Guitar Theory Video Lessons

Here you will find many videos on music theory for guitar. As you will see by watching these videos, music theory is not necessarily difficult or complicated: rather it is the best way to support your originality and spark your creativity as a guitar player! To get the most from your music theory though, you need to know how to avoid the most common pitfalls and really leverage your theory knowledge so that you will be able to apply it on your guitar spontaneously and naturally.

By watching the videos in this page you will gradually become aware of how you can use music theory on your guitar, and how this gives you a head start over every player who does not know it. Why learn things the difficult way? Learn music theory applied to the guitar fretboard with the videos below!

music theory fail

How To Fail At Music Theory In A Simple, Easy Step

NEW!I have found that there is one specific phrase that students of music theory often say or think that has a dramatic effect in their learning. And so far, always in my experience... All the students who say it simply stop improving, just like they pulled the brakes of their car while speeding on the highway. Click here to see how to fail at music theory... or how to avoid failing. Whichever you prefer ;-)

guitar fretboard notes

How To MEMORIZE Your Guitar FRETBOARD: The No-Nonsense Exercise That Actually Works

Learning the notes on your guitar fretboard is one of the most useful things you can practice. And it's not even hard! With the right exercise, you just need 5 minutes a day for a few weeks to learn them permanently. And when I say 'learn' I mean 'effortless recall'. You just know there they are without thinking, period. If I had any kind of business sense I would have packaged these exercises in a nice and tidy "guitar fretboard for dummies" course and sold it to you. Instead, you are going to get them for free in this video: how to learn the notes on your guitar fretboard

phrygian mode guitar

How To Make Music With The PHRYGIAN Scale On Guitar

The Phrygian scale has been a favorite of metal players, flamenco players (some people call it the 'flamenco minor' scale), film music composer and the occasional jazz player. here's something for everybody here... but it's not a one-trick-scale! The sheer variety of sounds you can take out of it is staggering. Click here to see how to make music with the phrygian scale on guitar

classical rip off

Pop Songs Rip Off Classical Music? Think Again!

"Pop songwriters copy classical music" is one of these things that rings true, that is delicious to share with friends, and that make you feel smart when you say it. The problem is... it's not true. And yes, I can totally hear that these songs sound SIMILAR to classical pieces - I am not deaf. But they are not copied. So what is going on? Why several pop songs DO sound like classical music if they are not copied? Click here to see how to pop songwriters do not rip off classical composers... and how you can do the same (or avoid it).

diminished voice leading

Music Theory's UNIVERSAL GLUE: This MAGIC Chord Connects ANY Two Chords

So you wrote your chorus in C# minor and your verse in G major. You know in your heart that these two pieces of music belong to each other but, like star-crossed lovers, they can not be together. Their keys are too different. You now what you need? You need some harmonic "universal glue". That is to say, you need something that can connect any two chords or keys. Just apply the 'glue' and connect the two song sections. Yes, it exists! And you can find here the magic chords that connect any two keys and how you can use it in your music.

lydian mode guitar

How To Make Music With The LYDIAN Scale [Chords, Progressions, Lead]

Ah, the Lydian scale. So bright, so hopeful! Used by Jazz cats, Prog metallers, and soundtrack composers. And so full of pitfalls if you don't know how to use it! I've had a lot of requests to do a video on how to make music with the Lydian scale, so here it is finally! Here you will learn how to write a chord progression and how to play a lead on the Lydian scale on guitar

one note emotion

What Is The EMOTION Of One Note? [Modulating Pitch Function]

We all know - or at least we should! - that music theory is not just about chords and scales, but is more about what emotions and feeling these chords and scales evoke in our audience and how to use them for maximum emotional impact. But for instance, what is the emotion of a single C note played without context? If you have the slightest hesitation in answering this... then you need to watch this video on the music theory emotions of one note. You will never listen to music in the same way!

augmented chords guitar

Augmented Chords MADNESS: What You Can Do With Augmented Chords

As a follow up to our previous video on augmented chords... it's time for some Augmented Chord Madness! In this video we go beyond 'standard' music theory (assuming that there is such a thing) and we see a few crazy things that we can do with augmented chords. Warning: this is not really a video for beginners ;-) Click here to see a few crazy things you can do with Augmented Chords on guitar

aeolian dominant

How To Make Music With The MELODIC MAJOR Scale

I really love learning new scales on the guitar. Even if often they turn out to be old scales. This scale - like many other scales - gets several names depending who you ask. I've heard it called Aeolian Dominant, Aeolian Major, Mixolydian b6, Melodic Major, 5th mode of Melodic Minor... ... and this IS the sound that you have been looking for. Seriously. Click here to see how to make music with the Aeolian Dominant scale.

parallel fifths

Of Course Parallel 5Ths Are Fine! (If You Do This)

Parallel 5ths: forbidden or not? And if not, how can we use them to sound good? (Notice that power chords are NOT parallel 5ths...) Well, it's quite clear that you can use parallel 5ths to good effects. Go at 8:34 in the video, and hear them: this piece is practically built on parallel 5ths. So why sometimes they sound good, and sometimes they sound bad? Here it is the whole story about how to use Parallel fifths

augmented modulation

The Easy Way To MODULATE Using AUGMENTED Chords [Guitar Harmony]

The augmented chord sounds downright nasty when you try to play it for the first time. And there is a reason why. And once you know why... then you can eliminate the problem! In this video, I'm showing you how to make the augmented chord sound good... and how to change keys using it! Click here to see how to modulate with the augmented chord, and make your song sound like no one else!

lydian dominant

How To Make Music With The Lydian Dominant Scale On Your Guitar

Is it really a surprise that one of the favorite scales of prog metallers is also a favorite scale of jazz players? Well, it was surprising for me when I met this scale for the first time. As usual in music theory, this scale takes several names: Lydian b7, Lydian Dominant, Mixolydian #4, 4th mode of Melodic Minor... ... but the names are not as important as the sound! Click here to see how to make music with the Lydian Dominant scale on your guitar.

3 chords harmonization

How to HARMONIZE A Melody With Just 3 Chords [Music Theory Tutorial]

Harmonization: "put chords to a melody". One of the most important things that a musician should learn to write good music (or write music at all...) If you've never harmonized a melody before... this is exactly where you want to get started. Watch the video, try it with your guitar, start having more fun than you ever had with music. Click here to see how to harmonize a melody with 3 chords. Yes, 3 chords are enough!

music intervals

Major Minor Perfect Augmented Diminished INTERVALS Explained

Intervals have been a source of confusion for musicians from the very beginning of music theory. There are major and minor and perfect and augmented and diminished intervals... and some of them are the 'same' interval, but at the same time they are not the same interval! (augmented 6th and minor 7th anyone?) But intervals are also the 'gate' that takes you to new sounds and new places in your music. So click here to see how to really understand musical intervals and make music with them.

harmonic minor scale

How To Make Music With The Harmonic Minor Scale

I've had several people requesting a music theory video on how to make music with the harmonic minor scale. After all, it's one of the favorite sounds of many styles - from classical to flamenco to metal - and it's a crowd pleaser too. I didn't want to make another video on the same things covered by a thousand other YouTubers out there, so in this video you will find some less common ideas on making music with the harmonic minor scale

tritone modulation

Tritone Modulations: 4 Ways To Change Key A Tritone Away

Do you know how to modulate a tritone away? It is not that easy to do - at least if you want a smooth transition - since these two keys are as far as they come from each other. As usual, music offers us several possibilities and there is not only one 'right' way to do it. Depending on the emotional effect you want to have you can use one of the several ideas that I present in this video. Click here to see how to change key a tritone away

negative dominant chords

What Is A NEGATIVE Dominant Chord?

Several people have asked me about something that Jacob Collier said about "Negative Dominant chords". I could not find the original interview to check what Jacob said... but I can still tell you what a Negative Dominant chord is! In this video, we see the theory of Negative Dominant, Tonic, And Subdominant chords and how they connect to the normal tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords.

aeolian vs minor

Aeolian Vs Natural Minor: Are They The Same?

