Guitar Lesson Intermediate Players: Learn To Play “The Apostle” by Peter Green





Hello, today we will be looking at a Peter Green Song. It is called ” Apostle” and is from the late 70s, from the “In the Skies” album. Peter Green started out with John Mayall  and the BluesBreakers. He replaced Eric Clapton who had left the BluesBreakers to form Cream later on. Peter Green only stayed for one album with the BluesBreakers and then went on to create Fleedwood Mack.

It is worth to check out all the guitarists from this period ==1960s upto late 1970s== as a lot of those guitarplayers had a lot in common, they all had their roots in bluesmusic, but they all developed their own styles and sound. A few names who come to mind are Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck and Jimi Page. Next to them it may be worth looking at Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. From all of these guitarplayers Jeff Beck may be the most interesting and prolific player, but then again, that may be just my own personal taste………..

Compared to the list of players mentioned before Peter Green is certainly one of the guitarplayers who seemed to be able to create great melodic compostitions at the time. Think of Albatros and Black Magic Woman, as both songs do contain a memoriable melody. It is this side of his musicianship which comes back in his later period, from the late 1970s up to early 1980s. During this period he made some albums which do not really sound much like any of the Fleetwood Mack material he had been associated with before.

Before I will carry on with the rest of this lesson first have a listen to the song we will be looking at: Listen to the chords and the three different parts which makes up this song. It sounds reallly simple but melodic at the same time.

The first part of the song contains just two chords: Em and G, You can finger them like this:

      Em           G

       x            x
       x            x
       0            0                                        Notice that I do not play the top two strings, this for the melody
       2            0                                          to come out better! 
       2            2
       0            3

        Now have a look at these two E minor scalepatterns as they are slightly different from what you would expect them to be:

     E —————————————————————————-(0)———————————

     B ———————————————————0—–2—–3—————————————– 

     G ——————————————–0—-2————————————————————-

     D —————————0—(2)—-4————————————————————————

     A ————–0–2—4——————————————————————————————

     E –(0)–2–3—————————————————————————————————– 


     E —————————————————————————————————————–

     B ————————————————————————2—-3—–(5)————————–

     G ———————————————————–2—–4———————————————-

     D ————————————–(2)—–4—-5————————————————————

     A ———————–2—-4—-5——————————————————————————

     E –(0)—2–3—5————————————————————————————————

 Here is the Melody of the first part including the chords. It is an 8 bar section played twice. Each line     contains two bars. The chords are played two strums per bar.

          Em                   G                                     Em               G
     E ——————————————         —0—————————
     B—————–0—3——2——-0—–         ——-3——2——0—0—-
     G ——-0–2——————————-          ——————————–

     D —2————————————–          ——————————–

     A ——————————————-          ———————————

     E ——————————————-           ——————————–

          Em                        G                                 Em       G

     E ——————————————            -0—————————————
     B ——————0—–3——-2—0—             –3–2————————————
                    H                                                                                Slide
     G ——-0—2—————————–             ——–4—2—-0–(2)—4—0———-

     D—2————————————–              —————————————2—

     A ——————————————              ——————————————-

     E ——————————————-             ——————————————-

           Em                     G                                        Em                     G

      E —————————————                ————————————————

      B —————————————                ————————————————

      G —————————————                ————————————————
             Pull                Slide                                       H  Pull
      D –2—0———-(2)–4—2–0——-                –0—2–0————————————-

      A ————-2———————-2–                —————2——————————–
      E —————————————–               ———————-3——0——————

           Em                 G                                           Em                             G
       E ————————————–                ————————————————–

       B ————————————–                ————————————————–

       G ————————————–                ————————————————–   Repeat
              Pull          Slide                                                                                                      all 8 Bars
       D –2–0——(2)–4—-2————-                 ———-2———-2—————————  once again!

       A ———2——————-5—-2—               —5———————————————–

       E —————————————-              —————————————————-

                  Pull= Pull-Off, H= Hammer-On, ~= Vibrato


     Here are the Chordshapes for the Second Part:

            Am                      # Am   D

       E —5—-3—-0—————0—–2—-

       B —5—-3—-0—————1—–3—-

       G —5—-4—-1—————2—–2—-           N.B: Observe different fingering for Am at #

       D —7—-5—-2—————2—–0—-

       A ——————————————

       E ——————————————

             Here is the pickingpattern for playing the chords:


        E —————————5—————————-

        B ————-5——————5———–5———-

        G ——-5———5——————-5—————-

        D —7————————————————

        A —————————————————–

        E —————————————————–

Count: One And Two And    Three And Four     And

                         N.B:  Picking Pattern is similar for all chords! Careful with the picking for the half bar chords, the rhythm stays the same but the strings will be different, each part of the Beat is played, make sure you play 8 strings per bar!! Observe the different fingering for the Am chord near the end of the full sequence, it is indicated by #.

