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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How To Enhance Your Guitar Playing Creativity By Using 7th Chords

7th Chords can be used to enhance your guitar playing creativity.  If you know how to form them and move them around the fretboard.  With a simple easy trick and the right mindset, you can do this quite easily.

Enhance Your Creativity By Using 7th Chords

Being able to form this one chord shape will allow you to open up your creativity in new ways.  It will allow you to think about what your playing and develop your musical knowledge of the fretboard.

If you need to learn how to read chord charts, I suggest you check out my lesson on this topic.  It will really help you out in this lesson.

How to read chord charts in 7 easy lessons

By being able to form this one chord shape, the C7 and move it up and down the fretboard, you can create all kinds of cool sounds quite easily.  You just add your pinky to the C major chord (which is your flattened 7th note of the major scale) and move the chord up and down the fretboard.

Here is what I mean.  C Major scale:  C D E F G A B C each one of these letters has a number value.  If you look at the scale the numbers are 1-8.  Which means, the 7th of the scale would be the B.  If we flatten it (bring it back by one fret, this note now becomes an A# or Bb (same note) which is the note that the pinky is now laying.

Adding the pinky to form the 7th chord.

Adding the pinky can be a bit tricky at first.  But it is necessary for this exercise and chord shape.  Her are some tips to help you include your pinky in your guitar paying.

1.)  Work on finger exercises.  This will help limber up your fingers before you play.

2.)  Always include your pinky when ever you can.  This will allow you to form chord extensions along with the 7th.  like sixth’s 9th’s and so forth.

3.)  Be aware of the enhancement qualities you can develop by using your pinky in your playing.  You will be able to play things most people can’t.

Find additional chords quickly by knowing your notes

By knowing your notes and being able to see them on your fretboard, you will be able to find chords quickly. You will be able to create chord progressions and figure out ways to alter chord shapes and add substitutes.  But this takes time.  You must study the fretboard.  If you need help in this area be sure to check out this lesson.

How to recognize notes on the fretboard

Practice this technique of forming the 7th chord and moving it up and down the fretboard. Look at ways to play the chord easier for your own enjoyment.  Look for different ways you can find chords on the fretboard as well.  Like for instance, where can you find the A7 chord with this shape?  How about if you go from the C7 to the G7.  How many frets apart are these two chords?  What if you try a progression like C7 to F7 to G7?  Where along the fretboard would these chords be located?

These are the things you want to master.

1.)  What your notes are on each string,

2.)  what your major scale formula is

3.)  where these chords reside non the fretboard

4.)  In any key

By being able to form the C7 chord shape and repeatedly move it up and down the fretboard you are going to able to enhance your guitar playing by creating new exciting tones.  And when you add different types of picking as well as rhythm patterns, your going to be able to expand your playing ability.  Your going to be able to recognize chord shapes within songs that you otherwise would have not.

Lesson Conclusion

When it comes to improving your guitar playing over all you must keep learning.  Learning new note locations, new chord shapes, new scale patterns and new music theory.  You want to keep experimenting with new tools to move your guitar playing forward.

Make sure you develop a practice routine for accelerated learning.  Make sure to set your goals so you know where your going.  Be sure to practice and study on a daily basis.  Even if it’s just a little bit.  It will help improve your development of motor skills and memory retention.

And if additional help is needed, check out The Guitarists Chord Book.  This  has helped me out in my learning over the years quite well.  If it helped me, I know it will help you too.

Here’s some additional lessons to look into as well.

How to find any major scale when playing guitar

Dunlop crybaby wah review 

How to switch between chords quickly and easily

Until our next lesson, take care.


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The Importance Of Learning Guitar Licks To Become a Great lead Guitar Player

Jimmy Page in concert

One of the key elements of learning lead guitar is learning guitar licks.

Guitar licks are what guitar solos are made up of.  It’s not just learning the scale that is important, its learning guitar licks.  And this is best done by learning them from your favorite players.  By doing this you begin to learn what notes are necessary & how they are put together to create guitar solos.  In doing so you start to develop a feel for this style of playing. Lead guitar.

