Fender Serial Number Decoder

Fender Serial Number

Discovering your guitar’s history can be a very rewarding thing to do. Authority Guitar has collated a mountain of data to give you the history by using your Fender Serial Number.

Your guitar’s journey from the factory into your hands may be a mystery, but it’s always a good way to dig into the earlier life of your instrument. 

It’s also essential to have the correct information if you’re considering buying or selling a guitar. Researching a guitar’s serial number can also stop you from being the victim of fraud.

It’s simple enough with our Fender Serial Number Checker. Type your serial numbers into the decoder below and you’ll get all the information Fender has on the instrument.

If you end up with an error message, please scroll down and find your guitar’s credentials manually using our helpful number grids. 

*We’ve tirelessly searched the internet for every record, the information gathered is the most accurate we could find. Some documentation crosses over and some has been lost over the years causing gaps in our data.

Fender Serial Number Decoder

Where Do You Find Your Guitar Serial Number?

Over the years Fender have changed the location of the Serial Number. Check the picture below to find the most common places.

Fender Guitar History

Did you know Fender started off life in Fullerton California 1938 repairing radios, phonographs, home audio amps, and music instrument amplifiers?

In the early 40s, Leo Fender went into business with Clayton Orr Kaufman and started to design electric instruments. Using their own designs they modify amplifiers.

By 1945 production had started with Hawaiian lap steel guitars and amplifiers sold in sets.

Leo soon realized manufacturing was far more profitable than repairing electronics. Leos partner Kaufman didn’t agree and left the partnership in 1946. What a mistake that turned out to be!

During the late 40s, Fender began to produce guitars. Starting with the Broadcaster but it was short-lived due to the number of faults with bending in certain temperatures.

FENDER AMERICAN ORIGINAL ’50S TELECASTER ELECTRIC GUITAR (BUTTERSCOTCH BLONDE)

In 1950 the Telecaster was born and started mass production. Due to its bolted neck, this allowed the instrument to be finished separately. The final assembly was extremely simple and Fender would hire unskilled workers to carry this out at very cheap rates.

1954 was the year when the most famous guitar of all time hit the shops. The Fender Stratocaster!

1959 was the beginning of the Jazzmaster guitar. Fender promoted the Jazzmaster as a successor to the Stratocaster with its innovative electronics, vibrato system, and off-set neck. As we now know, this never happened.

The Jazzmaster was an instant success due to the growing surf music scene and the emergence of The Beach Boys.

1956 Leo Fender sells the company to CBS for $13 million. CBS had the financial power to amass Fender parts and assemble them making the company even bigger.

This was at a cost though. The quality of the Fender guitar dipped due to CBS cutting corners with cost and a lower quality of craftsmanship.

1960 was the year of the monster bass design, the Fender Jazz Bass was introduced to the world.

1965/66 there were small cosmetic changes, the most notable being the larger type headstock on some guitars.

The bold black Fender headstock logo and brushed aluminum faceplate were introduced in 1968 as standard features for guitar bass and amplifier.

August 18th, 1969 was a huge day for the Fender Stratocaster. Jimi Hendrix destroyed Woodstock with guitar playing from another universe. Putting the Stratocaster at the top of everybody’s wanted list for many years to come.

FENDER JIMI HENDRIX STRATOCASTER ELECTRIC GUITAR

1971/72 saw more cosmetic changes with the usual four-bolt neck was redesigned into a three-bolt and a second-string tee for the two center strings. Also notably a 5-way pick-up selector switch.

1975 Leo Fender was named president of Musicman. 1976 the popular Stingray appeared. StringRay 1 and StingRay bass. Both guitars fitted with a two-way pickup, bolt-on neck, and a single humbucker.

In 1987 the Custom Shop was born. The initial master builders were John Page and Michael Stevens. Since then the team has expanded and produced some of the most sought-after guitars made.

The Fender Custom Shop produces special order guitars. Creating limited edition high-end quality instruments. If you love the road-worn relic look, these guys assemble some real mouth-watering pieces.

In 1988, Eric Clapton and Yngwie Malmsteen help Fender to design the first two Signature Model Stratocasters.

Photo by Mr. Littlehand

1991 Fender moves its corporate headquarters from Corona, CA to Scottsdale, AZ.

February 1994 the Ensenada Mexico manufacturing plant was burnt to the ground, leaving the production to move to Corona, CA for a temporary solution.

Today, Fender has its headquarters in Los Angeles and manufacturing facilities are in Corona, CA and Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

 

Guild Guitars Serial Numbers-Manual Checklist

Here is a summary of the serial number, model, and year. To gain the best results use our decoder.

1950-1956

Serial Numbers from 0001-5300 were various guitar models manufactured from Fullerton, USA. During this early period Esquires, Broadcasters, Telecasters, Precision Basses, and Stratocasters were produced.

During this time period, there are a lot of overlaps. Use our decoder to find out which instrument fits your serial number.

1957-1960

Serial Numbers 10000-50000 were from the mid-50s-60s but we lack instrument details and overlapping makes this period difficult. We know the year the guitar was made and manufactured in Fullerton, USA.

5 & 6 Digit serial numbers beginning with L & F (L12345) were also from this period before and after the CBS era. Use decoder to determine.

1961-1970

Serial Numbers 50000-300000 & L10000-L90000 are Fullerton, USA guitars between 1961-70. Use decoder for exact year.

C+6 digits. Collector Series. Up to 1965

1971-1980

Serial Numbers 300000-700000 were instruments between 1971 & 1976. There are no model details just that this period was in Fullerton, USA.

S6, S7, S8, S9, E0 with 5 digits after (S612345) are serial numbers from the mid to late 70s. The digits purely stand for a production number.

S6=S=Seventies1976. E0=0=Eighties 1980s

The decoder will give you a closer production date

G+6 digits. 1980-83. Stratocaster. See decoder for details.

1981-1991

The same applies with E1, E2, E3, E4, E8, E9, N9, N0 with 5 digits after (E112345) from the Fullerton, USA factory. This period of guitars were the U.S Vintage Series. The date of the guitar should be on the back of the neck.

N9=Nineties1990. N0=Nineties=1990-91

‘V‘ Serial numbers with 4,5,& 6 digits following (V1234) are U.S Vintage Series excluded ’52 Telecasters from Fullerton, USA.

NC+6 digits is a Squier Strat Bullet (see Squier serials)

I+7 digits 1989-90. Limited number made. Use Decoder for full info

Use our Decoder for:

CA+5+ digit 1981-1983. CB+5+ digit 1981-1982.

CA+5 digit 1981-1983. CB+5 digit 1981-1982. CC+5 digit 1981-1983. CD+5 digit 1982. C0+5 digit 1982. G0+5+ digit 1982-1982-1983. D+6 digit 1981-1982. SE+6 digit 1980s. .

Serial Number 000-500 Anniversary Stratocaster. See decoder for date.

Guitar serials that begin with JV +(5 digits), SQ +(5 digits), E +(6 digits), A +(6 digits), B +(6 digits), C +(6 digits), F +(6 digits), G +(6 digits), H +(6 digits), I +(6 digits), J & K with +(6 digits) are guitars ‘Made In Japan’ 1982-1991. For closer date details use decoder.

MN0+ 5&6 digits are 1990 models of unknown from Ensenada, Mexico

Serial Numbers with 5 or 6 digits only are from the 1988-96 period and produced from the Cor-Tek factory in Korea. These serial formats will no doubt overlap with others.

Serial Numbers with CN0 +5 digits up to CN6 +5 digits are Squire guitars 1988-96. Please use the Squire decoder.

Serial Numbers with VN0 +5 digits up to VN6 +5 digits are Squire guitars 1988-96. Please use the Squire decoder.

1991-2000

Once again N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N9 serial numbers with 5&6 digits after a Guitars made in Corona, USA. If the serial number has an additional D infront of the N=DN1, then the guitar is a US Deluxe Series Model.

AMXN+6 digits is the California Series electric guitars and basses, ’97 en ’98 (Made in USA and Mexico)

DN+6 digits is the American Deluxe series instruments, ’98 en ’99

LE+6 digits 1994, part of a promotional package. Use Decoder to find full details.

CN+6 digits. Use Decoder

VN+6 digits. Use Decoder

SN+6 digit 1990s. Use Decoder

Guitar serials that begin with L+6 digits, M+6 digits, N+5&6 digits, O+6 digits use decoder, P+6 digits, Q+6 digits, R+6 digits, S+6 digits, T+6 digits, U+6 digits, V+6 digits & A+6 digits are ‘Made in Japan’ with the exception of A=Crafted In Japan and x1 O=Crafted in Japan.

The following serial codes are Mexican Signature built Fenders, made between 1991-2000: MN0 +5&6 digits, MN1 +5&6 digits, MN2 +5&6 digits, MN3 +5&6 digits, MN4 +5&6 digits, MN5 +5&6 digits, MN6 +5&6 digits, MN7+5&6 digits, MN8 +5&6 digits, MN9 +5&6 digits, MZ0 +5&6 digits= (Ensenada, Mexico, not signature)

Serial Numbers with KC97 +6&7 digits up to KC14 +6&7 digits are Squire guitars 1997-98. Please use the Squire decoder.

The following serial codes are Signature Mexican MSN0 +5 digits up to MSN9 +5 digits. See decoder for full details.

2000-2009

Z0, Z1, Z2, Z3, Z4, Z5, Z6, Z7, Z8, Z9 with 5&6 digits after are dated between 2000-2010, made in Corona, USA. If the serial number has an additional D in front of the Z=DZ1, then the guitar is a US Deluxe Series Model.

Serial Numbers 1000000-1099999 are guitars from the Early 2010 period.

2000+ American Deluxe Series, Corona USA

US+7 digits is late 2010-11

DZ+6 digits. The 1st Digit is the year (DZ912345=American Deluxe, 2009, Corona USA)

DZ+7 digits. The 1st Digit is the year (DZ9123456=American Deluxe, 2009, Corona USA)

XN+5 digits. FRS and Telecaster ’52, 2005

SZ+6 digits 2000s. See Decoder for instructions.

T+6 digits Tribute Series. Check heel of the neck for date.

Guitar Serial numbers that start with the following P+6 digits, Q+6 digits, R+6 digits, S+6 digits, T+6 digits are ‘Crafted In Japan’. Use decoder for dates.

Serial Letters MZ1 right up to MZ9are all Mexican made guitars produced from the Ensenada factory dating from MZ1 5&6 digits 2001 to MZ9 5&6 digits 2009.

MS0 +5&6 digits up to MS9 5+6 digits are Mexican made signature model 2000-2010. See decoder for dates.

2010-2020

MX10 +5&6 digits (2010) up to MX20 +5&6 digits 2020 are guitars produced from Ensenada, Mexico.

Guild Guitars Serial Numbers. Date Your Guitar.

Guild Serial Number

Discovering your guitar’s history can be a very rewarding thing to do. Authority Guitar has collated a mountain of data to give you the history behind Guild Guitars Serial Numbers.

Your guitar’s journey from the factory into your hands may be a mystery, but it’s always a good way to dig into the earlier life of your instrument. 

It’s also essential to have the correct information if you’re considering buying or selling a guitar. Researching a guitar’s serial number can also stop you from being the victim of fraud.

It’s simple enough with our Guild guitar serial number checker. Type your serial numbers into the decoder below and you’ll get all the information Guild has on the instrument.

If you end up with an error message, please scroll down and find your guitar’s credentials manually using our helpful number grids. 

*We’ve tirelessly searched the internet for every record, the information gathered is the most accurate we could find. Some documentation crosses over and some has been lost over the years causing gaps in our data.

Guild Guitar Serial Number Decoder

Where Do You Find Your Guitar Serial Number?

guild guitar serial number digit serial number
Where to find serial number prefix on your Guild guitar

Need Accessories?

There are many accessories and extras guitarists need from time to time. Some out of necessity, or maybe we just fancy something fresh and new to play with. Here are all your guitar essentials. 




Guild Guitar History

Alfred Dronge founded the Guild Guitar company in 1952.

Alfred was a keen guitar player and music store owner. His partner George Mann was a former owner of Epiphone Guitar Company. 

A year later the first Guild Guitars were manufactured. As Dronge was a big jazz fan he’d put all his time into producing a full-depth hollow body electric guitar. 

serial number

Throughout the 1950s Guild started experimenting with the first flattops and acoustic archtops. Legendary guitar model like the X-175 Manhattan, M-75 Aristocrat, F30, F40, and the F50 were born.

In 1956 it was time for a move. Dronge took the company from Pearl Street, New York to Hoboken, NJ. After this move, the company went from strength to strength. Hiring people who would see Guild produce some of the most popular guitars in the market today.

In 1956 it was time for a move. Dronge took the company from Pearl Street, New York to Hoboken, NJ. After this move, the company went from strength to strength. Hiring people who would see Guild produce some of the most popular guitars in the market today.

dating guild guitars serial number
Buddy Guy with his Starfire IV.
Pic by Bubba73

In 1966 the company moved to Westerly, Rhode Island, and the first guitar out the door was the Guild M-20. 

1970 saw the unfortunate death of Alfred Dronge. Leon Tell takes over as Guild President. 

The 70s saw mass popularity in the Guild 12 string and Jumbo-sized acoustic guitar. The whole range of solid bodies was modernized and reissued, creating the M-75GS and M-75CS. 

The first Guild Dreadnought was produced featuring a cutaway style (the D-40C) and the first 12 stringed G-212 and G-312)

During the 80s, Guild had to change their style of guitar in line with the music scene. With Heavy Metal and Hard Rock owning the radio waves, Guild started to adapt. The X-82 Starfighter, SB-66E Bladerunner, and SB pilot basses were created. 

The 80s also saw a big change in the Guild acoustic guitar. They created the flattop D62, D64, D66, F42, F44, and F46. 

In 1990 Guild had another member of Blues Royalty use one of their classic 12 strings. Stevie Ray Vaughan plays a Guild JF6512 on MTV Unplugged. 

Slash once designed an acoustic and electric together on a napkin. He needed to change between the two instruments quickly during a GnR song. Later a green Godzilla version of this guitar was produced and can be seen with him in later GnR videos. 

In 1993 Brian May and Guild produced a series of guitars based around May’s classic ‘Queen’ Electric Guitar. 

1995 Fender buys the Guild brand. 

In 2001 Guild was on the move again, this time from Westerly, RI for a short stop at Corona, CA.

In 2004 production moved again to Tacoma, WA. It was here Guild stopped the production of the Electric Guitar. 

During the 2000s the GAD ‘Guild Acoustic Design’ was born, guitars based on the iconic American designs.

2013 saw the creation of the Guild Custom Shop and celebrated 60 years with an anniversary guitar model. 

serial number dating guild guitars
Guild USA D-20 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

2013 also saw the release of the old school ‘Newark Street Collection’. A range of models celebrating the brilliant guitars of the 50s and 60s. Included were the Starfire models M-75 Aristocrat and A0150 Savoy. 

Guild Guitars Serial Numbers-Manual Checklist

*Authority Guitar Top Tip: Press ‘ctrl & F’ then add the beginning of your serial number/guitar model in the search bar to find your details quicker on our extensive list below.

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild decoder.

