Guitar Made Simple Guitar Theory Made Simple

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I'm glad you've shown interest in guitar theory lessons, because that suggests you understand how important this knowledge is, not only to your guitar playing but your overall understanding of music.

These lessons will help you connect your fretboard, chord and scale knowledge and deepen your understanding of how music works on guitar. This is crucial if you want to improvise confidently and come up with ideas in the moment.

Many guitarists don't bother with this stuff, and I can only say they don't know what they're missing out on. I'm sure your results will prove most rewarding!

The problem is, a lot of guitar theory lessons out there are poorly explained and overcomplicated. I've made it my goal to teach guitar theory in a way that focuses your learning on only the most important concepts, explained in plain English. I'll introduce you to some terminology, but it will be backed up with clear and simple explanations. Note: please make sure you've been through the fretboard lessons section first!

New to guitar theory Take the foundation course here.

The Major Scale  Learning theory is far easier when you know the major scale. It's arguably the basis of western music, and the scale against which chords and harmonies can be referenced. This lesson gives you all the details and provides you with clear diagrams of the major scale in different positions.

Chord Root Notes  Introduces you to the theory behind how root notes work in forming guitar chords. An essential primer for the guitar theory lessons on chord construction below.

Guitar Chord Theory  How to construct chords, from basic major and minor triads to more advanced, extended chords. Take your knowledge of the major scale (above) and use it to discover a wealth of chord voicings on the fretboard, not just the plain old ones you're used to. Easy-to-follow, nothing overwhelming here but very rewarding indeed. Also in this series...

Guitar Chord Inversions  Following on from the chord theory series above, learn how to construct chord inversions on the fretboard, giving you even more chord voicing options. Also in this series...
  • Chord Inversion Positions
Chord Scales  This lesson will help you understand the concept of harmonizing scales and how you can pull chords from scales. In short, it brings together your knowledge of chord theory and scales into one system.

Triad Harmonization  Learn how to build economical triad shapes in any key by harmonizing the major scale in 3 positions on the top 3 strings of the guitar. This will help you to explore more melodic expression with your chord playing.

Relative Triads  Using your knowledge of triad shapes, learn how we can play them over relative triads to create more complex harmony and melody. For example, what happens when we play Bm over Em

 Chord Scale Relationships  Shows you how to identify a "starting point" for your soloing by connecting scale patterns to chord shapes. This is about using your knowledge of those basic barre/movable chords from the chords section and superimposing scale patterns on those same positions.

Sharps and Flats  Ever wondered where sharps and flats come from This lesson explains how sharps and flats are formed in scales and chords. It should also help you understand how important the major scale is in music theory in general.

Passing Tones  Learn how to identify and use passing tones in scales. These are tones you should avoid emphasising (e.g. holding onto) in your solos. Includes a backing track and ear training exercises to help you pick out the passing tones in the example scales.

Scale Phrasing  Learn how to build meaningful musical phrases from scales in your solos. This series will show you how to explore scales with purpose and beyond the linear meandering that so many players get trapped in when starting out with scales.

  • Scale Phrasing Basics
  • Chromaticism Passing Tones
Transposing Guitar Chords  Transposition is about moving a collection of notes to a new pitch. This lesson looks specifically and transposing chord progressions to a new key using 3 simple methods.

Arpeggios  First learn how to build arpeggios block by block, then learn how to weave them into your guitar solos. This series introduces you to the world of arpeggios, how to construct them and how you can use them to enhance your solos and create more meaningful lead phrases.

  • Major arpeggios
  • Minor arpeggios
  • 7th arpeggios
  • Using arpeggios in solos
Modes of the Major Scale  Series which looks at the 7 modes of the major scale. Each lesson takes you through the individual "flavour" and characteristics of each mode, with jam tracks to help you experiment with your own ideas. Finally, we learn how the modes work together as part of a larger musical expression.
How to Solo Over Chord Changes  Gives you a clear process for playing melodies (lead) through chord changes. Very important, as most songs use more than one chord! Connects your knowledge of chord shapes, arpeggios and scales to chord progressions. See also...

