make.

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JamPlay

Beginner players might want to start with the jazz courses that JamPlay offers to their customers. This website allows students to learn at their own pace, and its video lessons are taught by professional tutors.

Possibilities are infinite, and you can start learning any jazz skill you’d like to work on in your own time. JamPlay also tracks their students' progress, so you can check how far you’ve come and go back to any lesson when necessary.

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Online Guitar Institute

Just like the other platforms, Online Guitar Institute offers courses and lessons for guitarists that would like to enhance their skills. Through this website, guitarists can learn any genre that they want, including jazz!

Since jazz is one of the most desired genres to learn, Online Guitar Institute has designed a series of courses and lessons that will help any player start their journey through this amazing genre and its subgenres.

Online Guitar Institute has online tutors that must be booked through the website. These lessons are delivered on platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or any other that’s convenient for both the teacher and the student.

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Jazz Guitar Academy

Jazz Guitar Academy, as its name states, focuses on jazz and its subgenres. Anyone who’d like to learn about the way guitar is approached in this genre can start taking lessons on this website!

The courses are designed for everyone to understand. Regardless of whether you don’t have any experience or you’ve been playing music for years, this website has something for you. You can learn at your own pace.

This website also offers music sheets and diagrams, and they also offer loops with other instruments so you can groove on your own and put into practice all that you have learned!

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Elite Guitarist Jazz

Like many other websites on this list, Elite Guitarist Jazz focuses on this genre. Their courses are suitable for any kind of guitarist, at any level of knowledge. Elite Guitarist Jazz has courses that teach you all you need to know about jazz and its related genres.

They have a wide variety of categories that you can explore, which enables you to specialize in any aspect of jazz that you like the most. The courses and lessons that this website offers have pre-recorded videos, allowing you to retake any lesson.

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Andy Guitar

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitarists can sign up for this course taught by Andy Crowley. This website includes tons of courses that will help any kind of guitarist enhance their skills. Among all the lessons that Crowley teaches, there are some that help you understand jazz in a theoretical and technical way.

In his jazz guitar lessons, Andy Crowley includes a video introduction to the genre and how it works. After the introductory videos, you should be able to start practicing through the actual jazz lessons that Andy has put together.

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Often, musicians need the help of a more experienced source. This is when most of us look for lessons and courses online. The truth is that most of these courses charge a monthly fee, but we’ve done some research and found the best free online guitar courses that you can start trying out today!

Platforms like Your Guitar Academy and GuitarLessons have some free content for people who aren’t able to pay for a full course at the moment but are eager to learn. Read on as we elaborate on how they work and what they teach so you can decide whether you’d like to enroll or not.

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Online Guitar Courses for Free

Most of the platforms that offer online guitar courses, free or not, work with pre-recorded video lessons. These lessons can be taken at any time of the day and any day of the week since they’re not video calls or face-to-face classes. Let’s explore some of the websites that offer this service for free!

Your Guitar Academy

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Even Eddie Van Halen had to start somewhere, and Your Guitar Academy will give you the right fundamental tools and guitar techniques so you can start your journey as a guitarist for free! Through separate lessons, electric guitar players and acoustic guitar players will learn most of the most basic stuff. As you go on, you’ll feel tempted to stay since they also offer song lessons and loop tracks so you can jam along with the track.

Your Guitar Academy is an excellent option for all those beginner guitarists who’d like to taste their potential. The video lessons are amazing and tackle each topic carefully so everyone can understand. We encourage you to explore this website so you can decide whether it suits the way you learn. Remember, intermediate and advanced lessons are also free!

GuitarLessons

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Whether you play an acoustic or an electric guitar, GuitarLessons will help you with those beginner steps for the price of nothing! These free courses will encourage you to play during those events where you’re sitting around a campfire with your friends.

If you’d like to go even further than just being able to play campfire songs, GuitarLessons also has free courses that provide tips and tricks on how to play lead and rhythm guitar!

Not only that, but GuitarLessons will also walk you through music theory on the guitar and how to apply it when you’re playing. From chord shapes to scales to major and minor chords, GuitarLessons covers it all!

Moreover, there are many other free courses on this website that you can explore today!

Justin Guitar

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By joining Justin Guitar’s website, you get more than 1,200 lessons for free! These lessons will help you as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced guitarist.

There’s also an app that you can use on your phone. The app features free lessons and is a great tool for students who don’t spend much time at home or those who travel with their guitars.

Justin Guitar is a website worth checking out. It has been recognized as one of the most efficient and reliable free websites on the internet.

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Learning Through YouTube

YouTube has always been a major source of free content, including guitar lessons! Companies such as Fender have created their own spaces on this platform, so they post completely free lessons for everyone to watch. Through Fender Play’s channel, you can learn some basic techniques and songs that have been considered hymns of rock and roll.

Moreover, many content creators post lessons on their channels. Each of these channels dedicates its content to one genre, so you can look up the one that you’d like to learn. We recommend you check out our list of guitar technique YouTubers and our list of the best channels that teach songs.

Are there songs that you would love to sing but feel like you just can't hit those high notes? Whether you’re just starting out as a singer or have been at it for a while, there’s always room for improvement.

Learning what your vocal range is and how to expand it could get you where you want to be. If you’re tired of embarrassing yourself at Friday night karaoke, we have something that might help.

Although your vocal range is said to be predetermined genetically, by following this simple guide and putting in daily practice, you can learn how to increase vocal range by a few notes or even an octave or two, which could make a huge difference!

Knowing what your vocal range is super important as a singer, and learning how to expand it could open up a whole new world of singing abilities you never knew you had. Let us show you how!

What Is Your Vocal Range, and What Are the Different Types?

Vocal range is defined, in general, as the lowest to highest note that you can sing comfortably. From Barry White to ACDC, vocal range varies from singer to singer. Our singing voices are amazing! Check out Tim Storms, who sings the lowest note in the world!

Vocal range is usually written by a letter followed by a number (for example, C4 – G3).

According to The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, there are four main types of vocal range along with the corresponding notes and octaves:

  • Alto - Means "high" in Italian. The corresponding notes and octaves that go with alto are usually G3 to E5. For females, alto is the lowest vocal range. In contrast, alto is the second-highest for males.
  • Bass - This vocal range is one of the rarest and is classified as the lowest of ranges. Bass is mainly classified as a male singing voice. The corresponding notes and octaves that go with bass are usually F2 to E4.
  • Tenor - This vocal range is the highest of the male singing range and also has one of the smallest ranges. The corresponding notes and octaves that go with tenor are usually C3 to A4.
  • Soprano - This vocal range is the highest of the female vocal range. It is a light and airy type of voice range. The corresponding notes and octaves that go with soprano are usually C4 to A5

Understanding each of these groups and where you may be classified helps you know where your voice is the strongest, and it will help you when choosing songs that fit your vocal range.

Of course, what type of range your voice may be classified as depends on whether you’re a male or female singer and the type of singing you’re doing. You can learn more about these types of vocal ranges here.

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How Can You Find Your Vocal Range?

So now that you know the main types of vocal range, how do you know what specific vocal range you are?

We have a great exercise for you to help you figure that out!

One easy way to find your vocal range is with an instrument. So grab a piano or keyboard and pencil and paper. The note C4 is a great place to start. It’s in the middle of most male and female vocal ranges.

  • First, you’ll start at this note and go down the keyboard until you have reached the lowest note that you’re able to sing comfortably. Please mark down this note.
  • Then, you’ll go back to your C4 note and go in the opposite direction until you find the highest note that you can comfortably sing. Mark this note down as well, and voila: You have found your range!

Why Does Knowing the Measurement of Your Vocal Range Matter?

A singer that does not fully understand their vocal range may think they’re hitting that high note while singing an ACDC classic, but they’re in fact singing higher than their normal range, making it sound weak and not to its full potential.

This is especially important if you decide to compete. Knowing what songs you can convincingly and comfortably sing is the way to go. If Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey's high notes are not in your range, please don't try to pull off one of their songs. It won't go as well as you think.

So are you stuck in your current vocal range forever? Not necessarily...

Simple Ways to Increase or Expand Your Current Vocal Range

Increasing or expanding your vocal range is possible but not easy. Nothing worth anything is. Following these simple steps will help simplify it for you.

1. Improving Vocal Health

To start, it’s super important to keep your voice healthy. Trying not to have your vocal cords strain too much is key — whether they’re straining from a late night of karaoke, letting that voice go in the car, or yelling at your kids too much in the morning (guilty).

  • Let your voice rest: It’s a good idea to let your voice rest when you start to feel that strain. Only you know when it’s too much for your voice to handle. Maybe skip that next song at the club and let your girls belt it while you sit this one out and let your vocal cords take a break.
  • Getting the proper rest: Of course, resting your entire body is beneficial as well. We have all been to an a.m. practice after a long night, rolling in with our sunglasses and our second cup of coffee. We don't feel well, and it shows in our performance. It’s hard to get the proper burst of energy and air into our lungs if we’re feeling sluggish and slow.
  • Hydration: Put down the coffee and grab that water bottle. According to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men need approximately 15.5 cups of fluids a day and women need approximately 11.5 cups. Getting the proper amount of fluids into our bodies will help keep our organs running and our bodies happy.
  • Try to avoid getting ill: No one wants or tries to get sick, but it’s especially important when you’re a singer not to sound like you have a toad in your throat. Making sure you’re washing your hand regularly or sanitizing when necessary is a strong recommendation. Getting lots of vitamin C and using a humidifier when your throat feels dry helps tremendously. Having some hot herbal tea with honey can do wonders as well.

When your voice does feel strained, you can eat and drink certain foods that may help to strengthen your voice. There are certain foods you may want to avoid as well. Click the link to find out what those are.

2. Singing With the Correct Technique

Posture is important! Have you ever noticed that your singing is just not as good when you’re sitting in a chair or slouched over? Do you tend to sit up straight and raise your chest when singing high notes?

That’s because posture matters. Standing up straight and tall, where your diaphragm can get the proper air, will help.

Also, relaxation is key. You don't want any tension in the tongue, throat, neck, or jaw. It makes sense that one of the strongest muscles in the body, the tongue, can get tense when we’re singing! A lot of times, we don't even know we’re tensing it.

One quick way to check for this tension is to place a thumb underneath your chin on the muscular tissue below where your tongue is. When you swallow, you can feel the tongue tighten. Make sure this area stays relaxed as you rest your tongue at the top of your bottom teeth while singing.

As well as tongue tension, you can literally see the tension in the neck when singing. You must have good breath support and learn to use that air properly instead of straining the neck muscles. Tension will squeeze around the larynx and not allow sounds to come out properly.

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A quick exercise to release tension in the neck involves lowering your head and bringing your chin to your chest. Tilt your head to the right and to the left for about 30 seconds. Repeat a couple times on each side until your neck is properly loosened up.

Your jaw can also get very tense and make a difference in your singing range. Dropping your jaw as you ascend notes may be helpful to relax it.

A quick exercise to help further relaxation of the jaw is to let your mouth hang open and use two fingers on both sides of the jaw to gently massage in a circular motion the muscles by the ears.

3. Warming Up and Doing Regular Exercises

Just like any muscle that needs to be warmed up before working it, your vocal cords are no different. Humming is a fantastic way to warm up your vocal cords. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just keep humming up and down the scale until they feel ready to go.

  • The Siren Technique: This technique sounds exactly like its name. The sound you’re going for is like an emergency vehicle siren sound. You’re going to start with the vowels "ooh" or "ee" and start with a low note all the way through to your comfortable high notes. Then, do the same thing from the high notes to the low notes as well.
  • Bubble Lips or Tongue Trill Exercise: Men will start on a B2 and ladies on a F#3. You’ll push up your cheeks, bubble your lips, and make an 'uh' sound while they vibrate. The vibrations travel from chest to head voice while the larynx stays down.

4. Learning the Difference Between Chest and Head Voice

Knowing the difference between chest voice and head voice can make a difference in the way you sing.

Chest voice is the lower range of your voice. The notes you sing are more prominent in your 'chest.' One way to find this is to put a hand on collar bone, sing a low open note, and feel the vibration under your hand. Your normal speaking voice is in this range, and chest voice is created using thick vocal folds.

Check out more on discovering your chest voice here.

Head voice is the upper region of your voice range. These are more of the high-pitched notes. These notes or vibrations are more prominent in your 'head,' not so much in your chest.

A simple way to explore your head voice is to place your hand on your collar bone again and find a note similar to that of an owl hoot. In this way, you can see that the vibration is not in your chest as much but travels up into the head region. This range is created using thin vocal folds.

How Long Does It Take To Increase Vocal Range?

There’s no set time on how long it will take or by how much your vocal range will expand. Every voice is different, and where you’re at now and how much time you devote to your singing will determine how much your voice can improve.

Once you find your vocal range, you’re ready to get started on the path to becoming the singer you want to be.

Don't forget: Be careful not to overdo it and hurt your voice. Again, we must reiterate that only you know when your voice has had enough. If it starts to feel strained, stop, rest and hydrate.

Don't forget to get lots of rest, which will help prevent you from getting ill and hurting your voice and body. If you do get ill, take care of yourself!

Finding the proper technique and consistently practicing these great exercises are all you need. Doing these vocal exercises daily can help you get there quicker. Two to two and a half minutes an exercise is recommended. Try these exercises for a week and see what happens. What do you have to lose?

Also, remember that it takes time and isn’t easy! Please don’t get discouraged. It’s a slow process, and you may not see the change in your range as quickly as you would like.

Try some of these exercises and then check back a week later and let us know if there was a change. We want to help you succeed in getting your voice closer to where you want it to be. Let us know in the comments if you tried any of the exercises, and if so, feel free to share what worked or didn’t work for you.

Due to technological advances, online guitar courses have become the new normal. But are they worth it? Should you go back to in-person guitar lessons, or should you enroll in an online guitar course?

Today, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of both modalities. This way, you can determine which one is right for you!

Before we dive into online vs. in-person guitar lessons, let’s consider the current situation around the world. As we all know, we’re going through a global pandemic, and even though everyone is getting vaccinated, some can still get the virus and spread it. With that in mind, some of us are reluctant to receive in-person guitar lessons.

However, in-person guitar lessons offer some important benefits that online lessons don’t. The same applies the other way around. Read on for an in-depth comparison.

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In-Person Lessons: Pros

  • Motivation: People who take classes in person feel more motivated towards their goals. Even Gen Z benefits a lot from in-person classes, even though they’re part of the generation that feels more comfortable with the internet. By taking in-person lessons, you’ll concentrate better and therefore grasp concepts faster.
  • Hearing: Not only you will hear better the examples that your teacher gives you, but your teacher will also hear you better. You don’t have to go through the uncomfortable experience of playing and having the audio cut out due to connection problems.
  • Spotting Mistakes: Often, beginner and intermediate guitarists make common mistakes while doing guitar exercises or even playing songs. Through in-person classes, your teacher can spot your mistakes easier than they can through a screen.
  • Making Friends: Maybe you receive lessons alone but you still go to an academy where you’ll meet other musicians! You may even meet your future bandmates, who knows?

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In-Person Lessons: Cons

  • Exposure to COVID: Even though most of us are vaccinated, we are still exposed to the virus in some way or another. When going to in-person classes, you must interact with more people, which puts you at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus.
  • Higher Prices: Nowadays, it’s much harder to find in-person classes at a low price. You can find teachers who charge around $40 to $60 per class.
  • Having Less Time: If you sign up for in-person classes, you may have to drive or walk to the place you receive classes. This journey can be time-consuming.

Online Lessons: Pros

  • Comfortable Space: Now that you’re receiving classes at home, you can set up a comfortable room where you’ll enjoy your class. Instead of sitting in a classroom without any personality and with uncomfortable chairs, you could be sitting alone on a nice sofa and with the AC on!
  • Your Pace: Many guitar courses have pre-recorded videos. This allows students to learn at their own pace. It makes learning how to play much more comfortable since you don’t have the pressure of a face-to-face teacher.
  • Any Time of the Day: You can watch lessons at any time of the day since you don’t have an actual teacher who is going to be waiting for you. Sometimes, we get busy and need to make changes to our daily schedule, and this option offers flexibility.
  • Stay Safe: As we previously mentioned, learning at home through an online course will prevent you from getting COVID-19 or spreading it. You can keep learning while staying safe!

Online Lessons: Cons

  • It’s Harder: Even though it’s more comfortable to learn how to play guitar at home, it can be much harder. Some people find it hard to stay motivated due to distractions, boredom, and much more.
  • Connection Problems: This can be a real bummer for you and your teacher since you’ll have to repeat what you missed during interruptions. Sometimes, your internet provider may experience issues, preventing you from attending class and forcing you to reschedule.
  • Learning Takes More Time: Signing up for an online guitar course where the lessons are pre-recorded could negatively impact your learning experience. Everyone learns at a different pace and prefers different teaching methods. If the method that the tutor used when he or she recorded those videos doesn’t work for you, you may not be able to get the most out of the experience.

Online vs. In-Person: Which One Should You Choose?

The answer to this question depends on you and your preferred learning style and lifestyle. We encourage you to evaluate the pros and cons of both teaching methods and decide for yourself which one suits you best!

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No matter the subject, finding a good teacher is hard, and adapting your learning style to your teacher’s teaching style is even harder.

Fortunately, nowadays there are many ways in which you can teach yourself how to play guitar. With all the tools, software, and websites on the internet, you can learn how to play your favorite songs and compose your own!

There are many ways in which you can learn by yourself. The main ones are through online guitar courses provided by websites such as Guitar Tricks, TrueFire, and many more! Other learning options include books available on Amazon, video games like Rocksmith, and software like Yousician. Let’s dive into each of these ways so you can decide which one suits you best!

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Online Guitar Courses

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Online guitar courses are a great resource for those who still need a teacher but can’t afford the rising prices of an hour with a face-to-face teacher.

These types of courses typically consist of online video lessons. The prices of these courses are much more accessible since they’re normally paid on a monthly or yearly basis. A site like Guitar Tricks, known to be one of the best for learning how to play guitar, charges $19.99 a month and $179.99 a year!

One of the best aspects of online guitar courses is that you can specialize in any genre that you want. Whether you’re interested in metal, country, rock, or jazz, through these kinds of platforms, you can learn how to play anything you want! Moreover, you can learn at your own pace, and you don’t have to deal with the pressure of face-to-face lessons.

If you’d like to learn more about online guitar courses, click here!

Guitar Books

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Even though we have access to tons of content thanks to the internet, learning how to play guitar through books is still one of the best ways of getting better at this activity. You can find guitar books for any kind of level, and any sort of genre. We highly recommend Hal Leonard's series of guitar books, as they’re great for beginner guitarists!

Another great thing about this is that most of the best books for learning how to play guitar by yourself are available on Amazon. You can find books for adult beginners and young beginners for a very low price. It’s something worth checking out if you’re considering learning completely by yourself.

One thing everyone must consider is that when you learn through a book, you must rely entirely on its explanations since you don’t have a teacher in front of you showing you how to play. If you need someone to explain how the exercises and theory work, then we would recommend you look for other ways in which you can learn how to play guitar by yourself.

Video Games and Apps

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Nowadays, there are more alternatives to learning how to play guitar by yourself. Things like video games and apps have been created to help you enhance your guitar skills. Taking inspiration from video games such as Guitar Hero, Ubisoft developed Rocksmith, a video game that teaches players how to play different guitar songs. Apart from that, it has a section for guitar techniques!

There’s also Yousician, an app available on Apple and Android that helps users learn guitar techniques, theory, and songs! Yousician’s membership is paid monthly, while Rocksmith is just a one-time purchase. Both of these are amazing, and if you are interested in this new way of learning, we encourage you to check out our comparison between Yousician and Rocksmith.

YouTube Video Lessons

Alternate Guitar Tunings

As we all know, YouTube is a free streaming service with a gigantic amount of content in store. Of course, many content creators have dedicated their channels to posting guitar lessons! Here, you can find lessons on guitar techniques for beginner, intermediate, and advanced guitarists, and also song lessons for those who’d like to learn how to play the best hits of their favorite band or artist! If you’re interested in learning which channels are the best at teaching songs, click here!

The channels that focus on techniques can be found in any shape and color. There are channels for any level, and also channels that focus on one genre or subgenre!

Do you want to enhance your skills in one genre? YouTube is your best bet if you’d like to receive these lessons for free! If you want to learn more about the best channels in this realm, click here!

Teach Yourself How to Play Guitar: FAQs

There are a few common questions asked by those looking to teach themselves how to play guitar. Check out those questions and their answers below.

Should I Concentrate on Music Theory or Technique?

Like with everything in life, you must find a balance. While you learn your theory, you’ll also encounter techniques and exercises that help you apply the theory. Especially if you’d like to compose music someday, you must know both very well.

How Long Will It Take for Me to Go From Beginner to Intermediate?

The time each student takes to go from beginner to intermediate will depend on how much time he or she takes every day to learn something new. On average, it will take around 3 months to become a late beginner while practicing every day for at least 1 hour.

Which of These Alternatives Is Better?

If you’re still not sure you want to commit to guitar, then we would suggest starting with YouTube videos, since they’re free. If this isn’t the case and you’re sure you want to learn how to play, then we would recommend online guitar courses, as they’re guided by someone and you learn at your own pace. Not only that, but through online guitar courses, you can also find a great community of people with whom you can share your experience and doubts.

As we spend more time at home than ever before, guitar lessons have found their way into the digital space. Maybe you’ve been thinking of taking guitar lessons with online teachers but want to check if you have all the necessary equipment. Today, we’ll show you all you need for your future online guitar lessons.

If you're still not sure which platform you’ll use to find your online teacher, we encourage you to check our list of the best platforms for private online guitar lessons. But for now, let’s take a deep dive into what you need for your lessons!

