Want to set and track your guitar goals to help you become the guitar player you want to be?
Having some kind of ‘system’ to follow can really help, in fact, it can mean the difference between hitting your goals or missing them!
You’ll find a step-by-step method for setting, tracking and crushing your guitar goals inside my book The Guitar Practice Workbook.
You’ll also find killer practice hacks to get you stellar results, essential scales, chords and other useful resources plus over 50 worksheets for documenting your own awesome lick, riff and song ideas! It’s the ultimate practice workbook for today’s guitarist and is available now on Amazon in paperback.
Grab Your Copy of The Guitar Practice Workbook Now and Download the Free Accompanying Goal Sheet Below!
If your sore fingers hurt from playing guitar then watch this quick video to discover how to prevent sore fingers, how to fix them and what to do when your fingers hurt too much to play at all!
All guitar players know about sore fingers! And it’s not just beginner guitar players who face this problem. Changing to heavier strings, doing lots of string bends, or just playing more often than normal can all lead to sore fingertips that hurt.
When you get sore fingers while playing the guitar, playing through the pain will help you to improve. However, knowing when to take a day off to rest your fingers is also important. When your fingers get harder, it becomes easier to press down the string and easier to play for longer without your fingers getting sore or going numb.
To prevent sore fingers you can apply a little salt water to them each day to toughen up the skin. Superglue can also be applied to the ends to protect fingers which are sore. This can help you to keep going even when you’re fingers are very tender.
Sometimes you may need to take a short break and play again in a few hours. And if your fingers are too sore to play at all, then don’t worry: there is a lot of valuable practice you can do away from the instrument to still help you improve. Playing a lot of guitar is going to make your fingers sore; that is just a fact. But if you push through this phase, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and come out the other side as a capable guitarist…with tougher fingers!
Cool Blues Rock Licks for blues rock guitar soloing. Learn 4 cool blues rock licks in the styles of more rocky blues players like Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons, Wilko Johnson and others! These licks are perfect for using in high energy blues rock solos and are well worth adding into your guitar lick trickbag!
All 4 of these cool blues rock licks are in the key of G and will work great over a blues rock chord sequence like a rocky 12 bar blues in G. They are using a few different patterns of the G blues scale and G minor pentatonic scales.
1:00 Watch here to see the scale patterns used in these blues rock licks (tab included!)
1:40 Cool blues rock lick 1 uses a common unison bending move and a repeating bending move – a favourite device of everyone from Eric Clapton to Gary Moore.
4:39 A cool Gary Moore style blues rock lick with palm muting and an aggressive alternate picked phrase. Listen to his solo on ‘Walking By Myself’ to hear an idea a little like this lick.
7:37 Let’s check out another G minor pentatonic scale pattern now, often called ‘shape 3’. You’ll be needing this for the next cool blues rock lick.
8:45 This lick is also a little reminiscent of the great Gary Moore. It uses a repeating unison bending idea starting in position 1, then moving up through position 3. Finally it ends in the shape 1 scale pattern moved up an octave (a handy blues rock soloing tool!)
13:17 The final cool blues rock lick uses a monster bend from inside the sliding blues scale shape. This bend is going to take a bit of pushing…so persevere! It’s worth the effort: this bend is a killer bend to get into your blues rock style soloing!
16:55 So you’ve got 4 cool blues rock licks to learn. But what can you do with them? Watch here for some useful tips.
Good luck and enjoy these licks and look forward to seeing you again in another video very soon!
Starting a blues solo in a strong ,attention grabbing way is essential if you want your playing to make an impact on the listener! In this lesson I’ll show you 3 awesome licks for starting a blues solo. These ‘solo starting licks’ can be easily adapted and changed to suit the way you play and to give you lots of killer blues starting licks of your own.
Starting a blues solo well is about more than licks though! You need to start your solo with commitment and conviction and your rhythmic feel needs to be rock solid. These two factors can really show the listener that you mean business as you kick off your blues solo. On the other hand, a weak, timid sounding start to your blues solo will most likely lose the listeners attention straight away…so dig in and play like you mean it every time. Remember this as you work through these blues starting licks!
3 Licks for starting a blues solo
1:07 All these licks are coming from the A minor pentatonic and A blues scale. See the on-screen tab if you need a reminder of these.
