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1. Align 1st finger to 9th fret. 2. Allocate one finger per fret so that the 2nd finger takes care of the 10th fret, the 3rd finger the 11th fret and the 4th finger the 12th fret. 3. On the 6th string play notes using the following fingering pattern: 1234 1243 1324 1342 1423 1432 4. Move up to 5th string and repeat using the same pattern. 5. Continue across the strings 4th, 3rd 2nd and 1st. 6. Move down a couple of frets and repeat steps 2 - 5. 7. Continue working in this way down the fretboard a couple of frets at a time until you have reached the open position. 8. If pain or cramp sets in stop and relax your hand and start the exercise again a few minutes later.

Taking the C major scale as an example:

The Roman numerals and generic names of each degree of the scale are constant for all keys. These are used, somewhat confusingly, to refer both to the notes on a major scale and to the chords built on those notes:

The same procedure is used to harmonise any major scale. Here is the scale of D major harmonised. Notice the effect that the key signature has on the chord types. Also notice how the sequence of chord types remains the same, ie. I = major, II = minor, III = minor, IV = major, V = major, VI = minor, VII = diminished, VIII = major. This is true for all major keys.

DIAGONAL BLUES SCALE RUNS Suggested ascending 3 octave run shown in G e-------------------------------8-9-10-13-15--------------B------------------------6-8-11---------------------------G------------------5-6-7----------------------------------D------------3-5-8----------------------------------------A------3-4-5----------------------------------------------E--3-6----------------------------------------------------Whole pattern showing key notes:

Fingering tips: Use first finger for key notes (except the last one). Last two notes should be fingered 2, 4. Suggested descending 3 octave run shown in G e--15-13--------------------------------------------------B--------15-14-13-----------------------------------------G-----------------15-12-10--------------------------------D--------------------------12-11-10-----------------------A-----------------------------------13-10-8---------------E-------------------------------------------10-9-8-6-3----Whole pattern showing key notes:

The CAGED system is a powerful tool for unravelling the complexities of the layout of notes, scales, chords, arpeggios, interval patterns, licks and riffs on the guitar fretboard. Its name is an acronym for the five basic chord shapes which form the origin of the system: Start by looking at the patterns formed by the Root Notes of each of these chords. Marked 'R' on the diagram below :

By clearing the rest of the chord notes away we can see these root note patterns more clearly. Note that what we are left with are all the possible ways of fingering movable OCTAVE PATTERNS:

Now here's the clever bit: by laying these five patterns out so that they overlap each other in the order that spells the word 'CAGED' we are able to chart every single occurrence of any given note on the fretboard:

Try it - learn to finger this pattern off by heart then start it anywhere on the fretboard and you will join together every occurrence of whatever note you start it on! But that's only the first (and relatively trivial) application of the system. For a more detailed explanation of how to use the CAGED system to locate scales, chords and just about every other form that you need to learn to master the guitar, refer to our new ebook: 'Fifty Flexible Lesson Plans for Teaching Guitar'.


Scales Licks Essential Licks Tabs Improvisation Play along Ear Training Theory

In case you don't master the following scales: pentatonic, blues, major/minor, minor harmonic and melodic, whole - half tone, bebop. Try to learn a lick each day you practice . Learn the main licks of the great masters.

10 min. 10 min. 20 min.

There are a lot of solos you should know. Once you learn one, move to the 20 following. min. Learn theory at first, than play along with the jazz comps. Listen to your favourite music with the guitar in your hands. Try to catch the harmony at first, then improvise solos. There's a lot of excellent software for ear training. You should begin with intervals and chords. Learn theory and the logic behind the music. Try to understand how your favourite musicians wrote their music. 30 min. 30 min. 10 min. 20 min.


