Free Guitar Lessons Blog

Guitar Lessons

  • Creating a Cult (of Personality Solo)

    Creating a Cult (of Personality Solo)

    One of my students recently wanted to learn the hard rock song Cult of Personality by Living Colour. This is a great tune with a rocking riff and catchy chorus. While these parts are slightly fiddly to play they aren’t impossible to master. However the solos are something else! Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid is known for his “out” jazzy playing and his tendency to shred a million notes a second making it very challenging to learn his solos note for note.
    To get around this I decided to create new solos for the tune that were more playable while following the spirit of Vernon Reid with high energy and fast phrases. Both solos here are over the main G Mixolydian (G A B C D E F) riff which means that G Mixolydian, G minor pentatonic and the G blues scale will all work well here. Read More

  • Want Sexier Guitar Solos?

    Want Sexier Guitar Solos?

    Want to make your guitar solos more expressive, exciting and sexy? Simple! Use the following techniques:

    Hammer Ons
    Pull Offs
    Slides
    Bends
    Vibrato

    Without these techniques your guitar solos can sound dull, mechanical and not very musical at all – about as sexy as a electronic door bell chime! Listen to the following short solo using the A minor pentatonic scale with these missing elements to hear how unappealing it can sound.

    Unsexy Solo | Download
    Unsexy Solo.

    Now we will cover each technique adding them to the solo step-by-step to make the music more expressive and sexy.
    Hammer Ons
    A hammer on is where the first note is plucked with the guitar pick then the second is played by the fretting hand ”hammering on” the fretboard. Read More

  • My 2017 Guitar & Bass Year

    My 2017 Guitar & Bass Year

    As another year passes by it is a good time to reflect on what has been a busy year of music. My guitar teaching business Melbourne Guitar Lessons continues chugs along with 30-40 students having lessons every week. On top of a full teaching schedule there have also been several bands keeping my fingers busy playing guitar, bass guitar and double bass (if you play bass you end up doing lots of gigs!) So here’s a review of the highlights of my year in music for 2017.
    Port Fairy Jazz Festival
    In February I performed at the Port Fairy Jazz Festival playing double bass in 2 bands – Trumpet who play corporate and wedding gigs with and Elle T & The Doctors who I also regularly gig with. Read More

  • Blues Turnaround Licks

    Blues Turnaround Licks

    Blues turnaround licks are played at the end of a 12 bar blues progression as it “turns around” back to the start of the next 12 bars. When soloing over the last 1-2 Bars of a 12 bar blues you can just play minor pentatonic licks however playing a turnaround lick will help to outline the chord changes allowing others to hear where you are in the tune!
    In this guitar lesson we will look at some common blues turnaround licks.
    Walking Up Chromatic Lick
    This simple but effective lick plays the root note of the I chord then walks up chromatically from the 3rd of the I chord to the root note of the V chord. In the example in the key of A this translates to the root note of A followed by the 3rd note of C# walking up chromatically to E which is the root of the V chord. Read More

  • CAGED Chord System Guitar Solos

    CAGED Chord System Guitar Solos

    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