Category Archives: All About Guitar

Everything you wanted to know about guitar.

Guitar Stands Can Help

Your home is always going to look better and appear to be neater when you have a place for everything, and you keep those things that might problematic in those places. Some things come with holders and stands, and other times, you have to go out and find something. When it comes to guitar stands, you have to look around to find the right one. They seem easy enough, and they all do the same things, but some are better than others and some simply won’t work in some situations.

When you are buying guitar stands for the road, you have to come up with something that will stand well and can not be tipped over very easily. There are plenty of times when playing live when a stand could be tipped or hit, and that could mean the end of a very expensive guitar. If the head stock hits something the wrong way during a fall, there may be no help for that guitar. That means guitar stands meant for playing out and traveling should be the sturdiest you can find. They should have good grip on the floor, a solid base, and a good hold on any guitar.

When it comes to guitar stands for the home or the home studio, you can be a bit more flexible. You can find some that fold up, and even though they seem appropriate for travel, those are often ones that work better in the home. You have most stability there, and you don’t have to worry about knocking over the stand as much. You can also find guitar stands for both that can hold more than one guitar. That is something that can be a great space saver when you have more than one guitar and they seem to be taking over all of your free space, or you can’t seem to find enough space to keep them together.

Shopping for guitar stands can be done locally or online. Most music stores that sell guitars also have stands. You can choose what you want, and how much you want to pay. You can also find them on many great sites online that sell musical equipment and accessories. You may find a bigger selection there, and that may be more convenient when you hate shopping and you already know what you want. Consider their stability, and also what they are made of when you make your selection so your guitar stands last a long time.

 

rockabilly, bluegrass, country, used, guiitar, piano, music

Buying a Second Hand Guitar

If you are on a budget, but still want to buy a decent guitar, you should look into purchasing a used guitar. For little money you can buy a quality guitar that will be able to suit all of your needs.

Used Fender basses or used Fender Stratocaster guitars can be had for relatively cheap compared with buying a new one. This is the route that a lot of people go when they are looking for their first guitar. The best place to find a used guitar is at a music store that is specialized in selling second hand equipment. If you can’t find a store like this in your area, you may also want to search the internet. There are hundreds of online stores that sell used instruments.

Used, cheap electric guitars are also a top seller. Brands like Ibanez, Squier or Epiphone can be found for very little money. Used Gibson guitars or a second hand Fender Stratocaster will cost you probably more, but will still save you a lot of money. In return you will get a top quality guitar which will last you a very, very long time!

You may also be able to find used guitars at a flea market or garage sale. The best way to go about doing this is find a large flea market in your area, and frequent it as often as possible. You will eventually come across what you are looking for.

Many people have also turned to eBay in order to find a second hand guitar. EBay offers hundreds of guitars that you can bid on. The best thing about using this service is that you can keep an eye on each listing, and only purchase what you can afford.

A used guitar can be a great buy for anybody that is just learning, or anybody who simply wants a new guitar. In most cases you can buy a second hand guitar for half the price it would cost you when buying it brand new. Ok it probably will have some scratches on it, but the quality and the sound of the instrument will still remain the same and that’s what counts!

If you know where to look, and stay persistent you should not have any problems at all finding a guitar that suits your needs. Remember, stay patient until you find the guitar that suits your needs and fits your budget.

Skillet Licker Designs sells clothing apparel, 100% cotton t-shirts, that have images of Blues, Bluegrass, Country, and Folk Music personalities (Bill Monroe, Maybelle Carter, Tony Rice) screen printed on them. We also specialize in screen printed Vintage Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck Catalog advertisements of musical instruments such as guitar (Recording King), guitar strings (Black Diamond Strings), and banjo (Bacon and Day Silver Bell Banjos).

Please visit us often and see what’s new at our website store SkilletLickerDesigns.com

“There’s always something cookin’ in the skillet!”

Thank you for your patronage.

Skillet Licker Designs

Wall of Guitars

Buying A Guitar Online

Many of the normal things that we do in our lives have been changed by the Internet. Most of these changes have had to do with the way we purchase items that we need or want, from household appliances, home décor, gifts, clothes, and food. Of course, musical instruments like drums, pianos, and guitars are not far behind. In the past, musicians would have quailed at the idea of buying a guitar that they have never seen or touched before.

But times are changing, as I’ve mentioned. Any nonbelievers would only need to take a peek at E-Bay to see how many guitars and other musical instruments are being sold and bought daily. I’m not suggesting, of course, that guitarists should just go ahead and buy their guitars online without first thinking about the pro’s and con’s. Buying a guitar that you’ve never seen and listened to before does have its fair share of risks, especially if you’re buying from someone or from a company you’ve never heard of before.

