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.
In this column, I’d like to share with you a useful lesson that I teach my students, and that is the importance of rests, or silence, in music, and how to achieve it in a meaningful, controlled manner. I do this by teaching them some basic, stock jazz “riffs” that are both fun to play and beneficial for their general technique development.
I often use this exercise as a quick left-hand warmup. It's great for loosening up your left hand, especially for more complicated chordal work. It's also an excellent study for left-hand coordination and control. The concept is to play chromatic octaves starting on the low open E string entirely in first position. We will move up chromatically starting on the low E up to the G# on the first fret of the third string.