Guitartutorial for Beginners: Easy Blues in G

The last article was about a short blues sequence, this article is about a similar kind of sequence, the chords are almost the same apart from the ending: Here is the sequence again

E7   A7    D7     G

Play all chords as one bar and use a shuffle feel for all chords, apart from the G, play for the G on beat one and three as this chord will give the sequence a finished feel.

You could treat the sequence as being in the key of G or in E minor with the sequence finishing on G, which is the relative major of the key of E minor.

Here is a short melodic idea which will work over the sequence:

E —-0–0———-0—

B ————-3———

G ———————-                                    Play this idea over the E7  A7 and D7

D ———————

A ———————-

E  ———————-

For the final G chord you can simply play the 3rd fret of the high E string and let this note ring, it will give the sequence a finished feel.

More experienced players will not have any difficulty creating some melodic riffs which will fit the sequence. Use minor Pentatonic in Em to find any catchy riffs which will fit the chords.

Another thing  you can do is, play the first chord of each bar, then play the melodic idea and progress to next chord. For each chord play just one strum as the rest of the bar is needed to fit in your melodic riff.
Playing in this style you cover both the chords and the melody without having the need for another guitar to play the chords for you.

Next article we will learn to play Metallica’s “Call of Ktulu” as a Solo Piece including chords and basslines.

Hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

Guitar Tutorial: Blues For Beginners

Blues is a simply style of music to play since it only contains three chords. Well is it simple? In an interview with Frank Gambale from his early days he confessed that he did find it hard to play blues. It is not that he could not play it, but he did find the phrasing hard. It is something which other players may  be able to relate to as well: Improvising over longer chordsequences may be easier since the chords tell their own story. In music where you only have three chords you will need to get the right notes with the right timing to make the phrases come alive. You do not need to play fast but still you need to give those notes a certain feel to make is sound like blues.

For this short article a blues sequence which is based on a 12 bar blues but it is only played in four bars. Four bars is long enough for complete beginners to play. With a 12 bar sequence many students get lost and so is the joy of making music together. Give them four bars and they can still see where they are.

Play the following chords with a shuffle feel: E7  A7   B7    E7

Once you can play the sequence smoothly have a look at playing single notes which fit over the sequence:
Create a short melodic idea which fits over both the E7 and A7 and for the B7  you can create a short walk down and let it finish on the E7. Try using as many open strings as you can since this is possible and will make things easier for your fingers.

Once you get it right you get a feel for what you how you can play over a blues. Check out some of your favourite blues players to see how they do it. Do not get intimidated by the fact some players will play a lot of notes. It is better to play good melodic ideas which are slow compared to fast solos which just sound all like finger excercises.

Good luck and have fun.
Eddie

Check List of Guitar Techniques and Basic Music Theory You Should Know

A short overview of guitar techniques and basic music theory you should know if you have been playing the guitar for about five years. It is a guide for yourself to see where you are in your development in terms of guitarplaying. It can also serve as a guide for things you should be working on in case some gaps in your knowledge and skills.

                              Barrechords: E and A shape

Eventually you should be able to play any kind of barrechord. Get started with the open E and A shape since they are used regularly. You play an open E chord and use your first finger to barre the shape for playing it higher on the fretboard.
Similar for the A chord: Play an open A chord and barre the shape for any chords you want to use higher up the fretboard.
Make sure you do know where the rootnotes are in the open E and A chordshape, it will help you to find any chord of those shapes higher up the fretboard.

                            The Five Open Chords Shapes:

They are all the chords you have learned to play in the open position, they are C, G. D, A and E.
Make sure where the rootnotes in any of these chords are, and make sure you can play any of these chords in any sequence of any kind. Be able to strum and pick these chords without any stumbling. If you do struggle you will struggle with any chord beyond these five, open shapes so make sure you master them confidently.

                           Two Octave Major Scale Starting on A string:

Make sure you can use the scalepattern for various keys and make sure you understand the scalepattern. Instead of just playing the scale, make sure you can improvise with the notes, play melodic riffs and melodies which will go over chordsequences.

                          One  Minor Pentatonic Scale Pattern:

There are Five patterns for the Minor Pentatonic Scale (the Scale contains five notes, five different ways to start the scale, hence five patterns) but make sure you can play one and can use it in any key. Make sure you do understand how the pentatonic scale works and how it fits into your solos.

