50 of The Best Alternative Guitar Songs of the 90s

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The 90’s. Oh dear, they were really good times for young guitar players like myself who adored rock music.

There were so many alternative rock bands back then you got lost in the woods, but that didn’t bother most of us.

Not that everything was great, but at least it was guitar music playing on the radio.

Nowadays I even like some of the songs that I didn’t really dig back then. It has all become nostalgia.

They make me think of the good times or maybe I just listen to those songs differently now. Has my alternative taste expanded? It doesn’t matter. The bands and their songs that were so awesome then have just become more awesome after all these years. Those cranked up guitars just got better.

Favorites? Of course: REM, Radiohead, Alanis Morissette, Oasis, Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but it was great putting the entire list together.

Yes, there were many more songs that i wanted to add, but fifty seemed like a nice round number. So here you are. Read More »

Double Stops and Blues Licks Around The Entire Neck

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A double stop is when you play two notes at the same time, also called “dyads” (you might have heard of the more familiar term “triads” where you play three notes at the same time).

While solos usually consists of single note lines, you can give your phrasing some extra colour and more chunk by playing some double stops here and there.

Double stops is just guitar slang for “harmonic intervals”. An interval is the distance between any two notes and harmonic means simultaneously sounding tones. Harmonic intervals can be played in thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths and sevenths.

You can hear them a lot in rock and blues and guitar players love using them to enhance their soloing.

Here are two examples of classic blues double stop guitar intros:

Cold shot – Stevie Ray Vaughan

Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry

You can apply harmonic intervals to every scale, but today we’re focusing on playing fourths in the A minor pentatonic scale. The application of fourths is one of the most used double stops in blues and rock.

In the tabs below you can see that almost every two notes are on the same fret, so you need to bar two strings with either your first finger (index finger), third finger (ring finger) or fourth finger (pinky). Read More »

How to Read Guitar Tabs – Tablature

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Tab (Tablature) or Tab notation is an easy way to read and notate guitar music.

It is commonly used for notating rock, blues, country and pop music. Whereas standard notation is more used for classical music, film scores and jazz music.

Tab is widely transcribed and used by guitar players on the internet but it also published in official guitar books (which is often more accurate).

It is especially designed for fretted stringed instruments like guitar and bass, while standard notation is arranged for all instruments. There are some pros and cons for each notation method.

When you’re learning music from tabs you can not just plainly rely on the tab notation. You need to listen to the song first, because the tab doesn’t indicate note lengths, pauses, rhythm and dynamics.

To know how long or loud each note is being played you need to use your ears and listen to the song. Train your ears because they are your most essential tools while reading and learning from tabs.

We focus here on Tab because of it’s convenient pros. Tab is easy to read and it gives you the exact fret numbers and strings you need to play. Read More »

A New Year for Guitar and Essentials

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What wonderful things will 2015 have in store?

I love fresh new starts. Of course I can start over each day, but the new year is just a great way to symbolize that.

A new year to start a new dream or to expand and improve on something that you already really love doing.

I always start writing down new ideas, goals, thoughts, just everything that comes to mind at the beginning of each new year.

And I look back on the things I’ve written down last year to see if some of the things have come alive.

Usually a couple of those things have and that’s great! For other things I took a different turn because of some new insights I came across.

I know this happens every year. I write down goals. Not really goals but rather ideas or projects I’d like to fulfill as a vehicle to get started and be inspired.

And then life comes with surprises that I didn’t expect. Some beautiful and some less beautiful. Well, it often depends on how I perceive that.

It’s part of growing and part of the deal to get to where you want to be and where life wants you to go. You have to open your mind and eyes to see new opportunities and life lessons right in front of you, dare to go with the flow or let go and follow your heart. That’s when you find the real treasures.

Still, I like some guidance to kickstart the new year. I always keep focused on a few essentials that I write down in my Moleskine.

Here’s the list: Read More »

Top 30 Easy Guitar Chord Songs for Beginners

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If you are a beginner guitar player or you just need some inspiration for easy guitar songs you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve put together a list of 30 easy guitar songs that are great to strum along with and a lot of fun to play.

Make sure you practice the chords and switching between chords for each song thoroughly. It will benefit your playing.

I’ve put a Youtube link on each song title and two chord links next to it. The “Chords” link will take you to the chords and lyrics for the song and the “More Chords” link will show you the official transcribed chords if you want to learn more songs of the artist concerned.

Some of the songs in the list below are played with a Capo.

The capo is commonly used to raise the pitch and change the key of a song while still using the same open chord fingerings, but a capo makes it also possible to play a different set of chords for a song which makes the song easier to play while still remaining in the original key of the song. This is a common thing in guitar playing and guitar players do it all the time, not just beginners.

Professional singer songwriters use the capo frequently so they can sing in a particular key but still use the beautiful sounds and possibilities of open chord fingerings.

Life is too short not to use a capo. Read More »

How to Play and Apply Sus2 and Sus4 Chords

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Sus2 and sus4 chords are very often used in music to embellish chords and chord progressions.

It’s an easy way of adding some extra flavor to a chord and give you a little space to mess around with that chord.

Especially when you have to play a chord for several consecutive measures in a song and you don’t want to get bored out of your mind, it’s nice to implement a sus4 or sus2 here and there to spice things up a bit.

Analysis
To understand what a sus chord really is and how it operates you have to know a little bit of music theory. A normal major chord consists of the root, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale (1-3-5). If we take the C major scale for example: C D E F G A B C and you take the root (1st), 3rd and 5th note of that scale you get C-E-G. The minor chord consists of the root, flat 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale (1-b3-5) and becomes C-Eb-G. Here’s where the sus chords comes in…

The sus4 chord consists of the root, 4th and 5th notes of the major scale (1-4-5) = C F G. You can see that the sus4 chord (“sus” stands for “suspended”.) replaces the third with the fourth note.

The sus2 chord consists of the root, 2nd and 5th notes of the major scale (1-2-5) = C D G. The sus2 chord replaces the third with the second note.

By removing the 3rd in a chord, the chord becomes neither major nor minor, as the 3rd determines the happy major or sad minor sound. Therefor sus chords can be applied to both major and minor chords.

In practice
Suspended chords have the tendency to resolve. The four and fifth in a sus4 chord creates tension and so does the second and root in a sus2 chord. That’s why sus chords are often played in combination with their parent chord. Read More »

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