After learning a handful of stock chord shapes in first and second position — what are commonly referred to as “open” chords or “cowboy” chords — it can be liberating for your fretting hand to venture beyond the first three frets, move up the neck and get acquainted with the sweet sounds of chords played in the higher positions.
Being assigned the ongoing mission of teaching a new crop of middle school students each year to play guitar on a beginner level in a group setting, I’ve had numerous opportunities to try various approaches to getting the kids to focus on learning to play the instrument without becoming bored or frustrated.
Back by popular demand, it's Jimmy Brown's classic Guitar World column, Guitar 101. In the first installment, Jimmy begins a 3-part series on one of the first things a new guitarist wants to do: play fast!
Now that you have some cool ideas for creating your own single-string licks, let’s look at some easy-to-execute speed licks that use two adjacent strings. FIGURE 8 is a Steve Morse-style ascending sextuplet run that climbs up the B and high E strings and finishes with a screaming bend. There are two good ways to play this lick: you can either pick every note for a machine gun-like staccato effect, or, for a "creamier," more legato sound, pick only the first and fourth notes of each sextuplet and use double hammer-ons to sound the remaining notes.
Musicians Institute and Guitar World bring you a new series of guitar lessons with some of the top guitar instructors around. Here, Jeff Marshall gives a lesson on Melodic Shapes: Adding the Second Degree.