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A Guide for Beginning Musicians

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
A Beginning Musician
Beginning Musicians - Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

Maggie’s first lesson was how to tune the guitar. A tuner had come with the guitar, so she thought it was no big deal.

She worked through the lesson and got it perfectly in tune according to the tuner, Something went wrong….

As with any journey, whether it’s cross-country, an international trip, or a trek into the wonderful world of music, you need to set your goals then create a plan to achieve them. 

You may think that planning just to play an instrument isn’t important, but it is. Benjamin Franklin said: “Failing to plan is planning to fail”

One of the major problems people have with learning an instrument, but especially guitars, is patience. All of the books, videos, and online lessons emphasize taking it slow and thoroughly learn the basics to establish good guitar techniques.

If You Want Something Bad Enough...

We all have things we think we’d like to do or have. We set goals and sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t, and often, it doesn’t really matter. And if a goal does come to pass it may not be life-changing… 

Learn How to Play a Musical Instrument

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument or do something so bad you could feel it? Think back to when you first had the desire to play a guitar or piano or another instrument. Taking a guitar off the rack… It was heavier than he had imagined…

Practice Makes Progress; Not Perfect

Learning something new is often fraught with frustration. If you’ve ever tried to learn how to play an instrument like the guitar or piano, you have experienced frustration when you practice but don’t seem to make any progress… 

Losing Motivation To Practice

Do you seem to be losing motivation to practice your guitar? In your guitar practice, if you are trying to practice too many things, each item gets less and less of your attention. Then, it’s not long before you have no motivation to practice the guitar or any other instrument.

How To Practice Guitar

Are you beginning to lose motivation because it is so hard? Did you know that everyone faces the same challenge? When we are learning something new it takes time, it’s often frustrating. When we get frustrated it often takes longer to become the guitar player that you’ve been dreaming about.

Think back to when you first had the desire to play. Remember when you went to the music store for the first time. You picked up a guitar off the rack. It was a little heavier than you had imagined.

You may have been really young, maybe 4 or 5, or maybe closer to 10, like I was. Or have just retired and want something to do during your golden years. No matter your age. A new adventure is about to begin, like moving to a new city with places to explore, new experiences to enjoy. Your new adventure as a guitarist is about to begin.

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. But, why do we keep making that same mistake over and over again?
It’s become a habit.

As Dr. Caroline Leaf stated in her podcast “Why We Keep Making The Same Mistakes + Tips to Break Bad Habits,” we keep making the same mistakes because we are not learning from our mistakes. She goes on to say that our minds were designed to self-regulate our thoughts. It is up to each individual to observe, analyze, and change thoughts that are not beneficial.

All Music Things Smart Practice

Having problems practicing?

The answer is really very simple. It’s not just how long you practice. Or how hard you practice. Or even what you practice. It’s how you practice. Vince Lombardi said it best, ”Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” TrueFire’s Director of Education, Jeff Scheetz calls it Smart Practice and he’s designed a step-by-step guitar practice routine just for guitarists.

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Affiliate Disclosure

As a participant in the eBay Partner Network, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites. You may have noticed that AllMusicThings.com is quite a clean website – there are no banner adverts and no annoying pop-ups. We do this to keep the user experience the best it can possibly be. Nobody likes to read an article, only for a pop-up to interrupt them as soon as they scroll down the page. So how do we manage to sustain ourselves? Our main source of revenue is affiliate advertising. We are part of multiple affiliate advertising programs, which allow us to earn advertising fees by linking to certain websites – such as EBAY (not limited to only EBAY). The links you click to check the price of a guitar or any other product will send you to a reputable seller, allowing you to compare and choose the best deal for you. If you purchase a product through one of the links, we are rewarded with a small commission – at no extra cost to you (you can call it a referral fee). By clicking these links and purchasing a guitar, lesson or other items, you help us continue to provide you with reviews, tips, and buyer’s guides. We only recommend the products we believe in and we never receive compensation for endorsing specific gear (as in, we do not accept sponsored posts of any kind). A piece of gear that we really like and recommend may not be suitable at all for your skill level and brand aspirations. So always be sure to do your own due diligence before you make any purchase. AllMusicThings.com is a participant in the eBay Partner Network, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to EBAY.com, and any other websites that may or may not be affiliated with eBay Partner Network.  

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Little Martin LX1R and LX1RE

The Little Martin Acoustic Guitar, LX1R, and LX1RE, their smallest travel guitar, are big on tone, quality, and versatility. If you’re looking for a quality acoustic guitar for a child or an adult with small hands, the Martin LX1 should be at the top of your list. It is the best in terms of quality, sound, and feel. For an authentic Made in Mexico Martin, it is surprisingly affordable.

