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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Best Type Of Guitar For Playing Classic Rock Music

Ibanez S Series

When it comes to playing rock music.  Especially classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Ozzy, & Metallica, you must have the right type of guitar.  A rock guitar.

Playing rock music requires a certain type of guitar for getting its sound.  In fact, every type of music has a guitar that is best suited for it.  If your playing jazz, you want to use a hollow body type guitar as they sound great for that style.  Or if your playing country, a nice Fender telecaster works well, and if your playing blues a nice Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster works well.

Now, of course, you can use one guitar to play all styles like a Fender or Gibson but typically some work better than others for certain styles of music.   And it would be best to look around.  But here are some suggestions.

What’s best for rock music?

Well, when it comes to rock music thee are a few that work really well.  A Gibson Les Paul has bee known to work wonders in the rock genre of music for decades.  And the Fender Stratocaster has been known to produce quite a few guitar heroes in its day.

Leo Fender was considered a genius and was the one to put rock guitar on the map back in the day and players like Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton have influenced millions to pick up an ax (as it’s called in the music world) and carve out their own original musical creations.Fender Stratocaster



And of course, people like Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin fame) and Slash (of GnR fame) has inspired legions of fans to pick up a Les Paul.  Either by Gibson or Epiphone.  Whichever you can afford.  Both Work well.  In fact, if you look at rock bands of the 70″s most of them play a Les Paul.  That is how influential it was.

Gibson Les Paul

Guitarslinger Extraordinaire!

Then in the late 70’s a young guitar slinger named Eddie Van Halen came out of Pasadena California and set the guitar world on fire (literally) with his own original concoction of a Strat and Les Paul combined.  Creating a sound that is still emulated to this day.  He says it is due to years of experimentation.


Eddie Van Halen Frankenstrat

Eddie Van Halen introduced something new to the rock world with his home-made guitar that had a tone that is out of this world.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just listen to that first record “Van Halen” you’ll understand very clearly what I’m talking about.

Modern Age Rock Guitar.

So when you are looking to play rock music with a guitar, all the above mentioned can do the job.  But to me, they don’t do nearly as good as an Ibanez RG or Ibanez S series.  These guitars (very much like the Marshall amp) were born to rock!  Designed to play high voltage rock n roll!

Ibanez RG Ibanez S Series

Plug into one and play it and within the first 5 minutes (if not sooner) you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.  These guitars are designed with high output pickups, sleek body contours and a slim fast neck for fast playing.  Not to mention a floating bridge for getting all those cool rock sounds that send shivers down your spine.


When you set out to find your guitar.  You know the one that is right for you, be sure to take your time.  Look around and try out a few.  You’ll eventually find the one that fits you best.  Whether that be a Fender Strat, Gibson Les Paul (or one like Angus uses, the SG) or an Ibanez RG or S series.  You will find what you are looking for if you put enough time and effort into it.

Once you do, you’ll have acquired your first and most important tool for playing rock guitar. Now it’s off to find the perfect type of rock amp.  That’ll be in the next lesson.

Until then, good luck finding the right rock guitar for you.  And if you have any questions be sure to reach out.  That’s what I’m here for.  And be sure to grab my starter book Rock Guitar 101 on Amazon and join my Guitar Club for exclusive training tips sent right to your email.

Sincerely, Dwayne.

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How To Get Started Playing Rock Guitar

best guitar player

One of the things that are hardest at the beginning of a venture is getting started. Guitar playing is no different. Rock Guitar 101 will show you how to get started playing rock guitar quickly and easily. Even if you have absolutely no prior musical knowledge. It’s that simple!

What is needed first?

What’s needed first when playing rock guitar is the correct type of guitar.  With so many to choose from nowadays, it’s hard to know which one is best.

Well here are a few ideas to begin with:

  1. The IBANEZ RG450DX

This guitar is perfectly designed for playing rock music.

  • The Ibanez RG series of guitars has remained a standard in rock music for the last couple of decades, thanks to the effortless playability of its Wizard III neck. Switching between aggressive rhythm playing and wild lead lines is effortless on this slim-profile neck. Guitarists love the feel and playability of the Ibanez’s RG guitars. You will, too!

2. The Fender Standard Stratocaster

This guitar defined the rock music genre when it was invented.

