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by jim — Categories: General MusicLeave a comment

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.

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December 9, 2014

Money Guitar Tip #10: The 2nd Finger Crossover

Today I want to spread the word about one of my favorite lead guitar moves.

I call it the “2nd Finger Crossover”.

Of course, I can’t say that’s a legit, Google-searchable term; I made the name up when working with my students.

But whatever you choose to call it, it will make your playing more efficient, more fluid and just a little more awesome.

The 2nd Finger Crossover works especially well in rock and blues pentatonic patterns, and you can also use it to add a little flash to your lead chops. After all, if it’s good enough for Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and scores of other rock icons, it should be good enough for me and you too. Highly recommended! Continue reading “Money Guitar Tip #10: The 2nd Finger Crossover” »

October 1, 2014

Guitar Exercises for the Real World: String Skipping

If my website statistics are correct, people are on a constant search for guitar exercises to improve their playing technique.

The only problem, as I see it, is that many guitar exercises are way too complicated. They challenge you as much on your ability to mentally comprehend the exercise as they do on playing it.

Complex coordination exercises are certainly good, but they’re probably best suited to those players who deal with highly technical music. On the other hand, your average, everyday guitar hero will flourish with “meat and potatoes” exercises that meet the requirements of mainstream musical styles, like pop, rock, blues, country, and fingerstyle.

So in this series, Guitar Exercises for the Real World, I’m going to present some highly-applicable, totally-useful drills that I’ve derived from actual song material. Continue reading “Guitar Exercises for the Real World: String Skipping” »

September 5, 2014

The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Guitar Player Faces

Today’s post is directly inspired by another post that has nothing – and everything – to do with guitar.

As a matter of fact, I shamelessly ripped off the title and substituted “guitar player” for “blogger”.

It was just too perfect.

The post in question is written by Michael Hyatt, a top blogger in the field of leadership. His latest post hit my inbox just one day after a conversation with an adult student who was having a tough time.

As I was reading his article, I kept substituting the mental battles we face as guitar players for Michael’s blogging experience. In my head, I was agreeing, “Yes, yes…and YES again!” Continue reading “The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Guitar Player Faces” »

August 19, 2014

The Root Note is King

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” »

August 11, 2014

Money Guitar Tip #9: “The Next Thing”

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”” »

July 15, 2014

Money Guitar Tip #8: “Flicking Water”

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”” »

Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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