Alternate Guitar TuningsA Strong WiFi Connection

Naturally, if you’re going to take online guitar classes, you must have a strong internet connection. Otherwise, your lesson could be interrupted by lag or cutouts.

These problems can ruin your learning experience if they are recurrent, and they could also impact the way you listen to your teacher and how your teacher listens to your guitar. Some online courses might ask for you to have at least 200MB of download speed, but many others ask for less.

Either ask your teacher or read through the information on the platform’s website to determine the download speed you must have to take classes with them.

Microphone

When it comes to the microphone needed for online classes, you don’t have to get too fancy. Of course, a decent microphone is needed for your teacher to hear you as well as possible, but there are some great USB microphones that you can get for under $50. For example, the FIFINE K669 and the FDUCE Professional Studio Microphone are a couple of great budget options that will get the job done!

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Webcam or Integrated Recording Device

Your teacher will have to see how you’re playing your guitar in case you’re making any mistakes like pressing too hard, pressing too light, or tensing too much while playing. For this, you will need to be able to turn on your laptop’s camera, your phone’s camera, or a webcam connected to your desktop PC.

Thankfully, this may not require a purchase since most of us own a phone with a camera. The camera quality doesn’t have to be that good. However, it should allow your teacher to see how you play.

Headphones

It’s super important to have a pair of headphones or earbuds around for your guitar lessons. Without them, there could be feedback from your teacher’s end that could ruin how he or she hears you while playing. Not only that, but by using headphones, you can better hear what your teacher is playing. The headphones you use don’t have to be expensive, as a decent pair will suffice.

If you don’t have any or if you find them uncomfortable, make sure that the sound that comes out of your computer or phone doesn’t interfere with your microphone. We also suggest avoiding Bluetooth headphones since they often reproduce sounds with a noticeable delay, but this may not be a huge problem since some of these have a tolerable delay.

Your Guitar

Naturally, you’ll need your guitar to take online guitar lessons. Here, you can use any guitar that you want. You can use either the cheapest one or the most expensive and extravagant guitar you have. We suggest you use the guitar that makes you feel most comfortable regarding cost and playability.

If you’re planning on using an acoustic guitar, you don’t have to worry about anything else other than getting your guitar tuned and having some guitar picks.

However, if you’re going to use an electric guitar, make sure to have a functioning amp, and regulate the volume and other settings to avoid saturating the microphone. Also, make sure it’s laying at a good distance from the microphone, as the saturation of the microphone could result in a nonsensical festival of noise.

Alternate Guitar Tunings

A Comfortable Space

It’s always comfortable to take classes in a place where you don’t hear any noise from the outside. This is not obligatory, but it’s recommended to take guitar lessons in a room where you can’t hear anything but your guitar. This is ideal not only for you but also for your teacher who can hear what’s going on around you. Some sound disturbances could make lessons harder to teach.

For you, it’s also important to have a silent and comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted by any outside noise. Having a silent space where you can’t be distracted by anything else will enhance your learning pace. Remember, this isn’t obligatory, but it’s recommended.

Has your child recently developed an interest in learning guitar after hearing some of your favorite hits in the car? Regardless, learning an instrument forces a child’s brain to work with both hemispheres, which makes it excellent for brain development.

If your kid wants to begin their journey of becoming a guitarist, and they keep asking you to sign them up for lessons, you don’t have to worry anymore! Read on as we show you the best online guitar courses for kids offered by GuitarTricks, OutSchool, and others that will help your child learn how to play guitar.

In the meantime, we suggest you also check out our list of the best guitar lengths for kids!

Alternate Guitar Tunings

OutSchool

Alternate Guitar Tunings

This platform has a wide variety of courses designed for kids. You can find one that’s called Intro to Guitar for Young Beginners. This course teaches young children the basic techniques and theory of the guitar. It offers a 30-minute introductory session that covers topics like how to pluck a string, how to hold a guitar, and how to strum chords. After this session, your child can enroll in longer sessions and even private sessions.

As stated on their site, all you need to have to enroll is a guitar and the willingness to have fun! This course is dictated by Ben Gitter, and it’s available on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays! If by any chance you own a 3-string guitar, that's fine too!

GuitarTricks Guitar Fundamentals I and II

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Among the best online guitar courses for kids are Guitar Fundamentals I and II, both of which are taught by Lisa McCormick. She’s an excellent and friendly teacher who covers the topics at a moderate pace, which makes these courses beginner-friendly and kid-friendly.

These two courses are especially good for kids because they begin with the basics. Also, since these lessons are pre-recorded, your child can repeat each one as many times as they need to.

Some of the topics that are covered in both courses are as follows:

  • Tuning
  • Melody and some musical elements
  • Timing
  • Changing from chord to chord
  • Strumming techniques
  • Major scales
  • Power chords
  • Notation and tablature

This course is recommended for every child above the age of 7 who would like to start learning how to play guitar. The best part is that there’s a two-week free trial. As a result, your kid will have enough time to decide if they’d like to continue learning!

Little Kids Rock Course

Alternate Guitar Tunings

These lessons are aimed at kids above the age of 7 who would like to start learning how to play guitar while having fun. You can’t go wrong with this website, as it was built by musicians for musicians.

Little Kids Rock Course specializes in rock music and some of its subgenres. It has 96 minutes of instructional content. This course was crafted to be enjoyed by every kid who has demonstrated some passion for music.

For only $9.99, you can get the complete course, with the option to download or stream each lesson. At a price like this, we trust that you won’t regret signing up your kid for this guitar course.

Kid’s Guitar Dojo

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Kids Guitar Dojo encourages kids to start learning how to play guitar from a very early age. Not only will this be an excellent skill for when they’re older, but it will also help them train their brain to work better.

This website offers young students video tutorials and lessons that are designed to be beginner-friendly and kid-friendly. Their courses include beginner fundamentals of the guitar, Star Wars-themed lessons, a free micro-course, and more. Kid’s Guitar Dojo also encourages daily practice so children can better retain the information they learn.

For the price of $197, you’ll get the entire fundamentals course, where your kid will learn everything about strumming, rhythm, notation, tablature, major and minor scales, chords, and much more! The rest of the courses are much cheaper, costing $8 each.

Thumbs Up Kids Guitar by Udemy

Alternate Guitar Tunings

This course offered by Udemy is designed for kids and beginners, so if you would like to tag along with your children through this online course, know that it’s possible. Thumbs Up Kids teaches the fundamentals of guitar and music theory, such as strumming, scales, tablature, and more.

Udemy offers a huge discount of 84% for this course, bringing the total price down to $13.99. Lindsey Ginn, the creator of this course, has only one requirement: to have a guitar with you and to have fun!

Traditional learning methods are staying in the past. Nowadays, not only can you learn guitar through online platforms that offer pre-recorded video lessons, but also through apps like Yousician and games like Rocksmith. These options work similarly but have completely different focuses. Today, we’ll compare Yousician vs. Rocksmith, both equally great, and try to help you determine which one suits you best.

Before going deep into the comparison, we must know what they are and what they offer. They have completely different teaching methods, and completely different goals, but both offer their users a variety of knowledge on how to play the guitar.

Alternate Guitar TuningsYousician

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Yousician was designed to work as a phone or tablet application that has guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and singing lessons. On the app, you can find not only lessons but also exercises, music theory lessons, songs that you can learn, and much more. The app also offers a tuner and works through the microphone of your device.

The layout is colorful and very user-friendly, and pretty much like the game Guitar Hero, the lessons will guide you through the notation and chords and strings you should press and play on your instrument.

Every level of knowledge is available here, which means that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Either way, you’ll find this app helpful. The app charges a monthly fee and offers a 7-day free trial.

Rocksmith

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Unlike Yousician, Rocksmith is a video game available on almost every platform nowadays. Rocksmith will teach you how to play your favorite rock songs progressively. This means that when you start learning a song, you won’t play the exact original version but a simplified one that will eventually get harder and harder as you progress and improve.

Rocksmith also features lessons for those who are struggling to get through the songs, and some of these lessons are taught by some of the best guitarists nowadays, like The Doo!

This is a one-time purchase, but you can also get DLCs that contain some extra songs. Some of these DLCs include songs by Green Day, Weezer, Paramore, and many more! But believe us when we say that the DLCs are not necessary to buy, as Rocksmith’s catalog is very broad and varied.

Which One Is Better?

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Yousician vs. Rocksmith—comparing these two is difficult, and in the end, the decision is yours to make. What we can do is help you figure out which one suits you best! Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of both.

Since Yousician works through an app, it can be taken anywhere you go. This is ideal for trips or when your PC or laptop is being used by anyone else.

The downside is that the app works through your device’s microphone, which means that there could be mistakes in the tone of your guitar without you or the app noticing! Yousician also doesn’t tell you which way you should position your fingers. It only tells you which chord you should play, and for a beginner player who wants to learn how to play a song, this can be problematic.

Rocksmith, on the other hand, works with a cable that goes directly into your guitar. This enhances the tone’s accuracy. The cable is both a pro and a con, as it has an extra cost that could go up to $30.

Rocksmith, being a videogame, can only be played with a PC or a console. This could be an important factor for guitarists who are always on the road. Finally, the best aspect of Rocksmith is that it’s very intuitive and immersive, and like Guitar Hero, it makes you feel the hype while playing any song.

Now that you know the most important aspects of both platforms, you can decide which one works best for you! Remember, the most important part is that you feel drawn to keep learning and playing guitar.

F Major is a very popular chord in popular music, and it blends very well with many conventional chords out there. This chord is used in many genres, and it has become part of many legendary songs such as Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel, Ho Hey by The Lumineers, Rolling in The Deep by Adele, and others.

It’s understandable why so many beginner guitarists avoid playing the standard version of this chord because of its weird shapes, but today we’ll show you many ways in which you can play this chord while you learn how to play the standard version!

F Major Standard Chord Shape

Unlike other standard chord shapes, this one can be a little tricky, but it will help you build your strength to play barre chords. To play this chord you have to barre the first two strings, and place 2nd and 3rd fingers in the positions we’ll show you soon. To barre the strings, you should press with the side of your index finger to get the best sound out of it. Practice as much as possible and you’ll be playing the Fmaj standard chord shape in no time!

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Easy F Major Chord Shape

Since it might be difficult to play the standard version, we have for you a simplified version so you can play the closest version of F major standard while you’re still learning how to play the original. Follow the next image to learn how to play it:

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F Major Triads

Another way to play the F major chord is to play the different arrangements of it along the fretboard. It’s great to know each of these since the different order of notes can have different impacts on the song you’re playing! Follow the next images to learn how to play each of the Fmaj triads:

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F Major Barre Chord Shapes

If you’ve practiced the standard version enough, you might be ready to play the barred versions of this chord. They’re just a little harder than the original, but it’s still completely possible to play even if you’re a beginner. These barred versions of F major have a different approach to the sound of the chord. Therefore, it can enrich the way you play and the way you could play a song you’re writing. Follow the next images to learn how to play the barred Fmaj:

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E minor chord is one of the most commonly used chords in modern music, and more than that, it’s the lowest-sounding chord that you can play on a regular guitar tuned to standard E. Genres that use this chord frequently are blues, rock, metal, and many more! It is a dark-sounding chord that is easy to play!

This chord is one of the first chords any guitarist should know due to its importance in popular music and its simple shapes! E minor goes perfectly well with A minor, B major, C major, and D# diminished, among others! Let’s explore some of the shapes E minor has to offer!

Standard E Minor Chord Shape

Em standard shape is fairly easy to play, and it’s one of the lowest chords that you can play on your guitar tuned to E standard! The best part about this is that you will need only two fingers to play this chord, and you don’t have to worry about muting any string! Follow the image to play this amazing chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Easy Em Chord Shape (Open)

This version of the Em chord is the easiest you can get. It’s a simplified version of the chord, and the best thing is that you don’t have to press on any strings! You’d only have to strum the first three strings. Follow the next image to know which strings you should play:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Would we recommend using this chord? If you would like to add a different sound to your Em, then yes. However, we know that there are many different versions of Em that could sound much better than this open Em chord.

Em Triad Chord Shapes

Exploring the Em triads along the fretboard can enrich your playing versatility since each of these chords sound very different even though they have the same notes. Let’s explore some of the different Em chords that you can find along your fretboard!

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E Minor Barre Chord Shapes

Barre chord shapes are usually tricky. Therefore, it’s advised to practice them as much as possible. Usually, the most difficult part about this is playing many notes with one finger, but by gently pressing those series of notes with the side of your finger. Practicing barre chords on Em is not only useful but will also give you the possibility to play this dark chord in a not-so-conventional way! Follow the next images to play the E minor barre chords:

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In popular music, the Bm chord is one of the most used. Moreover, B minor is one of the most popular barre chords for music played on electric and acoustic guitars.

But the barre version of this chord is not the only one you can play on your guitar. Today, we’ll show you many ways in which you can play Bm, from the easiest version to the barre chord version.

If you’d like to compose using this chord, the B minor chord goes amazingly well with chords such as A major, G major, and E minor. If you already know those chords, then you might want to add B minor to your repertoire of chords!

Easy B Minor Chord

This is one of the easiest ways to play this chord, and you do this by only playing the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings. Here we have for you an image that you can follow to play this easy version of the Bm chord that’s most commonly known as a triad with B as its root position:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Alternative B Minor Triads

By playing these triads, you’ll be exploring some other shapes and note arrangements that the B minor chord has to offer. Including these in your repertoire of chords will give you a good sound versatility, because although they’re still B minor chords, some of these chords sound a little different from the natural standard Bm chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Bm7 Chord

This is an amazing chord and will give you a beautiful sound that gets pretty close to the actual sound of the Bm chord. Since the standard B minor chord is a bit too hard to play, this chord can be used as a close substitute while you’re still learning how to play the standard version. Follow this image to play the chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Standard B Minor Chord

To master this version of the B minor chord, you must be able to play barre chords, and as you may have heard, barre chords are a little hard to play even for intermediate guitarists. Here we have for you a brief explanation of how to play barre chords.

To play any barre chord, you’ll have to get comfortable pressing several strings with just one finger. To do this, you have to place the side of your index finger above those strings and press. It might sound muffled, but with practice, you’ll get to a place where you feel comfortable playing barre chords.

The standard B minor chord shape is played only by playing a barre chord, and your index finger is placed on the second fret. Here we have for you an image for you to follow as a guide to play this great chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The A minor chord is one of the first chords every guitarist should learn to play since it often appears in popular music. This minor chord produces a sound that is commonly described as “sad,” but it can be mixed with other chords to give it another interpretation. Most commonly used in metal, blues, and rock, the A minor chord has a fair amount of fame in modern music.

Some chords that go fairly well with the A minor chord are E major, F major, and D minor, among others! If you would like to compose some songs using this sad-sounding chord, then you could try using those, but before that, let’s check the easiest ways in which you could play the A minor chord.

Standard A Minor Chord Shape

Unlike many other chords, the standard version of this chord is fairly easy to learn. All you have to do is to be aware of not playing the 6th string. The fingers you will have to use for this chord are your first, second and third. Follow this image to play the standard version of A minor:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Easier Version A Minor Chord Shape

This simplified version of A minor is played with only two fingers, but you’d have to avoid playing the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, leaving alone the first three strings. Follow this image to learn how to play this chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings

A Minor Triad Chord Shapes

A minor can be played in many different ways. There are many ways in which you can play A minor along the fretboard. By using the different inversions that this chord has to offer, you can discover many interesting sounds that you can add to your repertoire of chords. Here are all A minor triads:

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Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

A Minor Barre Chord Shapes

If you’re up to the challenge, here are some variations of the A minor in the shape of barre chords. As we know, barre chords can be a little challenging. Therefore, we’d suggest practicing them as much as possible until your finger gets used to them.

Remember that the barre is played with the side of your finger. This ability is acquired by practice, and what’s a better practice than repeating these two A minor barre chord shapes? Follow the next images to learn how to play these two mysteriously sounding chords:

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Alternative A Minor Chord Shapes

If you’d like to explore other ways in which you can play A minor chords, here are two alternatives that are a bit challenging. We’d suggest learning the previous versions of this chord before trying this one. If you feel ready, here are two alternatives to the standard A minor chord:

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Among all the major chords, A major is one of the most used in popular music. It’s normally used in the genres of rock, blues, pop, and even jazz!

The sound it produces is cheerful. However, when we combine it with other chords such as B minor, C# minor, and E major, we can create chord progressions that sound interesting. These chords, among others like D major, F# minor, and G# diminished belong to the scale of chords that you can play if you’re on the key of A major.

A major is one of the first chords every guitarist should learn due to its massive use in popular music, and its simplicity. Today, we will show you the traditional way to play this fairly easy chord, and some of the variations you can try if you don’t feel like using the standard chord shape everyone uses. Let’s dive deep into how to play the different A major chord shapes!

Standard A Major Chord Shape

This shape is fairly easy to play, and even easier to learn! You’ll only need your first three fingers, and you’ll place them exactly on the same fret, but on different strings. You can use two different finger placements to play this chord, but we encourage you to learn the first one since it’s much more comfortable on the fingers and produces a better sound. Follow the next images to learn how to play the A major chord:

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Both versions sound the same, and sometimes it feels easier transitioning to the second version of this chord. The crucial aspect of the first version is that it produces better sound when played. Whether you’d like to learn how to play the first or the second version, you’re still going to be playing the same notes in the same order!

A Major Triads

There are many ways in which you can play the A major chord. There are different shapes and note positionings in which you can play the A major chord. All the chords we’ll show you here are the triad variations, and each of these has a different flavor. Use the following images to learn how to play the A major triads:

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Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

Alternate Guitar Tunings Alternate Guitar Tunings

A Major Barre Chord Shapes

Barre Chords might be challenging for some beginner guitar players, but you can learn how to play them in no time! To barre the strings, you have to press with the side of your index finger the frets in which you’d like to play those notes. After that, you place the other fingers where they need to be to play the chord, and voila!

Follow these images to play the two A major barre chord shapes:

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Does your voice seem to break when you transition from a lower range to a higher range? If we aren't able to transition our voices properly, we may get a cracking or yodeling effect that sounds a little harsh and pitchy.

In vocal music, we have chest voice, head voice, and falsetto voice. How do you know which one you’re using? Keep reading to explore the similarities and differences between head voice vs falsetto voice, and learn how you can use them to improve your singing.

Free Woman Holding Microphone Stock Photo

So, What Is Head Voice Anyway?

To understand head voice, we must first touch on chest voice and note the differences between them. In vocal music, chest voice is the term for when lower, warmer tones are produced while singing (your lower range), which is most like your speaking voice.

You may note vibration in different parts of the body when singing based on where you place your voice. If your voice is resonating or vibrating in the chest to mouth level, you’re singing with chest voice. One test you can do to see if you are using your chest voice is to place your hand on your chest while singing and see if the vibration is there.

Chest voice is a stronger, more comfortable range than head voice. Head voice can be a bit trickier. Let's see why.

Characteristics of Head Voice

Head voice is one of the high registers of the voice in speaking or singing. This type of singing is above chest voice.

  • When using head voice, you can feel the sound resonating or vibrating up into your head region when singing in your upper range. Singers must learn how to filter their voice from above the mouth into the head.
  • The vocal folds contract and make more contact when using this type of voice. They also stay closed longer with each vibration—which, in turn, produces a strong sound instead of a breathy or airy sound.
  • There’s an easier transition or flow when you go from chest voice to head voice. Head voice is often described as a "mixed " voice, creating an even singing tone where there’s no breaking or cracking of the voice. It also resonates a stronger vocal sound than, say, if you’re using falsetto, but we’ll get to that.
  • Head voice is slightly referenced more towards female singers compared to male singers mainly because of the female's vocal range (typically higher than a male's vocal range). On the opposite end of the spectrum, most men have a broader chest voice due to their vocal range.

How Can I Learn How to Find My Head Voice?

Following these quick tips will help you hone in on your head voice!

1. Pick a high pitch sound like a siren or puppy whimper. Try a series of siren sounds with the mouth closed to open up and activate that area and feel the vibration in the upper region of the head. Start from the low end and work your way up to the high end of the scale.

2. Pick a closed vowel sound like an owl hoot.

Free Selective Focus Of Smiling Owl  Stock Photo

3. Quiet the tone and focus the sound into the head instead of making a loud sound from the chest. (Check out these 3 steps to finding your head voice in detail with the help of Spencer Welsh Vocal Studio).

What Are Some Examples of Head Voice?

  • Beyoncé is amazing at using her head voice. Check out these various examples of Beyoncé using head voice and be amazed!
  • Ariana Grande's first line in her hit song "No Tears Left to Cry" is another great example.

For further help, watch this quick video by Aaron Anastasi from Superior Singing Method for more information on how to strengthen your head voice.

Now that we know what head voice is and how to find and strengthen it, how does that compare to falsetto voice?

What Is Falsetto?

Head voice and falsetto voice are different but still very often confused because they do have quite a bit of similarity.

Both male and female singers can sing in this type of voice; however, males tend to be classified as falsetto more probably because it’s more dramatic when they switch from their deeper range to such a high-sounding voice. Put simply, falsetto is described as being able to sing notes higher than your normal range.

Sing It | This Is Rose, From The Holland Band, Kraak And Sma… | Flickr

Characteristics of Falsetto

  • When using falsetto, just the top edge of vocal folds come together. This produces a hollow, light, and airy type of sound. There’s a longer opening time in the vocal cords coming together.
  • It has also been described as a breathy, persistent sound. Singers can really let their voice go and make sure everything is staying relaxed when producing a falsetto sound. It also has to do with the size of our vocal cords. Women tend to have smaller, shorter vocal cords, and men have thicker, longer vocal cords.
  • Falsetto doesn't have that "mix" of chest and head to make it a strong voice like head voice.

