The Perpetual Beginner: what Bill Withers can teach you about harmony

August 14, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: what Bill Withers can teach you about harmony

I’ve become a great fan of soul singer Bill Withers in recent years. His songs have always been familiar, but as with many things I’ve come to a new appreciation lately. There’s the voice, of course, and the songs, and 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...

The Perpetual Beginner: why everyone should go back to basics.

July 17, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: why everyone should go back to basics.

I started using the phrase “perpetual beginner” to refer to guitar enthusiasts/hobbyists/students who have played for months or years but don’t feel like they’re improving any more. Almost everyone hits plateaus and blocks, but so many people build Continue reading

Continue reading...

Be a real guitar hero: 5 ways to play better rhythm

July 10, 2017
Be a real guitar hero: 5 ways to play better rhythm

When you think “guitar hero” what do you picture? (Look out, the clichés are flying already…cue the fog machine!)

I’ve had many students start their first lesson by saying that they’re “not a guitar player” and don’t really need to Continue reading

Continue reading...

Why Does It Hurt When I Play?

July 3, 2017
Why Does It Hurt When I Play?

I should say at the outset that this is not meant to be medical advice. Serious chronic pain should be addressed by a professional. But understanding some basic mechanics can help you tell the difference between a signal to change Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: how to use a capo as a tool, not a cheater!

June 26, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: how to use a capo as a tool, not a cheater!

Capos are for cheaters, right?

Wrong! Yes, you can use a capo to make a song easier to play by allowing you to use more comfortable chords, or to raise or lower the vocal range of the melody. But what Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: more on how to play barre chords comfortably.

June 19, 2017
The Perpetual Beginner: more on how to play barre chords comfortably.

It’s an ongoing struggle for lots of people at the “long-term beginner” stage. I wrote a few weeks back about the pesky F chord, which is the first barre chord most students learn. The B minor usually comes next, because Continue reading

Continue reading...

The Perpetual Beginner: chord inventory and the horse with no name.

June 5, 2017


 

 

 

 

How many chords do you think you know?

How many chords are there, anyway?

The average basic strummer uses a vocabulary of about eleven chords, and has probably learned quite a few more that Continue reading

Continue reading...