What is a Phaser Pedal? Phaser Pedals Explained

What is a Phaser Pedal? Phaser Pedals Explained

Before we get into talking about what a phaser pedal is, it’s better if you understand what the phaser effect is.

The first stage of the phaser effect is when the signal of your guitar passes through a series of stages, which are all-pass filters. The second stage of the phaser effect is kept as a dry signal.

At the end of the signal, these two stages are put back together in order to create an output with both an in-phase signal and an out of phase signal.

If you happen to change up the ratio of dry to filter signal on your pedal, you can change the speed of the phase; changing the phase of the pedal is the only real control over the pedal that you have.

Down to its simplest form, the phaser is just a type of modulation effect, just like a flanger or a chorus pedal. Depending upon what type of phaser pedal you have, there are several stages that your sound will have to pass through. Digital phasers often have the ability to simulate different numbers of stages.

Now that we’ve talked about what a phaser pedal really is, let’s get into the fun part!

Where do you use Phaser Pedal?

The Phaser pedal is really a pedal that allows you to unleash all sorts of creativity. However, even though this is a pedal to release your creativity upon, there are some people who like to argue that there are appropriate times to use this pedal.

Personally, I disagree with this statement, as I believe that the phaser peal is a creativity trump card, meaning that your own creative ideas can trump any sort of conventional wisdom. But, in modern music, where do you use the phaser effect?

For melodic verse fills

Basically, you can use a phaser pedal as a sort of thickening agent to make it seem like you’re playing more notes than you actually are. For example, if you’re only playing three or four notes in a chorus, you can use the phaser pedal to give your chorus/bridge more detail, giving the music you’re producing a sort of depth to it.

For chord swells

Phaser’s peaks can often create a type of sustain, which is also identified as a ‘chord swell’. Chord swells word better when you’re playing a song that’s a bit slower, as fast paced tempos often tend to clash with chord swells.

For adding some spice to your solos

The phaser peal can also be used to give depth to the soloing guitarist’s signal, just like you would with a boost but without any extra gain. Instead of using any sort of distortion in your solos, you can use the phaser pedal to play fewer notes, but with more emotion.

What are the best settings to use on Phaser Pedal?

If you’re a beginning user of a phaser pedal, the dials can be a little confusing. On most phaser pedals, there are:
•The speed knob
•The depth knob
•Resolution and/or feedback knob

When using these knobs, please understand that there are no real rules. Each user’s experience is different for the phaser pedal, depending on what your wants and needs are. The speed knob is the knob that will be on all phaser pedals, no matter what brand or type you end up buying.

The speed knob simply controls the troughs and the peaks in the sound that you hear. Whenever you have the speed knob turned up too high (or maxed out) the sound will begin to appear to be very chaotic.

Many phaser pedals also come with a tap tempo, which allows you to click in the exact speed. You can also get your phaser’s speed to match the tempo of whatever song you’re playing. This option isn’t always possible, but if you have the choice, I would highly recommend that you choose a phaser pedal that has this option.

Some phaser pedals that are more expensive come with waveform selections as well as a wet/dry mix knob.

If you’re looking to produce a vintage sound, these settings will do you the best:
•Rate: 3
•Depth: 8
•Feedback: 0
•Stages: 4

If you’re looking for a more modern rock sound, these settings will do you the best:
•Rate: 7
•Depth: 4
•Feedback: 4
•Stages: Between 8 and 10

These settings can change up, depending on what types of controls are available on your phaser pedal and what your personal preferences are.

Conclusion

There are many phaser pedals available on the market at all different price ranges. If you happen to end up choosing an inexpensive phaser pedal, you should be aware that you’re going to receive fewer knobs on your actual pedal.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t be just as creative with an inexpensive pedal than you can with an expensive pedal!

The Top Four Best Guitar Amps That Are Under $100

The Top Four Best Guitar Amps Under $100 That You’ll Really Love

If you’re like most musicians, you’re probably on a budget. One great thing about big name music companies is that they know that a lot of musicians don’t have a whole lot of money, which is why they offer a whole range of amps that are $100 or below.

Are $100 amps even any good?

Yes, they are! You can totally spend $100 and purchase yourself a decent amp that will be great to practice with at home. However, if you’re looking to purchase a $100 amp that you want to perform with, I would suggest that you lower your expectations.

It’s very difficult to find a great performing amp that will represent your musical abilities to the fullest potential for under $100. As long as you have an understanding that these amps are great to use for practicing, you’re less likely to be disappointed by what these amps are capable of offering.

What should I expect to find in a $100 amp?                                                                                                                       

The main purpose of purchasing an amp that’s under $100 is to get your hands on an amp that allows you to practice at home. Technically, you can purchase yourself an amp for $100 that you can use to play with at live venues, but you shouldn’t expect superb quality from
these amps.

Most of the amps that are under $100 are great to use for playing small, light gigs, but the main purpose for most of these amps are to use for practice. You should not expect a $100 amp to produce an incredible tone; if that’s what you’re looking for, I suggest that you look for an amp that costs $500 or more.

Blackstar ID: Core 10 V2                                                                                        

                                                                             

When it comes to producing affordable practice amps, Blackstar has really been creative with a lot of their newer releases, for both their solid-state designs and their tube model designs. When using a practice amp, you typically don’t expect it sound like a full sized, expensive amplifier, right?

That’s exactly how Blackstar has broken all stigma with inexpensive practice amps, by producing their Core 10 V2 amplifier.

This amp produces a strong enough output that musicians not only receive incredible tone but an incredible bargain because of the price tag that’s on this beauty.  A lot of the different effects and voices that the ID: Core 10 V2 produces are incredible, but there are some choices that seem to be lacking just a bit.

If you’re looking for a great practice amp that delivers amazing tone, this is the amplifier you want to go with.

Vox Pathfinder 10  

                                                                                                              

Vox made sure to create an affordable amp that is useful but isn’t over the top. You get a gain knob, a two band EQ, a button that allows you to switch from clean to over drive, and a volume knob. This is a simple amp that makes it perfect for practicing on.

Personally, I think that this is the best amp for beginners to play on because it’s so incredibly simple to use; the Vox Pathfinder is easy to operate, but it’s also easy to shape your own
unique tone.

Vox is a brand that’s best known for their tube amps, but the Pathfinder 10 really goes to show that the tone that their solid state amps produce isn’t anything to mess around with either. If you’ve ever played around with amps from Vox before, you should expect the same clean from the Pathfinder 10 as you do with the other amps that Vox produces.

Pressing the channel toggle button will provide you with a very natural sounding growl that you can shape for any purpose you have. The tonal prodcution that the Pathfinder 10 produces is very organic and you can customize this sound to fit your personal needs. Especially for the price tag, the Pathfinder 10 is a very impressive amp.

Peavey Backstage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

The Peavey Backstage amplifier is an amp that provides players with a twist. This is a great amp to use if you’re a beginner but if you’re someone who has some experience, the Peavey Backstage is an amp that will give you years of reliable performance.

The Peavey Backstage may look like just your typical economically responsible small amp, but it’s a lot more.

When it comes to your expectation of tone, Peavey really did an amazing job producing a solid state practice amp that produces a very similar sound to a tube amp. Out of all five amps discussed in this article, the Peavey Backstage has always been my favorite to use.

I’ve found that all of the materials used in this amp are extremely durable and it’s been comprised of solid construction. I’ve accidentally dropped this amp a few times and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Fender Mini Deluxe

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Fender is known for producing amazing guitars, but they aren’t well known for producing amplifiers that are affordable and quality. Fender has a great selection of different amplifiers that are great to play on; for right around $100, the Fender Mini Deluxe is an amazing choice to go with. This beauty is a micro amp that has amazing performance capabilities.