1953-1955

Serial Numbers From 1953 to 1955 Guild Guitars were manufactured at 536 Pearl Street in New York City.

Serial Number (Last Digit Estimated)Year
1000-15001953
1500-22001954
2200-30001955
1953-1955 Serial Number List. Last serial number produced is an estimate

1956-1965

Serial Numbers From 1956 to 1965 production was continued from Hoboken, New Jersey.

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Serial NumberGuitar Model
4000-5700
5700-8300
12035
12036-14713
14714-18419
18420-22722
22723-28943
28944-38636
AB101 – 136A50
AA101ARTIST AWARD
EF101 – 211CE100
AJ101 – 333D40
AC101 – 166D44
AL101 – 192D50
EH101 – 126DE400
EI101 – 107DE500
AG101 – 316F20
AI101 – 341F30
AK101 – 128F47
AD101 – 119F50
AN101 – 228F212
AS101 – 136F312
SD101 – 108JET STAR BASS
CA101 – 110MARK I
CB101 – 247MARK II
CC101 – 252MARK III
CD101 – 128MARK IV
CE101 – 120MARK V
EC101 – 182M65 ¾
ED101 – 160M65
SA101 – 201S50
SB101 – 169S100
SC101S200
EK101 – 387STARFIRE II
EK101 – 387STARFIRE III
EL101 – 276STARFIRE IV
EN101 – 194STARFIRE V
DB101 – 174STARFIRE VI
BA101 – 177STARFIRE BASS
EB101 – 196T50
EE101 – 601T100
EA101 – 202X50
EG101 – 107X175
DA101 – 106X500
1956- 65 Serial Number List. Last serial number produced is an estimate

1966-1970

Serial Numbers From 1966 to 2000-ish production was continued from Westerly, Rhode Island.

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Serial NumberGuitar Model
AB137 – 162A50
AF101 – 102A500
AA102 – 113ARTIST AWARD
EF212 – 396CE100
AJ334 – 1136D40
AC167 – 318D44
AL193 – 301D50
EH127 – 233DE400
EI108 – 116DE500
AG317 – 1534F20
AI352 – 1142F30
AK129 – 218F47
AD120 – 190F50
AN229 – 810F212
AS142 – 230F312
SD109 – 327JET STAR BASS
CA317 – 996MARK I
CB248 – 967MARK II
CC253 – 666MARK III
CD129 – 292MARK IV
CE121 – 137MARK V
EC183 – 267M65 ¾
ED161 – 194M65
SA202 – 490S50
SB170 – 220S100
SC102 – 153S200
EK388 – 2098STARFIRE II
EK388 – 2098STARFIRE III
EL277 – 1167STARFIRE IV
EN195 – 927STARFIRE V
DB175 – 274STARFIRE VI
DC101 – 586STARFIRE XII
BA178 – 654STARFIRE BASS
EB197 – 391T50
EE602 – 1939T100
EA203 – 326X50
EG108 – 160X175
DA107 – 138X500
AB163 – 203A50
AA114 – 139ARTIST AWARD
EF397 – 549CE100
AJ1137 – 2244D40
AC319 – 435D44
AL302 – 513D50
EH234 – 276DE400
EI117 – 136DE500
AG1535 – 2499F20
AI1143 – 1855F30
AK219 – 418F47
AD191 – 291F50
AN811 – 1558F212
AS231 – 335F312
SD328 – 343JET STAR BASS
CA997 – 1973MARK I
CB968 – 1773MARK II
CC667 – 992MARK III
CD293 – 491MARK IV
CE138 – 195MARK V
CF101 – 128MARK VI
EC268 – 322M65 ¾
ED195 – 270M65
SA491 – 584S50
SB221 – 251S100
SC154 – 166S200
EK2099 – 2819STARFIRE II
EK2099 – 2819STARFIRE III
EL1168 – 1840STARFIRE IV
EN928 – 1807STARFIRE V
DB275 – 329STARFIRE VI
DC587 – 896STARFIRE XII
BA655 – 1696STARFIRE BASS
EB392 – 558T50
EE1940 – 2794T100
EA327 – 491X50
EG161 – 239X175
DA139 – 180X500
AB204 – 240A50
AI101 – 108A150
OD101 – 109A350
AF103 – 115A500
AA140 – 157ARTIST AWARD
OH101 – 113CA100
EF550 – 719CE100
OG101 – 192D25
OJ101 – 1003D35
AJ2245 – 2825D40
AC436 – 488D44
AL514 – 584D50
OI101 – 105D55
EH277 – 301DE400
AG2500 – 2793F20
AI1856 – 2270F30
AK419 – 488F47
AD292 – 355F50
OA101 – 511F112
AN1559 – 2009F212
AS336 – 376F312
OB101 – 110F412
OC201 – 206F512
CA1974 – 2156MARK I
CB1774 – 2018MARK II
CC993 – 1203MARK III
CD492 – 541MARK IV
CF129 – 175MARK VI
EC323 – 334M65 ¾
ED271 – 335M65
DD101 – 138M75
BB101 – 109M85
SB252 – 269S100
SC167 – 191S200
ES101 – 275ST100
EK2820 – 3028STARFIRE II
EK2820 – 3028STARFIRE III
EL1841 – 2223STARFIRE IV
EN1808 – 2141STARFIRE V
DB330 – 339STARFIRE VI
DC897STARFIRE XII
BA1697 – 1946STARFIRE BASS
EB559 – 607T50
EE2795 – 3003T100
EA492 – 502X50
EG240 – 322X175
DA181 – 235X500
AI109 – 113A150
OD110 – 112A350
AA158 – 167ARTIST AWARD
OF101 – 104GEORGE BARNES a/e
OH114CA100
EF720 – 760CE100
OG203 – 233D25
OJ1004 – 1592D35
AJ2826 – 3218D40
AC489 – 570D44
AL585 – 698D50
OI106 – 113D55
EI137 – 141DE500
AG2794 – 2822F20
AI2271 – 2554F30
AK489 – 583F47
AD356 – 418F50
OA512 – 695F112
AN2010 – 2271F212
AS377 – 497F312
OB111 – 114F412
OC207 – 223F512
CF176 – 197MARK VI
OE101 – 102M20 ¾
ED336 – 414M65
DD139 – 237M75
BB110 – 194M85
ES276 – 318ST100
EK3029 – 3098STARFIRE II
EK3029 – 3098STARFIRE III
EL2224 – 2272STARFIRE IV
EN2142 – 2272STARFIRE V
DC899 – 910STARFIRE XII
BA1947 – 2043STARFIRE BASS
EB608 – 652T50
EE3004 – 3109T100
EA503 – 506X50
EG323 – 346X175
DA236 – 244X500
46696-50978Corresponding model names or numbers are not available.
1966-70 Serial Number List. Last serial number produced is an estimate

1971-1980

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Serial NumbersGuitar Model
50979-61463Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
61464-75602Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
75603-95496Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
95497-112803Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
112804-130304Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial numbers.
130305-149625Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
149626-169867Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
169868-195067Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
195068-211877Corresponding model names or numbers are not available with this serial number.
JA100012ARTIST AWARD
BB100400B301-B302
BC100061B301A-B302A
BA100002B50
KA100015CE100
DA100914D25
DB100503D35
DC100247D40
DD100212D50
DE100236D55
FA100051F20
FB100073F30
FC100015F40
FD100018F50
FE100025F50R
FF100199F112
FG100014F212
FH100001F212C
FK100045F412
FL100040F512
DF100052G37
DH100035G212
DJ100014G312
CA100005MARK II
CB100014MARK III
CC100017MARK IV
CD100021MARK V
ED100050S60 – S65
EC100019S60D
EE100019S70
EA100023S300
EB100023S300A
GA100051SF4
JC100014X175
JB100036X500
JA100043ARTIST AWARD
BB100846B301-B302
BC100196B301A-B302A
BD100212B401-B402
BA100012B50
KA100077CE100
DA105752D25
DB102097D35
DC101105D40
DG100542D40C
DL100131D46
DD100944D50
DE100661D55
FA100244F20
FB100235F30
GG100123F30R
FC100197F40
FD100286F50
FE100261F50R
FF100277F112
FG100194F212
FH100056F212C
FJ100233F212XL
FK100221F412
FL100225F512
DF100814G37
DH100248G212
DJ100164G312
HA100003M80
CA100246MARK II
CB100163MARK III
CC100101MARK IV
CD100064MARK V
LL100031PROTOTYPES
ED100349S60 – S65
EC100169S60D
EE100154S70
EA100112S300
EB100039S300A
GA100439SF4
JC100082X175
JB100082X500
1971-80 Serial Number List. Last serial number produced is an estimate

1981-1990

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Serial NumbersGuitar Model
JA100067ARTIST AWARD
BB100235B301A-B302A
BD100335B401-B402
BA100168B50
KA100136CE100
DA109433D25
DB103268D35
DC101638D40
DG100818D40C
DL100622D46
DD101382D50
DE101058D55
EF100151D70
AA101085D212
FA100394F20
FB100382F30
GG1-174F30R
FC100381F40
FD100424F50
FE100340F50R
FF100286F112
FG100308F212
FH100424F212C
FJ100401F212XL
FK100342F412
FL100362F512
DF101339G37
DH100398G212
DJ100235G312
HA100229M80
CA100424MARK II
CB100283MARK III
CC100199MARK IV
CD100089MARK V
LL100108PROTOTYPES
AC100159S25
ED100499S60 – S65
EC100207S60D
EE100246S70
AB100154S250
EA100468S300
EB100229S300A
GA100686SF4
AD100304X79
JF100107X82
JC100177X175
JB100136X500
JA100097ARTIST AWARD
BA100212B50
KA100159CE100
DA111910D25
DB103743D35
DC101782D40
DG100959D40C
DD101588D50
DE101186D55
EF100208D70
AA101529D212
FA100490F20
FB100440F30
GG100203F30R
FC100393F40
GG100006F45CE
FD100484F50
FE100426F50R
FF100294F112
FG100324F212
FJ100486F212XL
FK100385F412
FL100440F512
DF101579G37
GD100002G45
DH100419G212
DJ100263G312
HA100339M80
CA100510MARK II
CB100305MARK III
CC100218MARK IV
CD100124MARK V
LL100147PROTOTYPES
AC100293S25
ED100500S60 – S65
AB100236S250
AF100139S275
AE100426SB201-SB202
GA100713SF4
HD100019T50
AD100342X79
JF100311X82
JC100184X175
JB100144X500
JD100174X701-X702
JA100107ARTIST AWARD
BA100249B50
KA100169CE100
AH100617D15
EL100064D15/12
DA112936D25
EH100098D25C
DB104078D35
DC101889D40
DG101002D40C
DL100784D46
GE100026D47CE
GF100024DS48CE
DD101737D50
EK100034D52
DE101247D55
EF100250D70
EG100014D80
AA101895D212
AG100019N/A
FA100524F20
FB100472F30
GG100207F30R
GG100409F45CE
BF100008FS46BASS
EJ100205FS46CE
GH100005FS46CE/12
FD100535F50
FE100431F50R
FG100342F212
FJ100525F212XL
FK100405F412
FL100477F512
DF101774G37
GD100050G45
DH100436G212
DJ100281G312
HA100350M80
CA100570MARK II
CB100367MARK III
CC100232MARK IV
CD100137MARK V
LL100198PROTOTYPES
AC100339S25
AB100250S250
AK100030S260
AF100110S275
HC100050S280 – S281
EA100470S300
EB100230S300A
AE100452SB201-SB202
BE100050SB600 SB602 SB603
BH100266SB604
GA100713SF4
AD100509X79
HD100023X80
JF100430X82
JC100205X175
JB100148X500
JD100234X701-X702
JA100122ARTIST AWARD
BA100269B50
BHM150BRIAN MAY
KA100175CE100
AH100924D15
AH100924D16
EL100144D15/12
AL100092D17
GC100026D17/12
DA113675D25
EH100101D25C
DB104288D35
DC101972D40
DG101032D40C
DL100839D46
GE100047N/A
GF100026DS48CE
DD101789D50
D5012014D50/12
EK100054D52
DE101298D55
KB100046D62
KC100031D64
KD100110D66
EF100263D70
EG100017D80
AA102114D212
AG100148DE500
JH000341DETONATOR
FA100545F20
FB100509F30
KG100036F42
KH100078F44
GB100533F45CE
GJ100030F45/12
KJ100029F46
EJ100306FS46CE
FD100600F50
FE100462F50R
FG100358F212
FJ100545F212XL
FK100445F412
FL100519F512
DF101890G37
GD100053G45
DJ100287G312
JK000085LIBERATOR
CA100657MARK II
CB100406MARK III
CC100253MARK IV
CD100156MARK V
CE100046MKS10CE
JL000040NIGHTINGALE
LL100228PROTOTYPES
HC100481S280 – S281
HE100047S282
HG100101S284
BE100446SB600
BE100446SB602
BE100446SB603
BH100616SB604
BG100068SB608
GA100898SF4
AD101705X79
HD100129X80
JF100460X82
HF100285X88
HH129X92
HJ100004X100
JB100165X500
JD100235X701-X702
JA100127ARTIST AWARD
BA100306B50
BJ100060BLUES BIRD
BHM286BRIAN MAY
AH101371D15
AH101371D16
EL100211D15/12
AL100402D17
DA114523D25
DB104477D35
DC102066D40
DG101068D40C
DL100870D46
GE100049N/A
DD101878D50
DE101374D55
KB100060D62
KC100051D64
KD100162D66
EF100280D70
EG100019D80
AA102395D212
AG100153DE500
JH100580DETONATOR
FA100595F20
FB100527F30
KG100065F42
KH100186F44
GB100683F45CE
KJ100089F46
EJ100370FS46CE
FD100650F50
FE100479F50R
FG100382F212
FJ100567F212XL
FK100476F412
FL100543F512
DF101990G37
GD100080G45
JK000206LIBERATOR
CA100689MARK II
CB100425MARK III
CC100270MARK IV
CD100176MARK V
CE100056MKS10CE
BL100104NIGHT BIRD
JL000082NIGHTINGALE
LL100234PROTOTYPES
HC101039S280 – S281
HG100435S284
BE101135SB600
BE101135SB602
BE101135SB603
BG100116SB608
GA100911SF4
AD101790X79
HD100172X80
HF100457X88
HJ100095X100
HL100014X170
JB100178X500
JA100133ARTIST AWARD
AJ23ASHBORY BASS
BA100326B50
BJ100215BLUES BIRD
BMH316BRIAN MAY
AH101815D15
AH101815D16
AL100575D17
DA115528D25
DB104697D35
DC102190D40
DC102190D40C
DD101928D50
DE101406D55
KC100193D64
KD100208D66
AA102792D212
DJ100299D312
AG100169DE500
FA100663F20
KH100249F44
GB100839F45CE
GJ100157F45/12
KJ100121F46
EJ100401FS46CE
FD100693F50
FE100505F50R
FK100506F412
FL100569F512
DF102135G37
CA100733MARK II
CB100461MARK III
CD100184MARK V
BL100324NIGHT BIRD
LL100237PROTOTYPES
HC101493S280 – S281
HG100637S284
GK100011S285
BE101726SB600
BE101726SB602
BE101726SB603
BK100177SB605
GA100982SF4
GL100030STUDIO 24
HK100123T250
HL100076X170
JB100194X500
JA100147ARTIST AWARD
AJ1109ASHBORY BASS
B300100B30
BA100212B50
BJ100216BLUES BIRD
D1500642D15
AL100886D17
DA001232D25
D2512467D25/12
D3000367D30
DB104754D35
D0400233D40
D0400233D40C
DD101210D50
DE101407D55
D0600113D60
D0650012D65
EG100024D80
DJ100300D312
F0440017F44
F0450311F45
FE100515F50R
FK100578F412
GD100089G45
GF250409GF25
GF300269GF30
GF400082GF40
GF500212GF50
FE100512GF50R
GF50120043GF50/12
GF600048GF60M
GF60R0087GF60R
JF300234JF30
JF30120198JF30/12
JF500050JF50
JF501250007JF50/12
JF650031JF65M
JF65R0019JF65R
JF65120064JF65/12
JF65R0018JF65R/12
CD100185MARK V
BE100083NIGHT BIRD I
BL100426NIGHT BIRD II
LL100238PROTOTYPES
HG100638S284
BE102702SB602
BH100725SB604
BK100290SB605
GA100982SF4
HK100211T250
HL100230X170
JB100214X500
JA100203ARTIST AWARD
AJ1235ASHBORY BASS
B300230B30
BA100249B50
D151898D15
AL100888D17
DA252265D25
D300719D30
DB104754D35
DC400482D40
DC400482D40C
D500447D50
D600234D60
D225768D225
F450535F45
GF250715GF25
GF300498GF30
GF400086GF40
GF500290GF50
GF600082GF60M
GF600206GF60R
JF300618JF30
J230398JF30/12
JF500112JF50
J265153JF65/12
BC100103NIGHT BIRD I
BL100489NIGHT BIRD II
BE103519SB602
BH100744SB604
BK100435SB605
JE1000153SB902
JJ000008SB905
HJ000005X160
HL100471X170
JB100312X500
JA100227ARTIST AWARD
B300310B30
BA300310B50
D151898D15
D252986D25
D251005D25/12
D300921D30
D400640D40
D400640D40C
D500478D50
DE101376D55
D600306D60
F450664F45
GF250845GF25
GF300604GF30
GF500322GF50
GF100002GF55
GF600275GF60R
JF300663JF30
J230561JF30/12
FE100562JF55
FE100516JF65R
JF265227JF65/12
FJ100612JF212XL
BL100530NIGHT BIRD II
FF000006PROTOTYPES
BE103826SB602
BK100524SB605
JE000186SB902
JF000009SB905
HJ000126X160
HL100558X170
JB100341X500
JA100274ARTIST AWARD
B300373B30
D152418D15
D253561D25
D251271D25-12
D301140D30
D400824D40
D400824D40C
D500703D50
DE101476D55
D600308D60
EG100073D100/D100C
JH000605DETONATOR
F150054F15
FA100818F20
F350029F35
F450816F45
FL100603F512
GF250935GF25
GF300699GF30
GF500337GF50
GF100069GF55
GF60277GF60R
HJ000771GX SERIES
JF301099JF30
JF230820JF30-12
FE100658JF55
JF265352JF65-12
BL100597NIGHTBIRD CU
LC000015NIGHTBIRD DX
LB000015NIGHTBIRD ST
JK000025PRESTIGE CL
JL000011PRESTIGE EX
JH000089PRESTIGE ST
FF000015PROTOTYPES
BE103981PILOT/SB602
BK100569PILOT/SB605
JE000195PILOT/SB902
GA101002STARFIRE/SF4
KK001267SONGBIRD
FL100571SPECIAL ORDER
HJ000154X160/161
HL100636X170
JB100373X500
Last Serial Number Estimated

