Joined: 07/06/00
Posts: 75
Hello all. I'm new here although I've been visiting guitartricks for a while. Allow me to introduce myself, if anyone cares. I'm a (almost) 20 year old guy from Athens, GA (home of R.E.M and Widespread Panic) who loves music and playing guitar. I've been seriously interested in music for about a year and a half, ever since I first got into classic rock. I picked up CDs by The Doors, and The Rolling Stones, then later got into Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Cream, etc. By way of classic rock, I got into the blues and I now listen to and love such artists as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, etc. My love for music inspired me to pick up a guitar and last August I did just that. I borrowed a friend's electric bass and enjoyed playing so much that I ended up buying it from him. I later borrowed an electric guitar of his and began learning to play guitar (with a lot of help from online guitar tabs). Just a few months ago I bought a guitar of my own. An Ibanez PF5NT 6-string acoustic which is now my prized possession. I have only been playing guitar seriously for about three months, though I've been playing bass for about 10 months. I'm doing well, I think, I'm learning chords and blues scales and fingerstyle techniques. I think I'm making good progress for a self-taught newbie. Now that I've introudced myself, I just have a couple of questions that have been bugging me:

1. What is a good way to get used to playing with more than two fingers on the fretboard? I have the bad habit of using my index and middle fingers only for fretting. Is this common among beginning guitar players?

2. There is a guitar sound/effect that Jimi Hendrix and SRV use a lot that I have no idea what it's called or how it's achieved. I don't know how to describe it except that it sounds sort of like the strings are being plucked? The notes are short are muted-sounding. SRV uses it in Lenny, and Blues At Sunrise (with Albert King). The part where Albert tells Stevie "You gotta play it like Jimi played it" or something like that. Then Stevie does his little lick and Albert goes "Do that again. I like that."
Hendrix uses it in the rhythm guitar part on One Rainy Wish. Also, I think the Pearl Jam song Yellow Ledbetter has it, although I haven't heard that in a long time. I hope somebody knows what I'm talking about. I'm sorry I can't describe it better. Is this guitar sound a playing technique, or is it achieved with some sort of effects pedal? Is it just the sound of plucked strings on an electric (slap-picking I think it's called)?

3. Last question, I swear: What is the deal with 12-string guitars? What's the advantage? I know that 12-string electrics give you that jangly Byrds sound, but what about 12-string acoustics? Both Jimi and SRV used them on their only-known recorded acoustic tracks (Hear My Train a-Comin' and Life By The Drop, respectively). Why did they choose 12-string acoustics over regular 6-string? Just curious.

Thanks to all who took the time to answer my questions. I apologize for the length of this post.

[This message has been edited by BarryS (edited 07-06-2000).]
# 1
Senior Member
Joined: 06/08/00
Posts: 360
Welcome aboard Barry! You've picked the best guitar forum on the net to join. Although I couldn't really tell what you're question was as to the stevie and jimi sound, I think what you're describing is an upwards rake, which you do by muting the strings with your left hand and running along the strings from top to bottom (high e, b, g, d, a, low e). Sorry if I couldn't help with the description, but I'm sure one of the hosts here will be able to write out some examples with tab if they have time. Good luck with your playing bro.

BadHorsie, holdin' it down like Gravity!
Ain't nothin' but a Gear thang, baby!
# 2
Kevin Taylor
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 03/05/00
Posts: 4,722
Peace & Grooviness.
I can partially answer your questions. I'm not sure about the second one cause I've never listened to Hendrix or SRV other than a quick glance of em on the tv once in awhile.
Question 1) The best way to improve on anything on the guitar is practice your butt off the way you feel most comfortable. When you've been playing awhile you get to recognize how you learn stuff the best for your own way of doing things.. Like, I'll usually sit down and work on a new scale or whatever by going over it slowly as much as possible then leaving it stewing in my brain for an hour or so then going back at it again, gradually speeding it up. I just keep following that routing... pick it up, play till I can't handle it anymore, go sit down and do something else, come back to it and try again. The first few times you wonder how the heck you're ever going to play it, then after about 10 tries it starts to kick in. After a couple of days you feel comfortable and after a week it's like second nature and you don't even have to concentrate on it anymore. Find whatever technique works for you and just keep at it. Find some scale excercises that force you to use all your fingers.
Question 3) A 12 string is almost identical to a 6 string ie, it's played the same way, cept each string is doubled up (3rd to 6th strings are double up an octave apart, 1 and 2 are just 2 of the same string) The main reason for a 12 string is the unique sound. For an example of fingerpicking one Supertramp -Even in the Quietest Moments is the only one I can think of off the top of my head... I think the Beatles Hard Days Night uses one in the lead too.

[This message has been edited by schmange (edited 07-07-2000).]
# 3
Joined: 03/29/00
Posts: 245
1.) do a exercise like 1-2-3-4 on all strings using your index ob one middle on two ring on three and pinky on three. that's the way i got used to using all my fingers.

3.)It gives it a warm sound too.

yes i skipped two
"I need a girl who's as hot as my guitar."
# 4