While many may worry that because the Fender Mini Deluxe is a micro amp, that it’s not very versatile. Yes, it’s true that this amp is limited by design, it still offers an incredible amount of versatility for such an affordable amplifier.

As for the features, the Fender Mini Deluxe comes with a one Watt power rating, a two-inch speaker that really does deliver well in tonal aspects, runs on battery power, although you can use a wall wart power adapter, and is incredibly lightweight.

This is a great amp to store away with you if you do a lot of traveling and always want to have a backup amp on you, as the Mini Deluxe is extremely mobile.

You should keep an open mind when judging the performance of this amp because it’s not going to perform the same as an expensive mini amp or the same as a full sized amp. This amp does not have a very wide dynamic range, but it does deliver in an incredible tone. You get just another volume to be able to hear your guitar comfortably while practicing.

Conclusion

There are many options on the market for when it comes to shopping for inexpensive amplifiers. Having a practice amp is a necessity for any guitarist’s home setup; these inexpensive amps may come with a few compromises for the price tag, but having an at home practice guitar is one of the best investments you can make for yourself.

As always, with all major purchases, you should take some time to play around with different budget amps before deciding on one. After playing, you can always go price shopping online, but it’s strongly suggested that you take some time to play the amp that you’re looking at before purchasing it. Good luck on your amp hunting!

What Exactly is a Boost Pedal? – Boost Pedals Explained

What Exactly is a Boost Pedal? – Boost Pedals Explained

What is a boost pedal?

A boost pedal is a pedal that increases the gain of the signal that your guitar produces; out of all of the types of pedals on the market today, boost pedals affect your guitar’s tone the least. Booster pre-amp stages were created to boost the signal of the guitar before it reaches the amplifier without adding any special effects like distortion or fuzz.

Boost pedals do not change the guitar’s frequency range or tone, as the purpose of the boost pedal is only to increase the signal level. Overall, the intended result of using a boos pedal is to produce an entirely clean sound that’s completely transparent, with only a noticeable increase in sound resulted from the boost pedal.

While this is the difference that a boost pedal theoretically makes, many boost pedals actually enhance the treble. If you plan on pairing your boost pedal with a tube amp in order to drive your amp harder, you should expect a certain level of distortion to greet your ears.

Even if you’re not attempting to distort your sound with your boost pedal, if you are looking for an unchanged volume lift from your pedal, gently adjust your amp’s preamp stage. All boost pedals change the sound produced from your guitar; more expensive boost pedals just happen to be sneakier at changing the sound.

While your expensive boost pedal may be described as a clean boost pedal, manufacturers have just adjusted the pedal so that it’s highly effective at tempering a tube amp to producing distorted sounds at lower volume levels.

Some of the circuit boards on booster pedals are very simple, as the purpose of the boost pedal isn’t anything too complex. However, the more expensive the pedal, the more complex the circuit board is.

As mentioned earlier, manufactures will sometimes add secondary sound shaping circuitry effects that make the boost pedal to contain either fuzz, distortion, compression, or overdrive. If you’re looking for a 100%, completely unaltered sound, try adjusting your amp’s preamp stage, altering the tonality of your guitar, or changing up the timbre.

What type of sound does it make?

In simple terms, a boost pedal takes the sound that your guitar produces and transforms it into a larger and louder sound, almost as if it was a volume knob on your instrument.

Think of the volume knob on your guitar only having the ability to take your guitar’s volume to a seven out of ten; using a booster pedal will allow your guitar’s sound to surpass that level and will give you a fifteen out of ten sound. Incredible, right?

How do you use a boost pedal?

A boost pedal is a very simple unit that only has two working ways to use. Using a boost pedal allows you to:

  • Increase the volume of your instrument
  • Add a bit of bite to your overall sound

The increase of volume happens when you put your boost pedal in front of your amp. If you are using a distorted channel, you will find that your boost pedal won’t provide you with any extra volume boost, but will provide you with more distortion and more sustain.

The other option that a boost pedal will provide you with is using it to put into an effect loop; by putting your boost pedal on your amp first before any other pedal, you will boost the signal of your instrument without creating any distortion.

Where are some good pedals to purchase?

In this section of this article, I’ve created a small list of boost pedals that I suggest to all of my students, who are from different financial back grounds. I’m going to take a small amount of time to talk about the least expensive boost pedal option to the most expensive one, as well as my favorite boost pedal to use.

Least expensive boost pedal:

The Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 is one of the best entry level boost pedals that I’ve ever used. I still own one of these that I always bring with me when doing small concerts with my students, in case someone forgets one.

I always suggest the Electro- Harmonix to any guitarist who is just starting out, because they’re so inexpensive, there really isn’t too much financial attachment to the pedal. It is a very simple to use, so if you’re not too good with using anything electronic, this pedal will do you good.

I’ve found that even compared to some expensive models that I’ve used, the Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 is very reliable; the biggest complaint that I have with this boost pedal is that the volume production from it isn’t super sonic.

The volume level only gets to around ten to twelve, which is pretty decent, especially for a beginners boost pedal that’s this inexpensive. You shouldn’t go purchase this boost pedal with the expectations of it re-defining the overall tone of your guitar; if you’re looking for your pedal to change the sound of your guitar, you need to look at a more expensive pedal option.

Mid-range boost pedal:

For my mid-range pick, I’ve chosen the TC Electronic Spark Mini. There aren’t any super fancy knobs that come with this pedal, but it does do what a boost pedal is supposed to do. This peal gives users a nice range in dynamics, without making your guitar produce any weird noises.

If you happen to do any research on your boost pedal before purchasing, you’ll most likely come across the big brother of the TC Electronic Spark Mini, which is the TC Electronic Spark; this version just comes with more knobs which provide you with more control over your boost pedal, which also means that it’s more expensive.

Most expensive boost pedal:

If you’re only reading this article for boost pedal suggestions because you’re already an experienced guitar player, the Koko Boost Reloaded guitar is where it’s at. This is a boost pedal that’s truly professional in all aspects; it provides musicians with a whole plethora of options, as well as an incredible sound that really can’t be beaten by other pedals in the price range.

My all-time favorite boost pedal:

My all-time favorite boost pedal is the J. Rockett Archer; this is an amazing pedal that I always gravitate towards using whenever I’m using a boost pedal. I love how not only I receive a true boost pedal with the J. Rockett Archer, but I also get the option to turn this boost pedal into a device that gives me the settings to turn it into an overdrive pedal.

I always love playing with the tone knob and the buffer knob, which really makes a lot of cool sounds on the guitar.

Conclusion

The boost pedal is the simplest pedal of all of the different pedals and is one of the most obvious pedals out there. There can be may complications to the boost pedal you are buying, depending on the manufacturer, price tag, and purpose of your boost pedal. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s article!

The Ultimate Taylor 110e Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Review That Will Make You Swoon

The Ultimate Taylor 110e Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Review That Will Make You Swoon

The first experience I ever had with a Taylor guitar was when I went to a concert when I was just learning how to play guitar and I heard a Taylor guitar play live. After the concert was finished,

I begged my parents for a Taylor guitar for Christmas.

As every child musician thinks, I truly believed that I was going to be just as famous as the Beatles when I started playing. When my parents gave me the Taylor 110e for my 17th birthday, I was absolutely ecstatic and played it for hours on end.

