Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Martin Carthy Youtube Open Tuning Guitar Tutorial

Recently I’ve posted about a number of British guitar players, todays acoustic guitar video article is about Martin Carthy, a very good open tuning guitarist.  The song is called the Siege of Delhi (not a very nice piece of British history), it is a march and is in the tuning of CGCDGA,  it’s in 2/4 time and uses a lot of alternating thumb work.  Martin plays a lot of traditional music, but his ability to adapt it to open tunings on guitar separates him out from other players, his tunings are highly unusually and are a long way from the standard D,  E , G open tunings.  The first part of the video he plays the tune, then he dissects it.

for another great player on video check out Don Ross

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar tips, learning guitar, youtube

Tommy Emmanuel Youtube Tutorial for Guitar

Here’s Tommy Emmanuel doing an Acoustic Guitar Video on Youtube. This has some great practical ideas on how to practice.

So simple and sensible

And here’s Tommy reinventing Classical Gas Tommy Emmanuel Youtube Classical Gas

Tony Hogan

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Acoustic Guitar Fingerstyle Arrangement – Part 5 Danny Boy

Here is Part Five of my Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements in TAB and music Notation.

This one is the old Irish tune, Danny Boy also called the Londonderry Air.  This is in the key of C, as usual I have kept it reasonably simple.  This is a two page arrangement.

Danny Boy Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Tab and Music Notation
Danny Boy Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Tab and Music Notation

Here is the the Printable Version DannyBoy Acoustic Finger Style Guitar TAB and Notation

Here is the computer generatedMidi File Danny Boy Midi File

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Acoustic Fingerstyle Arrangement Part 3 – Marees Wedding

Here is Part 3 of my Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements.  This is a tune called Maree’s Wedding (Marie’s Wedding), an old Irish tune with the words “Step we gaily on we go etc “.  

I’ve thrown it into the key of E so I’d be able to stay in normal tuning.   What I’ve also done is eliminate all the chords and just imply them, it is only a melody line and a very simple bass part.  When I studied with a guy called Don Andrews about 35 years ago, he would always create arrangements with one or two small things to push the skll level of the guitarist a little further, I have done the same here.  In this tune, I’ve written it in such a way that the player has to move around the fretboard just a little, this sort of adds a little bounce to the tune and forces the player to be foused. if everything was stuck at the same fret, the player is more inclined to go into automatic mode.

To view and or download the printable Acrobat reader version click here Marees_Wedding

EDIT//: Bar 9, 3rd beat move to fret 4

Marees Wedding
Marees Wedding

I’ve added a midi file, a compuer generated music file to give the listener an idea of the tune.  I realize that many players only read TAB, please add expression, personality and your own phrasing Marees Wedding

Click here for Part One of the Acoustic Guitar Arrangements 

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Tommy Emmanuel Youtube Guitar Lesson

You’ll love this.  Tommy Emmanuel a giving an Acoustic Blues Guitar lesson in the key of E,  it’s called Stevie’s Blues, as in Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Please note: Since I first posted this article, unfortunately it has been removed because the original resource was breaching copyright. I was not aware of this when I posted, apologies t the publisher. I have decided to post an electric version of the tune.

The chord which he says he’s not overly sure of the name, I’d call a  C13, however the Root not is not included, it’s implied.  You might also call it an Em11b5 (flat 5) chord.  Regardless of what you’d like to call it, it works, the notes are E, B Flat, D, A, all of which come out of a an E Blues scale.

For more quality material, visit the Homepage of this site or my other Acoustic Guitar Site

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

Japanese Scale for Guitar – Tony Hogan

Guitar Players are always looking for scales with a difference.  Here is a simple Japanese scale that I learnt about thirty five years ago from an Australian jazz guitar player called George Golla.  

With these type of scales it’s what you leave out that counts.  This scale has no third, that means it is neather major or minor.  G Ab C D Eb G.  If you play around with the notes and stack them up you’ll find some simple chords emerge.  If you look closely you’ll see an Ab triad and also an Eb Maj Seventh with no 5th.  There are lots of options if you take time with this and explore it.

Japanese Scale For Guitar
Japanese Scale For Guitar

To Download the Printable Version of the scale click japanese_scale_for_guitar

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, guitar tips, learning guitar

Locrian Mode for Guitar

Locrian Mode for guitar
Locrian Mode for guitar

This Mode / Scale is mode seven of the mode series.  It’s used over a G minor Seventh Flat Five Chord in the key of A flat,  (G-7b5, Gm7b5 and  also called a half diminished scale).  In truth it’s just an A Flat sclae starting on the G note.  By learning it you’ll be able to solo over those G minor flat 5 chords and know to use the D flat instead of the D natural.

To download the free printable pdf version click locrian_mode_g

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Phrygian Mode in G

G Phrygian Mode
G Phrygian Mode

Many guitar players like to use the modal system.  This mode is the Phrygian mode, it starts on the 3rd note of the major scale.  The example is G Phrygian, it is in the key of E flat.  

The notes are G Ab Bb C D Eb F G.  It is used over a G minor chord in the key of Eb.

To download the printable version of the two examples in TAB and Music Notation click on the link phrygian_mode_g

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

Harmonic Minor Scale in G

Here is a Harmonic Scale in G.  You’ll notice the Harmonic Minor scales have a slight middle Eastern sound; two reasons, one because it has a minor third instead of a major and two because the gap between the sixth and seventh notes of the scale are one and a half tones apart.  Whereas in most other scales the intervals are usually one or two tones. 

The first version of the Harmonic Minor scale that I have written is moveable up the fretboard, the second one is sourt of sweet sounding because of using the open notes.

To download the printable version click the link harmonic_minor

Harmonic Minor Scale TAB and Music Notation
Harmonic Minor Scale TAB and Music Notation

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

G Dorian Mode – How to Play Guitar

 

G Dorian Mode
G Dorian Mode

Many guitar players like to use the modal system.  A very sweet sound mode which Carlos Santana seems to use a lot is the Dorian Mode, Mode two of the Major Scales.  The G Dorian mode is built off a F major scale, F G A Bb C D E F G, but it starts on the second note instead of the first e.g. G A Bb C D E F G.

