Here’s What Nobody Ever Tells You About Playing a Great Solo!
0:24 Rhythm is the most important thing to nail when we play a solo.
How do we know? Because every great sounding player has a strong rhythmic groove! The fact is the right notes with a boring rhythmic feel will always sound boring…but ‘weird’ notes with amazing rhythm- can sound amazing (John Coltrane, Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth anyone?)
0:40 So in this guitar lesson I want to show you a simple way you can practice developing your rhythm. It’s easy to do and is even fun to do…
0:55 Try thinking like a drummer. You don’t need to go out and buy a chest wig and a tank top (only joking..)
Instead put most of your focus on nailing the groove…instead of thinking so hard about the notes you’re playing! Hammer out the rhythm of your solo phrases and licks with gusto and passion. This will give your phrases rhythmic life and expression.
1:50 I’m going to demo this for you now over a backing track. I’m really trying to ‘lock in’ with the drums and bass, and the groove of the music as a whole – instead of just ‘playing in time’.
2:06 Imagine someone walked into your practice session as you were soloing without backing. Would they hear where the beat was just by listening to you solo? They should be able to!
2:25 So what kinds of results can you expect from doing this? Well, you could see instant change…I’ve seen it in my students many times.
It’s a fast way to improve the sound of your soloing…and you don’t really need to learn anything new – you just play what you already play with more groove!
Learn how to easily create dozens (even hundreds) of awesome sounding repeating guitar licks to use for high energy solos. Repeating guitar licks are an easy and effective way to create exciting, high energy guitar solos and we hear them used by all the great rock and metal players like Slash, Vai, Page, Rhoads – pretty much all of ’em use some repeating licks in their solos.
But how can you come up with your own awesome repeating licks?
Well stay tuned because in this video I’ll show you an easy way you can create ear catching repeating rock licks from our old friend the blues scale!
Repeating Guitar Licks – How To Make Your Own Awesome Repeating Rock Licks!
0:15 Repeating licks demo. Hear me solo using some repeating licks similar to the ones I’m going to show you in this guitar lesson.
1:00 In this lesson I’m going to show you how to take one simple repeating lick and create lots of simple and logical variations on it. This is a great way to build out a guitar style because you’ll see how you can easily start to make up new licks and ideas simply by reworking things you already play and know…cool!
1:15 Here’s how you can play the A blues scale pattern down at the 5th fret. Also I show you how to modify it slightly to give a ‘symmetrical blues scale’ shape. This is great for repeating licks because the fingering is the same on every string making it easy to adapt a lick to other string sets.
3:00 Repeating Lick 1. Here I’m going to show you a simple repeating lick. This will be the starting point for the other repeating licks we’ll create during this lesson.
3:54 This repeating lick is cool…but how can we change it to create a new repeating lick. The symmetrical scale pattern we’re using makes this pretty easy. In this example I’ve just moved it onto the B and high E string.
4:38 String skipping can be a cool way to ‘open up’ a repeating lick and create a new idea. Here we skip the B string to get a dark, bluesy repeating lick. Watch the string skipping. It might test out your fretting hand!
5:45 Extending the original repeating lick is a cool way to create a new idea. We’re going to extend it into a lick that lasts for 4 beats instead of 1 beat. This high energy repeating lick is heard in the playing of guys like Zakk Wylde.
7:03 This repeating lick can easily be transferred to the top two strings like we did before. This is how easy it can be to create your own repeating licks – it doesn’t need to be complicated to work!
7:32 String skipping can open this lick up nicely too. Here we can skip over the B string to create a cool string skipping repeating idea which will sound great in your solos.
9:09 All these repeating licks are simply variations on the original starting lick. This what’s so cool…you’re building new licks by looking at what you can do with the starting note. With a little imagination the sky is the limit. You can create dozens or hundred of new repeating licks (and non repeating licks too). If you add the G string 7th fret back in then even more possible repeating licks emerge. How awesome is that?
Get creative, experiment and above all…have fun. See you next time!
Learn how to sweep pick and how to practice sweep picking plus loads of monster sweep picking tips.
