60 Reasons Why You Should Play Guitar

60 Reasons Why You Should Play Guitar

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60 Reasons Why You Should Play Guitar

Let’s start off our list with 5 reasons why you shouldn’t play any other instrument than the guitar:

  1. Unless you have a 7” tongue, no one wants to date the bass player.
  2. No one throws underwear at the drummer.
  3. Good luck lugging around the piano on your next vacation.
  4. Because listening to a sax is like having a root canal.
  5. Synthesizers went out with the mullet.

Okay before you start a lynch mob, we’re just messing around with our fellow musicians! So put down your pitch forks and blow out your torches. We love and appreciate all forms of music.

So why should you play guitar?

If you think you’re the bomb for finishing Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire and Flames” in Guitar Hero, you’ll be a guitar god if you can play it live on a real guitar!

 

Here are a 55 more reasons why you should play a guitar:

 

  1. Flex your creativity muscles.
  2. Open up sonic possibilities; can you make a piano sound like an elephant?
  3. Write music on your bed.
  4. Play music for your loved one.
  5. Helps you work on your singing.
  6. Chill on the beach.
  7. Learn and appreciate different styles of music.
  8. Best way to start the day.
  9. Best way to end the evening.
  10. Live “The Dream” to be in a band.
  11. Chances are the band will be named after you!
  12. Everyone looks forward to your solo.

 

The next 10 reasons are backed by scientific research!

 

  1. Those guitar faces? That’s because guitar releases dopamine; the same hormone released during sex.
  2. Reduces stress.
  3. Reduces chronic pain.
  4. Makes you smarter!
  5. Strengthens your heart!
  6. Become more attractive to the opposite sex.
  7. People who learned music at an early age became rich later in life!
  8. Sharpens memory.
  9. Connect with your emotions.
  10. Boost your confidence.
  11. Increase the “Cool Factor”.
  12. Make new friends.
  13. Be less agitated.
  14. Ever wonder why guitar players like Joe Perry, Nuno Bettencourt and Slash are slim? Instead of eating junk food, play guitar and get healthy!
  15. Develop coordination and agility.
  16. Strengthen your hands and fingers.
  17. It’s an affordable instrument.
  18. You can take it wherever you want to go.
  19. Challenge your ability to play different types of guitar; acoustic, electric, 12-string, ukulele, Dobro and the banjo.
  20. Become a music teacher.
  21. Become more well- rounded.
  22. Impress the heck out of everyone!
  23. Create sonic works of art.
  24. Make life more exciting.
  25. Develop positive values like dedication, commitment and patience.
  26. Feel more accomplished.
  27. Improve your social life.
  28. Live the rock and roll lifestyle!
  29. Record your own compositions.
  30. Be able to play the music of your idols.
  31. Become more productive.
  32. Give yourself a chance of having a financially rewarding career.
  33. Get to travel more often.
  34. Heal your troubles through the power of music.
  35. Inspire other people.
  36. Have more memorable family reunions.
  37. Collecting guitars is a fantastic hobby.
  38. Express yourself through music.
  39. Become a story teller.
  40. Have a good reason to grow your hair.
  41. Experience, sing and play the blues.
  42. Break the Guinness Record for “Fastest Guitarist in the World”.
  43. Help others get through problems or tough times.

 

Let’s end the list with a bonus: the most important reason to play guitar is… to be happy!

 

Learning how to play guitar comes with its own set of challenges. But once you start getting your groove on, it becomes fun and highly entertaining.

 

Guitar playing is one of those activities where every single day you are 100% sure of accomplishing something. Whether it’s the first verse of your favorite song, the first section of a difficult solo, a new technique or another lick in your arsenal, you will always move forward and get better.

 

When you play guitar, it will make you believe that nothing is impossible! The more you practice, the sooner you will develop ways of breaking down your favorite songs and learning them on your own.

 

If you felt great learning “Tom Dooley”, wait until you figure out Estas Tonne’s “The Song of the Golden Dragon”.

 

You’ll be in cloud 9!

 

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Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00

Where can I buy guitars in Singapore?

Where can I buy guitars in Singapore?

Where can i buy guitars in singapore?

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Where can i buy guitars in singapore?

Finding a guitar is an easy task. Finding the right one is a challenge.
My advice is, to comb through a few showrooms with a wide range of guitars in order to find the perfect one.
Here are the places you could check out:

Swee Lee

Swee Lee
Swee Lee is the leading musical instruments distributor and retailer. They have a wide array of musical instruments, pro-audio equipment and customised audio and video solutions.
They have many showrooms located in various parts of Singapore and an online store. https://www.sweelee.com.sg

BRAS BASAH SHOWROOM
#03-27/29 Bras Basah Complex
231 Bain Street S180231
Mon-Sat: 10.30am- 7.30pm
Sun & PH: 12.30pm – 6.30pm
Tel: +65 6336 7886

STAR VISTA LIFESTYLE STORE
#01-04/05 The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green S138617
Mon-Sat: 10.00am- 10.00pm
Sun & PH: 10.00am – 10.00pm
Tel: +65 6334 7703
KATONG I12 LIFESTYLE STORE
#04-04/05 Katong 112 Mall
112 East Coast Road S428802
Mon-Sat: 10.00am- 10.00pm
Sun & PH: 10.00am – 10.00pm
Tel: +65 6444 3235
PENINSULA SHOWROOM
#B1-14 Peninsula Shopping Complex
3 Coleman Street S179804
Mon-Sat: 10.30am- 7.00pm
Sun & PH: 12.30pm – 6.30pm
Tel: +65 6333 4810
Specialises in Guitars and Effects
SIM LIM SHOWROOM
#01-02 Sim Lim Square
1 Rochor Canal Road S188504
Mon-Sat: 11.00am- 7.00pm
Sun & PH: Closed
Tel: +65 6336 0559
Specialises in Pro-Audio
BUKIT TIMAH BOUTIQUE
142 Bukit Timah Road
S229842
By Appointment Only
Tel: +65 8481 8000
byappointmentonly@sweelee.com.sg

SV Guitars

SV Guitars
Started in 2006 as a humble computer and musical instrument store, SV Guitars brought a paradigm shift to the music stores in Singapore when it introduced new and alternative brands of well-crafted musical products to the market

Where to find them:
Peninsula Shopping Centre
3 Coleman Street #B1-16 Singapore 179804
Tel: +65-63383371
Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 11.45am to 8.30pm
Sunday: 11.45am to 8.00pm
Email: info@svguitars.com

Davis guitar music centre

DAVIS GUITAR MUSIC CENTRE
Davis Guitar has been on the market for 20 years and has since grown to become a major distributor and retailer of musical instruments in Singapore.

Where to find them:
Peninsula Shopping Complex
3 Coleman Street B1-40/41
Singapore 179804
Located at Basement of Peninsula Hotel
Near City Hall MRT Station
enquiry@davisguitar.com
+65 6337 5092
Store Hours
Mon – Sat: 10:30am to 7.30pm
Sun & Public Holidays: 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Yamaha

Yamaha
Yamaha is one of the more popular music schools in Singapore.
You can simply pop by one of their stores to check out the guitars they’re offering.

Clementi Branch
451 Clementi Avenue 3 #03-309
Singapore 120451
Tel: +65 6740 9361
Fax: +65 6740 9369
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9 pm
Saturday 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9am to 6 pm
Public Holiday Closed

Djitsun Mall Branch
5 Ang Mo Kio Central 2 #03-05/06 Djitsun Mall
Singapore 569663
Tel: +65 6740 9301
Fax: +65 6740 9324
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9 pm
Saturday 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9am to 6 pm
Public Holiday Closed

Frontier Community Club Branch
60 Jurong West Central 3 #02-02
Singapore 648346
Tel: +65 6740 9351
Fax: +65 6740 9356
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9 pm
Saturday 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9am to 6 pm
Public Holiday Closed

Hougang Branch
202 Hougang Street 21 #03-00
Singapore 530202
Tel: +65 6740 9828
Fax: +65 6740 9276
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9 pm
Saturday 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9am to 6 pm
Public Holiday Closed

Kallang Leisure Park Branch
5 Stadium Walk #03-07 Leisure Park Kallang
Singapore 397693
Tel: +65 6740 9811
Fax: +65 6740 9814
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 11am to 9 pm
Saturday 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9am to 6 pm
Public Holiday 11am to 7 pm

Plaza Singapura Branch
68 Orchard Road #06-01 Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839
Fax: +65 6740 9839
Retail Store
Tel: +65 6740 9841
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm
Public Holiday 12pm to 9 pm

SAFRA Punggol Branch
9 Sentul Crescent #03-02/03
Singapore 828654
Tel: +65 6740 9341
Retail Store & Music School

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 7pm
Sunday 9am to 6pm
Public Holiday Closed

Sembawang Branch
604 Sembawang Road #03-14/15 Sembawang Shopping Centre
Singapore 758459
Tel: +65 6740 9371
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 7pm
Sunday 9am to 6pm
Public Holiday 12pm to 8pm

Tampines Mall Branch

Retail Store
4 Tampines Central 5 #04-K1/13/14/15/16 Tampines Mall
Singapore 529510
Tel: +65 6740 9871
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm
Public Holiday 12pm to 9pm

Thomson Plaza Branch
301 Upper Thomson Road #03-24 Thomson Plaza
Singapore 574408
Retail Store
Tel: +65 6740 9388

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm to 9pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm
Public Holiday 12pm to 9pm

Westgate Branch
3 Gateway Drive #04-40 Westgate
Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6740 9336
Fax: +65 6740 9338
Retail Store & Music School
Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 11am to 9pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm
Public Holiday 11am to 9pm

City Music

City Music has evolved from dealing in traditional acoustic instruments to modern state-of-the-art hi-tech musical instruments and equipment.

Online store: http://www.citymusic.com.sg

1 Sophia Road,
#02-12/13 Peace Centre
Singapore 228149
+65 6337 7058
sales@citymusic.com.sg

Maestro Guitars

Maestro Guitars

Maestro Guitars is the only brand in Singapore that does handcrafted guitars and ukuleles. Opened in 2004, Maestro has been providing instruments to discerning players that are very particular about playability, tone and craftsmanship.

Home

9 Kaki Bukit Road 2
Gordon Warehouse
Unit #04-34
Singapore 417842

Tel: 6844 6030

Opening Hours:
Weekdays -9am to 6pm
Saturday – 9am to 3pm
Sunday & PH – Close

Luthier Guitar

Luthier Guitar Center is a Singapore-based guitar shop, guitar distributor/exclusive dealer guitars distributor & retail trading company. They offer a variety of classical, electric, bass, amplifiers & accessories.

Email : info@luthierguitar.com
Orchard Plaza #03-11
Phone : +65 67330400
Bukit Timah Plaza #02-07
Phone : +65 64666835

Sound Alchemy

Sound Alchemy is the leading retailer of musical instruments in Singapore, providing an excellent range of acoustic, electric, bass instruments, amplifiers and effects pedals, drums and audio accessories. They operate an online store and has 2 retail showrooms.

You can shop at their online store at www.soundalchemy.com.sg/shop and enjoy free local delivery within Singapore.

Brands they represent: Yamaha, Fender Japan, Craftsman, Custom Acoustic, Ovation, Martin, Mono, Laney, Orange, Vox, Line 6, Zoom, Korg, Hartke, Lollar Pickups etc.

Where can you find them:
3 Coleman Street, B1-19 Peninsula Shopping Centre (Main Showroom)
Phone: 6338 2917

Guitar Gallery

Guitar Gallery

The Guitar Gallery carries a wide range of well-established international brands. They specialise in high-end elite models and custom shop collector pieces. They do have vintage pieces and provide custom built, handmade guitars as well.
Where to find them:
35 Selegie Road #02-02
Parklane Shopping Mall
Singapore (188307)
Tel: +65 6338-7768
Web: www.guitargallery.com.sg
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GuitarGallery.com.sg

TY Music Center

TY Music Center
TY Music Center have an extensive range of guitars, basses, drums, ukulele and audio equipment. They started off as an online business and has since opened their first brick and mortar shop space in Excelsior Shopping Centre.
Where to find them:
6883 1550 (Excelsior) – 5 Coleman Street, #B1-32, Singapore 179805
info@tymusiccenter.com

Heirlooms Music

Heirlooms Music

Heirlooms Music carries handmade boutique guitars from renowned luthiers like Ervin Somogyi, Jeffrey Yong and the likes. They also bring in the next generation of luthier heroes whom they believe produce the finest quality at reasonable pricing.
Address:
No.9 Lichfield Road
Singapore 556829
(As Lichfield Rd’s a one way, you might want to drive in through Raglan Grove or Walmer drive)
Phone: +65 6282 0228
Email:info@heirloomsmusic.sg
Mon – Sat : 11am – 7pm
Sun & Public Holiday: Close

