Finger exercises And Hand Warm-Ups To Get In Shape

When it comes to playing guitar, you want to make sure you do what athletes do, you warm up and get your fingers in shape.  This is very important for forming and holding guitar chords and playing guitar scales.

By working on effective exercises for developing your finger dexterity independent finger motion.  This is very important to develop for playing such things as barre chords (which use all fingers and can be very challenging to form and play) as well as for extended chords like add7#9 which can demand finger stretches.  These are just a couple examples that finger exercises and hand warm-ups can help to improve while learning guitar.

So let’s look at a few examples that can get your hands and fingers in shape, ready to tackle those tricky guitar parts.

Example #1

Finger exercise #1

In this example, you want to use all four fingers and start on the 6th string.  One finger per fret. Index finger on 1, second finger on 2, and so on.  This will help you to develop a stretch for your fingers.  It might be a bit challenging at first, but if you really apply yourself like a true warrior who wants to get better, I guarantee it will pay dividends in the end.

Example #2

Finger exercise #2

In this example, you start on the 1st string at the 5th fret.  Once again use all four fingers and go across all strings.  This will be a bit easier than the first one and feel a bit different because you’re starting on the first string instead of the sixth.  It will also help you to train your ear to hear certain notes.

Example #3

Finger Exercise #3

In this example, you keep the fret positioning the same but you change up your fingers.  Instead of doing 1 2 3 4, you want to do 1, 3, 2, 4.  This will allow you to develop finger independence.  Not to mention your brain needs to think differently as well. This is the discipline that is needed to accomplish what I stated in the first paragraph of this lesson.

In order to really play certain things on the guitar, your fingers and hands need to be disciplined and have the ability to do whatever you need them to do.  Some chords can be difficult to form and certain scales and guitar licks will require advanced finger discipline.

Finger exercise conclusion

This is just the nature of the instrument.  The guitar is a wonderful instrument in the fact that you can approach it from many different aspects.  But in order to do certain things on it (the really cool stuff) your hands and fingers need to be disciplined.  Especially if you want to play guitar styles like flamenco or classical guitar.  These are very disciplined arts.

Even if you just want to play simple chords, it’s always a good idea to warm up your hands, wrists, and fingers. And these examples along with many others (I’m sure you can figure out more on your own) will help you to do just that.  Keep your guitar hands in shape.  Just like a runner or any other type of physical activity. Keep yourself in shape and you will come out a winner.

One more thing,

Now if you are interested in learning more about what to do with your fingers and hands once they’re developed or what to learn in the process of developing them, you can check out some of the books that I’ve published on playing guitar.

Rock Guitar 101

Rock Guitar 101

Which is a great starter book for beginners who want to get up and running quickly in the art of rock guitar.  It’s a very simple book that covers the fundamentals in 7 easy to understand lessons.  With full-color pictures and diagrams for quick study and solid foundation development.

Learn Guitar Simple Guitar Method

A simple step-by-step method for beginners that is an easy study for those who want to learn either electric or acoustic guitar.  This book teaches the fundamental principles needed to get started on the right path to guitar playing success. A starter guide book designed for the total beginner with everything you need to start having fun playing guitar today. No matter your age.  This book can benefit you.  With full-color pictures and diagrams for quick learning and fast results.  This book will get you playing and having fun in no time.

Lead Guitar Wizardry

Lead Guitar Wizardry

This book is designed for those looking to head down the path of lead guitar playing.  A comprehensive course on the inner workings of lead guitar playing.  From finger exercises to picking techniques, scale patterns and fretboard knowledge.  Lead Guitar Wizardry will show you the secret formulas, and incantations used by lead guitar wizards to create jaw-dropping guitar solos that will capture the listener with magic.

So if you are interested in improving your guitar playing in any of these areas, I recommend you pick up one of my books on Amazon.  They come in both digital and paperback format.  And as always, if you have any questions about anything that I have taught in these lessons on my site or in my books, feel free to reach out.  That is what I’m here for.  To help you improve your guitar playing.

Thanks for reading and best of luck in your studies.


Dwayne Jenkins.

Dwayne Jenkins standing in studio

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Why Certain Notes Are Used When Forming Guitar Chords

C Major chord notes

There is a reason why specific notes are used for creating chords on the guitar. This is called chord-embellishment theory.

What is a chord-embellishment?

This is the understanding of what notes are used in creating guitar chords. When learning guitar chords, there are certain notes that are chosen for this purpose and they are not chosen randomly. They are chosen for the purpose of sounding harmonically correct. Or in basic terms, notes that sound good when played together.

When you put certain notes together on any instrument whether it be guitar, piano, violin etc, they must be in harmony with each other or else they won’t sound good when played. This usually happens when a person is just starting out learning a song or certain piece of music and doesn’t quite have all the notes mastered.

Although once all the notes are mastered, the music sounds good to the ear and is pleasant to listen to. That is because all the notes are in harmony with each other. This is usually because these notes all come from the same musical key.

What is a musical key?

A musical key is a certain set of notes that reside at a certain pitch in the musical spectrum. They may be a set of notes that are up high or they may be a set of notes that are set low. Maybe even in the middle somewhere. Regardless of where they sit, they are all relative in one way or the other and that is why they sound good together.

This is considered playing “in key” and it is when all the notes in the piece of music sound good together. And for this to happen we must have a basic understanding of how this works. This is where the embellishment theory comes in.

