We all know that one of the biggest challenges faced by guitarists, after putting in the hours to learn all those scale patterns, is how to play seamlessly up and down the fretboard and meld all those patterns into one unit. There are many ways to do this, and we’ve already covered a fair few ideas right here on the blog; these ideas, however, are particularly useful if you know your scale shapes like the back of your hand, but your fingers won’t let you play outside of well-worn patterns. This is a common problem, and it’s a difficult one to spot…
The guitar courses on Udemy provide a quality, and not to mention affordable, solution for anyone whose either looking for online guitar tuition, wants to learn at their own pace, can’t get a teacher in their area, or wants to learn something specific. The Udemy platform provides a multimedia learning environment where with any course you have full access for life on any device, learning material in the form of PDFs, backing tracks, and HD video, plus the ability to contact the creator of the course should you get stuck. If you like the sound of that, you can skip ahead and go straight to the guitar courses here, or check out the following nine courses which we think (we’ve tried them all) will really take your playing to the next level this year.
If you’re a guitarist of the rock, metal, punk or even blues persuasion, one of the first things you learned was probably a power chord or two. Combining these easy-to-finger chords with a hefty dose of distortion and volume not only provided hours of fun, but probably annoyed the hell out of your neighbors too. Power chords are effective but easy to dismiss due to the abundant use of one shape; however, I recently revisited power chords and discovered a multitude of ways to use them.
You may not have heard of him but Wayne Krantz is a monster guitar player. He’s carved a truly unique sound on the instrument based on discarding traditional chord shapes and scale patterns in favor of a rhythmically-driven approach that takes advantage of the entire fretboard and the very nature of the guitar itself. Wayne’s approach reflects a unique and disciplined practice regime which you can find in his book, An Improviser’s OS, but here we’ll be looking at how he incorporates open strings into his guitar work and blurs the lines between single-note and chordal playing.
Reaching an intermediate level of guitar playing is a great achievement, it means you have the discipline and perseverance to stick with what can be a very frustrating instrument to learn. It’s around this stage in your learning that it dawns on you how much there is to learn, as well as just how far you can go with the instrument, which is both exciting and daunting. It’s inevitable that you’ll reach this stage in your playing with more than a few holes in your knowledge, and if you want to get off the intermediate plateau and into advanced territory, it’s time to fill them in. So, here are 8 gaps in your knowledge that might be holding you back, and what to do about them.
In Part 5 of our guide to soloing over everything, we look at the contents of a very useful key indeed: A Major (F# Minor). The keys we’ve looked at so far work well on guitar and your improvisation and chord abilities will take a giant leap forward just by knowing something as simple as what chords are in what keys – something which a lot of (advanced) players still haven’t bothered to learn.
I'm a huge fan and student of jazz guitar, but I'm definitely not an expert. If you've ever tried to get into jazz guitar, you may have found it a daunting experience. To remedy this, we got together with Marc-Andre Seguin from jazzguitarlessons.net who's come up with 10 effective ways to learn, and more importantly, break us gently into the world of jazz guitar.
If you think you know your scales, think again – your knowledge may be incomplete. A lot of players equate knowing a scale with knowing the patterns and how to find it on the fretboard. This isn’t even half the story, let alone a fifth of the story, as there are at least 5 different ways that I can think of to know a scale – if you think of any more, let me know in the comments.
So, you know the fingering pattern for a scale, but do you know:
If you’ve been practicing the three patterns, you can probably imagine what’s coming next. We’re going to move the whole thing to D, or the key of D Major. D Major is another incredibly popular key for rock and pop music, so it’s well-worth exploring. It also contains other options for soloing over chords we’ve already come across such as Em, G, Bm, and D itself. Let’s dive in.
Another incredibly popular key for guitar-oriented music, and music in general, is G Major. We’re going to see another scale option for many of the chords we’ve already covered in Part 1 and Part 2, which I recommend trying out to see which ones you like. The reason I’m putting up these tutorials is for those that just want to play rather than wading through a ton of theory before allowing themselves to do so, and this is perfectly valid. Due to the nature of the instrument and fact that we’re able to pattern everything out, this is perfectly doable. I understand that not everyone has 6+ hours a day to practice guitar, so the idea here is make the time you do have available as productive as possible.
In Part 1, we looked at soloing in the key of F Major and the three patterns you need to learn to be able to do this. In this part, we’ll look at the exact same concept only this time in C, or the key of C Major. This is a very popular key, if not the most popular key in rock music, so it’s well-worth getting acquainted with its chords and scale patterns.
