( Lead guitar solos)
A Beginners Guide to Learning How to Play
Quarter Notes & Eighth Notes on the Guitar
Step 1: Practice first without the guitar
This lesson we will discuss on how to play quarter notes and eighth notes against the metronome or some kind of back beat that will keep time for you. At first you might want to try it with your foot. First, let’s try quarter notes. Tap at slow or moderate tempo (60bpm) with your foot and clap with your hands against your foot. Your hands and foot should be in sync with each other counting and clapping out loud.
Click on the image below to view clapping quarter note exercise:
Eighth Note Clapping Exercise
When clapping 8th notes you should say the rhythm like this: 1&2&3&4&. Clap with your hands on the down beat & when the foot comes up clap on the & or the upbeat. Therefore the & or the upbeat comes before beat 2 which is the 2nd quarter note in the measure.
Click on the image below to view clapping eighth note exercise:
How to apply and
Play quarter & eighth note exercises on the guitar
-Practice the picking exercise in the picture document below
-The picking exercise will help develop your right hand picking technique
Try adding some of the rhythms from the 8th note study to the blues scale. The example below uses the rhythms from measures 7 and 8. By choosing random notes from the Blues scale, and adding these quarter note & 8th note rhythms can help you develop your vocabulary of blues licks. They could be 2 measure ideas or 1 measure examples taken from the study.
Click on the photo below to view examples of the rhythm exercise study added to the blues scale:
The video below demonstrates the quarter note & eight note exercises, the picking technique & how to play quarter & eighth note exercises on the guitar. After you practice the rhythm study you will learn how to apply them to major, blues & minor scales for soloing. In this lesson we add the rhythms to the blues scale to create blues licks.
In the next blog
A Beginners Guide to Learning How to Play
Quarter Notes & Eighth Notes on the Guitar
We take the same rhythm study exercise and apply it to strumming patterns
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The Fender name is not displayed anywhere prominently. Indeed, the 13-watt Excelsior looks and sounds like it could have been born at some electronics division of a Rca or a radio company of the 1950’s. To that end, the Excelsior gets a lot of its design details from that period.
The back of the amp is wide open, with the transformer and tube section of the chassis mounted on the bottom section of the amp, and the control section placed in an enclosed section at the top—a common approach to amp layout in the ’50s. The two 6V6 power tubes are enclosed in a metal cage. the 15" speaker, a nod to 15-equipped accordion amps from the1950’s classic rock era.
The control settings: volume knob, a knob for the tremolo rate, and a slider for moving between dark and bright settings. To the right of the volume knob, there are three inputs—a standard guitar input, a mic input that has a pad for handling high-output instruments, and an accordion input that gives you a little low-end roll off and a little more presence in the highs and midrange.
The sound: Sparkling cleans, bright but not to repulsive and in your face sound. Just what a clean Fender amp should be like.
This amp was released about 3 year ago and it was a limited edition. So you might have trouble finding it in music stores today or on amazon. If you can’t find any in stock you might have to try buying it used on kijji or EBay. Your next best is option is thePro junior III by fender. Happy amp shopping! Have fun with your new sounds if you can find this amp. Overall rating for sound and affordability 8/10
|Fender pawn shop special Excelsior|
Fender Pro Junior III 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp - Black
Basic Beginner Blues & Rhythm Guitar lesson Part 1
Step 1: Learn the chords below:
(:) =the repeat dots mean to play the 12 measures more than once
Use the following backing track to practice strumming your new chords that you have just learned.
Step 2: Add some basic strumming patterns to your rhythm playing. This will make your rhythm guitar sound more musical.
Try different rhythms and the first rhythm you might want to try are basic quarter notes. Quarter notes are strummed 4 beats to a bar on the down stroke: watch video for lesson example on how quarter notes are played:
Now try adding eighth note rhythms mixed with quarter notes. Watch video to see how eighth notes are played.
