Blogs en Bent Out of Shape: Wallner's Quick Licks, Part 2 — Arpeggio Intervals <!--paging_filter--><p>When soloing, I try to use a balanced mix of scales, intervals and arpeggios. </p> <p>Something I always struggle with is trying to incorporate arpeggios into my solos without having them sound too generic. </p> <p>A lot of the common arpeggio shapes are difficult to use without sounding "cliche" or like a bad Yngwie Malmsteen clone. It might come as a surprise to players to hear that you don't have to use a sweep-picking technique to play arpeggios!</p> <p>Here's an easy arpeggio shape that can be learned and incorporated into your playing relatively easily. The goal is that harmonically it's clear I'm playing the same basic arpeggio — but hopefully in a more creative way. It basically involves playing arpeggios as separate intervals "stuck together." </p> <p>For example, an A minor arpeggio (A-C-E) could be viewed as a minor third interval (A - C) stuck to a major third interval (C - E). <strong>Example 1</strong> maps out an A minor arpeggio across three octaves. Learning this example will demonstrate how to play a simple minor arpeggio in broken intervals. </p> <p>When you factor in the root octave, you end up with the following interval sequence: minor 3rd (A - C), major 3rd (C - E), perfect 4th (E - A). When you play <strong>Example 1</strong>, it's easy to hear the harmony of an A minor arpeggio, but to me it sounds a lot more interesting than a straight-forward arpeggio.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/tab_3.jpg" width="620" height="353" alt="tab_3.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Example 2</strong> expands on this idea by combining multiple arpeggios in the key of A minor to create a more musical-sounding lick. This example outlines the following arpeggios: A Minor - G Major - F Major. Use this as a starting point and then experiment with your own ideas using my method to make your own unique sequences. </p> <p>The final clip on the audio is an example of a similar lick used in an actual solo from one my own songs. I play a straight-forward E minor arpeggio, which leads into a basic pentatonic descending lick. It's simple but effective!</p> <p><em>Will Wallner is a guitarist from England who now lives in Los Angeles. He recently signed a solo deal with Polish record label Metal Mind Productions for the release of his debut album, which features influential musicians from hard rock and heavy metal. He also is the lead guitarist for White Wizzard (Earache Records) and toured Japan, the US and Canada in 2012. Follow Will on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>.</em></p> Bent Out of Shape Will Wallner Blogs Lessons Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:38:36 +0000 Will Wallner Session Guitar: Do You Suffer from Guitar-Tuner Dependency? <!--paging_filter--><p>It always starts with something small, a seemingly insignificant act that can have a huge effect on the rest of your life.</p> <p>Horror stories usually begin like this.</p> <p>Guitar tuners. We all use them. Clip-on. Stomp box. Software. Part of your modeler. Built in to your guitar. </p> <p>I use them every day in the studio. But have you ever had to get in tune without one? No problem, right? Just do all the little tricks we do to get a guitar in tune and keep it in tune. After all, if you aren't in tune, nothing you play will sound good.</p> <p>I was commenting this morning on a group page on Facebook. We were discussing robotic guitar tuners, tuning machines that tune themselves. I first saw this on a Gibson guitar. Now I saw a new one. Then I did a search. I even saw a robotic tuning tool. </p> <p>It got me thinking: How may young guitarists are taught to tune the guitar by ear these days? I mean really taught, as in making it a requirement?</p> <p>Back in the day, when dinosaurs walked the earth and a Strobo-Tuner cost a small fortune, we had to tune our guitars by ear. We'd tune to a pitchfork, piano or another guitar. This was an acquired and <em>required</em> skill. Imagine not being able to tune your own instrument! How would that affect your intonation? Your ability to bend in pitch to a half-step or whole step or more? Even pressing down too hard can alter the pitch. </p> <p>Now let's take this part of our craft even further. If you don't learn how to hear pitch properly, you also will not be able to sing in tune — or listen deep for better part playing ... or hear intervallic relationships. Depending on an outside source to properly pitch your instrument is not very different than allowing Auto-Tune to pitch your voice! Or instrument! Does anybody but me see a problematic trend here? </p> <p>How many of you are budding producers or engineers? Yesterday I was mixing a track that had bells on it. I felt they needed to be doubled with strings. They just didn't sound right. So I played the part and thought the string sample I was using was slightly out of tune. Then I shut off the bells and the strings sounded in tune. That meant the bells were the culprit. I had to tune the bell samples up by 10 cents. That is not a lot, but it's enough to make them uncomfortable. </p> <p>I don't believe everything must be in perfect pitch. But I do require relative pitch. And being able to accurately tune slightly out of pitch and doubling to a guitar in perfect pitch gives a chorus effect a million times better than any digital emulation. Analog, baby! See? It's not only about being in tune! It is about controlling tuning. And you must be able to do this on the fly. Even locking systems go out.</p> <p>I'd like you to try something. Buy a tuning fork — or use a keyboard to tune your guitar. Learn to hear and match pitches at least once a day. I agree with using a source to tune if you are onstage or in a noisy environment. And they certainly have their place in the studio or if you are recording alone. But a guitar is not a perfect instrument. String gauge, temperature fluctuations, fret height, tuning pegs, how hard you fret and pick, are the strings properly stretched, how many windings around the pole and actual quality of the construction can all have dramatic or subtle fluctuations that need to be constantly checked. </p> <p>But for your practice time, try tuning by ear. Tune to a track, the radio, television or, if you are lucky enough these days, another instrument/player. This habit and skill can only improve your overall musicianship! Let's be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Be the best you can be. Start with a small, "insignificant" thing like tuning. It might be more important than you think. </p> <p>I'd love to hear your comments and a raise of hands on how many tune by ear regularly or not.</p> <p><em><strong>Ron Zabrocki on Ron Zabrocki</strong>: <a href="">I’m a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut.</a> I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just believed everyone started that way! I could pretty much sight read anything within a few years, and that aided me in becoming a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could and was fortunate enough to have some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played many jingle sessions, and even now I not only play them but have written a few. I’ve “ghosted” for a few people that shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I got the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.</em></p> Ron Zabrocki Session Guitar Blogs Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:37:36 +0000 Ron Zabrocki Pentatonic Workout: Increase Left-Hand Strength and Produce Great-Sounding Sequences <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Check out Adrian Galysh's last column, <a href="">"The Scale That Will Change Your Life."</a></strong></p> <p>I love playing guitar. I love practicing guitar. Some people find practicing scales and exercises boring; I find it meditative. </p> <p>However, it’s good to mix things up a bit. </p> <p>In this lesson, I’m going to show you a pentatonic scale workout that helps you get the five positions of the pentatonic scale memorized and under your fingers, increases left-hand strength, delivers some great-sounding sequences and even includes some string skipping.
