B7 Chord Good for Blues Turnarounds

QUESTION:

Is it important to learn the B7 chord and when would you play it?

ANSWER:

The B7 chord is the classic turnaround chord in the style of blues and is very recognizable when you hear it played. This chord works well as a turnaround in the key of E especially. In another guitar lesson we worked on a turnaround lick which works great over the I, IV, V chords in the key of A when played in blues music.

Since we are focusing on the open position notes in this guitar lesson it is yet another example of a guitar chord which […] Continue Reading…

How to Play the C Major 13 Chord using all Six Strings

QUESTION:
What is an easy way you can play the C Major 13 jazz chord without using any open strings?

ANSWER:
Let’s use a chord diagram here to show the way to play the C Major thirteen using all six strings thus without any need to skip, or mute any strings either. The only tricky part about this is the need to bunch your fingers together to play the G note on the 8th fret. Otherwise this is actually an easy chord to play and has a definite jazzy sound to it. This means that it fits well into jazz progressions and […] Continue Reading…

What are Barre Chords on the Guitar?

Let’s use the F Major barre chord as an example here since it can be fairly tricky to play on the guitar because it is not easy to cover all of the six strings with your first finger, which is precisely how a “barre” or bar chord is played.

Additionally, to add to the difficulty factor is that the strings nearest to the guitar nut have the most tension as far as the feel of them goes and this makes things harder to play. Since the F Major chord is played in the first position you have to deal with […] Continue Reading…

What are the Best Electric Guitar Strings and why?

I have long since settled on D’Addario EXL120 guitar strings. These are 9 gauge electric guitar strings and the pack consists of .009 thru .042. For me, these are the easiest string sizes to work with, on the electric guitar that is. The problem I have with the .010 gauge strings is that they are just too hard to bend. In fair comparison, the issue I have with the .008 gauge strings is that they are just too small and notably lacking in tone as well. Like a lot of guitarists, I tend to play a lot of bends, […] Continue Reading…

Is Sweep Picking hard to Play?

QUESTION:
Is sweep picking harder to play than alternate picking?

ANSWER:
Actually sweep picking is an intermediate to advanced guitar technique so it is considered hard to get used to. As an example, the pattern for sweep picking in this guitar lesson shows an idea in which you can also use tapping. In the diagram you can see which notes are used.

These notes are not too difficult for the fretting hand, but the picking pattern does require the sweep picking technique and that is what most students have troubles with when they first start to learn how to play these kinds of […] Continue Reading…

How often should you Change Guitar Strings?

If you really want to get all that you can out of a set of guitar strings you could play them until one of them breaks. You could replace the one that breaks and then keep using them but at this point you might as well change the entire set. Basically the strings will begin to loose their bright tone after they have been played for several days or even hours if you do a lot of heavy, sweaty playing. Under normal playing though this is really not so noticeable on electric guitars and a set should last for […] Continue Reading…

What is Vibrato on the Guitar?

Using vibrato when playing the guitar is when you rapidly move a note on a string up and down while remaining on one fret. The upwards and downwards movement can be very minimal, or it can be what is known as a wide vibrato. The more that you move the string, the wider the vibrato will be, however it is not really the same thing as a bend.

This is what the vibrato symbol in guitar tablature legend looks like:

The difference between a bend and the vibrato technique is that the bend is used to move the sound from one […] Continue Reading…

How to Play the A Chord with One Finger

QUESTION:
How do you get all three fingers on one fret when trying to play an A chord in the second position on the guitar? It is really hard to do.

ANSWER:
This is a good opportunity to explain how using a one finger bar chord shape to play the A chord is a better solution than trying to place the tips of three of your fingers on one fret. By simply using your first finger to bar the notes you are going to make this much easier to play. Strumming the fifth (open), fourth, third and second strings give a good […] Continue Reading…