1991-1997

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Serial NumbersGuitar Model
JA100280ARTIST AWARD
B300425B30
CF000323D4
D152700D15
D253790D25
D2251372D25-12
D301259D30
D400857D40
D400857D40C
D500782D50
DE101527D55
EG100085D100/D100C
F150167F15
FA100874F20
F350038F35
F450860F45
GF250946GF25
GF300766GF30
GF100103GF55
JF301224JF30
JF230970JF30-12
FE100707JF55
FL100621JF55-12
JF265427JF65-12
JF000002JF100
BL100626NIGHTBIRD CU
LC000020NIGHTBIRD DX
LB000020NIGHTBIRD ST
JK000038PRESTIGE CL
JL000016PRESTIGE EX
JH000120PRESTIGE ST
FF000019PROTOTYPES
BE104111PILOT/SB602
BK100594PILOT/SB605
GA101072STARFIRE/SF4
KK001352SONGBIRD
HJ000176X160/161
HL100660X170
JB100389X500
JA100328ARTIST AWARD
B300590B30
KF000018B500CE
CF003381D4
CH000631D4-12
D153183D15
D254482D25
D2251570D25-12
D301458D30
D400884D40
D500964D50
DE101688D55
EG100105D100/D100C
CK000003F4CE
F150254F15
FA100890F20
CJ000597F25E/F4
F3000130F30CE
F350049F35
F450918F45
F480006F48
F650062F65CE
GF250948GF25
GF300836GF30
GF100126GF55
CG000746JF4
JF301528JF30
JF231262JF30-12
FE100869JF55
FL100660JF55-12
JF265544JF65-12
JF100008JF100
BL100634NIGHTBIRD CU
JK000044PRESTIGE CL
JL000037PRESTIGE EX
JH000172PRESTIGE ST
FF000036PROTOTYPES
KE000042S4CE
BE104420PILOT/SB602
BK100748PILOT/SB605
GA101115STARFIRE/SF4
KK001847SONGBIRD
HJ000261X160/161
HL100717X170
CL000053X2000/4000
JB100421X500
JA100379ARTIST AWARD
LD000271B4E
B300727B30
KF000061B500CE
BM20022BRIAN MAY
LB000069CE100
CF006541D4
CH001045D4-12
KL001210D6/D7
D153484D15
D254666D25
D2251630D25-12
D301709D30
D501104D50
DE101833D55
EG100148D100/D100C
LH000003DCE1
EK100611DV52/DV62
LE000122F5
CJ002255F25E/F4
F3000242F30CE
GG100118F30R
F650120F65CE
LF000046FF5/FF5CE
GF250999GF25
GF300845GF30
GF100166GF55
HJ000772GX SERIES
CG001572JF4
LA000166JF4-12
JF301880JF30
JF231502JF30-12
FE101037JF55
FL100708JF55-12
JF265635JF65-12
JF100021JF100
JF200003JF100-12
FF000057PROTOTYPES
BE104434PILOT/SB602
BK100783PILOT/SB605
GA101147STARFIRE/SF4
KK002243SONGBIRD
HJ000302X160/161
HL100765X170
CL000054X2000/4000
JB100173X500
AA000039ARTIST AWARD
AB040487B4E
AB300132B30/B30E
BM00415BRIAN MAY
ME00316BRIAN MAY SIGNATURE
BHM30114BRIAN MAY SPECIAL
BHD00039BRIAN MAY STANDARD
AC100023CE100/CE100(HG)
FA000097CROSSROADS(CR01)
AD042116D4
AD420368D4-12
AD060701D6
D153520D15
AD300184D30
D501106D50
AD550114D55
AD600028D60
GC000020D65
AD100014D100
AD110841DC1
FC050298DC5
FD000019DC130
AD520445DV52
AD620145DV62
AD720197DV72
AD730014DV73
AD760010DV76
FK000001DV82
AF040801F4CE
AF050200F5CE
AF300151F30
AF650118F65CE
AF200049F20
AF500012F50
AF150119FF5CE
FG450005G045/HANK WILLIAMS
FG000067G45/HANK WILLIAMS
FE000225GV52
FJ000059GV70
AJ040387JF4
AJ420064JF4-12
AJ300329JF30
AJ320240JF30-12
AJ550129JF55
AJ520062JF55-12
AJ620090JF65-12
AJ110121JF100
AJ120005JF200
FJ520028JV52
FJ720018JV72
AL040139PRO4
AL050078PRO5
FB000004PROTOTYPES
FB000132S100
AE040103S4CE
FB000132SONGBIRD
AG000014STARFIRE 4
AK160031X160
AK170059X170
AK500008X500
AK700028X700
AA000040 – AA000089ARTIST AWARD
AB040488 – AB040714B4E
AB300133 – AB300207B30/B30E
BHP00004 – BHP00057BM01/BM01(ST)
AD042117 – AD044518D4
AD042117 – AD044518D4E
AD420369 – AD420802D4-12
AD060702 – AD061343D6
AD060702 – AD061343D6E, D6HG, DV6
AD042117 – AD044518D25
AD420369 – AD420802D25-12
AD260001 – AD260458D26
AD300185 – AD300301D30
D501107D50
AD550115 – AD550220D55
AD600029 – AD600043D60
AD100015 – AD100022D100
AD100015 – AD100022D100C
AD110842 – AD111713DC1
AD110842 – AD111713DCE1
FC050299 – FC050578DC5
FD000020 – FD000022DC130
AD520446 – AD520945DV52
AD520446 – AD520945DV52HG
AD620146DV62
AD730015 – AD730052DV73
AF040802 – AF041355F4CE
AF050201 – AF050353F5CE
AF300153F30
AF650119 – AF650237F65CE
AF200050 – AF200131F20
AF500013 – AF500015F50
AF150120 – AF150143FF5CE
AJ040388 – AJ040424JF4
AJ040388 – AJ040424JF4E
AJ300330 – AJ300779JF30
AJ320241 – AJ320592JF30-12
AJ550130 – AJ550293JF55
AJ520063 – AJ520175JF55-12
AJ620091 – AJ620188JF65-12
AJ110122 – AJ100027JF100
AJ120006 – AJ100007JF200
FJ720019 – FJ720023JV72
AL050079 – AL050096PRO5
JJ000001 – JJ000009PROTOTYPES
FB000133 – FB000194S100
AE040104 – AE040343S4CE
AE040104 – AE040343SONGBIRD
AG000015 – AG000023STARFIRE 4
AK170060 – AK170138X170
AK500009 – AK000010X500
AK700029 – AK700069X700
AA000089 – AA000105ARTIST AWARD
AF250272 – AF250893A25
AF500079 – AF500194A50
AB040714 – AB041044B4E
AB300208 – AB300286B30/B30E
CL000060 – CL000152N/A
AD044518 – AD048099D4
AD044518 – AD048099D25
AD300302 – AD300348D30BLD
AD550221 – AD550412D55
AD100023 – AD100039D100C
AD111714 – AD113572DCE1
FC050579 – FC050964DC5
AD061343 – AD062106DV6HR
AD520946 – AD521850DV52
AD520946 – AD521850DV52HG
AD740008 – AD740022DV74
AF041356 – AF042131F4CE
AF050354 – AF050614F5CE
AF650238 – AF650398F65CE
AJ120005 – AJ120012JF100-12C
AJ300780 – AJ301720JF30
AJ320593 – AJ321101JF30-12
AJ550294 – AJ550483JF55
AJ520176 – AJ520253JF55-12
AJ620188 – AJ620304JF65-12
AJ100028 – AJ100041JF100C
FB000195 – FB000378S100
AG000024 – AG000219STARFIRE 4
AK170139 – AK170401X170
AK700070 – AK700118X700
AA000106 – AA000158ARTIST AWARD
AF250894 – AF250896A25
AF500195 – AF500209A50
AB041045 – AB041257B4E
AB041045 – AB041257B4EHG
AB300287 – AB301349B30E
CL000153 – CL001013BB BLUESBIRD
AD048100 – AD401129D4
AD421508 – AD421738D4-12
AD048100 – AD401129D25
AD421508 – AD421738D25-12
AD300349 – AD300784D30BLD
AD550413 – AD550691D55
AD100040 – AD100049D100C
AD113573 – AD114800DCE1
AD113573 – AD114800DCE1HG
FC050965 – FC051258DCE5
AD062107 – AD062419DV6HR
AD062107 – AD062419DV6HG
AD521850 – AD522272DV52
AD521850 – AD522272DV52HG
AF042131 – AF042598F4CE
AF050615 – AF050660F5CE
AF650398 – AF650556F65CE
AJ301720 – AJ302129JF30
AJ321102 – AJ321291JF30-12
AJ550484 – AJ550613JF55
AJ520254 – AJ520300JF55-12
AJ620305 – AJ620369JF65-12
AJ100042 – AJ100046JF100C
AJ100042 – AJ100046JF100C-12
FB000379 – FB000770S100
AE040541 – AE040672S4CE
AE040541 – AE040672SONGBIRD HG
AG300001 – AG301083STARFIRE II
AG300001 – AG301083STARFIRE III
AG000220 – AG000937STARFIRE IV
AK150001 – AK150004X150
AK170401 – AK170799X170
AK700119 – AK700213X700
Last Serial Number Estimated

2004-2008

Tacoma, Washington was the production venue between 2004-2008

2008-2014

New Hartford, Connecticut was the production venue between late 2008-2014

2015-Present

Cordoba, Oxnard, California is the present factory for Guild distribution from 2015

Other Serial Number formats:

Key

  • yy =year
  • d =production number

To reveal an accurate date of the serial numbers below, add your details to our Guild Decoder.

Number of DigitsSerial Number FormatProduction Location
73yyddddMade In Corona, Valencia, Spain
81yydddddChina
88yydddddOxnard, California
8GYyymmddChina
9KCyddddddKorea Cort
9ICyddddddIndonesia Cort
10KCyyddddddKorea Cort
10KWMyydddddKorea World Musical
10KSGyydddddKorea SPG
9CUVddddddCorona, California
9CPMddddddCorona, California
Last Serial Number Estimated

How To Read Guitar Tabs In 15 Minutes

How to learn guitar tabs

It’s super easy to learn how to read guitar tab. It’s essential wisdom for the budding guitarist. I can teach you How To Read Guitar Tabs In 15 minutes with my easy-to-read tabs and video examples.


Tablature is a special arrangement of numbers and symbols set out on a grid of six lines. Guitar tablature is far easier to learn than traditional musical notation.


Every guitarist should learn how to read tablature, as it’s a global language and is found to be extremely popular online. 

Here are three images you’re likely to come across when searching for ‘guitar tab’.

Top left in Red is a guitar lick written in Standard Notation and Guitar Tablature.

The Lines are split into two ‘staffs’. The top staff shows the note symbols and values. The bottom 6 lines show numbers that translate to a guitar fretboard.
Both staff are playing the exact same melody.
The standard notation (top) is giving you a visual representation of ‘what’ the music sounds like. The symbols show you how to play the tune on any instrument, not just a guitar. A musical note can describe pitch and duration.

The bottom half is ‘guitar’ tablature. This is showing you what fret to play the notes on the guitar fingerboard. This type of tab doesn’t give you the duration or the name of that note.

The bottom left in Green is an online text-based tab. This is pretty much what you’ll find on big sites like Ultimate-Guitar.com.

This chart is again showing you where to play along the guitar fretboard. It also tells us the Am chord is involved in the melody.
In this example, the text is telling you that the notes are a part of the A minor chord.