                           Using a Capo:

Be able to use the Capo to transpose any of the open chordshapes into any key you need for your songs. A Capo can do more than just this, but it is a place to get started so make sure you know how to use it well.

                          Alternate Picking For Single String Notes Using a Plectrum or Fingers:

Basically this is just up and down picking of single notes used in melodies, riffs or solos. Make sure your picking is clean. If you use your fingers use your thumb and first finger to alternate the picking, similar idea as using the plectrum but now by using your fingers.

                          Hammer Ons and Pull-Offs:

This technique will give your playing a legato and smooth sound. Make sure you can use it on all your strings at any time for when you play any single notes such as in melodies, riffs and solos.

As you can see the list is only short and serves as a guide, you can make it longer if you want or just use it as a checklist for your own skills. The aim is to iron out any gaps you have in your musical knowledge and guitar technique to improve a smooth progression to the next level of playing and making music.

Enjoy your playing and hope to catch you soon again,
Eddie

Practising Guitar Daily: What Do You Work On?

Everyone who is serious about their guitar playing should practise daily. What you need to work on is different for each player and will depend a lot on your level of playing.
Let me break down the obvious playing levels with a guide on the kind of things you should work on daily:

                                        Beginner:

It is important that you enjoy any time you spend with the guitar. The difficulty in the beginning is to play material which sounds good and is useful to play. Any beginner should learn basic chords as chords will come back all the time and it is important to memorise the shape and fingering of each chord. Easy chords for beginners are G and Em, but apart from those you should learn all the open chords in the first position as well.
In the beginning you will have difficulty to get a clean sound out of the chord. Try to strum the chord in various ways, play a sequence of about  three chords and focus on clarity of the sound and try to get a smooth transition from one chord to the next one.

Apart from chords play also single note riffs and short melodies. Most tutorbooks are full of these ideas. Play them and concentrate on the right fingering. Stick to the suggested fingering as your fingers will memorise their place on the fretboard.

Make sure you understand how the musical alphabeth works in relation to your strings, and memorise some of the notenames on the fretboard of the guitar.

If you are working with a teacher you will make a start with playing together with someone else. If you work on your own, look out for a friend who plays guitar as well and see if you can play together some simple songs. Making music together is the biggest part of making music and it will provide you with a lot of joy and satisfaction.

                                        Intermediate:

Players of this level should work on songs. Make sure you have all the right chords of any song you want to play and memorise these songs. Working from memory once you do know a song. Play from memory will make you listen more to the sound of your own playing and you will also get into the song, you will become one with the music and your guitar.

Work with tutorbooks which teach you about particular styles, look into different ways to accompany songs as this will make you a better, allround guitar player.

Do some sight reading from time to time. The aim is to read and not to memorise with this task. Once your reading will get better your sightreading will improve. Sightreading is a great tool and you will learn a lot from it such as songstructures, various rhythms and keysignatures.

Do some jamming with yourself, just mess around with chords and riffs. This part of your practise is mainly about fun and using all your skills at the same time. Save this kind of playing for the end of your practise session. If you start with jamming you may not want to progress to any other forms of playing. Try to stick to a certain amount of time dedicted to work and jamming.

                                        Experienced Players:

Who is experienced eh? Let me put it in this way: If you struggle with any basic musictheory related to your own guitarplaying you still need to do some work. If you play and you often have difficulty with certain chords or songparts or whatever, you need to work on your technique.
Any experienced player can move up to becoming an excellent player but you need  to be honest and iron out all your weaknesses in your playing. It will take time but it is also a enjoyable experience to see how your playing will develop over time.

Any musical growth will not happend over night. All of your favourite guitarplayers have worked hard, and most of them still to to this point today.

All the suggestions I mentioned above for beginners and intermediate guitar players also applies to experienced players but you can apply it to a higher level.

If you have never looked at any sightreading, get yourself some tutorbooks today and start. You will enjoy what you will discover as you will enter a new world of guitarplaying.

If Rock guitar is your main style of playing, try some bluegrass fingerpicking and some Classical playing. You can do these styles on any electric guitar, just set up your amp for an almost acoustic sound and have a go. Most guitarplayers today do have more than one guitar so my guess is most people who read this will have access to either a nylon-or steelstring acoustic guitar.