Every time I upload a video, I receive lots of questions on music theory in the YouTube comments. Reading the questions on my latest videos, I realized that one thing that confuses most people is the difference between Aeolian and Minor. This can not stand! Such a basic confusion needs to be extirpated as soon as possible :) Click here to see what is the difference between Aeolian and Minor and why it's super important to know it.

fade to black metallica

The Fade To Black Modulation (Why It Sounds So Amazing)

Recently, I was hearing a few friends discussing the change of key in Fade to Black by Metallica... you know the one at the end of the firs solo... and how it did not make any sense to them. I love that song. And the change of key is not as hard as it may look. So here's a simple video that shows how the Fade to Black modulation works, why it sounds so smooth and natural, and how you can do the same on your own songs.

enharmonic diminished chord

I am spelling my diminished chords WRONG? (Yes, And You Should Too!)

Recently I got a lot of comments on two videos on the fact that I am misspelling some chords in there. You know what's interesting? That these comments are right. I AM misspelling these chords. Worse than that, I did it on purpose! - because I had a very good reason to do it. Click here to see why I am misspelling diminished chords, and why you should misspell them too!


6/8 vs 3/4: POLYRHYTHMs From A Time Signature Difference

If you've been following this website for a while you know that I have little patience for theory that is not useful... I like to 'use' music theory to get ideas for composition, not for armchair music analysis. In this new video, we compare the 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures, and we get some interesting rhythm. We also learn a few tricks to make 'stale' rhythms sound better like using polyrhythms... or displacing them! Click here to see what is the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 and how this difference creates 2 vs 3 polyrhythms that we can use in our songs.

m7b5 half diminished

The Important DIFFERENCE Between m7b5 And Half-Diminished 7 Chords

There are two chords that behave in a different way and that they are even called in different ways. and yet everybody confuses them. Worse than that. They even teach you that they are the same chord. These two chords are the "half-diminished 7" and the "minor 7 flat 5". And no, the explanation is not "they are the same chord, they are just called it differently in Jazz and in Classical harmony" Click here to see the good reason why half-diminished and m7b5 are two different chords.

third inversion chords

The MAGIC Of Third Inversion Chords - Chord Progression Music Theory

In a musical key there are only 7 possible chords. How can we write new music with such a limited palette of colors? There are several solutions to this. One is: you can use third inversions chords. These are found quite rarely (probably because songwriters don't always know about them) and they sound absolutely gorgeous. Click here to see how to use third inversion chords in your songs.

theme and variations

How to Write 720 Variations On "THE LICK"

"The lick" is probably the most famous Jazz cliche' ever. It's a short musical phrase that has found its way in all musical styles. You've definitely heard it. I pay my own homage to the lick in true 'music theory for guitar' style: I show you how you can take a stock phrase like 'the lick' and write variations on it. And we create a few HUNDRED variations on it. Click here to see how to invent 720 variations on the lick

diminished chord resolution

Gorgeous Chord Progressions With Secondary Diminished Chords

What if there was a trick that makes any simple chord progression sound much much better with next to no effort? This trick will make progression made by triads sound 'more classical' and any Jazz chord progression sound 'more jazz' Would you like to learn it? This trick involves a few diminished chords, and knowing how to resolve them - all things that I explain step-by-step. Click here to see how to use secondary diminished chords to make a chord progression sound better.

negative harmony modes

Negative MODALITY: How Negative Harmony Transforms Modes [Music Theory]

As promised, finally we have the video on Modes and Negative Harmony! If you write music or even think about writing music, these videos on Negative Harmony are giving you all the secret weapons that are not yet widespread in the music writing community. Here we use the Order of Brightness of Modes to see how Negative Harmony transform modes into other modes. Click here to see how to apply Negative Harmony to modes and get tons of inspirations for your own music!

neapolitan chord

Bland Chord Progressions? Try The NEAPOLITAN Chord

In this video we are going to see how changing two triads from minor to major (counterintuitively) can substantially increase the tension in a chord progression - and how you can do it too in your music Click here to learn how to use the Neapolitan chord in your music. This is still a 'secret weapon' for songwriters, so it's worth watching the video if only to learn about it ;)

diminished modulation

Changing Key With Diminished Chords Made Easy [Music Theory]

The diminished chord is one of the most versatile chord in music. It can do things that other chords can't do, and it resolves a number of problems in an elegant and practical way. Today we see one of the applications of the diminished chord to the problem of modulation. Modulation in music means "changing key". The main challenge here is to do change key in a smooth way i.e. connecting the two keys in a way that 'leads' the listener from the former key to the next one without any bump in the way. In this video, we will take a very simple chord progression in 8 different keys, and we will see how a diminished chord can connect these 8 keys seamlessly. Click here to see how to change key with diminished chords.

negative harmony exotic scales

The Surprisingly Neat Theory Of NEGATIVE Harmonic And Melodic Scales

I've been asked by several people what happens if we apply Negative Harmony to other scales such as harmonic minor, melodic minor, etc. Yes, we can. And what happens is surprising to say the least. Come and see the surprising things that happen when you apply Negative Harmony to 'exotic' scales like harmonic minor, melodic minor, diminished, and whole tone. If this is not a bounty for composers and songwriters, I don't know what is ;-)

metric modulation

Songs That Change Time Signature In The Chorus

In most songs the chorus is made by 4 or 8 bars with a meter of 4/4. And herein lies the problem. Because, as you know, the chorus is the part of the song that is supposed to draw the attention of the listener and the part of the song that is supposed to be the most special. How special and different can it be if the structure of every chorus of every song you hear is always the same? In this video, we see a few songs that take the road less traveled and changed the rhythmic structure of the chorus in more or less creative ways. Click here to see the 5 levels of metric modulations in the chorus.

Tristan chord guitar

Harry Potter And The Tristan Chord [Music Theory]

The Tristan Chords is a great-sounding chord that has been rarely used in modern music. Despite having been invented more than 150 years ago, this is a chord that can still sound new and fresh if you use it in your songs. It has also been used in the Harry Potter soundtrack (yes, in the video I will show you exactly where) Click here to see how to play the Tristan Chord on guitar and learn how to use it in your own music.

negative harmony important

What You Can Do With Negative Harmony As A Composer [Music Theory]

If you've been following this channel for a while, you know that Negative Harmony is this interesting and controversial theory that has been popularized by a few modern musicians like Jacob Collier. In this video not only we see together what you can do with Negative Harmony, but we also see exactly what is new and original about Negative Harmony and what is not new and original about it. If you are interested in Negative Harmony in any way - you want to understand it, you want to use it in your own songs, you are simply curious - then click here to see what you can do with Negative Harmony.

songs with pedal point

Songs That Use Pedal Points

Pedal points are one of the most tasteful and useful music theory tricks that you can use in songwriting. It's not a chance that they are used all the time in any style of music. If you are a songwriter you simply must know how to write a song with a pedal point in it. Where can we hear them? Well, here's a new video that shows a few examples of the different kind of pedal points and how they are used in famous songs. And to show you that Pedal Points are really used in all styles, I made sure to pick examples from a wide variety of genres. Click here to listed to famous songs that use pedal point and learn how you can use it in your own music too.

altered dominant chord

Can We Even Agree On What Altered Dominant Chord Are?

Altered dominant chords are some of the spiciest and interesting chords available to us musicians. They can be used in any style: while they seem most common in Jazz, they have been used successfully in all styles. The infamous 'Hendrix chord' for instance, is an altered dominant chord. And yet, despite how great they sound, altered chords seems to be shrouded in mystery for the majority of guitar players. We guitarists often don't know how to play them, how to use them, what scales to play on them... In this new video, we are going to see together what altered dominant chords are, what scales work on them, and why musicians seem to constantly disagree on what exactly an altered dominant is.

