Deep Guitar; Six String Yoga An Instructional Manual by Jay Dancing Bear

this is not finished, 
some parts are complete, some just outline 
BEGINNERS need to learn 
1) how to hold the guitar in a way that makes it easy to play
2) the 8 basic Chords, A,C,D,E,G,Am,Dm,Em, 
    focusing on good technique both holding and changing chords 
3) how to use the pick 
4) basic music theory 
5) basic rhythm 
6) how to tune the guitar
your  most important exercises to practice are
Press and Release
The Gravity Exercise
1) expand your chord vocabulary, including barre chords 
2) learn more sophisticated rhythms 
3) start connecting chords with scales 
4) learn techniques of vibrato, hammer on, pull off 
5) really master pick technique 
6) learn open tunings 
your most important exercises to practice are
the Gravity Exercise
Rhythm Exercises
picking patterns, meaning cross-picking and 64636261
1) Rhythm is the place to go deeper and deeper. 
    learn odd timings like 5/8 and 7/16. 
    explore the subtleties of rhythm
2) learn some exotic scales 
3) start playing other instruments, then bring that feeling back to guitar 
4) learn some jazz chords, especially some of the “pretzel” chords, with difficult fingerings, 
    and classical pieces, even if you don’t care for those styles of music 
Correctly approached, 
with patience and attention to detail, 
learning guitar is easy. 
you’ve already learned the most difficult thing you’ll ever learn in your life, which is how to walk. 
If you could do that, you can learn to play guitar, and well!
it all sounds so complicated on paper.
so many of my beginning students tell me that they tried to learn from books, and couldn’t. 
things which i can show and explain easily to my students in person, sound like rocket science when i try to write them down 
Still, i feel the need to write this, both for my students, and for those of you i may never meet. I will do my best to make this as easy as possible to understand, because books are great to learn from, once you have some idea of what you’re doing, and even if just one little part of this helps your playing, it’s worth it.
Table of Contents
1) What is music?
2) The four basic building blocks
3) Elements of a musical piece
4) Your primary instrument-your body
5) Your primary instrument-your mind
6) Metaphysical considerations         
    use of the pick 
    fretting hand
    1) The infinity of sound
    2) The musical alphabet
    3) Scales
    4) Chords
    5) Songs
Playing Chords

1) What is music?
2) The four basic building blocks
3) Elements of a musical piece
4) Your primary instrument-your body
5) Your primary instrument-your mind
6) Metaphysical considerations