Here’s a summary of what’s in the video:
0:37 Why you need to get the basics right and three super common sweeping triad shapes.
2:15 What is sweep picking? Here you’ll find a basic explanation of the technique and why you might use it. Discover the advantages of sweep picking over alternate picking when playing certain types of passages and how overcome many problems guitarists encounter when they start trying to learn how to sweep pick.
3:22 How to start sweeping in one continuous down or up pick with the plectrum. We don’t want our sweep to be several small up or down picks. It needs to be a single smooth ‘glide’ or ‘sweep stroke’ with the pick. This takes a little practice to feel natural, but once it does you’ll find the technique comes together quite quickly.
3:55 Essential picking hand guidelines for sweep picking. Your hand should be relaxed and free of tension and try to pick from the wrist rather than elbow or arm. Pick firmly enough to get a clear, solid note from the string but don’t pick too hard or you’ll get a harsh and ‘unmusica’sound.
4:30 Some guitar players like to angle the pick slightly as they sweep as they find it helps them cross the strings more easily. I don’t really do this but feel free to experiment and find the pick angle that you prefer the most!
4:46 Often with sweep picking players put a lot of emphasis on their picking hand but the fretting hand has a crucial role to play if you are to develop great sweeping technique. Your fretting hand fingers need to ‘roll on and off’ the notes as the pick passes through them. Don’t hold down a fixed or locked chord shape and sweep across it or the notes will ring together and be unclear. This will only come from slow and accurate practice.
6:14 Let’s take a look at some three string ‘sweep arpeggio shapes’ and fingerings for A minor, G major and C major.
9:10 One of the best ways to practice sweeping these shapes is to break them into two parts. Then you can focus on perfecting each half before joining them together. Use a metronome and focus on getting your sweeping really in time. Check the notes are lining up with the click of the metronome so that you know you’re getting it right!
13:40 Now we’ll join up the two parts of the sweep to play the entire shape. Watch your timing and cleanliness here – it is absolutely crucial!
14:45 How can you build up speed in your sweeping? Here I’ll show you how to using a simple practice method to help you really supercharge your sweep picking big time! Take your time with this and increase the speed of your metronome more gradually than I do here!
18:20 Here’s a complete sweep picking study or practice exercise for you to learn and use to hone your sweep picking chops! It uses only the three shapes we’ve seen so far but we’re going to move them around a bit to get F major and Bb major triads as well.
23:30 Here I demonstrate the etude at a few different tempos taking care to stay in time with the metronome at all times.
Have fun with this lesson and take your time to get the basics of the technique right. It will pay off big time!
What do all the great electric guitar players have in common?
Awesome string bending technique!
It’s a fact: nothing destroys your solos quicker than weak or out of tune bends…so it’s crucial that you get this right.
Dive in to this lesson and learn how to do it the right way and avoid all the common mistakes most guitarists make with their bending (I did it wrong for years)
Then…sit back and hear the transformation that awesome string bending technique can have on your guitar playing!
Guitar String Bending – How To Bend Strings the Right Way!
String bending is one of the most important guitar techniques that guitarists need to master. In this String Bending Workshop you’ll learn how to do it it the right way. Covers string bending hand position, bending action, bending strings in tune and tips on 3 common types of string bend you’ll see all the time.
String Bending Workshop
0:18 String bending is an essential part of most guitar styles – especially rock, metal, blues and country guitar. Hear a short demo of bending used in a few different style guitar solos here.
1:05 Correct string bending hand position. Thumb position is essential. Keep your thumb over the top of the neck as you bend. This is essential for control and stability in your bending. This will help you get your bends sounding in tune and with a big juicy tone!
2:00 Bending Fingers. Back up your bending finger with any other available fingers. This gives stability and control to your string bends and will help you execute large bends much easier.
3:01 Bending Action. Let’s examine some key points when you bend a string. Keep your thumb down and still, the guitar as still as you can and rotate your hand and wrist upwards to push the string. Try not to just flex and push up with your fingers. Using your wrist and hand will lead to much better string bending in your playing.