So when it comes to playing guitar chords, you want to make sure you choose the correct notes.  Because if you don’t the chords won’t sound good when you form them.  They also won’t sound good when you play them with other chords either.  Make sure you fully understand the basics of why these notes are chosen to form the basic foundation.  Then you can proceed to extend the chords from there.

How chords are formed.

First, we start with the key that we’re are playing in.  Let’s say the key of C.

C D E F G A B C.  Now let’s say we give each note a number value.  1-8.  C being one D being two and so forth and so forth.

The most basic natural chord in music is the triad.  A chord that is made up of 3 notes.  Tri meaning three, ad meaning notes.  A three-note chord.  Out of the key of C, or any key for that matter, the numbers chosen for this triad are going to be the 1, 3 & 5 of the key. This is what’s known as guitar chord theory.

notes of the C chord

That means that the notes we would choose to make the C Major triad would be the C E & G.  Look at the notes in the above paragraph.  You can clearly see that the 1 3 & 5 are these notes.  And if you look at the C major chord forming it on your guitar and you know your notes (if you don’t I highly recommend you learn them) you can clearly see these notes in this chord.

Why do I need to learn chord theory?

Learning chord theory can help improve your guitar playing in many ways.  It can help you to understand how music works and why it works in harmony when certain notes of the key (any key) are put together to form guitar chords.  Actually chords in general no matter if you’re playing them on the guitar or piano.

Improving your guitar playing is what it’s all about.  By knowing your notes, you’ll be able to create additional chords as well.  Like minor chords (where you flatten the 3rd note by one fret) and 7 chords (where you add the 7th note of the chord, sometimes flattened seventh) and augmented or diminished triads.

By knowing this information, you’ll be able to switch between chords faster, add to your chord vocabulary and be able to express yourself much better in general.  By knowing what notes to add, move or take away you’ll be able to enhance your musical palette of emotion.  You’ll be able to see chords as colors.  And like colors, you’ll be able to create different shades.

Lesson conclusion.

Being able to fully understand what is needed when forming guitar chords is essential to forming, and alternating guitar chords.  This valuable skill will allow you to make leaps and bounds above the competition.  Most guitar players do not know this information.

So if you can take some time to study & wrap your brain around the concept that is being taught in this lesson, you will see very clearly how knowing this information can benefit you.  It can really help you to compose better songs and also to understand the inner workings of music theory.

And if you’d like a book on the topic, I recommend The Guitarist’s Music Theory Book.  This book will show you a lot more in depth what is being taught in this lesson and taken further down the path.

The Guitarist's Music Theory Book

The Guitarist’s Music Theory Book by Peter Vogl is the first music theory book designed for guitar by a guitarist. The book explains music theory as it applies to the guitar and covers intervals, scales, chords, chord progressions, and the Nashville Number System. You will also get online access to audio examples of all the music in the book and also an ear training section. The Music Theory Book was written to help all guitar players achieve a better understanding of the guitar and of the music they play.

If you need any additional help in this lesson, feel free to reach out.  That’s what I’m here for.  And be sure to sign up to my Email Guitar Club so you can receive great additional training tips di=elivered right to your inbox on a weekly basis.

Thanks again for reading and until next time, take care.


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Rock guitar 101 Book Review lesson 5 Picking Hand Development

Picking hand

Rock guitar 101 Book Review lesson 5 Picking Hand Development

This is another very important step in your learning development of playing rock guitar.  All the rhythm you create will be done with you picking hand.  That is why it is so important to spend some time on this skill set.  Actually, it is a must and can’t be overlooked.

Your two hands represent different aspects of your guitar playing.  Your fretboard hand that will form the chord shapes and switch between them, and your picking hand that will create the timing and rhythm patterns of the music.  Development of both is equally important.

Slight of hand magic.

When watching someone play this is a valuable part that is often missed.  This is actually where a lot of the guitar magic happens.  Very much like a magician that does slight of the hand.  It is the hand that you don’t focus on that is creating the magic.

So take this into consideration with your learning and really begin to focus on your picking hand and its development.  Be aware of your picking hand placement and how you hold your pick.  These two things will make a world of difference.

Practice good hand posture and always be aware of your playing.  Where your hands are positioned at all times.  This focus of attention to detail will make a world of difference in your progress and how your tone will be produced.

Different types of picking techniques.

Make sure to practice your down picking, up picking and alternate picking.  This will allow you to play more complex picking patterns down the line when you start getting good.  If you really pay attention to this lesson you will develop a really good picking hand that will allow you to become great at playing both rhythm and lead guitar.

When you’re learning to play guitar, you are working on both hands at the same time.  So naturally, when the fretboard hand gets tired from forming and moving chords, you can allow it to take a break and work on developing your picking hand and creating rhythm.

down picking

The more you focus on your picking hand development, the better you are going to become.  The better your timing is going to be, the more aware you are going to become of your own style of playing the guitar and the more of you and your personality you are going to bring out in your playing.

Notice the placement of the pick between your fingers and your hand position close to the strings.  your other fingers can be used as well to stabilize your hand.  It’s all personal comfort and everyone plays a bit different.  So it is really up to you to find what is best.  And this will come only through practice.

Some rhythms you create will be loose and flamboyant as where others may be tight and muted.  It just depends on what type of rhythm playing draws your attention and takes to your liking.  That is why I recommend you learn songs from your favorite players.

Learning guitar from your favorite players.

Learning songs from your favorite players develops a lot of skill sets at one time.  But the main thing that it develops is discipline.  Discipline is what’s going to set you apart from your average player.  How much discipline you develop through hours of study and practice.  Remember, what you put in your going to get out.

