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Subject: A couple of really stupid guitar questions rss

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Chris B
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Alright, so I've been playing guitar for about 4 weeks now. I've been trying to practice every day. Some days I might play for about a half an hour, some days for only 10 or 15 minutes or so. Usually at least once a day, sometimes two or three times.

My fingers are good now (Although it feels weird to type now as I have less feeling in the calloused fingers, the iPad/iPhone are a little harder to use left handed as well)

I'm still having a lot of fun with it. I still really suck and can't play any complete songs or anything yet. I can sometimes make a part of a song sound good, but usually make a lot of mistakes.

I can read the top four lines/three spaces of the treble clef now and hit those notes fairly well, but I have some trouble with the ledger lines for the low strings.

As far as Chords, I know maybe 10 or 11, and I can play them alright now, but I can't switch them very well at all yet.

None of this matters, but mainly what it says is that yes, I feel like I'm making some progress. I said I'm still having fun with it. I'm completely self taught at this time. I have signed up for a beginning guitar class next month at the local university's community outreach center. I can't wait for that.

Because of this, I ended up buying a real guitar. I liked the looks of the Les Pauls and ended up buying an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, which was reasonably priced and sounded okay to my ears, though I don't know much about them yet. I also bought a real amp, rather than the pack in that came with my boxed set that you usually give to christmas kids, etc.

Now, for the really dumb questions. Just so I don't look totally stupid to the guitar shop dudes.

I almost got a Fender Stratocaster instead of the Epiphone Les Paul. I couldn't decide. But my learning guitar was les paul style, so I decided to stick with it. Also, Fender was really confusing with the choices I was being bombarded with. I might still get one eventually, as the word is, they are better for the type of music I want to play (cleanish classic rock, blues, country) Whereas the Les Pauls are metal. The neck on the Fenders felt easier (thinner) than the Les Paul Standard, plus they were way lighter, The body was also thinner as well. but in the end, I went with the blue one cuz it looked pretty and I thought I could learn to play it.

What is the purpose of an amp stand? Why do I need one, I just had mine sitting on the floor before, is that not ideal.

The amp I bought has an open back. Was I supposed to buy a cover for it? I can't see dust really hurting this all that much.

How do I know when to change the strings? I read that you should be changing them ever two or three weeks, That seems excessive. I saw a youtube video demonstrating differences in old strings and new strings. The old strings sounded fine, then they played the new strings, and they sounded better, but had I not known better, I would have been quite happy with the old strings.

What is an effects loop? Like physically? The amp has all the effects built in, why would I need a loop there. Is that so I can get one of those loop pedal things to play and have the pedal keep playing, that's what I was hoping for when I bought my amp, (And why I chose one with the effects loop)

I've searched on google and they say that it's a great way to practice because you can accompany yourself, and hear how you sound, without playing.

But those loop pedals kind of look expensive. So I want to make sure of how they work before I drop even more money on something else. If I use effects (on the amp) and record to a loop pedal in the effects loop, is this after all the sound adjustments the amp makes, or before. So can I accompany an overdriven sound with clean amp setting by changing the preset.

Thanks for indulging my asking the collective thoughts of Chit Chat about these. So I don't get laughed out of a guitar forum, and I don't have to create a username/password for some other site.

I have so many amp questions it's unbelievable right now. I'm still reading wikipedia, trying to figure out what the hell all these things are. I am correct in assuming that with the amp I bought I would never need a pedal board. That is just for the old amps that didn't have all those built in right? I know when I download some of those presets online, the sounds are pretty close to the songs I hear, that I'm trying to emulate.

Last Question. The site Ultimate Tabs, has a way to look at and play songs. I looked up imperial march, which sounds only partially right. I'm assuming that that is to be expected of most of the online sites, They probably have to be wrong in order to not violate laws? Or maybe I'm just not playing it right. Which is very possible. But it seems to be pretty straightforward. Push down the string at this number.
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Rich Shipley
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SybotCB wrote:
I can read the top four lines/three spaces of the treble clef now and hit those notes fairly well, but I have some trouble with the ledger lines for the low strings.


