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Start Playing Guitar's 'The Bridge', Vol 2, #11 - Gift Ideas
December 03, 2007's 'The Bridge'

Volume 2, Issue 10: Gift Ideas

New Content on

The Redesign is Live!

The redesign took several months to complete, but it's finally posted. I intended for it to: reduce load times by minimizing image sizes, find and fix grammatical mistakes, consolodate some articles, create an easier to use layout, and make the layout a bit nicer to look at. I think I've achieved those goals, and I'm open to feedback. One thing I've learned about web-site ownership is that it's like having a garden: there's always pruning, weeding, and feeding needed to keep it alive. If you haven't seen the site recently, take a look at the redesign by visiting the new home page.

Major and Minor Scales Explained

As part of the Basic Music Theory lessons, I've added explanations of what a Major Scale is, and what a Minor Scale is. In each lesson, I also teach you how to construct any major or minor scale, and how to play the sample scale constructed during the lesson.

New Easy Song: Silent Night

This easy-to-play version shows you how to play this popular Christmas song using Chords, or as a melody. I also present several methods of avoiding the F-Major chord, which is probably the first chord that most beginners really struggle with. I include a chord chart with fingering diagrams and TAB (for the melody version).

The Zoom H4, An Insider's Look

You can find reviews for the amazing Zoom H4 digital recorder all over the web. So, why would I do one? I didn't! Instead, I focus on how a guitarist can use this pocket-sized device, and I reveal the steps needed to play along with a recording while playing through the Zoom H4. If you have a Zoom H4, or if you're considering a purchase, read my Hands On Review of the Zoom H4.

Work In Progress:

Coming soon to the web-site!

  • Scales: What they are; Why play them; and How to get started.

    You hear so much talk about scales, but you quickly realize that people play them for a variety of reasons, they play a variety of scales, and they build on each other. Where to begin? This article will pierce the veil and make scales useful to you.

  • A Guitar Pro 5 Hands-on review.

    I hoped to launch this page with the redesign, but the timing didn't work out. It's a long story, but the short version is: I upgraded my Mac to the latest version of the OS-X operating system, and Guitar Pro 5 stopped working. According to the Guitar Pro Support Page, a bug fix is expected "in the next few weeks" The completion of the review will be after that.

SIDEBAR: Keep up to date with all the changes by subscribing to our RSS feed (click to open a window of help and subscription instructions). It will keep you up to date with new pages and other special announcements. I will not overload you with every grammar-fix, new image, or other minor mod.

Gift Ideas

It's that time of year again! Here in the northeast portion of the USA the leaves have fallen, the external faucets are turned off to prevent burst water pipes, and store parking lots are jammed. But who needs to park when we can do so much of our Christmas shopping online?

I thought I'd list a few gift ideas for your favorite guitarist, or for you to put on your own Christmas list. I've searched through my gig bag and some of the year's top products, to come up with the following list:

  • Dunlop Tortex or Delrin Wedgie Guitar Picks
  • Tortoise shell was once prized for the unique tone produced when plucking or strumming guitar. Now, it's illegal to use natural turtle shell unless the pick is recycled from before the ban. Pick makers have tried to produce a synthetic material to reproduce the tone. The Dunlop Tortex pick is one highly rated version. At about $4 for a dozen, in your choice of thickness, you really can't go wrong.

    A pick that I use frequently is the Delrin Wedgie . I love the contoured grip that my thumb falls naturally into. The tone is very good, the pick is durable, and the cost is low (about $3 for one dozen).

  • A Built-In Guitar Stand
  • I've been using the Guitar Kickstand on my Strat for several months now, and I love it! For more information, read my Hands On Review.

  • A Gig (Gear) Bag
  • I continue to use my gig bag almost as much as my guitar. I stuff it will all kinds of stuff: extra chords, picks, tools, strings, pedals, power cords, tuner, winder, batteries, even my cell phone and a book or two. It's baled me out time and time again. I've seen several and still prefer the $30 Musicians Gear Elite Series Gear Bag (Black or Tweed) .

  • The Line 6 POD X3
  • Time for some gear envy! Line 6 recently upgraded their popular POD series of effects processors, adding the X3 LIVE floor pedal and the X3 pocket-sized effects processor. The number of effects and features are too numerous to list here, but each is packed.

  • Experiment With Capos
  • If you're looking to play along with a vocalist (including yourself) or just want to experiment with some new ways to play, grab each of these versatile capo's: the Kyser Quick-Change Capo , the Kyser Short Cut Capo , or the Kyser Drop D Capo . If you've never used a capo before, I encourage you to take a look at this page, filled with tips, video explanations, and links to other helpful pages. Each capo is less than $20.

  • Try the Technology and Flexibility of the Fender VG Stratocaster
  • What do you get when you team up a leading guitar manufacturer and a cutting edge electronics company? The Fender VG Stratocaster ! It's like picking up thirty-seven guitars in one, well, sort of. The American Series Stratocaster is all real, with it's familiar strat sound. The other thirty-six are modeled through the Roland electronics. The most amazing thing about this guitar is the 'flip of the switch' tunings. Want to play in drop-D tuning? Flip a switch and it's modeled perfectly. Open G, same thing. Also instantly available via switch: D modal, normal, and Baritone. Add to this the ability to model a number of other guitars, including 12-string, acoustic, or telecaster. Most amazing, no special interfaces are needed. Select your modeling, plug it in, and play! Oh, well, it does require batteries for the modeling (but not for playing as a straight Strat).

Go For A Big Finish!

I hope you've enjoyed this issue of The Bridge. See you next month!


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