If you’ve ever stepped foot into a music store, you’ve seen a Hal Leonard book. They’re iconic in the annals of guitar-learning lore. They’re not the hippest or the most accessible, but they nevertheless remain key fixtures. This compendium combines the three books of the method into one. Just about everything you need to know is in here somewhere, though it’s commonly said that an instructor is needed to parse the flow of information. Still, it’s a great reference and if it makes sense to you out of the gate, there’s the potential to learn a lot from this classic tome.

In the 1920s, the earliest combo amplifiers had no tone controls. The first tone controls were simple, mainly providing treble adjustment. The limited controls, the early loudspeakers, and the low amplifier power (typically 15 watts or less prior to the mid-1950s) gave poor high treble and bass output. Some models also provided effects such as an electronic tremolo unit. In confusion over nomenclature, Fender labeled early amplifier tremolo as "vibrato" and called the vibrato arm of the Stratocaster guitar a "tremolo bar" (see vibrato unit, electric guitar, and tremolo).
Most players don’t use more than one modulation effect at once, so it doesn’t matter all that much if you place the phaser before the chorus or the flanger in front of the phaser. However, the one exception is tremolo, which should be placed behind other modulation pedals, as this placement will produce the most dramatic and desirable rhythmic on/off effects. Placing a tremolo pedal in an effects loop is also closer to the signal path of an amp with built-in tremolo, but my personal preference is to plug a tremolo pedal into an amp’s front end and save the effects loop for other effects.
Alonso de Mudarra's book Tres Libros de Música, published in Spain in 1546, contains the earliest known written pieces for a four-course guitarra. This four-course "guitar" was popular in France, Spain, and Italy. In France this instrument gained popularity among aristocrats. A considerable volume of music was published in Paris from the 1550s to the 1570s: Simon Gorlier's Le Troysième Livre... mis en tablature de Guiterne was published in 1551. In 1551 Adrian Le Roy also published his Premier Livre de Tablature de Guiterne, and in the same year he also published Briefve et facile instruction pour apprendre la tablature a bien accorder, conduire, et disposer la main sur la Guiterne. Robert Ballard, Grégoire Brayssing from Augsburg, and Guillaume Morlaye (c. 1510 – c. 1558) significantly contributed to its repertoire. Morlaye's Le Premier Livre de Chansons, Gaillardes, Pavannes, Bransles, Almandes, Fantasies – which has a four-course instrument illustrated on its title page – was published in partnership with Michel Fedenzat, and among other music, they published six books of tablature by lutenist Albert de Rippe (who was very likely Guillaume's teacher).
The 2nd basic beginner guitar chord you should learn is C, or C major. You don’t have to say “major” in the name of the chord. If you just say C chord it’s assumed that it’s a major chord. You only want to strum the top 5 strings (that means the highest sounding 5 strings, not their relationship to the floor) The X in the guitar chord chart means not to play that string, or to mute it.
If the Complete Technique book is good for quick starts, this would be the bullet train. Another Hal Leonard selection, this is a trim 48 pages for teaching you how to hold a guitar for the first time. Tuning up, easy chords, and strumming. If you got a guitar on Friday, use this to put together your first three-chord jam by Monday. Will it sound good? No, no, it will not. But you’ll have started, which is key. Some of the other books on this list are dense with both concepts and pages, which might delay your starting. Don’t let that happen.

I am an SG player through and through. I own a bunch of them- mostly from the initial run of SG Special Faded with the moon inlays, because that particular run felt right to me. I am looking to have a custom SG style guitar made, but I don't know of any builders who make SGs. Can anyone tell me a boutique or custom shop builder who does SGs? Thanks!
ESP is yet another brand that acquires a notable stance in the history of guitars. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the company was known for producing high-quality, custom-shop instruments with incredible original designs. Even now, the trend goes on. Today, ESP guitars are among the preferred guitars for most professional musicians around the world. Particularly, the metal and hard rock players mark this brand as their favorite.
Although Gibson guitars are expensive, they are the highest quality guitars out there. The guitar is made of high quality wood that makes your guitar create rich and smooth tunes. One of the most famous guitars created by Gibson is the Les Paul. The Les Paul is used by multiple celebrated musicians all over the world and it has been used many different times in musical history, meaning this guitar has survived for ages. Gibson is one of the most popular and praiseworthy guitar names on the market. Investing in a Gibson will be like carrying an award in your hands.

