9 Blues Guitar Chords to Rock The House!

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The dominant 7th chord is the most common used chord in blues.

But also the ninth and thirteenth chords are found regularly in blues music to give that extra flavor to a chord progression. They add a little bit of jazz flavor.

Choosing the right blues chords can make your blues rhythm playing sound fresh and full of color.

Playing these blues chords in different positions will give you a unique sound every time again and makes playing rhythm much more fun and challenging.

The blues chords shown below are all in the key of A, however they are moveable chords so they can be played in every key. The red dot indicates the root note. In the diagrams below all red notes are “A” notes. If you would move all the chords up a whole step then the chords are in the key of B.

If you want the chords to be in the key of E, then move the entire chord so that the red dot (root note) lands on the “E” note. Read More »

Practice Guitar Improvisation using Different Drum Beats

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Okay, you know your blues scales inside out and are confident improvising with these scales.

But you might not be aware that you always practice improvisation with a drum backing track using the same drum beat over and over again.

You tell the drummer of your band to play a slow blues shuffle because it feels so good. Or could it have anything to do with the fact that it feels safe? Does it sound familiar to you?

Then the day arrives you have to play in a new band or with a different drummer and this lunatic starts playing an uptempo country blues. Huh? What’s this? Suddenly your phrasing doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit the groove and you have a difficult time keeping up and putting it all together. That’s a hard truth to be confronted with.

It’s because blues (as any other genre) can be played in many different styles, variations and tempos. Something you may not have focused on. This is a scenario you want to avoid. You want to build the confidence to handle every common drum groove that is being dished up.

You want to play in a band and feel free to solo over every blues, rock, country, pop song like a real pro. It’s something a lot of guitar players struggle with and it’s good to work on this and make sure you get this under your belt.

To make sure you do, take on a 30 day challenge to keep yourself at it! Here’s what to do: Read More »

5 Guitar Master Classes You Must See

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The beauty of guitar masterclasses is that they always give you new insights and make you aware of the infinite possibilities on the guitar.

Today I like to share with you 5 awesome masterclasses of some of the greatest guitar players of all times. They all contain their own unique and valuable lessons.

No matter what level of guitar playing you are, I recommend you to watch Steve Vai’s masterclass which covers all lot of topics from beginner to advanced. Also for guitar teachers like myself it is utterly inspiring! For the advanced guitar player, Robben Ford will show some great ways to incorporate jazz improvisation into your blues playing.

Next, BB King (King of blues) will demonstrate his world famous blues chops. All of todays blues guitar legends have begged, borrowed and stolen from his licks.

Acoustic guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel shows you the essence and basics of fingerstyle playing and how to turn it into beautiful music.

And finally a Joe Satriani masterclass. He gives a one on one private guitar lesson. He applauds the student’s skills but also points out his flaws and limitations that are so common with many guitar players. He shows the next step when your blues and rock playing is stuck in a rut. Watch and learn from the masters!

Tips:
– Take your time to watch each video over a couple of days or weeks.
– Take notes, there’s so much information you don’t want to forget.

Enjoy!
Read More »

8 Excellent Guitar Stretch Exercises to Develop Flexibility

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Playing guitar requires a decent amount of flexibility in your fingers.

When you practice guitar regularly you develop more flexibility but at the same time you need more of that flexibility because your riffs and licks become more advanced as you progress.

Some beginner guitar students blame the lack of flexibility to short, thick, weird or chubby fingers.

Of course guitar players with long fingers may have some advantage, but the majority of guitar players should be able to learn to play barre chords, scales, solos and all the stuff most guitar players do, no matter the size of their fingers.

I know a lot of great guitar players out there with short fingers and they all rock! They increased their flexibility by lots of practice.

In this post I will show you 8 exercises that will improve your technique and develop the strength and flexibility you need.

You might not be able to play all the exercises (in the beginning) but that’s not the point, the point is that you extend your reach so that it becomes easier for you to play your favorite licks and riffs.

Note: If you are a beginner guitar player then first practice the 1-2-3-4 exercises before trying one of the exercises below. If your fingers feel really stiff then also start with the 1-2-3-4 exercises first.

Prevent any injuries! If you feel any pains or warning signs from your fingers, hands, arms or any other parts of your body when you are playing, stop and rest! Don’t hurt yourself. It’s okay to seek challenge but know your limits. Listen to your body carefully.

Tips:
– Practice these exercises slowly first and then gradually build up to normal speed.
– Place your thumb on the middle of the back of the neck.
– Focus fully on your hands and fingers. Concentrate.
– Take regular breaks between the exercises.
– Don’t do these exercises for too long. Practice in short periods of time.

Have fun and enjoy your progress! Read More »

The 6 Most Important Habits of Successful Guitar Players

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So what is it that you exactly want to accomplish with your guitar playing? Where are you heading and what is your goal?

Do you want to become a fresh sounding blues guitar player, a fast hell shredding rock dude, an authentic folk singer songwriter or a smooth jazz cat exploring the universe of possibilities?

Do you want to start a band, write, record your own music and build an audience?

Maybe you want to make money playing guitar through teaching and performing. Whatever it is, the stars will all line up for you if you pursue the steps of those who have gone before you.

The most successful guitar players have all incorporated the following habits to ensure their way to success.

Here are the keys: Read More »

The 5 Natural Minor Scale Positions You Must Know

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The natural minor scale can be played in 5 different positions just like the major scale, the pentatonic scale and all the other scales.

These 5 positions are all one and the same natural minor scale but played in different shapes and areas on the fretboard to give you the freedom to play the scale all over the neck and improvise without restrictions.

The natural minor scale (also known as Aeolian mode) is derived from the major scale. So if you already know how to play the 5 positions / shapes of the major scale you will automatically know how to play the positions of the natural minor scale. The only difference is where the root note is located and the name of each position.

If you don’t know how to play the first position of the natural minor scale yet or haven’t even heard of it before then check out this post first: Exploring the natural minor scale

The natural minor scale can be used to play over songs in a minor key and can be perfectly combined with the pentatonic / blues scale (which can also be used for the minor key). Using both scales gives you a bigger and more varied palette to draw from.

The diagrams below give you a nice overview of how the fingers are placed and move over the neck for each position.

Play each position starting from the lowest root note (the red note) then play all the way up (ascending) to the last note on the high E-string, then play all the way down (descending) to the first note on the low E-string and then play up again to the first root note you’ll hit upon.

The tablature shows you how to play each position ascending and descending.

Tips:

– Practice with a pick using alternate picking technique (down, up, down, up, etc.)
– Make sure each note sounds clean and clear .
– Practice slowly first and when you feel comfortable gradually build up speed.
– Memorize all the root notes of each position.
– Make sure you can play each position thoroughly before moving on to the next.
– Take your time to get it all down. It takes a while. Enjoy the path before reaching your destination.

Have a great time! Read More »

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