Category: Guitar


The 8 Laws of Guitar Etiquette

If someone is checking out a guitar, don’t sit next to them and play louder and faster. Find your own space and let them have theirs. If you must go nuts, wait until they’re gone. Take a deep breath. Feel that nagging sense of entitlement and one-upmanship slip away. Good. There you go.

If people would just observe this one rule my days at Guitars, Etc. would be a whole lot quieter….


Legato (Italian for “tied together”)

Bound together. Performance of music so that there is no perceptible pause between notes, i.e. in a smooth manner, the opposite of staccato.

The Oxford Dictionary of Music

Ligado (Spanish for “connected”)

A guitar technique in which a note is sounded either by pulling sideways or by hammering down on a string on the fingerboard using a finger of the fretting hand.

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition

So, guitarists often use ligado technique as part of legato phrasing. We can also pick legato phrases and use ligado to play staccato.

Times Call Article: Guitars Are Them

Taylor Guitars recently gave Guitars, Etc. 42 new instruments to use in the lessons program. Every room is now equipped with 2 high-end electrics. Student no longer need to bring their guitars from home, and they have a chance to play a wide variety of quality guitars. Here’s a Times Call article with more information. Read more →

Ted Greene’s V-System

I’m digging Ted Greene’s V-System for organizing guitar chords. The shapes he used in Chord Chemistry make a lot more sense now, and no longer seem like random (but incredibly useful) voicings. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a guitar player. Read more →

String Choices for Acoustic Swing

Jonathan Stout just posted what may be the definitive guide to string choice for swing guitar. I’m geeking out over Monel as an alternative alloy to 80/20 Bronze, so a set of Martin’s Tony Rice Signature Monel strings are in my future. Read more →

Setting Pickup Height by Ear

Here’s my favorite method for adjusting an electric guitars pickups for a balanced tone, no feeler gauges or micrometers needed: 1. Set the pickups so that they are level with pickguard or pickup rings. Adjust the polepieces (if possible) so that they roughly match the radius of the strings. 2. Plug the guitar into a clean amp and turn the… Read more →

Archtop Guitar Tones

A great example of how different construction techniques affect archtop guitar tones. via Jonathan Stout’s Swing Guitar Blog Read more →