Guitar Talk with Creative Guitarist Eddie de Hamer : Tips on How to Become a Better Slide Guitar Player

The use of a Slide can add a complete new dimension to your Guitar Playing. It is a amazing experience to listen to melodies coming to your ears from a Guitar played by using a Slide. If you have never used a Slide before you simply will not know what the experience is like.
In this article I will explore the various roles Slide playing can play for your music.

Never used a Slide before in your life? Do not know what “Slide” stands for? No sure what kind of Slide to get? Do not worry, the next video will answer all these questions as it will explain in detail how to get started with Slide Guitar. Watch the video in its full length. It will explain about how to use-and hold your fingers, what kind of Slide to use, how to Set-Up your Guitar, your String Gauge and how to actually play the guitar whilst using a Slide.

Okay so now we know how to get started with a Slide, let us now make some music by using a Slide.
The next video shows mainly Singe Note Slide playing. The sound of the Slide is very natural and does not contain any sound processing whatsoever. The focus is not so much on the Slide, the Slide only forms part of the music which develops throughout the course of the video. I used a Slide mainly to get a difference in sound. The sound difference creates a contrast between the sound of the delays and the loops. This variety in sound may be one of the reasons why you may want to use a Slide for yourself since the sound of a Slide is unique. You can use the Slide in any way you want really, no reason you should not want to try using one!

The next video demos the role of the Slide in a more prominent role: The sound of the Slide is much fuller compared to previous video: The sound is more traditional and was treated with the use a OverDrive pedal. Using a Overdrive pedal makes the sound of the Slide stand out more. It sits better in the context of the rest of the music soundwise. The music is fairly traditional compared to the music of the previous video hence my choice for a more traditional sound of the Slide as well.
In terms of playing I use the Slide to enhance the notes of the riff and solo. I also use the Slide to play harmonically for the use of those “A” shape chord types. Even the Loop pedal is used in combination with the Slide. Every Tool used in this video serves the purpose of the sound of the Music!

Both last videos show how you can use a Slide in a very different and unique way. The first video is good for a general overview of what is on offer sonically by using a Slide.
There are other ways how one can use a Slide, I will write about those others ways of playing with a Slide for future blogs.
Hope you will have find this helpful for your own Guitar Playing and Music Making and hope to see you soon again for more.

Thanks and Enjoy!

Guitar Talk with Creative Guitarist Eddie de Hamer==Choose the Guitar Style which Works for You!==

The guitar is a wonderful instrument, it offers you lots of options but as a Guitar Player you need to make a choice about what it is you want to achieve. You can play Acoustic and aim for the Singer-Songwriter approach. You could learn to play Electric Guitar and get used to playing with a lot of Sound Effects. The actual instrument of choice, either Acoustic or Electric, does not make any difference to the physics of playing the guitar: Chord fingerings will be the same for either Acoustic or Electric, the lay-out of the notes on the fret board is similar for both the Acoustic and Electric. The big difference lies in the feel and sound of the Guitar. Most Acoustics will have larger neck and the strings may feel a little stiffer, but once you have learned to play the Guitar there is no real difference between playing a Acoustic or Electric instrument. The sound of a Acoustic guitar comes mainly from the body of the Guitar, whereas the sound of a Electric guitar comes mainly from the Amp you use. This Amp is usually placed a little further away from the Guitar, therefore the sound may be a little less intimate compared to the sound of a Acoustic.
Besides the differences in sound and feel of the Acoustic and Electric guitar there is also the difference in approach. Playing a Electric guitar with a lot of Sound Effects and using a Multiple Amplifier set-up require a different skill set from the Guitarist compared to playing Solo Finger Style Classical Guitar. For this article I will have a look at some of the styles a Guitar Player may choose to play, and what this choice means in terms of skills and approach to playing the instrument.

Since most people will get introduced to Playing the Guitar by the Acoustic Guitar let us have a look at Playing the Guitar on your own, using your Voice and Playing and Writing Songs.
For this approach you do need to be able to Sing with the Guitar at the same time. You could either play Cover Songs or Your Own Songs.

Writing your Own Songs can be a very pleasing experience, but it requires a new skill set: Being able to create your own songs. The beauty of this approach is: Your own songs do not need to fit any criteria. The standards you set for yourself are good enough, which means you can get started straight away and play with what you know!
The more you write the better your songs will become. Once you get hooked your standards may change, but this is only natural as it all forms part of the process of growth as a Musician and Song Writer.

