Adult Guitar Lessons

cases 4If you've saved up and bought that "dream" guitar, you want to make sure you protect your investment with a good guitar case.

Many upper end guitars come with a case that is made for that particular guitar, but if you don't have one, here are some various guitar case styles and considerations when shopping for one.


Chipboard cases are the economy version of a guitar case. They are designed for minimal protection and are suitable if the guitar is kept mainly at home, or only taken out occasionally. Extra care should be exercised when transporting the guitar in a chipboard case because they are not designed to support a heavy load or sustain a strong impact.

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Gig Bags

Gig bags are the choice of many guitarists because they are easy to carry. Most are built with a shoulder strap for convenience. They range from light weight models with minimal protection, to heavy duty models that offer protection similar to a hard shell case.

Gig bags are available in many different cosmetic choices and colors and range in price from under $20 to well over $100. They typically have a variety of pockets and zipper pouches for extra storage.

cases 5Hard Shell

Hard shell cases are the choice for those that are serious about protecting their investment. There are a wide variety of case choices available for virtually every make and model of guitar on the market.

The important thing to remember when purchasing a hard shell case is to get one that is an exact match for your guitar. Some guitars will "almost" fit into a hard shell case, but if the guitar neck is not supported properly. damage can occur if the case is dropped.

Flight Case

Traveling musicians will, quite often, use a flight case. These usually have an extra heavy duty shell, such as metal or anvil, and are built to withstand punishment.
cases 1Some models of flight cases are designed for the guitar to placed directly into, and others are designed to protect the guitar while it is still in the original hard shell case, thereby offering two layers of protection.

Although heavier to haul around, the latter method is preferable.

I have personally had some close calls flying with a guitar in only a hard shell case. As a result, I will not fly anywhere without putting my guitar in a flight case.

cases 2Guitar cases can range in price from fairly inexpensve to pricey. Either way, it is a small price to pay to protect your investment, and to give you peace of mind while traveling.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

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cable 4If you play electric guitar or acoustic electric guitar, you will surely be shopping for guitar cables.

As you have probably noticed, guitar cables can be found in many different lengths and styles. Here are some ins and outs about guitar cables.

In order to get a good, clean connection between your guitar and amp you want to use a "guitar" cable. This is a shielded cable that is specially designed to work with you guitar and amp. Don't use speaker cables or zip wire, these will create unwanted line noise.

cable 5Most guitar cables are purchased according to their length, and can vary in price according to the hardware used for the connectors, and the type of exterior material.

For guitar and amp applications the guitar cable will have 1/4" male mono jacks on either end, and braided shielding inside the jacket to help reduce noise interference.

If you purchased a new electric or acoustic electric guitar you may have received a guitar cable with it. If so, it is probably a fairly thin bodied cable in the 10' range. The first thing you should do is throw that out! Or, at best, stick it on the closet shelf for an extreme emergency. These cables
have a very short life expectancy.

Cable Length

When buying a cable you will want to determine the best length for your situation. Too long, and you wind up tripping over excess cable - too short, and you can't reach your amp.
survival 4For my current set up, I have an electric guitar with a multi effects processor so I use two guitar cables. One from my guitar to the processor, and one from the processor to the amplifier.

For the cable that goes from my guitar to the processor, which sits directly in front of me on stage, I use a 10' cable. That gives me plenty of room to move on stage without a lot of excess getting tangled up around my feet.

For the cable from my processor to my amp, I use an 18' cable. This gives me some extra length to work with. I never know, from venue to venue, what type of stage setup will be available, so for the most part, 18' seems to cover just about any circumstance.

Of course, your situation may be completely different. Try to anticipate where you will be setting your rig up and have cables ready for anything that may come up.
cable 6If you play through effects pedals and have two or more on the floor in front of you, there are small cables made to connect those pedals. They come in lengths of a few inches or less.

Cable Pricing

You can find a good 10' guitar cable from a reputable manufacturer for under $10. Of course, as the length increases so does the price.

