Breaking Down the Blues, Pt. 3: 5 Tasty Blues Licks

This is the third part in my ‘Breaking Down the Blues’ series. In part one, I went through the blues progression, common variations of it, and how to put it together in any key you want. Part two covered the blues scale, it’s most common patterns on the neck of the guitar, and how to […]

Correct hand positions for bar chords on the guitar

How to Position Your Hands for Bar Chords

Bar (or barre) chords often present a huge difficulty to beginner guitarists. Almost every student I have struggles to some extent when they are first learning to use bar chords in the songs they play. Even though it can be tough to get a grip on these types of chords, they are incredibly important to […]

The Murphy’s Law of Gigging

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This statement is otherwise known as Murphy’s Law. Any experienced musician with more than a few gigs under his or her belt would probably agree that Murphy’s Law applies to the world of playing gigs. For some reason, things have a greater tendency to go wrong when […]

Blues Guitarist BB King

Breaking Down the Blues, Pt. 2: The Blues Scale

This is the second part in a series about the basic components of playing blues on the guitar. The first part focused on the blues chord progression, how to figure it out in different keys, and common variations of it. In this part I’ll talk about the blues scale, which is used to solo over […]

Photo of Stevie Ray Vaughn

Breaking Down the Blues, Pt. 1: The Blues Progression

This is the first part in a series where I will go through the basic aspects of playing blues on the guitar. It’s a good idea to have some idea of how playing the blues works as a guitarist. Pretty much all contemporary, popular styles of music have evolved from the blues. Learning the structure […]

sheet music

Should You Learn to Read Music?

There are a lot of different opinions out there regarding the value of learning to read standard music notation for a guitarist. I’ve briefly talked about my opinion of this topic elsewhere on my website, but I thought it deserves a more thorough treatment since it’s a somewhat complex issue. At this point, I’ve done […]

Guitarist singing

Tips for Learning to Sing and Strum Chords

Being able to sing while playing the guitar is a great skill to have. In fact, I’d say that having at least a basic ability to sing while strumming chords is a skill that any experienced guitarist should have. Learning to do it is tricky at first, though. It involves developing some basic pitch control […]

Picture of a train wreck

The Art of Making Mistakes

Believe it or not, there is a fine art to making mistakes when playing the guitar. Mistakes are, to some extent, inevitable. No matter how good you get at the guitar, mistakes will always be part of the experience of playing. Skilled guitarists make mistakes smoothly. Often their mistakes are hardly noticeable to the listener […]

Creating your own exercises for the guitar

Creating Your Own Exercises for the Guitar

Looking back at my development over the years as a guitarist, an important skill that I acquired was the ability to create my own exercises that target whatever I want to improve on at the moment. This is a skill that most advanced guitarists eventually develop. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to this because […]

Free Resources on the Web for Guitarists

The web is bursting with resources for the aspiring (and experienced) guitarist. A quick web search for any guitar related topic will return a trove of sites. There are a handful or sites and resources out there that I’ve found to be particularly useful for both developing as a guitarist and for teaching. So, I […]