One of my favorite parts about the Taylor 110e is the time put into the construction of Taylor’s 110e bracing system; the bracing system on this guitar really allows this instrument to respond well to different types of playing styles;

I found that I was able to play soft fingerpicking and receive the same quality sound from the guitar as I did when I played harsh runs.

I’ve never had any problems with distortion from this guitar, as well. If you are a beginning guitarist or you’re shopping for a guitarist who is looking to upgrade, the Taylor 110e is an amazing guitar for musicians to set goals with.

You’re not ever going to really outgrow this guitar, as these instruments have been built to last a long time.

The standard Sitka Spruce top with Sapele laminated back and sides really provide this guitar with a higher sound velocity, as well as a brighter response.

I really received a wonderful response with light touches on the strings, but I also found that I received a lot of sound production from this instrument when I played heavier, without receiving any bass distortion.

Core features of the Taylor 110e Dreadnought:

110ELEFTY

  • -Standard six string dreadnought
  • -Sapele Laminated sides and back; Sapele laminate is very similar to Mahogany, although it does produce a brighter sound
  • -Solid Sitka spruce top, which provides the 110e with amazing projection
  • -Plastic rosette sound hole
  • -Sapele neck
  • -Ebony fretboard
  • -Pearloid dot inlays
  • -Indian Rosewood headstock overlay
  • -Black binding
  • -Ebony bridge
  • -25 ½ inch scale length
  • -Die cast chrome plated tuning pegs
  • -Tusq saddle and nut
  • -1 11/16 nut width
  • -20 standard frets
  • -15 inch fretboard radius
  • -X-brace bracing
  • -Natural color
  • -41-inch total length

What are the best music genres to play on the Taylor 110e?

From my personal experience playing the Taylor 110e, I found that I didn’t get stuck playing any particular style with this guitar. I found that this guitar is very versatile with all of the genres that I played on it;

I thoroughly enjoyed playing bluegrass, strumming, contemporary, and other genres on this instrument.

I believe that due to the size of the guitar’s body, the dreadnought style, and the overall construction of the instrument really allows it to fit with any type of music genre.

The 110e allows you to use plug it into an amp to amplify the sound, providing you with much more diversity than the Taylor 110.

Does it Work as Advertised?

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Yes, the Taylor 110e does work as advertised; it provides musicians with incredible sound quality that’s equal to a guitar that costs several thousand dollars.

This guitar was built to last a long period of time, even with daily use; it was also designed while keeping players of all levels of experience in mind.

No matter what your skill level, if you’re looking for a quality guitar that you want to last you a long time, the Taylor 110e is an amazing instrument to invest it.

Pros:

  • The Taylor 110e is a guitar that is extremely adaptable to all styles of music; I haven’t had any problems playing this guitar in rock, blues, country, jazz, and other styles of music.
  • Comes with left and right-handed options
  • Both the right and left-handed options come with electronic pickups

Cons:

  • Some people found this guitar to be a bit pricey, but I’m going to argue that point. The sound quality of this guitar is very similar to an all wood Martin guitar, which normally costs around $1,500.

Other Alternative Guitars to Consider

Taylor 110 – The Taylor 110 is just the acoustic version of the Taylor 110e, as the 110e come switch the ES-T Expression System Transducer Electronic Pickup.

If you want all of the benefits that the Taylor 110e provides you with, without the electronics added in, the Taylor 110 is the guitar you’re going to want to look at.

Conclusion

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A quick tip that I would like to share with you is how I improved the recording quality of the 110e when studio recording. I used a quality condenser microphone with the Taylor 110e and this combo really spruced up the quality of my recordings, through several playing styles.

Overall, the Taylor 110e is an amazing guitar for players of all skill levels to invest in. While the price tag on this guitar may be a little pricey, you are ultimately investing in a spectacular long-term sound without sacrificing tone quality, projection of sound, or playability.

From my personal experience as a teacher, and from what many other critics say, guitars that are made from all quality tone woods actually improve with age, as these guitars tend to develop a deeper and more robust sound than guitars that are made with laminated wood.

As the Taylor 110e ages, you will notice that the sound of your guitar will sound more mature and robust. This does not mean that your instrument is going to degrade, as the laminated sides of the 110e provide the guitar with the resilience of the entire life of the instrument.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s article!

The Ultimate Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar Review from an Expert

The Ultimate Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar Review from an Expert

Taylor Guitars has a reputation for building instruments that are simple, but maintaining a certain elegance and beauty to them; the

Taylor T5Z certainly does fall into this description, as at first glance of the guitar truly does speak a certain amount of timeless elegance.

As for the physical makeup of the Taylor T5Z Classic, this guitar has a mahogany top with a Sapele heel and neck; the sides and back of this instrument all come in a stunning satin finish.

The headstock over lay, bridge pins, and fretboard all have comprised from Ebony while featuring a simplistic diamond inlay pattern.

The top of this guitar also features two sound holes that are shaped into a leaf-like pattern, which really helps to provide the instrument with an amazing natural resonance.

One of my favorite parts about the Taylor T5Z Classic guitar is the neck, as it’s thin enough to be comfortable enough to play for people who have more experience playing electric guitars.

However, if you are someone who spends a lot of time playing acoustic guitar, you may find that the thinness of the T5Z neck may take some time to get used to, as it looks and feels a lot thinner than any typical acoustic guitar neck.

The Taylor T5Z has a 21-fret fret board with a 24.87-inch scale that allows musicians to attain a perfect balance between the comfort that an electric guitar provides and the tension that is needed for the production of clean acoustic tones.

Another great perk that Taylor added with the T5Z is the Venetian cutaway, which allows guitar players to have an easier time playing on the top frets on the fret board.

As with any Taylor guitar, this instrument has an incredible build quality and has the look (and feel) that it’s made to last decades of playing.

This guitar was built to be played while being plugged in, as the T5Z gives musicians a wide range of tones all with the flick of the five-way switch that is mounted on the side of the guitar.

The first position uses the humbucker in the neck as well as the bony-senor system, which will you give you a natural acoustic sound.

When I tried out the first position, my biggest complaint about the position was that when I had the instrument turned up too loud, there was an extreme amount of feedback. As for the second and third positions, these two really future the neck and bridge humbuckers.

Position four provides musicians with a clear tone, as both buckers are being used in a parallel mode; Position five puts the humbuckers in a series, which will deliver you with a heavier, meatier sound.

All of these positions can be adjusted to your own personal tastes by adjusting the bass, treble, and volume control knobs that are located on the guitar.

Even when I switched the T5Z over to amps that were made to be used by acoustic guitars, the tone of the instrument did an amazing job of translating really well; I also used this guitar on a PA system and tried using to do direct recordings.

I didn’t have any problems with the translation of the tone downgrading quality. I also really enjoyed playing the T5Z on several different effects pedals.

If you’ve ever played the Taylor T5 guitar, be prepared for the T5Z to feel and sound extremely different. The original T5 is a larger sized guitar that has a solid spruce top; the T5Z has flamed maple top.

I also found that when switching between the T5 and the T5Z that even though the T5Z is more lightweight than the original T5,

the T5Z has a heavier neck and is a little off balanced; the neck weight of the T5 was evenly distributed and I didn’t have any problems with the feeling of an unbalanced guitar.

I also found that when comparing the original to the T5Z on amps, that the T5Z was more resistant to feedback, which I thought was great. As the sound quality of

the T5Z, the T5Z does feel and sound does make this guitar seem to be electric, but the guitar produces just enough wooden tonality (as well as a shorter sustain) that gives this guitar a hybrid sound.