Record what you practice. This will improve your accuracy, sometimes you 30 get the feeling you do the exercise as it should but you'll be sure of it only min. after you'll hear it recorded. Record your own ideas, any recording may be the basic material of a future song. If you like watching TV, do it with the guitar in your hands. Try to "catch" music you hear for the first time - melody, chords and improvise with it. Try to imitate the phrasing of the actors or talking heads (sports commentator are great). -

Be creative

Don't waste time


Generally speaking, the improvisation is supposed to be free. There are some restrictions imposed by harmony that the player should overcome by practice and a correct approach. The theory speaks about two ways to approach improvisation: The vertical approach ­ the player solos according to the current chord. The horizontal approach ­ the player solos according to the current scale A classic example of vertical approach is "wrapping the chord". That means that certain notes of the current chord and neighbouring ones are played. Another vertical approach is to play modes according to the chord-changes. For this you will get help from Modes. The vertical approach demands a perfect knowledge of harmony and quick-thinking. Sometimes the modes that the soloist plays may be too far out of the basic key of the song or of the section. That's why we got the horizontal approach: If the current chord is the result of the harmonization of the basic scale of the song, there's no

problem: one can improvise freely inside the scale. If a chord that contains one or two notes that don't belong to the basic scale emerges, the improviser may go on thinking about the same scale with one or two exceptions. Some examples: Diagonal Approach. Another situation is when sections of the song are written in other scales than the basic one: Modulation Inside the scale one can play:

· · · · · ·

2-notes patterns: intervals 3-notes patterns: triads 4-notes patterns: arpeggios 5-notes patterns: pentatonic scales 6-notes patterns: blues scales 7 or 8-notes patterns: scales

Some examples:

· · ·

In Major Scales In Harmonic-Minor Scales In Melodic-Minor Scales

The most usual guitar techniques:


How to Play the first note, then bend the string with the playing finger (helped eventually by



the other fingers) until you hear the next note (in the tab example, a whole step bend, from E to F#). There are also 1/2, 1 1/2, 2 steps bends.


Bend then release back to the first note.


Pluck only the first note, then hammer the second at a higher fret.


Pluck only the first note, then pull the second at a lower fret.


Fret a note (or notes) and then move (slide) to another fret without taking the pressure off your finger (fingers) as you move.


Repeatedly bend the pitch up slightly, and then let the note back down to the original pitch.


Tap with the index or midfinger at the written fret.

Natural Harmonic

Touch the string lightly (don't press down) over the fret bar then pluck.

Pinch Harmonic

Pick the string, then touch the edge of your right hand thumb.

Palm Mute

Touch the string slightly with the palm of your right hand.

The Generic Sequence IIm - V7 IIm - V7 - Imaj7 IIm7b5 - V7alt - Im6 Imaj7 - VI7b9 - IIm7 - V7 - IIIm7 - VI7b9 - II7 - V7 I7 V7 - Imaj7

Example Dm - G7 Dm - G7 - Cmaj7 Dm7b5 - G7alt - Cm6 Cmaj7 - A7b9 - Dm7 - G7 - Em7 A7b9 - D7 - G C7 G7 - Cmaj7

Midi File 11m V7 IIm V7 Imaj7 IIm V7 Imin I VI II V I7 V7 Imaj7

Problem Barre Chord


Possible Solution You play the barre chord with your finger bones, not with the soft finger flesh that you use when soloing, so the palm will be slightly turned outwards, not perpendicular on the fret board. Try also to play small barre - covering only

Barre Chord

You play the barre chord with your finger bones, not with the soft finger flesh that you use when soloing, so the palm will be slightly turned outwards, not perpendicular on the fret board. Try also to play small barre - covering only the 3 high strings. Always check the sound of each string. Play the easiest chords at first (E-shape is easier than Em-shape, maybe the easiest shape). There has never been a student who didn't overcome this problem in two weeks at most. Begin with the Box Position, a logical sequence of patterns, starting with the You simply can't memorize easiest to remember, then learn the others in the order of the scales featured on the page. You can play a scale tens of times in 10 minutes, if you'll follow the scale patterns. the schedule you'll memorize the scales for sure. The secret of speed is to play as lightly as the phrasing allows it. Keep the You can't reach the speed fingers of your left hand as close as possible to the fingerboard, don't make big moves with your right, use only the tip of the pick. Of course, speed comes with time. While practicing Gym and Chops, increase the speed gradually. There is a certain "speed barrier" that disappears suddenly, of course if you practice enough. You think you improvise Learn as many chops as you can, learn other's solos, make phrasing exercises out what's the next step, what's the next musical sentence. Before seeing a doctor, do the hardest thing: take a break of one or two days. While practicing, always have short breaks any 15 - 20 minutes, stop immediately if you feel the slightest pain and never play licks or chords that twist your palm in a strange way (tabs often contain errors). Remember that the notes between the lines are F-A-C-E, they form the word


No Speed

of your favourite players, somehow you get stuck.

