How To Play Guitar

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How to Mute the Right Hand on the Guitar

You can mute with your right hand on the guitar (using the heel of the palm), but this produces a different effect than left-hand muting. In right-hand muting, you still hear the sound of the fretted string [more…]

How to Play Fingerstyle on the Guitar

Although more than 99 percent of all rock playing on the guitar is played with a pick, occasions for fingerstyle do pop up occasionally. Fingerstyle, as the name implies, means that you pluck the strings [more…]

How to Harmonize the Major Scale to Build Triads and Chords on the Guitar

A triad is a set of three notes stacked in 3rds. Playing in 3rds on the guitar means that you start on a scale degree, count it as “1,” and then move to the scale degree that is three away, “3.” For example [more…]

How to Use the C Form as a Moveable Barre Chord on the Guitar

To use the C form as a moveable barre chord, your 1st finger acts like a capo and lays across (barres) the guitar neck while your remaining fingers form the rest of the chord shape. [more…]

How to Play a C Form Arpeggio Pattern on the Guitar for the CAGED System

Before you break down the C form into smaller and more useable chord voicings on the guitar, add to it in the form of an arpeggio pattern. An arpeggio is a technique in which you play the notes of a chord [more…]

How to Play C Form Chord Voicings on the Guitar for the CAGED System

Different C form chord voicings are played by breaking down the arpeggio pattern into smaller, fragmented pieces on the guitar. Here are several ways to play partial chord shapes based on the full C form [more…]

How to Use the A Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

The A form is one of the most commonly used shapes and is typically what comes to mind when guitarists think of barre chords. Here, you move up an open A chord and use it as an A form barre chord to play [more…]

How to Use the G Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

Check out the G form. Like the C form, this barre chord is hard to play on the guitar and rarely, if ever, used in its entirety. Usually, you break it down into other, more manageable shapes. You use the [more…]

How to Use the E Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

Like the A form, the E form is a standard barre chord shape. On the guitar, you use it to form major chords for notes along the 6th string. You can form it into some unique chord voicings, especially when [more…]

How to Use the D Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

The D form is unique in that it’s the only CAGED form that isn’t rooted to either the 6th or 5th string on the guitar. Instead, its root is on the 4th string. It’s awkward to finger and technically isn’t [more…]

How to Play Minor CAGED Forms on the Guitar

Just as you use the CAGED arpeggios to form major chord voicings on the guitar, you can do the same with minor arpeggios. You lower all the 3rds in each arpeggio pattern to minor 3rds [more…]

How to Play Chord Progressions with Open Chords on the Guitar

You can use chord patterns to track chord progressions in the open position on the guitar, although doing so takes some extra work and requires that you identify the actual note name of each chord. [more…]

How to Play the Guitar in Dorian Mode

Dorian is the second mode of the major scale — when the 2nd scale degree functions as the tonic on the guitar. Because it centers on a minor chord (ii), it’s considered a minor key. Although this type [more…]

How to Play the Guitar in Phrygian Mode

Phrygian is the third mode of the major scale — when the 3rd scale degree functions as the tonic on the guitar. It’s considered a minor key because it centers on a minor chord. This type of minor scale [more…]

How to Play the Guitar in Lydian Mode

Lydian is the fourth mode of the major scale — when the 4th scale degree functions as the tonic on the guitar. Because it centers on a major chord, it’s considered a major key. Rarely do you hear a song [more…]

How to Play the Guitar in Mixolydian Mode

Mixolydian is the fifth mode of the major scale — when the 5th scale degree functions as the tonic on the guitar. It centers on a major chord, so it’s considered a major key. It’s also called the [more…]

How to Play the Guitar in Ionian, Aeolian, and Locrian Modes

There are seven different modes you can play on the guitar. Any degree in the major scale can function as the tonic (or key) and serve as the starting place in the scale, so because the major scale has [more…]

How to Play Songs on the Guitar with Dominant Function

Some songs you will play on the guitar are based on simple progressions that contain only the I and V chords (also known as the tonic and dominant chords). Songs like “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry [more…]

How to Draw Attention to Common Secondary Dominants on the Guitar

Musicians and guitarists use secondary dominants on almost any chord in a key to provide some variety to a progression and to give some temporary focus to another chord. For example, the D7 chord has a [more…]

How to Play the Guitar with Voice Leading

In music composition and guitar playing, voice leading is the technique of writing smooth transitions from one chord to another, using common tones between chords and stepwise motion between their different [more…]

How to Improvise Leads on the Rock Guitar

In rock, jazz, and blues, improvisation plays a great role for any guitarist. In fact, being a good improviser is much more important than being a good technician. It’s much more important to create honest [more…]

How to Combine Single-Note Riffs and Chords on the Rock Guitar

Although lead guitar is a studied craft with an established orthodoxy (that is, you can buy books on the subject), rhythm guitar is a universe without any rules. No one can say for sure what makes up a [more…]

How to Use the Moveable Pentatonic Scale to Play Lead Rock Guitar

Probably the greatest invention ever created for lead rock guitarists is the pentatonic scale. Its construction and theory have spawned countless theoretical discussions, but for rock guitar purposes, [more…]

How to Use Bends in Your Guitar Solo

Bending strings is probably the most important of all the articulation techniques available to a rock guitarist. More expressive than hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides, a [more…]

How to Use High Moves to Play Blues on the Guitar

You can play moves on the higher strings. These guitar strings often involve the same notes played on the lower strings (the fifth and sixth of the chord featured in the Jimmy Reed move —), but when played [more…]

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