To listen to my favorite country music artist, Ken Pulley:

Click Here

 

 

Hip Country Music Song Writers


© Norine Peardon, 2010

Some of the most famous country singers, also wrote many of their own songs.  Johnny Cash was an example of a hip country music song writer.  His music made us aware and like country music.  Country music song writers are a breed of Americana.  On the surface, they appear to have character just like anyone who does not write music, but inside their feelings and emotions are poured out into their music.

Locating great music written by a country music song writer is not all that easy.  The markets are flooded with wannabe’s and the appeal by the country music performer and production techniques has an effect on the desirability of the general public to listen to the music. From the listener’s standpoint, the music has to have some emotional appeal…i.e..the listener must be able to identify the music to their emotion or an experience in the listener’s history.  Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash are two examples of listener’s identifying their songs with the emotion of their own lives.

Many hip country song writers have struggled for years attempting to be discovered by the public and have passed this life a pauper.  Sometimes after their era, their songs have become popular by a presentation which was/is appealing to non writers or listeners.

There is a current hip country music song writer who not only writes the music and lyrics but also performs (sings and plays) the music, who is highly recommended.  Introducing Ken Pulley, a hip country music song writer, is my pleasure because he is a very talented.  His music can be heard and purchased at Ken Pulley.

 

Three Vital Elements To Effectively Learn To Play Guitar

There are three things you must have if you want to be successful at learning how to play the guitar.  Now these aren’t concrete items you need in order to play most effectively, rather these are elements that you must look for before you can start taking online guitar lessons.

Right Teacher

It doesn’t matter if you’re enrolling for private instruction or joining an online guitar course, either way, you need to have the right teacher for your playing style, expectations and personality.

You might think this isn’t possible to find with guitar lesson videos on the Internet, but you can tell pretty quickly from a few minutes of video whether a particular instructor is someone you learn from or not.

Right Style

Are you a fan of Heavy Metal and thick sounding guitars?  Maybe you’re a fan of acoustic and bluegrass music.  What ever your favorite style is consider this when choosing a teacher or guitar program.  Of course, when first starting out in any style you’ll need to learn chords, scales and the like.  Learning these on an acoustic guitar from a soft spoken teacher or on an electric guitar with a rather loud and, somewhat, annoying teacher are two very different things.

The Right Course

The need for a proper teacher is important as well as the style of that teacher.  Now you need to find the right program that blends these two together plus your learning preferences.

Some people like watching videos on their PC.  These people would likely enjoy a learn guitar online course.  Then, there are others who can’t stand the thought of watching videos online and would much rather use their TV.  For these folks, a DVD course would make more sense.  Finally there is a group, albeit smaller, that would prefer having a book to learn from and read about the techniques and theories on the guitar.  For these people an ebook or lesson book from your local music shop would serve the purpose.

Keeping in mind how you enjoy learning new things, what style of music you enjoy, and seeking out the right teacher to ensure you have a good chance of success when learning to play the guitar.

 

Get Down With The Fun Of Country Music

Country music, or country and western music, is a popular music genre which has its roots in the southern parts of the United States. The 1920’s ushered in a real rise in the popularity of country music.  Country music is a unique blend of gospel, folk, and Celtic musical styles.  Country music was called hillbilly music at one time.  We see the introduction of the term, “country music” in the 1940s when it was thought that hillbilly music was a degrading term.  The country music that so many people enjoy today was created from many different styles of music by a variety of ethnic groups.

Throughout history, some of the best selling musical artists have been a part of country music.  Elvis Presley was originally known for country music long before he sang rock and roll hits and became the “king”.  The top selling solo artist of all time in the United States is country singer Garth Brooks.  While the sales of albums have gone down in recent years, country albums continue to do well.

Nashville became the center of country music in the United States after World War II. Some of the most well loved country artists from Nashville, like Hank Williams, became international stars.  Although country music has its roots in the south after the 1960’s, it became much less regionally based.   After the 1960’s country music became a big commercial success.  It has become more and more acceptable throughout urban areas as well as rural.