If you put in a little, you’re going to get out a little.  But if you want to get out a lot, you are going to have to put in a lot.  It is really that simple.  Now when you learn from your favorite players you learn how chords are put together in progressions.  You learn basic music theory by noticing what keys they commonly play in.  You learn what picking and strumming patterns that they commonly use.  You learn what timing signatures they play in to set certain moods.

Then you take all these things that you’ve learned and you apply it your own original compositions.  If that’s what you choose to do.  Or, you take these learned skill sets and apply them to other songs by other artists.  When you do, you begin to notice that they too use some of these chord progressions, picking patterns and time signatures.  Now you’ve have killed two birds with one stone (as the saying goes) which makes you a more proficient player in half the amount of time.

Lesson conclusion.

When it comes to being proficient at playing rock guitar or guitar in general (no matter the style) you will need to put in some time.  No matter what people on the internet are trying to tell you. It does take work, hours of study, dedication, and dedication to a routine practice schedule.  You do this on a regular basis and I guarantee you that you will see quick progress.

And if you truly want to develop the art of playing rock guitar quickly and easily, be sure to grab a copy of my starter book “Rock Guitar 101” where you will learn the fundamental principles needed to get you up and running very quickly.

Rock Guitar 101

Rock Guitar 101 will take you every step of the way.

From the very first lesson, you’ll start learning having fun.  By learning what type of equipment to buy (guitar, amp, tuner etc) to learning rock guitar chords, progressions, developing rhythm and much, much more.  With full-color pictures and diagrams for easier understanding and quicker learning.

Not to mention that it is only 7 lessons and get be gotten through pretty quickly.  Not like a book that has more information than is necessary.  You can leave that for future study.  Once you get your basics down and can play a few great rock riffs with confidence.

I can’t begin to tell you how many guitar players I’ve met over the years who have skipped the basics.  They have jumped ahead to learning songs and don’t have the fundamentals down.  It hinders their playing.  Why?  Because they run into roadblocks they can’t get through.

Because they skipped over the fundamentals they stop their progress.  That would be like trying to read when you don’t know your alphabet or how to pronounce words.

So get down your fundamentals and enjoy the fun of playing guitar for life.  Enjoy it so much you can pass it along to others who might want to enjoy it too.  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Best of luck to you.  Until next time, take care.


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Rock guitar 101 Book Review Lesson 4 Power Chords & Creating Rhythm

Izzy Stradlin

Once you have mastered your open chords or would like to take a break from them, you can proceed to work on your closed power chords. Once you get the open chords down you can focus on learning power chords & creating rhythm.

Closed power chords.

Closed power chords are very much like your open power chords, it’s just that now your playing two strings where neither one is open. These are going to be then next chords in your vocabulary to learn because they are played with two fingers instead of just one. Your index finger and your ring finger. Or the pinky if you prefer. Everyone plays a bit different.

I recommend you use the first and third fingers as this is more standard and will leave your pinky open to add chord embellishments later when you learn to form chords using three and four fingers. But for now, we’ll just stick with two.

What’s great about these chords is two things.

  1. The chord shape always stays the same no matter where you’re at on the fretboard.

  2. They allow you to move up and down the fretboard, unlike the open power chords that stay at the second fret.

This allows you to unlock many mysteries of the guitar and rock guitar songs by playing chords of this type.  Most rock songs ever written, mostly use or have used these types of chords.  So make sure you take some time to learn how to form them and then learn how to move them around the fretboard.

When learning to form power chords you will need to stretch your fingers a bit.  Because this chord shape is created by two fingers on two strings with a fret in between them.  And once you learn this to form this chord, you will need to keep this shape when moving it around the fretboard.  Be sure to watch the video lesson on how this is done.

These chord types are not the easiest to form as a beginner, but with a little consistent effort on a daily basis, you will begin to see some progress and that is when the fun starts to happen.  And as with all things, you must be patient and not give up. If you stick with it, your reward will be all the cool rock songs you’ll be able to play.

Reading power chords in tablature format.

In addition to watching me form them in the video lesson, it is very beneficial that you learn how to read them in the written tablature as well.  This will give you more of a rounded education, a step up on most guitar players (most don’t read sheet music) and a more enhanced learning experience. Heres some examples of what power chords look like in tablature format.

G power chord

This is a G power chord.  Where the first finger (index) is on the sixth string third fret and the third finger (ring) is on the fifth string fifth fret.  Remember in guitar sheet music your biggest string will be on the bottom.

D power chord

This is a D power chord played on the fifth string.  The first finger is on the fifth string fifth fret and the third finger is on the fourth string seventh fret.  The D power chord is played on the fifth and fourth strings and provides a bit of a brighter sound than the G chord formed on the sixth string.

Rt4 A power chord

Above is an A power chord played on the fourth string.  Using the first finger on the fourth string seventh fret and the third finger on the third string ninth fret.  Since this chord is played on the fourth string, we will consider it a Root four A power chord.  Because the root of the chord (which is an A note) is located on the fourth string.

Always remember (I can’t stress this enough) that the strings in the sheet music are upside down.  I know it can be confusing.  Sorry but I didn’t create it, I just teach it 🙂  Anyway, now that we know how to form a few chords, let’s look into how to create the rhythm with those chords.

Creating a rhythm with power chords.

This can be done with proper timing and emotion.  When creating a rhythm with power chords playing rock music you want to start out with a simple 1 2 3 4 count.  Because this is the most common timing of rock music.

