Breaking Down the Blues, pt 6: A Sample Solo

This is the sixth part in my Breaking Down the Blues series. It’s a follow up to my last post, Breaking Down the Blues, pt 5: The Major Pentatonic Scale. I’ll be referencing that article a lot, as well as ideas from part 1. In this post, I’m going to demonstrate a blues solo that […]

Breaking Down the Blues, pt. 5: The Major Pentatonic Scale

This is the fifth part in my series on the system behind playing the blues on the guitar. In this part, I’ll talk about the role that the major pentatonic and major blues scales play when soloing over a blues progression. The other parts in the Breaking Down the Blues series are: Part 1: The […]

Sunlight over clouds

Harness the Power of Your Mistakes

When I’m practicing something on the guitar, I often like to think of myself as a scientist doing lab work. I experiment with things, observe what happens, modify the experiment, and eventually zero in on what needs to be done. Mistakes are one of the main forms of feedback I receive during this practicing process. […]

Close up of electric guitar player's hands

Exercises to Keep Your Lead Playing in Shape

Being a guitarist is a lot like being an athlete. A certain amount of practice has to go toward general maintenance of your playing on both a physical and mental level. You have to do exercises that will keep your skills in a state of readiness, so that when the time comes to go out […]

A metronome on a desk

6 Reasons Why You Should Practice with a Metronome

One thing I emphasize with all of my guitar students is the importance of using a metronome when practicing. Most of my students are initially resistant to the idea of using one. Some remain resistant to it, while others eventually embrace the metronome as a practice tool. I can usually see a clear distinction in […]

Breaking Down the Blues, Pt 4: The Minor Blues Progression

This is the fourth part in my ‘Breaking Down the Blues’ series. In the previous parts, I covered the 12 bar blues progression, the extended box pattern of the blues scale, and I demonstrated some blues licks. Here are links to the previous parts: The Blues Progression The Blues Scale 5 Tasty Blues Licks In […]

A guitar on a bed with sheet music

How to Develop an Organized Practice Routine

Back in 2006 and 2007 I went through a period of intense practicing and musical growth on the guitar. Most serious musicians go through a similar ‘wood-shedding’ period like this at some point, where they hole up and put in consistent days with numerous hours of practicing. During my wood-shedding years, I managed to sustain […]

Jazz guitarist

How to Play a Walking Bass Line with Chords

If you’re a jazz guitarist, a must know skill is how to create a walking bass line and chord accompaniment. This is very useful in any situation where you’re not playing with a bass player, whether it be accompanying a singer, horn player, or another guitarist. In this article, I’ll go through the method on […]

Thoughts on the Creative Process

I’ve always found the act of composing to be one of the most difficult and complex activities in music. When composing, I feel that I’m calling upon everything that I am–not only as a musician, but as a person. There was a time when I felt I just wasn’t good at composing, or that I […]

Featured image

Strength Training for Guitar Success

A great way to supplement your guitar practice is by doing strength training exercises to strengthen the fingers in your hands. Assuming you’re already putting in the time needed with practice on the guitar, strength training can help you along the way. Having more strength in your fingers makes the things you need to do […]