15 8 time signature

How To Make Music In 15/8 And 15/4 - And Other 15-Based Signatures

While not as common as other time signatures, 15/8, 15/4 and other 15-based signatures have been used extensively in music, and with great results. The tricky thing here is that in many situations when the music is based on 15 beats, the score is not notated in 15/8! As we'll see in the video, sometimes composers prefer to use other way to notate pieces of music that work in 15 beats. In this video, we'll see together a few examples of music in 15, how they work, and how you can use what you learned here in your own music. Click here to see how to learn how to make music in 15/8

chords in key

The One Thing That Every Musician Must Know In Music Theory

What is the ONE practical thing that everybody who calls themselves a musician (or a guitarist) should know? Is there one thing that every pro and every amateur on the guitar must absolutely know? Yes, there is! In this video, we see one of the most 'practical' thing that you can learn in music theory, and it's something that everybody who calls themselves a musician should know. Click here to see how to find what chords are in a key, which is the same as asking "what chords go together well on a guitar?"

metallica riff writing

Riffin' Like METALLICA: How To Write Metal Riffs

If you want to write riffs like Metallica or Megadeth, then all the theory of chords, chord progression, substitutions, etc. is of limited use for you. Sure, by studying it you may find some nuggets of knowledge that may prove interesting... but the fact is that metal riffs are simply not described well in terms of chords and progressions. Luckily for us, there is more to music theory than chords and progressions. And it is perfectly possible to understand how Metallica and Megadeth approach their riff writing. Click here to see how to riff like Metallica by taking a completely different approach than what everyone else is doing.

chord notation

You Write That Chord How? And Other Music Theory Horrors

Sometimes music theory does not make sense because we music theorists made a mess at it. We took something very simple and we made it as hard as we possibly could for no good reason. Of course, we did not do this on purpose. I hope. In this video, we are going to see some music theory 'gotchas', starting from the completely illogical way we count the intervals to the notational monstrosities that you can find on Jazz chord charts. Click here to see a gallery of music theory notation horrors. You will also learn something new!

seven eight time signature

How To FEEL The 7/8 And 7/4 Time Signatures (And Write Groovy Music With Them)

It's a pity that many musicians think that 7/8 and 7/4 are unusable time signatures for most styles (except maybe for progressive rock/metal) when in fact using them - in any style - is much easier than you think. So, for our video series on different time signatures, this week we see all the 7-based time signatures and how to apply them in practice. Click here to see how to feel the seven eight time signature (7/8) and the 7/4 time signatures and write great music with them.

guitar scale prison

How To Stop Thinking About Guitar SCALES And Make Music Instead

One of the problems that I found most common among us guitar players is that we get stuck in thinking 'scales' on our fretboard. Of course, scales are not evil per se. Scales are a great way to understand your guitar fretboard My take is that we can and should learn our scales, and at the same time we should avoid being imprisoned by them by doing some scale-breaking exercises. These exercises put us directly in contact with the sound of music, completely bypassing the scale-brain. Click here to see how to break out of guitar scales and make music instead.

guitar tablature

Why Tablature Is A Great Tool For Guitarists (And You Should Use It Too)

Are guitar 'tabs' (tablature) good or bad for you as a guitar player? Most teachers will tell you that tablature is not good for you. I respectfully disagree. Tablature has its uses, and it's a great instrument for us guitar players. So this time I'm going to stick my neck out - the topic is apparently quite controversial - and explain exactly why every reason they gave you to not use tablature does not hold water. Click here to see how to guitar tablature is a great tool to use as a guitar player.

guitar chord emotion

The EMOTIONAL Meaning Of Chords [Music Theory]

Many musicians think of music theory as a kind of un-emotional mathematics that tell you what chord come after another chord, or what scale goes on that chord, and so on. Then again, we play music because it transmits emotions and feelings. So it only makes sense that a theory of music should have something to say about how music connects to emotions; and how a composer/songwriter can create some very specific feeling in their audience. Click here to see how to connect emotions to chords and have a readily available set of chords that you can use for each and any emotion you want to express.

avoid notes

The FORBIDDEN Note That Sounds Great (Yes, It's ACTUALLY Forbidden)

Hard as it is to believe it, some notes are 'forbidden'. At least according to Jazz textbooks. The fun thing is that at least one of these notes sounds great despite being forbidden. And not only it sounds good, it's actually used in actual music. (Actual examples in the video linked) The question is: why this note has been forbidden? It's because of a weird reason that only Jazz players can understand? Or maybe there is actually a good reason? (Spoiler: yes there is a good reason. Can you guess it?) Click here to learn the forbidden avoid note that sounds great, and why it has been forbidden! ( the only website that gives you FORBIDDEN knowledge in music theory!)

compose in style

Writing Music "In Style": How To Absorb The Aesthetic Of A Musical Style

One of the many challenges that we musicians encounter in our musical life is how to compose in a specific style (Jazz, Pop, Metal, Classical...) But how can we learn how to write music in a specific style? In this video, we see together 3 practices that will help you learn how to write music in a new style in the shortest possible time. In this video, we see also how to 'dissect' a song to see how differently theory is used in different styles. Click here to see how to absorb the aesthetic and then write in any musical style

Jacob Collier chords

CRAZY Dominant Chords A La Jacob Collier [Music Theory]

The lesson of today has been inspired by the music of Jacob Collier. We focus on one of Jacob's most used tricks: how to create crazy dominant chords. This is one of the things that I found most attractive in his music at first: how he can write chords that by themselves sound ... horrible ... and yet in context sound smooth. At the beginning I thought that to understand this would have required a super-high level of music theory, extreme competence in voice leading, absolute familiarity with chord substitutions... but it turns out that it's much, much simpler than that! In fact, as long as you know a few basic chords on the guitar, you can do it too! In the video, you find the 'general guideline' to create new crazy dominant chords a la Jacob Collier, and several examples played for you.

5/4 time signature

The Coolest Odd Time Signature (Mission Impossible)

The most used time signature in Western music is 4/4. Two others that are used really often are 3/4 (think of any waltz) and 6/8 (popular in ballads, but very versatile). An underused but super 'groovy' time signature is 5/4. You may have heard some great songs played in it like "Take 5" (you'll know it when you hear it) and the super-famous theme of Mission:Impossible. In this video, we see how these two classic tunes leverage the odd time signature, and how you can write your own music with it too! Watch the video before other songwriters catch up! Learn how to write music with a 5/4 time signature.

play guitar by ear

How To Play Lead Guitar Completely By EAR - No Theory

Is it possible to play guitar completely by ear and without knowing any theory? Of course you would expect me to take the side that "theory is an important thing to know". After all my website and my YouTube channel are both called "Music Theory For Guitar", so it seems logical that I am the side of theory, right? Well, let me play devil's advocate here. Let us take the side of 'playing by ear without knowing any theory' and give it a real shot. Is it possible? How can we do it? Click here to see how to play lead guitar by ear without any theory involved. This is fun and you should do it too!

extended chords guitar

How To Play 9th, 11th, 13th Chords And All That Jazz On Guitar

Today we learn together how to play 9th, 11th, 13th chord and we see the difference between, for instance, a "9th" chord and an "add9" chord. We also cover "stranger" chords like Cmaj9 or C7/b9, and we see what we can do when the chord has too many notes to be played on a guitar Click here to see how to play

extended chords on your guitar
hungarian minor chord

The Missing Chord Of The Hungarian Minor Scale

Some time ago I published a video on the Hungarian minor scale and when we were finding out its chords, I said that there was no usable chord on the 4th degree of the scale. Boy, was I wrong... Turns out that there is not one, but several usable and interesting sounds that come from trying to build a chord on that degree of the scale. There is definitely some new sound for you to use - and given how delicious the Hungarian Minor scale sounds, I know that many of you will put these sounds to good use. Click here to find out what is the missing Hungarian Minor Chord

melody writing guitar

How To Write Better Melodies - From Mozart To Snarky Puppy

NEW!Great melodies are what attract most people to music, And in the history of music the musicians that are most remembered, imitated, and admired were all masters at forging melodies. I'm going to pick two completely different kind of musicians: we'll take one melody form Mozart, and another melody from the jazz/world music/jam band Snarky Puppy (if you've never heard them: they are awesome) We can see the trick behind these melodies and learn how to use it for our own music! Click here to see how to write music with sequences - it will not make you like Mozart, but it will take you closer!