Here are some picture examples of quarter noteson staff paper. Clap & play them with a metronome.
|eighth notes & Quarter notes|
Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster
One of the first things I teach my new students on the guitar is how to play a 12 bar blues. We usually pick the key of A. The first week they practice all 3 of the dominant 7th chords that are in the song. The 2nd lesson I introduce the A blues scale and this is where the magic starts. As soon as they get the scale and the notes under their belt and begin to feel and hear what the notes sound like against the chords. It is immediately followed by a smile and the sheer look of bliss on the students face. This is what is called the right brain effect and what my jazz guitar hero Joe Diorio called the creative side of the brain (right brain thinking). When we tap into this side of the brain we are relying on our intuition and the subconscious mind. This doesn’t mean we want to give up on the mathematical side (left brain) because we need that side to learn our scales and modes. The key is to internalize all these musical devices so you don’t have to think once you start to improvise. Getting into a creative state of mind starts to get more difficult once you get into more complex music. For example, to solo over Giant Steps or a jazz standard such as All The Things You Are requires you think of the changes so you can apply the appropriate scales when improvising over these tunes. So how do you express yourself creatively over a set of complex chord changes without the left brain stealing from your creative side?
Here is a list of ideas you can incorporate into your practice schedule that will free you from sounding stale and boring with your guitar solos.
Eg. All the Things You Are: week 1 practice soloing only on the first 8 measures.
Week 2 add the next 8 measures’ plus review the first 8. In total you have 16 bars and you should be doing all the improvising from memory. Continue like this for a couple of months until you feel you know these 16 bars inside and out. Once you take your time like this with a standard it will start to feel like you're soloing over a simple A 12 bar blues. Continue this process with the rest of the song. This may seem time consuming, but this one of the things you need to do to have mastery over a piece of music. Don’t rush into learning everything at once. Your mind can only handle so much and a little at a time is the best way to go.
2. Do some relaxing exercises such a yoga or meditation. When you are relaxed your creative process works better and you can tap into the subconscious mind with ease. This is what you want when you are creating music on the fly. Kenny Werner wrote an excellent book that goes into a great deal about feeling relaxed, which can be beneficial for your creative inner self. It also comes with a CD of meditation exercises that is tailored for the improvising musician. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to take their playing to the next level towards greatness.
3. Noodling: Is musical improvisation without thought, to be childlike on your instrument. Children under 5 have more control over their creative side. Once they enter the education system and are told to do things a certain way and to follow the rules they begin to lose the creative side of the brain. Our schools teach us about how to train and exercise the left brain. Pick up your guitar and play whatever ideas come to mind. They could be chromatic phrases or one string licks with lots of vibrato and bends. Be creative and exercise the right side of the brain. Once you go to improvise with modes or scales and arpeggios you already know you will surprise yourself. You will be amazed how different your solos sound. Your thought process will be more creative and rhythmic, thinking in ways you would have not thought of before.
I hoped some of these ideas presented here will help you feel more confident with your playing. The most important thing is to feel relaxed and at ease while making music so the creativity will flow through you.
Kenny Werner Book: Effortless Mastery
Fender Hot Rod DeVille ML 212 Guitar Combo Amplifier
How to learn the notes on the guitar fret board quickly by isolating
Fret board Exercise Part 2
This fret board note naming exercise was taught to me by my private teacher in the 90’s who was a former student of Joe Pass. At the time he was studying guitar at GIT and he told me Joe had taught him this fret board note naming exercise in his private lesson. Later on I read about the same exercise in an article from Jazz guitar player magazine. The author of the article was none other than Joe Pass. I found this particular lesson very helpful to me in terms of learning the notes on the guitar fret board quickly. I highly recommend it to any guitarist who wants total command of the names of notes & where they are located on the neck.
The last lesson I wrote about was on how tofind the notes on the guitar chromatically. That blog/lesson was great for beginner guitarists. If you want to be at more advanced level you should be able isolate any one note from the chromatic scale and be able to play it all over the neck. For example if I were to ask a student to play me all the Bb’s all over the neck on each string he should be able to do it without any hesitation. He should be able to play all Bb’s on each string between the 1st & 12th fret and repeat the exercise between 12th & 22 frets.
