10 Vital Tips to Get Your Chords Sound Clean and Clear

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good sounding chordsThe biggest challenge for the beginner and sometimes even the intermediate guitar player is to make chords sound clean and clear.

I still remember the frustration struggling with the C and F major chord. Like it would never gonna work.

I kept practicing every day and then all of a sudden there it was. The chord sounded perfectly clear. It felt like it happened out of the blue, but I knew it was the result of lots of practice. It was my first guitar victory.

To get a good sounding chord there are several things you need to pay attention to, observe, apply and check repeatedly.

Good sounding chords is not an overnight thing. It’s also not the hardest thing in the world but it takes time, regular practice and perseverance.

If you implement these 10 tips during practice you will definitely get there. Practicing will be a lot more effective and results are just around the corner.

Here are they keys:

1 – Bend your knuckles
Make sure to bend all your knuckles (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th). Avoid any straight fingers, they can cause your chords to sound muffled. The only time you can straighten your finger is when you need to bar a chord. (barre chords)

2 – As close to the fret as possible.
Place your fingers as close to the fret as possible. Don’t place your fingers on the fret (metal fret wire), it causes buzzing. Not every chord allows all fingers to be placed right behind the fret (for example: A major chord), but try to place them as close as possible. Read More »

Cooler Pentatonics and Licks Adding The Major Third

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The pentatonic scale is an awesome scale. It’s a fairly easy scale and it can be used for almost every style of music: blues, country, pop, rock and more.

That’s why most guitar players use it most of the time. Great nothing wrong with that.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you could add a few notes to the minor pentatonic scale to give it more flavor and spice up your playing?

Well today we’re going to add the major third to the minor pentatonic scale. The major third will bring some happy, fresh and lively color to the table. Adding extra notes to the pentatonic scale is a common thing in soloing and will make your playing a lot more fun and interesting to listen to.

I’ll show you how to play the 5 pentatonic scales shapes / positions adding the major third and 5 licks to spice up your playing.

The major third is a musical interval and is the distance between the root and the third note of the major scale. It also consists of four semitones (4 frets).

For example: Read More »

The Most Effective Way to Accomplish Your Guitar Goals

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Setting goals and writing them down in a notebook is a fun activity that gives your guitar life a meaningful direction. It’s one of my favorite hobbies.

For me that’s the easy part. The second part is a little trickier: Accomplishing those goals.

I can’t say I’ve been lousy at accomplishing my guitar goals, but in the past there were always some goals that I somehow couldn’t get off the ground.

Maybe one reason is that I had too many goals (blame it on my enthusiasm). Well, we all have excuses.

I eventually tackled this hurdle by creating accountability. When you feel accountable you are assured of achieving your goals. The steps you have to take become a priority!

For me, playing in a band is the perfect way to learn and become skilled at a new style of music (pop, rock, blues, folk, metal, jazz). I really get on top of it. I make sure I do everything in my power to be ready for the next band rehearsal. I respect the people I’m playing with and I don’t want to let them down.

Another example is that I often create a challenge for my guitar students to study a song or solo within a couple of weeks and then have them perform it in front of their co-students. It works.

Accountability gives you the boost you need to get things done!

Here are the keys to accomplish your guitar goals: Read More »

10 Solid Reasons to Learn New Chords Now and How

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You might already know a bunch of chords. You can play a good number of songs and you’re doing just fine. You don’t want to burden yourself any more than necessary.

Why would you need to continue to learn and memorize new chords? You can look them up right?

Right and wrong!

When you are writing or creating and your mind doesn’t have that big beautiful chord vocabulary, your imagination can’t benefit from all this creativity that is going on inside your head and you’re holding back from your true potential. You’ve got the creativity, but you’re missing the input.

Also when you’re playing guitar in a band you want to feel confident right? You want to be a pro, so act like a pro. Study and learn as much as you can. Be in control of your game. It builds confidence and increases the fun.

Let’s work on it!

Here are the 10 reasons to keep learning new chords and how to go about it. Read More »

50 of The Best Metal Songs of All Times

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The first metal band I really digged was Iron Maiden. I guess I was about ten years old.

I loved their music instantly. What was there not to love? All the songs had catchy guitar riffs and Bruce Dickinson’s voice was superb.

Years later when I went to high school I got to know some dudes that were into death metal. The genre was something I had to get accustomed to. To be honest, it really had to grow on me, but there was something that fascinated me and I was drawn to it.

The degree of loudness in the music was introduced to me backwards. Starting with Slayer and Obituary and followed by more popular bands like Metallica and Megadeth.

I got hooked and started listening to a lot of different metal bands and styles. I also started transcribing and playing a lot of metal on my guitar. My favorite metal bands became Sepultura, Death, Slayer, Pantera and of course Metallica and Megadeth.

I was hypnotized by Max Cavalera’s (Sepultura) heavy and diverse rhythm guitar parts, Marty Friedman’s (Megadeth) melodic speed soloing and Dimebag’s (Pantera) crazy wild bombastic riffs. There was so much creativity going on in all of these guitar players. An endless source of inspiration. Read More »

10 Effective Ways to Change Chords Easily

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For most beginner guitar players the first goal is to play an easy song. To do this you need a couple of things:

A guitar, some chords, a strumming pattern and a smooth chord transition. The latter is the tricky part.

Changing chords while maintaining a steady rhythm pattern is the biggest challenge on the path of the beginner.

It’s often a struggle and hard work to make the chord transition sound any good. It almost feels like it’s something that can not be done, but nothing could be further from the truth.

A smooth transition of changing chords is something that does take time and effort, but with the right tips and tricks you will get there a lot faster and make it work as it should.

Time to get this baby up and running!

Here are 10 effective tips:

1 – Work on chords first
Before you start changing chords, first focus on perfecting your chords and chord movement.

– Learn the 8 most important chords for beginners
– Work on each chord separately.
– Visualize the shape of the chord.
– Place your fingers in the shape of the chord and try to move all your fingers simultaneously.
– Land all your fingers on the strings at the same time (press with the very tips of your fingers).
– Remove your hands from the strings and repeat the exercise 10 times.
– Try it with a different chord each time. Read More »

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