Body & Neck

The LX1R has a smaller scale length, 23 inches, which is actually about two inches shorter. That means the frets are closer together, perfect for the smaller hand. The smaller size also makes this guitar perfect for travel.
The new LX1R with a hand-rubbed solid Sitka Spruce top and mahogany high-pressure laminate back and sides features the same great sound you will find in the top-of-the-line Martins.
The neck is made of rust birch laminate creating a very interesting pattern and feel. Richlite fingerboard and bridge make this little guitar sturdy for travel under different weather conditions.
This newest addition to the Martin family is built with the same quality Martin craftsmanship with an emphasis on producing a great sound in a small guitar, not like some of the student guitars on the market.

Hardware

These LX1R and LX1RE Little Martins are strictly acoustic with no electronics. See below for more on the LX1RE. Both Little Martins feature a set of quality Martin-sealed chrome tuners. As with the other Martin tuners, they are smooth and easy to use while holding their tuning well.
You will also find that it comes equipped with a TUSQ nut and compensated saddle, a Richlite bridge, and strung with a set of Martin SP strings.

Sound

The Little Martin is durable, easy to play, and stays in tune. You might ask about the sound. Truthfully, it doesn’t have the full-rich sound of the Martin dreadnoughts, but it wasn’t designed to. However, it’s a perfect “pick up and play” guitar that you can take anywhere. It’s great for practice, jamming at home, taking on the road, or around a campfire.
While the Little Martin is Martin’s smallest guitar, it sounds well-balanced in tone and has that satisfying warmth that you’ve learned to count on from a quality built Martin.

LX1RE, The Electric Model

You get the same compact and affordability of the LX1R, but with the addition of a Fishman Sonitone pickup mic system, which is great for plugging in to quickly amplify your sound.

Conclusion

Straight out of the box, the Little Martin comes with a padded gigbag made of a tough ballistic cloth exterior, plush interior, backpack straps, and a front zipper compartment and fits over the guitar like a glove.

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The Martin D-16E Acoustic-Electric guitar, made in Nazareth, PA, not in Mexico, is one of the more popular body styles.  It’s made from all solid tonewood. and contains no laminates. It also uses all-steel rather than nylon strings.

The Martin D-16E, like many of Martin’s other models, is manufactured with a streamlined process that helps keep the cost down and the value up. 

This Martin 16 Series Dreadnought is crafted with satin-finished ovangkol back and sides which helps with the resonant sound giving deep bass and rich overtones. Ovangkol is a special wood that can vary both in color and grain complexity giving a unique look. This model includes a mahogany burst Sitka spruce gloss top for balanced tone and projection and a high-performance neck taper for ease of playability up and down the fretboard. 

The D-16E comes with Fishman Matrix VT Enhance NT2 electronics installed. Strung with Authentic Acoustic Lifespan® 2.0 light gauge strings and soft-shell case. This system consists of an undersaddle Acoustic Matrix pickup, a soundboard transducer attached to the bridge plate. It has controls for volume, tone, and blend inside the soundhole.

The shallower body makes playing more comfortable, especially for the right arm and shoulder.

Unless a comparison was performed with the shallower body dreadnought compared to a full dreadnought, it is difficult to determine if there is any tonal difference. 

When plugged into the amp, the voice on the D-16E appears to deliver the full dreadnought sound.

As with most of the Martin 16 Series, the D-16E is a great value. You are paying for great materials and great sound whether acoustic or electric. 

If you’re looking for a dreadnought with great sound and comfort, then you owe it to yourself to check out the Martin D-16E. 

If you aren’t sure about the shallow body dreadnought check out other acoustic guitars. 

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Martin Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Acoustic Guitars: Image by endri yana yana from Pixabay

Martin Acoustic Guitars

C.F. Martin & Co.® a leader in Acoustic Guitars Worldwide has been inspiring musicians for nearly two centuries with superior quality guitars and strings. Martin’s quality in their craftsmanship and tone keep Martin guitars the choice of many guitarists. Martin products are used in all music genres including pop culture, concerts, and even television and movie flicks.

Martin have been chosen by Musicians for years because of their craftsmanship and ton quality. Martin maintains an excellent, unwavering commitment to the quality of their products and their commitment to environmentally responsible in production practices.

Martin’s ingenuity in creating innovative features for their guitars continues to drive the market forward with a number of their innovations such as the X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar, and therefore the “Dreadnought” large-sized guitar.

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Instruments

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Our Goal Is To Give Away  Information That Will Help The Beginning Musicians Get Started On Their Journey.

10 Mistakes Beginning Musicians Make


Are you wondering why you don’t seem to be making any progress with your guitar playing? You are taking guitar lessons, you practice a lot and you’ve been trying to improve but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Are you tired of seeing your friends making faster progress on the guitar than you are, even though they don’t seem to have any more ‘natural talent’ or practice time than you do? Are you becoming very frustrated because you are spending so much time, energy, and money into praying the guitar, but not seeming to make any progress?

Chances are you are probably standing in your own way…

Latest Blog Posts – Best Guitars for Beginners/Children

Listen to Larry's Songs

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Thinking back to when I was about nine years old. I would watch guitar players wishing I had a guitar. I thought if I asked my mom, I might have a chance of getting one.

