Guitar Nuts

Nothing to do with squirrels; this post is intended to help you make the correct choice when replacing your guitar’s nut. If you like to play play a tremelo arm or whammy bar as part of your style but find that your strings just keep breaking then this post will hopefully get you through! Even if you don’t whammy like a madman and your strings continue breaking at or near the nut then it’s time to consider a replacement. You may also like to consider upgrading the saddles in your bridge if you find consistent string breakage a problem in this area also.

The nut is the part of the guitar at the end of the fretboard which the strings pass across where the headstock and fingerboard meet. The nut is ordinarily a small strip of bone, plastic, brass, corian, graphite and stainless steel with grooves for the string to sit within and some come replete with rollers and ballbearings to reduce friction.

Andres Segovia & modern classical guitar

For today’s post we’re going to take a quick look at the classical guitar and a few key players thereof. If you’re interested in taking a a quick tour through the guitar’s history then a shortlist of great players might have to include the following:

Gaspar Sanz (1640-1710), Fernando Sor (1778-1839), Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829), Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), Andrés Segovia (1893-1987), and John Williams (1941) and Julian Bream.

During the Golden Age of Flamenco, between around 1869–1910 guitar players supporting flamenco dancers had gained an increasing reputation and flamenco guitar as an art form was born. By the beginning of the Twentieth Century however the status of the classical guitar was in decline, and only in Barcelona and in the Rio de la Plata region of South America could it have been said to be of any significance.

John Martyn – fuzz box folk

His first album London Conversation remained more strictly folk oriented in terms of genre but what made Martyn particularly unique was his guitar set up whereby he ran his acoustic guitar through a fuzzbox, a phase-shifter, and an Echoplex which he used to produce more progressive rock styled guitar motifs within the broader contexts of the folk-jazz idiom. This approach begins to be heard on his second album Solid Air is reinforced on Storm Bringer and also on his more atmospheric, reggae infused One World album.

Today we`re going to have a look at English guitarist and musician John Martyn – an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues:

It`s definitely worth illuminating Martyn’s individual approach to his effects and equipment as a key factor in defining a highly individual sound and approach within folk music.

OpenD tuning

I`ve thrown a quick video together to show you all the Open D tuning. Its a really versatile tuning. If you `re wondering just what an an open tuning is, it`s a tuning which means that the strings produce a chord when played open or unfretted and today I`m going to focus upon the open D guitar tuning.

Its an open chord tuning which when strummed produces a D major chord:


The open string notes in this tuning are: D A D F♯ A D. It uses the three notes that form the triad of a D major chord: D, the root note; A, the perfect fifth; and F♯, the major third. The six guitar strings, from lowest pitch to highest, should be tuned as follows: D A D F♯ A D.

Ovation iDEA

Ovation have had the bright iDEA of building a digital MP3 recorder straight into their new iDEA guitar – FRESH! A digital recorder is part of the on-board Ovation preamp as well as an inbuilt microphone. A simple and direct recording control makes it easy to record entire songs, riffs, fragments, vocals and commentary. The iDea is also a learning tool, with audio lessons pre-installed in the memory.

The Idea also connects via USB to your computer so you can edit, rearrange, move, rename right on your desktop. Mixes from recording software, rhythm tracks, even songs can be played back through the headphones or the gutar itself.

What makes this guitar so invaluable as a learning tool is probably the fact that the recording ability allows the player to self accompany and therefore to focus upon building an innate understanding of how a guitar actually works in terms of scales, chords and their interrelationships.

If you were learning the JAMORAMA LEAD course this machine would really help you in understanding how the CAGED system works and prove ultimately beneficial in unlocking soem of the musical mysteries of the guitar’s neck.

Acoustic amplifiers 1

I know that a lot of you out there are acoustic guitar players and there is definitely a growing market of affordable, portable acoustic amplifiers available for those of you without a wheelbarrow of cash sitting rotting in the rain at your back door. SWR Strawberry Blonde. SWR’s Strawberry Blonde acoustic instrument amplifier has always […]

Stretch your strings

One of the sure fire ways to ensure that you go through copious amounts of electric guitar strings is to play them fresh out of the packet without stretching them. It`s a common mistake that beginners make and I`m here to help you avoid this common mistake. Later on I`ll be adding a video demonstration to this article showing you exactly how to stretch your strings.