Should you practice rhythm in your warm up routine? The answer, in short is absolutely! Think about it, 90% of the time you play guitar whether learning songs or playing in a band is playing rhythm guitar. So, it’s crucial that you focus on rhythm at least part of the time in your warm up. Remember your favorite songs, the ones that inspired you to play guitar? They’re always composed of great rhythm parts, so naturally you should have a routine to help develop that side of your playing.
With that said, rhythm guitar is what I have always struggled with most. Single note arpeggiated stuff in particular was my weakest link as a player and as it turns out, I’ve realized I’m not alone. To work through that, I developed a routine for myself that I’m going to share with you in this video. I’ll go over some picking hand patterns, incorporate some fretting hand techniques and some ear training to boot! A three for one special, just for you! The cool thing about this lesson is that once you implement it into your practice routine it will help you become a more melodic player as well. To see how this all comes together check out the video below. If you missed part one, “finger twisters” you can check it out here.
Are you already wondering what the heck soloing in the pocket is? Well, finding the pocket is the key to making what you play feel good. The term pocket refers to how you line up rhythmically with the groove of the song. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing rhythm playing or lead work, the pocket is where the money is at.
I already showed you how to start doing this when it comes to rhythm playing, but now its time to make those leads feel great! In today’s free lesson I’ll teach you just that! Much like the rhythm version of this lesson, we start by learning to listen to what is going on in the drum groove. Get the drum groove used in the lesson here. In learning to synchronize your lead phrasing with the patterns created by the drummer’s kick and snare, you’ll be well on your way to creating perfectly pocketed solos! Once you get the hang of this, your improvised solos will take on a life of their own. So, fire up your amp or grab that acoustic and let’s get started!
I’ve been teaching people how to play guitar for over 15 years and noticed a common theme among most of my students. They can play some songs, know some scales, and most can do some lead work. The problem comes when it’s time to play to play rhythm and lead with a metronome or a drummer. While metronomes are great they can be more difficult to start with and to be honest, a little boring. That’s where your new drummer I’ve found comes into play (pun intended)!
Jamming with a solid drummer will have a huge impact on your ability, it will literally improve every aspect of your guitar playing!! Want to be able to lay down a fat rhythm groove or bust out a perfectly pocketed solo? Then, understanding how to play with a drummer is crucial! Don’t get me wrong, learning to play your favorite song is great; but playing that song while locked in with the rhythm section, now we’re talking!
If you’ve ever wanted to play in a band, being able to lay it down with a drummer will get you the gigs! However, showing up to play with a drummer if you never have can feel pretty intimidating. Just imagine, having another person stare at you while you fumble through trying to find your groove. So what do you do to prepare? Well, this is where the new lesson I’ve created comes in!
In this lesson, I’ll teach you the basic fundamentals on how to start playing with a drummer in the safety of your own home. We’ll start by just learning to listen for the drummer’s groove. Once you’re able to hear the patterns being played on the hi hat, kick, and snare, you’ll learn to sync your picking hand to the groove that the drummer is playing. This creates the feel that gets everybody on the dance floor in your local bar or head banging at the nearby stadium.
What if you just want to jam at home and never want to play with a real drummer or band? Not to worry, this lesson is perfect for that too. Just download the tracks to your computer and away you go! It’s even more fun with a bumping stereo, it will be about as close as you can get to the real thing! Fun for days!
Click the video below. Also make sure to download the drum loop I’ve created that goes with the lesson so you can rock out too. Happy grooving!
Could it be true, melodically solo over chord progressions without knowing what scale to use!?!
Short answer, yep!
The best part is that it’s really pretty simple. The trick is to look for chord shapes rather than scale shapes. When you’re able to see chord shapes all over the neck, you no longer have to be worried about a scale when it’s time to solo. When you solo from the chord shapes you’re automatically hitting the right notes because you’re using the chords themselves as your map!
How about when the tune changes keys in the middle of the song? No problem! You’re still covered because again, you simply use the chord shapes as your guide. You won’t need to figure out all the scales you need when the key changes, keeping you out of your head and in the moment.
This is all laid out beautifully in the CAGED system but that can take some time to get under your fingers, so check out the video below to start wrapping your brain around the concept. It’s the beginner’s guide to the caged system or the short cut, if you will. I’ve kept this video to 10 minutes, so you’ll be able to easily fit this lesson into your day! After 10 minutes, I promise you’ll be blown away by how this simple new way of looking at the fretboard will drastically improve your soloing!!
When I was a wee lad first learning how to solo on guitar, my teacher showed me a bunch of cool scales that blew my mind. I thought this is it, this is what I have been looking for to propel me to guitar god status. All I’d need to do is to learn all the scales, be able to play them really fast and shazam, people would surely be reading about me in the magazines! Haha, we can all dream!
I did learn them all and fifty ways to play them up and down the fretboard; building up quite a bit of speed and technique in the process. In reality what those scales gave me was a great warm up routine. What it didn’t do was teach me how to become more musical.
Fast forward too many years to mention and eons of running scales, picking patterns, hammer-on and pull-off exercises. I decided I needed to start warming up in a new way. I set my intention and purpose of becoming more musical every time I picked up the guitar to warm up and devised a three part warm up routine. Starting today I’ll share them with you.