Guitar Shop Singapore

Guitar Shop Singapore is an online platform that brings in brands like M. Tyler and Hex.
http://www.guitarshopsingapore.com

Ebenex
You can purchase, sell or trade guitars, basses, amplifiers here! They do wholesale and repair your musical equipment as well.
Where to find them:
PHONE : +65 6345 2053
EMAIL: sales@ebenex.com
Address: 110 Lorong 23 Geylang #02-02, Victory Centre Singapore 388410
Open Monday to Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm, excluding public holidays

SYNWIN
http://www.synwin.com.sg/products-page/classical-guitar/
Synwin Manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of musical instruments, stringed instruments, orchestra instruments, violin, classical guitars, flamenco guitars & musical accessories.
Tel: +65 6743 7865
+65 6336 1366 (MARINA SQUARE)
HEAD OFFICE:
SYNWIN MUSIC PTE LTD
845 Geylang Road
#03-01 Tanjong Katong Complex
Singapore 400845
FLAGSHIP STORE:
SYNWIN MUSIC PTE LTD
6 Raffles Boulevard
#03-117/118/119 Marina Square
Singapore 039594

Guitar Workshop
Guitar Workshop was the first guitar repair and refinishing business in Singapore. They also sell, trade and buy musical instruments. Each instrument is carefully sourced and chosen by the shop’s owner, Mr Francis Poh.
Tel: 67334106
Fax: 63341022
Icon Blk 231, Bain Street #03-09 Bras Basah Complex Singapore
icon support@guitarworkshop.sg

Cristofori
One of the largest music school in Singapore with over 30 centres island-wide, CRISTOFORI brand has become a household name. Their centres offer popular range of quality guitars – Acoustic, Bass and Electric guitars.
Where to find them:
CRISTOFORI Guitar & Violin City Showroom
Address
Peninsular Shopping Complex, 3 Coleman Street #01-20, Singapore 179804
Telephone: 9728 9765
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat 12.00pm – 6.00pm

Woodworkz
Woodworkz offers exclusive brands of electric, acoustic guitars and basses. The also bring in recording gears and headphones. Some of the brands they represent are: Audio Pro Solutions, Bullet Cables, G&L USA/Tribute Series. If you prefer not to travel down to their brick and mortar store, they have an online store too.
Business hours:
MONDAYS TO SATURDAYS FROM: 10:30 AM TO 7:30 PM
SUNDAYS FROM: 1:00 PM TO 6:00 PM
Location:
3 Coleman Street #B1-12A Peninsula Shopping Centre S(179804)
5 Coleman Street #B1-21 Excelsior Shopping Centre S(179805)
Email: info@woodworkz.com.sg
Or kindly send your query on our Contact Form (LEFT).
Store (Phone/Fax): +65 6337 5896
Shop Mobile No. : +65 8499 7344

MusicArk
MusicArk represents upper market brands such as Duesenberg, Chapman, Maton, Cole Clark.. Just to name a few. These guitars are the finest guitar brands available in the market. You can purchase their guitars on their site as well.
Address:
3 Coleman Street, Peninsula Shopping Centre #B1-25, Singapore 179804
Call Us Now: +65 6883 2054 / +65 9873 5092
Email: enquiries@musicark.com.sg
Website : http://musicark.com.sg/18-john-pearse-strings

Consumer marketplace platforms

S.O.F.T
S.O.F.T is a website dedicated to the local music industry in Singapore. Their platform allows you to buy and sell your guitars or bass. Perfect for anyone who is looking to purchase second-hand guitars.
http://www.soft.com.sg

Carousell
Carousell is a mobile app and online platform that facilitates consumer to consumer marketplace for purchasing and selling new and secondhand goods. With just a search, you can easily find people who are selling their guitars or accessories. Just a caution, to check the instrument thoroughly when you meet up with the seller. Alternatively, you can check out how other buyers’ reviewed that particular seller.
www.carousell.com

Lazada
Lazada is an online website that sells inventory to customers from its own warehouse and also allows third-party retailers to sell their products through their site.
http://www.lazada.sg

Gum tree
Gum Tree is a platform where anybody can place classified ads. You can easily find anything that you are looking for via the local Gumtree community.
https://www.gumtree.sg

Singapore Craiglist
Singapore Craiglist is a site for classified advertisements
http://singapore.craigslist.com.sg/search/msd

Locanto
Locanto is a classifieds site as well. It is a useful tool to reach out to the community. You can even use it to source for music classes!
http://singapore.locanto.sg/Musical-Instruments/415/

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Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00

Where can I buy guitar strings in Singapore?

