Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuning the guitar.

The most important thing for a guitarist is to tune the guitar. When your guitar is tuned, everything that you will play will sound right and melodious. In this tutorial, I will give you information about the most common method that is used to tune your guitar.

As we all aware, the guitar has the following strings:

E,B,G,D,A,E.

I will show it to you in the tab form:

E-------------------
B-------------------
G-------------------
D-------------------
A-------------------
E-------------------

It would be good if you can memorize these strings order. The reason I am telling you about this is because, we will be tuning our guitar in such a way that we hear the sound of E,B,G,D,A,E. This is called standard tuning. The question that will now arise is, How do we do this?

You will need a pitch pipe, keyboard or a piano to hear the E note for your lowest string. The most cost efficient way would be to buy a pitch pipe at your local music store.

The point is that you will have to play the E note with your mouth using the pitch pipe and and match the tone on the guitar's E string. You can do this by blowing the pitch pipe and at the same time alternate pick the E string with your right hand and tighten or loosen the tuning peg to get the desired E sound. When the note on the guitar and the tone on the pitch pipe sounds the same, you have tuned your lowest string.

You have to consider one thing when you try to do this for the first time, you may find this difficult. But the golden rule is not to give up because I feel tuning the guitar is one of an exercise to develop your ear skills.

Developing the ear to recognize different chords or sounds is one of the most important goal for a musician.

So we have tuned one string. We still need to tune the other five strings. You can use the pitch pipe to tune the other strings the way you did with your first string. You just have to blow the B note for the B string, G note for the G string etc.

The another method you can use is a popular one and I will be posting a video lesson soon, as it's difficult to describe it by writing about it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Minor Barre chord video.

This a minor barre chord lesson by me. When I am explaining about moving the second barre chord shape, I have told to move two steps back from A Minor to G Minor, which is wrong. It's only one whole step. Please forgive me for this :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

5 Important Rules to Become a Great Guitarist.

In this post I will share my opinions about becoming a great guitarist. As everybody will agree that, there are many things that are required to become a great guitar player. I will just focus on five things that I feel are important.

I will be talking more about mental exercises rather than finger exercises because I feel psychology plays an important role in everybody's life. Everything that we do has some kind of motivation. To become a great guitarist, you will need great motivation.

1) If you want to become a great guitar player, you need set a goal. You have to be clear about what you want. If you just want to play some chords and sing some songs, that's fine. This is because, this is your goal. Or some of you would like to play like Joe Satriani. Whatever your goal is, it would be really good to define your goal clearly. Once the goal is defined, you will know how much effort you need to put to achieve that goal.

If you want to become Joe Satriani or any of you guitar idol, you must have realized by now that you will have to put lot of hours everyday. You should be ready to make sacrifices. Always remember that there is nothing like "something for nothing". If you want something, you will have to give something.

2) Second rule is to practice regularly. This means you should practice according to your goals. Practicing everyday for half an hour is a good idea rather than practicing for four hours only on one day in a week. Consistency is the key to success.

3) Be different and experiment with your playing. This world needs a new guitarist and that guitarist can be you. You never know! You have to experiment as much as possible when playing the guitar and come up with new ideas and melodies. We all have a great potential in us that we need to tap.

4) Be patient and think positive. There will be a time when whatever you will play will sound bad and nothing will seem right. Don't give up. Keep on playing. Don't see where you are now instead focus on where you want to reach in the future. Visualize that you are playing on a stage and pulling off an amazing solo in front of a crowd. This will make you positive. This is the best advise I can give that you can use in your darkest hours.

5) Last but not the least, learn guitar chops like different guitar scales and chords. Study as much as you can about music theory. This really helps.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Basics of soloing.

Anyone who wants to play the guitar has always dreamed of becoming a lead guitarist. Singing along while strumming the chords is good and gives us pleasure, however playing a melodious solo over some chord progressions is something else.

In this post, I will be talking about the basics of playing a solo. Before anyone reads this post, one should be aware of making chords and also about chords in C major.

If you are aware of these concepts, then it will be easy for you understand this guitar lesson. I will be covering the most basic thing about playing solos.

I will be talking about the C Major scale but this lesson is applicable in all the keys. We should also know that a solo sounds good only when there is some nice rhythm guitar playing in the background.

