Babysteps - The Beginners Guide To Guitar. Part 3

author: guitar-guy01 date: 07/29/2009 category: for beginners
rating: 9.6 / votes: 26 
Hey there true believers *stops impersonating Stan Lee*, it's me JP. Many of you will recognise me from the Babysteps Lessons 1 and 2 and here I am once again to share what I have learned. Sorry for the delay between lesson 2 and this one (I was doing exams). Many guitarists focus on playing their instrument. Obviously this is not a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but I feel that many guitarist often neglect one vital aspect of being a guitarist, taking care of your guitar. Now obviously there are those who put a great deal of effort into guitar maintenance, but there are a lot that don't, amongst them are some of the people who PMed me asking about guitar maintenance after starting to read my lessons. So I'm here to help in whatever way I can in this lesson. Now while I do thoroughly recommend checking out the Guitar Maintenance Section of this site, I figured it would be handier for beginners to read up on it while looking at their beginner lessons. It will be useful for beginner guitarists to know some basics of maintenance to help them get used to their new instrument. And for those of you who have read my previous lessons don't fret (hehe my first pun) there will be some practical guitar work here too, not just maintenance. Ok you ready? Here we go. Cleaning Up Your Act Keeping your guitar clean should be very important to you, just like learning a riff from your favourite band. You've paid a lot of money for your guitar (or your parents have) so take the time to treat it right and keep it clean, it's a lot more productive than cleaning your room. Plus if pride in your instrument isn't a good enough reason, I should also say that keeping your guitar clean will save you money. But how JP? I hear many of you ask. Don't I have to buy all those expensive polishes and all those confusing looking things I'm afraid to go near in the guitar shop? I think you must have failed your maths exam JP because there's no way it can save me money. Well, I'm sure of my maths here kiddies and believe me I'm right. For example, a dirty fretboard will result in the life of your strings being shortened. If you clean your fretboard, your strings will last longer and you won't spend as much money replacing them. Well my first piece of advice is fairly simple. Always Use A Proper Guitar Polish. You'll thank me for it later. Before you ask, I'm not trying to market a certain brand of polish or anything. I've just learned from what my guitar playing friends and I have experienced. So that means don't go using your Pledge, or what other household cleaning products you have, on your guitar. It will cause the finish on your guitar to become dull and listless. Think I'm BSing you? Ask my friend Ryan to see his Les Paul. Not a great sight when compared to a properly cleaned guitar. But is his mistake is your lesson learned. There are various brands of guitar polishes available and its really down to personal preference. Personally I use Planet Waves as my guitar polish Having picked out your guitar polish, it's time to start cleaning your guitar. You'll need a duster. Using your duster, remove any and all surface dust from your pride and joy's body and neck. Then start getting into those socket recesses and pickup cavities. Having read the instructions on your bottle of guitar polish apply a coat of polish to your guitar's body then buff it off. As I've already mentioned previously the fretboard is one of the most important areas of the guitar to be kept clean, along with the neck. I would advise removing your strings when cleaning the fretboard. If you don't know how to do this (because you haven't removed your strings before) then perhaps it would be best to get the guitar cleaned when you get your strings changed at your local store (I will be covering changing your strings in lesson 4, so you won't have to pay to get them changed anymore). When your strings are removed, take your duster and move it up and down the fretboard. This will get rid of any dead skin cells and sweat. If it has gotten to the stage where your fretboard is seriously filthy, some of the dirt may have to be scraped off. I do this by using a plastic ruler (because it's free). But exercise caution when doing this as we don't want to scratch your fretboard. Just scrape gently along the sides of your frets until the filth is gone. Any leftover filth can be removed using what is known as lemon oil. DO NOT USE THIS ON UNFINISHED MAPLE. Lemon Oil is only to be used on dark woods like rosewood which are unfinished. If in doubt as to whether it is suitable for your guitar, then leave it out. Leave the oil on for a little while before wiping it off with a clean cloth. A lacquer finished fretboard it is to be cleaned with guitar polish. You leave an unfinished fretboard as is, just wipe it with a duster and don't apply any polish or oil to it. At last, polish all your metalwork with a duster and polish. Now Onto Playing And now to the practical guitar work, today we are going to learn a song called Makes Me Happy by Drake Bell. This song introduces us to a new strumming pattern and a new chord. First of all is the new chord. The new chord is a variation of the G major chord, the G7 chord. It is formed as follows
           G7
  0  1   2   3   4   5

e|-|-1-|---|---|---|---|
B|o|---|---|---|---|---|
G|o|---|---|---|---|---|
D|o|---|---|---|---|---|
A|-|---|-2-|---|---|---|
E|-|---|---|-3-|---|---|
It can be difficult at first to play this chord as it stretches the fingers but keep practising it slowly and you will get used to it. This entire song has some quick chord changes so start it slowly first then work your way up in tempo The Rhythm Pattern The rhythm pattern for this song is quite different from our first rhythm pattern. It is as follows
  1  &   2  &   3   &   4   &
  
  D      D      D   U   D   U
|-1------1------0---0---0---0----|
|-0------0------1---1---1---1----|
|-0------0------0---0---0---0----|
|-0------0------2---2---2---2----|
|-2------2------3---3---3---3----|
|-3------3-----------------------|
As we know from previous lessons D=Down U=Up. What is different about this strum pattern is that you change chords during the pettern. As we can see each of the G7 chords lasts for one full beat of the bar. This is a quarter note or crotchet. The strum for the C chord is DUDU. Each of the four C chords are worth one eighth note or quaver. So in music notation the strum pattern is |Crotchet Crotchet / Quaver Quaver Quaver Quaver| This rhythm pattern is maintained throughtout the entire song
Intro
 G7                C             
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Play this around 4 times

Verse
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C               
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
You repeat from the start of the verse again and then at the end of it you add an extra
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then onto this Post Verse
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7        N/C        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then you play the verse again
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C               
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then repeat the Post verse again put leaving out the N/C Then onto this
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                                    
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

                                    C7        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then onto this
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then another bridge
 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                  Am                
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 C                                   C7        
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
Then the song finishes with the original progression fading out
 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |

 G7                C                 G7                C
|  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |  1   &   2   &  /  3   &   4   &  |
So thats the entire song, I reccommend looking it up as it is a very catchy song. The N/C stands for No Chord so you don't play anyhtin when you see that. Also try applying your new strumming pattern to other chords to get you used to changing different chords and as usual ALWAYS start slow. If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment me or email me at jpcarlow@hotmail.com. The next lesson will be up soon too and thanks to everyone who's rated or commented on previous lessons. Peace.
More guitar-guy01 lessons:
+ Babysteps - The Beginners Guide To Guitar. Part 4 For Beginners 07/07/2010
+ Babysteps - The Beginners Guide To Guitar. Part 2 For Beginners 05/12/2009
+ Babysteps - The Beginners Guide To Guitar. Part 1 For Beginners 05/07/2009
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