It’s usable over a G Minor scale in the key of F.  Try it against a Gm7, Gm6, Gm9, Gm11.

I have done two simple versions in my Guitar TAB and Music Notation, one is without open notes and the other with open strings.  I love the sound of open strings on acoustic guitar.

To download the printable version click the link g_dorian

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Guitar Lesson – Double Stops


This Guitar Lesson, although it is not extremely complex, it could take your playing into new areas if yo don’t already play this sort of thing; and I’ll just about guarantee that you don’t use these type of things in your improvisation.  What I’m talking about here are Double Stops,  basicaly you play two notes at a time.  

Double Stops can sound very musical, are great for improviisation /solos, good for playing a second part behind another guitarist who is playing chords, and also very nice to play sections of songs in solo arrangements.  They fatten up the melody line by having a harmony note and require a little more thought than just running your hands up and down the fretboard playing scale notes.

I accidentally started playing part of the chorus of old song that people sing on New Years Eve called Auld Lang Syne, so  I thought it would be good to use as an example because there is no copyright breach, most people would know it and also there’s a lesson in the fact that you are trying to make something sound musical that you probably would never play.  There is an art in this itself, to turn common melodies into something and make it sound great.  In fact Alex DeGrassi recorded an album of lullabies, and it’s a perfect example of how to arrange for guitar.  Although this is not an example of one, you might like to listen to this Alex Degrassi Youtube Video.

I’ve written the TAB and Notation for this chorus with Double Stops.  Click the link to access the Printable version of Guitar Lesson Double Stops guitar_lesson_double_stops 

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar tips, learning guitar

Playing Guitar in Time

Do you have trouble keeping time?

 Here’s some simple but very practical helpful hints. 

Keeping time when playing guitar can be caused by a number of things, sometimes people just can’t feel time, this is not usually the most common cause but if it is, and this will sound a bit crazy to some people but in that case I recommend dance lessons.  But a word of warning, dance teachers, although they can dance in time, their way of counting the beats is often very bizarre and is not the same way as a  musician would count…. But the main issue here is develop a feeling for time, a feeling that moves through the whole body and is not just a mechanical rhythm count in the gray matter above your shoulder region.

Often the issue of timing is about poor or should I say yet to be developed guitar technique, the problem can come from three specific areas (yes there are more but I’ll keep this simple).  

One is the co-ordination of the right and left hand.  This lack of co-ordination is because in the beginning stages of learning guitar your brain sort of has to split in two and multi-process the fingering of the left hand and the rhythm of the right hand.  (Left hander’s I mean the other left and the other right), while you are concentrating on one hand the other one temporarily goes on vacation.

Two, it can be from the left hand (fretting hand); an underdeveloped ability to play chords correctly will cause the player to pause for a moment while they get the fingers lined up.  This can be easily fixed by paying greater attention to the movement of the fretting fingers, in fact one of the best ways that I have used many times with students is to get them to play the chords on only the first beat of every bar, totally forget the picking/rhythm hand and just play one strum on the first beat.  Use simple chord patterns.  If you watch your hand very closely and look at the pathway between one chord and the next you’ll notice there is very little movement required to change chords, the secret to it is to relax the hand for a fraction of a second between chords, and in that moment of relaxation, visualise where the fingers are moving to.   At some point I will create a tutorial on this technique.

Three, the third issue is that the right hand (rhythm) is totally disorganised and has just ended up playing rhythm the best way it new how.  I recommend strumming simple down strokes on very simple chord patterns, or even one chord is fine.  

Count 1 2 3 4 and just play slowly on the beat counting as you go. 

Then use Up and Downs,  1     2 &    3    4 &   1     2 &    3    4 &   etc, the &’s are up strokes and then vary the pattern to 1     2 &    3 &   4 & etc and work through lots of variations SLOWLY, work with a drum machine or computer loop, not too loud, just something that you can hear.

If you work systematically with the ideas above, I guarantee that your rhythm will improve.  The main issue is that most players train and do everything at once, but it is far better to isolate aspects of guitar playing such as right hand and left, rhythm and fretting and develop these areas without have to concentrate on what the other hand is doing.

I’m reminded of the Flamenco player Paco Pena, in an interview he said “I wasn’t good looking enough to be a dancer so I took up guitar instead”.

Posted in Acoustic Guitar, guitar scales, learning guitar

Mixolydian Mode for Guitar in G

Are you confused by weird Greek Names for Guitar Scales?

Don’t worry all they are is weird Greek names for scales and there’s really nothing to it.  

The mixolydian mode or scale has the same notes a a standard major scale but all you do is start the scale on a different note.  

The example I have used is a G Mixolydian scale, this has the same notes as a C scale.

The notes are C D E F G A B C,  but we run them G A B C D E F G.

This scale is used over a G7 chord, or it’s relatives such as G9, G13, G6, G11, Gsus4 and similar variants when they fall into the key of C or if they appear in a song that uses G7 and another chord from the key of C preceeding or following it.

Download PRINTABLE VERSION of mixolydian Scale fo Guitar in G

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, learning guitar

Guitar Scales in Major Keys – Tony Hogan

Major Scales for Guitar are very common and it is truly worth your while learning them. They are not necessarily the absolute best for improvisation, they are useful to help train your ears and to learn what notes fall into particular keys.  I have listed five of the essential ones in the Keys of:

C, G, D, A, and E

Practice them slowly and carefully, concentrate on tone and listen closely.  After a period of time playing guitar, you’ll end up being able to automatically hear a note and play it.  I recommend quietly humming the notes as you play them, this will help you develop the skill of playing what you hear in your head.

How to play Guitar Scales
How to play Major Guitar Scales
How to play Major Guitar Scales

To Download the Printable Version, Click on the Link: essential_major_scales

For Essential Blues Scales, go to my article: Blues Guitar Scales

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar

D Blues for Guitar

D Blues for Guitar.  If you look at the simple Blues I’ve created you’ll notice I’ve only used Triads (3 note chords) . About 25 years ago, the great British jazz guitarist Ike Isaacs that I studied with recommended that I use then when playing accompaniment, when I took on his advice my chord playing suddenly opened.  The idea is, it is much easier to move 3 finger chorss around than full chords.  Also it creates a lot of space for the other players.  It is possible to get almost the same effect just 2 note chords, I’ll post an article about that at some point in the future.
 