You can try some Slideguitar and working with different tunings, all of this will take time to get used to but it is worth your while if you are serious about your guitarplaying.

                                          Conclusion:

My list with suggestions only serves as an example, you know who you are and what your level is. The point of this article is: Do not play the same old things you have been playing for a long time, work on various things at the same time as it will keep your mind fresh and your fingers alert.

The overal goal is to entertain yourself with your playing and if your keep a healty balance of variety of material your playing will improve over time.

Good luck, stick to it and hope to see you soon again.
Eddie

Book Review: Basic Guitar Lessons by Happy Traum

Basic Guitar Lessons by Happy Traum is a tutor book which comes in four volumes. Book One and Two get you started with reading music and using the plectrum, while book Three and Four focus on both Finger and Plectrum style. All Four books provide you with some basic music theory as well. The book was first published in 1976, updated versions are from 1985 and 1995.

The book introduces the student of the guitar to a variety of guitar styles such as Folk style finger picking, Classical playing and Bluegrass playing. The skills gained from the book can be transfered to your own playing style and interests.
The book is very similar to Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method which also comes in omnibus version and has been around for a while.
I find that the older guitar methods intoduce the student to more variety of playing material, the material can always be updated with more modern songs of a particular style.

        
                    For Who is this Book?

For anyone who has been playing for a while or the complete starter. The book is ideal for guitar players who have been playing for a while but tend to play with the same chordshapes and materials they have been introduced to. Like with so many tutor books, the information gained from playing through these books can be applied to the songs you already play.

The book will introduce you to reading music and a variety of accompanyment styles. Being able to read music will make you more aware of certain rhythms and song structures.  It will make you a better, overal guitarist.

Check it out and enjoy,
Hope to catch you soon again,
Eddie

Sight Reading Tips for Guitar Players: The Joys of Reading Music and Beyond

A short article about sight reading and reading music for guitar players. When you are reading this article you may be one of those guitar players who never learned to read any written music. Do not worry, there are many players like you and it is quite common to start out with playing the guitar without the guidance of any written music. It is my firm belief that the guitar can offer you much more than the style of playing you enjoy at the moment. Let us have a look at the world of written notation as you may discover some new forms of inspiration:

                        Why Written Music?

The most direct answer to this question is: Music as found in books and playing methods is a form of tuition, it simply is a form which can help you how to play a particular song, or melody or chordsequence. Written music becomes fun once you have learned how to read. Most basic tutor books for the guitar do have this as one of their goals. Not many students do understand that this is one reason why it is useful to use tutorbooks right from the start: The books will teach you about the right fingering positions of the left and right hand, the right playing posture for the guitar and they will teach you to reconise the notes on the staves.

The guitar does have its traditional problems when it comes to reading music: Classical guitar was only considered as a serious musical instrument since the 1920s in musical schools. The instrument had been around for much longer and most of its players had learned to play by what other guitarplayers passed on to each other.
A tradition of reading was non-exhistant: if you wanted to learn guitar you just had to find yourself a friend who could play a little and learn whatever he/she had to offer you.  This is a very different tradition compared to learning a piano where most students would start out with a teacher and music books.

Today the situation has changed a lot: You can learn to play by using the internet, videos and other source of educational material. What I mentioned before about the piano compared to the guitar is still true to an extend: Most students of the piano will start out with written music whereas for students of the guitar it depends very much on the how students will get introduced to the guitar: If students seek out help of a teacher they may get introduced to written music, but not always as it depends on the background of the teacher and his/her musical vision about how to teach the guitar.

                            How Does One Learn to Play the Guitar?:

If today we have various educational  resources around is it still useful to learn to read music? Yes, but let me look at learning how to play and what to play on the guitar first.
Most students of the guitar do have some kind of idea what they want to learn: They either have some favourite players in mind they would like to study or they want to sing particular songs etc. For most of those situations I suggest using the actual music as a form of edcuation: If you want to learn to play some Oasis songs you need to listen to those songs and find out what chords are being played. Yes you can get the music books for Oasis, it will have all the musical notation for the bass, drums and vocals and the chords. Changes are you only want the chords so really………. you may be better of by having someone who shows you how to play those chords and get along with the song and the music. The best way of learning in a situation like above is to listen to the song and to play those chords and get as close as you can to the orginal feel of the song. Not an easy task in the beginnning, but you will get better at it, and no book will help you in this case, you just need to play and use your ears.