Some of you may wonder, What is the 'nice rhythm guitar playing'? It's the chord progressions that are played by the rhythm guitarist.

All the songs have a chord progression. This can be a simple one or a complicated one.

Just for convenience, we will stick to a simple chord progression. Lets take the following three major chords which are in the key of C:

G Major.
F Major.
C Major.

If someone is playing these chords and you want to play a solo over it, you can play the C major scale

It may not sound completely right but the solo will fit with these chord progressions. The reason is because these chords are derived from the C Major scale. We have harmonized the C Major scale to get these chords.

As this a basic lesson, you can play the basic C scale and try to come out with a true original solo. This may be difficult in the start but some of you may be able to pull this off immediately.

One thing important in music according to me is experimentation. You have to experiment for years to come out with your own sound.

One problem may arise is that you may not have another guitarist friend who can play the guitar chords, so that you can play the solo.

To get around this road block, you can use the sound recorder option in your computer if you are using a Windows computer. You can play the chords mentioned above and can record it on your computer. When you have done this, you can play the recorded chord progressions and then play your solo over it. You will then experience the joy of making your first guitar solo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Man Band.

There was time when I always wanted to make a band. I started playing the guitar and it was difficult for me to make a band. As I stay in India, rock scene is not that good. Me being a rock fan, it's very difficult for me to find a drummer and make a band. It's still fun to be a part of a band. What I am trying to explain is that what do you do when you can't find someone who can play with you. The first thing that comes on everyone's mind is to quit, give up or throw the towel. Or maybe even better, to play alone or wait for a miracle.

Miracles do happen in life however it's stupid for us to wait for something when you want something very badly.

I started talking to my brother who is in the United States and also a very good composer. He came to my rescue and told me that as I can't find a drummer, I can buy a software which is called Sony Acid Pro and can start making my own music.

I bought this software and I also bought the drum loops CD and suddenly I felt that I am jamming with an invisible drummer. There were different grooves or beats that I could choose.

If anyone who is in a similar crisis that I was in, I would recommend to buy a Sony Acid Pro software and drum loops CD. You can search for these products on a search engine that you like and you will get information about them.

If you have a drummer friend then buying all these products will not be necessary. As I have used the subject 'One Man Band' for this post, I need to share one more thing with you.

I would like to share something about the midi keyboard. A midi keyboard is a device that you can use with your computer and you just have plug in to your computer's USB port. You also need a software which will help you to create different sounds.

You can play bass notes using the keyboard and can also create other sounds. I don't have this instrument. I will be buying it soon after saving some money.

When you have drum loops CD, Acid Pro software, midi keyboard, then one can be a 'One Man Band'.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Major Barre chord video.

Hi, this is a video that I have uploaded to explain barre chords. Check this out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reading tablature.

Reading music is difficult and very time consuming. When you see a musical staff you'll be overwhelmed by the seeing different shapes of which you may not be familiar.

This doesn't mean that reading music is not good. In the long run, it helps a lot. As my blog has mainly tabs of what I am teaching, this post will cover "how to read tabs".

First question that will arise on your mind will be, what are tabs? Tablature is also called reading musical notation; however in an easy way. It's much more simpler than reading a musical staff. I don't know who invented this system however it's very helpful for all the guitarists.

The first thing to remember or I will say is to memorize that guitar has six strings.

The lowest thin string is the 'E' string. The right order from lowest string to the thickest string on the top of the guitar is E,B,G,D,A and E.

Check out the following figure:

--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------

By seeing the above thing, you may think what the hell is this! The six lines above correspond to the six strings of your guitar.

The following figure will explain it better:


e--------------------
b--------------------
g--------------------
d--------------------
a--------------------
e--------------------

Now check out the following figure:


e--------------------
b--------------------
g--------------------
d--------------------
a--------------------
e--2------------------

The number on the above figure indicates that you have to use your left handed fore finger to play the second fret on the e string. Frets are the vertical lines (partitions) on the neck.

e--------------------
b--1------------------
g--2------------------
d--2------------------
a--------------------
e--------------------

When you look at the above figure, you will have to play all the strings at the same time because this is an A minor chord and all the notes are positioned.