Here is one way of the Singer/Song Writer approach.

Now check out this video here, a different way of Playing, more raw and less sophisticated. Still, it is using the Guitar in the Singer/Songwriter approach.

Needless to say, within the Singer/Songwriter approach a lot is possible, there are many unique styles, all of them can be as deep and pleasing as you want them to be.
For the Singer/Songwriter approach a Guitarist only need to have a guitar and sing, not much else in terms of additional equipment is needed, fantastic!

Let me now have a look at Playing the Electric guitar as a Solo-Instrumentalist approach.
In terms of skills, a Guitarist will need to be able to play melodies, improvise, and work with various sounds the Electric Guitar can offer. You do want to be able to change sounds, since this will make your songs not all sound the same from top to bottom.
Changing sounds on the Electric Guitar can be done as simply by changing the Pick-up selector: You could play your chords for the backing through the Neck Pick-Up. For Solos and Melodies you may want to choose the brighter, Bridge Pick-Up. All depending on your taste.
Another way to change sounds is by using Guitar Pedals or other Rack-Kind of Effects. This approach requires the Guitarist to have a interest in technical details about Sound and Effects Processing. It is a wonderful, deep world, but it may not be for everybody!
Here a short video of the Instrumentalist Approach:

Needless to say this approach to playing the guitar can be very deep and pleasing at the same time. The down side may be the need for additional equipment, but one can keep things as simple as possible.

So far we have looked at music which stays within the boundaries of one song-idea. What about playing music which is constantly changing as we go along. Music which is a bit like a symphony: There is scope for a lot of development within the music. How can this be achieved with one Guitar?
Well it can be done with the use of some Loop Pedals in combination with the use of some other Guitar Effects.
In terms of skills for this approach: a Guitarist will need to know a little Music Theory to create the music, have a awareness of Sounds and Musical Ideas which go together to make something sound like it all belongs and does not start to sound like a mess. In other words: You need to have a vision of what it is you want to achieve.

Here is a short video of this kind of approach:

In addition to standard playing I also use a Slide in this video. Slide Guitar is ,off course, another unique style of playing the guitar. It is a style with requires it own approach. It is steeped in tradition, but you can make it personal. Slide Guitar is very deep and there are many different artists out there who have a totally different way of using the Slide in their own music

A last style I want to highlight is: Making Sounds with the guitar by using gadgets. Gadgets such as day to day objects, like a cork, elastic band or paper clip.
Attaching day to day objects to the strings of the guitar is the called the art of Prepared Guitar. I have written about this approach in a previous blog, check it out here if you want to learn more about it:

The style of making sounds with the guitar is sometimes called: Sound Scape. It is possible to use those sounds into songs, or compositions. One could also just make sounds and not really relate those sounds to any music. Again the choice is up to the individual Guitarist, what you know and your own taste.

The styles I have high lighted here are only a snap shot, there are many many more styles known to the world of music. I have mainly used elements of styles I work with for myself from time to time. Check out the styles you like and see what you can do with them for yourself as a Guitar Player.

Once you have read through all of this you may wonder where it is you should start with your own playing? I would say, get started with what you know and what you like and build onto that style over time. Keep at it and keep working on the various elements which make up part of a particular style of playing. Yes I know, it does require a lot of time, but playing the guitar, and making music, is a life time skill. As long as you keep working on Music you Playing Style will grow.

Hope to see you all again soon in the New Year.

Prepared Guitar and Extended Guitar Techniques

The world around us is constantly changing and music-and other art forms-is not immune to this change as well.Throughout times musicians have explored new avenues of making music.

Towards the end of the 19th Century composers like Bartok and Stravinsky experimented with elements of Folk music to enhance and enrich the sound of their own compositions.
The new experiments of composers lead to changes in the role of traditional harmony in classical music whilst the function of rhythmic structures within the music became more prominent.

In the 20th Century new technological advancements opened up new possibilities for musicians to work with: Improved microphone technology made it possible to create detailed, close-up recordings of instruments in orchestras. This meant that instruments like harps could now now be heard whereas before advancement of close up recording, their sound was simply lost among the sound of other instruments.
New improvements in amplification, magnetic pick-ups and loudspeaker systems opened up different roles for guitar players in orchestras: Guitarist, in larger orchestras in the early 20th Century, where usually asked to play chords and simply be part of the rhythm section. Before the advancement of amplification the sound of a single note on a guitar string could not be heard among the sound of Trumpets and Saxophones. The use of magnetic pick-ups and amplifiers made it now possible for guitar players to improvise solos with single notes, arpeggios and small partial chordal embellishments.