  • The Standard Series is the perfect choice for any musician looking to upgrade to a professional level instrument
  • The “C” shaped tinted neck provides universal comfort and elegant styling
  • Achieve the classic iconic tones that only a Fender Stratocaster with three single-coil pickups can provide
  • Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with a high-mass block provide increased sustain and enhanced tuning stability
  • Reduced hum provided by the shielded body cavities.Rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets

3.  The Epiphone Les Paul

This guitar has been played by millions of rock guitar players.

  • With a set neck, rosewood fingerboard, and Trapezoid inlays, this Standard is that and much more. Cream binding on the body and neck and a Locking Tune-o-Matic bridge, this guitar is a gift that keeps giving
  • The Les Paul Standard Plus-Top PRO has the very popular Epiphone ProBucker 2 and ProBucker 3 pickups. If that wasn’t”t enough it also offers the neck pickup volume with push/pull coil-tapping and the Bridge pickup volume with push/pull coil tapping
  • Like every Epiphone, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top PRO features a Limited Lifetime Warranty backed by world famous 24/7/365 Gibson Customer Service. Be a part of history today with the Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro

4. The Schecter Omen

This is a fairly new model that has become very popular for playing rock.

  • The Omen-6 features a Basswood Body with a bolt-on Maple Neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Schecter Diamond Plus Pickups
  • Black Chrome Hardware with Schecter Tuners
  • Tune-O-Matic Bridge with String Through

What’s next after acquiring a great rock guitar?

Now you want to find a nice rock guitar amplifier.  This is very important because it allows you to get the rock “sound” that is needed for this style of music.  Without the proper amplifier, you will not be able to get the right guitar tone and you won’t be inspired to play.

Here are a few practice amps to take into consideration.

  1.   Marshall MG10
  • Clean & overdrive channels
  • Gain channel contour control
  • Custom 6.5-inch speaker
  • A line in for jamming along with tracks
  • Emulated headphone output

2.  Marshall MG15CF

  • Compact size for practice and small jams, featuring critically acclaimed Marshall analog tone
  • Output (RMS): 15W, Speaker: 1×8″
  • Channels (storable): Clean, Crunch, OD1, OD2, Digital Effects: Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, Vibe, Octave, Digital Reverb: Spring, Studio
  • Internal FDD, Mp3/ Line In jack, Emulated headphone Output and MG Foot controller Compatible
  • Includes: ChromaCast Pro Series 10ft Cable and ChromaCast Pick Sampler

3.  Fender Mustang 

  • With a turn of a knob, choose from clean to mean tones from the 17 various amp models that will accommodate almost any genre of music.
  • Shape the onboard amp models ‘on the fly’ or dig deep and edit them with your computer using the included Fender FUSE software to further alter the included effects such as reverb, delay/echo, tremolo, phaser and many more.
  • Jam along with your favorite tracks by simply plugging your MP3 player into the Auxiliary input and you instantly become part of the band and /or practice privately with the 1/8th headphone output jack that also mutes the speaker output.
  • Capture moments of inspiration and build songs using the included Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition studio-quality recording software compatible with either MAC or PC, Controls: Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass, Master, Preset Select, Modulation Select, Delay/Reverb Select, Save Button, Exit Button, Tap Tempo Button
  • Limited Warranty Included

4.  Orange Crush20

  • Foot switchable channels
  • Analog signal path
  • CabSim loaded headphone output
  • New High gain preamp design, 4 stage preamp
  • 20 Watts

I believe any of these amplifiers will work just fine for getting the rock tone that is necessary for playing rock music.

Now You Get In-Tune

Having the instrument in-tune is most important.  Without it you won’t sound good, even if you know how to play.  So make sure you acquire a good solid guitar tuner.  Once again there are many to choose from.  Here is one I’d recommend.

Snark Clip-on Tuner

  • Full-Color Display
  • Features frequency range tailored to guitar and bass
  • The tuner can be used on the front of back of headstock, Rotates 360°
  • Very popular model for hobbyists and professionals alike

Now all you need is a standard guitar cable to plug the guitar into the amp and your set to start having fun.

Oh, there is one more thing

Some good training material to help get you started and headed in the right direction.  Enter the book Rock Guitar 101.  A book designed to get you started with a simple step-by-step method for easy learning and quick results.

Rock Guitar 101

Rock guitar 101 is a system of methodology that takes you through the basics of learning how to play rock guitar.  Getting the right tools of the trade, learning your first rocks chords, creating rhythm, reading and understanding sheet music plus an introduction to lead guitar and popular rock song riffs.