The themes of country music lyrics have stayed fairly consistent during its long history.  Some of the themes, commonly found in country music, consist of spending time in jail, working hard, and traveling.  Additional themes that remain popular in country music lyrics, are home life, love (especially lost love) and religion.  Country music offers poetic songs about the sadness involved with a broken heart or homesickness.  While there have been many different influences to country music over the years, it maintains an unmistakable character all its own.

Throughout history, some of the best selling musical artists have been a part of country music.   Elvis Presley was originally known for country music long before he sang rock and roll hits and became the “king”.  The top selling solo artist of all time in the United States is country singer Garth Brooks.  While the sales of albums have gone down in recent years, country albums continue to do well.

Nashville became the center of country music in the United States after World War II.  Some of the most well loved country artists from Nashville, like Hank Williams, became international stars.  Although country music has its roots in the south after the 1960’s, it became much less regionally based.  After the 1960’s, country music became a big commercial success.  It has become more and more acceptable throughout urban areas as well as rural.

The themes of country music lyrics have stayed fairly consistent during its long history.   Some of the themes, commonly found in country music, consist of spending time in jail, working hard, and traveling.  Additional themes that remain popular in country music lyrics, are home life, love (especially lost love) and religion.  Country music offers poetic songs about the sadness involved with a broken heart or homesickness.   While there have been many different influences to country music over the years, it maintains an unmistakable character all its own.

 

 

How To Play In Front Of An Audience

© 2009 Liam Gibson

Playing the guitar in front of people may seem easy when it’s just a few friends or family, but when it’s a crowded room, full of strangers waiting to be entertained, it’s a different story.  Standing in front of a large and live audience can be a scary experience, especially if you are a performer.

It doesn’t matter if you are completely new to performing on stage or you are a seasoned performer, there are a number of things you can do to make the very best of your performance.  These tips have been taken from the experts – those who get up and perform with stability and amazing talent every week.  We have compiled them here to make sure you perform at the best of your ability every time you go on stage.

1)    Ignore the self-doubt:  Have the courage to share your talent with others. Almost every single musician in the world will hear a little voice somewhere in the back of his mind just before he goes on stage that will say something along the lines of “what are you doing?  You can’t do this!”  Remember that you have worked hard to practice your guitar, and that you know exactly what you are going to play.

2)     Know your repertoire:  Once you have a repertoire of songs, it only has to be ten or twelve songs that you play well and enjoy playing, memorize them.

3)    Mix it up a bit:  When you have the ten or twelve songs that you have chosen, take a look at them and make sure that they are crowd pleasers!  Make sure there is s a good mix of rhythms and tempos, variations in music is much more interesting to an audience than a selection of songs based around the same chord and rhythms.  Make sure that the songs you have chosen vary in difficulty as well.  If it’s your first time on stage, then playing something technically difficult may be a stretch, but you should also push yourself a little at the same time.  By challenging yourself, your skills will develop quicker.

4)    Distract yourself:  There is one famous case of an outdoor concert going on live where the band on stage had to put up with the next band warming up directly behind them.  These sorts of things will happen when you perform. When you play in front of an audience, there will be distractions. So be ready ! When you practice at home, put the TV on or the radio.  By doing this, you will be training yourself to play with any distractions a room full of people could throw at you!

 

5)    Play easy to start:  Seasoned performers often start with a strong upbeat song with a medium tempo.  Not only does this warm you up nicely, but it also warms the audience up as well.  Then, when the more technically difficult songs come later both, you and the audience, are prepared.  Put the songs that you have selected in order so that the easiest to play come first. By doing this, when you get to the more difficult songs your fingers should be nicely warmed up.

6)    Sleep:  Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before any important gig as sleep will naturally lower your anxiety levels as well as increase your concentration and eliminate mistakes.

