Guru Guitars Biweekly
by Gene Reinert
As a player, teacher and builder I have accomplished a lot in the guitar world. I attribute a lot of my success to my wife who works as hard as I do. I don't think I could have gotten as far as I have without her help. Now we have a family and we are ready for the next chapter in our lives. We head for Raleigh this coming week. I anticipate some bumps in the road but I also look forward to new friends and new adventures. Despite the depressing view the media portrays of our nation's situation, I find myself excited and see others who are enjoying life as much as I am. There will always be roadblocks but as we reach them we have to push through and realize that life goes on no matter what our circumstance.
I am also looking forward to having new students. I have said goodbye to all of my students here in Las Vegas and steered them toward other reputable teachers. It has been very sad. Some of my students I have had for a long time. I've seen some of them go from not playing a lick to reading all 6 strings on the guitar and playing bar chords. Some have come seeking to learn the secrets behind the veil of guitar virtuosity and I have seen many attain their goals. It makes me happy to think of all the new relationships I'll build and all the great players that will step out of Guru Guitars confident in what they know and how they execute it.
Every person that comes to me seeking to be a better player is sincere in their goals. No one intends to spend money on something that won't get them anywhere. The reality is that not everyone wants to sacrifice the time or energy to learn what I teach them. Many people that want to play guitar come to me seeking a fast and easy way to do so. The hard truth is that it takes time to learn an instrument. You could play the guitar for one hour a day for a year and be pretty good after that time. If you did the same and also had a teacher guiding you then you'd be even better. On the other hand, if you had a teacher and only practiced twice a week for a half hour you'd have been better off saving your time driving to guitar lessons and practicing instead.
The way I teach each student is slightly different because everyone is unique. Two people, the same age and same skill level, will become completely different players with or without my guidance. I do have a basic curriculum which consists of all the normal things you'd expect to learn while taking lessons (with some different twists and fun stuff). I also have a substantial amount of great guitar theory and music theory to offer the intermediate players who are looking to jumpstart their knowledge and abilities.
Rhythm is an essential part of being a good musician and I thoroughly enjoy teaching it. It is the essence of music; it's also something that is in my blood. My father played piano, guitar, bass, drums, accordion, you name it and he could play it. I only hope to achieve all those things. He certainly passed it along to me. If you study with me you will have no choice but to attain better rhythm.
There are more things in my teaching plan than I could possibly share in one short article but I hope if you are interested in studying with me that you email me and ask any questions you might have. You may also ask Howard who has been the face of Guru Guitars for many months since we've opened. He's a good looking guy, 5'10", may have a beard depending on the day, builds great guitars, and has a good sense of humor. He will certainly help you if you have any questions. I'll see you soon.
Our grand opening is quickly approaching. We'll have some great deals on products that we normally won't discount (including handmade guitars). Even if it's been a while since you've been to the store, set some time aside and come over. We'll be announcing a final date in a few weeks.
So that all of you know (and pass it along to your friends), we sell our products at the lowest price possible. Some things we sell for less than that! So we typically won't claim to have 50% off sales or whatever clever name GC comes up with. We sell things at great prices period.
We can get you even lower prices on bulk string orders! If you go through a lot of strings or you don't like paying per pack, we can save you a bunch of money. It's simple; a week before you need your new strings come over and order them. You save money and we pay shipping. On some strings you can save a $1 per set (even more for bass strings). That adds up after a few ten packs. After you get you first bulk order, you can plan your orders ahead of time so you'll never run out of strings, and you'll pay less!
One for the Road
by The Guru
Just a reminder that all of our newsletters are archived and any mini lessons you have missed can be accessed through them!
So you have mastered eighth notes? How about trying sixteenths. Sixteenth notes are created by playing four notes equally divided inside of one beat. The feel can be verbalized as 1 e (pronounced long) and a (short), 2 e and a, 3 e and a, 4 e and a. See Fig. 1 for a visual of sixteenth notes on the high E string.
The trick here is to simplify what you are seeing. There are four beats in a measure which we will assign a quarter note to (see Fig. 2). The next measure has two eighth notes per beat (which is twice as many notes as the previous measure). Your pick is moving twice as many times. Next measure, four notes per beat (you could say two notes per eighth note). This means twice as many notes as the previous measure and it feels twice as fast. The trick is to be able to accent the downbeat (1 2 3 4) and still play the subdivided notes evenly.
Depending on the song, eighth notes can be played using down or up picks in succession. It is typically very difficult to play two down or up picks in a row while playing sixteenth notes. This is the reason I had you alternate pick the eighth notes in previous lessons. It helps develop an even picking motion.
A good way to get the feel of sixteenth notes is to work your eighth note licks and exercise up to a fast bpm setting. If you can play eighth notes (using alternate picking) at 160 bpm, than you'll be able to play sixteenth notes at 80 bpm. Try it!
Combining all that you've learned so far can yield some cool licks. The rest of the figures show some ways to combine quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes to create hip sounding guitar lines. Along with some simple muting techniques, all of this can be applied to your chording as well.
Next lesson I'll talk about ties and how applying them to what you know will open new doors to your playing. Thanks for tuning in.
Do you have a question about the lesson in this column? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to contribute a lesson to the column send an email of the lesson to email@example.com. It needs to be clean, professional, short and sweet with all necessary diagrams attached. I'll review everyone's offering and pick the one I want in the column. If you are picked you'll receive a $5 credit at Guru Guitars.
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