</p> <p>We’ll use the A minor pentatonic scale at the fifth position as our example in this lesson, but you’ll want to make sure you can perform this routine in all five positions.</p> <p>This workout starts with playing the A minor pentatonic scale ascending and descending (Example 1), using consistent alternate picking. </p> <p>After this “establishes” the fingering for your left hand, the workout continues with a two-string sequence, where you ascend four notes, go back one note and start again, ascending four notes. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example_1_0.jpg" width="430" height="155" alt="Example_1_0.jpg" /></p> <p>This continues across the fretboard until you run out of strings. At this point, you simply turn the sequence around (Don’t repeat the top C note) and play the two-string sequence in reverse — from the high C note, you descend four notes, go back one note, descend another four, etc. (Example 2).</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example_2.jpg" width="620" height="319" alt="Example_2.jpg" /></p> <p>The third part of this workout is a sequence that ascends in six-note groups (three strings' worth of pentatonic scale), then back a string, start on D (fifth string) and ascend another six notes (three strings). Continue this pattern until you start the sequence on the G string, at which point you simply turn the pattern around (Don’t repeat the top note C), then perform the sequence in reverse: from the high C note, you descend six notes (three strings), go back a string, start the six-note pattern on the G note (second string) and continue back in the same fashion (Example 3).</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example_3.jpg" width="620" height="320" alt="Example_3.jpg" /></p> <p>The fourth and final part of this pentatonic work out involves string skipping. This starts by playing the two notes on the low E string, skip the A string, play the two notes on the D string, go back to the A string and play the two notes on it, then skip the D string, and play the two notes on the G string. This pattern continues, gets turned around just like before and then works its way back in reverse (Example 4).</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Example_4.jpg" width="620" height="164" alt="Example_4.jpg" /></p> <p>These sequences tend to be a very user-friendly for guitarists, as they start on the first note of each string, as they travel across the six strings. </p> <p>I like to string these four examples together, playing then back to back, without stopping. I find this forces me to think ahead, be able to change gears and mix things up in my regular playing more easily.</p> <p>Once you are able to play these four elements back to back without any problems, try it with the other four pentatonic positions. Use a metronome to gauge your progress, and push yourself to play these at a faster tempo once they become comfortable.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Guitarist Adrian Galysh is a solo artist and education coordinator for Guitar Center Studios. He's the author of the book </em>Progressive Guitar Warmups and Exercises<em>. For more information, visit him at <a href=""></a></em></p> Adrian Galysh Blogs Lessons Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:36:20 +0000 Adrian Galysh Essential Blues Basics: Soloing with the Combined Minor/Major Pentatonic Scales <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Steve Stine, highly sought-after guitar educator, teaches live group and private classes at <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p>One key to becoming a more versatile blues soloist is learning to combine the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales to create guitar lines that go beyond the minor pentatonic scale. </p> <p>As a prerequisite to this lesson, you should have a basic understanding of the finger positionings for the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales, particularly the first and second positions of both scales. </p> <p>Stepping back, I should note that learning to play within both of these scales at the same time opened new doors for me as a guitar player. </p> <p>Before combining them, I remember first learning to solo over the standard 1-4-5 blues progression, and my teacher at the time gave me a quick trick for alternating between the minor and major pentatonic solos: Use the minor pentatonic for the sections on the “1” and the major pentatonic for the sections on the “4," and alternate back in forth in this manner in the way that sounded best. </p> <p>While this approach can work to give you a more varied sound beyond merely the minor pentatonic scale, this trick is by no means a hard and fast rule, and moving beyond it to learn to combine both scales makes you a more versatile player.</p> <p>A quick point of reference to understand about these scales is that, in respect to physical finger positioning, they are identical, with one scale simply falling three frets below the other on the fretboard. That is to say, in any given key: (i) the finger position for the major pentatonic scale falls three frets down from the minor pentatonic scale, and (ii) the root note is the same for both scales.</p> <p>So, for example, let’s focus on the key of A. The A on the fifth fret of the first string is the root note of both the A minor pentatonic and A major pentatonic scales. This means that, in the A minor pentatonic scale’s first position, the A on the fifth fret of the first string is played with your index finger. </p> <p>And, three frets down playing the same positions for the A major pentatonic scale, the same A is played with your pinky (and your index finger is on the F# — you may also notice at this point that you are in the F# minor pentatonic scale’s first position). The below tabs illustrate this point. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%201.jpg" width="620" height="336" alt="thing 1.jpg" /></p> <p>So, first visualize both major and minor pentatonic scales, and practice them up and down the neck, focusing on their first and second positions for the purposes of this lesson. You can practice them with all downstrokes and/or alternate picking, and in doing so, keep in mind the locations of your root note A’s, which are relevant for playing blues in the key of A. </p> <p>As you will notice, the first position of the A minor pentatonic scale and the second position of the A major pentatonic scale are both within easy reach of the first position of the A minor pentatonic scale (index finger beginning on the fifth fret of the first string, and proceeding on from there). </p> <p>And, as you see below, these scale positions can be overlayed into a hybrid scale that encompasses all of their notes. And, what we want to learn how to do is visualize the first position of the minor pentatonic scale and the second position of the major pentatonic over the same position on the neck, and use the notes from both scales to play blues licks and riffs. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%202.jpg" width="620" height="80" alt="thing 2.jpg" /></p> <p>So, to make a riff using both scales, let’s focus on the top two strings starting at the fifth fret. The A minor pentatonic scale uses the notes at the fifth and eighth frets on these strings, while the A major pentatonic uses the notes at the fifth and seventh frets on these strings. So, to combine the scales and see what it sounds like, let’s play the following lick No. 1. And you can already hear the blues element present when you mix these scales.</p> <p>After you are comfortable with lick No. 1, you can move to lick No 2, which further explores this principle. And at this stage, I would encourage you to start exploring further and have some fun coming up with new licks using the notes from both scales in this position.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%203.jpg" width="440" height="75" alt="thing 3.jpg" /></p> <p>Another common lick that combines these scales using a hammer-on is shown below in lick No. 3, and you have probably heard this combination of notes in many country and blues songs.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%204.jpg" width="135" height="87" alt="thing 4.jpg" /></p> <p>So, bringing a lot of these elements together, you can play something like the following.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/thing%205.jpg" width="390" height="85" alt="thing 5.jpg" /></p> <p>You can always play the scales separately to give your soloing their different flavors. And soon, taking this lesson into account, and with some practice, you will be able to bring these two scales together into a hybrid scale to further expand what you can play, and allow you to play modern blues and some old-school blues in what may be a new way for you.</p> <p>The first step is to be able to see the two scales and then put them together, seeing the minor pentatonic and major pentatonic scales at the same time. </p> <p>As you’ll see, if you know all five positions of the pentatonic scale, you can apply this very same principle all over the guitar neck. And pretty soon the new notes from scale to scale will begin to stick out, giving you new notes to play all over the neck in your blues solos.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="400" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Steve Stine is a longtime and sought-after guitar teacher who is professor of Modern Guitar Studies at North Dakota State University. Over the last 27 years, he has taught thousands of students, including established touring musicians, and released numerous video guitar lesson courses via established publishers. A resident of Fargo, North Dakota, today he is more accessible than ever before through the convenience of live online guitar lessons at <a href=""></a>.</em> </p> <p><em> offers live online music lessons via videoconference, allowing you to access top teachers in a wide variety of instruments from anywhere with a broadband connection. Steve is offering a live online group class for intermediate players this summer called “The Players Series” via the platform. More information about live online lessons with Steve is available at <a href=""></a>.</em></p> LessonFace Steve Stine Blogs Lessons Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:34:20 +0000 Steve Stine Jazz Guitar Corner: How to Play Jazzy Jimi Hendrix Chords <!--paging_filter--><p>As guitarists, many of us are fans of the late, great Jimi Hendrix, who has influenced players in all genres of music, including jazz. </p> <p>While Hendrix left a legacy as one of the greatest rock improvisers of all time, he also left his stamp on the harmonic side of the instrument, including a chord that bears his name. </p> <p>Taken from the song “Purple Haze,” and spelling out an E7#9 voicing, this chord has become synonymous with Hendrix’s playing and is even referred to simply as the “Hendrix Chord” by many players. </p> <p>In this lesson, we’ll be taking a look at how you can take the Hendrix Chord and apply it to your jazz guitar comping phrases, slightly altering this classic shape to give it a jazzy feel along the way. </p> <p><strong>Jazzy Jimmy Hendrix Chords</strong></p> <p>Here are four chord shapes to check out on your guitar, the first being the classic “Hendrix Chord,” E7#9, with the next three being jazzy variations of this important voicing. The first jazzy shape simply takes off the root, creating the commonly used “rootless” voicing for this chord. </p> <p>The second shape keeps the root off and adds the 5th on the first string to produce a four-note rootless chord. Finally, the third shape uses the b13 note on top of the chord, producing an E7#9b13 rootless chord based on the original Hendrix Chord shape. </p> <p>Try working these shapes out on the guitar first, to get your fingers around them, and then move on to the comping examples below where these shapes are applied to practical, musical situations. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hendrix%20chord%201.jpg" width="620" height="877" alt="hendrix chord 1.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Jazzy Hendrix Chord Example 1</strong></p> <p>To help you take these shapes off the page and onto the fretboard, here are three examples of minor ii-V-I progressions with the Hendrix chord used to outline the V7alt chord in each progression. The first example uses a common chord riff that works between the rootless 7#9 and 7b9 chords based off of the original Hendrix chord shape. </p> <p>As well, there is an AmMaj7 shape, G#-C-E, used over Am7, another common jazz choice in this type of progression. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hendrix%20chord%202.jpg" width="620" height="179" alt="hendrix chord 2.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Jazzy Hendrix Chord Example 2</strong></p> <p>The next example brings the four-note shape to the same progression, with the 5th on top of the chord, using a common jazz rhythm pattern to solidify the changes. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hendrix%20chord%203.jpg" width="620" height="179" alt="hendrix chord 3.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Jazzy Hendrix Chord Example 3</strong></p> <p>Lastly, here is a cool sounding comping pattern that mixes both the four-note 7#9b13 and 7#9 shapes together, which provides movement to the line as you move from the V7alt to the Im7 chord in this minor ii-V-I progression. </p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hendrix%20chord%204.jpg" width="620" height="185" alt="hendrix chord 4.jpg" /></p> <p>Once you've worked out these three comping examples, try to come up with three or more examples of your own using the Hendrix chord and its variations as the basis for your V7alt chords. </p> <p>From there, try comping over your favorite jazz tune and use the Hendrix chord and its variations every time you see a V7 chord in the changes, allowing you to bring these chord shapes to a jam situation in your studies. </p> <p>What do you think of these jazzy Hendrix chords? Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below. </p> <p><em>Matt Warnock is the owner of <a href=""></a>, a free website that provides hundreds of lessons and resources designed to help guitarists of all experience levels meet their practice and performance goals. Matt lives in the U.K., where he teaches Skype guitar students all over the world, and is an examiner for the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors).</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimi-hendrix">Jimi Hendrix</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Jazz Guitar Corner Jimi Hendrix Matt Warnock Blogs Lessons Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:43:05 +0000 Matt Warnock Book Review: 'Guitar Fingers' by Ashkan Mashhour <!