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Music Theory Lessons For Guitar Players

Music Theory For Guitarists FINALLY Explained! Your Frustration In Learning And Understanding Music Theory As A Guitar Player Ends Here!

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Have you been struggling to learn music theory for guitar or simply looking for a faster, better and easier way to learn music theory You're not alone. I know how you feel, a lot of guitar players have felt this way, but what I've found is there are 5 main reasons why guitar players become frustrated when trying to learn music theory on the guitar.

Here are the 5 big reasons other music theory websites, books, resources or products may not work for you:

  1. The way they try to teach you music theory on the guitar is very often hard to understand and can quickly become overwhelming to learn.
  2. They typically don't show you how to apply music theory to actual guitar playing. In other words, there is a disconnect between the music theory concepts they attempt to explain and the real music that you want to play or create.
  3. Most of the time, what is being taught are simply incomplete 'pieces' of music theory without real connection to other concepts.
  4. Their approach to teaching music theory for guitar is simply BORING - kind of like reading a computer manual… yuk!
  5. There's a lot of music theory stuff out there for guitar, but not much guidance when it comes to showing you what you need to learn and focus on in order to do the things you want to achieve musically in your life.

If you are like most guitar players, you want a place where you can get:

  • music theory help for guitar that is easy to understand but isn't written only for people who began playing guitar yesterday.
  • music theory lessons, advice and resources for guitar that will actually show you how to apply what you learn to real life guitar playing.
  • a complete picture of the music theory concepts you want to learn, understand and use on your guitar and in your own music.
  • an understanding of music theory that is interesting to learn and is not written in a dry and boring way that is painful to read.
  • a real idea of what aspects of music theory are the most useful things for you to learn right now and in your guitar playing future. and all our music theory guitar articles, lessons and resources were designed specifically to give you exactly what you want and need so that you really can learn music theory for guitar in an easy-to-understand, fun, entertaining and complete way. Welcome home. :)

Music Theory Guitar Courses

Master of the Modes is the course you want to take if you want to focus on lead guitar playing and be able to play over ANY backing track or chord progression

You know how some guitar players always seem to create unique, creative and awesome guitar solos Somehow, being creative just comes easy for them. How do they do it They have mastered how to creatively use scales modes on guitar... and with this I don't mean a bunch of scale patterns thrown together: I mean REAL musical comprehension.

Scales and modes are one of the most difficult (and controversial) topic in music theory... to really understand them you need a simple system for understanding, learning, mastering and actually using scales and modes in real music without any limitations. Armed with the core knowledge this system will give you, you will be able to learn and connect everything there is to know about the modes, and at the same time use everything you are going to learn to play real music.

Learn how to finally master completely scales and modes on guitar in a ways that is musically useful and will help you to write, improvise, and play the music YOU want to play!

Complete Chord Mastery is the course you want to take if your focus is on rhythm guitar and/or songwriting and composition. It explains harmony on the guitar fretboard for both beginner an advanced players

What if you already knew and were able to play any chord on the guitar, in any position and could freely create your own awesome music I’m not talking about being able to look up any chord, or sit there and waste time trying to figure it out, I mean being able to instantly find and use any chord in any position as fluently as you can speak. Wouldn’t that be awesome

If you’re like most guitar players, you might still be struggling to master guitar chords everywhere on the guitar. Hey, I’ve been there too, we all have. It seems like there is soooo much stuff to learn, and it would take a lifetime to really learn it all! That’s what I used to think. It was so frustrating.

...but what I’ve found is there are people in this world who have mastered chords and it didn’t take that long to do. They aren’t any smarter or more talented than you or I. I’ve developed a system that I now use with my own students to demystify the guitar so that they can quickly learn, understand and (fluently) play all sorts of chords (from simple to very advanced), all over the fretboard, in any position, inversion or voicing.

You too can learn how to understand and apply chords and harmony on guitar and be able to write interesting chord progression, use complex chords without even thinking, play awesome rhythm parts on your guitar in any style YOU want!