5:50 Bending in Tune. Getting your bends in tune is obviously essential! Play the note you are bending up to a few times to ‘plant’ the sound of it in your ear. Then grab the bend and try to hit the note accurately. Bending practice will pay off here! Be patient and monitor your tuning as you play and use bends in your solos.
7:16 String Bending Exercises- 3 Types of Bend. Let’s examine 3 common types of string bend you’ll use in your playing. Nailing these exercises will really help you get your bends sounding great when you use them in licks and solos. Remember to apply all these techniques and guidelines in your favourite licks and solos.
The scream of pinch harmonics is a characteristic part of modern rock and metal guitar playing!
But how can you get ’em? In this guitar lesson you’ll learn exactly how you can get sceaming harmonics from your guitar – just like you hear in the playing of Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, Slash, George Lynch…in fact nearly every major rock guitar player heard today.
Want to nail pinch harmonics? In this guitar lesson you’ll learn how you can master this essential tool for rock, blues or metal guitar. Discover correct technique, tips for getting them whenever you want, awesome harmonics licks you can use use in your solos and exercises to get you on the road to pinch harmonics mastery!
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll learn in this lesson:
1:02 What are pinch harmonics? Hear what they sound like and learn how and why you might want to use them in your solos.
1:40 How you can consistently get them in your playing (so that they sound big, fat and punchy!). The technique might sound simple, but it does take a little practice to master. You’ll probably find them a bit ‘hit and miss’ to start with but by following these guidelines you’ll soon be ripping them out whenever you want.
2:40 Technical tips for effortless ‘squealers’ whenever you want them! Where you pick the string and how you’re holding the pick can make a big difference. We cover this and more in this section of the lesson.
7:12 Adding vibrato to harmonics (here’s the secret to making them sound truly awesome…). It’s when you ‘shake’ pinch harmonics that they really start to come to life. This is what gives them that lyrical ‘scream’ that we hear in the playing of guitarists like Zakk Wylde. Check him out, he’s possibly got the most aggressive pinch harmonics out of any player out there!
8:00 Bending strings with pinch harmonics (for high energy rock and metal licks which will really turn heads!) Adding a harmonic to a string bend adds a whole new sound to your ‘bending toolbox’. Check out some tips and techniques here.
9:20 Three licks for pinch harmonic practice and to use in your guitar solos. These licks are coming from the A minor pentatonic scale and give you some cool ways to integrate harmonics into your solos. Try them out over a backing track in A minor to see how you can get them to work.
12:05 How to use picking hand muting to make your harmonics stand out even more (all the legends do this simple trick…)
I’m not gonna lie to you…lots of people have said I ramble too much at the start of this lesson. It’s true! It was my first ever video and I was a little nervous! You can skip ahead if you like and get to the meat of the lesson. Either way check it out because these speed building and metronome practice techniques will massively increase your guitar playing speed if you use them. Have fun!
Play Guitar Faster – Speeding Up Your Guitar Playing – Conquer fast guitar licks, speed up your guitar playing, improve your finger independence, fretboard hand strength, stretching and soloing ideas!
2:45 – 5 super important principles you need to know about increasing the speed of your guitar playing and how to practice building your speed. Starting slow, using a metronome, working on problem areas, making up your own guitar exercises and licks and more. Doing all of this will hep you to play guitar faster.
7:20 – 3 step action plan for building your speed and learning to play any lick or exercise faster. Use this in your practice routine and you’ll see great progress! You’ll probably see an increase in your playing speed in just a couple of minutes. Find your cruising speed – this is the speed at which you can comfortably loop the lick or exercise around. Then bump up the metronome speed and practice playing the lick once at this speed. Then play it twice, and when you’re ready play it 3 times. When you’ve got it try looping it round and round at the new speed. A good target speed for sextuplet licks is 120 bpm (beats per minute) on your metronome.
8:19 The minor pentatonic scale shape and Lick 1. This is in the style of Randy Rhoads, but it’s a very commonly played lick. It’s straightforward and easy to slip into your playing. Here you’ll see a demonstration of how to use the metronome to effectively increase your playing speed.