The beauty of this sequence lies in the half Barre Chords, and how they move the music along, the different fingering for the Am chord is used to preserve the linearity of the sound. Get used to this kind of playing as it will improve your chordplaying a lot. Do not jumps up and down the fretboard like a Clown! Only do this when you want to sound like a Clown!! And yes, there will be times when you just want this.


Here is the full chordsequence, play it with the given pickingpattern, play it slowly at first making sure you get the fingering and the counting right!

             Am        Am  G       Am        Am

             Am        G              Am        Am

             G           E              #Am       D                   N.B:# = OPEN CHORD of Am

           #Am       #Am


                         Here is the Melody of the second part:

           Am                         Am                       Am                         Am

      E ——————–   ———————–   ——————–      ————————-

      B ——————–   ———————–   ——————–      ————————-
             *Hold until next bar
      G –9—————-    –9–7—5—-4——   ———————     ————————-
      D ——————-    ——————-5—  –7—-(9)—7——     ————————-

      A –7—————-    –7–5—3—-2——-  ———————-     ————————-

      E ——————–    ——————-3—  –5—-(7)—5——    ————————–

Count: 1and 2 and 3 and 4       1   and two 34 and     1     and   234

           Am                        G                              Am                               Am
      E ——————-    ———————–    ———————-     ———————————–
      B ——————-    –8——————–   –10—12—11——     ———————————–

      G –9—————     ———————–   ———————–     ———————————-

      D ——————     –5——————–    –7—-9—-10——-     ———————————-

      A –7—————     ———————–    ————————   ———————————-

      E ——————-     ———————–    ————————   ———————————-

Count:  12 34                      1234                           1     2      34

               G                        E                                  Am                            D                    
        E –10————–  –7——————      –(8)–7–5————-   —————————–
                                                                                          Slide                                 Slide
      B ——————-  ———————      —————–(7)–9–    –7—————(7)—9—

      G –7—————  –4——————      –(5)–4–2————-    —————————–

      D ——————   ———————-     —————–(8)–7–    –5—————(5)—7—

      A ——————   ———————–    ————————–    ——————————

      E ——————   ————————   ————————–    ——————————

Count:  1 234                  1 234                           1   2    34          and        1234                       and

             Am                      Am

       E ——————    ———————–

       B –5—4—-2—–    ———————–

       G ——————    ———————–      Repeat Whole Melody Once Again!

       D –3—2—-0—–    ———————–

       A ——————     ———————–

       E ——————     ————————

Count:  1   2      34              

N.B: Whole Melody Second Part Contains of Octaves, You Can Play Them With Your Fingers Using Pinch Technique,  Or Use Plectrum While Observing You Only Play Two Strings At a Time. Observe The Counting And Play Carefully Melody While You Count ( And Feel) The Melody!

                                   Here are the Chords for the Third Part:


                 E      Am    G7

  E —–3——0—–0—–1—————————————–

  B —–0——0—–1—–0—————————————–

  G —–0——1—–2—–0—————————————–

  D —- 0——2—–2—–0——————————————

  A —–2——2—–0—–2——————————————

  E —–3——0———– 3——————————————

                        The Chords are Organised in Four Bars, They Read as Follows:

    G     Am Am    G  G7   Am  E

                    Play them by using two strums for each chord, hold the final E Chord.

          Here is the Melody for the Third Part in Open Postion:

                              E                     Am                                                  G7                  Am              E

  E ————–0———     ——————————–  —————-0–1–5–3–    —————————

  B —–0–1-3—-3–1–0     ———0–1—3—1—0—–  ——0–1–3—————    ——-0–1-0————-

  G –2———————     —–2————————2- –2————————–    —–2———2–0——

  D ————————      –2—————————–  —————————–     –2—————–3–2

  A ————————-     ———————————  —————————–    ————————-

  E ————————-     ———————————  ——————————   ————————-

Count:         1  2and3 4                       1   2   and 3  4                     1   2 and3 4                   1 2and3and 4

             Observe where the chords are, notice that the first 3 notes of the melody are left without counting, you can treat them as an extra triplet, come in with the chord when you start counting. Dividing  the rhythm up in this way makes it easier to feel the song.


