Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales and When to Use Them

Pentatonic scales can be heard in all types of music from blues and rock to jazz and country. They are a great tool to start out with if you want to learn to improvise or start writing your own solos. I won’t cover the theory behind pentatonic scales in this lesson, as this lesson takes a more practical approach towards learning and using pentatonic scales. That said, to get the most out of pentatonic scales, you will want to understand some of the theory behind pentatonic scales and when to use them.

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Play Guitar Fast! Speed Building Exercises

These exercises are intended to go along with the lesson Guitar Shredding 101: Building Speed, but are also useful warm-up / practice exercises on their own. These exercises do not have to be played with the note values as written – use them to practice different note values (quarter notes, 8th notes, 16th notes, triplets, etc.) Continue reading

Guitar Shredding 101: Building Speed

If you want to shred on the guitar the most important skill you will need is speed. No matter what you play, if it isn’t fast you aren’t shredding! Not to worry though, building speed is not as difficult as many people think. All you need to do is practice correctly, have some patience and persistence, and you will learn to play at hyper-speed! This lesson will teach guitarists of all levels how to practice correctly to build speed. Continue reading

Introduction to Barre Chords

While more difficult than open chords, barre chords are very useful because the same chord shape can be moved all over the guitar fretboard. Therefore, with one chord shape you can play a specific chord type (ex. Major chord) in any key by simply sliding the shape up or down the fretboard. Continue reading

Open Chords – Some Basic Chords That Every Guitarist Should Know (Part 2)

Once you feel comfortable with the open chords in the first part of this lesson, here are a few more open chords you will want to learn. You will probably find that once you have learned a few chords, you will be able to learn additional chords much more quickly. Some of these chords may be slightly more difficult than those in part 1, but shouldn’t be too challenging. Continue reading

Fretboard Diagram: The Notes on the Fretboard

Here is a fretboard diagram showing all of the notes on the fretboard. Please note that after the 12th fret the notes begin to repeat themselves (i.e. the 13th fret has the same notes as the 1st fret, the 14th fret has the same notes as the 2nd fret, and so on). Use this as a reference tool when necessary, but also try to memorize it because as a guitarist it is important to be able to quickly locate any note, on any string, at different areas on the fretboard. Below the diagram are some tips for memorizing the notes on the fretboard. Continue reading

Blues Guitar 101: The 12-Bar Blues Chord Progression

The 12-bar blues is probably the most important chord progression you can learn as a blues or rock guitarist. Knowing this chord progression will allow you to play along with the rhythm section of countless blues and rock songs, is great for jamming with other guitarists/bands whether you are a beginner or virtuoso, and provides a great backing when you are first learning to solo/improvise. Continue reading

Open Chords – Some Basic Chords That Every Guitarist Should Know (Part 1)

Here are a few basic open form chords that all guitarists should know. An open chord generally involves open strings in the chord form and/or does not require a barre (barre chords will be covered later). You may have noticed that I have skipped certain chords (ex. B Major and F Major). This is because these chords are slightly more difficult to play and will therefore be included in a future lesson. Continue reading