14:58 How to make sure your playing is totally in time. This is a super important guitar tip so check it out!
15:25 Lick 2 is a blues rock lick in the style of Slash, Zakk Wylde and many other great guitarists. How to use the metronome and 3 step action plan to increase the speed of this lick.
18:10 – Lick 3 is a great left hand hammer on and pull off exercise in the style of guitar players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads and most other modern rock guitar legends. The A minor lick is in 16th notes and will help you improve your finger independence, fretting hand stretching ability, and little finger strength and accuracy. Then see how to break it up into chunks, work on each section with the metronome to build your speed, before putting it back together to get a great guitar workout. A great target speed for 16th note type licksis 160 bpm on your metronome. Give it a shot!
25:20 – Lick 4 is a great speed guitar lick using the A blues scale. It’s an awesome left hand hammer on and pull off exercise which will work great in a guitar solo. Break it up into chunks and perfect each part of the lick before adding them together for a left hand blues scale shredfest!
28:20 – How to integrate licks and exercises into your playing so you can use what you learn from your practice time.
How cool would it be to be able to play fast phrases in your solos? It would be fantastic! Right?
Well, in this lesson I’ll show you how to power up your alternate picking technique with some simple exercises.
Don’t forget to Get Your Free ‘Alternate Picking Workout Guide’ Featuring Full TAB For This Lesson!
Alternate Picking Guitar Lesson and Workout
0:14 Hear me demonstrate the alternate picking workout I’m going to teach you in this guitar lesson. It looks complicated but is super quick and easy to learn and will help you develop your picking technique and speed up your guitar playing!
1:15 Super important principles you need to know about alternate picking! Your picking hand, elbow, wrist and arm need to be relaxed and free from tension. This will fight you and lead to poor tone, rhythm and control. Also use just the tip of the plectrum or pick. Keep your picking hand very close to the guitar strings and develop the ability to pick with small, controlled and even up and down picks. This might not happen instantly – but regular picking practice on your guitar WILL pay off!
2:22 Many people focus exclusively on their picking hand when working out on their alternate picking but remember your fretboard hand has to be able to keep up! Keep your fingers near to the finger board and the guitar strings so their isn’t lots of extra movement. This will slow down your picking and affect your picking fluency.
3:40 Alternate picking exercise and workout. I’ll take you through it in stages as the exercise can basically be broken into 3 parts. It’s very chromatic in nature and not particularly musical sounding but it will help you develop good alternate picking.
3:56 Here you learn the first part of the picking workout. Make sure you’re following the strict alternate picking pattern of continuous down and up picks! This pattern uses all 4 fingers of your fretting hand too and will help you with your finger independence and fretboard accuracy.
6:26 Here you learn the second phrase in the alternate picking workout. Simlar to the first phrase but on the B string and top E string.
8:07 I’ll demonstrate the first 2 phrases put together here at a moderate tempo.
8:45 Here’s the final part of the alternate picking exercise. It’s all on the high E string and ascends and descends the string chromatically.
10:30 Summary of important points for your fretting hand and picking hand. The benefits of being able to use all 4 fretboard fingers.
11:08 Hear the whole picking workout played at a slow to moderate tempo.
12:13 Action plan for building your picking speed and making your picking rhythmic. This methods works for learning to play any lick or exercise faster. Use this in your practice routine and you’ll see great progress! You’ll probably see an increase in your playing speed in just a couple of minutes. To start with break up the picking exercise into each of the 3 phrases it uses. Find your cruising speed – this is the speed at which you can comfortably loop the lick or exercise around. Play the first part of the exercise once at this speed. Then play it twice, and when you’re ready play it 3 times. When you’ve got it try looping it round and round at this speed. Gradually increase the speed of your metronome ove your practice sessions. A good target speed for sixteenth notes 160 bpm (beats per minute) on your metronome.
15:06 How to make sure your playing is totally in time. This is a super important guitar tip so check it out!
16:00 Summary of how to practice the workout to boost your alternate picking.