Listen to bands like AC/DC.  They use this timing in almost all they’re songs.  You can tap your foot to the beat and follow along to the music.  It is simple and effective.  Then once you get the initial timing of rock music down, you can create more complex rhythms.  But in the beginning, keep it simple.

Malcolm Young

What this does is creates the internal clock that all musicians must have and by focusing on improving your timing by counting (to yourself or out loud) you begin to develop this very important skill set.  I can’t begin to tell you how many musicians I’ve met who have not developed proper timing.

Additional counts to use when creating rhythm.

Here are a few more to experiment with:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.

1 2 & 3 4.

1 2 3 & 4

Any of these examples will produce a nice rhythm and if you work with them enough, you’ll begin to discover other ones you can create as well.  Think of how creative you can be with just these four numbers.  Look at our number system 0-9 and all the endless possibilities that we can come up with.  Even though you’re just using four numbers, the concept is the same.

Once you work with these counts you’ll begin to recognize familiar parts of songs you already know.  So practice these rhythm counts while moving your power chords up, down and around the guitar fretboard.  That way you will develop your internal clock and be on your way to becoming a good solid rhythm guitar player.  Which is vitally important.

Moving your power chords is essential to learn. Make sure to lift your fingers slightly off the fretboard but keep them on the strings and play only the two strings that the chord is made of.  The rest of the strings try to mute with your fretboard hand.  This will keep unplayed strings from vibrating and causing unwanted sound.  This will allow you to produce a cleaner, rich guitar tone.

Lesson Conclusion.

Playing rock guitar, there are certain techniques that are associated with it that you will need to master.  This takes time.  But with the proper training, it won’t take as much time as you think.  That is why I wrote Rock Guitar 101.  A simple step-by-step method on getting started playing rock guitar.

This book will help out in many ways and allow you to progress at your learning faster than you ever thought possible.  You learn what tools are necessary for the art.  You will learn how to set them up and get the best out of them.

You’ll also discover how to develop practice habits, basic music theory and much, much more.  All without previous musical knowledge or ability.  This can be very very beneficial when getting started.  If this is you or anyone you know, be sure to order this book today on Amazon and get started having fun learning how to play guitar.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

















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Rock guitar 101 Book Lesson 3 Tuning Up And Learning Your First Chords

Snark clip-on tuner

Once you get your guitar, amp and tone set, you can then progress forward with where the fun comes in. Learn to tune up your guitar and play it!  Start off with open chords first. These are great because they require only one finger to form and play them. Chords like Open E, Open A & Open D. These are the easiest to learn and will set a solid foundation for your development of playing rock guitar.

But first, we must tune-up!

Before you start playing anything on the guitar you want to make sure that you’re in-tune.  Meaning that all six strings are at the correct pitch relative to each other.  This way when you play them they will be in harmony with each other.  And for this, we need a guitar tuner.

When it comes to guitar tuners, there are many to choose from but for getting started I recommend you get a simple clip-on tuner.  These can be found at your local store or online at a place like

How to tune your guitar.

Now that you have learned a little bit about the guitar, you are ready to learn about how to tune it. But before you do, I’d recommend you learn the name of the guitar strings.  This will allow you to know what to tune the guitar strings too.

Names of the Guitar Strings

The names of the strings are (from thickest to thinnest)







A good way to remember this would be to use an acronym.  Eddie Ate Dynamite, Good Bye Eddie.  Or you could do it in reverse.  aster Bunnies Go Dancing After Easter.  Either way is fine, it doesn’t really matter as long as it helps you to remember the strings name.  After you learn and you remember your strings name, you are now ready to tune your guitar with a guitar tuner. I recommend a Snark clip-on tuner.

Learning your first chords.

Once the guitar is in tune and everything is set to go we can now proceed to actually play the guitar and start to make music with it.  And this is where it starts to get fun.

The very first chords you want to learn are your open power chords.  We start with these because they are the easiest to play.  Like stated before, they only require one finger.  Your index or first finger will do.

In addition to that, it is best to learn a little bit how one might read these chords on a sheet of music paper as well.  Like tablature.  This is simplified sheet music for guitar.  Here is an example of what they look like.

Open chords:   E            A            D

your first chords

The horizontal lines represent your guitar strings.  Biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top and the numbers represent the frets in which you will put your fingers.  Except for the 0 which stands for open, which means you play the string without putting your finger on it.

In the example above for the Open E chord, you will place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the fifth string and strum only the sixth & fifth strings.  For the Open A chord same thing just a string down and same for the Open D chord.  These three chords are all formed and played on the second fret.  They just change strings that you play them on.

Strum only two strings.

When playing open power chords with one finger, be sure to only strum the two strings that the chord is on.  This will make it easy to get a good sound out of your guitar to start.  Eventually as time progresses and you learn more complex chord voicings, you’ll strum more strings and get more sound out of your guitar, but for now, just strum the two that the chords are made of.

By taking this approach to form and play simple one finger chords, you will be able to build self-confidence fairly quickly and you will be setting up yourself for closed power chords.  Two note chords that move up and down the fretboard.

Lesson conclusion.

In this lesson, we have learned about how to tune our guitar and start off playing simple one finger chords.  By doing this we are now setting a foundation for our other chords that are needed to learn for playing the art of rock guitar.

There are many guitar chords to learn but these are the easiest and most common to start with for playing rock guitar. Not just guitar mind you, but rock guitar.  This is a certain style of guitar playing.  Very much like Jazz or country or blues.

