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Learning Arpeggios- What are arpeggios and how should I use them? April 29, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Arpeggios, Chords, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Music Theory, Notes, Technique, Tips.
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Chances are 9 out of 10 (if not 10 out of 10) of your favorite guitar tunes have arpeggios in them. So what is an arpeggio? Simple. An arpeggio is chord notes played in succession instead of simultaneously. So if someone says to arpeggiate an Am chord what they mean is play it one note at a time, instead of strumming all the notes at once. Here is an example:

Am arpeggio

Using arpeggios in your solo is a great way to create interesting melodies and outline the chord changes you are playing over. A great way to do this is to use the arpeggio of the chords you are playing over to help indicate the chord changes and great nice melodies on guitar. Here is an example of using the arpeggios of the chord you are soloing over:

arpeggios over C and F chord

Having an arsenal of arpeggios at your fingertips will greatly improve your soloing technique and help you become a better player. Here are two great exercises to practice to help you learn arpeggios and improve your speed and technique. The trick to this exercise is to make sure you say the same of each arpeggio as you play it so you really learn their names. Also make you are alternate picking and using a metronome (Korg MA-30 Digital Metronome)! And lastly, make sure you are not going too fast for yourself. Always start slow.

The first exercise is to go through the C major scale and arpeggiate all the triad of the C major scale. First we will go up the strings in one position, then we will stay on the same strings and go up the neck:

(Quarter notes)
3 note arpeggio exercise in C diatonic scale

second part of exercise with arpeggios in c diatonic
Then play the same thing with 7 chord arpeggios

7th chord arpegio exercise in C diatonic
Then play triads on the A and D strings going up the neck and back down:
2 string arpeggio exercise in C diatonic

Now see if you can play the same thing but play 7th chord arpeggios. If you don’t remember how to make a 7th chord see the lesson on building 7th chords. If you go up the neck in a similar way as this you will need to use three strings to play the 7th note. I’ll get you started by showing you the Cmaj7 arpeggio:
—————–
—————–
————4–
—–2–5—–
–3————-
——————
See if you can figure out the rest ony your own going up the neck and starting each arpeggio from the A string. If you have questions post them to the comments!
After you master this in C you should play it in all other keys. That way you will know all the standard arpeggios in all keys and you will be able to apply them all to your guitar lines. Good luck!

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Alternate Picking- Video Lesson April 22, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Picking, Technique, Tips, Videos.
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There are many picking techniques guitarists use when playing guitar. An there is no “right” answer on which technique you should use. In fact, many guitarists use different picking techniques for different situations. But the focus of this lesson will be on alternate picking. This is one of the most widely used picking techniques and it is essential for any guitarist to be comfortable with alternate picking.

The tendency of most novice guitar players is to play most down strokes. Or randomly play down and upstrokes. Training yourself to use alternate picking takes a bit of time and practice. But once you get it down you will see that your chops will be faster and more fluid. Below is a video of some helpful exercises to help you master alternate picking.

Note that these exercises will use strictly alternate picking, though in reality many guitarists may use a combination of alternate and sweep picking for these. But for the sake of this exercise use strict alternate picking. The tabs for these exercises are located below the video. Also note that in order to get the most out of these, and any guitar exercise you NEED to practice with a metronome. If you don’t have one i put 2 links to two great, cheap, metronomes at the very bottom of this post, under the alternate picking exercise tabs.

G amjaor Scale

———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
————————-2—4—5—4—2—————————————
————2—3—5————————-5—3—2————————-
—-3—5—————————————————5–3—————–

Chromatic exercise:
———————————————————————–1–2–3–4-
———————————————————1–2–3–4—————
——————————————-1–2–3–4—————————-
—————————–1–2–3–4——————————————-
—————1–2–3–4———————————————————
-1–2–3–4———————————————————————–

-4–3–2–1———————————————————————-
—————4–3–2–1———————————————————
—————————–4–3–2–1——————————————-
——————————————-4–3–2–1—————————–
———————————————————4–3–2–1—————
———————————————————————–4–3–2- 1
Move up to 2nd fret and repeat pattern. Go all the way up to the 12th fret