Lead Guitar Playing

This form of playing is a lot of fun but requires far more discipline than just playing rhythm.  Rhythm guitar has it’s challenge’s as well, don’t get me wrong and if you’d like to know more about developing your rhythm playing I’d highly recommend you grab my book “Rock Guitar 101” on Amazon.

Playing lead guitar is a bit different in the fact that solos are usually only played once in a song and being that’s the case they don’t get imprinted on the mind as easily as rhythms do.  Rhythms are easier to remember because they repeat themselves multiple times in the song. Solos do not.

What your approach to learning to be a good lead guitar player will be to “cop licks” (as they call it in rock & roll) from your favorite players & eventually take those phrases & rhythm patterns (yes solos have a rhythm to them) & begin to put your own mark on them.

It’s best not to put too much emphasis on your equipment, although this is important to your overall sound, your sound comes from your fingers & brain. How you approach the guitar & how you decide to put notes together.

Common Lead Guitar Licks To Learn

In this guitar lick, you bend the third string up at the seventh fret and then pick the second string on the fifth fret and the first string on the fifth fret.  This probably the most common guitar lick there is and used in multitudes of guitar solos.

lead guitar lick

In this guitar lick, you pull off from the eighth fret to the fifth fret on the second string then play the seventh fret on the third string and then the fifth fret on the second string. This is all one lick that makes use of the pull off.  Very common technique in playing lead guitar.

Lead Guitar Lick

In this example, you use two pull-offs.  One on the second string from the eighth fret to the fifth. Then one on the third string from the seventh fret to the fifth.  This technique can be utilized on all the stings in the scale.  Or any scale for that matter.  You just have to make sure you know the interval of the notes.

Lead guitar lick

In this last example, a combination of techniques is used.  You start with sliding up to the fifth fret on the first string then the eighth fret on the second string with a pull off from the eighth fret to the fifth.  Then you proceed to the third string seventh fret down to the second string fifth fret back up to the third string seventh fret with a bend then play the fifth fret on the same string with a tremolo added.

lead guitar lick

Utilizing personality techniques to create guitar phrasing that sounds interesting.

If you just play the scale (any scale no matter what kind it is major, minor, diminished, etc) by itself it sounds good played in the correct place on the fretboard and at the right time.  But when you use techniques like bends, slides, hammer-ons etc the scales come alive with personality.  Your personality.  They become an expression of you.

This is what you are aiming for.  Being able to put you into the music.  And the best way to do this is by learning guitar licks from songs of your favorite players.  You start out by:

1.)  Learning the scale pattern (start with something simple like the pentatonic)

2.)  Learning the individual licks (bends, slides, vibrato etc)

3.)  Learn to read these in tablature format

4.)  Look at solos from your favorite players

5.)  See how these are put together to create phrasing

6.)  Use these concepts and techniques to create your own solos.

Follow a system to accomplish all this faster!

The best way to go about this is to follow a system that can clearly show you how to do this.  That is why I wrote Lead Guitar Wizardry.  A book that clearly shows you in a clear and concise way of accomplishing exactly what is stated above.  This system will show you exactly how to get started playing lead guitar in such a way that it will be fun and easy to understand.

Although you will still need to study & practice on a daily basis.  Because like I’ve stated before, lead guitar playing requires more discipline and a higher commitment to the instrument.  So if you feel this is you, check out the book.  It will teach you all you need to know to get headed in the right direction of becoming a lead guitar player.

Additional training:

5 tips that will improve your playing today

How to enhance your guitar playing with 7th chords

Until the next lesson, take care.


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Planet Waves Capo Review & Lesson On How To Use

acoustic guitar with capo

Today’s lesson is about how a Planet Waves Capo can expand your guitar playing abilities.

By adding a capo to your guitar toolbox, it will allow you to expand your possibilities on what you can do with your guitar.

We will be learning what a capo is, and how to use it.  And for this lesson, I will recommend the Planet Waves, NS Tri-Action Capo.  