One of the annoyances is the shipping. Musicians are very finicky about the way their instruments are touched and handled. So even if we’d like to think that the guitar you just bought is being carefully handled by everyone it comes in contact with, from the store down to the delivery guys, sometimes it doesn’t always happen that way.

There may be times when your newly-bought instrument will arrive with some dings and scratches, due to a number of possible reasons, such as improper packaging from the store or rough handling during shipping. So before shipping the guitar, you should think about getting your instrument packaged professionally. There are some online businesses that can offer you these kinds of services, as well as let you contact the shop first and confirm the contents of the package, before the instrument is shipped.

Aside from the dealer and shipping risks, probably the scariest part of buying a musical instrument online is that you don’t even get a chance of playing that instrument before paying for it. If you’ve ever been in a music store and played a variety of models of the same guitar, then you’d know that the sound quality always differs from one model to the next. Of course, anything that is made out of an unpredictable material such as wood will certainly have differing degrees of quality. Sure, it may look jazzy and shiny, but in the end, looks aren’t what you’re really looking for in a guitar, are you?

There’s always a possibility that when you receive your guitar, you’ll find out that it’s not at the level of quality that you were hoping for. But fear not, because most online music shops are offering 24-hour or 48-hour return policies to protect you and your investment. Moreover, these retailers are usually required by law to grant a 30-day return policy on all products, although some will not readily tell you that.

Hundreds of guitar shops and music stores abound on the Internet. Many of them operate as a music store in a specific area and are also offering their products online. However, there are also several music shops that only operate through the World Wide Web. These music retailers, since they solely rely on the Internet for their business, are somewhat more experienced in buying and selling online, so you can expect that your deals and purchases will be smoother and less likely to be stressful.

Skillet Licker Designs sells clothing apparel, 100% cotton t-shirts, that have images of Blues, Bluegrass, Country, and Folk Music personalities (Bill Monroe, Maybelle Carter, Tony Rice) screen printed on them. We also specialize in screen printed Vintage Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck Catalog advertisements of musical instruments such as guitar (Recording King), guitar strings (Black Diamond Strings), and banjo (Bacon and Day Silver Bell Banjos).

Please visit us often and see what’s new at our website store SkilletLickerDesigns.com

“There’s always something cookin’ in the skillet!”

Thank you for your patronage.

Skillet Licker Designs

 

acoustic or electric guitar

Acoustic Or Electric Guitar: Which Should You Get?

So you’ve chosen to take up the guitar. Good for you! Now comes the hard part: which guitar is the best to start playing on? Well, the answer to that question depends on many things. It depends on what kind of music you enjoy listening to, what kind of music you are looking to play, and what kind of level you wish to reach–amateur or professional.

Before we go over each topic, let us first discuss the differences between Electric and Acoustic guitars.

The main difference between an Electric and Acoustic guitar is the fact that the Electric must be plugged into an amplifier in order to be heard loudly, while the Acoustic can be played and heard without the use of an amp. This is because Acoustic guitars have sound holes, which produce the sound. Electric guitars, on the other hand, don’t have a sound hole and are thus known as Hollow-body’s. Electric hollow-body’s can be heard by the people playing them, but are inaudible to others without the use of an amp. Additionally, there are Electric guitars with the ability to be played both acoustically and electrically because they have little sound holes. These are known as semi-hollow bodies and are very versatile because they can sound one way unplugged and another way on an amp. Finally, there are some Acoustic guitars, known as Acoustic-Electric’s, that can be played acoustically or on an amp. However, these are very different from semi-hollow bodies, because they sound pretty much the same unplugged or plugged–the only difference being that the Acoustic-Electric when plugged into the amp.

OK, now that we’ve briefly gone over the different types of Acoustic and Electric guitars, we can now move on to the criteria for choosing a guitar.

The Music You Enjoy Helps You Decide What Guitar to Buy: Let’s start off with the first topic. Obviously, those who enjoy listening to a certain kind of music are most likely going to want to play it on guitar. That is why you must take this into consideration when looking for a guitar. Choosing the wrong type of guitar could lead to frustration and giving up the instrument all together. Do you enjoy rock music–metal, modern, alternative and otherwise? Then chances are a hollow-body electric guitar is a wise choice. If that is the case, you will also want to purchase an amp. But what if you like rock music that makes use of both acoustic and electric guitar? Then perhaps a semi-hollow body guitar is the best choice. Or maybe you don’t like rock and instead enjoy country or mellow music. Acoustic or Acoustic-Electric guitar is then your best bet.