Scales for Blues Guitar is the course you want to take if you want to focus on pentatonic Blues and Classic Rock leads

You hear great Blues players creating solos that sound amazing but have no idea how to do it by yourself Are you thinking too much about "what to play next" rather than letting your emotions speak through your playing Do you struggle in playing the Blues in all keys and over all the fretboard (as opposed in just one basic position) If you have answered "yes" to any of the questions above, then you need to learn how music theory applies to Blues, and how to implement this knowledge into your guitar playing in an effective way.

Read about how to finally master all the scales for Blues guitar, how to get rid of your frustration and lack of confidence once and for all, and how to finally play Blues from your heart!

Free Music Theory eBooks And Courses

NEW: When you improvise a guitar lead you keep hitting all the 'wrong notes' and struggle to find the 'right' ones You know that you have to hit the chord notes, but you struggle to do it in real time Or maybe you have not idea at all of how to find the 'right' notes.

Well, here's just what the doctor ordered: the free video course on Chord Tone Soloing: How To Always Play The Right Note At The Right Time.

In this course we will explore together how to find the right notes on the fretboard (not just in theory) and how to practice to do everything in real time so that you will be ready to have fun at your next jam.

Are you a complete beginner on music theory on guitar and you need some help in starting from absolute zero Don't worry: we got you covered! You can download here your free copy of our Beginning Music Theory Guide: this short and simple eBook will get you started so that later you can move to our more advanced eBook and courses.

If you need a gentle but comprehensive introduction to music theory on guitar, this is the eBook you want to read first!

Do you need to learn all music theory What part of music theory is relevant to your goals and what is not How do you know where you are exactly in your learning process and what would be the next thing to study To answer this and many other question, here is our very popular map of music theory that will allow you to learn theory in the correct order and help you stay on the right track!

Includes a larger format that you can print as a poster (using a normal printer) so you can hang it in your practice space!

Find here more Free Music Theory Resources

Latest Music Theory Videos

NEW!Play the following arpeggios on your guitar around fret 8th: G, D, Eb, C. Were you able to play them one after the other with no stopping In my experience as a guitar teacher, I noticed how very few guitar players can find an arpeggio on the fretboard fast, let alone play it fluidly. This is because most guitarists think that learning this skill is simply too hard... but that's not true! Here I will show you an incredibly simple (and fun!) exercise to find arpeggios on the guitar fretboard, and if you practice you will know your guitar fretboard inside out.

Learning a new piece of music could be absolute pleasure for some guitar player, and complete hell for others. In fact, most guitarists do not really know what to do when they have to learn a long, complex piece by heart. In this video I will show you how to learn guitar music by heart so that you will not forget "what comes next" and your performance will be fluid.

Can you tell at the top of your mind what are the notes in the G# minor triad If the answer does not appear INSTANTLY in your mind, then you need to read this, right now. Knowing all the notes in all the chords is an important skill that will help you making music in any situation (Improvisation, composition, jamming, etc) The good news are: learning the notes in the chords is much easier than you think! Click here to see a simple exercise that you can do to learn the notes in all chords and that you can do anytime - even without your guitar.

Watch more Music Theory Videos

Latest Music Theory Articles

NEW! Is music theory for guitar different than music theory for other instruments Well, in theory it's the same... but in practice it's very different. The topics of study for a pianist or a violinist are different than what a guitarist should focus on... and the method is different too! Click here to understand how Music Theory for Guitarists is different from music theory for piano (or trombone), and how this affects you.

"Do you really need theory to write a song" is one of the most common questions I receive. The answer is both "yes" and "no", and probably not for the reason you think it is. Click here to see if you really need theory to write music, how the musicians who adamantly refuse to study theory are in fact making their own life harder, and how you can make YOUR life easier! (5 minutes read)

I noticed recently how many guitarists seem to think that they are 'too old' to learn music theory, or how they think that learning theory does not make sense for them, since they played 'all their life' by ear. I also noticed that the age of the guitarists who say they are 'too old to learn' spans from 25 to 90 years old. Click here to see how to see if you are too old to learn music theory. The answer is not as simple as it seems! (4 minutes read)

Read more Music Theory Articles

CAGED Sucks Series

NEW!A CAGED player wrote me that: "if you are playing a pentatonic scale, then you must be using the CAGED system". As I was playing a Blues solo, with notes taken mostly from a pentatonic scale, it follows that I must be a CAGED user. Oh my! Or course I am being sarcastic :-) In fact knowing why CAGED and pentatonics are not the same thing will make you a much better player and make these Blues solos easier. Click on the link to find out how.