Some of you may say that the Melody of the third part  should be played higher up the fretboard. True!!, instead of me writing this one out for you,  I will give a hint how to play this: Play exactly the same as written but start on fret 14 on the G-string. You will now be playing in the 12th postion of the guitar, and yes, the melody is played up there in the song! I have chosen for the open postion as it may be easier for the folks who play an acoustic without a cutaway. If you can play the guitar the melody should not give you any trouble anyway! 

              Structure of the Song:

             First Part   2x
         Second Part   2x
            Third Part   1x
         Second Part   1x and finish

Ideas for Further Study:

This song is a good example of how to create a melody over a given chordsequence. Instead of me analysing the song I will give you an idea how you can analyse the song for yourself: Write down all the notenames of the melody, look at the chords, and see if you can find the relation between chord and melodynotes. Write also the notes of the chords down, now you really start to see which notes do reappear when you play the melody.

Why do I not analyse this song for you then? Sometimes it may be better just to play a little song you have been given without thinking about it too much, if you are hungry for more, go ahead and analyse the notes. You will learn a lot from it, it may take you a little time, but then again, think about how long it took you to learn to speak, write and walk.


Have a wonderful time and hope to see you next time for some Festive Songs.


Guitar Lesson Intermediate Players: Learn to Play Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker









Hello it has been a couple of weeks since my last blogentry and I am looking forward to introduce you to a lot of new exhiting lessons and ideas. Today is the first one of a session of Blues blogs. We will start today with John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom. Before I dive in I would like you to listen to some different versions of this song.

Listen to this version, listen in particular to the organ and how the bassline moves the song along:



Now listen to the 1992 version of this song, listen in particular to the solos and the stabbs on the chords:



Now listen to the soloversion





Now listen to the version which we will be looking at for this lesson:



The song here is in the key of E, but for this lesson I will use the key of F!!

                        Here is the main Riff which holds the song together:

       E   ——————————————

       B   ————–4————————–

       G  — (3)—5———–5—3—————

       D ————————————-6–3–

       A  ——————————————

       E  ——————————————

Count: rest     2     and     3    and       4  and 


         Start on fret 3 of the G string, put your finger there and slide it along to fret 5 on the G. Get comfortable with the riff first before you move on to the next session of this lesson. Make sure you do not play on beat One!!

             Here are the Three Chords we will use:

       F       Bb5     C5  

       x         x        x
       x         x        x
       5         x        x
       3         3        5
       x         1        3
       x         x        x

  We will play those chords before the riff, this to create a fuller sound. The chords are played over two bars before the riff kicks in, play them on Beat 1  Beat 3 and Beat 1 of the next bar. This kind of rhythm you get is kind of a ZZ Top feel, or Boogiefeel.


 Here is the order of the sequence:

             Riff  F5    Riff  F5   Riff   Bb5

             Riff  F5   Riff  C5   Riff   F5


Practise the chords first on their own, play just the F5 chord make sure you play on  the One, the Three and the One of the next bar.  Groove along on just one chord until you feel the Two bar chord rhythm. Then go on to play the whole chordsequence before you put the riff infront of the chords.


         Playing Ideas:

~Blues is a great style for adopting it to almost anything you like, you could easily turn this John Lee Hooker into Reggea, Ska, Rock, Dance, Hip Hop or anything you like for that matter!  

~It may be more logical for you at this stage to try your hand at changing the riff from time to time, you could alternate the riff as it comes back Six times in the whole sequence. It may be possible for you to create a similar kind of riff, like a shadow- or question and answer riff. To create another riff it may be useful for you to know which scalepatterns the riff is based on.

               The song is based on F minor Pentatonic, here are Three Scale Patterns for F minor Penta:




















                     N.B: (  )  indicates the Root note of the Scale


Listen to the different versions I have given you here, most of them will be in the Key of E which is different from the Key I have used for this lesson, just listen, get ideas and start experimenting with using different riffs and feels based on the different versions you have heard. Playing music is about expressing yourself and one way to do this is to become free with whatever you play, go on and experiment once you can play the material I have used for this lesson.

Enjoy and see you next time for some more Blues Fire.