Other things that we have to remember is when you hammer on or pull off you use the 'h' sign and 'p' sign respectively. For more information about hammer ons and pull offs, click on Legato playing

The following is a hammer on example:

e--------------------
b--------------------
g--------------------
d--------------------
a--------------------
e--2h4-----------------

The above example means put your finger on the second fret and then hit your ring finger on the fourth fret in hammering style until you hear a sound of a new note.


The following is a pull off example:

e--------------------
b--------------------
g--------------------
d--------------------
a--------------------
e--5p3-----------------

The above example means that you keep your fore finger on the third fret and your ring finger on fifth fret. Now play the top 'E' string and then lift your ring finger. You will hear two notes.

Tabs is an easy reference for learning new songs.

Beginner Guitar lessons Archive

http://freeguitarlessonsbyfreeaman.blogspot.com/2009/09/beginner-guitar-lesson-open-guitar.html

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minor Pentatonic patterns.

In this post, I will give you the tab forms of the most popular minor pentatonic patterns. If you more information about how this scale is formed, please click on pentatonic scale

For convenience, I am giving positions for E minor. These scales are movable and you can use them in any key

E minor pentatonic patterns



First pattern:

e-----------------------------------------------12---15
b-----------------------------------12----15----
g---------------------------12---14------------------
d-------------------12--14------------------------
a-----------12--14-----------------------------
e---12--15------------------------------------

The root note in the above pattern is note on the 12th fret on the 'E' string.

Second pattern:

e------------------------------------10----12----
b------------------------------10--12--------------
g-----------------------9---12------------------
d-----------------9--12------------------------
a---------10---12-----------------------------
e--10--12------------------------------------


The root note in the above pattern is note on the 12th fret on the 'E' string.

Third pattern:

e------------------------------------7----10----
b----------------------------8----10------------
g----------------------7---9------------------
d-----------------7--9------------------------
a----------7---10-----------------------------
e---7---10------------------------------------

The root note in the above pattern is note on the seventh fret on the 'A' string.

Fourth pattern:

e------------------------------------5----7----
b----------------------------5--8------------
g----------------------4---7------------------
d-----------------5--7------------------------
a----------5---7-----------------------------
e---5--7------------------------------------

The root note in the above pattern is note on the seventh fret on the 'A' string.

Fifth pattern:

e------------------------------------3----5----
b----------------------------3----5------------
g----------------------2---4------------------
d-----------------2--5------------------------
a----------2---5-----------------------------
e---3--5------------------------------------

The root note in the above pattern is note on the second fret on the 'D' string.

All of the patterns that are above are movable. You can move them and play in any key. What you can do is practice the patterns one at a time. When you are able to play them fluidly, you can combine the patterns. You will realize that you have made a new solo. Try to play some power chords and add a note of pentatonic scale which is in the key you are playing. When you do this, you will come up with a nice riff for your own song. Music is about experimentation and experiment as much as you can. The more you experiment and make new riffs, the more unique your music will be. In the end, we need to make our own style and trends whenever we play the guitar or any other musical instrument. The world is looking for new ideas and new music. If you can tap into your potential, you may realize one fine morning, the next big thing is you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Song components and strumming pattern.

Today I will explain what does a song comprise of. Any good song will have the following:

1) Melody
2) Harmony
3) Rhythm

The basic pulse behind music are beats. The best way to learn is always practice with a metronome. When I started I had no good guitar teacher who could teach me the guitar. So I started the wrong way and I had to go through lot of frustrations. I made this blog so that I can give an aspiring guitar player some of my experience. One of my experience is that, we should all practice with a metronome.

In the past, i used to practice without a metronome. When i started using this ticking instrument, I realized the results I am getting are mind boggling. You can download a metronome from the Internet. You can type free metronome in Google search engine and there are many websites that will give you a free metronome.

We will start with rhythm, as all the musicians play in the same rhythm during the whole song. Rhythm is very important for the song. This is because when the Rhythm is wrong, nothing sounds right. For example Rhythm can be quarter notes, eight notes, sixteenth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes triplets.

Quarter notes are one note per beat, eight notes are two notes per beat and sixteenth notes are 4 notes per beat. Triplets are three notes per beat. Sixteenth notes triplets are six notes per beat. You can practice strumming patterns with quarter notes, eighth notes and so on.