Where can I buy guitar strings in Singapore?

Where can i buy guitar strings in singapore?

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Where can I buy guitar strings in Singapore?

Messy guitar strings

You know, I can always spot the difference between a casual guitar player and a player who takes the instrument seriously by their string changing habits. What a lot of beginner guitarists don’t understand is that wear and tear on a guitar’s strings can have a significant effect on a guitar’s tone, and playing a set of strings until one or more of them breaks isn’t the way to get the most out of your instrument. These are the guitarists who usually start losing motivation with the instrument because it “just doesn’t sound like it did six months ago”.
So how do you know when your guitar needs a change of strings?
Well for starters you can look out for the obvious signs. If your strings show signs of rust or are starting to look discolored they are definitely due for an overhaul. Each time you play the guitar your strings pick up a little dust, sweat, dirt and grime; all which contribute to the deterioration of your strings. And even if your guitar just sits in its case for weeks at a time (God forbid), the humidity and exposure to the elements will still take a toll on the string condition.
Another sure sign that you need a change of strings is when you start having trouble keeping your guitar in tune. As guitar strings get older, the wear and tear of playing can often have effects on the structural integrity of the string, which in turn compromises its ability to hold the required tension to keep your instrument in tune.
And last but not least, if your guitar just simply sounds dull and lackluster, you should consider taking your instrument in for a change of strings. Not only will a new set of strings make your tone seem much brighter and fuller, they’ll also feel much nicer to play.
If you are also interested in learning more about the ins and outs of guitar strings, you can take a look at our article Guitar Strings 101 to learn more about which type of strings are best for your own playing sensibilities.

Guitar strings

So where do you go to buy new strings if you live in Singapore?

Music Theme
Excelsior Hotel 5
Coleman Street
Unit B1-04/05/06/12
Singapore, 179805
Tel:+65-6837 3523

Music Theme has probably one of the most extensive selections of guitar strings in Singapore and they stock strings from over 80 different guitar string manufactures. They’ve got the staples like D’Addario, Elixir and Ernie Ball as well as a whole lot of other brands you can experiment with for acoustic, electric and bass guitars.

Davis Guitars
Music Centre 3
Coleman Street
B1-40/41,
Singapore, 179804
Email: enquiry@davisguitar.com
Tel:+65 6337 5092

Davis Guitars is without a doubt one of the go-to guitar shops in Singapore and they stock one of the widest selections of strings for every budget. They are also one of the few places that you can get Dean Merkley strings. The place does get crowded over the weekends, so expect to have to wait a bit at the counter until you get served.

Swee Lee
231 Bain Street,
#03-27/29 Bras Basah Complex,
BBC Merchants,
Singapore, 180231
Tel:+65 6336 7886

Over the years Swee Lee has become somewhat of an institution for musicians in Singapore and they stock a healthy selection of high-end guitar strings including brands like Elixir, D’Addario, Ernie Ball and Gibson.  Swee Lee has a number of stores spread out across Singapore and even offers online purchases.

SV Guitars
Peninsula Shopping Centre
3 Coleman Street
#B1-16
Singapore, 179804
Email: info@svguitars.com
Telephone:+65-63383371

SV Guitars is known for stocking brands that often fly under the radar but still get the job done. They have a great selection of durable and affordable guitar strings.

City Music Center
City Music Co. Pte Ltd 1,
Sophia Road,
#02-12/13,
Peace Centre,
Singapore, 228149
Email: sales@citymusic.com.sg
Tel:+65 63377058

Among other brands, City Music carries an in-depth selection of Martin Guitar strings at their store located at The Peace Center.
Yamaha Guitars
Yamaha – Plaza Singapura Branch,
68 Orchard Road,
#06-01,
Plaza Singapura,
Singapore, 238839
Tel:+65 67409841

Most of Yamaha Guitars’ stores are located conveniently near MRT stations and bus stations, and they’re open up to 9.00pm on weekdays, so they are a great option if you are in dire need of strings in a hurry.

