Changing Guitar Strings

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People usually go through a phase in life in which they do not want to ask for help from anybody. Most of the time, it takes place during the teenage years. That’s when we think that we know things as much as the adults do and go about our days believing that until an awful situation brings us back to reality.

In my case, I settled back to reality as a teenager while I was working on my guitar. My parents bought a brand-new one for me when I turned 16 years old because I said that I wanted to be a rock star. I would get lessons every week, and I was genuinely getting good at changing the chords and playing some songs. However, a string snapped one day. 

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My dad offered to drive me to the nearest guitar store, where an expert could replace it for me. Too stubborn for my good, though, I insisted on buying the string only and doing the replacement by myself. In my mind, I already watched a lot of people do it online, and it seemed pretty easy, so there was no way for me to mess it up.

Well, the thing is, I did mess up from the moment that I took the wrong string. I did not want to tell my parents about it because I wanted to seem perfect in their eyes. However, I blanked out after a whole of trying to put one string in a guitar, so I ended up bringing my guitar to the store eventually.

To help you avoid making the same mistakes that I did, here are a few tips when changing your guitar strings.

Pick The Right Thickness

The guitar strings come in different thicknesses – that’s how you get various pitches when you are playing. The thinner it is, the higher the sound it makes. If you replace that with the thickest string, the sounds that they are supposed to produce may be different.

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Get The Right Tools

When your goal is to replace your old strings, you will need a pair of scissors, the strings, and the string winder. You cannot attach the new string on the guitar with your bare hands because metallic strings are difficult to work with at times. That is especially true if you are trying to make them taut.

Ask For Help If You Need To

My final advice is for you to get an expert to change the strings if you feel lost while doing it. I know how protective you may be of your instrument. You probably even get angry when a relative tries to touch the case of the guitar. However, instead of making yourself loopy because of those strings, you better hire a professional to get the job done for you.

Final Thoughts

Do you love playing guitar more than doing any other activity in the world? That’s cool – we are on the same boat. The secret to being able to make beautiful music with this instrument, though, is ensuring that the strings are always in perfect shape. Not only will you be able to prevent any snapping when you do that, but you may also avoid having the string snap near your face.

Good luck!

 

Taking Care Of Your Guitar

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When I was a teenager, I could not be found without my guitar. It was always next to me, strapped on my back, or sitting on my lap. Sometimes, I would even make room for it on my bed at night, especially every time I would feel lonely.

During that period, I could not think of a better best friend than my guitar. I was allowed to take it anywhere. Every time I would play it, a crowd would gather around and listen to me. It prevented me from befriending ill-meaning folks as well, which made my parents support my hobby.

If I can be honest about that time now, though, there is one thing that I didn’t – and still doesn’t – like about owning a guitar. It was the fact that I had to take care of it more than a pianist would ever need to do with their piano. Still, I had no choice but to do it because buying a new guitar was nowhere near my to-do list, and it honestly felt good to see its case shining.

If you have recently acquired a guitar and are yet to familiarize yourself with it, here are a few tips to take care of your guitar.

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Wipe The Body

The first thing that you need to do is get a microfiber towel to clean the body of the guitar. The reason is that your hand produces oil all the time to keep it from being as rough as sandpaper. If you rest it on your guitar, though, you can undoubtedly see fingerprints on the case once you lift your fingers off. Without sounding like a total germophobe, there is no way to guarantee that bacteria will not spread through those fingerprints, even if they are yours. If you do not also want to entertain that possibility, you should start cleaning your guitar now.

Check The Strings

It is typical for the strings to snap on a guitar, no matter how expensive they may be. The constant strumming and tuning can wear down the line and cause it to break, after all. However, the snapping string can be a health hazard, especially if it happens when the guitar is so close to your face, and the broken line can practically hit your eyeball. To avoid that, you should examine every string regularly and replace the old ones before they snap.

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Make Sure To Fine-Tune The Guitar

Another part of taking care of your guitar is fine-tuning it. The instrument is quite sensitive, in the sense that moving it around can nudge the knobs on one end and make it sound like a tin can once you start playing.

I know that this task is challenging for new guitar players, but you can find tutorials that will teach you how to tune your guitar. Some apps can guide you, as well.

Final Thoughts

It is not crazy to want to look after an instrument that you may have relied on more than anyone for a long time. So your guitar has sentimental value, and you cannot let go of it – that’s not shocking at all. If anything, it feels good to know that you care enough about your guitar to read this blog.

Cheers!

Why Even Non-Musical Folks Love Jamming Sessions

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Every month, my friends and I look for bars and restaurants where acoustic singers play. They do not have to popular. In truth, they can even cover other people’s songs, and we feel happy about it. When they have an open, we volunteer to sing while accompanied by the guitar as well. It is like an unspoken tradition that we all follow.

In such establishments, though, musically inclined folks are not the only ones you will find. Some people bob their heads to the music; others can merely clap or sway their bodies when the music plays. “Music listening is one of the most enigmatic of human behaviors,” wrote Thomas Schäfer, PhD, and co-authors in a study. “The enthusiasm for music is not a recent development. Recognizably musical activities appear to have been present in every known culture on earth, with ancient roots extending back 250,000 years or more.”