I was watching a YouTube video the other day where Lee Anderton (aka the Captain) gets a guitar lesson from Ariel Posen. Ariel tries his best to teach him a few things in a very thorough and well-meaning way, but about half-way through Lee says something along the lines of, ‘Just teach me the quick and dirty way to do things, I’m a middle-aged man who doesn’t have the time (or the patience) to practice scales for 8 hours a day’, which is both totally valid and completely doable on guitar as it’s one of the few instruments that lends itself well to a wide range of methodologies, be they theory-based or the other extreme, which is what we’re going to look at in this post.
As guitarists, we tend to practice scales in a non-discriminate way; what I mean by this is that when we’re playing a scale we tend to treat every note the same way which makes for monotonous leads that don’t really sound like music. This can happen with any scale system, but it’s especially prevalent with 3NPS and CAGED System users through no fault of their own due to the massive (and unnecessary) amount of information there is to deal with. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those ‘breaking out of scale patterns’ lessons; in fact, we’re going to stay well within our scale patterns and tweak them just enough to make our lines a little more musical.
A lot of guitarists tend to waste their practice time due to lack of focus, organization and discipline, and most of the time this is completely unintentional. How many times have you sat down to practice and just ended up noodling and/or playing everything you know and putting the guitar down? A practice session should leave you buzzing, or not even wanting to put the guitar down. The main cause of this is not a lack of discipline but a lack of focus, or a realistic goal for your practice time. Don’t worry, this isn’t another long-winded post about setting goals, because that’s only half the problem; the real difficulty here is aligning your goal with the content of your practice session. In other words, will what you’re practicing actually lead you to the goal you have in mind?
The most famous rendition of this traditional song from the Eastern Mediterranean was Dick Dale’s surf rock version, though the song now spans generations thanks largely to Pulp Fiction in 1994, the Black Eyed Peas, ‘Pump It’ in 2006, and Dick Dale’s original outing in the early sixties. Though you might dismiss this eastern influenced number as a tremolo picking party trick, it’s a great song for guitarists for many reasons as we shall see…
One of the great things about the advent of the internet for guitarists is the access you have to virtually any aspect of your favorite players’ approach to the instrument, from their gear set-ups to how they think about the instrument. If you’ve ever studied Slash’s playing in any great detail, you’ll realize that his very simplistic approach has led to some of the most memorable guitar solos and riffs of all time. I was never a huge Guns N’ Roses fan but Slash’s playing back then was like a melodic breath of fresh air. Now, Slash doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you’d find slaving over scale and theory books, and he’s not; what he is though, is a perfect example of how far you can take, and how effectively you can use, a simple improvisation concept.
This little guitar hack is particularly useful if you’re at that stage in your learning where you want to know which scales work over which chords without having to trawl through theory books, or rely on some app to tell you. You want to be able to do this practically on the fly so that you can apply it to any playing situation you might find yourself in, especially when it comes to more complex chords such as 9s, 11s and 13s. Read on…
If you’re comfortable soloing over major/minor and seventh chords, but things get a little shaky when you have to come up with something to play over a scary chord like a maj11, maj13, or a 13b9#11, these quick hacks will save your ass in almost any ‘jazz contingency’. If you find the idea of playing over chord changes somewhat daunting, these tricks will also simplify the process and provide you with one of the keys to playing over changes in the beginning: having something that’s accessible and sounds good up your sleeve for those situations where blowing up and down a pentatonic scale doesn’t quite cut it.
Udemy is fast becoming the go-to platform for online guitar courses, or online courses in just about anything for that matter. Signing up and accessing your courses is fast and simple, plus the user interface is a dream to work with and every course includes HD video, backing tracks, PDFs, as well as all the resources you’ll need to really get the most out of the courses you take. You can even ask the course creator any questions you might have if you get stuck along the way. Udemy courses are also great value for money and our readers can get a whopping 90% off most courses. In this post we’ll look at five of the newest additions to Udemy’s huge collection of online guitar courses.
I’ve had this one churning over in my mind for a while now and I’ve finally managed to gather my thoughts into a coherent (and somewhat lengthy) article. There are a lot of articles on how to make money as a guitarist (and a lot of get-rich-quick schemes to avoid), but I prefer to see it as making a living because at the end of the day, money is a small part of the big picture. Don’t worry, this isn’t the usual run-down of things you could make money from if you play the guitar as some kind of sideline. What I want to get into here is how to go about it, and perhaps more importantly, how to muster the mental strength to really do this. So, here are ten things to work on if you’re thinking about making a sustainable living from playing the guitar.