When you use a guitar system that works you can do things that seem like magic. So today we are taking a rest from talking about the problems of CAGED, and I'm going to show you something that a good scale system can do easily (and CAGED can't without a lot of thinking)

Click here to see learn how to use the 3-notes-per-string system to write automatic harmonies for lead guitar.

Some people say that you have to learn "all guitar systems", "be well-rounded", etc. Curiously they seem to say that to deflect the objection that THEIR system is not working as advertised. I hear this "learn everything" answer most of the time I talk with someone who uses the CAGED system.

Well, "learn everything" sure SOUNDS good... but is it actually Click here to see why learning to many system is harmful to your progress and why what you need is a single unified guitar scale system

Latest Music Theory Interviews

How does it feel to play for a country legend And how your music theory skills can help you land such a high-caliber gig Discover it in our interview with Eugene Edwards, guitar player for Dwight Yoakam. Eugene talks about being familiar with theory is invaluable while in studio and on the road. A must-read for everyone who wants to have a career as a session player!

Read our new interview with Christian Muenzner (Obscura, Necrophagist, Spawn of Possession). Christian shares with us some of his tricks on how to use theory to compose music out-of-the-box, and how to have theoretical concepts work for you rather than being slave of them. Recommended read!

How does a Zen Master study music theory Read it in our exclusive interview with Mr Fastfinger, AKA Mika Tyyska. Mika talks about ear training, how movies and compositions are similar, and how a cartoon character can be your guiding vision for playing guitar!

Listen to more Music Theory Interviews

Course: Master of the Modes

"I have been playing guitar for 30 years and have a Bachelor's of Arts in music, but I was still missing a huge piece of the puzzle. After buying several recommend books and countless Youtube tutorials I was left very frustrated. The information was there but it was still boring and lifeless. When I found the Master of the Modes course I knew I was on the right track just by how it was described so I enrolled immediately."

Course: Master of the Modes

"This course is the first and only course I've ever found that simplified the entire process of learning scales into comprehensive, well though out lessons that build upon one another. I can't wait for the next lesson!"

Course: Master of the Modes

"The Master Of The Modes course is one of the best investments I've made into my own guitar playing. It's such a fun course that explores the theory and practice of modes in a way that I haven't seen before. I have been able to progress with Tommaso's course very quickly, and a big part of that comes from how the concepts are being taught."

See more Music Theory Students

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201 Easy Guitar Songs with Simple Beginner Chords

Justin's lessons are so well taught, he has really changed the lives of millions of people all over the world, keep the good songs coming Justin! Your fan, Tommy Emmanuel cgp.

If you told me you wanted to get going on guitar I'd recommend Justin Sandercoe.

I have checked out Justin's site and found it to be comprehensive and informative. I have always felt that learning about music and especially music theory applied to the guitar, is helpful in finding your own unique voice on the instrument and expanding your creative horizons. Along with his insight into teaching and his fantastic abilities on the instrument, Justin has created a powerful go-to-place for anyone interested in exploring the instrument to their potential. Just don't hurt yourself.

On a day when there's a temptation to go into a dark place, and only see all the bad stuff there is in the world ... greed, cruelty, exploitation, selfishness ... I get days like that pretty often .... it's great to find someone giving out, and giving out good, and operating on an honour basis ... There are so many people who can't afford Guitar lessons .... well, here's a wonderful guy who has set up a whole system of teaching guitar ... Blues, Jazz, Rock, even Songwriting, from the basics, tuning the guitar, etc ... upwards ... If you use his site, it's up to you to determine how much you can contribute ... but this is an amazing site .... he is also very aware of issues in the world which need attention ... a great channel .. Check him out. He's a giver.

Justin is one of the most impressive guitar teachers on the planet. Whether he's teaching a complete beginner, or helping a more advanced player reach the next level, he knows exactly how to communicate the knowledge he has to share.

