How to Replace Guitar Strings

Do you already know how to replace guitar strings? Here at Learn Guitar Fast Towers, we have become experts in the art of restringing guitars. And it took us a whole lunch break back in 1985…

It’s easy, right? All you do is loosen off the tuning pegs, pull the string out of the eye on the machine head, whip the string off the guitar and repeat the process in reverse to put a brand new one back in its place.

Well, yes. That’s actually pretty much all there is to it. It isn’t all that tricky. However, I do see far too many people with long, straggling, untidy loose ends waving around on the end of the neck of their guitar. Not only is that untidy, but it can damage your gig bag, or poke you in the eye…Ouch!

It’s best to trim these loose guitar strings close to the tuning peg. Nice and tidy, just how I like it.

Guitar string replacement becomes second nature once you’ve done it a few times but, as this is a blog aimed at beginners, it’s worth sharing the following video with you. Pay attention to the tips this chap shares, and pay particular attention to the nifty little winding tool he uses. That’ll save you from a tired wrist, which means you’ll have more energy left to practise playing your favourite guitar songs. And more practice time means more rapid progress, which is what you want – who doesn’t want to learn guitar fast?

So there you have it. He made it look easy, didn’t he? A nice demonstration of how to replace guitar strings, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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Easy Guitar Songs

So you’re sitting around the campfire, lounging around at home with friends, or whatever it is you kids like to do these days. You’ve got your guitar on your lap and your friends are begging you to play some easy guitar songs so that you can all have a sing along.

“Great idea!” you think to yourself.

“But what to play?”

Your friends will doubtless have their own favourites, which they love to get stuck into and show off their range, their vocal dynamics, their plain awesomeness. When nobody agrees, it’s your responsibility as the guitarist to take control of the situation and choose a suitable ditty that will fit the mood. When you’re put on the spot, you need to have a few classic tunes ready to go that everyone will know. So what would you choose?

Wild Thing, by the Troggs?

Hey Joe, by Jimi Hendrix?

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, by Bob Dylan – or any of the hundreds of other folk who’ve released cover versions?

Everyone knows these easy guitar songs when they hear them on the radio, but how many of us have them in our reportoire so they can be wheeled out at the drop of a hat? If you do, then well done. If not, might I suggest that you need to learn them? Not because you can’t play more complicated stuff, but because a (perhaps slightly drunk) rabble of campfire comrades or barbequeue buddies won’t be able to hold a tune more complicated than your basic beginner’s guitar standard anyway.

You need to know these tunes for such occassions. And I know a man who’s put together a series of lessons with the sole purpose of ensuring you are able to rise to the challenge of providing the Karaoke backing track for those gifted crooners in your social circle. He’s called Justin and he’s done a video for you. What a very nice man he is.

Enjoy!

So now you’ve got to grips with them, go and gate-crash a party now and give them your very best easy guitar songs – you might even get a can of brew and a tasty savaloy for your trouble.

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Guitar Satisfaction – Get Lessons, Get Satisfaction, Stay Motivated!

You probably think I’m impatient, impetuous even, because I keep going on about learning guitar fast. Well, I heard a statistic recently that illustrated perfectly why it is important to get results quickly in your guitar playing.

I was amazed to learn that 74 out of every 75 people that take up the guitar never make it past the initial “novelty” phase of being a guitarist. That’s just short of 99% of all would-be guitarists that just give up. Why on earth is this the case?

For the purposes of this article, I’ve decided to leave my natural suspicion of all statistics to one side – did you know that 97% of all quoted statistics are made up on the spot? – and take this figure at face value. Besides, it sounds about right to me. Most of my friends, who started playing guitar at about the same time as me, no longer play their guitars (that’s if they even own one anymore).

Well, as a keen guitarist myself, I have trouble understanding why anyone wouldn’t want to practise for four hours a day five days a week. Ah…if only there were enough hours in the day…

But, if I try really hard, I can just about imagine that some folks might not be quite so obsessed as I am. They might just be having a go at playing the guitar to see whether they like it or not. If they aren’t getting lessons and are finding it difficult to make any real progress, maybe they feel they’re putting in a lot of effort for little in return. As Mick used to say,

I can’t get no… [guitar] satisfaction!

And this is what it all boils down to – satisfaction. If you practise a lot but don’t really get anywhere. If you want to understand guitar theory but never quite “get it”. If your fingers are sore because you’re using poor technique. If any of these things is true, or perhaps all of them, then it’s no wonder you feel like giving up.

If you can’t get no satisfaction, you ain’t gonna play no more. It’s as simple as that. And that’s why I’d like to help those beginners out there by giving them some advice on how to learn guitar fast. And I’m not simply being impatient. If you get better quickly, you notice your progress. If you notice you’re making good progress, you’ll be much more likely to keep learning, to practise harder, study more diligently, and seek out good advice.

And this brings me to the whole point of this article. If you want to become a good guitarist and you don’t want to become one of the 99%, you need to get proper training.

Do you reckon these guys avoided lessons and taught themselves?


I very much doubt it.