On the right in Blue is a ‘Chord Box’, this is something you’ve probably already seen before. The black dots represent where you need to press in order to play the C chord correctly.

How To Read Guitar Tabs

1- Open Strings

Let’s start at the beginning with a simple diagram below.

When reading tablature you’ll be looking down at the guitar. The six strings on the guitar match the six on the tablature. Remember, the top staff is for all instruments so we won’t be needing that.

How To Read Guitar Tabs

If you were to pluck the strings one by one, without pressing down on any of them, you would get the notes (from the thickest string) E-A-D-G-B-e. These strings are called ‘open strings’.

The tablature symbol for an ‘open’ string’ is O.

Here’s a ‘C’ chord. The box is giving you the six strings (vertical) and the frets (horizontal). The black dots are instructing you where to place your fingers. The ‘O’ symbol are open strings, that need to be played to create this ‘C’ chord.

Note the X outside the Chord Box. The X is used to inform you NOT to play that particular string when strumming this chord. 

 


 

2- What Do The Numbers Mean?

I’m going to be using very simple tab boxes as you can see below. For the first few I’ve placed a real guitar neck next to the tab box so you can get a visual understanding of where the notes are.

In this example, you‘ve got 4 notes to play.

You always begin with the note that’s furthest to the left.

In this case, we have a yellow O, then pink 2, red 2, and blue O.

Play them one at a time remembering O is open. The number 2 refers to the note being played on the 2nd fret of the guitar. That’s it! You can now read guitar tablature. 

Here is a video example:

 


 

3- Chord Boxes

Sometimes chord boxes also come with numbers. When this is present, it’s simply to show you which fingers you need to use to play the chord properly. 

Note: a chord box is facing up, unlike the tab.

Below is a numbered finger picture, and to the right, you have the C chord.

The numbered chord box is telling you which fingers to use and where. 

Sometimes you will need to use your (t) thumb over the top to bar the thickest E string. Pay attention to the O (open) notes which are plucked as a part of the chord.

Take a look at the video for instruction, note my finger positioning is the same as the diagram above.

 


 

4- Numbers Stacked On Top Of Each Other

Chords are also displayed in guitar tab, as well as chord boxes. When various numbers are stacked on top of each other, you’ll need to play those at the same time. 

Once again, pay attention to the two open (O) notes.

Sometimes you’ll come across a chord with X‘s displayed on the strings:

Remember, as I’ve mentioned before, you do not play these notes with this chord

Watch the video closely:

 


 

5- Numbers From Left To Right

When numbers are in a line, you always start with the number furthest to the left. You continue to play these, one at a time.

In this example, the first note is open on the 4th string down. After that, its 4th string down-1st fret-2nd fret….and so on. Easy right?

 


 

6- Hammer-On

Now things get a bit more interesting.

A Hammer-On is when you play a note once, then hammer your finger to a higher note. An h is placed between two notes to instruct you to ‘hammer-on’.

So in the example below: the furthest note to the left is an O, then h2.

So play the second string open, then hammer your finger down on the 2nd fret. There, that’s two notes. Now do the same on the string below. Finish with an open E (yellow). 

There’s your first riff!

 


 

7- Pull-Offs

Pull-offs can get pretty exciting whilst playing guitar.

In the tab diagram below your starting point is the 4th string down, on the 3rd fret. The letter p is placed between the notes, see (3p0).

You play the note (3) then pull off it to create another note (0)= (3p0). You then repeat the process on the 2nd fret=(2p0).

To finish the exercise play the 3rd string 3rd fret, then open the 4th string (G Blue).

This undoubtedly will take a bit of practice, but it’s worth it when you finally start mastering this technique. Check out the video to get a visual representation, as you’ll find that easier.

 


 

8- Hammer On & Pull Off

Look carefully to see if you have both hammer-ons and pulls-offs when reading tablature. 

Now you’ll see the letters h and p between a group of numbers.

In the example below, you are firstly playing open G string (blue), then hammering on to fret 2 (0h2).

You then hammer on from fret 2 to 3 (0h2h3)

Then pull off fret 3, back to 2 (0h2h3p2)

Finish this sequence by pulling off 2 into an open note (0h2h3p2p0). Then complete the lick with an open D (red) and fretting the low E at the 3rd Fret.

Don’t be put off by the amount of information there is in the diagram. Take one note at a time and understand what you need to do, before playing it on your guitar. 

The video will help you understand it better

 


 

9- Bending- Full, Half & Release Bending

(b) Bending guitar strings is the most enjoyable part of playing. Once you start, you just can’t stop.

In the first tab below the 8b is followed by a 10 (8b10).  So you’re striking the note once at the 8th fret (5th string down) then bending it up to note 10.

This is bending up a full step, so it sounds the same pitch as if you were to play the note on the 10th fret. Bending increases the pitch of the note. 

So in this instance we need to bend the note from the 8 to a 10 (8b10). 

Heres the video for that bend:

A Release Bend is exactly that. You need to release a bend to another a different pitch. You’ll find these thrown in with normal bends sometimes. The symbol for a release bend is (r).

You’ve already bent the string and now you need to release it to another note.

In our example, you’re bending from the 12th fret half a step up to the 13th (12b13), then back down (r) to 12 (13r12).

You then play the note at the 10th fret, then to finish bend the 13th to the 15th (13b15=full bend).  

Look at the diagram closely and understand the procedure before playing anything. 

Heres the release bend video for assistance:

Pb’ is also another notable bending technique. Pb stands for pre-bend. So you’re pre-bending a note before picking it. Basically, you’re bending it in silence before actually playing it. This is a nice skill to learn. 

 


 

10 -Slide

Sliding up and down the fretboard to notes is a great way to impress listeners whilst blasting out a solo. Its used by all the top guitarists. It’s a very satisfying sound. 

As you can see we have 2 symbol diagrams. Slide up (/), and Slide down (\) the guitar fretboard.

Starting with the example below, we’re picking fret 2 then sliding up to 7 (2/7).

We then play an open D string (red), we then pluck fret 9-on the G string- play another open D and finish on the 11th fret G string. 

Now that’s a nice lick huh?

Ok, sliding down. 

Strike the B string on the 10th fret and slowly slide to 8 then 7 then 5.

To finish, pluck the G string at the 7th fret. 

This may take a little practice, but it won’t take long to master. 

Here’s the tutorial for both slides:

 


 

11-Harmonics

<> Is the symbol for harmonics. You will see a number in the middle of these two notes. In my example, you can clearly see a <12>.

You may see this now and again. It’s kinda used to sprinkle that little bit extra onto an intro or solo. It’s not as important as the rest of the symbols in this tutorial but you will come across them on your adventures. 

To create a harmonic you lightly touch the string (or strings) without putting any pressure on it at all. You pick and untouch the string at the same time creating a very nice heavenly tone, swirling into the room. 

For the example, you start from the left as always. Pluck the top e at the 12th fret- then b,g,d, let it ring out, and finish with a chord (as the numbers are stacked on top of each other).

 


 

12- Vibrato

‘The Kings Of The Blues’ BB King gave us some incredible shimmering vibrato.

In your quest for guitar greatness, you will come across the ~ symbol. The symbol can generally be found next to the note or above the staff. Older tablature also shows the vibrato as a ‘V’. 

This will take a bit of practicing to master it at first, but vibrato has to be a part of your guitaring arsenal.

After you played the note with the 5~~~, shake the note only slightly, up and down to get vibrato. It’s a technique that is tricky at first. If you want a good teacher, youtube: BB King live! His style is so good.

Vibrato adds so much class to notes. Without it, the world of guitar music would be extremely dull. 

 


 

13-Palm Muted Playing

When you see PM—- above the tab, it means the notes are played with ‘Palm Muting’. 

This is a technique where you are scraping the strings fairly hard with your pick, but muting the sound of the strings with the outer edge of your strumming hand.

You’re only slightly dulling the sound as you need to hear the notes being played. If your notes are ringing out, you’re not muting enough with your strumming hand. 

The good thing about this technique is that it’s easy to execute. Some Metal songs use palm muting throughout the whole song.

If you need an example, try Bryan Adams Summer Of 69 intro. That’s palm muting!

In my video clip, I’m muting then slightly releasing the palm pressure so my notes can be heard. Try it!

 


 

14-Muted Raking

X– Can be used as a percussive way to play the guitar. X is the symbol for when you rake the strings with no notes being played or a percussive hit. Once again it’s used a lot in rock music and funk today. 

Lightly place your finger on the strings, in essence dulling them right down. Strike up and down the strings, be aggressive! It sounds great. 

The example below is a nice funky riff with lots of percussive muted strikes and throwing in notes to spice it up. 

Note the tasty vibrato to spice it up.

Symbols Used:

  • O-Open String
  • X-Percussive strike or in Chord Boxes ‘Do not Play’
  • h-Hammer On
  • p Pull Off
  • h p Hammer On & Pull Off
  • b Bend
  • / Slide Up
  • \ Slide Down
  • <> Harmonics
  • ~ Vibrato
  • PM- Palm Mute

My Top Tip

Whilst reading tab, if you are able to listen to the song or the guitarist you’re learning from, this will give you an indication of what’s expected. Start off really slow, then play along with the song to get the speed and length of the notes.

This is also fantastic for training your ear.

If you want to learn how to ‘transcribe’ a piece of music from a recording, our friends over at Seventh String can help you with that. Click here to read more. 

A Final Word

I hope you’ve gained some knowledge reading my article on ‘How To Read Guitar Tabs’. Go away and try to learn something with this know-how.

Once you understand the above instructions, you’ll never stop using them. In fact, you are well on your way to learning ANY song you like.

Don’t be this guy, learn guitar tab, GOOD LUCK!!!

Guitar Maintenance

11 Original Artists Who Defined The History Of Delta Blues Guitar

Delta Blues Guitar

Can you imagine the state of guitar music if we hadn’t been introduced to the Delta Blues Guitar style and Boogie from generations ago? 

They’d be no Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, SRV, Angus Young, Peter Green, and many many others. We have a lot to thank them for.

So let’s look at the original musicians, their style, and the guitars that paved the way for the modern guitar player. 

Our List Of Influential Musicians:

  1. Son House
  2. Robert Johnson
  3. Lightnin Hopkins
  4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  5. T-Bone Walker
  6. Muddy Waters
  7. Albert King
  8. B.B. King
  9. Chuck Berry
  10. Howlin Wolf
  11. John Lee Hooker

1. SON HOUSE: National 1930s Duolian

Edward James “Son” House Jr. (March 21, 1902– October 19, 1988)

Delta Blues Guitar

Son was known for his emotional style of vocals and Delta Slide Guitar Blues. 

Son’s unique style was down to his rhythmic punch, passionate vocals and emotional depth.

With a mix of string popping and trademark bottleneck slide, Son was in a league of his own and inspired generations of guitarists worldwide to recreate his style. 

He favored various open tunings like G,D and D minor but also used standard. 

Son was split between playing guitar for the righteous path of religion (as he was a preacher), but then becoming conflicted to play the ‘devil’s music’ The Blues! Son would often entertain the plantation workers with his armoury of songs.  

After quitting music altogether in the early 40s, Son was found by blues enthusiasts in Rochester New York in 1964. He was completely unaware of the 1960s blues revival and huge worldwide admiration for his early recordings.

After revitalizing his career Son House continued to tour and do what he was best at. This success lasted until 1974 where he retired again to ill health. 

Son House died in Detroit, Michigan in 1988. 

Guitars: 

There are plenty of photographs around of Son House holding a National 1930s Duolian, Triolian, or the Model ‘O’. He has been known to also play Stella early in the 1930’s recording sessions. Son also favored an early 20s Gibson L-1.

National 1930s Duolian

 


 

2. Robert Johnson: Kalamazoo KG-14

Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938)

“robert-johnson” by raymaclean is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Robert Johnson really hit the good times during the 1936-37 period with his trademark combination of singing, guitar skill and amazing songwriting talents. He was the first guitarist in history to incorporate boogie woogie from piano to his finger picking slide techniques. 

Johnson took that raw, rhythmic resemblance of the famous Delta Blues guitar sound. Mixed it up, absorbing all the influences that came before him. He created a perfect blend of innovative Country Blues.

He is very much one of the masters of the Delta Blues. Definitely one of the most influential musicians of his time. Jimmy Page was said to be a huge fan of Johnson.  

Apparently Robert Johnson learnt to play guitar in a graveyard at night, perching on tombstones. I suppose that’s one way to get away from hustle and bustle and learn your chords. 

Guitars: 

Robert Johnson was famous for using a small number of guitars.

The 1928 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14 being one of which he looked to favor. It had 14 frets to the body, five dot markers, a single layer of binding inside the soundhole, and a black ebony nut. 

Other notable guitars Johson used were the Gibson L1 and possibly a Harmony Stella at some point. 

The 1928 Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14

 


 

3. Lightnin Hopkins: Guild Starfire IV

Samuel John “Lightnin'” Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982)

“Lightnin’ Hopkins in Berkley” by Nesster is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Lightnin Hopkins was a country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who began recording in 1946. He also occasionally played piano. 

Hopkins’s style was to play unaccompanied with his own brand of fingerpicking, but with the help of a thumb pick. His superb technique and clever mid-tempo swinging blues in 12/8 were his unique characteristics. 

Strongly influenced by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Hopkins would learn guitar at a very early age. 

Hopkins would eventually end up playing with Jefferson at church gatherings. 

After a long career, mostly unaccompanied Lightin Hopkins could impressively switch between musical genres and acoustic or electric guitars. His vocal was a ‘talkin blues’ style, like the great John Lee Hooker. His ability to freewheel and play completely improvisational would confuse and inspire session musicians around him

To this day components of his style are clearly found in Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and SRV. 

Guitars: 

Hopkins guitar on the cover of ‘The Texas Bluesman’ looks to be a Guild Starfire IV. He was also known to favor a Kay K-24 Jumbo, Gibson J-45s & J-50, also a Washburn.

Guild Starfire IV

 


 

4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe: 1929 Gibson L-5

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973)

“reitzlp1317_001” by Jazz Archive at Duke University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sister Rosetta was a prominent force in the 30s and 40s. A superb mix of spiritual lyrics from gospel music, later being referred to as the ‘original soul sister and the ‘godmother of soul. 

She was the first to be recognized as a star from a gospel background and certainly the first to be recognized by the rhythm and blues and rock n roll audiences. A child prodigy, she would be performing at her local church by 6 years old! Here she developed her style cut from rural and urban elements. 

Her amazing style and unique ability were picked up later by none other than Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. That’s not a bad list!!

Unfortunately, Rosetta doesn’t get the accolades she deserves this is probably due to her devotion to religious material. Later in life, she was perceived as the single most distinguished gospel artist of America.  

Guitars

It’s difficult to find anything other than the guitar Rosetta used, other than the beautiful 1929 National Triolian, Gibson L-5.

1929 National Triolian, Gibson L-5.

 


 

5. T Bone Walker: Gibson ES-5 

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975)

“T-Bone walker – T-Bone Blues” by comunicom.es is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

T-Bone Walker was a pioneer of the electric blues. He became the first musician to play the guitar as a solo instrument, a centerpiece of his dazzling live shows. 