What Are Some Examples of Falsetto?

  • Think of the song “Walk Like a Man” from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. He’s a great example of a famous singer who brought falsetto to life in the 1950s and early 1960s.
  • Prince in his song "Kiss"
  • Justin Timberlake in his song "Cry Me a River"
  • Bee Gees (any of their songs)

File:barry Gibb (Bee Gees) - Toppop 1973 2.Png - Wikimedia Commons

What Are the Main Similarities Between Head Voice and Falsetto?

  • Both head voice and falsetto happen in the upper range of our voice
  • Vibrations are in the head instead of the chest for both
  • Both in the M2 register (for more information on voice registers, check out this study)

What Are the Main Differences Between the Two?

  • Head voice is a fuller, stronger voice, and falsetto is hollower or lighter
  • Moving from chest voice to falsetto causes a break in the voice where it tends to sound like yodeling (the opposite is true when transitioning from chest voice to head voice)
  • Even thinner vocal cords are used in falsetto compared to head voice

Knowing the Difference Between Head Voice vs Falsetto Voice

We must remember that everybody's voice type and vocal range are different. All of these vocal techniques are important to learn. There’s no technique or voice type that’s better than the other. Chest voice, head voice, and falsetto all have their proper time and place. If you’re struggling with any of these techniques, check out some of the easy-to-follow videos in this article.

What do you think? Are you better at using head voice or falsetto? Can you tell the difference when you’re singing with your chest voice vs head voice or head voice vs falsetto? Tell us in the comments below.

Do you know that scene in The Matrix where Morpheus asks Neo to choose either the blue pill or the red pill for the ultimate revelation?

Well, when it comes to guitar playing, this is kind of like that—only this time, the “red pill” represents tube amps, and the “blue pill” represents solid-state guitar amps. Also, every guitarist out there is Neo and might have to make a choice for the best-sounding guitar amp at some point in their guitar journey.

However, the choice is often not an easy one. In a land of many “red pill Neos” (guitarists who prefer the sound from tube amps), there are also others who would rather go for the “blue pill” sound from solid-state amps.

So then, the question remains lurking in the deepest parts of every guitarist's mind: Is the “red pill” (tube amp) truly the ultimate sound weapon? Or perhaps then, is there even a slight chance that this simply boils down to personal preference?

Let's find out together, shall we?

Basics of How Amps Work

First off, let's start by gaining a bit of basic knowledge on how amps work.

Put simply, an amplifier's job is to turn a small audio signal, usually generated by a guitar pickup, into a stronger electric current that can drive a speaker

In achieving this, amplifiers typically use two stages:

  • Preamp stage - This stage raises the small guitar signal to what is known as a line-level signal. It’s at this stage also that most of the tonal shaping is done.
  • Power amp stage - This stage amplifies the preamplified signal even further into one that can then drive the speakers. While there are some ways through which tone shaping can be achieved in this section, generally, there isn't a lot of tone-shaping done in this section.
  • Between the preamp and power amp stages, there’s often also a stage where a series of audio effects units such as distortion, compression, chorus, and flangers, amongst many others, can be used. This is the effects loop stage usually with a send and return section on the amp.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use an effects loop.

Types of Guitar Amps

Although the ultimate goal of every amp is the same, the components used to achieve each stage vary amongst various types of amps.

Guitar amps are then categorized into four main groups depending on the components they use. Furthermore, more subdivisions are made within the categories reliant on specific design differences in the components used in each stage.

  • The best guitarists out there aren't just good at playing guitar but also good at “playing the amplifiers.”

Tube Amplifiers

Tube amps—or valve amps as they are known in some parts of the world—are among the earliest types of guitar amps. Aptly named, they make use of different types of vacuum tubes/valves in the preamp and power amp stages to increase the electric signals from the guitar.

Typically, preamps use smaller-sized valves than the power amps. Today, while there are other types, most of the tubes used in this preamp stage are variants of the ECC83/12AX7/7025 (dual triode) tubes.

In contrast to these smaller tubes, power amps use larger ones such as the 6v6, 6L6, EL84, and KT66, among many others. These larger tubes do much of the raising of the preamplified signals into stronger ones that then drive the speaker.

While aesthetically most of these tubes look similar in construction to old-fashioned bulbs, specific makeup elements give each of these tubes unique sonic characteristics that offer a wide array of tonal possibilities. Equally, while tube amps contribute hugely to the overall tone, other components such as output transformers also contribute to the overall sound of tube amps.

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Advantages of Tube Amps

  • Many guitarists and listeners find the unique sound characteristics produced as a result of the components that make up tube amps to be pleasant. These include the natural distortion caused by the gradual smooth clipping of tubes in response to signal level changes, and harmonic content after clipping. This even-order harmonic content is what most guitarists credit with the warmer, fuller, and typically more rounded sound of tube amps.
  • Tubes also have a good dynamic response, sustain, and compression.

Disadvantages of Tube Amps

  • Tube amps are generally more expensive than other types of amps.
  • Tubes amps are bulkier as a result of the heavy components used to make them. This makes most of them impractical to use in situations where one has to play their music in different places.
  • Some tube amps tend to lose tone quality when played at low volumes. This can be quite an inconvenience for guitarists in some situations.
  • As tubes are made of glass, they’re prone to breaking if not properly handled.
  • The tubes used in tube amps wear out after some period of use, causing the tone they produce to change. This then means that they constantly need to be maintained and changed over time.
  • Some tube amps have a warm-up time, which means musicians need to wait for a few minutes before playing, to give the tubes time to reach optimum working conditions. This can sometimes be an inconvenience to musicians.

Examples of tube amps include Orange Rockerverb 50 MkIII Head, Marshall SV20C, Fender ’64 Custom Princeton Reverb, and the Blackstar HT-1R MKII Combo.

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Figure Orange Rockverb 50 MKLL HEAD TUBE AMP (Image credit: Orange)

Solid State Amplifiers

In simple terms, Solid-state amplifiers generally refer to amps that use transistors in the pre-amp and power amp stages as opposed to vacuum tubes. Technically, transistors and tubes perform the same functions.

Advantages of Solid-State Amps

  • They’re cheaper. The components used to make solid-state amps are generally much more inexpensive and easier to get when compared to those used in tube amplifiers.
  • The various components used in making solid-state amps are also way lighter, making solid-state amps more practical for use whenever one has to perform in different venues.
  • Solid-state amps require less maintenance, as the materials used to make the parts are much more robust and unlikely to get damaged when compared to the glass used in making tubes.
  • Solid-state amps can maintain their tonal qualities over low volumes, making them good for practicing and engaging in other musical activities that don't require a high volume.
  • Solid-state amps offer a quick solution for some music genres that prefer clean tones. An example of this can be seen in some guitar jazz music, where guitarists rarely use distortion.

Disadvantages of Solid State Amps

  • Many musicians find the sharp clipping qualities to be non-musical and less pleasant to the ears in comparison to the gradual smooth clipping of tube amps.
  • These types of amps are slowly getting replaced by modeling amps.

Examples of solid-state guitar amps include Boss Katana 50 (MkII) Combo, Marshall CODE100, and the Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb.

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Figure ROLAND JC 40 JAZZ CHORUSS (Image credits: Roland)

Digital/Modelling Amplifiers

Modeling amplifiers imitate the sound of guitar amps, cabinets, and effects. For instance, the Fender Mustang GT-100 is modeled to imitate the sound of a real Fender tube amp.

More than often, you might find that some of these amps may also make use of solid-state and tube amp components such as transistors and tubes in their makeups. Even then, because of the sound 'modeling' characteristics, these amps are then still classified as being digital.

Advantages of Modelling Amps

  • The greatest advantage of these types of amps is their versatility to imitate and produce any of the many given unique sounds of various amps out there. Some are equipped with features that make the addition of new sounds possible.
  • Like solid-state amps, they too are made of light components, making them suitable for carrying to various performance venues.
  • They’re cheaper in comparison to tube amps.

Disadvantages of Modelling Amps

  • Some older versions don't quite get the sounds of the amps they try to imitate, often sounding too 'digital'. However, recently there have been technological advancements, and the imitations have greatly improved in most of these amps.
  • More than often, modeling amps don't teach you anything about getting desired sounds, as most of the work can often be achieved just by turning a knob or pressing a button. This lack of knowledge gained can leave you exposed in the event you find yourself in an environment with the other types of amps that may not be as easy to use in achieving specific sounds.

Examples of modeling amps include Boss Katana 50 MK II, Vox Valvetronix VT20X, Blackstar ID: Core Stereo 100, and the Fender Mustang GTX100

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Figure VOX VX II MODELLING AMP (Image credits: Vox amps)

Hybrid Amplifiers

These types of amps combine components from the various guitar amp types, more often from solid-state amps and tube amps. For instance, consider an amp with a tube preamp and transistor in the power amp.

Equally, some digital amps that use transistors can also technically be considered hybrids. The definition of what exactly a hybrid amp is has over time continued to change with advancements in guitar amp technology.

An example of a hybrid amp is the Boss Katana 100 MKII.

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Figure BOSS Katana 100 MKII (Image credits: Boss)

The Big Question: Do Tube Amps Really Sound Better?

Now that you’ve gathered some basic knowledge on how tube amps work, you can probably make up your mind on whether tubes are the better choice when compared overall to other types of amps.

A close in-depth look reveals that on average all types of amps have qualities that make them uniquely pleasing to guitarists with specific needs—whether it be the portability of solid-state amps, the versatility of digital amps, or the clipping qualities of tube amps.

It also becomes clear that a lot of what makes an amp the best choice is subjective to the music style, environment of use, and ability to afford the product, amongst many other factors.

To add to all this, technological advancements continue to add to the wide array of achievable sounds, and even the ability to digitally recreate almost similar sounds to older versions in much cheaper and efficient ways.

So then, do tube amps really sound better? The answer to this is yes, no, and it depends? Or rather, it all boils down to preference.

This, as the issue of what sounds good and what doesn't, is largely subjective and dependent on the specific needs of each musician and the genres they’re playing in.

So while, for instance, the unique distortion abilities of tube amps may be appealing to some musicians in genres such as rock, other musicians from different genres such as jazz may prefer the clean sounds of solid-state amps. In addition, with modeling amps continuing to perfect the art of emulating specific sounds, it makes the process even more complicated as to which types of amps ultimately have the “better sound.”

It's all simply preference. What may be the “better amp sound” option for some musicians or genres may not be the best choice for another!

What Type of Amp Should You Choose?

When choosing an amp, you must consider various factors. These include the following:

  • What your budget is: If looking for a cheap budget-friendly amp, a tube amp may not be the way to go, as they’re quite expensive. Alternatively, solid-state and modeling amps offer various types of options with budget-friendly prices.
  • Where you intend to use the amp: If you plan on moving a lot with your amp (e.g., going on tour), tube amps, as they tend to be heavy, may not be the best option. Equally, the need for some tube amps to be cranked up to produce quality sounds may prove to be inconvenient in some instances. For recording in studios, smaller amps are often the better choice.
  • The genre you want to play (and more specifically the sound you are going for): If you’re just starting, a little research into what specific types of amps sound like may prove to be beneficial.
  • The effects and other special features: If you want to learn how to use effects, you might consider amps that don't do the work for you, as these types might leave you with no knowledge on how to achieve the sounds. Even then, such amps give a good feel of what certain sounds sound like.
  • The versatility of sounds: Some modeling amps offer a wide array of sound choices, which is quite convenient.

How Often Should I Replace the Tubes on My Amp?

In theory, tubes can last anywhere from a few months to many years, depending on their quality and how often you use them

How Do I Know It's Time to Change the Tubes on My amp?

Often, you’ll get drastic tone changes when the tube quality diminishes. On some occasions, the tubes may not even power on. When this happens, it's time.

Why are Tube Amps so Expensive?

More often than not, tube amps are made with parts that are more expensive to make and lower in demand.

How Long Should You Warm up a Tube Amp?

On average, most tube amps take between 10-20 minutes to warm up.

Should You Leave Your Tube Amp on Throughout the Day?

No, you should not. Tube amps generally deteriorate with more usage. Only turn on your tube amp when you’re about to use it.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’re now fully equipped with knowledge that will help you in making your next amp choice. While the task of choosing an amp can be quite difficult due to the numerous options available nowadays, experimenting with different sounds to find the amp that best suits you can be quite fun. As a parting shot, always make sure to test out an amp before you purchase it!

Marshall is one of the most revered amp brands out there. If you were walking and suddenly came across a sign with the writing, “The Great Wall of Amps, 500m ahead,” there’s a good chance that the amps on that wall will be Marshall.

If not, there’s a slight chance that “The Great Wall of Amp” may just be some random stone wall, named after a hipster dude called “Amps.”

Known for their revolutionary loud amps and their distinct unique “Marshall sound,” the brand was made famous by some of rock's greatest guitarists such as Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young, and Eric Clapton, amongst many others.

Today, the iconic Marshall sound can be accessed by guitarists everywhere and anywhere. Whether you want something for practice or something for your performances, Marshall has an amp to meet your needs.

In the past, it seemed things were only going to get louder and larger in the amp world. However, Marshall has evolved to manufacture a range of smaller and less loud amps, shrinking down the iconic Marshall sounds into easy-to-carry, small packages.

Small Marshall amps offer the perfect solution for those looking for something smaller to fit in tiny spaces, something quieter, or something that can be easily carried around. Read on as we review Marshall's range of small amps to help you choose one that best suits your needs.

What to Look for When Buying a Small Marshall Amp

When it comes to small amps, the process of determining which one best suits one's needs can be a bit challenging. More than often, what makes one amp better than the other is hidden in the small details. Without the proper knowledge, you could make the wrong purchase.

So, first off, let's go through some of the things you should look for when purchasing a small amp.

Size and Weight

While this seems like the most obvious thing to look out for, it's likely an area one might make a mistake. This is often because the term small can be quite subjective, and pictures might not give a good representation of exactly how small an amp is.

Equally, some amps might look small but pack some serious weight. Be sure to compare the weights and sizes of different amps using the specs section, and if possible, make sure you see the amp to confirm your preferences are met.

Wattage

Wattage, along with speaker sensitivity, can be a good way of knowing exactly how much power your small amp is going to be packing. This information can then be used to estimate how loud an amp is going to be.

Notice we said “estimate” instead of “know.” That's because the wattage is often not a good way to know exact loudness, but it's a good way to estimate.

Generally, small amps pack between 1 and 5 watts. However, some amps that may be in the small amp category have more wattage.

Tone and Effects

If you’re going small, you don't want to be sacrificing tone for size. Some small amps may not sound good. It would be wise to try an amp out before purchasing to confirm the sound meets your preferences. If you’re unable to try the amp out in person, check out some reviews on the internet to get a feel of what the amp sounds like.

When it comes to effects, smaller amps are likely to be limited and have fewer features when compared to larger amps. However, good amps often have the possibility of various effects and basic overdrive channels.

Price

Smaller amps generally cost less than larger ones. Nonetheless, the prices are usually dependent on other factors too such as the brand, the technology involved in manufacturing, and the features of the amp. For this reason, a smaller amp might be more expensive than an amp that’s larger.

It’s important to note though that a higher price may not always be indicative of better quality. Make sure to peruse the various prices to confirm there’s value in your purchase.

Type of Amp

Typically, there are four types of amps: tube amps, solid-state amps, modeling amps, and hybrid amps. Small amps come in mostly either tube, solid-state, or modeling technology. Each category has its strengths and weaknesses, so make sure to check on the exact type of technology your amp uses.

To learn more about the types of amps, click here.

Best Small Marshall Amps

Marshall small amps act as the perfect solution for those looking for something that will help them avoid those constant noise complaints from their neighbors, or rather just something lightweight that can be carried everywhere.

A small amp is almost like a secret musical weapon that you could randomly pull out. They’re the perfect practice tools and serve as a great way to keep your musical creativity at a high wherever you are.

Giving short reviews of the products and general features/specifications of each amp, here’s a list of the best small amps you could get from each range of Marshall amps.

Marshall Micro Amps

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Released in the early 2000s, the Marshall Micro amp series features the smallest types of amps in the entire Marshall collection. Aimed specifically for practice use, the amps make use of solid-state technology to emulate the iconic Marshall sounds.

Marshall MS-2

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MARSHALL MS-2 (Image credits: Marshall)

As it has a total weight of just 1 pound and a belt clip on the back, you could easily carry this amp everywhere you go. The MS-2 comes packed with only 1 watt and can be purchased in a variety of colors like red, green, and silver jubilee.

Don't let the small size deceive you, though. The MS-2 packs a punch and is pretty audible. In the event you want to use it for an impromptu jam session or small serenade, this amp can be just the right tool. It also comes equipped with a clean and overdrive channel, which can come in handy when practicing.

In addition, the amps are battery-powered, making them usable in areas with no electricity.

Its features include the following:

  • Solid-state technology circuitry
  • 1-watt power output
  • 2 split channels (overdrive and clean)
  • Belt clip to increase portability
  • Volume and tone controls.
  • 1 x 1/4" jack headphone out
  • Powered by either a 9V battery or detachable power cable (not included)
  • Weighs 1 lb
  • 1 x 2” speaker configuration

Marshall MS-4

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Figure Marshall MS-4 (Image credits: Marshall)

For those of you who are die-hard Marshall amp users, this can be a pretty cool addition to your Marshall amps collection. Designed as an upgraded full-stack version of the MS-2, the MS-4 comes with an added 2 x 2" speaker configuration that gives users more control over how loud or soft the amp can get.

As it’s equipped with a belt clip and with the possibility of using a battery, you could use the amp for practice or even for a jam session. Just like the MS-2, the MS-4 is given its strength by its impressive portability characteristics.

Its features include the following:

  • Solid-state technology circuitry
  • 2-watt power output
  • 2 split channels (overdrive and clean)
  • Belt clip to increase portability
  • Volume and tone controls
  • 1 x 1/4" jack headphone out that also acts as a preamp output
  • Powered by either a 9V battery or detachable power cable (not included)
  • Weighs 1 lb
  • 2 x 2” speaker configuration

Marshall DSL Series

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The Dual Super Lead series features tube technology amps designed to maintain the awe-inspiring, crunchy, and loud Marshall tones.

The amps are equipped with power reduction technology, studio-quality reverb, and many more features that make them suitable for playing in a variety of different environments. Customer inspired, the DSL series features various sized amps, from the smallest DSL1 to DSL20.

Here is a review of the DSL1C:

Marshall DSL1C

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Marshall DSL1C (Image credits: Marshall)

Although it’s slightly larger than Marshals Micro amps, the DSL1C comes with the most recent power reduction technology. This gives users the ability to reduce the amp’s wattage output from 1 watt to 0.1 watts.

It also features 2 channels and is foot-switchable, adding to the various tone possibilities that can be achieved. In addition to all this, it comes with a variety of inbuilt effects like reverb, chorus, phaser, flangers, and delay.

Its features include the following:

  • Tube amp technology circuitry
  • 1W with optional power reduction to 0.1W
  • 2 channels (ultra gain, and classic gain)
  • Volume and tone controls
  • Weighs 7.9 kg / 17 lbs
  • 1 x 8” Celestion speakers
  • Rear Effects loop
  • Footswitch enabled

Marshall MG Gold Series

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The MG Gold series uses solid-state amp technology to feature modern Marshall sounds in small and robust portable amp packages. The series comes in a variety of ranges all equipped to suit a range of environments, from live outdoor performances to bedroom practice sessions.

Marshall MG10

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Marshall MG10 (Image credits: Marshall)

With a 1 x 6.5" speaker configuration and packing 10 watts, the MG10 is ideal for both home use and small band practice sessions. At 11 lbs in total weight, the MG10 is still pretty small when compared to most of the amps in the Marshall collection.

This would be a good purchase for players who just want something that packs a louder volume than the micro amps while at the same time being portable. Equally, with its easy-to-use controls and affordable price, this is also a good amp for beginner guitarists.

Its features include the following:

  • Solid-state amp technology circuitry
  • 10-watt power output
  • 2 split channels (clean/contour)
  • Volume and tone controls
  • Weighs 4.8 kg / 11 lbs
  • 1 x 6.5" speaker configuration
  • Emulated headphone output that mutes the amp’s speaker (making silent practice easy)
  • Classic black & gold Marshall aesthetic

Are Mini Amps Loud Enough for Live Performances?

  • Most mini amps won’t be loud enough for live performances. This is because manufacturers often design mini amps as a solution to counter the many loud performance amps out there. Ideally, mini amps are practice session amps.

Do Mini Amps Come With Built-in Effects?

  • In most cases, smaller amps are likely to be limited in overall features when compared to larger amps. However, some small amps come with built-in effects.

Should I Go for an AC-Powered Amp or a Battery-Powered Amp?

  • A battery power option is more portable, while an AC-powered amp is more reliable because it won't suddenly go off on you while you use it. There are amps with both options.

How Many Watts Does a Mini Amp Have?

  • Typically, mini amps have between 1 and 5 watts.

Summary

Hopefully, you now possess the knowledge needed to make an informed purchase of a small amp. Small amps can serve as a good addition to any guitarist's amp collection—if for nothing at all, then for their portability. The concept of your music traveling with you everywhere and anywhere you go is certainly brought to life when you always have an amp you can pull out at any time.

Most guitarists need help at some point. However, for a genre as complicated and extensive as metal, guitarists may need a hand more often than campfire guitarists.

If you’re a guitarist who is looking for help in developing guitar skills for playing metal, then you’re in the right place! Today, we will show you the 5 courses that focus on the genre of metal.

Metal is one of the most difficult genres to master, and it has many licks and structures similar to classical music. Sites like TrueFire, Guitar Tricks, and JamPlay have some of the best online metal guitar courses. Let’s explore what these sites have to offer to the metal community!