Acoustic & electric guitars are great because they are:

  1. Portable.  Can be taken and played just about anywhere

  2. Minimal cost invested.  Easy to get started on.

  3. Don’t always require an amplifier.

Now one accessory that is common with the acoustic or electric guitar is a capo.

What is a Planet Waves Capo?

A capo is a device you clamp on to the fretboard that allows you to change the pitch of the guitar.  This is very helpful for singers who play to get the guitar to match the key that they sing in.  Or for a guitar player to accompany a singer and get the instrument to match the voice of the singer.

It also allows you to play open guitar chords that would normally be played on the first three frets higher up the fretboard.  If you look at the picture above you will see this very clearly.

This device can be useful for playing acoustic or electric guitar.  As the two instruments have the same notes on their fretboard.  But it is most commonly used on an acoustic.

The way this works is you clamp the capo on the guitar neck in a certain spot (say 3rd fret)  and play the guitar as you would normally.  Except now you can play your natural chords (Am. C. G. F. etc) further up the neck.

Benefits of using the Planet Waves Capo

As you begin to do this, you will see how the timbre of the guitar changes.  This is very helpful for playing certain songs that use this device.  It can be placed anywhere on the fretboard and can be useful for a multitude of applications.

With all this in mind, the capo I recommend using is the Planet WavesNS  Tri-Action Capo.  Which can be adjusted to fit your hand strength & your guitar neck string tension.

The Planet Wave Capo is designed for use on any 6 string acoustic or electric guitar.  It has a micro-tension adjustment screw to assure buzz-free in-tune performance at any fret.

With its tri-action geometry design, it is easy to operate with one hand and can easily clamp on to your headstock when not in use.  No longer are the days when you need to wrap the capo around the guitar neck to clamp it in place.  The Planet Waves Capo is spring loaded to give you easy installation & movement for use. anywhere on the fretboard.

It’s also made of quality aircraft grade aluminum construction. This allows for the weight to be light while providing strong durability for years of professional or recreational use. By adding a capo to your guitar playing tools, you’ll be able to expand your song repertoire and enhance your playing skills.

How to use a capo:

  1. Decide where on the fretboard you are going to use it.

  2. Clamp it onto the guitar neck in the desired position

  3. Strum the strings to make sure all strings are clamped properly & ring out.

  4. Form chords as you would in the open position around the first three frets.

  5. Play like you normally would.  Whether that be with a pick or with your fingers.

  6. Notice how the timbre of the guitar changes.

This little device can really open up your playing and if you sing and play, it can really help you out there as well.  Because with the capo, you can adjust the guitar to fit the key (pitch) that you sing in if it’s a bit higher than normal.

This device is essential if you have a player that inspires you to learn & they use a capo.  And in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the Planet Waves NS Tr-Action Cspo.

I myself use this capo and after using many others throughout my career of playing & teaching guitar, I find the Planet Waves Capo to be a professional quality product that is most helpful in this area of playing guitar.  And when I’m not using it I simply clamp it on my acoustic guitar headstock and don’t worry about it until I need to use it again.

Then when I do, I just grab it with my fretboard hand & clamp it on the neck where necessary & I’m good to go.  It allows for quick key change for different songs that require a capo when I’m playing a set of songs.

So if you are looking to add diversity to your playing be sure to grab a Planet Waves Capo and watch how your creativity is sparked into new directions.  And as always if you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

Be sure to check out additional lessons:

How to improve your picking technique

How to switch between chords quickly & easily

Dunlop Crybaby Wah Review

Thank you for reading.  Until our next lesson, take care.


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How To Find Any Major Scale When Playing Guitar

Music Theory

How to find any major scale when playing guitar is a skill all guitarists should know.

The reason this is so important to learn is that they are the foundational building blocks of music.  So learning a lesson in this area of the guitar will really benefit your playing.  For this lesson, we are going to use the scale of C Major.

