How To Use Octave Chords To Improve Your Guitar Playing

Jimi Hendrix playing octave chords

How To Use Octave Chords To Improve Your Guitar Playing

If you learn how to use octave chords to improve your guitar playing, it will also help you to understand music better 100%.  Guaranteed! That is because octave chords have many applications that can benefit your guitar playing.  No matter if you play rhythm guitar or lead guitar.  I recommend you add octave chords to your musical vocabulary.

What are octave chords?

Octave chords are a two-note chord. this chord is made up of two notes that are the same, just an octave apart.  So for instance, if you were playing a C octave chord, the notes would both be C.  This goes for any octave chord you choose to play.  The two notes will always be the same.

These type of chords can do two things right off the bat:

*They can add another easy chord shape to your chord vocabulary

*They can improve your memory of note location along the fretboard

The second thing can be a huge benefit to your paying as it will allow you to find notes faster.   It will also increase your understanding of how to create extended chords because you’ll know exactly where the added notes are located.  This will be done quickly and easily due to knowing octaves.

Reading octave chords

Let’s look at a few octave chords in print.

Octave Chords written in tab

Here you can clearly see we have two notes on two different strings.  If you study closely you can also see that the number value is two higher than the original note.  What I mean by this is that when you have a 3, the octave is going to be a 5.  If you have a 7, the octave number is going to 9.  If you have a 6, the octave number is going to be?

You can also see that the octave note is two strings apart.  So if you are on the 3rd fret of the sixth string, the octave note will be two frets up (5) and two strings down.   On the fourth string.  Your biggest string (the sixth string) will always be on the bottom of the sheet music.

The reason for this is because the lowest note will always be on the bottom.  So in retrospect, you need to look at the sheet music like your strings are upside down.  I know, it’s confusing but I didn’t design it.  I only teach it.  Anyway, try learning it from a lefty perspective like me.  But not to worry, if I can figure it out, so can you.

Watch the video lesson below

Music education

One of the things that you should always be thriving for when learning how to play guitar, is increasing your music education.  The more you know about the notes that make up the musical alphabet, and what to do with them to create what you choose, the better understanding you’ll have of the tools you are working with.

Not knowing where the notes are located on the guitar is a very common problem among guitar players because most of them play by ear or never bother to take time to learn where the notes are on the fretboard.  You want to be better than them.  By studying octaves and creating octave chords, you’ll be able to not only understand the fretboard better, but you’ll be able to find notes licitly split!  You’ll amaze people with this newfound skill.

Chord embellishment theory

By learning the octaves and knowing exactly where they are on all six strings, you’ll be able to develop the skill of understanding, chord embellishment theory.  This is the science of building guitar chords.  Understand this enough and you’ll be able to build any type of guitar chord you choose.  Major, minor diminished, augments, etc, etc, etc.

Information like this can be very beneficial in music composition and songwriting.  If you like to write your own songs, this is a great skill to have.  Knowing how to create different types of emotion is what music is all about.  N matter what instrument or what style you choose to play.  Emotion is everything!  Master the notes, and you’ll be able to create emotion at will!

Rhythm guitar mastery

When it comes to playing guitar, rhythm is most important.  The ability to create chords, chord progressions, strumming patterns, arpeggiated picking and all within the proper timing is the foundation of playing guitar.  Sure it’s fun to play guitar solos, but even so, you still need a solid understanding of rhythm.

That is why I wrote and published my guitar book Rhythm Guitar Alchemy.  This book is a step-by-step method of study that is fun and easy to learn.  With secret elements, formulas, and properties that cater to the scientific development of rhythm guitar playing in both theory and practice.

Rhythm Guitar Alchemy with octave chords

From learning notes, forming chords, and establishing rhythms with proper timing.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy will provide you with a progressive training guide that will help you to develop an intimate understanding of playing rhythm guitar.

It will introduce you to the rhythm playing concepts and techniques that will propel you forward into the magical world of musical abilities that only so few guitar players ever possess.

You will learn such things as:

*Reading notation and chord diagrams

*Guitar chords of all kinds (major, minor, augmented, etc)

*Common rhythm techniques (strumming, picking fingerstyle)

*How to easily play barre chords (a very difficult chord type)

*Chord embellishment theory (adding notes to chords)

*Rhythm timing formulas (learn to play in time)

*Practice habits (for getting quicker results)

And much, much more.