Core features of the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric Guitar

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  • S-curve cutouts
  • Slender hollow body
  • Venetian cutaway
  • Sitka spruce top
  • Sapele sides and back
  • Polyester gloss finish that has been UV cured
  • Sapele heel and neck that have been supported with Taylor’s T-Lock neck joint
  • Nickel Taylor tuning pegs
  • Ebony fret board
  • Slimline humbucking pickup (located near the bridge)
  • Slimline humbucker pickup (concealed under the top, located near the neck)
  • Acoustic body-sensor pickup (located under the top)
  • Has a very similar feel to the Gibson Les Paul
  • 11 1/16 inch nut width
  • 12-inch fretboard radius
  • 24.87-inch scale
  • Jumbo sized frets
  • Five-way selector switch
  • Limited life time warranty
  • Comes with a Taylor T5Z hard shell case
  • Comes strung with Elixir Nanoweb electric guitar strings (.011-.049)

What are the genres of music the best to play on the T5Z?

The T5Z produces a strong, yet clear tone, that really highlight frequencies that are in the midrange. If you are looking for a guitar that has a heavy bass sound, the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric is not the guitar for you.

When playing chords on this guitar, I noticed that all of the chords that I played had a warm ring to them with a slow decay, which was really pleasant to listen to.

I also tried finger style playing on the T5 and found that each melody line that I played really sung out nicely, without being
too overpowering.

When unplugged, this acoustic electric doesn’t have a whole ton of volume. While this guitar will be great to apply in genres that feature acoustic guitars, such as country,

I would not say that this guitar is great to use if you’re planning on doing a lot of unplugging acoustic sessions.

If you are looking for a guitar to use when practicing, recording, or writing songs with, the T5Z will suit you perfectly.

Since this is an acoustic electric guitar, I find that this would work perfectly with a lot of genres and would work the best with any recording that you’re looking to do in a studio.

I would not recommend that you purchase this guitar if you are looking to play the following genres:

  • Heavy metal/metal
  • Hard rock

These were the only two genres that I feel like the T5Z would not play with very well. Everything else, I know that T5Z will fit perfectly with!

Pros and Cons of the Taylor T5Z Acoustic Electric Guitar

Taylor-T5z-Classic-fr-2015

Pros:

  • -Comes with a left handed option
  • -Can be strung for left or right handed, at no extra charge
  • -100% made in the United States
  • -Cosmetically appealing
  • -Great for all genres, especially since this is an acoustic electric guitar
  • -Has a reduced size compare to the 2005 T5 release; the downsizing of the body gives this guitar a grand auditorium outline
  • -Comes with the ability to customize the appearance of your guitar. You can choose from: custom, which has a flamed Koa top with gold hardware, Pro Special Edition that has a two tone quilted maple top, Classic which comes with your standard mahogany top and a satin finish, and Pro, which has a curly maple top.
  • -Is pricey, with a $3,000 list price; however, it does have a $2,299 street value (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)

Cons:

  • Is pricey, with a $3,000 list price; however, it does have a $2,299 street value
  • A lot of people have the mindset that the T5Z is an acoustic guitar first and an electric guitar second, when in fact, it’s the other way around.

Other Guitars to Alternatives to Consider

Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Electric sports a laminated mahogany top, back, and sides, which provides the tonality of the guitar with a warm and rich voice.

This guitar also has a rosewood fingerboard, vintage-style open-gear tuners, Fender’s advanced scalloped bracing, and a maple neck.

The Scalloped X Bracing helps to increase the resonance of the CD-60, as well as to expand the reach of its volume and tone.By using laminated mahogany provides the guitar with a professional look, as well as a bold and rich sound.

Using laminated wood instead of real mahogany ensures that the guitar is light weight for beginners to feel comfortable playing, as well as being in a price range that’s comfortable for all levels of users to afford.

Conclusion

While the Taylor T5Z Classic Acoustic Electric guitar has the appearance of an acoustic guitar, this instrument was created to be a high performing hybrid of both acoustic and
electric guitars.

The only thing that I have to say about this guitar is that if you are considering investing into this instrument, I would highly recommend that you invest in two separate electric and acoustic rigs, in order to get the most of this guitar’s capabilities.

Top Four Best Five String Bass Guitars on The Market Today

Top Four Best Five String Bass Guitars on The Market Today  

When shopping around for a five stringed bass guitar, there are many different factors that you should take into consideration before making a
final purchase.

In case you weren’t aware, the biggest thing that sets a five stringed bass guitar apart from a four stringed bass guitar is the low string (known as the B string); this is the fat string that will need some extra, as sometimes the size of the string can cause some damage to the
fret board.

You really only have to worry about this if you’re purchasing a cheap bass guitar or don’t really ever take care of your guitars.

When going shopping for your new five string bass guitar, you need to look for a guitar that has an extra low amount of fret noise; this is in order to make sure that the B string produces the least amount of fuzz as possible.

If you’re looking for extra help controlling the lower strings, finding a bass guitar with an on board EQ is always a great bonus. Having an EQ will allow you to have more control over the tonal options, which allows you to experiment with your sound.

What makes a good bass guitar?

In all honesty, there are so many things that go into creating a great bass guitar. You could probably write a length novel about all of the different things that go into creating a good
bass guitar.

However, the word ‘good’ is a term that is loosely defined and can mean different things to different people. For me, one of the most important things that goes into making a good bass guitar is the types of woods that are used to make the neck and the body of the guitar.

For example, cheaper bass guitars use inexpensive woods such as alder or basswood. However, more expensive bass guitars will use maple or mahogany.

However, if a guitar is/isn’t equipped with these woods or any other special factors shouldn’t be the make or break for you. Before making any final decision on one singular bass guitar, you should head over to your local guitar shop to try playing different bass guitars that use different tone woods.

For example, a bass guitar that is built with mahogany is going to produce a warmer sound than a bass guitar that’s built with swamp ash, which produces a brighter sound compared to mahogany. Just from the different pickup options alone, you are going to find many different choices of bass guitars to choose from, which can become pretty overwhelming.

You can choose from either hum buckers or single coil bass guitars, as well as an active or a passive design. Single coil bass guitars are a classic bass guitar pick up that have one coil and one magnet, that produces an even and bright sound.

On the other hand, hum buckers have a rounded and fatter sound; a lot of musicians really enjoy using the hum bucker because it helps to cancel out any background interference, but the sound that the hum bucker produces at higher volumes can sound a bit muddy.

Why are there a different number of strings?

The first electric bass guitar that was ever produced was created with four strings; for a long period of time, that’s all there were, were four string bass guitars.

The reason why there are more strings on a bass guitar is to add more range to the instrument; having a larger range means that musicians are able to play further into the bass range or even the treble range.

Another added benefit of having a bass guitar with more than four strings is that your hands don’t have to work as hard shifting around the neck of the bass guitar as much.

Five and six stringed guitars really began to take off in the 1980s, as bassists were in huge competition with electric keyboards.

A lot of bass guitarists were being replaced in bands by computers and keyboards, as they had more of a range than a standard four string bass guitar did. In order to keep up with the competition, bassists began to add more strings to their guitars, in order to have a
broader range.

The fifth string that bass players added allowed the musicians to reach further into the bass range, while the sixth string allowed musicians to reach into the treble range with more ease.

How many strings is enough for me?

There truly is no definitive answer for this question, as you can choose between a four stringed bass, a five stringed bass, or a six stringed bass. The decision you end up making will ultimately depend on your budget, your experience, and your style.