After 12 years of making notes, I wrote the first version of this work in April 1998. It was called The Official Jay Dancing Bear Guide to Guitar.  I knew myself well enough to know that I would want to make changes, so I only printed about 70 copies, which is what a hundred bucks got me. Almost immediately I started learning new things and getting ideas for changes, so five years later, in the middle of 2003, after making many more notes, I started to put the new version together, and now here it is 2008, and i’m starting to work on it again.
I am always looking to refine and improve my teaching. Your constructive suggestions and comments are most welcome. contact
A) What is music?
Half mathematics, half mystery. A way to touch, unlock, access, even stimulate and produce, feelings, emotions, moods. A way to express yourself, to touch others, to share yourself, to get a sense of something other than the material world, sometimes even a sense of transcendance, of the sacred.  In many of the spiritual traditions of the world sound exists even before light or matter.
Learning the technical stuff is straightforward The mystery is why music affects people the way it does.    
B) The Four Basic Building Blocks
EARS includes tuning, hearing the character and subtleties of each individual note, and the relationships between notes, both in single notes played one after the other and notes played together (chords)
RHYTHM is just as important, if not even more important, than the notes you play.  Rhythm includes dynamics. Rhythms give life to your playing.
TECHNIQUE includes how you hold the guitar, proper use of hands, efficient application of pressure, whether you push or pull to get your notes, getting in harmony with gravity, how you change chords, etc. All the physical stuff.
THEORYincludes knowledge of the musical alphabet, scales, chords, keys, basic chord progressions, song structures. Even in rock and blues a little basic knowledge of theory can help you a lot.
everything you learn will fall into one of these four basic categories
These are the basic elements of  a good sounding musical piece.
If your guitar is in tune,
has a good tone,
and you articulate your notes and chords clearly so that your musical intentions can be understood,
if your rhythm is good,
if the melody and harmony have some character and interest, 
and there is some life to the piece,
some louder and softer, slower and faster,
and above all,
if you have tapped into some real inspiration
if all this has happened,
the chances are that you are making some really good music.
D) YOUR BODY- your primary instrument
Whatever it is you do in this world, your body is your primary instrument. How well it functions depends on your psyche. Although this is a guitar manual, recognize from the start that what determines the parameters of your possibilities, what sets the limits of how good you can be, is your psyche and your physical health, which depends on your mental and emotional health.
It took me a long time to realize that I got more guitar improvement from one hour of yoga or tai chi and one hour of guitar practice, than from 4 hours of practice, and it took me even longer to realize that my psychological problems were causing self destructive, non-self supportive behavior, which in turn was keeping me from getting where I wanted to be on guitar. I realized that if I was really committed to being the best musician I could be, I had to get into a lot of personal and spiritual growth stuff. It’s like sharpening the edge of your knife, it cuts a lot better and easier.
Learning guitar is not just getting a bunch of ideas in your head; it’s a yoga for the fingers, as they learn to stretch and even grow a little differently. Your posture, how you sit or stand; whether you hold your breath, as many people do when concentrating, all these effect your playing.
Finding the edge, the exact amount of pressure you need to exert, not putting out an ounce less or an ounce more. Getting in harmony with gravity and the laws of nature, using that to make your playing as effortless as possible.
When the signal goes from your heart and brain to your fingers, when your fingers move, when your wrist looks for the comfortable position for barre chords, etc., how clear are the nerve channels? How lubricated are the joints? How balanced and strong are the muscles?
I know the rock and roll image is sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and that’s all fine as long as your health holds out, but if you’re really committed to being  the best you can be, rather than living out an image, you need to take care of yourself. Jimi Hendrix is dead. Jim Morrison, Janis, and all the others, most of whom we never heard of. Think of how much more and better they could have done.
E) Your Primary instrument- your mind
Negative self criticism seems to be the single biggest obstacle to learning. I’ve been teaching guitar since 1980. So many students start their lessons by telling me why they can’t do it, how they are slow learners, uncoordinated, their hands are too small, etc., etc., etc.
My first job as a teacher is to tell them that they can do it, that it is normal not to get it the very first time they are shown something, to just let go and give themselves a chance. They do learn, and much more quickly once they start devoting their whole attention to learning, rather than half to learning and half to self criticism. I strongly recommend reading  YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE  by Louise Hay. The ideas in it will help you learn guitar a lot faster and easier.