1:45 Blues Solo Starting Lick 1
Possibly the most common way to start a blues solo is with this lick. Hundreds of classic blues soloists use this lick all the time. Learn the lick and how to use it, you’ll be glad you did (it just works!)
4:38 Blues Solo Starting Lick 2
Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King to awesome blues solos starting with this lick. Those guys used this one a lot! The lick is using the top part of the sliding blues scale shape and is packed full of awesome sounding blues bends.
7:45 Blues Solo Starting Lick 3
This lick is how BB King might have started a blues solo! It’s using a few notes taken from the A major pentatonic scale as well as the minor pentatonic notes. Try using these notes for a sweeter start to your blues solo.
11:29 Try this great exercise to learn to get an awesome start to your solo every time. Prctice this and you” quickly hear a difference every time you start a solo. Try it!
Good luck with these starting licks and tips. Hope they help you make strong, ear catching starts to your blues solos a lifelong habit. Have fun!
Learn 4 awesome natural minor scale guitar licks for rock and metal soloing!. The natural minor scale or aeolian mode is an essential rock soloing tool used by rock and metal guitarists. In this guitar lesson you’ll learn how to use it too. Learn the most common natural minor scale pattern (in D minor), discover how to use a ‘minor pentatonic framework as a starting point for your own natural minor scale licks, learn when to use the natural minor scale and discover how to combine the natural minor and blues scale for awesome rock and metal sounds.
So what is the natural minor scale or aeolian mode? I like to think of it as a minor pentatonic with two added notes (the 2nd and flattened 6th). These notes give the natural minor scale it’s distinctive ‘darker’ sound. It’s a great scale choice for playing rock and metal licks in minor keys…and in most cases the notes in the natural minor scale will work well in this setting. From time to time the added notes might not work however, so keep your ears open for any clashes with the chords you are soloing over!
As with learning to use any scale, a good range of licks is helpful. These 4 natural minor scale licks will show you some strong sounding ideas to get you up and running with the scale. Take these licks, dissect them, and recycle them to create your very own natural minor scale licks (this is very important!). So once you’ve got these natural minor licks down, be sure to grab a D minor backing track and experiment. Good luck, and have fun exploring the natural minor scale on your guitar!
Tasty funky blues licks for bluesy funky guitar licks soloing! Get that funky blues edge in your guitar solos with some licks from some legendary bluesy funky guitar players Freddie King, Albert King, Otis Rush and others. Armed with these licks you’ll be all set to hit the stage at that blues or funk jam session and rip out an awesomely funky blues guitar solo!
All these funk licks are in the key of D using the D blues scale played up at the 10th fret. You can practice these licks with the same backing track I’m using HERE
Learn 5 powerful blues licks for minor pentatonic scale soloing right now…and start playing better blues solos today. With these 5 licks in your minor pentatonic scale soloing trick bag you’ll soon be playing more authentic and better sounding blues guitar solos. Why? Because the minor pentatonic scale is the basis of most blues guitar soloing! So the more minor pentatonic scale blues licks you know and can use..the better your blues solos are likely to be.
You’ll hear your favourite blues guitar players use ideas like these in their minor pentatonic scale blues licks library. And that’s exactly where these licks have come from. I’ve taken them from blues guitar legends like Eric Clapton, BB King, Albert King Stevie Ray Vaughan and other blues legends. All these players used the minor pentatonic scale most of the time in their playing and all use pentatonic licks exactly like these. So let’s jump in and boost your knowledge of blues guitar soloing with 5 great examples of blues licks for minor pentatonic scale soloing!
0:30 All these licks will work over a 12 bar blues in the key of A and are taken from the A minor pentatonic scale played at the 5th fret. Here’s the minor pentatonic scale shape just in case you need a reminder.
0:50 Blues lick 1 from the minor pentatonic scale shows you the classic blues ‘intro’ lick. It works great for starting a blues solo…but also works at most points in the chord sequence so experiment!
Practice these blues licks for minor pentatonic over the same backing track as me here: https://youtu.be/n-WEY_Mgblw
2:45 Lick 2 shows you a nandy repeating blues lick from the minor pentatonic scale. Notice how cool it sounds if you loop it round or round. The lick finishes with a cool Albert King style idea moving across the strings.
