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 »

How to Play and Apply The Dorian Scale

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If you know your way around the pentatonic / blues scale, the major scale and minor scale and you feel like you’re up for a new challenge, it’s time to expand your soloing vocabulary.

Let’s take a look at one of the 7 modes of the Major scale. Dorian might be your new endeavor.

The Dorian scale is very common scale in the jazz music, but it can also be applied to pop, rock and metal to give your soloing some fresh and lively colors.

The dorian scale is the second mode of the major scale.

All 7 modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian) are derived from the major scale. Each mode starts and stops on a different note within the major scale. Dorian starts on the second degree of the major scale all the way up to an octave higher.

C Major = C D E F G A B C
D Dorian = D E F G A B C D

Major scale = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

If you start on a random note to build a Dorian scale the pattern of whole and half steps would be: “whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, whole”. (a whole step = 2 frets, a half step = 1 fret). So the formula in semitones = 2 1 2 2 2 1 2

Modes are scales derived from the major scale. There are major modes and minor modes. If we look at the minor modes (they contain a b3) you can see the Aeolian mode (natural minor scale) and Phrygian mode both contain a minor 6 (or b6), whereas the Dorian mode contains a major 6. The 6th sets it apart. It becomes the characteristic note and identifies the Dorian sound. Read More »

Reevaluate Your Guitar Goals

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What more can you wish for when you’ve achieved most of the goals you had in the past?

I’m pretty grateful for my life right now and all the things I’ve experienced and accomplished.

I’ve played in a lot of different bands, done hundreds of gigs, played music for a living, met a beautiful girl, got married, traveled to beautiful countries, started teaching guitar for a living from my home studio, started a blog, got three kids and made some really good friends along the way. Of course, that’s the short version.

While I’m really happy with accomplishing a lot of the goals I had, goals can also change once you get older. Life changes, circumstances change, you change and so it’s not that strange your goals change along with you.

Lately I read something in a book that really struck me.
Let’s fast forward a couple of years. Suppose you are somewhere around 85 years old, you are lying on your death bed and look back on your life. Are there still things you wish you had done in your life or regret you didn’t have? Think about it for a moment.

Now let’s rewind again. Read More »

How to Memorize Music and Lyrics Forever and Ever!

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Memorizing song lyrics hasn’t always been my strongest asset.

Learning chords, chord progressions, scales and guitar solos were always the easy part.

I’d go through them once or twice and they were stored in my brain for ages. But those nasty lyrics didn’t seem to get further than my short term memory.

I ultimately tackled this problem by using a learning technique called spaced repetition.

Spaced repetition works with graduated time intervals. It makes use of the spacing effect where you learn something several times spaced over a long time span.

Instead of cramming (hastily and intense studying at the latest possible moment) which is great for storing huge amounts of information for a short period of time, spaced repetition will pass the information from the short term memory onto the long term memory and make it last indefinitely.

This technique was first discovered by Hermann Ebbinghaus, a german psychologist who experimented with the study of memory and did some extraordinary findings. He contributed to science with brilliant insights on the forgetting curve, the learning curve and the spacing effect.

While you can apply the spaced repetition technique to any kind of (musical) information, we’ll take “memorizing lyrics” as an example. Read More »

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