28
Feb

Pickups and Guitar Wiring

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

I have been playing guitar for about 20 years but it wasn’t until recently that I finally decided to learn the basics of guitar wiring and changing pickups. So I thought I would share with you what I have found to be the most useful sites out there. 

The first thing you will need to acquaint yourself with is soldering. From there you open the door to any conceivable guitar mod, from changing pickups to installing a mid range boost/cut switch to installing a special switch that prevents you from making any mistakes while playing. Ok that last mod is unlikely, but you can do some pretty damn creative mods that will help you unleash your guitar’s full tonal potential.

Soldering:

http://www.kingbass.com/soldering101.html

http://www.theguitarfiles.com/guitarfile504.html

http://www.tdpri.com/wiringsolderTIPs.htm

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2007/01/soldering_tutor_1.html - contains video

http://curiousinventor.com/guides/How_To_Solder - another video

Wiring Diagrams:

http://www.1728.com/guitar.htm

http://duhvoodooman.com/musical/humbucker_mods/humbucker_mods.htm

http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/category/wiringresources - diagrams for practically any pickup configuration

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/menu.php - lots of useful mods

http://www.carvinmuseum.com/pdf/guitarbass/passivekit20-50guitarwiring.pdf - easily adaptable to other pickups

http://www.geocities.jp/dgb_studio/faq_e.htm - this site has an insane number of diagrams; requires some technical knowledge to interpret though as it does not indicate wire colors

http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Electronics.html - info on pickups from a variety of manufacturers

Pickup Replacement Procedure:

http://www.musicplayers.com/tutorials/guitars/2006/0906_Pickups201.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isW6Mxp0uPc

http://www.magnusolsson.com/index_music.html - just click on “Guitar Setup” then scroll down and select the tutorial on changing pickups

Parts:

http://allparts.com/ - this place has pretty much everything you could possibly need; lots of parts stores get their parts from allparts

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/ -

http://www.stewmac.com - lots of parts and useful kits as well

http://www.guitarpartsdepot.com

http://www.bestguitarparts.com/

Technical Help:

http://www.jemsite.com/forums/f35/ - incredibly useful forum on pickups and wiring

http://music-electronics-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9 -  another incredibly useful forum on pickups and guitar tech work in general

Of course, you can always call tech support at Dimarzio, Seymour Duncan, etc and you will find their tech support to be top notch!


Tags: , , , , , , ,
10
Jan

My first video guitar lessons

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

I finally decided to make some video lessons. I posted them to youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7huCJq9Nv9Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsrIE7XeIaU

You’ll want to choose the Watch in HD option that appears below the video to the right.

I am hoping through trial and error to nail down a good format for these lessons and eventually create an instructional guitar DVD. Any feedback is welcome so I can make the best possible product!

later,

brian


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
24
Dec

Gary Moore Playlist

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

Continuing with the theme of blues guitar playlists, here is a playlist of Gary Moore songs. Whereas Robben Ford has a modern approach to blues, using elements from Jazz, Gary Moore’s approach is much more basic and old school, with lots of screaming bends and in general very soulful playing.

To listen to this and my other playlists, you need the Rhapsody service.

Click here to get a free 14-day trial of Rhapsody

Later,

Brian


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
19
Dec

Robben Ford Playlist

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

Lately I have been delving into the blues.  One of the great things about Robben Ford is he can at once stick to basic blues elements while also infusing jazz ideas into his playing.  I created a playlist of Robben Ford songs that I enjoy jamming along with.  In fact, simply jamming along to great players does more for your guitar playing than any instructional book or video could ever do.

To listen to this and my other playlists, you need the Rhapsody service.

Click here to get a free 14-day trial of Rhapsody

Later,

Brian


Tags: , , , , , , ,
29
Oct

Dominant 7 (b9) Chords

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

And here we are again with another guitar lesson blog post on chord fingerings… You may be wondering if there is any rhyme or reason to all these posts. Well, there is. By showing you various fingerings for some useful chord types you will have the chord vocab to play a huge range of songs as well as creative tools to write your own songs. This will become more clear when I make some posts showing how all these chord varieties fit into an overall chord progression. And it will further be clear as you read my article on chord substitution. I know - I am like that coach who has questionable methods. But just tough it out and you will see the payoff!