--paging_filter--><p>It never fails. At every guitar clinic I attend, someone asks the artist, “How many hours a day do you practice?” </p> <p>They ask it as though they’re considering becoming the next Stevie Ray Vaughan — as long as it doesn’t interfere with their Netflix-watching schedule.</p> <p>For everyone else, there’s <em>Guitar Fingers</em> by Ashkan Mashhour. The book offers 200 in-depth exercises and 250 diagrams to help get guitarists of all skill levels into shape.</p> <p> I’m hesitant to generalize this as a "technique" book, since many people assume technique books are for shredders and speed demons. While speed is discussed, you’ll also find chapters on posture, hand fitness, vibrato, muting, bending, alternate picking, sliding, etc.</p> <p>As an example of the book’s depth, take a subject like legato. First the book describes the mechanics of the technique. Next it offers 15 exercises to strengthen your legato and help you add it to your playing. These aren’t just chromatic drills, but specific legato licks to play over ii-V-I, major/minor, country and fusion chord progressions. Finally the book suggests players like Greg Howe, Andy McKee and Allan Holdsworth to check out for more legato ideas.</p> <p><em>Guitar Fingers</em> can be read from start to finish or used to reference specific topics. The exercises are written in tab and standard notation. You can buy the book at the website below or through <a href="">Amazon</a>. The website also offers a link to <a href="">, where you can stream or buy audio examples from the book.</a></p> <p><strong>Web:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Price</strong>: $31.95</p> Ashkan Mashhour Billy Voight Billy's Breakdown book review Blogs Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:20:07 +0000 Billy Voight Monster Licks Unleashed: An Unconventional Approach to Tapping — with Tab and Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this episode of Monster Licks Unleashed (my brand-new series of lessons and videos), I'm using the Diminished 7th scale in the key of E minor. </p> <p>This scale is one of my favorites to use in conjunction with the minor pentatonic in the relative key. It creates tonal space while giving your solos and runs a very intense element, which is essential for heavier styles of music. </p> <p>The techniques used in this lick are legato and tapping. The tapping approach isn't the normal or traditional approach to tapping. Once I launch into the first tapped notes, I no longer pick notes with my right hand; everything is either hammered or tapped. </p> <p>This is a very easy concept to understand, but it requires a lot of practice and attention to the hammered and tapping parts. As a general rule, I try to tap the notes with my right hand quite hard to pronounce them correctly. The higher up the neck you tap, the harder the it becomes, so it requires more force. </p> <p>This can prove tricky when you're trying to bring the lick up to speed. But like anything, practice makes perfect!</p> <p>I suggest practicing this lick with a clean sound slowly. As you start to get comfortable, add some gain. </p> <p>You also will notice I have a string mute running across the fretboard. This is simply a shoelace. Any piece of material can do this. The idea is to have it tight enough to deaden the strings but not so tight that it bars the notes like a capo. This helps with the excess noise that can occur when applying this technique, especially with gain. The string mute is in no way a necessity. It just helps with the overall sound of the lick. </p> <p><strong>The Lick:</strong></p> <p>The main section to watch out for here is in the second bar of this lick, where I start to incorporate my right-hand tapping; from this point onwards, all notes — right- and left-hand — are hammered. Although hammering with your left hand would normally cause no real problems, in this case, as we are hammering all the notes with no picked notes, pronunciation becomes key. The goal should be to focus on sounding all of the notes as close to the same volume as possible. Focus on the slow demonstration of the lick to grasp exactly how the notes should be sounded. </p> <p><strong>I hope you enjoy this Monster Lick Unleashed! Join me on <a href="">YouTube right here!</a> Contact me through <a href=""></a> or <a href="">my Facebook page</a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-10-10%20at%202.57.48%20PM.png" width="620" height="641" alt="Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 2.57.48 PM.png" /></p> <p><em>Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, </em>Lick Em<em>, in 2010. It is available on iTunes and at <a href=""></a>. His latest album — <em>Ineffable</em> — will be out soon and is available for pre-order through <a href=""></a> and <a href="">iTunes</a>.</em></p> Glenn Proudfoot Monster Licks Monster Licks Unleashed Videos Blogs Lessons Fri, 10 Oct 2014 19:13:27 +0000 Glenn Proudfoot Five Fine John Lennon Covers by Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and More <!--paging_filter--><p>Over the decades, John Lennon's songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people — from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga — who have had a crack at "Imagine."</p> <p>Today, the 74th anniversary of his birth on October 9, 1940, I'm paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.</p> <p>You'll notice Paul Weller on this list; Weller, the former frontman of UK hitmakers the Jam, is a huge Lennon disciple who has covered several of his songs, usually as B-sides. And then there's Pearl Jam's live version of "Gimme Some Truth;" its only flaw is that it lacks anything even close to George Harrison's goosebump-inducing slide-guitar solo on the original 1971 Lennon version.</p> <p>Video-wise, my favorite of the bunch is "How?" by Ozzy Osbourne, in which Ozzy hits the streets of New York City — <a href="">old-school Lennon-style</a> — en route to pay his respects to the man himself. </p> <p>Enjoy these five covers — and power to the people!</p> <p><strong>OZZY OSBOURNE</strong><br /> <strong><em>How?</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971) </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>PEARL JAM</strong><br /> <strong><em>Gimme Some Truth</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS</strong><br /> <strong><em>I Found Out</em></strong> (Originally from <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band</em>, 1970)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>PAUL WELLER</strong><br /> <strong><em>Instant Karma</em></strong> (Originally released as a single in early 1970)</p> <p><iframe width="640" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>NEIL YOUNG</strong><br /> <strong><em>Imagine</em></strong> (Originally from <em>Imagine</em>, 1971)</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World.<em> He eats food.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/neil-young">Neil Young</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/pearl-jam">Pearl Jam</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ozzy-osbourne">Ozzy Osbourne</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli John Lennon Neil Young Ozzy Osbourne Paul Weller Pearl Jam Blogs Features Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:00:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli Professor Shred with Guthrie Govan: Using Four Fingers to Tap Arpeggios, and How to Play the Lick to "Sevens" <!