So no books for your favourite songs, why bother with reading then eh? Well what about if you have been playing some of your favourite songs but want to try something more with those chords than just strumming? You may find a book on rhythm guitar and various ways to accompany songs. Having some reading skills will help to get you more out of the book.
There is a wealth of material out there which can introduce you to different styles of music and onces you have learned to read you will get so much more out of those books.
Not a good sight reader? Do not worry, your reading skills will get better the more you do it, and most books can be understood also on a basic level. The more time you will put into your reading the better your reading skills will develop and over a period of time you will be able to use more demanding styles of reading material.

                              How Does Sight Reading Work? The Process

In the beginning you will learn to read the notes in one position of the fretboard. Most of those notes will be on the open strings of the guitar, a bit like when you learned to play your first chords for the guitar. Once you have mastered some of the open positions most books will progress to higher positions on the fretboard. If you are aware of what you are doing you can actually play all your open postion pieces in higher postions on the fretboard, simply find the first note of the piece and progress from there.

Once you no longer struggle with the actual reading of the notes you may want to just “read and play”. Sight reading is the art of reading and playing on the spot, you do not actually memorise the piece you are playing, you simply play the piece of music you see in front of you. Before you play the notes, try to visualise where you can play the piece, look for the highest and lowest note to get an idea of what position of the fretboard is suitable, avoid too much moving up and down the fretboard as it will make the reading and playing harder.
A true sight reader does not look at his/her fingers, your fingers feel their way across the fretboard while your eyes stay focused on the music. Good readers will be able to put feel into their music, even though they may never have played the piece before, such is the sheer pleasure of being able to play and read whatever you can find.

                                Tips for your Own Reading Studies:

Grade your own material: When you are new to reading music start out with basic material. You need to be able to get some sense of music from your notes for your own satisfaction, if you get no music from your reading you either cannot play the notes yet or you have chosen music which is too hard for you to play yet! Go back and find something you can play and progress from there. If you are working with a tutorbook, most of them progress slowly and you will notice your own progress the more your practise your reading skills.

Not only guitar music: You can read whatever you want as long as you can read it and as long as it is written in G clef. You can take any piano material, or violin or saxophone or whatever. You will notice, once you start using material for other musical instruments, the keys will be different from the usual guitar friendly keys such as E, A , G and C. Once you can read the music this difference should not be a problem.

Whatever you read, try to put feel into the music. If you struggle with this, the piece may be too hard, you simply have to play it longer to understand it and feel it.

                                   Learning a Piece or Just Reading it?

If you have  found some music you really like you may want to use it for your own playing, you can memorise the piece or simply keep reading it. You will find once you have memorised the music you will play it better. It may take some time to learn the whole piece, but it is worth doing it if you really want to play this piece again and again.

                                   Finally:

Once you have learned to read music the skill will stay with you forever, you may get a little rusty if you do not read regularly. You can move up to a higher form of reading by reading more demanding music to improve your skills or just use your reading skills to simply improve your playing style.

Have fun and keep at it  and hope to see you again soon,
Eddie

Guitar Tutorial: Different Form of Picking Part Two –Sweep Picking and Tremolo Picking

In part one I looked at Alternate Picking as one of the most commonly used picking styles for the guitar when it comes to playing solos and riffs. For this article I will highlight some aspects of Sweep Picking and Tremolo Picking.

                      Sweep Picking:

It is a somewhat confusion term, as it is not always obvious to see that your picking hand actually sweeps through the notes. There are different forms of Sweep Picking, the style of picking has been around for a long time. Some Jazz players used the style before but since the 1980s Sweep Picking has been developed into one of the standard picking styles for modern guitar playing.

There used to be a time when Sweep Picking was looked upon as “cheating” since not all notes were being picked one by one with the plectrum. Off course, this is nonsense, since Sweep Picking gives your notes a more legato feel rather than each notes being played with the plectrum. It simply gives you a different sound, and sound at the end of the day is all what matters.

Most of you reading this article will use some forms of Sweep Picking, you may not even be aware of it as it is such a commonly used picking style today.