Same licks

but you play the same licks and: try to think a step forward - it means that, while you're playing, figure again and again.


Standard Notation

You just can't remember where the notes are. Your playing seems to go nowhere.

"FACE", then the notes go in alphabetical order (for instance, between A and C - you'll find B, between C and E - you'll find D) from A to G (therefore, between F and A - you'll find G)

No Progress

Try the schedule. You have to locate the problem. Is it the guitar, the amp or your way of

The Sound Stinks

playing? If you don't like the gear - buy something else but this time, be sure you buy the right instruments to get that sound you have in mind. If it's your playing, try to play softer or closer to the neck, apply finger vibrato and don't forget: it takes a lot of time to get a good sound. You play like a Midi File, you may be accurate but your music doesn't raise any interest. Play the same exercise with different feelings, not only glad and sad but also frightened, laughable, tenderly, etc. Your solo must tell a story. It's all about phrasing.

No Feeling

The Jam Sessions Music is something that has to be made, played, appreciated and enjoyed together. While it's great that you can listen to your favourite CD in the car and sing along (when no one is looking) the fact of the matter is that music is better enjoyed with friends. When you're a musician, this doesn't change. You don't become a brilliant musician by staying in your room all day and practicing your scales. You have to step out and join other musicians, learn from them, and find out that true creativity is not done solo. The closet is honestly not a very good teacher.

Jam sessions are the way to do this. This is when musicians get together and just... well, jam. Someone starts a groove, a lick, or a melody and the rest of the musicians are inspired and pick it up - letting the music take them wherever it wants to go. Being a musician requires two things : head and soul. Most musicians have either a lot of the one and too little of the other. Musicians with a lot of 'head' know all the technical aspects of music what mode to play when, which notes work best over which chord progressions, what kind of groove is good for a specific time signature etc. Musicians ought to know these things. But musicians that are on this side of the scale tend to lack a serious amount of creativity - they live in the box, and music is supposed to be about breaking free from the box. The other type of musician - the one with a lot of soul - is usually the kind of musician with a lot of natural talent. He can play a groove well, or can easily pick up notes with his ear and play them. He is very creative, but has no idea how to actually structure that creativity in an effective way. Usually, he is the 'misunderstood' musician - he struggles to work with others, and tends to feel frustrated with them. The truth is that he is less of a musician if he can't work with others, and needs to learn how. To be a fantastic musician, is to be a well rounded musician. This is why jam sessions are so important - they help a musician to acquire the skills that he lacks. A musician with a lot of soul learns how to structure his talent into a song, learning when to play and when not to play. A musician with a lot of 'head' and technical knowledge learns how to break free from his box a little and just let his creativity take over. This is why band's should jam, and to jam A LOT. They learn each other's (and their own) strengths, weaknesses, and learn how to 'play off' each other and inspire each other. Many a fantastic song has been written out of a jam session. Take for instance U2's "Pride (in the name of love)" - that song was written in a jam session during a sound check. U2 is a good example of a band that writes their albums from jam sessions - that's when the creativity is flowing. Jam sessions teach musicians a number of things : 1) Songwriting - which we've discussed above. 2) Groove. A lot of technical guitarists or even drummers lack groove, which is a very bad weakness. When a jam session is going, the subtle difference between groove and sound starts to become evident. Also, it's helpful to jam with a metronome, as it can help all the musicians to learn how to keep their rhythm in time - even if only the drummer jams with a metronome. 3) Tone. Not just guitarists need to worry - or get excited - about tone. All the musicians, including the singer and the drummer, learn during a jam session how to tweak their ear to the subtle frequencies going on, and adjust their tone to fill in the gaps that are missing, and complement the other instruments. 4) Dynamics. To know when to play, and when not to play! Many great musicians have said that it's not so much what you put in, but what you leave out, that makes a great song. 5) Using your skill tastefully. Shredding the guitar at breakneck speeds are fantastic to look at, but if every song has that kind of solo, it gets boring very quickly. In Jam sessions, you learn melody and note-placing very easy, so that when you break out into a lightning speed solo it's tasteful more

than just plain showmanship. The benefit from jam sessions cannot be understated - and once you start them, you will soon find out that they're way more fun than just going over the arrangements of a song over and over again. Jam sessions also improve your confidence - both as a musician and as a band - preparing you for the live performance, and allowing you to relax into your instrument.