--paging_filter--><p>This month I’d like to demonstrate the technique I use to perform the two-handed-tapping riff that occurs during the bridge/chorus section of the song “Sevens,” from my <em>Erotic Cakes</em> album. </p> <p>Before getting to the “Sevens” lick, I’m going to break down the technique involved so that you will be able to apply this idea to creating riffs of your own. The genesis of the lick was in trying to find a new way to play a major-seven arpeggio. I started out by breaking it down into two notes per string, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1a</strong>. </p> <p>Using the index finger and pinkie only, I descend from the major seventh of Eb, D, at the 22nd fret of the high E string, to a low Eb on the sixth string’s 11th fret. I then took this idea and performed it with fretboard tapping, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 1b.</strong> Now, the higher note in each pair is sounded with a pick-hand fretboard tap, and the lower note is sounded with a fret-hand “hammer-on from nowhere.” Be sure to tap hard onto each note so that it will sound clearly, and try to not allow any of the notes to ring into each other.</p> <p>The next step was to break up the descending pattern and play it non-sequentially. What I arrived at was <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>. Here, I sound consecutive single notes on the high E and B strings, both sounded with fretboard taps, followed by the lower associated notes on the top two strings, sounded with fret-hand hammer-ons. The fret hand mirrors this approach by also using the pinkie and middle fingers. Start by playing this pattern slowly and then increase the speed.</p> <p>Now let’s take this same approach and apply it to the four-note groups on the lower pairs of strings, starting with the B and G strings, as shown in <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>. I use the same technique here but switch to the ring and middle fingers for both the pick-hand taps and the fret-hand hammer-ons. </p> <p>In <Strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, I’ve moved the idea down one more pair of strings to the G and D. Here, I tap with the middle and ring fingers of the pick hand but use my frethand pinkie and middle finger to fret the other notes. </p> <p><strong>FIGURE 5</strong> then runs the three patterns together. You can take this idea further by continuing onto the two bottom pairs of strings, as demonstrated in <strong>FIGURES 6a and 6b.</strong> Now that you’ve got the idea, try some different arpeggios: <strong>FIGURE 7</strong> outlines Ebm7, and <strong>FIGURE 8</strong> begins with Ebsus4 and then moves through Ebmaj7 and Ebm7.</p> <p>Finally, the “Sevens” lick, appropriately played in a meter of 7/4, is shown in <strong>FIGURE 9</strong>. Using the same technique, I move through the different pairs of strings in a specific alternating pattern.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.40%20AM.png" width="620" height="607" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.40 AM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-13%20at%2011.23.51%20AM.png" width="620" height="301" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 11.23.51 AM.png" /></p> 2011 Guthrie Govan Holiday 2011 Professor Shred Holiday Blogs News Lessons Magazine Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:08:49 +0000 Guthrie Govan Playback: The Walkmen — 'Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone' <!--paging_filter--><p>If there were one lyric that defined the attitude of the Walkmen's 2002 debut album, <em>Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone</em>, it was "I've heard it all before." </p> <p>Crooned by Hamilton Leithauser during one of the album's defining tracks, "Revenge Wears No Wristwatch," it sets a generally impatient but brilliant tone that fully keys in listeners to what they're in for. </p> <p>First coming to notice during the height of New York's early 2000's garage-rock/post-punk craze, NYC natives the Walkmen set themselves apart by escaping any sub-genre, bending rock music to fit for themselves. The guitars on this record, mostly from lead player Paul Maroon, are evasive and sneaky, generally weaving in and out of the song's rhythms, in some cases seemingly ignoring them entirely. </p> <p>On "Wake Up," the guitars begin the song with an almost boorish intensity, constantly carving themselves through the track's driving percussion. Just as the song approaches its second chorus, Leithauser and the guitars drop entirely out of the picture, leaving a zany instrumental transition of nothing but the rhythm section and piano. Just as the song seems to be falling into disrepair, Maroon announces his presence once again, dramatically interrupting the interlude with a cutting riff. </p> <p>On the aforementioned "Revenge Wears No Wristwatch," the multiple tracks of guitar seem to be practically falling over each other. Leithauser and Maroon seem to be engaged in an almost childish fight for superiority in the mix, but they're frantic, one-chord hammering makes the track a truly cathartic experience. </p> <p>On the title track's verse, you can barely understand a word Leithauser is saying. He's buried under an ominous keyboard, and restless drumming. But the chorus suddenly brings both Maroon and Leithauser out of the cave, with Maroon decorating Leithauser's cry of "I made the best of it" with a confetti shower of ringing notes. </p> <p>On the album's longest track, the introspective "It Should Take Awhile," Maroon almost sounds defeated. His chords are anguished, on the cusp of being arrhythmic but not quite reaching that point of lost control. As Leithuaser sings "I don't care that much right now / I'm a mess, I can't get out," Maroon boldly interacts with the song's disjointed, waltz-like feel. </p> <p>Standing out in a city where bands like the Strokes and Interpol were on the rise wasn't easy, but the Walkmen did it by taking rock and throwing it into a black hole. Beats dropped away, guitars never seemed to be satisfied with their riffs for more than a few measures, choruses hid desperately in the shadow of the verses that preceded them. It was a record that broke all the rules but didn't make a point of it. </p> <p>On their debut album, no less, the Walkmen made their way sound like the <em>right</em> way. An album of incredible ambition, audacity and originality, <em>Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone</em> is one of the 21st century's landmark underground rock records.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p> Playback The Walkmen Blogs Mon, 06 Oct 2014 21:18:56 +0000 Jackson Maxwell How to Acheive That Choppy, Computerized-Sounding “Glitch” Effect <!--paging_filter--><p>The “glitch” effect.</p> <p>Yes, the “choppy” computerized-sounding guitar effect I fell in love with while producing our latest album. Sure it’s unconventional, maybe even overkill, but who cares? It sounds different. </p> <p>The effect is tremolo, which, in its most basic form, can be achieved by using a simple pedal or plugin. Basic tremolo pedals will provide you with depth, wave and rate adjustments. Those are pretty much all you need. </p> <p>By adjusting the wave, you're applying an LFO to your signal in a waveform of choice. When an LFO modulates volume (in this case), it creates tremolo. Simply put, the effect adds a pulsating sound to your guitar. </p> <p>By adjusting the rate, you’re setting the speed of the effect: 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, 1/16 notes and so on. </p> <p>By adjusting the depth, you are, of course, changing how strongly the effect is applied. </p> <p>There are a handful of common wave-form options included in most plugins or advanced pedals — like sine, sawtooth, triangle and square. To get the tightly chopped up “glitchy” sound some people often confuse as actually being “synth,” I always use the square LFO and set the depth to 100 percent. This will literally chop up your signal so that it sounds computerized, if you will.