What Kind of Music Do You Want to Play?: Maybe you’re a big rock fan, but would rather learn to play mellow, acoustic-based songs. That’s perfectly fine, and if that’s the genre you wish to play, you definitely want to pick up an Acoustic or Acoustic-Electric guitar. It’s also possible that you’re a big fan of acoustic-pop but want to start playing rock & roll. Do yourself a favor and pick up a semi-hollow or hollow body guitar.

What Level Do You Wish to Achieve?: Are you just taking up the guitar for recreational purposes and not looking to form a band or master the instrument? The Electric guitar is probably a good choice. This is because Electric guitars are much easier to start playing on than Acoustics are. Electrics have thinner strings (which are easier to start playing on) and, when plugged into an amp, allow room for error. Beginner mistakes can be easily covered up with Electric guitars. However, you cannot expect to make mistakes and be a pro. Acoustic guitars do not cover up your mistakes at all–if anything, they highlight them. You are forced to play songs correctly and master techniques the right way. The learning curve of an Acoustic is steeper, but you will reap the rewards if you master it. A transition from Acoustic to Electric guitar will be incredibly easy, whereas a transition from Electric to Acoustic guitar will be a bit harder. Thinking about what you want to accomplish on the guitar is a big factor in your decision.

Skillet Licker Designs sells clothing apparel, 100% cotton t-shirts, that have images of Blues, Bluegrass, Country, and Folk Music personalities (Bill Monroe, Maybelle Carter, Tony Rice) screen printed on them. We also specialize in screen printed Vintage Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck Catalog advertisements of musical instruments such as guitar (Recording King), guitar strings (Black Diamond Strings), and banjo (Bacon and Day Silver Bell Banjos).

Please visit us often and see what’s new at our website store SkilletLickerDesigns.com

“There’s always something cookin’ in the skillet!”

Thank you for your patronage.

Skillet Licker Designs

 

A Guide to Buying an Acoustic Guitar

Knowing how to choose the right guitar and how to identify a bad one, will save you from countless headaches, not to mention finger aches.

Acoustic guitar bodies come in basically the same hourglass shape, with some variations, but they do vary in size, color, wood-type, style, and extra features. You can even buy an acoustic guitar so small that fits into a hiking backpack.

Guitars come in a very wide range of prices, but when it comes to instruments, in general, you get what you pay for, especially when you buy new. There’s a real difference between getting a bargain and buying cheap.

But whether you buy new or used may be determined by many personal factors including your budget, and each has their own pros and cons.

Buying new, gives you a warranty and, hopefully, a return period, if for some reason you’re not totally satisfied with your purchase, or something goes wrong.

Under ‘usual’ circumstances, a used guitar can usually be purchased cheaper and has already gone through its “break-in” period.

Commercially built guitars are usually mass manufactured. “Custom-made” guitars are exactly that. They are custom built and tailored to your specifications by a highly skilled guitar maker.

Prices for a custom-built guitar vary considerably, depending on the skill level of the craftsperson you contract the job to, but, as a rule, they are generally quite higher than a commercially built guitar of “similar” quality. Each custom built guitar is unique and therefore hard to compare in price to a commercially built guitar.

FOR THE “TECHIES”

Understanding some of the parts of a guitar will definitely help you when it comes to the Pre-Purchase Checklist.

BODY: This is the part with the sound hole in the front. It is where the strumming is done, and it can vary in size. The actual size, shape, type of wood, coating, and general build of the body also affects how the guitar will “sound”, whether it’s a rich and warm sound, or a thin and ‘twangy’ sound. The body tends to be the part that also gets scratched, damaged, and generally banged-up the most.

NECK: This is the long piece extending from the body and ends at the ‘head’ of the guitar where the ‘Tuning Heads’ are, also known as ‘machine heads’. The strings travel from the ‘Bridge’ on the body, across the sound hole, along the ‘Fret Board’, which is attached to the front-side of the neck, and finally arriving at the tuning heads where they are wrapped around tuning posts. The tuning heads are then turned by hand, which then turns the posts, making the strings tighter or looser, thus affecting their ‘tuning’. Necks tend to warp and twist if not looked after, or if the guitar is left propped against a heat source.

BRIDGE: The Bridge is normally located on the front of the body, by the sound hole, and on the side of the hole opposite to the neck. The strings are usually fed through the bridge first before they cross the hole and travel up the neck to the tuning heads. The bridge is like an anchor-point for the strings. Metal bridges are best, but on most acoustics they are either hard plastic or wood. Bridges have a tendency to crack and split over a long period of time.