The blues below has a simple intro, play at a slow tempo.  Note how at different points I move a semi-tone (one fret) lower or higher to create an effect.
 
If you are not used to playing this style, take your time with it, it is a very useful way of playing.
 
D 12 Bar Blues for Guitar
D 12 Bar Blues for Guitar
To download the printable 12 bar blues in D click the link:

d_twelve_-bar_blues

I recently wrote an article on HOw Chords Are Made, go to:
Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar

Blues Chords for Blues Guitar Scales

In my previous article about Blues Scales for Guitar I listed five essential blues scales.

The basic Blues Chords to use witrh these scales are:

C Blues = C7, F7, G7 (Please note you could also just use C7 F and G)

G Blues= G7, C7, D7 (Please note you could also just use G7 C and D)

D Blues = D7, G7, A7 (Please note you could also just use D7 G and A)

A Blues = A7, D7, E7 (Please note you could also just use A7 D and E)

E Blues = E7, A7, B7 (Please note you could also just use E7 A and B)

Experienced players would realise that there are many other possible chord patterns that could be used, this article is designed to help players that are new to playing blues and the idea is to keep it reasonably simple.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar

Blues Scales – Learn Guitar – TAB and Dots

Have you ever been frustrated when people are playing a Blues and you’re not sure what scales and notes you can use to solo with?

Suffer no longer.
 

If you’ve been playing guitar for sometime, and don’t know these simple blues scales, I advise that you get stuck into them straight away.  I’ve done the basic blues scales in five keys: C , G, D, A, and E.  The fingers I’ve used are on one of many possibilities.  If you are new to my site and have played blues scales before, you’ll notice I’ve used some unusual fingerings, this IS intentional.  As a rule guitarists get lazy and sit and meander through scales, running fingers up and down the neck with out too much thought, that way of doing things has little to do with music and a lot to do with mechanics…I can’t stand it.  These fingers are designed to make you think and feel the notes.  Avoid playing like a robot.  you’ll notice that the D scale is moveable, it’s more in the traditional way of playing scales and if you aren’t careful you may find yourself not thinking too much about this one. 

Concentrate, turn of the television, listen to the texture of the notes.  I particularly like the use of open notes in scales, they are tremendous on acoustic guitar.

 

Blues Scales - Learn Guitar

Click the blue link for the Printable Version of essential blues scales for guitar

For Country Blues Scales that are usable over thousands of songs go to:

https://acousticguitarist.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/country-guitar-scales-for-acoustic-guitar/

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Country Guitar Scales for Acoustic Guitar

Country Guitar Scales are worth knowing, they’ll save you hours of messing around. Really they are just Minor Blues Scales starting on a different note. I’ve done them in basic TAB and music notation for guitar.

Most guitar players want shortcuts, from my experience, these scales are the greatest shortcut for improvisation and soloing that I have ever encountered. People that can’t really solo of songs suddenly find that their guitar playing opens up. 

Country Blues Scales for Acoustic Guitar

If you are new to guitar you may not realise how many years of work I’ve just saved save you by posting this article. Practice slowly, with feeling. Below I have listed the three basic chords for each of the scales, yes there are more and aso many more scales. And yes there are many more fingerings, but you know what? These work!

Chords listed below, the scales followed by 3 basic chords

C Country Scale: C D Eb E G A C

Chords :  C F G

G Country Scale: G A Bb B D E G

Chords: G C D

D Country Scale: D E F F# A B D

Chords: D G A

A Country Scale:  A B C C# E F# A

Chords: A D E

E Country Scale:  E F# G G# B C# E

Chords: E A B

I have uploaded the printable version click the link for the acrobat reader pdf file: country_blues_scales

This site is continually updated with quality resources and inspirational material.

 

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Rockabilly Blues Riff Part 3 of 3

I’ve writen this three part Rockabilly Blues Riff because as a long term musician/ teacher and student of the guitar, I know it’s easier to be focused on developing our skills when have some short term outcomes to reach.  If we work on just one thing it’s easy to forget it fast, but when we have a few things that are similar there’s more chance of being self discipled enough to commit to doing a small series of guitar exercises. 

So here’s the 3rd part, it’s a 20 bar blues, yes sounds like a mad idea, you’ll see why it’s 20 bars, it works nicely.   In the breaks where there’s rests, eventually you could put in some nice guitar fills, but sort out the main riffs first.

Rockabilly Blues Riff for Guitar Part 3

For the printable guitar and TAB notation click the link below
Rockabilly_Blues_in_G_part_3

For the 6 part Pentatonic Guitar Scales with a difference go to:
The Guitar Player

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Rockabilly Blues for Guitar – Part 2 of 3

Rockabilly Blues for Guitar is the second of my three part TAB and Music Notation design to get the fingers going and get you playing a few riffs that you would never have played.  They will sound familiar because I’ve written them around standard chord patterns and riffs.  you’ll notice a few twists.  A great way of learning is to play something that is within your ability but also have a small part that will push you a little.   What is comfortable for one player is not so easy for another.  It’s good to get your fingers into new positions that you wouldn’t come up with yourself, this helps you to break old habits.

OK, lets have a look at this. The second bar starts to mirror bar 1 but goes up an octave.

Bars 3 and 4 are just repeats. 

When we go up to the C chord in bar 5, we start moving up and then back down in bar 6. 

Bar 7 and 8 are repeats of 1 and 2

Bar 9 is a similar riff to bar 1 but playing of the D chord

Bar 10 is exactly the same as bar 9 but down a whole tone.

Bar 11 bar is similar to bar 1 but goes up to the G note. Cut that note short

Bar 12 has the turnaround D7th chord but NOTE: it cmes in on beat 2 and a half ( count 1 and 2 and)

This Rockabilly Blues is very usable if you play it in time and with feeling. 
Rockabilly Blues for Guitar Part 2

Click the link for the printable version of rockabilly_blues_in_g_part_2

Here is the link for Part 1 Rockabilly Blues Guitar

Part 3 is coming soon as I write it, within the next 4 days

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Rockabilly Blues – Part 1 of 3

The Rockabilly Blues that I have written the Guitar Tab and Music Notation for is the first of a series of three.  Once you get this one worked out play it fast but make sure it is in time.  It will roll off your fingers in no time. 