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/effect1.JPG" width="620" height="465" alt="effect1.JPG" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/effect2.JPG" width="620" height="465" alt="effect2.JPG" /></p> <p>To get a better understanding of how the effect is actually working, picture a single guitar track in a Pro Tools session. You are looking at a waveform. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/protools1.JPG" width="620" height="465" alt="protools1.JPG" /></p> <p>The square LFO effect can actually be done manually by just chopping up the waveform — usually just cutting the ends of each note short.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/protools2.JPG" width="620" height="465" alt="protools2.JPG" /></p> <p>This is the same thing the pedal or plugin is doing when you're playing in real time.</p> <p>Taking this a step further in the studio, I usually do all my tremolo effects manually, which allows me to mix between 1/4- to 1/16-note variations in just one riff or lead section. To reproduce this style live, without a digital-effects unit, would require dancing around on a few different tremolo pedals, each with different settings. It’s pretty un-realistic, actually. </p> <p>So when using the effect dramatically, as I like to, it can be a challenge to pull it off live. Playing to a click or (even better) running your effects through a Pro Tools session, for example, with correct tempos mapped out, allows the effect to happen precisely in time with the song.</p> <p>Another aid in pulling off the effect live is by controlling your effects unit via pre-programmed MIDI patch changes from your interface, or a pedal board. For example, I use an Axe-FX setup with a few different presets, a few different scenes within each preset, all containing the trem/pan block, which are all set to different rates. This gives me everything I need for all the tremolo parts when performing, and the patches are all changed automatically from the Pro Tools session ... essentially mixing different tremolo rates within seconds of each other.</p> <p>It may sound like a ridiculous amount of work, or just a ridiculous approach to this particular effect, but I think it sounds pretty interesting. And it really is very rewarding when you can set up your rig to pull it all off in a live setting. </p> <p><em>Guitarist <a href="">Joe Cocchi</a> is a founding member of Within The Ruins. Their latest album, </em>Phenomena,<em> was released in July via Good Fight/eOne. Keep up with Within The Ruins on <a href="">Facebook.</a></em></p> Joe Cocchi Within The Ruins Blogs Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:54:07 +0000 Joe Cocchi In Deep: Stevie Ray Vaughan's Playing on "Couldn't Stand the Weather" <!--paging_filter--><p>Stevie Ray Vaughan’s distinctive playing style is earmarked by equal parts pure power, intensity of focus, razor-sharp precision and deeply emotional conviction. And then there’s his tone—probably the best Stratocaster-derived sound ever evoked from the instrument. </p> <p>Stevie tuned his guitar down one half step (low to high, Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb), a move inspired by one of his biggest influences, Jimi Hendrix. He also preferred heavy gauge strings: high to low, .013, .015, .019, .028, .038, .058, occasionally switching the high E string to either a .012 or .011. To facilitate the use of such heavy strings, Stevie’s guitars were re-fretted with large Dunlop 6100 or Stewart-MacDonald 150 fretwire.</p> <p>Let’s begin this lesson with a look at the title track from Stevie’s second album, <em>Couldn’t Stand the Weather</em>, transcribed in this issue (see page 110). The song begins in “free time” (no strict tempo). </p> <p>While brother Jimmie Vaughan tremolo-strums the opening chords—Bm-A7-G7-F#7—Stevie adds improvised solo lines (see transcription bars 1-8): over Bm, Stevie sticks with the B blues scale (B D E F F# A), over A7 he utilizes the A blues scale (A C D Eb E G) and over G7 he uses G blues (G Bb C Db D F). Strive to recreate Stevie’s precision when it comes to his articulation. Over Jimmie’s F#7 chord, Stevie plays a first inversion F#7#9, which places the third of the chord, A#, in the bass (as the lowest note). (Stevie employed this same unusual voicing for E7#9 in “Cold Shot.”) </p> <p>A four-bar, R&amp;B/soul-style single-note riff follows, doubled in octaves by guitar and bass (see bars 9-17). Played four times, two extra beats of rest are added the third time through. This is shown as a bar of 6/4 in bar 13 of the transcription.</p> <p>In bars 18-23, Stevie adds a very Hendrix-y rhythm guitar part, played in 10th position and beginning on beat two with an F octave fretted on the G and high E strings, strummed in 16th notes. Stevie maintains the rhythmic push of steady 16ths through most of the riff by consistently strumming in a down-up-down-up “one-ee-and-a” pattern. </p> <p>At the end of bar 18, barre your middle finger across the top three strings at the 12th fret, and then bend and release the G and B strings one half step. As the notes are held into the next bar, add subtle finger vibrato. Keep your fret-hand thumb wrapped over the top of the fretboard throughout the riff, using it to fret the D root note on the low E string’s 10th fret. Stevie intersperses this low root note into the lick in a few essential spots, akin to Hendrix on his songs “Freedom” and “Izabella.” </p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p>Stevie displays his true brilliance as an improviser when playing over a slow blues. All of the following examples are played in the key of G, utilizing the G blues scale (G Bb C Db D F) as a basis. Across the first two bars of <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I play two- and three-note chord figures against the low G and C root notes, fretted with the thumb. On beat three of both bars, I play a trill by barring the index finger across the D and G strings and then quickly hammering on and pulling off with the middle finger one fret higher on the G string. </p> <p>When playing bar 3, keep your index finger barred across the top two strings at the third fret while bending notes on the G and B strings. On beat two, quickly hammer on and pull off to the fourth fret on the high E string. This G-Ab-G hammer/pull is a staple for Stevie, used in myriad different and creative ways.</p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p>Another essential element of Stevie’s slow-blues lead playing approach is the use of Albert King–style multiple-string bends. As shown in <strong>FIGURE 2a</strong>, I bend the high E string up one whole step at the eighth fret using the ring finger (supported by the middle) and simultaneously catch the B string under the fingertip and bend it up a whole step as well so that it “goes along for the ride.” In <strong>FIGURE 2b</strong>, I catch the top three strings under the fingertip. It will take practice to build up the strength and “finger traction” to execute these bends properly.</p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><strong>FIGURES 3a and 3b</strong> illustrate another way to add pull-offs on the high E string, this time fretting A and then pulling back from Ab to G. This is followed by repeated pull-offs on the B string, illustrated more clearly in <strong>FIGURE 3c. FIGURES 4a and 4b</strong> offer two more permutations of this idea.</p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p>Another nod to Albert is the use of fingerpicking to accent notes on the high E string. I use my middle finger to pick and snap the string back against the fretboard, as illustrated in <strong>FIGURES 5a–5f</strong>. Notice in <strong>FIGURES 5b, 5c and 5e</strong> the use of a half-step bend at the seventh fret on the high E string. Albert was a master of microtonal bending, a technique learned well by Stevie.