No prior music knowledge needed

This helpful handbook has been designed to give you a clear and concise method of study that will propel you forward at an alarming rate.  With everything laid out easy and simple, no prior music knowledge will be needed.  Because of this, you will be able to develop confidence

Since music theory is a vital part of learning to be a highly productive alchemist, the basics of it will be presented for your development and the best understanding of the craft.  This will allow you to develop a solid foundation of these concepts and principles.

As a rhythm guitar alchemist, you will be learning the sacred properties and formulas that are needed to create rhythm guitar magic!  Notes, diagrams, timing sequences, progressions, theory and much much more.  All things that will make your rhythm guitar playing appealing to the ear of your listener

Unlocking the mysteries

The search for unlocking the mysteries of your guitar fretboard is what guitar playing is all about.  That is why you can play the instrument for years because there are many many mysteries to uncover.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy helps you to do that.

But it takes time, consistent effort, dedication and commitment on the part of the player (you) to unlock these mysteries.  With the help of the proper training, you’ll know where to look and how to understand the techniques need to create great music as a rhythm guitar alchemist.

Lesson conclusion

As you can see from this lesson, there are many benefits you can get from learning your octave chords.  Just follow the examples in the tab I wrote out and find them.  The concept also works on the fifth string.  One note will be on the fifth string and the other note will be on the third-string two frets up.

These and other concepts like them will help you to further your understanding of the language of music.  Remember, music is a language and like all other languages, the better you know it, (reading, writing, etc) the better you’ll be able to get your ideas across.

If you need additional help, be sure to check out my book.  It can be found on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions as well as in my eBay store where if purchased here, I will send you an author-signed copy to you personally.

And if you haven’t already,  grab my FREE action-guide “Rhythm Guitar Secrets” to give you a head-start in the right direction.  Need more help?  feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Best of luck and until next time, take care.


How To Recognize & Understand Chord Embellishments like C/B



Playing Electric Guitar

5 Top Tips To Great Rhythm Guitar Playing

When playing guitar, you want to make sure that you learn the 5 top tips to great rhythm guitar playing.  This will allow you to set up a solid foundation for your guitar playing that will benefit you for years to come.

Tip #1  Learn your common open chords.

open position guitar chords

C A G E D & F major.  Along with a few minor chords like E minor, A minor & D minor.  These chords are important to know as they are commonly found in many songs.  Like they say “learn a few chords and you can play hundreds of songs” which is true because a lot of very popular songs on the guitar are made up of only a few chords.  Sometimes only 3 or 4 to be exact.

Tip #2  Know how to move them up the fretboard.

forming barre chords

Knowing how to move the open position guitar chords up the fretboard gives you more diversity and ability for rhythm creation.  This is done by learning to create barre chords, or by using a capo.  These two things take the place of the guitar nut.  Which is what holds the guitar strings in place.

By using your index finger to represent the nut you can take the open chords and move them along the fretboard.  This allows you to create different shades of color in your rhythm playing as well as be able to create chord embellishments.

Tip #3  Learn proper strumming and picking patterns.

Strumming and picking the chords is very important as well because it is this technique that actually creates the rhythm.  Your fretboard hand is designed to form, hold and move the chords once you learn them and the picking hand is designed to create the rhythm of the chords by either strumming them or picking them individually.

These two techniques (or a hybrid of both) are what really bring the chords to life and give the elements of the music, a listening quality to them.  This is what makes the listener want to tap their toe, get up and dance or just sit back and listen.

Tip #4  Learn chord embellishment theory.

common chord embellishments

Chord embellishment theory is what allows you to build upon the basic chord shapes mentioned in the first tip.  It is what allows you to make a major chord into a minor, diminished or augmented.  It is what allows you to create 6th chords, minor 7th chords, #5b9 chords and so forth and so forth.

By knowing your notes on all six strings along the entire fretboard you can form any chord you wish in nay type of inversion.  This is the science of music.  Especially for a rhythm guitar player.  The more you understand chords and how they are constructed, the better you’ll be.

Tip #5  Play in time.

