I know that we should all be able to tune our Guitar the using the pitch between strings on the 5th & 4Th frets or even a set of pitch pipes, an item that I was given to use when I first started to learn to play. In truth I spent more time trying to figure out how to use them than actually playing the Guitar. Thankfully musicians have numerous options available to them when it comes to selecting tuner. Lets have a look at the various types.
A foot pedal or Rack Mount Tuner. These devices where the earliest type of electronic tuners on the market. Korg developed a Strobe tuner that was very bulky and quite expensive at the time. Then companies like Roland brought out the TU-2 now updated to the TU-3, and TC Electronic developed the Polytune. Both are excellent foot pedals and an essential part of a person pedal board. Most rack mount or multi effect pedal board also come with a built in tuner.
Hand Held Tuners, these are now being slowly phased out by manufacturers. Now they are being bundled with a metronome which makes them useful and good value for money. Some of the better version allow you to plug your guitar lead directly into them making it easy to use when playing in a noisey enviroment.
Download Apps for your mobile Phone: These can be easily obtained from you apps store on your IPhone or Android mobile phone. The majority of these of free to use but charge if you want additional features like being able to use drop down tuning of tune a Bass guitar. Most people though would be happy with the free versions.
This excellent piece of equipment came on the market in the early 80’s and sadly isn’t marketed as much but if you want to build up strength in your fingers then I can’t think of a better tool to do so. Amazon.com carries this item. They also now come in four different string pressure from light to heavy. I would recommend the Red mid range one which is displayed here.
When learning to play in rhythm and or improve your speed picking then you need a metronome. Sometimes seen as old school. The metronome is essential for discipline and accuracy. More time should be spent using this device rather than just noodling away with no control on tempo.
You can either purchase with a hand held tuner, or they can now be downloaded as a App for your phone. I don’t have a preference other than just getting one and using it.
As a beginner you will have decision to make as to how you learn and progress. I can’t emphasize enough on the aid of a teacher and that isn’t because I am biased. I say this because it’s true. As a beginner we need information and direction. Using books and YouTube is fine but the one thing that you can’t do with this media is ask questions if you don’t understand what you’re being told or demonstrated.
An experienced qualified teacher can not only show you what to learn but also show you in a structured format. That doesn’t always mean you must study a curriculum, but a good teacher will make the lessons both informative and also fun.
Guitar Pro 6
Last but certainly not least, this wonderful piece of software is not part of guitar culture. When used with site like Ultimate-Guitar it gives you access to both notation and tablature of 1000’s of songs. You can isolate tracks, so you can clearly here the part being played. You can mute the track so now you can play the guitar parts in the song. Slow the track down and place in a loop so you can slowly learn the section you want to play. This list is endless on all the wonderful features it contains. It isn’t Free but GP6 is one of the most useful of all expenses that you spend your money over the years. Click here for a link to their website Guitar Pro 6
Of course there are probably plenty more items that could be added to this list and i invite you to post your comments so we can add these to the list.
Article by Geoff Sinker