A Great Way to Develop Better Rhythm and Time

When it comes to playing guitar, and playing it well, an unsteady rhythm and tempo just won’t fly.

Perhaps, you remember the video lessons on strumming patterns where I stressed over and over again (probably more than you had hoped for!) the importance of playing with consistent tempo and rhythm. You might know the sickest guitar riff or the most rockin’ strumming pattern, but if you’re timing is all off, then what good is that guitar riff or strumming pattern?

For some, a good sense of timing and rhythm comes very naturally to them. For others, this isn’t the case. However, no matter who are, we can all improve at keeping good time. Let’s look at some exercises we can do to improve our timing.

Meet the Metronome

First off, in case you don’t already know, a metronome is a nifty little device that sets a straight tempo to a click or a tick-tock. The picture on the left is an old-school metronome. Now days you can get an electronic metronome that looks just like guitar tuner. In fact, there are some guitars tuners that have built in metronomes.

Harnessing the Power of the Metronome

This might seem obvious, but simply setting the metronome to the tempo of a song you want to practice, and then playing along with the metronome, will definitely help you […]

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How To Use a Guitar Capo

Guitar capos are a beautiful thing. Not only are guitar capos practical, but by using a guitar capo, you’re given a whole new palette of options in the realm of creativity. You can even get a certain characteristic of sound in the songs you play. Every guitarist should keep a capo in their guitar case.

What Is a Capo?

A capo is a small tool that “clamps” down all the strings on your guitar. In a certain sense, it bars all the strings on a particular fret. This allows a guitarist to transpose keys. The capo shown on the left is a Kyser Capo, which is a pretty popular style of capo.

How Does a Capo Work?

As I said, a capo allows a guitarist to […]

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Guitar Scale Anatomy: the Theory Behind a Major Scale

Note: This is Part 2 of “Guitar Scale Anatomy.” Guitar Scale Anatomy: Part 1 can be found here.

In Part 1 of Guitar Scale Anatomy, we started to look at how guitar scales function, so we can have a better understanding of how these scales relate to the songs we play. We provided a working definition of a scale and looked at how half steps and whole steps between notes contribute to the formation of a scale.

As you can recall, the way the half steps and whole steps are arranged between notes in a scale are one of the ways that give the scale a particular quality such as major or minor.

For this part, I’m going to reference back to our previous examples in which I gave you two “E” scales. While both were “E” scales, one was an “E” major scale and the other was […]

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Guitar Scale Anatomy: Theory Explained Behind Guitar Scales

In this lesson, we look at how the notes of a guitar scale interact and relate with one another. When I first started playing guitar, it was suggested that I learn guitar scales up and down the guitar neck so I could learn the guitar fretboard. However, learning patterns will only get you so far. You need to know how the notes function in a guitar scale so you know how to use them to improvise and crafts solos and lead lines. […]

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How to Finger Pick: Guitar Fingerpicking Basics

So you want to learn how to finger pick guitar? Fingerpicking (or sometimes referred to as fingerstyle) guitar might feel a little bit tricky at first, but there are some easy to follow basics that can have you fingerpicking in no time!

Fingerpicking Hand Position

A correct fingerpicking hand position will use your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers for picking. Your thumb will pluck the 6th (E), 5th (A), and 4th (D) strings (the top 3 strings). Your index finger will pluck the 3rd (G) string. Your middle finger will pluck the 2nd (B) string. Your ring finger will pluck the 1st (E) string.

Sometimes your fingers may pluck other strings (there are always exceptions) but this should be our default fingering position.

Here are pictures of correct […]

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How To Play Guitar Fast! 5 Tips to Increase Speed

In my post “Thoughts on Practice from a Wise, Old Guitarist,” I asked Bill, a well-aged retired, professional guitar player how to increase my guitar speed after hearing how fast he played on his old recordings. He just told me to “practice, practice, and practice.” But how do we practice when we want to learn how to play guitar fast?

1. Start slow, Speedy

This couldn’t be more important. Practice playing guitar scales slow at first with proper fingering, posture, and technique. Set a metronome at a slow speed then practice at faster speeds. It’s really boring at first (I won’t lie to you), but it’ll be harder to play guitar faster if you don’t have good technique. You must walk before you run.

2. Alternate Picking

As you pluck the individual strings with your pick, pluck each string alternately with a down pluck and an up pluck with the pick. When you play a guitar scale or […]

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Best Guitar Lessons: Review of Online Guitar Lessons

I wanted to take time to review some online guitar lessons. It’s quite convenient to be able to receive professional guitar lessons online from right at home, especially, if the techniques and skills taught in the online guitar lessons is comparable to that of a private guitar lesson. Not to mention, you also save a ton of money doing online guitar lessons! But, it can be hard to find a good beginner guitar lesson online. If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level, but don’t know how, then check out these online guitar lessons for […]

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Learning Guitar Strumming Patterns: Guitar Video Lessons

As I previously mentioned, I’ve been working on some guitar video lessons for you.  The first two lessons are on learning guitar strumming patterns.  If you are just beginning or learning guitar then I think you’ll find these video lessons helpful.  They are easy to apply to your guitar playing.   In part 1 of […]

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Guitar Chords: Learn Your Major Chords

I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at guitar chords. Every now and then I’m going to post some guitar chord tabs (A.K.A. “diagrams”–whatever you prefer) with pictures of the guitar chord’s finger position. If you are just beginning guitar, a good start is to learn some major guitar chords. I’ve tabbed the guitar chords out and then show a picture of the guitar chord’s finger position.

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Finger Placement For Guitar Chords: Eliminate String Buzz!

There is a common mistake that I’m always seeing with beginning guitar players. From what I’ve noticed, this mistake accounts for a lot of string buzz, and it’s all because of poor finger placement. I want to show you correct finger placement for guitar chords. This will help you out tremendously so you can play clean, no buzz, guitar chords. Let’s take a look.

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