You’ll find over one hundred FREE guitar lessons and articles here, all designed to help the beginner and intermediate guitar player play at a more professional level.
The lessons contain highly practical concepts and essential guitar techniques that have been “real world” tested – onstage – for over 25 years. Plus, they are educationally sound, having been developed with real, live students for the last decade.
I look forward to helping you along your musical journey!
The most important note in any scale is always the root note.
Unfortunately, many guitar students have to think much too hard about the location of the root note. This is especially true when rockin’ a guitar solo.
The root note – also known as the “1″ or the tonic – is the “home base” sound of a scale, that scale’s main chord, and often the entire song. So it’s critical that you know how to find that note to keep things sounding strong and focused.
What’s the result of NOT knowing and using your “home base” root notes?
Unfocused, meandering and amateurish solos. The kind of stuff that sounds like you’re firmly entrenched in the “noodle zone”.
Don’t be that guy (or girl). Always remember that the root note is king. Continue reading “The Root Note is King” »
Strumming and changing chords is at the heart of all guitar playing. And experienced players make it look so easy.
But executing a clean chord change – in rhythm – is one of the most difficult things for beginner guitarists to do.
After all, there are multiple “moving parts” in every chord change. Fingers move in various combinations with different strings and different placements to figure out. The thumb changes its position. The wrist relaxes or bends.
It’s easy to see why a rookie guitar player would struggle with this: there’s an awful lot to process!
And we’re only talking about the left hand.
While I employ a few different strategies for helping my beginners through the technical difficulties of playing chords, one of the simplest methods to deal with chord changes is more a matter of attitude than technical ability. Continue reading “Money Guitar Tip #9: “The Next Thing”” »
One of my favorite verbal cues for strumming the guitar is based on a simple task that we perform every day: we wash our hands.
And what do we do automatically after washing our hands?
We flick the excess water off.
That, my friends, is perfect strumming technique.
“Flicking water” is a highly effective cue that will help you stay loose and relaxed while getting your strum on.
How great – and easy – is that? Continue reading “Money Guitar Tip #8: “Flicking Water”” »
Bending strings is one of the most unique and awesome things about playing guitar.
Other instrumentalists may try, but guitar players are legit note-benders. We can bend a note a little or a lot or anywhere in between!
However, with great musical power comes great responsibility, so we six-stringers are responsible for making our bends as excellent as possible.
The only problem is, bending strings is hard work. And many players simply never learn the guitar technique to get ‘er done the right way.
If you’ve been frustrated with bends that are weak, shaky and out of tune, then this lesson is just what the guitar doctor ordered!
Armed with three main technique principles – I call ‘em The Golden Rules of Bending – you can be confident that your bends will be strong, controlled and accurate. Continue reading “The Golden Rules of Bending Strings” »
In the last installment, we covered a topic that I call “Two Paths”. It’s a relatively simple, yet profound, idea for playing pentatonic scales.
In a nutshell, we learn to navigate each octave of a pentatonic scale along two separate paths. This gives us more flexibility in our approach and opens up our fretboard vision.
Today’s lesson features some practical exercises for developing your Two Paths skills. These exercises should not only help you to develop more vocabulary for your lead guitar improv, but they should also help you to understand why some of your favorite solos are played the way they are. Continue reading “Applying the Two Pentatonic Paths” »
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on. – Robert Plant in “Stairway to Heaven”
Learning to play pentatonic scales is arguably the most important building block for developing our soloing skills. But many guitarists only really view pentatonics in one way – along one path of notes, up and back.
To really master the fretboard and to be able to play whatever you want whenever you want, you’ve got to have more than one way to move through your scale patterns.
Think of it as having multiple paths to drive home from the store. If you only know one way to get home, you’re limited. But with multiple paths, you have options depending on your current circumstances. Traffic backed up to the left? Go right.
In this lesson, I’ll show you how to visualize two pathways for connecting the root notes of a pentatonic scale. The end result will be improved fretboard vision, longer lead guitar lines and a whole lot more awesome. Continue reading “Two Paths to Pentatonic Mastery” »