The new technological changes were not only responsible for changing the way musicians approached their instruments, they also gave birth to new styles of music such as Serialism, Minimalism, Avnt-Farde and Rock Music.

The nature of this article is simply too short to explore in full the history, and impact of changes-on the music of the 20th and 21st century. However, we can have a look at what musicians can do for themselves to embrace change. This brings us to the term of “Prepared Technique”

What is “Prepared Technique” you may wonder? It is simply a technique to achieve sounds which can normally not be explored through traditional ways of playing the instrument.
One way to achieve different sounds is to attach a device (any day to day object will do!) to your instrument. In our case, we take the strings of the guitar and attach a object to it. The object can be in the form of a cork, a elastic band or a Capo with released tension. Using your Capo in this manner means your strings will not be clear in sound. They will sound muted and dull. The high, melody strings will sound metallic and muffled.

Why would you want your strings to sound this way, since you can no longer play what you are used to play? Now here lies your answer: You will find new ways to play the guitar since the traditional ways will no longer work. Through experimentation you will discover what kind of sounds are now available. The rewards of your experimentation will be greeted by the emergence of a new kind of music. A form of music you may not have been aware of before. You will soon start to play with elements of music such as pitch and timbre (the tonal quality of your notes). These elements may now become more important compared to playing traditional chord structures. Your standard chord shapes may no longer work because of how you have treated your strings. No a problem since you have discovered a new way to explore the sounds of those strings.

Check out video at the bottom of this page.It will give you a idea of what kind of sounds you can get with a little experimentation with a Capo and a elastic band.

On the same video you will notice that I pull of a string of the Fretboard. I will write about this technique in a next article.
Stay tuned for now and keep on playing.

Updates GuitarTutorLeeds. Com

It has been some time since the publication of any new articles her on the blog.Please do not think for a moment that I have lost my interest in communicating with you what I love most of all: Making music and playing the guitar.
Since the publication of the last article there have been some new revelations about how to play the guitar. None of this is new for me really, it just means there has been more time for exploration and experimentation with various guitar techniques, set-ups of equipment and different ways of playing the guitar to achieve new sounds. I want to share some of my new found insights here with you in future blog articles.

I am looking forward to creating regular , new articles for you, just like what you where used to read here before. New articles about guitar playing skills, making music, guitar-sound, musical equipment and different ways of how to approach playing the guitar.
Hope you will like what you will find here and that it will inspire you to keep on playing your guitar.
Thanks and hope to you soon again!

Jam Sessions At Royal Park Pub, Headingley, Leeds, Starting Mon. 25th of June 2018

On Monday the 25th of June 2018 Jam Sessions at Royal Park Pub,  39 Queen’s Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1NY will start.
Sessions will start at 8.30 pm

The main idea behind the sessions is that people play music with each other. The sessions are open to musicians of any level.
Please bring along small amplification if your instrument needs some form of amplification.

We welcome different kind of instruments, any instrument is welcome!
At the Jam Sessions there will be Bass and Drums which are able to give you a strong backing to any kind of music you would like to play.

The music we can play at the Jam Sessions varies: It can be music people have played before but would like to try out now with different, new musicians.  There is the change to try out new musical ideas on the spot, good for creative musicians who love making up their own parts and compositions.

Here a few keywords, styles of music which may give you a bit of a idea what is possible on the night:  Fusion, Jazz, Alternative Music, Ambient, Electronic Dance, Experimental Music, Electric, Alternative Blues, Traditional Blues and Folk, Americana, Alternative Country, West-Coast Style.

The list of influences and people we like is too big to mention, we draw inspiration from any kind of style, as long as it feels and sounds good,  we are into it!

Key element to the night is to create a good vibe we can all enjoy and be part of.

The Sessions will run every last Monday of the month, please check my facebook for details as I will post them there first!

Hope to meet you soon at one of the Jam Sessions.

Guitar Lesson: Learn To Play Intro Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”

Here the blog article which supports the video.

Song starts  with the Em and D.  Mute the Em, as demonstrated , to give it the sound of the bass and drums from the original recording. The Em is played for a whole bar, then it is D for two beats and again Em for two beats. This whole section is two bars and it repeats once before the harmonica parts kicks in.

