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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: 3 things you probably aren’t doing when you practice

October 16, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: 3 things you probably aren’t doing when you practice

For all of you out there that might be struggling with motivation, frustration, and plain old time management, I have good news.

Practicing works! When you practice properly, you get better.

I also have a less optimistic thought for you, Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: the brilliant simplicity of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

October 9, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: the brilliant simplicity of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

It’s been a week of Tom Petty tributes, and for good reason. He was everyman’s rockstar, as cool as anyone could ever want to be but not so cool you didn’t feel like you could sit down for a beer Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner – an introduction to fingerpicking

October 2, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner – an introduction to fingerpicking

I like to start new students out using a flatpick. It’s the simplest way to strike a string because the pick comes to a point, giving us one spot to aim for each time. For many people, that’s all they Continue reading

Continue reading...

Three reasons why everyone should practice scales.

September 11, 2017
Three reasons why everyone should practice scales.

Not everyone wants to be a lead player.

And it’s easy to think that the purpose of practicing things like scales is to learn to play lead guitar. There’s some truth to that, but the fact is that everyone can Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner – what are color chords?

August 29, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner – what are color chords?

Chords come in a wide variety of flavors or “qualities”. Each one has a distinctive feel or “vibe”, an emotional association that goes with the sound. A simple example would be the contrast between bright, happy major chords and darker, Continue reading

Continue reading...

The top 3 challenges for singers learning guitar, and how to conquer them

August 21, 2017
The top 3 challenges for singers learning guitar, and how to conquer them

Living and working in Nashville, I meet a lot of singers who want to learn to accompany themselves. Even in a music town like this one, where competent guitarists are easy to find, there’s a lot of value in Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: how to play bass walks on guitar

July 31, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: how to play bass walks on guitar

A “walk” is a single note line on the low strings that connects one chord to another. Essentially, it allows the guitar to take on the role of the bass player for a moment and lead the music forward into Continue reading

Continue reading...