There are several companies that produce more expensive guitar cables. The higher price is based on  materials used in manufacturing the cable. Most claim a noticeable improvement in sound and noise reduction.

There are a number of cosmetic differences in cables such as color and jacket material. All are in various price ranges. The upper end "boutique" cables can go for $40 or more.

Angled vs Straight

Most guitar cables are available with either straight plugs or right angle plugs (or one of each).

You will want to consider your personal setup when considering whether to purchase cables with right angle or straight plugs.
cable 1If you have an electric guitar with the input jack on the outside part of the body, similar to a Les Paul, you may want to choose a cable with at least one right angle plug. This will keep the cable end more flush with the body of the guitar and cut down on the accidental impact that is common when using a straight plug on these types of guitars.

Most acoustic
electric guitars would fall into this same category.

If your guitar has the input jack on the front of the body, similar to a Strat, then a straight plug will be more suitable due to the input insertion angle.

Once you determine the best angle position for the "guitar end" of your cable, you will want to decide what will be the best position for the other end.

If you are plugging into an effects pedal that has its input on the right side of the pedal, you may consider using a right angle plug, because a straight plug invites the possibility of someone stepping on it.

If you are plugging directly into your amplifier then a straight plug should work well because it will allow the cable to extend straight out to you without having to make any turns, which could cause undue stress to the cable.

"Strap in Down"

cable 2Either way, a good habit to get in to when hooking up the "guitar end" of your cable, is to run it underneath your guitar strap from behind, and then into the guitar strap. This secures the cable in place and prevents accidentally stepping on the cable and pulling it out of the guitar input while playing.

Regardless of which cable you choose, always try to bite the bullet and have an extra one with you as a spare. Guitar cables have a funny way of going out at the most inopportune moments!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

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In the old days, guitarists had few choices when it came to tuning their guitars.
tuner 4

One option was ttuner 5o use a tuning fork. This is a U shaped two prong fork made of steel, that when struck, resonates a pure tone at a particular pitch determined by the length of the tines.

A guitarist would use the tuning fork to tune one of the strings on the guitar to the proper pitch and then tune the rest of the guitar strings appropriately. (see "Tuning the Guitar")

Another option was to use a "pitch pipe" in a similar fashion. A pitch pipe is a device that, when blown into, produces an audible pitch.

Yet another option was to use a piano to get reference notes for tuning the guitar. Of course this depended on the piano being in proper tuning.

tuner 3Electronic Tuners

Nowadays, things are much easier for tuning the guitar with the advent of electronic tuners. These devices are designed with input jacks to plug in a guitar for tuning, and also have built in condenser microphones for tuning an acoustic guitar.

Most electronic tuners will have a display on the front to indicate the pitch of the string. Some analog tuners have a VU type needle that indicates the pitch of the string. Newer digital tuners will use a digital replication of a VU meter, or they may display the string pitch with the use of LED lights.

Most of these units are powered with batteries. Many use 9 volt batteries.

tuner 8Styles

There are numerous styles of guitar tuners on the market. Some are simple, inexpensive units that can fit in a shirt pocket. Others are designed similar to an effects pedal to be used on the floor or on stage. Some tuners are made to easily clamp to the guitar and tunes the guitar by sensing string vibrations. Still others are made to be rack mounted.
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Some guitar tuners are now available that can be attached to the guitar tuning nut on the headstock and will turn the tuning nut until the string is in tune.

A number of guitar manufacturers are now installing on-board tuners on their new guitars.

tuner 7Chromatic vs 6 String

Basic guitar tuners are set up to tune the 6 strings on the guitar in a standard "E" tuning. In other words, they are capable of tuning the E, A, D, G, B & E strings.

Chromatic tuners are also available. These tuners are designed to tune "all" the notes in the spectrum, including sharps and flats. These chromatic tuners are especially useful to guitarists that play in alternate tunings such as open "E".