The best thing you can do is get face to face lessons with a good guitar teacher. If you can’t afford the time or money to do that (or perhaps you’re a sophophobia sufferer, in which case you’d better turn off your monitor and step away from the computer now), the next best thing is an online guitar course, of which there are many. Some even allow you a free trial period so that you can see whether they are worth it for you.

And when I say, “guitar course”, I mean you should actually get your credit card out and buy some lessons, because you get what you pay for and a good course is worth every penny. What I don’t mean is surfing randomly around YouTube looking for pointers. That’s potentially a huge waste of your valuable practice time – you need to get hold of a proper, well structured course. A proper series of lessons that takes you by the hand and walks you step by step through the basics of playing guitar. With a proper guitar course, each lesson builds on the previous one so your learning process is faster and easier, leaving you with more time to enjoy your other interests.

Play with other musicians, especially guitarists who are better and more knowledgeable than you. You’ll be amazed at how generous people are with their knowledge if you’re willing to learn. This is a fantastic way to learn new tips, riffs and licks and will bring your playing on hugely.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut. Do make sure you learn guitar fast by seeking out the best advice, because that’s the best way to achieve guitar satisfaction and stay in the 1% group of lifelong guitarists.

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Why Learn Guitar?

So this blog is trying to help people to learn guitar fast, but so far we’ve only been dealing with the “how”, and not the “why”.

Let’s take a step back and think about that for a moment.

Why Learn Guitar?

When I first started to learn guitar, I didn’t really have any particular goal in mind. Sure, I wanted to be able to play blistering solos like Kirk Hammett or Eddie Van Halen. And, while I was at it, I also wanted to master the classics and play the complex finger-style stuff I used to listen to on BBC Radio 3 in their classical guitar slot. I soon gave up on the classical thing, preferring instead to focus on other genres that I could sound good with quicker. Even at the very beginning I was learning guitar fast – I’m the impatient type when it comes to getting results.

Over time I began to realise that there had to be some prioritisation of my learning, otherwise I would become a jack of all trades but master of none. Or worse still, mediocre at a very few of them whilst paying lip service to the rest.

But how to decide where to put in the (considerable) effort of learning guitar? This is something that is entirely subjective and will probably hinge on the kind of music that you like to listen to. If you are interested in guitar theory and music theory in general, try jazz or classical. If you just want to make a loud noise, try punk; if you want to make a loud noise and play something worthy of being called music, learn heavy metal guitar.

This is all very well but, other than your desire to play the music you enjoy listening to as a punter at a gig or in a music store, why would you want to learn guitar? What is actually driving you to learn how to play this fine instrument?

I’d venture to suggest that it all boils down to the basest of human desires and needs. The one that comes after food and water, and maybe shelter. Procreation.

That’s right, you decided to learn guitar in order to attract a mate. And it works, too. Rockstars have known this for years. Get yourself a guitar and you can serenade your sweetheart from below her (or his) balcony in the moonlight. You can invite your chosen groupie backstage for some after show “hospitality”. The possibilities that are open to you are myriad if you can play the guitar to any sort of standard. Even better if you can sing.

I was browsing through Youtube earlier today and discovered the following clip. This post is really an excuse to share it with you because I thought it was nicely done, and so true.

So, as you enjoy the clip, think of how you’re going to woo your soul-mate with a well chosen ballad. Or perhaps get some extra brownie points from your spouse/partner next Valentine’s Day (scarily it’s not that long) to spend in a way of your choosing.

Why learn guitar? To find a mate.

Enjoy the clip.

That’s the truth but, if you really beg to differ, leave a comment so that you can educate the rest of us as to how you managed to transcend the strictures of the human psyche to achieve such a state of enlightenment. Only then can we learn guitar fast for spiritual fulfillment, or whatever other reasons you would have us believe.

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Guitar Metronome

Are you aware of the importance of using a guitar metronome in your practice?

I know that when I first began learning how to play guitar, I thought that metronomes were just for pianists. A couple of my friends used to play piano and they would practise using a metronome but I really didn’t see the need for a metronome in my own guitar practice. This was especially true because they cost money in those days and I was a tight-fisted so and so. These days, however, there really is no excuse for not using one because they can be accessed easily and for free online. OK, so there was no excuse when I started learning guitar either because they weren’t all that expensive, but nevermind.

So why should you use a metronome? Well, there are a number of reasons, but I think the most important one is that it instills discipline in your practice.

When you play anything on your guitar, you’ll probably find certain things easier to achieve than others. It might be that there’s a certain piece that you really struggle with and your fingers need a bit of extra time to get into position, so you slow down a little when you get the particularly tricky bit.

Likewise when you are sailing through a part that you’re entirely comfortable with and could play in your sleep, you’re likely to speed up. This is completely natural and everyone does it.

But, if you allow this to happen, over time the habit will become engrained in your playing. A piece that is supposed to be played at an even tempo will slow down and speed up, which causes all sorts of problems if you’re playing with other musicians. And even if you’re not playng with other musicians, it just sounds bad anyway.

