Pentatonic Hypermodes

I've been experimenting with hypermodes for a while now and thought I'd share both the theory and a practical application here.

Performance Advice from a Bodybuilder?

Just now I'm slightly obsessed with the amount we can learn from sportspeople about practice and this article struck me as interesting. Replace "competition" with "gig" and you're most of the way there.

How To Find Chords In Scales

A very common question from students is how we can tell which chords as "in key with" a particular scale. This came up today on /r/guitarlessons so I thought it might be worth a quick post.

New Free Slonimsky Book for Guitar Now Available!

Fill your boots -- my 400-page Slonimsky book for guitarists is now available as a free download. The scale book has had over 4000 downloads in just a few months, but I suspect this one will be a little more narrow in its appeal...

Some Ornette Coleman Heads

Ornette Coleman is revered as an important and prolific composer, perhaps the only one from the free jazz tradition who's so widely-acknowledged in this field. So why aren't there big books of the hundreds of tunes he's written over the decades? Who knows, but I did manage to find some transcriptions on the web and thought I'd collect them here as a service to the next person who goes hunting for them.

CompMe: A "Metronome Plus" For Modal Practice

I've been practicing quartal voicings today and ended up knocking together a little tool to help me do so. It's a kind of "modal metronome" and I thought it might be worth sharing here.

The Guaranteed Method For Failing To Learn Modes

Most guitar students do fine until they hit one particular topic that culls them like a dose of plague hitting a too-large population of water buffalo: modes. The word alone is enough to strike fear (or guilt) into the hearts of many players, even some who've been playing a long while.

What Does It Mean To Play A Scale?

We all think we know what it means for me to play, say, the D Natural Minor scale. The scale contains the notes D, E, F, G, A Bb and C, so if I play D Natural Minor then I play all and only those notes. Simple. Or is it?

Learn Diminished Licks From A Trumpet Player

Just wanted to pass on a quick recommendation of jazztrumpetlicks.com, a trumpet site by Greg "Sweets" London. Yes, I know, it's a trumpet site; well, we can learn from players of all instruments, and there are some very cool ideas here in "lick" form.

Why I Play With A Thumbpick

I always play with a thumbpick, and have for decades. I get asked about this a lot because it's extremely unusual for someone who doesn't do a lot of acoustic fingerpicking. I believe the thumbpick can be a very good choice for electric guitarists, and here I'm going to say why.