Strumming Overhaul: Part 1

Strumming. It should be easy right? You grab a pick, move it up and down on the strings and bam, you have an endless supply of ways to play chords. True in theory, but in reality, have you found that you need some fresh ideas to spice up your strumming? Are you in that un-inspiring place of knowing a few patterns that you always go to? Allow me to set your strumming skills on fire! Read on.

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Will Reading Music Make Me a Better Guitarist?

Did you know many guitarists can’t read music? I suspect that if they learned how, they would double their abilities. I know that it’s true for me. I have proven that being able to read music has given me a huge advantage over and over again when learning songs, composing and being asked to play for various events. So, let’s have a think about how music reading could give your playing a huge boost!

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Music’s DNA: The Chromatic scale

The Chromatic scale may have a fancy name, but in the end it’s just a sequence of letters and symbols that will empower you to build a solid musical mind frame. It’s super important!
I truly believe this is such an important concept for guitarists to understand. The Chromatic scale is all you need to know to “see” the notes on the guitar. It’s a really great foundation for building other concepts later such as intervals, chords and scales.

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A Life Saving Website

That makes teaching so much easier!

I just want to quickly share a website with you that I’ve found really helpful when teaching guitar. I believe it’s fantastic for any music student, and it’s free! It’s also accessible by students so they can train at home or on their devices and it’s even available as an app. The site is musictheory.net. So good!

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Unlock the Guitar Fretboard

Find any note on the Fretboard using the Chromatic scale

The guitar is a formidable instrument and many people can get a nice sound out of it, no doubt about it. However, when you can see the notes on the fretboard your guitar skills and awareness will sky rocket. If you can’t find notes quickly and you’d like to then I invite you to read on.

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The Major Scale

Understanding this scale is absolutely vital to becoming a better guitar player!

Greetings! If you’ve read my previous posts on the Chromatic Scale and Unlocking the Fretboard then you’re now ready to become acquainted with the Major Scale. This scale is probably the foundation of nearly every catchy song you know. The major scale is a sequence of notes from which we can build melodies, chords and even guitar solos. In Western music this scale is everywhere. You and major scales really need to get to know each other… Let me introduce you.

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Old School

An appreciation of the works written by a great guitar educator… William G Leavitt (1926 - 1990)

One of the most helpful books in my personal guitar journey was “A Modern Method for Guitar Volume 1” by William Leavitt, often referred to as the “Berklee Book”. This book is over 50 years old, and yet it still sells everywhere because it’s so good. I’d like to pay tribute to this fantastic book, as well as a few others written by this dedicated author. A big thanks to the Berklee Press, who keep books like this in print.

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Yes, Music Theory Matters!

Why you need it and why it's like having musical super powers!

What is Music Theory?

Well, it’s basically the study of all things musical. This includes the bread and butter stuff like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals and chord construction. But it’s also the study of how it all works together and how you can use it! Building your knowledge of music theory is probably the biggest investment you could make when learning any instrument, and…it doesn’t have to be slow or tedious.

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