Guitar Lesson Intermediate Players: Learning to Play Magic Sam’s “All Your Love”






Today we will have a look a bluessong by Magic Sam “All You Love” It is one of his signatureriffs he uses for several songs, each time he plays this idea slightly different.

Before we break this song down make sure that you listen to a sample of this song like this version here:  Listen to the bass and the feel [rhythm] of the song. See if you can work out the song by EAR by listening to the bass, play the bassline, then the chords, make sure you understand the structure of the song. Do not worry about the solo’s and the embelishments, because they cannot carry the song. Once you understand the structure of the song create you own variations of the riff, make sure you become free with the chords and the riff [postions and fingerings etc.]


      About Magic Sam:   Magic  Sam had his own sound, he played often with the vibratosound on his amp, this gave him a somewhat unique sound for the time being. He used a few signatureriffs which he used in different songs, this song uses one of his main riffs.


              Here is a breakdown of the chords for the song:


      Bm     Bm      Bm      Bm

      E7      E7      Bm       Bm

      F#7      E7      Bm     F#7


As you can see, it is a twelve bar blues, but does not sound like a “traditional” twelve bar song.


The main riff is played over the Bm chord.  Here is a bassline which works well with the main riff:


            E ———————————–   

            B ———————————–    

           G ———————————–    

           D —————————2—0–    

           A ———-0—-2—2–2———-



The voicings for the other chords are:

                E7              F#7

                x                 x

                x                 x

                7                 9

                6                 8

                7                 9

                x                 x

Play the chords with a swing feel, 4 beats to the bar.

     Here is the main riff with some added notes of me, I left out the solosection parts he puts in from time to time as we will discuss them later for now just play this:


            E  ——————————–

            B  ——————————–

            G  ——————7——9–7-

            D ————7–9—–9—9–7-

            A  ——-9———————–

            E ——————————–


I use a slide from 7 to 9 on the A string to start the riff, works well with the feel of the song.

This riff is played over the Bm chord, or you could just play the riff and go from there to the chords.


At some point Sam adds some accents into the riff, they read like:


           E   ——————————-

           B   ——————————-

           G  ——————11—9—7–

           D  ——————11—9—7–

           A  ——————————–

           E  ——————————–


For the first part of these accents you can still play the first notes of the main riff and then play the accented notes.


       For the Solos Sam uses mainly two positions of the Bm Pentatonic Scale:


       E   ————————————————–7—10—








     E  ———————————————————10–12








Listen to how Sam moves between these two postions of the Bm Pentatonic Scale, listen to his phrasing and timing of the notes.


     Playing Ideas:

@ Play your own solos in between the main riff.

@ Vary between the two postions for your solos.

@ Experiment with putting your own “Turn Around” in the song.

@ Play the song using main riff and play chordtones [no chords this time!!] for the E7 and F#7, play in such a way that the chordtones will fit in your solo. It will sound like a long solo but you will still hear the harmony coming through as you play the chordtones.


Once you feel you are comfortable with these ideas then play the song in different postions of the Bm Pentatonic Scale. Experiment also with using different keys as it will make you freer and you will start to hear which keys work really well for which song.


In Futureblogs I will go more into detail about scales, scalepostions, phrasing, solos and turnarounds.

See you next time,


Playing Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” —Beginners and Intermediate—

Today  We will have a look at a song by Mike Posner. It is a good song to learn, does not have a straightforward feel, it is played with a more “Jazzy” feel, great song to introduce you to that feel.

 Click on the video to hear a version of the song.                   





Here is the basic layout of the song:  

          Eb       Dm        Gm                   Bb

     E——————   ——————-3-

     B——————  ————–3—-3–

     G——————  ————–3——

     D—————–  ———————-

     A—6——5—–  ———3————

     E—————–  –3–6—————-

Count 12       34             1  and 2     3      4


About the counting underneath the tab:  the 2 and 4 mean those beats are ringing, so please make sure you hold those notes for 2 beats.


      Playing Ideas:

When you are a beginner just play the bassnotes underneath the first three chords, forget about the last chord.

Play the song by just using chords, Playing the Eb with a C-shape, play Dm with a barreshape, Gm as barreshape and the Bb as a A-shape chord on fret 3.

