To Whammy or Not To Whammy

Hey Guitar folks , got this question from a Guitar Minute subscriber
the other day and I gave my thoughts on the subject of the pro’s
con’s of having a whammy bar on your guitar.

Comment below and give Hytham a few points of view

Dear Heath- Hytham here I am a first buy guitarist and I would like to play mainly
Rock genre and a little metal.
There has been a guitar that has interested me
(Gibson Rogue HH Ash Electric guitar )but the thing is, it has no whammy bar.
I hear that the whammy bar is important for my type of music and
I also just really enjoy the sound of a whammy bar.
I am a smaller fingered person and I love the look of all gibson,
fender and Kramer styles. I dislike the look of dean and other weird shaped
electric guitars. my budget is $200-250.

-Do I really need a whammy bar?
-Are there better guitars in the market, preferably with a whammy bar?
-Is there anything else you would like to tell me?

Thank you for your time and advice.
Regards Hytham


Hey Hytham
Well for starters the guitar you are looking at is a great beginning
instrument and would suit the music you want to play.

Do you need a Whammy bar?

Simple answer is no

I would also say that if you want to have a guitar with a whammy
make sure you have a guitar with out one as well.

Having a whammy bar can be a pain in the butt if you are just
staring out playing because they go out of tune a lot if you use them
and they require a bit of experience to use and keep the guitar in tune.

There are looking whammy systems but they do come with the added
pain that they can be a real pain to re-string especially if you are a beginner.

I have a guitar with one and a guitar with out.
My suggestion is that you start with a guitar with out a whammy
and then when you can buy one with a whammy.

At your level of guitar playing avoid putting anything in the way of
you learning to play well.

Great question

Keep Rocking
p.s. got some great videos coming up in the next few days
from a guitar coach buddy of mine. Keep an eye out for them

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Warm Up Secrets..

To play guitar well at the best of times you need to be relaxed and practiced.
Many times we can have difficulty playing a particular part in a song because
we are not warmed up. I suggest to all my students, every practice session they do, to be preceded with

warm up exercises (about 10 mins)

Avoid injury

Our hands have a very complex set of muscles that need to be trained and
strengthened to comply with whats required to play well.
Like athletes we need to warm up those muscle, tendons and joints so they
can perform at their peak when needed.
If you start out just going hard you can develop injuries that can stay for months.
I did this once and ended up playing gigs and rehearsals with pain in my left hand
which would not end until i began to look after my hands

Muscle memory

By taking simple exercises and playing them repeatedly we develop
a muscle or finger memory. After a number of repeats your fingers will start automatically going where they are suppose to without much effort.
Strumming basic chord exercises can help you get those hard to get chord
changes moving fluently

E.g.: C / / / / |F / / / / | G7 / / / | C / / / | Rpt

or something a little more challenging
E7 / B7 / |A7 / Am7 /| B / F#7 F#b9 | E7 |

Below is a simple warm up using all four fingers on your left hand
(if your play right handed) on all strings and using alternate picking (down + up)
Using the fingers on your left hand consecutively 1, 2, 3, 4 one finger per fret whilst picking down up with your right hand. Then move on to the next string and repeat the process .

The most common mistake made here is to go too fast too soon.
Take it slow and even, the object is to get consistency, good tone and team work
between your hands NOT speed. That will come naturally if you get the exercise going correctly.
There are 23 other combinations of this exercise using your four fingers try em all.

Have Fun

Keep Playing

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Couple of cool blues licks, and free backing tracks

Couple of cool blues licks I found, worth
a try regardless of your level
Playing the Blues is a fundamental skill you need as a
guitar player. Enjoy

Ok so you got a few blues licks down but no-one to play em’ with.
I just downloaded 80 free blues tracks,
all of them awesome . There is a free 12 bar blues, shuffle blues
a blues ballads and more. These are incredible backing tracks, and really fun
to play with. I just spent the last forty minutes just jamming along to the
first free one. Very cool . And did I mention they are free? Yes nobody
gives stuff this quality away grab them while he is still giving them away.