If you are just starting out playing bass guitar, I personally suggest that you stick with a four stringed bass guitar, especially if you have no musical experience whatsoever. Just sticking with four guitar strings will keep your learning experience simple and less aggregating.

There are still a whole range of notes and chords that you can play on four strings; most famous rock and metal bands have a bass guitar that only has four strings.

Having less strings means that you have less to worry about when you’re performing live, which means that you can enjoy rocking out even more. Also, playing on a four stringed bass guitar really will allow new musicians to refine proper playing techniques, as well as having the ability to develop a personal playing style.

On the other hand, if you have some musical experience, preferably with a bass guitar ,you can upgrade to a five or six string bass guitar. Five strings will allow you to play more notes than the four string guitar, but the six string bass guitar will allow you to play the most notes out of all three options.

Your fingers are going to do have to do a lot more stretching around the neck of the guitar, which is going to take some practice, especially if you’re not used to laying a guitar with that many strings.

If you’ve never played bass guitar, I would highly recommend that you start out on a four stringed guitar. Even if you have experience playing an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, learning bass guitar will be a brand new experience where you’re going to have to learn to shape and refine your playing techniques.

Five and six string guitars are really great to use if you’re looking to specifically play metal, heavy metal, or rock. Having the extra string will allow you to reach all of those lower notes without having to spend any time de-tuning and re-tuning your guitar.

Is a bass guitar harder to play when it has more strings?                                                            

Yes, a bass guitar is harder to play when it has more than four strings to play. You have more strings to keep control or, as well as more strings to memorize when playing without looking.

A lot of beginners don’t realize that there’s a lot more work when you have five or six strings to play, instead of just four; you have more strings that you have to worry about keeping quiet, while also making sure that the strings you’re playing have the notes ring out.

The more strings you have on a bass guitar, the closer the strings get, which makes playing certain styles like slap bass a lot more difficult.

The neck on the bass guitar will get wider and you have to have a higher accuracy rate; this means that you have to do more stretching and reaching on the neck of the bass with your fingers, which may be tricky if you have smaller hands.

I always suggest that beginners start out with four strings, because you can always switch up what you’re playing in the future, as switching from a four to six string isn’t too hard.

What is the difference between passive pickups and active pickup?

A passive pickup provides bass guitars with a more traditional bass guitar sound, since they’ve been around since the creation of the bass guitar. If you are a musician who is looking for a warm bass tone that has some punch to it, without having to sacrifice any dynamic range, the passive pickup is most likely the best pickup for you.

Active pickups are newer on the market and they typically come with built in preamps that are powered by separate energy sources, which are typically batteries. Active pickups provide musicians with a clear, bright, and large tone. The preamp that’s installed in the active pickup has a much large volume output compared to the passive pickup.

Your choice between an active pickup or a passive pickup is truly up to each bass guitarists individual taste. Personally, I highly suggest that you check out a bass guitar that has an active pickup and passive pickup to figure out which bass guitar you like better.

Yamaha TRBX505 TWH 5 String Premium Electric Bass Guitar

When you take into consideration of the price tag of the Yamaha TRBX505, which is priced at $549 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), and the quality and performance of the instrument, it’s not too shabby.

While I wouldn’t say that the overall performance and quality of the instrument is absolutely outstanding, you really can’t beat the performance it has for the price tag it comes with.

Spending under $1,000 for an decent quality bass guitar is hard to find, so I always tell my beginning bass guitar players to snatch this one up when they can.

The overall tone of this instrument is incredibly versatile, even fitting along with the sound of heavy metal and rock.

As for the electronics on the bass guitar, there is an on board three band EQ that allows the musician to make all sorts of adjustments, which is what makes this instrument so versatile; as long as you know how to make the proper adjustments, you can go to play pop music to heavy metal om the Yamaha TRBX505.

As for the physical make up of this bass guitar, the TRBX505 is incredibly user friendly, with beginning musicians in mind. This instrument is comprised of a solid mahogany body and a five piece mahogany and maple combo neck, with smooth black nickel hardware.

Ibanez BTB1405E Premium 5 String Electric Bass Guitar

Ibanez BTB1405E Premium 5 String Electric Bass Guitar

The Premium 5 String Electric Bass Guitar is a bit more expensive than some of the other articles that we talk about in this article, but there’s a good reason why. For just over a thousand dollars, you’re going to purchase yourself an electric bass guitar with active electronics, a set of two pickups, one of them which is a CAP double hum bucker pickup.

The CAP double hum bucker is attached to a three way switch that is in total control of the electronics department, which gives you the ability to choose between three audio presets that are extremely different from each other.

On top of that, you can make additional adjustments with the on board three band EQ, which really gives you an endless amount of adjustments to the sound that your instrument produces.

There’s a very distinctive groove and warmth that comes from this bass guitar, which you would expect to find in a guitar that’s priced at $1,099 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here). A great little bonus that comes with this bass guitar, is that there is a unique cling that comes from the sound of the guitar, which gives you the ability to create and build upon your own unique sound and style.

Peavey Millennium 5 String Trans Black

For $449 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), you can purchase yourself a bass guitar for an inexpensive price tag that wasn’t made with cheap materials.

Personally, my favorite part of the Peavey Millennium is the finish, as I find it very attractive in cosmetic standards. Picking up this instrument and starting to play it, you might be a bit surprised by the warm low end with a punchy mid-range.

As for the physical makeup of this guitar, you’ll find that the Peavey Millennium is comprised of a maple neck with a classic rose wood fret board, a 34 inch scale, a basswood body, a two-way tension rod that’s completely adjustable, and a quilt maple top.

The electronics department for this guitar is a bit exciting, as the Peavey Millennium has a set of two straight single coil pickups and a set of three control knobs that allow you to adjust volume and tone.

Fender Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar

 

                             

If you’re looking for a bass guitar that will pair will with blues, rock, funk, jazz, or pop, you’ve come to the right guitar. For $725 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) you can purchase yourself an extremely bass guitar, the Fender Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar.

The sound that this guitar produces is very unique and distinctive; the Fender produced a soothing and mellow sound that pairs so well with many genres of music. After playing this bass guitar, I wouldn’t suggest this bass for any metal or heavy metal; however, it does pair well with all other genres.

This guitar is cosmetically appealing with a neck that’s a bit bigger than the standard sized bass guitar neck; if you have larger sized hands, you’ll have a lot easier time playing the neck of this guitar without your hands cramping.

There is a three band active EQ installed in the electronics on this bass guitar, which will allow you to make any type of sound adjustment to your guitar that your heart could desire.

Some considerations to make before buying a bass guitar

As you’ve read in this article, there are so many different things to think about before purchasing your new bass guitar, whether it’s your very first or your hundredth bass guitar purchase! You can choose to buy a new or used bass guitar, which only adds onto the list of difficult decisions you have to make before making a purchase.

Buying a used bass guitar does come with a bit more risk; just make sure that you if you are purchasing a used bass guitar, to purchase it from a reputable guitar store and not a thrift store or a flea market. You can always return your bass guitar to a guitar store if you’re unhappy with your purchase!

I always strongly recommend that before you make any purchase, you go to a guitar store, you try out different guitars to find one that you truly love. You really want to make sure you find one that you’re totally in love with, because if you end up being unhappy with your purchase, you’re not going to want to practice on your new instrument.

Is TrueFire the Best Guitar Instruction Website?

Is TrueFire the Best Guitar Instruction Website?

I really struggle with online guitar instruction websites.

Not in any technical sense – I know how to use a website! But even as somebody who has developed their career online, I struggle with the idea that this is the best solution.