FRET BOARD: The fret board is glued to the front of the neck. This is the part you press the strings onto to make chords or play individual notes. Because it’s glued on separately, a fret board can be made of a wood that’s different from the neck.

The strings travel over the fret board and the distance they are above the fret board makes a difference to the playability of the guitar. If the strings are too far above the fret board, then they will be hard to press down, making the guitar hard to play.

When a beginner plays a guitar, initially his or her fingertips are very soft and need to be hardened. A guitar with the strings too far above the fret board, also known as having a ‘high action’, will cause the player’s fingers to hurt so much that they are likely to put the guitar away in discouragement and possibly stop playing altogether.

STRINGS: Acoustic guitar strings, come in a wide variety of ‘flavors’. They can be made out of nylon, brass, steel, or a combination. Nylon strings are usually only found on Classical guitars and Student guitars, because they’re easier on the fingertips. They have a rich, warm sound to them.

Strings sets come in different ‘weights’, or sizes. Strings that come from a package marked ‘Heavy’ are usually quite thick in size and sound “beefy”. Strings that are light, or extra light, are very thin and usually have a brighter sound to them, but are also quieter sounding than heavy strings.

String choices are purely personal taste. Light strings are easier to press than heavy strings but also sound quite different. The more often strings are played, the dirtier they get. If a cloth isn’t run over and under them, from time to time, the sound becomes very dull

THE PRE-PURCHASE CHECKLIST

– Before you buy a used guitar, cost-compare against the price of a new one, unless the guitar is quite old. You could also compare its used price to other used prices by going to an online auction and either searching for the same or a similar guitar.
– Check the overall condition of the wood for cracks, scratches, splits, dents, chips, etc.
– Also check the lacquer finish for cracks and splits.
– Check the neck/fret board for warping and twisting. You can do this by holding the guitar flat on its back, with the sound hole facing upward. Bring the guitar up to eye-level, with the neck running away from you and the edge of the body almost touching your face. Let your eyesight skim across the front of the body and down the fret board. You should be able to see if the neck is twisted or bowing.
– Tune the guitar, or have the seller tune it for you.
– If you know how to play about five or six chords then play them. If you don’t know how to play, ask the seller to play them for you. This check ensures that the neck of the guitar is not warped, even though you couldn’t physically see it. If the neck is warped, and the guitar is properly tuned, then some of the chords will sound good, but others will sound as though the guitar is not tuned. If this happens, check the tuning again. If it persists, then don’t buy the guitar.
– Check the bridge of the guitar. If it’s made out of wood or plastic, make sure it’s not cracked or splitting. The bridge needs to be rock-solid, as a lot of pressure is exerted on the bridge by the strings.
– Check the tuning heads. Do they turn easily, or are they very stiff and hard to turn. Even with the high tension of the strings, a quality guitar will have tuning heads that are fairly easy to turn.
– Check the ‘action’ of the guitar. Are the strings a fair distance from the fret board? Are they easy or hard to press down at various points on the fret board?
– If you are buying the guitar for yourself, and you know how to play, even if you’re a beginner, then play the guitar.
– How does it feel?
– Is it easy or hard to play?
– Can you fit your hand around the neck/fret board comfortably to play chords?
– Is the guitar a comfortable size and shape for your body? Is it easy to hold?
– If you plan to play standing up, ask for a guitar strap.
– Do you like the sound, the color, etc?
– If you don’t play, have someone else play it for you so that you can judge what it sounds like.

WHERE TO BUY

Buying a guitar from a physical retail music store allows you to ‘test drive’ the guitar and ask more questions up front. Buying online or from a catalog may bring you more cash savings.

No matter where you buy your guitar, if you know what to look for, and spend a little extra effort in your search for that ‘perfect’ guitar, not only will your fingers thank you, but also your ears, and all those who will come to join you around the campfire, or even go to see you in concert. Who knows?

Skillet Licker Designs sells clothing apparel, 100% cotton t-shirts, that have images of Blues, Bluegrass, Country, and Folk Music personalities (Bill Monroe, Maybelle Carter, Tony Rice) screen printed on them. We also specialize in screen printed Vintage Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck Catalog advertisements of musical instruments such as guitar (Recording King), guitar strings (Black Diamond Strings), and banjo (Bacon and Day Silver Bell Banjos).

Please visit us often and see what’s new at our website store SkilletLickerDesigns.com .

“There’s always something cookin’ in the skillet!”

Thank you for your patronage.

Skillet Licker Designs