Dominant 7 chords play a crucial role in songwriting. In a previous blog post I went over Dominant 7 chords and a couple alterations.  This time I want to show you fingerings for one of the most widely used Dominant 7 alterations - the Dominant 7 (b9).

Recall that the Dominant 7 chord comes about from the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the Mixolydian Scale (which is 5th mode of the Major Scale). To make a Dominant 7 (b9), we add a flatted 9 (i.e. flatted 2). So consider a C Mixolydian Scale. It has the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb. So the C Dominant 7 (b9) chord has the notes C, E, G, Bb, Db.

Below are some useful fingerings:

C Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root E
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root E
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root A
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root D
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root D

As is often the case, not all fingerings contain every note. The notes common across all fingerings are E, Bb and Db which are the 3-7-b9 notes. These notes are most responsible for the sound of the Dominant 7 (b9) chord.

Hopefully you have found this somewhat useful!

Later,

Brian


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
27
Oct

Dominant 9 Chords

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

In some previous guitar lessons blog posts I showed you some useful voicings for Major 9th and Minor 9th chords. I wanted to revisit the never ending subject of chords and show you some useful fingerings/voicings for Dominant 9th chords.

The logic of how Dominant 9th chords are formed is similar to that of Major and Minor 9th chords. Again, we represent the notes of a Major Scale as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. A Dominant 7th chord is formed from the notes 1-3-5-b7. The Minor 9th is formed by adding the 9 (i.e. the 2) and so we end up with 1-3-5-b7-9. In the case of C Dominant 9th that results in C-E-G-Bb-D.

Below are some useful fingerings for Dominant 9th chords:

Dominant 9 Chord C Dom9, root E
Dominant 9 Chord C Dom 9, root E
Dominant 9 Chord C Dom 9, root A
Dominant 9 Chord C Dom9, root D

As was the case with the Major and Minor 9th chords, some of these voicings do not contain all the chord notes. The notes common to all voicings are the 1, 3, b7 and 9 which are the C, E, Bb and D.

We will continue adding to our chord voicing vocabulary in future guitar lesson blog posts.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
28
Aug

Minor 9th Chords

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

In the previous guitar lessons blog post I showed you some useful voicings for Major 9th chords. Now let’s look at Minor 9th chord voicings.

The logic of how Minor 9th chords are formed is similar to that of Major 9th chords. Again, we represent the notes of a Major Scale as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. A Minor 7th chord is formed from the notes 1-b3-5-b7. The Minor 9th is formed by adding the 9 (i.e. the 2) and so we end up with 1-b3-5-b7-9. In the case of C Minor 9th that results in C-Eb-G-Bb-D.

Below are some useful fingerings for Minor 9th chords:

C Min9 Chord C Min9, root low E
C Min9 Chord C Min9, root low E
C Min9 Chord C Min9, root A
C Min9 Chord C Min9, root D
C Min9 Chord C Min9, root D
C Min9 Chord C Min9, root D

As was the case with the Major 9th chords, some of these voicings do not contain all the chord notes. The notes common to all voicings are the b3, b7 and 9 which are the Eb, Bb and D.

We will continue adding to our chord voicing vocabulary in future guitar lesson blog posts.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
28
Aug

Major 9th Chords

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

In previous guitar lesson blog posts I went over the most common Diatonic chord types and also showed you how to alter those basic chords to create aptly named altered chords. Now I want to show you some additional chords that might not be so common in mainstream music but are commonly found in Jazz.

In this guitar lesson post I will show you three useful voicings (i.e. fingerings) for the Major 9th chord. The Major 9th chord is formed by adding the 9 to the Major 7th chord. So if you represent a Major Scale as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 then the Major 7th chord is formed from the notes 1-3-5-7. You then add the 9 (which is same note as the 2) to end up with 1-3-5-7-9.

