What is Intonation?

What is intonation on a guitar, and is it important? Well, yes, it could be very. If your guitar is poorly intonated it could play horribly out of tune! It may sound fine down low playing open chords, but suddenly, when the solo starts, up at the fifteenth fret… aaaahhhhgg!

electric guitar intonation

Figure 1 – Strings passing over the saddles of  a Fender Jaguar guitar.

I’ve known young guitarists change out tuning keys, and even buy new guitars because their old guitar would never stay in tune. In many instances it was just a matter of a poor setup, with nothing wrong with the guitar or any of it’s components.

But don’t worry, adjusting intonation is really very easy. All you need is a guitar tuner and a screwdriver. This article tells you how.

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Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute Electric Guitar

Yeah vintage Gibson Les Paul guitars are cool – but who can afford a real one?

Well, with a Gibson Les Paul 60s tribute, you get 60s styling, Gibson quality, and a price point that us non-bankers can afford. A fine looker for sure, based on their 1960s Kalamazoo-built classics. And incredible value for money; an outstanding guitar for any price!

Gibson Les Paul ’60S Tribute Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst

Gibson Les Paul '60S Tribute Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst
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How to play Guitar: basic finger picking

Finger picking is a simple skill that can greatly improve your playing, and it isn’t just for folk and country players! If you are usually a pick player, you may just be surprised about the different textures that become open to you.

From pop and rock songs by the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, to the most obscure country blues guitarists, you may be surprised what songs were recorded fingerstyle.

Fingerstyle playing is very different tonally from pick playing; being softer, warmer and less aggressive, but also allowing a greater deal of harmonic complexity than straight chords and riffs. In a band situation it can really work wonders, creating extra space between rhythm and lead guitars.

This video is for the novice fingerpicker – but why not start at the beginning?

Go on, put the plectrum down and try something new. You might find a bit of fingerstyle is what your guitar playing needs.

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Epiphone Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar

Epiphone Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar, Vintage Sunburst


The Thunderbird bass is a staple of rock and heavy metal bands everywhere. Gibson Thunderbirds cost an arm and a leg (well, Gibson’s always do…) but Epiphone Tbirds are very very affordable, and they just happen to sound great! Really great!

A fine looking bass, no mistake, and one that simply screams rock

  • Four string electric bass guitar in vintage sunburst with classic shape and a classic sound
  • Alder body with bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard with dot inlays; 34-inch scale
  • Dual TB Plus Humbucker pickups
  • Black hardware, volume and tone controls

Featuring both a classic shape and a classic sound, the 4-string Epiphone Thunderbird IV bass guitar in vintage sunburst finish has a reverse body styling, carved top and the Thunderbird insignia on the pickguard. The alder wood body and generous bolted maple neck work together to deliver warm bass tone with plenty of attack from the dual TB Plus Humbucker pickups. Other features include a 34-inch scale, rosewood fingerboard with dotted inlay, 1.73-inch nut width, volume and tone controls, and black hardware.

List Price: $ 499.00

Price: $ 349.00

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Ibanez Soundgear GSR200 Bass Guitar – Black

Ibanez Soundgear GSR200 Bass Guitar – Black

For this months GuitarFact bass guitar review we’re going to have a closer look at this Ibanez bass

Quite a good looking Ibanez bass for sure; black on black underlying it’s rock credentials, but how does it play?

  • PHAT II active bass boost offers additional
  • low-end power on all GSR200 models
  • GSR offers famous Soundgear pro comfort and playability at “entry level” prices
  • The GSR series includes the most affordable 5- and 6-string basses of any major brand
  • Phat II active bass boost adds additional low-end power to the affordable GSR200 models.
  • GSR200’s powerful Powersound pickups deliver full tones and strong low-end.

GSRs offer famous Soundgear sleekness, comfort, tone, and playability. GSR Mikro basses are perfect for anyone who needs a compact axe or the comfort of a smaller neck.

Great for rock, superb for metal, this Ibanez has to be played to be believed!

List Price: $ 285.70

Price: $ 199.99

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Vintage Guitars as Investments

The Hollywood Vintage room, LA. Most of the guitars on this wall were priced in the range $8,000-$80,000 (Aug 2008)

The Hollywood Vintage room, LA. Most of the guitars on this wall were priced in the range $8,000-$80,000 (Aug 2008)

Why do people collect guitars? They are usually guitarists, of course, but not always. For some, the guitar is art: displayed on walls, or free-standing as scultpure. For others, it is an exercise in preservation, or museum curation. But increasingly, people are buying guitars primarily as a financial investments.

