While the CAGED Chord System can be used to play inversions of chords all over the guitar neck to create interesting and fresh rhythm guitar parts, it can also be used to create lead lines for guitar solos. In this guitar lesson the CAGED Chord System will be used over a 4 chord progression showing ideas to create a guitar solo based on arpeggios. If you don’t know what the CAGED Chord System is check out this previous post.
The chords in the example are E G D and A major which are the same chords used in the chorus of Alive by Pearl Jam and countless other songs.
The first exercise uses the E major shape shifting it up and down the neck for each chord. This shape is also the shape used for 4 string version of the F major chord. Read More
If you’re sick of the same single note guitar solo licks try surprising yourself and others with some slick 6ths notes played as double stops. A 6th is where the 2 notes are played 6 notes apart from each other in a scale. For example a C and an A note form a 6th as A is 6 notes away from C in a C major scale.
These double stops 6ths are 2 strings apart meaning that if you’re playing the notes simultaneously with a pick you have to mute the unwanted middle string with the edge of the fretting finger. Alternately you can pluck the 2 strings required to play the 6th with your fingers.
6th | Download
Listen to the audio of The 6th.
Blues Intro Lick
One of the most commonly played licks using 6ths is this blues intro lick based around the E major chord. Read More
In the part 1 of 11 Best Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Songs To Learn we looked at songs with bar chords, syncopated muting strumming, arpeggios and fingerpicking. Here the list of intermediate acoustic songs to learn continue with these acoustic classic rock hits.
Blackbird – The Beatles
Another popular song with my students this fingerpicking classic uses a pedal tone throughout on the G string. The chord shapes use just 1 or 2 fingers based on 10th intervals (a root note and a 3rd an octave up). Use the thumb and fingers 1 and 2 to pluck throughout.
Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton
This ballad from Clapton’s unplugged album has some very nice fingerstyle playing. Read More
If you’ve been playing acoustic guitar for a while and are comfortable with strumming open string chords (A D E G and C etc) challenge yourself by learning some intermediate level songs. These songs should include more challenging guitar techniques such as bar chords, arpeggios, riffs, syncopated rhythms and fingerpicking. Here are 11 of the best intermediate acoustic guitar songs to learn.
Space Oddity – David Bowie
This song has a gazillion (lots anyway) chords with a few bar chords including F Fm and Bb. The more challenging part here is the rhythmic bar chord section using the 4 bar chords C F G and Am which happens after the lyrics “planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do”. Read More
Here are some ideas to get your music out of a one key or chord progression rut when song writing. A great way to make your song or track more interesting is to change or modulate the key for a bridge / middle eight / break down section. Follow these few simple rules to learn what chords work together.
Relative Major & Minor
One common way to modulate (change) to a different key or tonal centre is to move the song to its relative minor or major. For example if you have a song in the key of C Major, A Minor is the relative Minor due to both chords sharing the C and E notes.
C Major & A Minor | Download
Listen to the audio of C & Am.
If the song is in D Minor the relative major is F Major again because both chords share two notes. In this case F and A. Read More