It’s important as a guitar player to be able to play lots of variations of simple riffs over common chord patterns.  By doing this it wil help you become a strong improviser and after some time it will be easy to go from guitar accompaniment directly into a solo in a seamless manner.  Often as a guitar player you’ll find yourself in a situation where thee are a number of guitar players playing at once. Someone is always going to go for the straight rhythm guitar and sure enough, a few others will want to solo over the top of everything.  So the ability to be able to play melodic parts to accompany a piece of music is very useful and a lot of other players often won’t even consider doing it. 

Parts two and three will be a little more complex. I will upload these within the next couple of days, come back and give them a try.

  Rockabilly Blues Riff in G

The printable version is available to download, the following link will open the acrobat reader pdf file rockabilly_blues_in_g_part_1

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, bluegrass guitar, blues, Blues Guitar, Guitar Riffs, learning guitar

Rockabilly Blues Riff for Guitar in G

Blues Rockabilly Riff, I wrote this a few minutes ago.  I was thinking a little about Flatt and Scruggs the great Bluegrass players and I picked up the nearest guitar that I could find, which happened to be my semi-acoustic Ibanez 105N, pictured below.

Ibanez Artcore 105N

I was going to write a Bluegrass type of tune and the following came out instead, it’s sort of a rockabilly riff I guess, a litle like ‘Your Mamma Don’t Dance’ by Loggins and Messina.  It’s what I call a ‘Three Chord Wonder’, a tune with three chords only but a valid piece of music. 

You could play it slow, fast, Electric, Acoustic, Swing…whatever. So long as it is IN TIME.  Start slow and gradually get your speed up.  So many players are in a hurry to play fast, it’ll come.
Blues Rockabilly Riff in G for Guitar
To download the printable pdf file click the link g_blues_rock_riff

 

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar

Acoustic 12 Bar Blues Guitar

Acoustic Twelve Bar Blues in A is a simple guitar lesson I wrote tonight.  It’s called the Daily Lama Blues, please excuse my play on words, it just seemed topical.  It’s a basic twelve bar chord pattern that you could play with a pick or fingerstyle.  Yesterday I posted about a Keith Richard (from the Rolling Stones) acoustic blues and it inspired me to write a Blues Guitar tune that could easily be built upon and turned into a piece of music that would easily stand up as a tune in any blues repertoire.  Like everything I do on my sites, it is copyrighted by default. 

This blues should be played at a slow pace. You could use a straight sort of A minor Blues scale but if you want something more interesting, have a look through this guitar blog site or my other one at the-guitarplayer.com and you’ll find things that will get you out of those boring old patterns.

Here  is the TAB and Guitar Music Notation

Guitar Blues in A

To download the printable Guitar Blues Arrangement in the Key of A in TAB and Music Notation click the link

daily_lama_blues

 

 

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Acoustic Guitar Made Easy or Easier

Acoustic guitar can be made easy and here’s two fantastic tips that you probably wouldn’t have considered.

Do you ever have the problem that when you haven’t played acoustic guitar for a while or when you’ve bought a new guitar, it’s not that easy to play; holding down the strings seems almost impossible and you get frustrated an almost give up?

Here’s a solution that I know works, I’ve tried it, so have many friends that I have told about it.

I’m a practical person, and being practical I often end up with good results.  This a time can mean being at odds with what the so called ‘experts’ say.  When you buy a new acoustic guitar and you’re a bit green/ new to things , you may end up with a great sounding instrument.  It sounded great in the shop when the salesman played it, you thought, well he’s good, he knows what he’s talking about, so you take his advice.  Good or bad you take it anyway.  He knows, you don’t.  Many of the guitar salemen that I have met have no idea about beginning guitar, or they forgot what it was like, ‘they suffered, you must suffer’.

The goal of every guitarist is to play music.  ( Well maybe not, one guy asked in my Online Guitar Survey, “Is it a chic magnet”. I haven’t yet answered, but it made me laugh and I do have an answer but will not due to the abuse that I would get from the female community.)   Oh..back on track, the sooner we make music the better.  So what you need is your guitar set up so it’s easier to play. Is that logical?  Yes.  Well here are simple things that you can do to make it easier, regardless what the salesman says.  And it’s so simple that it’s ridiculous and I have no idea why othr teachers don’t recommend it.

1).  Use Extra Light strings.  Many players say to use Mediums and Lights…”hey man you’ll get a better tone”.   Sure this is true but if you can’t hold the strings down, there’s NO TONE.  Start off with Extra Light strings and over a period of months or years, gradually move to heavier ones if it REALLY seems necessary.  

2) .  Tune the guitar down a semi-tone to E Flat ( Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb, note the little b  = flat = one note lower).  This works for me really well also because my voice is pitched to sing a lot of songs in G flat instead of G and E flat Minor instead of E Minor.  The benefit will be that it takes a bit of tension out of the strings and you’ll be playing a lot faster and with greater ease than struggling  Yes you’ll lose a fraction of volume but hey, the end result needs to be about YOU playing music and getting the enjoyment from it. To get around the tuning issues of playing with other players or recordings, just use a Capo at fret one.  I like the Shubbs,  I can keep my guitars in tune better with them. http://www.shubb.com/capos/index.htm NOTE:  One of the other sites will gladly sell you one, or duck down to your local music store and support them.  This technique of tuning down is common amongst a lot of twelve string players, the reason is obvious!

 Shubb Capo

The other ones that a lot of great players use are the Kaysers.  They are my personal second choice.

You’ve got to be prepared to throw a lot of traditions and accidentally made norms out the window if you want to become your OWN musician; find ways to fast track what you are doing, eliminate the unnecessary junk and focus on things like having good timing, a good ear, fluency in your playing, sensitivity, dynamics.

When using lighter strings and tuning down a semi-tone you may need to have a minor neck adjustment done to your guitar.  Always go to someone that is really a specialist.

These two ideas really work, I know from personal experience and that’s the only thing that matters for me. 