There’s a good chance that I’m just showing my age. I come from the generation of guitarists that wanted to be the next Noel Gallagher, had a few lessons from a local guitar teacher, and off I went doing my own thing, none of which led to being the next Noel Gallagher.

The internet wasn’t really a viable resource when I was learning. I remember the owner of the local guitar shop saying “have you got the internet at home?” – I have it right in my pocket, all the time now, but it was a perfectly legitimate question back then.

But now, we live in the future, and there’s an onslaught of websites claiming to help you learn! And obviously, each one is claiming to be better than the other.

Here, we’ll take a look at one called TrueFire.

Core features and specs

truefire guitar lessons

Like many online guitar instruction sites, TrueFire tries to cram an awful lot of stuff in. I appreciate why they do that – they want to offer more stuff than their competitors – but it makes cynical guys like me immediately think “Is this a jack-of-all-trades, master of none scenario?”

Let me take you through the stuff they offer.

  • Instructional video lessons
  • Discounts on instruction books
  • One-on-one lessons
  • Backing tracks for you to play along with
  • Apps for you to follow courses when you’re out and about
  • Video jam tracks where you control the mix

I’ll be honest they might have more stuff – as I say, they’re trying to cram quite a bit in here, so it’s easy to miss things.

This will work well for…

online private guitar lessons

This is a difficult one to answer – I feel like it’s got something for everyone!

I would say this would get the most use from beginners and intermediate players, but there does seem to be quite a bit on offer for experienced players too.

In saying that, it will depend on the experienced player in question. Some experienced players will be like “Lol, I know I’m great, I don’t need to a stinking computer telling me what to do.”

Whereas others might be inclined to feel like you can never stop learning, or can never know enough, or might want to find out some more about another style or have some point of their playing they feel a little polishing on.

It will also – and this is probably very obvious – work well for those who are comfortable learning from a screen. That isn’t everybody.

Another possibly excessively obvious point is that even if you go through all levels of lessons on this, it’s lessons, it’s based on other people’s work, and it’s incredibly prescriptive.

This may not work so well if you favor more experimental guitar sounds like maybe Tom Morello or Jack White.

Pricing options

So, the thing with TrueFire, unlike other online guitar instruction platforms, is that you pay for what you use.

It’s completely free to sign up and register an account with them, and then the cost can vary wildly depending on what you want to do. One-to-one tuition can go as high or as low as the tutor themselves want to charge.

This will be a weird compromise between what level of skill they’re offering to teach you, and how much you’re willing to pay. The lower the level it is that’s being taught, the less it’s likely to cost.

Think of it this way: if a teacher charges $10 for a beginner lesson, and has 100 students, that’s $1,000. If only 25 of those 100 beginner students keep with the guitar until they become experienced, that’s a massive drop in that teacher’s income.

The self-instruction courses might suit some learners better. These vary pretty wildly. Some of them got up to $30 or $40, but there’s usually a sale to be found so you don’t end up paying quite that much.

Other things you can pay for as you go along.

Features

online teaching sessions

The instructions and ability to take lessons online are cool if that’s how you like to learn.

For me, one of my favorite features is the jam tracks. I guess this feature is pretty squarely aimed at intermediate and experienced guitarists.

Straight off, you get 200 backing tracks of various styles, tempos, and keys for you to jam along to. For $19.95, you’re allowed to download those tracks. I find that an odd one, but I guess there’s some kind of demand for it. In an era of Spotify and other streaming sites, do people even download MP3s anymore?

It has a blog which seems to primarily focus on lesson related listicles. It looks like it’s updated regularly too – that’s nice to see.

It has a forum, where I guess you can chat with other users about progress, queries, sharing ideas about technique and gear, and complain about things. You know, usual forum stuff!

It seems fairly hidden away, which I find odd, but one of the things that TrueFire has that I thought would have been front and center of its promotion, is the big name teachers that it has. I haven’t been able to work out if they’re exclusive video lesson to TrueFire, but they have stuff from Steve Vai, Larry Carlton, and Tommy Emmanuel.

Usability

I generally consider the usability of a product in terms of its life cycle: how long will a customer want to use this for.

And I’m honestly struggling to figure that out for TrueFire!

In terms of actual use, if you can navigate any other website, you can find your way around this one.

Like, sure, it’s free to sign up, and it has a limited number of free stuff to do. But after that, things can look a little pricey, especially if you’re a kid looking to spend your pocket money.

But, in saying that, you can find some pretty great deals, plus, once you’ve spent the money, it should keep you busy for a few weeks, meaning it’ll likely work out much cheaper than going to an actual local guitar tutor.

There’s also the issue of any self-learning platform: student discipline. You really have to commit to it, and designate time for it every day or week, or whatever you can or want. If you can’t manage that, you can’t blame TrueFire!

It’s probably a good idea to try the free lessons before handing over cash, even if it’s way below your ability level, just to make sure this learning style is something that will keep you engaged.

Pros Cons
  • A more affordable alternative to in-person guitar instruction
  • Ideal for those who don’t have access to local guitar lessons
  • All the standard styles are there, like rock and blues
  • The free lessons are useful for getting a feel for the platform
  • The jam tracks are cool, especially the videos
  • It may not be the best learning method for everyone
  • Self-discipline is very much required!
  • It can look pricey to a young beginner


In Conclusion

Learning Paths

I was so incredibly skeptical of TrueFire when I started this review, and I feel bad for that now.

If getting to lessons is a pain, and you really have the commitment to learning, I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t get a great deal out of this website.

I think the most important thing for it is a commitment, and that’s on you, not on TrueFire. It really is the sort of thing you need to just sit and do – a difficult task when you have a day job and family. When I’m doing something like that, I try and just get 20 minutes per day at it, which is still a challenge.

But I would definitely recommend checking out TrueFire, whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced player who wants to focus on one aspect of their playing.

The Ultimate Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar Review You’ll Love

The Ultimate Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar Review You’ll Love

Even if you hardly know anything about music, you know that Yamaha is a company that produces guitars- they’re just that famous.

Yamaha Guitars are pretty well known for producing acoustic guitars, but what a lot of people don’t seem to know is that Yamaha provides beginners with an excellent option for classical guitars.The Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar is a full-sized classical guitar that has been built with beginning guitarists in mind.

If you’re an advanced guitarist, I would suggest that you find a different classical guitar to look at. On the other hand, if you’re a beginning musician, the Yamaha C40 is perfect for you. If you are an experienced musician looking for a quality guitar with a low price tag, look
somewhere else.

The Yamaha C40 isn’t professional level quality, but I’m completing this review at the point of view as someone who has never owned a guitar before. The Yamaha C40 is the perfect guitar for anyone who is on an incredibly tight budget and doesn’t want to invest big bucks into an instrument they’re not sure they’re going to continue playing.

The Yamaha C40 is one of the least expensive full-sized classical guitars on the market today; if you’re especially keen to learn how to play classical, this guitar will give you everything you need as a beginner.

Core Features of the Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar

The Yamaha C40 is comprised of a spruce wood top, which is common to find on guitars at this price range. The sides and back of this guitar are made from Meranti; all the wood on this guitar is laminate, which does not have the same quality of projection as a solid wood guitar.

However, this is a beginner guitar, so there are some cuts that companies have to make in order to make this instrument affordable.

Like most classical guitars, the neck on this instrument is wide and is sporting a Nato wood with a rose wood fret board. This guitar comes with nineteen frets and a scale length of
25.9 inches.

If you are someone who has smaller sized hands or are purchasing this instrument for a child, the neck is going to be a bit difficult to play, because it is so wide, since it’s a
classical guitar.

