I took the opportunity to branch out of my comfort zone a bit this week and try out the acoustic guitar! My room mate has one, and after hearing him play it a bit over the weekend I thought I’d give it a shot myself and see how it compared to the electric guitar that I’ve been using for the entirety of this learning project. Additionally, I decided to take a good look at a website I Tweeted about a while back called Chordify! It was so helpful that a good chunk of this blog will be dedicated to reviewing/explaining it.
Electric vs. Acoustic
As stated before, the hands on portion of this week’s learning came in the form of playing and reviewing the acoustic guitar for the first time. While both guitars are essentially the same instrument, they each have a ton of unique features. For me, one of the most attractive features of the acoustic guitar is its volume! One can capture the mood of a room when playing an acoustic guitar, while an electric guitar without an amp sounds far less vibrant and very quiet.
Growing up, my father played both electric and acoustic guitars around the house, so I wouldn’t call myself a stranger to the instrument in that sense. As a kid I often viewed the acoustic guitar as a happier and more upbeat instrument, while the electric guitar often sounded rougher and was less “music to my ears”. Fast forward to the current day, and my thoughts on the acoustic guitar has changed little. I view it as an instrument that brings more joy to the player and those around them, while an electric guitar forces the player to get into a sort of world of their own and engage with the music in a more intimate manner.
But that’s enough of me giving my opinions on these instruments. Let’s get to me actually playing and reviewing the acoustic guitar! The video below captures my experience with the acoustic:
To sum up my own words from the video: The acoustic guitar has thicker strings that REALLY hurt my fingers! Its bulkier, and has a wider fretboard with higher strings that are tough to get a good look a while you’re playing. While the acoustic guitar does have a good volume, it only has a finite amount of sounds due to its inability to be plugged in, which ultimately makes it less attractive of an instrument for someone who’s music tastes are more Metal oriented. Overall, while it definitely was a fun experience, the above reasons definitely force me to choose an electric guitar over an acoustic any day.
The second part of this blog is going to be devoted to Chordify- an app that essentially provides you access to the chords for any song INSTANTLY. I downloaded it with high hopes, but I must say that it has far surpassed them. The app greets you with a discover page that suggests songs that you may wish to play, and keeps track of your search history so that you can revisit songs with ease.
The main attraction of Chordify is its instant access to chords. I can’t stress how complete the catalogue is (ex. it has chords for Nasty Savage’s “No Sympathy“, which is a song I can guarantee no one in this class knows). Upon selecting a song, Chordify plays the audio while simultaneously showing you the notes that one must play. One of the best parts about this is the fact that you can toggle whether only the chord names are shown (I know very few chords by heart) or have the chord names along with a diagram that shows finger placements (which is a must have for me). You can even play audio at different tempos to cater to your own playing abilities. Gone are the days of me searching individual guitar tabs up and forgetting about them the next day, as Chordify compiles them all in one place for easy access.
Within my YouTube video above you’ll hear me playing a terrible version of Trooper’s “Thin White Line” (another relatively obscure song) right before I stop to review the instrument. I learned the riff this morning from Chordify right before recording the video! Although it sounds far from amazing, the visuals from the Chordify app allowed me to remember the notes with ease, so the song was rehearsed from memory. I really think the visuals on the app will improve my guitar playing skills immensely in the coming weeks!
In my future blogs, I will almost certainly be turning to Chordify to learn a new song to perform, especially since the final blog post is approaching! In the meantime, do yourself a favor and head over to my classmate Allysia’s blog, where she is learning to play the song “Payphone” by Maroon 5!