Vintage guitars made by the likes of Martin, Gibson and Fender, can make great investments, with the right guitars gaining in value more than many stocks and bonds. The guitar investment market is subject to very different forces than the stock market, and investment companies are reportedly turning to instruments as part of a balanced portfolio.

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Best Beginner Guitar

What is the best beginner guitar? OK, theres no such thing. There are hundreds of entry-level guitars, all basically doing the same job, in pretty much the same way, with most of them sounding pretty darn good. But today I put forward the proposition that the best beginner electric guitar is the Fender Squier Affinity Strat.

Squier by Fender BulletStrat w/Trem, Brown Sunburst

  • Basswood body with gloss polyurethane finish
  • Maple neck with 9.5 in radius rosewood fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 3 Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • Synchronous Tremolo with Cast Saddles
  • Master volume with 2 tone controls with 5 position pickup selector switch

Our Bullet Strat with tremolo is a simple, affordable and practical guitar designed for beginners and students. Classic styling includes the added benefit of a single humbucking pickup/ two single-coil pickup configuration. Other features include five-way switching, synchronous tremolo and a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and 21 frets.

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Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo Review


Figure 1 – The Seagull Entourage mini jumbo

Seagull (by Godin) produces some of the finest acoustic guitars for under $500. The Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo is currently priced at $349. Not bad at all.

This guitar was hand crafted in LaPatrie, Qu’bec Canada. Lets take a look at the features:

Body: Mini Jumbo
Top: Solid cedar
Back: Wild Cherry
Sides: Wild Cherry
Neck: Silver Leaf Maple
Fretboard: Rosewood, 21 frets
Bridge: Rosewood
Finish: Rustic Burst Semi-gloss
Nut: Tusq®
Saddle: compensated, Tusq®
Nut Width: 1.72″
Upper Bout: 11.59″
Lower Bout: 16″
Waist: 9.53″
Body Length: 2.0″
Body Depth: 5″

As stated above, the top is solid cedar! Although it does produce a nice sound, it is fairly delicate and will easily scratch and dent. The finish is a very thin semi-gloss. I don’t mind this. I actually like it this way – You just have to be extra careful if you don’t want tons of dents and scratches in your guitars body (which WILL happen). The action on this thing out of the box was just perfect. It came with fairly low action which made it a breeze to play. The mini jumbo body style is one of the main reasons I purchased this guitar. The bigger dips in the body make it feel much more comfortable than a standard dreadnought guitar as it rests on your thigh. The rustic sunburst finish is also candy to the eyes.

The neck is a little bigger than most acoustics but isn’t as wide at the nut as the Seagull S6. I hear some people say that the headstock on the Seagulls are ugly. Sure, it’s a little smaller than a lot of other headstocks but in my opinion it still looks great. The smaller size does not affect tuning stability or anything else, but it does feel better from the players point of view. The Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo stays in tune better than my Takamine and my Ibanez acoustics.

I’m willing to say that it is the best 6 string acoustic guitar for under $1k. I played much higher priced guitars at the music store, but none of them had the mojo that this one did. Highly recommended!

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Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child – Best Guitar Riff of All Time

Nearly 40 years after Hendrix’s death, he still remains as the most influential guitarist of all time. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” has been voted for having the best guitar riff of all time.

Here is the top 20 greatest guitar riffs of all time (according to musicradar.com)

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
2. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
3. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
4. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water
5. Derek and the Dominos – Layla
6. AC/DC – Back In Black
7. Metallica – Enter Sandman
8. The Beatles – Day Tripper
9. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
11. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
12. Muse – Plug In Baby
13. Eddie Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
14. The Kinks – You Really Got Me
15. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
16. AC/DC – Highway to Hell
17. Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker
18. Black Sabbath – Iron Man
19. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
20. Michael Jackson – Beat It

Only two songs from the past decade made the list – “Plug In Baby” by Muse and “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. What’s your favorite guitar riff of all time? Post your comments.

The Fender PT-100 Guitar Stage Tuner

 Fender PT100 chromatic pedal tuner

Figure  1 – The Fender PT-100 chromatic guitar tuner

I think i’ve found one of the most useful pieces of equipment any guitarist can own! Such statements shouldn’t be made lightly, but in this case I stand by it. If you need a new tuner you really should consider this one. In the PT-100, Fender have a solid, durable and, most importantly, easy to use tuner that works for guitar and bass. It does the job, and it does it well.

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