This book is filled with full-color photos and diagrams for easy learning with no previous musical knowledge required. Plus additional training tips are presented as a bonus along with a rockstar quiz to make sure the student understands the material thoroughly.

Once you get through this training, you will have a well-versed understanding of the fundamental principles associated with playing rock guitar.  In addition, you will have a smile on your face due to being able to play some rock guitar song riffs.


By acquiring the proper tools and training in the very beginning of any new venture you are going to able to progress faster than you ever thought possible.  You are going to be able to get quicker results and you are going to have more fun in the process.

So if you’re interested in playing rock guitar, make sure to get all the elements needed to get you started and I guarantee you that you will see results fast!!


Because you took the time to do it right!  The way it should be done.  And if you still have questions, feel free to contact me so as I may help guide you in the right direction, and get you on your way to having fun playing rock guitar.  Be sure to sign up to my Guitar Club where you’ll receive exclusive training tips to help you improve your guitar playing.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins


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Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Product Review

Boss DS1 pedal

The Boss DS1 distortion pedal is one of the most popular guitar pedals on the market today.  And has been used on countless classic rock song recordings.

It is a true icon in the world of guitar effects. It was first Introduced in 1978, and as BOSS’s first distortion pedal it defined a whole new sound.  It can deliver a multitude of applications.  From a bone-crushing hard-edged attack to a warm smooth milky tone with sustain. The ds1 pedal can do it all.

DS1 pedal ease of use.

With simplicity in design and three knob configuration allows the guitar player to easily create their own original sound.  The way they envision it to be. This ease of use, the Boss DS1 distortion pedal can easily be used for creating a nice solid rhythm tone or used as a boost for guitar solos.  The Boss DS1 distortion pedal is constructed of sturdy metal and will provide enjoyment that will last a lifetime.

Boss DS1 distortion pedal

All-time Best Selling guitar pedal.

The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal is one of the top-selling compact guitar effects ever.  Its original design has not changed.  Although it has been imitated by other pedals that look similar, it continues to top the charts in inspiring musicians everywhere to create great music.

Classic DS-1 tone is behind the sound of numerous rock legend recordings and is ready to fuel your own artistic style to make you a rock legend.  You just have to get one, plug it in, dial in your tone and let your fingers fly.

A new innovation in sound.

Most distortion pedals of the past produced a harsh, buzzy tone that was muddy at high gain settings. Then engineers at Boss changed all that by developing a unique distortion circuit for the DS-1 that produces a tight, hard-edged gain with rich harmonics while retaining the unique characteristics of different guitars and playing techniques.

Popular across the board.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, and the DS-1’s tone had a major influence on the rock genre of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk. As these styles began to flourish the popularity of the DS1 grew as well.   In time other distortion pedals have hit the market to provide a variety of choices.

DSI distortion pedal alternatives.

MXR  M75 Super Badass Distortion  

 MXR distortion pedsl

This highly responsive Distortion pedal covers a full spectrum, from early ’70s low gain overdrive to modern “scooped” metal distortion and every shade of dirt in between.

Electro Harmonix Nano Big Muff Distortion

Big Muff distortion

The Nano Big Muff Pi works and sounds identical in every way to our classic NYC Big Muff Pi.  Crushing distortion, singing sustain, and true bypass.  As you can see, very similar to the DS1.  A three knob sound creation option as well as working with a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter.

Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal Review Conclusion.

There are many more options when it comes to distortion pedals.  These are just a couple.  I recommend you check them out as well as others at your local music store.  Look at reviews online and find the one that is right for you.  What’s great about guitar pedals is that the variety is so, that you will find one that fits your personality and style of playing.  If you look hard enough.

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the Boss DS1 distortion pedal.  It has stood the test of time for a reason.  I personally use one and have for over 20 years.  It has been consistent, reliable and held up over many gigs, recording sessions and guitar lessons.

Thanks for reading my review and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.  If you haven’t already, be sure to join my guitar club for insider tips to improve your guitar playing.

Best of luck in finding your sound with a distortion pedal.

Sincerely, Dwayne.

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How To Set Guitar Goals For Quicker Results

setting guitar goals

Learning how to set guitar goals is essential to your development of becoming a great guitar player. So do not overlook this crucial element to your guitar playing success.