7)    No Alcohol:  Alcohol and caffeine are the destructors of many a good concert. Alcohol works by slowing down your reaction time and your awareness of what is going on around you.  Therefore, you might think you are playing superbly, when really the audience switched you off quite some time ago.  Caffeine does the opposite;  it heightens your awareness which leads you to become even more anxious and make more mistakes.

8)    Be prepared:  Make sure you have the directions to the gig.  The last thing you want to be doing is having an argument about where the venue is and causing self anxiety before you go on stage!  Make sure you have all your clothes, equipment and directions ready the night before.

9)    Be equipped:  Stock your gig bag with extra strings, plectrums, extra batteries and leads.  If you leave nothing to chance, then you diminish the possibility of anything going wrong that can’t be fixed.

10)    Relax and enjoy it:  What is the worst thing that could possibly happen??  Playing in front of an audience is a massive part of the creative process; the more you practice it, the better at it you will get!

Learn and Master Guitar-Best Way To Learn Guitar?

If you have tried looking for the best way to learn guitar, you have undoubtedly come across a program called Learn and Master Guitar by Steve Krenz.  It has been the best selling guitar course online for the past several years, and you will see hundreds of positive reviews online.  I had always been interested in learning the guitar so I convinced myself to take the plunge and see if the course would help me become a better guitar player.  What follows is the rest of my Learn and Master Guitar review.

Learn and Master Guitar is taught by professional guitarist Steve Krenz. Steve is an experienced guitar teacher and his passion for teaching guitar shows in the videos. The complete software package consists of 20 DVD’s, 5 Jam Along CD’s, and a huge workbook. The first thing that you will notice when you receive everything, is how professionally everything is put together and the quality of all the materials. Everything about the course screams quality.

The lessons do a nice job of teaching you the various The lessons do a nice job of teaching you the various guitar basics. In the beginning, you learn proper guitar position, optimal fret and finger placement, and special exercises designed to help your hands adjust to playing the guitar. Over time, you will learn more advanced topics like strumming techniques, advanced chords, reading music and how to play various types of music including blues, jazz and rock and roll. The included Jam Along CD’s allow you to simulate playing along with a real band and they are a blast to play along with. It is a fun method to take what you have learned in the lessons and improve your skills.”>guitar basics.  In the beginning, you learn proper guitar position, optimal fret and finger placement, and special exercises designed to help your hands adjust to playing the guitar.  Over time, you will learn more advanced topics like strumming techniques, advanced chords, reading music and how to play various types of music including blues, jazz and rock and roll.  The included Jam Along CD’s allow you to simulate playing along with a real band and they are a blast to play along with.  It is a fun method to take what you have learned in the lessons and improve your skills.

If you ever have any issues with the course, then you can login to the online forums.  The community is very active, and you will find answers to your questions in no time.  Additionally, Steve Krenz himself is active on the forums and you could potentially ask him a question if you wanted to.

Probably, the only thing that concerned me initially about Learn and Master Guitar was the cost.  I found that it was the most expensive guitar course I saw on the web.  Still, compared to expensive private lessons or school courses, it really isn’t that much to pay for excellent guitar instruction.  The course comes with a full 60 day money back guarantee, so you really have no excuse not to try it.  If you want to learn to play guitar like a pro, then I highly recommend you check out Learn and Master Guitar.

How To Get Started Learning to Play Guitar

The reason why most folks want to learn how to play the guitar, is so that they can learn to play some of their favorite songs. There are many ways to learn guitar these days, but what is the most best way to get started so you can start playing as soon as possible?

I, too, had this same goal when I started learning to play guitar about five years ago. Back then, I wanted to be able to play some guitar songs and impress my girlfriend. I asked around and found a good guitar instructor who could give me guitar lessons at his house. This worked out okay at first, and I learned the guitar basics in my first month. However, private lessons are quite expensive and, after the first month of lessons, I decided private lessons were too expensive for me. Plus, it was such an inconvenience to keep my appointments twice a week and drive over to his house for lessons.

