... NEW LESSON: CAGED - How to Use it -- follow up to the original CAGED lesson ....

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Kirks Guitar and Music Primer
The guitar is a mini orchestra, an instrument designed to let you play chords, bass lines and melody lines ... all at the same time. It truly is the most versatile of all instruments and no wonder it became so popular. Keyboards also have this capacity, but guitars, apart from the obvious advantage of being portable, have a multiplicity of positions for the same chunks of music, which (in my humble opinion) give them the edge. The fact that strings can be bent, slid upon (my specialty), hammered on and pulled off, not to mention palmed, muted, tapped, strummed, plucked and caressed ... no contest really. It's also one of the more complicated instruments to come to grips with. Between the maze-like fretboard and the many techniques used to extract music from these boxes, there's a lot to know, which is why I've put this site together for you.



12 string
Classical nylon String - The original, traditional guitar. In the old days, the strings were made of cat-gut. This is the kind of guitar that classical and Flamenco players use. It's the easiest kind of guitar to start out on and they're played with the fingers, not picks. Acoustic steel 6 string - Steel string guitars are bigger and louder that nylon string, and are the most popular of the acoustics. They're harder on the fingers. They're usually strummed with a flat pick, but are also played with bare fingers or finger-picks. Acoustic steel 12 string -
Bigger and heavier than 6 strings, these guitars have 6 pairs of strings. They're tuned and played in the same way, but have much greater volume and a very jangley sound. They're usually strummed. Not for beginners!
Acoustic resonator - Resonator guitars were invented before electronics amplified guitars. The round 'resonator' acts as a loud speaker, making them much louder than plain acoustic guitars. Often played using a slide, or "bottleneck", in Country and Blues music.


acoustic electric
Solid body electric - The most popular kind of electric guitar. The sound comes from the 'pickups' (which are essentially microphones) which feed the sound into an amplifier. They have very little sound when played without the electronics. Semi hollow body electric Almost the same as the solid body. These can be heard without plugging them into an amplifier, but only just. The hollow cavity gives them a slightly different tone than the solid body. Hollow body electric Played mainly by jazz artists, these sound good un-plugged; the pickups simply add volume to the acoustic sound. They're also known as "archtops" because of their arched soundboard. Acoustic electric Acoustic electrics are just acoustics with some built in electronics to boost the volume. Often used in band situations where a normal acoustic gets drowned out by the other instruments.

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