The headstock is round, which is what you should expect to see on a typical classical guitar. The head stock has six chrome YTM-01 tuning pegs on it.

As for the sound the Yamaha C40 produces, this guitar comes with a high action that is adjustable, in case you don’t like a high action guitar. The original strings aren’t great quality, but the tuners are in great shape, which helps to provide incredible stability and intonation.

Best Genres to Play the C40 with

Since this is a classical guitar, the only genre that this guitar would be best to play with is flamenco and over finger style genres.

Does the Yamaha C40 work as advertised?

Yes, the Yamaha C40 does work as advertised; this is a beginner’s guitar and the C40 works exactly as any other beginner guitar does. The sound that the C40 produces lays a great foundation for future playing, as it serves as an instrument that’s sufficient enough to
practice on.

If you have been playing guitar for a long time and have more of a professional ear on you, you will notice that this guitar sounds more muted and doesn’t project as well as some guitars.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Name brand

Cons:

  •  – High action
  • – Muted sound

Alternative guitars to consider:

Ibanez AEG10NII – Did you know that Ibanez offers more than just bass guitars and electric guitars? Yes, they do! The Ibanez AEG10NII is a classical nylon stringed guitar that’s meant to really perform.

The body of the AEG10NII shares the same exact body as the AEG10II, which is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar. The AEG10NII has a slender feel and a very traditional look with a 2.75-inch body depth and a single cutaway.

Ibanez chose to use spruce as the top for this guitar and mahogany for the sides and back as their choice of tone woods. There are two color options that customers can choose from and both of these colors come with a high gloss finish.

The neck is comprised of mahogany and has a satin finish, with a rosewood fret board, and twenty-one fret. The neck itself is lightweight but feels very solid and comfortable to play when in your hand.

This is an electric acoustic guitar that comes with the Ibanez’s AEQ-SP1 preamp and a Fishman Sonicore pickup. The combo of these two electric devices really allows musicians versatility when it comes to live stage performances.

All of the controls on this guitar are very simple; treble, middle, and bass have their own knobs, as well as a phase reserve switch and a volume control knob. The phase reserve switch is for players to use to reduce feed back when their guitar is plugged in.

The AEG10NII has a very balance sound that’s nice and crisp, without being too deep. The EQ and other controls on the guitar allow you to adjust the sound to how you would want it to be in order to achieve in effect or tone that you are looking for, which makes this guitar
extremely versatile.

Ibanez AW54CE- The Ibanez AW54CE is a guitar that is from the Art wood series; Ibanez made sure that this instrument not only was affordable to players of all financial backgrounds, but that it also had a performance that even famous professionals would be impressed with.

The body and neck of this beauty, the AW54CE has a classical dreadnought shaped body that has a 25.6 inch scale length, as well as a single cut away.

When this beauty is unplugged, it has a rich tone that’s absolutely stunning. Due to the shape of this guitar’s body as well as the combo of the solid mahogany top, the AW54CE has a lot of natural projection and resonance to provide in a performance.

While that may scare some people, there is also X bracing in this guitar, which allows players who are looking for a more articulate sound to receive that. Not much changes when this guitar is plugged in; everything sounds the same, but there is a slight limitation on your controls.

Conclusion

The Yamaha C40 is one of the best choices any beginning classical guitarist can buy into.  There are a lot of amazing qualities to this guitar that make it a truly incredible guitar, especially considering the low price tag on the instrument.

I highly recommend this guitar to any first time beginner who is looking to learn classical guitar. Even though this is a name brand guitar, it’s very affordable, and is a lot better quality than any guitar you can find online that doesn’t have a brand name attached.

Personally, I believed that the strings need to be replaced because the original strings sound very muted. Once you have had time to learn your guitar, you’ll probably want to replace your strings, but you shouldn’t feel the need to right away. This will be a great guitar to use just as a practice guitar, even after you’ve learned to play.

Gibson Learn and Master Guitar Review

Gibson Learn and Master Guitar Lessons: My Comprehensive Review

If you’re interested in purchasing a DVD course for learning the guitar, you’ve come to the right place. Out of all of the DVD instruction classes that I’ve purchased, the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar was the best one that I’ve ever purchased.

I often recommend these DVDs to my students who are looking to learn some extra work while they’re not having their private lessons. I can always tell which students have practiced with the Gibson Learn and Master review because I can physically see and hear the difference in their playing capabilities.

With your purchase of the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar, you will receive:

  • Twenty DVDs
  • Five Jam Along Audio CDs
  • 108 Page Work Book
  • Forty Hours of Instruction

Each lesson is divided into three different parts; some lessons have video tip sections, practice sections, and play along sections. Below, I have a list of some of the topics that the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar talks about:

  • Reading Music
  • Chords
  • Strumming
  • How to read tablature
  • Finger picking
  • Bending
  • Tapping
  • Slides
  • Ear training
  • Styles
  • Scales
  • The Basics
  • Solo playing
  • How to play Classical, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, and Country

Personally, I believe that this course would be perfect for any beginning guitarist to take. Each lesson allows you to learn at your own pace, which is critical for beginning guitarists. All of the basics are covered with these DVDs and each lesson goes into thorough detail.

However, I also believe that this course would be a great brush up course for an intermediate or advanced player, especially if you don’t know how to read music, don’t know any music theory, or don’t know your scales.

The DVDs

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Each DVD is taught by the same guitar teacher, Steve. Steve does an incredible job of keeping a steady progressive rhythm with the DVDs; they don’t go too fast or too slow.

At the beginning of each lesson, Steve will introduce a new topic or lesson, talk about some of the common questions that are associated with this new topic, and show you how to properly execute each lesson.

There is an up-close view of Steve playing the guitar; one camera is focused on his left hand, while the other camera is focused on his right. This allows beginners to be able to understand how Steve is executing the new lesson that is being taught.

After the lesson, Steve will give you as an assignment for the next session. He takes time after the lesson to go over the most important details and points that you should practice before you go onto the next lesson.

There is also a work shop section in the DVDs that allow you to practice the assignment material along with Steve, which allows beginners to hear and see the exercises that they
are practicing.

There are ten guitar lesson DVDs that educate beginners on core guitar subjects. However, there are also ten additional work shop DVDs that have more bonus material in them. On these ten disks, there are twenty sessions of extra practice material that allow you to truly master the lessons and concepts you were taught on the first ten DVDs.

The CDs

Along with your purchase of the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course, you will also receive five Jam Along CDs that you can use to help you practice; all of the exercises that are in the book that you receive are played at three different speeds (slow, medium, and fast) to help
you learn.

The Book

The Gibson Learn and Master Guitar also comes with a 108 paged book that discuses all of the lessons and exercises that you learned on the DVDs. The book has been divided into sessions that correlate to the DVD’s lessons, which gives the book a very clear lay out that is very easy to follow and read.

Is it worth it?

If you are beginning guitar player, yes! If you’ve never learned how to read tablature, sheet music, or don’t know much about musical notation, I would also suggest this course for you. However, if you are an intermediate or advanced player who knows how to read tab or sheet music, I would suggest that you look for a different course.

Th Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course really does a thorough job of teaching the fundamentals of playing guitar and Gibson thoroughly focuses on reading your standard music notation. If for some strange reason, you don’t want to learn how to read tablature or sheet music, this is also not the course for you.

I also want to warn beginners who are thinking about purchasing this course that just like all other courses, the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course is more of a summary of playing guitar and doesn’t go into deep, direct detail of specific techniques or lessons.