Luther Music
5 Coleman Street
#02-14
Excelsior Shopping Centre,
Singapore, 179805
Email: info@luthermusic.com
Tel:+65 6569 4919

Luther Music has a healthy selection of staple brands including Elixir, D’Addario and Martin.

TY Music Center
5 Coleman Street,
#B1-32,
Singapore, 179805
Email: info@tymusiccenter.com
Tel:+65 6883 1550 (Excelsior)

TY Music Center has an in-depth selection of D’Addario strings as well as a few other lesser known brands.

Sound Alchemy
Peninsula Shopping Centre,
#B1-19,
3 Coleman Street,
Singapore, 179804
Tel:+65 6338 2917

The folks at Sound Alchemy stock strings from a range of well-known guitar string manufacturers like Martin, D’Addario, Fender, Darco and Ernie Ball. They also have a pretty easy to use online shopping facility.
You can also visit us at Alternate Tone where we offer a hassle free string changing service for just $15 (including guitar strings).

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Alternate Tone White Logo

Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00

Understanding how your guitar works

Understanding how your guitar works

Understanding how your guitar works

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Understanding how your guitar works


Knowing your Guitar.

Just like any gadget, it is important to know the parts & its uses.

In this tutorial, we will cover the parts and functionality of the guitar.

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Alternate Tone White Logo

Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00

Interview with Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri

Interview with Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri

interview with snarky puppy’s mark lettieri

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Interview with Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri

Mark Lettieri

Mark Lettieri, the Lead guitarist of one of the most respected names in instrumental music, Snarky Puppy, shares some of his experience touring around the world, collaborating with major label artists, his struggles as a musician and his influences. The interview airs on Alternate Tone’s YouTube Channel. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Click to watch the interview video below:

I understand you graduated from Texas Christian University, You were studying advertising and Public Relations, so what made you decide to embark on a music career instead?
Well, I think it was something I’ve always wanted to do. It was my passion and dream, I just didn’t quite realised it until later than some musicians. When I finished school, I made enough connections in the music scenes to secure some gigs, so I thought I might give it a shot and it seemed to work out so I’ve stuck to it every since.

Who are you influenced by?
Some of my earlier influences were guitarist Jimmy Kendricks, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani etc. Then as I got older, I was into Prince, Stevie wonder, and James Brown. I’ve listened to almost everything like gospel music, gospel guitar and all that. It serves 2 purposes. It helps me with my own sound and play other sounds if I need to play for a session.

Share with us what is it like to tour around the world? What’s the best and worse part?
It is def a blessing to make a living doing what you love to do. The best part about playing around the world is to go around the world. I’ve seen places I’ve never thought I would go to, interact with people who I never thought I would ever meet. And it’s fun to share music with people that wanna receive it and make connections beyond your own area code. So that’s the most fun part for me and being on the stage to play really loud.
The downside is being away from home, especially now that we’re about to have a kid. Depending on the tour, it can wear you down due to the travelling, flying and driving, getting up early, not a lot of sleep and eating at strange timing. It’s hard to stay in shape. Sometimes it can be boring as well, as it is the same thing everyday. Most of the stuff I do, thankfully it isn’t boring, though.

How is it working alongside with top artists? Which was your most memorable collaboration?
I toured with Phillips Phillips for a while, and that was a lot of fun. We did a bunch of shows with his band. He has a great band. I love Phillips’s music, he is a great guy to work with. It’s basically like a rock and roll show, with a guitar solo in every song, so it was quite fun!
The stuff with Eminem and Adam Levine was an interesting story because I’ve never met them. I did that session for a producer here in Dallas that was producing the project for 50 Cent. We went to his house and recorded a bunch of guitar tracks on different songs that he was doing and a few weeks later, he called me and was like “ Hey man, you remember that one track that we put together? That’s going on 50 cent record and Eminem and Adam Levine are going to the featured artist on it. So that’s how some of the stuff works out, I meet the producer and not the artists So nowadays, so much stuff are done electronically and over the Internet, there are many other European artists that I’ve never met and played on their records *laughs*.

