Friday, August 31, 2012

Choosing your first guitar

As my second blog entry I thought I would write something a little different and offer up my advice on what to factor in when choosing your first guitar, I suppose it can also apply to your second if you aren't happy with your first.

Firstly you need to decide whether it is an acoustic guitar or an electric that you want. This is probably the hardest and most important choice you have to make (unless you are rich and can buy both). If you want to learn to play guitar fast, electric may be the way to go, but it's not always easy to transfer what you have learned on the electric to the acoustic, and vise versa. The current trend does seem to be more people buying acoustic from my understanding, but don't let trends decide for you and go for what you want. If you are into rock and heavier music the obvious way to go is electric, if serious about it you can get yourself one from the range of Gibson guitars (as a beginner guitar it's probably best to go for an Epiphone). Or go for a Fender Squier, either of these may cost a little more than the very lowest end of products but they will be much easier to play and sound far better. There's quite a few detailed reviews of some beginner range guitars here

Learning how to play guitar on an acoustic as I mentioned is a bit more difficult, mainly because it's tougher on your fingers which is a common problem for new players. A bonus is there are more cheap guitars of this type (although the quality at the very lowest end is pretty shocking). If you are into more folk music or just want to play a few guitar chords and have a sing-a-long, the acoustic is probably your safest best. (don't worry if you aren't as good as this little guy, what an insane talent he has!). I recommend going for one with steel strings too unless you are particularly fond of artists that play with nylon and you have a preference for that sound, steel strings will also mean transitioning to the electric would be an easier task if that's what you wanted to do in future. check this to read all the different types of strings, there's a list mid way down the page.

Then there's always the best of both worlds option - the electro-acoustic, these can be very good and indeed if you have desires to be performing in more than just your bedroom, this is a good option. You of course lose most of the acoustic sound when you plug in though, as the hollow body does nothing, it's all about the pickups. (Yet another alternative would be to buy a better acoustic guitar then later down the line install your own pickups into it/get an expert to do it - it's quite easy).

Thanks for reading and remember ultimately it's not the end of the world if you make the wrong choice, in many cases you will be able to return to the vendor and if not you could sell it on second hand online and get most of your money back and then buy a guitar. Or do what I did and battle on through, with enough practice you can make anything work!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hello Fellow Guitar Fans!

Hello everyone, my name is Connor and this is my new blog to share my love of guitars. I started playing two years ago and I've been addicted ever since. I currently own four different electric guitars and two acoustic. My favourite at the moment is the Simon Neill Squier, it sounds amazing and looks amazing, on occasion I play gigs and this is my number one guitar. The other electric guitars are my Epiphone Les Paul, Yamaha Pacifica and my very first guitar a seriously cheap one that doesn't even have a brand!

I'm making this blog as a place to share all cool things about the guitar, such as wicked videos of guitar players and people testing out different guitars and equipment. I might even upload some of my own videos in the future although I am a bit camera shy. My favourite bands at the moment are Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, biffy Clyro, Ben Howard, the Black Keys, two door Cinema club and I'm sure I'm forgetting many others!

I'm completely self-taught on the guitar, the only resources I use are a few books and loads of you Tube videos. I like to think I can play quite well now, but obviously still have a lot of improving to do. I'm going to recommend some of my favourite video tutorials that really helped me learn and a bunch of websites too. I recently started to learn how to finger pick, it took me several days to even be able to play one part of a song but now I'm really starting to see an improvement and I can already play several Ben Howard songs. I still have a long way to go before I can sing and play this kind of stuff as it takes so much concentration to get the fingerpicking right.

My current wish list of guitars in order, Gibson SG, PRS special, Ernie Ball music man, and I'd really like to get my hands on a vintage Fender Stratocaster at some point (when I'm rich ha ha). I'm also trying to start recording some of my own material, I recently bought a decent mic and I had some good software to produce with. I'm pretty bad writing songs at the moment, but I'm learning all I can through reading and just trying different stuff out to see what works. I've only played about five gigs in the last year with a group of friends of mine, I will try and find a video to link here of us playing at a local bar, it's really funny how bad we are as a band!

My other hobbies include football, tennis, filmmaking, and I do love to read which I guess is unusual for an 18-year-old. In the future I'd love to be able to be a music video director as that seems to combine my love of film and music. When I'm not playing guitar or doing something else, I'm studying at university doing film production.
I hope this is a decent introduction to me, I'm pretty bad at talking about myself so this was quite tricky to write. Stay tuned for some more posts about guitar playing and such.
Peace out!

I'll leave you with a video of Jimi Hendrix rocking it out! Such a legend.