find key song

A Simple And Fast Way To Find The Key Of Any Song

One of the problems that most guitar students have is how to find the key of a song. This is one of these 'basic' skills that every musician - pro or amateur - should know how to do and how to do it fast. In this video, we learn together how to find the key of a song from its chords. And I recommend this video even if you know your major and minor keys already, as not all songs are simply in major or minor

chord superimposition

How To Play The Wrong Chords And Make The Progression Sound Better

We musicians spend a lot of time to learn to play the 'right' notes, the 'right' chords, the 'right' scales... So this may come as a surprise, but there are some situations where playing the 'wrong' chords sounds better than playing the 'right' ones. And I'm not talking about "outside" playing. No, I'm talking about sounds you can use even on your average pops songs - or any other style - and they will sound appropriate... and beautiful. Learn here how to play the wrong chords on guitar and make them sound BETTER than the right chords!

negative melody music

NEGATIVE Melody: An Example From Rachmaninoff [Negative Harmony]

Everybody is talking about Negative Harmony. What nobody is talking about though (but they should) is Negative Melody. Wait, there is such a thing as Negative Melody? Well yes, it turns out that not only Negative Melody exists, but that composers knew about this for a long time before the name 'Negative Harmony' even existed. Today we see how an absolute master of melody (the composer Sergei Rachmaninoff) uses the Negative Melody trick to write one of his most famous melody... by lifting it from another great composer and applying Negative Melody:) Click here to see how to use Negative Melody to write beautiful melodies.

guitar seventh chords

How To Play 7th Chords On Your Guitar

For our video series "Back to Basics" today we cover 7th chords. We see the 'what' but also the 'why' of 7th chords. This way, you can learn how to play them anywhere on the fretboard. Wherever you can play a major or a minor triad: there you will be able to play a 7th chord too! Here we cover major 7th chords, minor 7th chords, dominant 7th chords and the elusive minor major 7th chords. Click here to see how to play 7th chords on guitar.

enigmatic scale guitar

How To Make Music With The Enigmatic Scale [And Cheat To Sound Better]

By popular request, here is the video on the Enigmatic Scale that everybody wanted! This is a scale that is notoriously difficult to use and it was in fact written precisely as a challenge. It's not really a scale that 'sounds good' by any means. In this video, first we see how the Enigmatic scale works and how weird it sound... and then we use music theory to shamelessly 'cheat' and make it sound good :) Click here to see how to get usable blues and jazz sounds out of the Enigmatic scale on guitar

stevie wonder chord

How To Make Music With The Stevie Wonder Altered Dominant Chord On Your Guitar

Stevie Wonder seems to have a knack to take some of the most dissonant chords out there and make them sound good in the progression. In fact he's so good that most of his audience don't even notice what kind of complex harmony they have just listened to! Today we see a chord that Stevie uses so often that it seems to deserve the nickname of "Stevie Wonder's Chord". This chord is very dissonant if played alone - and many musicians write it off as unusable. And yet we'll see how this chord can sound absolutely great in the hands of a master like Stevie... and how you can make it sound great too - it's not hard! Click here to learn how to use the Stevie Wonder chord and write great music on your guitar with it.

music theory basics

The Super Basics Of Music Theory

In this video we cover the very basics of music theory, from absolute zero. We'll talk about notes, chords, and scales - and how they come together. If you are a complete beginner on music theory, or you want to revisit the basics, then this video is for you. This video is NOT for you if you are already advanced and you are solid on the fundamentals of theory. I'll be back for you next week with something more advanced :-) Click here to learn the super basics of music theory... with a super-short and super-easy video!

Japanese scales guitar

The Simple Theory Of Japanese Music Scales

We musicians are always on a quest on how to sound "different", "original", "new". And so we are often under pressure to learn new things and make them sound good too! Today we learn a set of Japanese scales, one better sounding than the other. We see how they are built, and how we can make many more. And if you are like me, you will love that Miyako-Bushi scale. Click here to learn your Japanese scales on guitar and play something easy and different!

tritone interval devil

Making Music With The Interval Of The Devil (The Tritone)

One of the most maligned intervals ever: the tritone! It's been variously called 'the interval of the devil', 'diabolus in musica', 'the most dissonant interval' - all labels subject to opinions of course. But in reality, the tritone is one of the most used and in fact indispensable intervals in music. And if you are a guitar player, you need to know how the tritone looks (on the fretboard) and sounds, and you need to know how to use it too! Click here to see how to use the tritone devil's interval on guitar.

augmented scale guitar

Making Music With The Augmented Scales (Both Of Them!)

There are two different scales that have been called 'augmented' by different musicians. And like for the orientation of toilet paper, Everybody is absolutely sure that the one they call "augmented" is the 'right' augmented scale, and that everybody thinking differently is just a heretic who does not know what they are talking about :) Either way, both these scales sound wonderful and make a valuable addition to your guitar sound palette. Click here to see how to use the Augmented scales on guitar to create interesting and cinematic sounds.

minor add9 arpeggio

Weird uses for the minor add9 arpeggio

If you know the minor add9 arpeggio, you know that it sounds wonderful and mysterious when you play it by itself. But did you know that you can take the same arpeggio and make it sound completely different simply by changing the chord you play it over? Today we'll see together a few nifty tricks that allow you to use this simple arpeggio over a few different chords... even over altered dominant chords! Click here to see some minor add9 arpeggio superimpositions and have fun!

enharmonic notes

Is Ab the same NOTE as G#? [Practical consequences of music theory]

Is Ab the same note as G#? This is one of the question in music theory that nobody seems to answer in a clear way, even if the answer must be just yes or no. I will tell you the answer immediately: Ab is not the same note as G#. And in fact, the difference between these two notes has very practical consequences when you use them in your music. In this video, we'll see why Ab and G# are different notes, and we will also understand why musicians are so particular in using sharps or flats when spelling out scales and chords (it turns out that there is a practical reason for that!)

spicing perfect cadence

How To Make The Most Common Chord Progression Sound Wonderful [Simple Music Theory]

The most common chord progressions in all music is probably the progression from the V chord of the key to the I chord of the key (sometimes referred to as the 'perfect cadence'). In C major this chord progression is G(7) to C, and in C minor it's G(7) to Cm. If you try to play it, this chord progression sounds really plain. In centuries of music theory, great musicians have found several ways to make this simple chord movement sound different and interesting - and we are going to learn them together today! Click here to see how to spice up the perfect cadence and make a plain chord progression sound sophisticated.

most emotional note

What Is The Most Emotional Note In C Major? [Controversial Music Theory]

What is the most emotional note in the key of C major? This is clearly a loaded question: different people hear different notes as 'the most emotional one', and the context in which the note is played matters too. And yet, everything else being the same, in my opinion, there is one note that can be called the most emotional one in C major. This note has been used by countless composers and songwriters to create heart-rending and tear-jerking melodies and chord progressions. Click here to see which one is the most emotional note in C major, and how to make it work in your music.

half diminished chord

The 'Forgotten Chord' And How To Use It In Your Songs [Music Theory, Chord Progressions]

If you are writing a song in the key of C major (or A minor), you are probably going to use the following chords: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am. Most musicians though forget that there is another chord in these keys: the B (half) diminished chord - because this chord sounds strange the first time you use it. Today we learn how to make the half diminished chord work for you. There are wonderful sounds that are unlocked by this chord, and you definitely want to be able to use them in your songs (and not be limited by the old major and minor triads)

simple voice leading

Understanding Chord Progressions: A Simple Intro To Voice Leading

Today we do something completely different than usual. This video is a simple introduction to voice leading and how it helps us understanding chord progressions and even writing a melody or soloing over the changes. If you ever were confused by anything in a chord progression, then this video will give you a new tool to understand and work with chord progressions. Click here to see how to use simple voice leading to really understand chords and progressions.