I can’t tell you how many musicians over the years I’ve met who know the chords but can’t play in time and don’t have a good rhythm.  It is quite sad really.  This is a skill set that must be worked on.  You must work daily on developing good timing.

Good timing is everything!  Especially if you plan on playing with anyone in the future.  There are three ways to do this.

  1. Use a metronome

  2. Use a drum machine

  3. Play along to the song

Any of these three techniques will allow you to develop this important skill.  This is a must!  Because without it, all the other skills of knowing the chords and being able to play them all over the fretboard to create music will be useless unless you can play in time.

Rhythm Guitar Secrets

Since these skill sets are so important to play great rhythm, I have created a free training guide that helps in this are called Rhythm Guitar Secrets.  It goes into more detail exactly what has been taught here today.  So if rhythm guitar playing is something you are working on mastering, I recommend you grab my training guide.

Lesson conclusion.

To be a great rhythm guitar player takes time, patience, and effort on a daily basis.  It requires you to study the concepts, techniques, and principles related to rhythm guitar playing.  It requires you to experiment with these concepts and formulas very much like a scientist.

Develop a well in-depth understanding of chords, timing, rhythm sequences and how to put these elements together. This will teach you what great rhythm guitar playing is all about.  By keeping it simple, you will understand the fundamental principles of rhythm guitar playing.

Deeper dive.

That is why I wrote the book “Rhythm Guitar Alchemy

Rhythm Guitar Alchemy

An easy step-by-step method of study that is fun & easy to learn.  With secret elements, formulas, and properties that cater to the scientific development of rhythm guitar playing in theory and practice.

A comprehensive course on the inner workings of rhythm guitar playing.  From learning notes, forming chords, establishing timing and creating rhythm.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy will provide you with a progressive training guide that will help you to develop an intimate understanding of playing rhythm guitar.

You can find this book, along with all others I have authored, on Amazon in print and Kindle format.  As well as in my eBay store Dwayne’s Guitar World where if purchased here you will receive a personally signed author copy.

And as always, if you have any questions about what I teach or are interested in taking private guitar lessons, feel free to reach out to me through my website Dwayne’s Guitar Lessons. 

Best of luck with your learning.

Sincerely, Dwayne


Chuck Berry playing guitar

Chord Progressions That Work With The Minor Pentatonic Scale

When playing lead guitar in rock music, you must understand rhythm guitar and chord progressions that work well with the minor pentatonic scale.  This way you’ll know how to solo over them. This lesson is taught in the book Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1. Where minor-key progressions are being given for this specific purpose. Learn about these progressions and how you can use the minor pentatonic scale to solo over them and stay in key. Learn to stay in key and you will sound good every time you play.

Minor key progressions.

Most songs in rock guitar are written in a minor key progression. A minor, E minor, G minor, etc. It is this minor key that gives rock it’s traditional sound and mood. And since rock is mainly derived from the blues it is commonly written in these minor key rhythm guitar progressions. So it is very important to know these as they are a great place to develop your lead guitar playing.

Here are a few examples:

Example #1 in A minor

Am//// G//// F//// E7////

The forward slashes represent the beat for each chord. Since there are four beats per chord, there are four slashes to indicate these beats. Record this progression on your phone and listen back to it to hear how it sounds and where the chords change.

To solo over this chord progression, you can play pattern 1 of the minor pentatonic scales at the 5th fret and it will sound great! Try it. Listen to how the notes sound as you play over this rhythm guitar progression. You can also play it at the 17th fret because the notes are the same.

Example #2 in G minor

Gm//// Cm//// Dm//// Cm////

In this key, you could do the very same thing except instead of play at the 5th fret (where the A note is located) you would play at the 3rd fret where the G note is located. This is necessary to know because without being in the right position, the notes won’t line up and the tone will sound off.

You must be aware of this because without this knowledge you will fail to increase your lead guitar playing and your guitar solos will not sound good. You must be able to find the right location to play in. Take some time to fully understand this and before you know it, you will be sounding good no matter where you play on the guitar fretboard.

Example #3 in B minor.

Bm//// Em//// F#m//// Bm////

In this minor key, you would play pentatonic pattern 1 at the 7th fret on the sixth string. Because that is where the B note is located. And since the pentatonic scale is a minor scale we would be playing in the key of B minor. That will work great over this minor rhythm guitar progression.