Strumming means the movement of going down and up using your plectrum against all the strings.

To practice good rhythm, you need a metronome as I explained earlier. Try with low beats such as 70 beats per minute or 60 beats per minute.

Try some quarter notes, as I feel they are easiest. This mean when you hear a beat at the same time you should strum down (I am also assuming that you have used your other hand to form a chord)

Whenever you hear a beat and you strum down or up once, this called a quarter note strumming pattern.

Now we will try eighth notes. When you hear a beat in this case, your plectrum should go up and down and when you hear the beat again, the plectrum should go up and down again.

As you must have already guessed by now that sixteenth notes would be strumming up and down twice when you hear one beat. The best way to make a good rhythm is to make a mixture of different notes. For example, you can strum quarter notes for two beats and then eight notes for two beats. This combination gives a flavor to the music.

You should experiment. You may realize that you have a made a cool strumming pattern for your first song. I will write more about strumming patterns in my next post.

The second most important part of the song is melody. This is what the singer is singing. This is the first thing that grabs our attention. You will have to use your creativity to come up with some excellent melodies.

The last part that I listed above is harmony. Harmony is nothing but the chord progression of the song. So we have to make a good chord progression for a song. We can do this when we have deep knowledge of chord formulas.

In the end, it's just the right combination of all these factors that make a good song.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pentatonic scale.

What is a pentatonic scale? This was the question i used to ask myself when I started playing the guitar. Finally, I learned that this scale is one of the most important scale for a rock guitarist. This scale is used by many famous guitarists.

I learned some pentatonic patterns and started practicing them endlessly. As usual, the hard work payed off and the results started showing. Suddenly I started sounding like my idols and I felt I have become a cool guitarist. Most of the guitar solos are made of pentatonic scales. When this scale is combined with legato playing, one is destined for greatness. I mean guitar greatness and becoming a guitar Guru.

If we want to derive the Pentatonic scale from the major scale, we have to eradicate two notes. I will give an example. As C Major scale has the following notes:

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I have put numbers below the notes so that I can simplify what I am trying to explain. As mentioned earlier, we have to eradicate two notes. The two notes that will be removed are '4' and '7'. '4' and '7' are the F note and the B note respectively.

After removing these notes, we get the following C major pentatonic scale:

C D E G A C

Penta means five and after seeing the above scale, you must figured out by now that pentatonic has five notes.

The following is a simple C Major pentatonic scale:

e------------------------------
b------------------------------
g--------------------2-----5--
d----------2------5--
a---3----5-----------
e------------------

You can practice the above pattern and I will post all the minor and major patterns soon. Cheers and Rock On!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Power chords lesson 2

Hi, This post is also about power chords but power chords that are with Octaves. For more information about power chords, please click on Power chords If you don't know how to make chords, click on Making chords

When we add an Octave, the power chord doesn't have only the 1st and the 5th as per the last post. It also has an 8th, which is also called an Octave.

So, we will be studying some power chords which will have a 1st, 5th and Octave. Here are a few examples:

G5

e------------------
b------------------
g------------------
d--------5----------
a--------5----------
e---3---------------

C5

e------------------
b------------------
g--------5----------
d--------5----------
a---3---------------
e------------------

E5

e------------------
b----------5--------
g--------4----------
d---2---------------
a------------------
e------------------

A5

e----------5--------
b----------5--------
g--2----------------
d------------------
a------------------
e------------------

In the last two examples, you'll have to stretch your hands again however it's worth it. These chords are also movable and you can play them in any position. When you will move these chords to different position, the power chord will change.

For example, when you move the E5 chord one step ahead, it will become F5. As you must be knowing by now one step head means moving to the next fret. Whole step means skipping the next fret and then going on to the next fret. So going from the first fret to the third fret will be considered one whole step.

For some of you, this may not make sense however you can read it again and you can also comment and ask a question. I will be happy to answer your questions. I will also be posting some video lessons soon, so that everyone can get a clearer picture of whatever I am blogging.

There is one more lesson remaining for power chords and I will be posting it in a day or two.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Power chords.

Power chords are the backbone of Heavy metal and hard rock music. Anyone who wants to play heavy metal must know these chords. I will post a video of power chords in future. The video will give you a complete explanation of power chords.