Now if you are interested in learning more about how to get started playing rock guitar I recommend you check out my book Rock Guitar 101.

Rock Guitar 101

A is a simple step-by-step method book for beginners.  It is designed to teach the fundamental principles of the art with easy to understand lessons and full-color pictures so you can learn easily and get quick results.

It goes over everything that is needed to get started.  From what type of guitar, amp, tuner, chords to learn, how to develop timing for better rhythm playing, intro to lead guitar and much much more.  It even has a rockstar training quiz at the end to make sure the student fully understands the material.

And the best thing about it is no previous musical knowledge is necessary.  This book can be learned by anyone at any age who wishes to learn the art of rock guitar playing.  All that is necessary is the desire to learn and want to get better.

So if you have that desire, check out the book and get started enjoying the fun of playing rock guitar.  You’ll be glad you did. And if any further help is needed, I’m only an email away.

Best of luck and until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins.

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How To Play Guitar Like Angus Young Of AC/DC Secret Solo Techniques

Angus Young

When it comes to playing lead guitar, not many guitar players can match tenacity of Angus Young from AC/DC.  His approach to guitar playing is inspiring and has touched the souls of millions of would-be guitar players worldwide.

With a  straightforward Gibson SG plugged straight into a Marshall amplifier with no pedals set up, Angus’s rig is simple but yet most effective. with a guitar tone that is pure and natural.

He just plugs straight in, dials in his tone and gets after it.  You can’t get more simple than that!  But don’t let the simplicity fool you.  Because it’s not always in the equipment that is being used as it is the techniques he executes with his fingers that create the lead guitar magic.

How to play guitar like Angus Young?

In order to play like Angus Young of AC/DC, you need to understand some of the key techniques that he uses.  Some of the key phrases (guitar licks as they are called) that he incorporates to make the ear perk up and listen.

If you incorporate these key elements into your playing you will be able to play AC/DC songs easier because you’ll have insight into how Angus Young plays guitar as well as be able to add some new and fresh techniques to your own guitar playing and lead guitar compositions.

1.) Type of Guitar, Gibson SG.

Gibson SG

The Gibson SG is a very popular guitar among rock guitar players.  It has been around for years and has been used by some of the best rock guitar players who ever recorded a hit rock guitar song.  People like Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Glen Tipton (Judas Priest) and of course Angus.

This is an Icon guitar and in fact, you never see Angus Young play anything else.  This guitar just fits him.  It’s lightweight and has two stylish pickups designed for maximum output and a look that screams rock guitar.

You can also get this style in Epiphone as well.  An Epiphone SG can be a bit more affordable if you’re just starting out.  Either way, An SG style guitar will be a step in the right direction when it comes to playing guitar like Angus Young.

2.) Type of Amplifier, use a Marshall.

Marshal JTM45 Plexi

When it comes to rock guitar and rock guitar orientated music, there is absolutely no substitute for a Marshall amplifier.  This amp was specifically designed for rock music since Jim Marshal first invented it. If you look at the history of rock music from the late 60’s to the late 90’s, Marshall has been the amp of choice.

In fact, if you have a favorite rock song from that era, chances are it was recorded using a Marshall amplifier.  A Gibson plugged into a Marshall is actually what a lot of people consider the sound of rock!  If you look at rock bands of the 70’s almost all the guitar players, play Gibson (or Gibson style guitars) and they’re plugged into a Marshall amp.

In the 80’s it continued.  Look at all the “Hair-Metal” bands of that era.  But by this time Eddie Van Halen had come along with a strat style guitar he built himself and got a whole generation of guitar players to switch guitars and start using a whammy bar.

Although the guitar changed, the amplifier stayed the same.  Marshall!  So if you want to get the true AC/DC sound, my recommendation……..Get a Marshall!

3.) Learn the minor pentatonic scale.

Minor Pentatonic Scale

This right here is the secret sauce in how to play guitar like Angus Young.  He is what I call, a pentatonic wizard.  He uses this scale to the hilt.  And if you want to play like him, you will need to learn it also.  It is a very common scale used for playing guitar solos.

This box pattern scale (a sequence of notes in a specific order) has been used by all the best!  Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and many, many more. If you are going to play like Angus or learn to understand how to do any of his solos, you will need to learn and master this box pattern.  The minor pentatonic scale.

4.)  Learn to use double stops.

Double stops are where you use two strings together.  This is a very common type of guitar lick in the blues.  Which is the style of music that AC/DC derive from.  Angus Young uses this technique very well in his solos.  Here is an example.

Double stops

Work on playing two strings at the same time and then work on bending them.  This creates a very unique sound that is widely used in lead guitar playing.  When working on this technique, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone (as they call it) because not only will you be mastering double stops, but you’ll also be mastering unison bends.  Which is another common technique Angus uses.

5.)  Master vibrato.

Here is a tricky one.  You need to grab the note with your finger (doesn’t matter which one) everyone’s a bit different, and vibrate the string up and down.  This gives the note a vocal-like effect.  As if your actually singing with the guitar.  Much like a singer’s, vocal chords vibrate.

Guitar String Vibrato

6.) Think rhythm.

I know it sounds weird but it’s true.  You need to think rhythmic style solos.  If you listen to Angus Young, this is how he plays.  On some songs, he might be buzzing like a bee, but on songs like Shook Me All Night Long, Back in Black, Let There Be Rock, Highway To Hell, Dirty Deeds, and countless others, he has more of a rhythm to the solo.

