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Start Playing Guitar's 'The Bridge', Vol 2, #2 - Slow Down!
February 28, 2007's 'The Bridge'

Volume 2, Issue 2: Slow Down & Take It Easier

New Content on

New Song!

Everyone has a birthday, and sooner or later someone will ask you to strum the song. Don't worry, I've posted a simple version of Happy Birthday. Simply strum a few chords and insert the right name ;-)

First Time Visitor Guide

Beginning to play guitar is hard enough without having to figure out where to start on a web site. So, I've added a page especially for First Time Visitors.

You'll find recommended articles based on what you need to learn. If you're looking for a guitar or accessories, look at "The Guitar Shopper" articles. When you're ready to start learning, start with "The Absolute Beginner" articles, then graduate to The Developing Beginner" materials.

Even if you've read through the site, you might discover a hidden gem.

Beginner FAQ

Most beginners have simlar questions, or encounter similar problems. Take a look at the new Guitar Beginner FAQ. It may answer your question, or contain answers for questions you haven't even thought up yet.

Work In Progress:

Coming soon to the web-site!

  • A comprehensive article to tell you all about the guitar fretboard: the layout, string names, note names, intervals, and other characteristics is in the works. An understanding of the fretboard speeds your learning.
  • Recording your guitar to computer. The Mac is my machine of choice, but the concepts are similar for PC's. All about hooking up your guitar, recording it, and sharing your music with others.

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.

The Secret To Learning: Slow Down & Take It Easier

As children we crawled before walking, and walked before running. In middle school we learned kickball before softball, and softball (slow pitch) before baseball (fast pitch). Our guitar instructors teach whole notes and quarter notes before moving on to eigth-notes and sixteenth notes.

Starting slowly with new subjects is a tried and proven learning technique.

As you work to learn new riffs, scales, techniques, chords, or songs you're also learning new mental pictures, new muscle movements, new timings, and you're listening for new sounds. If you slow down, you give yourself time to think and do it properly. You develop better technique, and you're less likely to become frustrated.

But the songs we want to learn go by fast. The riffs fly by before you can figure out the first note. Even on beginner level CD's the chords, strumming examples and scales can feel like they're played too fast to play along.

What if we could just slow it all down? Better, what if we could slow it down and retain the sound of the original recording? Better still, suppose we could get some help with the sounds we're listening to? Best of all, what if such a product were inexpensive?

Andy Robinson of Seventh String Software must have had some of these very same thoughts before he developed his remarkable program: "Transcribe!"

Transcribe! takes a wide variety of audio files and gives you nearly complete control over playback.

You can slow it down to a wide variety of speeds, change the key, loop portions (play repeatedly), record input signals, add labels (markers) to easily find a passage, and view a waveform spectrum that includes "note guessing" and "chord guessing" to help decipher the song. You can also work with a piano keyboard, or create a mono track (which might help to reduce the complexity of a song).

While no software can yet decipher a song into TAB, chords or sheet music... Transcribe! puts enough control into your hands that you can do the same thing. For the beginner, the slow-down control by itself is reason enough to investigate Transcribe!. The other features make it a true bargain.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux! Download a 30 day free trial of Transcribe! here, or listen to sound samples here (scroll down to Speed).

Go For A Big Finish!

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


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