Although, I still wanted to play guitar, I decided to start learning on my own, using the best guitar resources found online. After just a little bit of practice, I was able to play the basic guitar chords and able to recognize the chords by ear. Most popular songs are made up of the same 3 or 4 basic chords that you learn right from the start. Once, I learned these basics, soon I was able to piece together songs in my head until it became completely natural for me.

It is amazing to see how many guitar playing tutorials there are on the internet these days. The fantastic thing is that a lot of these great resources are absolutely free. You can find step by step videos that show you everything you need to know about playing a guitar right on Youtube. If you ever have any problems, try to locate one of the many guitar forums and there, you will find several experts able to answer your questions. Once you’ve taken the time to find these resources, learning to play your favorite guitar songs is easy and convenient. Playing the guitar is such a fun hobby and it never gets tiring; all the while impressing your friends and family with your guitar playing skills.

How Can I Care For My Guitar?

© 2009 Liam Gibson

We have assembled some of the best tips to keep your guitar in tip-top condition. By following these steps, you will find that the guitar will last as long as you want it to! Keeping your guitar in the best possible condition is paramount to enjoying the full life and playability of your instrument. Care and maintenance can sometimes seem secondary to playing, but if you want to continue playing for a long time, then it’s absolutely vital.

* After Practicing

You can prolong the lifespan of your guitar by applying simple common sense in the majority of cases. It’s not really rocket science – and if you treat your guitar with the respect that it deserves then you will find the rewards are much higher.

If the strings start to rust, then they become very rough and have a higher propensity of cutting into your fingers. The deterioration of the strings is a common problem amongst guitarists. A guitarist with cut fingers is not going to play as well, so it is important to make sure that the strings of your guitar do not get to this stage. To prevent this, make sure that as soon as you have finished practicing take a soft cloth and clean the strings.

This is a very simple action, but it will get rid of all the oil, dirt and sweat that can accumulate on the strings. You might want to think about applying a thin layer of string conditioner before you re-case your guitar. These solutions are relatively inexpensive (a good one will cost less than ten US dollars) and they do a great job of preventing the oxidization of the strings that causes them to rust.

* Clean the Fretboard

The next time you change your strings, take a look at the fretboards and clean them with a damp cloth. If unchecked, this can damage the sound of the guitar, and eventually the integrity of the instrument. As well as the strings, there can often be an accumulation of dirt and grease around the fretboards.

* Care for the Body!

All you need to do is polish it regularly with a lint-free cloth. Make sure you use only guitar-specific polishes – some of the more widely available household polishes are more likely to be abrasive and cause some serious damage. A lot of people neglect the body of the guitar as they focus too much on the strings and the fretboard. While these do need a lot of attention, paying a bit of attention to the body of your guitar will prolong its life by a large factor.

* Storage

Your guitar is a very sensitive instrument, and is extremely sensitive to the environment in which it is stored. Wood is a porous substance, which means it can absorb moisture. While most guitars are tolerant to a range of temperatures, excessive moisture will cause swelling which in turn causes the wood to warp and affects the overall sound. For ideal conditions, you should be looking at storing your guitar at around 50% humidity and a temperature of around 25 degrees C.

* Scratches

It may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people have made this mistake! The obvious things are things like bracelets and rings, but I have also seen expensive guitars scratched badly by something as simple as a belt buckle! Before you even start to play, make sure you have removed all your jewelry and other accessories that may damage your guitar.

You can prolong the lifespan of your guitar by applying simple common sense in the majority of cases. It’s not really rocket science – and if you treat your guitar with the respect that it deserves then you will find the rewards are much higher.

Tips for Buying a New Guitar

Guitars – there are still custom guitar makers around. This video shows a man who makes custom guitars, and it tells some interesting history of the guitars he’s made. Most guitar players won’t need to buy a custom or handmade guitar (and most can’t afford to). Fortunately, for most of our lower budgets, good guitars are being manufactured and they are affordable.

Whether you are a beginner guitar player or an experienced guitarist…

Maybe you need to buy your first guitar, or you possibly want to buy a better guitar than the one you are using. You may be buying an additional guitar (because you need another style of guitar or are starting a collection).

