First off.. What are you going to be using the guitar for?? I used to have one guitar that
I bungie corded to the back of my motorcycle.. It didn't have to be pretty.. It was a functional guitar.. great for campfire
songs and banging around.. but I have other guitars that I use when I'm playing out.. Here are some basics if you are
looking for a good playable guitar.. Look down the neck.. Is it straight.?. Pay special attention to where the neck joins
onto the body.. A lot of times there is a little deviation there.. Play up the strings to see if there is any "buzzing"..
If you are a beginner and plan on purchasing another guitar later it may not make any difference right now because most of
what you are playing will be near the "head" of the guitar anyways.. Check to see where the neck joins onto the body.. Is
there any separation.?. Is the bridge lifted or cracked.?. As you can see in the picture of my guitar the bridge is cracked
but I have secured it with three bolts and with washers on the inside.. Check the intonation by going to the 12th fret and playing
the harmonic for each string then press the string down on the fret and play it.. IT SHOULD BE EXACTLY THE SAME NOTE..!!
Check the "action" of the strings.. How close the strings are to the neck, and how easily they play.. Don't pass up a good
guitar just because the strings may be old.. You have to look beyond the condition of the strings.. and try to judge by the
things we just covered..
This is the handiest tuner I have found so far.
It will automatically give you a tone every few seconds (you can set the interval) and
you can set it to automatically advance to each string for "hands free" tuning. You can
download it here or check out some of the other cool programs that Mike has on his site:
A great addition if you want more precise control
over your delay effect. With a switch pedal, (normally open) plugged into the "tempo jack",
you tap four times at a consistent beat to set the tempo of your delay. Very Handy. This
is the DD-5 model. I think the latest version that's out is the DD-7.
Of course, there are many different types of strings that are
available for your guitars, but one of the biggest changes I found in strings for my
electric guitar was putting on flatwound strings. Easier on the fingers.. they don't have
that squeaking sound when you slide between frets.. I think they last longer.. and dirt
and materials don't build up in the grooves between the windings because there are virtually
The "T", "1", and "2" in this diagram represent the Thumb, First, and Second fingers
of your picking hand. 1 through 6 represents the strings of the guitar. The verticle lines represent the beats.
If you're starting off and want an easy chord for your chord hand to be holding, you can keep a finger on the
first string, third fret ("G" chord). Start off slow. Gradually you can speed up the pattern, then start changing
bass strings and adding "hammer ons" and "pull offs".
You can get a different sustain to the timbrels depending on what angle you strike the
tambourine at. When the tambourine is held at a verticle angle the timbrels are able to reverberate longer because they
are just hanging on the shank that holds them in place, but when you hold the tambourine level the timbrels are now on top of
one another and resting on the tambourine body so the sound disipates more quickly. I prefer a tambourine with brass
timbrels instead of nickle because it has a much mellower sound. I actually have two of these and sometimes play them
both together for a much fuller sound.
While you are changing strings bend the end of the "ball end" before putting it in the
hole of the bridge. This will keep it from catching on the end of the peg and pulling the peg out as you
tighten up the string.
I like using a capo on the second fret a lot of times because the sound seems to be a
little more "solid". Keep in mind that when you play the string open, the vibration is being transfered through ivory or
plastic, (unless the nut happens to be metal).. but when you play with a capo, your open string vibrations are being
transfered through a metal fret for a more solid sound.
How to set up delay EDGE uses on "Where the Streets Have no Name":
YouTube clip that this refers to
Edge's echo audio files graphed in Sonar
If you watch the video at the left from YouTube, at 0:13 you can get
the interval that Edge has set his echo at. The top "purple" line in the figure on the right is
actual audio from that video clip of the echo beat. In the second track (the yellow track) in that
picture I have replicated with a drum machine the intervall of that echo. At 0:24 you can hear the
interval between the notes that he is playing. I replicated the interval of his notes in track
three (the green track). The actual result of the interval of echo upon track 3 would give you
the resulting sound found in track four which throws notes in between the notes you are playing.
..Which is how Edge achieves the great fullness of sound that he does. Check out the sound at 0:32 !!!
Here is another clip from YouTube where "lbarringer" shows a technique at 2:03 where you gradually increase your
playing speed until it gets the effect you want with the delay setting. Of course there is the question, "What do you set the length
of the delay to?" We are already able to get the length of the delay (for this song).. for example; at 0:13 in the clip above.
The E-bow has a pickup on one end that picks up the string vibration, amplifies it, and
sends the signal back out through an induced magnetic field to the string again for infinite sustain and a wide
variety of "flute like" effects. Switching the switch to the left gives you the regular E-bow sustain. This is the
"E-bow Plus" which has the added feature of switching to the right for extra enhancement on the harmonics and
overtones. Be cautious as you move the E-bow near the magnetic field of pickups because this greatly increases
the volume of the output.
I know it can look cool, but I don't advise anyone to do this with their strings. In fact,
it's a good practice to check over your whole guitar to see if there is anywhere where something is loose or able to
vibrate, because anything that is able to vibrate on your guitar will suck the life out of the sound of the guitar. Tighten
tuning pegs,.. epoxy or glue down wires inside.. make sure all braces within the body of the guitar are still in place.
If you have any braces that have come loose you can glue them back in place. "Elmer's Wood Glue" makes a small container
that will fit through the sound hole with your hand and you can feel the edges of the braces with your hand where the
glue needs to be applied.
While changing strings one day, I found that I could get some really cool drum like
sounds from the "E" bass string with a cloth underneath it. It sounded a lot like tabla drums. Run the sound through EQ
and reverb to fine tune it a little.
Harmonic chords sound great when you use the technique on guitars tuned in alternate tunings.
Harmonics may be played wherever the string is divided into proportion: 1 to 2, 1 to 3, and so on.
The higher divisions are much harder to play, so here are the three strongest harmonics,.. the strongest being at the 12th fret.. the
next strongest at the 7th.. and the next at the 5th. To get the harmonic sound place your finger on the string
above the mentioned frets.. don't push all the way down.. just let your finger be a "fulcrum point".. You can also play
harmonic chords: Playing strings 6 3 2 and 1 with your finger on the 12th fret will give you an "Em" harmonic. Playing 4 3 and 2
will be a "G". Playing strings 6 3 2 and 1 on the 7th fret will give you a "Bm" harmonic. While playing 4 3 and 2 on the
7th will give you a "D" chord.
This is a fairly versatile setup.. If you look further up the page, you'll notice there are
two pickups right above the bridge.. one is used for COSM (Composit Object Sound Modeling), and the other for Midi.. and
the 1/4 inch jack is a combination of an acoustic mic under the bridge and a stereo pickup within the bridge
which has a switch to send the even strings to one channel and the odd to the other.. or the three bass strings to one
channel and the three higher strings to the other.. very versatile..!!