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On the Blawg

Hey there, Yes finally I caught up with

technology and blogging ‘n’stuff

now this give me much more time to create

useful stuff for you guys and gals instead of scratching

my head trying to build webpages.

Have a look around the whole blog if you like

i’m going to be posting everything here from now


Also looking for anyone interested in contributing

with articles or reviews on fun guitar stuff.

drop me a line

if you wish to contribute.


Heath 🙂

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Playing by Ear -Five tips

Maybe you’ve heard that expression before when a musician plays by ear?
What does that mean exactly? It means that a musician will play a note or phrase
or riff, after only hearing the note, phrase or riff.

Have you ever seen or known someone who can do that? I saw my guitar teacher do that when I was just beginning guitar and I set about doing just that. I had often wished there was something to help me along. More on that in a moments a very important skill to have as a musician. Training your ear to? hear the notes.

Many guitar players, famous and non famous spend their entire playing lives playing by ear. They may never read from a piece of written music ever!
While this is the path of many I also recommend learning some form of written music, even if you learn only the basics. What ever you learn as a player can be good for you and can help you move forward.
Now this article is about Playing by ear so I want to give you some tips to get started

The very first thing you can do to train your ear is to tune your guitar by ear.
If you have an electric tuner then only tune the 6th string and then use the 5th fret method to continue on the other strings (if you don’t know this method then email me and I send you a lesson on it)

When you tune your strings, sing the notes as you go and get into the habit of hearing the notes of the open strings.

3.LISTEN FOR THE NOTES Pick a favorite song. This song should have guitar as prominent as possible. and chose something simple to begin with.
Then pick up you guitar and see if you can pick out one or two notes from the song it , don’t expect to instantly work out the whole tune if you haven’t done much ear training before. It takes time to tune your ears to hear the different notes and chords.
Set yourself a weekly task to work out a few more notes from those songs and work on it bit by bit.

Listen to Music a lot. All styles of music.

Sing the notes you hear and then match those notes on the guitar.
At first this may be a trial and error process, so don’t be discouraged you will get if you stick at it.

Many people say they can never get it or they are tone deaf. That’s garbage. If you stick at it you will train you ear.

Anyway back to the story.. When I was younger and I was attempting to train my ear and work out songs on the radio I would get very frustrated and I would wish there was a way I could somehow take a song or guitar riff or lick and slow down music so I could play along and work out the notes.
Well now there is such a thing. Its called RiffMaster Pro. This wonderful software can take a music file on your computer play it at normal or varying slower speeds and still retain the pitch of the song. Its helped me to learn songs super quickly when I dont know the tunes. I can play a blisteringly fast solo of any guitar player and slow it down to learn it and then I can speed it up as I get better.

Why am I promoting this? Because I built it. I believe, that this next version 3 to be released very soon is the best, Ive listened to hundreds of users and what they wanted and the best features for musicians are included, have a look and decide for yourself.

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Record yourself.. Improve your playing


  • Different Perspective on your playing
  • Helps you improve
  • Prepares you for recording sessions
  • Allows you to experiment and have fun.

Resources Sony Acid Studio
(easy to use and comes with 3000+loops)
Acid Page Here

Audacity Free Multi channel recorder software
Get Audacity here

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Got some Rhythm Licks and they’re Red Hot…

this Video on a cool Rhythm lick from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers

the band that is check it out. Have fun!
here is the tab Can’t Stop

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Jimi Hendrix…Need I say More…

Here’s your chance to learn a technique that Jimi
used all throughout his playing.
The skill of combining chords and riffs together has always
been challenge for some guitarists.

This weeks video covers a simple way to get started using
this very cool technique. Have fun with it

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Have you ever found it difficult to get those stretches
you see guitarists doing?

I have just posted this weeks video just on that very
subject. How to get your fingers streeeeeeeetched

Yeee Haaa

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Slash’s all time classic

This Week one of the all time Classic guitar riffs,
And it a fantastic exercise for your fingers as well
Give it a go, it’s fun

Sweet Child ‘o’ Mine Intro – Slash(GnR)



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