First to Fourth chord

Songwriting Tricks: Moving From The 1st To The 4th Chord In A Key

One of the most common chord movements is going from the 1st to the 4th chord of a key (in the key C, this would be like playing a C chord followed by an F chord). This happens in so many songs that I'd be hard-pressed to mention one that does not do it. In this video, I show you how you can take this super-easy super-basic chord movement and make it sound different just by working on the C chord. Click here to see how to spice up a 1 to 4 chord progression

neapolitan major scale

Making Music With The Neapolitan Major Scale, And PLANING

Some guitar scales are properly named. For instance, the Harmonic Minor is a minor scale (i.e. you can play it on a minor chord). And some other scales are not properly named at all. For instance, the Neapolitan Major scale is not a major scale at all. It does not work on a major chord, it does not sound major at all, and to be completely frank, nobody has any idea why it's named 'Neapolitan' either! And yet, despite being misnamed, the Neapolitan Major scale is a scale that is growing in popularity and also a scale that you absolutely want to learn. Have fun with it!

guitar finger roll

The "Missing Finger Movement" That Most Guitar Players Avoid (But Should Learn)

One of the things that separates beginner guitarists from the advanced is what I call the "Missing Movement": it's a very simple left hand technique that can be learned with just a little practice, and it's probably the most common 'blind spot' that lead guitar players have. The trouble is that the players do not notice, but the listeners can definitely tell that "something's off" Here you can learn about the "Missing Movement", also known as the rolling motion on guitar, why it exists, how to do it, how to train it. It seems like a small thing, but it will make the difference in your lead playing

first chord key

Songwriting Basics: The Chord That Should Be Simple But Isn't, And How To Learn To Use It

Trick question: what is the most common chord in every song you listen to? Easy: it's the first chord of that key. This is the C major chord in the key of C major, the Em chord in the key of E minor etc. But if it is so common, how is it that most songwriters do not know how to use it? It's easy to underestimate something because it's common and supposed to be simple. And yet, using the first chord in songwriting with taste and in the right places will make or break a song.

Byzantine scale guitar

The Surf Rock Exotic Scale: The Byzantine Scale

The scale we see today has been used in the song "Miserlou". The famous surf rock version by Dick Dale has been featured in the movie Pulp Fiction (if you don't know the song, I play it at the beginning of the video below) The scale used is called the Byzantine scale , it's very easy to use and fun to play! Whether you know your scales well or not, you will pick up this one in just a few minutes.

guitar pinch harmonics

How To Play Pinch Harmonics (Squeals) On Your Guitar In 7 Steps

Pinch Harmonics (also known as 'squeals') are one of the most volatile techniques on electric guitar: you think you have learned how to do them, but then you try to play them and they just don't work. To help you get your pinch harmonics right every single time, here are the 7 steps to guitar pinch harmonics you have to follow. Try them out, and you will see that there is nothing strange or mysterious in making your guitar squeal:

chords before dominant

Juicy Chord Progressions: 6 Gorgeous Chords To Put Before A Dominant Chord

One of the best kept secrets of music theory is what to put just before a dominant chord. In the last couple of centuries very ingenious and creative musicians have found many ways to 'prepare' the dominant chord, and some of these options sound simply gorgeous. In this video, I show you 6 juicy options for chords that you can put before a dominant chord. Listen to these ideas and get some inspiration!

negative harmony modal exchange

Endless Melodic Variations From Negative Harmony And Modal Borrowing

A while ago I published a video explaining Negative Harmony, an interesting theory used among others by Jacob Collier that allows you to create new and spicy chord progressions. That video got a big response, and many commenters asked to see more practical examples of how Negative Harmony can create variations in melody and harmony at the same time. So, in this new video, I do just that! Click here to see how to use Negative Harmony and Modal Exchange to create endless melodic variations. Don't worry about the complex names: these are simple ideas and I do explain them in the video.

scalloped guitar neck

Pro And Cons Of Scalloped Guitar Necks

Many of you have seen that my guitar has a scalloped neck and asked me to talk about its pros and cons. I am happy to oblige! If you are wondering whether you are going to like a guitar with a scalloped neck; if you don't know what scalloping does to your guitar technique, speed, and sound; if you asked yourself why players like Malmsteen use a scalloped neck... ... then this video on scalloped guitar neck is for you!

Neapolitan minor scale

The Neapolitan Minor Scale And The Neapolitan Chord

You've heard this sound. You've hear it many, many times in pop songs, in classical music, in guitar instrumentals, even in Jazz. But you don't know how to make that sound (yet). That sound is produced by a scale called "Neapolitan Minor". In this video, we learn how to use the Neapolitan Minor scale to make music, either as a stand-alone scale (for haunting musical landscapes) or over a common chord progression for a delightful "it's dissonant but it sounds so good" effect.

breaking scale box

Get Unstuck From The Same Old Guitar Scale Position

Direct question: when you play a guitar solo are you able to move all around the fretboard, or do you get stuck in the same position on the neck? Here you will learn a simple way to break out of the same old scale pattern so that you can move freely on all the fretboard, from the lowest frets to the highest ones. And as a bonus, you are going to learn how to write a few cool licks as well!

guitar bend integration

Guitar Technical Study: Playing A Bend After A Scale/Arpeggio

Does it ever happen to you that you are playing a guitar solo and want to play a bend... but for some reason your hand becomes all tense and you can't play that bend right? This is a very common problem that happens to most guitar players, and it's fixed easily if you know the right exercises for it. Click here to see how to integrate guitar bends with all the other techniques that you know how to play on the guitar.

Hungarian major scale

The BLUES-Exotic Scale: Hungarian Major

Many guitar players never learn 'exotic' scales because they think they are not interested in their sound, or that they should learn the 'normal' scales first. And yet 'exotic' scales are used commonly in music we all listen to. And they are not as hard as you think they are! Today we see a scale that can be used (or misused?) to sound like Blues... but can also sound exotic and middle-eastern. Welcome to the Hungarian Major scale, a scale that you will not regret learning whatever style you play.

fast precise guitar rhythm

Get A Picking Hand Fast And Precise Like James Hetfield (Metallica)

A problem I see very often in guitar players is that their picking hand is slow and imprecise. This happens especially when playing rhythm guitar in rock and metal, where consistent and precise down picking is a must to get an aggressive sound Today we see an exercise targeted to reinforcing your picking hand, and we will apply it to a guitar riff by James Hatfield (Metallica). Click here to see how to practice for a fast and precise picking hand

guitar hand pain

How To Keep Your Hands Healthy As A Guitarist

In my experience as a musician and teacher, I have seen that many guitar players do not treat their hands really well. Some stress their hands too much, stretch them the wrong way, subject them to needless abuse. Some others simply neglect their hands completely - they just don't know what needs to be done to use their hands in a safe way, so they simply do not do anything and hope they'll be alright. Click here to see a simple video on hand health and care for guitarists so that you can prevent painful conditions that can stop you from playing guitar.

Hungarian minor chords

How To Make Music With The Hungarian Minor Scale (aka Double Harmonic Minor)

You may have noticed how most lessons on exotic scales for guitar just show you a couple of scale patterns and call it a day. While it's cool to know scale patterns, those are not enough for you to actually make music with the new scale you have learned. Today we will take one of the most interesting exotic scales - the Hungarian Minor, also known as the Double Harmonic minor - and together we will see how to actually make music with it. We will look at its chords and how to put them together and even how to use some of the most dissonant options to good effect. Click here to learn how to make music with the Hungarian minor chords on guitar!

guitar technique relaxation

How To Eliminate Tension When You Play Guitar

Every time you try to play faster on your guitar your hands get 'tense' and the more you push the worse it gets? How can you relax your hands when your hands automatically get tense whenever you play faster? Better yet, how can you completely prevent this tension? If you want to learn how to train your hands so that they will stay relaxed even when you play fast, then click here, learn a guitar relaxation technique that will completely change your playing in just a few practice sessions.

guitar first inversion triads

First Inversion Triads: How To Play Them On Guitar And 3 Ways To Use Them In Your Music

If you try to write a song in C major you have only 6 usable triads: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am. That's quite restrictive! The simplest and probably most useful idea to extend the number of available sounds is to use first inversion triads (aka "the songwriter's secret weapon") This idea will give you 7 new sounds you can use in your C major song - and it builds on the chords you already know. Click here to see how to play first inversion triads on guitar, and 3 different ways to use them in your songs (with examples from famous songs):

guitar chromatic mediant

Cinematic Chord Progressions: Chromatic Mediants Made Easy

Movies like Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, do not feature many Blues progressions, power chords, or guitar solos. But can we guitarists learn something from them? Today we will see together one of the secrets of movie composers. This secret has a pretty complex and 'scary' name ("chromatic mediant progressions") and yet it's very simple to understand and use. Click here to see how to play Chromatic Mediant progressions on guitar and get that cinematic sound!

old for guitar

Are You Too Old To Play Guitar Or Learn Music Theory?