You can also play at the 19th fret because these are the same notes. Just located in the second octave on the guitar. If you play the minor pentatonic scale at the 19th fret you will see that the notes are the same. This is very helpful to know as this will give you some tone variety to your playing.

Example #4 E minor.

Em//// Am//// Bm//// Em////

The key of E minor is probably the most common key to play in. It is worth investing time to know where this key is located. You can play this in an open position (around the first few frets) or you can play it at the 12th fret where the E is located at the end of the scale.

If you play the E minor pentatonic scale in the open position, it will be off of the open E note on the sixth string. If you play it starting in the second octave it will be played at the 12th fret and will give you a nice variety of fretboard positioning for the other 5 pentatonic scale patterns.

Example #5 C minor.

Cm//// Gm//// Am//// Dm////

This rhythm guitar progression will allow you to play a guitar solo at the 8th fret because that’s where the C note is located on the sixth string. So being that we know that, we can play our scale pattern here and it will sound good over this rhythm guitar progression in C minor.

As with the other keys we’ve learned, we can also play this scale at the 20th fret but due to fretboard fret length, you might run out of notes. If you have a full two octaves (24 frets) you’ll be ok, but if you have a 22 fret or 21 frets (as in a Fender Strat) you will not have enough space in this position to play the first scale pattern. But you’ll be fine at the 8th fret.

Example #6 D minor.

Dm//// Gm//// Am//// Dm////

D minor is a nice common key to play in as well. This key will be located at the 10th fret on the 6th string. If you play the scale pattern over this rhythm guitar progression you will hear that the notes line up and your solo will sound fine because you are playing “in key” as it is called in the world of music.

Since you run out of frets higher up the fretboard, It’s best to just play pentatonic scale pattern #1 at the 10th fret. But If you’ve learned the other pentatonic patterns and know-how they hook together, you can use them to play on the fretboard in different positions.

Lesson conclusion.

Al that has been presented is very common rhythm guitar progressions to play guitar solos over. You can hear these in multitudes of songs throughout the decades since the start of rock & roll back in the ’50s when people like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis were making people go crazy with this sound.

So take some time to learn these progressions, record them on your phone or other device and listen to how they sound. Then try to play pentatonic scale pattern #1 over the top of them in the locations that I have taught you.

After a while, you will be able to recognize them in a song when you hear them. You will also discover that most of the guitar solos are played on this famous scale. It is the most common and highly recommended you practice it.  Get to know it and the other four like the back of your hand.

Lead Guitar Wizardry

If you need more help understanding lead guitar playing I recommend you get my book Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1 which can be found on Amazon or in my eBay store which I will be happy to sign for you.  If you have any questions, contact me and follow me on social media.

instagram logotwitter logoFaceBook logoYou Tube Logo

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

Sincerely, Dwayne

Picking hand

How To Develop Your Picking Hand For Better Rhythm Playing

Your picking hand

In this lesson, you are going to learn how to develop your picking hand for better rhythm playing.  This is a vitally important skill to master when it comes to playing guitar.  Especially rock guitar!  Because rhythm is the backbone of the music.

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

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

Sleight of hand magic.

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

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

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

Different types of picking techniques.

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

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

down picking

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

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

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

Learning guitar from your favorite players.

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

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

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

Lesson conclusion.

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

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

Rock Guitar 101

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

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

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

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

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

Learn your fundamentals and enjoy the fun of playing guitar for life.  And if you haven’t already, be sure to grab my FREE action-guide Rhythm Guitar Secrets to give you insider secrets to help improve your rhythm playing.

Learn the musical knowledge and pass it along to others who might want to enjoy it too.  And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

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


Izzy Stradlin

How To Form Power Chords And Create Rhythm

In this lesson, we are going to learn how to form power chords and create rhythm.  Once you have mastered your open chords or would like to take a break from them, you can proceed to work on your closed power chords. Once you get the open chords down you can focus on learning power chords & creating rhythm with them.

Closed power chords.

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

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

What’s great about these chords is two things.

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

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

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

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

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

Reading power chords in tablature format.