4th alternate picking exercise:
———————————————————————————-
—-7–8–7–5–7–8–7–5–7 –etc…——-6–8–6–5–6–8–6–5 –etc..
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

and try this too:
———————————————————————————-
-7–8–7–5–6–8–6–5–7–8–7–5–6–8–7–5—etc.——————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

and lastly:

—————-7–8–7–5—————-6–8–6–5————————–
–7–8–7–5—————-6–8–6–5—————-7–8–7–5 –etc.——
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-
———————————————————————————-

Getting a metronome will be one of the best investments you make if you are serious about playing guitar. Here are two great, relatively cheap, metronomes:

Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome


and

click one to buy!

Essential lead guitar techniques-Video April 1, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Guitar Tabs, Introduction, Technique, Tips, Videos.
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Here is a video demonstrating the most essential guitar techniques for anyone playing lead guitar. Sorry for the poor audio and video quality, I don’t have such a great recorder.

The guitar techniques shown in the video are: hammer-ons, pull-offs, trilling, bending (and releasing), sliding, and vibrato. There are guitar tabs for each of the examples below the video. Enjoy!

Hammer-on************* Pull-off ********** Trill
——————————————————
———————————————————-
–5h7——————-7p5————5h7p5h7p5h7 etc….
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Bend*********** Bend Release************** Vibrato
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
–7b(9)————7b(9)r7——————-7~~~—
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Slide ********* Multiple slides ********* bend + vibrato
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
–7/9———-9\7\4\2/4/7———————7b(9)~~~—
———————————————————-
———————————————————-
———————————————————

Multiple techniques used together
———————————————————————-
————————–8p5—————————-8b(10)~~~~
–7b(9)——7p5~~~————7p5———5~~——————
——————————————-7—————————-
————————————————————————
————————————————————————

Practicing Guitar With A Metronome -Why And How You Should Do It March 21, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Introduction, Technique, Tips.
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For some reason most of the self-taught guitar players I know do not own a metronome. Whether they don’t understand the importance of being able to play in time and to tempo, or they think they can keep tempo just fine by tapping their foot, or they are just plain lazy, most self-taught guitar players do not practice with a metronome.

If you want to build speed, timing, and rhythm you need to practice with a metronome frequently. Once I started using one my chops started getting faster, cleaner, and more precise in just a few days. Yours can to.

You can get a metronome for very cheap. I even put a link to buy one at the end of this post.

How to use your metronome:

Once you have a metronome you have to know how to use it. The first thing to remember is that you should start slow! You should be playing slow enough that you can hear every guitar note you pick cleanly. This means turn off your distortion so you can really hear how well you execute each note. There is no reason to be ashamed if you have to start practicing a lick at 60BPM, or even 40BPM. Start as slow as you need to. Practice the lick/song/scale at that tempo until you can play it comfortably multiple times. Then increase the speed by 4BPM and start again. Keep repeating until you can play it up to speed.

Counting beats and Note durations.

Most metronomes have different time signatures. I am just going to talk about standard 4/4 time. This means that there are four beats every measure (bar). The following durations apply to 4/4 time signature only.

Each beat is a quarter note. So every beep on your metronome you count a number up until 4. Once you count 4 beats the measure is over and you start over. So you count 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,etc… and each number is a quarter note. So if you play a new note every time you say a number you are playing quarter notes

If every beat is a quarter note then that means every 2 beats is a half note. So if you play a note and hold it for two numbers you are playing half notes. So you would play on 1 and hold that note until 3 and play a new note on 3 and hold that until the 1 of the next beat. Or you could do the same thing but start on 2 and 4. You can start whenever you want as long as you are holding the notes fore 2 beats.

If a note 2 beats long makes a half note then what do 2 halves make? A whole! So a note 4 beats long is called a whole note. So if you play on 1 and hold it through beat 4 you are playing a whole note. So any note held for 4 beats is a whole note

Now for 8th notes. 8th notes are shorter in duration than quarter notes. If you but an “and” between every note then you will be playing 8th notes. So every time it beeps you count a number and between every number you say an “and”. So “1, and, 2,and, 3, and, 4, and, 1, and, 2, and, 3, and, 4, and etc…If you play a note every time you say a number and on every “and” you are playing 8th notes.