5:10 Blues lick 3 shows you a classic blues bending idea. Follow the fingering suggestions and practice this lick over the backing track provided.
6:36 These minor pentatonic scale blues licks are using lots of repetition. This is a crucial device to use to give your blues licks and solos structure and logic…so practice using it in your solos till it becomes a habit!
6:50 Minor pentatonic blues lick 4 uses more repetition. It also makes use of a handy blues bend on the high E string. Push this one…it takes some effort to hit the right note with the bend!
8:25 The last of our blues licks from the minor pentatonic scale uses a mixture of bends and pull offs to get a classic blues phrase.
10:30 What next? Now you know some blues licks for minor pentatonic soloing what should you do? Follow this suggestion…it will work wonders for your blues soloing skills.
I hope these blues licks give you some ideas for using the minor pentatonic scale in your blues soloing. Have the confidence to create some minor pentatonic scale blues licks of your own. With these examples as a starting point, it might be easier than you think. Have fun and catch you next time!
Learn minor pentatonic rock licks as used by the biggest names in rock and metal guitar. Let’s face it: the minor pentatonic scale is the most commonly used scale in rock guitar, so without a good range of pentatonic rock licks to use, playing a great rock solo is going to be tough! But this minor pentatonic rock licks guitar lesson has got you covered, with on-screen guitar tab and a range of cool minor pentatonic moves including alternate picking licks, double stops and powerful minor pentatonic bends. With this guitar tutorial learning minor pentatonic rock licks is easy to…meaning you can be using them in your rock guitar solos soon.
All these licks are using the ‘shape 1′ E minor pentatonic scale pattern played up at the 12th fret. You probably know this already, but if not use the fingering and on screen guitar tab in this video to quickly learn it.
0:55 The first minor pentatonic rock lick uses a mixture of alternate picking and a common but powerful repeating bending move.
3:50 Watch this section of the lesson to discover what you MUST do with these minor pentatonic rock licks…if you want to start making up wicked licks of your own!
4:24 This Michael Schenker style pentatonic rock lick using a repeating blues/rock idea followed by a speed pentatonic triplet idea at the end. A common minor pentatonic rock lick this: so make sure you can play it well!
7:30 Minor pentatonic rock lick 3 is a feast of repeating rock lick ideas! It reminds me of some of Randy Rhoads’ favourite soloing ideas. This longer lick is a great one to break up into smaller chunks to use in your solos.
11:55 Final comments and tips on using these minor pentatonic rock licks to develop an epic sounding rock style of your own. Follow these, they’re essential for building a guitar style!
Have fun! James
A guitar warm up routine to get you warmed up and ready to play in minutes. You don’t want to spend half of your guitar practice routine getting warmed up…you want to be playing! Following this 3-5 minute warm up routine for guitar will get your fingers looser, your hands relaxed…and over time will also help build faster and stronger guitar fingers, finger independence and speed and fluency too!
Warming up is an important part of your guitar practice, but how can you do it? There are lots of ways, but I like to use the 5 short warm exercises here. They use bends, trills, down picks, up picks and alternate picking to get both your fretting hand and picking hand ready to play. To make them easier to remember I decided to put them together into a short warm up routine to use at the start of all my guitar practice sessions.
Remember the goal is to get warmed up: these exercises are not about playing fast! Do them slowly and accurately in a relaxed fashion – this is important! Tension will not help you get warmed up. You can use a metronome if you like, but it’s not compulsory as long as you keep a controlled, solid time feel it’s fine.
So good luck with my guitar warm up routine! I find it works for me, hope it works for you too.
Playing a guitar solo on a ballad is your chance to show the expressive and emotional side of your guitar playing chops! But there are challenges with playing a solo in this style. How can you play a more melodic guitar solo? How should you use phrasing and space? Are there any tricks the guitar gods use when playing a guitar solo on a ballad and can you use them too? And can you learn how to play an emotional solo which sounds epic, or is it an ability you either have or you don’t!?
Stay tuned, because I think you can learn to play a killer solo on a ballad! And in this guitar lesson, I’ll point you towards 5 powerful soloing tips which are based on what you hear in the playing of ‘power ballad’ masters like David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Slash and other great players. Follow these tips and explore and practice them and you will hear a difference when you step up to play a solo…and over time and with practice you can become an expressive and emotional guitar solo master!