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

G power chord

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

D power chord

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

Rt4 A power chord

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

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

Creating a rhythm with power chords.

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

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

Malcolm Young

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

Additional counts to use when creating rhythm.

Here are a few more to experiment with:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.

1 2 & 3 4.

1 2 3 & 4

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

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

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

Lesson Conclusion.

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

Rock Guitar 101 will help out in many ways and allow you to progress at your learning faster than you ever thought possible.  Once you learn what tools are necessary,  you will then learn how to set them up and get the best out of them.

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

Until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

Kurt Cobain playing guitar

How To Switch Between Chords Quickly & Easily

How to switch between chords quickly and easily is one of the hardest things to do at the beginning of learning guitar.  In today’s lesson, we are going to talk & learn about how to switch between chords easier & more efficiently.

I remember being there myself as a beginner.  I felt like I was never going to get it.  I had to practice a lot & unfortunately didn’t have the power of the internet back then.  What a difference that would have made LOL!!

Anyway, after many hours of practice, I finally got it.  But it wasn’t easy.  I felt like” am I going to have to practice three to five hours a day to get this”? Is this going to take forever??  Is this above my abilities?

If you’ve ever felt like this, then please read on…

When you eventually get your chords down to where you can form them well (without cramps in your hands) and you can switch them fairly easily, that’s when the fun begins & it becomes a joy to play some of your favorite songs.

And it becomes a thrill to nail the transitions & take on the challenge of getting through them very much like a runner jumps over hurdles.  As you begin to accomplish this, you feel good about yourself and a smile creeps on your face because you know you are moving forward with your guitar playing. And in doing so, keeps you coming back for more.

Essential Keys For Getting Better

I’d like to share with you what I would say is one of the essential KEYS to switching chords quickly & easily.  It’s very simple & should not be overlooked.  You just need to pick a couple of chords, to begin with, and focus all your attention on switching between them.

For now, at this time in your guitar learning journey you want to forget about all other chords, strumming or anything else & just focus on this one thing.  Focus is one of the most important skills to master in accomplishing anything in life.  Especially guitar and the more focused you are on small tasks such as this, the quicker the results you’ll see.

Just take two of the easiest chords you can form.  Like E & Am or G & C (very popular in many songs) and focus mentally like a laser beam on switching between them.  Back and forth, back & forth.  Every time you do this it gets easier & easier because you build a link between your brain & your fingers.

Where is each finger landing on the fretboard?

Be sure to look where each finger is landing on the fretboard.  Which strings should they be on?  What frets should they be on?  By focusing on these fundamental aspects of changing chords, you’ll see very quickly that after a while you’ll build “muscle memory” and your fingers will know where to go automatically.

Then after this is accomplished, move on to two more chords & so forth & so forth.  Continuously building your chord vocabulary.  You’ll see that you are making massive progress at an unbelievably short period of time.

Learning curve

Once you get over the learning curve (which there is one in anything and I do mean ANYTHING new you learn) you’ll be able to start playing songs that you love hearing & you’ll be hooked on guitar just like all the other millions out there.

Take it slow, don’t get impatient & practice focusing on one little task at a time.  You will see quick results and you will know how to switch between chords quickly & more easily.  And in the process, you will be building valuable skill sets.  Focus, concentration, muscle memory & well-established motor skills.

Additional Training

When it comes to learning to play the guitar there are many areas to cover.  Switching between chords is just one aspect.  You also want to understand such things as chord progressions, timing, creating rhythm and so forth.

That is why I wrote and published my guitar method book for those who are just getting started,  Learn Guitar: Simple Method For Beginners.  This book will show you everything you need to know to get from point A to point B in an easy and simple manner.Learn Guitar Simple Method For Beginners

Learn Guitar Simple Method For Beginners is a fun and easy study on how to get started playing guitar.  This book consists of techniques and training methods that have been developed through years of learning, playing and teaching guitar.

Learn Guitar is a simple starter book designed for the total beginner. With everything you need to learn how to have fun playing the guitar.  Even if you have no prior understanding of music.  With full-color pictures and modern music diagrams for easier learning, The beginning guitar player will be able to play guitar in no time.

