September 13, 2007

Guitar Chord Fingering


Mike, here’s a question that has bugged me for years.

When I started I used to play the first position G chord using fingers 1,2 and 3,but very soon after changed to fingers 2,3 and 4,as it was easier to play a G7 or a Gsus4 for example.

I still see many experienced players using the first three fingers and so my question is, ‘Which one is correct,and does it really matter’?


It does not matter which fingers you use, it’s really a matter of what fingering works best for you in a particular progression.

Filed under Guitar FAQs by Mike Hayes.
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September 3, 2007

Guitar Effect Units - D.I Box

D.I Box Question: Boss DI -1 Guitar Direct injection pedal

Question I’m just wondering what DI pedal you use when recording? I remember you telling me that you split your guitar signal - so one goes to the miked up amp and the other directly into the recording - and mix both sounds.

Answer: I’ve always used the Boss D1-1.

I usually carry 3 or 4 of them with me when I doing sessions, in case the studio does not have these type of DI’s as part of their equipment.

The Boss D1-1 has a single input | para out |unbalance out …on the front panel ( the para out goes to the amp - which is mixed up).

On the back panel there’s a balanced out / cannon jack for the mixer… also NOR| INV and NOR|LIFT for any earth/ground hum issues.

Filed under Guitar FAQs by Mike Hayes.
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Your Groove

Remember, your groove allows the listener to get into your music and bypass the intellectual critical faculties. When you tap your foot and focus on the “ground beat” you lock into the groove, this helps other musicians play with you and your audience can relax and enjoy your music as they tap their feet in agreement with the “groove” you have set-up.

The best test I’ve found of whether or not your groove or feel is working is watching as other people listen to your song.

Music is an integral part of the ritual of the spirit that unites people, and the groove is the element that connects the body and the spirit. The groove has been the heartbeat of music since the first pre- historic man started pounding out rhythms on hollow
logs for people to dance to for religious ceremony or fun.

It’s hard to image now, but a lot of the uproar over Rock and Roll music in the fifties was the beat: that infectious R&B influenced groove that inspired an entire group of poets, writers, artists, and performers to be called the Beat Generation, and led a teenaged John Lennon to call his new band the Beat-les.

Be sure to record yourself and listen back with a critical ear to see if your groove is as accurate as you want it to be.

Filed under Guitar FAQs, On Learning Music, Learning How To PLay Guitars with Videos by Mike Hayes.
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August 19, 2007

Learning Guitar - Online Lessons

Left Handed guitar player questions:

Q. I am going to buy your course, but since I don’t even own a guitar yet I have to buy one first. I love the different sounds of an electric guitar, and ultimately this is what I want to play.

Is it possible to learn to play on an electric right from the start, or do you recommend mastering the basics on an acoustic first?

A. You can start on electric guitar, all chords, notes etc., are identical on both acoustic or electric. There’s different techniques for playing certain musical phrases that differ, however both instruments are essentially the same.

Q. I also will have to learn to play left handed?

A. Actually if you have never played before, I’d recommend learning to play *right-handed* … that’s entirely up to you, my experience with students has been that “left-handed” players that learn right-handed have a distinct advantage asmost of the finger work is done with the left hand.

Also you will find there’s a greater range of instruments available (right handed instruments). if a person has already learnt to play left-handed we never change the way they play …however since you’re starting out, I’d go for the right-hand style.

If however, you prefer to play left-handed our course is available in a left-handed version.

Q. Will I encounter any unique problems learning left handed?

A. If however, you prefer to play left-handed our course is available in a left-handed version.

Some general thoughts:

If looking at acoustic guitars, I like the following brands:


Electric guitars:


You may like to check out as a starting point.

Filed under Guitar FAQs by Mike Hayes.
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Ever wanted to know what types of guitar strings are the best for your style of guitar and guitar playing?
Read more

Filed under Guitar Maintenance, Learning How To PLay Guitars with Videos by Mike Hayes.
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August 14, 2007

Learning Guitar - Online Lessons

Learning guitar is a highly rewarding and enjoyable musical
experience. For some people who are overworked during the
day, their guitar lesson is a rare opportunity to relax. But
…let’s face it, Read more

Filed under On Learning Music by Mike Hayes.
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Learn guitar Lesson - The Minor Pentatonic scale

Pentatonic scales
The Basics:
Pentatonic scales are the staple of rock guitar. They are also widely used in jazz, blues, country and bluegrass music. This fact makes pentatonic scales a very important part of learning to play.

So, what are pentatonic scales?

Technically speaking, any scale composed of five notes can be called a pentatonic scale (penta = five and tonic = notes).

In the real world, however, by learning only two specific pentatonic scales together with the BLUES SCALE you will cover 70% of the playing situations that most guitarists encounter.

The two PENTATONIC scales are referred to as the …

Filed under Learning How To PLay Guitars with Videos by Mike Hayes.
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How To Tune Your Guitar E A D G B E (part 1)

Filed under Guitar FAQs, For Guitar Players Only by Mike Hayes.
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August 10, 2007

Learn Guitar - Guitar Tips -Studio Guitarist Question

Q. I was just wondering how could i become a session guitarist and what opportunities i would have?

A.The key ingredient to a successful career in music (in this case - the recording scene) is to be versatile. To be a professional player (i.e all your income is derived from your skills AND your ability to market yourself) the more versatile your are the more potentially successful your career would be.

Here’s the key points:
must be able to play in a variety of styles e.g., rock, country, blues, jazz must have a great sense of humour and be able to work well under pressure be able to read standard music notation AND play by ear is essential be a good business person - understand how to market your skills

Q. and how would i become one?

A. The first thing is to let people know your are available for that type of work, here’s what I did:

make it known that I would be available for any type of session at any time …this resulted in a lot of *studio down-time* work i.e., 12.00am - 7.00am recording sessions where bands can hire a studio at a greatly reduced rate. I did a lot of *free* rehearsal band work, this was with *big bands - 15- 20 piece bands* that have a lot of musicians from all different musical backgrounds, trumpet, sax, piano players etc …they all have their own bands and we read off of music charts so it was an *ad* for my reading skills. I handed out my business cards to everyone I thought could be a good contact for the future.

Q. do i need any qualifications?

A. No, your reputation is your qualification …in over 30 years of professional studio work …I have never been asked for my qualifications, basically if you are at that session you have been booked because of your past track record in the studio.

Q. if so where do i get them?

A. (see above)

Q.are there an good work opportunities in this particular field?, why would my job be so important in the music industry? .

A.The studio scene has changed a lot since I started, the music scene is a very competitive field very similar to formula 1 racing ……you have to be prepared to work had on your profession for your entire life. I requires an enormous amount of dedication and in many ways is very unglamorous and anonymous (I’m talking about studio work - people will hear you on the radio etc but very rarely ever see you).

Q.Why is studio work important?

A. Today the focus is on VISUAL so in many instances the featured *artist* is chosen for their looks not their musical ability - this is where the session player comes in to make them SOUND good.

In conclusion here is a few little tips that have made all the difference for me …I hope you find them helpful.

Professional musician life:

“the phone rings you go and play ….it doesn’t ring …you practice”

Three rules that determines whether you agree to a booking/session etc:

must :
1. be good fun
2. have connections for the future
3. good money
to accept the booking must have two of the above.

Filed under Guitar FAQs, Building A Career On Guitar by Mike Hayes.
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April 21, 2007

Tuning using Harmonics

Tuning Your guitar using harmonics

Filed under For Guitar Players Only by Mike Hayes.
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