Tag Archives: playing guitar

Step outside your comfort zone and jam along with these top three Billboard hip-hop tracks

If you’ve been jamming with Chordify long enough, you know that our catalogue can seem infinite. Which of course means that your jamming possibilities are as well. So now it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and play along with a genre in which guitar or piano are not the first instruments that come to mind: hip-hop.

Don’t get us wrong, we totally understand that you love to incorporate Ed Sheeran in your Saturday afternoon jam. But don’t you ever feel the need to play that one Post Malone song, or jam to a Kendrick Lamar tune? “That’s hip-hop right? There are no guitars and pianos, that’s just beats”, we hear you think. But think again!

Hip-hop dominates the Billboard top 10

Let’s take a look at the Billboard ranking list. Drake is number one with God’s Plan, followed by the king of groove, Bruno Mars, in third place. Scrolling through the charts we see that the top ten is packed with cool hip-hop tracks. Two Kendrick Lamar songs for example, one on which he collaborates with The Weeknd.

And those are not the only hip-hop songs in the Billboard top ten. How about Post Malone’s Rockstar, another Drake song, or last but not least Migos with Stir Fry in tenth place. You’ve got to admit that your fingers are starting to get itchy, right? That’s why we’ve selected three top ten hip-hop songs you can jam to.

1 – Drake: God’s Plan

Canadian rapper Drake has conquered the world since his debut album Thank Me Later that appeared in 2009 on the Young Money Entertainment label of colleague Lil Wayne. That same year the album became number one in the Billboard top 100. From that moment on, the rapper could not be stopped.

With his laid-back flows and wavy beats Drake belongs to the top of the popular music scene. Try to jam along with the song God’s Plan and you’ll understand why. The track is a nice mix of basic chords and barre chords. Perfect for training your grip. Check it out.

2 – Bruno Mars: Finesse

Peter Gene Hernandez from Honolulu, better known as Bruno Mars, has regularly been in the top 10 of the pop rankings in recent years. With songs likeBillionaire and 24k Magic, this artist has shown that he can play both funky and super poppy.

Besides being a singer and rapper, Bruno Mars is also a hell of a guitar player. His track Finesse currently peaks at number three on the Billboard charts right under Ed Sheeran. For the advanced guitar player this song is a challenge, due to all barre chords. And, if you’re a beginner, you can practice less-used chords like Dis and Es minor. Try it and jam along.

3 – Kendrick Lamar & SZA: All the Stars

When we talk about rappers, the name Kendrick Lamar must not be omitted. The man who grew up in the same place as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Coolio maintains an image of renewal in rap music. His lyrics build on stories from the hood, but from a contemporary perspective.

Like Bruno Mars’ previous track, this song is for the advanced guitarist. Once you’ve mastered the tricky grips, another challenge arises. The beat is very important in hip-hop, that’s why you should pay close attention to your right hand. That’s your strumming hand, that keeps the rhythm. Try it yourself. Happy jamming!

Five tips to prevent blisters on your fingers

Blisters on your fingertips. You probably know the feeling – just when you’re getting into the jam, your fingers start hurting. Of course you don’t want to be a whiner, so you stubbornly continue playing. The result: blisters. After which you can’t practice for a couple of days. Here are five tips to prevent this situation.

Blister Prevention Tip 1 – Practice regularly for short periods of time

Just started playing the guitar, or haven’t jammed in a while? Most likely your fingers are not used to pressing on strings. The result: pain and swelling of your fingertips. One of the best ways to cultivate calluses and get rid of the uncomfortable feeling, is to practice often.

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Just keep in mind that your fingertips have to get used to the feeling. Especially in the beginning it’s important to keep your jam sessions short. Choose a song you want to play and practice it for a quarter of an hour. After fifteen minutes your fingertips are probably burning. Stop jamming and give them some rest.

Playing guitar is very addictive, yeah we know. But it’s also similar to playing sports. If you want to see fast results, you’ll have to rest as much as you train. That’s why our advice is to take at least a twelve-hour break between jam sessions. Follow this approach for a week or two and thank us later.

Blister Prevention Tip 2 – Cool your fingers

The pain in your fingertips is caused by the strings cutting into your skin. It takes a while for your body to strengthen that part of your fingers with callus. You can speed up the process by cooling your hands after playing.

After jamming for fifteen minutes, turn on the cold tap. Keep your fingers under the pouring water for a minute. You’ll notice the improvement right away. The burning sensation will fade, or perhaps even disappear.

Blister Prevention Tip 3 – Reduce the action of your guitar

The action of your guitar is the distance between the strings and the neck. The higher the action, the harder you have to press to get a clean sound. That, of course, is painful for your fingertips. This is why it is wise to lower the action on your axe. Here are two ways how to do this.

By tuning your strings down a semitone, you’ll reduce the tension on the strings. Less tension equals less pain. A semitone down means that your E-strings, both high and low, are tuned in Dis. The A becomes a Gis, the D changes into a Cis, the G becomes a Fis and the B becomes an Ais.

The second way you can lower the action is to place a capo on the first fret. This ensures that the strings get closer to the neck. Again, this approach will feel much better for your fingers while playing.

Blister Prevention Tip 4 – Clip your nails

More calluses on your fingertips is equivalent to less pain during jamming. You can accelerate the formation of calluses by using a larger area of ​​your skin when playing the guitar.

Clipping your nails is a good way to do this. Less nail is more skin surface. Try it out, but do not clip your nails too close to the skin. That can be painful and counter-productive.

Blister Prevention Tip 5 – Select the right strings

Depending on the type of guitar, you can choose to use less ‘painful’ strings. The least hurtful strings are those used on a Spanish guitar (also called a classical guitar).The G-string, B-string and high E-string are made from nylon. This makes them a lot less painful than their steel counterparts, that you’ll commonly find on a Western guitar.

If you play electric or Western guitar, you have a choice: light, medium or heavy strings. Light strings are thinner and require less force when playing. And less force means… yup, less pain.

No pain no gain

Follow the tips above and you’ll see that progress comes faster than you think. The process ain’t painless, but on the other hand the motto is: no pain no gain! Therefore, keep practicing and keep striking them chords. It will get easier and more fun with every session. Happy jamming!