He was one of the original guitarists to give the world ‘jump blues’ and the ‘electric blues sound’. Walker was a classy performer and a silky singer. 

His phrasing and melody set him aside from anybody else at the time. Walker would use attacking runs with powerful rhythmic fall back turning his guitar sound which revolutionized the instrument for years to come.

BB King cited hearing Walker’s Stormy Monday’ and drove him into buying an electric guitar. Jimi Hendrix played the guitar with his teeth, which was also a trait of T Bone Walker. Chuck Berry later said Walker was a huge influence on him.

T-Bone Walker is altogether one of the most important musicians to emerge from the latter part of the 29th century. 

The ‘Jump Blues’

Guitars:

T Bone Walker played most of his career with the truly breathtaking flame-top Gibson ES-5 Electric Guitar. He also was said to have played a Gibson ES-250 and once borrowed Chuck Berry’s famous ES-335 for a live show.

Flame-top Gibson ES-5 Electric Guitar

 


 

6. Muddy Waters: Guild S-200 Thunderbird 

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983)

“Muddy Waters at Newport 1960” by Nesster is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Muddy Waters style of guitar was described as ‘raining down Delta beatitude’. He was a very important part of the post-war blues era. He was commonly known as the ‘father of modern Chicago blues’.

By the age of 13 Waters would play harmonica at gatherings. At 17 he’d saved enough money to buy his first guitar. 

He was completely self-taught and would copy the likes of Robert Johnson and Son House. He traveled around Clarksdale playing as a kid playing with anyone and everyone he could find. 

His first real electric band was with two exceptional musicians in harp player Little Walter Jacobs and guitarist Jimmy Rogers. 

Muddy’s excellent timing, phrasing, and dynamic command of pitch, his spectrum of vocal effects, from falsetto to pure grit put him in a league of his own. 

In 1958, he gained notoriety after he’d traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. 

A very important figure in the story of blues music overseas and a major influence on the popularity of the delta blues guitar. 

Guitars:

In 1968 Muddy was seen playing a Guild S-200 Thunderbird Electric Guitar at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. He also had a Harmony Monterey, Stella Acoustics and a Fender Telecaster in his arsenal. 

Guild S-200 Thunderbird Electric Guitar

 


 

7. Albert King: Gibson 1968 Flying V

Albert Nelson (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992)

“Albert King – 1969 R-169” by Winston J.Vargas is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The only lefty on the list. Back in those days, it wasn’t easy finding left-handed guitars. Albert King started out life playing a ‘diddley bow’ he’d built, then moved onto a cigar box guitar.

As he grew older and he learned to play the guitar flipped over (upside down). The left-handed Albert King was renowned for his deep and dramatic sound. This was later duplicated by both blues and rock guitarists.

Albert King was responsible for introducing his Memphis style into the blues. Some feat considering he appealed to both black and white audiences. 

His laid-back vocal style mixed up with his intense string bending technique would go far and wide across the globe influencing such later greats as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. 

King was once nicknamed “The Velvet Bulldozer” because of his smooth singing and large size. 

Guitars:

You’ll probably recall Albert King is the man behind the Flying V’s. He had a few but the Cherry Red Gibson 1968 Flying V seems to be his most well-known. He also played a Bolin pink (Lucy) and a natural color. 

Cherry Red Gibson 1968 Flying V

 


 

B.B King: Gibson L30

Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)

“BB King” by Daniele Dalledonne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

B.B King is undoubtedly one of the most ‘important’ guitarists of all time. With his characteristic fluid string bending, beautiful glistening vibrato, and staccato picking. He has influenced many players and still, his style is prevalent in today’s music.  

One of the hardest working musicians of his time. King would appear on stage more than 200 times a year, even into his 70s! He managed to outlive a lot of his friends and fellow musicians who passed away much earlier.

In 1947 he hitchhiked to Memphis, Tennessee in an attempt to chase his childhood dreams. Let’s all be thankful he made that trip. 

After one of his shows in Arkansas, two men got into a brawl knocking over a gas stove. This then set the dance hall in a gulf of flames. B.B then realized he’d left his guitar inside and ran inside. The two men were still fighting over a woman called ‘Lucille’! B.B King then named his guitar after that woman. Reminding himself, never to fight over a woman. 

There’s a reason he was nicknamed ‘The King Of The Blues’. 

Guitars: 

BB King played variants of the Gibson ES-355. He had his own Autographed Gibson BB King L-30 with added electronics. The original of these models was the actual ‘Lucille’. King was also known to play a red Stella and a J-45. 

Autographed Gibson BB King L-30

 


 

9. Chuck Berry: Gibson ES-335 

Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)

“Chuck Berry” by Missouri Historical Society is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Chuck Berry single-handedly developed the rhythm and blues. He was heavily influenced by the riffs and showmanship of T Bone Walker. He had such a huge catalog of great catchy songs. By the end of the 1950s, Chuck Berry was a worthwhile superstar.

His showmanship and memorable guitar solos have put Berry right up the top of the most influential players of all time. You’ve seen Angus Young’s Strutt right? That’s from Chuck Berry (and possibly T Bone Walker before that)

Berry was taking an already popular rhythm and blues style and re-inventing it. This in turn would change the face of Rock n Roll forever. He invented the sound, the format, and the style for many guitarists ever since. 

The guitar ‘solo’ would never be the same. Berry took that to a whole new level. 

Guitars: 

Chuck Berry’s memorable guitar was a Cherry Red Gibson ES335. In some footage, it seems he used chrome dogear P90s pickups, rather than the standard humbucker. 

Other guitars to be added to his collection were: 1956 Gibson ES-350TN, Gibson Flying V Electric Guitar,

Gibson ES-350T, Gretsch 6130 Roundup Electric Guitar, Kay Thin Twin K-161, and a Gibson Super 400. 

Cherry Red Gibson ES335

 


 

10. Howlin’ Wolf: Fender Coronado II 

Chester Arthur Burnett, (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976)

“Howlin’ Wolf – Howling in the Moonlight” by comunicom.es is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Although Howlin Wolf is not considered a legendary guitarist, he’s certainly worth his weight in gold when it comes to influencing the direction of the Chicago Blues sound.

With a gigantic booming voice and a very imposing physical presence, Wolf is the cornerstone of the urban blues from Chicago. Wolf was clever with the way he landed his accents around and on the beat. This skill was learned through thousands of hours of playing. This would free up rhythmic space for the other musicians to use wisely. This skill was unique to Howlin Wolf. Even though Hubery Sumlin and Wolf didn’t get along, they have a beautiful understanding when it comes to songwriting. 

He later joined forces with guitarist Hubert Sumlin playing great Willie Dixon songs. This was a combination that defined the Chicago Blues sound. SOngs like Moanin’ At Midnight had a massive influence on the course of Blues music. 

A Lot of artists at the time tried imitating his style but nobody had the trademark power when it came to his vocals. Thoughtful lyrics and earthy stage presence made Wolf like no other. 

Howlin Wolf learned his trade on the cutthroat Chicago blues scene during the 50s. That was no easy feat considering the amount of raw talent about in those days

Guitars:

Many photos over the years show the following guitars: Fender Coronado II Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar, Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar, Kay Thin Twin K-161 Kay Archtop, Guild G-212 12-string and a  Harmony Sovereign flat-top. Some real nice guitars in there. 

Fender Coronado II Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar

 


 

11. John Lee Hooker: Epiphone Zephyr 

John Lee Hooker (August 22  1917 – June 21, 2001)

“Boogie On, John Lee Hooker (1917-2001)” by Mikey G Ottawa is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

‘The King of Boogie’ created his own style from the Delta Blues. He integrated unique elements from ‘talking blues’. A style which is distinguished by ‘rhythmic speech’. The melody is in a free form, yet the rhythm stays strictly in line. 

JLH developed the boogie style into his own driving tempo, detached from the 1930s/40s piano-based boogie. Taking the Delta Blues guitar sound from the acoustics of old into a more electric guitar-based swagger.

Hookers’ guitar and vocal style was uniquely deep and headed straight for your soul. Stomping beats and countless great songs make John Lee Hooker an absolute legend.

His characteristic raw, riveting Mississippi blues required a lot of a listener. With much emotion and incomparable creative spark, John Lee Hooker Stands alone in his work. Imitated still to this day, but in no way equaled. 

He played and recorded on both acoustic and electric guitar in an open A tuning. Sometimes using a capo in that tuning to extend the keys. 

Guitars: 

Hooker was known to dabble with a number of Epiphone Sheratons, most notably a rare Epiphone Zephyr, a Kay Jumbo, a Goya acoustic, and a cherry red Gibson ES 330.

Epiphone Zephyr

More AuthorityGuitar, Guitar Based Articles For You:

Fender Guitar Sales Boom. The Strat is Back! Fender Stratocaster Buyers Guide: 10 Models Compared

The Guitars That Shaped The Best Selling Albums Of All Time

Acoustic Vs Electric Guitar: A Complete Beginners Guide

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10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care: The Best Ways To Maintain Your Guitar:

Guitar Care Header

If you’re worth your salt as a guitarist. You should be on the ball when it comes to guitar care.

Guitars are made from the finest premium woods and materials. They are set up with patience and a high level of skilled precision.

If you look after your guitar, it will look after you.

I’ve been playing guitars for over 25 years, here are 10 Essential Tips to use to look after your prized possession. 

10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care :

1. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes

Sudden changes to a guitar’s temperature can play havoc with it. Wood expands and contracts, this could lead to neck warping or worse, permanent damage. 

A gradual change in climate is the answer, as wood can adapt to the temperature slowly. 

Storing a guitar at room temperature is a safe bet. Keep guitars out of the sun and very cold conditions. It goes without saying. 

2. Care For Your Fingerboard

Unlike the rest of the guitar, rosewood fretboards do not require sealing. This is because the wood’s oils and hardness naturally withstand wear and decay.  Most other fretboards are sealed but dry out after a while. They’re susceptible to getting absolutely filthy and showing signs of age. Although you may think this is a cool effect, it won’t be a cool sound!

It’s best practice to get yourself a conditioning product (which is specific to your model of guitar). The better conditioners will also help to clean the dirt away and hydrate your fretboard. 

Tip: Slide your hand up and down the side of your fretboard, are your frets sharp? They shouldn’t be. Sharp frets break strings! Enough said. 

3. Pay A Professional To Set Up Your Guitar

Fixing your guitar by yourself is the most popular way to cause a bigger problem. The Importance of maintaining the correct action is crucial to the life of a guitar.  

Guitar wood is organic. It changes shape and density as it grows; with age. It bends and changes in very small ways. A good guitar doctor will be aware of this and put it right for a very low price. 

Every single guitar I’ve ever purchased, new or used, I’ve taken straight to a guitar tech to set up. It’s worth every penny. 

Tip: New guitars don’t come set up properly from a store (unless a tech has done it as part of the sale). 

I needed an excuse to show off the Gibson ES. Immaculate!

4. Keep An Eye On Your Nut

Creaky strings and string snapping are a sure-fire way to tell you your nut needs replacing. Unwound strings can dig and cut deep into the nut slot. This causes open strings to buzz and your guitar to sound slightly out of tune. That’s not a good sound! 

Nuts cost next to nothing but generally, it’ll last for years. Just keep an eye out with a close inspection. 

Unless you’ve been taught by a guitar technician, any alteration to a nut or nut replacement is a job for a pro

5. Buy A Hard Case (your guitar deserves it)

Soft cases don’t do anything apart from keeping dust off. Why buy a lovely new guitar with your hard-earned savings, then protect it with a soft material case? 

A good strong hard case will protect your instrument at all costs. It’s great for home storage, the live guitarist on the road, or a traveling musician by plane or train. When you buy your first good hard case, you won’t ever need another one. 

Tip: Losen your strings before air travel. The pressure in the cabin and temperature change can cause all sorts of trouble for your guitar. A broken guitar neck is worse than a broken heart! Fact. 

6. Replace Your Strings

When do I change my strings?  This would depend on what type of player you are. 

As a rule of thumb If you play nearly every day, I would say renew them every 6-8 weeks. As a gigging guitarist, I would change my strings after 3 shows and 3 rehearsals. This all depends on what strings you use too. The longer-lasting strings these days are awesome. I now play at home every so often, so I get new strings every 3 months. 

It’s really all down to your scenario. You can always tell when your strings have had enough. They sound so lifeless and dull. 

Changing strings is a no brainer, it gives you a chance to clean your guitar and revitalize your sound. Keeping it fresh and interesting. This also helps beginners. Wanting to play a nice sounding guitar will make you want to practice more regularly. 

Tip: A luthier once told me, every time you change your strings, you should draw with a pencil between the nut slots. Pencil lead contains graphite and is great for a dry lubricant and helps clean within the slots. 

7. Keep It Clean

After a session playing low down and dirty funk, your guitar will require cleaning (your soul too).

Although cleaning isn’t a science, you still need to use the correct products. Here are some quick dos and dont’s :

  • Dust and Polish: Don’t spray directly onto the guitar, straight onto the cloth
  • No Moisture: Do not use water. Specialized oils, sprays, and conditioners only
  • Pick Up Clean: Pick Ups need a clean because they can get bunged up with all sorts of rubbish
  • Wipe your strings after every session. This helps prolong the life of your strings
  • Check your guitar finish before spraying anything on the body

8. Use The Correct Tools

This is overlooked, but very important. Not only can you damage screws, your guitars finish, or the fretboard. You could scar your axe for life by using the wrong tools. Get yourself the proper rag, Allen keys, spray, and oils. Spend a little while researching what’s best for your guitar and its finish. 

You can build up a handy little collection of guitar tools over time, and if they’re any good, they’ll last you forever. 

It’s the same in any walk of life, use the correct equipment for the job. 

As you move forward caring for your guitar, you’ll become more and more confident. You may then want to start learning about how to make slight adjustments to the neck, nut, and bridge.

To do this, here are the basics for any guitarists tool kit:

Remember: The following tools may vary depending on your guitar make and model (sprays etc). Check your manufacturer’s manual. 

BASIC TOOL KIT

  • A (decent) Tuner!
  • Truss Rod Allen Keys/Hex Keys/Philips Screwdriver
  • A Luthiers Metal Ruler With The Correct Increments (64ths, 32nds)
  • String Winder
  • Cutters
  • Nut File Set (Check Your String Size)
  • Rags (Microfibre, Lint Free)
  • Guitar Body Cleaner (Depending On Your Finish)
  • Contact Cleaner
  • Toothbrush For Fret Cleaning (Soft)
  • Sand Paper For ‘Minor’ Repairs (Grit; 220, 400, 600, 1000) 
  • FretBoard Oil and Conditioner (Lemon Oil is great)
  • A Manual, For Your Make And Model Guitar. Download it!

Handy Extras

  • Digital Hygrometer
  • De-Humidifier
  • Humidifier
  • Soldiering Station With A Magnifying Glass

Basic Guitar Tool Kit’ picture by TT ZOP

9. Do Not Learn Your Guitar Against A Wall

The number of times I’ve seen guitars left balanced against a wall! It horrifies me. Although a lot of guitarists don’t think it’s an issue, it really is. 