Em      D   Em      Em        D   Em

The Harmonica part can be divided into three small phrases.  Here the tab. for all three phrases: Each Chord is being played for Two Beats. First note of the first- and second  Harmonica phrase come start on second beat. The last Harmonica phrase starts on the first beat, similar as the Em chord.

             Em                         C                         D                         G
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –       – – – – – – – – – – – –  –
B          – – –  – – – – -3 – – – 1 – – -0 – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
G          – – 0 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – – 2 – – 0 – – – – – – –
D          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – – – – 0 – –
A           – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
E            – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

              Em                          C                        D                           G

E        – – — – – – 3- –  – -0 – – – –           – – -0 – – – – – – – – – –
B         – – – -3 – – – – – – – – – – -3 –         – – – – – – -3- – -0 – –
G        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —       – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
D        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —      – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
A        – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –     – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – —     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

               Em                       C                          D                          G
E          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
B          -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 – –    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
G          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    – -2- – -0- – – – – – – – – –
D           – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –   – – – – – – – – – – 0 – – – – –
A            – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — –   – – – – – – – — – – – – — – – –
E             – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — –  – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – –

If you like the video, please subscribe.
There will be more short videos of this kind, keep checking blog and video channel on a regular basis for updates.

Enjoy your playing and hope to see you soon again,


Gear Review: Squier SP-10 10 Watts Practice Amp

For this blog a review article about the Squier SP-10 practice amp. I will briefly mention the history of this amp, the various models which have been around, give you some tips how to dial in  clean- and distorted tones using different guitars,  there will be a short section with ideas how to improve the sound of this amp and I will briefly mention some other, similar amps of this kind.

Squier started to produce the SP-10 around 1997. The amp has been ever since  then included in starter packages including a cable and a DVD.
There is a bigger model of this amp:  The Squier 15, which does have a 8″ speaker, a Master, Gain and Mid control. The SP-10 does have none of this, I will later on mention more about the controls of the amp and how to find your sweet spot for your tone.
Two years before the production of the SP-10 Squier did have a similar line-up of practice amps. They were called the Champ series. The Champ is a well-known classic Fender amp model, and the Squier series tried to replicate those sounds with their non-valve transistor amps.
The line-up included: Champ 15G, and the Champ 15GR (reverb model). Both amps came with a 8″ speaker and are rated at 15 Watts. There were two more models of the same series: Champ 25 GR (reverb model) and the Champ 15B. Both those amps came with a 10″ speaker.
All of these amps came with a Black face panel, just like the SP-10 and Squier 15.

For Who Is This Amp?:
People who start out learning to play the guitar and need a basic amp to amplify their guitar.  Guitar Players who like to experiment with their tone and learn what can be done to alter the basic sound of the amp may also enjoy using this amp.
The early days of Rock ‘N’ Roll is full of guitar players who used all sorts of gizmos to add mojo to their sound.  Ritchie Blackmore used to plug into a small preamp to add more juice to his guitar tone, then there is Jimmy Page who liked to use small amps in the studio to create his unique sounds. Small amps are often easier to manipulate compared to bigger, stage amps

Tips For Tones:
The SP-10 does have three controls:  One for Volume, One for Treble and One for Bass.  There are two Input Sockets at the front, one for Instrument, and the other one is for Headphones. There is a little switch for Distortion on the face of the front panel.
The tone controls on this amp are active: You will  need to open them up a little to get a sound. Because there is no Mid control, Mid can be achieved by cutting down a little with the Bass control. Cutting down any of the tone controls will result in loss of signal, compensate for this by adjusting the Volume control. It will bring back the body,fullness and depth of your sound,.  Check out the included video where I demonstrate this principle.
To find the sweet spot for your guitar you simply hold a chord and adjust the Treble and Bass control to your liking.
This amp is good for giving you the basic sound of your guitar.
The overall, clean sound of the amp does have a grainy character, something a lot of early 60s Brit amps used to have. The amp does not give a great deal of detail to your sound, but it is able to dial in a basic, grainy sound. The character of the  sound is kind of hard and does not have the softness for which some Fender amps are known for.
Pressing the little switch will activate the distortion. The distorted sound is full-on and not subtle, this is partly because the amp lacks a Gain control. Cutting down the Volume control on your guitar will tone down the distortion, Yes I know, old skool approach, but it does work!
The character of the distorted sound is very bright. It is possible to change its sound a little with the tone controls, but not matter what you do, the distorted sound will remain trebly.

