The Best High Quality Affordable Acoustic Guitars

It’s amazing how the quality of affordable guitars is improving these days.

I can still remember the time when you would have to dig deep into your pockets to get a guitar with a decent tone.

Nowadays you can buy really good quality and a great sounding guitar for a reasonably cheap price.

Whether you want a guitar from one of the manufacturers that have proven high quality over decades or solid wood guitars built with passion and care, it’s all within reach.

I’m often pleasantly surprised when I hear and feel some of the lower priced guitars at the guitar store or when my students hand over their freshly new bought guitars for me to try out. After a while they dare to interrupt me, “Hey Klaus, Sir… Excuse me! Can we get on with the guitar lesson, please?” and I’m like “Oh yeah, right, Sorry. Where were we?”. I just get lost when a good sound captures me.

What you pay and get for these guitars is just really good. Don’t get me wrong, a 3000 dollar Martin or Taylor will take your sound to the next level, but we’re talking medium priced guitars here. Guitars with a good sound that give you a lot of value for your money.

When I play a Martin DX1RAE, a Mini Taylor (mahogany top) or a Cort 200 (all between 300 and 650 dollars)… I don’t know how to put a stop to my bucket list. They are all stunning beauties in their own way.

So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, but neither want a cheap guitar that lacks quality and tone, then these guitars are the real deal.

Check out the list of great affordable guitars:
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Guitar Playing and The Power of Failure

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guitar and the power of failureWe all recognize those awkward moments of embarrassment, when it feels like everything you’ve worked so hard for suddenly falls and shatters to pieces.

In an instant you’re desperately seeking for that nearest whole in the floor to jump in and disappear quickly or better yet just vanish into thin air.

Reality sucks sometimes. But these are the crucial moments when the tables are about to turn.

The times in my life where I made dramatic improvement in guitar playing, performing, teaching, blogging and other areas, is when I failed. Failed and painfully confronted.

Yes it hurts, but you will get over it and if you have an open mind and listen to what just happened you can learn and benefit from it tremendously.

I still remember the time when I was asked for a pop rock cover band with musicians ten years older than me. I thought I could play pretty decent guitar (Satriani, Metallica and SRV songs were on my repertoire). Then during one of the first rehearsals the drummer of the band told me my rhythm playing s#cked and that I’d better head back to my room to practice. Read More »

How to Read a Chord Diagram and Other Chord Notation

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C major chord diagramThe first thing you want to do when you start out playing guitar is learn how to read a chord diagram (and buying a guitar).

Knowing how to read a chord diagram or other types of chord notations is pretty much essential when you want to learn pop, rock, blues or any other style of music.

When you go out and buy a guitar book, most books will show the chord diagrams for the appropriate song, but you will also find them on the web, in music notation software and apps.

In the beginning you will only have to acquire a small chord vocabulary to get you playing lots of songs. So let’s get this baby rolling!

There are different types of chord notation. We’ll start with the most traditional and accurate one.

The Chord Diagram

The chord diagram represent the neck of the guitar (see image below).
The six vertical lines represent the six strings on the guitar. From left to right; low E string, A string, D string, G string, B string and high E string or also called: 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st string.

The horizontal top line (which is thicker than the lower horizontal lines) indicates the nut of the guitar. The second horizontal line is the 1st fret, followed by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th fret. Read More »

How to Use Chord Formulas and Their Benefits

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good sounding chordsWhy do you need chord formulas? Why do want to learn about them in the first place and what are their benefits?

Knowing some basic chord theory can make all the difference to your playing. It makes guitar playing more fun, interesting and a lot of what you play will make more sense. The pieces of the puzzle will fall in place.

Knowing how chord formulas work and knowing the notes on the strings is the ultimate combination.

Let’s see what you can do with chord formulas:

– Learn how to make your own chords.
– Figure out how to play a chord when you only have the name of a chord.
– Understanding the difference between chords like Dom7, Maj7 and min7.
– Make a chord easier to play if your pinky can’t reach for the major 7 or any other nasty note.
– Quickly turn a G major chord into Gsus4, G7, Gmaj7, G13 or any other variation you think of.
– Learn to see how easy it is to change from major to minor or any other chord.
– Apply the knowledge to your rhythm playing, songwriting, soloing and improvisation.
– Discover how it relates to every aspect of guitar playing as your knowledge expands over time.
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10 Vital Tips to Get Your Chords Sound Clean and Clear

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good sounding chordsThe biggest challenge for the beginner and sometimes even the intermediate guitar player is to make chords sound clean and clear.

I still remember the frustration struggling with the C and F major chord. Like it would never gonna work.

I kept practicing every day and then all of a sudden there it was. The chord sounded perfectly clear. It felt like it happened out of the blue, but I knew it was the result of lots of practice. It was my first guitar victory.

To get a good sounding chord there are several things you need to pay attention to, observe, apply and check repeatedly.

Good sounding chords is not an overnight thing. It’s also not the hardest thing in the world but it takes time, regular practice and perseverance.

If you implement these 10 tips during practice you will definitely get there. Practicing will be a lot more effective and results are just around the corner.

Here are they keys:

1 – Bend your knuckles
Make sure to bend all your knuckles (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th). Avoid any straight fingers, they can cause your chords to sound muffled. The only time you can straighten your finger is when you need to bar a chord. (barre chords)

2 – As close to the fret as possible.
Place your fingers as close to the fret as possible. Don’t place your fingers on the fret (metal fret wire), it causes buzzing. Not every chord allows all fingers to be placed right behind the fret (for example: A major chord), but try to place them as close as possible. Read More »

Cooler Pentatonics and Licks Adding The Major Third

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The pentatonic scale is an awesome scale. It’s a fairly easy scale and it can be used for almost every style of music: blues, country, pop, rock and more.

That’s why most guitar players use it most of the time. Great nothing wrong with that.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could add a few notes to the minor pentatonic scale to give it more flavor and spice up your playing?

Well today we’re going to add the major third to the minor pentatonic scale. The major third will bring some happy, fresh and lively color to the table. Adding extra notes to the pentatonic scale is a common thing in soloing and will make your playing a lot more fun and interesting to listen to.

I’ll show you how to play the 5 pentatonic scales shapes / positions adding the major third and 5 licks to spice up your playing.

THEORY
The major third is a musical interval and is the distance between the root and the third note of the major scale. It also consists of four semitones (4 frets).

For example: Read More »

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