Leaning your guitar against a wall puts stress and tension on the neck and strings. This inevitably results in a minor neck bend or worse, a warped neck.

The most dangerous factor is the guitar isn’t being supported. It can easily tip or slip over, resulting in an expensive visit to the guitar tech.

Get Yourself A Guitar Stand

A decent guitar stand costs $15! It will save your $3000 vintage guitar from snapping on the hard floor. Crazy I know!

Check out Authority Guitar ‘Best Guitar Stand 2021: The Essential Buyers Guide’

10. Give Your Guitar The ‘Once Over’

A lot of the time your fret buzz could actually be something ridiculously easy to fix.

I had a buzz recently on my electric guitar and I couldn’t find it. It was so irritating. In the end, it was a loose screw in my scratchplate! 

Imagine paying a guitar technician $50 and he hands it back telling you it was a loose screw!!

Years ago I had an acoustic, the b string kept going out of tune. There is nothing more frustrating than tuning 10 times a day. After spending weeks thinking I had a warped neck, I later discovered one of the tuning pegs to be very slightly loose. This is enough to cause tuning havoc. 

Every time you change your strings, work your way around all the hardware and give it a gentle prod or wiggle. There are hundreds of factors that go into making a guitar sound great. Give yourself 5 minutes and have a quick look around to see if everything is as it should be. 

Tip: A luthier once taught me to hold a guitar to eye level and slowly turn it 360 degrees, checking every little nook and cranny. Check the hardware, look down the neck from the base (bridge end) of the guitar. Is the neck straight? 

Simple, but effective ways to check your guitar over. Try to give it the ‘once over’ every time you change strings.

Conclusion

I hope you found my ‘Essential Tips For Guitar Care’ helpful. It’s an easy way to start looking after your instrument. If you still feel you have an issue with the guitar, it’s always a very good idea to hand it over to a professional.

Happy Playing

Guitar Maintenance

The Ultimate Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide: How Does Wood Affect Your Tone?

Acoustic Wood Guide Header

Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide

 

Are you ready to buy a stunning new acoustic guitar with incredible sound? If so, are you confused about which type of acoustic guitar tonewoods are the best for your playing style and skills? Believe it or not, even experienced players can have difficulty selecting the best wood for guitars.

First, check out our ‘Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide’ to learn about different wood species and how they affect sound quality. With this valuable know-how, choose your new guitar with ease and a touch of true expertise.

Experience Sound Quality and Playing Ease of Different Guitar Tonewoods

When you shop for a new acoustic guitar, take time to explore the different tonewoods. Discover how they affect the overall tone and sound quality as well as durability and playing ease.

Whether you are buying your first guitar or you are replacing an older, worn model, you want a new instrument that is skillfully designed. Yet most of all, you are seeking a beautiful new instrument that fully satisfies your current playing abilities, desires, and needs.

Responsible guitar sellers encourage buyers to play different models before buying a new guitar.

Some sellers have full knowledge of the tonewoods, their strengths, and their weaknesses. Yet for best results in choosing your ideal new guitar, you should have this information at your own fingertips.

Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide

 

Know Commonly Used Woods in Acoustic Guitar Production

Many varied wood species are used in the design and production of acoustic guitars. Yet the most commonly used types are mahogany, spruce, cedar, maple, and rosewood.

Designers and manufacturers generally select woods according to their availability, cost, and overall quality.

Hardwoods are usually chosen for the instrument’s framing, back, sides, neck, and fretboard. For acoustic guitar tops, somewhat stiff softwoods with good tonal qualities are the preferred choice. 

Characteristics of these different guitar wood types and their use in making different parts of acoustic guitars include the following: 

Best Guitar Woods for the Top (Soundboard)

The type of wood used for acoustic guitar soundboards has the most effect on the sound quality of the instrument. This is because the notes produced by the guitar strings travel via the bridge onto the soundboard.

The sound’s vibrations are then amplified by the instrument’s top, as any good Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide will explain. For this reason, guitars with larger soundboards have louder sounds when played. 

• Cedar. 

With less density than spruce and some other tonewoods, cedar offers good quality for producing acoustic guitar tops. It provides moderately rich overtones with pleasing warmth and medium levels of brightness.

• Koa. 

This is a more expensive wood than cedar, and its sound quality improves with use. In the beginning, a guitar that has a soundboard made of koa has an extra-bright sound. Yet the more it is played over time, it mellows, converting into more enriched, warmer tonalities. At this point, it offers the richest sound in the middle-range notes.

• Mahogany.

 As a dense wood type, mahogany has a less rapid sound to touch rate. It creates a substantial mid-range sound with strong volumetric quality and gentle overtones. This produces a smooth, earthy sound. Guitars with mahogany tops are ideal for playing blues numbers. They are also recommended for playing guitar with other instruments.

• Sitka Spruce.

 Spruce is the most frequently used top wood for making acoustic guitars. Spruce is a lightweight yet strong durable wood. There are several different varieties, and the most common type is Sitka spruce. Sitka is a versatile soundboard wood, accommodating aggressive and subtle guitar playing equally well.

With its wide-reaching dynamic range, this wood offers fine-caliber resonance for a wide array of tones. The light coloration of this wood looks beautiful when combined with darker tonewoods for guitar sides and backs.

• Adirondack Spruce.

 This variety of spruce wood is ideal for producing soundboards. It provides a dramatic range of tonalities and enables loud, full guitar playing while maintaining good quality sound clarity. This type of spruce soundboard is a good choice for guitarists who favor aggressive playing.

• Engelmann and European Spruce.

 Soundboards created from these spruce wood varieties are best suited for guitar players with a soft touch. If played aggressively, the sound quality diminishes.

Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide

Best Woods for Guitar Backs and Body Sides

If your guitar has a back and sides constructed of tone-sensitive wood, the sound generated via the instrument’s top is enhanced. Various types of tonewood offering different tone qualities when used for guitar backs and sides are as follows:

• Koa.

 As well as making a top-rated soundboard wood, koa is also an ideal choice for constructing a guitar back and sides. Of course, it complements a guitar that has a koa top. Yet it is quite compatible with other tonewoods for guitar construction. This wood is in the more expensive range, and its sound improves with age and use.

• Mahogany.

 With its versatile middle-range richness and character, this beautiful wood is an excellent choice for guitar backs and sides.

If you like enhanced volume and density for mid-range tones, mahogany is a great selection. If you use this wood for a guitar’s top, back and sides, you can create a compressed, warm sound with volume and dominance.

If you combine mahogany back and sides with a Sitka spruce guitar top, the sound produced will have a more mellow, warm tone.

Two Popular Varieties of Mahogany

There are actually two major types of mahogany in use today for acoustical guitar construction, Honduran and African:

Honduran Mahogany.

This type of mahogany is also known as genuine mahogany, tropical mahogany, American mahogany, and Brazilian mahogany. It is considered a high-quality tonewood. However, it is not as hard or durable as African mahogany or Sapele. Yet the Honduran variety is given a higher quality rating than African mahogany.

African Mahogany.

This type of mahogany (Khaya) is harder than Honduran mahogany, yet it is categorized as a lower-quality wood. When African mahogany is used for constructing guitar backs and sides, it can be difficult to determine a tone difference. Instruments made with backs and sides of either mahogany type can sound very much alike.

Maple.

Due to its low rate of response, maple is a good wood for the guitar back and body sides, somewhat similar to mahogany. This reduces overtones, which results in less resonance and prolonged sound. This quality enhances the sound from the guitar top and reduces feedback if you are playing with a group. Maple actually gives focus and attention to individual tones.

For this reason, guitars with maple backs and sides are often favored by lead guitarists who seek note definition. Since maple is a light-colored wood, is frequently stained to create darker guitar backs and sides. Especially when combined with a spruce guitar top, maple backs and sides are usually given a darker contrasting stain.

• Rosewood.

 This tonewood is quite popular for use in constructing acoustic guitar backs and sides. Rosewood differs significantly from maple. It offers a fine quality middle-range similar to mahogany. Yet it can also extend into the high tones and low tones to create deep, full bass notes and bright, bell-toned treble notes. This wood is also a good choice for quality finger-picking, strumming, and flat-picking.

With its enriched overtones and high rate of response, it enables a focused playing attack and plenty of resonance. However, this use of rosewood may contribute to some issues with feedback. A guitar with a rosewood back and sides in combination with a Sitka spruce top is often called the “Holy Grail” of tonewoods. Some guitarists proclaim this to be the ultimate guitar construction.

• Walnut.

 Displaying some of the same qualities exhibited by koa, walnut is altered in tone quality over time. It has a deep, low register that will gain volume and character the more it is played. The top register is bright with more strength in the middle tones. Its mid-range features are considered in between those of rosewood and mahogany.

If a walnut guitar back and sides are combined with a cedar top for a relatively small guitar, the instrument can be ideal for enhanced finger styling. If, for a larger size guitar, you combine a walnut back and sides with a spruce top, it can have a more dynamic, aggressive response for flat-picking and strumming.

• Sapele. 

This tonewood has similarities to mahogany. Both sapele and mahogany are used for top wood as well as back and side tonewood for guitars. They are also both in popular use for making guitar necks. Sapele is actually harder than Honduran and African mahogany, and sapele originated in West Africa.

The tone quality from a guitar made with sapele or mahogany can vary significantly. The sound will differ according to the other construction materials and what part of the guitar these woods are being used for. Guitars that contain sapele wood have a stronger treble register than those constructed with the use of mahogany.

Acoustic Wood Guide Pic2

Guitar Fretboard (Fingerboard)

The top-rated tonewoods for use in producing guitar fretboards or fingerboards are rosewood and ebony. The playing ease of your guitar and be affected by the guitar’s action, the neck size, the strings, and the body shape. However, the material used to create the fretboard (fingerboard) has the greatest influence of all. The surface of your guitar fretboard must be durable and smooth to promote ultimate quality “playability.”

Common Fretboard Woods

• Rosewood.

 A rosewood fretboard can assist you in creating a warm, full tone. This wood’s pores are quite oily, and they lessen some overtones, allowing the enriching warm tones to dominate. These fingerboards need periodic cleaning. Especially if you want to bring more warmth to a guitar with a bright sound, rosewood is a good choice for the fretboard. Rosewood has a slick surface and needs no additional finishing. This wood is susceptible to drying, however, and it needs more ongoing maintenance than ebony. Rosewood is the most frequently used tonewood for fingerboards.

• Ebony. 

This tonewood is also a dense hardwood used to make guitar fretboards. It enables guitarists to create a bright sound that may equal or even exceed the sound quality of maple fretboards. There is an ongoing discussion about which wood supports the ultimate quality sound.

One advantage of ebony is its lack of any requirement for surface finishing. Your ebony fretboard is lubricated naturally by the oil in your fingers as you play. Ebony wood only needs to be conditioned periodically since it maintains good oil and moisture levels.

If you like a dark fretboard and the smooth feel of ebony, it may be your best choice for your guitar fingerboard.               

Best Guitar Neck Woods

The neck of your guitar should attract very little vibration and energy from the strings as you play. As much of this energy as possible should travel down the strings and into the soundboard via the bridge. For this reason, the guitar neck should be made of dense hardwood, since soft or slightly flexible wood can divert energy from the strings and soundboard. 

Mahogany is the best choice for constructing acoustic guitar necks. As a sturdy hardwood with density, it is still relatively light and good for carving. American and African mahoganies are the two primary types used for producing guitar necks. Some acoustic guitars with nylon strings have cedar necks. Since nylon strings create lower tension when played than other string types, cedar necks are suitable for these guitars. 

Summary

Enjoy the Path to Being a Skilled and Fulfilled Guitar Player

It is important for every beginning acoustic guitar player to experience the varied sound tones and playing ease of different tonewoods. The most commonly used woods in guitar production are mahogany, spruce, cedar, maple, and rosewood. All guitarists should become familiar with the qualities, strengths, and weaknesses of each wood species. 

By examining, holding, and playing different brands, styles, and models of acoustic guitars, players become familiar with different woods. They distinguish different sound tones produced by different types of wooden guitar soundboards, backs, and body sides. As a new guitar player, you can soon determine even subtle differences in sound quality and “playability” of different designs.

Since many guitars are made using different wood combinations, you will learn the advantages of different constructions. From soundboard to back, sides, fretboard, and neck, you will acquire valuable knowledge and understanding of the guitar. You will discover your favorite tonewoods and how combining these woods can influence and enhance the appearance and sound of a guitar. 

The more you learn about this beautiful, sensitive instrument as you learn to play, the faster you will advance. You will soon be a skilled and fulfilled intermediate guitarist on your path to becoming an expert. We hope that you have enjoyed this beginner’s Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods Guide whilst gaining some helpful information and advice.

Now it is time to select your new guitar. Happy playing! 

AuthorityGuitar has another detailed article to help you decide on Acoustic Vs Electric A Complete Beginners Guide. Go ahead and click away to see what we think.

What Is An Audio Interface? Everything You Need To Know

Audio Interface Header

So, what is an audio interface and why do you need one? Being artistic and creative is super beneficial for the soul and wellbeing. Whether you’re just starting out playing your own music, or you have a few songs under your belt, the next step in your musical career is learning how to record yourself playing. To do this, you need a special tool called an audio interface. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how digital audio interfaces work and how to choose the right one for your recordings.

What Is An Audio Interface?

The Simplest Explanation Is:

An audio interface is a sound card that manages inputs and outputs going between your computer and instrument (or microphone). In the past, studio engineers would use internal sound cards in their desktop computers to manage inputs and outputs.

Audio Interface v Sound Card

Internal soundcards were limited by the size and capabilities of the computer, so today we rely on external sound cards to do the job. These external sound cards are called audio interfaces.

It is important to note that many computers still have sound cards that are used for basic speaker and headphone functions, but they do not provide the necessary inputs for instruments and microphones that you will need if you wish to record.

What Does An Audio Interface Do?

As mentioned above, an audio interface manages the sounds coming and going from your computer when you are recording. For instance, when you strum your guitar or sing into a microphone, you are producing a sound wave or signal that travels by cable into the interface. The audio interface takes that information and turns it into a digital format that can be used by your computer, allowing you to break the sound down and edit it using a digital audio workstation, or DAW on your computer.

Likewise, when you’re editing or adding new tracks to your recording, you will want the ability to playback. This process is also handled by the audio interface (aka a recording interface), which takes the digital recording from your computer, converts it back into an analog signal, and sends it out to your monitors or speakers.

Do I Need An Audio Interface for Recording?

Whether or not you need a digital audio interface for recording depends on what equipment you currently have. These days, some microphones and other music cables come with a USB attachment that already has an audio interface built-in. If you have a device like this, you may be able to plug your device straight into your computer and start recording.

However, most people do not have adapters or cables with a built-in interface for their guitars or other instruments. Besides, the built-in audio interfaces used in these cheaper microphones and devices will not give you the highest quality recording. The true audio interface offers you a variety of controls and options. This helps you get the best sound into your computer the first time, whereas built-in interfaces are simply made to transfer sound for basic voice recordings.

Ultimately, if you want to make high quality recordings of yourself playing music, it is worth the investment to get a real audio interface to work with.

What Else Can An Audio Interface Do?

