There are so many picks out there it can be mind boggling to choose the right pick for you. Here are a couple of things to consider.
There are small picks out there that many people call Jazz or Mandolin picks, these are great for fast, precise picking. There is what has become known as a standard pick the most being the Fender F351. Most of us start off with this style of pick and can be used for just about any style. Another popular size is the oversized picks often in a Triangle shape. These are perfect for strumming chords. You should also consider the tip that strikes the string. There are both pointed and rounded tips. Rounded picks are great for strumming while the pointed tips are really good for picking individual notes. A favorite for ukulele players are the large tear drop felt picks.
While there are many thicknesses available the most common are Thin, Medium and Heavy. As a general rule Thin and Medium picks are great for strumming chords while the heavier picks are great for single note lines. I have also found that most beginners prefer thin picks and as their skills progress their pick gets heavier.
Remember there are no hard and fast rules. The best thing to do is grab a handful and try them out. Luckily picks are reasonably inexpensive so for just a few bucks you can try many different types. I am not tied down to just one type of pick sometimes I will use different picks for different styles or techniques. The most important thing when choosing a pick is to experiment and go with feels the best to you. Now go out there and take your pick!
One of my favorite things is the sound of brand new strings. Unfortunately one of my least favorite things to do is change my strings.
There are a few signs that will tell me it’s time to get those wire clippers and string winders out.
The best thing to do is to keep your strings clean and use your ears as well as keeping an eye out for the obvious signs of wear.
As the saying goes, timing is everything. This is especially true when playing a musical instrument.
There are many benefits to using a metronome.
One of my favorite tricks with a metronome is to set it up so the click is on the 2 and 4 of a measure like a snare drum. This can be challenging and will really help you find the groove.
I think that you will find that using a metronome is a fast way to improve your timing and feel which will really help you become a better player.
Many aspiring guitar players will at some time become interested in open tunings while others will play their whole life without ever venturing outside of standard 6 string tuning of EADGBE.
I have personally found with cover songs that I can usually adapt any song in an open key to standard tuning. The advantage of this of course, especially if you only have one guitar, is that you are not constantly re-tuning to suit the song. However once you learn to play a song that was written in an open tuning, you can’t un-hear it. For example Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones originally recorded Jumping Jack Flash in Open E tuning. I played it in standard tuning for years, after I learned it in open E that is the only way it sounds right to me. Keith used open G tuning quite a lot as well.
In a much simpler sense, when you tune to an open tuning you are tuning to an open chord. For instance “G’ would be DGDGBD rather than EADGBE. Now when you strum without fretting you still make a G chord, when you lay your index finger across any fret pressing all 6 strings you change the chord. What could be simpler? If fact a lot of the old blues masters who are credited with guitar mastery had in fact a very rudimentary understanding of their instrument but where able to create interesting music in open tunings sometimes with the aid of a glass slide made from a bottle neck.
Many people also find playing around in open tuning very therapeutic because it is hard to play wrong notes making it easy to create beautiful sound-scapes. Here is a helpful link with depth on tunings https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_tunings
Check out the video below of The Rolling Stones Wild Horses played in open G tuning!