</p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p>Stevie devised some unique position shifts, utilizing bends and slides on the G string. <strong>FIGURES 6a–c</strong> present three examples. </p> <p>The use of the notes A, Ab and G on the high E string allude to the V (five) chord, D, and the D blues scale (D F G Gb A C). <strong>FIGURE 8a</strong> illustrates the scale, and <strong>FIGURES 7 and 8b–d</strong> offer examples played over the V chord. Another staple of Stevie’s style is the use of slides on the G string, exemplified in <strong>FIGURES 9a–c</strong>.</p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><img src="" /></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> In Deep July 2010 Stevie Ray Vaughan Videos In Deep with Andy Aledort Blogs Lessons Magazine Fri, 03 Oct 2014 13:26:22 +0000 Andy Aledort Session Guitar: Evolve or Die — Some Thoughts on Minimalism <!--paging_filter--><p>Hi, kids.</p> <p>"You know that guy who was in that movie? You know him! He was in that other movie too with that other guy. He played a cop, I think. With the long hair. Or was it short and blonde? Anyway, you know him."</p> <p>These days, more than ever, this is what it feels like to be a session player. The big, creative, soaring, melodic solos of yesteryear are not happening anymore. Why? Trends. Fashion. Hipsters. I can not say I am feeling artistically fulfilled in this musical climate.</p> <p>We adapt. Today is a world of minimalism. Sure, three notes can be just as musical and creative as 100. But that is not where I come from. "It Ain't Me, Babe" should be my theme song. </p> <p>Sure, the essentials will always be necessary. Rhythm, tone, etc. But the music business being overrun with indie everything has caused the actual music we hear to evolve. Or devolve, if I may. MP3's are the norm. Who cares about a digital promise of us hearing music at 24bit/192 Hz? We got us some cheap-ass (free) MP3's, and that's good enough! </p> <p>"Good enough." The death knell. Good enough. Two words I hate. "Just cut and paste the few chords and I'll sing over it and you can tune it for me. Or I'll take it home and do the vocals myself on my laptop. I got this USB mic that sounds awesome!" What kind of pre and compressor do you use at home? "What are those?" I deal with this daily. All the beat stealing instead of creating has caused a mentality of depreciation. Music of no value. Not all of it, mind you. But A LOT of it.</p> <p>Another observation: I get more calls these days from indie artists than labels. No surprises there. But get ready for this one. When I tell them my rates, and believe me I do not charge a high rate, they usually never call back or have actually expected me to do it for free because they have 50,000 views on YouTube. Yeah. I used to laugh. They can get their friend to play it. And they can! Luckily I still have a ton of clients. And apparently attracting new ones. But it is an interesting world.</p> <p>What does this have to do with minimalism? Everything. After the typical song is played on an acoustic guitar or two and a few electrics today, the "real" creative part begins. We used to call it the ear candy. Time to get creative, right? Well, it used to be. But what people call creative today is akin to "noodling." Searching around till you hear a "phrase" you can loop. Add some effects. Done. Then the original chords and stuff are often discarded. </p> <p>It is the process today. I've witnessed this very process done by a day one future guitarist (or even a 3-year-old in front of a keyboard) searching for something that resembles music. They fall on a phrase that resembles a glimmer of what can only "minimillistically" be called music, and they feel joy! Look what I've created. And that is great! But it isn't a song. Or music. It is musical. </p> <p>What is so important about this? It is what I am asked to do most of the time today. Find a few cool notes. Create a phrase. Effect it. And loop it. Now that effect part and tone part is not always necessary anyway because I can just send a direct guitar sound and have them add the tone they choose and the effects. And cut it up and edit it the way they want. Rewarding? Not for me. "It Ain't Me, Babe." </p> <p>Am I busy? Busier than ever, amazingly. But I'm not happy. I'm smart. I evolve. But I don't have to like it. But this a job. And a competitive one. Evolve or get left behind.</p> <p>Some quick advice to end this "observation."</p> <p>The Line 6 JTV-89 Variax is the reason I am busy. I hate capos. Everyone who knows me knows why. I always felt they were a crutch. However, the Virtual Capo feature in this instrument is by far the most-used tool in my arsenal today. I can add odd drones to any song in Ab with a 12-string guitar sound in seconds. Or a Tele, Strat, banjo, sitar, 335 or an acoustic. And then add a one-note Les Paul feedback note in another second. </p> <p>So I get creative with my sounds and few choice notes. Yup. Minimalist — but fast and creative, thanks to this fine instrument. If you hope to be a session player today and make money, buy one of these. The creative options for new sounds are infinite and life saving. Next, get a great compressor. I used to use the UA 1176 ($2,400). Then I bought a Wampler Ego Compressor ($200). Both sound equally good. I never thought any pedal would be as useful to me as the UA, or sound as good on guitar. The Wampler Ego is killer. Just get one.</p> <p>This column was about my observing the session guitar scene from the inside. You'll notice I haven't been writing many columns lately. I am being a minimalist. Not much interesting to write about. </p> <p>Till next time …</p> <p><em><a href="">Ron Zabrocki</a> is a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut. Says Ron: "I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just thought everyone started that way. I could sight read anything within a few years, and that helped me become a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could find and had some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played several jingle sessions (and have written a few along the way). I’ve “ghosted” for a few people who shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I get the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.</em></p> Ron Zabrocki Session Guitar Blogs Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:10:52 +0000 Ron Zabrocki How Teaching Guitar Made Me a Better Player <!--paging_filter--><p>When someone says “guitar lessons," what kind of image does that conjure? </p> <p>I think of the dingy back room of a music store, with one amp and two folding metal chairs—and not quite enough space to disperse the body odor of the two people in there.</p> <p>And I think about the moment, 10 years later, when I had my own thriving lessons business. One amp, two folding chairs, a little more breathing room. And some air freshener.</p> <p>Teaching isn't for everyone. It's exhausting to focus all of your attention on another person for 30 minutes. But if you aren’t sure yet, or if you haven’t begun to teach, you might be surprised to find out teaching can help make you a better guitar player.</p> <p>I'm not ashamed to say I'm still new at learning the guitar, even after 10 years of trying pretty damn hard. I’m not afraid to admit I still have a long way to go. And I am happy to give credit to my students for the times when they've turned the tables around and taught me a thing or two.</p> <p><strong>Clear evidence of what drives success</strong></p> <p>Through my students, I saw clear relationships between certain habits and positive guitar progress outcomes.