You're ahead of me there. I can puzzle through regular notation, but tablature is easier.

Quote:
As far as Chords, I know maybe 10 or 11, and I can play them alright now, but I can't switch them very well at all yet.


Just takes lots of practice. You learn the open chords, then the barre chords so you can move around the neck. See if you can find a cheap set of the Fretboard Logic books. They do a good job of this and scales and many other things.

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Also, Fender was really confusing with the choices I was being bombarded with. I might still get one eventually, as the word is, they are better for the type of music I want to play (cleanish classic rock, blues, country) Whereas the Les Pauls are metal.


Lots of rock and blues and even some country played on LPs too. The main difference is the pickups - humbuckers vs. single coil. You can actually rewire the guitar with a switch (a pull up volume/tone is a good way to do this) to make a humbucker into a passable single coil. If you are handy with eletrical stuff, get a copy of The Guitar Handbook for lots of wiring ideas. Otherwise a guitar tech can do it.

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What is the purpose of an amp stand? Why do I need one, I just had mine sitting on the floor before, is that not ideal.


An amp stand will direct the speaker toward you more. This mostly affects higher frequencies. You can also just sit the amp on a table.

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The amp I bought has an open back. Was I supposed to buy a cover for it? I can't see dust really hurting this all that much.


You can cover it if you don't want it dusty. Doesn't make much difference otherwise.

Quote:
How do I know when to change the strings? I read that you should be changing them ever two or three weeks, That seems excessive. I saw a youtube video demonstrating differences in old strings and new strings. The old strings sounded fine, then they played the new strings, and they sounded better, but had I not known better, I would have been quite happy with the old strings.


When I was learning, I changed them when I busted one. Get something to clean the strings with (cloth and alcohol works, but careful with the fretboard and finish) and they will last a long while. Also clean the fretboard once in a while - I use Lem-Oil.

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What is an effects loop? Like physically? The amp has all the effects built in, why would I need a loop there. Is that so I can get one of those loop pedal things to play and have the pedal keep playing, that's what I was hoping for when I bought my amp, (And why I chose one with the effects loop)


That's a looper. An effect loop is an output after the guitar signal is pre-amplified (and maybe onboard effects, you'll have to check) where you can use external effects and then feed the signal back into the power amp section. This is where you would put a looper pedal if you had one.

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So can I accompany an overdriven sound with clean amp setting by changing the preset.


If your effects loop is post onboard effects, yes. There may be a block diagram in the manual (or online) that would show you this.

Quote:
I am correct in assuming that with the amp I bought I would never need a pedal board. That is just for the old amps that didn't have all those built in right? I know when I download some of those presets online, the sounds are pretty close to the songs I hear, that I'm trying to emulate.


It depends on how creative you want to be. Onboard effects are never as flexible as outboard. Then there's digital vs. analog and solid-state/emulation vs. tubes vs. hybrid, but not too important when you are starting out.

Quote:
Last Question. The site Ultimate Tabs, has a way to look at and play songs. I looked up imperial march, which sounds only partially right. I'm assuming that that is to be expected of most of the online sites, They probably have to be wrong in order to not violate laws? Or maybe I'm just not playing it right. Which is very possible. But it seems to be pretty straightforward. Push down the string at this number.


Online tabs are just wrong much of the time, but it should be easy to fix (or at least play it how you like).

One more thing - guitars are typically not set-up very well from the factory. A guitar tech can get your guitar playing well. If you are handy, get a copy of How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! Setting the action at the nut and bridge, intonation, pickup height, and fixing high frets will make big difference in how easy it is to play and how it sounds.
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SybotCB wrote:

I almost got a Fender Stratocaster instead of the Epiphone Les Paul. I couldn't decide. But my learning guitar was les paul style, so I decided to stick with it. Also, Fender was really confusing with the choices I was being bombarded with. I might still get one eventually, as the word is, they are better for the type of music I want to play (cleanish classic rock, blues, country) Whereas the Les Pauls are metal. The neck on the Fenders felt easier (thinner) than the Les Paul Standard, plus they were way lighter, The body was also thinner as well. but in the end, I went with the blue one cuz it looked pretty and I thought I could learn to play it.