This helps your overall learning because it gives you the direction of where you are going and why you want to go there. Most people who learn guitar just start learning.  They get a guitar and just go for it.

Is just going for it a good idea?

While this approach can produce results, they can be a bit unorganized which can eventually deflate the guitarist’s inspiration and motivation to practice. Why? Because when they run into roadblocks and hurdles they simply stop.  Which is never a good idea.  Setting guitar goals can help eliminate this problem and keep you on the journey to guitar success.

By setting guitar goals you choose a destination, you find a reason as to why you want to learn and begin to think and get focused on what it will take to get you there.

Developing the proper mindset for success.

This is very important as all great achievers in all walks of life have accomplished this.  Your success will be no different.  You must learn to develop successful practice habits to stay on track.  This will lead to faster results and more fun during practice time.

You will be more focused as to what is needed to get to where you are going and you will be willing to do whatever it takes to get you there.  This is the mindset of a successful person.  No matter if you are trying to be great at winning a race or playing guitar.

New vision sets the mind to think of new ideas.

What helps you to progress in your guitar playing beside following a certified system of learning is to think of new ideas.  Setting goals helps the mind to do this.  It activates the mind to start thinking of ways to accomplish this the fastest way possible.

How to improve your guitar learning.  How to get you there in the quickest way possible (well not too quick, you will have to put in practice time) and what course of action to take.  It all comes down to what you want and where you want to go.

Are your guitar goals Specific?

guitar goal specific

Become crystal clear in your vision.  The more you think about it, the more clarity you will receive.  You will know where it is you want to go, you will know what your destination is.  But you must get specific on what that is.  Like taking a vacation.  You are specifically clear on where that is.

Make sure it is measurable.

Can you measure your journey of getting there?  If your traveling to say, Disneyland, how many more miles to go after you get started?  How many miles traveled so far?  You want to be able to measure your success rate.  That way you know if you are still on track or not.

Is it actually attainable?

guitar goals attianable

Is your guitar goal actually attainable?  Can you actually get there with your personal schedule and time investment?  What about financial investment?  What about emotional investment?  All this must be taken into consideration when heading down that road to achieving excellence in your guitar playing.

Is it a realistic goal?

Any goal can be realistic.  Well almost.  As long as it scientifically possible.  I mean you couldn’t bicycle to the moon.  At least not yet anyway.  And besides, even if it was possible, you probably wouldn’t last the journey.  It would take too long.

That is what I mean by realistic.  You want your goal to be a little realistic to be able to achieve.  Let’s face it, none of us are going to be the next Jimi Hendrix by practicing here and there.  No way.  We would have to put in massive dedication and commitment to the craft to get that good.  If you have the time though, I believe you can do it.

Can you get there in time?

You want your goal to have a timeline.  When do you actually plan on getting there?  How long should it take?  If you traveled a great distance on an airplane, the pilot would know exactly where you are going.  He would know the best route to take and when you are supposed to get there.  You too must know this.

Now that doesn’t mean you might not run into some snags along the way that are going to trip you up.  Because it probably will happen as it happens to the best of them.  But you got to keep your timeline in check and keep on moving forward knowing you can do it.

Guitar goal setting conclusion.

So there you have it.  Reasons for why it is a good idea to set guitar goals.  How to do it and why it is a good idea.  If you don’t have this set up yet, no worries.  Most guitar players don’t.  But if you do get it taken care of I can guarantee you that you will rise above the majority in your field of endeavor.

Of course, you don’t have to set any goals and you can still progress forward, but it will be a little progress here and there and not an enjoyable journey to your destination.  They say “the fastest path between two points is a straight line” and they are right.  It is.  Goal setting provides this straight line.

So set your goals and if you need help in this area, be sure to join my guitar club right here on my site where I teach you more in-depth on how to progress in your learning the best way possible.  The quickest route with enjoyment along the way.

Until our next lesson, take care.


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Learn To Play Like Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Learn to play like Jimi Hendrix with three different chord types.  This will allow you to play his music, understand his approach and use these chord types in your own songs.

Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitar wizards. Meaning he was doing things with the guitar that most people hadn’t even thought of yet.  And in doing so, left his audience in total amazement!

See, you must think about doing something, visualize doing it and then move into action actually physically doing it.  Of course, he might not have been the first to do all the crazy things he did with the guitar, but Jimi Hendrix was definitely the first to bring it to the attention of the masses.