This course is not going to teach you everything about playing guitar, in other words. Think of this course to be more of a crash course of learning how to play different music styles, such as Finger style, Jazz, and Rock.

My biggest complaint about the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course is the price. I believe that this course is a bit pricey, especially for beginners.

This is not a budget guitar learning course, but if you think about the quality of the lessons you’re learning, as well as all of the learning materials you’re receiving, it’s pretty affordable. The cost of this course is equivalent to what a month of private lessons would cost a beginner.

With that said, this course is often on sale. Even if you decide to not purchase it while it’s on sale, Gibson does offers customers to break up the payment and pay for the course over a period of four months.

If you’re totally unhappy with the course, Gibson offers a No Risk Guarantee, which will allow beginners to return the course after 60 days in order to receive a full refund of the original purchasing price.

Another Alternative to Consider

Jamplay Guitar Lessons-

JamPlay is another course that offers online lessons that are similar to the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar program. However, JamPlay was created with the idea of more than just a beginners needs in mind.

JamPlay has lessons for guitarists of all different levels in their program, as well as offering a lot of different choices for musicians to pick from, such as what genres to learn, who you want your instructor to be, and much more!

Conclusion

All in all, I personally think that the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar is a quality learning system with lessons that really put a lot of focus into reading music and music theory. I believe that a lot of the learning systems that are out in today’s market don’t focus enough on music theory or reading music, which sets u- a lot of guitarists for failure in the future.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate guitarist, or even an advanced player who doesn’t know how to read music, I think that this course would do you extremely beneficial. If you are an experienced guitar player who can read music, I would suggest that you look into a different lesson program.

The biggest complaint that I have about the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar is that I wish there were more features on the guitar. When I used this program, I looked through it with the eyes of a beginner and I wished that there had been a separate chord library and a separate
scale library.

It would have been very helpful to have a chart to go back to that had all of the scales and chords listed on it.

That’s it for this review of the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar. I hope you’ve enjoyed
today’s article!

Search Is Jamorama Worth Your Time and Effort?

Is Jamorama Worth Your Time and Effort?

I like to be honest in reviews, so let me say straight off that I had never heard of Jamorama before I needed to review it. I have to say, approaching it, I was a mixed mindset of intrigued and skeptical.

This predominantly came from the way it labels itself as a social network for guitarists. I don’t know why that would even be a thing. I’m a guitarist and I use the usual social networks, and never felt the need for one just for my playing.

Reading more, I saw that it was designed to help guitarist learn, and set points in their progress that could be regarded as achievements. I thought that was interesting, and thought that would be a more valuable attribute than a social network.

Core features and specs

The main thing that Jamorama focuses on is community, and learning as others learn.  I guess I can see how some new guitarists might like that. When I was learning to play it was all about dial-up and videos were barely feasible!

Jamorama themselves identify their key benefits to guitarists as follows:

  • Profile achievements
  • Messages for you to chat privately with other users
  • Course introduction video to set you in the right mindset for what you’re about to do
  • Discussion forums so you can chat openly with other users
  • Activity posts so you can share what you’re up to
  • A list of other learners who are online
Jamorama has a free version and a paid version. The paid version is a one-off fee of $99.95, and includes additional lessons, backing tracks and supplementary learning materials. The free version seems to be only for acoustic guitar, while the paid version includes more electric-orientated stuff, such as speed picking and blues classes.

There are also a few video lessons for specific songs.

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This will work well for…

Just considering the basic, free version, it’s definitely aimed at beginners, and despite my own misgivings, I can see how a lot of newbie guitarists would benefit from what’s on offer here.

If somebody is set on learning on guitar, but live somewhere without a teacher, or a good teacher, or if it’s too far or too difficult to travel, or for any other reason that the can’t take an actual class, the free version of Jamorama will easily get them up and running.

The fact that it’s free could even be an alternative to paying for lessons. Considering what’s on offer in that context, a quick look through Craigslist shows that guitar lessons are really expensive. Granted, I’m in New York where everything is expensive – I feel like I should pay $20 just for waking up in the morning.

Obviously, the cost of a lesson every week varies wildly depending on location, quality of tuition, length of class, number of other students, but just shy of $100 for a one off fee is going to be pretty hard to beat.

Pricing options

As mentioned, Jamorama has two options: a free one, for which you’ll never have to pay anything, and a paid version with a one-off fee of $99.95.

I feel like this is quite a jump, especially for kids without much money. I can’t help but feel like a freemium model, with gradual increases to more content, or at least a pay monthly option would be more appropriate. In saying that, I’d question the life cycle of the additional features available for the paid version. I’m not convinced that it would keep a budding guitarist busy for even a year.

Features

 

jamorama-guitar

The main feature of Jamorama is the lessons they have available. They start with pretty basic stuff like chords, and some basic guitar maintenance.

Each course is split into a number of parts, labelled as weeks, with the idea that you should complete one section per week to complete that course. For example, the first course is called Beginner Guitar Method – Stage 1. It provides materials for you to take over five weeks. The course materials are a combination of instructional videos, and PDFs for you to download or print.

It includes a blog section, but this doesn’t require membership. Blog posts are categorized into lessons, gear, artists and news. Firstly, this somewhat devalues the blog for paid members, and secondly, it hasn’t been updated since 2016.

The song lessons available are limited, but have a simple version and advanced version: all acoustic interpretations, aimed at getting beginners playing popular songs that they might be familiar with, but equally, stuff that’s ready available on YouTube anyway.  It also has a forum section for you to say hi and chat with other learners.

Usability

Jamarama is trying to do a lot of little things. It’s certainly an ambitious approach, and I really can’t fault the navigability of its interface. Everything is easy to find – if you’ve used the internet, you can use this.

The instructional videos are helpful, and the advice they provide is absolutely solid. I mean, solid as in guitar playing is so old, with so many different types of player, there are a million opinions on how things should be done, so nobody is ever really right, but the advice provided on Jamorama is definitely a good base point.

The one thing that may hinder the usability is the limited content that I mentioned earlier. Like, it surely won’t take much longer than a year to complete the courses they have listed in the free and aid versions? I’m not sure that kind of limited life cycle makes it a sustainable option.

I mean, what do you do when you’ve spent your $100 and you finish all the courses? Chat with others on the forum? There are plenty of places you can do that for free.

Conclusion

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I understand the intention behind Jamorama, I really do.  Unfortunately, I’m far from convinced that it’s necessary, especially when you part with $100 for it.

It ties together video lessons and written instructions, a forum, a blog, and all kind of resources. But these are all things that are available elsewhere. On separate sites, sure, but mostly dedicated to what they do, meaning you get players of all levels, from all kinds of experiences.

With Jamorama, because it’s aimed at beginners, I feel like the pool of knowledge is going to be limited, and given the inexperience of the target audience, more likely to be have incorrect information.

Further, it’s not encouraging that the blog hasn’t been updated since last year, and even then, updates seemed sporadic at best.

I do like the gamification of it, where you can achieve certain things. But, as you decide yourself when you’ve played something well enough to move on, does that even count? It’s like ticking a box to say you’re older than you really are when you’re going onto some websites – there’s nobody that can check!

In saying that, I see how it might benefit somebody who does not have access to lessons with an actual guitar teacher, and I would recommend them to at least try it, and see how they get on. But this website is not going to create the next Van Halen.

I feel like listening to great guitarists, aspiring to sound like them, practicing until you do, then making it your own, is a decades old route to guitar mastery that isn’t going to be replaced by any website anytime soon.

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