Power chords are best used with a distortion pedal and with a technique which is called "palm muting". Palm muting is nothing but keeping the base of your palm near the bridge of your guitar and mildly muting the strings. This has a very good effect when you play the power chords.

Power chords are the chords where there is no 3rd. This means that a power chord is only made of 1st and 5th. An A power chord is written as A5 and a C power chord is written has C5.

So the point is that, if any note has a '5' next to it, it means that its a power chord.

The C power chords will have C and G note.

I will list some of the power chords for you:

C5

e---------------
b---------------
g---------------
d-------5--------
a---3------------
e---------------

D5

e---------------
b---------------
g---------------
d-------7--------
a---5------------
e---------------

F5

e---------------
b---------------
g---------------
d---------------
a-----3----------
e-1--------------

G5

e---------------
b---------------
g---------------
d---------------
a-------5--------
e---3------------


Please note that all these chords are movable. This means, for example, if you move the G5 chords to the next fret, the chord will become a G#5 chord. # indicates a sharp note.

There are two more movable power chord shapes you must familiarize yourself with. In the shape below, the chord starts from a G string, you will have to stretch your hand a bit. The shape is the following:

A5

e---------------
b--------5-------
g--2-------------
d---------------
a---------------
e---------------

Last but not the least, this is also another movable power chord shape:

e-------5--------
b--3-------------
g---------------
d---------------
a---------------
e---------------

Till next time. Cheers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Suspended chords.

Today, I will be talking about suspended chords. Suspended Chords have a unique sound. The sound is different from a major chord or a minor chord. As we all know that a major chord sounds happy and and minor chord sounds sad.

There are two kinds of suspended chords that we should remember. They are suspended 2nd or suspended 4th. The are also called "sus2" and "sus4".

It would be good for you, if you can remember, these following chord formulas:

Suspended 2nd - 1 2 5
Suspended 4th - 1 4 5

As you will notice from the above formulas, there is no third and it has been substituted by a second or fourth.

Third means the third note of the scale and fourth means fourth note of a given diatonic scale.

The above chords are seen in lot of rock songs. It's also used in the famous Summer of 69 song by Bryan Adams.

I will list the C sus4 and Csus2 chord below:

Csus4

e--1---------------
b--1---------------
g------------------
d------------3-----
a------------3-----
e------------------

The above chord is part of chord progression used in the hit song November Rain By Guns N roses.

C sus2

e-x-----------------
b--1----------------
g------------------
d------------------
a----------3--------
e-x-----------------

x means these strings should not be played.

You can try to figure out other suspended chords by yourself and if you have a question, you are always welcome to post a comment.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Major seventh barre chords.

This lesson is about movable barre chords. If you want information about barre chords, please click on Barre Chords

If you want information about seventh chords, please click seventh chords

The following are the movable seventh barre chords:

C major seventh

e--3------------------
b-------5-------------
g----4----------------
d-------5-------------
a--3------------------
e--3------------------

C dominant seventh or C7

e----------6----------
b-------5-------------
g-------5-------------
d-------5-------------
a--3------------------
e--3------------------

F major 7

e---5-----------------
b---5-----------------
g---5-----------------
d----------7----------
a------------8--------
e---5-----------------

All of these chords are movable. This means that, they can be played in any key, you just have to move them to the right note or key.

Be patient and make sure when you are playing these chords that all the notes are ringing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seventh Chords.

Seventh chords are one of the most important chords for guitar playing or any other instrument. I have a close friend who is violinist and he tells me that seventh chords are one of the most important chords for violinists also.

So what are these seventh chords. To understand these chords, we must memorize some formulas. I know memorizing chord formulas is a pain however if we memorize them, it will be good for us in the future.

Three formulas we need to learn are the following

Major 7th - 1 3 5 7

Minor 7th - 1 3b 5 7b

Dominant 7th - 1 3 5 7b

b represents flat

There are more dominant seven chords but I will cover them in the future. There is one dominant chord in every key or diatonic scale. The 7th chords have sound that resembles tension and chaos. Whenever you play a 7th chord, try to play a normal chord after the 7th chord and you will notice the difference. You will realize that a tension has been resolved.