Lucky you, guitar players from all over the world, to take advantage of the tutorials presented in Justin's comprehensive website! Whatever the style you fancy, Justin is there for you with generous and precise guidance to help you enhance your playing and by doing so, introduce you to so many ways of approaching the guitar and discover new artists along the way. I wish there would have been such a medium and dedicated host around when I started to learn how to play. Bravo Justin, and my gratitude for bringing music to the heart and ears of many!

There's an abundance of guitar information out there on the web, some good, some not. I stumbled across Justin Sandercoe's site a year ago and now tell everyone about it. The lessons are conveyed so clearly, concisely and in the most congenial way. The site is laid out logically as well so you can to go straight to your area of interest... beginner, blues, rock, folk, jazz, rhythm, fingerpicking... it's all there and more. Spend ten minutes with Justin and you'll not only play better but feel better too. From novice to know-it-all, everyone will learn something from Sandercoe.

After teaching guitar and music theory to thousands of students over past three decades, I thought that I had basically 'seen it all' when it comes to guitar instruction. Then I discovered Justin’s website, and man was I impressed! Justin’s caring spirit, attention to detail, vast knowledge base, and especially his lucid, laidback and nurturing style, allow students to fall in love with the learning process. You see, it’s not enough to simply find out how to play a few cool licks or chords. A truly great teacher will make you fall in love with the process of discovery so that you can unlock the best within you. Justin is one of these great teachers, and I highly recommend to anyone who wants to tap into their best selves.

There is no better all-round guitar tuition resource out there. Justin's transcriptions are the new standard for accuracy.

Justin is an instructor with that rare combination that encompasses great playing in conjunction with a thoughtful, likable personality. Justin's instruction is extremely intelligent because he's smart enough to know the 'basics' don't have to be served 'raw' - Justin keenly serves the information covered in chocolate. Justin's site is like a free pass in a candy store!

I have heard how giving you are in so many respects of music schooling and I must say that I am impressed. You remind me of the pure idealism that we had in starting Apple. If I were young, with time, I'd likely offer to join and help you in your endeavours. Keep making people happy, not just in their own learning, but in the example you set for them. 

www.woz 3DMark 11 Advanced Edition


Guitar Theory Poster: 22 inch. x 34 inch.: Hal Leonard . provides FREE online video guitar lessons for players of all levels - beginner to advanced, acoustic or electric.

To start learning just click a lesson category to the left to find ALL of the free lessons on the site organized by playing level and topic. Just dive right in and start learning. Most lessons also include a FREE TAB PDF for you to download.

What does GuitarLessons365 teach

There are many 100's of free video guitar lessons in all levels of rock, blues, metal, country, classical and jazz. New free lessons are added daily. You will also find other categories dedicated to music theory, guitar tone and even backing tracks to accompany the regular free guitar lessons.

What is the Premium Subscription

The Premium and Premium Plus subscription levels give you access to the GL365 Academy. It is within the GL365 Academy that you will find my complete systematic guitar courses covering many different styles and areas of music.

Right now the Premium Subscription is just $9.95 for your first month, then $19.95 monthly after that. You can cancel any time. Or you can purchase a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription at a big discount with no re-billing. Just click the red Subscribe Now button above and you will be jammin' in just a couple of minutes!

Do you have a free subscriber level

Yep we sure do. Getting a basic free subscription allows you access to all the free lessons on the site and the ability to leave questions in the comments section of every lesson on the site. It is important to become a part of the GL365 community. We are all here to help one another no matter what your subscription level.

That's it!! Enjoy the lessons... Carl Brown

These free beginner guitar lessons are designed to help you understand how to start learning the guitar in an easy to follow and systematic fashion.

Simply choose a category below and start with the very first lesson in that category. As you progress down through the lessons in that category the lessons will get progressively more difficult.

When you are first starting to learn the guitar it can be a very frustrating yet exciting time.

The reason in can be frustrating is that if you have just started out you may be practicing quite a bit but still don't have the ability to play a basic song. This is true for every player so don't think it is just you. There are a few things you need to be able to do on the guitar before being able to put them together to pay a simple tune. But you will be rewarded immensely in the end. TRUST ME!