</p> <p>For example, my best students were notetakers. They kept a journal for their lessons and practice. Taking notes gives you a bird’s eye view of your guitar progress. It can help you avoid getting in a rut, so you can spend more time pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Without notes, you are more likely to play the stuff you know or tackle challenges you’re not ready for. If you’re organized, you have a better chance of pushing yourself up to the edge of your abilities—and staying there as long as possible.</p> <p><strong>Looking in the mirror: Am I following my own advice?</strong></p> <p>I always told my students to memorize the music and rehearse regularly. I even made something I called the Carousel Method, a way to review the tunes you’ve memorized, especially as the list expands and you can’t play it all in a single session.</p> <p>Then I asked: How is my memorization? It wasn’t so great. I had an accident and there were a few months where I didn’t practice much. Suddenly, I couldn’t play a single tune by heart. In just a few minutes a day, I could have preserved a long list of tunes. This was a heavy blow to someone who’s devoted the last 10 years to the guitar. When I noticed I wasn’t following my own advice, I decided to make a change.</p> <p><strong>Looking at how far I’ve travelled—but not falling behind</strong></p> <p>When you teach guitar, some students stay for years, but others don’t last a week. Most are total beginners, although some have 20 or more years of playing.</p> <p>I realized how far I’ve traveled as a guitar player. I always had something to offer my students, even those who had played for decades. Of course, I met some who knew techniques I hadn’t learned. But being able to rise to the challenge of teaching anybody who came through the door made me realize I must have come a pretty long way. And the fact that there were some advanced players coming to me for help gave me a nudge that helped me see the areas in my own playing that needed improvement.</p> <p><strong>Realizing how little my insecurity matters, and letting it go</strong></p> <p>The confidence my students put in me made me realize that, from their point of view, I have nothing to be insecure about. Things look a lot differently when you’re on the outside looking in.</p> <p>I realized that insecurity is an obstacle and that a vague fixation on “being good” at everything is a poorly defined goal.</p> <p>I’m not the best at everything. There are some auditions I would nail and others I would fail. And that’s fine. I’m not trying to be the best at everything. That objective is just as boring as it is impossible.</p> <p><strong>Understanding that there’s still lots of time</strong></p> <p>I’m probably not the only player who ever wondered if he or she has already passed through his or her best guitar-learning years. As I get older, will I continue to improve, or have I reached the limit? Is my potential to get better starting to slow down?</p> <p>After seeing people twice my age bravely pick up the axe and start sharpening it, I realized these questions are for neuroscientists, not musicians. I’m still able to see improvements in my playing every day, and that’s all that matters. The science seems to confirm that adults enjoy tremendous capacity to learn throughout their whole lives. And if that’s not good enough, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. People of all ages can learn this instrument.</p> <p><em>Grey is the founder of Hub Guitar, which employs guitar teachers across the U.S. and publishes guitar lessons for players of all levels. He has years of experience playing guitar, teaching guitar and building online guitar lessons. You can see more of what he has written at <a href="">Hub Guitar: Articles.</a></em></p> Greg Arney Blogs Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:01:48 +0000 Greg Arney Secrets of Shred with Sammy Boller: Connecting String-Skipping Patterns — Lesson with Tab and Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In this lesson, I’m going to demonstrate some basic string-skipping patterns. </p> <p>These patterns are easy to link up with your pentatonic scales, and I think you’ll find them very useful for adding some flash into your riffs and solos. </p> <p>I’m going to play them separately at first, and then at the end of the lesson, I’ll string them all together into a chord progression.</p> <p>First let’s take a look at <strong>EXAMPLE 1</strong>. This is a C#m7 arpeggio in the 9th position starting with the root note on the low E string. Notice that this pattern is in the same position as your typical C# minor pentatonic scale. I tend to play string skipping arpeggios with hammer-ons and pull offs — only picking when I change strings or change direction. </p> <p>Try to learn all of the patterns with this method before you attempt alternate picking every note. You’ll find they’re initially easier to work up to speed.</p> <p>For <strong>EXAMPLE 2</strong>, I’m going to take the shape from <strong>EXAMPLE 1</strong> and move it up a string so that the root of the arpeggio is on the ninth fret on the A string. This changes the chord to an F#m7 arpeggio. Be sure to use the same picking and fingering patterns as the first example, this will help you work up speed and keep your technique consistent.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-09-26%20at%2011.33.04%20AM.png" width="620" height="372" alt="Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.33.04 AM.png" /></p> <p>NOTE: All 7th chord string-skipping patterns that have the root note on the low E string can be moved to the A string to get another arpeggio a 4th higher </p> <p>Moving on to <strong>EXAMPLE 3</strong>, we’re going to stay in the 9th position and play an F#dim7 arpeggio with the root on the A string. This is another common string skipping pattern that I like because the fingering on the G and E strings is exactly the same. Once again, be sure to keep your picking consistent with <strong>EXAMPLES 1 and 2.</strong></p> <p>NOTE: Once you have <strong>EXAMPLE 3</strong> down in the 9th position, try sliding it up three frets to the 12th position. This is the same arpeggio but in the first inversion. You can do this with all diminished string skipping patterns. This pattern can also be moved to the E string for different diminished arpeggios.</p> <p>Finally, for <strong>EXAMPLE 4</strong>, I’m going to combine <strong>EXAMPLES 1, 2, and 3</strong> into a progression in C# minor. The progression is C#m7 – F#m7 – F#dim7. Focus on making the transitions between the arpeggios seamless.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-09-26%20at%2011.33.25%20AM.png" width="620" height="275" alt="Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.33.25 AM.png" /></p> <p>Once you have these patterns down, try throwing them into your leads. They’re in the same position as the C# minor and C# minor pentatonic scale, so they’re easy to find all over the neck in many different keys. Cheers!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Sammy Boller is the guitarist for the Detroit rock band <a href="">Citizen Zero</a>. They’re touring and recording their first full-length album with Al Sutton and Marlon Young (Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Uncle Kracker). In 2012, Boller was selected by Joe Satriani as a winner of Guitar Center’s Master Satriani competition. He studied music at the University of Michigan. For more about Boller, or to ask him a question, write to him at or follow him on <a href="">Twitter</a>.</em></p> Sammy Boller Secrets of Shred Videos Blogs Lessons Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:31:34 +0000 Sammy Boller