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.

Four WaysTo Play With Your Guitar

I see a lot of students asking how they can improve their playing, what they should be working on or which books to study. What many seem to forget is that we don't work the guitar; we play it, and we should just play with it sometimes.

Scale Book Downloaded Over 1000 Times in the First Month

I'm very pleased to report thtat since I made it freely available exactly a month ago, Scale and Arpeggio Resources has been downloaded 1046 times. If you don't already have your copy, get it here!

Hybrid Picking Exercise

Just a quick post to mention the hybrid picking exercise I've been working on for the past few days. I'm actually playing different variations on this up and down but I'm sure you can figure those out for yourself.

Taking a Modal Approach to Epistrophy

I've been revisiting some old jazz tunes lately and, yet again, remembered how hard Monk's tune Epistrophy makes you think. In this post I'm going to describe some approaches that try to avoid "running the changes" and instead find scales that "work" over whole sections of the tune.

Feed Your Ears: Piano Chords for Guitarists

Something a bit different this time -- I've collected a few instructional videos for pianists that I think guitarists could learn a lot from.

Arpeggio and Scale Book Now Available Free Online!

I've decided to make the electronic version of my book on scales and arpeggios available free to download, forever, under a Creative Commons license. The paper version is still available to buy as normal.