How To Play Guitar

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How to Play Blues on the Guitar with a Basic Single-Note Riff

A riff is a self-contained musical phrase on the guitar, and it can be used to form the basis for a song. Riffs are the bridge between chords and lead guitar. Riffs are usually based on single notes, but [more…]

How to Play Blues on the Guitar with High-Note Riffs

A high-note riff on the guitar is very close — in words and in music — to a lick. So, just forget the whole idea of strictly defining terms in such a forgiving and nonjudgmental form as the blues. But [more…]

How to Play Melody in the Bass on the Classical Guitar

The melody of a classical guitar piece, though usually played by the fingers on the high strings (in the treble), is sometimes played by the thumb on the low strings [more…]

How to Play Melody in the Treble on the Classical Guitar

Melodies in the bass are a bit easier to combine with arpeggios on the guitar than are melodies in the treble. However, arpeggio pieces with melodies in the treble are actually more common than those with [more…]

How to Mix Up Melodies on the Classical Guitar

Not all arpeggiated passages are straightforward — where the melody occurs consistently in either the treble or bass part on the classical guitar. In some cases the melody moves back and forth between [more…]

How to Mix Single Notes and Strums on the Guitar

Rhythm guitar includes many more approaches than just simultaneously strumming chords. A piano player doesn’t plunk down all her fingers at once every time she plays an accompaniment part, and guitarists [more…]

How to Use Left-Hand Movement within a Right-Hand Strum on the Guitar

When you begin to move the left-hand in conjunction with the right, you uncover an exciting new dimension in rhythm guitar: left-hand movement simultaneous with right-hand rhythm. This “liberating of the [more…]

Guitar Rhythm Styles

Here, you will tackle some song-length guitar exercises that illustrate many of the characteristics, both chordal and rhythmic, of standard grooves or feels in rock music. Rhythm section players often [more…]

How to Play Intervals 1 through 7 on the Guitar

Beginning guitarists can learn a great deal from playing intervals. The distance from the 1st to the 2nd scale degrees in the major scale is called a second interval, [more…]

Playing the Guitar: The Seven Triads of the Major Scale

After you understand how to build triads on the guitar, you can continue to build on each degree in the G major scale. Try doing this on your own on the fretboard. Here’s what the completed scale looks [more…]

How to Play 2nd and 9th Chords on the Guitar

There are many types of chords for the guitar that include 2nds and 9ths, but the three that you’re most likely to encounter are sus2, add9, and 9 chords. You start with the sus2 chord, a chord that has [more…]

How to Play 4th and 11th Chords on the Guitar

By far the most common type of 4th chord that you encounter as a guitar player is a sus4, where a 4th replaces the 3rd and a chord is stacked 1-4-5. On occasion, a 4th is added and the 3rd is retained, [more…]

How to Play Low-Note and High-Note Melodies on the Guitar

For some reason, all traditional guitar method books start with the guitar’s top strings and work their way down to the low strings. But in the true rebellious spirit of rock and roll, let’s start at the [more…]

How to Play Licks on the Guitar

What’s cool about playing up the neck of the guitar is how often you get to shift positions while doing it. And make no mistake, shifting is cool. You get to move your whole hand instead of just your fingers [more…]

How to Play Resting Rhythms on the Guitar

As you practice playing eighth-note rhythms on the guitar, it’s a good time to work out a few examples that are not so much pattern based but more a combination of eighth notes and rests. Here, you see [more…]

How to Scratch the Surface on the Rhythm Guitar

One technique that is common to rhythm guitar is the use of string scratching. This is where strings are cut off and damped, but instead of resting and floating over them, the strings are strummed, producing [more…]

How to Play Triplets on the Guitar

Playing triplets on the guitar is a good way to add variety to your music. When you divide a quarter-note beat into two equal parts, it’s called an eighth note. When you divide a beat into three equal [more…]

How to Play Eighth Note Shuffles on the Rhythm Guitar

When you play music on the rhythm guitar that has a constant tied-triplet feel with long and short notes, it’s called a shuffle or, more specifically, an [more…]

Optional Fingerings for Pentatonic Scales on the Guitar

Pentatonic patterns are extremely common in popular music, especially the rock and blues genres. They’re used to play melodies, riffs, lead guitar solos, and bass lines. The tips you find here focus on [more…]

How to Finger Major Scales on the Rhythm Guitar

You will need to know how to finger major scale patterns, which include more notes and half-steps on the rhythm guitar. You take a look at the different ways to finger patterns and play in positions. The [more…]

How to Play Grace Notes on the Guitar

When playing the guitar, not all notes have values. In some situations you use a pitch to quickly lead into another, and it’s sounded only for a very brief moment. This is called a [more…]

String Gauge and Bending on the Guitar

In order to bend strings on a guitar, you need to use a light gauge of strings. String gauge refers to the thickness of the guitar string — the larger the gauge, the heavier the string. Thickness is measured [more…]

How to Bend and Tap a Note on the Guitar

Tapping, also called finger tapping or fretboard tapping, is a technique where you tap the fingertips on your picking hand onto the guitar’s fretboard to sound notes. It’s basically hammer-ons performed [more…]

How to Tap the Pentatonic Scale on the Guitar

One technique you can use to vary your guitarmusic is by tapping. This example illustrates tapping with notes from pentatonic patterns 1 and 2 in A minor stretching between frets five and ten. Before you [more…]

How to Play Natural Harmonics on the Guitar

You can produce harmonics in a variety of ways on the guitar. To begin, you take a look at the nodes on an open string, which are the locations of what guitarists call [more…]

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