Another reason to use a metronome is that it helps you get the most out of your practice sessions. What you should be doing is setting the metronome to a tempo that you can comfortably play your chosen part – even the difficult sections – accurately and smoothly. This will usually be a little slower than you would normally play most of the piece, but playing the whole piece more slowly allows you to learn it better and to get it nailed properly.

You can then increase the tempo slightly and, having practised at the slower speed for a while, you’ll find that the bits where you used to need to slow down are coming much more easily. Before you know it, you’ll be fluent, accurate and playing at a consistent tempo. Your playing will sound much more professional and your fellow musicians will notice the difference.

Give it a try for a few weeks and I’m confident that you’ll notice the difference. Surf on over to Amazon dot com (other web retailers are available) and pick yourself up a decent guitar metronome in the sales, you won’t reget it.

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Anyone Seen My Guitar Pick?

Do you ever lose your guitar pick?

I was surfing around the online guitarosphere just now, whiling away the final few minutes before I head off to my bed, when I stumbled across the best idea of 2010 for absent minded and careless guitarists. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that what I reveal in the rest of this post is probably the most important development in guitar pick history since Dave Storey introduced the patented Dava Multi-Gauge pick design in 1996.

If you find yourself without a pick at the times when you need one the most, you are not alone. And you can get help.

This happens to me all the time. Sometimes I’ve put it down somewhere but can’t remember where. Other times it’s disappeared, presumed eaten by the family pet, or maybe added to the growing collection of pens and half-eaten sweets in my youngest child’s secret drawer of stuff. Or maybe it’s rattling around inside my acoustic guitar and just will not drop out, no matter how much I tilt, shake and curse.

I know it’s not all bad because my inability to look after my picks properly means that my fingerstyle playing is better as a result, which I’m sure would not be the case otherwise. And I do enjoy playing the guitar fingerstyle. It’s just that sometimes one really needs to play with a pick.

So what about those times when you need a pick and can’t lay your hands on one? Well help is now at hand. You no longer need to worry about being pickless ever again if you go and get yourself one of these…

How cool is that? Don’t have a pick? No problem, just make yourself one out of your old library card, lid off your coffee jar or, if you’re really desperate, your own toenail. Just kidding – don’t try that!

It’s too late for this Christmas now, but if you know a slightly scatterbrained guitarist who’s always losing their picks, get them one of these little beauties and they’ll love you forever. I think I might treat myself to one in the New Year.

They are currently only available in the standard teardrop shape but that’s fine by me. You can buy the raw material for the picks as sheets of polycarbonate, acetal or nylon from the pickpunch website, so there’s no need to go raiding the recycling bins for suitable pick material. I expect this will probably give better results, too.

Just visit pickpunch.com today and you and your loved ones will never be left wanting for a guitar pick ever again.

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Learn Guitar Fast | Fast Guitar

This is for all those folks out there who want to learn guitar fast, or should that be learn to play fast guitar? Anyway, I want to share something inspirational with you all this Sunday evening. There’s a guy called Damir Simic Shime, and this fella can teach us a thing or two about fast guitar playing.

He’s originally from Croatia and, when he was growing up, his guitar heroes were Ritchie Blackmore and Van Halen. Damir had trouble getting hold of western music at that time and had to travel to Italy or to Austria just to buy an album. In fact, he even had to travel abroad to get hold of decent guitar equipment.

Luckily for the young Damir, his dad worked in Germany and was able to get hold of albums for him. His old man even got him his first decent guitar and amp. He used to slow down a reel to reel tape recorder so he could learn guitar solo notes and practise them at a comfortable speed before eventually speeding them up to full tempo. A case of having to learn guitar fast by first slowing it all right down.

When Damir turned 22, he decided that he should follow in the footsteps of some other European guitarists you may have heard of (the name Malmsteen springs to mind, for one) and cross the pond to pursue his passion in the US of A. So in 1991 he headed off to Los Angeles, the natural place to go if you want to take your guitar playing to the next level. Well, actually that was a bit of a leap for a young Croatian lad but he’s never looked back and has gone on to be featured in DiMarzio’s advertisements as a big name to be mentioned in the same breath as Malmsteen and Satriani.

Damir blames Nirvana for making guitar soloing unfashionable during the nineties. In recent years, however, lead guitar and shred in particular has made a real comeback and is now becoming more popular than ever. Although it still cannot really be considered truly mainstream, a quick search on YouTube reveals an active community who are sharing techniques and holding competitions to see who’s best.

Damir mainly plays instrumental music and his guitar sweep techniques, tapping and generally nimble fingers serve as a powerful reminder to anyone taking lead guitar lessons that hard work, can really pay off. Watching Damir play his awesome solos may not be the best way to learn guitar (a bit too much awesomeness going on there for most of us mortals, unless you’re looking for advanced guitar lessons) but it’s a great inspiration and real motivator for anyone learning electric guitar.

So, sit back and watch the flames seering from this man’s guitar fretboard.

Suitably motivated? Now lock youself in a darkened room and learn guitar fast… er, I mean learn to play fast guitar.

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