 Here are the fingerings [also known as voicings] of those chords:

     E             Dm             Gm           Bb

     x             5           3         7

     4             6           3         7

     3             7           3         3

     5             7           5         3

     6             5           5         x

     x             x           3         x

Play each chord for two strums, for the Bb play on beat 3 the notes as indicated on the D and G string, then for beat 4 play as indicated on the B and E string. Really you split this chord up in two parts, the rest of the chords are played as indicated. When you are not familiar with this way of notating chords: Read them as tab, lower notes are played on the low E, x means do not play.


I have transposed the same piece for beginners to more “familiar” chordshapes. They read like:

    F             Em         Am           C

    1              0            0            0

    1              0            1            1

    2              0            2            0

    3              2            2            2

    x              x            0            3

    x              x            x            x

Play these chords also with two strums per chord. Notice the different notation for the Em, really easy! If you can play full Em go for that one as this chord gives you a fuller sound!


Finally the Transposed version in riff fashion:

               Em            Am           

    E——————-  ——————-

    B——————- ——————–

    G——————- —————-0—-

    D–3——-2——- ———-0———2-

    A——————– –0–3—————-

    E——————– ——————–

Count 12       34            1 and 2      3    4

For the  more advanced players: Notice that the C chord mentioned above does not have a Root, why have I chosen to harmonize the riff with a C? It is the G and the E of the C chord that we play here: The 5th and the major 3rd.


Okay that will do for now, make sure you revisit the stuff you have learned so far, and keep at it.

See you next time,


Twin Guitar Sound: Tips and Lesson For Intermediate Players










One of the beauties of the electric guitar is that it lends itself so well to be blended with another guitar, it can act almost like a hornsection when it is put in context with another electric guitar. Off course, it all depends on the player and what he/she knows about the instrument.

               What is the Twin GuitarSound and How Do You Get It?

The Twin GuitarSound is simply the sound of two guitars playing two different parts which work together as one guitar. In other words: Two guitars are playing, but you  hear one sound because the sound “mashes” together to create one riff or chord.

    You can create that sound by:  # Playing Chords “against” each other: One guitarplayer plays one chord, the other guitar plays a totally different chord, but related to chord one.

                                                # One guitar plays a chord and holds back, while guitar One holds back, guitar Two kicks in with a riff, or part of a chord, so you hear guitar One and Two as one guitarsound.

                                                # Both guitars play same chord but in a different postion on the fretboard, Gtr One could play powerchord on low E and A string while Gtr. Two plays same chord but now as a triad (= chord with three tones) over the Top E,B and G string. The result is that Gtr.One sounds bassy while Gtr. Two sounds bright and clear.

                           When Using Effects:

It is really easy to make two guitars stand out of each other by using effects, one guitar could use distortion for the powerchords, while guitar two is played with clean and bright sound. Instead of clean you could think like: Use chorus, phase, flange or echo for guitar Two. Anything you can do to make the two guitars stand out will help. It does help if the parts themself already stand out, that is, before you start thinking about effects and other equipmentchoises!


                           Using Different Guitars:

A guitar equipped with humbuckers will match very well with a single coil equipped guitar. For example a Les Paul and a Stratocaster will match very well, but you still need to be carefull with the guitarparts, make sure the part  the Les Paul plays will not not drown out the parts of the Stratocaster.

Once you get used to this kind of thinking you will start to see an infinite amount of possibilities, you can even use different pick-up positions, think about what each guitar is playing and find the best, matching pick-up postion for this sound. It also helps if you can hear the sound in your head before you play, this will save you a lot of time and arguments with your bandmates.

Experiment as much as you can with all these different approaches to find out what works for you, keep things clear and playful.


Finally I have included one example of a Two guitarpart: Guitar Two Plays Powerchords over low E and A, while Guitar One Plays notes and chords using D, G  and B string. The Part reads as follows:




                    Cmaj7 C6               G

          E  ———————   ——————–

          B  ———————    –1—- 3———-

          G –5–5—4—-2—–    –2—–4———-   = Guitar One

          D –5–5—5—-2—–    –3—–5———–

          A ———————-      ——————-

          E ———————-      ——————–  

Count :     1   and 2     34                12     34


             C5                                F5   G5

          D-5–5—5–5–5-5-5-5-  ——————–

          A-3–3—3–3–3-3-3-3-  –3—-5———–  = Guitar Two

          E————————-   –1—-3———–

Count:    1and2and 3and4and      12    34


About the Chords:

Guitar One: Fret 4 Gstring creates the Maj7, Fret2 Gstring creates the 6th. The voicing for the F and G in the second bar are my own example, you can play them any way you like as long as you avoid playing chords on the low E and A, this to create contrast between Guitar One and Two.

