Organize your practice time!

February 12, 2018
Organize your practice time!

The other day a student expressed his frustration at getting tired of a song before he was really able to play it. This is something a lot of people struggle with. We want to play satisfying music, not just beginner Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: boxed in by chord boxes?

February 6, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: boxed in by chord boxes?

Guitarists often learn chords by reading “box” diagrams.

If you’ve ever had a lesson in your life (or even if you haven’t) you’re probably familiar with these: essentially a drawing of the guitar neck held vertically, with six vertical lines Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: what makes a good teacher

January 29, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: what makes a good teacher

Many guitar teachers seem to feel like they need to choose between two paths: what the student wants to learn, and what the student needs to know.

You would think it’s not an “either-or” proposition, and I don’t Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: how to play smoother chord changes

January 22, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: how to play smoother chord changes

To play confidently on the guitar, you need to have control of your fingers.

Whether you’re playing single note melody or strumming chords, every note is a target you need to be able to hit accurately. This might sound obvious, Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: the problem with tablature

January 15, 2018
The Perpetual Beginner: the problem with tablature

Thanks to the internet, we live in a great time to learn the guitar.

When I was first learning to play, if I wanted to find a tab I had to ask my teacher or try to work it out Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: 5 tips for smoother playing

December 18, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: 5 tips for smoother playing

Many guitar students come to lessons with the same basic problems. They’re problems that aren’t hard to solve, but are easy to miss. You might be mostly self-taught, or maybe you’ve had lessons that weren’t as effective as they Continue reading

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The Perpetual Beginner: expanding your chord vocabulary

December 4, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: expanding your chord vocabulary

You probably know the old expression “three chords and the truth”.

Well, the truth is that while you could get by with three chords, your basic strummer’s core vocabulary should be nine. That’s incorporating just one barre chord, the simple Continue reading

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What A Wonderful World: Tommy Emmanuel balances taste and technique

November 13, 2017
What A Wonderful World: Tommy Emmanuel balances taste and technique

I was introduced to this arrangement of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” the other day in one of my online Q&A sessions. I’m a huge admirer of Tommy Emmanuel’s playing, like virtually every other guitarist who’s ever heard him. Continue reading

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Self-assessment on guitar: 3 big-picture areas to explore

November 5, 2017
Self-assessment on guitar: 3 big-picture areas to explore

Most people seek out a teacher because they feel they’ve learned as much as they can on their own. It’s something I hear from new students all the time. The challenge isn’t the desire to play, or even a commitment Continue reading

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Your picking hand: the ultimate analog effect

October 30, 2017
Your picking hand: the ultimate analog effect

Electric guitarists have countless ways to manipulate the sound of their instrument. Start with the knobs and switches on the guitar itself. Add the amplifier, which will add another set of knobs and switches. That’s already a lot of variables, Continue reading

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