Ok, go ahead do the survey, I don’t want any more questions like ‘Is it a Chic Magnet” 🙂

 

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Guitar Scale C Major – A Smoother Way

You know when you are playing guitar scales and your fingers get a bit caught up and it’s difficult to move up to another fret and it feels a little clumsy?

Well here’s a simple solution that could easily fix that problem once and for all.

Generally in rock or jazz, most players will play just straight up and down the fretboard and not use the open strings.  That way of playing is great, learn it, use it when necessarily but here’s another way that I sorted that could be very valuable to you.

What I’ve used in the following guitar fretboard exercise lesson is a rather simple idea, but it works beautifully in helping you develop a smooth guitar fretting hand technique.  I’ve taken a plain old C major scale that you’ve heard for years and maybe already can play.  Instead of the standard way of playing everything in the Fist position (First Fret = First Finger), running out of notes and jumping to the Fifth fret, what I’ve done is jumped to the Fifth fret before I’ve run out of notes.  I play the F note at the Sixth fret with my second finger.  When I play the high E string, it gives me a moment to release my hand and relocate it at the Fifth Position (Fifth Fret = First Finger) .  This will give you a bit of breathing space and help you become a much more fluent player. 

If you don’t already play this way because you never considered it, I guarantee it will be of great use to you. 

Breaking the old guitar habits is good for you.

C Majaor Scale Guitar Lesson

I’ve uploaded the TAB and notation. Click the Link to Download the Free TAB and Notation version:

c_major_guitar_scale

This site is updated regularly with information for guitar players of all styles an levels.

My other other main blog site is at the-guitarplayer.com

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Country Guitar Scale in the Key of A – Part 2

The Country Guitar Scale as I mentioned in my previous Country Guitar Scale article is none other than an F# Minor Blues scale starting on A.  Because there is a relationship between F sharp minor and the key of A major it works beautifully.

Try using a standard chord pattern like A F#m D E7, one bar for each and see how thie scale fits.

I’ve started the scale on A, wheras in my previous article I started on the F sharp.  The descending part has a  variation in it to make it more interesting than the the standard up down scales that make guitar players dizzy and turn them into great scale players but lousy musicians.

Guitar Lesson Country Guitar Scale

To download the printable version (adobe acrobat format) click on the following link: a_country_scale1

This site is updated on a regular basis with youtubes, scales and helpful guitar info

https://acousticguitarist.wordpress.com/

Also, for other great scales and guitar info go to my other site

http://the-guitarplayer.com/

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

A Country Scale for Guitar Improvisation

Country Guitar Scales are the same as Blues Guitar Scales. 

If you are playing a country or folk song on guitar in the key of A, the chances are you would be using the chords A. D and E.  Yes there are a lot of other chords you could use as well but I thought it best to keep it as simple as possible, then develop from there.  If you were to use the A Blues scale, it would sound OK in a blues but would sound very awkward in country or folk. So here’s a great alternative. 

What I and many other players would use would be an F# minor Blues Scale, (# = sharp) .  Thee is a relationship between F# minor and A major, in the same way that there is a relationship between E minor and G. 

Play the following scale slowly, record a backing track of a dozen or so bars of simple chord patterns using A D and E and you’ll se how it fits.  If you’ve never used this scale in this way before I’m confident it will open new doorways for you for improvisation.  I’ll guarantee it will take you to the next phase of your playing when this ‘penny drops’.  I will be doing a number of variations on this scale to make it a bit more musical, and that’s it isn’t it, make better music.A Country Guitar Scale

For the printable pdf file Click a_country_scale in pdf format

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Seventies Style Acoustic Guitar Part 2

Acoustic guitar players in the seventies often played a lot of musical cliches, no problem really, it is really common to all styles.  I’ve written a reasonably simple chord pattern with a descending bass part.  Whenm you play it you’ll say, oh where have I heard that?  The answer is everywhere.

The first bar is a standard sort of pattern built around a D major chord, after playing the D chord then the bass notes step down on the A string (fifth string). You’ll notice I’ve included the left hand fingering in the Guitar TAB. 

Then in the second bar we play a G chord and step down a couple of frets ans on the last beat we play an A7th chord to lead us back to the D chord. 

Here’s why you need to learn the basic stuff.  It will help you develop your ears, when you play with others you will automicaly run on auto because you’ll HEAR the chord changes, this will free you up to be creative and musical.   A lot of players are in a hurry to play technical things and miss the foundations.  Be aware of that issue, if you want to be good player, take your time, get a good understanding of everything.

D Chord Moving Bass Parts For Guitar

 

The printable version in TAB and Music Notation is available, this is free, no strings attached (joke huh)  d_chord-bass_parts

I also have another guitar blog with great resources for acoustic and electric guitar at the-guitarplayer.com

To aid in the development of this site please spend 2 minutes and do the survey.  Here is the Guitar Survey link

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

How To Play Guitar Chords – Seventies style

How to play Guitar chords for acoustic guitar.  In the seventies there were a lot of acoustic guitar duos and bands. I have decided to post a a few chord patterns that have a sort of seventies sound for the next few posts.

This first exercise that I made up starts on a D major chord , then it moves up the fretboard to a D minor Seventh, from there it goes to a G and back to the D minor 7. That movement from Major to Minor is very sweet.

The next 4 bar are a D chord, followed by a C with a D bass C/D, then it goes to a D again but it is played up at fret 5 and returns back to the C/D.

The final four bars are starting on a D minor 7, moving to a G, then a C and back to a D. It’s a good idea to learn to train your ears to hear chord changes, don’t just play them, listen.

Some of the interesting duos and bands of the seventies were Batdorf and Rodney, Seals and Crofts, Tufano and Giammarise. Cecilio and Kapono, England Dan and John Ford Coley, many may not realise it that Hall and Oates were very acoustic on the album Abandoned Luncheonette album, Loggins and Messina, Aztec Two Step, and years later Buskin and Batteau.

Work through the chords and play them with another player using straighter chords. The use of these type of chords will also give you an open tuning sort of sound.

NOTE: you could also drop your bottom E string a whole tone down to D. Enjoy!