Common Chord Shape # 1. The infamous Jimi Hendrix chord E7#9

This is a jazz chord and utilizes all fingers.  Quite advanced from using power chords.  Be sure to practice forming this chord to get it to sound clean and ring out with clarity. This can enhance creativity.

Jimi Hendrix Chord

Work on getting this chord down as it will be a fundamental building block for future chord shapes you might want to explore. In doing so, learn to switch between chord shapes for maximum efficiency.

Common Chord Shape #2. Moving the F chord shape up the fretboard.

This is another chord type that Jimi Hendrix uses in his music.  You simply take your natural F chord shape that you normally play at the first three frets and move it up the fretboard.

Jimi Hendrix chords F shape

Now to be able to do this well you need to try to get your thumb over the top to capture the low E string. This will allow the chord to sound correct as you move it up and down the fretboard.

Common Chord Shape #3.  The Octave chord.

This is another very common chord type that Jimi Hendrix uses in his music.  You can find this in songs like Purple Haze and Fire just to name a few. This is a very simple chord type.  Use two fingers on two strings with an open or muted string in between.

Jimi Hendrix Octave Chord

The notes in this type of chord are played individually like in the intro to Purple Haze or together like in Fire.  Listen to these two songs and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Lesson Conclusion.

Jimi Hendrix used many techniques in his music and I would recommend getting some books on his music and watching some videos to learn more about his style and of course listen to his music to fully understand his approach to playing guitar.

Who knows, maybe you’ll learn some techniques you can use in your songs to make people say “Wow, how do he/she do that?” But in order for that to happen, you must be committed to the instrument and develop good practice habits.

Best of luck to you and be sure to sign up to my guitar club for future training tips and tricks to help with your guitar playing. And if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

Sincerely, Dwayne

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How To Form And Play Bar Chords The Easy Way

Bar chords can be some of the most difficult chord types to master. But bar chords can become a lot easier to form and play when you learn these three simple training tips.

Training Tip #1 Learn The Bar.

Learn to form the bar.  This is done with the index finger of your fretboard hand.  You need to get used to holding down all six strings with your index finger when playing a bar chord.  This is not easy at first.  That is why it is necessary to do this technique first.  Learn to form and hold the bar.  This can take some time because your muscles need to be developed in order for you to do this.

Most people give up at this stage.  But not you right?  You are going to master the bar chord because you see all the benefits and uses it has when playing guitar.  With a bar chord, you can switch between chords fairly easy by just moving the shape up and down the fretboard.  This will benefit you in many ways later down the stretch in your playing.  But first, you must learn to form and hold the bar.

Training Tip #2. Learn The Power Chord.

Learn the power chord.  This chord will allow you to stretch your fingers out where they need to be to properly form the bar chord.  By first learning how to form and play the two string power chord, you go through a prerequisite for the infamous bar chord.  Learning the power chord first can really help because it trains the fingers to be in the proper place. You need to take some time to learn to stretch out your fingers.

bar chord





This is highly important as this chord type requires the use of all fingers.  So if you first concentrate on just your index and ring finger first, you can then add your second and fourth fingers to form the whole bar chord.

Training Tip #3 Learn To Move The Chord.

Move the chord up and down the fretboard.  Forming the bar chord is just the first step.  Once that is accomplished, it is now time to learn to move it up and down the fretboard.  Like I said before, this is a very beneficial chord to learn when playing guitar because it has so many uses and applications that can really expand your playing.

When you learn how to form the bar chord, you can then choose to make it major, minor diminished, augmented, seventh, etc, etc, etc.  The uses for a well-formed bar chord are endless.  That is why they are very popular in playing guitar.  And must be mastered if you are to become a great guitar player. Moving the bar chord up and down the fretboard allows for easy chord changes without changing the chord shape.  This is why it is so beneficial to master.

Bar chord Conclusion.

Take some time to learn your bar chord.  It is well worth the effort.  It will take some time in the beginning, but if you take it one step at a time and do these three training tips I have presented to you here in this lesson, you will find that you will be able to form and play the bar chord a lot easier.  You will soon discover all the wonderful things you can do with the bar chord and how it can expand your playing and spark your creativity.

Additional training guides:

Practice Routine Development

How To Switch Between Chords Easily!

Improve Your Guitar Playing Today!

