Getting The Most From Your Guitar
What is string theory and how can your music teacher help?
In the past, we have discussed music theory and how it applies to learning the guitar. We believe understanding the theory of music helps to produce stronger and smarter guitar players. If you are a guitar player or are considering taking guitar lessons in Philadelphia, there is something else in the guitar world you need to be aware of before you begin. String theory is another lesson you need to learn from your guitar teacher and when you go out to seek one, make sure they understand it and can help you learn it.
As anyone who’s ever picked up a guitar knows, there’s a lot more that goes into it than just plucking or strumming the string with one hand while pressing down with the other. Techniques such as vibrating a string on with a finger on the fretboard (vibrato), pushing the string sideways on the fretboard while playing a note with the other hand (string bending), and tapping the string instead of plucking it (tapping) all produce different tones that enrich the sound and contribute towards creating a distinctive style to your guitar playing.
It turns out that the effect each of these techniques has on the pitch of a note can change the sound entirely. Believe it or not, research has been conducted on string theory and equations have been devised that describe how string bending, vibrato, and tapping can change the sound of a note. There is a science to everything and the guitar is no exception!
Good guitarists can manipulate the strings to make a guitar “sing.” You can bend the strings to get the notes in between. These guitar techniques allow you to manipulate pitch. The physical properties of the string itself have a big effect on pitch. For instance, how much the string will stretch when force is applied, how thick the string is and the material you choose all make a difference. Steel strings will react differently from nylon, for example.
While it actually is a science to understand string theory, it is relatively easy to learn. A very good guitarist/teacher has an understanding of this and has no problem passing this information onto their students. Everyone develops his or her own style on the guitar and any other instrument for that matter. That is what separates the good from the great, after all.
If you are interested in taking guitar lessons in Philadelphia, remember that it is never too late to learn. To find the best teacher for you, look for someone who can not only teach but can play as well. He or she will have experience in all genres of music and understand and want to teach you music and string theories. They will work on technique with you and listen to the type of music you want to learn, not what they think will be easiest to learn.