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Acoustic Lead Gear and Tone


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Acoustic Lead Playing Vol. 1

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

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For this tutorial I'm going to use my Martin style steel-string acoustic, and I'm getting the sound that you hear in this video from a combination of my built-in L.R. Baggs pickup/microphone and the overhead microphone that I'm also talking through. When you play completely without amplification there's no way to boost your volume in order to cut through the band. You could pick harder to obtain more volume, but that often messes with your technique, your sound and your "feel". Instead it's better to get whoever is accompanying you to play a little softer.

One handy device that I am going to use for this tutorial is this little "clamp" that you hook onto the fretboard in order to add an artificial "barre". This will enable you to play your basic open chords, but in a different key and with a higher pitched sound. Capos cost anywhere from 10 dollars and up and they're a great tool for any guitar player to have. However, I'm only going to use this for the very last lesson, so don't stress if you don't have one yet.

This is a very basic version of a capo that automatically clamps, and you don't have to adjust anything. Some of them have screws that you use to adjust the tension according to where you are on the neck. You want to place the capo just like you'd fret, so right on the other side of the fret, as close to the fret as you can get. It's very typical that you need to re-tune when you put on the capo because they tend pull the strings a little unevenly. Remember that the letter names of the open strings will be different now, but you'll be close enough to the correct pitch that your tuner should adjust no problem, and you won't have to worry about that.