Electric Guitar Reviews

Epiphone Les Paul vs. Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Pauls have become pricier every year-way out of reach for many players, which paved the way for the cheaper Epiphone version of the Les Paul. Watch the video to find out the differences and similarities of the Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul guitars.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Specs:

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  • Mahogany body
  • Maple veneer over carved top
  • Chrome hardware
  • Grover tuners
  • Rosewood fretboard with trapezoid inlays
  • 24-3/4″ scale
  • 1-11/16″ nut width
  • Set mahogany neck
  • Slim-tapered neck profile
  • Alnico Classic humbuckers

The Epiphone version of the Les Paul standard is a great buy. It’s tone is not quite that of the Gibson, but almost as nice.

Gibson Les Paul Studio Specs:

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  • Carved maple top and mahogany back
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 2 volume and 2 tone knobs, 3-way switch
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar
  • Chrome or gold hardware
  • 490R (neck) and 498T (bridge) Alnico 2 magnet humbucker pickups, 2 of Gibsons most popular pickups

The most noticeable difference between an Epiphone and a Gibson Les Paul is the price tag. Believe it or not, the Epiphone is a real Les Paul, not a bad Les Paul shaped imitation

Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Seagull Coastline Folk Cedar Acoustic Guitar Review

The Seagull Coastline Folk Cedar Acoustic Guitar is a concert size model based on the dimensions of a classical guitar.

The guitar has a good bottom end and mids, however the treble is just a touch short of sounding “boxy”. Overall for under $400 its a fine guitar. It would have been better to have a one piece neck, but I’m sure they would charge another $125 for that.

The smaller body size enhances the instrument’s sound in the mid-range, also making it excellent for fingerpicking.

Details of the Seagull Coastline Folk Cedar Guitar:
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  • Top : Select Pressure Tested Solid Cedar
  • Back & Sides : 3-layer lamination of wild cherry wood
  • Neck : Silver Leaf Maple
  • Fingerboard & Bridge : Rosewood
  • Tusq® nut and compensated saddle
  • Finish : Semi-Gloss Custom Polished Finish
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 21 frets
  • Nut: 1.8″
  • Upper Bout: 11.14″
  • Lower Bout: 14.76″
  • Waist: 9.46″
  • Body Length: 19.6″
  • Body Depth: 4.2″

How to Read Guitar Chord Charts/Diagrams

One of the first things you’ll need to be able to decipher when starting to learn the guitar are chord charts, or chord diagrams. It is fairly straight forward, so have a look at the video if you’ve been having trouble reading guitar chord charts.

A chord diagram is a visual representation of a guitar chord. There are 6 lines going from left to right and six lines going from top to bottom.

  • The lines going from left to right represent the guitar strings, with the leftmost line being the thickest string of the guitar, the low E string, and the rightmost line being the skinniest string of the guitar, the high E string.
  • As you can guess, the lines in between represent strings A, D, G and B.
  • The lines going from top to bottom represent the frets. The top line is the nut of the guitar, the second line is the first fret, and so on.
  • String with no notation, so no open or black dots are not played in the given chord.

Of course, you could have a guitar chord diagram, where the topmost line is not the nut, but a fret further up the neck of the guitar. This would be indicated by “5 fr” for example, meaning that the upper line is fret 5, the second line fret 6, and so on.

Chord Theory

Major Chord Theory

Learning major chords is the first part of learning chord theory. To fully understand the formation of major chords, you need to be familiar with the notes on the fretboard, as well as major scales. If you are lacking in those areas, it’ll be best to review them first, otherwise you won’t understand the video.

Let’s define what a major triad is; a triad are 3 notes either played together. A major triad is played using the 1st (root) + 3rd + 5th notes of a major scale.

TIP: You can find the 3rd and 5th notes in the scale by count up FOUR semi-tones to arrive at the 3rd, and then count up THREE semi-tones to arrive at the final note in the major chord, the 5th degree of the major scale.

Here are a couple of examples on how you’ll use the above to form major chords:

  • To form an E major chord, first count out the E major scale, which is E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#-E. The first, third, and fifth notes are E-G#-B, which is our E major chord.
  • To form an F# Major chord, first examine the F# major scale which is F#-G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E#-F#. The first, third, and fifth notes are F#-A#-C#, which is our F# major chord.
Guitar Notes

Learn Notes on the Fretboard

There’s no reason to study the fretboard until after you’ve learned the very basics, like chords, a few barre chords, picking, strumming and easy songs. But once you do, your level of playing will start advancing in giant leaps.

Understanding the notes around the fretboard and their relation to 1 another is your initial step in studying guitar theory. Once you are familiar with the notes, studying to form chords, playing scale shapes, and even writing music will seem easy and effortless. Of course it takes time, patience, and lots of studying, so lets just stick to the notes around the fretboard for now.

The initial step in learning the fretboard is to remember the notes along strings five and six. Focus on the natural notes, so leave out the flats and sharps for now. The natural notes are the letters A thru G and usually occur in alphabetical order. The second step would be to fill the gaps with sharps and flats. Sharp (#) indicates 1 fret higher while flat (b) indicates 1 fret lower.

Watch the video, and download this free fretboard training software if you want an interactive studying experience as well.

Notes on the fretboard.
Notes on the fretboard (Click to view larger image).
Acoustic Guitar Songs

Knocking on Heavens Door Guitar Lessons, Chords – Bob Dylan

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is a song by Bob Dylan, which has been covered by many artists, including Guns n Roses. The original version reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles list, and was voted #190 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

To play in the same key as Bob Dylan plays, keep your guitar in standard tuning. To play Knocking on Heavens Door in the key that the Guns n Roses version is played in, you will need to tune your guitar down a 1/2 step.

The song consists of four chords in the key of G major: G, D, Am7, and C. The basic pattern throughout the song is G-D-Am7-Am7 and then G-D-C-C, and this is repeated.

Knocking on Heavens Door Verse Chords (2x)

G; D; Am; Am;
G; D; C; C;

Knocking on Heavens Door Chorus Chords (4x)

G; D; C; C;

Knocking on Heavens Door Strumming pattern

D DDU or D DDU UDDDU (for Am and C double chords only).

Knocking on Heavens Door Lyrics


Verse 1
Mamma take this badge off-a me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s getting dark, too dark to see
Feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Verse 2
Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I Feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door