Guitar Lessons

  • Licks as Bricks – Building a Blues Guitar Solo

    Licks as Bricks – Building a Blues Guitar Solo

    Many of my students want to know how to improvise and build guitar solos over a 12 bar blues progression. Using guitar licks as bricks you can build an effective blues solo. First off you need to know the notes and the main pattern (AKA pattern 1) of the minor pentatonic scale. These notes will be the building blocks of your solo.

    The next step in constructing your solo is to create phrases or licks using these notes. These licks will act as bricks to construct your solo. The solo we’re building has a combination of licks with some using string bends and others that don’t. These bent licks are based on a phrase and its variations. Some of these phrases also use pattern 2 the minor pentatonic scale. Note that all these licks except for #3 start in the “and” after beat 3. Read More

  • Day In The Life Of A Guitar Teacher

    Day In The Life Of A Guitar Teacher

    Here is a typical day in my life as a guitar/bass guitar teacher in Melbourne. After getting up at the crack of noon (not really it’s about 9am!) I go cycling to keep fit and healthy. Otherwise I just spend all day with my butt on a chair practicing, teaching or working on the computer.
    After my morning ride and breakfast I spend my free time until my first afternoon student arrives doing admin, lesson preparation, housework, walking the dog and of course practicing.
    Currently I am practicing 20 songs for an upcoming acoustic duo gig with Deuawd. I use a Boss RC-20XL looper pedal to create rhythm guitar parts when I solo in certain songs and it’s also a great practice tool to help work on guitar solos and timing in general. Read More

  • Melbourne Guitar Show 2016

    Melbourne Guitar Show 2016

    Last Sunday I ventured out to the Melbourne Guitar Show for the afternoon. I mainly went to check out the Guitar Players Acoustic Session and The Finale Jam. Of course there were also all the exhibitor stands full of guitar and bass gear to check out too.
    At these sort of events I personally find it hard to hear or play gear due to so much noise going on and am happy enough just to window shop as I walk by. Any way I probably have more than enough gear and guitars even though there were some good deals on offer! However there were a few products that grabbed my interest and I would recommend checking out.

     
     
     
     
    Fican Guitars www.ficanguitars.com are a range of guitars created by Australian luthier Stuart Monk that looked really interesting. Read More

  • Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 2

    Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 2

    Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 2
    In the previous lesson Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 1 exercises using the G major scale in 1 static position were shown. These guitar scale exercises outlined the scale broken into different intervals and steps. In this guitar lesson we will use the same exercises but with a 3 octave pattern moving across the fretboard in various positions.

    Even more so in the last lesson watch the fingering to ensure that the scales are played effectively especially when changing position. Practice them slowly at first then increase in tempo with a metronome or drum machine. A beginning tempo of 80bpm is recommended.
    As previously mentioned learning the pattern for the major scales also covers the 7 modes of the major scale. Read More

  • Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 1

    Think You Know Your Scales? Think Again! – Part 1

    As a lead guitarist you’re expected to know many guitar scales and their patterns in various keys all over the fretboard. The best way to really get guitar scales under your fingers is to practice them broken into various intervals and steps. Practicing scales this way will help you learn the fretboard patterns and fingerings for them. It also helps to train your ears to hear the note intervals in a scale too. Plus these exercises can also be used to form part of your improvised solos.
    The first examples use the G major scale in 1 static position. Watch the fingering following the principle of 1 finger per fret to ensure that they are played effectively. Practice them slowly at first then increase in tempo with a metronome or drum machine. A beginning tempo of 80bpm is recommended. Read More