Stratocasters typically have single-coil pickups which can sound cleaner than the humbuckers that Les Pauls usually have. Single-coils almost always sound brighter. I wouldn't let it worry you too much, there's no reason you can't play most types of music on either guitar.

SybotCB wrote:

What is the purpose of an amp stand? Why do I need one, I just had mine sitting on the floor before, is that not ideal.


The primary reasons for an amp stand are:
* So it doesn't sit on the floor (some people care)
* So that the sound carries differently

The second on is more important. If you're sitting on a chair near your amp while it's on the floor, try backing about 15 feet away from it. It'll sound different. Amp stands tend to sit at an angle so that the sound is aimed more upwards, giving you a better idea of what the amp sounds like. In most cases it wouldn't matter much to an audience some distance away from you, but to you it may matter. Same reason that most stage monitor speakers aim upwards towards the person who needs to hear them.

SybotCB wrote:

The amp I bought has an open back. Was I supposed to buy a cover for it? I can't see dust really hurting this all that much.


There are different amp and cabinet styles. An open back is just one style, and you don't really need a cover. If it starts to get dirty just wipe it out with a dry cloth while it's off. The difference between open and closed back is the sound.

SybotCB wrote:

How do I know when to change the strings? I read that you should be changing them ever two or three weeks, That seems excessive. I saw a youtube video demonstrating differences in old strings and new strings. The old strings sounded fine, then they played the new strings, and they sounded better, but had I not known better, I would have been quite happy with the old strings.


When you're just starting out you can use the strings without changing for a pretty long time. As they get older they will sound different, usually "duller". They get dirty, stretch out, etc. You can get something like GHS Fast Fret to clean the strings which may help them sound better longer. As long as the strings are staying in tune, are clean, and sound good to you, you can keep using them. If you play every day I would still change them at a minimum 4 to 6 times a year though. It'll help you get used to restringing your guitar, and you'll start to develop an ear for new vs old and potentially different types of strings.

SybotCB wrote:

What is an effects loop? Like physically? The amp has all the effects built in, why would I need a loop there. Is that so I can get one of those loop pedal things to play and have the pedal keep playing, that's what I was hoping for when I bought my amp, (And why I chose one with the effects loop)


There's two primary ways to use aftermarket effects with your amp. One is to plug your guitar directly into the effects unit and then plug the effects unit into your amp. The other way is the effects loop. Using the effects loop may bypass certain parts of your amps internal circuitry so that you get a "pure" sound from the effects unit. Typically your guitar feeds into the amp, then the amp sends the sound through to the effects unit, then effects loop feeds the sound back to the amp, and the amp amplifies the sound. Different amps may work a little differently.

SybotCB wrote:

I've searched on google and they say that it's a great way to practice because you can accompany yourself, and hear how you sound, without playing.


The type of pedal you're talking about can be used in either of the ways I mentioned above, but will probably sound better using the effects loop.

There are other types of devices like the Line6 POD series that emulate different amp sounds. Since you may not want to color the sound the Line6 POD gives you with your amp's settings, the effects loop works best for those types of units.

SybotCB wrote:

But those loop pedals kind of look expensive. So I want to make sure of how they work before I drop even more money on something else. If I use effects (on the amp) and record to a loop pedal in the effects loop, is this after all the sound adjustments the amp makes, or before. So can I accompany an overdriven sound with clean amp setting by changing the preset.


Have the guys at the guitar shop give you the run-down on the different loop pedals. Using the effects loop probably means the amp won't affect the loop pedal sound. Using the effects loop between the guitar and the amp means the amp will affect the loop pedal sound (in this configuration the loop pedal is just looping the guitar itself before it goes to the amp).