D chord Guitar Exercise

 To Download the printable version click the link d_chord_exercise

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Blues Guitar, learning guitar, youtube

Acoustic Blues Guitar – youTube Stefan Grossman

You may be familiar with Stefan Grossman from the many guitar instruction videos and books.  One of my all time favourite guitar albums is called Thunder on the Run and I particularly like Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn playing duets together.  Stefan has also done brilliant work with Duck Baker.

Apart from being a guitar historian and teacher, Stefan is a magnificent guitar player who gets a beautiful tone from his instrument, Franklin guitar.

In this Tutorial stefan is showing how to play a simple blues in E.  There are many musical cliches in this but the way they are executed is what seperates Stefan out from the bunch.

Note how he uses the repeatative alternating bass part, also take a close look at the outro and how hie finishes on the E7#9 chord.

 

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar

Scott Nygaard – A Great Player

I first became aware of the Scott Nygaard on a Tim O’brien album and then gradually started to see his name appear in acoustic Guitar magazine, a magazine that I consider to be essential reading for acoustic guitar players. http://acousticguitar.com

This is a good tutorial.  Scott is a very good player, if you want to hear him in full flight, check out the song Senor on the Tim O’brien album. In full flight he’s as good as anybody and has a very clear tone. In this tute he’s using a small bodied guitar. What I highly recommend is that you learn the fretboard properly, this is a prerequisite for learning and playing properly.

glossary:

Alternating picking = down up down up picking
Circle of 5ths = E to A to d to D to G to C etc
Arpeggio = a chord broken up and each note played individually,
Pentatonic = 5 note scale,
Chromatic = one step (note) up or down
3rds = the 3rd note of a scale C D E F G A B C, in this case E

I originally was looking for a Scott Nygaard youtube to write about because I like his playing and felt that it would be to guitar players benefit to hear him and I found this tutorial. For more information about Scott Nygaard go to Scott Nygaard you will find information about his projects and albums there.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, blues, learning guitar

Simple Blues in G for Guitar

Early today I was writing a Blues Variation Scale for my other guitar blog and I thought it would be a good idea to write a very simple Blues In G for Acoustic Guitar because the other blues I wrote was more of a scale variation than a song.  My humour got the better of me when I went to name it and I could help calling it ‘G String Blues’ .  This blues doesn’t use any full chords but uses parts of chords.  I find this way of playing chords can open up a guitarists playing.  It’s built around a standard Minir Blues scale that consists of the notes G, B flat, C , D flat, D, F, G, it deviates out of that on a couple of occassions over the C7 chord and also over the D7 chord. This way the chords are ‘IMPLIED’ , not actually played but hinted at, this helps create a little tension and release.

For those that aren’t readers of music dots, don’t be too concerned, just note that the first chord of the G7 bar is held for one whole beat and from then they are half beats.  e.g. count 1    2 and 3 and 4 and.

As I have stated, this is a simple blues but it can be built upon and would make a very nice jazz blues, try to vary the melody a little once you get it in time. 

Simple G Blues
To download a printable version, click on the link g_string_blues3

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Eleven Basic Tips on Playing Guitar

Most electric guitarists that have grown up playing rock guitar want the volume control to go up to eleven, not ten.

So in keeping with that philosophy I thought I’d write eleven useful tips to help beginners that are learning guitar.

1.  Always make sure your guitar is in tune. An in tune instrument will help you develop a good ear.  Being in tune is easy these days because guitar tunes are cheap and they take the pain out of tuning.

2.  Always relax when you play.  Relax your hands but sit in a position with your spine reasonably straight.

3. Practice somewhere where your mistakes and repetition will not annoy others.

4.  Don’t take criticism to heart.  When you are starting out, people can be a little careless with their comments.

5.  Practice something new each day, whether it be a new chord, a new melody.

6. When you start practicing, start slowly and begin with the easiest things first.

7.  If you start to get frustrated. Take a bit of time out and maybe practice something else.

8. Gradually train your ear to recognise different chord types.  Start with the basic Majors, Minors and Sevenths.

9. Playing in time is better than playing fast.  Eventually you will be able to play very fast.

10. Learn to play different styles. There’s joy to be found in all music genres and you’ll end up a far better musician/guitarist. 

11.  Always finish your practice by playing something that you know reasonably well. It’s important to close your music session and walk away from it in a good state of mind.  If you finish on a half played piece, you may feel a bit uninspired.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, bluegrass guitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Doc Watson – Black Mountain Rag

Doc Watson the blind acoustic bluegrass guitar player is by far one of the greatest players in his style.  What has surprised me a lot over the years, is that many people I have encountered thought he was a black blues player.  I have added this youtube video of Doc Watson because many people haven’t heard him play.  The song Black Mountain Rag is a classic.  For those that are interested in harmony and counterpoint, have alisten to the way the guitars start working together at about 2.27 and also the upping the tempo at about 3.04. 

Brilliant. Doc’s contribution to the development of the acoustic guitar playing has been great, he has influenced many players. I think what has surprised me also is the stiffness of his right arm, slightly unusual

Enjoy the Doc Watson youtube video of Black Mountain Rag

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Russ Barenberg and Jerry Douglas

Russ Barenberg is definetly one of the cleanest sounding acoustic guitar players around.  If you want to help mke your playing smoother, one of the best things to use for developing fluency is to learn a number of old bluegrass tunes.  Although playing scales is useful, learning to play some of the old Irish and Bluegrass tunes is definitely a way to practice, up your technique a little and at the same time it will help you develop an ear for melody as well. Jerry Douglas is by far my most favourite Dobro player.

I will continue to post youtube videos of great acoustic guitar players. I also have some tremendous ones at www.the-guitarplayer.com

Enjoy the Russbarenburg and Jerry Douglas youTube video

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Dan Crary – Flatpicking

Here’s a video of the very brilliant Dan Crary flapicking a medley of songs. I first became aware of Dan Crary about 30 years ago when he used to write for Guitar Player magazine. I have worked in bands where I’ve had to play that second tune of the medley. I never thought of playing it at that speed though.

Awesome technique

Enjoy the Dan Crary youtube video

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, youtube

Tony Rice – Brilliant Acoustic Guitar Technique

Flawless guitar techniques are things that I have always appreciated. Regardless of style, credit always needs to be given where it’s due. I’ve been listening to Tony Rice the Bluegrass player for almost 30 years now. He’s one of the players that have taken bluegrass into new areas.