Is it true that young people learn faster than older people? Is it true that if you start playing after your 20's you've missed the train for guitar? Is it true that after 20 years of playing by ear it's useless to learn music theory? Click here to see if you are too old to learn guitar and if you should give up playing.

guitar finger independence

3 Simple Exercises To Boost Your Fretting Hand Finger Independence

When playing an instrument like the guitar, being able to control each finger independently is one of the most basic and necessary skills - and also one of the most neglected ones. The litmus test here is: can you move one your fingers independently while keeping all the other fingers relaxed? Most guitar players score very low on this test - but don't worry, we can solve this! Today we see 3 simple guitar finger independence exercises that are easy to learn (but hard to master!) that will make the difference and will teach your hand how to stay relaxed even while your fingers move in different directions. Have fun!

guitarist read music

It Is Necessary To Learn To Read Music As A Guitar Player?

Some guitarists say that if you can't read music then you are not a 'real' musician. Other guitarists say that reading music is completely useless for a modern guitarists. They are both right: different musician play in different contexts and for some of them standard notation is an indispensable tool, while for others it's simply not needed. And are you sure that you know if reading music will be useful to you? Click here to see how to know if you need to learn to read music as a guitar player, or if learning to read is a waste of time for you.

negative harmony guitar

How To Use Negative Harmony - Explained In Simple Words And With Examples

Negative Harmony is a very simple concept that has been made unnecessarily complex. It was all the rage on YouTube a while ago, but for all the talk about it, there are still very few resources that actually explain it! In reality, everybody can use Negative Harmony in their music - it's not difficult to do as long as you can play a few chords on your guitar. Click here to learn how to use Negative Harmony on guitar to create chord progressions that sound great and different.

guitar small hands

Are Your Hands Too Small To Play Guitar? What Can You Do About It?

Are your hands too small to play guitar? Do you have any trouble playing those 'stretchy' scales and chords that other guitarist can play with ease? Sadly there is NO way to make your fingers longer... ... but there IS a technique that you can use that will give you much more reach than what you thought possible, so you too will be able to play those 'stretchy' positions. Click here to see if your hands are too small to play guitar and what to do about it!

music theory overwhelming

What To Do When Guitar Music Theory Is Overwhelming

Are you feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to learn about music and music theory? Do you find yourself thinking that theory restricts what you can do and it's a bunch of information that you won't use? Or maybe you think that you are not good enough/smart enough to understand everything there is to understand? Click here to see how to eliminate the 'there is too much to know' mindset and make music theory work for you and your music rather than standing in your way.

guitar 4 notes solo

Guitar Soloing With 4 Notes: Less Is More Or More Is More?

Less is more, or More is more? On what side we have guitarists who want to play only a few well-chosen notes, and on the other side we have the people who have the need for speed. And, to me, both are cool. But we can have our cake and eat it too! In today's video we will see a simple exercise on choosing only a handful of notes and making them sound well... and we will also see how to shred with them if you want to do so. Take the 4 notes challenge and expand your lead playing horizons!

guitar tone tips

3 Simple No-Cost Ways To Get A Better Guitar Tone

If you are like most guitar players (me included) you are in a endless and relentless search for the perfect guitar tone that takes you to get more and more expensive amps and pedals. On the other hand, you can make your tone very different by simple no-cost means, without any new gear. Click here to see 3 tricks to change your guitar tone at no cost and with no new gear!

andy summers simplicity

A Lesson In Guitar Simplicity From Andy Summers

Have you ever found that you were playing a guitar piece the wrong way and it was much harder than playing it the right way? I recently realized that I was playing a song wrong and making my life much harder because of that. And this is a song that I played for years and in at least two different bands. And those stretches I was playing were killing my hand every time... and making me sound worse too! Click here to see how I learned that simple is better from Andy Summers (In case you have been living under a rock, Andy Summers is the guitar player for The Police).

odd rhythm guitar

Internalizing The Rhythm Of Odd Divisions: Triplets And Quintuplets On Guitar

Timing is probably THE skill that makes the largest difference between a beginner and an advanced player. But it's not enough to learn timing and rhythm intellectually: you have to internalize it, you have to 'feel' it. There's nothing worse than thinking about rhythm while you play! In this video I show you a few helpful exercise that will make you 'feel' the rhythm of odd divisions like triplets and quintuplets. They are fun and easy and you will see the improvement in minutes. Click here to learn how to play and internalize the rhythm of triplets and quintuples on guitar

star wars chords

Soloing On The Imperial March Chord Progression From Star Wars

Tired of playing over the same old chord progressions? There's only so many times you can play over the Blues progression or the Turn progression before you get bored by them. So today we will solo on something completely different. It's quite likely you never soloed on this one before! To do that, we take the chord progression from a classic track, the Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) from Star Wars. Then we explore 4 different scale/arpeggio options and we hear how they sound. Click here to learn how to play a guitar solo over the Imperial March chord progression.

muting guitar strings

Answering your Questions On Muting Guitar Strings with Hair Band or Tape (Or Socks!)

A few weeks ago I posted a video with 8 tips for guitar. I received a lot of interesting questions regarding one of those tips: the one about muting your guitar strings with a hair band or with tape... or with a sock! I didn't imagine that such a simple thing like using a hair band could get so deep. Your questions made me think in a different way and I learned something too, so thank you! Click here to see my answers to your questions on muting guitar strings with a hair band

guitar phrasing

How To Play 3-Dimensional Guitar Phrasing And Make Anything You Play Sound Good

I received a number of questions on how to practice phrasing on guitar. Apparently many guitar players find that phrasing is one of the most challenging aspect of the instrument, and I agree! We guitarists can make any melody or lick sound better by using bends, slides, hammer ons, vibratos, etc. And yet, even if we have this advantage, many guitar players have no idea how to get better at phrasing. Today we see how to play 3 dimensional guitar phrasing (as opposed to flat, 2-dimensional phrasing), how to train it, and how to choose the right techniques to play when you improvise.

guitar practice motivation

Stop Doing This Stupid Thing And Find Your Guitar Motivation Again

Many guitar players experience periods when they feel demotivated and can't even touch their guitars. I know I have been there many times too. In my experience as a guitar teacher I found that there is one and only one thing that is responsible for the majority of players getting stuck in a rut. Click here to see 3 ways to fight the number one guitar motivation killer and get back on track more motivated than before!

guitar practice schedule

How To Practice Your Guitar When You Have Little Time

I've been receiving from many of you the questions "how much should I practice guitar every day?" and "what should I practice?" And since you asked, I'm answering! Here you will learn a super-simple and ultra-flexible guitar practice schedule that you can use to get the most out of the time you have to spend with your guitar. And this is not just an endless list of exercises, but it's FUN!

Carlos Santana note

Simple Theory: The Santana Note And How To Play It

Sometimes you do need complex theory to make the music you want. But sometimes you really don't, and the sound you are searching is really simple. For instance, if you want to know why Carlos Santana's solo have that warm, exotic feeling, it all boils down to ONE note used over a specific chord. This is something you can learn in just a few minutes and will make your playing better forever. Click here to see how to use the Carlos Santana note to spice up your pentatonic solos in a different way than usual.

guitar tips and tricks

8 Guitar Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier - In Only 2 Minutes!

Sometimes it's the small things that save you a lot of time. I remember when a luthier showed me how to change the strings on a floating bridge guitar in half the time... or when a friend of mine showed me how to prevent new strings from going out of tune. Today, in less than 2 minutes I'll show you 8 guitar hacks that will save you a lot of time and frustration. If you have 120 seconds of free time today, watch this!

guitar pitch axis

The Emotions Behind Joe Satriani's Pitch Axis

Recently a student asked me how to use guitar modes to express emotions. This is a great question: there are a lot of lessons out there on how to shred with the modes, but very few on what emotions those modes convey to the listener. And since learning how to express emotions in music is on of the main goals of music theory, I think it's quite important that we talk about this! Players like Joe Satriani are masters at using modes to express emotions, thanks to a technique called Pitch Axis. You can learn how to do this too by watching this video on Emotions and Pitch Axis. Have fun playing the examples and coming up with your own!

