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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

It’s Not Going to be Easy

Every now and then, I see an advertisement come up while surfing around online that looks something like this: “Learn these five tricks to master the guitar!” “How to learn the guitar easily” “Master the guitar in 7 days!” These types of instructional sites always bug me. They’re out to make a quick buck by […]

Playing vs. Practicing

Whenever you pick up your guitar, it’s important to be aware of whether you are planning on ‘practicing’ or ‘playing.’ These are two distinct mindsets that will determine a number of things: how you think and feel while playing, whether or not you try to fix mistakes, how critical you will be, and so on. […]

Zen and the Art of Guitar Practice

“So the thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one’s self from one’s surroundings. When that is done successfully then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce […]

Yamaha f335 guitar

Recommended Guitars for Beginners

I’m occasionally asked by students who are getting ready to start lessons what kind of guitar I would recommend for them to get. These are my recommendations for various kinds of guitars: electric, acoustic (both steel and nylon stringed) and kid sized guitars. Since they don’t know how well they will take to the instrument, […]

Becoming a Better Musician Through Listening to Music

We’re all busy. We all have multiple commitments and interests that constantly vie for our time. No matter how committed you are to becoming a better guitarist, the time available to practice is very limited. So, it can be beneficial to look for ways to improve yourself as a musician even when you are unable […]