“Photocell Tremolo is found in mid-1960s American amplifiers. Those classic circuits used a light-dependent resistor to attenuate the input signal, coupled with a miniature neon bulb that is connected to the LFO. As the LFO oscillates, the bulb gets brighter and dimmer which in turn varies the resistance of the LDR. The varying resistance works with other circuit impedances to change the signal level, which produces a characteristically ‘hard’ sounding tremolo that moves between two levels, reminiscent of a square wave.” Got that? Well it is tricky and they do sound somewhat different but essentially they produce the same effect. The pedal I am using here, the Fulltone Supa-Trem uses a photocell to produce the sounds found in the classic Fender amps and most common tremolo circuit.
In October 2017, Gibson announced plans to relocate its Memphis operations to a smaller location and plans to sell the Memphis property. Gibson opened its Memphis facility 18 years before, which occupies just a portion of a massive 127,620 square foot complex. According to the Memphis Daily News, Gibson plans to search for a new facility for its Memphis operations and will stay in the current spot for the next 18 to 24 months. The facility, which sits across from the FedExForum along South B.B. King Boulevard, is expected to list for $17 million.
A selection of makers within the high-end, hand-built crowd of today do offer variations on the opamp-based template discussed above. Blackstone Appliances bases its Mosfet Overdrive on a discrete transistorized circuit centered around, yes, mosfets, and Klon’s Centaur pedal uses… well, who the hell knows? They cover the entire circuit board in epoxy goop to keep the cloners at bay, but this expensive overdrive certainly sounds different. Other popular boutique overdrives are found in the Barber Electronics LTD pedal, the Crowther Audio Hot Cake, and the Fulltone OCD.
As far as reliability goes, a guitar is actually quite simple to make reliable. Build, sound quality and playability are much more important than reliability per se, simply because if the guitar is at least half-decently made it usually turns out to be quite dependable. The biggest reliability issue would be a guitar that cannot stay in tune very long. This is something that often happens in regards to the build and material quality of acoustic guitars, but with electrics it’s something that can usually be corrected by swapping out the tuning machines to locking ones, or at least better-performing ones as well as setting the intonation and neck relief correctly.
As a conservative approach to using steel string, one thing is pretty much for sure; if a Martin came from the factory with a Belly bridge, it is braced for steel strings. If it has a rectangle bridge (and was made before 1929), the bracing needs to be checked by a qualified repair person to determine if the guitar's bracing can handle steel strings. My personal opinion is if it's a style 18 or higher and has a rectangle bridge and was made before 1930, it's not really made for steel strings. Though 1927 is generally thought of as the year when most models were braced for steel strings, 1927-1929 models could be braced for either steel or gut strings. So before putting on steel strings on a 1927-1929 Martin, have it check out by a good repair person. They will check the top's firmness, bracing dimensions, and bridge plate thickness.
Eric Clapton: select alder body with a special soft V-shaped maple neck/fretboard, 22 vintage-style frets, three Vintage Noiseless pickups, 25dB active mid-boost circuit and a “blocked” original vintage synchronized tremolo. Available in olympic white, pewter, candy green, torino red (Artist Series), Antigua burst, gold leaf, EC grey, daphne blue, graffiti canvas, mercedes blue, black and midnight blue (Custom Artist), as well in olympic white, torino red and pewter with a “Thinskin” nitrocellulose lacquer finish (Custom Thinskin Nitro).

Which is what you’ll be doing with the Omen-6: laying down heavy riffs and unleashing screaming solos. Two overwound Diamond Plus humbuckers are responsible for the guitar’s hot and thick output, while a thin “C”-shaped neck, 14-inch fretboard radius and extra jumbo frets keep things fast and comfy. Although this doesn’t have a tremolo for those dive bombs, a Tune-o-matic bridge and string-through body ensure your sustain will sing for days.
The aim of this paper is to analyze through the finite element method (FEM) the dynamical behaviour of the ligno-cellulose composite plates from the structure of guitar. First it had been done the geometrical modelling of the structures from the plates, as the body of the classical guitar - size 4/4. Then the different structures were analyzed with finite element. The dynamical response had... [Show full abstract]

For 2017, they introduced (or re-introduced?) the Firebird Studio. The Studio has regular tuners with protruding keys, and it has regular humbuckers instead of minis. It is not a Firebird, it is a Les Paul with the body of a ‘bird. This lie of a guitar sells for a whopping $1300, and the real version of the guitar - which is identical in every last detail to the cheaper 2016 model I own - now retails for $1500!


