Browsing Archive: July, 2016

Buying your First Guitar

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, In : Guitar Purchase and Maintenence 



Buying Your First Guitar
Congratulations!! If you are reading this you have probably decided to begin learning the most beautiful and rewarding of all instruments. These brief guidelines come to you with the compliments of your guitar tuition specialist to help you sort through some of the probable questions you may have regarding the purchase of a new instrument.

Where to start?
Most guitar teachers deal with one or two music stores with whom they have developed some tr...

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Arranging for Guitar 103 (Practicalities)

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, In : Arranging for Guitar 
Big Band
Over the years I have noticed that many school big band charts are virtually unplayable for the guitarists. (Particularly for middle school aged students!) This is largely due to the commonly used keys and the extended chords that are often present in such charts. 
An easy option is to use tritone shapes. These are often the 3rd and 7th of the chord and the extensions are handled by the piano and horns.

The example below shows an easy way for a guitar player to play the chords shown (mo...
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Arranging for Guitar 102 (Practicalities)

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Thursday, July 21, 2016, In : Arranging for Guitar 
As a general suggestion, allow a few beats for your guitarists to go from chordal playing to single notes and vice-versa.
This would be a challenge.

A better way to write it would be:

Usually it is best to allow your guitar players time to transition from the larger strumming action to the smaller and more precise picking action. 

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Arranging for Guitar 101 (Range)

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Thursday, July 21, 2016, In : Arranging for Guitar 

Arranging for guitar is a very complex and involved subject, so we will handle it in small chunks. Here are some basic 'rules'. 

These are generalisation but are usually applicable to most high school aged guitarists. There are, of course, exceptions.

  1. The guitar sounds an octave LOWER than it is written.
  2. The open strings are tuned high to low E B G D A E. (Other tunings are possible but standard is still 'standard'!)
  3. Cluster chords of 2nds may be unplayable. 
  4. Keys of F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb are very diff...

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Chord Spelling Tips and Tricks

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Monday, July 11, 2016, In : Chord Spelling Tips and Tricks 
Chord spelling with what?!
If you ask most guitarists what the notes are in a particular chord, be prepared to wait a while as they form the chord on the instrument, figure out the name of the open string, count up the number of frets, calculate the note (probably missing some flats or sharps in the process) and give you the answer like this. D major = F# D A. While this answer is correct it has taken about 60 seconds to figure out, and the notes are not in root position (1 3 5).

When I studied...

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Transposing Chart

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Monday, July 11, 2016, In : Transposing and capo use 
Basic Transposing Chart for Capo use.

1. Simply choose the key that the music is written in from the column at the left.
2. The numbers on the top line are the steps in the scale. 
3. Let's say the song is in the key of C and has C F and G chords in it. (The 1, 4, 5 in the key of C) 
4. F chord can be difficult to get a good sound from and many young students struggle with it.
5. If we look across to the right, you’ll see that it can be transposed into A.
6. C F and G transpose into A D and E res...

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Tuning by Ear

Posted by Andrew Hobler on Friday, July 8, 2016, In : Tuning 
Why Electronic Tuners Are Not the Complete Answer.

When I first started work in a music shop, one of my jobs was to tune each guitar every day. This was before electronic tuners were just starting to become available. Now, of course, people just clip on a tuner and away they go. 
While electronic tuners (tuners from now on) are great in many ways, guitarists tend to tune the open strings and hope for the best. Unfortunately, when the guitar is slightly out of tune many players can't tell just b...

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