Music has great power to affect people in profound ways. To state the most obvious, we put on certain music to get us up and moving, other music to go to sleep by. Music can induce feelings of turmoil or meditation, aid in healing, or induce illness. Music affects the physical body, including secretions of hormones, the heart rate, the emotions, the mind, and the energy body.
Can we “feed” ourselves with sound? Can we balance ourselves energetically, even positively affecting out emotions and health, by listening to a certain note, scale or rhythm? On the other hand, can some music not be healthy to listen to, not because of any lyrical content, but because of the music? Do certain sounds, for example the noise of construction, lawnmowers, cars, etc., damage our health? Is noise pollution as dangerous as air pollution? Here I am going a bit afield from music into sound, which also includes the characteristics of the object generating the sound, but where is the boundary between sound and music?
Human beings are usually thought of as physical accretions of meat and bone, but the deeper truth of the atoms of which our bodies are made is that of magnetic fields, and on that level it is much easier to admit the power of sound.
Each NOTE has it’s own unique characteristic. I have heard it said that the human body can suffer from a lack, or over-abundance of a note, for example the note C, just as we can lack certain vitamins.
Correlations have been made between notes and chakras (energy centers in the body). Can we raise our spiritual vibration? In many cultures music and spirituality go hand in hand; the musician is often a shaman. It is a great mistake to take this lightly.
The different SCALES or KEYS have often been associated with different moods. The most common example is the difference between major and minor, with major often considered happy and minor more sad or melancholy.
In some cities in ancient Greece the phyrgian scale was banned because it was considered to cause warlike feelings. In India they get very specific about playing a certain key, at a certain time of the day. In my own playing I have found certain keys to be better daytime keys, and others nightime keys.
Does, for example, a B minor scale have certain specific uses, in more than musical applications? Are there certain times of the day it will move us more?
Multiplying the 12 different root notes by the 7 scale patterns we get 84 different scales. This is just using the most basic modes of the major pattern of Western music, and of course there are countless other scales we could play.
Any good performing musician knows that it is so important to play the right song,at the right time, for the right audience, and key has a lot to do with this. I personally believe that one of the elements that made the music of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn so powerful  is that they both played in Eb instead of E. Robert Johnson played mostly in Bb and F.
RHYTHM IS perhaps the easiest element to understand, so I won’t say much. Some rhythms make us want to dance, and others induce trance. In Africa the drummers were trained in which rhythm had what effect, as good drummers know today.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER one can memorize a set of rules, or one can observe through trial and error, or one can develop the intuition, which means inner teaching, or all of the above.
I don’t pretend to know much more than the basic concepts I have outlined here, but my experience has been  that music has much more power in it than we realize. My belief is that as musicians we need to be cognizant of that, because it affects us whether we realize it or not. On the simplest level we become more satisfied with our own playing and better able to get the response we want from the audience. On deeper levels we can use music as a tool to help ourselves and others, perhaps even to evolve spiritually.
The very first thing you need to learn is how to keep the guitar stable, so that your fretting hand doesn’t have to hold up the guitar neck. Also, the body of the guitar should not be slipping off your leg. Elevating your foot by resting it on your guitar case, or some phone books, is a good way to improve stability.
I strongly recommend to my students to use a strap, adjusted so that the weight of the guitar is carried by your shoulder, leaving your hands free to play.
Also, do not put your body in awkward positions, such as craning your neck to look at the strings.
Technique is only a means to the end of expressing the music inside you. If what you to play is basic three chord rock and roll, you don’t really need that much technique. If, however, you feel the need to play jazz, you will need much more practice.
Just because some music is more complicated, and some players more technically proficient, doesn’t necessarily make them better or worse if we evaluate by the standard of self expression.
Having said that, as a guitar teacher I teach technique, and that’s what most of this manual is about. I myself have played 28 years, as of this writing, and while I play pretty well, technically I could have been a lot better if I had practiced more. The truth is, I’m pretty happy with what I do, and my audiences seem quite pleased also. I’m basically a blues-rock-folk guy, and these days I’m a lot more interested in playing the right note, rather than a million notes.
Technique  can be broken down into Picking hand and Fretting hand. For the most part, once you learn proper fretting technique you’ve got it. On the other hand, no matter how many years you play, you can always improve your picking with practice. 