This comes from being creative with linking guitar licks together like a chain.  Now whether he does this consciously or unconsciously it doesn’t matter, he creates a rhythm with his solos.  Which makes him one of the best at what he does because of it.

guitar licks

Lesson Conclusion.

So there you have it.  Six things that Angus uses in his guitar playing and if you want to learn how to play guitar like Angus Young, I highly recommend you master them.  Of course, there are many more things he does, but this should be enough to get you started.

Now if you’d really like to improve your guitar soloing, I recommend you check out my book Lead Guitar Wizardry Volume 1.  Where I show you the fundamental principles necessary to get you sounding like a professional guitar soloing rock god!

Lead Guitar Wizardry

I show you all 5 pentatonic patterns so that you can solo all over the fretboard in any key you desire.  I show you in a simple step-by-step easy to understand method, that gets you results very quickly!

I include easy to understand diagrams and terminology that a person with minimal musical knowledge can easily follow along to.  I go through common guitar licks that are widely used by the master lead guitar players like the ones mentioned above.

I show you how to use hammer=ons, pull-offs, bends, slides, vibrato and much much more!  By the time you get through this training, your lead guitar playing will be transformed into that of a professional. In addition to that, I give you extra training tips that will take your guitar playing to the next level.

So why wait.  Click on the link and order your copy today from Amazon and get started on the path to learning the “sacred knowledge” necessary to becoming a Lead Guitar Wizard!

Best of luck in your learning,

Dwayne Jenkins

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Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review Best For A Beginner To Get Started With

Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review

Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele Review Best For A Beginner To Get Started With

Although I teach guitar and promote learning it for many reasons, I think it is also good to try out the ukulele. This is another stringed instrument that is fun to play and very similar to the acoustic guitar.

Which is the best to start with?

In my opinion, if you’d like to get started and don’t want to invest a lot of money right off the bat (not quite sure if you’re going to like it or not) I recommend starting out with the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.

This is a great started Ukulele for many reasons. It is designed around a bound Lindenwood body for exceptional sound and exceptional looks. It offers a bound fingerboard for comfortable playability with classic open-key tuning machines and a natural wood color.

In addition to that, the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele comes with an instruction book to allow beginners with no prior musical training to easily get started having fun. With full-color diagrams, tuning tips, and easy songs to help build self-confidence.

Learning to play ukulele is a lot of fun and something anyone can do if they want to. You just need a good quality instrument and the desire to want to learn. If you have that desire, then all you have to do is get a good quality ukulele. The Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele is that instrument.

How about a quicker way to learn?

In addition to the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele, I highly recommend a video course that can help you to take your playing to the next level quickly and easily. Ukulele Lessons For Beginners. This video course is well designed and makes learning to play the ukulele fun.  Having fun always makes learning easier with video lessons that are simple to understand.

All you need to do is play along with three7-minute videos a week and you will see your progress skyrocket with a proven system.  And one lesson alone is worth the price of the course.  And while following along with the course you’ll learn how to develop solid practice habits.

Also with a quick and easy video course, you can learn when it is convenient for you.  Whether that be in the morning, afternoon or evening.  You are in control and can learn 24 hours a day 7 days a week and since it is online, you can take it anywhere and have class anywhere you choose.

Ukulele lessons for beginners is highly recommended if you are serious about learning and want to progress fast.  Just purchase the course and you are ready to start having fun.  It can’t get more simple than that.

Lesson Conclusion.

As you can see, the ukulele is a great alternative to the acoustic guitar.  A little bit of a different instrument but a lot of the same concepts apply.  A lot of the chord voicings are similar and the way you approach playing the instrument is similar as well.

So if you’d like to get started with an instrument that sounds great, has easy playability, looks fantastic and is at an affordable price, don’t overlook the Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele.  And if you get the video course I recommend up above, you’ll be having fun inspiring others to want to learn in no time.  You might even get good enough to teach others how to play.  Wouldn’t that be neat?

As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out and I will guide you in the right direction.  Learning and playing a stringed instrument is fun no matter if it’s a guitar or ukulele.  I’m often asked why I don’t teach the ukulele and it’s simply because I don’t have time.

But can still offer advice and guidance to those who do want to learn and experience the fun of playing a stringed instrument like the ukulele.  Best of luck and until next time, take care.


Dwayne Jenkins.

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Rock Guitar 101 Lesson 2 How To Get A Good Rock Guitar Tone!

Marshall rock guitar tone

Knowing how to get a good rock tone is essential to your guitar playing. In fact, many guitar players spend many hours searching for the ultimate tone.

Now for our purposes here, just getting started we don’t need to do that. All we need to do is get familiar with our amplifier. How it works and how to set it up to sound the way we want it to.

What do the amp knobs do?

The amp knobs are the heart and soul of the amplifier aside from the speaker. But the speaker is only going to project what the knobs are dialed in to so we want to make sure we get this part right. And to do that, we need to first learn and understand what they do and how they function.

Marshall MG10 faceplate

Most amplifiers are two channel. One clean channel and one rock channel. I call it the rock channel because it is the channel that has the gain knob that is needed to dial in your rock tone. After all, you can’t be a good rock guitar player without a good rock guitar tone.

In addition to the two channels, the amp is going to have two volume knobs (one for each channel) and either a contour knob (on the smaller practice amps) or a three knob equalizer (bass, mid & treble) to help shape the tone once you get it dialed in.

The proper configuration for a rock guitar tone.

When it comes to amp settings, it is important to know how to configure them.  This is how you get the best rock tone possible.  You combine a little bit of this knob with a little bit of that knob and before you know it, you’ve got the rock tone you’re looking for.