It also includes a tutorial where the song is analysed by his brother Wyatt. This is really worth watching. Although the structure is simple there’s plenty in there.

Enjoy the Tony Rice youTube video

Plectrum guitar at its best.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC, open tuning

Solo Acoustic Guitar Playing – Dropped D Blues Folk Jazz

Playing solo guitar is not only one of the most enjoyable ways of playing the guitar but as anyone that has played guitar for a while would know, it is probably the most demanding.  The reason being is that there is nowhere to hide.  The guitar player needs to play something that holds together from the beginning to the end, keeps the interest of the listener, stays in time and needs to manage to play a combination of moving parts such as chords, melodies and counter melodies similtaneously.  The classical guitarists manage to do this quite well and now have a massive repertoire of material to choose from.  But most others need to make it up themselves or create arrangements of songs.

In 1983 I was living in the hills and listening to a lot of acoustic instrumental guitarists and I wrote a number of songs.  At that time I was experimenting a lot with open-tuned guitars.   One tune I wrote was with a simple Dropped bottom D, the Bass E string tuned down a whole tone. A few years ago I decided to do I recording of the tune.  The original idea was to have a second guitar part improvising over the mid section  But I felt because this guitar blog/site is about guitar education I’d upload the song without the over dub, warts and all. 

The tune is a very reflective piece, I’d been travelling around Asia for quite some time and needed to settle in a place where there was a lot of trees e.g. forrest, a stream and plenty of clean air. I played it on a guitar I built myself and it was recorded direct via a Dana Bourgeous internal pickup system. 

 Here is the link to it http://www.the-acoustic-guitar.com/downloads/dropped_D_folk_jazz_blues.mp3

It’s an MP3 file almost 4 MB. You’ll need a reasonably fast Internet connection to download it quickly.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, Busking, learning guitar, MUSIC

Playing Solo Guitar, Busking on the Street, Keeping Time

I always like seeing buskers on the street, a city or town is missing so much if they don’t allow busking.  Buskers add a pulse to a town.  They are often raw, but you’ll find an honesty in the rawness, and we are getting it in real-time, it’s not overproduced; and yes maybe a little off the mark with its musicality at times but guitar players need a platform that is in a public place to express themselves while they are developing their craft.

 What you’ll notice if you look carefully at street musicians if they are soloists, they may or may not have the ability to keep time.  As a rule, I prefer music to be in time, but as a soloist it is possible to take liberties with the beat; you can’t do this when playing with other musicians, it’s the glue that holds it together.  What I have also noticed is that if a guitarist is self taught and rarely played with other musicians they could easily fall into the trap of not knowing how to play in time at all.  This in the long term will work against them. As you mature as a musician, you find yourself wanting to work with other musicians that will enhance your sound.

 What I recommend is if you have been working alone for a long time, it’s a good idea to get hold of some sort of drum machine, ‘musical sounding’ audio files for the computer, assuming you are computer literate or some type of backing tracks and work with them for a while, these can help you develop a natural rhythm. 

Every now and then, I get the opportunity to work with different people, some have tremendous voices or with  other great skills but often it’s their timing that lets them down.  Your timing should get to the point where you can stop playing for a few bars and then automatically come in on time at the precise place. 

Guitarists often doodle around a bit and waste time. Be focused, set your self a plan of what to work on and then do t.

 Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you are having a few difficulties with timing and we can look at a way of sorting it.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Guitar Fretting Hand Exercise

My last article was about a simple but worthwhile fretting hand exercise.  But really, if you want to be a better guitar player, you’ll need something just a little harder.

I’ve put together another exercise.  This exercise will require a bit more effort because the first finger is not used.  The first part of the exercise you’ll use fingers 2 and 3 across the fretboard, followed by 2 and 4 , then finally 3 and 4. 

 Some guitarists get a little lazy and never develop all the fingers, particularly the 4th finger. 

 Guitar Exercise Left hand strengthening technique

Click theLink to download the printable version Guitar Exercise Left hand strengthening technique

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Guitar Lesson – Left Hand Exercise

I’ve uploaded a left hand (lefties the other left) guitar exercise, it is designed to strengthen the fretting hand, there is TAB and musical notation available in print format. It is quite simple to do this guitar exercise because it is just using fingers 1 and 2 across all  the strings, and then fingers 1 and 3, and lastly fingers 1 and 4.

 The Secret to this one is to keep the fingers that you AREN’T using, very close to the fretboard without touching the strings.  To be quite frank, I don’t think that this is a very musical exercise but it is one of the best ways I know to develop speed in the left hand.

 Once you have done the whole exercise at the first fret on the guitar, then move up one fret to the next one and so on.  I guarantee that if you do this exercise properly everyday for a week, your left hand fluency will develop incredibly.

Guitar Lesson - Left hand Exercise for developing speed

Click the link to download the printable version

Guitar Lesson – exercise to develop the fretting hand

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Learn Guitar Warm Up Exercises

Guitar warm up exercises can be extremely annoying if you approach them from the wrong angle, with the wrong attitude. And when it comes to wanting to achieve anything, attitude is everything.

warm up guitar exercise

 I have uploaded a guitar scale / exercise that is very useful if you need to warm up quicklly before performing or if you are just starting out, it’s good for strengthening the fingers and getting comfortable with the fretboard.

Most players have a lot of trouble using their 3rd and fourth fingers (ring and pinky) when they start out. In fact, even some  great players don’t or didn’t use their pinky.  Leslie West, the truly brilliant sounding electric guitarist that played with Mountain in the seventies didn’t use his pinky, and I read in a guitar mag a few years back that he had regretted it.  Regardless of his feelings, I and many others are quite satisied with his Nantucket Sleigh Ride.  Also, I was shocked to see Santana in the seventies play and barely use his pinky.

But, using all the fingers available on the fretting hand is a good idea.

In the exercise:  play the open string. then first fret, second fret, third fret, 4th fret and then move to the next string and repeat the sequence. You’ll notice that when you hit the 3rd string, you’ll only need to play open, one, two and three.  And then return to the previous sequence for the final string.

