Pat Metheny Chops – A Lesson By Morten Faerestrand

A few days ago, my good friend Mauro sent me a link to a YouTube video by Morten Faerestrand. This video provides excellent insight into some of Pat Metheny's techniques. As well, Morten is a fabulous player and I very much appreciate the time he spends to detail these creative and unique techniques of a truly amazing musician. Hope you enjoy it. Me, I am off to practice ;-) Thanks Mauro!   … [Read more...]

Finger Picking Pattern 2: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

Our second finger picking lesson is another example of pattern picking. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac uses a similar picking pattern to “Dust in the Wind”. However, the chord changes here require more movement. For your convenience, the chord shapes and fingerings are as follows: Click here if you’re not sure how to read the chord blocks.                         For the picking pattern, you will use your thumb (P), index … [Read more...]

Exploring 7/8

This piece is not meant to be a theory lesson in meter and time signatures. Rather, it is meant to help you open up some new doors and hopefully get your creative juices flowing! Most of us have grown up listening to music characterized by the familiar time signatures of 4/4 or 3/4. 4/4 is the most common time signature in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop while 3/4 is often used for country & western ballads, not to mention waltzes, minuets & scherzi! Both of these time … [Read more...]

Lesson 2: 12 Bar Variations – The Texas Shuffle

There are many variations of the 12 Bar Blues. These variations are found in the chords and rhythm. The previous lesson showed a standard 12 Bar Blues with a shuffle feel. A variation on that is the “Texas Shuffle”. This uses the same chord progression with a shuffle feel but a few more notes added. The major difference with this blues is what we will be playing rhythmically. Once your left hand is comfortable with the riff, try strumming through it - Down Up, Down Up, Down Up, Down Up. Try … [Read more...]

Lesson 1: The Blues In A

The guitar is a highly expressive and powerful instrument. It’s capability of endless tones is astounding. No matter what style of music you choose to play it’s all found within the 12 notes on the guitar. The fundamental elements such as scales, chords and especially rhythms are really what define a style. However, through my hours of practicing the most important aspect has been feel. Without emotion the guitar is simply chords and scales. A few simple notes played a certain way can be very … [Read more...]

Exercise and trust your ears!

Years ago, I jammed with an incredible pianist. Classically trained, he could play anything you put in front of him. Not only was he a great sight-reader, he would also put a lot of feeling into everything he played. His only problem was that without sheet music, he was lost. If we played a 12 bar blues, despite the fact that he had an exhaustive knowledge of scales, he had no idea how to improvise over it. It was very frustrating for him. In time, he learned to use and ‘trust’ his ears. This … [Read more...]

Technique: Proper Thumb Positioning

A question that always comes up is where should my thumb be? Over the neck or behind it? The answer depends on what you are playing. If you are playing scales, there is a great benefit to having your thumb behind the neck as it allows you a much greater stretch. Conversely, having the thumb over the neck is the only way to play some chords and a great help when bending strings. Have a look at the following 3 pictures for an example of where your thumb should be when playing … [Read more...]

Exercises: Mirrors

This exercise is aimed at improving your technique, building strength in your hands and improving your double picking across strings. It may also help you to develop some interesting and original chops that you can work into your solos. Click here if you’re not sure how to read the scale blocks. The basic idea is to find a pattern .. and then make a mirror of it ..   Now, play them together. In this example, I am starting on the 4th finger of the … [Read more...]

Scales: Exercises 123 234 345

This exercise is aimed at improving your technique and offering you extended scale phrasings. The basic idea in this exercise is to play the first 3 notes in the scale, then, starting at the second note in the scale play 3 more, then, starting from the 3rd note in the scale play 3 more etc. If the scale was numbers, the pattern would be: 123 234 345 456 567 678 789 etc Remember that these exercises can be played anywhere on the neck using any scale. The … [Read more...]

Improvisation Blues in A (Swing Feel)

This is standard blues progression with a jazzy feel to it that is great to solo over. Work with the A Minor Pentatonic scale over this progression. Try to play it in all 5 positions mentioned in the A Minor Pentatonic lesson. The chords for this progression can be found in the page of all the chords used at this site. For the Bb13, play the A13 chord block shown on that page but play it on the 6th fret. For the E9, play the D9 chord block shown on that … [Read more...]

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