Guitars and Which Ones Work Well?:
The amp works well with either Single-coil- or Humbuck equipped guitars.  If  you are using a guitar with high output Pick-ups you may want to back of the volume of your guitar a little to keep the sound clean. Overall it should be fine to achieve usable, pleasant tones from any type of guitar model.

Mods To Improve Sound of Amp:
Adding a external speaker socket for the use of a external speaker will improve the sound of any small amp, the SP-10 is no exception to this rule. Use a 8 Ohm speaker, since the amp needs a 8 Ohm ratted speaker.
Using a bigger, external speaker such as a 12″ will add more body to the sound, it will not change the character of the basic amp tone!
Adding a Line-Out output will also do no harm: It will let you take  the sound of the amp to any bigger amp.  You could, for example,  use the distortion of the SP-10 and connect it to the input of a bigger, clean sounding Valve amp.
Some of you may want to change Capacitors and Resistors: Better quality ones will certainly improve the basic character of this amp.
Last but not least: Adding a Gain control to the amp will let you adjust the amount of distortion you dial in.  You may be able to fit the pot in the place of the Headphone socket.

Similar Small Amps:
The Squier SP-10 is of course not the only one of its kind, the are many, many amps of this seize.  The Stagg 10 GA is of a similar kind, and probably of better sound quality: Its sound is more detailed compared to the Squier SP-10,. The Stagg does have  a Gain control for the distortion, which is a improvement. Furthermore it also included a Mid control, something the Squier lacks!
The Chord CG10 is also a very good amp of this kind. This one is also of a more detailed sound compared to the Squier. Its controls are similar to the ones of the Stagg, including Gain and a control for the MIds.

The Squier SP-10 may not be one of the most refined amps you have ever plugged into, but it certainly is a fine amp to give you that basic guitar tone.
Beginners cannot go wrong with it and even more experienced guitar players may enjoy its basic clean tones.
Its tones are portable which makes it a great partner for when you are moving around!

Hope you enjoy the included video and this article.
Check out other articles on this blog here.  Hope to create more articles in the near future about the SP-10, using it with some other gear and amps.

Hope to see you soon again,

Group Lessons For Pudsey Every Wednesday

I teach group sessions for guitar every Wednesday from 5.30 pm.
The session lasts for one hour and they are at the premises of Music Shop Fairbank and Harding, 38 Chapeltown Pudsey LS28 8GL
Price per session is £12.50

There are still spaces available for anyone who wants to improve their guitar skills. The group is of mixed ability in terms of skills, it will be easy to fit in for anyone interested.
It is possible to come and check it out. The group sessions may not be for you but I may have other options for you to improve your guitar skills.
If you have any questions just call me on 07796 808633 or just come to any of the sessions to have a chat and see if it is for you.
Many Thanks,

All Acoustic Jam Night at Factory Street Studios in Bradford, Starting on Tue 24th of January 2017

20130829121316eddie smallThere will be an all Acoustic Jam Night at Factory Street Studios in Bradford. The first night will be on Tue 24th of January. The night is mainly for acoustic instruments. It is the intention not to use any amplification or microphones. If your instrument requires amplification, there is the Jam Night on the 10th of January (and every 2nd Tue of the month afterwards).
The night is open to any acoustic instrument and vocalists, experienced and inexperienced musicians who play any style of music such as acoustic Folk, Blues, Ragtime and Jazz. I welcome anyone who loves playing music with other people. The night is an ideal  vehicle for making new friends and finding new musicians who you would like to play with in future.
Factory Street Studios is based in Bradford, Unit 9 Factory Street, BD4 9NW
For more information, check out facebook page for Factory Street Studios or call me on 07796 808633
Looking forward to meet you there.

Guitar Lessons with Eddie de Hamer in Leeds Pudsey Library Starting in January 2017

20131221172508IMG_3938In January 2017 there will be guitar lessons in Pudsey Library, there will be a free taster session for everyone who is interested. The day and time  for free taster session will be confirmed. The lessons will be in group format  but it is possible to voice your interest for One to One lessons. The lessons are open to experienced, intermediate guitar players and complete beginners. Price and options will be discussed during the taster session.
Please bring your guitar along (electric or acoustic) If your guitar needs an amp, please bring a small one with you.
For more information call me on 07796 808633 or call Pudsey Library on: 0113 37 81893
Looking forward to meet you there.