I also think the first few months of playing can be very exciting. If you consistently practice you will notice improvement literally everyday. Seeing this improvement should help keep you motivated. Later on when you have developed a lot more proficiency on the guitar your progress will become much more gradual and over longer period of time so enjoy it while it lasts!

I hope all of these free beginner guitar lessons will help get you started on your path as a guitar player. I have some nice beginner level song lessons available on the songs lessons page that I think would be a great place for you to go after you have mastered a couple chord and rhythm lessons on this page.

After that the sky is the limit! Welcome to the wonderful world of the guitar!

Free Beginner Guitar Lessons


Effective Hand Stretches For Guitarists Pt.1

Effective Hand Stretches For Guitarists Pt.2

Guitar Fundamentals

How to Practice With A Purpose

How To Tune A Guitar

Naming The Notes On The Fretboard Pt.1

Naming The Notes On The Fretboard Pt.2

How To Hold A Guitar And Pick

How To Use A Guitar Capo

How To Use A Metronome


One Trick for Perfect Hand Positioning



Mastering Octaves

Basic Fingerpicking Studies

Introduction To Arpeggiated Picking

Introduction To Alternate Picking

Natural Harmonics



Changing Chords

Palm Muting

Proper Muting Technique While Soloing


Open Position Chords Pt.1 A D Major

Open Position Chords Pt.2 E Major, A E Minor

Open Position Chords Pt.3 D Minor, C G Major

Basic Guitar Chord Embellishments

Basic Open Position Seventh Chords

Power Chords

Barre Chords Pt.1

Barre Chords Pt.2


Rhythm Blocks - The Foundation of Rhythm

Right Hand Rhythm Pt.1

Right Hand Rhythm Pt.2

Right Hand Rhythm Pt.3

16th Note Rhythms Pt.1

16th Note Rhythms Pt.2

12 Bar Blues Rhythms

Percussive Acoustic Guitar Rhythms

Ahh guitar tone.. It seems to be a favorite pastime for most guitar players to obsess about how to make their guitars, amps of FX pedals sounds better.

I mean, have you guys seen a guitar magazine lately They all seem to be nothing more than advertisements for the latest gear.

Everyone is searching for some incredible guitar tone that they hear in their head but just can't seem to ever conjure into real life.

These guitar tone tutorials are meant to help you along with this journey by demonstrating how to get some of the most cherished guitar tones ever created.

I think the more of these guitar tone tutorials you watch the better you will be at designing your own specific guitar sounds.

Studying how some of the greatest guitar tones ever heard were created can be a very inspiring and eye opening experience.

Even if the tone isn't something that you would particularly want to use for your own playing, learning how different combinations of amps and FX affect each other can help you in your own tone searches.

For all of these guitar tone tutorials I will be using an Amp/FX modeler. An Axe-FX II by Fractal Audio to be exact. Using this high quality modeler gives me access to countless amp and FX combinations to create unlimited guitar sounds.

Many players have modelers like this or some combination of pedals and amps that they can use to recreate the guitar tones taught in these video tutorials.

99% of us will never have access to much of the gear that some of the most legendary guitar sounds were created with. But by following along with these lessons I hope you will learn how to get those sounds with a modeler or series of combination of amps or pedals that you already have.

Guitar Tone Tutorials

David Gilmour Lead Guitar Tone - Time

Money for Nothing Tone - Dire Straits

The Edge Dotted 8th Delay Sound - U2

These free music theory lessons are designed to go along with all the scale and chord/chord progression lessons you can find on this site.

You can simply go through them in the order you find them below or just pick something that you are interested in learning and go from there.

Most of these free music theory lessons contain a free PDF download that contains the actual tutorial. The best thing to do is to simply print out the PDF files and read them each a few times to help the material sink in better.

A lot of times you will be given a system to follow in order to help you internalize the theory concepts and you will basically need to practice those "mental gymnastics" until you know the material well enough that you hardly have to think about it at all.

The main thing to remember with these lessons is that you want to be able to drop any methods you use to figure out the theory material because you are simply familiar enough with the material that you know everything without needing to figure it out anymore. What

For example, in the "Understanding Keys" lesson below I will teach you a quick method that will enable you to figure out any major key in your head. That is great, but any method requires you to think a little bit. What the overall goal though is to eventually use the methods taught enough that you simply know the notes of say an A Major scale without needing to use a method to figure them out anymore.