What makes the major scale fun, is that the notes become the “Do Ra Me” we all know from either school or movies.  If you’ve heard this Do Ra Me before it is because it represents the major scale.  We use the C major scale for this example because it has no sharps or flats in the notes.  Any major scale is made up of 8 notes.  By knowing how to find these 8 notes, you are able to find any scale for creating an unlimited arrangement of possibilities.

If we look at the C Major scale, we start on C and go through the alphabet we get the notes C D E F G A B C.  As you can see, no sharps or flats.  Easy to understand.  If we give each note a number value we get 1-8.  The C is the 1 the B is the 2, C is the 3 and so forth.  Up to 8 notes (the 8th note representing the 1 of the next octave) and these 8 notes in all keys are what you want to master!

8 Notes Of The C Major Scale:

C     D    E    F  G  A   B   C = Notes

1      2    3    4   5   6   7    8 = Numbers

Do Ra Me Fa So La Te Do = Syllables

This works with all Scales.  Major or minor.  They just have different notes because of the difference in keys, but the formula stays the same.  Master this.  Remember it.  It will serve you well throughout your guitar study.

How To Find The Major Scale

Any major scale can be found on the guitar on any fret on any string if you just know the formula!  That’s right, the musical formula!  The way it works is simple.  One fret represents a “1/2” step.  So for example, if we moved from a B note to a C note which is right next to it, that would be considered a 1/2 step.  If we move two frets, that would be considered a “Whole” Step.

The major scale can be broken down into a formula that uses this information.  The Major scale formula using 1/2 & whole steps are.  W-W-H-W-W-W-H.  This magical formula will allow you to find any scale on any fret on any string.  Let’s look at it in more detail.

Key= C  Notes = C D E F G A B C  Formula = W-W-H-W-W-W-H

C W D W E H F W G W A W B H C  As you can see in the formula, the notes line up.  In the scale, we have an E & F which are next to each other & line up perfectly with the formula as note 3 & 4.  Which have a half step between them.  This works every time, on any string on any fret.  Master this formula and you’ll be able to enhance your music theory & fretboard knowledge.

The more you understand how your notes work in relation to each other, the better you are going to be able to create music. The better you are going to understand how it all fits together & works in harmony.  That is why it is so important to learn how to find the notes in any major scale.  Then expand on it by flattening the third & 7th & finding the minor scale note formula.  It’s a science & this secret information allow you to have musical insights that many guitarists do not.

Why Start With The C Major Scale?

We start with the C Major scale because it is easy to understand & allows us a simple place to start building our musical foundation.  Once you learn the C major scale you can then (with the formula that you learned in this lesson) move on to other scales. G A D E etc.

By mastering this formula, your going to open doors to how music works & how the notes fit together to not only form scales but chords as well.  In fact, you master this formula & many others that the guitar holds, & you’ll be able to skyrocket above the crowd.

But it does take time.  You must put in the work.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  But if you work on it a little each day, you’ll see it benefit you in other areas of your learning.  Be patient & have a steady stride.  This will allow you to learn in a fun & enjoyable manner.

Lesson Conclusion

If you’ve gone through this lesson & really understood the importance of knowing your notes, you’ll see how easy you can find your notes in the major (& minor as well) scale all over the fretboard which will allow you to build chords, play unique interesting rhythms, scales & melody lines that are unique to you & your own sound.  As well as give you insight into how the “Masters” used them.  But that’s for another lesson.

But that is what we are going for.  Learning the techniques needed to create our own originality as well as pay tribute to those who inspired us to play in the first place.  For me personally, it was the Masters!!

Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Angus, Eddie, Randy, Priest, Maiden, Sabbath Kiss, Metallica, Etc, Etc, Etc.  We all play the same notes on a fretboard that has six strings, it’s just how we utilize those notes on those six strings that makes the difference.

By knowing some basic music theory like knowing how to find your major or minor scale anywhere on the fretboard at any time is really going to propel you forward in your music.  So take some time & figure out those notes.  Have fun.  Write it down on paper.  Make a game of it.

Additional training:

5 tips to improve your guitar playing today!

How to use 7th chords to enhance creativity

Until next time, take care & let me know if you have questions.


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