I will be listing the diatonic 7th chords that are in the key of C. I use the C key because it doesn't have a sharp or a flat and it's easy to explain music theory with the help of C scale.

The following are open 7th chords in the scale of C:

C major 7

e----------------
b----------------
g----------------
d-----2-----------
a--------3--------
e----------------

D minor 7

e-1---------------
b-1---------------
g---2-------------
d----------------
a-x---------------
e-x---------------

x means you should not play these strings.

E minor 7

e----------------
b------3----------
g----------------
d--2--------------
a--2--------------
e----------------

F Major 7

e----------------
b-1---------------
g----2------------
d-------3---------
a-x---------------
e-x---------------

x means you should not play these strings.

G dominant 7

e-1---------------
b----------------
g----------------
d----------------
a----2------------
e------3----------

A minor 7

e-------3---------
b-1---------------
g----2------------
d----2------------
a----------------
e----------------

The next lesson that I will post will be about movable seventh chords. Practice these chords and try to learn the diferent sound of these chords. As we all know. all musicians should have good ears. At one point of time, we should be able to listen to a song or a chord and then play it on the guitar.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Minor Barre Chords.

Today, this lesson is about two minor chord barre shapes. These are the most important minor barre chords that anyone should use when playing the guitar. Click on Minor Barre Chords for a video guitar lesson.

This is the first shape:

e---7---------------
B-------8-----------
G------------9------
d------------9------
a---7---------------
e---7---------------

The chord above is an E minor chord. 7 is the place where the barre should be.
This is the second shape:

e----5----------------
B----5----------------
G----5----------------
d-------------7-------
a-------------7-------
e----5----------------

The chord above is an A minor chord. 5 is the place where the barre should be. All these chords are movable and you can play over the fret board using any root note.

Try to play them and make sure that you can hear all the notes. If you want more information on major barre chords and what a "barre" is, please click on major barre chords

After you have practiced these chords and you can hear them, try changing them with the major barre chords that are in the same key.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Barre chords.

Hi Today I will be explaining about barre chords that can be used when playing the guitar. Barre means we use our forefinger to press the strings in a straight line and form a barre.

The straight line will look like the following:
e-----1---------------------
b-----1---------------------
g-----1---------------------
d-----1---------------------
a-----1---------------------
e-----1---------------------

The ‘1’ in the upper tabs means you only have to use your forefinger to press all the strings.
There are three types of major chords that you can use There are more however I feel these are most basic ones that everyone should learn. They are the following:
I will mention D chord in all the chord shapes.

1st Shape:
e----2----------------
b---------3-----------
g----2----------------
d-----------4---------
a---------------5-----
e----2----------------

Please note in the above tab the second fret should be fretted by your fore finger and you should make a barre.

2nd shape:
e-----5-----------------
b---------------7------
g------ ---------7-----
d---------------7-----
a-----5----------------
e-----5---------------

Please note in the above tab the fifth fret should be fretted by your fore finger and you should make a barre.

e-----10-------------------
b-----10-------------------
g------------11------------
d------------------12------
a------------------12------
e-----10-------------------

Please note in the above tab the tenth fret should be fretted by your fore finger and you should make a barre.

All the above chords are movable. This means you can use these shapes with any root note. I just used the D chord for a better understanding.
These chords sound very cool and you don’t have to be stuck with the basic open chords. Practice them with patience and you will start enjoying them. These are the chords that are used by most of the professionals. After reading this post even you have become a pro. The next lesson that I will post will be about minor barre chords.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Right Hand Technique.

Hi. Today I will be talking one of a right hand technique that is very important if anyone wants to shred like a great guitar player.When I started out i always used to wonder what is shredding. Shredding is nothing but playing fast. One can play fast by practicing with metronome.

When anyone practices with a metronome, a person stays in rhythm. I will give an explanation about rhythm in my next lesson as I will giving you information about one important aspect of guitar playing. This technique is very important and I was not using it for many years.

This technique is called alternate picking. This means that when you practice any scales on your guitar, you have to pick everything up and down. Start with a downstroke of your plectrum and after that use an up stroke. Your motion should be down up, down up. This will help you to play fast in the future. When you use the alternate picking technique with a metronome, you will be fast in a very short time.