Guitar Two: All chords are powerchords, a powerchord is a chord existing of two notes: The Root and the Perfect 5th. They are called powerchord because the chord gives a bassy, powerful sound. It is possible to create riffs and melodies with just powerchords. Most well-known powerchordriff is “Smoke on the Water”.


When you play the parts experiment with use of effects, guitar One could be left clean while guitar Two could use distortion.


Happy Playing and See You Next Time,


Why Are There No Audiofiles Of Yourself On This Blog??









Partly because this blog is still under development and partly because I work with simple tools: Pen and Paper and musical instruments such as guitar, keyboard and drums. 

When it comes down to notating your own music I am a strong believer in developing your own system to notate whatever it is you are playing. I still think it is more fun to play guitar, mess about and come up with an idea, play it for a while and quickly jot it down on a piece of paper, than setting up a recording device, and getting lost in all the recordingoptions and losing your inspiration in the process of this. Hopefully you will remember the idea again when you see it written down at the piece of paper. Notating your own music will also help you to understand what you are doing better in terms of rhythm and where the division of the bars are. All very useful for when you need to explain your songs to other musicians and guitarplayers!

With regards to the system I use, I will create a specific blog explaining it in detail how it works. For lessons for beginners I will mostely create chordsequences and the fingering of those chords will be given. The fingeringsystem for those chords is not too different from standard tablature with the only difference that there will be no strings going through the chords, simply because you do not need them for this purpose! Once you can finger the chord, strum (or pick) it in any way you like, then follow my guidelines for strumming or whatever is suggested.

For Melodies and Riffs ect . follow the guideline for the counting, count while you play the idea slowly and try to get the FEEL, once you feel it, speed the idea up, as this will make the feel stronger, if you speed the idea up too much it will loose its feel. This is because musical ideas work within a particular temporange: Too slow or fast will kill the feel, and you can no longer hear what the idea is about.

Once you get used to this particular way of notation you will no longer need a taperecorder or camera. I am not suggesting for a moment that any of these devices are no good, no, they are excellent, but there are other, simpler ways of recording what you played: the use of pen and paper.

As mentioned before I will create a specific blog about the notation system, for now, go over the older blogs and read them carefully keeping in mind what I suggested about feel and counting.

Please bear in mind that most of the ideas given here are only starting points, experiment with different feel and tempos ect. as none of these ideas are finished as such. For that matter, any song in the world you know can be treated like this: Try playing some of your favourite riffs with a different feel and see what you get.


Happy experimenting


Ukulele Lesson Beginners: Playing Chordal Solo Piece









Today we will have a look at a solopiece for the Ukulele

Here are the chords tabbed out:

String  Chord 1   Chord 2    Chord 3   Chord 4  Chord 5  Chord 6

    A          5            3               7             10            8           12

            0            0               0              0             0           0

    C          0            0               0              0             0           0

    G          0            0               0              0             0           0


               About Chordnotation: The way the chords are represented is similar as tab, if you are not familiar with it please read as follows: The top number is a fretnumber and is played on the high A string, a 0 means open string, play each chord as one movement, one strum if you like. On the Lefthand side are the names of the strings mentioned: They read from top to bottom, High A as First String,G as Fourth String


Play Chords as follows:

       Chord1  Chord2     Chord 3  Chord 2  :     Chord 4  Chord 5     Chord 6  Chord 5 :

Count:     1 2     3 4              1 2      3 4                 1 2           3 4               1 2      3 4  

                                                                                                                      finish on chord 2 for full bar


As you can see each section contains two bars and is then repeated. The most basic form of strumming is two strums per chord. If strumming and accents are not a problem for you, play sequence with whatever strumpattern you like, but keeping to the 2 beats per chord feel.


   Playing Ideas:

~ Change the order of the chords, see what it sounds like.

~ Create a similar chordsequence, but use now fretted notes on the E (=2nd) string, keep the rest of your strings as open strings.

~ Create a melody for the sequence I wrote out, write melody down and sing it along while you play the chords.


  What Are Those Chords Called ?

Good question, on purpose I wanted to keep things simple, but yes the chords do have a name of some sort:

Chord 1= C9 with the D (which makes it a 9th chord) at the topstring.  