Very often people just use the first pick which comes into their hands, without thinking much about it, but this is a mistake. Which pick you use makes a very big difference in your sound. I recommend buying a bunch of different picks and seeing which one you prefer.
The size and shape of a pick mostly have to do with how comfortable it is for you to hold in your hand. Some people prefer the large triangles, some the small teardrops, most people use the standard size.
The material and thickness of a pick make a very big difference in the sound. The thicker the pick, the rounder, stronger, louder and more muted the sound, so there is a tradeoff between treble and volume, however with technique one can get quite a lot of treble even out of a thick pick.
Different materials have different tones. There are many different blends of plastic, and of course there are non-plastic picks such as nylon or wood. I’ve even had stone picks.
Before you even play a note, the strings and pick you use are going to determine a lot of your sound. I think it’s best to explore your options and make a conscious decision, and of course you can always try something new.
There are a lot of good ways to hold a pick. I’ll describe the one I use. I lay the pick flat on the meat of my first finger and then bring my thumb to hold it. Hold the pick firmly, but not in a vise grip. You will develop a feel for this with experience.
The amound of pick sticking out is what we call show, as in how much pick is showing.
How much pick to show? This varies, usually a little more for chords than for single notes, but in general less is better. Beginners tend to show too much pick, and this causes the pick to get hung up in the strings and sometimes get lost or dropped altogether. This is very difficult to describe on paper, so I’ll leave it at that.
Lean-down-up           Resistance
Angle flat-edge
Where is the motion coming from-
          thumb, wrist, elbow, shoulder
Making it happen
The Gravity exercise
Picking patterns
Strumming-see RHYTHM section
how to hold single notes
fingers straight down 
thumb back of neck 
pull or push?
how to hold chords 
how to change chords
leading finger
move as unit
Up and Down strokes to a guitarist are what left and right hands are to a drummer. If you want to be able to play more than simple rhythms you will need to do a lot of practicing of your upstrokes. Your efforts will be richly rewarded with the ability to play a lot of really cool shit.
BEATS  is the music in groups of three beats, four beats, 1234, 123, or whatever
ACCENTS  Which beat do you emphasize by making it a little louder. Is it ONE two three four, or one TWO three four, etc. Sometimes there are two accents, one TWO three FOUR. When this happens often one accent is stronger than the other.
DURATION  How long does each note or chord last.
Rhythms can usually be broken down into small chunks of two, three or four strokes, and  these can be easily practiced.
First we start with just one strum. It’s either Up or Down.
Two strokes:    DD,DU,UD,UU
Three strokes; DDD, DDU, DUD, UDD
                          UUU, UUD, UDU, DUU
Four strokes    DDDD, UUUU
                         DDDU, DDUD, DUDD, UDDD
                         DDUU, DUUD,  DUDU
                         UUDD, UDDU,  UDUD
                         UUUD, UUDU,  UDUU, DUUU
Practice these one at a time and it’s a lot simpler than it looks.
Now add in ACCENTS. For example, two strokes, capitals being the accented beat:
Dd, dD, Uu, uU, Du, dU, Ud, uD.
There are a lot of possiblities, especially when you start getting to multiple accents. Just practice them one at a time and you’ll be OK.
1) The infinity of sound
2) The musical alphabet
3) Scales
4) Chords
5) Songs
Open your ears, listen to the world around you. So many sounds, a bird, a voice, a car. One thing they all have in common is that we can measure the frequency they are vibrating at, how many cycles per second. So, for example, one bird might be singing at 1000 cycles per second, another at 2000, etc. A good stereo can produce frequencies from about 20-20,000 cps. Does that mean each number is a different note. There’s no way we could work with that. We need some managable number of notes. It turns out that numbers which are in the mathematical relationship of 1/2, 2x, 4x, etc. have some sort of similar quality of sound. We can use this idea to create a system with a manageable number of notes.
In the English alphabet there are 26 letters. In the Western musical alphabet there are 12. You’d think they would just be the first 12 letters of the English alphabet  but no, that would be too simple.
Think of a flight of stairs with 12 steps.
                       C#, Db
A #=sharp=the note above, i.e. A# means the note above A
b=flat=the note below, i.e. Bb means the note below B.
There is only one note in between A and B, C and D, etc. For various reasons, sometimes we call it the note above A, sometimes we call it the note below B. It’s the same note, it juat has two names.
Notice the Exceptions. Every two notes have a note in between except BC and EF.
The distance from any note to the next note we call 1/2 step. A to A#=1/2 step, A# to B=1/2 step, B to C=1/2 step
two 1/2 steps=1 (whole) step. 
on a guitar: 1/2 step=1 fret, whole step=2 frets
We can also express this scale in a linear fashion;
  A#     C#  D#     F#   G#
A | BC | D | EF | G | A
   Bb     Db  Eb     Gb   Ab
or we could just write it out
This is called equal tempered tuning. Strictly speaking A# and Bb are very slightly different, like $1.49 and $1.51, but if the guitar fretboards were laid out exactly we would need a different guitar for every key. Instead they are fudged just a little bit. When this system was put in place in the 1600s the critics screamed that everything was slightly out of tune, but since this is what we all grew up hearing, our ears don’t notice anything wrong, and it’s nice to just have to carry one guitar, instead of twelve.
Still…there is something to be said for perfection.
Getting back to the concept of flights of stairs. The sequence of notes keeps repeating at higher and higher frequencies, exactly like flights of stairs. So here’s the mysterious part: the different A notes (for example), are at different frequencies. One is obviously higher than another, yet somehow when you listen to them. there is some sort of similarity, some sort of “Aness” that they have in common, and all the Bs will have some kind of “Bness” in common, etc. We use this concept a lot in making music
Learning, memorizing the names of the notes on the guitar fretboard is very important and very easy. You just have to put in the time.
Every note on the guitar is also a starting place for a scale and a chord. If, for example, we are playing in the key of A, if we know where the A notes are all over the guitar, we can add tremendous range to our playing.
There are six strings on a guitar, and approximately 20 frets. 6×20=120 different places on the guitar, but there are only 12 notes in the musical alphabet. This means that there are a lot of  A notes on the guitar, lots of Bs, etc., and they all repeat in a very simple pattern which is very easy to memorize, if you put in the time.
Using the musical alphabet, remembering that 1/2 step=one fret, and that standard tuning of the guitar is EADGBE, low to high, we can easily figure out the name of every note on the guitar.