Metallica's spooky arpeggios

How To Sound Spooky and Mysterious: Metallica, X-Files, Bartok

The music of Metallica features many gorgeous clean arpeggios, and many of them use a little musical trick to sound more mysterious and threatening. The X-files theme uses that very same trick to create a spooky effect and a dangerous ambience. In our Halloween video of Music Theory For Guitar we are going to see exactly what the trick is, who used it, and how you can use it yourself. Click here to learn how to play spooky arpeggios on guitar and have fun playing those to your friends at your Halloween party!

David Gilmour modes

Another Brick In The Wall Solo In Major: What Changes?

David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) is one of those players that is very hard to dislike, in fact many of us consider him a major influence in our playing. But why Gilmour sounds so good? Is it his tone? His phrasing? His timing? Could it be that there is a very important (and overlooked) element of Gilmour's playing? What about his choice of harmony and mode? Here we do a little experiment and play one of Gilmour's most famous solos in major rather than in minor. Can you spot the difference? Click here: Changing mode to David Gilmour

ear training for guitar

The Best Way To Start Ear Training For Guitar Players

We all know that one of the most important skills for a musician is to have a good ear. And yet most of us guitar players are scared to death by ear training. We are afraid it's going to be too difficult and unpleasant and it would require too much work and time... and we would much rather play our guitar, no? Well, what if we can have our cake and eat it too? Here I show you an incredibly simple ear training exercise that you can do with your guitar, that is simple enough even for beginners, and that will give results in few minutes. Unbelievable, you say? Try me: watch this video on the best ear training exercise for guitar players

ascending melodic minor scale

Melodic Minor Scale: Why There Are An Ascending And A Descending Versions?

The "traditional" story on the Melodic Minor scale is that in Classical music there are two versions of it ('ascending' and 'descending') and that when you go up in pitch you must use the ascending version, and you must use the descending when you go down in pitch. They will also tell you that in modern music (or "in Jazz") you can use the scale in both directions. Ah, those enlightened Jazz musicians that free us from the Classical rules... Well, pardon my French, but this story is bullshit. Find here what is the real story about the ascending Melodic Minor scale and what difference it makes to your guitar playing.

arpeggios on guitar fretboard

A Simple Exercise To Learn All The Arpeggios On Your Guitar

Play the following arpeggios on your guitar around fret 8th: G, D, Eb, C. Were you able to play them one after the other with no stopping? In my experience as a guitar teacher, I noticed how very few guitar players can find an arpeggio on the fretboard fast, let alone play it fluidly. This is because most guitarists think that learning this skill is simply too hard... but that's not true! Here I will show you an incredibly simple (and fun!) exercise to find arpeggios on the guitar fretboard, and if you practice you will know your guitar fretboard inside out.

learn complex music

How To Learn A Complex Piece Of Music On Guitar

Learning a new piece of music could be absolute pleasure for some guitar player, and complete hell for others. In fact, most guitarists do not really know what to do when they have to learn a long, complex piece by heart. In this video I will show you how to learn guitar music by heart so that you will not forget "what comes next" and your performance will be fluid.

notes in guitar chords

How To Learn All The Notes In All The Chords

Can you tell at the top of your mind what are the notes in the G# minor triad? If the answer does not appear INSTANTLY in your mind, then you need to read this, right now. Knowing all the notes in all the chords is an important skill that will help you making music in any situation (Improvisation, composition, jamming, etc) The good news are: learning the notes in the chords is much easier than you think! Click here to see a simple exercise that you can do to learn the notes in all chords and that you can do anytime - even without your guitar.

guitar dynamics control

How To Control The Dynamics In Your Guitar Playing

The mark of a great guitarist is the nuances in his/her playing like phrasing and dynamics. In fact, I found that all the guitarists that I appreciate AND all the guitarists who have a good tone are masters of dynamics. In this video I show you what dynamics is on the guitar, how to train it, and what dynamics can do for your playing and your guitar tone. See here how to control the dynamics on your guitar.

chord tone soloing

What Is Chord Tone Soloing?

Typical situation: you are improvising with the right scale for your backing track, but somehow what you play still does not sound good. What is happening? The most likely reason is that you are not targeting the notes of the chords in the backing track (a procedure called Chord Tone Soloing). In theory, Chord Tone Soloing is easy, but in practice many guitarists get stuck in trying to remember the notes in the chords and finding them on the fretboard. Fear not, and watch this video that explains what Chord Tone Soloing is and how to learn it the right way so it will feel easy and musical.

chromatic guitar sequences

How To Play Chromatic Sequences On The Pentatonic Guitar Scale

A while ago I published a video on how to invent endless guitar phrases using just the pentatonic scale. In that video I introduced the concept of "sequences". I must have done something right there since that video earned 190.000 views (and counting).

Anyway, some of my regular viewers told me that they loved the sound of the concept video, but were concerned that by following a scale they would eventually become "prisoners" of the scale. So in this video I will show you how to create endless licks from a scale and break out of the scale too! Click here to lean how to play chromatic sequences on guitar starting from a simple pentatonic scale.

guitar improvisation rhythm

Why Your Guitar Improvisations Sound All The Same

There comes a moment in every guitarist's life when your improvisations seem to all sound the same. Even new licks of scale you learn seem to sound the same. You may think that this is because you are not 'talented' or 'creative' enough... but that's not the case. In my experience as a guitar teacher, this happens when you get stuck in some usual "playing pattern" (nothing to do with scale patterns...) and you can't get out. Well, you are in luck because I just have the right thing for you: click here to see how to break out of guitar improvisation patterns and make your improvisation sound new and fresh again.

guitar phrasing

Improve Your Guitar Leads With Systematic Phrasing

All good guitarists know that it's not only what you play but also how you play it (i.e. what guitar players calls "phrasing"). And yet you may have noticed that there is preciously little advice available on how to work on your phrasing. Today we will see a very simple exercise that will do wonders for your phrasing. It's so easy that even a complete beginner can do it, but it's so powerful that I've seen professionals still working on it. Click here to see how guitar systematic phrasing will help you make your solos sound better even if you are playing only 3 notes.

guitar arpeggio superimposition

Using Arpeggio Superimposition In A Guitar Solo

If you are a lead guitar player you know that it's hard to always have new ideas for every solo you write - and you also know that without new ideas your solos may end up sounding all the same.

Today I'm sharing with you a simple idea called "Arpeggio Superimposition" that you can customize at will for your next lead. Click here to see how to play a guitar arpeggio superimposition and have fun putting your own spin on it!

exotic Japanese guitar

The "Japanese Effect" On Guitar: How To Imitate A Koto

This is a bite-size pill of music theory that will have you play exotic sounds in just a few minutes! Today we learn how to imitate exotic instruments like the Japanese Koto or the Chinese Guzheng with your guitar. It's very simple to do and it's guaranteed to turn heads at your next jam session. Click here to see how to play the Japanese Effect on guitar and have fun playing something different than the old Blues.

guitar vibrato

Your Guitar Vibrato Sucks? Here's How To Fix It

If you are an electric lead guitar player, then there definitely is one (only one!) technique that if mastered will have the greatest impact on your playing. And the most frustrating thing is that the vast majority of beginner and intermediate players simply do not spend even one minute studying this technique... and that's why they don't sound great yet. Click here to learn what is the most important guitar technique and how to hone it to perfection.

guitar noises

Whammy Bars, Pinch Harmonic, And Guitar Noises: What Makes Electric Guitar Different

The guitar is an instrument different than any other. And indeed, the history of guitar is full of people who were not "playing by the rules". While all the other instruments were preoccupied in getting the "cleanest" sound possible, electric guitar player embraced the noise and made it a way of playing. Let's get a break form scales and chords. Click here to see how to make fun noises with your guitar.

improvisation ideas

How To Make Your Guitar Improvisation Sound Like Music

Your improvisation sounds like a bunch of ideas thrown together at random with little rhyme or reason? But when you listen to the master improvisers out there, it seems like divine music is springing forth their fingers in real time... even if they are playing very simple licks? How they do that? I answer this question (and show you how to implement the answer in practice) in the new video on how to make your guitar improvisation sound like music

smooth key modulation

Changing Key: How To Modulate Smoothly Using Your Guitar

It's common knowledge that lots of songs in modern music sound the same. Why is it so? It's because most of these songs are composed in a single musical key - because their writers do not know how to change key (to "modulate") in a smooth and musical way.

