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Guitar Player's Guide
A Guitar Player's Guide to The Muse's Muse
Compiled by Jodi Krangle

This compilation of information resources is put together for those songwriters who are also guitarists and looking for a way to improve both crafts at the same place. I hope you find this information useful! If you'd like to suggest an addition, please do contact me and let me know. In the meantime, just click on the topic you want to explore below:

Articles | Columnists | Resources | Tools

ARTICLES:
These articles will be useful to you as you improve your guitar playing and learn the craft of songwriting.

Other articles can be found both in the Songwriting Articles section and in the Newer Articles section.
There are a lot of them and I highly recommend that you check them out!

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COLUMNISTS:
There are a lot of columnists here who have been incredibly generous with their time and have contributed excellent articles. Though columns that deal specifically with guitar playing are few and far between, some have been recently started here and I'd like to draw your attention to them. I invite you to continue checking their columns regularly for additions. And if you don't find the answer to your particular question, feel free to ask the columnists directly! Each one has an email address you can write to at the bottom of their menu page.

  • Engines of Creation
    Alex Jasperse's column is a combination of lessons and articles designed to challenge the sonic touchstones to which so many guitarists chain themselves to. From practice techniques to questions about the multifaceted capacity of the guitar, these articles will explore the new ways to celebrate the advancement of the instrument.

  • Songwriting Techniques and Theories
    Kole is a professional Musician, Guitarist, and Instructor living in the Los Angeles area. This column deals with all things pertaining to the topics like songwriting inspiration and composition techniques.

There are also a bunch of fantastic articles listed in the Previous Columnists section - the place where I put all the columns by folks that are no longer writing for the site (and there have been a lot over the years!). Many of them would be very useful to you as a songwriter (even if they aren't specifically about guitar playing) and deal with a whole host of different topics from where to find your inspiration to how to get along in the music business and what to watch out for.

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RESOURCES:
Here are some locations around The Muse's Muse that might be particularly helpful to you.

  • Help For Newcomers - Tips on how to get the most out of this website.

  • Muse's Muse Music Resources - A huge number of links in any number of musical categories - quite a lot of them having to do with guitars - from how to get instruction to how to buy them. If you don't find precisely what you're looking for here on The Muse's Muse, you're bound to find it in this database.

  • Muse's Muse Message Boards - A place for you to talk with fellow songwriters about topics that are of interest to you. There's a HUGE amount of guitarists on that site and several forums dealing specifically with putting music to your lyrics and performing with your chosen instrument. Why not drop by and join in the conversation?

  • The Muse's News - The website's monthly e-zine and newsletter had its first issue released in March 1998. 13,000+ subscribers later (and growing!) the newsletter is one of the most popular features of The Muse's Muse. There are also frequently articles about guitar playing or resources that mention it. Have a look at the back issues on this page.

  • Rob Bourassa's Free 7 Week Guitar Course - Even if this isn't actually on The Muse's Muse itself, it was brought to my attention and deserves a place here.  If you're a beginner looking to get a bit more serious about learning, or even if you've been playing a while but just want to upgrade your skills, this is a fantastic course to check out.  And it's entirely free!  All you need to do is subscribe to Rob's YouTube section (which is also free) and you're ready to go!

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TOOLS:
These links will provide you with the tools to keep yourself organized, find that perfect chord, allow you to find some great reading resources to supplement your knowledge on the craft of playing guitar, find the best deals on purchasing guitars, and lots more.

  • BerkleeMusic.com Online Courses - At this famous music school, you'll find a whole host of different courses you can take to both further your guitar playing skills and your songwriting skills. And you can take them whether or not you're able to actually be in Boston. Check out their current roster of instructors and courses.

  • Information on Electric and Acoustic Guitars - An entire section of the site devoted to information about how to get the most out of your next guitar purchase including buying guides and a brief history of the instrument. If you're interested in buying a guitar soon - whether it's your first one or your fifteenth, you'll want to check this out. Some great deals, too!

  • SongU.com Online Songwriting Courses - At SongU.com, you can take over 30 instructor-led and self-paced songwriting courses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for one affordable yearly tuition. Learn from a faculty of successful award-winning industry professionals and active hit songwriters. In addition to personal feedback from the instructors, online guidance counselors and coaches will provide you with a customized learning path tailored specifically to your goals. Special for Muse's Muse visitors: Take a free songwriting course to familiarize yourself with SongU - before you buy a membership! Click here to learn more!

  • Lyricist V3 Songwriting Software (Newly updated!) - Organization for songwriters - receive a $5.00 discount just for purchasing it here (normally $49.95)! Read a review to learn more. There are chord charting functions in this software that make it particularly useful.

  • MasterWriter Songwriting Software - "This remarkable piece of software turns your Mac or PC into a valuable songwriting partner" -- Richard Leiter, Keyboard Magazine - Find out more about this program (and receive a $70 discount for purchasing it here!) - by visiting this page. You can even try it for 30 days before deciding if you want to keep it!

  • Guitar Scales & Theory For Songwriters: You Can Play Guitar - If you're serious about learning how to play guitar and you want some options about the styles you learn, this Billboard top rated DVD course by Scott Morris is definitely for you. Learn how to play in the style of rock legends like Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen. Or find out how to play the way blues greats like Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Robert Johnson do. This is a course well worth checking out.

  • Suggested Reading - A list of books that are a worthy addition to any songwriter's library and including the books that are reviewed in the newsletter. These books are a great source of inspiration and instruction and definitely recommended. There are some especially for guitar players - but you'll find links here to do further searches on Amazon.com if you're looking for something specific.

  • Find Music-related Software @ SharewareMusicMachine - Many of these software programs can help you keep track of your chords, play them for you, record them, and learn more about how to play.
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