I liken it to the way many business men or women have a certain way of categorizing the names of people they have just met. If they hang around those new people enough they aren't gonna have to go through a little mental routine whenever they want to remember a person's name, they will simply know their name without thinking. That is what you are aiming for in these lessons.

Hope this makes sense! Enjoy!

Free Music Theory Lessons

Understanding Keys

Understanding Minor Scales

Spelling All Triads

Creating Major Key Chord Progressions

Creating Minor Key Chord Progressions

Major Key Chord Progressions With Seventh Chords

Minor Key Chord Progressions With Seventh Chords

Understanding Modes

How To Write Modal Progressions

My goal for these video guitar backing tracks is for you to be able to follow along with the audio track while being able to read the text on the screen that tells you what you are currently hearing and how to improvise over it.

The text may tell you the specific key or chord you are currently improvising over allowing you to think less about the theory and more about where to find that specific scale or arpeggio you need on the guitar.

I have had a lot of cool feedback about these video guitar backing tracks so I plan on doing many many more.

Please let me know if there is a specific type of backing track you want to practice over and I will see if I can get it on this page. It could be a specific style, chord progression, key or all the above.

I plan on adding one new backing track every week so keep checking back for some cool stuff to solo over.

Remember, becoming a great improviser doesn't happen out of nowhere. It takes a lot of practice and is definitely soemthing you should be doing every day along with your regular technical studies or songs.

The more styles you can improvise over confidently the more well rounded of a musician you will become. Be sure to check out every video guitar backing track I upload because you will definitely learn something by improvising many times over all of them.

Just make this page your one stop shop for every improvisation section of your daily practice sessions.

Video Guitar Backing Tracks

Major Keys

Improvising Through All 12 Major Keys Backing Track

Minor Keys

Improvising Through All 12 Minor Keys Backing Track


Backing Track Using B And E Lydian Modes

In this weekly guitar technique workout series I am going to try and give you a solid way of practicing various guitar techniques in an organized manner.

When trying to learn to master all the various techniques one can do on the guitar it can be quite confusing and frustrating trying to figure out how to practice them all.

So what this weekly guitar technique workout will provide you is a steady progression of lessons that encompass pretty much every technique imaginable on the guitar.

The idea is to take each weekly guitar technique workout and eventually practice them together back to back everyday during your practice sessions.

The focus with this kind of technique study is not only on proper technique, but also on endurance. The first few workouts will be more basic but also make a great warmup for more advanced guitar players.

As I add more weekly guitar technique workouts they will become more challenging and encompass and enormous amount of guitar techniques. But hopefully, you can start combining all of these individual weekly guitar workouts into one large guitar technique workout that you can play through everyday or at least a few times a week.

This is a big undertaking on my part, but if you meet me half way and study the weekly guitar technique workouts thoroughly I think just about anyone will become a more well rounded player with great stamina.

So buckle up and let's get down to business!

Weekly Guitar Technique Workout

Week 1 Guitar Technique Workout

Week 2 Guitar Technique Workout

Week 3 Guitar Technique Workout

Week 4 Guitar Technique Workout

Week 5 Guitar Technique Workout

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Guitar Theory For Dummies: Book Online Video Audio .

Classical guitar demands that we build many skills at the same time. We need to learn to read music, learn proper technique, learn common right hand patterns, weird vocabulary, and a host of other things.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that for adults who begin their guitar journey in the classical guitar realm, learning basic guitar chords often gets bumped to the back seat. Chords get tossed into the “maybe later” pile.

This is a shame, because the guitar is organized around chords. It’s what the guitar does really well.

Below you’ll find quite a bit of information, 2 videos and a challenge (are you game), but first, a couple of quick personal stories are in order to illustrate why you should learn guitar chords.

The Building Blocks of Music

Outclassed by a 10-year-old!

Picture this: Here I am, in my senior year of college and just showed up to study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I have been steeping myself in classical guitar technique and repertoire for the last 4 years, and I think I’m pretty hot stuff.

