Thanksgiving season has arrived! It’s time you pick up the guitar and strum a melody that brings forth visions of falling autumn leaves (or fire bursting out of skulls, whatever your taste) while you read over our list of all the things to be thankful for this time of year.
P.S. If you really are looking for something to be thankful for, you’ll surely enjoy our Thanksgiving Giveaway, which is going on right now. You could win 1 of 3 beautiful guitars plus enjoy savings up to 60% off. Check it out!
1. Les Paul
Next time you’re rocking out on your solid body electric, think about the man who helped pioneer it all, Les Paul. Through his innovative ideas and techniques, the sound of Rock and Roll became what it is today. Licks, trills, and chording sequencing — among other techniques — can all be traced back to good old Les Paul. So, be thankful for Red Hot Red… or Rhubarb Red as he once called himself!
2. Good Acoustics (aka Your Shower)
Because, let’s face it, if you’re not Bruce Springsteen or Freddie Mercury, you’ll pretty much sound your best behind the shower curtain. And here’s why: the tiles in the shower combined with your close proximity amplify your sound, reverb and resonance – all things that make you sound ridiculously good while also getting clean. So this year, be thankful for your shower for giving you a ridiculously good voice… even if it’s only for ten minutes a day.
3. Digital Sheet Music
Remember the days of searching through physical catalogues at your music shop to find the song you need? Those days are pretty much over with the advent of online chord sites and online resources for tab & notation. I think I know of a site like that really nearby… TrueFire? Something like that? I hear they’re offering up thousands of free guitar lessons right now… that’s something to always be thankful for.
4. Portable Amps
Possibly the best accessory to any guitarist is the portable amp. Fill with batteries and you’re good to go. The best way to be prepared for any last minute jam session is to keep your gig bag packed with instrument cables, extra batteries, a tuner, and maybe a small pedal. If you’re in need of a portable amp, you’ve got to check out Orange Amplification. The portable amp – thanks for helping us rock on in outlet-less locations.
YouTube is an invaluable resource for guitar players. There, you can discover new music, see how other musicians have covered songs, and maybe get in a quick lesson or two. Of course, we all know where the real destination for online guitar lessons is (wink wink, nudge nudge). Check out TrueFire on YouTube, we’re always posting new awesome video guitar lessons to help you on your journey! YouTube and YouTubians, we thank thee.
6. Good Strings
GHS, Ernie Ball, Martin, and Elixir are where it’s at when it comes to good guitar strings. There’s no better feeling than right after a fresh re-string. The guitar always sounds brighter, and fresh strings cause the guitar to look shiny-new. Remember to keep a tuner handy in the days following a re-string as the guitar can fall out of tune easier before the strings stretch out. If you’re in need of a good online guitar tuner, TrueFire’s got you covered!
7. The Loop Pedal
Always dream of being a one-man band but don’t want to secure cymbals to your knees? Well you’re in luck, because the loop pedal is where it’s at for layering sounds in real time. It’s real simple too. You just lay down a rhythm track, then press the pedal, let that play back, and play a sick melody over top. Of course, that’s just the beginning of what you can do! The possibilities are endless with which is why this year, we’re thankful for the loop pedal. Check out Robbie Calvo’s Creative Looping Handbook to learn how to master the loop pedal.
8. Open Mics
No matter where you are with your skills as a musician, an open mic is always a great place to test out new songs or to break into performing. Open mics are known for their supportive audiences and chill atmospheres. If you’re thinking about trying out an open mic, prepare two to three songs and make sure to bring your own guitar. Many musicians get their starts here, so we are totally thankful for open mics!
9. Callused Fingers
Could you imagine what a ridiculous world this would be if your guitar-playing fingertips never toughened up? Only the most tenacious of players would continue on. Each Grateful Dead jam would end up with a trip to the emergency room and Jerry Garcia would be hailed a music legend not for his awesome talent, but for his ability to play through the pain! But, luckily, this world does not exist, and so we must be thankful for our fingers ability to callus so we can continue to rock on.
10. Mic Stand Drink Holders
It’s a cup holder for your mic stand! Need I say more? If you ever get a chance to use this when performing, you’ll be super thankful. You might even raise a toast. If you do, here’s what you can say, “Raise a glass to the thing that holds it. For, without the cup holder, the cup sitteth on the ground and spilleth over.”
Have other reasons to be thankful as a guitarist? Think our reasons are ridiculous? Let us know!
by John Lombard