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Guitar - Styles

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Writing Country Songs Plain and Simple

Country music prides itself on being the heartbeat of the working class. The common messages and plain language ("Write it like you talk it" is a popular saying among country songwriters) of its song lyrics [more…]

Examining the 12-Bar Blues Pattern

If you've ever spent any time around a serious blues musician or music aficionado, you've probably heard the phrase "12 bar blues" tossed about. A bar is a musical phrase, a way of measuring the music [more…]

Ten Famous Guitar Pioneers

Regardless of style, certain guitarists have made their mark on the world of guitar so that any guitarist who comes along after them has a hard time escaping their legacy. You'll find here, in chronological [more…]

Playing Quintessential Blues on Slide Guitar

Slide guitar may have become a stylistic choice over fretted guitar out of necessity by players who didn't have the skills or patience to fret the guitar and found it easy to slide a smooth, rounded object [more…]

Playing the Blues Guitar: Acoustic Meets Electric

Electric guitars came on the scene only in the late 1930s, and then only to those who could afford them. Thus, the acoustic guitar in blues had a long run, and the style continued even after the advent [more…]

Discovering the Blues of John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) is firmly established as one of the true giants of the blues, along with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Howlin' Wolf. Hooker is often called the [more…]

Exploring the Delta Blues

Delta blues also goes by the moniker Mississippi blues, but either term refers to the blues style of playing that came out of the Delta region of Mississippi, the fertile cotton-producing area of the state [more…]

Joining Two Rock Guitar Styles: Progressive Meets Heavy Metal

It's not surprising that as progressive rock and heavy metal both took off in the 1970s that they would eventually cross over. Bands like Jethro Tull, Kansas, and Rush successfully mixed the muscular guitar [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 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 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…]

How to Play the Jimmy Reed Blues Guitar Move

If you have the basic 12-bar blues under your belt, it’s time to learn how to play the Jimmy Reed move on your guitar. This move will help you shake things up a bit. The Jimmy Reed move has been a blues [more…]

How to Use Pick-Strum Patterns to Add Variety to Blues Guitar

Knowing how to read and use pick-strum patterns is a great way to provide rhythmic variety and introduce different textures into your guitar playing. Pick-strum patterns separate the bass and treble so [more…]

How to Use Left-Hand Muting to Create a Crisp Guitar Rhythm

When it comes to rhythm guitar, you need to learn how to stop the strings. Just listen to blues rhythm guitar and you'll hear that it’s not one repetitive wall of sound, but an open, varied sound with [more…]

How to Create the Six-Note Blues Scale on Guitar

The pentatonic scale is a wonderful invention for guitarists — and can save you from sounding bad during a guitar solo. On the flip side, because this is such a [more…]

Expanding the Blues Scale with Sweet Notes

In blues, rock, and jazz guitar, there are times when you want to add extra interest to the blues harmony. You can do this by adding a sweet note — an extra chromatic note not found in the six-note blues [more…]

How to Play Pinch Harmonics on Electric Guitar

Guitarist Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top set the standard of "soulfulness" in the rock guitar world with his smoldering pinch harmonic solos. You can add soulfulness to your guitar music by learning how to [more…]

Adding Intros, Turnarounds, and Endings to the 12-Bar Blues Progression

Although the 12-bar blues progression has a signature blues sound, if you plan to play blues, rock, or jazz guitar on a regular basis, you'll want to learn how to accessorize the 12-bar blues. Intros, [more…]

Using Slide Guitar for the Blues

There is a strong tradition in using slide guitar for the blues. Slide guitar became a stylistic choice over fretted guitar by players who didn’t have the skills or patience to fret the guitar and found [more…]

Proper Slide Guitar Technique

Slide guitar is physically easy in one sense — just drag a slide over the strings, and you can instantly hear the effect, right? However, proper slide guitar technique is not quite that simple. It can [more…]

Tuning for Slide Guitar: Standard or Open?

Slide guitar can be played in standard or open tunings, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Learning the various different methods to tune for slide guitar will give you more options to let [more…]

Guitar Tablature: "Bourrée in E Minor" by J.S. Bach

There are some songs that all classical guitar players will come across at one time or another. Learning how to play "Bourrée in E Minor" on guitar will give your classical skills a chance to shine. This [more…]

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