guitar · improvising · learning · practice · soloing

Don’t learn jazz soloing the way I learned jazz soloing

For today’s post, I want to offer a bit of “learn from my mistakes” advice, specifically related to jazz improvising. I started working on jazz soloing about 30 years ago. I’d only been playing a year or two at that point and, frankly, I didn’t know what jazz was. I just knew that playing jazz…… Continue reading Don’t learn jazz soloing the way I learned jazz soloing

composing · guitar · practice · soloing

What can Star Wars teach us about writing a great guitar solo?

I’ve occasionally stumbled unto the advice that a guitar solo should tell a story. But what is really meant by that? Let’s take a look a great story: Star Wars. What happens in that movie? Well, Luke Skywalker stumbles across some lost droids belonging to the old nomad, Ben Kenobi. Upon receiving the droids, Ben tells…… Continue reading What can Star Wars teach us about writing a great guitar solo?

guitar · guitar picking · practice

Different ways to play guitar (with videos)

One interesting thing about the guitar (and similar stringed instruments like the uke) is that there are so many different ways to play it. You can play with a pick, fingers, or some combination of both. There are also all sorts of relatively new ways to play the guitar in a percussive manner. This post…… Continue reading Different ways to play guitar (with videos)

guitar · learning · practice

Learning chord shapes on the guitar

I talked, not long ago, about the process of strumming chords on a guitar. That post focused  on what the right hand does while playing the instrument (presuming the player is right handed.) Let’s consider the what the left hand does while fretting different chord shapes. We’ll focus on what are called open chords. Open…… Continue reading Learning chord shapes on the guitar

guitar · learning · practice · Uncategorized

Handy online chord chart generator

I’m pretty impressed with the web site fingerstofrets.com which generates visual diagrams for fretting most of the essential open chords. It shows both the notes to fret and fingers that should be used to fret those notes. I’ve been using it to create charts I print out for students. I’d love to see them add more…… Continue reading Handy online chord chart generator