You can combine effects in series, i.e. plug guitar into Effect A, then Effect A into Effect B, and so on. Where you place the effects pedals in series will have different effects on the sound. If you wanted to use your amp's settings on the loop pedal sound, you'd probably want to use the pedal between the guitar and amp. You could then use all your amp's presets, effects, and settings as normal.

SybotCB wrote:

Last Question. The site Ultimate Tabs, has a way to look at and play songs. I looked up imperial march, which sounds only partially right. I'm assuming that that is to be expected of most of the online sites, They probably have to be wrong in order to not violate laws? Or maybe I'm just not playing it right. Which is very possible. But it seems to be pretty straightforward. Push down the string at this number.


Push down the string at this number is right. Sometimes the tabs will have an alternate tuning (something other than EADGBE). If they say "DADGBE" at the beginning, that means the low E string is drop-tuned a whole step to the D below it.

The reason a lot of the tabs only sound partially right is usually because the person who uploaded the tab was only playing it partially right

Hope this helps.
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I am a musician, though a drummer who dabbles with keyboards and the vibes, so take this for what it's worth.

Les Paul's have a fatter, more mellow sound that tends to be more atmospheic and is thus perfect for most jazz and blues. Fender's tend to have a sharper, more attacking sound that is useful for creating fast, sharp passages. Rickenbacker's are somewhere in the middle of that, with a lot of "bounce" to their sound.

You replace strings when they break or look like they're about to. You can usually tell they're going bad when you cannot tune them properly; an electric tuner is highly recommended.

Do not worry about getting any effects pedals until you get your chops down, as relying on them will likely minimize your progress.

Speaking of progress, the best way to build up your chops is to practise scales and arpeggios. The more you do this, the quicker you will be able to pick up melodies. Also, get either a metronome or some other means to keep time, such as a drum machine, as learning to do something on top of a rhythm or over a certain period will allow you to see where the notes and chords should fit. A good book on music theory can never hurt, especially if you want to learn particular songs.

Best of luck in your endeavor and I hope this helps.
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Thank you for the responses. I think I had effects loop, and loop pedal mixed up in my head. I thought it was only for the looper, but now I see what you are talking about with the more detailed explanation about putting the effects afterwards, and how some people might prefer that I suppose.

So it would be an accurate statement to say that the only thing that happens on the 'return' of the effects loop is the master volume knob right?

I had no intention of getting any sound pedals. Mostly, if I want to goof off with that for now, I've got that with my fender amp. However, the looping did interest me, as it was neat to see someone playing with themselves. Which is all I can do right now as I'd be too embarrassed to play in front of other people.

That being said, the loop pedal does interest me a bit. I'll have to go and see a demo. Would that be out of line while in the learning stage. Or could it help with my learning a bit.

My class begins first of March. So I have a couple of weeks to try to practice some more.

I am using a metronome (well, an iphone app that is a metronome) the amp I bought has an auxiliary input, so now I can even put my metronome output out through the same amp. Though to be honest, it was doing just fine sitting right beside me.

My daughter plays violin, so I already had an electric tuner. Plus there is a tuner built into the amp, and the rocksmith game which prompted this whole endeavor. Especially when the rocksmith game became to hard because I had to look at the screen rather than my fingers.
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SybotCB wrote:
So it would be an accurate statement to say that the only thing that happens on the 'return' of the effects loop is the master volume knob right?