How is it like being the lead guitarist of the massively talented Snarky Puppy?
Well, it is a lot of fun certainly, but it is actually a lot of work and a serious job. My role in that band is not just to show up and play guitar solos. There are a lot of information in the songs and a lot of parts that are not easy.
It is a privilege to be part of the group because everyone is so talented and what we are doing, we try it to do at a high level, so you can’t really slack off in that band. Everyone will notice if you are not bringing a 100%.

Can you tell us about your latest album “Spark and Echo”? Where did you get your inspiration from?
I’ve been doing instrumental guitar bass music under my name for a couple of years. So every 2 years or so, I’ll try to finalise these songs I’ve been writing and get together with my friends to make a record and see how things progress. There wasn’t any specific inspiration for that album. It was just where I was at the particular time as a writer and I felt confident enough in what I had and what I was as a writer and player to then record and produce it. I felt like it was like my first record because I spent more time and money on it. Timing-wise, there was a little more attention on Snarky Puppy and many other things that band members were doing. So when it was time to make a statement, it has to be the best statement I could do. This record feels a little bit more put together.

What’s your biggest struggle as a musician? Back then and now?
I’m always struggling with the playing part *laughs*. There is always stuff which I wished I was better at, that I could play better, play faster, play precisely, play more interestingly, keeping up with other guitarists on Instagram that are 30 years younger than me and 30 times better. Outside of that, it’s just managing my stress level and commitments. As musicians, we want to do every opportunity that is presented to us. If you overcommit yourself, you will either burn yourself out physically, or won’t be able to dedicate enough time to each thing you are committed to, and the product will suffer. There have been some experiences where I thought “Man I should not have done that” as I did not have time to focus on (those commitments), and it could have been better. The deeper I get into my career, the more I can’t afford to do that because people will hear it. If you overextend yourself and getting it together for an important session or project, it’ll stick with you forever. I’m getting better at time management and my commitments, but it is something I still struggle with.

Were there times when you feel like giving up? Or you feel mundane or tired of playing the guitar?
Thankfully no. I never thought about quitting, at least not seriously. The one thing tough about playing music is that you don’t get paid vacations. So if we want to go do something as a family, I have to make financial sacrifices just to do stuff for the family, which is important to me. So that’s a balance. But it is never necessary made me wanna quit. Occasionally I feel like everything sounds the same, if that’s the case I’ll just take a break, or just consciously stop trying to play. If I’m playing something, I know what I need to not do, so thankfully I was given that filter intrinsically.

What’s your biggest breakthrough so far?
Joining Snarky Puppy was the coolest thing! I’m glad that had happened. That was something I was never expecting. Nobody expects to be in a band that has recognition. I was prepared to be a session guy/freelance and bouncing from gig to gig. But having a core artistic thing that I can go to, that is sustainable, is important and kinda rare in some respects in the music business because it has enabled me to have an outlet that is fun but also allows me to do my own thing. But I would be lying if I said the intention of me as a solo artist has nothing to do with Snarky Puppy. But I’m very thankful for that.
The first tour I did have Erykah Badu was cool. Cos I have never been on a tour like that. That was like a major label tour with hotels and nice things.

Being an accomplished musician, what do you aim to achieve in the future?
Ideally, it would be cool to have the solo material stuff become a little bigger part of what I do. And I’m slowly getting to that point. I’ll continue to make records, probably two or more. And being able to get to the places where people buy the records. I would love to get to Asia because there seems to have a lot of attention over there, and it’s hard to get to. But it’ll happen For me, I’m really happy with what I get to do, so as long as I can keep doing that, with another zero at the end of the cheque, there would be great. That’s what everyone wants. If you are happy doing what you do, then keep doing that. But it’s never about the money, however, in this business, you crave stability so as long as that’s happening, I’m okay.

Technical questions
What is the best way to grow and learn as a musician and guitarist?
Well, for me ..It’s to surround myself and play with musicians who are better than me. And I understand the degree of doing that depends on factors such as where you live, who your peers are etc. When I was younger, I would go into jam sessions all the time and sit in with bands. I would take gigs that I was not good enough to do and do my best. Because of that, I learnt a lot. I learn a lot about groove and the time feel. I learn a lot about composing and everything you need to know about becoming a solid musician. You’ll learn from someone who has done it better and longer. For me, It was trying to find a situation where I was the worst musician in the room. It tells a lot to do that. Nobody likes to feel like they suck, but that’s the way to grow. If you are constantly the one telling everyone what to do, you’re not necessarily going to reach another level. And of course, outside of that, I never stop listening to stuff that was inspiring to me. Even stuff that inspired me when I was thirteen, I would still come back to listen to it. Cos that initial inspiration always stuck with me and that means something.