Have a look at this argeggio (=broken chord) of Gmaj7, as it is a typical form of Sweep Picking:

   E —-2——-                                 

   B  ——-3——

   G  ———–4—-

   D  —————5–

   A ——————-

   E ——————–

This type of arpeggio is typically played with one downstroke where each note rings out individually. It is easy to confuse this type of picking with a strum: A strum will give you all the notes at, almost, the same time whereas the Sweep will let you hear each note at a time. It is logical to see why this type of picking is called Sweep Picking, as you simply “sweep” through all the notes with a downwards stroke.  You use an Up stroke for when you reverse the Sweep back up to its rootnote on the 5th fret on the D string.

Other forms of Sweep Picking will let you pick often through a larger range of octaves: Simply start on the G on your low E and go up to the G 3 Octaves up on the high E string.
Most players will use a downstroke for the first note, and the next note is often played with a Hammer on, which will give you a legato sound. When you reverse the Sweep back from its highest note to its lowest Rootnote you use a Pull Off instead of Hammer On, you also use a upstroke instead of a downstroke.

Most people will not play full 3 octave sweeps for one arpeggio, but you may play a part of it to get that legato sound in your solo. The trick with Sweep Picking is to work it into your exhisting pickstyle in a natural way so your solos will not sound as just an excercise.  To get the Sweep Picking into your stystem it helps to play excercises, but once your fingers know their way you should find musical ways to employ the Sweep.

Often Sweep Picking is seen as an advanced way of picking. It may be so, but is also a style of picking which will make you play very precise, since you need to mute any unwanted stringnoise, and it will let you break out of the usual Pentatonic boxes.

                 Tremolo Picking:

You use a down and up stroke rapidly to play on any note. This style of picking can be used for single notes but also for chordplaying. Listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughan to hear how the style can be used to your avantage.

                What Picking Style To Use? Let Your Music Decide!!

It makes sense to work on all the various pickstyles I mentioned in both articles, since each style will give you a particular sound. When it comes to playing your solos freely you want your technique to be in place so you can concentrate on what you hear. Most great guitarplayers will combine any of these pick styles to get a variety of sounds in their playing. If you try to stick to one pick style at a time you will notice the difference. 
If you are new to any of those particular picking styles, play just using one stlye for a while and notice the difference in your playing. Once the style has become second nature try to combine it with another picking style. 

Good luck, stick to it and hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

Guitar Tutorial: Different Picking Forms Part One: Alternate Picking

Most of what I will mention here is for plectrum style guitar, although it can be applied to fingerstlye playing as well. When I talk about picking I mean picking of individual notes and not the picking of chords as such. It is the kind of playing which is being used when playing solos and melodic riffs on the guitar.

Students of the guitar do get introduced to Alterate Picking from very early one. Alternate picking seems to be the most logical form of picking to get around the fretboard. Well is it? In this short article I will highlight different forms of picking. Part one will deal with Alternate Picking and Down and Upward Strokes. In part two I will look into Sweep Picking and Tremolo Picking.

                      Alternate Picking:

It is the from of picking where you alternate your strokes of the plectrum: Most commonly players tend to play any note with a downstroke when this note falls on the beat. The upstroke is commonly used for the notes which fall on the off beat.
Think of youir beats in a bar as follows:  1  And  2  And 3  And  4  And    any of the numbers are played with a downstoke of the plectrum and any of the “And” are played with the upstoke of the plectrum.

Alternate Picking is also used when skipping strings: Most players will use a downstroke for when they skip strings regardless of the pickingpattern which went on before.

                    Down Strokes:

They are being used, as mentioned before, for any notes which fall on the  beat. It is possible to use down stokes all the time, as it gives you a different sound. Try it on your low E and A string, you may like the sound of it.  Down strokes tend to sound “heavier” compared to the ligther feel of the upstroke. Ideally you should use whatever pickstyle fits the music best.
Downstrokes are also used for the downsweep in Sweep Picking, but I will deal with Sweep Picking in part two of this article.

                  Up Strokes:

Usually used, as mentioned before, for any notes which fall on the off beat. Up Strokes are also being used in the upsweep in Sweep Picking. I will deal with this form of picking in part two of this article.

Part Two will deal with Sweep Picking and Tremolo Picking.

Hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

Your Set Up and Your Own, Unique Guitar Style

For this article I will start offf with a statement: Your Equipement such as amplifier and pedals and other effects and your guitar should inspire you to achieve the sound you want to make.

