Have you ever wondered how guitar players come up with interesting guitar parts to songs like House Of The Rising Sun, Hotel California, or Stairway To Heaven?
Some of the most iconic guitar parts you can think of are created by using a technique called arpeggios.
While some of these parts can sound tricky and complicated, it’s actually a pretty simple technique to get started with.
Arpeggios are an important technique for guitar players in just about any musical style you can imagine.
They provide a different texture for your chords than strumming does, and can be a helpful songwriting tool.
Arpeggios are used throughout all styles of music, and in many cases they make up some of the most memorable guitar parts to songs you like.
Luckily, arpeggios for guitar can be as simple as learning a picking pattern to play while holding down a chord.
Learning your arpeggio patterns will give you more options to play with as you improve your skills, and make your picking technique better at the same time
In this lesson you will learn the basic 4 string arpeggio picking patterns, and how to apply them to basic open guitar chords.
By the end of this lesson you’ll have the tools you need to play simple arpeggio picking patterns over chord progressions, and apply them to some of your favorite songs as well.
Imagine being able to play a great sounding solo next time you’re jamming with another guitar player, or playing along with a backing track.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to study advanced improvisation techniques to get going.
You just need to learn one or two simple scales, and you’re ready to get started!
For a guitar player, pentatonic scales are an important tool you need to have at your disposal.
In almost any style of music you want to play, major and minor pentatonic scales are going to be your go-to scale pattern for improvisation and playing guitar solos.
Learning your major and minor pentatonic scales will give you the tools necessary to improvise in both major and minor keys with confidence - whether you are jamming with your friends or taking a solo in jazz band.
A solid foundation with your major and minor pentatonic scales will also make it easier for you to learn other scale forms later on - like major and natural minor scales.
In this lesson you will learn how to play the major and minor pentatonic scales starting on the 6th string. We will look at suggested finger patterns and learn the scale tone numbers for both of these scales.
You will also start to see how you can move these scale patterns around the neck, so you can improvise in any major or minor key with confidence.
Reading music is an essential skill for guitar players, and would be something that gets covered in your guitar lessons.
There are 3 types of music reading that all guitar players should be aware of:
In this lesson, we are going to focus on reading TAB, or tablature. Reading TAB is a skill that will help you start to learn songs, riffs, and other material that is written down
Tab shows you the strings on the guitar, and uses numbers to tell you what fret to put your fingers on.
It’s kind of like a coordinate system - you find the right string or line, and then you find the right fret or number - then you’ll have the right note!
It is important for you to learn how to read TAB because most guitar resources today incorporate it into the way they present musical ideas, whether they are showing chords, single notes, or arpeggios.
Depending on how serious you are about learning music, TAB might be the only music reading skill you need.
If you are looking into learning to play guitar as a hobby, TAB is a perfect way to get started.
If you are looking into a degree or a career in music, TAB is still a great way to start out - you’ll just want to transition into reading standard musical notation as well.
In this lesson, you will learn the basics of how to read TAB for guitar, and get a basic understanding of how it will help you learn to play songs on your guitar.
When I first started playing guitar, it was purely for fun.
I thought the guitar was the coolest sounding thing I had ever heard.
I was 7 years old at the time, and eventually strumming a few chords for fun turned into taking guitar lessons from an older kid who lived down the street.
Along with those lessons, something changed with how I thought about playing guitar. I got well intentioned advice from my guitar teacher and family members about how long and how often I should practice.
“If you’re going to take guitar lessons, you have to practice at least 30 minutes every day.”
This advice led to a few different things: a dedicated practice time each day, an organized list of things I needed to do every time I practiced, and a sudden dislike for playing my guitar.
Scales can be intimidating for a lot of beginners learning to play guitar.
In this beginners guitar lesson I'll show you a simple scale pattern that's easy, fun to play, and sounds good.
Scales are an important skill for anyone learning to play guitar, whether you're just starting out or you've been playing for years.
Scales are how we write and play melodies or guitar solos, help build your finger coordination, and get your left and right hands working together.
By learning to play your G major pentatonic scale, you will be able to play melodies and improvise guitar solos in the key of G, and build a foundation of technique that will let you learn other scales as time goes on.
In this lesson, we will cover 2 different directions for playing the G major pentatonic scale on the first 3 strings of your guitar:
Once you’ve learned the chords on the 6th string, your next goal will be to learn the chords on the 5th string.
While the jazz guitar chords on the 6th string are a great starting point, you’ve probably noticed by now that you have to jump all over the place to play a song.
In this lesson, you start to add in the jazz guitar chords on the 5th string, and you’ll start to be able to find your next chord without having to move more than a couple of frets most of the time.
Once you add these chords into your vocabulary, playing through jazz songs will be a much easier process.
In this lesson you’re going to learn the basic 3 note jazz guitar chord shape starting on the 5th string. You’ll also learn how to change this shape to create any chord you need using basic music theory rules.
When you’re just getting started in jazz guitar, learning the right kinds of chords is probably going to be your top priority.
Whether you’re playing in a school jazz band or you’re interested in jazz guitar to pick up a new style for yourself, knowing the right types of chords is an essential element of your jazz guitar playing.
That’s where the chords in this lesson come in. With these simple 3 note chords starting on the 6th string, you’ll be able to create the basic structure for any jazz guitar chord you need.
These chords are a great starting point for learning jazz guitar - they are easy to learn, easy to play, and they sound good.
In this lesson you’re going to learn the basic 3 note jazz guitar chord shape starting on the 6th string. You’ll also learn how to change this shape to create any chord you need using basic music theory rules.
My recent relocation to Portland, OR has brought with it some changes, and some new opportunities.
While it has been fun exploring our new town over the last month, there is a new teaching opportunity I am particularly excited about.
I am happy to say that I will be joining the faculty of Mt Hood Community College this fall as a guitar instructor. I will be giving private guitar lessons to some of the MHCC guitar students on campus in Gresham, OR.
I am really looking forward to working with community college students again.
My first professional teaching job was at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, WA - where I was hired after earning my masters degree in jazz pedagogy.
Learning the notes on the guitar neck is an important part of learning guitar, but is often overlooked in guitar lessons.
Because the guitar is a pattern based instrument, many guitar teachers and students focus on learning chord shapes, scale patterns, and sometimes feel like they can get away with not knowing what the note names on their fretboard are.
Learning the notes on the fretboard will help prepare you for more advanced guitar playing skills like movable chord and scale shapes that let you play freely all over the guitar
One of the great things about living in Portland, OR is the ability to see live music.
Sometimes these shows are things that you plan for, buy tickets, and make an event of it.
Other times, you just get lucky and stumble upon something great that’s happening.
This last weekend, I was lucky enough to stumble onto a performance with finger style blues guitarist Dorian Michael.
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