Guitar Tricks Metal Section

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Guitar Tricks offers a wide variety of courses for intermediate and advanced guitar players. These courses cover all you need to know about the whole genre. Whether you’d like to play lead guitar or rhythm guitar, Guitar Tricks has your back. The extensiveness of the courses allows you to branch into any of the metal subgenres and will give you the techniques and music theory knowledge to understand what you’re playing.

Whether you want to play heavy chord progressions or unforgettable solos, Guitar Tricks will provide all you need to know to become competent. One of the best things about this website is that Guitar Tricks provides access to all these courses for $19.99 a month or $179.99 a year, with a 14-day free trial!

Stephany Bradley’s “Cybernetic Shred” on JamPlay

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Bradley’s metal course appeals to beginner guitarists who’d like to specialize in metal. Her course takes on some fundamental areas of guitar playing while keeping it in the genre.

This course’s first half is recommended for those who are still learning the basics of guitar, but some skill level is needed. Advanced and intermediate guitar players may find this course a bit too easy or irrelevant, but that’s because it doesn’t tackle the most complex aspects of the genre.

If you’re a beginner and you’re looking for a metal guitar course, we encourage you to check this one out!

Beware of the second half of Stephany Bradley’s course, as it gets much faster. You might want to take your time to practice these lessons. Advanced and intermediate players might be interested in this half since it contains more complex exercises that might be useful to them.

Guitar Masterclass Metal Section

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Guitar Masterclass offers not only one course but a series of courses that will help any guitarist become better at this genre. This website’s approach to metal is a bit different from those of the other ones.

It doesn’t just acknowledge what is useful to today’s metal scene, but it also incorporates techniques from older metal scenes and classical music. With more than 1000 courses, Guitar Masterclass has much to offer to those who are willing to subscribe to its website.

Here, you will learn all you need to know, like shredding, chord progressions, riffs, licks, and music theory. You’ll be able to learn how to play any genre on this website. That includes classical and neoclassical music, which shares many elements with the progressive genres of metal.

We encourage you to check them out, as they have much to offer!

Guitar Tricks Metal Song Lessons

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Guitar Tricks’ song library includes many genres, including metal. Here, you’ll find many songs that have gone down in history as hymns of the genre. By learning how to play your favorite songs, you’ll be also learning techniques, and practicing your hand ability to play extreme music.

Guitar Tricks’ library is pretty much infinite, and it has many of the best metal songs.

It’s important to note that not all these songs include the full parts. However, the songs from mainstream bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, and many more have been licensed to have every part including the solo.

Angus Clark’s “Hard Rock Survival Guide” on TrueFire

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Even though Clark doesn’t focus on metal, he gives essential elements that are also important aspects of metal. He has made two separate courses: one for rhythm guitar and the other one for lead. Both are well explained, entertaining, and fundamental for guitarists who want to dive deeper into the extreme genres.

Angus Clark will guide you through his course while giving many examples from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Hard Rock Survival Guide is a course you should check out if you’d like to understand how these genres are structured, and how to play them without diving deep into anything too extreme.

As we spend more time at home than ever before, guitar lessons have found their way into the digital space. Maybe you’ve been thinking of taking guitar lessons with online teachers but want to check if you have all the necessary equipment. Today, we’ll show you all you need for your future online guitar lessons.

If you're still not sure which platform you’ll use to find your online teacher, we encourage you to check our list of the best platforms for private online guitar lessons. But for now, let’s take a deep dive into the best equipment for online guitar lessons.

A Strong WiFi Connection

Naturally, if you’re going to take online guitar classes, you must have a strong internet connection. Otherwise, your lesson could be interrupted by lag or cutouts.

These problems can ruin your learning experience if they are recurrent, and they could also impact the way you listen to your teacher and how your teacher listens to your guitar. Some online courses might ask for you to have at least 200MB of download speed, but many others ask for less.

Either ask your teacher or read through the information on the platform’s website to determine the download speed you must have to take classes with them.

Underrated Equipment for Online Guitar Lessons: Microphones

When it comes to the microphone needed for online classes, you don’t have to get too fancy. Of course, a decent microphone is needed for your teacher to hear you as well as possible, but there are some great USB microphones that you can get for under $50. For example, the FIFINE K669 and the FDUCE Professional Studio Microphone are a couple of great budget options that will get the job done!

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Webcam or Integrated Recording Device

Your teacher will have to see how you’re playing your guitar in case you’re making any mistakes like pressing too hard, pressing too light, or tensing too much while playing. For this, you will need to be able to turn on your laptop’s camera, your phone’s camera, or a webcam connected to your desktop PC.

Thankfully, this may not require a purchase since most of us own a phone with a camera. The camera quality doesn’t have to be that good. However, it should allow your teacher to see how you play.

Headphones

It’s super important to have a pair of headphones or earbuds around for your guitar lessons. Without them, there could be feedback from your teacher’s end that could ruin how he or she hears you while playing. Not only that, but by using headphones, you can better hear what your teacher is playing. The headphones you use don’t have to be expensive, as a decent pair will suffice.

If you don’t have any or if you find them uncomfortable, make sure that the sound that comes out of your computer or phone doesn’t interfere with your microphone. We also suggest avoiding Bluetooth headphones since they often reproduce sounds with a noticeable delay, but this may not be a huge problem since some of these have a tolerable delay.

Your Guitar

Naturally, you’ll need your guitar to take online guitar lessons. Here, you can use any guitar that you want. You can use either the cheapest one or the most expensive and extravagant guitar you have. We suggest you use the guitar that makes you feel most comfortable regarding cost and playability.

If you’re planning on using an acoustic guitar, you don’t have to worry about anything else other than getting your guitar tuned and having some guitar picks.

However, if you’re going to use an electric guitar, make sure to have a functioning amp, and regulate the volume and other settings to avoid saturating the microphone. Also, make sure it’s laying at a good distance from the microphone, as the saturation of the microphone could result in a nonsensical festival of noise.

Alternate Guitar TuningsA Comfortable Space

It’s always comfortable to take classes in a place where you don’t hear any noise from the outside. This is not obligatory, but it’s recommended to take guitar lessons in a room where you can’t hear anything but your guitar. This is ideal not only for you but also for your teacher who can hear what’s going on around you. Some sound disturbances could make lessons harder to teach.

For you, it’s also important to have a silent and comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted by any outside noise. Having a silent space where you can’t be distracted by anything else will enhance your learning pace. Remember, this isn’t obligatory, but it’s recommended.

Has your child recently developed an interest in learning guitar after hearing some of your favorite hits in the car? Regardless, learning an instrument forces a child’s brain to work with both hemispheres, which makes it excellent for brain development.

If your kid wants to begin their journey of becoming a guitarist, and they keep asking you to sign them up for lessons, you don’t have to worry anymore! Read on as we show you some courses offered by GuitarTricks, OutSchool, and others that will help your child learn how to play guitar.

In the meantime, we suggest you also check out our list of the best guitar lengths for kids!

A Young Boy Holding An Electric Guitar

OutSchool

A Screenshot Of An Example Lesson From Outschooled

This platform has a wide variety of courses designed for kids. You can find one that’s called Intro to Guitar for Young Beginners. This course teaches young children the basic techniques and theory of the guitar. It offers a 30-minute introductory session that covers topics like how to pluck a string, how to hold a guitar, and how to strum chords. After this session, your child can enroll in longer sessions and even private sessions.

As stated on their site, all you need to have to enroll is a guitar and the willingness to have fun! This course is dictated by Ben Gitter, and it’s available on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays! If by any chance you own a 3-string guitar, that's fine too!

GuitarTricks Guitar Fundamentals I and II

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The courses Guitar Fundamentals I and II are taught by Lisa McCormick. She’s an excellent and friendly teacher who covers the topics at a moderate pace, which makes these courses beginner-friendly and kid-friendly.

These two courses are especially good for kids because they begin with the basics. Also, since these lessons are pre-recorded, your child can repeat each one as many times as they need to.

Some of the topics that are covered in both courses are as follows:

  • Tuning
  • Melody and some musical elements
  • Timing
  • Changing from chord to chord
  • Strumming techniques
  • Major scales
  • Power chords
  • Notation and tablature

This course is recommended for every child above the age of 7 who would like to start learning how to play guitar. The best part is that there’s a two-week free trial. As a result, your kid will have enough time to decide if they’d like to continue learning!

Little Kids Rock Course

A Screenshot Of The Little Kids Rock Course Outline

These lessons are aimed at kids above the age of 7 who would like to start learning how to play guitar while having fun. You can’t go wrong with this website, as it was built by musicians for musicians.

Little Kids Rock Course specializes in rock music and some of its subgenres. It has 96 minutes of instructional content. This course was crafted to be enjoyed by every kid who has demonstrated some passion for music.

For only $9.99, you can get the complete course, with the option to download or stream each lesson. At a price like this, we trust that you won’t regret signing up your kid for this guitar course.

Kid’s Guitar Dojo

A Screenshot Rom The Guitar Kids Doja Sales Page

Kids Guitar Dojo encourages kids to start learning how to play guitar from a very early age. Not only will this be an excellent skill for when they’re older, but it will also help them train their brain to work better.

This website offers young students video tutorials and lessons that are designed to be beginner-friendly and kid-friendly. Their courses include beginner fundamentals of the guitar, Star Wars-themed lessons, a free micro-course, and more. Kid’s Guitar Dojo also encourages daily practice so children can better retain the information they learn.

For the price of $197, you’ll get the entire fundamentals course, where your kid will learn everything about strumming, rhythm, notation, tablature, major and minor scales, chords, and much more! The rest of the courses are much cheaper, costing $8 each.

Thumbs Up Kids Guitar by Udemy

Alternate Guitar Tunings

This course offered by Udemy is designed for kids and beginners, so if you would like to tag along with your children through this online course, know that it’s possible. Thumbs Up Kids teaches the fundamentals of guitar and music theory, such as strumming, scales, tablature, and more.

Udemy offers a huge discount of 84% for this course, bringing the total price down to $13.99. Lindsey Ginn, the creator of this course, has only one requirement: to have a guitar with you and to have fun!

There are two ways of learning how to play guitar online: subscribe to a platform that teaches through pre-recorded video lessons or book classes with an online guitar teacher.

Today, we will talk a little bit about the platforms where you can connect with guitar teachers and learn from them via Zoom, Skype, or any other video call platform. Some of the sites that offer this service are Fiverr, Outschool, and Ultimate Guitar Academy. Read on to learn more about these private online guitar lessons, and find out how much they charge per class.

Or, you could get the best of both worlds by using a course and lesson provider like Guitar Tricks.

A Blurred Image Of A Man Playing An Acoustic Guitar

Live Online Guitar Lessons

These lessons are similar to the in-person lessons that were common before. However, they allow you to learn how to play the guitar with a teacher through a video call. Let’s explore some of the websites that offer this service!

Fiverr

A Screenshot Of The Top Rated Fiverr Guitar Teachers

On this website, you can find every kind of freelancer, including guitar teachers! Some of these wonderful musicians are even considered by the website to be Pro at what they do. The price per class these teachers charge can range between $10 and $100 depending on the experience and reviews of the teacher. For the most part, prices hover around $15 to $30.

After you’ve contacted the teacher that you feel comfortable with, you can arrange how you’ll take the class, whether it’s through Zoom, Skype, or any other platform. The great thing about this website is that if you don’t feel comfortable with the teacher you booked, you can switch to another one! Also, you can look up teachers who specialize in one genre or subgenre.

Ultimate Guitar Academy

A Screenshot Of The Sample Lesson On Guitar Academy

This website offers lessons through video calls with excellent tutors who have years of preparation. These teachers are eager to make you a good guitarist and a good musician overall. Through Ultimate Guitar Academy, you’ll learn not only the techniques necessary to develop good guitar playing skills but also music theory that complements the techniques so you can apply them to your compositions!

Ultimate Guitar Academy offers classes to adults, teens, and children. Each of their courses is designed differently. Not only that, but you can also specialize in any genre you want. Whether it’s jazz, rock, blues, or any other genre, you can start learning how to play it at Ultimate Guitar Academy.

Outschool

A Screenshot Of Sample Guitar Lesson On This Platform

On Outschool, you can find any type of teacher, including those who teach guitar! This site’s main audience is children, so you can find online guitar tutors who are willing to teach your child how to play guitar through a video call.

The teacher that offers these lessons through Outschool is Cameron Fernandez. He offers 30-minute classes to kids between the ages of 8 and 13 once a week. At the cost of $33 per class, Cameron will teach your child the fundamentals of guitar playing, and the only things that your kid needs are a guitar and the willingness to have fun!

Practice The Guitar

A Screenshot From Practice The Guitar Sample Lesson

If you’d like to dust off your skills with some classes, Practice The Guitar is the perfect website for you! Gary, the creator of this website, is a touring musician who graduated from Berklee College of Music and has dedicated his life to giving aspiring musicians the tools needed to become good guitarists! Gary specializes in rock, blues, jazz, folk, and pop, but he can help you if you’re interested in any other genre.

After you fill out an inquiry form on the website, Gary will contact you so you can coordinate the topics that you’d like to dust off, such as songwriting, music theory, techniques, and much more.

The best thing about this is that you don’t have to make a long-term commitment. If you want to take one class just to clarify some elements, you can do it! You can take lessons with Gary through Skype, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, FaceTime, or any other video format that works for you.

Guitar Evolutions

A Screenshot From The Guitar Evolutions Sales Page

Guitar Evolutions aims to enable players to start playing creatively instead of using overused strumming patterns. Through their lessons, you’ll learn techniques that will boost your creativity, but you’ll also learn music theory, chord shapes, and different strumming patterns that will set you apart from other guitarists. If you’d like to become the best rhythm guitarist the world has ever seen, Guitar Evolutions is the place for you.

The platform of preference for this website is Zoom. Through it, you’ll connect with your assigned tutor and receive an hour-long class that’s centered around the rhythmic aspects of the guitar. This website offers 4 classes a month at the price of $200. All you need for this course are a guitar, a phone or laptop with a webcam, and stable Wi-Fi.

Are Live Lessons Better Than Courses?

Live lessons give you something that a course can’t: the ability to interact with your teacher in real-time. For some, especially beginners, this can be an important part of learning how to play an instrument. It might be better than taking a course that offers only pre-recorded video lessons.

Beginners are more likely to have trouble while pressing on the strings or while strumming or picking the guitar. An online teacher can easily spot when this happens, and he or she can suggest a technique.

One negative aspect of online live lessons with a teacher is that you could miss a class due to connection troubles, or personal reasons. This isn’t a problem when you’re enrolled in a course that offers pre-recorded video lessons, since you could watch these lessons at any time.

If you’re not sure which method is better for you, we encourage you to check our list of the best online guitar lessons!

We get it, you’re asking yourself why you didn’t start learning how to play guitar when you were 10 years old. You can stop stressing out about it. Many great websites offer older beginners some courses and lessons that will help them either learn guitar or improve their playing skills! A few of the websites that offer online guitar lessons for older beginners are TrueFire, GuitarTricks, Udemy, Fender Play, and JamPlay, but there are many more out there on the Internet.

Having a hobby is important for preserving your mental health, but maybe you want to learn how to play the guitar so you can start making music. Regardless of your goals, these websites will provide you with the knowledge you need. Keep reading to learn all about the websites we mentioned before!

Learn To Play Guitar As An Older Beginner

Courses and Online Guitar Lessons for Older Beginners

Here we will list some of the best websites where an older beginner could start learning how to play guitar. All these websites have different teaching methods, so let's dive in and find out which one suits you best!

GuitarTricks

A Screenshpt Of The Guitar Tricks Welcome Screen

This great website provides lessons for everyone, including beginners! You can find two courses that are called Guitar Fundamentals I and II. These courses will help you learn all the basic techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, strumming patterns, and power chords. You’ll also learn about the theoretical part of guitar playing like notation and tablature, major and minor scales, chord shapes, and much more!

Many consider this to be one of the best platforms for learning how to play guitar due to its low monthly price ($19.95). As soon as you’re done, the platform offers a series of other courses that will suit your level of playing, and you’ll be able to play some of the songs featured in their 1,000-song library.

With GuitarTricks, you can learn how to play any genre you want. You can forge your path as a musician with the tools this site has to offer.

TrueFire

A Screenshot Of The Truefire Welcome Screen

TrueFire, a platform built by musicians for musicians, has the best courses for beginner guitarists, even for those who’ve never touched a guitar. The platform not only provides thousands of videos with fundamental information about guitar techniques, but it also features slow-mo and looping for the video lessons.

Then there’s the versatility of the platform. The team of TrueFire has launched an app that enables its members to take their lessons wherever they go.

Some lessons that are featured on TrueFire’s website are taught by a few of the best musicians out there, such as Steve Vai, Pat Martino, Joe Bonamassa, and many more! Apart from that, the rest of the people on this website are excellent teachers and musicians who have dedicated a lot of time to crafting their courses.

TrueFire offers a 30-day free trial. After that, you can choose between a monthly price of $29 and a yearly price of $149.

JamPlay

A Screenshot Of The Jamplay Homescreen

Created in 2006, JamPlay offers over 7,000 different guitar lessons and 100 tutors, which will help anyone reach their goals. With JamPlay, you decide your path, whether it’s rock, blues, jazz, or the other 17 genres that JamPlay has lessons about. However, you can start with the beginner lessons.

JamPlay’s beginner lessons go over the introductory aspects of the guitar, and they cover everything from the most basic techniques to the most advanced as you progress. JamPlay offers a 40% discount if you choose the yearly plan, which makes it one of the most affordable platforms for online guitar courses. For only $7.99 a month, you gain access to over 7,000 lessons!

Fender Play

A Screenshot Of The Fender Play Homescreen

Fender Play was designed specifically for guitar, bass, and ukulele. One of the first steps to starting your journey as a musician with Fender Play is to pick the instrument you want to learn. Today, we will focus on the guitar, but there are also options for the instruments mentioned before.

Second, you’ll have to pick the genre that you’d like to learn. After that, you’re ready to start practicing and learning through their website!

The free trial that Fender Play offers allows you to sample their way of teaching. You’ll experience beginner lessons and learn how to play “Wonderwall” and “Basket Case.”

For a monthly price of $9.99 or a yearly price of $89.99, you can get all their content—but don’t forget about the two-week free trial!

The only negative aspect of Fender Play is that they don’t have many other genres to choose from. That said, the few that they have been taught very well.

Udemy

A Screenshot Of The Course Outline On Udemy

With more than 1,500 students enrolled thus far, Beginner Guitar Lessons offered by Udemy is a great way to start practicing and learning from the very beginning. Even if you’ve never touched a guitar in your life, this course will help you start playing in no time. Not only will you learn some basic techniques, but you’ll also learn about scales and some other theoretical aspects of music.

When you finish this course, you’ll know how to bend, do hammer-ons and pull-offs, and play three popular songs (as well as the happy birthday song). Apart from this, you’ll master chords such as Am, E, and Em, and the Gm pentatonic scale. You’ll learn how to play chromatic scales, and much more. All this is only $13.99 with the discount that Udemy offers, so hurry up before it goes back up to $84.99!

If you miss out, don't stress too hard. It will go back on sale soon. There are also plenty of other great guitar courses on Udemy.

Learn Through YouTube

Not only is it free, but YouTube also has many great tutors that can help any guitarist learn new techniques, polish their skills, learn new songs, and learn about music theory.

There are millions of channels out there that have great guitar content, and we encourage you to check channels that will help you get better at guitar!

 

As people are becoming more accustomed to virtual life, more aspects of the real world are moving online. Guitar lessons are no exception. You can now find millions of sites that teach you how to play guitar. With just a few clicks, you could become the next Hendrix—or at least that’s what they tell you.

It’s natural to wonder whether online guitar lessons are effective or not. The short answer is this: It depends. Everybody has their way of learning, and that applies to everything. Even the process of learning how to play an instrument is affected by the way you understand things.

Below, we explore some of the general views on the effectiveness of online guitar lessons. Read on to learn about the different aspects of online guitar lessons, and find out if you should consider learning how to play the guitar online.

A Zoomed In Image Of The Fretboard Whilesomeoneis Playing An Acoustic Guitar

Learning From the Comfort of Your Home

While the traditional method of teaching guitar lessons is still common, many professional musicians and guitar tutors have taken their time to design websites to teach this craft. These platforms often use pre-recorded video lessons, but a few of them offer one-on-one tutoring through video calls.

GuitarTricks, TrueFire, Udemy, and Fender Play are just some of the platforms that provide their subscribers with pre-recorded lessons. While watching these lessons, students don’t interact with their teachers, but they can still experience great results over time! We encourage you to check our article on Artistworks vs Guitar Tricks for a more in-depth explanation of how some of these platforms work.

Not only are many of these online programs effective, but they’re also affordable compared to face-to-face lessons. While in-person classes can cost up to $40-60 per session, online guitar lessons often cost between $15 and $30 per month. This enables students to save some money while having fun learning how to play guitar from home!

The days of driving or walking to your closest music institute are over. Nowadays, with just a few clicks, you can continue your journey to becoming as good of a guitar player as you want to be!

A Man In A Leather Jacket Playing A Natural Finish Acoustic Guitar

Why Are These Courses Effective?

Platforms like GuitarTricks, TrueFire, and others allow their students to learn at their own pace. These types of courses are very flexible because each video lesson is pre-recorded. With a membership, you can watch any lesson at any time of the day, and you can jump from lesson to lesson whenever you feel like it!

There’s an important factor to consider: the quality of the teachers. Not every online platform has teachers who explain everything in detail, but the platforms that we recommend on our list of the best online guitar courses are guaranteed to have great teachers!