This is no rocket science. If you practise this with all the scales you know, you will be be good in a short time. In the end it all depends on how much effort you want to put in. Always remember, the more effort you put, the more you will get.

So keep on practicing and you will be there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Legato playing.

Legato playing is done with a techniques that involves hammer ons and pull offs. Hammer on means playing a note and then pressing the other note with your next finger without using the plectrum.

If you have a finger on on the the third fret and first fret and you play the note on third fret. After doing this, when you lift your finger, you will also hear the sound of the first note. This is called pull offs. This method is used by lot of guitarists so that they can play fast.

You can try this on a scale pattern, especially the Major Scale

You will find out what you are playing sounds good and your right hand doesn't have to do lot of work.

I will post an exercise about legato playing soon.

My image

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chord formula.

If you want to derive triads or chords, I've listed the formulas for some triads:


Major 1 3 5
Minor 1 3b 5
diminished 1 3b 5b
augmented 1 3 #5

major 7th 1 3 5 7
dominant 7th 1 3 5 b7
minor 7th 1 3b 5 b7

suspended 4th 1 4 5
suspended 2nd 1 2 5

b means flat
# means sharp

Monday, August 11, 2008

Making a song

If anyone who pickups the guitar will also want to make a song in the future. Making a song will unleash a creative side of you.

If anyone wants to make a song and write good music, first step is to believe that we can write good music and can make a good song. If you have just started out to learn guitar, please note making a song is possible with one or two chords also.

We can all make songs by focusing on our good, bad and angry thoughts. You can make a happy song by focusing on your happy thought. Sad song by focusing on your sad thoughts. Just think about something and start to write those thoughts in poetic form on a paper. It may be difficult in the beginning however after some time you will realize that writing or making a song is not that difficult.

If you have been playing the guitar for a while you will realize that minor chords mean sad songs and happy chords means major chords. seventh chords add to the tension and drama that is needed in a song.

Anyway the point is to pick up a book and a paper and start writing after focusing on some of your life's event. You may find out that you have just made your first song. I would suggest to keep a small diary and a pen with you every time. Sometimes a song may just pop in your head. You can then pen it down on the paper.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Practicing with a Metronome.

Hi. I will be talking about importance of using a metronome when playing the guitar. Lot of people ignore the basic stuff and i was one of them. I never used the metronome to practice. I was able to build speed on the guitar however i was not accurate. I was a slow on one pattern and i would speed up on another. To be consistent in speed and timing, we should use a metronome.

Metronome can be used when we are playing rhythm or playing lead guitar. All the best guitarists thats i know have used a metronome to practice guitar. This is the only way we can be accurate and good when playing with a band or by playing alone. if we don't use it, we may be sloppy.

Metronome benefited me a lot and and i still use it. There is a metronome in a processor that you can use with your guitar. You can read your user manual to get instructions. There are many websites that give you a free metronome software. You can look for this on your favorite search engine. Just type 'free metronome' and press 'enter.

There are things that we need to know before we can use the metronome. These things are quarter notes, whole notes, half notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes etc. Many guitar players when they start practicing guitar overlook these things. I will cover this topic in my next post. Cheers.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Music Intervals.

Today, I will be giving a brief information about Intervals. I will discuss the C major scale to give information about intervals. We will talk about an old system of intervals. This is important because when you are jamming with any good musicians you'll often come across many jargons such as major second and minor second.

I will be talking about major intervals. The following is the C major scale:

C D E F G A B C.

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that C major scale doesn't have any sharps or flats. For convenience, it would be good if you memorize the following:


C = root note
D = major second
E = major third
F = perfect fourth
G = perfect fifth
A = major sixth
B = major seventh
C = octave (even this is a perfect interval)

The sequence of the intervals will be the same in all major scales. I have listed the G Major scale for more information:

G = root note
A = major second
B = major third
C = perfect fourth
D = perfect fifth
E = major sixth
F# = major seventh
G = octave (even this is a perfect interval)

I will be posting more information about intervals in future. This is just basic stuff that everyone should remember.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Making Chords

Today i will be telling you guys how to derive chords from a Major scale. One should know the major scale completely to understand what i will typing in this blog.

I have a previous post which explains about the major scale. You can check it out in Blogger history.

We'll be studying the C Major scale and because it doesn't have any sharps or flats.