As I watched The Green Valley Mountain Boys, a local TV show starring REM WALL and several others who worked at the Gibson factory down the street in Kalamazoo, I said, “Mom, mom, come here. Come see Billy. Isn’t he good?”

“He’s just a kid,” she said. “He can’t be much older than you.”

“See. That’s why I need a guitar. I’m behind already. Could I get one for Christmas?”

She paused, “It’s only January. It’s a long time until Christmas. But, I saw a guitar in the second-hand store. Stop in and see how much it is.”

I looked at the clock on the wall… 4:00 pm. I had 30 minutes to get there. I ran for the door, hopped on my bike, headed for the store. I pulled up in front, dropped my bike, and reached for the doorknob just as the lady approached with a key in her hand.

I stepped inside.

“We’re closing,” she said.

“Please, do you still have the guitar?”

“Yes, come on in. I’ll show it to you.”

I picked it up, cradling it in my arms like I had seen others do, and started to strum.

“It’s really out of tune,” the lady said.

I didn’t care. I kept strumming.

“Young man, young man.”

I looked up.

“If you want to play it, you’ll have to buy it. It’s $5.00”

I put it down and reached into my pocket and pulled out $2.75. “This is what I’ve got.”

“Well, you need $2.25 more. But this will hold it until you get the rest,” she said scrapping the coins into the drawer.

“What do you mean, hold it?”

“I won’t sell it to anyone else. Bring me the rest of the money and it’s yours.”

“Thank you,” I said running out the door. I didn’t think to give her my name.

“Mom, mom,” I said running in the backdoor. “Do you have $2.25? She put the guitar on hold. All I need is $2.25. Please, mom.”

“Well, I’ll give you $.50 on Saturday if you’ll do the dishes every night for the next 5 days.”

I looked at the floor shuffling my feet. I would still need $1.75. Tears began to form in my eyes.

“Go ask the neighbors if you can mow their yards or help with something else. You can earn the rest,” she said. “Check at school. Mr. Allen might have something you could do in the music room.”

I managed to get several jobs lined up. I worked hard to get the rest of the money. Mr. Allen, the music teacher, seemed so impressed that I would work to earn the money that he gave me a little extra. He even told me to bring the guitar to him and he’d help me. It took me four weeks to earn the rest of the money.

The day finally came. I didn’t ride my bike to school because I was going straight to the second-hand store to get my guitar.

I walked in and laid the money on the counter.

“Very good, I knew you’d come back with the money,” she said walking into the back room reappearing with my guitar.

She handed it to me. I brushed off the dust and cradled it in my arms. It was mine.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It didn’t come with a case.”

But, I didn’t really hear her. I didn’t even notice the long walk home. I had it. I had my guitar. I had borrowed a guitar music book from the library. It was on my bed waiting for us. The old upright piano in the dining room was in tune enough to tune the guitar like the book said, I thought.

I went straight to my room. I didn’t want to see any of my brothers or sisters. I wanted to be alone with my guitar. I sat on the bed with it in my lap and opened the music book to the first song. I placed my fingers on the strings as the book showed. I went from one fingering pattern to the next until my mother called bedtime. I had played through dinner and didn’t even notice.

“I look at your fingers,” she said as she walked into my room. “They’re bleeding.”

I stopped and looked down. “Mom, they’re not bleeding, they’re just red when I held the strings down.”  I hadn’t even noticed the welts on my fingertips from the guitar strings.

I carried it to school the next day where it waited in my locker.

After school, I took it to Mr. Allen. I waited until he was finished with another student then walked up to him handing him my guitar.

Image by MegLearner from Pixabay“You got it, alright. Let me see it,” he said almost as excited as I had been. As he turned it every which way looking at it, his excitement seemed to fade finally saying, “You can learn the fingering on this guitar, but it’s not going to be good for much else. See this,” he said running his finger around the bottom side of the body of the guitar. “This crack can’t be fixed. It will never really sound very good. I should be able to tune, but it will be hard to play. Let me see your left hand. See your fingertips? That’s because it is made with the strings too high off the fretboard.”

Mr. Allen tuned it and showed me how to tune the first string then tune the other five by tuning the next string to the one you just tuned.

My walk home took a little longer than usual as I thought about my guitar. I wasn’t going to give up. I just couldn’t. Over the next few months, I continued to work as hard as I had the first day. I was going to learn how to play and that was that! I learned about seven chords and I had a good rhythm in my strumming. I took my guitar to YMCA summer camp and was able to play some campfire songs.

Christmas morning finally arrived. I stumbled out to the living room with the rest of the family. I hadn’t seen anything under the tree with my name on it. As I sat on the floor watching the other kids open presents my mom walked out with a brand new guitar case containing a new Gibson LG-1 Sunburst Acoustic Guitar. I was in heaven!

“I know you were disappointed that there wasn’t a present for you under the tree, but I couldn’t wrap this. Will this do?” she said handing the guitar case to me.

Don’t get stuck with an old clunker as I did. Find out how to get your Best-First-Guitar.

by Dena Warfield.

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