In late 1929, Martin built a prototype batch of six OM guitars. The very first of these had pyramid bridges and no pickguard. Martin soon realized that with the vigorous strumming required in a band setting, a pickguard would be required. Hence all OMs after the prototype batch had a small teardrop-shaped pickguard. The new OMs were not highly sucessful. They sold, but not as well as Martin had hoped. In 1933 the OM designation was dropped and was now called the "000" model. But infact the 1933 "000" models were the same as the 1933 "OM" models, retaining the OM body style and 14 fret neck. Then in 1934 the standard 000 models were modified to the shorter 24.9" scale (for unknown reasons, as the 12 fret 000 body had a 25.6" scale length its inception in 1902 to its demise in 1931). Yet the OM's longer scale was a major factor in the OM's tone. The strings on an OM must be tuned to a higher tension to get concert pitch. This extra tension translates into more drive on the top, hence providing more volume and tone. The OM's scalloped braces and a small maple bridgeplate give the OM a great sound. Although these features were common to other Martin models of the time, the OM's top brace under the fingerboard was missing. This design is unique to OMs making the top very lightly braced. This does lead to some problems with cracks in the upper bout along the side of the fingerboard, but it also contributes to the great sound of the OM models.
Another cool place I just found was Madison Guitar Repair out of Fridley. I went there a couple weeks ago. It's a little hole in the wall place where they just work on guitars and have tons of parts. Really nice guys that seem like they know their stuff pretty dang well. Never used them but considering that all they do is luthier work I'd give them a shot.

I played a gig (to an empty house) at The Haunt in Ithaca NY. A lot of up and coming regional bands play there. We, on the other hand are just a cover band from Binghamton, about an hour away. While setting up, the sound man left a mic on the floor where I’d be setting up. I let him know that I send a direct signal. I could tell he wasn’t happy. After the gig though, he came and complimented me on my sound, saying that he didn’t expect a direct sound to be that good.
If they're properly stretched it's usually not a big problem. Usually you can just push down on the new strings around the bridge and the nut and retune a few times to get the slack out, or do the push down/pull up technique to stretch them. I find that most players have more tuning issues from holding down the strings too hard or inadvertently slightly bending them with their fretting hand.
Clean or replace switches. To clean switches use solvent such as contact cleaner in a spray into the toggle itself, you may also use other solvents such as WD-40, always work the solvent around by using the switch as indented. To replace switches first obtain a proper switch that applies with your guitar, then soldering in accordingly. Work in a well-ventilated space to avoid harmful fumes from solder or solvents.

There are a couple of tips that can help you out, however. First – as a new learner – you don’t need a stage-ready amplifier or even a high-end boutique amp, as they are both far too powerful and pricey for someone just picking up the hobby. Second, you should look into amplifier versatility. As a new player, it’s likely that you’re still figuring out your own style – and being able to change up your sound without the need for a bunch of extra peripherals is incredibly valuable in figuring that out.