The first video is designed to build up your finger dexterity. While it may not be very musical, it will give you a new found access to each of your fingers and a strong connection between right and left hands. This is extremely beneficial on your journey to becoming a more melodic player. When you aren’t limited by technique, you’re not limited in your ability to create. If you can move each of your fingers easily and independently and have a a great right/left hand connection, melodic and musical ideas will be right there where they should be…at your fingertips!
Using Your Warm Up Routine To Become More Melodic – Guitar Lesson – Part 1 – Finger Twisters
Are you learning to play guitar with the assumption that you must be technically good before getting polished professional sounds? Of course it doesn’t hurt to have skills, but it’s not as important as you might think. Most popular songs you’ve heard throughout the ages are four chords or less. When stripped down, they’re quite simple to play. One thing I’ve found that does make a HUGE difference in the way you sound is dynamics. You can think of dynamics as how you play the part you are playing. Is it loud, soft, picked, strummed, or all of the above? How you’re playing the verse compared to the chorus, etc.
In this video I will go over some simple but effective tips to get you sounding more like a pro. The best part is you can apply these tips to your playing in less than 10 minutes! Check out the video below, and let me know how it goes.
Could it really be that simple? While it might not be the only trick to getting good guitar tones, it’s a cheap and effective place to start. Check out live clips of Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Beck, Page, and Van Halen and you’ll see they’re always messing with the volume knob and their pickups. It’s also a great way to simplify things while playing live. Instead of tap dancing on pedals you can keep it all to the controls of your guitar. I shot a YouTube video demonstrating this idea, check it out below.
Start out by getting the best distorted tone you can, then back off on your volume knob and use your pickup selector to clean up the sound for rhythm or clean parts. Keep in mind that while you might not get a sparkling clean tone with this approach, your slightly dirty clean tone will sound clean once the whole band is playing. When the solo or heavy rhythm part comes back in, turn up that volume knob and let it rip! Give it a shot! This super simple approach has saved me many times at gigs. It will let you stick to what really matters which is playing your part right with feeling so you can give the crowd what they want…a good show!
In my 100 Blues Rocks Licks course I show how to take your playing to the next level quicker than you ever thought possible!
You’ve learned some scales and some chords and you’re starting to play with friends or maybe even some jam tracks but it’s just not happening. It’s frustrating I know, I’ve been there before (for a long time), a rut I just couldn’t seem to get out of. To make matters worse, my technique was already good. Major bummer! How come the players in my favorite bands could solo so great and I couldn’t? What did they know that I didn’t? Where did the feel and the melodies in their solos come from? Then, I stumbled across a couple of really simple tricks that changed EVERYTHING! I’ll show you these tricks in the 100 Blues Rock licks course. I’ve gotten so many emails saying that these tips were the light bulb moment for people. To top it off you’ll have 100 more melodic licks under your belt when you’re done! Check out all the details on that course here.
In the meantime, check out this Youtube lesson… it will give you a quick sneak peak into the kinds of things you’ll learn in the 100 Blues Rock Licks course. Don’t worry if the lesson seems a bit beyond where you’re at, there is absolutely something in the Blues Rock Licks course for everyone!
When I decided I wanted to learn guitar I did it all backwards. Instead of starting on an acoustic, I started out on an electric guitar. It was the ugliest no name $79 dollar electric guitar you could find, but it had distortion and that was all that mattered. I just couldn’t imagine playing Crazy Train on acoustic, lol! Little did I know, that electric was so bad I would have had an easier time playing the songs I wanted on an acoustic.
But usually, the story starts something like “Mom/Dad, I want to learn to play guitar”. Then if you’re lucky, an acoustic guitar appears out of the ether for christmas or your next birthday! Or maybe it’s later in life after you’ve paid your dues with your career and you decide to reconnect with that dream you had as a kid of learning to play all of your favorite songs. I didn’t actually buy an acoustic guitar until about 25 years later. I had already been teaching guitar for about 8 years when my buddy Marty Schwartz said, “dude you need an acoustic”!
Acoustic was a whole new world for me and has definitely made me a better player. It really helped me appreciate the struggles people have when learning guitar for the first time. There are certain things that don’t seem natural when trying to play acoustic guitar for the first time. That’s why I created my Beginners Break Through Acoustic DVD series. It starts at square one and covers everything from how to hold a guitar, proper finger pressure, open chords, barre chords, strum patterns all the way through to learning over 30 famous chord progressions from artists both past and present (for all the amazing details on this product, check the sale link below). To top it off, this DVD set is available at a MASSIVE discount! It’s my way of saying happy holidays to you and giving you that final push to start the lifelong journey of playing guitar.
Get your guitar playing appetite going with this quick video lesson on spicing up a typical chord progression. It’s not a beginner video but something you would totally be able to do once you are half way through my Beginner’s Acoustic Video course. Good luck! Happy strumming!
To add some grease to the axels, I’ve got a Hendrix vid for ya! Go grab your guitar real quick! In this lesson I’m gonna teach you some of the keys to the Hendrix kingdom! If you’re anything like me, then I would imagine the impact he had on you is undeniable. Even if you’re not a fan of his music, after this lesson you’ll see just how much of an impact he had on the guitar world! In just about every style of guitar his influence can be heard from classic rock, to jazz, blues, pop and everything in between! In this lesson I’ll give you some tips to access the magic behind his rhythm style and just how easily it can be applied to other styles of music. Click the lesson link below!