Regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Delta blues wizard Robert Johnson recorded only 29 songs (plus 13 alternate takes, in two sessions) during his 27 years of life. They were cut when he wasn’t playing for tips on street corners, in juke joints or in front of barbershops and other commercial establishments.
As many readers begin to dig deeper into learning jazz guitar harmony and voicings, you will undoubtedly come across various 9th chords, Maj9, m9, 9 etc., in your jazz-guitar explorations. Since these chords pop up time and again, it is important to have a variety of 9th chords under your fingers so that you can bring them into your comping, chord melody and chord soloing ideas when needed.
In the following video, our own Jimmy Brown -- aka the Capo Crusader -- shows you a special "unplugged" version of the Guns N' Roses hit "Sweet Child O' Mine," which first appeared on their debut album, Appetite for Destruction.
I like to show my students how to arpeggiate chords on the guitar — pick the notes out one at a time while letting them ring together — and also show them how to create little fingering “extensions” that offer them neat and fairly easy ways to make their chord playing sound more interesting and melodic than simply strumming or arpeggiating the chords.
With the release of Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for the Wicked in 1988, a sound was unleashed on the world that changed the lexicon of rock guitar and redefined the meaning of “Guitar God." Plucked from anonymity in Jackson, New Jersey, at age 20, Zakk Wylde (formerly Jeff Wielandt) forged a new path of style, personality and tone that continues to grow and evolve to this day.
When working on writing melodies for my original compositions, my standard approach is to examine the chord progression in order to determine which scales or modes would best apply. A mode is the notes of scale, such as the major scale, oriented around a different root note and chord; Modes offer great flexibility in terms of the way they relate to a set of chords within relative keys.
In order to become a well-rounded musician, you have to master the three major aspects of guitar playing: the technical side, the musical side and the creative side. The technical side comprises the actual physical components you need to have under your belt in order to get around your instrument.
Whenever I feel my chops are slacking, I’ll play some widestretch trilling exercises and take them up and down the neck as well as across it. I’ll start off with a two-fret stretch trill between my index and middle fingers and do that until I feel a burn. Then I’ll do the same thing with a three-fret trill between my index and ring fingers, and then a four-fret one between my index and pinkie.