So, a few years back, when I was teaching guitar lessons, I had a web site that was primarily designed to support my students, but which anyone could access. It had all of the standard stuff that hundreds of other guitar sites have - basic theory stuff, scales, finger excercises, etc. Alas, when I relocated to Florida (and stopped teaching lessons), I let the site expire and a lot of the information subsequently vanished.
I am now in the process of rebuilding it, and would like to take the opportunity to make it something a little different and (hopefully) better than some of the stuff already available on the web. To accomplish this, I’d like to add articles about various aspects of guitar playing that may be slightly off the beaten path.
I have a few already that are either finished or in progress:
Better Music Through Sensory Deprivation
Teaching Your Guitar to Sing
Your Amp Doesn’t Always Need to go to 11
Making Friends With Feedback
And now we get to my actual question - for all of the guitar players (or would-be guitar players) out there, what kinds of articles would you like to see that you have not yet come across? Any and all suggestions welcome…
This may not be the kind of thing you’re looking for, but I have a topic I recently needed info on. I know nothing about guitars, but last year I went to Guitar Center to buy an electric guitar for my 8 year old, who is left-handed.
The 2 sales guys there started arguing with each other as to whether I should buy him a right or left handed guitar. One felt very strongly that I should buy him a left handed guitar and the other felt equally strongly that I should buy him a rightie. Each had their reasons, but I was unable to find any objective info on the subject. So maybe you could write an article (pros and cons) about what kind of guitar is best for a left handed player.
Here’re a few that would’ve been helpful to me, once upon a time:
[li]Setting your own action and intonation[/li]
[li]Working with odd time signatures[/li]
[li]Yanking that crank (whammy, of course)[/li]
[li]Scales and modes[/li]
[li]Working with alternate tunings[/li]
[li]Playing fingerstyle (or hybrid)[/li]
[li]Using effects boxes[/li][/ul]
With your permission, I’ll add any more if they occur to me.
My new hobby is attempting to learn surf guitar. As I play mostly blues, my surf guitar ends up having a blues feel to it all the time when I try to improvise something. It’s annoying me to no end. I would like some basic surf theory and technique. I’ve searched far and wide with google without much success (outside of buying a book which may or may not answer my questions)
Hey, some great suggestions so far. To give some quick responses…
Enter the Flagon - Yes, by all means, feel free to list as many ideas as you like. I like the ones you’ve posted so far (I’ve got one started on modes, actually, but it doesn’t have a snappy title yet).
Nunavut Boy** - Good suggestion, although I’m not as familiar with surf music as with some other genres. Are you talking about songs like “Wipeout” and the such? If so, I can definitely work up an article.
Maggenpye** - That’s definitely another good one (the short answer is that there are actually a couple of things you can do to ease into barre chords and make them less painful and awkward).
As more people respond, I find myself wanting to write back with detailed answers; however, most of the topics are gonna end up being rather diagram/illustration heavy, and message boards aren’t the ideal medium. So… in addition to adding topic ideas here, feel free to contact me if you’ve got a burning guitar question and don’t want to wait for me to finish hacking together this web site before getting an answer…
In any event, many thanks to those who have responded so far - keep 'em coming.
check out Gibson’s weekly (bi-weekly?) newsletter - you can subscribe at Gibson.com. For all the gripes I have about Gibson trying to “evolve into a lifestyle brand” (their words, not mine), it is actually something I look forward to reading.
Gear-specific geek outs - explaining pedals (how they work and legendary examples) - famous guitars and their famous features, amps and how to mod and maintain them, etc.
Lists - Top Girl guitarists, top twin-guitar lead albums, best Texas blues players - you get the idea. Good for discussing the topic vs. the actual rankings (who cares?)
This day in guitar history type columns
Interviews with players, guitar makers/inventors
Album reviews - new or classic
Technique - using alternate tunings, left-handed issues, flat vs. finger picking, etc…
Also check out Modern Guitars Magazine online - not refreshed as often but a lot of interesting stuff…
Finally - hang out on The Gear Page on line - between the guitars pages (commercial and small-volume luthiers), amp forum, technique tips pages, etc. you should get a sense for what seems to be on guitarists’ minds…
Thanks for the heads up, WordMan. I’m definitely gonna sign up for Gibson’s newsletter, it sounds like something I would really dig. Of course, for purposes of my site, what I really want to find out is what subjects they aren’t covering, so that I can try and fill that gap with my own stuff. Try being the key word, I suppose…
Right on, man - thanks for contributing to my counterintelligence efforts
As for the site, it’s not available for public viewing yet, mostly due to the fact that it currently sucks. Showing it off now would be like a store having a grand opening before they put the merchandise on the shelves. However, once I have it in a vaguely acceptable form, I’ll definitely give you the link, since I’ll be itching for feedback.
Besides an article extolling the virtues of playing rhythm guitar, more importantly something to instill in the budding guitarist the importance of the fundamentals of rhythm. I’ve played with several guitarists who, while adept at theory and being fleet of finger, neglected this particular building block and simply do not have that internal sense of rhythm that a) keeps them on the beat and any subdivision thereof, and b) makes them play a full measure of music before moving on to the next one. Your Metronome Minimalism article might already cover that but I thought I’d just chime in with an issue that in my experience is a tragedy of potentially excellent guitarists being guitarists who can’t be played with due to their wobbly sense of time.