The secret to playing this exercise PROPERLY, is by holding down the PREVIOUS finger as long as possible.

Once you go up the neck, then play it backwards, work back down.  Where a lot of players go wrong is they try and play too fast too soon and don’t worry so much about clarity and timing

Most important RELAX your hand

 To download the printable version How to practice guitar warm ups

for more exercises go the the-guitar.net

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Guitar Secret – Playing guitar duets

I remember a few years ago reading a great quote by a famous musician, it went something like, ‘the only thing more beautiful than one guitar is two’. 

Apart from the aural beauty of the sound of the guitar for the listener, there are also a number of other benefits for the player of the instrument.  Throughout my guitar life I have played in numerous guitar duets; these duets were for me, more beneficial than playing with a lot of other larger musical line ups.  The reason for this is because of the nature of the guitar, it’s flexibility in the roles that the player needs to take on and the broader opportunity for experimentation.

Most musicians would have probably realised that the more instruments there are in a musical group, the  ‘tighter’ the playing needs to be, as  many of the musical frequencies will be covered by the other instruments.  There is lot less room for the player to work in when playing in a larger group setting.  And by ‘tighter’ I don’t mean being stricter with the musical basics such as timing, I mean less adventurous with your harmony and chord voicings for fear of clashing with the other instruments.

Playing in a guitar duet will give you the opportunity to play all roles; you get the chance to play melody, to phrase it just the way you like, or play a harmony or some type of counter melody, to be the soloist or accompanist.  By having just two guitar players playing a few sets per night, you very quickly realise that there is a need for diversity in your repertoire.  This will really force you to dig deeper and develop a lot of different ways to play accompaniment, such as arpeggios,  moving bass parts, fingerstyle as well as plectrum rhythm parts (if you are not just playing classical), maybe more percussively or very openly.  And something else that you probably will find yourself doing as your playing gets stronger, will be playing solo arrangements of tunes.  As I’ve said in previous posts, when working with a singer I learn to play all the songs solo, meaning a complete guitar arrangement of the tunes.   This is a very nice way to start some songs and build them, one guitar begins and will hold it together by themself and then the other one starts later and it turns into a duet.

Guitar duets don’t necessarily need to be complex, they  can be very simple and still be effective, they seem to work in any style at all.  It is a great way to learn to create complimentary musical parts.  I highly recommend working in a guitar duet for some period of your musical life.

To name a few of the great guitar duets over the years have been:

Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn
Larry Corryell and Philip Catherine
Pat Metheny and Jim Hall
Strunz and Farrar
 John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner

But my favourites ones have been the ones I’ve played in with two of my good friends Bill Stewart and Robin Chambers.

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

The best time to Play Guitar

I find that different times of day are suited for playing certain things.  Over the years I’ve noticed if I get up early and start playing, it’s a very good time to practice things like slow exercises, reading very simple fingerstyle/classical guitar pieces.  By doing this it sets me up for the rest of the day to play other things musically.   By playing simple material it enables me to play with greater feeling because I don’t have to think so much about technique aand if the material is good and musical sounding it puts me into a calm mood.  When players are relaxed they play their best.  If  I start with complex material it can create a feeling of frustration, I consider very important to feel good about practicing and not feel like I’m a workhorse with a goal that I may never reach.

 Once I’m comfortable I’ll eventually start working through more complex or new material.  Because I have already got some satisfaction  back from the music, I don’t feel so bad if the new material isn’t quite as good as I want it to be or if I’m not feeling as if I can’t play the more complex music to the standard I had hoped for.

As the sun goes down I like to sit outside on the balcony and play ten or so instrumentals and sing for a while, I’ll often do this til the mozzies get to the point where I notice them.  I find it very important to play outside whee there’s trees, and from where I sit I can see hills and small mountains, usually a lot of birds singing.

My favourite time to play is about nine thirty at night, the world is starting to be quiter then , the air seems better acoustically and because my fingers have done some music throughout the  day the music is very alive.  I also find this time of day and later is the most suitable for recording, the world is much more sensitive at these hours and it’s easy to become lost in the music.

 When I used to work more live, I found it difficult to get up early and play because the playing late leaves you in a very different emotional state. 

To sum this up, it’s the ability to create the right mood to do music that is the most important thing. If we get it wrong and not happy and get frustrated, it’s easy to lose interest, this is a very important thing to consider.  It’s not just about picking up an instrument and playing, it’s about creating the necessary environment to get something back for the time we are putting  in.

I’m wondering what other players do.  Why not leave a comment?

Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, learning guitar, MUSIC

Learn how to read music

Over the past 20 years or so there’s been a tendency for guitar players to move away from reading music.  As a strong reader of music myself, you might find it odd if I were to say that a guitarist doesn’t really need to learn to read music.  Most guitar players read guitar TAB these days, but I don’t really think it’s a substitute for reading music because it’s more of a ‘monkey -see – monkey – do’ approach. Yes it does enable a player to know where to put their fingers but it’s fairly useless past that point because there’s no real underlying development of the understanding how music all fits together.  However it does enable someone to copy-cat guitar, neither good or bad really, just a way of getting your fingers into the positions used by other players. 
I think that it’s easy for players to over-train themselves.  This is a very common guitarist problem where players end up rehearsing a whole lot of finger movements and eventually play it at a ridiculous speed to the point where it sounds not unlike a coffee percolator.  This is the opposite end of the spectrum, players that learn to follow the dots and create ‘music by numbers’.

I think to be a balanced player it is not necessary to learn to read but overall it is useful because it enables the guitarist to play with other players and put together arrangements of songs rather quickly.  Also it allows the guitarist to draw from other musical resources, such as the melodic lines of sax players or the harmony ofn piano players.  But the secret to this is not to get caught in the trap of putting the technical heady side above the end result, which is music. 

Reading music is actually rather easy, I will be developing resources shortly that will simplify the process.  After playing for almost 40 years I can’t understand why so many music teachers complicate the issue and confuse the students.

I am currently developing resources and will be making a lot of the information I have already developed available for free at some point in the near future.  To be eligible to receive the information, please do the guitar survey.

Click HERE to take the GUITAR PLAYER SURVEY