Avoid the Tab

By Andreas

Learn songs by ear not by tabs.

Think Melodically

By Andreas

Think of a melody in your head when you are improvising solos.

Thickness Matters

By Dave Jone

The thickness of the pick you use is a large component of tone, particularly noticeable on an acoustic guitar. Thicker picks of 2mm and more will produce a darker sound with lots of attack, while thinner picks of less than 2mm will produce a brighter sound with little attack and a more prominent ‘strumming’ sound. Don’t use a ‘stock’ plectrum/pick, choose your plectrums/picks according to the sound you require for the relevant songs. This is a particularly needed piece of information for the studio!

Thicker Picks (and Floss More Often)

Thicker picks preserve more of your guitar’s tone. Everyone prefers a different ‘amount’ of tone, but a thicker pick will often yield a fuller tone. Before you try to mod your guitar or apply too many effects, play with your guitar’s effects. More effects does not equal a better sound. Think flossing is lame? Flossing can reduce your susceptibility to heart disease and bacterial infection.

OWN Your Music!

By Rod C. Venger

OWN Your Music…and teach yourself how to learn what you need to play. Too many people are afraid to fail. Their bends don’t sound right because they haven’t practiced enough to acquire muscle memory and their ears have not become attuned to the pitch changes. Their barre chords buzz, the riffs are out of time and they can’t sustain a rhythm. Not everyone is born gifted and those of us that were not, have to fail and practice, practice, practice in order to succeed. We have to own our music, dive into the ugliness of new things on occasion…especially for beginners and novices…and just do it! Once you identify what’s wrong, then you concentrate on making it right. Repetition is our friend and is vital to acquiring muscle memory. Obscure, strange chords twist our fingers yet if we set aside the fear of failure and just do it, our fingers fairly quickly learn to find the right frets and strings. Improvisation is also an enhanced method of learning. Breaking out of a box often leads to new ways of thinking and doing things. When it comes to learning guitar, more is better. More knowledge equals more choices in what we can do. Go for it…and own it!

My Strat Wiring Idea

By Mike R.

Here’s a link to a Strat wiring idea I came up with a few years back. It looks stock, but provides 10 different tones. See what you think. http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/mikerichardson.php

Fingers, Passion & Volume

By joschi

My first secret are my fingers…you know sound is feeling, passion. The second secret is to play like there is no tomorrow – don´t be shy…play like you’re born with a guitar in your hand… don’t think to much, let it happen. my third and most important secret is the volume. there is a certain volume that sounds good… mostly it´s at the limit of the volume what is nearly to loud… not till then there came gear and … by the way tubes and analog effects like the big muff are other secrets… last secret have fun and rock on

Simple Songs are Good Too

By Silas Stokes

Just because a song modulates, borrows chords and changes time signature doesnt make it a good song.

Don’t Recycle Electronics — Reuse Them!

By Chuckles

Well my family recently bought a new tv and replaced our old one, an old tube powered fossil. Since I am curious I figured I’d pop it open to take a look inside. Boy did I find some good stuff…Because the tv was so old everything wasn’t all condensed and tidy so I could snip parts off the circuit board. I found all sorts of weird caps and a bunch of perfectly usable transistors for pedals. As an added bonus I took out the speakers and hooked them up to a little amp I had laying around (Orange micro-crush pix, which has a dreadful speaker in it) and the tone was amazing! The small speaker made the clean channel a crunchy overdriven channel and the gain channel screamed. Lesson: Don’t just recycle those old electronics, reuse them.

Changing Pickup Magnets

By Mac

Changing magnet(s) in a pickup will change the tone the drastically. Which transforms the overall sound for better (or worse). For vintage pickups, when A2 is too warm and A5 is too bright and ceramic is too hot, there are myriads of other magnets available out there, including A3, A4, A8 and Un-oriented A5.