The sound you want to make? Do you know what kind of sound you want to make, or in other words the kind of style you want to play? Maybe you want to play various styles, and each of those styles may have their own guitar sound.
Not many guitar players do know what kind of sound they want to make when they are starting out. Usually people start off with the music they know, or what they have been exposed to. Once they have been playing for a while and have discovered a few things along the way, they may start to think about the equipment they use and how well it helps them to achieve the sounds they want to make. This is where we start off with this article:

Making music and playing the guitar is a journey, or at least it is for many of us, along the way you find out what you are good at and what you  are interesed in, what is possible and what kind of opportunities come along your way. The gear you use should reflect that but there are are varous approaches and for this article I want to outline a few of them:

                           Upgrade your Equipment:

This approach does have little to do with musical style or preferences, it is more like: Start out with beginners kit and upgrade to get better sounds, but the sounds may not be geared towards a certain musical style. Nothing wrong with this approach, since it is all part of the journey. People may change their amps and guitars after one year of playing to get up to the next level. The new amp and guitar probably will feel better but still, most of those people will have little knowledge of what they want to play, anything better will do for now.

                           Universal Set-Up: Various Guitars, Amps and Effects:

The players who did upgrade their equipment after one year may discover, after maybe five years or so, that they are interested in playing Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll 50s style and some Blues Rock. What kind of amp would be good to cater for that style, what kind of guitar?  Most Blues players do not play with many different tones, most of the tones they use come out of their fingers, guitar and the amp. I know, this is a general observation but still there is some truth in it. Most Blues guitar players tend to use classic guitarmodels such as Fender and Gibson Les Paul. Again, this is a somewhat simplification, but the truth is those guitarmodels can provide you with a wide range of sounds, and most of those sounds are very useable in guitarstyles such as Blues, Bluesrock and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Okay, so with a basic, good amp and any kind of Fender or Gibson Les Paul you should be on your way to achieve the sounds you want to make in the styles mentioned above. What about if the guitar player is also interested in Jazz Rock, or Fushion or Jazz or Shred style. Can the same equipment help to achieve any of those sounds? It would be possible but you may need to adapt a few things and this is where various guitars and amps may come in:

                         Set-Up for the Guitar: String Gauge, Action, Fret Size:

Most Blues players will use a heavier string gauge compared to the typical shred style guitar players. When you play with heavier strings you may want to raise to action a bit. Raising the action will help the strings to breath and it will give you more tone. A guitar with a higher action will make you play a bit harder, it is natural since this is what you need to do to make the strings come alive. If you have been playing with higher action the playing harder will become a natural habit, but if you have been playing with thin strings and a low action you will need to adapt your style to get the best out of the set-up of your guitar.  Listen to some of the older Blues guitarists and most of them will play with a stronger attack compared to younger players who may use thinner string gauge and lower action.
 

The fretsize of the guitar may more be personal preference and will not do so much for your tone, it does have an impact on the feel of the fretboard of the guitar. Older guitars were usually set up with thinner frets, but this is a general observation as various guitar companies used different size fretwire over time. Today there is more choice, and information, with regards to the feel of the guitar. The feel is a personal thing, if you have various guitars you may want to set them up in different ways to achieve a different feel and to improve their playability for the styles of music you have in mind.  Is it possible to use one set-up and still be able to play various styles? Let us have a look at this question in detail:

As mentioned before: a guitar with heavier string gauge and action will make you play harder, is this kind of set up suitable for playing styles which require a legato style with a smooth distorted sound? If you are good as a player, you will be able to make any set up sound like how you want to play and sound, but some set-ups may be not inspiring to play with.
If you have varous guitars you may want to set them up differently according to the style of music you want to use that guitar for. Having said that, it is easier to swap amps and pedals w hile keeping the guitar and set-up the same:

                         Amps: Hybrids and Single Channel Amps:

Most vintage style amps of the past were not good at giving you many tones, Fenders may be a bit better compared to Marshalls but still, once you use a Fender you know you are playing through a Fender since it cannot give you those lowdown dirty sounds of older style Marshall amps.
Modern amps today come in a lot of styles and variations and most of them can do more than one tone. What kind of tone you want is up to the style you want to play: A simple basic amp may be just what you need when it comes to playing Blues and Blues Rock. You can augment the amp with a handful of pedals to change your sound a bit.
When it comes to Fushion and Jazz, you may want to use an amp with more tonevariation, but again, all of this depends on your own vision and experience.