Click on photo to view
So on day 1 you would practice all the A’s, A#’s & Ab’s with a metronome. Start with a slow tempo 60bpm and work your way up to 100 or 120bpm. First start with whole notes at 60bpm and say all the A’s on each string between 1st & 12th fret. Then move on to the A#’s & Ab’s. Repeat the exercise between 12th & 22nd fret. After you’ve accomplished naming the notes in perfect time at different tempos & without stumbling you can move on to half notes & quarter notes. You don’t have to strictly follow the practice schedule above as is. You can stretch it out & tailor it to your liking and learning curves. Move on until you feel you have absorbed the info until you can execute the exercise perfectly. You can turn Day 1: A, A#,Ab, into a weeks or 3 days’ worth of practice. This way you stay on those notes longer & get to know where they are on the neck. After you feel you know where those notes are placed on the fret board move to the next 3 notes. In 3 months you should be able to name any note on any string or fret with ease & speed.
Click on both photos to view lesson blog
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If you are looking to breathe new life into your playing this book is for you. The ideas presented here will definitely add melodic content to your solos and give you a big moat of ideas to choose from. You’re not going to get any major or minor scales from this book. What you will get is what every guitar player starts off with and is most comfortable with playing wise is the Minor pentatonic scale. What you should do is combine these ideas with major scales so it will give you a war chest of ammunition when you’re ready to take your guitar solo. This book is great for jazz, fusion & rock players. I mainly use these ideas over jazz standards.
One of my favorite examples is learning to get the C major or C Lydian sound over c major 7th chord. Rules for Major 7th chord: use the 2nd degree D Minor pent, 3rd degree E minor pent, 6th degree A minor pent and the 7th degree B minor pent. Using the 2nd, 3rd and 6th you the all the notes from the C major scale. By using the 3rd, 6th and 7th you get the C Lydian sound. My preference is to use the 3rd E minor pent, 6th A minor pent 7th B minor Pent over a C major 7th chord which gives me the C Lydian sound. By using all 3 or 4 of these minor pentatonics will give your improvisation a more modern and melodic sound as you weave in and out of each of them. You will be able to see a pattern within a pattern e.g. A minor pent at the 5th position moving to E minor 4th position or A minor 5th position moving to B minor 7th position.
This you tube video will give an idea on how all 3 of these minor pentatonic scales sound individually over C Maj 7. The last segment of the video combines all 3. This will make your improvising very melodic and exotic sounding.
There are many more ideas that Steve Khan presents in this book that makes it worth your while to check out. There are ideas for minor, dominant & altered dominant chords. My favorite is the 2 5 1 minor pentatonic licks you can come up with. This book is definitely a buy and if I had to give a rating it would be 10/10. This is a book for the advancing guitarist that will give him or her number of tricks to pull out of your hat when soloing over standards. In my opinion it will free you up from thinking too much about what type mode or scale you’re going to use. It will give your playing a balance between modes and minor pentatonic ideas.
Welcome To The Guitar Trix & Tips Blog
Guitar 6 School of Music welcomes you to the Guitar Trix & Tips Blog. This blog was originally intended for my students that I teach privately. It was suppose to be a place where they can come to read lesson material that I taught over the years. The lessons would be posted as blog and to be used as reference for them just in case they forgot or lost the material that I gave them in their private lesson. Since I’m posting these lesson blogs on the internet I invite anyone that is interested in learning about beginner, intermediate & advanced lesson information that will help them in their studies of the guitar. After all, the internet is public domain and I don’t mind sharing the information that helped me and my students learn and master the instrument. This blog will be for newbie’s and for advanced players alike. I’m sure there will be students out there that will find what I have to offer helpful and others might not find so helpful. The world is a tough critic and a hard one to please. I hope the majority of people will find these lesson blogs, useful as a study aid in which will help them achieve mastery over the guitar. Other topics that I will blog about: method books, guitars, gear, amps and much more. I will give my opinion of only the best books or gear that has helped me become a better player. I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst