Tricks To Soloing In The Pocket

Are you already wondering what the heck soloing in the pocket is? Well, finding the pocket is the key to making what you play feel good. The term pocket refers to how you line up rhythmically with the groove of the song. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing rhythm playing or lead work, the pocket is where the money is at.

I already showed you how to start doing this when it comes to rhythm playing, but now its time to make those leads feel great! In today’s free lesson I’ll teach you just that! Much like the rhythm version of this lesson, we start by learning to listen to what is going on in the drum groove. Get the drum groove used in the lesson here. In learning to synchronize your lead phrasing with the patterns created by the drummer’s kick and snare, you’ll be well on your way to creating perfectly pocketed solos! Once you get the hang of this, your improvised solos will take on a life of their own. So, fire up your amp or grab that acoustic and...

Continue Reading...

Melodic Soloing On Guitar

guitar melodic soloing tricks Apr 05, 2017

You’ve learned some scales and some chords and you’re starting to play with friends or maybe even some jam tracks but it’s just not happening. It’s frustrating I know, I’ve been there before (for a long time), a rut I just couldn’t seem to get out of.

To make matters worse, my technique was already good. Major bummer! How come the players in my favorite bands could solo so great and I couldn’t? What did they know that I didn’t? Where did the feel and the melodies in their solos come from? Then, I stumbled across a couple of really simple tricks that changed EVERYTHING! 

Check out this Youtube lesson… it will give you a quick sneak peak into some of the tricks I've leared over the years. 

Continue Reading...

No Scale, No Problem – The 10 Minute Guide To Fretboard Freedom

Could it be true, melodically solo over chord progressions without knowing what scale to use!?!

Short answer, yep!

The best part is that it’s really pretty simple. The trick is to look for chord shapes rather than scale shapes. When you’re able to see chord shapes all over the neck, you no longer have to be worried about a scale when it’s time to solo. When you solo from the chord shapes you’re automatically hitting the right notes because you’re using the chords themselves as your map!

How about when the tune changes keys in the middle of the song? No problem! You’re still covered because again, you simply use the chord shapes as your guide. You won’t need to figure out all the scales you need when the key changes, keeping you out of your head and in the moment.

This is all laid out beautifully in the CAGED system but that can take some time to get under your fingers, so check out the video below to start wrapping your brain around the...

Continue Reading...

Are Warm Up Routines Important?

When I was a wee lad first learning how to solo on guitar, my teacher showed me a bunch of cool scales that blew my mind. I thought this is it, this is what I have been looking for to propel me to guitar god status. All I’d need to do is to learn all the scales, be able to play them really fast and shazam, people would surely be reading about me in the magazines! Haha, we can all dream!

I did learn them all and fifty ways to play them up and down the fretboard; building up quite a bit of speed and technique in the process. In reality what those scales gave me was a great warm up routine. What it didn’t do was teach me how to become more musical.

Fast forward too many years to mention and eons of running scales, picking patterns, hammer-on and pull-off exercises. I decided I needed to start warming up in a new way. I set my intention and purpose of becoming more musical every time I picked up the guitar to warm up and devised a three part warm up routine. Starting today...

Continue Reading...

Could Your Guitars Controls Be The Key To Great Tones?

Could it really be that simple? While it might not be the only trick to getting good guitar tones, it’s a cheap and effective place to start. Check out live clips of Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Beck, Page, and Van Halen and you’ll see they’re always messing with the volume knob and their pickups. It’s also a great way to simplify things while playing live. Instead of tap dancing on pedals you can keep it all to the controls of your guitar. I shot a YouTube video demonstrating this idea, check it out below.

Start out by getting the best distorted tone you can, then back off on your volume knob and use your pickup selector to clean up the sound for rhythm or clean parts. Keep in mind that while you might not get a sparkling clean tone with this approach, your slightly dirty clean tone will sound clean once the whole band is playing. When the solo or heavy rhythm part comes back in, turn up that volume knob and let it rip! Give it a shot! This super simple approach has...

Continue Reading...

Acoustic Has Made Me A Better Player

When I decided I wanted to learn guitar I did it all backwards. Instead of starting on an acoustic, I started out on an electric guitar. It was the ugliest no name $79 dollar electric guitar you could find, but it had distortion and that was all that mattered. I just couldn’t imagine playing Crazy Train on acoustic, lol! Little did I know, that electric was so bad I would have had an easier time playing the songs I wanted on an acoustic.

But usually, the story starts something like “Mom/Dad, I want to learn to play guitar”. Then if you’re lucky, an acoustic guitar appears out of the ether for christmas or your next birthday! Or maybe it’s later in life after you’ve paid your dues with your career and you decide to reconnect with that dream you had as a kid of learning to play all of your favorite songs. I didn’t actually buy an acoustic guitar until about 25 years later. I had already been teaching guitar for about 8 years when my buddy...

Continue Reading...

How To Play Major Pentatonic

I get this question from a lot of my students and it goes something like this, “How come playing major pentatonic is so much more difficult than minor pentatonic?”

So, on our journey towards learning how to solo I find that most of us start learning the minor pentatonic scale first. We spend hours and hours learning scale positions on top of trying to figure out how to land on the right notes when jamming at home or with our friends. After months of that and learning tons of minor blues licks, that day comes when the guy down the street wants to jam over a major progression and suddenly something isn’t right. Not only is the scale in a different spot, but you’re trying your best to use all your licks and none of them sound right. That’s because all the target notes are in a different spot of the scale in major pentatonic.

In the video below, I’ll help you remedy that and get you confidently jamming away again with your buddies down the street or...

Continue Reading...

Rhythm Guitar Tricks

guitar hendrix rhythm video Mar 24, 2017

I still vividly remember riding home with my brother in our Mom’s blue Mercury Topaz listening to our local SoCal radio station KLOS when Hendrix’s Bold As Love started playing. It was an epic moment for me and honestly one of the first times I had ever even paid attention to rhythm guitar. Up until that point it was 80’s metal solos 24 hours a day, and the faster the better! After hearing that song, I dove deep into Hendrix. I was dying to know what he was doing rhythmically and how on earth he got a soloing freak like me to start wanting to play rhythm guitar.

In the video lesson below you will learn tons of rhythm guitar tricks Hendrix used in songs like Bold As Love, Little Wing, and Castles Made Of Sand. Inspired by early R&B guitar players Hendrix added his own unique style, creating an amazing new way of playing rhythm and lead lines at the same time. He did this using double stops, slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs within the chord shapes. As...

Continue Reading...