55 Year Old “Late Starter” Achieves His Guitar Playing Goals With Jamorama

About Martin Chiani

Martin started learning guitar in 2007 and has been a member of Jamorama for 10 years. His current goal is to pick up one of his guitars everyday. Martin is an active member on the Jamorama site.

In 2007, at the age of 55, Martin Chiani decided he would try to learn guitar. With the goal of being able to play songs and sing, he recognized the need for some solid lessons to give him a good grounding in the fundamentals of guitar.

After trying several expensive guitar teachers, a few guitar theory books, and a handful of DVD courses – none of which took him very far – Martin stumbled upon Jamorama which was offering lifetime access to a growing library of video lessons for $99.95.

The complete package for the beginner to intermediate student

What impressed Martin most about Jamorama was the fact that it provides the complete package for a beginner to intermediate student. He was also surprised to find out that Jamorama has a 120 day money-back guarantee so he could try it risk-free. After reading a few online reviews and some further consideration, Martin signed up.

In the first few months, Martin found that learning guitar was difficult, but that Jamorama made it easier and kept him on track. “It took me several months to play songs but I progressed, first learning simple one note songs, then chord songs, then barre chord songs. I always go back to the chord library, and beginner courses 1 and 2 as a brush up, and I’m also now using the other Jamorama courses to develop and improve my skills.”

“I am so advanced compared to when I first started Jamorama”

Best of all, Martin is now doing what he set out to achieve: playing and singing at the same time. “I am so advanced compared to when I first started Jamorama. I can now completely set up an acoustic or electric guitar. What took me a month before – completely learning a new song – now takes me less than a week, and I completely own it. I thought that I wanted to learn rock but now see that my taste has evolved to country with all its different strum patterns. Although I still like to play ”campfire songs”, which are basically rock songs on my acoustic. I’m finally able to play and sing at the same time.”

In 2016, Martin was rushed to hospital for an emergency open heart surgery which put a stop to his guitar playing for a while. But despite this setback, Martin isn’t allowing it to get in the way of learning and mastering new guitar skills in 2017. His current goal is to pick up the guitar every day to avoid any rust setting in. In Martin’s own words, “You lose what you don’t use.”

Jamorama Guitar System – Skills Demonstration

In this video, Mark McKenzie demonstrates a range of skills taught in the Jamorama Guitar System.

Song List

  1. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
  2. Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
  3. The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  4. I’ll Tell My Ma – Irish Folk Song
  5. Father and Son – Cat Stevens
  6. Wonderwall – Oasis

PRS Studio Electric

n early 2011, another new PRS model burst onto the scene featuring a new finish that PRS had been working on combining ultra thin and super hard attributes to get the most out of the carved maple top.

Sonic options abound with the PRS Studio’s triple pickup setup and switching options. It features their brand new Narrowfield pickups which are basically a combination of a P-90, mini-humbucker, full-sized humbucker and a single coil. The result is both smooth, warm tones and crisp clear tones.

At home producing sweet acoustic styled clean sounds to more overdriven, crunch sounds.

If you don’t want to leave home to get a feel for the sounds this guitar is capable of, then check this video out for a fine selection of sounds.

Another beautiful example of PRS sweetness in the form of the 2011, maple topped, bird inlays, 5 way selector with pop out. It features their new V12 finish (very thin and hard), which is a lot of options with the 5 way select as well as the coil tap push/pull tone on the bridge humbucker Stop tail piece or tremolo tail piece. Pattern thin neck or pattern regular neck

What Is Pick Sliding?

Pick Sliding is a guitar technique most often used in the rock, punk or metal music genres. The technique is executed by holding the edge of the pick against any of the three or four wound strings and moving it along the string. Simple isn’t it?

It is so simple that many guitarists use to add variety to their music. It is especially common in metal guitar to emphasize a change or add a little spice. First take a loud heavily distorted guitar, then get your pick and press it down on the bottom E string (thickest), and whilst maintaining pressure on the string slide it up the neck.

Try experimenting with different speeds and pressure until you get a good sound. This technique may not sound that crash hot by itself but if you use it to transition different parts of a song.

Go try it, I am sure you will get it right very quick.

Here is a video from Youtube user retn858 on how to do it and how it sounds, check it out!

Good luck with your practice.

Learn more about Moses Robbins on his Google profile.

Bang for buck – SongPond.tv

If you’re anything like I was when selecting my first guitar, I didn’t have a clue what I should have been looking or listening for. Asked the question, “What do you think?” my answer was a vague, “Yeah, it’s better than the one I have”. But I had no idea why.

If you’re in the same boat, chances are you’ll have as much of an idea as I did all those years ago. There are so many options and factors that go into making great sounding guitars. Questions abound: Nylon or steel string? Ply top or hard top? Full size or ¾ size?

Well wonder no more. In this episode of SongPond.tv, Ben visits a local music store and gives the low down on the different guitars on offer. What to expect in terms of price and the benefits of each type of guitar.

Don’t worry though, you won’t be bombarded with too much information, but will receive just enough information to feel confident when you next step into a music store to pick out your next guitar.

Learn more about Jon Coursey on his Google profile.

Taylor – Baritone Acoustic Guitar

In 2008, Taylor Guitars celebrated their 35th Anniversary in true Taylor style by releasing a 35th Anniversary collection of guitars. Among that collection was a Baritone guitar that was met with such enthusiasm that it quickly became a standard production model.

The Baritone differs from a standard guitar in being tuned to B (BEADF#B) a 4th down from standard tuning creating a unique sound that opens up possibilities for new chord voicings. You can still use all the same chord shapes you use in standard tuning, the only difference being they will sound a 4th lower. And given the 27 inch scale length it’s just as playable as any other standard 6 string guitar.

To put this into context, if you were to play an open E chord shape on a Baritone guitar, it would sound a B chord. Or, if you were to play with a standard guitar, you would need to place a capo at the 5th fret to sound chords at the same pitch as a standard guitar playing in open position.

The deep tones come from the Indian Rosewood back and sides combined with a Sitka Spruce top and are amplified using Taylor’s proprietary onboard expression system that works to simply amplify the natural sound of the guitar.

The freboard is made from hard wearing Ebony and the shape of the guitar is that of Taylor’s GS (Grand Symphony); a guitar design known for its deep bass tones, gutsy midrange and thicker upper range.

It comes in two models; the 6 string and the 8 string. The 8 string having an extra octave string on the 3rd and 4th strings creating the chime or twang of a 12 string and allows the high end to remain pure while kicking out a strong low end.

With this added tonality, playing with a standard tuned guitar will open up sonic options. You will need to keep in mind the difference of a 4th and transpose on the fly, but a lot of fun will be had.

To hear just how rich and full the Taylor Baritone sounds, check out this video featuring Co-Founder of Taylor guitars – Bob Taylor and hear a little more about how the Baritone came about.

7 Tips for Positive Practice Habits

As we all know, learning an instrument can be hard work. It is important to make sure you have solid self discipline and apply yourself.

Because a lot of your practice will be away from your teacher you need to develop strategies for maintaining a good work ethic. Here are seven habits that will help you in your journey learning your instrument.

1) Don’t procrastinate. There are always a set number of tasks you have to do when you are practicing. It is easy to put off playing until tomorrow, but you shouldn’t do this. Practice is important; you should get into it as soon as possible.

2) Keep in touch with other musicians. If you are constantly in contact with your friends who also play then you will boun off and motivate each other.

3) Keep moving. Don’t get stuck in a rut, it is important to keep on learning new skills and developing your playing.

4) Use your time properly. Without a regular practice time it becomes difficult to maintain consistency. You should make a regular time to practice so you can fully develop as a musician.

5) Practice in a good work environment. It is important to have a good place for you to practice. You need an environment that is clean and quite so you can fully concentrate on what you are doing.

6) Be comprehensive. You should always be trying to become a complete musician. For this reason, it can be a good idea to keep a list of all the things you need to do to become a complete musician.

7) Know your own work habits. Each person has their own individual way of learning. For this reason it is important to adjust your practice so you can maintain it.

We hope these tips help you with your practice. Keeping your self discipline is a matter of good planning and goal setting.

Learn more about Moses Robbins on his Google profile.

Martin HD16-AD

For the vintage tone-a-phobes out there, the Martin D16-Adirondack is a model that reproduces classic dreadnought tones of the likes of Martin’s D18 model but is set at a more affordable price than their other vintage re-issues.

The D16-Adirondack features a mortise and tenon neck joint and slightly different bracing than the D18 but produces a full rich bass that can dominate the rest of the guitar’s range. Having said that, you’re probably not going to get a fatter bass sound for open tunings or dropped D tunings.

The Adirondack (or red spruce) top, is unique in that it has an excellent stiffness-to-weight ratio and a “springy” quality that together enable it to be used on a variety of sizes of guitars while still maintaining good head room and a dynamic range as well as kicking out a decent volume.

Its striking good looks come from the much wider grain which is often at odds with conventional wisdom about what makes a great piece of spruce. Martin have created a distinctive look by using a gloss finish with a yellowish toner which make it stand out even more from their other models.

Admittedly, it’s not a guitar that will suit every style. Dreadnoughts are commonly thought of as a bluegrass ax. However, there is a diverse group of players that prove the dreadnought’s versatility.

Tommy Emmanuel & Bill Mize prove dreadnoughts are just as good for finger-style where Tony Rice and Grant Gordy show that they can also be used for Jazz. They have also been just as at-home in the hands of singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

To hear how the Martin D16-Adirondack performs, check out the following video review from Acoustic Magazine’s Scott Nygaard.

What Is Intonation?

Intonation is the accuracy of your guitars pitch all the way down the neck. It is relative to each individual fret. If your intonation is correct then when you play the lowest string on your guitar (an E) then each fret up should be perfectly in tune: E (open), F (1st fret), F sharp (2nd fret) G (3rd fret) and so on. If your intonation is right then all the other notes on your guitar will be perfectly in tune with your open string. Intonation doesn’t always go askew on all frets; it’s usually only a few here and there and gets worst if not attended to.

If you want your guitar to sound good then you need to keep your guitar properly intonated so it is in relative tune to itself. Generally you should check your intonation every week or so, just to make sure that your guitar is sounding as good as it can. To check your intonation you need a tuner and you should do one string at a time. The procedure for checking your intonation is as follows.

1. Turn on your tuner and tune the string to the right pitch.
2. Strike the 12th fret harmonic; make sure it is tune with the open string. (they should be the same note).
3. Now strike the note at the 12th fret (not the harmonic) all three of these notes should be the same note. If they are, then your intonation if probably fine if not then you could have a serious problem.

If you have a problem with your intonation then you should take your guitar to the nearest guitar store and get a professional to fix it for you.

Good luck with your practice!

Posted by Ben Edwards

To Warm up or not to Warm up, that’s the question!

If you have ever played any sports you will know about the importance of warming up. It is important to stretch your muscles and ligaments before you take part in any strenuous exercise. Playing the guitar is no exception to this rule.

When you play the guitar you can put a lot of strain on your hands, fingers and forearms. It is important to warm up your fingers before you start playing. The reason this is important is that it can prevent overuse injuries, which will hurt your playing.

If your hands start to hurt then it is time to stop playing. Stop playing and identify the pain and assess how serious you think it is. If you have a severe aching pain in your hands or wrists you should take some time off and rest your hands. And next time you play remember to WARM UP PROPERLY.

The most common way that people warm up is by playing scales. The best way to do this is pick a simple scale and run up and down it a few times. You should do this slowly at first and build up to full speed. It is also a good idea to warm up with some slow chord changes before you get into playing as hard as you can. Try and slowly build up your repertoire of warm up chord changes.

This is not totally related to warming up but when you are playing or warming up try and maintain good hand and body position. This will make a big difference to your playing and reduce the chance of you having any problems with pain from playing.

Warm up and practice hard and enjoy your playing but play safe.

Posted by Ben Edwards