Do you have a practice routine? And how has it changed over the years?
I never had a practice routine. I definitely practice and always playing something. But rarely is it focused. Maybe when I was a little younger, like in high school days and teen years. I did focus on a few things. I had a teacher back then, that was teaching the notes in the major scale. So I was really inspired by that and practice that stuff. Every now and then I go through phases where I want to focus on something technical but for the most part, it is very scatterbrain “Imma gonna pick up the guitar and see what happens kinda thing. One important thing is playing along with the records. I used to sit and jam along to all kinds of stuff. Constantly trying to figure out parts by ear. Nowadays, most of my practising is work related and I have to learn songs for the gig or doing a session at my house and coming up with stuff I have to play. Or maybe I’m writing tunes. That is also practice for me. That’s trying to be creative as a songwriter.

When improvising, do you play what you hear or do you follow chord changes?
(Refer to the video for demonstration)
Yeah, I do follow the chord changes, but I do let my ear dictate what needs to be said. That’s kind of like, what phasing is, the same musical thoughts that you are portraying, playing but certain kind of songs you can ignore the changes. Sometimes you have like a rock or pop song, you could play A minor over the whole thing because it’s diatonic. But if you want to work the changes, you can throw in some F major or arpeggios, maybe a diminished run going back to A minor. If you focus on the changes, you can make your phrasing more colourful. So don’t be afraid of the changes.

How do you develop the skill of improvisational skills?
The best way to use your ear and listen. I think especially if you’re playing with other people, listen to what they’re doing. And have them perform the way that you’re playing. The drummer is playing a certain pattern, the bassist is doing something, the keyboard player is doing something rhythmic. That influence the way you improvise. It influences your rhythm. The keyboard is adding an extension on this one chord that couldn’t form the melody you choose to play. But I think that another thing is important is not being afraid to take the risk. It’s okay if you make a mistake. You can learn how to make those mistake sound musical. I can always tell an improviser whose playing stuff that they’ve already worked out at home. I know when a guy plays a really cool lick but the next 4 bars he’s trying to find himself before he can set himself up for the next cool lick.
When I see that I’m like “ yeah you practice those 2 licks at home” but you don’t know how to put it together. So that means you’re not improvising. You’re just regurgitating what you’ve practised. Improvising is where you go to play those licks and you don’t quite do it the exact same way u practice at home – you come up with something new and different because of the musical situation that you’re in. You’re letting the music inform the things you practice and not the opposite.

Any words of encouragement to young musicians and artists starting out
Well, always make sure you’re having fun doing what you’re doing because music is fun. And it is enjoyable. It makes ppl happy. Even if you’re playing death metals, you still enjoy it. So don’t ever lose sight of the fact that music is a gift and something can be enjoyed. When you pursue it as a job, there’s a lot of stuff that’s not enjoyable. The thing that kept me going is that I love to play the guitar. I love the way it sounds, I love the way it feels, I love being able to make it do weird things and make music with it. As long as you got it on the forefront of your brain and everything that you go forth to do, it will keep you inspired and keep you from feeling like you’ve to make the wrong choice in life.*laughs* So have a good time, all the time!
Find out more about Mark Lettieri Here:
http://www.marklettieri.com
http://instagram.com/mjlettieri/
http://facebook.com/marklettierimusicpage/

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Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00

How to tune a guitar in less than 2 mins

How to tune a guitar in less than 2 mins

How to tune a guitar in less than 2 mins

[breadcrumb]

How to tune a guitar in less than 2 mins

How to Tune a Guitar
1st string – E (thinnest)
2nd string – B
3rd string – G
4th string – D
5th string – A
6th string – E (thickest)

Sign up for newsletter

Alternate Tone White Logo

Copyright © 2019 Alternate Tone Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

CONTACTS

Alternate Tone Pte Ltd- Music School
29b Seah St - Singapore - 188385

Tel: +65 8115 9378
Email: info@alternatetone.com

Open: Mo-Fr 12:30-21:30
Sa 10:00-18:00