That might be the only control after the return. Give me the make and model of the amp and I'll see if I can find a block diagram.
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And, dude, except for a couple of gifted folks, music is hard and so there are really no stupid questions (especially when you're starting out).
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Thanks for the offer. It's a fender mustang 3
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There are quite a number of computer programs that, with the use of a MIDI cable, will record what you play, then play it back for you in a graphical format. They will also let you sequence several tracks of your playing together.
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I think the questions are basically already answered but to reiterate a few

* an epi Les Paul -I think in general the necks are more comfortable for smaller hands. I have a Gibson Les Paul and an American Strat and I have a hard time with the Strat's big fat neck. I am also not much of a single coil dude. My favorite body/neck style is the EVH Wolfgang by Peavy - I assume the Musicman and now Strat Custom Shop versions are similiar but have never played them. I love the balance of the guitar - really good for sitting or standing, very thin neck easy to play.

I play my strings until I bust 'em.

* I always wanted to dive more into music theory but given my omni-dabbler status - tab is great - make sure you check out magazines like Guitar World which feature 6 or so new songs each month.


beyond that just have fun man!

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Many good questions and good answers. I'm not going to address them all. Keep in mind, I was usually the bass player in most bands I was in. I used to read bass clef but that atrophied years ago.

The fella who invented the Les Paul was not a metal player. You can't go wrong with a Les Paul as your first or even only guitar. Really it's a matter of personal preference. I tried to like guitars with single coil pick ups. I had a Strat and a Tele for awhile recently just because I'd never had either but both are gone now. I like the thicker clean tone I get from a semi-hollow body guitar with humbucking pickups. Furthermore the Gibson/Epiphone Tune-o-matic bridge is a lot easier to adjust than any other guitar if you decide to tinker with those things yourself.

I have a small Vox Mini-3 (3 watt) amp by my TV chair and another Vox VT30 (30 watt adjustable output) in my hobby room. (I find myself using the Fender 2x12 amp emulations 95% of the time.) For most anything I play now the on board effects are more than adequate.

The amps set on the floor and I play sitting down. If I were playing with other musicians, especially a drummer, and standing, I'd use or improvise an amp stand so the sound is directed upward where I could hear myself over the damn drummer.

As a living room player now, I don't change strings nearly as often as I used to.

More important than the exact make and model of your guitar and amp at this point is. Make sure your guitar is set up properly for maximum playability and play it every day but have a plan when you practice. It's ok to noodle just to limber up your fingers or if your head is really into it at that moment but try to have a goal every time you practice. That's one reason lessons are good.

I'm working my way through Griff Hamlin's Blues Unleashed class on DVD right now because I was always the bass player and occasional rhythm guitarist. I never accrued that mental catalog of riffs that comes with playing lead night after night. I recently got a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 computer interface to record myself playing along with my library of jam tracks. The difficulty of using a looper device if you are a beginner is playing that first track correctly and in time so you can play over it.
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SybotCB wrote:
Thanks for the offer. It's a fender mustang 3


I found this:

http://www.fender.com/community/forums/viewtopic.php?p=59433...

So the effects loop is after all processing, which is good if you want to use a looper there. Since you only need mono, the older Boss RC-2 or RC-20 or original Digitech JamMan would be fine.

You would be able to record a rhythm track on the looper, switch settings on the amp with the footswitch and solo over that. It is a fun toy.
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scribidinus wrote:
Many good questions and good answers. I'm not going to address them all. Keep in mind, I was usually the bass player in most bands I was in. I used to read bass clef but that atrophied years ago.

The fella who invented the Les Paul was not a metal player. You can't go wrong with a Les Paul as your first or even only guitar. Really it's a matter of personal preference. I tried to like guitars with single coil pick ups. I had a Strat and a Tele for awhile recently just because I'd never had either but both are gone now. I like the thicker clean tone I get from a semi-hollow body guitar with humbucking pickups. Furthermore the Gibson/Epiphone Tune-o-matic bridge is a lot easier to adjust than any other guitar if you decide to tinker with those things yourself.

I have a small Vox Mini-3 (3 watt) amp by my TV chair and another Vox VT30 (30 watt adjustable output) in my hobby room. (I find myself using the Fender 2x12 amp emulations 95% of the time.) For most anything I play now the on board effects are more than adequate.