Electric guitar is still the most prominent instrument in rock music, and it’s a key component in many country, R&B, pop, and jazz groups. Every electric guitar player needs an amplifier because most electric guitars are barely audible without one. You’ll need one to play with other musicians, which is one of the most important ways to develop your musical skills. Because the amp is as important to a guitarist’s sound as the guitar, most teachers consider it essential to use an amp at least part of the time when you’re practicing. You can’t develop your own sound without spending some time experimenting with the controls on your amp and guitar.
Certainly the most desirable of the Martin body size is the 000, 0M, and D sizes. Many consider the 000 (and OM, which is essentially a 000) to be the ultimate guitar size, where others feel the "D" size is the best. It's personal preference. There are some interesting facts though about the 000 and OM sizes. (In Martin's 1934 catalogue, any flattop guitar that had a 14-fret neck was named an "Orchestra Model", while the older 12-fret design was named a "Standard Model".)
So, if you’d like to emulate some of the guitar greats like Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) or Slash, this Epiphone package again with all the extras you’ll need—but with an Epiphone guitar—is a great way to start. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Gibson/Epiphone Les Paul designs usually have a slightly rounded, more narrow fret board and, in my opinion, are a little easier to play compared to the flatter, wider Fender fret boards. But I strongly recommend you don’t take my word for that. Get into a music shop and try the two types of guitar for yourself.
Overdrive pedals are intended to mimic the sweet sound of an overdriven tube amp. They are generally more subtle, warmer and a bit richer in sound. Overdrive pedals typically don’t produce the kind of heavy distortion needed in hard rock and heavy metal, but they are fantastic for blues, country, rock and anything else where you need warm, textured distortion. A good example of a quality overdrive pedal is the Ibanez Tube Screamer.
In the ever-changing world of jazz music, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear of some big changes to the jazz guitar market either! To reflect this we’ve tweaked our chart, removing a couple of models such as the Ibanez AF95FB and the D’Angelico EXL101, and adding five new six-strings. These comprise the faithfully reproduced Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith Classic and the thinbody LH-302T from The Loar. In the semi-hollow section, we added the Ibanez AM93AYS Artcore Expressionist and the beautiful Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe, while the solid-body section saw the arrival of Fender’s Classic Player Jazzmaster Special.
The HOF is one of the single best examples of a convergence of price and quality features that we've ever been able to find. While we can't mention pricing in this article, we'd recommend clicking through and checking the retail price on the HOF, then comparing it to the other reverb pedals in this list. As far as value, the HOF is nearly a perfect 10.
But this was different. This was build quality, and it completely wrecked the sound, feel and playability of the guitar. A competent pre-shipment QC inspection should have caught this and sent it back to be fixed at the factory, and they didn't. No serious guitarist would stand for ANY guitar made this way, at ANY price point. Yet there it was, on display on a guitar positioned as the flagship model of the brand, occupying the most expensive price point in the market.
The Super Strat, though modeled after the Stratocaster, is a very different guitar. Basically, the only similarity this guitar really has to its namesake is the body style. The pickups generally used in Super Strats are of a higher output (we’ll get into this in more depth, but for now just remember higher-output=more distortion), which makes them more suited for metal and hard rock. Super Strats also commonly have Floyd Rose tremolos, which allow for a great range of movement than a typical Fender Stratocaster Tremolo while still having a greater tuning integrity (you can use it more without the guitar going out of tune).
Some bridges have a lock position and at this point should be engaged. Other floating bridges will need to be stabilized by using pieces of wood fitted inside the cavity (accessed from the back of the body) to prevent the tremolo block from moving. Vintage Fender-style tremolo bridges can be stabilized by fully tightening the spring tension screws. Whatever method is used, the bridge must sit as we will want it to when we are done with the set-up procedure- parallel to and nearly flush with the top- so care must be taken at this stage to get the position of the bridge right.
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The electric guitar was born out of necessity. Going back to the big band era, acoustic guitar players needed an instrument that could be heard over all the brass and woodwind instruments. They also need to be heard over the banjos and mandolins on the front porch. In the 1930s, companies such as Rickenbacker and Gibson started to add guitar pickups to their instruments, which allowed musicians to plug them into an amplifier for added volume. Rickenbacker added a pickup to their Hawaiian guitar (also known as a lap steel guitar) “Frying Pan” model, and similarly, Gibson added a pickup to their electric Hawaiian EH-150 model. Soon after that, Gibson introduced the iconic ES-150, which gave players the very best of both worlds. It gave guitarists a world-class Gibson hollow body guitar with a built-in pickup, which made it the perfect fit for guitarists who played large ensembles. In 1951, Fender revolutionized the electric guitar market even further by unveiling the first ever mass-produced solid body electric guitar, now known as the Telecaster, which was introduced in order to combat the feedback that hollow body electric guitars produced. Then in 1952, Gibson worked closely with one of the most widely respected guitarists of the era to create the first Gibson solid body electric guitar, now known as the Les Paul and named after its co-inventor.
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