                       The Journey and Equipment:

When you check out some of your well-known favourite guitarists you may find out that they have been using different set-ups over the years People change their minds about what they like and also want to experiment with their tone to keep things fresh. You will notice some things may remain consistent: Some of the 80s style session guitarplayers may still use racks and poweramps since this is what they feel is best for achieving that kind of sound.
One way to look at tone is to think about the history of the electric guitar and amplification: What kind of tone was there in the 1950s and how good it this tone today? Can it be used to achieve what you want to do? Can you work with your playing style while still using a bacis guitarsound coming from a basic amplifier without too many effects and get a pleasing sound for your own needs? It is a question you need to answer for yourself!

Enjoy your own journey and hope to see you soon again for more updates,
Eddie

Typcial Vintage Guitars Features

A few side notes on older, vintage guitars and how comfortable they are to play compared to current models.
I will break down a few facts related to parts of the guitar and compare these facts. Overal the breakdown of facts could be used as a rough guideline on how to approach vintage guitars compared to modern ones.

                 Fretboard:

Most guitars these days will have fretboards with rounded edges, they feel smooth and comfortable for your fingers, compared this to older type of guitars this is not always the case. Older Strats in particular do not have rounded edges on the fretboard. The feel of the fretboards is very different compared to newer Strats. The size of the actual fretboard is different as well and Strats are notorious for their differences allround: Strats throughout the ages may all look similar but once you start playing them, and have a close inspection, you will notice the differences.

                  Fretsize:

  
Fretsize these days may be a bit bigger than on the older guitars, but this may depend on the model of guitar you are looking at. Some guitar players feel bigger frets will feel more comfortable and will help your playing. If you are only used to one fretsize you will not know the difference. There is a difference in feel, and what feels better depends on your taste and experience.

                 Output Pick Ups:

The output of the pick ups of current guitars may be higher than those of older models, but again, this could depend on the model you are looking at. When you are dealing with a vintage guitar and you feel the pick ups are weak you need to consider the fact the electronics and the pick ups have aged: Pick Ups do have coils with copper winding, they age over time, sometimes this may be a good thing at other times you may feel the guitar is lacking something. It is possible to get the pick-ups rewound if you would like to keep using the same pick  ups. You may be able to get them rewound to same specks. Doing so will, off course, make a difference to the sound of the guitar. Try to play the guitar for a while to see how you get on with it before you decide to make any changes to the actual current pick ups.

                 Neck Profile:

Older guitars may have thicker necks which may not suit your style of playing. In the past there was less choice in how you wanted your guitar to be: You just got on with whatever you had and that was it.
One way to look at the neck size is to think about various styles of music and the changes these styles brought to guitars in general: The fast, shred guitar styles of the 80s made guitar players request for ultra slim line necks. 

               Customization of Guitars:

From the late 70s onwards guitar players started to adapt their guitars to their own, unique playing styles: Heavy Rock guitar players often swapped their pick-ups for higher output pick ups, vintage style bridges–as found on any standard Stratocaster—were often changed for Floyd Rose style bridges which enabled the player to preform the heavy dive bombing tricks which became part of the Metal Style of playing.
Some of these customising trends found their ways into the regular guitar models of the day, and that is why the guitars of today often have higher output pick ups and thinner necks and some other features which used to be less standard for older type of guitars.

                Finish:

Older style guitars often have a thinner finish, and that explains for some of the typical wear on the finish you may come across on the necks and the bodies of the guitars. Fenders, until the late 70s had sometimes a mixed finished job: On the back of the body the finish may look a bit thicker compared to the finish on the sides and the edges of the body. Some of the finish was even used to smoothen out any irregularities in the woodwork of the body. Over time these areas of the body will show that typical wear and tear you will see on some guitars.

             
                Conclusion:

Are older guitars any better than newer ones? One way to answer this question is to compare older guitars with older cars: Are they any better than newer types of cars?
Why would someone want to check out older guitars? If you are interested in electric guitars you may want to find out how the earlier guitars were compared to newer electric guitars. The electric guitar soldid body guitar has only been around since the early 1950s. It is possible to find an early model to see how they were made in past and to see how well they play.

Enjoy and hope to catch you soon again,
Eddie