Strings Etc Blog

Posted by in on Feb 24, 2015 .

Reckon you know a fair bit about playing guitar? Maybe you're a guitar teacher, a professional musician or just somebody been playing a while. Whichever it is, we'd love to hear from you. We're looking to recruit a small group of knowledgeable guys and gals to help improve our website and add some much needed content.

We're not really looking for "guitar lessons" or instructional articles relating to playing the guitar but instead some content that explains a bit about some of our products we sell, how they are used and the key differences between them. Essentially giving our customers some useful information and advice to help...

Posted by in Buying Guides on Nov 12, 2013 .

We're pleased to introduce the new 'American Stage' range of instrument cables, from Planet Waves. It's clear that the development team at D'Addario have worked really hard to actually improve on their previous offering and bring something new to market.

 

The first major change is that unlike some other cables (including some previously made by D'Addario), all of the  'American Stage' are made in the USA, instead of elsewhere in the world where maybe the emphasis is more on keeping costs down rather than quality.

Secondly, the components and materials used are top quality, starting with the low 28pF/ft capacitance cable...

Posted by in on Oct 07, 2013 .

Strings Etc is pleased to announce we're now partnering with the no. 1 provider of online guitar lessons - Jamplay. We often get enquires from customers who want to improve their playing but either can't find a local teacher to provide guitar lessons or have a limited budget. After reviewing a number of other websites out there we're pleased to recommend Jamplay as being the best provider of online guitar lessons there is. 

Jamplay have almost 4,000 hours of unique, HD quality, videos available for instant streaming. With a team of over 50 professional musicians on hand ready to help, they have it all covered. Whatever your...

Posted by in Buying Guides on Oct 01, 2013 .

 

Nowadays, given the often mid boggling choice, choosing the right guitar pick or guitar plectrum can sometimes be confusing – especially for beginners. However, after reading this article (hopefully) the differences between the many different types of guitar picks will become clear and you'll understand what characteristics to look for when stocking up on picks next time.

 

First of all let's look at the name. Some people call them guitar picks and some people call them guitar plectrums, is there any difference? In short, no. They're two different words for exactly the same thing. Sure, some people might associate...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jul 03, 2013 .

This is an age old question, asked by those who really want to find what’s best for them.

So how do I choose the right strings, how do I look after them and exactly how often do they need to be changed?

The right strings for you will depend on a few factors. Firstly the style you play. If you’re into jazz, you will more than likely go for heavy flat wounds. If you play metal, you’re more likely to want light on top and big and fat for the bottom. So your style will have some weight in deciding what you use.

Style can also be how you play. If you play mainly rhythm then you might go for thicker strings, whereas if you...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jul 03, 2013 .

The most confusing thing in guitar playing is the order in which you place pedals. Which should go first? And which last? Stick with this and it will all become clear.

Firstly, is there a correct order to place the pedals in? Sorry to say, it’s a yes, but also a no! I’ll explain, there is a standard order, which most follow, but some choose to ignore this and get fantastic tone. So there are some rules, but it’s really is a matter of messing with what you have and playing around and seeing what works for your music and what helps you translate what you hear in your head into reality.


We generally place pedals in the...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jul 03, 2013 .

If you don’t know how to restring or need a step by step programme, look no further!


Step 1: Remove old strings
Start by taking off the old strings. Some find it easy to grab a string winder and unwind the tuners and then coil the old string up. Others do this by hand, while some prefer to cut the strings and then deal with each end differently. Just make sure you get the whole string off the guitar.

Tip: If you play a Strat or Tele style, then find a set of small screwdrivers - from any good DIY store for under a £1. That way you can either push or pull lost ball ends out and check that each string hole is empty of...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jan 27, 2013 .

The following article, by Ben Ford, is taken from his excellent book 'Practical Practice' and remains copyright of Ben Ford for FTFMuzique.

The basic premise of sting-skipping is to play a note on a particular string, skip the adjacent
string to play a note on the subsequent string, then repeat this pattern starting from the string
previously skipped, as shown in ex. 1. This creates much wider intervals between notes, giving
lead lines a new dimension. This chapter gives some patterns to begin creating phrases using
this technique.



Ex. 2a uses an A minor pentatonic scale as a starting point for creating musical...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jan 27, 2013 .

The following article, by Ben Ford, is taken from his excellent book 'Practical Practice' and remains copyright of Ben Ford for FTFMuzique.
 

These picking exercises are designed to focus on every detail of pick technique, as many
guitarists often overlook this area. Good picking technique is just as important as left hand
technique in soloing; it is what keeps your playing from sounding messy, by defining a clear
rhythm, and adds a percussive 'attacking' quality to your lines.
When practicing these patterns be aware of every movement in the picking hand;
Hand position, how the pick is held, strength of attack, speed of...

Posted by in Techniques and Instruction on Jan 22, 2013 .

The following article, by Ben Ford, is taken from his excellent book 'Practical Practice' and remains copyright of Ben Ford for FTFMuzique.

Developing speed takes a long time and needs to be practiced often, over a period of weeks
or even months, refining it in the process. Practice must be slow and thorough, to a metro-
nome, gently increasing the tempo daily or every few days.

A common problem for guitarists is changing from one string to another without dropping
a note, ex. 1a & b focus solely on this area. Once you have the patterns under your fingers,
remove the middle repeat markings playing them back to back,...

Not sure which acoustic guitar strings to choose? Here are a few key points to remember when buying strings for your acoustic guitar.

Firstly, what type of acoustic guitar are the strings for? The body style of the guitar will play an important part in deciding which acoustic strings to use. The two most common body styles found on acoustic guitars are dreadnought and grand auditorium. As a general rule, medium gauge strings are best suited to the dreadnought shape, whereas light strings work best on grand auditorium acoustic guitars. Secondly, choosing the wrong type of strings can actually cause damage to your guitar. For...