Guitar Lessons

  • Surprisingly Slick 6ths Licks

    Surprisingly Slick 6ths Licks

    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. Read More

  • Double Trouble with Double Stops

    Double Trouble with Double Stops

    Want an easy way to double your guitar solo notes? Double stops will get you out of trouble! Double stops on guitar are when 2 strings are ‘”stopped” by the fingers to play 2 notes together. The most famous guitarist who uses double stops extensively was Chuck Berry. Many of his tunes including the hit song Johnny B Goode use double stops in the intro and throughout. Double stops can help to vary your lead guitar playing by adding 2 note chords (AKA Dyads) to your solos. In this guitar lesson we will look at several ways you can use double stops in your lead guitar playing.
    Chuck Berry Riffs
    One of the most famous riffs in rock n roll is the intro to Johnny B Goode. This riff features a repeated double stop that is slid into on the first 2 strings. Read More

  • Mixolydian Mode Blues Magic

    Mixolydian Mode Blues Magic

    Another way to make your blues solos sound magic is to use the mixolydian mode. This can expand your playing beyond the often used and predictable minor pentatonic scale. The mixolydian mode is a major scale with a flattened 7th note.
    So while a G major scale uses the notes G A B C D E F# the mixolydian mode uses the notes G A B C D E F with the F being F natural and not F# as it is in the G major scale.

    This makes the mixolydian mode a suitable scale to play over the dominant 7 chord which are used in the 12 bar blues. For example the notes of the G7 chord are G B D F which are part of the G mixolydian mode. Read More

  • Better Blues Solos With 3 Essential Notes

    Better Blues Solos With 3 Essential Notes

    Want to play better blues guitar solos? Move beyond the minor pentatonic scale with these 3 essential notes. These 3 extra notes will spice up your solos and make your licks sound fresh and interesting.
    The Blues Note
    The blues note is the flattened 5th in a scale. For example in the A minor pentatonic scale this is an Eb note. Adding this note to the minor pent scale (A C D E G = A minor pent) creates the Blues scale. (A C D Eb E G = A blues). The “blues” note is often bent into from a note ½ step below whether by bending a string on the guitar, or on a harmonica (blues harp) or with a singers voice.
    The ½ bend is played from the 4th note (D in A blues). This means that the note effectively goes up one fret in pitch (D to Eb in A blues). Read More

  • 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