The amps set on the floor and I play sitting down. If I were playing with other musicians, especially a drummer, and standing, I'd use or improvise an amp stand so the sound is directed upward where I could hear myself over the damn drummer.

As a living room player now, I don't change strings nearly as often as I used to.

More important than the exact make and model of your guitar and amp at this point is. Make sure your guitar is set up properly for maximum playability and play it every day but have a plan when you practice. It's ok to noodle just to limber up your fingers or if your head is really into it at that moment but try to have a goal every time you practice. That's one reason lessons are good.

I'm working my way through Griff Hamlin's Blues Unleashed class on DVD right now because I was always the bass player and occasional rhythm guitarist. I never accrued that mental catalog of riffs that comes with playing lead night after night. I recently got a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 computer interface to record myself playing along with my library of jam tracks. The difficulty of using a looper device if you are a beginner is playing that first track correctly and in time so you can play over it.


It occurred to me that a new player may not really know what "set up properly for maximum play ability" means...

In general there are a variety of steps that can be done to "set up" a guitar

http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Your-Guitar's-Intonation

Personally, I don't touch this stuff myself - and I've taken "how-to" classes lol I suck at it. But the proper intonation will a) sound better, and b) play nicer.

Also, in general lighter gauge strings are easier to play. I play with .09s Heavier strings are great for things like slide guitar or garotting people.



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I generally play .009s. The Les Paul (and many Gibson style guitars)has a shorter scale neck than a Fender so it takes less string tension to bring the strings in tune so .009s will feel lighter on a LP than a Strat. How much lighter? Depends on your sensitivity I guess. For me I suspect it's as much psychological as physical because I do a lot of string bending, many times on purpose, so I like .009s. I once experimented light extra lights, .008s, years ago and found that just fretting chords would push/pull different strings out of tune.














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Not learning to play guitar before having a kid is one of my greatest regrets. Right now, it's unlikely I'll be able to afford a guitar for a few years yet, let alone figuring out how to play it.

So I am jealous of you, and I hope you practice lots!

(and if you want to learn a few Megadeth tracks, I'd appreciate it!)
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Greendan wrote:
Not learning to play guitar before having a kid is one of my greatest regrets. Right now, it's unlikely I'll be able to afford a guitar for a few years yet, let alone figuring out how to play it.

So I am jealous of you, and I hope you practice lots!

(and if you want to learn a few Megadeth tracks, I'd appreciate it!)

It is never too late to learn.

I picked up the drums at 17, when most people start much, much earlier. I am not great, but play passably well. It brings me enjoyment. I was 19 when I began to learn music theory and tried my hand at the vibraphone and piano. Again, not great, but I have written some decent melodies and full, atmospheric pieces. All of it helped in writing poetry, believe or not.

Music is its own language. Picking it up will help you see the world in different ways and expand your mind, much like learning a new tongue would.

Start now, or when you can afford to. Just do it for yourself. It doesn't matter if you're not going to go pro, the journey is still worth the effort.
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Greendan wrote:
Not learning to play guitar before having a kid is one of my greatest regrets. Right now, it's unlikely I'll be able to afford a guitar for a few years yet, let alone figuring out how to play it.

So I am jealous of you, and I hope you practice lots!

(and if you want to learn a few Megadeth tracks, I'd appreciate it!)

It is never too late to learn.

I picked up the drums at 17, when most people start much, much earlier. I am not great, but play passably well. It brings me enjoyment. I was 19 when I began to learn music theory and tried my hand at the vibraphone and piano. Again, not great, but I have written some decent melodies and full, atmospheric pieces. All of it helped in writing poetry, believe or not.

Music is its own language. Picking it up will help you see the world in different ways and expand your mind, much like learning a new tongue would.

Start now, or when you can afford to. Just do it for yourself. It doesn't matter if you're not going to go pro, the journey is still worth the effort.


Yeah, I totally plan on starting when I get the chance. I love music, and have spent a lot of time around musicians. I should have done it years ago, but these things slip by.