The C Major scales has the following notes:

C D E F G A B C

We'll make chords from the above notes. Chord is made by stacking thirds. This means you take a note in a scale and ignore the second note and go to the third note. After this we'll ignore the fourth note and then we'll go to fifth note.

For example, we'll take the C note from the above scale and ignore from the second note D and go to the third note E. We'll ignore the fourth note which is F and go to the fifth note which is G.

After following the above steps we get the following notes:

C E G

This is the C chord. By following the above procedure, you can get all the diatonic chords which are in the key of c and also any other major scale.

This is what we get when you use the above method with all the notes:

C E G = C Major chord
D F A = D Major Chord
E G B = E Minor Chord
F A C = F Major Chord
G B D = G Major Chord
B D F = B Diminished Chord

Thats all for now. Will post more lessons in future. Cheers! You can comment on this blog if you have any questions.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Iron Maiden

I recently went to the Iron Maiden concert in Bombay and it was amazing. they played all of my favorite songs so i feel the 1650 rupees that I payed for their concert was worth it.

They played all the great songs such as Fear of the dark, Hallowed Be thy name and Trooper.

I was impressed by the crowd in Bombay as they were singing along with the band and Bruce Dickinson was amazing. I can't leave anyone out as everyone in the band were great.

I liked performance of Janick Gers. He was great.

I enjoyed the show and the best part was another complementary band which opened them. It was Steve Harris's daughter's band. The guitarist of this band was excellent and was playing some awesome riffs. It was inspiring to see all these great guitarists playing on the stage.

Will wait for them to come back to Bombay.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rock Bands!

I never wrote my influences. I picked up the guitar when i was 16 and I love Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and many other bands. I also love Metallica and Megadeth.

I love rock music and can't live with out. I also love Iron Maiden. I am going for their concert on February 1 in Mumbai and can't wait for it. I know it's gonna be a great show. I feel more rock bands should come to Bombay city but most of them go to Bangalore in India. This is bad. I felt very bad when Aerosmith couldn't come to Bombay and they performed in Bangalore.

Lets hope i get to see all my Favorite bands in Bombay (city i Love the most).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What is a major scale?

Today I’ll talk about how the major scale is derived. To understand this chapter, you must understand what half steps and whole steps are. You must also know what sharp notes and flat notes are.
The major scale is derived from a W W H W W W W H formula.
W is equal to whole step.
H is equal to half step.

The 12 keys of music are the following:

A, A#,B,C,C#D,D#,E,F,F#,G,G#

We'll derive the C scale now from the above notes using the following formula:
W W H W W W W H

A whole step from C note will be D. A Whole step from D is E. A half step from E is F. A whole step from F is G. A whole step from G is A. a whole step from A is B.
A half step from B is C. when you reach C again, it's called as octave.
So the C major scale is the following:
C D E F G A B C

By checking the scale, you'll know by now that this scale doesn't have any sharp or natural notes. This is the only scale which doesn't have any sharp or natural notes.
Scales for other notes can also be derived by following the above formula. If you use the formula W W H W W W W H with D, you'll get the following scale:
D E F# G A B C# D
You can derive the other scales using the same formula. You can try it by yourself. If you have any questions or you can give me feedback by posting a comment.

The following is a simple C major scale which anyone can practice.
E--------------------------------------------------------
B----------------------------------------------------------
G----------------------------2-----------4--------5---------
D------------2-----3-----5-----------------------------------
A--3-----5-----------------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------------------------

The major scale is the most important thing in music. This is because; everything is compared to major scale. I’ll be giving some more details about this in future posts.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Half steps and whole steps!

This is a new lesson. Today I will explain what a whole step and a half step is. This knowledge is required if you want to understand how scales are derived in music.

A whole step is when you keep your finger on the first fret and you skip one fret and go to the third fret. This is calling taking a whole step.

A half step is when you keep your first finger on your first fret and second finger on the second fret. This is called a half step. This also applies if your first finger is on fifth fret of any string and second finger is on sixth fret of that string.

No matter which string or fret you’re on, if you go from one fret to the next fret, it’s called half steps.

No matter which string or fret you’re on, if you go from one fret to another fret and by jumping a fret, you have done is a whole step.

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting some more lessons soon. Rock on.