Thanks to Bob (Gman) 
<A HREF="http://www.nb.net/~alanb/index.htm"Guitar Man Acoustic Guitar Tips</A>

Guitar Man Acoustic Guitar Tips

I have found that tuning my guitar low to high E F# B E B E (this covers two octaves) provides me not only with a unique sound but I can improvise on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th strings and learn songs that I could not learn using the conventional tuning. You may want to capo up a couple of frets to make it sound more natural.




I've been plagued with a problem with my 12 string guitar for many years that even a very experienced luthier couldn't help me with. Because of the inherent design of most acoustic 12 string guitars, there is only one piece of bone for the saddle so on the bass string, 11th (lowest 'E'), the intonation is very poor, usually sharp. The repair was to bevel the saddle back to help but it didn't work very well. The only way to properly correct this was a very costly one which would probably void the lifetime warranty of the guitar. Replacing the bridge and saddle was not an option for me so I had to correct the problem without cutting or drilling anything. What I did was lay a short cylindrical object behind the saddle (something hard like bone or metal) to increase the effective length of the string. The diameter of this object has to be large enough so the string will not touch the saddle anymore. After this, I adjusted the intonation almost perfectly by gradually filing away at one side of the cylinder and retrying it until the height just cleared the top of the saddle.


For anyone who notices that your strings wear out prematurely because maybe you have sweaty hands or if you just want your strings to last longer, I've noticed that washing and drying my hands thoroughly before playing really lengthens the life of my strings.


Tablature has 6 staffs, 1 for each string on the guitar. Each staff should either have a dash or a number on it. If there is a dash, you play nothing on that string. If there is a number, you should play the corresponding fret number. To the right is an example of a 'G' chord, 'C' chord, and an 'Am' chord. Notice the 'G' chord. The 3 on the top should be played on the HIGH-E string. The 3 on the bottom should be played on the LOW-E string. Because all 6 listed are stacked on top of each other, they should all be played at once. The same thing applies to the 'C' and 'Am' chords. Notice the dashes on the LOW-E string. That means you don't play this string.

Donated by: Riffhead (aka my son)

MORE ADVANCED STUFF! (sample song)

E------[2]------------- -------------------- B-------5---2---5----- -------------------- G--6---4---2---4----- -2---2---4---4---- D--7---2---4---2----- -2---0---5---2---- A--7---x---4---2----- -0---0---5---2---- E--5---4---2---0----- -x---1---3---0----

This is how the strings are represented in tablature, the thickest string (low E) is the bottom line of the six line staff.

1st string - High E -- 2nd string B -- 3rd string G -- 4th string D -- 5th string A -- 6th string - Low E --

Think of each vertical line as notes that are played together, for example...

----- ----- ----- ----- --3-- This is the third fret on the fifth string. -----

----- ----- --0-- This is the 3rd string played open. ----- ----- -----

--15-- --15-- 1st string, 15th fret, 2nd string, 15th fret, ------- played together. ------- ------- -------

So on your fretboard the frets are numbered as so...



-----------+ head- | 1st 2nd 3rd etc. stock E +-----+-----+-----+ B |-----|-----|-----| G |-----|-----|-----| D |-----|-----|-----| A |-----|-----|-----| E +-----+-----+-----+(low E) | -----------+

I will show you for each chord of your sample song exactly what to do...



************** * 1ST CHORD * **************

Now consider your index finger = finger #1 middle finger = finger #2 ring finger = finger #3 pinky finger = finger #4

I will mark with X's on the fretboard where to put your fingers and the number of the finger I recommend you use next to the X



E----- B----- G--6-- D--7-- A--7-- E--5--

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--X2-|-----|----- D |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--X4-|----- A |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|--X3-|----- E +-----+-----+-----+-----+--X1-+-----+-----+-----(low E)



Once your fingers are in these positions, play it all in one strum, being careful not to strum the 1st and 2nd strings.