Here’s how:
Have a sheet of paper in front of you with the musical alphabet written on it, A,A#, etc.
Reading the notes off the paper, name each note as you go up each string, starting on the low E string. Played open, if the guitar is in proper tune, this will be an E note. Hold the note on the first fret=F, 2nd fret=F#, 3rd fret=G, etc.
Notice that you have an open G string. If the guitar is in tune, when you play the G note on the third fret of the E string and the open G string they should both have that “Gness” in common.  As we go up the strings pay special attention to where the EADG and B notes are on each string. This can be used to tune.
Repeat the same process on each string, naming the notes as you go up one fret at a time, and paying particular attention to the EADGB notes on each string. Remember, BC and EF (no B# or E#).  Do this by rote memorization, just read it off the paper so many times that it sinks in.
A scale is an arrangement of notes according to a pattern.

Scale names, for example A major, give you two pieces of information,
a) the starting note, which is called the root and
b) the pattern,
the major pattern is R,1,1,1/2,1,1,1,1/2
translated, this means start on A, go up a whole step to B, go up another whole step to C#, half step to D, etc.

That is A major. There are also other A scales, for example A minor, which mean you would again start on A, but this time use a different pattern, for example the minor pattern, R1,1/2,1,1,1/2,1,1  

The first note of the scale is the Root, the second note we call the 2nd, third=3rd, etc.
that was easy, wasn’t it
Chords are several notes played at once. The most basic chords are the major and minor chords, which each have 3 notes.
Just as scales have a formula, such as 1,1,1/2, etc., chords also have a formula.
Write out a major scale, 
which means the Root, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale are the notes we use for a major chord.
for example, C major. 
C major scale=CDEFGABC. 
Root is C, 3rd is E, 5th is G. 
C major chord=CEG
same root and 5th, play the 3rd 1/2 step down.
C minor=C,Eb,G
Playing lead is really very simple. There are three things to do/learn
1 WHICH NOTES TO PLAY=learning scales

    a) vibrato  
    b) bend  
    c) artificial harmonic with the picking hand

    a) slide (technical name glissando)
    b) hammer on
    c) pull off

that’s it.
1 find a good note 
2 do something with that note 
3 move on to the next note in a good musical way
looked at in that way, it’s really pretty simple. On electric guitar there are some technical tricks such as using the wang bar and volume knob. Those just build on the basics listed above. Tapping is just a fancy way to do a hammer on.

Ok, let’s get into it.

Physically, speaking in terms of fingering, there are many ways to play a scale. You can  
1) go up one string, 
2) you can memorize repeatable fingering patterns. 
The guitar is an easy instrument to play scales on, in that the fingerings are exactly the same for every scale, you just start on a different note/fret. 
There are fingerings that go up one octave, for example from one A to the next, and there are
POSITIONS, which play the notes going across the strings. 
for Rock/Blues/Alternative player the 5 positions of the pentatonic scales are especially important
3) if you know the notes of the scale, and your notes on the guitar, you can play the notes wherever you find them.
1) Pentatonic
If you are playing any kind of popular music, meaning rock, alternative, punk, blues, country, folk, R+B, etc., most everything except jazz, the main scales you will use are the pentatonic (5 note) major and minor scales. For example, the A minor pentatonic scale notes are ACDEG. Every A note on the guitar, every C note, etc. There are certain fingering patterns usually called positions. There are five positions, called first position, second position, etc. There are also boxes, which is just a little piece of a position, for example 2nd position box is the most important, 4th position box also, and there are others. 
It’s a real pain in the ass to describe these fingerings on paper, they are so simple to show you in person, on paper it sounds like rocket science. don’t be put off by that.
There are also what i call “surefire” scales, which is a repeatable fingering which will take you all the way up the neck, from any note to the octave above. 
SUREFIRE MINOR SCALE-start with third finger on root on low E string, for example G. Play the note under your first finger on the A string, which in this case is Bb. Now note on A string under your third finger, C in this case. Now slide your third finger up two frets to the D note on the A string. Now 1st finger, F note on D string, now last note is G note on D string, third finger, 5th fret. G,Bb,C,D,F,G
This finger will work for any scale starting on the E or A strings. If you start on the D or G strings, you will have to compensate up one fret, because the B string is usually tuned from the 4th fret of the G string. All other strings tune from the 5th fret.
SUREFIRE MAJOR- E string, 1st finger, now 3rd finger, slide up two frets,play the note with your 3rd finger again, 1st finger A string, 3rd finger A string, last note is 1st finger D string. For key of G, notes are G,A,B,D,E,G.
These concepts translate better in person