16th notes and 32nd notes are also common. But I won’t go into them now b/c they are pretty fast and you should be starting with the basics.

If you have any questions please post them to the “comments” section.
Here is a great metronome if you don’t have one(click it for more details and to buy):
Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome


Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome


Guitar Players…Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet March 14, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Beginner, Guitar Lessons, Technique.
2 comments

This is a great article I saw online today. I wanted to share it with you:

Guitar Players…Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet By Craig Bassett

Do you have a wide variety of things that you practice. Or do you like to binge? (You
know…the type of player who practices sweep picking for a kazillion hours a
day but only know three chords)!Having a balanced practice routine is essential
if you want to become a versatile guitarist. If you just practice one or two
things, sure you’ll get great at those things…but you’ll be weak in other key
areas.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to create a practice routine that
is well-balanced and will help you work towards your ultimate vision of how you
would like to play.

I generally categorise what I practice into one of
seven areas:
-Technique.
-Repertoire (Covers).
-Composition.
-Improvisation.
-Ear Training.
-Theory.
-Music Reading.

Everything that you practice will fit into one or more of the above
areas. For example, if you are learning a very challenging cover tune by
transcribing it off the CD you are essentially working on your technique,
repertoire and ear training at the same time. If you also write down the song in
standard notation, you will also be developing your music reading skills.Now…do
you have to practice things in all seven areas? I believe that you don’t have to
if your vision doesn’t require it. For example, if someone wants to become an
awesome classical guitarist and has no desire to improvise, then I believe that
they don’t need to practice things relating to improvisation. We all have
limited time available for practice, so it’s a waste of time working on things
that don’t specifically help you reach your goals.

Let’s go through a
few exercises…

Exercise One:
Think about the vision
that you have for your playing for a few minutes.How would you like to play in
ten years time. Make it exact!
Once you’ve done that, brainstorm as many
things that you need to practice in order to play like your vision. What
specific things do you need to learn, develop and practice? Write them down now.

Exercise Two:
Next to each of the things written
down for Exercise One, write down a category next to it. For example, if you
wrote “I need to be able to play faster” then write technique next to it. If you
feel that something you wrote belongs to more than one category, then write down
all the categories it could belong to.

Exercise Three:
Look at your answers for the previous two exercises. Once you’ve done that
prioritise the categories shown below. For example, if you feel that technique
is the most important thing you need to work on to reach your vision then put a
1 next to it.

Practice Area Priority Level (1-7)[Note: 1 is the
highest priority].

TechniqueRepertoire (covers)
Composition
Improvisation
Ear Training
Theory
Music Reading

Now
here’s the important point. You should spend the most time practising your
number one priority. I know it’s pretty obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many
people don’t do this! I know a few guitar players who would like to be able to
play incredibly fast, yet they don’t do a lot of technical practice. Talk about
setting yourself up to fail!

Exercise Four:
Decide how much time every day you will spend on each category. Write it down below.

Practice Area Time Invested Daily
TechniqueRepertoire
(covers)
Composition
Improvisation
Ear Training
Theory
Music
Reading

All done? Great!
So what’s the next step?

The next step is to decide on a specific activity for each practice area.Make sure to
write them down.

Here are a couple of examples of what someone might put
down…

Technique: I will invest 10 minutes a day on alternate picking
exercise one. I will start with the metronome at 80 beats per minute (bpm) and
increase it by 4 bpm daily (as long as I can play it perfectly).

Ear Training: I will invest 10 minutes daily a day on A minor pentatonic ear
training exercise one.

Got the idea? You would have one specific activity for every practice area. If you have a lot of time to practice you
could set more than one activity per practice area.

Give this method a try. I’ll think you’ll be more than happy with the results!

(Craig Bassett (The Guitar Solutions Expert) is a professional guitarist, guitar tutor
and author who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. To get a free high-quality lesson
e-mailed to you once a month, please go to:
http://www.pentatonic-guitar-lessons.com/
Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Craig_Bassett)”

I hope you enjoyed it!