This is easily fixed: I will share with you few simple tricks so that in 10 minutes from now you will be able to write a chord progression that changes key smoothly.

guitar bend in tune

Instantly Improve The Quality Of Your Guitar Lead Playing With This Simple Trick

When it comes to play guitar, it's the small things that make the difference. In fact just a few simple things can take your playing from amateur to professional. And today we are going to focus on a little thing that indeed has such a great impact on your playing.

Watch this video to see why it is important to bend in tune and how you can learn to do it easily.

spice up your chord progressions

A Simple Trick To Spice Up Your Guitar Chord Progression

When I was learning to play I was puzzled how even simple chord progressions written by professionals sounded so good. I kept wondering if there was some secrets or hidden trick that made them sound so good. Turns out, there IS a secret!

Click here to learn the simple secret to make your chord progressions sound better... and then apply immediately to your compositions!

Pedal Point Guitar

Pedal Point Licks And Chord Progressions On Guitar

Pedal points are one of the oldest tricks in music theory, and they apply immediately to guitar music. They have been used in countless pop hits, and all modern musicians need to be familiar with them. Their sound is so peculiar that I can bet you are going to recognize a few songs that use them immediately

Click here to see how to apply pedal points to guitar music and write the next hit.

Learning Guitar Scales

Why And How You Should Learn Guitar Scales

Everybody tells you that you have to learn scales on guitar. But why exactly? Is there any benefit in learning musical scales on your guitar fretboard? And if you decided to learn scales, how would you go about that?

Find out why and how you need to learn guitar scales here!

Guitar sixth interval

Melodic Guitar Intervals: Breaking Out Of Scales

Do your soloing sound like you are just playing a scale up and down? Well, you just need to "break it up" a little. In this video we see how to leverage the simple interval of sixth (don't worry, it's explained in the video) and we see a few applications to lead playing. In a few minutes you will sound completely different

Click here to see how use the interval of sixth on guitar and stop sounding like a scale!

Atonal Metal Licks

Learn How To Use The Octave Pattern

The "Octave Pattern" is often used as a shortcut to learn the notes on the guitar fretboard, but it actually makes things harder, not easier. In this video I explain why the octave pattern is NOT a good idea for learning the fretboard, and how it can still be used for other things like creating interesting licks. Click here to see how to properly use the octave pattern on the guitar fretboard.

Atonal Metal Licks

Learn How To Write "Atonal" Metal Guitar Riffs

Are you a modern Metal guitarist and you want to learn how to write great "atonal" licks? Your guitar heroes seem to be able to play any kind of "wrong" notes and yet sound good? Do you feel you are always playing the "same old" scale? Here I will show you how to use the "wrong" notes and make them sound "right". Click here to see how to create "atonal" Metal guitar licks.

Easy Jazz Guitar Licks

Learn How To Use The "Wrong" Notes And Make Them Sound "Right"

Are you a Blues or Jazz player wondering how your guitar heroes can use all these "wrong" notes in their solos and yet make them sound "right"? Well, wonder no more. Here I will show you how to get started on playing outside the scale and managing to make it sound good... while keeping it easy. Click here to see how to create "outside" Blues and Jazz guitar licks.

Sliding Intervals Guitar Soloing

Create Awesome Guitar Phrases Using Intervals

Intervals: possibly the topic that is considered most boring in music theory. Can we make them immediately useful and FUN? Sure we can! I will show you how to take some simple ideas and make them awesomely interesting using intervals. Watch this video on Sliding Intervals Guitar Soloing so that you too can have fun with intervals.

Guitar Rhythm Transformation

Transform The Rhythm Of Your Guitar Phrases

Do you always seem to play the same 2-3 licks? Do you struggle in applying all the exercises you know to real-life playing situation? The problem that you have and you may not be aware of is that you have not mastered yet the ability to control and manipulate the timing of your guitar phrases. This is actually not difficult to do (IF you know his to do it...) thanks to one of my "secret" exercises that is easy and effective. I made a video for you that explains the exercise and its application. Watch this video on Guitar Rhythm Transformations so that you can learn to manipulate any phrase to your will.

Blues Rhythm Guitar

Applying The Tritone Substitution To Blues Progressions

Sure, you may like Blues, but how many songs based on the 12-bar progression can you listen to one after another without getting bored? Not many. In this video I will show you how to CHANGE the Blues chord progression in an intelligent and flexible way so that you can make it sound fresh every time you play it. And it's so simple to do that you can actually IMPROVISE the changes. Click here to see how to apply the tritone substitution on a Blues progression.

Blues Rhythm Guitar

How To Play A Creative Blues Rhythm (Without Learning 1000 Chord Patterns)

You may know how to solo on a Blues, but do you know how to play an interesting rhythm part that goes beyond power chords and the usual "shuffle" pattern? In this video I show a simple yet really effective system to create your own chords on the fly so that you can play great sounding rhythm parts on a Blues. People will ask you how much time you have spent to learn all these chords patterns... yes it sounds that good! Click here to see how to play a creative guitar rhythm on a Blues.

Notes on guitar Fretboard

How To Learn All The Notes On The Fretboard (Without Getting Crazy)

Should you learn all the notes you your guitar? Of course you should! Every music theory concept will look much easier if you can translate it immediately to your fretboard, and you can do it only if you are really familiar with your notes. But isn't it difficult? No, it is actually quite easy if you know the right exercise to do! Click here to see how to Learn the Notes on the Guitar Fretboard.

Original Guitar Chords

How To Create Useful And Original Guitar Chords

Are you getting tired of the old "cowboy chords"? Sure, they are useful and fun... but after a while everything you write sounds the same, because is made by the same old chords! Here I will show you how to create completely new and original chords that sound great and that you can easily use in your own compositions. No formal theory required, all is done on the fretboard! Click here to see the Non-Standard Chords Video.

Advanced Pentatonic Scales for guitar

How To Create Original Licks With Just 5 Notes

The pentatonic scale has only 5 notes. This makes it simple to use, but creates another problem: how can we play something original and fresh with it? With just 5 notes surely every possible combination has already been played, right? Actually no: in this video I will show you how to create something new EVERY DAY on the pentatonic scale. Click here to see the Creative Pentatonic Video.

5 Blues Guitar Mistakes

5 Errors Most Blues Players Make

Blues guitar: a style where what you DON'T play is as important as what you actually play! Yes, I know you have heard this a thousand times from the old cats that play at your local pub... but they never told you what NOT to play. Don't worry, in this video I am going to lay down in detail what specific things will make your solo sound bad, so you will know exactly what NOT to play. Click here to see the 5 Blues Guitar Mistakes that you want to avoid at all cost!

Advanced Pentatonic Scales for guitar

Advanced Uses For The Simple Pentatonic Scale

Ah, the old faithful pentatonic scale. Good for Blues and a bit of Classic Rock but not much else... or is it? In this video I am going to show you how to multiply the usefulness of the standard pentatonic scale and use it in ways that will make it sound modern and interesting... and all this without having to learn a single pattern! Click here to see the Advanced Pentatonic Video

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