Plucking Harmonics
Two string leads-Chuck Berry style
Two string Bends
Scales up the neck on one string, usually with hammer, slide, pull
Shifting between major and minor pentatonic
Changing scales using the root note

Hammer on
Pull off
Artificial Harmonics
Plucking Harmonics
Volume knob
Two string leads-Chuck Berry style
Two string Bends
Scales up the neck on one string, usually with hammer, slide, pull
Shifting between major and minor pentatonic
Changing scales using the root note

Touch string
Over metal fretwire
Slide into note
          How far
          How fast
Licks off records
Learn musical alphabet, notes on strings.
How to hold the guitar
Fretting notes
using the pick
Tuning-listening to the waves
scale theory-(root-scale), (finger-fret)
scales on one string
scales across strings to build up fingers
chord theory
8 basic chords placement, pressure, don’t scrunch
changing chords, anchor, leading finger, shape
gravity exercise
strums, up down strokes, accents
Song theory,I IV V, vi iii
sevenths, minor sevenths, major sevenths, F, Bb, Bm
walking into chords
hammer ons, pull offs
descending bass lines D, Am
Drop D tuning
Open  tuning
“Slow is fast”-Carlos Santana
slow, patient practice, with attention to detail and how it feels in your hand, gets the best, longest lasting results.
the placement of your fretting hand thumb on the back of the guitar neck is so important. This exercise helps develop correct placement.
wrap your thumb around the neck. now try putting your fingers down on the fretboard, 1st finger 1st fret, 2nd finger 2nd fret, etc. Notice how easy or difficult it is.
shift your thumb to the middle of the back ot the neck. put your fingers down again, one finger per fret. Notice, is it easier or harder. Which way do you have more or less reach? Chances are you will find the thumb in the middle of the neck allows your fingers more stretch, and you still will need to work on that.

Two things first: 
1 even though the muscles in your fingers are very small, they are still like any other muscles in your body in that you don’t want to overstretch them. We need to develop flexibility little by little, over a period of weeks. This will give the best, longest lasting results.
2 the way a guitar neck is built, the frets are not all the same size. They are largest near the nut-tuning pegs, smallest down by the sound hole, (or pickups, on an electric guitar)
So, move your fretting hand down to the 8th fret. Put your 1st finger on the 6th (fattest) string, 8th fret. Now, leaving that finger down, put your second finger on the same string, on the 9th fret. Now, leaving both fingers where they are, 3rd finger, same string, next fret up. Now the pinky, you know the drill.
Leaving the fingers down means that they have to develop some stretch. Doing this up the neck where the frets are smaller means it is a gentle, constructive stretch, not a harsh, destructive stretch. In this work, “no pain, no gain” is the exact opposite of what gets lasting results. You may get some quick results, but at the cost of possible lasting damage to your hand. Be gentle with yourself, and you can play for 100 years with no problems.
So, if it feels hard on starting on the 8th fret, move up to the 9th or tenth. If the 8th fret felt easy, try the 7th. Gradually, over the period of weeks, work your way down the fingerboard, and remember the first law of performance; some days you’re hot, some days you’re not. Maybe today it was easy on the 5th fret. Tomorrow maybe not, you may have to go to the 7th fret, and, over the period of time, you will improve and it will get easy, if you are patient.

Press and release
The Gravity exercise
Picking Patterns, crosspicking, 6564636261, 6162 etc.
Strumming strings by 2s, 3s,4s, 5s
Down up charts, MIRROR
Tuning-Listening to the waves 
What is most important is to find the strings which give you the sound you want to hear. There are many good brands of strings. It is not a case of which is best, but which is best for you.
The thinner the strings the thinner the sound, and this may be the sound you want. Thinner strings are easier to press down and are more suitable for beginners, but for steel string acoustic you get a lot more sound out of medium (13-56) gauge strings. On the other hand there are many excellent players who use lights (12-53), and if you are amplified volume is not a consideration.
Different compositions have different sounds, for example 80/20 Bronze as opposed to Phosphor Bronze. In addition there are large differences in brands. It is not so much that one gauge, composition or brand is best; it is more a question of finding which makes your guitar, and you, sound best. Find YOUR sound. This is very important.


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