Chord 2= C   (probably the most familiar chordshape out of the whole sequence).

 Chord 3= an inversion of C with the E (the major 3rd of the chord) at the top. 

Chord 4= Aother inversion of C, this time with the G (the perfect 5th of the chord) at the top.

Chord 5= Csus4 with the F(which makes chord a sus4) at the top.

Chord 6= C6 with the A (which creates the sound of the 6th) at the top.


If the explanation why those chords are called that way does not make sense at the moment, please do not worry, in futureblogs I will explain about chordconstruction and the extension of chords. All of this will start to make sense to you if you keep revisiting this blog as it is my intention to unravel the whole “Musictheory Mistery” in clearcut language and examples.


Since this is my first Ukulele blog I would suggest to all you Uke players out there that most of the guitarblogs can be applied to the Ukulele as well, certainly the blog about Technique. Try it, experiment and rearrange the guitarideas for Uke.


Okay once you can play the sequence and you are hungry for some more try the next two “impossible” chordshapes: 

       String                  C              F

           A                    10            12

           E                    12             8

                             12            12

                             12            10


Happy Playing and See You Next Time


Guitar Playing Tips For Beginners










Apart from having a lot of willpower here are some tips and ideas which you should keep in mind:

#   Use all FOUR fingers of your Left Hand. Go through one of my early blogs about technique and fingering, it will help you to get a focus on what I mean. We have four fingers available for our fretting hand, which is usually your left hand (if you are a lefty think in mirror version!!). Use them all, the sooner you will do this, the better your playing will get. Usually people leave out the use of the pink. Why? Because it is the weakest finger of the four, work on it seperately with individual exercises which will train you to use your pink.

#   Posture  = How you sit [or stand up] while holding the guitar: Try to sit straight, no sofas please, use a hard chair which can support your back. May feel a little boring at first, but it will help you to concentrate. Where are those teachers of the past we used to have in primary school who told you off for not sitting straight in your chair?  There is a reason for anything in this world, sitting [or standing] upright is one of them as it helps to maintain you concentrated on what you are doing. If you use a guitarstrap (which is what I do, even when I sit down!!) have it as high as when you would sit and play the guitar. Does not look cool? Maybe you should concentrate more on your haircut and doing guitaraccrobatics in front of the mirror or an audience in your livingroom!  Forget the joking and look at people who can play the guitar well, how do they hold the guitar? Yes there are a few exceptions, but most of them will not have their guitar slung that low so it will reach the point of their shoes. Once you have learned how to play you can experiment with your posture and how low you can hold your axe, you may even want to try sliding on your knees while playing through some of your favourite licks, or playing with your teeth (Nickel strings taste really rusty and metallic!, but some of your may like it as desert!) If you get bored with any of the above why not play some riffs behind your back, this will really show you and your audience how well you can play. No seriously, I am not kidding, this is a good trick to try, but it may not feel so comfortable after a while. If you practise like this regularly you may be able to beat that other kid in your class!

#   Thumb:   Find a neutral postion, which is at the back of the guitar, opposite your first finger. This is a neutral postion, from there the thumb can move anywhere, and yes, at times it will even come over the neck. But for now keep it at the back since you are not involved in stringbending yet!!

#   Wrist: Keep it flexible, try to move it around as you are holding some of the basic chords like G and Em, make sure that the open strings will sound, that your fingers do not muffle the strings, if they do, move your wrist, keep thumb at the back and see if you can get that chord to ring like a bell!!

#   Listen to your playing: Sounds all too obvious? It is quite common for people to concentrate on the motorskills in the beginning, they may forget what they are playing, as they are busy watching their fingers, and often looking at sheetmusic as well. It helps if you can memorise what you are playing as this will make it easier to concentrate on listening. This advise also goes for Intermediate and Advanced players, memorising any song will help you to play it better.

#   Enjoy what you can play, do not think too much about the future and what you COULD play. This goes especially for people who start out a little later in life. Usually children will enjoy what they can do and muck about with it a bit, which is great as you need to experiment to push your playing to the next level. It is all about being in the moment, enjoy what goes on, do it as well as you can for now and carry on with it!!


Stay upright and tuned!!


The Grading on this Blog: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Players










 When you are a beginner you need guidance and support to help you with getting sounds from the guitar. As you progress you may find that it is easy to get lost in the track of time while you are playing some of the ideas you have been given. You get totally absorbed by what you are doing at that very moment in time. Such is the power of music: Music connects you with the moment and makes you forget whatever worries were on your mind. That is one of the reasons why people love listening to music, going out to concerts or gigs.

