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Understanding Half Steps and Whole Steps

The distance between any two musical notes is called and interval. In Western musical notation, the smallest interval is the half step, or semitone. A [more…]

Finding the Major Scales on a Guitar

Finding the major scales on a guitar is not as hard as you might think. Traditionally, guitarists think of the guitar neck as being broken up into blocks of four frets, and, depending on what key you want [more…]

Finding the Natural Minor Scales on a Guitar

Natural minor scales follow the interval pattern Whole step, Half step, Whole step, Whole step, Half step, Whole step, Whole step (WHWWHWW), with the first note [more…]

Finding the Harmonic Minor Scales on a Guitar

The harmonic minor scale is a variation of the natural minor scale. Consequently, finding harmonic minor scales on a guitar is similar to finding a natural minor except that it is off by one half step. [more…]

Finding Melodic Minor Scales on a Guitar

The melodic minor scale is derived from the natural minor scale. To find the melodic minor scale, raise both the sixth and seventh notes of the natural minor scale by one half step when going up the scale [more…]

Use Chord Progressions when Writing Music

Chord progressions are the patterns that music composers use to put musical notes and chords together. When you write music, chord progressions are critical in writing songs that sound harmonious and have [more…]

The Anatomy of an Acoustic Guitar

All guitars share certain characteristics that make them behave like guitars and not violins or tubas. Understanding the anatomy of an acoustic guitar is important for understanding how to make music with [more…]

How Guitar Strings and Frets Work

Guitar strings create musical sound through vibration. Understanding how strings work with frets to create specific vibrations (and therefore specific tones) will help you to understand why your guitar [more…]

The Ups and Downs of Strumming a Guitar

One of the most basic ways you can play chords is with a strum. Strumming the guitar is the simple act of brushing the strings with a pick, thumb, or the back of your fingernails. A strum can be slow, [more…]

Parts of an Electric Guitar

All guitars share certain characteristics that make them behave like guitars and not violins or tubas. Understanding the anatomy of an electric guitar is important for understanding how to make music with [more…]

How to Read Music Note Values

Reading music notes means understanding the value of each note (that is, how long each note lasts) and how notes fit together in sheet music. To know how to read music notes, you'll need to learn the different [more…]

How to Read the Rests in Music

Knowing when not to play notes during a song is as important as knowing the notes you do play. Understanding how to read rests will help you keep up with the beat and pacing of the music. Sometimes the [more…]

The Basics of Bass Guitar

Understanding the basics of bass guitar includes understanding what makes a bass a bass and how a bass guitar fits into a band. In the right hands, the bass is a tremendously powerful tool, because it [more…]

Using the Bass Guitar for Different Musical Styles

Defining the style of a tune is your primary function as a bass guitarist. You can use a bass guitar to create a number of different musical styles. You define a style by the notes and rhythms you choose [more…]

How to Play the Blues Scale on Bass Guitar

The six-note blues scale is one of the most commonly used scales in soloing. Consequently, learning how to play the blues scale on bass guitar is essential. The blues scale is so popular because it’s comfortable [more…]

How to Play the Minor Pentatonic Scale on Bass Guitar

Learning how to play the minor pentatonic scale on bass guitar will add a lot of flavor to your playing because it's one the most versatile scales. The structure of the minor pentatonic scale is very similar [more…]

How to Play the Major Pentatonic Scale on Bass Guitar

Learning how to play the major pentatonic scale on the bass guitar is like getting a two-for-one deal. You can use the major pentatonic scale for two different chord tonalities: the major chord and the [more…]

How to Position Your Right Hand for Finger-Style Bass Guitar

Although there are many popular right-hand bass guitar techniques, it is important to learn how to position your right hand for finger-style playing, which is the most flexible and widely used bass guitar [more…]

How to Hold an Electric Bass while Standing

Playing your bass guitar is easiest if you know how to properly hold it. Learning how to hold the bass while standing will pay off by making you more comfortable and making it easier for you to play with [more…]

How to Use Repetition When Playing Acoustic Blues Guitar

Although blues guitar is usually heard on electric guitar, it started out as an acoustic style. An important aspect of acoustic blues (and electric, too) is [more…]

Two Acoustic Blues Guitar Techniques

You can use two simple acoustic blues techniques to give your blues guitar playing more variety. Alternating the texturecreates an unexpected, less homogeneous sound. And combining open strings with fretted [more…]

What is the Robert Johnson Progression?

Robert Johnson (1911–1938) is universally recognized as the King of the Delta Blues, and for good reason. Robert Johnson's playing style, which is called the Robert Johnson Progression, has influenced [more…]

How to Read the Key Signature to Determine What Key to Play

Knowing how to read the key signature to determine what key to play is critical to reading music, but it isn't difficult. Count the number of sharps or flats in the key signature, and then you can use [more…]

How to Get the Blues Sound

Blues guitar can take many forms, which means that learning how to get the blues sound is an evolving process. However, by identifying specific techniques, notes, and patterns to follow, you can begin [more…]

Techniques for Playing Authentic Blues Guitar

One of the best things about the blues is that it isn’t all that hard to play, technically speaking. However, learning how to use expression when you play blues guitar is the best way to bring your guitar [more…]


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