Edit: probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Guitar Hero. Stoopid game. (I realise it's not actually like reality, but still)
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rob cavallo
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hey chris...
im a musician and have been playing guitar for quite a while. ill try to answer your questions...

What is the purpose of an amp stand? Why do I need one, I just had mine sitting on the floor before, is that not ideal.

you dont "need" an amp stand. the stand helps to tilt the speaker up to hear is better. i use one when playing live, but in the studio, or at home, i just leave it on the floor.

The amp I bought has an open back. Was I supposed to buy a cover for it? I can't see dust really hurting this all that much.

no, you dont need a cover...unless the amp is gonna be in a very dusty location, it should be fine.

How do I know when to change the strings? I read that you should be changing them ever two or three weeks, That seems excessive. I saw a youtube video demonstrating differences in old strings and new strings. The old strings sounded fine, then they played the new strings, and they sounded better, but had I not known better, I would have been quite happy with the old strings.

i almost never change my strings. maybe once or twice a year...unless i break one. the other guitarist in my band, changes them before every show, and he's always breaking them. when the stings start to get grimey, its time to change them.

What is an effects loop? Like physically? The amp has all the effects built in, why would I need a loop there. Is that so I can get one of those loop pedal things to play and have the pedal keep playing, that's what I was hoping for when I bought my amp, (And why I chose one with the effects loop)

An effects loop is an option on some amps to patch in effects pedals after the pre-amp but before the power amp. i had one in my older amp, but my new amp doesnt have one. i dont think it makes a difference.

feel free to GM any other questions.

you can also check my band out at: www.basement-generals.com
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Chris B
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rshipley wrote:
SybotCB wrote:
Thanks for the offer. It's a fender mustang 3


I found this:

http://www.fender.com/community/forums/viewtopic.php?p=59433...

So the effects loop is after all processing, which is good if you want to use a looper there. Since you only need mono, the older Boss RC-2 or RC-20 or original Digitech JamMan would be fine.

You would be able to record a rhythm track on the looper, switch settings on the amp with the footswitch and solo over that. It is a fun toy.


Awesome. I think that answered my main question which started the topic. I didn't want to drop $150 on a looping pedal, and have it not work the way I anticipated.

@Everybody. Truly I thank you all for the advice. Whenever I pick up something new I tend to dive right in and try to learn everything I can about that, and to be frank there are a lot of things online, but none seemed to answer some of those basic questions that I was asking about above. I think I was even below the level of Google knowledge.

Is the typical approach for guitar players that they learn songs by feel. I notice whenever I see people playing in bars, etc, they just sort of play. None of them ever seem to be reading from a piece of sheet music. This doesn't seem like they are learning to play guitar, only that they are learning certain hand combinations and when to do them. Or is there still something I'm missing. Maybe they know the fretboard so well, they just sort of guess what sound the instrument will make when they strum at certain places.

Most guitar players know what note each string is at each fret position? Yes, no? Is that what the fretboard logic book recommended above is for.

Thanks for the information on setup. I'll check it out. Another really dumb question. The screws for adjusting the string length for setting the intonation,,, the heads are under the string. Umm, how do you get a screwdriver there. There's also a pickup in the way. Is there a special screwdriver I'm missing?
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Greendan wrote:

(and if you want to learn a few Megadeth tracks, I'd appreciate it!)


About the only thing I've gotten so far in that direction is the opening riff of Enter Sandman. But I tried going farther, and I can't make the palm muted second part, and the slide sound like the song, so I got stuck there and didn't move forward. That's when I started looking for Star Wars music and Legend of Zelda stuff. (Still looking for those!)
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Greendan wrote:

Edit: probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Guitar Hero. Stoopid game. (I realise it's not actually like reality, but still)


It was purely a whim for me. I got a best buy gift card for Christmas. And I didn't know what to get. Rocksmith was on sale. I didn't have a guitar, so I picked up the Rocksmith Game and an electric guitar set to play the game.