The idea of the lessons on this blog is to provide you with some stimulus, ideas you can use for your own playing or just musical ideas which can stand on their own.

People who can play the guitar can still benefit of going over lessons which are designed with the beginner in mind. Most of my lessons do have an open character and can be played in many different ways:

~ When there is talk about strumming you can pick the idea instead of strum, this will require a different technique but since you can play the guitar you will know what to do.

~ If a lesson is about a particular chordsequence, you can add basslines or riffs in between the chords etc.

~ If a particular fingering for a chord is given, you can change the postion of the chord, if you know the fretboard you will know what you can do with the chord.

~ You can change the key of the idea, in most cases this means you will be playing in a different position on the fretboard.


Most people, especially intermediate and advanced players, tend to think, after having covered the basics, they need to move on to more “advanced scales and chords”. My own experience, and that of many other guitarplayers, is that the so called “easy stuff” is open for many different interpretations. You need to learn to apply whatever you know, to play in different contexts and styles. For example, there are many different ways to play a C chord on the guitar, and there are many things you can do with that same chord. Some of those ideas will be obvious, some are less common.

 Most of the popular songs of the last 40 to 60 years are all very simple in terms of harmony [chordchanges] and melody. That is one of the reasons why people like them so much. However, most of these songs do sound great because they will have a special feel or just a little idea which makes the song sound slightly different from what you would expect it to be.

If you enjoy reading this blog, I would suggest trawling through the material and pick whatever takes your fancy, do not pay too much attention about the grading, and use the material for whatever purpose you want to use it for.


Guitar Lesson Beginners and Intermediate Players: Playing Short Melody on E String











 Today we will look at a short melody played over the high E-string.

Here is the melody:

                           G    Am       C                   Em    C           G    Am              G     Am

                       s                              s                           s       

         E —8—7-8—7—5—  —8—-7-8—10—12  –8–7-8—-7—5–  —8—12-15—17—–

Count:      1    2and 3    4         1     2and   3      4     1   2and   3   4        1     2  and   34

        About Notation: S= Slide Up 


        About the Melody: ~ Notice how the melody goes back and forwards from the BC= half tone.

                                   ~ Notice the third bar is exactely same as first bar.

                                   ~ Notice that the rhythm of whole melody is the same apart from last bar: a change on beat 3 and 4.


        Why Those Chords? :  First Bar:   C of melody (fret 8) relates to Root of C chord.

                                                      The B (fret 7) is the major third of the G chord.

                                                      The A (fret 5) is the Root of the A minor chord.

                                         Second Bar: The D (fret 10) is the perfect fifth of the G chord.

                                                           The E (fret 10) is the Root of the Em chord.

                                         Last Bar:      The E (fret 12) is the major third of the C chord.

                                                            The G (fret 15) is the Root of the G chord.

                                                            The A (fret 17) is the Root of the A minor chord.


If you are still confused why I have chosen the chords I did, do not worry as I will explain harmony in great detail in future blogs. For now this short break-down about the harmony will do.


       Creating Melodies:

When it comes to making melodies, keep them short, make them independent, so they can stand on their own to make sense. If you can sing- or hum it back you are probably doing a good job!

There are a lot of different approaches about how to create melodies, the example above is of a rising nature [the notes go up all the time] and it finishes on a climax. Experiment for yourself with different approaches, in future blogs I will spend more time on the different approaches how to create melodies. Listen to the melodies of your favourite songs, see how they move.

What I mentioned for melodies also goes for Solos, make sure your solos make sense [are melodic] sing along when you play, do not let your fingers dicatate too much [a specific guitarist “problem”] what you play. Let your solos go to a climax, let them make a contrast to what goes on in the rest of the song. In futureblogs I will give more tips and ideas about how to construct guitarsolos. Listen to what your favourite guitarplayers play, do you find they use a particular approach when it comes to playing solos, can you detect what makes player X sound so different from player Y?


     Playing Ideas:

Play same melody but now over different strings, observe where the half tones are. Make sure you do know the notenames.

Experiment with different voicings [fingerings] for the given chords, play those chords in different places on the fredboard. Play just the chords and write out your own melody, change the given rhythm ect. 


Have Fun!!