If you need any additional help, feel free to reach out.  That’s what I’m here for.

Until our next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins

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Become A Better Guitar Player Today

Better guitar player

Become a better guitar player by developing the habits of greatness.

We all strive to be the best guitar player we can be no matter what style we play, no matter if we play rhythm, lead or both.  We want to be the best guitar player we can possibly become to enjoy what we are doing.  But sometimes it can be hard. If the right qualities are not developed.

It’s these qualities that will make all the difference in your playing.  It’s these qualities that will determine if you stick with it long enough to get good quickly, or if you’ll hinder your progress by being unfocused jumping around from topic to topic.

My journey to becoming a better guitar player.

I remember when I was young starting out I didn’t have the power of the internet so I had to learn the hard way.  I learned from other guitarists showing me a thing or two here and there (which I would forget half the time when I got home) or I would have to learn from books as I didn’t have the funds to take lessons.

Without being able to afford good equipment like Gibson guitars & Marshall amplifiers which seemed to be the norm back in those days, I didn’t think I would do well.  Because all I had was a used knock-off guitar (series 10 I think it was) and a used beat up crate amplifier. Not the greatest tone in the world but I made it work.

Eventually, I was able to upgrade to better equipment but what I did have was the desire to learn.  The drive and willpower to move ahead and get better no matter what.  So in this lesson, we’ll look at Top 10 qualities needed to become a better guitar player today.

better guitar player

Top 5 Qualities needed to become a better guitar player today!

1.) You must have a Goal

Having a goal is important. Without it you are going nowhere.  Why, because you have no destination.  It would be like getting into your car and not knowing where to drive.  Sure you can do that, but you’ll waste a lot of time figuring out where to go as you drive around.  So make sure you have a goal or destination where you want to go and what you want to accomplish with your guitar playing.

2.) Be determined to give it all you got

You must be determined to become a better guitar player. When I was starting out I didn’t have great equipment but I had great determination!  I knew where I wanted to go and I was determined to give it all I got to get there.  I wanted to be the best guitar player I could be and with the willpower to do so, I did.  You must also possess this skill in order to get to where you are going and become the best guitar player you can be.

3.) You must develop discipline

Discipline is one of the hardest things to develop.  Especially now in the digital age we live in.  We are constantly being bombarded with everyone trying to get our attention.  Whether it be the latest social media post, youtube video or ad coming from Google, we are in constant distraction mode.

Developing discipline can be extremely difficult. But as stated above, this is a must if you are to become a better guitar player. It is this discipline that will make all the difference in your progress.  Without discipline, you will not become the best guitar player you can possibly be.  You’ll just become average.

4.) Let time take its course

Whenever we learn something new we must go through what’s called a learning curve.  The time it takes to develop new skill sets.  Learning the guitar is no different.  At the beginning of my journey, I went through a serious learning curve.  I had to practice for hours on the fundamentals and develop patience knowing that I would get there eventually.

Give it time.  This is another hard step to accomplish in today’s society because we live in a world of instant gratification.  Which can make it hard to learn and stay focused on our objectives.  Only by being patient and giving it time to develop will you get over this hurdle.

5.) Practice Consistently

You must apply yourself on a consistent basis at whatever you choose to do.  You must get a practice routine developed, you must provide a place for you to practice and you must be there practicing on a daily basis to see any progress at all.  If you pick up the guitar here and there, you won’t accomplish much.  And when you do make progress when you practice it will start to diminish when your d=not engaged in the activity.

This is just the way it is.  Not my opinion, this is a fact!!  That is why these 5 qualities need to be developed for you to become the best guitar player that you can possibly be.  So be sure to look inside yourself and see how bad you want it and what it is your willing to do to get it.

In Conclusion

It all comes down to you!  What you want, how bad you want it and how hard your willing to work to get it!  That is why developing these habits over time will make all the difference in your guitar playing progress.  You must learn discipline.  You must stay focused.  You must have a goal or destination.  You must have a plan of action to get you there.  And above all, you must have the faith and courage to head down the rocky road to get there.

No accomplishment in anything we do in life comes easy.  If it did we’d all be successful.  But in reality, only a very small percent of people ever reach their destination.  Will you reach yours?  You will if you develop these top 5 qualities needed to become a better guitar player today.

Additional training tips:

The importance of learning guitar licks

How to enhance your guitar playing creativity

Until next time, take care.


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