************* * 2ND CHORD * *************

--[2]-- ---5--- ---4--- ---2--- ---x--- ---4---



1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-[X]-+-----+-----+-----+------+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|--X4-|------|-----|----- G |-----|-----|-----|--X3-|-----|------|-----|----- D |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|------|-----|----- A |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|------|-----|----- E +-----+-----+-----+--X2-+-----+------+-----+-----(low E)



Now, this is very difficult to play. the [ ] brackets around a note mean that the note is optional and only adds to the fullness of the sound. Since in this case it is extremely difficult to play this note , we will ignore it. There are other ways of playing this than the finger positions I gave you, feel free to try it another way if this is too hard. In chords like this, it's ok for some of the notes to sound muted, you'll just have to experiment and see what works for you. Be careful not to play the 1st string unless you choose to play the bracketed note.

************* * 3RD CHORD * *************

----- --2-- --2-- --4-- --4-- --2--



1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th> E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- D |-----|-----|-----|--X4-|-----|-----|-----|----- A |-----|-----|-----|--X3-|-----|-----|-----|----- E +-----+--X1-+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----(low E)



In this chord, bar the 2nd fret with your index finger (lay it across all the strings and push down hard). Then put your 3rd and 4th fingers as shown. This sort of chord may seem hard at first but with practice will be very easy to play. Be careful not to strum the 1st string.

************* * 4TH CHORD * *************

----- --5-- --4-- --2-- --2-- --0--

Note: I have denoted playing an open sting by making it all 0's.



1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|--X4-|-----|-----|----- G |-----|-----|-----|--X3-|-----|-----|-----|----- D |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- A |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- E +00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000(low E)



Use your index finger to bar the 2nd fret, put your other fingers where shown, play the 6th string open, and be careful not to strum the 1st string.

************* * 5TH CHORD * *************

----- ----- --2-- --2-- --0-- --x--



1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|--X2-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- D |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- A |00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000 E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----(low E)



Note: You don't have to use these fingers for this chord but it will make the transtition to the next chord a little easier. Place your fingers where shown and be careful not to strum the 1st and 2nd strings. Since the 6th string is shown to be muted, you can either not play the 6th string, or rest your thumb on the string without pushing down to create the desired muted sound.

************* * 6TH CHORD * *************

----- ----- --2-- --0-- --0-- --1--

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|--X2-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- D |00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000 A |00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000|00000 E +--X1-+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----(low E)

Put your fingers where shown and be careful not to strum the 1st and 2nd strings. Play the 4th and 5th strings open.

************* * 7TH CHORD * *************

----- ----- --4-- --5-- --5-- --3--

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|-----|-----|--X2-|-----|-----|-----|----- D |-----|-----|-----|-----|--X4-|-----|-----|----- A |-----|-----|-----|-----|--X3-|-----|-----|----- E +-----+-----+--X1-+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----(low E)

This is the exact same hand position as the first chord of the sample, only now it starts on the 3rd fret indtead of the 5th.

************* * 8TH CHORD * *************

----- ----- --4-- --2-- --2-- --0--

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th E +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----- B |-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- G |-----|-----|-----|--X3-|-----|-----|-----|----- D |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- A |-----|--X1-|-----|-----|-----|-----|-----|----- E +00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000+00000 (low E)

The easiest way I feel to play this is to bar the 2nd fret with the index finger, and put the other finger where shown. You can do it differently if more comfortable. Play the 6th string open and be careful not to strum the 1st and 2nd strings.

This should help you get started, and remember this takes alot of practice to do good, especially at changing between chords smoothly so keep working at it if it seems to hard because it will get easier.


Remove some but not all of the tension from the strings, clean & polish the guitar, and then put a little lemon oil on the fret board. Put the guitar in its case and store it where it won't get too warm, cold, or humid and won't get bumped around. A good place is an interior closet.


When changing guitar strings, it is best to change them one at a time starting with the thickest. This keeps the tension on the instrument and you will have less trouble getting it in tune because the guitar doesn't have to stabilize again.



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