The clean channel is usually just the volume knob and some form of contour knob or a three-band equalizer set up.  Very much like your car or home stereo.  With these knobs, you shape your tone.  Add more bass, take out the mids, or have partial treble.  It’s really all personal preference.

Then there is the second channel the “rock” channel as I like to call it because it has the secret weapon!  The gain knob!  The gain knob is what gives you that sound.  That overdriven distortion sound.  You know, the sound that makes you want to turn it up!  yeah, that’s the sound of rock!

Dial it in and crank it up!

Well if your just getting started you don’t want to crank it up too much, but you know what I mean.  Channel two on the amp (the rock channel) has everything the clean channel has except for the gain knob and when turned clockwise it adds gain to the overall signal.  Your gain is determined by how much you turn the knob.  This is how you create your rock tone.

Learn what your knobs do by experimenting with them and find the tone that you prefer.  It really comes down to you taking time to learn your amplifier and what it’s all about.  Then and only then will you be able to dial in your own rock guitar tone for maximum playability.

How about an alternative?

Well, an alternative to using an amplifier would be to use guitar pedals.  Preferably an overdrive or distortion pedal of some sort.  There are many to choose from but my recommendation would be to choose BOSS pedals.

BOSS pedals have been around since the 70’s and have been used by a lot of the great rock guitar players.  They are made of quality components and have shown they can stand the test of time and is used in the studio and on the road in a band on a daily basis.

I recommend you either choose the DS-1 Distortion pedal

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

(great for getting a classic rock tone like AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc)

or another great choice to produce great one is the MT-2 Metal Zone.

Boss Metal Zone

Which works well for more heavier stuff (like Metallica, Slayer, etc)

There are many pedals to choose from and these are just two I recommend.  It is always best as with anything, to try out a few you like for yourself.  Test them out.  Plug into them and start turning knobs and see how they react and what kind of tone they produce.

Lesson Conclusion.

And like the guitar amplifier discussed earlier in this guitar lesson, you want to experiment with the knobs and find the tone that works for you.  Finding and developing a great rock guitar tone is not too difficult if you put in the time.  Where people have issues is they don’t want to put in the time.  They want someone to just tell them what to do.

That’s the last thing you want.  Music is very personal, so take the proper time to learn your tools of the trade and how they work.  Before you know it, you’ll come up with a sound that is unique to you.  And in the process, you’ll have fun doing it.

And if you’d like to learn more about getting started with learning rock guitar or know someone who is, be sure to purchase my Rock Guitar 101 book on Amazon and get started in the right direction with fun and easy guitar lessons.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Until our next lesson, take care.


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How To Recognize & Understand Chord Embellishments like C/B

Malcolm Young

When learning guitar, you’ll want to be able to know how to recognize & understand chord embellishments like C/B. Or possibly D/F#, Or F/C.

Knowing how to recognize the chords that you might be looking at in a songbook or possibly in tabs on the internet is very important to be able to play a certain song.  Or to possibly add note extensions to a particular chord.

Like for instance C/B

Chord embellishment C/B

In the first chord diagrams, we are playing a C major.  A chord that is one of the basic natural chord shapes in guitar because it is so common in many songs.  In the second diagram, we are changing the root note of the C on the third fret fifth string, to the B note on the second fret fifth string.  This adds a little different sound to the chord.  It gives it a little “darker” tone in the base being that you’re moving the root chord down one fret. You’re still playing a C major chord, you are just embellishing it to give it more character.

How about D/F#?

Chord embellishment D/F#

Here is another very common chord shape you will find in many songbooks and chord charts.  The infamous D/F#.  In this diagram, we have a D major chord with an F# added in the base.  Here we have a natural D chord shape on the second and third strings on the second and third fret.  We then add an F# note on the second fret of the sixth string.  Once again this adds a “darker” tone to the chord.

The F# played over the D chord adds character and a bit different type of emotion to the chord voicing.  If you just play D by itself it can have a nice bright natural sound.  But by adding the F# note embellishment it adds a little bit of moody emotion.  Which can be great for certain types of applications.

Chord embellishments add emotion

musical emotion

By understanding the notes that make up your chords, you can then add texture and emotion to your playing.  Music has been known to move people.  To make them display certain feelings.  Excitement, joy, anger, sadness, etc.  This can all be given recognition to the chords being constructed in the song.

Of course, there is more to it than that, but chords and how they are put together is a huge part of that feeling you get from music.  That is why if you want to move people with your music, you should learn to understand the inner workings of chord construction and playing rhythm.

This is an aspect that I think gets overshadowed by the lead guitar solo.  For example as in AC/DC.  Malcolm lays down the rhythm and Angus plays the solo over the top.  Now when you think AC/DC you picture Angus playing hot lead guitar!  Which he does quite well might I add.  But what is often overlooked is the fundamental rhythm that Malcolm is playing underneath.

Malcolm Young

In fact, a good lead guitar player needs to have a good sense of rhythm in order to play solos over the top.  But it is even more important for the rhythm guitar player to create the emotion of the musical landscape that moves the listener.  This can be seen very clearly in any AC/DC song.  In fact, it can be seen in most rock songs in general.

Understanding music theory

Another great benefit of being able to recognize chord embellishments is the better understanding of music theory.  Understanding music theory will open you up to a whole new world!  A world of endless possibilities.  Where the sky is the limit when it comes to musical composition.  Where you’ll literally learn another sacred language that most guitar players have no idea about.