After playing the game for a little bit, I realized it was really hard, as that was the first time I had ever touched a guitar in my life. So I got a book, and started practicing outside the game, since then I could look at my hands while I played rather than the tv screen, which was proving to make the game difficult.
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SybotCB wrote:
Greendan wrote:

Edit: probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Guitar Hero. Stoopid game. (I realise it's not actually like reality, but still)


It was purely a whim for me. I got a best buy gift card for Christmas. And I didn't know what to get. Rocksmith was on sale. I didn't have a guitar, so I picked up the Rocksmith Game and an electric guitar set to play the game.

After playing the game for a little bit, I realized it was really hard, as that was the first time I had ever touched a guitar in my life. So I got a book, and started practicing outside the game, since then I could look at my hands while I played rather than the tv screen, which was proving to make the game difficult.


I had not heard of Rocksmith before this thread. Seems very interesting, and totally the direction these rytham games should be heading in.
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SybotCB wrote:
Is the typical approach for guitar players that they learn songs by feel. I notice whenever I see people playing in bars, etc, they just sort of play. None of them ever seem to be reading from a piece of sheet music. This doesn't seem like they are learning to play guitar, only that they are learning certain hand combinations and when to do them. Or is there still something I'm missing. Maybe they know the fretboard so well, they just sort of guess what sound the instrument will make when they strum at certain places.


If you are playing classical, jazz, or experimental stuff, music reading is expected. For anything else, not so much. But people aren't learning songs by rote, they are learning patterns that work for different types of music. Right hand technique (picking and strumming) is also very important, but I've found it is hard to teach.

Quote:
Most guitar players know what note each string is at each fret position? Yes, no? Is that what the fretboard logic book recommended above is for.


I know what the notes are at some positions and work out others. Once you figure the key and scale being used, you just use patterns you have learned. It is fairly easy to learn chord forms and scales in set positions, that book series I mentioned gets you moving around the fretboard.

Quote:
Thanks for the information on setup. I'll check it out. Another really dumb question. The screws for adjusting the string length for setting the intonation,,, the heads are under the string. Umm, how do you get a screwdriver there. There's also a pickup in the way. Is there a special screwdriver I'm missing?


Loosen the string before adjusting the intonation. Tighten it back up to test (12th fret, harmonic 12th fret) and adjust again. It is a bit tedious, but worth it to play more in tune. Getting the bridge height and neck relief right are what gets it easier to play.
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My main amp (Ampeg 15" 300w bass amp) does not have an effects loop. I play keyboard, bass, guitar and various synth type things. I use an effects loop on my mixer as I keep everything plugged in at once, ready. Same idea... you can switch between a dry signal or put it through the loop. If I was only playing bass I would simply go bass ---> pedals ---> amp anyhow. I really don't know what the benefit is having one on the amp - is there one?

Is it simply because you can cancel all effects at once?
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pronoblem wrote:
My main amp (Ampeg 15" 300w bass amp) does not have an effects loop. I play keyboard, bass, guitar and various synth type things. I use an effects loop on my mixer as I keep everything plugged in at once, ready. Same idea... you can switch between a dry signal or put it through the loop. If I was only playing bass I would simply go bass ---> pedals ---> amp anyhow. I really don't know what the benefit is having one on the amp - is there one?

Is it simply because you can cancel all effects at once?


not at all.

it has to do with how the amp processes the signal.
when it comes down to it, its all about personal opinion.

the "normal" way to plug into an amp would be...

guitar->compressor->distortion/overdrive->amp->loop out->time based/modulation pedals (delay, phase, flange, etc)->loop in->speaker

my rig is not set up like that. here's my specific setup...

custom built tele deluxe->qtron->big muff->OCD->custom built compressor->tremolo->phase->carbon copy->vox ac30vr

as you can see, the first thing in my chain is a qtron, which is an envelope filter. then my distortion THEN my compressor. it just give my guitar a certain sound.

it all depends on your personal preference.
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