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Posts Tagged ‘guitar amp’

Learning Electric Guitar

July 23, 2010 2 comments

Learning electric guitar to play rock  guitar is different to learning acoustic guitar.  For a start the sound is different.  Electric guitar has usually a rock guitar sound, the acoustic guitar has a clean quiet sound.

With the difference in sound it means that the technique you use is different when playing.  When an electric guitar is amplified all sorts of stray unwanted sounds can come out of the amp.  You need to learn to set the amp up to have the correct sound so that unwanted feedback or stray noise is not fed through.  Although you will want distortion and some feedback at times.  The other thing is your fingers on the frets and the pick attack will make unwanted sounds through the amp.  You need to learn to damp the strings with your left hand when not actually playing notes and how to pick the strings to minimise this noise.

Play Rock Guitar at Night

Play Rock Guitar at Night

You can also use a noise gate to reduce noise.  The noise gate cuts out sounds below a certain level or threshold.  Need to be careful not to cut out or else you may lose the wanted sounds (or music).

Guitar effects are more widely used on the electric.  They give it a greater and more extreme range of sounds.  From the quiet clean sound to the rip-roaring distorted feedback laden rhythm and lead guitar rock sound.  Acoustic guitars are generally just amplified and any effects are used to give a mild change to the sound or keep it the amplified sound clean.

The other thing is the strings are easier to play on the electric than on the acoustic.  The strings are usually 8’s or 9’s compared to 10’s to 12’s on the acoustic guitar.  So with the lighter gauge it takes less finger pressure to hold them down than on the acoustic.  (Unless you are using a really heavy gauge like 12’s on the electric guitar).  They are also easier to bend which is good as you usually do more note bends on the electric than on the acoustic.

It is not uncommon to use 6 string chords on the acoustic guitar.  With the amplified electric you would 2 to 4 string chords.  This gives a full enough sound.  6 string chord on a heavily distorted guitar can sound a bit blared or jarred or just too noisy.

The acoustic has its place and you should own, learn and play both types of guitar to play rock guitar. The acoustic is important and is used for adding a quiet flavour and texture to songs or in ballads.  But learning electric guitar is more interesting with the variety of sounds you can get with effect pedals (and seems more dangerous sounding) than learning acoustic guitar.

Playing Rock Guitar Lessons

I wanted to let you know where you can get some good Playing Rock Guitar Lessons. There is good info on picking your first song that you want to play, getting and buying a good rock guitar, an amp and the right pedals for rock.

Playing Rock Guitar Lessons

Playing Rock Guitar Lessons

Also information on getting the right sound for rock for rhythm, lead and a clean guitar.  There are guitar videos, rock guitar riffs, tabs and lessons.  There is advice and tips on the best way to practice your playing and on improving beyond the beginner stage.

Playing Rock Guitar Lessons is here if you want to check them out,
http://www.playingrockguitar.com/

Hope you enjoy the site and find it useful.

Thanks for reading,

Steve.

Your first Guitar Amp

As you play rock guitar you will want to get a loud rock distorted sound.  For this you will need a guitar amp.  I will give you some tips for getting your first amp.
Rock Guitar Marshall Amp

Rock Guitar Marshall Amp

For a beginner practising at home a practice amp is enough.  This will set you back around a $100.  The first thing is the power it uses.  Get at least a 15 watt amp up to a 30 watt amp.  Any lower than 15 watts may be too quiet, a 10 watt amp is a bit on the low side.  30 watts is loud for home or bedroom use and it can be used for a small gig or busking.

Amps may have a push button built-in effect such as overdrive, distortion or reverb.  This is good at the start as you will not need to get pedals straight away.

Don’t worry about the brand of the amp too much.  Just check that it is of good quality, maybe check a few reviews on-line.  I would worry more about having a good quality brand guitar that the amp.

Also you can get tube or electronic amps.  Get an electronic amp at the start till you know what a tube amp sound like and actually want that.  Electronic are cheaper to buy and more reliable and sound sharper. Tube amps sound warmer.   I still prefer electronic amp but some other guitarists prefer the sound of tube amps.  That is down to personal preferences which you will gain with experience.

Also get good quality leads and cables.  Spend at least $20 per lead.  Make sure it is good thick cable and has good jack plus.  Get as short a length as you can.  A cable of 2 or 3 meters is long enough.  Getting cheap, thin, long 5m cables will cause you more heartache in the long run as they break and cause unwanted noise.

If you get to try out the amp that is good but don’t worry if you don’t.  Most amps are pretty good for playing rock guitar for a beginner.  Main thing is when you get it is plug in your guitar, turn it up and enjoy yourself.  It really opens up your playing.

PS.  Extra tip if you buy your Guitar amp from a local guitar shop.  Pay cash in full and get them to give you a good free cable.  They always will when you wave the money in front of them.