You will learn things such as:

*The right equipment to start out with

*How to read easy sheet music

*Common Chord types

* Creating rhythm

*Timing development

And much, much, more.  In a simple step-by-step method that offers not only a  comprehensive introduction to essential guitar playing fundamentals, but also a quick effective uncomplicated and practical self-instructional guide book that will get anybody no matter age or skill level up and running quickly.


So if you are looking to learn more about guitar chords and not only how to switch them quickly and easily, I recommend you check out the book.  Available on Amazon in both print and Kindle.  It is also available through my eBay store where if purchased here, you will receive an Author signed copy from me to you personally.

Best of luck to you & if you have any questions feel free to let me know.

Here’s some additional training:

How to improve your picking technique

How to improve your guitar playing today!

How to use a capo to enhance your playing

Thanks for reading and take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne

How To Improve Your Rhythm Playing

Knowing how to improve your rhythm playing and establish timing is one of the most important things to know if you’re going to be a good guitar player.  Especially if you want to play with others, or possibly play with your favorite song.  In fact, how to improve your rhythm playing is something you should learn regardless.

Strumming:playing electric guitar

This is the most common type of rhythm playing that you will encounter.  paying across all six strings in a down or up motion.  Usually both.  I would highly recommend you work on this daily.  It doesn’t matter if you play electric guitar or acoustic.  Strumming development is vitally important to your rhythm playing and should not be overlooked. Be sure to keep your wrist loose at all times

First, you start with some simple down strumming and count 1 2 3 4, etc.  Then you work on strumming upward and count 1 2 3 4 etc.  Once you have that developed pretty well you then mix up the timing to create more interesting rhythms.  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.  1 2 3 & 4.  1 & 2 3 4.  1 2 & 3 4 etc.  Be creative and think.  I’m sure you’ll come up with some ideas that’ll sound really good.  You’ll probably even come across a rhythm pattern you recognize in a song.  This is when it really starts being fun.

Picking Strings Individually:playing acoustic guitar

This should be your second step.  Picking the strings individually.  This is called arpeggiated picking.  A fancy word for playing the strings individually.  See you just learned a word that makes you sound musically smart ;-). Ok so many not too smart, but you did just learn a cool word that’s part of the musical language.

You develop your timing as stated above for strumming, but this time when you pick the strings individually you get a completely different sound out of the guitar.  This type of rhythm playing makes the guitar sound pretty, beautiful and bright.  Unless you are playing minor or diminished chords with it.  Then it can sound a bit dark, mysterious and moody.

Depending on the type of emotion that your trying to convey with your playing will make the difference and this is usually done through the types of chords you choose to play.  Major chords give you a happy sound and minor chords give you a sad sound.  Either way, work on picking the strings individually to help develop good rhythm playing.

Palm Muting:Playing electric guitar

This is very common in guitar playing.  In many different styles.  This technique is the opposite of the strumming where you keep your hand loose while you strum up and down.  This kind of technique calls for the picking hand to stay put in one place.

Place your hand close to the body and with the palm of your hand you pick the strings downward (sometimes upward too) and by doing this you get a percussive sound.  This requires that the hand stay close to the body and not move too much.

You must also find the “sweet spot” between the edge of the bridge and the edge of the bridge pick up.  If you are too far forward it’ll choke the sound, if you are too far back it won’t produce the sound. Each guitar is a bit different so it’s best to experiment.

Lesson conclusion:

When it comes to rhythm playing, developing your picking hand is most important and there are a ton more things to work on but this will get you started.  Knowing how to hold your pick is also very important, and if you have questions in this area, be sure to check out my lesson on that.

Pick a few easy chords to form with your fretboard hand and take some time to work on your picking, strumming and palm muting.  If you add this to your daily routine, I guarantee you that you will see some nice improvements in your rhythm playing.  But you must put in the string time.

All the best to your picking hand development and your improvement on guitar overall.  Remember, the guitar is a lifelong journey and you won’t be able to learn it all, but if you stay focused on your objective and put in daily practice, I guarantee you’ll eventually come out victorious.  And if you haven’t already, be sure to pick up my FREE Action-Guide **Rhythm Guitar Secrets**

More training tips to help your guitar playing:

How to switch between chords quickly

Improve your picking technique

Until next time, take care.

Sincerely, Guitar Teacher, Dwayne Jenkins