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Watch the Gear Talk & Practice Tips online guitar lesson by Andy McKee from Musicarium Songbook

Before getting into the songs, I wanted to run through my guitar and some of the gear I use. My guitar is a Greenfield guitar, built by a private luthier in Montreal. The fretboard on the guitar has fanned frets, which helps with the intonation - a similar concept to a harp or a piano, in which the bass strings are longer than the treble strings. The guitar also has a couple of bevels that allow the guitar to sit more comfortably when being played.

The pickup in the guitar is a K&K Pure Mini, a great amp if doing anything percussive with acoustic guitar. When playing unplugged, I use a ToneWoodAmp. This sends a light vibration through the guitar to amplify it, and even has effects like reverb, delay, and a Leslie effect.

The capos used in these lessons are Shubb Capos, which allow the pressure on the fret to be changed so there's perfect intonation every time.

The strings on the guitar are medium gauge Ernie Ball aluminum bronze strings. The medium gauge strings do a better job than the light strings of holding the tuning, especially when tuning the low strings to something like C or even B.

When practicing these songs, it might be discouraging at first trying to play them and use some of the unusual techniques, but take it slow and it will start to come together. And if you find other ways of playing them, that's fine too. Have fun playing!