In the case of C Major that results in the notes C-E-G-B-D.

Consider the below voicings:

C Maj9 Chord C Maj9, root low E
C Maj9 Chord C Maj9, root A
C Maj9 Chord C Maj9, root D
C Maj9 Chord C Maj9, root D
C Maj9 Chord C Maj9, root D

With chords that contain so many notes it is not necessary for the chord voicing to contain all the notes. You will notice in the above diagrams that none of the voicings contain all the notes except for the voicing with the root on the low E string. The important notes that account for the Major 9th sound are the 3,7 and 9 notes which in the case of C Maj9 are E, D and B.

Also note that with the last two D string root voicings the C is implied. The fingerings do not actually contain the C, but the voicings are nonetheless a C Maj9.

We will take a similar look at other useful chord voicings in upcoming guitar lesson posts.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
29
Jun

Minor Blues

Posted by Brian Huether | 2 Comments

One of the greatest qualities of the blues is the fact that so much can be expressed with just one simple scale - the Minor Pentatonic Scale. But if you are like me, you are always looking for new forms of expression on the guitar.

 Let’s consider Minor Blues. You may be familiar with the standard 12 bar blues chord progression. In this guitar lesson, we will consider the Minor Blues chord progression. One of the most common Minor Blues keys is D Minor. The D Minor Blues 12 bar blues progression is

| Dm7 | Dm7 | Dm7 | Dm7 | Gm7 | Gm7 |

| Dm7 | Dm7 | A7  | A7  | Dm7 | Dm7 |

Now, one could very well solo over these chords strictly with the D Minor Pentatonic Scale. But unless you want to sound like thousands of other blues players, you can readily expand your horizons.

Let’s consider the 3 chords in the above progression. Over the Dm7, you can clearly solo using the D Minor Pentatonic Scale. When it comes time for the change to Gm7, you will find that the G Dorian Scale allows you further freedom of expression than otherwise possible with the plain old D Minor Pentatonic Scale.

Now let’s consider the  A Dom7 chord. You can solo over this chord using D Pentatonic Minor, but if you want a greater degree of musical exploration, then experiment with the A Mixolydian b6 scale.

There is some theory behind why this scale makes sense. I won’t get into the theory because I really want you to use your ears. But suffice it to say that in Minor keys, the plain old Mixolydian Scale isn’t as effective as a modified Mixolydian Scale. The Mixolydian b6 Scale comes about when analyzing the Jazz Melodic Minor modes. But don’t worry about that - just experiment with the the scale and see how it sounds over the Dom7 chord of a Minor Blues progression.

Below is some tab showing the 3 scales that I have mentioned: D Minor Pentatonic, G Dorian and A Mixolydian b6.

Minor Blues

One benefit of the above scale shapes is that they are all played at the 12th fret position.  Of course, I always recommend using the entire fretboard and avoiding so-called boxes, but the above shapes definitely give you a starting point from which to launch your creativity.

I recommend you record the D Minor Blues chord progression and experiment with these scales. In the end, I think you will have discovered some new forms of expression in a musical genre that all too often is characterized by cliche playing.

Later,

Brian


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
21
Jun

Never ending Arpeggio Studies

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

I have written many guitar lessons on arpeggios. There is really no limit to arpeggio studies and so with that in mind, here is yet another guitar lesson on arpeggios.

In previous posts I went over various shapes for so-called 7th arpeggios with the root on the D string. Hopefully by now you recall that there are 4 basic 7th chord/arpeggio types (in Diatonic Harmony, that is). These types are Maj7, Min7, Dom7 and Min7b5.

Below is some tab showing each of these arpeggio types with the root on the A string:

7th Arpeggios

Notice how each shape follows a similar pattern (two notes on the A string, one note on the D string, two notes on the G string, one note on the B string and two notes on the E string).

In an upcoming guitar lesson, we will use concepts from this guitar lesson as well as previous guitar lessons to build melodic progressions using 7th arpeggios.

Later,

Brian


Tags: , , , , , , ,
Sign up for my newsletter

Close
E-mail It