If these non-musical folks get invited to sing on the stage, though, they refuse profusely. And I have always wondered about that, you know? “If you love jamming sessions so much, why don’t you want to join in the fun and let people hear you sing?”

Upon talking to one of those non-musical folks, I have understood a few things.

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Acoustic Songs Soothe The Soul

Sharam Heshmat, PhD, wrote, “Music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses — both chills and thrills — in listeners. And this capacity is universal.”

Acoustics refers to songs that are played using a guitar, box, or drums. The sounds cannot fill an entire room like a piano; you may even need to plug it to an amplifier. Instead of a melody, you will typically hear beats.

While some people may not find that entertaining, a lot more individuals think that acoustic songs soothe their souls. One of the possible reasons is that the steady beats may align with your heartbeat, and it can make you feel good.

People Want To Understand The Song Lyrics

As mentioned above, acoustic singers in bars and restaurants tend to cover the songs that others have released. The genre can be anything, from ballad to rock to pop and everything in between. You may never hear about covers topping the Billboard charts or becoming more famous than the original. However, people still go there instead of buying albums at the stores. Why?

Well, most songs these days are layered with technology at some level. Sometimes, the producers add instruments; other times, they auto-tune to “fix” the singer’s voice. Although that is good for the market, the lyrics are not always audible. Thus, music lovers feel the need to listen to the acoustic versions of the songs, regardless of the original singers sing it or not.

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Everyone Wishes To Have Fun Without Getting Whacky

Wanting to have fun is a normal part of life. That is especially true if you have had a long week, but club hopping is not your cup of tea anymore. You want to go to a mellow place where you can drink, eat, and listen to good music without getting crazy.

Most of the time, people can find that mix in restaurants with acoustic players only. Rather than getting drunk on alcohol, after all, they can get lost in the songs. They can also meet like-minded people and perhaps become best friends.

Final Thoughts

Music is one of the many things that folks from different walks of life enjoy together. Sometimes it even moves us to tears. R. Douglas Fields, PhD, wrote, “Many types of music can move people to tears; blubbering in the balcony is iconic in opera. The phenomenon of crying sparked by music is an interesting, but little-studied behavior.”

No matter what your reason is for going to the acoustic bars or restaurants, you should continue doing it, especially if it makes you happy. 

Cheers!

Why I Almost Stopped Learning How To Play The Guitar

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Playing the guitar is one of the hobbies that I have picked up during a summer break in high school. None of my relatives or friends are musically inclined, so I have not been influenced by anyone. However, I love listening to guitar solos more than anything, so I have made time for it.

The thing is, there were many times when I thought of giving up my dream to play the guitar properly. It was like my motivation faded. Shahram Heshmat PhD, wrote, “Motivation is generally described as the force that drives us to pursue a goal (the desired outcome). Motivation is a starting point for all choices (e.g., careers, spouses, hobbies).” And I almost lost that. Here are a few reasons that you may be able to relate to.

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My Fingers Hurt At First

Most players deal with hurting fingers when they learn how to play the guitar for the first time. It is supposed to be one of the sacrifices that you need to make if you love the instrument. You can feel it from day 1 when you press the strings on one end and strum on the other end.

The tips of your fingers sting when you are not learning; they hurt some more when you press the strings again. It is as if you are trying to open a wound in the same areas. No matter how normal it may be, hurting fingers can genuinely make you think twice about playing the guitar.

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I Did Not Like My Callouses

Callouses come after all the pain that you go through for the first time. The raw skin hardens over time, building something like intangible protection for the soft skin. Thus, even if you play the guitar for hours every day, you may not ever need to worry about your fingers hurting again.

Although that should be a positive effect of having callouses, let’s not forget that I have a professional career, too. Playing guitar is a hobby – I don’t make money out of it. I work in the guest relations biz, which entails that e, I get too self-conscious and don’t want to extend my hand sometimes.

Learning Some Songs With Complicated Guitar Arrangements Got The Better Of Me

When I was learning how to play the guitar, I thought it was one of my hidden talents. I watched tutorials for songs that only had three or four chords and a little strumming. It made me feel like I could play anything after that.

Well, the complicatedness of some songs brought me back to reality hard. One day, I was an acoustic star. The next day, I was a guitarist-wannabe who could not even get through the first verse of a song without messing up. I knew that it was 100% my fault for skipping steps, but it made me want to stop playing altogether.

Susan Biali Haas, MD, advised, “The next time you feel unmotivated to do something that you know you are called to do, push past the lack of inspiration and just go do it. Notice what happens.”

Final Thoughts

Did I end up avoiding guitars?

Nope. I continued learning how to play the guitar once I got over the issues mentioned above. I went back to square one, studied all the basic chords, and practiced songs gradually. As for the callouses, I stopped worrying about them after a while. It even came to my advantage at times, considering it turned out to be an excellent conversation starter.

As for you, continue to encourage yourself that you can do it. Beverly Engel, LMFT, wrote, “Self-encouragement is believing in yourself and in your ability to overcome your limitations and handicaps. Self-encouragement is focusing on your strengths, positive attributes and skills instead of your weaknesses and limitations.”