The Link between Practising and Performing A perception exists that performing and practicing music are two different activities. It is true that learning the basics of music is an exercise which is highly important and without this, true performing can not be undertaken to the highest ability. However, the relationship between performing and practicing is deeply intertwined and at a certain level the distinction between the two virtually disappears. At a certain stage in an individual's musical career, practicing morphs rather than using them as a learning experience will prepare the performer for the performance. It is at this point, that performing becomes a larger learning experience. There are countless reasons for this. One reason is that the aspect of performing will give the performer a great energy kick that is experienced when performing to a live audience. The performer can feel the energy of the audience, which enables the performer to reach new heights of artistic achievement. Once the performer has experienced the thrill of performing for a live audience, that thrill then becomes apparent in every practice session which follows and the energy of the live performance. The true aim of developing mechanical and musical ability will become evident and the focus in practice sessions will be changed. It is at this point that performing really becomes the true learning experience and every practice session becomes preparation to concentrate and enhance that experience. This will certainly mark the difference between musician and artist. The artists will easily find new ways in which to practice and bring live performances closer to the pure pleasure of musical expressions in every way. The performer will bring different and assorted disciplines such as psychology, exercise kinesiology and acoustics along with other artistic disciplines such as theatre and dance into the practice session in order to develop new areas of experimentation. By doing this the artist-musician will achieve greater control of the instrument in which they are playing when it comes to their overall performance. The artist will also find new ideas and ways of practicing. There will be a gradual transformation of the musician in a creative and fulfilling way so that it optimizes the live performances before an audience. The true transformation from musician to artist is this, and during this combination the artist will surely be able to develop and find personal, unique and creative techniques of expression. As this improves, the artist will become to realize that concentration is largely improved along with ease of performance and a greater synchronicity of body, mind and "soul" as professional musicians like to call it.

To some individuals, this may sound complicated. However, music is something which an artist enjoys. Practicing is in effect, playing music, which a musician should always enjoy for his own personal sake. Practicing will transform into a more rewarding and fulfilling experience and one of the most important steps in reaching such heights of artistic achievement will be reached. Screaming Fingers! While it's true a good guitarist has to have a little inherent talent, almost anyone can condition themselves to have the screaming fingers of a pro. It takes knowledge, time and practice. Let's put some serious emphasis on that last one - practice! Screaming fingers are made, they're not born. Even if you have an ear for music, a natural talent to pick out notes, there's no skimping on the need for practice to train fingers to go where they belong on a guitar - or any finger manipulated instrument for that matter. To get started on the way to having screaming fingers, serious players recommend: * Learning the guitar well. Your fingers can't go where you need them to if you don't know where they really belong. This means you have to learn the guitar, its parts and its notes and chords before you can even begin to have screaming fingers. Sure, you might be able to play fast, but if it sounds awful, you haven't accomplished much! * Take lessons. This goes along well with the first point, but it can't be stated enough. If you want to learn the instrument correctly and progress with a fair amount of speed, lessons are invaluable. Whether in person, from a book or online, get the basics down with some instruction and you'll be well on your way to playing better. * Find some fingering exercises that work for you. This means practicing different chords to find the ones that challenge your fingers the most. The idea is to learn these buy route so making the right sounds comes almost as second nature. You should have to think or look to get the job done. * Condition your fingers. Many guitarists perform simple finger exercises even away from the guitar to keep their fingers fast, nimble and accurate. Whether it's finger lifts, typing or something else, anything that keeps those fingers a flyin' is good! * Repetition. In order to truly have screaming fingers, repetition is an absolute must. You need to learn to play well, not only fast. This means practicing over and over again until you can play a piece in your sleep. It might seem boring, but the result will be worth the monotony. Remember, the world's best guitarists didn't become so over night. It might take some time, blood, sweat and tears, but if the desired outcome is screaming fingers, the results should be worth the effort. There are many things you can do to assist in meeting the goal, including taking lessons, practicing whenever possible and even just making a determination to stick with it. Many, who seek to play the guitar well, give up because it's not the easiest instrument in the world to learn. But the truth is, almost anyone can play if they put their mind to the pursuit and put in the