It’s a good idea to do some homework by researching all that you can about guitars before buying one. This research can be done by searching for information you can find on the internet, in guitar magazines or by visiting guitar stores. Using these three methods, you can test out and compare guitar styles and investigate prices. You can also read many online blogs with great information about guitars and guitar lessons.

Ask your guitarist friends for recommendations, look up all the information you can about guitar manufacturers or read reviews in magazines or on the internet. If there are local music stores in your town, visit those stores and test out their guitars. When you try out different guitars, don’t worry about your playing (you don’t have to be a great guitar player), just focus on how the guitars sound. Hold the guitar out straight and look down the fretboard to make sure it is not warped or bowed.

Play it first before you buy a guitar!

There should not be any buzzing sound when you test play a guitar you are interested in buying. Be sure that the distance of the strings from the fretboard is not too high (which makes the guitar much harder to play).

To check an electric guitar, be sure it is plugged into an amplifier to check the sound and tone controls. Make sure they work properly. Check the pickups and the tone and volume controls. Music store salespeople may be able to play guitar – ask them to test some of the guitars for you. A really good option is to bring a guitarist friend to the store with you so they can play the guitar and give you their opinion.

Learning the price ranges for new guitars will help you to know which guitars will fit within your budget. You need to know the current prices and information about guitar brands before you try to negotiate with the guitar store salesperson. They are there to convince you to spend money and they could possibly persuade you to spend more than you planned to spend.

If this is your first guitar, you probably should not consider buying your instrument at an online auction. Buying through an auction will not allow you to play a guitar before you buy it. How a guitar feels to hold and play is a very personal thing. Keep your goal in mind and stick to your budget until you find the guitar that has a good sound and is a perfect fit for you and your guitar playing needs.

Tuning A Guitar

Guitarists can tune their guitars in different ways. There are some simple ways of tuning but the results of each tuning method are similar. Beginners should follow the simplest, convenient way of tuning. Experts can easily identify the incorrect sound of a tune and adopt their own method accordingly.

The standard tuning method is followed to tune a guitar. The strings are numbered simultaneously. The strings are numbered from the lowest to the highest string. The thinnest string is the first string that sounds high and the sixth thickest string corresponds to the lowest pitch. The standard tuning is E-A-D-G-B-E. The sixth string corresponds to the lower E, fifth string to A, fourth string to D, third string to G, second to B and first to High E.

Pitch pipes are inexpensive and easy to use. Pitch pipes can set the right pitch for every string by making the sound of both strings equal. An electronic tuner is very costly, but it can be set right for tuning. It is better than a pitch pipe. Electronic keyboards or pianos sounds are high and accurate and may also be used for tuning your guitar. Individual tuning forks are used to tune different strings. This method is inexpensive and easy to carry. Harmonics is the method of tuning which is hardest to use but it brings a clearer and more resonating sound.

The easiest method of manual tuning is called Basic Tuning. First, place a finger on the fifth fret of the sixth string and play the fifth and sixth strings at the same time. The two notes should sound similar. If the notes sound different then adjust the tuning peg for the fifth string so that when played open, it matches the tone of the fifth fretted sixth string. Repeat the same with fourth and third strings. Place your finger on the fourth fret of the third string to adjust the tone of the second string. Play the fifth fret of the second string to tune the final string. The Ibanez acoustic electric guitar is a basic choice provided to a new guitarist.

You have to tune your guitar regularly to prevent your guitar from going out of tune.

Tuning may be necessary for every use.

Gibson Rock/Metal Guitar Players

Some great guitar players have used Gibson guitars to tear up the fretboard and entertain the masses. Here’s a few of the players that have used Gibson guitars to bring rock & heavy metal to the people.

  • Angus Young -AC/DC. Perhaps the most famous Gibson player on the planet, Angus Young has been donning the school uniform and strapping on the Gibson SG ever since before most of us were born -and he’s still doing it. Angus has rarely ever been seen without his Gibson SG, although he also owns a Gibson Firebird & a 335. Classic tracks: “Highway to Hell”, “Back in Black”, “Let There Be Rock”
  • Slash. ‘Saul Hudson’, as his mother knows him, has been playing with a Les Paul since the recording of Guns and Roses classic debut album ‘Appetite for Destruction’. Surprise piece of trivia: He’s not playing a Gibson, but a Les Paul copy on the album. It made no difference though, as his use of the instrument made the Les Paul even more iconic and helped to increase slumping sales of the instrument. Slash now has his own signature Gibson guitar, but still uses his 1987 Les Paul standard as his main guitar for live playing. Classic tracks: “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child of Mine”, “Slither”
  • Tony Iommi. The father of heavy metal, Iommi and his band, Black Sabbath, gave us the gift of heavy metal. Iommi lost his middle & index fingertips in an industral accident and had to learn to play guitar all over again -inspired by Django Rienhardt, who had limited use of his 3rd and 4th fingers. The guitarist has been using a SG since while recording the first Sabbath album, where the pickups in his Fender guitar broke and he turned to the Gibson SG -a match made in hell. Classic tracks: “Paranoid”, “Black Sabbath”, “War Pigs”
  • Zakk Wylde. Hired by Ozzy to replace Jake E Lee at the age of 19, Zakk has been Ozzy’s mainstay guitarist since 1987, leaving for a period in the late 90s, but remaining faithful to the singer for many years. Wylde also plays guitar in his ‘side project’ band, the Black Label Society, which has its own following. Wylde’s guitar certainly sounds out with its custom ‘bullseye’ paint job and signature range of Les Pauls’, which recently added a flying v guitar crossed with an SG. Classic Wylde tracks: “Still Born”, “Mass Murder Machine”, “In This River”

 

Learn Guitar Online

Guest Post by Chris Lake

In order to learn guitar online effectively, not only must you be disciplined and motivated, you also need to understand why the internet is such a fantastic resource for modern guitar students. The internet contains an enormous wealth of information about any aspect of learning the guitar you can think of, all gathered together in one place, making it very easy to find precisely the information you want. That is one of the most compelling reasons to learn guitar online. Below are some more.

If you’d like to read my review of one of the best ways to learn guitar online, please visit Jamorama

Multiple Practice Styles – When you have lesson with a private teacher, you will normally be restricted to learning whichever styles they are best at teaching, but by learning guitar online, you are able to learn practically any type of guitar playing you care to mention.

Watch Videos and Listen to Audio Clips – Everybody has  they’re own way of learning things. Many people need to be able to hear song, or a chord in order to play it, while others would rather see a video, or read a diagram. The internet provides all the resources you’ll need, whatever your favored way of learning. Even those who simply need to read through the fundamentals can find guides and online tutorials that provide detailed walkthroughs of playing the guitar.

Multiple Songs to Practice – When you buy a guitar song book from a music shop, it will likely only contain a dozen songs or so, but on the internet you can find virtually any song that’s ever been written, transcribed into guitar tab. By learning guitar online, you have access to all the tabs and transcription that the internet has to offer, never more than a few clicks away.

State of the Art Software –There are various software programs available online that can teach you different aspects of guitar playing, from how to play chords, to how to read music. They let you see how well you’re progressing by providing feedback, and there are many types of software to suite most peoples needs. You can’t find that anywhere else.

Instant Access – If you need help with something or the advice of a pro, the Internet provides the online avenue to instantly access someone who knows the guitar well, and can help you with your playing. From forums where fellow guitar players gather, to websites where teachers offer advice, you’ll find all sorts of ways to improve your guitar playing online.

The sheer size and scope of the internet makes it easy to see why so many people decide to learn guitar online. If you use the vast resources available on the internet properly, you will improve as a guitarist far more quickly than you would just using traditional learning methods, and that is why it is such a great idea to learn guitar online.

If you’d like to know more about how to learn guitar online, please visit Learn Guitar Online

Or

Take a look at my blog Learning the Guitar Online