Multiple Inputs

Aside from converting your analog sound signals into digital files for your computer, a quality audio interface can also perform a handful of other tasks. For instance, it will allow you to add multiple inputs at one time, such as a guitar and a microphone. Secondly, it will allow you to adjust the gain, or signal strength of your inputs independently. So you can get the sound and balance you’re looking for during the recording process. This is done with the help of pre-amplifiers and other components that are only found in an audio interface, built for this purpose.

Layer Tracks 

Another helpful feature in your audio interface. It can take tracks you’ve already recorded, and play them back to you while you record another layer on top. This allows you to build tracks on your own whilst ensuring you’re synched in time. In the early stages, this playback can help you practice with a backing track or experiment with additional tracks that you may want to record later on.

Audio Interface With Phantom Power

Some digital audio interfaces also provide phantom power to condenser microphones and MIDI control slots for keyboards and other MIDI devices. They can also manage multiple playback streams with headphones and studio monitors

What Is The Best Audio Interface?

The best audio interface for you will largely depend on the type of recording you wish to do, but as you are doing research, you should be paying close attention to the various input/output configurations available. At the entry-level, there are many affordable audio interfaces that provide two channels of input, usually for a microphone and instrument. However, high-end products can have dozens of inputs for recording many instruments and microphones at once.

If you plan on recording yourself playing and singing, you may only need two inputs. But if you have a whole band to record at the same time, it’s probably a good idea to look into extra inputs of various types to cover all bases.

Another consideration when choosing your interface, is whether you plan on plugging your instrument directly into the input, or do you plan on using your own amplifier and pedals? If you require it for the latter, you will want to use the line in function of your audio interface. If you decide to record directly from your instrument, you will still have the opportunity to change the sound in the DAW to add effects later.

Finally, when choosing an audio interface, you need to know what kind of input your computer can accept and what type of output the device is using. Common options include USB, Thunderbolt, Firewire, and PCIe. Each of these connection types has its own advantages and disadvantages, but your computer is likely already set up to handle one or two. PCIe is a card-based standard that is not available on laptops, whereas USB is universal. If you do not have the proper connection, you may need to purchase an adapter to make your audio interface work with your computer, laptop, or tablet.

 

An Audio Interface is ideal for home recording

How Do I Compare Audio Interfaces?

After you have decided what kind of inputs and outputs you want, the next step in choosing an audio interface is comparing the other features available. For instance, an audio interface with a 48V button is made for handling condenser microphones. Microphone pre-amps are also an important feature if you will be recording vocals or instruments from microphones that do not produce a strong enough signal on their own for recording.

In addition, you should check whether the interface is balanced or unbalanced. An unbalanced interface may save you money upfront, but it can also cause ground loop problems and interference if you aren’t careful. It is often better to spend the extra money on a balanced option so you don’t have to worry about this while you’re learning.

The ‘sample rate’ is another key feature to compare. A higher sample rate means that your interface is taking more snapshots of the signal you produce, and sending more information to your computer. This ensures that the recording you make is accurate and of high quality. A lower sample rate may cause your recordings to sound less “full”.

Finally, you will want to look at ‘latency’ and whether the interface has a direct monitoring function. Latency refers to the delay between the note being played, and the time it takes in getting back to your headphones or monitors. If the latency is too long, it can become difficult to stay in time with your recording. The Direct Monitoring feature allows you to bypass the computer, and hear yourself in real-time while you are recording, ensuring you stay in perfect time. This is especially useful for recording vocals.

How Much Does An Audio Interface For PC Cost?

As mentioned above, audio interfaces come in a wide range of configurations and sizes, which means that their price can vary widely. Fortunately, a small two-channel interface with a basic USB connection usually starts around $100 and can go up to around $400. As you increase the number of inputs and the quality of the outputs, you can spend several thousand dollars in added features, but that is not necessary to get started with your first recordings.

How Do I Start Recording With My Audio Interface?

Once you have an audio interface, the recording process is fairly simple. First, you need to connect your audio interface to your computer and open your DAW software to confirm that the computer is receiving sound. Connect your instruments and play a test track to make sure everything is working properly.

When you’re ready to start tracking a song, simply create a new track in your DAW and start the recording. Play the song as well as you can the first time through. When you’re done, listen to it and see if there are any problem areas that need to be fixed or played over. If so, you can re-record the same instrument multiple times and splice the tracks together to create the best version of the song. When you’re done with your instrument, you can add your vocals or other instruments in new tracks. Use the same process by playing back what you already recorded, easy!

As you get more comfortable with this process, you can adjust the gain and other features on your audio interface to create a more personalized sound in your recordings. You can also employ effects like delay and reverb to give your music a more finished sound.

Here’s a really helpful video on how to use an audio interface:



Summary

As you can see, an audio interface is an important component for any budding musician who hopes to record from home. Audio interfaces come in many sizes and styles, but there is a wealth of entry-level options that will allow you to get started recording right away with just a USB cable and the instruments you already have. You should now have all the information you need to shop for an audio interface to suit your recording needs.

 

Acoustic Vs Electric Guitar: A Complete Beginners Guide

Acoustic V Electric Guitar

As you set out on your journey of learning to play guitar, you will be faced with dozens of decisions, but perhaps the first decision you’ll have to make is what kind of guitar you want to buy. 

On the one hand, you’ve probably seen the glamorous and glitzy electric guitars played by rockstars the world over. On the other hand, you can’t miss the subtle beauty of a dreadnought style acoustic with its delicate Mother of Pearl inlays. So, how do you decide between acoustic vs electric when standing inside your local music shop?

Acoustic vs Electric Guitar: A Beginners Guide

Ed Sheeran or Eddie Van Halen?

Before we discuss the differences between acoustic and electric guitars, I feel that it is first important to think about your personal goals and musical interests. For instance, if you prefer classical guitar or country music, it is natural to gravitate towards an acoustic instrument. Younger people tend to prefer electric guitars for their flashy appeal and the wide range of sounds they can produce. We need to try and find the best beginner guitar for you and your situation.

There is no right or wrong answer when selecting a beginner guitar, and thousands of talented guitarists have found their way on each side. Just keep in mind that if you’re looking to play grunge rock, an acoustic guitar probably makes little sense for you, and vice versa.

We have a complete guide to finding ‘The Best Kids Guitar’ if you require any further help.

Body Types

The first thing you’ll notice about electric guitar vs acoustic is that they have very different body types. Most notably, acoustic guitars are known for their large bodies and natural wood finishes, while electric guitars feature slim bodies, usually with interesting cutaways that may or may not serve a purpose for playability. So you can see the parts of the guitar are very different in every way.

I always recommend that you go try out a wide range of different body styles to see what feels natural to you, but don’t despair if nothing feels quite right just yet. It does take a while to get your posture perfected, and you will probably feel like some body styles are just too bulky for you. That is totally normal! However, if you are really struggling to find a good fit, you should know that guitars come in many shapes and sizes.

A Quick Note on Guitar Sizing

Guitar shops are mostly filled to the brim with full-size guitars, but that is not the only option available. There are half-scale and 3/4-scale guitars as well. These guitars have been scaled down to fit younger learners while maintaining the proper proportions so you can move into a full-scale guitar with proper techniques already established.

The Difference In Sound

Electric

Aside from the distinct looks of an acoustic and electric guitar, they also differ in the way they produce sound. An electric guitar uses magnetic pickups mounted on the body beneath the strings to pick up the sound of the vibrating strings and send it to the amplifier. In this case, the amplifier is actually responsible for producing the bulk of the sound that you hear.

Acoustic

By contrast, an acoustic guitar is designed to produce a sound all on its own using the vibrations captured through the soundhole beneath the strings. Here, it is the construction of the acoustic guitar’s hollow body that is responsible for producing the sound you hear.

Now, you may wonder how an acoustic guitar could produce enough sound to fill an entire concert venue if it doesn’t use an amplifier? Fear not! Professional acoustic guitar players rely on tiny electric amplifiers built into the hollow body of their guitars. These pickups offer large-scale benefits of amplification without damaging the warm, natural tone that comes from playing acoustically.

For beginners, spending the extra money on an acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup is not strictly necessary, but you can find some affordable options that will give you more flexibility in your playing later on.

Strings

This is a good time to discuss the differences in strings when playing electric or acoustic guitar. Because an electric guitar uses an amplifier to produce a robust sound, it does not require very large strings.

Notes on a guitar are produced by pressing down on the strings at different intervals, changing the length of the string and the sound it produces. So, it stands to reason that the lighter weight strings in electric guitars are easier to press than their acoustic counterparts.

If you find that you are struggling to press the strings down to produce clear sound, or if you have small hands, an electric guitar is a great place to start.

With an acoustic, you need much thicker strings to produce a strong enough sound for the body to pick up. As a result, many young players struggle with acoustic guitars until they build up hand strength.

What Are Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Beginners? Click here for our guide.

Playing Technique

Finding the right fit is the most important part of selecting the right type of guitar for you. The right fit has a lot to do with your comfort and strength. Yet there are also some differences in playing style. So far, I have focused on how your fretting hand is affected by the guitar you choose, but now we will look at your strumming hand.

Strumming Differences

The arm you strum the strings with rests on the “shoulder” or “body” of the guitar, and your strumming hand sits over the strings. This will probably feel uncomfortable as you adjust to the edges of the guitar pressing against you. You will become comfortable with practice.

With an electric guitar, the slimmer body style makes it easier to drop your arm over the strings. On an acoustic guitar, you have to prop your arm up at about shoulder height and rest it on the body. From there, you will have to strum across the strings to produce sound.

With an electric guitar, you don’t have to strum too hard because you can artificially change the volume with the help of your amplifier. On an acoustic guitar, the volume of the sound you produce is entirely dependent on how hard you strum. For those with short arms or little strength, producing a strong enough sound with an acoustic guitar can be challenging at first.

Don’t Get Distracted

Electric guitars provide many opportunities to get distracted from the music by adding effects, adjusting your amplifier, and dialing in your instrument. By contrast, the bare-bones nature of the acoustic makes it great for focusing all of your energies on playing technique and perfecting the music itself.

If you feel that you can learn proper playing techniques well on an electric, and you are committed to getting them right, that’s totally up to you. On the other hand, if you really want to be sure you build technique, and hand strength, an acoustic guitar might be just what you need to keep your practice time distraction-free.

Cost

A final consideration you might want to make is the cost. Both acoustic and electric guitars range from a few hundred dollars up to nearly ten thousand dollars. For a first-time guitar player, you can expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get started, although you might find second-hand guitars cheaper.

However, there may be one downside of starting with an electric guitar. You have to buy the instrument, the amplifier, and the cables to connect it. Fortunately, there are a few companies like Squier, that offer beginner packages that include a super starter pack that includes everything you need. This is usually a pretty good bargain for any new player and can save you a lot of headaches trying to build a complete setup. In general, you can find a starter kit for around $200, which is comparable to a low-end acoustic guitar.

On the other hand, if you choose to go with an acoustic, all you really need is the guitar itself. Obviously, you do need to purchase a decent tuner with both acoustic and electric guitars. But you may choose to buy a strap as well, which will help you hold the guitar up even when you are sitting, but it is not required.

The Verdict: Acoustic Vs Electric Guitar

The question I hear a lot is “should I start with an acoustic or electric guitar?”

Is electric guitar easier than acoustic to learn? No, they’re completely different animals. Two different instruments. Neither is ‘easier’ to learn than the other. It’s all about personal preference. Hopefully, we’ve helped you more with your decision

For most people and playing styles, the electric guitar is a great beginner option. It is versatile and easy to learn while you’re building hand strength, and more comfortable for new players. In addition, with the starter packs available today, you can find a complete electric guitar setup at a very affordable price. You can even begin to learn the ins and outs of modifying your guitar sound early on.

If you do prefer a more classical sound, you are always free to start on an acoustic instrument instead. You may find that there is a variety of sizes available. If you go this route, be sure to consider changing to lighter strings. New guitars generally come with a poor standard of strings attached. So, give yourself the best chance to succeed when you start and buy some decent strings. Here are some to get you started: ‘Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Beginners

Here’s some valuble tips from the National Guitar Academy if you need further advice.

Let your journey begin!

17 Famous Guitar Riffs You Need To Hear

Famous Riffs Header

Sometimes the riff in a song has more effect on the listener than the song itself. Nothing feels better than hearing big fat chunky famous guitar riffs. Or a riff that takes you to a golden memory. Without guitar riffs, the world would be a pretty boring place. Imagine no air guitar! 

To qualify for our 17 Famous Guitar Riffs it’s pretty simple. The melody has to be memorable and make us tap our foot.

It’s almost impossible to write one article on the best riffs of all time (i could create a whole website on it) so let’s look into some of the most recognized and enjoyable to listen to. Being a guitarist of 25 years myself, I’d like to share with you some of the most enjoyable riffs I’ve learned and played along with. Maybe you could share yours?

Let’s get influenced and learn some new riffs. I’ve left out the complete obvious riffs as I’d like to branch out a bit further. But only a little!

What Do We Like In A Classic Guitar Riff?

Firstly, it has to be memorable. Sometimes without even realizing it, we’re subconsciously taking the riff in. We’ll be walking around later humming it to ourselves. That’s where the genius of the guitarist has got you. The hook is what musicians call it.

Classic guitar riffs are a piece of music that is instantly recognizable or enjoyable to listen to. Some riffs are so powerful they can define a generation. Let’s dig a little deeper. A riff doesn’t need to be a sequence of single notes and a melody, it can also be a group of chords. You know Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ right? That’s a riff too. 

It’s scientifically proven that there are major benefits to playing guitar that affect your whole wellbeing. Yes, it’s true, check out the proof ‘The Fascinating Benefits Of Playing Guitar’.

There’s also a very important quality when playing riffs. You gotta look like a god playing them! Look at Jimmy Page, Slash, Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Brian May, Lenny Kravitz, Angus Young, and Marty McFly! Swagger, you can’t be taught that. Let’s plug you into some of the best guitarists doing what they do best. Banging out riffs.

Foot Tapping Rating

I’ve rated the riffs on my foot tapping scale from 1-10. They are in no particular order, just 17 riffs that make you wanna tap your foot or crowd surf through your lounge.

I’ve Separated our Greatest Guitar Riffs into three sections:

  • Acoustic
  • Soft Rock
  • Rock/Hard Rock

That’s enough talk, let’s get into some bangers:

Famous Guitar Riffs: Acoustic

Tears in Heaven-Eric Clapton

Foot Tapping Score: 5/10 

Everybody knows this hook. It’s a very sentimental song for Eric Clapton. The intro riff is so very memorable and the brilliant guitar playing continues throughout the song on his classical guitar. Definitely worth a watch.



Heart Shaped Box-Nirvana

Foot Tapping Score: 5/10

Nirvana could have made it onto all three of my riff criteria. This version of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ is played on acoustic, unlike the original. Kurt picks through the chords and comes up with a very simple but memorable melody. This is a version that you need to hear. Ladies and Gentleman, the super talented Kurt Cobain.



Use Me-Bill Withers

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

Trust me, you need this riff in your life.

I’m not sure there is a better groove in music. Although not a guitar riff, the groove and melody on the keys are truly undisputed. What a super talent Bill Withers was. One of my very favorite musicians. Within 5 secs I’ll have you tapping your foot, guaranteed. 

Press play and be enlightened



Shape Of My Heart-Sting

Foot Tapping Score: 4/10 

It’s been covered so many times, but there’s a reason for that, it’s an incredible song with a memorable hook in the intro. This is easily the most beautiful riff on the list. This version is a must-watch. Just Sting and his guitarist. Low foot-tapping score but the most peaceful song on our list. 



Solsbury Hill-Peter Gabriel

Foot Tapping Score: 7/10

What a great riff in the intro, the acoustic continues throughout the song in the same vein. Brilliant 12 string guitar playing by Steve Hunter (on the original record). It was difficult to find a good video of the acoustic, so this clip is perfect to show you how good the guitar playing is on this riff. Enjoy



*Its time to turn up!

Famous Guitar Riffs: Soft Rock

Paperback Writer-The Beatles

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

In classic Beatles fashion, the fab four begin with tight 3-way harmonies, then burst into this meaty riff. Great tune from the best band ever. 



Crossroads-Eric Clapton

Foot Tapping Score: 7/10

Eric’s got more than a few riffs tucked up his sleeve. I just love the guitar playing on the intro to crossroads. It’s also a good listen for bass players as Jack Bruce is all over the fretboard.



La Grange-ZZ Top

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

Is there a cooler riff out there? This is the essence of chill. Old School blues riff in A but when the band comes in its high on the foot-tapping richter scale. Texas Finest, these boys are still gigging. Heroes! I just love Billy Gibbons’s voice. 

You’ll need a shower after listening to this. The riff is so dirty:



Crosstown Traffic-Jimi Hendrix

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

Nearly didn’t make it onto Electric Ladyland! Can you imagine if we’d of never been able to feast our ears on this riff from Jimi? Great tune, guitars doubling up on the intro riff. Did you know Jimi sang the “do do do do do dooo do’ through a comb with cellophane wrapped around it?

The unmistakable Rock God Jimi Hendrix. We’ve got a lot to thank him for.

Money For Nothing-Dire Straits

Foot Tapping Score: 7/10

Probably the hardest one to play (properly) on our list. A mixture of several fingers picking at different times and clever use of pinched harmonics make this riff so memorable and showcases Knopfler’s brilliant ability on the guitar. Truly one of the best guitarists ever. Not many people haven’t heard this beaut. He has a few more but this is probably Knopfler’s strongest riff.



Message In A Bottle-The Police

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

It helps to have a brilliant drummer when you’re writing riffs in a band. One of the best live 3-piece bands ever. Superbly written, unorthodox riff by Sting. You gotta have long fingers to play this one. Here’s a live version I love. Stuart Copeland is the man on this footage!



HEALTH WARNING: Earplugs may be required for the following videos:

Famous Guitar Riffs: Rock/Hard Rock

Freedom-Rage Against The Machine

Foot Tapping Score: 8/10

Now, this is a riff! Start as you mean to go on. These guys were legendary in the riff department. Literally, one after another, sometimes five or six in one song! What a band, lifting roofs off venues since 1991. This may not be your cup of tea but RATM was the Daddy when it came to the guitar riff. Check out minute 2:34 & 3:40 for more beasty riffs! You get your money’s worth with RATM.

Here’s one beast ive chosen from many:



Beat It-Michael Jackson

Foot Tapping Score: 9/10

The Late great Eddie Van Halen played ‘that’ iconic solo for MJ’s monster hit, Beat it. This Riff is a monster in terms of popularity. Such good fun to play, it’s memorable, chunky and you’ve got the best vocalist ever singing over it. One of the best guitar riffs of all time. Amazing tune and well worthy of a mention. 



Stone Cold Crazy-Queen

Foot Tapping Score: 9/10

In my opinion, the best live band ever. What a belter from Brian. A super-fast riff and certainly no walk in the park to learn. These guys were as tight as a skin on a grape. Possibly the best frontman ever in Freddie Mercury. The man is English royalty. Here’s some powerful Queen footage back in the early days: 



Thunderstruck-AC/DC

Foot Tapping Score: 10/10

You didn’t expect a famous guitar riff article without Angus, did you? Any live footage of Angus is worth watching. The masters of the power chord, AC/DC had riff after riff. I decided on Thunderstruck but I could choose from 75+ riffs. It almost sounds like its played on a violin. If we ever needed a (National) Anthem for planet Earth, here it is. Angus, we salute YOU.



Foo Fighters-All My Life

Foot Tapping Score: 9/10

The more simple it is, the more it resonates with your audience. Dave Grohl starts off chugging on one note but when the band comes in, it’s HUGE. RIP eardrums. I actually prefer the muted riff on the verse but there’s some pretty powerful music here. 100mph band and soooo good live. Foo Fighters have many meaty riffs and are truly worthy of Rock Gods. I mean, Grohl’s been in not one. but two of the biggest bands ever. That’s just greedy.



Kashmir-Led Zeppelin

Foot Tapping Score: 9/10

By far the best band to play riffs along with (if you can!) About 150 riffs to choose from. Nobody can construct a riff like the master Jimmy Page. Undoubtedly one of the best guitarists of all time. Helped along by a brilliant drummer and bassist. They really are the creator of The Guitar Riff. Difficult to find footage suitable enough for this clip as its very old. That shouldn’t take away the fact Zepp was one of the biggest bands in the world. Rightly so. Special mention to Bonzo on drums, without him Zep’s riffs just wouldn’t be as meaty. Riffmiesters Supreme!



Eye Of The Tiger- Survivor

Foot Tapping Score: 10/10

Come on, you know you love it. Who doesn’t bang their head to this brute of a riff? I know it’s cheesy but I love it. Survivor created a riff so good, it’s used in many situations where energy, positivity, and guts are required. Would the Rocky films be as successful without Survivor doing the soundtracks? The 1980s is a gold mine for rock bands and riffs. Great band. There are some really nice mullets in the video. Enjoy



Winner

Lenny Kravitz-Are You Gonna Go My Way

Foot Tapping Score: 11/10 (Amps go up to 11 so why can’t my scoring system?)

From the very first note, you’re tapping your foot, I love this simplistic riff. Shades of Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, which makes me like it even more. 

I used to play this in a band. It was so much fun to play, for all the musicians. The doubled-up riff in the intro is right up there with the best riffs ever. Again, you all know it. Fast-paced, heart-thumping rock guitars and harmony riff. It has all the ingredients of a true rock riff (it helps to look as cool as Lenny too). 

Just a side note, Craig Ross’s guitar solo in this also got voted one of the best in history. Wow, what a tune. Go On Lenny! 

Here’s an awesome live version, it’s worth watching just to see Lenny’s jacket and shiny gold Flying V.  



That’s it, go give your ringing ears a rest! 

I apologize for missing out on so many artists, guitarists, and riffs. As I said, I could build a complete website around famous guitar riffs. These were the riffs that get me going. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on other riffs and musicians. Feel free to add yours. That’s the beauty of music. Opinion. 

If you’re still hungry for more, here’s a great selection of rolling stone top 100 guitarists and 100 more riffs here at 100 Greatest Rock Guitar Riffs

Our friends over at Listening Through The Lens do a great ‘Top 100 Most Essential Folk Songs’. Go check it out 

 

 

 

The Fascinating Benefits of Playing Guitar

Fascinating Benefits Playing Guitar

 

It may seem like a mountain to climb when wanting to learn the guitar. Maybe it’s a daunting task, or you just can’t spare the time. Well, I’d like to show you the fascinating benefits of playing, and how to get yourself started. It’s a skill that can give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

I’ve been playing for around 25 years and I couldn’t imagine not having it in my life. I’d like to share these benefits of playing guitar with you, as you’ll see, some of them are truly amazing.

The Benefits Of Playing Guitar On The Brain

Cognitive

Scientific studies confirm guitarists have unique brain functions compared to nonplayers. Other musicians learn their instruments through sheet music. Guitar players can learn by listening and exploring their fretboard to find the notes or chords.

Extraordinarily so, guitarists can synchronize using the brain’s neural network. Without consciously knowing, they can predict what is to come before and after a set of chords. The more you jam with another guitarist, the stronger the chemistry becomes.

The Brain is made up of millions of nerves called Neurons. Neurons fire off signals whilst you’re performing ordinary duties. Almost all areas of the brain are functioning when you play guitar. Guitar playing causes The Corpus Callosum to link the rational left side of the brain, to the creative right. That’s pretty special.

Experienced guitarists can switch off the conscious part of the brain, triggering the unconscious. Over time you can learn to be less conscious of what you are doing and allow the art of playing guitar to emerge.

Creative Brain

Picking up a guitar and learning is a great way to add some creativity to your life. Develop your knowledge, write, arrange, bang out your own Jimmy Page style riff. The magic of writing your own material is unique and rewarding to the soul.

It’s so easy to send your music out to the world via social media. It’s nice to receive positive comments from family, friends, or a fan from the other side of the world. You have a creative brain, maybe you don’t know it yet. Grab a guitar, unlock this gift, and let it flow. You’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of.

I’ve always enjoyed learning from my favorite guitarists. That’s all I really wanted to do from the start. To feel like I was in the shoes of Jimi Hendrix, to observe, copy, and understand how Jimi created his art, is incredible. If you can get close to learning some of your own hero’s material. It’s so rewarding and addictive.

No Excuses, Re-String Your Brain

Seattle-based musician was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. His muscles developed weaknesses resulting in coordination problems. This made playing the guitar extremely difficult. By using the brain’s neuroplasticity, he relearned how to play chords and scales on the guitar.

The adult brain is capable of forming new cells. The undamaged neurons in the brain can sprout new nerve endings, rewiring the links to other cells.

Prolong Mental Degeneration

High activity musicians who play for 10 years or more, keep their brains sharp. All aspects of playing guitar help toward avoiding diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The National Centre of Biotechnology tested 70 Seniors from the ages of 60 to 83. The tests were to clarify if playing guitar can slow down mental degeneration. The results revealed, those with 10 years of musical experience, had a far superior nonverbal memory, than those who had no experience whatsoever. This delayed the mental decline, preserving cognitive functioning in advanced age.

Health Benefits

We all have moments in our daily life when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or in pain. When the body and mind senses a threat, cells in our body produce chemicals in response. Playing guitar can create an adverse counteraction to aid this emotion. Music literally has the power to make you feel better. So, next time your parents scream at you for playing AC/DC too loud, tell them it’s part of your therapy!

Meditation

Playing Guitar is a powerful form of Meditation for sure. It’s an escape. Whilst you’re strumming through those new chords, all other thoughts fade away.

It takes patience, peace, discipline, and practice to learn an instrument. To say guitar playing is therapeutic is an understatement.

The sound you create is entirely in response to what your brain is telling your fingers to do. Which is far superior to listening to music.

Emotional Benefits

Being able to express yourself via the guitar is a major plus. This adds such a positive vibe to your emotional health and well being.

Performing Emotion

I’ve been lucky enough to have played in clubs and bars quite a lot over the last 20 years. The emotional rush I get out of performing with a great band is nothing short of euphoria. Ask any musician about their feelings whilst playing live. It’s something very very special.

Social Benefits

Connecting with like-minded musicians is essential. You can learn so much from watching somebody else play. I would advise you to collaborate and learn with other guitarists. The social bonds through guitar can create camaraderie and most importantly, friendship forever. It doesn’t matter how good you are, you’ll always need people around you to create a strong social network.

Children’s Development Through Guitar

Children are constantly developing, they’re like a sponge, soaking up every experience. Children benefit the most from learning an instrument. These advantages include:

  • Enhanced concentration
  • Long term memory
  • Comprehension skill
  • Increased performance in other academic topics.

Measuring time signatures is Math. Whether it’s 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8, your child’s reasoning and mathematical understanding will improve.

Here’s a clip of Nandi Bushell, aged 10. She’s taking the UK by storm and has been on various TV shows and recently jammed with Lenny Kravitz. Nandi’s primarily a drummer (although she plays guitar too now). I was so inspired by this that I had to share it. Trust me when I say this is worth 1 min 10 seconds of your time. Just watch the power surging through her. This is a perfect example of what children can achieve at such a young age through music.

Learning A New Skill Is Easy Right?

You’ll Only Stick with Habits if you Enjoy it!. State the obvious!, but wait, Andrew Ferebee, Founder of Knowledge For Men explains:

There is a helpful process of creating habits, and sticking to them. They are;

The Cue:

The Cue or Trigger is the stage when you take some kind of action,’ I’m going to look for a guitar tutor’

The Action

This is the part where you book that guitar lesson or buy that acoustic I saw in the shop window.

The Reward

This is the section of the habit loop where the brain is rewarded for taking the desired activity.
These tips sound easy, yet a lot of people don’t complete The Action and fail.

Get yourself to the reward stage. You’re more likely to succeed in creating a New Habit if you try my essential tips.

Essential Tips

Don’t Give Yourself An Unrealistic Goal

Start with a goal that’s so small, you cannot fail. An example could be: Sit in the correct position with the guitar, hold your pick, and strum all the strings within 2 days. Get a feel for it.

Break Your Task Down. Keep The Tasks EASY

If your goal is to learn the E minor shape, start with memorizing where your fingers need to go. What fingers are you going to use?

Arrange A Schedule

Get yourself a calendar and write down your schedule. This is a visual reminder that’ll help, especially if you hang it up in the kitchen, or somewhere you’ll see it often.

Create Your Environment

The more energy it takes you to turn the TV off, walk into another room, get the guitar out, tune it, find a pick, the less likely you are to do it. Keep your guitar on a stand next to the TV or in a place you can see it. Guitars are a beautiful addition to anyone’s home.

Fascinating Benefits of Playing Guitar Feature

Slipping – ‘Never Skip Twice’

You will miss a session. Sometimes you’ll make a mess of the task and get frustrated. That’s completely normal, but the golden rule is, never miss two lessons in a row. If you have to cancel a session with your guitar tutor or you don’t feel like sitting down to practice, only do it once!

Emotional Investment And Reward Over Willpower.

It’s true. It doesn’t matter how much willpower you put in, if you don’t emotionally reward yourself, you will get bored. Now, having willpower is still important to everything we do, but not as the end goal. If you treat music as a physical or mental exercise, it’ll become soulless and boring. Having skill on the guitar is an advantage in life, but if you’re not making a connection with yourself, it’s useless. Learning guitar is a journey, not a destination.

What’s The Rush?

Be patient. Daily improvement will start to show, and you’ll never look back. Slow and steady, that’s the key. Once you’ve eventually ripped out that Slash solo note for note, you’ll be glad you didn’t quit so easy.

Pass It On

Are you already a part of the guitar family? Influence/inspire someone else to begin. Get your friend or son/daughter to learn with you. If you know somebody who is starting off, you can blow their mind by passing your knowledge on. You now know the full benefits of playing guitar.

 

Summary

No hobby can give you so much enjoyment and such powerful implications for the brain’s development. Science has proven guitarists have that something special. With so many reasons to play guitar, it’s time to start your adventure. It doesn’t matter what standard of player you become. It doesn’t matter what age, religion, or culture you’re from. It’s an art form, so create your own by using a guitar.