time to learn correctly and practice. Don't expect instant gratification, and do reward yourself when things click and you should find that screaming fingers are within grasp.

Introduction to Jazz

Presented here are most of the common jazz chord shapes (grips) for guitar. Of course there are many more and they will be covered later - but for now get started with these... These shapes, like the ones before and all those to come need to MEMORIZED. This is very important. Make a Mental Chord Dictionary in your head to store all these new shapes (make sure you also remember which note is the root note). Remember that when I explain notes I sometimes use - 6:3 - which means string:fret. Video lesson as usual is at the bottom of this page. Major 7 Major 7th chords are the first chords that we will learn. They sound very jazzy and are very hip. Below are two examples of how to play a Maj 7 chords (Maj 7 chords are also denoted with a triangle, but I can't make the computer do that, so I'll use Maj 7). Note that I have given you two grips (chord shapes), one with a 6th string root and one with a 5th string root. As you should know, what ever note you put the root note on is the name of the chord. For example, if you put the root note from the first shape at the 3rd fret then it would be a G Maj 7 because the note on the 6th string, 3rd fret (6:3) is G. If you moved the same shape to the 6th fret root the chord would be Bb, because the note at 6:6 is Bb. Got it? I hope so. Note also that in the first shape you should mute out the 5th string with the inside of your first finger and the 1st string with any available finger or hand part. On the second shape the 6th string should be muted with the end of your first finger.

Minor 7 The concept of the moving root note thing is the same for EVERY CHORD SHAPE THAT DOES NOT USE OPEN STRINGS, including these min 7th chords (Minor is also noted as a dash (-), i.e.

Amin7 could be written A-7). Note that the 5th string in the first grip should be muted by the second finger. In the second grip the tip of your first finger should mute the 6th string. This is quite common and you should try to do this naturally when you have a 5th string root note.

Dominant 7 - E Shape Dominant 7th chords are usually just written as 7, the dominant word is left out. Practice these as you have the shapes before.

Minor 7 b5 Minor 7b5 chords (pronounced minor seventh flat five) are also called half diminished. There are several ways of notating these chords. The most common are min7b5, -7b5 or a circle with a line through it (the circle indicates diminished, cut in half with the line). Note again the use of muting, the first shape using the 2nd finger to mute the 5th string, and the first finger to mute the 1st string. The second shape uses the tip of the first finger to mute the 6th string and the fourth finger to mute the 1st string.

Diminished 7 Diminished chords are either written as dim or as a circle. They are a very interesting chord and I will explain their tricks in another lesson but the big idea is that every note is a root note, so as long as the note that you want is under one of your fingers, you have the right chord. Using the example below with the root note on the 5th string, put at the second fret, you have the notes x, B, F, Ab/G#, D, x (x being a string that is not played). This chord is all of those diminished chords, so could be called B dim, F dim, Ab dim or D dim!!! It is quite common to use the lowest note (in this case on the 5th string) as the root note for your mental dictionary, and just know that they have some tricks. You will also find that you can move the shape up or down in minor 3rd intervals (3 frets, 2nd fret to 5th fret to 8th fret etc.) , and the notes will stay the same but they will move strings. Sound complicated? It is a pretty confusing concept unless you Know Where The Notes Are If you move the below example up 3 frets, putting the 5th string root note at the fifth fret, you get the notes D, G#/Ab, B and F. The same as before but in a different order.

Hope you enjoy them - well worth checking out some CD's that contain these tracks so you know how they sound. No good trying to play jazz if you don't know what jazz sounds like!!!



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