Of course, platforms like these encourage daily practice to get the most out of them. Consistency is the key to success in these courses. However, if you miss a week of study and practice, you won’t be yelled at by your teacher.

Another amazing aspect of these courses is that you can specialize in any genre and switch between them with just a few clicks. Whether you want to play jazz, blues, rock, or reggae, these platforms have you covered.

If you’re still unsure about whether you should enroll in a guitar learning institution or buy a membership on any of the sites that we’ve mentioned, we encourage you to take a look at our list of the pros and cons of the best online guitar lessons!

Are Online Guitar Lessons Worth It?

Online guitar lessons are a great option to explore if you live a busy life, or if you’re not the type of person who enjoys going out.

Over time, the costs associated with most online guitar courses are much lower than the costs associated with in-person guitar lessons. Online guitar platforms enable students to learn however they want.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind staying at home and can learn without interacting physically with a teacher, online guitar lessons could work for you. Remember, the important thing is that you continue to enjoy playing music.

We encourage you to explore some of the websites that offer this service. You might find a course that suits you!

Sometimes, guitar pedals aren’t enough to reach the sound you want, or maybe you want to record on your computer but you don’t own guitar pedals.

For either of these cases, the answer would be to use a VST to transform the vanilla sound of your guitar into a monstrous wall of sound.

Some of the best baritone guitar VSTs for metal are PRS SuperModels, Guitar Rig 6, BIAS FX 2, and Amplitube Joe Satriani. Today we will explore some of the best presets to forge the most brutal metal songs with these VSTs and more!

List of Baritone Guitar VSTs

In this list, you’ll find not only the description of these VSTs but also the presets to exploit them to the max and benefit your sound. 

Guitar Rig 6

We’re starting with Guitar Rig 6, the predecessor of one of the best guitar plugins out there. 

Guitar Rig 6 features a drag and drop interface with a vertically stacked rig, 21 amp models with matching cabinets, and 68 different effects, tools, and modifiers. This plugin is compatible with FL Studio, Pro Tools, and most DAWs, but it also has a standalone version.

This plugin, made by Native Instruments, has an enormous number of presets that can be explored. Some of them are very experimental, and others have brutal sounds that don’t emulate the sound of a guitar.

Guitar Rig 6 has a comfortable and very easy-to-understand panel, and looking for presets and effects is very easy using the search bar. With this plugin, you could even emulate the baritone guitar of James Hetfield!

BIAS FX 2

BIAS FX 2 is an all-in-one virtual guitar amplifier. It emulates the sound of a massive collection of amplifiers and matching cabinets. This plugin also features a huge pack of effects, samples, and guitar voices and tones.

The effects of BIAS FX 2 are considered as one of the best for the sound quality and variety. This plugin will make your baritone electric guitar sound however you want, and if you are looking for a hard-hitting sound, this VST is for you.

With BIAS FX 2, you can create your sound with all the different settings that you can find within the different selection of amps, effects, and pedals. This plugin can help you create heavy guitar riffs, fast and interesting strumming patterns, and dark ambient sounds.

Wave PRS SuperModels

Even though it’s much simpler than the rest, this plugin is great for amp simulation. Wave’s PRS SuperModels is a VST that features three PRS amp models: Archon, Dallas, and Blue Sierra V9. 

It features settings created by David Townsend, Megadeth's producer Chris Rakestraw, and many more.

Each amp model features an EQ bar where you can find virtual knobs that control bass, treble, gain, mid, and master volume. Apart from that, each amp module has its own sound.

●  PRS Archon features two channels, which are Clean and Lead.

●  PRS Dallas sound ranges from very clean to mild overdrive.

●  PRS Blue Sierra V9 is raw and heavy, and it has a sweet-sounding distortion.

As we told you before, Wave’s PRS SuperModels doesn’t feature any effect or sample pack. This is why it’s great for mixing with your physical pedals. You can have your signature sound, even though you are using some other artist’s amp settings.

AmpliTube Joe Satriani

For this plugin, Joe Satriani teamed up with AmpliTube, a plugin that features 3 different amplifiers, 5 cabinets, and 5 virtual effect pedals. The amps featured within this plugin are the SJ50, Satch VM, and the Boston 100.

When it comes to effect pedals, AmpliTube offers an octavator, two different overdrive pedals, a distortion pedal, and a wah pedal. They are all tailormade to provide the player all the tools to make great music with a baritone guitar or a 7 string guitar.

The presets that are already integrated within the plugin are all made by Joe Satriani, and each one has a very different tone and sound. Amplitube by Satriani is available for every Mac/Win DAW, and it also has a standalone version.

Toneforge Jeff Loomis

The creator of the JST company Joey Sturgis, the acclaimed metal producer Jens Bogren, and the legendary Jeff Loomis teamed up to create one of the most brutal and hard-hitting VSTs out there. This plugin features only 3 amplifiers, which are labeled as Lead, Rhythm, and Clean.

The signal panel features 7 different modules that can be turned on and off whenever it’s needed. These modules are labeled as Pedals, Amp, Cab, Magic, Effects, and Dynamics. Toneforge Jeff Loomis also features a tuner.

In regards to pedals, Toneforge Jeff Loomis features a compressor and overdrive, which are found in the Pedal FX panel. Other effects such as reverb and echo can be found in the Effects panel.

The preset manager, found at the top of the panel, opens up a window filled with presets made by JST, Jeff Loomis, and Jens Bogren. These presets fit perfectly with baritone guitars, 7 string guitars, 8 string baritone guitars, and even bass VI guitars.

Which One Should You Get?

Which one is the best VST for baritone guitar? There’s no right answer. We encourage you to listen to each of these VSTs so you can choose one that suits your needs and tastes!

Baritone guitars are a variant of the standard guitar with a longer scale length, bigger body, and thicker strings. These 6-string instruments can reach lower tunings than the standard guitar due to their size and strings.

It’s believed that baritone guitars made their first appearance around 400 years ago. These acoustic baritone guitars were used as a lower alternative to the classic guitar. 

In the early ‘60s, surf rock bands picked up the baritone guitar and made it popular again. Duane Eddy and The Beach Boys are perfect examples of musicians who made the sound of a baritone guitar fit in popular music.

The Origin of the Baritone Guitar

Experts believe that the baritone guitar appeared somewhere around the 17th century, right when the classic era of music was blooming. Sadly enough, this instrument went relatively unused until the year 1960.

Danelectro was one of the pioneer brands that produced baritone electric guitars, and the twangy sound of the Danelectro 56 fit perfectly with the surf rock genre. Since then, the baritone guitar has appeared in genres such as jazz, rock, metal, and folk.

What Does Baritone Mean?

Just like the voice, each musical instrument has a tonal range that makes them unique. Baritone guitars can play from E₂ standard to E₁ standard, almost like a bass guitar!

Of course, these two ends of the tonal spectrum of the baritone guitar are playable only with the right specs. You have to consider the scale length, the string gauge, and your technique.

Baritone guitars go so low that they’re almost identical in sound to a bass VI, just if the guitar is tuned down to low E (E₁ standard). Other than that, you can play your baritone guitar with generic baritone guitar strings at B standard, C standard, drop C, etc. 

If you want to learn more about the baritone guitar tunings click here!

Who Plays Baritone Guitars?

Duane Eddy, one of the first musicians who took the baritone guitar to the stage, debuted in 1960 with his album A Million Dollar Worth of Twang. He milked the sound of his Danelectro 56 to get the twangy-western sound common in many spaghetti-western movies.

Fast forward to the late ‘70s, Robert Smith from The Cure used a fender baritone guitar in some instances to replace his Fender bass VI. Later on, James Hetfield, Brian Welch, and John Petrucci used baritone guitars to flavor their music with low tunings and dark tones.

In the current music industry, the baritone guitar is used more often by mainstream musicians such as John Mayer, Phoebe Bridgers, Ani DiFranco, and Mark Lettieri. None of these musicians interpret the sound of this guitar differently, and they use it to give their tunes an ambiance.

Acoustic Baritone Guitars

Naturally, in the 17th century, the only type of baritone guitar that existed was acoustic. Brands such as Martin, Taylor, Lakewood Guitars, Ibanez, and others continue to produce this marvelous instrument.

Baritone acoustic guitars share some of the main features of the electric version. The differences are that you don’t need power to play it and the sound produced by this version of the baritone guitar is much warmer.

Baritone Guitar String Gauges

Longer scale length, lower tunings, that can only mean one thing: heavier strings. Since the baritone guitar is meant to play tunings that neither a standard guitar nor a bass guitar can play, you need a string gauge that’s in between the standard guitar regular string gauge and the bass guitar’s string gauge.

These are some of the most popular string gauges used for a baritone guitar:

●  0.12 to 0.60

●  0.13 to 0.62

●  0.14 to 0.68

Remember that the heaviest gauge is going to have a fuller and thicker sound, and it can create more string tension and maintain it when you play lower baritone tunings.

The baritone guitar became popular in the early ‘60s because of its low-pitched sounds that resemble a bass guitar. Guitarists such as Duane Eddy and Brian Wilson made baritone guitars popular in the genre of surf rock that was part of many spaghetti-western soundtracks.

Nowadays, baritone guitars are used for many different things. They’re able to play aggressive chord progressions at very low pitches, which creates a dark ambiance. We can find these in many different genres such as rock, folk, country, and most commonly in metal.

What Is a Baritone Guitar?

Before anything else, you must know what a baritone guitar is. Baritone guitars have a longer scale length. This allows them to reach lower tunings than a normal guitar. 

A baritone guitar is a perfect bridge between a normal guitar and a bass guitar.

Some would say that a 7 string guitar can do the same things that a baritone guitar does, but we think otherwise. Below, we’ll explore some of the different sounds and uses that make baritone guitars unique!

Baritone Guitars in Prog Rock

The main reason why a rock guitarist would use a baritone guitar is to reach those low tunings that make great company to the sparky standard guitar. 

Acclaimed guitarists such as Tim Reynolds from Dave Matthews Band, John Petrucci from Dream Theater, and Pat Smear from Meat Puppets have played baritone guitars in different instances.

Fun fact: Pat Smear has a signature Hagstrom baritone guitar!

Although rare, baritone guitars have been present in this genre since the early ‘60s, and they’re still used by many because of the low tunings they can do. Although the sound in this genre isn’t especially dark, it’s indeed low.

Baritone Guitars in Folk

Baritone guitars are used in folk because of the low-pitched tunings as well, but the sound of an acoustic baritone guitar is warmer than that of a standard acoustic guitar. Some folk guitarists who have used baritone guitars are Ani DiFranco, Phoebe Bridgers, Andy Mckee, and Don Ross.

Baritone guitars are perfect for this genre since they capture the essence of what folk feels like. Normally, folk artists play their guitars tuned to open C, open B, and open A, as they’re low but sweet sounding.

Baritone Guitars in Metal

Metal guitarists take advantage of the very low tunings that baritone guitars can reach but add up the dark ambiance that these electric guitars can create. 

Typically, metal guitarists use a thick string gauge such as 0.13 to 0.56 to produce that chugging sound. One of the most famous guitarists who rocks a baritone is James Hetfield, who has a signature ESP baritone guitar.

Some of the most popular tunings used in this genre are drop B and drop C. However, you can find many songs that use a variety of different baritone guitar tunings.

Baritone Guitars in Punk

Fans of punk and its subgenres have been witnesses of the greatness of baritone guitars. Just like in metal, baritone guitars in punk are used with a thick string gauge to create a dark ambiance mixed with low-pitched riffs.

Robert Smith, the guitarist from the legendary band The Cure, plays a Schecter UltraCure VI baritone guitar for live performances.

Baritone Guitars in Country

Glen Campbell, a member of the country hall of fame, used to rock a baritone guitar that resembled a Fender bass VI. The main reason why a country guitarist would use baritone guitar is because of the twang that these instruments produce. 

These guitars also match the low-pitched voice that country singers normally have, making them a great accompaniment.

Guitarists such as Glen Campbell would switch between a 30-inch scale baritone guitar and a bass VI, since they’re almost identical in sound. Typical tunings used in this genre are standard B and standard A, and some artists have used acoustic baritone guitars instead of electric baritone guitars.

Baritone Guitars in Jazz

Baritone guitars are versatile in sound, and Pat Metheny experimented with one of these guitars on his solo album One Quiet Night. The low tunings of a baritone guitar create a deep sonic background. Pat Metheny used a baritone acoustic guitar for this album and ended up winning a Grammy for the Best New Age Album.

Other jazz artists that have rocked a baritone guitar during their career are Allan Holdsworth and Mark Lettieri from Snarky Puppy. These two have explored the baritone guitar while creating great jazz fusion tunes.

Which Baritone Guitar Is the Best?

Baritone guitars are as versatile as regular guitars, but not every baritone guitar will work for every genre mentioned here. You may be asking, “Which baritone guitar is the best?” 

Undoubtedly, the best baritone guitar is the PRS SE 227 due to its versatility - although there are better guitars for each individual genre, this one can do it all.

The PRS SE 227 has different voicings depending on the configuration. Therefore, you can play heavy riffs and dark chord progressions, but you can also have a twangy sound in case you want to play country or jazz.

Other guitars that are almost as great as the PRS SE 227 are the Danelectro baritone line, the ESP LTD Baritone line, the Gretsch G5260 Electromatic Jet Baritone, and the baritone guitar line from Jerry Jones Guitars.

Throughout music history, there have been many who have used baritone guitars in many different genres, especially rock! 

These very special instruments have a very special range, since they can go very high and very low in the scale. For this reason, baritone guitars allow players to play aggressive chord progressions and shred bombastic solos.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to tell a baritone guitar from a regular guitar, and that’s why we bring you this list of songs of the best baritone guitar rock songs by artists like Staind, Dream Theater, Deftones, and others. These bands have explored this instrument with different baritone guitar tunings.

These Walls by Dream Theater

Released in 2005 for the album Octavarium, “These Walls” is one of the few songs in which John Petrucci plays a baritone guitar. Although it's not the easiest one to learn on guitar, if you've got chops, it's one to challenge yourself with.

The rock song starts with a thrashy intro that has lots of distortion and then follows with a beautiful guitar melody that plays along with the lyrics for 7 entire minutes!

It’s certainly not an easy song to play, but Petrucci makes it seem like he’s mastered the baritone guitar even though he doesn’t use it very often. Petrucci plays it in the tuning of A standard and in the key of A minor.

Kommotion by Duane Eddy

Now we go back to the year 1960, when rock and roll was blowing up all across the western world. 

That year, Duane Eddy released the album 1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang, where we can find the song “Kommotion.” Eddy, alongside his Danelectro baritone guitar, created a great song with lots of twang, living up to the name of the album.

Rock Lobster by The B-52’s

The B-52’s first released this song as a single, but it ended up being part of their first album titled Debut Album. If you haven’t heard “Rock Lobster” already, we encourage you to listen to it. It came in at number 147 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List.

You may confuse that bassy surf-style riff that can be heard through the whole song for a bass guitar. However, it’s a baritone guitar. Also, Kate Pierson used a Korg SB-100 synthesizer to play the actual bassline.

Minerva by Deftones

Unlike Deftones’ other rock songs, “Minerva” is one of the most mellow. Released in 2003 for the self-titled album Deftones, this song has a 7 string baritone guitar, played by Stephen Carpenter, that explores some shoegaze elements while still feeling like a Deftones song.

“Minerva” is a great tune that achieved massive success, hitting number 9 on Billboard’s Alternative Song chart. It’s remembered as one of Deftones’ best songs even to this day, and it’s worth listening to it if you haven’t already heard it.

Stephen Carpenter uses his ESP baritone guitar tuned to drop C# and goes over the chords of C#5, F#5, and D#5 through the entire song. The strumming pattern is very repetitive and gives a feeling of suspension to the song.

Mudshovel by Staind

The original version of this song was released in 1996, and it’s the first single from the album Tormented

In 1999, Staind reimagined the song and made it much heavier. Mike Mushok did that by using a baritone guitar for this new version of the song.

The band went all out for this song, forcing radio stations to cut off some parts to make it radio-friendly. This heavy sound couldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the Ibanez Artist AR300RE baritone guitar, and we can see Mushok playing it during the official video clip for this song.

Mushok plays “Mudshovel” in the key of A# standard and hovers over the G# string for the main riff. There are a few variations as the song goes on, but here we have a video that will help you understand better:

The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band

In 2001, Dave Matthews Band released the hit single “The Space Between” as part of the acclaimed album Everyday. The gloomy and dark ambiance that this song has is all due to the baritone guitar in the melody playing a distorted chord progression.

Tim Reynolds, the lead guitarist of Dave Matthews Band, tuned his baritone to B standard and created a melancholic melody that has transcended music history. Reynolds repeatedly strums the chords A, A/Ab, and A/F# to create the dark ambiance of this song.

The Clincher by Chevelle

Chevelle is known for making heavy songs, and “The Clincher” is no exception. Unfortunately, This song was never a huge hit for the band, but it was featured in the soundtrack of video games such as Madden 2005 and Guitar Hero Live.

“The Clincher” has to do with claustrophobia, and they painted this condition with some dark and heavy tones. 

The song was released on Chevelle’s third album This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In). The small band never really took off, but their music is worth a listen.

This song is played in the baritone guitar in the key of drop A#, and there’s a lot of picking throughout the whole song. If you want to practice your picking, we would recommend you to learn it on your baritone guitar!

The Best Baritone Guitar Rock Songs With Standard Tuning

Down tuning isn't all baritones are good for, check out these epic baritone guitar tracks with standard tuning.

Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers

Folk-rock artist Phoebe Bridgers is known for playing her Danelectro 56 baritone guitar often. In her song “Motion Sickness,” the ephemeral sound that plays the chord progression is her baritone guitar. 

Unlike the other examples, Bridgers turns the dark and low-pitched sound of a baritone guitar into a beautiful symphony.

“Motion Sickness” came out in 2017 for the album Stranger In The Alps. Bridgers talks about her abusive ex-boyfriend, and how those events affected her emotional stability. This song is one of Phoebe Bridgers’ most popular songs even when the theme is dark and melancholic.

To play this in a baritone guitar, Bridgers tunes her baritone guitar to open A with a capo on the 4th fret, which is the same as playing it on a regular guitar with no capo and tuned to open C#. “Motion Sickness” is a very easy song to learn, and we recommend you to do it!

Spanked by Van Halen

Released in 1991 for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, “Spanked” is one of the few Van Halen songs that feature a baritone guitar. 

We would be lying to you if we said that this was a normal baritone guitar, but the truth is that Eddie’s baritone was a double-neck guitar, which means that he had a regular guitar and a baritone on the same instrument. It was certainly the most bodacious instrument!

To play this song, you have to tune your baritone guitar to E standard, but in an octave lower. Get yourself some thick strings, because you need to create enough string tension to play your guitar with this tuning! 

The key of the song is mainly A major, but it has some variations on live performances. If you have a hard time learning this song, don’t stress too much! Remember that the double-neck guitar that Ernie Ball and Music Man designed for Eddie was tailor-made for him to be able to do the impossible.

Creeping Death by Metallica

The legends themselves, Metallica, composed a song using baritone guitars. “Creeping Death” is one of Metallica’s biggest hits. It became so popular that ESP made a collaboration with James Hetfield: the LTD Snakebyte Special Edition Baritone. 

The song is heavy, fast, and dark, which is perfect for the lower voicing of a baritone guitar. 

Unlike other songs played with a baritone guitar, “Creeping Death” is played with the baritone guitar tuned at E standard, and even though the tuning is the same as in a regular guitar, the tension of the strings is going to feel different. This difference in tension will be what sets apart the sound of a baritone guitar from a regular guitar. 

The key of the song is E minor but has variations on live performances.

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is an excellent compact guitar that’s fantastic for both traveling and home use. 

The Martin D JR-10 is an updated version of the previous iteration of the already great guitar. This compact version of the Dreadnought guitar is easier to carry around and travel with, as it's much more lightweight than the regular one. It's also cheaper, so you won't have to worry as much about damaging it during your travels.

The sound produced on the Dreadnought Jr. is still the authentic Martin sound, and the build is very similar to the regular Dreadnought, so you won't have to "re-learn" to play when you pick up the Dreadnought Jr.

In this review, we’ll discuss in detail the pros and cons of this guitar, provide some specifications, go over how it sounds and plays, and help you decide if it’s a good guitar for you.

Martin Dreadnought Jr. Features

Martin Dreadnought Jr

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is a 15/16th size variant of the standard Martin Dreadnought guitar. 

Its length is 24 inches, and it has 20 frets with no cutaway. The top is made from Sitka spruce solid wood, while the neck and the rest of the body are made up of Sapele wood. The Dreadnought Jr. sits comfortably in the middle between the regular Dreadnought and the Little Martin.

The neck is attached to the body with a Mortise and Tenon joint, while the fretboard is made up of Richlite, an ebony material. The strings have a spacing of 54.76mm, which makes them very comfortable to use for most finger sizes. 

The guitar features chrome sealed tuners that allow a steady intonation and tuning. White Corian is used to make the nut of the guitar.

The guitar has a premium finish, and the build uses high-quality materials. The guitar also comes with a nylon bag, which makes it very handy to travel.

There are several models of the Dreadnought Jr., namely the Martin Dreadnought Jr. E and Dreadnought Jr. 2. The "E" stands for electronics and uses a Fishman Sonitone pickup, while the "2" is a newer version with a Sapele top.

Pros and Cons

Here are a few good things about the Martin Dreadnought Jr., as well as some things that are not so good about it:

ProsCons
Excellent build qualityLacks the depth of regular Dreadnoughts
PortabilityLacks a double-action truss rod
Smooth playingNo cutaway
Punchy mid-range tonesHighs could be better
Comfortable playing experience 
Comes with a warranty 
Loud volume despite the size 

How Does the Martin Dreadnought Jr. Sound?

Most people expect a boxy sound at a restricted volume from a smaller-sized guitar, but that isn't really the case here. While it won't have the lows of a full-sized guitar, the Martin Dreadnought Jr. still produces a smooth and clean sound for its smaller size. The sound is warm with a rich texture and resonant mid-ranges.

The sound produced by the guitar isn't the most complex one out there, but it is punchy and has a balanced treble. This guitar is best suited for jazz, rock, and country music, in our opinion.

The guitar has a smaller size, which means there’s less projection and volume. However, this is still more than enough if you're practicing or playing it at a campfire. This is why we consider it an excellent traveling guitar.

Is the Martin Dreadnought Jr. Comfortable?

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. plays very comfortably, similar to most other Martin guitars. This is due to several brilliant design choices made by Martin.

The space and the width of the fingerboard at the nut is more than that of other compact guitars. This makes it easier to hold, fret, and generally play this guitar. The shape of the neck is also very convenient and has a hand-rubbed finish that’s amazing to the touch.

This guitar has a very similar design to the Dreadnought, which means that switching from one guitar to the other won't have a vast learning curve. You can have the Dreadnought as your main guitar while you keep the Dreadnought Jr. as a practice or traveling guitar.

Regular Dreadnoughts are bigger, so it can be a bit tricky to reach the soundhole. It can cause fatigue to the strumming hand, as you usually have to angle your shoulder to reach the strings. This is especially the case for people with shorter arms.

However, the Dreadnought Jr. has a perfect balance between size and comfort, making it very comfortable to play.

Martin Dreadnought Jr. vs. Its Competitors

The Dreadnought Jr. is often compared to similar guitars from other brands like the Taylor Big Baby or the GS Mini. The Big Baby is the same size, but the build feels a bit cheaper than the Dreadnough Jr. However, this difference is marginal, and other than the neck screws and the micarta saddle, there isn't much that stands out.

The Big Baby sounds a bit brighter and less deep than the Dreadnought Jr., but there isn't much difference otherwise, and it's just a matter of preference.

The Dreadnought Jr. has a more balanced tone and a better action than the GS Mini. It also has more customization options. You can read up a detailed comparison by clicking here.

Martin Dreadnought Jr Review FAQs

What material is the Martin Dreadnought Jr. made of?

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is made up of solid wood entirely, which means that it's incredibly durable and has an excellent sound quality.

What size is a Martin Dreadnought Junior?

The Dreadnought Jr. is 15/16th the size of the regular Martin Dreadnought guitar. It's not much of a downsize compared to the standard model, as the difference is only a few inches.

Is the Martin Dreadnought Jr. Good?

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is an excellent guitar for traveling musicians, and it’s also a great secondary guitar to have. It's much better compared to other guitars in a similar range and category.

Is the Martin Dreadnought Jr. Worth It?

The Martin Dreadnought Jr. is a great guitar that stays in the budget-friendly range while providing an uncompromised sound quality. It's portable, friendly for beginner guitarists, and sounds bigger than its size. The design is also very comfortable, and the price tag won't break the bank.

If you're someone who’s looking for a smaller guitar that doesn't compromise in quality, then this guitar is worth it for you, whether you're a traveling musician or someone who wants a smaller guitar to play at home.

Artistworks vs Guitar Tricks. These are two of the most popular and well-known online guitar lesson platforms. Did you know both websites have been teaching guitarists how to play the guitar for more than a decade?

Although they have different approaches to teaching the guitar, they offer similar features. Yet, there's one huge difference between them: Guitar Tricks only has guitar lessons, but Artistworks features video lessons for most musical instruments, including the guitar.

In this article, we’ll discuss the good and bad of both services, provide a review of each, and compare them to each other.

What’s Guitar Tricks?

Guitar Tricks Review

Guitar Tricks, established in 1998, distinguishes itself from the swarm of online guitar-learning platforms because it provides many high-quality lessons, wonderful teachers, outstanding courses, and practically everything you'll ever need as a guitar student. They launched the system with guitarists in mind, and it’s basic and straightforward to use. 

With many other premium sites, you won't know what you're getting yourself into until you sign up for a subscription. To counter this, Guitar Tricks provides a session trial, which gives you access to twenty-four free lessons without signing. While this may appear to be a cheap sales ploy to some, it gives customers a bite-sized experience of the website and the lectures so they can make a more informed selection.

They also have a free trial that allows you past the paywall. You have to enter credit card info, but you can just cancel before the 14-day trial period is up.

GuitarTricks has a decent number of expert courses, which isn’t the case with most instrument learning sites. 

Paid guitar instruction lessons have additional materials, including downloadable tabs, lesson files, and lesson organization features. Most classes also include a music track at the conclusion, allowing you to jam with drums or bass in the background.

Guitar Tricks Review

Guitar Tricks Dashboard
The Guitar Tricks Dashboard

Guitar Tricks is a guitar instructional website that prioritizes the student and delivers a less daunting experience compared to dealing with a real tutor, which can be a scary experience. But, a selection of pleasant teachers and bite-sized sessions effectively take the fear out of guitar learning.

The novice and expert lessons offer you a visual chart outlining where you'll start and what follows next in principles, levels, and guitar music genres. They also provide you access to different genres, methods, artist studies, practice exercises, notes and keys, and gear and tone instructional content.

When you sign into it as a subscriber, the Guitar Tricks official website sends you to the beginner or advanced classes or to parts of the site where you might learn to play whole songs or other types of guitar skills. It also provides a list of the most recent lessons.

As of now, there are 32 active guitar teachers on GuitarTricks. While most of them have been instructing for over twenty years, several are becoming well-known as session and studio musicians in the entertainment industry.

Guitar Tricks does offer a ton of value for its money. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced guitarist, you're sure to learn something new, and the subscription should be a worthwhile purchase for most new guitar learners.

Who Should Use Guitar Tricks Over Artistworks?

It's very beneficial for novices. The learning approach is extremely well-planned and thought out. Most courses offered in Guitar Tricks cover fundamentals for a complete newbie, but if you're an advanced guitarist, you can skip a lot of it.

Guitar Tricks should be worthwhile for those who only wish to learn the guitar, as Guitar Tricks is cheaper than Artistworks. Guitar Tricks’ lessons also go more in-depth when compared to the classes offered by Artistworks.

Who Should Not Use Guitar Tricks Over Artistworks?

Guitar Tricks has lessons only for guitar, so if you're looking to learn other instruments, Guitar Tricks simply won’t be a worthwhile purchase for you.

What’s Artistworks?

Artistworks Logo

Artistworks was initially released in 2008, and it has since established itself as one of the best online training platforms for learning musical instruments.

David Butler, the chairman and co-founder of Artistworks, wanted to perfect jazz guitar. He and his wife created Artistworks in 2008, and it grew to become a site with thirty-five guitar teachers and 5000 plus videos. It now allows everyone to get private feedback from teachers that they’ve been taking lessons from.

Artistworks entered the GSV EdTech Research Institutes in Silicon Valley in March 2015, and in June, it received a US patent on its key technology of Video Interchange Learning. The Accrediting Committee for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted the organization academic certification as a supplementary education provider in May 2017.

Artistworks offers a vast core lesson collection that takes students from the basics to advanced techniques. Artistworks also uses proprietary technology that allows users to submit practice videos and receive customized video replies from their tutor whenever they have a question. 

Each video encounter between an instructor and a student is made public for all users to learn from. This makes the experience feel more like a classroom environment. You can also learn from other people's mistakes, making the learning environment much more productive.

These video exchanges serve as the foundation for an ever-expanding, ever-changing online learning environment that is superior to a traditional classroom and offers the most accessible and effective method to study online.

Artistworks combines skilled teachers with eager participants in a social online learning space where each contact is a learning opportunity for everybody.

Artistworks Review

Artistworks Lesson Sample
An ArtistWorks Lesson Sample

Using Artistworks, you may pick from a range of instruments (not only guitar) and then choose an instructor based on the type or category they teach.

The price would mostly stay the same. However, one exception to the payment plan layout and pricing for one guitar instructor has been discovered.

After signing up for a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month plan, you can begin your courses. You have complete control over how you learn. 

Lessons are taught by following a tutorial and recording and uploading a video of the learning and practicing process to the Artistworks site. After seeing your video, your teacher provides feedback, ideas, and extra practice or approaches to attempt.

Artistworks ensures that the site is the most efficient and educational option to enhance your talents on the internet. On the other hand, Artistworks doesn’t offer refunds, credits, partial compensation, or refunds based on chargeback disputes.

Because membership can be automatically renewed, you should cancel your membership before it refreshes after the current paying term if you’re displeased with the classes.

Artistworks appears restricted in the number of guitar teachers (only 10 at this time) and unconnected in its technique of recording and submitting a clip for asynchronous training when contrasted to certain other online guitar instructional systems like Guitar Tricks. 

This may be the emphasis and feel that some individuals like, but the record-and-upload option may be too restrictive for some who are used to a more direct engagement with an instructor.

Who Should Use Artistworks Over Guitar Tricks?

For people who want to get a more distinctive and social experience, Artistworks is a better option than Guitar Tricks. People whojust aren’t interested in one, but a wide range of instruments should also go for Artistworks over Guitar Tricks.

Guitar Tricks is for people who are interested in learning how to play the guitar only.

Who Should Not Use Artistworks Over Guitar Tricks?

Guitar Tricks offers an uncomplicated way for beginners, and it will surely teach you the basics right away. 

New guitarists shouldn’t use Artistworks, as it can get a little complicated. The platform has a ton of courses, and beginners may get confused and lose their way.

Comparing Artistworks and Guitar Tricks

Guitar-Tricks-Instructors Screenshot

Now let's dive into some direct comparisons between the two. It's hard to pick a clear winner in many of these categories as it often depends on the user, so make sure you read what each platform has on offer carefully.

1. Guitar Tricks vs ArtistWorks - Price

The pricing and the plans offered by both services are very different from each other. Looking at the price, Guitar Tricks is the better option if you’re learning the guitar solely.

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks has an annual and monthly subscription plan. The monthly plan costs $19.95 per month, while the annual plan costs $179 per year. If you plan to use the service for the long term, then a yearly subscription makes more sense, as it's around $60 cheaper.

If you're unsure, you can go for a 14-day trial to test out all the features. Not only that, but Guitar Tricks also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee without asking any questions.

Artistworks

Artistworks features a more complex plan with three tiers: a 3-month plan, a 6-month plan, and an annual plan.

The 3-month plan gives you unlimited access to lessons and the video exchange library, but you can only make 5 video submissions to the instructor. This plan costs $105 for 3 months.

The 6-month plan also gives you unlimited access to lessons and the video exchange library. Still, here you get 25 backing tracks across instruments, and you can make up to 12 video submissions to your instructor. This plan costs $179 for 6 months.

The 12-month plan gives you unlimited access to lessons from the video exchange library, and you can make unlimited video submissions to your instructor. This plan also features VIP bonus content. This plan costs $279 for a year.

We recommend the annual plan if you want to use the service long-term, as it saves you around 33% while giving some extra features like unlimited submissions.

2. ArtistWorks vs Guitar Tricks - Website Formats

Guitar Tricks Advanced Path Screenshot
guitar tricks advanced path screenshot

We’ll compare the general layout and interfaces of both websites. For us, Guitar Tricks had better ease-of-use and was easier to learn. Here are some details about both.

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks has an interface that's easy to navigate and is friendly for people who aren’t very tech savvy and may have trouble navigating complex websites. The site is simple in design and features sections that include beginner, advanced, song lessons, and learning styles.

You can sift through these through the top main navigation bar or the right sidebar. The video lessons are easy to find, and you can just use your mouse to scroll between the pages.

Artistworks

Artistworks doesn't feature an interface as easy to use as the interface featured in Guitar Tricks. However, you can still learn to navigate the website if you spend a couple of minutes trying to understand it.

Artistworks first allows you to take a lesson and practice. You can also film yourself playing, and you can get video feedback from your instructor if you choose the plan that allows you to do this. 

The social element of this service is a great plus point, as it allows you to learn with your fellow students and make it into more of a social experience.

3. ArtistWorks vs Guitar Tricks Courses

Guitar Tricks Ipad App Screenshot

Both websites provide courses for the guitar at most difficulty levels, but Artistworks has a larger number of courses for several musical instruments. If you're looking to learn a diverse range of instruments, then Artistworks is the clear winner here.

Guitar Tricks

We can recommend Guitar Tricks to almost any guitar player, no matter their skill level. As mentioned in the previous section, some sections allow users to choose the type of lesson they want. Once you choose your desired section, you’ll find different courses, which are then divided into chapters, and these chapters have multiple lessons.

Every lesson on Guitar Tricks also has dedicated info and a notation tab, and most of these lessons have a backing track that you can jam to using the skill you just learned in the video lesson.

Artistworks

Artistworks has a video guitar lesson for both new and advanced guitarists. Every course on Artistworks has a video lesson that allows you to learn the guitar step by step. There are three difficulty tiers for each lesson: beginner, intermediate, and advanced difficulties.

However, Artistworks has a video lesson for almost any musical instrument while also offering courses for different guitars, including the acoustic, electric, bass, and classical.

4. Backing Tracks and Guitar Styles

Guitar Tricks Jam Station Screenshot
Guitar Tricks Jam Station Screenshot

Guitar Tricks features a larger catalog of backing tracks and guitar styles than Artistworks, but Artistworks focuses on techniques rather than having you learn a song.

Guitar Tricks

There are around 700 licensed songs featured on Guitar Tricks, and a new song is added almost every week. All lessons include the notation and tablature and a backing track. The songs are also broken down into steps and are taught from start to finish.

You probably won't find lessons from all the songs you like. However, the website features a lot of technique lessons to help you learn new songs. There are also more than 1,200 jam tracks in multiple genres including:

  • Classical
  • Blues
  • Acoustic
  • Funk
  • Jazz.

Artistworks

It may be disappointing to hear that Artistworks doesn't have an impressive catalog of songs like Guitar Tricks. If you want to learn more than a handful of songs to play on the guitar, then Artistworks isn't the best option for you.

However, the main focus here is to learn the technique. 

Once you perfect your techniques, you shouldn't have any problems playing the songs you want to play. Like Guitar Tricks, there are backing tracks on Artistworks for every style of guitar they cover, and you can find these backing tracks on the Study Materials part of the website.

5. Guitar Tricks vs ArtistWorks - Video Lessons

Guitar Tricks Course Sample Screenshot
Guitar Tricks Course Sample Screenshot

Both websites feature a similar video player and video lesson format. However, Guitar Tricks features an easier and more accessible interface.

Guitar Tricks

Every video lesson on Guitar Tricks is shot from three angles using HD cameras and is extremely easy to navigate. You can also loop parts by setting a starting and an ending point.

You can slow down the video to half the speed or speed it up to twice the speed. You can also find the tabs and notations about the lessons and sometimes even lyrics of the song just below the video.

Artistworks

Artistworks has short, to-the-point video lessons where the instructor gives an in-depth demonstration of the technique you’re learning.

The video player is fairly simple even though it doesn't have most features on other sites. However, it's still able to provide a smooth and polished experience. You can also slow down the video, just like on Guitar Tricks.

6. Guitar Teachers

Both services have several professional guitar teachers. But, Guitar Tricks has more active guitar instructors compared to Artistworks.

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks currently has around 32 active guitar teachers. Most of these teachers are professionals and are well-known people in the music industry. Every teacher is a genre expert, while some specialize in several genres.

There are several teachers for rock, blues, and classical lessons, and you can get teachers for electric and acoustic guitar.

Artistworks

Artistworks doesn't have nearly as many teachers as Guitar Tricks for guitar lessons. However, the teachers there are well-known people in the music industry, which means you can get some of the best musicians to teach you musical instruments on Artistworks.

The teachers on Artistworks are charismatic, friendly, and enthusiastic, and they’re incredibly knowledgeable and cooperative.

Which Service Do We Recommend?

We recommend using Guitar Tricks, especially if you wish to learn the guitar, as it's cheaper and has a larger number of lessons that go into a lot of detail. It also covers several genres, songs, styles, and techniques, and it has almost everything you need to learn guitar.

Artistworks, on the other hand, has a wider variety of musical instruments to learn, but it doesn't offer as much depth as Guitar Tricks for guitar, specifically.

Whichever you choose in ArtistWorks vs Guitar Tricks, you’ll have access to plenty of high-quality lessons. They’re both strong options to learn guitar with.

If you’re looking for an affordable travel acoustic guitar that looks stunning and still feels like a regular acoustic guitar, Taylor is one of the best brands. 

The Taylor Big Baby and Taylor GS Mini are both portable and quality acoustic guitars, but they’re slightly different and cater to their own types of players. Read on to learn about the two most popular short scale Taylor models.

Taylor Big Baby

A Taylor Big Baby Sitka Electric Model

The Big Baby Taylor is an excellent option for a travel guitar. The Big Baby is available in two varieties: the BT1, a strictly acoustic, and the BT1e, an acoustic-electric version.

The electric version features a digital built-in chromatic tuner. The tuner tends to come in handy if you’re learning how to play guitar or you travel often.

Though its size is ¾, the Dreadnought is slightly larger than the GS Mini. However, it still retains comfort for smaller people or those with small hands. 

That said, the small frets on the Big Baby guitar may be unsuitable for guitarists with large hands, more so if the guitar is capo fitted.

The mahogany version of the Taylor guitars Big Baby differs from Taylor's guitar's typical sparkly and loud tone, but it still retains a good sound.

The solid mahogany and its 3/4 dreadnought size enable the guitar to produce a warmer tone than the full-sized Taylor guitars. While playing chords, the guitar sounds rich. 

Its slim neck is gentle on your hands and easy for beginners to play.

The Big Baby is a heavy acoustic guitar and should not be viewed as an inexpensive imitation of Taylors full size offerings like the standard Baby is. Additionally, it has many positive reviews and a smooth tone to match its high standing in the travelling musician’s community.

If you have small hands or are looking for a travel guitar, the compact size is the right fit for you. It can work well as a beginner's acoustic guitar for students and kids. It can also be suitable for intermediate musicians.

Taylor GS-Mini 

A Taylor Gs Mini Standard Model

The Taylor GS Mini is a portable and travel-friendly acoustic guitar that doesn’t compromise tone clarity or quality and offers a rich, dynamic range.

With a 23.5-inch scale length, it’s smaller than a full-sized guitar, 

There are three options available when purchasing a GS mini:

  • Grand Symphony Mini-E Acoustic Guitar (Electric)
  • Grand Symphony Mini Rosewood  Acoustic Guitar (Non-electric)
  • Grand Symphony Mini Mahogany Acoustic Guitar (Electric)

The most cost-effective version is without electronics. The GS Mini-E is costlier than the Mahogany version of the electric GS Mini by a hundred dollars due to more features like a better pickup.

The Mini offers a rich and full sound like a full-sized guitar with a warm tonal profile. Generally, it matches some 200 and 300 series of Taylor acoustic guitars.

It offers a credible sustain, lively treble, and a lush midrange. The notes produced by the Mini are crystal clear, crisp, and smooth during fingerpicking and solo playing.

High tempo strumming can cause the GS Mini’s tone to break. Therefore, it’s most suitable for singers/songwriters in small acoustic guitar player groups. 

It’s ideal for different genres, including acoustic pop, fingerstyle blues, bluegrass, and indie music.

You’ll decide between the darker and mellow Mahogany or the light sparkly Sitka, as each version is more competent in different aspects.

All in all, the GS Mini is a superb choice for a travel guitar that you can use both for recordings in a studio and live performances. Additionally, the Mini can serve as a backup guitar or even a primary. 

Taylor Big Baby vs Taylor GS Mini

Below is a comparison of different attributes of both guitar models:

Shape and Size

One of the significant differences between the Big Baby and GS Mini is the shape of the two guitars, which may affect the guitar's feel, fit, and tone. 

While the Big baby has a 3/4 dreadnought body shape, the GS Mini has a 3/4 Grand Symphony (GS) body shape, similar to a modern parlor guitar.

The GS Mini is more comfortable for smaller people or those with petite hands, and it’s better as a first-class travel guitar. Meanwhile, the Big Baby comes at a cost-friendly price to compensate for fewer features.

Construction

Depending on the model, there are differences in the wood tone. The Big Baby has a mahogany or Sitka top and a layered Sapele or walnut body. Meanwhile, the Mini features a solid Sitka top, and its sides and back are made from Sapele laminate. Solid tops are important for creating the best tone, so don’t overlook this if you’re a working muso like me.

Both guitars use decent parts to ensure the price and weight remain low. They, therefore, have no frills. Also, they’re both non-cutaway guitar models and lack binding, armrests, and wedges.

Although both guitars feature die-cast tuners in chrome custom-made for Taylor, X bracing, and ebony fingerboards, the Mini has superior bracing.

In comparison, Big Baby’s TUSQ nut and the saddle are inferior to GS Mini’s Micarta saddle and NuBone nut.

Both Taylor guitars have premium construction, and they go through the same quality analysis. There’s, therefore, no significant difference in the hardware and quality of the components.

Both guitar models have a quality Taylor bag. However, the GS Mini’s bag is of slightly better construction and quality. In fact many guitarists use the GS Mini case for their other parlor guitars as it’s kind of an industry standard for ¾ size gig bags.

The GS Mini comes with a tortoise pickguard, but the Big Baby lacks one.

Hand Size

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Both guitars are smaller than the average full-size acoustic guitar. However, the GS Mini has a shorter scale than the Big Baby Taylor. Similarly, both Taylor guitars have 20 frets, but they’re crammed on the GS Mini’s 23.5 inches compared to 25.5 inches on the Big Baby.

Even though you might consider the difference insignificant, it’s important for those with large hands. Therefore GS Mini’s scale is more suitable for small to medium-sized hands and fingers.

Tone

Despite the GS Mini's compact size, it produces robust and full sound. The Mini’s sound is bright smooth, and its responsiveness is similar to that of bigger Taylor models. In addition, the Mini doesn’t give out any muddiness, and it can impressively sustain the tone.

The Big Baby Sitka spruce top helps it produce a wide dynamic range accommodating a broad range of playing styles. Also, despite its 15/16 scale, just slightly bigger than the Mini, it creates a bit more volume.

Electronics

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Both Taylor acoustic guitars have electronic and non-electronic acoustic models. The Big Baby acoustic-electric version uses an ES-B system, while Taylor's GS Mini acoustic-electric guitar features the ES-Go Taylor electronics.

The Big Baby has featured an inbuilt preamp with one tone and one master volume switch, and it has a battery replacement slot, and a built-in LED tuner. The GS Mini lacks the onboard preamp, but you can pair a Taylor V-Cable.

Big Baby is, therefore, better for plug-and-play functions due to the tuner and the additional options for tone shaping.

Feel

The Taylor Big Baby has a regular Dreadnought feel. Even though it has a slimmer shape, its scale length is still appropriate, making chord playing feel familiar.

The quality of the Big Baby is higher than most starter or entry-level acoustic guitars.

The Taylor GS Mini acoustic guitar is an ultra-portable instrument that feels comfortable when you strap it around the neck and play it standing or sitting. It might take a bit more effort for you to adjust to the Mini’s smaller scale length than to the Big Baby’s, but the neck still feels natural when playing.

The GS Mini also tends to be better than the Big Baby when playing single-note lines. Whether you use the electronic or natural version, your fingers will practically fly over the guitar’s strings.

On the other hand, the Big Baby is the better option when playing chords and, most importantly, when playing with singing accompaniment.

Even though the Mini is lighter and more portable, its tone is not as well rounded as the Big Baby. In addition, it’s easier to maintain the Big Baby’s tune in humid conditions or when traveling.

Mobility

Both the Big Baby and the GS Mini are light and portable, so they’re suitable as travel instruments. Although the Mini is lighter and easier to carry around than the Big Baby, the disparity is negligible. It isn’t going to push you to choose one over the other unless it’s the main factor you’re worried about.

Cost

The GS Mini is more expensive than the Big Baby across all models. The most cost-effective variant is the Big Baby Taylor acoustic guitar without electronics, while the most costly option is the Taylor GS Mini-e Koa.

Generally, if you mind your pocket, Big Baby Taylor is the best option, but if you have a long-term vision, then the Taylor GS Mini has value features that can help you record in-studio or perform live.

The two acoustic guitars are premium models respected by both customers and critics. This brief overview and comparison should help you decide which one is best for you. Before you decide, however, you can visit a local store and experience the two models first-hand.

The Taylor Big Baby vs. Taylor GS Mini Verdict

The GS Mini is an all-around slightly better guitar. But, the Big Baby is cheaper, and its electric/acoustic versions are more beginner-friendly with their onboard preamp. Either way, you won’t be disappointed picking a Taylor over most of the other comparable guitars on the market.

Minion is an appropriate name for a guitar that’s both cute and powerful. With a 2/3 scale length and a retail price of under $200, the Jackson Dinky Minion is an affordable electric guitar for kids. However, some adults may also find its features appealing for travel, and it has the metal capabilities and playability of the legendary Jackson Dinky.

A made-in-China guitar first produced in 2016, the JS1X Dinky Minion offers a high-output roar and a robust sustain thanks to its construction. 

Read on to learn more about Jackson’s Minion and all it can provide.

Jackson Minion Features

Here’s a list of the features of the Jackson Dinky Minion electric guitar: 

  1. 2/3 scale (22.5”) length
  2. Bolt-on maple neck
  3. Poplar Dinky body
  4. Amaranth fretboard
  5. Speed neck profile
  6. Fretboard radius: 12"
  7. Nut width: 41.3 mm
  8. Pearloid sharkfin insoles
  9. Jackson HT6 hardtail bridge with string-through-body
  10. 24 Jumbo frets
  11. 1 Volume and 1 tone control
  12.  2 Jackson humbuckers pickups
  13. Three-way toggle knob
  14. Color: Black
  15. Black hardware

The minion doesn’t come with a case, which is a letdown because the guitar cannot fit properly in most guitar cases. It’s the perfect size for a traveler's guitar, but it may be challenging to find protection for the Minion. Check out our list of the best ¾ cases for some options.

Who Can Use the Jackson Minion?

Even though the Minion is typically used by children, some people with small hands may benefit from its 2/3 scale. Adults may also prefer its portability, and both children and adults may find it helpful when learning how to play.

In short, anyone can use this guitar. 

The Jackson Dinky Minion Review

A Black Jackson Minion Dinky Electric Guitar
A black jackson minion dinky electric guitar

Body & Neck

The JS1X Dinky Minion comes in a 22.5-inch scale length that is rough 2/3rds the size of a typical guitar. Its poplar body with a modified Super Strat body shape makes it a convenient guitar for any child or smaller person, whether they’re standing or sitting.

The maple neck, which is reinforced with a bolt and features a slim profile, makes it easy for small hands to manipulate. Because of the short-scale length, it’s quick and very smooth.

The neck also has a rosewood fretboard with 24 frets and the distinctive Jackson pearloid sharkfin inlays.

Adults get to enjoy crazy short fret-hand stretches and playing super-fast with the Minion. For instance, an experienced player can easily fret both the 12th and 5th frets simultaneously.

The main disadvantage is that the frets become smaller and more difficult to play after the 20th fret. In the end, the 23rd and 24th frets are generally useless.

The classic Jackson reverse headstock adds to the appeal of the Minion. If you can change the strings, it will make the guitar more worthwhile. If you can’t change them yourself, visit a guitar store so they can do it for you.

Hardware

The Minion is fitted with stock components that perform well and maintain a low price. It features two Jackson humbucking pickups (which can be controlled by a three-way selector), a master volume, and master tone switches. The Minion’s simple features make it easy for kids to use.

Additionally, it has a fixed bridge and a set of chrome tuners that are efficient for stability.

The neck is straight, and you don’t have to fiddle with the truss rod. All of the inlays are in their proper locations and correctly fitted.

Fit

The guitars setup is carried out either in a factory or by an employee. You might need to change the strings by replacing the 9-42s with the 10-52s.

The Minion’s neck is straight, and you don’t need to tweak the truss rod. The inlays are also in their proper position and fitted accurately.

Further, the tuners are in the correct alignment, and the input jack is sturdy. Therefore, you won’t experience an excessive buzz when you plug in a cable. Also, you shouldn’t experience any dead frets or fret buzz.

All in all, you need to fiddle a little with the setup, and then the guitar will be ready for use. But, the tradeoff of a little setup compared to the low price of these guitars make it well worth the effort.

Sound

The Minion sounds grand for its price range and size. Depending on the amp you use, the clean tones are warm and clear. When you play it in distortion, the tone is full and chunky.

Although the Jackson sealed die-cast tuners aren’t perfect, they’re able to stay in tune but can be flat perfect when you try to do wild bends and/or vibratos. In addition, the Minion’s tuners are well aligned with a stable input jack.

In terms of actually tuning, the Minion performs well considering its price range, but it might produce a muddy sound if tuned to C or C#. It doesn’t cause excessive buzzing when you plug in a cable.

The Minion’s pickups are rather noisy but you can easily improve the pickups by using thicker strings.

When the neck pickup is full of bottom end, the guitar has mild highs and can be pleasant to solo with. Generally, the pickups produce respectable sound quality.

You can use the 3-way toggle switch, tone, and volume knobs to adjust your playing to either crunchy riffs or wailing leads.

At the end of the day, kids can use it during performances, and it is among the best-sounding kid’s guitars.

Durability and Reliability

As mentioned before, the guitar has decent hardware that rarely has any problems. However, you need to be careful with the guitar’s points. Poplar, the wood it’s made of, is rather soft, and the Minion’s finish isn’t perfect.

Although online photos make the guitar appear to be solid and glossy, many users have complained of poor paintworks, such as darker portions, on the guitar. To some extent, the Minion looks like it needs a fresh coat of paint.

The guitar is suitable for children, but that doesn’t mean that you can play it on a stage for a live audience. It might not even be considered as a backup. 

Why? First, the minion comes without a case for protection and portability.

Also, like other Chinese guitars, the Jackson Minion has cheap screws that one can accidentally strip. The nuts have sharp corners that can poke you. However, you can round them using a metal file.

Another concern is the deep fret cuts that tend to be a few millimeters deeper than the fret wires.

Overall Impression

The Minion's small scale and body make it a fun and easy guitar to play. If you enjoy rock and metal and are a smaller person, you can give this guitar a try. It can also be a cool gift for kids who are rock fans.

Its affordability and reliability are other reasons why you should consider the Minion. It outshines many other small-scale guitars on the market, and you could easily replace the guitar if it were stolen or lost.

You’ll have a decent guitar if you customize it and work around its few flaws. Especially if you need to practice or move around frequently, its portability is a significant advantage.

Where to Buy a Jackson Minion

If you need to physically try out the guitar, you should look for it in stores where you can play before purchasing. You may also find it at a much lower price in pawn shops. If you want to buy a new one, you can either check your local stores or buy online through Amazon.

The Jackson Minion is an excellent starter electric guitar for kids. Even if an adult considers using the Minion as a travel guitar, it’s worth its price tag. It offers great sound, comfort, and playability. 

However, it’s unfair to expect the Minion to sound like a mid-level full-scale guitar. Remember, it’s a short-scale without brand name pickups.

Are you having trouble deciding between a baritone guitar and a standard guitar? You may be asking yourself which type of guitar is better. 

Baritone guitars go much lower in pitch than standard guitars, whereas standard guitars go way higher. 

Of course, chord progressions, picking, and shredding can be done with either of these types of guitars, but you may feel more comfortable performing these techniques while playing a specific type.

Below, we’ll explore the differences between these two kinds of guitars so you can decide which one suits your needs.

The Difference in Sound of Baritone Guitar vs Standard Guitar

The baritone guitar has a completely different timbre and rocks out a completely different vibe, even if you play the same notes and chord progressions that you would play with a standard guitar. 

The baritone guitar has a darker and fuller sound, while the standard guitar has a brighter sound. Some things sound better with a baritone, especially if you want to play in a very low tuning. At the same time, the bright sound of a standard guitar appeals to a huge group of guitarists.

The dark ambiance isn’t the only thing that the baritone guitar offers. These instruments can also produce sounds with good amounts of twang, often used by western-style musicians such as Duane Eddy.

If you want a sparkier sound, the standard guitar is for you. The standard guitar was made to use lighter string gauges. Therefore, the sound you get out of it most of the time is full of energy.

Tunings

Alternate Guitar Tunings

The standard electric guitar normally uses a lighter gauge, so it can easily reach very high-pitched tunings. On the other hand, baritone guitars use much thicker string gauges and are capable of going very low, almost matching the tone of a bass VI.

Standard guitars can easily hold up to a C standard and can go high enough to play F standard, but any lower tuning could sound sloppy. This happens due to the string gauge that’s normally used with a standard guitar. You can replace this, but that won’t ensure it will sound as good as if you were playing a baritone.

Baritone guitars follow the same theory. Depending on your string gauge, your guitar will perform better or worse at tunings such as B standard, drop B, A standard, and so on. 

If you own a 30-inch scale guitar, you could even drop the tuning to E1 standard, having a very similar sound to a bass VI. There are a bunch of baritone guitar tunings that you can check out here!

Even though you could try some standard guitar tunings on your baritone, remember that the string tension isn’t the same, and most of them could sound sloppy. The same goes for guitar players who want to try some standard tunings on their baritone guitar.

String Gauges

Paradigm Strings Product Image

The baritone guitar and the standard guitar have different scale lengths. Therefore, to create the right string tension, we need different gauges for the low and high tunings that we can play with these guitars.

Normally, standard electric guitars would use lighter string gauges. The most common is 0.10 to 0.46 gauge. This gauge works perfectly with E standard tuning and could even be dropped a few steps to drop C without sounding messy. Any tuning lower than that could be problematic.

On the other hand, baritone electric guitars rock heavier gauges depending on how low you want the tuning to be. Since baritone guitars have a broader variety of scale lengths, you could tune it down even to E1 standard, but this isn’t usual. 

Typically, baritone guitarists would use 0.13 to 0.62 or 0.14 to 0.68 string gauges. Baritone guitar strings could vary a lot depending on the player and the genre, but for common tunings such as B standard, C standard, and A standard, these gauges work perfectly.

Pricing

Since the baritone guitars are sort of rare, they cost much more than regular guitars. A good electric baritone guitar such as the PRS SE 227 can cost around $800. Meanwhile, a good standard such as the Fender Stratocaster can cost around $400 and $500.

Budget guitars such as the Danelectro 56 could be found at around $500. On the other hand, there are budget standard guitar brands such as Squier and Epiphone that produce fair quality guitars at prices around $200.

Baritone guitars will always be way more expensive than standard guitars due to their rarity. A great line of baritone guitars such as the ESP LTD, which will last a lifetime, can be found at $1,500.

Acoustic

When it comes to acoustic guitars, standard ones are the most common - by far. There are very few artists who play acoustic baritone guitars. One of the most known who does is Andy Mckee.

The same rules apply to the acoustic versions of the standard and the baritone, standard guitars have a brighter and sparkier sound, and baritones are darker and heavier.

Another interesting difference between the baritone acoustic guitar and the standard one is that the baritone acoustic guitar has a warmer sound. The “low e” string has a special voicing that can’t be copied with a standard. 

If you want to learn more about acoustic baritone guitars, click here!

Which Guitar Should You Get

Taking into consideration all the differences mentioned before, you should get the guitar that works for you the most. You should make music with the instrument that makes you feel most comfortable, and that choice will depend on your taste and technique.

Both the standard guitar and the baritone guitar are great instruments that can do many incredible things. Maybe you want to get closer to the sound of a bass guitar, or maybe you want to create heavy riffs. Maybe you want to perform amazing sparky solos that you can only perform on a standard. 

The important thing is that you make music with what you like and with what you can afford.

Length is important, at least when it comes to baritone guitars. Every different scale length offers a variety of baritone tunings that work perfectly with it, and that could not work with a different scale length. We’ve brought to you today a list of different scale lengths to help you out decide which one matches you.

List of The Most Common Baritone Guitar Scale Lengths

Unlike standard guitars, baritone guitars have a broader variety of scale lengths, starting from 26.5 inches going all the way to 30 inches. On this list, we will show you some of the scale lengths that are commonly used in the rock and heavy metal scene. 

Scale Length 26.5 Inches

Starting with the lowest scale length on the list, the 26.5-inch scale electric guitars are the closest to what a regular guitar offers. The Ibanez RGDIX6PB is a good example of a 26.5-inch scale guitar, and it has 24 frets, but this number may vary depending on the brand and model. Some tunings that sound great with this kind of guitar go from A standard to drop B. 

It’s still debated whether this scale length could be considered as a baritone guitar or not, since it can also play some of the regular guitar tunings, such as E standard. In theory, the 26.5-inch scale guitar is a baritone guitar, because the string tension while playing on regular guitar tunings is very high and could mess up your jam session.

Scale Length 27 Inches

The 27-inch scale guitars are not uncommon but very few baritone guitarists play this kind of instrument since it doesn’t offer as many low tunings as the ones with bigger scale lengths. Most 27-inch scale guitars usually have 24 frets, but this number may vary depending on the brand and model. Some good examples of 27-inch baritone guitars are the Regius Core 7 and the S1.6PB-27 Baritone. These guitars can play excellently from B standard to drop G, but the hardcore players would say that the best tuning for this kind of guitar is drop C. 

Scale Length 27.5 Inches

This scale length has the broadest tunings, going from A standard to drop G. It’s a very reliable scale length, and recommended for everyone who would want to experience a baritone guitar at its fullest. The string gauge for this scale length has to be a little bit higher than the previous baritone scale lengths so you can have a good string tension. The number of frets can go from 22 to 24, but 24 is the most common number of frets that you can find. The Eastwood Sidejack, and the PRS SE 277. 

Scale Length 28 Inches

The 28-inch scale baritone guitars are the favorites among avid baritone guitarists. They can play amazingly from G standard to drop F, we’re talking about very low tunings that sound heavy and full of sound. The Chapman ML-1 Modern Baritone and the Ibanez RGIB6, both with 24 jumbo frets, are some great examples of great 28-inch scale baritone guitars. 

Scale Length 29. 75 Inches

If you want to go low, get yourself some high string gauge, and a Danelectro 56 guitar, just like Duane Eddy! This scale length does amazingly well from F standard tuning to drop E. Baritone electric guitars with this scale length usually have 21 frets, but again, the number of frets can vary from brand and model

Scale Length 30 Inches

The 30-inch scale length guitars are the lowest you can get before a bass VI, and in some instances, you could even use it as a bass VI! These kinds of guitars are made to sound very heavy, therefore they are perfect to play E standard, but not the same as in your regular guitar, this E standard is lowered an entire octave, which is a very low tuning! Some guitars that have this scale length are the Schecter Ultra VI and the Fender Squier Baritone Jazzmaster.

To play on this unique scale length, you would need to use strings with a very high gauge, such as the Ernie Ball Hellcat VI Custom Strings. Since the sound of the original strings is very similar to a bass guitar, you could replace the original strings with a set of lighter gauge strings to create more tension. 

Bariton guitar Scale Length FAQs

Are There More Scale Lengths?

For baritone guitars, 26.5 is the shortest you can get, and 30-inches is the longest you can go. But you may find guitars that have a 27.7-inch scale, or even 28.3, but these scale lengths are almost identical in sound and range with the ones covered here.

Which String Gauge Should I Use?

That depends on the kind of scale length you have and the tension you want to create. The only way to find out which string gauge is best for you is by trying different guitar strings! Some YouTubers such as The Bunn cover this topic in more detail. 

Can I Tune my 7 String Guitar As A Baritone Guitar?

If you want to imitate the sound of an electric baritone guitar with a 26.5-inch scale length, then yes. If you want to play a lower tuning such as G standard, then no. A heavier string gauge than the one your guitar is used to could damage it, It’s better to get a baritone guitar that creates the tension that you need

What Other Brands Make Baritone Guitars?

Some of the brands not mentioned above that make baritone guitars are Les Paul, Fender, ESP, Gibson, and many more smaller brands. 

With Which Baritone Tuning Should I Start With?

The answer is very simple, you should start with the one that sounds best for you! This will also depend on which song you want to learn, we would recommend you learn Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell. 

Could I Replace The “Low E” String With a Bass String?

It depends, if you’re using a 30-inch scale guitar you could do that. The string tension is very similar to the bass VI’s. 

With an enormous spectrum to its definition as time and culture have evolved, a parlor guitar's only imposed description is that of a relatively compact and narrow six-string guitar. 

Simply put, it's a very portable and comfortable instrument, preferred for its convenient size and distinctive sound. 

In this post, we’re breaking down a few key aspects, history, and overall virtues (such as being great for travel) that parlor guitars have to offer.

Origins and History of Parlor Guitars

Parlor guitars derive their name from the places they'd be played in during the 19th century, referring to the reception halls and small rooms that would fit these narrow-bodied instruments' natural amplification. Typically, these were designed for the wealthy to entertain guests during social gatherings.

Manufacturers built these types of six-strings to fit women like a glove. Given their smaller bodies, parlor guitars would provide a comfortable option for ladies to fit the smaller instrument on their lap easily. Additionally, these have always sported smaller, more comfortable necks, translating into more accessible reach for the frets.

Soon enough, they became a part of the folk sound that washed over the United States during the 1950s. Why? Well, the reason was both their top-notch sound and a middle finger to upper classes.

These small-bodied guitars became the blueprint for the bulkier acoustic offspring of dreadnought acoustics. Needless to say, many musicians would start migrating to the perfected volume and design of dreadnought guitars.

Nevertheless, history decided that the word parlor would simply refer to compact, narrow bodies, usually even a bit smaller than Martin's single 0 sizes. The latter, however, has been regarded as the final evolution of this type of instrument for some time now.

What Are Parlor Guitars Made From?

With a brief historical introduction, it's worth answering a common question for those unfamiliar with the term "parlor guitar". 

Just like any other six-string, you'll find common tonewoods in their build. Solid spruce, rosewood, and mahogany are the top three choices for parlor guitars. 

Up-and-coming brands, however, have dived deeper into the idea of a smaller scale guitar. Some brands even presented their own reinvented version of the parlor, made out of carbon fiber to endure weather shifts and to provide a truly enduring instrument.

The Shape of Parlor Guitars

A-Red-Burst-Jim-Dandy-Parlor-Guitar To Show A Visual Representation Of What Is A Parlor Guitar

This is perhaps the easiest way to identify one of these guitars. Usually smaller than a concert guitar and with an elongated body, it is an attempt to amplify volume without expressly sacrificing the vertical size of the instrument. 

Scale Length and Neck

Parlor guitars vary widely in their scale length, so it's a tough call to impose one in particular. Still, the vintage parlor guitar would have the neck joining the body at the 12th fret, with a 24' scale length. 

As for their neck, both vintage and modern renditions usually feature a "U" shape. Mainly this is made to save up some space and keep things on a smaller scale than the average larger acoustic guitar.

What Bolstered The Popularity of Parlor Guitars?

With folk giants Bob Dylan and Joan Baez wielding parlor guitars during the height of their career, many aspiring musicians from the time decided to follow in their footsteps. This would inspire many brands to keep the tradition and sound of the parlor guitar alive.

