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House Of Guitar

Before You Start Pg 2

Before You Start Pg 1
Before You Start Pg 2
Lesson 0: Tabs
Lesson 1: Power Chords
Lesson 2: Easy Songs

Before You Begin #4: We are about to enter the world of picks. There are many different types of picks. Picks come in many different thickness'. We recommend beginners start with a medium thickness pick, no more than .85mm. Different types of picks sound different. Try out different brands to find one that's right for you.
Below is the right way to hold a pick. Many players hold their picks in incorrect positions, causing speed problems and inconsistant picking.
Hold your pick between the thumb and the 1st (pointer) finger. Your thumb should occupy the top 1/2 of the pick for the best control.
I personally like Dunlop Tortex picks. They sound good and don't slide around all that much. Stay away from picks with decals: The decal rubs off quickly and messes up your strings and fingers.

Before You Begin #5: DO NOT mess around with your guitar if you do not know what you are doing. We will explain how to make minor repairs in the Repair lesson. All other repairs should be taken to a qualified repairman.
Strings are easy to replace. You should replace your strings every 2-3 months. Like picks, strings can have many different colors and sounds. I personally like 'light' strings, but you should try many different brands and guages before satying with a certain make. Go to the music store and ask them to explain to you how to restring your guitar. Make sure you ask them about "stretching" out the strings ---this helps keep the guitar in tune.

Before You Begin #6: It may help to subscribe to either Guitar 1 or Guitar Player magazines. These magazines can be a big but expensive way to help an advancing guitarist.

Before You Begin #7: Never expose you guitar to heat, humidity, or direct sunlight. In very little time, this can cause cracking of the wood and finish, bellowing (where one part of the guitar sinks in), and warping of the neck. The best way to keep this from happening is to always keep your beauty in a hard-sheel case (anywhere from $50-120). However, this is not always possible, so be sure to try to keep the guitar at a constant temperature when not in a case. Gig bags are great, however, they do not provide protection from the weather.
Always wipe your guitar down after every practice session. You can either get a polishing cloth (about $3) or use a lint-free t-shirt. Wipe the strings by pinching your thumb and finger around the string you are wiping. Wipe the front of the guitar and wipe the top of the guitar where you armpit rests (to keep the sweat-stains away). Also, wipe the back of the neck. If you do not wipe down your guitar, your fingerboard and strings will age very quickly and might cause expensive repairs.

You're ready to begin the first 2 lessons: How To Read Tab and Power Chords. Make sure you follow all of the "Before You Begin" tips to keep your guitar out of the shop and to make steady improvements.
Good luck with our course. It is designed for all guitarists, beginning and advanced. I know it will help you if you practice and apply yourself to the lessons.
Best wishes,

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