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When in Doubt, Minor Pentatonic

According to Sean Daniel, crippling loneliness is the cornerstone of any good blues musician. But so is the minor pentatonic scale!

In fact, like most guitar magazines and websites, we've written about it—and its importance—countless times over the decades.

Five Things That Could Be Holding Back Your Guitar Playing

We recently shared a video to help you determine if your guitar is holding you back

Of course, it’s also possible that your own practice and playing habits are holding you back.

That’s the subject of this video from Robert Baker. In this clip, Robert looks at five things that he thinks are keeping a lot of guitarists from progressing in their playing. He takes you through each topic with detailed demonstrations and TAB to help you follow along.

Adding Tension to the Minor Jazz-Blues Progression

Continuing our exploration of the minor jazz-blues progression I introduced last month, I’d like to now show you some cool variations on it that are sometimes used by jazz musicians and feature added chord changes and spicier harmony and voice-leading.

How to Play Revocation's “Theater of Horror,” Part 2

Last month, I introduced the intro and primary riffs to the song “Theater of Horror,” featured the latest Revocation album, Great Is Our Sin.

That riff, which incorporates unexpected rhythmic shifts and syncopations that obscure, or disguise, the meter, is reprised later in the arrangement, specifically at the end.

Let’s now take a look at the tune’s bridge section and then the recap and subsequent deviations of the primary riff.

How to Create Independent Polyrhythms

Back in my October 2016 column, I detailed some of the concepts I utilize in the song “The Impossible,” from my album What Just Happened.

It’s a deceptively complex song and one that I’m often asked about during my clinics. To review, the prefix “poly” means “more than one,” and the term polyrhythm is used to describe a musical idea in which more than one rhythmic pattern is happening simultaneously.

Review: Electro-Harmonix Wailer Wah Pedal

There are so many wonderful wah-wah pedals on the market these days that one is probably prone to ask, “Does the world need yet another wah?”

And the answer to that question, proudly presented by the wacky wizards of Electro-Harmonix, would be, “Yes. The world absolutely needs another wah, and that specifically would be the Wailer Wah.”

Blues Shapes, Part 2: More on Using Triadic Forms as Soloing Templates

Last month, we explored using triadic (three-note) chord shapes as a means to fortify a deeper understanding of chord “grips” and intervallic relationships on the fretboard, as well as how one can use these shapes as a springboard for improvising single-note solo melodies.

An essential element in this investigation involved connecting these triadic shapes when applying them to a standard “one-four-five” blues progression.

Review: Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Guitar


Usually when marketing materials describe a product as “no-nonsense,” the phrase usually means the same thing as “austere,” “stripped-down,” or “plain.”

But in the case of the Gretsch Electromatic series guitars, “no-nonsense” must be another way of saying sensibly priced or—if I may be more dramatic—an outrageous bargain.

Melodic Phrasing and Playing Over Blues Changes

Hello everyone, and welcome to my new Guitar World instructional column.

Over the next several months, I look forward to sharing numerous elements that have contributed to my overall guitar style and approach to both soloing and rhythm playing across various genres, including blues, rock, world, metal and jazz.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Acoustic Minimalism

Gustavo Santaolalla (pronounced: San-ta-oh-lie-uh) is one of a handful of accomplished guitarists whose career began by playing in rock bands before “stumbling” into a career as a film composer. (Others include Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Incubus’ Mike Einziger, Ry Cooder, Jon Brion, Heitor Pereira, Alan Silvestri and John Debney.)