The early 2000s saw the parlor guitar renaissance due to players seeking their midrange tone, vintage vibe, and travel-friendly size.

Not long ago, at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in California, local manufacturer Santa Cruz Guitar Co. stole the show with their modern take on their "Little Parlor Guitar". This isn't the only major manufacturer diving into the marke. Gretsch also recently released its own G9515 Jim Dandy Flat Top model to its Roots Collection.

C F Martin Guitar Co. is yet another manufacturer that has been keen on promoting the best of the antique parlor guitar with both modern and vintage cosmetics. Their prolific partnership with Ed Sheeran and his X series has stolen the beginner acoustic market for some time now.

Who Plays Parlor Guitars?

Ed-Sheeran-Wearing-A-Blue-Shirt-Holding-His-Signature-Parlor-Guitar-Made-By-Martin-Guitars

Many artists covering a lot of genres do. From its roots in folk sound to Bob Dylan, who was a catalyst that propelled the commercial success of the parlor guitar, as we mentioned before. 

Robert Johnson, as mysterious as he may be, is known to have played and recorded with a Gibson L-1, and a Kalamazoo KG14. So, one may argue that Rock music as we know it was sparked by this pair of parlor models. 

In recent years, songwriters have taken to this instrument as a songwriting and performance tool. For example, Ed Sheeran and his signature Little Martin lines, Taylor Swift with her Baby Taylor models, and even John Mayer, who moved from dreadnoughts and OMs.

What Size Is a Parlor Guitar? 

Modern times have no particular measurement for this acoustic guitar style. Typically, however, these sport smaller than 13.5-inch bouts, making for a longer, more narrow instrument than a concert guitar or steel-string dreadnaught.

The Modern Parlor Guitar

Companies such as Taylor, Martin, and Gretsch present these as fun to play instruments capable of a superb and all-rounder tone at a much more affordable price. Noting that parlor’s make for excellent tone accuracy, many started to develop their take on the smaller forebear.

They've also been reinvented as travel, small-bodied guitars. All of these features come with contemporary tonewoods built to last and to sport traditional-looking appointments. From solid mahogany to Sitka spruce and the exotic Brazilian rosewood, the market has never been so vast for this small music vessel.

Nevertheless, one has to consider that the modern parlor guitar spectrum is pretty wide. Some manufacturers and luthiers have reinvented the looks to fit the present enthusiast. Many times, you can find nylon string as well as steel string parlor guitars, as manufacturers take to it in a broader fashion, they want to assure that all preferences are covered. 

These companies have a straightforward approach to the instrument. It basically consists of adapting the parlor guitar's comfortable size to a modern sound and instrument and in terms of amplification, they often include microphones and pickup systems, making for a modern parlor electro-acoustic. 

For manufacturers, the market started to value sound quality over volume, not to mention the amenable size and playability. As a result, these are now a great alternative to a regular guitar.

What Are They Good For?

Their smaller, compact size. 

Parlor guitars are great companions for the traveling guitar player. Additionally, their comfortable neck makes a great pair for small hands, beginners, and fingerstyle players alike. 

In terms of tone and sound, parlors are designed to define with truer accuracy without much finger strength needed from the player. 

Due to their smaller bodies, these guitars round up the tones to emphasize mids without sacrificing much low or treble frequency response. This is why historically, these guitars are a perfect fit for blues, folk, bluegrass, and country. 

Parlor Guitars Vs Regular Guitars

Before deciding whether you should get a small guitar or a regular-sized one, you should consider what your intentions are with the instrument. The biggest pro in favor of parlor guitars is their portability in relation to their tone quality, typically 15% smaller than your regular six-string. 

However, many people tend to favor Full-size guitars due to their rich tones and traditional presence, but this is where the sound technicalities come in.

When recording, traditionally sized acoustics tend to be troublesome when mixing, mainly because of their rich tone that typically highlights lower notes. Parlor guitars, as aforementioned, have a mid-focused sound and it simply cuts through better when recording. This is any beginner engineer's dream.

As for playability, the travel guitar, as some may dub it, has been designed to be played by anyone, from large and small hands to beginners and professionals. 

Classical guitars in contrast tend to require a little extra effort for you to get to a sweet spot around the neck. Not that there's anything wrong with effort, but all sorts of players will praise swift playability from the bat.

Once You’ve Decided

Now that we’ve answered, “what is a parlor guitar?” you’ll need to learn how to play. Check out our online lesson platform reviews to find one that suits you.

Even though speakers and subwoofers both produce audio, they are still two very different things.

A subwoofer (also “sub”) is a woofer or a loudspeaker, and its function is to reproduce low-pitched audio frequencies, commonly referred to as sub frequencies, hence the name “sub”-woofer. A normal speaker, on the other hand, is an electro-acoustic transducer. The transducer converts an electrical signal to sound using the same process but is not capable of handling low frequencies like a subwoofer. 

So, to get a full spectrum of sound, you need a subwoofer and “normal” speakers. 

You’ll also need tweeters that handle higher frequency sounds. They’re often included in other speakers as a second smaller horn in the speaker box.

Differences Between Subwoofers and Speakers

Regular speakers can’t handle songs with a lot of bass and sub-bass. Speakers are used in computers and televisions because they focus on the mid-and high-range frequencies. Although the components are perfect for voices, something is missing when listening to music.

You'll need a subwoofer if you want to hear the lowest frequencies. For a more balanced sound, a subwoofer is designed to exclusively create the deep bass prevalent in most music genres. 

One important thing to remember is that you can use speakers without subwoofers; you cannot use subwoofers without speakers and get a decent sound.

Subwoofers

The sole function of a subwoofer is to produce lower frequencies. The price of the sub often determines the frequency range and its power. The structure of a subwoofer consists of a wooden or plastic loudspeaker enclosure with one or more woofers. 

There are two types of subwoofers: active subs and passive subs. 

The main difference between the two is that active subs have an integrated amplifier. This can help improve power and sound quality, although it is more expensive than passive subs.

Whether you're working with a PA or a home system, adding a subwoofer can significantly improve sound quality, especially if you choose one from a renowned manufacturer. Because the subwoofer handles the lower frequencies, the speakers can focus on the mid and high range, which they are naturally better fitted for.

Pros

  • It increases audio quality across lower frequencies.
  • It helps turn the volume level up without distortion
  • It improves low-mid-range sound, and the bass is deeper.
  • Because the subwoofer concentrates on a different frequency than speakers, the audio is sharper and more precise than what you’d get with full-range speakers. 

Cons

  • You cannot use a subwoofer alone as they don’t cover the middle and high frequencies.

Cheaper subwoofers’ designs are not always top-notch; this might lead to some challenges in sound quality and vibrations in the enclosure.

Speakers

Often, you will use speakers in conjunction with computers and other audio devices. Like subs, speakers are usually divided into two types: active and passive. Active speakers have an integrated amplifier, while passive ones do not. Despite the type, they are both designed to serve the same purpose: producing quality sound.

Speakers are normally sold in pairs for a more balanced sound. Each speaker, left and right, is on its channel, so they work together to give you surround stereo sound, as opposed to mono sound from just one speaker.

Pros

  • They are cheaper compared to subs
  • They are capable of producing good audio even without a sub.

Cons

  • They are not able to produce deep bass.

Having gone through this article, you should be able to tell the difference between a subwoofer and speaker and be familiar with their advantages and disadvantages.

Are you mystified by the wide range of colorful tones an acoustic guitar can give you?

Strings make the cornerstone of acoustic sound, but there is much more than just strings to these types of guitars. If you're caught up in the debate, consider this matter has gone unresolved for ages now. Needless to say, there are a few key differences you should be aware of when choosing to compare steel strings vs nylon strings on an acoustic guitar. 

Do you prefer the sweeping ambient sounds of a nylon string? Or would you rather have an all-rounder sound for some of the most popular genres out there? 

Whether you're a beginner and just learning the string names, an intermediate, or even an expert guitar player and want to know a tad more about your options, this article has you covered.

Read on to learn a few things to keep in mind when looking for your next acoustic guitar.

Music Genre - Which Guitar Is Best For What?

First off, your guitar should match your intentions, music is well above square specifications and all about personal preference. 

You'll find some of the most celebrated artists in music history have presented themselves with contradictory choices for their genre, even transcending and reinventing music along the way. So, there are general rules, but don’t feel like you have to stick to them.

Steel String Guitar Genres

Steel strings have surrounded pop, rock, bluegrass, folk, and country for a century now, mainly because these acoustic guitars offer more volume, attack, and power

Many argue that Eric Clapton gave one of his best stylistic performances when he played his acoustic set for MTV Unplugged. Stripping his electric blues to the ring of steel strings with no apparent effort on a soulful note.

Genres For Classical Guitar

In contrast, classical guitars and their nylon strings have excelled at jazz, Bossanova, flamenco, and folk. Despite their minimal range, the nylon string voice can house some of the most complex tones.

Willie Nelson, is known for playing his trusty nylon Martin N-20 "Trigger", it was unusual to see a country gentleman walk on stage with classical guitar at that time. But nelson, along with "Trigger," have become a legendary songwriting duo.

Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham is another mold-breaking nylon string guitar enthusiast. He's claimed many times that there's nothing he can't do with his Gibson Chet Atkins. If there's any doubt, we encourage you to take a look at his performance of "Big Love".

Different Materials, Different Sound

While this may sound like a no-brainer, steel strings are known for giving a bright, crisper sound from the get-go. Nylon strings in classical guitars are known for their warmer and mellow sound.

When you delve deeper into steel string guitars, you'll see that there's a variety in terms of gauge and even coated sets. Popularly, players gravitate towards bronze, phosphor, and nickel as these types of strings can last longer while sounding great.

Regardless of whatever you may choose, these different materials will help you experiment with different tones.

As for classical guitars, their strings vary mainly in size based on different manufacturers' tune peg entries. 

However, the materials for the lower bass strings tend to be silver coated. This often results in mild tone variations as the sound remains relatively the same.

A crucial comparison between steel strings and nylon string guitars is how they respond to a pick. While classical guitars may respond with a reasonable projection, you'll notice you lose a bit of warmth more often than not. 

On the other hand, a steel string's response will be mostly positive, enhancing its projection, brightness, and presence.

Action and Tension in Sound

A crucial element to the sound of any guitar is whether the instrument has a lower or higher action. This translates into simple English as the tension and height of the strings across your fretboard. 

Steel-string guitars, for one, usually have 100 pounds more string-load tension than their classical sibling. 

This distinctive feature on a steel string stands out because they have a truss rod on their design unlike most nylon acoustics. Its purpose is to give a reasonably low action in high fretboard positions and vice-versa. 

The average lower action on a steel string increases its attack. This is one reason why steel strings are sharper, brighter, and, overall, more treble-driven than nylon strings.

Nylon strings are under less pressure, so they become more flexible. As you can guess, this makes for their slower attack, mellower and warmer sound. It also makes the strings hurt less while you build up calluses.

Steel Strings Vs Nylon Strings - Adjustment

Each type of acoustic guitar has a different setup. Nylon strings will require you to learn how to tie them properly, whereas ball end steel strings are pretty much a conventional setup for steel string acoustics.
A common mistake made by beginners is to think that strings are interchangeable. Steel strings on a classical nylon acoustic can deal some irreparable damage, since these guitars aren't braced properly for high natural tensions.

Furthermore, when you tie nylon strings to a different acoustic, you won't be able to trust a pick for strumming on one end. Given the fact that you will probably wear the nylon a lot faster, and the tension will more often than not be too much for the strings to bear.

Bodies


Steel string acoustic guitars generally have a larger body and scale. This often makes a full-bodied, more defined sound with stronger projection. On the other hand, Nylon strings keep a shorter scale and body, often making for a more compressed and warm tone. Yet, this is not always the case as you can get smaller guitars in both styles

Classical nylon strings regularly sport elegant simplicity and even thinner laminated tops. 

Additional to other differences that may not be as evident to the plain eye, there are more flexible and smaller braces. On the other hand, steel string guitars sport more rigid, larger bracing. 

Typically, Nylon strings exclude strap pins, as they are traditionally played while sitting down in flamenco posture. Since the sides are crafted to fit anyone's lap perfectly

Mainly nylon string guitars are inherent to their classical cut, given the simple design is crucial for its sound and projection. 

They also tend to leave electronics and fretboard markers out of their design, along with single cutaways. 

Of course, there are a few exceptions in history, such as Gibson's Chet Atkins CE. It is known for its single-cutaway and enhanced resonance features with a more modern take on a very classical sound.

Conversely, steel string acoustic guitars are more practically built for any type of player by design. But the approach principles remain the same behind each six-string. To have a sturdy instrument, at least enough to hold strings on a pitch in a flexible way when strummed or plucked.

Neck Types

As you might have guessed at this point, classical guitars have a different nut and neck width to their steel wound sibling.

This comfortable spacing enables you to perform more accurately without accidentally striking the adjacent strings.  However, this is mainly designed for intricate finger-picking, shapes, and chords.

Generally, this feature has very simple pros and cons. While steel strings can deliver powerful sounding chords and razor-sharp fingerpicking notes, the latter tends to be overshadowed by its nylon-string counterpart.  It is far easier to play a fingerpick run on a classical guitar, given the extra space.

Tuning, Endurance, and Maintenance 

It's fair to start by noting that ideally, a guitar's string set should be changed regularly, preferably every three months. Otherwise, sets begin to lose their tone. In the case of nylon strings, they become flat in sound and become very difficult to tune as nylon strings are more susceptible to falling out of tune due to their softer material.

Humidity, temperature, and even aggressive playing take a heavier toll on them. Steel, however, is more resilient to environmental changes and abuse.

Regardless, you should always keep your acoustic guitar in mint condition by tuning before practice and wiping them with clean cloths once you finish.

Every guitar is susceptible to body grease, it speeds up their wearing, and in the long run, you’ll find it will add up to your guitar’s deterioration.

Did you know famous guitarists often glue their calluses back on before a show if they’ve come off somehow?

These areas of hardened skin are a must if you want to be a serious guitarist. In terms of how to build guitar calluses, they are best developed via regular practice to allow you to play without any pain. 

Tips For Building Calluses Quickly

  • Don’t wash your hands with warm water
  • Play for short bursts when you start out
  • Use thick gauge strings
  • Press your fingertips on other surfaces when you dont have your guitar

Escape the Pain

So you just got a guitar and want to get right into the action. Well, you might be a little disappointed to find out that your fingers will really not like this new hobby of yours for some time. 

Our skin is too soft to play the steel strings on acoustic guitars without hurting. Of course, this does not mean that it is impossible to play the guitar You will just have to harden the skin on your fingertips so that you can start playing the guitar without experiencing any discomfort. 

In this article, I will be showing you how you can effectively develop guitar calluses so that you can play the guitar with ease. 

How to Build Guitar Calluses by Picking The Right Guitar

To develop guitar calluses, you will need a few things. First of all, you will need to select the right guitar. Remember that not all guitars will be a good option to develop guitar calluses. 

This is because the strings' material matters a lot. Electric guitars have thinner strings that are not ideal for developing calluses. They can even make your soft fingers bleed.

For the best results, you should start with acoustic guitars, this is because of the thicker strings that are used on acoustic guitars. These thicker strings develop the calluses faster and allow for more prominent development. 

Once you have developed your calluses on acoustic guitars, you will feel much more comfortable while playing on guitars that use thinner strings like electric guitars. 

Now that we know which kind of guitar is best for developing calluses, let’s get into the techniques you can use.  These should effectively get the result you need. 

We’ll also look at how you can maintain your guitar calluses over time.

Play Your Guitar More Often

As a rule of thumb, the more you play your guitar, the harder your finger skin becomes, and the less you play your guitar, the softer your fingers get.

Next time when your fingers start hurting, picture it as your fingers adapting and getting tougher. With that in mind, embrace the pain and keep on playing your guitar. Keep at the front of your mind that you will be able to comfortably play for longer in your next session.

At the start, practice for short periods of about 5-15 minutes at a time 2-5 times a day, depending on how often you can pick up your guitar. This will also impact how quickly you learn guitar.

If you play for a while then take a long break, you may not remember anything you learned, and you can forget about building calluses!

Longer Can Be Better, but Be Careful

Once they start to form, the key thing is to keep playing as long as possible and not put the guitar aside just because you feel uncomfortable. 

Think of it as the gym for your fingertips. When you first start working out and hit that 20-minute mark, you want to lay down peacefully and call it a day, but your trainer comes in and starts telling you to push yourself and hit that 1-hour milestone. 

You might not complete the full workout on the first try, but you will get there sooner or later if you keep pushing yourself.

In the same way, if you keep on playing the guitar, you will notice that the pain starts decreasing. 

Although playing more is better, don’t play so much that you break your skin

That’s a sure-fire way to slow down callus build-up and may even make you quit guitar.

Press the Strings Down with your Fingers

Alternate Guitar Tunings

Another great way to build calluses is to press the strings down with your fingers for at least a cumulative period of 20 minutes each day. You don’t even have to play chords.

This is a great way to quickly get calluses on your fingers and is extremely helpful for guitarists who have discomfort with specific strings. 

Let me quickly explain how calluses form in the first place and then you will understand why this technique is really helpful.

Basically, calluses can occur anywhere in your body. Wherever you have skin, you can develop calluses. It is the thickening of the external dead part of your outer skin and is caused by repeated friction over a period of time. 

Therefore, pressing the guitar’s strings with your fingers is a great way to develop calluses in a short span of time. Here’s how you can go ahead and follow this technique:

  • Sit comfortably in the position that you normally adopt to play guitar.
  • Start with pressing the strings on your fingertips and keep on pressing them until it starts hurting. Push yourself and keep pressing the strings as long as you can.
  • Now, take a step further and start pressing the strings using the sides of your fingertips. This helps make the sides toughen up in case they have a use in your notes.
  • Repeat this process every day for at least 20 minutes and you will soon start noticing the results. Using this technique, it would take you approximately a month to build calluses should you do it consistently the right way.

You can also use other solid objects instead of guitar strings. Any solid object that you can touch with your fingertips would work. For example, you can use the wire of your headphone or better, an aluminum wire.

A Icture Of A Dented Finger Tip And A Headphone Cable To Show How To Build Guitar Calluses By Pressing On A Card Thin Object.

As you can see in the picture above, I have pressed my headphone’s wire a couple of times and it almost has the same effect. The point is that you can use any solid object as long as it fulfills the criteria. But then again, the string is the best option you have got because ultimately, you are training your fingers to get used to them.

Callus Development

Now that you know the mechanism behind building calluses, let me take you a step further and tell you exactly how you can get calluses on your fingers in a short span of time. To give you a spoiler, the quickest way isn’t pressing the strings all day long. That would only lead to bleeding and you wouldn’t be able to play guitar for weeks. 

Here’s how you can safely develop calluses on your fingers:

Start from Baby Steps

A great thing to do is to just take a few minutes every day, play a couple of songs, and if it hurts to play, feel free to walk away and pick it up a little bit later or pick it up the next day. You don’t really need to play it all day long until your fingers bleed.

The key to building calluses is consistency and never missing your practice session no matter what. It takes a little bit of time. Play it every day or at least a couple of times a week, and it will build up over time. However, if you want to give it an extra boost, I recommend you play it every day or even better, a couple of times a day.

Pro-tip: keep your nails trimmed because long fingernails could make an extra mess, and make your journey more painful.

Practice like a Rock star

Being a beginner, I assume you are not one yet but adopt the mindset anyways. Dive deep into it and keep track of your timing. If you see any improvement, it should only go up, and the learning curve should play its role.

The thing with a guitar is that it intrigues almost anyone, but right after playing the first song, many would give up, hang the guitar in their room and never pick it up again. Don’t be that guy! 

Instead, keep in mind that it will be tough, and if you want to elevate your guitar game, you have to become tougher. Give your best shot in every guitar session, and once you develop calluses on your fingers, you will be happy as larry with your guitar learning.

Keep doing your lessons and nothing can hold you back.

Maintaining your Guitar Calluses

Here’s what you really need to understand. Building calluses is not an easy task, but once you get calluses on your fingers, you would no longer need to repeat this process as long as you keep practicing the guitar. Therefore, avoid taking long breaks, and even if you are not in the mood, play it for the sake of preserving your calluses!

Building guitar calluses is one thing but maintaining them is another kettle of fish. If you lose the calluses, your fingers will start feeling the pain again every time you play the guitar. 

You don’t want to go through all of that again!? Great, here’s what you can do to maintain your calluses.

  • Practice regularly: You won’t lose the calluses ever if you keep on practicing regularly or at least twice a week.
  • Don’t play the guitar with wet hands: When your hands get wet, especially when you apply soap or they get wet in detergent with warm water, the calluses become soft. If you play the guitar with soft hands, the chances are that you will lose the calluses. Therefore, avoid playing guitar when your hands are wet or soft.
  • Have extra strings: Ideally, you should have a backup of essential guitar accessories, and the string is a must. Don’t make the mistake of not having extra guitar strings

    If one or more of your guitar’s strings break and you don’t have an extra, it could take you a while to find and set up the string, which would compromise your practice, thus resulting in losing your calluses.
  • Have a nail trimmer in your gig bag: Biting your nails can lead to damaging or ripping off your calluses. So be careful.
  • Nail care vs calluses: Your nails have a lot to do with calluses. Once you develop calluses, you will notice that if you grow your nails or you trim them down more than you normally do, it will hurt every time you play guitar, and it can also lead to damaging your calluses. 


Therefore, nail care is extremely important for guitarists. You should cut down your nails to a specific point to keep your calluses intact.

Even though your hands may become a bit yellow and you may not like those pale marks don’t try to cut them short with a knife. The calluses are your badges of honor that will serve you well while playing the guitar. So, keep them intact and don’t lose them even if you want to enjoy playing guitar pain-free.