I say this because most guitar players don’t read sheet music and don’t take the time to learn to understand how music theory works.  They merely play by ear.  Which is good in its own right, but by being able to understand music theory, you’ll be able to soar above the crowd.  You’ll be able to put notes together and know for sure they will sound good.  No fumbling around and guessing.

By knowing your notes (and if you don’t know this by now I highly suggest you get on the ball of learning them) you will be able to clearly see where you can add notes to the chord or take notes away to create variations and alterations in the chord voicing.

Become a rhythm guitar playing alchemist!


A what you ask?

A rhythm guitar playing alchemist.  A person who studies the inner working of properties.  These people were scientists who attempted to turn lead into gold.  By studying the properties that made up the metals they felt they could alter the DNA and change the metal into something else.  Gold!!

In fact, this is what musicians do.  They figure out a way to turn lead into gold.  Well actually Vynl into gold but you know what I mean.  Think about it, when an album sells 500,000 copies it’s considered gold!  If it sells a million copies it’s considered platinum!  See what I’m getting at?

Lesson Conclusion

In my humble opinion, I recommend you take some time to learn how chord embellishments work and use them in your own music to create color and emotion.  This will make your music more enjoyable to listen to and give you greater satisfaction as a guitarist because you understand the inner workings of the guitar.  Which will allow you to unlock its mysteries that someday you may turn lead into gold!

That you will one day create a musical composition that will move people in such a way that they buy it.  Then more people will buy it and if your lucky, you may sell 500.000 copies.  Maybe even more.

Thank you once again for reading this lesson and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I will help.  Be sure to sign up to my guitar club for exclusive training tips that will be delivered directly to your inbox.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins



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Best Type Of Amplifier To Use For Playing Rock Guitar

Marshall amplification

When it comes to playing guitar, you want to make sure you know the best type of amplifier to use for playing rock guitar.

Knowing which amplifier is best when playing electric guitar is vitally important because, without the right one, you won’t be able to get the tone that works with that style of music.  In this case. rock music.

What is the best type of amp to use?

Now since rock & roll’s inception back in the 50’s with Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley (and many others for that matter) guitar players have been searching for the proper guitar amplifier.  The one that has been most popular for years is the Fender amplifier.  Leo Fender saw there was a demand for a better amplifier for the new revolutionary electric guitar that was getting popular at the time.

He could see that guitar players were having trouble getting a good tone.  So he designed amps that worked great for the electric guitar. And after all these decades later, is still an amp favorite today of many great guitar players.

But as guitar playing progressed and rock & roll music developed into more of an expressive art form, guitar players who were learning how to play guitar wanted something with more of an edge.  People like Pete Townsend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton of Cream.

Enter Mr. Jim Marshall.

Jim Marshall was a drummer, teacher, and store owner who sold drum equipment to his drum students.  Ever once in a while, they would bring their guitar playing friends in with them and they asked “why he didn’t sell guitar stuff”  well, he saw the demand and started doing that as well.  By selling guitars and guitar related products he knew he could help guitar players get better also.

Then in 1962, he noticed a request for something with more of an edge.  Something that would give that overblown sound of a radio that distorts when you turn it up too loud.  So,  Jim got a group together and set out to design the first rock amplifier.

Marshall amplifier

His idea takes off

His amplifier was a hit!  More and more people liked his style and sound that he came up with that it became the go-to amp for rock guitar players.  It had that sound that they were looking for.  That sound with an edge.  Throughout the generations, guitar players all over the globe have plugged into a Marshall.  Some of them won’t use anything else.  That’s how awesome it is.

Over the next four generations, Marshall amplification dominated the rock & roll landscape.  Creating all kinds of different models for different applications.

Amp and speaker separate like in the infamous 1/2 stack

Marshall stack amplifier

Or possibly something a bit smaller for playing in the bedroom like a combo amp.

Marshall combo amplifier

I remember when I was younger playing in bands, you were taken seriously if you had a Marshall.  Anything else was considered inferior.  And when it comes to playing rock guitar today.  I think that still stands.  Of course back then you’d have to get a second job to afford such a Cadillac of guitar amplifiers, but when you actually got one and saw why so many great guitar players chose it all the hard work was well worthit.

Since Marshall amps were so popular with rock guitar players it helped to propel rock guitar playing forward.  Over the decades Marshall Amplification has defined the sound of classic rock and if you have a favorite classic rock song (anything from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s) it’s very possible it was recorded using a Marshall!

In fact, it has been said that a Gibson plugged into a Marshall is the sound of rock!  If you look at most rock guitar players n the 70’s they were most likely playing a Gibson plugged into a Marshall.

Gibson guitars

Personally, I like Ibanez.  I think Ibanez is more the modern style of rock guitar.  Of course, it wasn’t dominating the market like Gibson was back in the 70’s but either are both great guitars to plug into a Marshall.  And let’s not forget to mention Fender.  The Fender Stratocaster is an iconic guitar plugged into a Marshall.

Fender Stratocaster

Lesson Conclusion

So as you can see, Marshall amps have been played over the years by all the masters of rock guitar.  People like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Ace Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Pete Townsend, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Zack Wylde.  And that’s, just to name just a few.

So when it comes to getting a good solid rock amp. which one are you going to get?  That’s right, a Marshall!!  And as always if you have any questions about purchasing one just reach out and contact me.  I’m always here to help.

Good luck finding your rock amp.  Be sure to join my guitar club for great insider tips and training to help get your playing to the next level.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

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