Fender’s new guitar-learning platform can teach beginners to play a song in minutes

Guitar maker Fender has just debuted Fender Play, a new guitar lessons web platform and iOS app aimed at getting beginners hooked with visual, bite-sized tutorials. New users can sign up for a free, 30-day trial at the Fender Play website. After that trial, you’ll have to pay $19.99 per month to keep learning.

This is not the first digital tool Fender has introduced for playing guitar (others include Riffstation, which displays chord tabs for your favorite songs, and a guitar tuner app), but it is the first they’ve designed specifically for introductory-level players.

Fender Play is a video-centric learning platform that eschews traditional theory-based lessons in favor of instructor-guided videos. When a user signs up, they will answer a variety of questions about the musical styles and instruments they prefer, which will then generate a customized curriculum. Fender Play’s song-based method of learning will teach core technique, but alongside visual lessons with instructors showing you how to play your favorite songs. The goal is not to trudge though theory and basics, but pick it up while an instructor teaches you a Foo Fighters or Stone Temple Pilots tune. Fender says this micro-learning method will keep beginners engaged, and allow them to master chords and riffs in minutes.

Fender’s wave of digital apps and other compliments to its instrument lineup began in 2015, when the company hired well-known music tech leader Ethan Kaplan as chief digital products officer. At the time, CEO Andy Mooney told TechCrunch there would be a conscious shift to use technology in order to mitigate “the journey from being a beginner to intermediate to being an advanced player.”

Sales of electric guitars have dropped in the past decade, from about 1.5 million annually to around 1 million, and of those who decide to learn the instrument, about 90 percent give up in the first year. While all this can be attributed in part to the current dearth of guitar in popular music, another, perhaps more important reason is that learning guitar is simply different from learning other instruments. A study published by University of California Press in 2012 found that reading music is harder for guitar players because any given note on a guitar can be played on different strings. Because of this, they say “guitarists are faster to recognize chords from familiar viewpoints, like when they are watching themselves or another guitarist play a chord.” Fender’s approach falls in line with these findings, and is also supported by the educational advisors who helped build Fender Play’s curriculum.

It’s fair to note that while Fender Play is not the first to utilize this method — other services, like Guitar Tricks and JamPlay offer a similar education style — it’s, well, got the cachet of being by Fender, and the platform and videos are also decidedly more splashy and modern-looking. And you might’ve forgotten, but Apple’s GarageBand on the Mac has some built-in instrument lessons, too.

Fender Play is available in the US, UK, and Canada.

 

Source:  TheVerge.com

The Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

References to the guitar more or less in its modern form date back to the 14th century. In its infancy it had four courses of double strings and a rounded body like a gourd or a pumpkin. Its mother would not recognize it today!

Around the sixteenth century the guitar was a popular musical instrument amongst the middle and lower classes of Europe, and as it increased in popularity it began to undergo a change of shape. Luthiers began making instruments with single strings instead of courses and experimented with its form until, by the 19th century, the body of the guitar was made wider, and flattened out. In the twentieth century the wooden tuning pegs which adjusted the tension of the strings were replaced by metal machine heads. Now we have the shape that the modern electric guitar is based on.
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Free Guitar Chord Charts

This article will show you how to make the best use of free guitar chord charts that you can find online. As the internet changes, sites go down and new ones come up, so I won’t risk this resource going out of date by discussing where to find your free guitar chord charts, just how to use them to kick start your guitar playing.

You can easily get together a nice collection of chord charts and lyrics to your favorite songs to help you learn to play the guitar. If you feel that you should be learning a whole bunch of musical theory and how to read musical notation, but somehow feel it’s just not you, then that’s okay – start with what you feel most enthusiastic about. Once you have started to learn using guitar chord charts you have bought or downloaded for free, you might see as you go along that you will need to know a little bit about musical theory to see how chords and scales fit together. If, however, you are comfortable learning chords to your favorite songs, then keep at it.
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Easy Guitar Tabs

Guitar tabs are an easy solution for you if you have no idea of how to read sheet music but are constantly bugged by the notion that you want to be a guitarist. Guitar tabs are easy to learn and allow you to begin playing songs right away, even if you are not familiar with them. Once you have bought your first guitar, it is time to begin looking for easy guitar tab versions of some songs to find out what it feels like to be a guitar player. Which songs you need tabs for depends on how you see yourself as a musician.

Do you want to play your favorite songs chiefly for your own amusement or do you want to aim your repertoire at a potential audience? Let us look at your audience for a minute. The most popular songs in the world are all from years gone by. If you sit a bunch of people aged between ten and fifty down and play songs at them you will find some universal favorites, and they will all be old songs. If you want to please a random audience, your ultimate goal should be to have about one hundred popular songs ranging from the 1940’s to the present, but you could probably narrow the range to just include songs going back to the sixties.
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The Mystique Of Acoustic Guitar Solos

The acoustic guitar still holds a fascination for music lovers even after all these decades of our ears being bombarded by electric guitar music. Electric guitarists love playing with the sounds they get from different tone settings, effects, the use of the different pickups and feedback. The acoustic guitar has only the tone given to it by the wood it is made from and the skill and inspiration of the guitar player. So let us take a look at some acoustic guitar solos and the guitars and guitarists who made them.

If you do not know the name Erik Mongrain, you will find some examples of his guitar playing on video sites on the internet. I came across a very nice solo called Air Tap. He was given an acoustic guitar when he was fourteen, and learnt to play it by ear. While he learnt and experimented with the guitar he discovered the technique of sitting the guitar in his lap and tapping, the strings and body to produce music. If you go looking for him on the web you will find pdf files of his music and tutorials on his techniques.
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The Nylon String Acoustic Guitar

The nylon string acoustic guitar has a softer, mellower sound than the steel string guitar. Strangely, modern audiences can still be spellbound by the depth of feeling of a nylon string guitar. It’s entirely up to you which one you choose to play. I could cite a list of artists who used either nylon or steel string for this or that record, and make a wild guess or two at why the artists made the choices they did, but the bottom line is that if you want a deep, quiet sound that doesn’t compete with your singing, the nylon string guitar is the way to go.

When you go out to buy a guitar, go past the general music store and on to your local guitar dealer if you have one. That way you will have a guitar expert guiding you and not some dufus who only plays two-and-a-half chords. Don’t let the guy in the store automatically steer you to the top-of-the-range guitars, and equally don’t succumb to your inner cheapskate. Pick a guitar that you like the look, sound and feel of, then come down in price range if you really need to.
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