That is, until an kid (couldn’t have been any older than 10) plays me under the table.

Completely shows me up. I couldn’t touch him.  I felt ridiculous. And the funny thing was, I had far more skills than he did. I was a better guitarist in every way but one…

He knew his chords.

He knew a basic set of “Brazilian” guitar chords that he could move around the guitar neck, and a couple of Brazilian right-hand rhythms.

Sure, I knew music theory. I knew Bach suites.   But in that moment, none of that mattered. In that situation, what mattered was having a few basic tools, and knowing how to use them.

He did. I didn’t. It was that simple.

Because he knew and could use a basic set of “building blocks” (chord shapes), he knew dozens of songs and could learn new ones easily and quickly.

It’s in this method that most people in the folk, pop and rock idioms learn as well:  Learn guitar chords and strike up a tune.

And here’s the kicker:   Even if you are not much of a song and dance type, it’s still very useful to learn guitar chords (more on this later).

Learn Guitar Chords to Help Musical Memory

It’s also advisable to learn guitar chords to help with musical memory and understanding.

Another story, then the challenge:

Superhero: The Memorizer

I was taking a lesson with a guy in Atlanta once (I can’t remember his name).

He was a classical and flamenco guitarist, and the music store Maple Street Guitars) had recommended him for a lesson while I was in town visiting my sister.

I had some music I had been working on for months.

It was close to memorized, but not quite.

In the course of our lesson, without even seeming to try, he memorized the entire piece. Every note! I was amazed!

“How’d you do that!” I asked.

“How’d you do that!” I asked.

I felt it was some virtuosic trick or special power he got after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

“It’s a fairly simple chord progression. I just used the harmony and filled in the blanks.” He answered.

At this point I had been playing guitar for several years (I was a couple of years into classical guitar after playing folk for several years).

I knew my basic “cowboy” chords, and could switch between them fluidly.

But I hadn’t made the connection in my mind between knowing my chords and memorizing my classical guitar pieces.

It was a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

From that point, I decided to start trying to notice when parts of the basic chords shapes I already knew showed up in my pieces.

The chords weren’t always complete shapes, but if I could notice the chord “fragments”, I could create a basic structure (like a plot in a story) that would help me remember where I was in the piece.

What I found was that doing this from the start of piece, I learned much more quickly, and memorized my pieces much more easily.

The Memory Challenge

Try this: Give yourself 5 seconds to try to memorize the following letters:


Got it Great! (yeah right.) Even if you did get this one, how well will you be able to recall it tomorrow

Now do this one:

Test #2:    The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog

Why is the second so much easier to memorize Because the letters fall into recognizable groups. And the groups fall into an order that makes sense, and all work together to convey an idea.

As I’m sure you realize, we can draw the analogy of the letters in the first example to notes on the page, the groups (words) in the second example to chords, and the order of the words to a chord “progression” (a string of chords).

letters = noteswords = chords

sentences = chord progressions

Of course the letters and words are easier to recognize, but only because we have so much more practice with them.

With time, we can recognize and recall notes and chords in the same way.

OK, I’ll Learn Guitar Chords, But Which First (there are so many!!)

Baby Steps Through Learning the Chords

In the movie “What About Bob”, Bill Murray’s character (Bob) uses the tactic of “baby-stepping” through whatever situation in which he finds himself.

The basic idea is that anything can be taken one moment, and one little piece, at a time.

Just as when you are learning a new language, it can be easier to memorize new material when it shares a context.  In language, this would be sentences (i.e. “Where is the library” = “Donde está la biblioteca”).

When learning chord shapes, it can be useful to learn and practice chords in groups that naturally and frequently occur together.  Just like with words, this trains you to not only know the chords, but be able to move from one to the next (like words in a sentence).

Learning in the this way trains your muscle-memory to move fluidly between chords, and allows you to remember easier because of the context Driverpack Solution 11.8

Over to You

Have you noticed any places in your practice where knowing (or not knowing) chords has helped (or hindered) you

What can you do today that will increase your knowledge of chord shapes and move you forward in your playing

Leave your answers in the comments!

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