As you might imagine, guitar tuners are available in a wide array of shapes, styles and prices.
tuner 1

A good basic battery operated digital tuner can be purchased for under $10. Beyond that, there are a variety of models available that are designed for different applications and constructed of various materials.

There are models available in a modest price range of $30 to $60, and there are also upper end tuners on the market for $100 or more.

Choosing a Tuner

If you are just starting out on the guitar then an inexpensive basic tuner for about $10 will do the trick for you.

As you progress on the guitar and possibly start playing with a band, a good tuner that sits on stage, in-line with your other pedals, might be a good option.
tuner 2

If you plan on trying out some alternate guitar tunings somewhere down the road, you may want to go ahead and spend a few more dollars for a chromatic tuner.

Irregardless of which tuner you choose, just make sure you get one so you don't have to tune your guitar the pre-historic way, with a tuning fork or pitch pipe!

Please do not
hesitate to contact us with any questions!

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stands 3You're playing a gig and the set ends and you take a break. You step outside for a moment of fresh air. You talk to some friends and hang out for a while, look at your watch and head back in.

As you walk inside you glance up at the stage to see an inhebreated patron stumbling over the drums and headed right for your prize Les Paul. His knee catches the edge of the bass drum and he frantically attempts to right himself while tripping over your guitar.

This all happens is a flash, but you are seeing it in slow motion, as pictures of broken necks and shattered head-stocks fly in front of you.

The outcome of this story can go one of two ways. If the guitar is sitting in a cheap, lightweight stand, the outcome can be tragic. If, on the other hand, the guitar is snugly secured in a heavy duty stand, this may have a happy ending.

If this story sounds far fetched, think again. This is a scenario played out in clubs and honky tonks every weekend all over the world.

This is why guitar stands are worth taking a few minutes to talk about.

Guitar stands come in all shapes and sizes and which one is right for you is largely dependent on your particular situation.

stands 1Basic Stands

Basic, entry level, guitar stands are typically of a tubular design. They have adjustable neck support heights and removable bottoms. Most fold up for easy transport. These are good stands for "around the house" and are fairly inexpensive. Some are under $10.

Basic stands also come in heavy duty models with thicker, more substantial tubing. They usually have a rubber band style neck guard to prevent the guitar from being knocked out of the stand.

In earlier models
, the rubber on the neck yoke of some guitar stands had a negative reaction to the paint finish on some guitars, causing damage. This problem seems to have been rectified.

stands 2"A" Frame Stands

These stands have an "A" shape and fold up for compact storage. They do not have a neck yoke and fully support the guitar at the body.

The legs of "A" Frame stands are perpendicular to the body of the guitar, offering a more secure support base than basic stands.

stands 5Multi Guitar Stands

Multi stands can be a real space saver and come in various designs.

In the "basic stand" design, some models hold 3, 6 or even 9 guitars. These stands are also of a tubular design and the guitar "hangs" from a neck yoke and the guitar body rests against a protected stop. The body, however, floats freely and guitars can "knock" against each other.
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Some "A" Frame stands are made with extra supports to accommodate 2 or 3 guitars. Again, the base of these stands keeps them fairly sturdy and the body of the guitar is fully supported.

A popular design for multi guitar stands is the "Rock Stand" style, named for the company that makes them (Warwick). The guitar is placed in a protective "slot" on the stand and it makes for easy in and out. These stands are made to hold 5, 6 or 7 guitars and are very heavy duty and sturdy.

stands 7Wall Hangers

If you want to keep your guitar close by at home, but floor space is an issue, a wall hanger might be the way to go. These are simply what the name implies. They are mounted to the wall, typically to a wall stud, and have a neck yolk attached so that you can hang the guitar up.

These are great for a music room, recording studio, or to display that vintage guitar around the house.

If you are just playing guitar at home and not venturing out, the basic inexpensive guitar stand should work just fine. If, however, you are playing gigs in clubs or at church, or you are setting up in a rehearsal hall where there might be a lot of foot traffic, the investment in a good solid guitar stand will be more than worth it!

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!

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