Slide/bottleneck guitar can evoke flavors ethereal and lyrical or aggressive and bombastic. From Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” to Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom” and on to Debashish Bhattacharya’s Indian slide musings, this approach delivers a wide spectrum of sounds, emotions, and cultural touchstones.
Learn the major scale’s modes and how to use their distinctive sounds to create melodies and chords on acoustic guitar.
If you watch the hands of guitarists who play with enviable speed and fluidity, you may notice how little effort they seem to exert. Their finger movements are relaxed and minimal, considering the amount of music they are generating. What they’re playing is surely not easy, but it looks that way. So how does a guitarist achieve that state of grace?
Try these exercises to make your melodies more harmonic and your harmonies more melodic.
Learning to transpose—the act of moving music from one key to another while keeping its basic structure intact—will make you a better guitarist.
By taking a basic melody and changing the rhythms, pitches, and articulations, you can make some hip variations.
Bringing together elements of early popular and country music, swing jazz, blues, and rural dance hall traditions, Western swing is pure vintage American music.
Because one of the things that makes something “easy” on the guitar is the presence of open strings, let’s see how many standard-tuning open-string notes can be found in flat keys.
This workout starts with a C-major scale played in broken thirds. This might be tricky at first, but take it slowly!
Learn a few ways to understand the circle of fifths and how to play progressions with changing tonalities.
This Weekly Workout will show how to synchronize the hands through a variety of exercises, concepts, and articulations
Create short melodic patterns and repeat them on successive steps of the major scale.
Bored of soloing with the major scale or the minor pentatonic? Looking for something new to help expand your musical palette? The Mixolydian mode might just be the thing. This mode can be a great tool for improvising in blues, jazz, rock, or practically any other style.
Learn the secrets behind George Benson's special way way with the plectrum to improve your own picking technique.
Whatever style you prefer—and regardless of whether you’re more of a soloist or accompanist—you should learn how to get these techniques under your fingers.
Here is a way to get some of that alternate-tuning mojo without straying too far from what you know
Whatever your style, if you work on these etudes diligently, you’ll develop speed, finger independence, and flexibility.
Have you ever improvised using a tried-and-true scale—only to hit a note that just doesn’t sound right once a chord change comes along? Here’s a remedy for this common problem: By targeting the notes of a given tune’s chord progression, you can create solos that sound more copacetic.
Creating cool parts from scratch may seem to be a mysterious art form but it needn’t be an intimidating prospect
Learn to connect the fingerboard positions you know so you can move up and down the neck more smoothly.
You'll start with a familiar-sounding major-pentatonic phrase and then move it up each step of the G major scale.
As you practice your scales, it’s good to remind yourself of the function of the individual notes of those scales. Here we start with open-position scales taken from the chord progression for "Autumn Leaves."
Create four-note patterns by removing the second step of a minor pentatonic scale.