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Embellish the Minor Pentatonic Scale with Added Notes

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM

Free Lesson Friday is back! This week, instructor Wolf Marshall shows you how to expand your pentatonic palette by adding color tones, specifically the 2nd and the 6th. For more tips (and colors), check out the complete lesson Adding Notes to the Minor Pentatonic Scale.



Learn How to Play "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 22, 2016 at 12:04 PM

This past May, we named 10 strum-along songs that every guitarist should know how to play, and Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" was at the top of the list. It may very well be the most ubiquitous "party song" in history.

In our newest G-Plus Song lesson, instructor Doug Boduch walks you through each riff, chord strum, and arpeggio. Once you've got it under your fingers, you can then play it with the backing track, removing the guitar for a true play-along experience.

"Brown Eyed Girl" Van Morrison G-Plus Song Lesson 
Browse all Van Morrison tab, lessons, and play-along tracks


10 Beatles Songs Every Guitarist Should Know

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 21, 2016 at 11:52 AM

In our recent interview with Tom Kolb, the master guitar instructor said that one of the best things guitarists can do to improve is to learn Beatles solos. We're going to take it a step further and provide you with our list of Beatles songs that every guitarist should learn to play. The breadth of compositional acumen, pop sensibility, and instrumental technique represented in these 10 tracks is breathtaking. And best of all, you'll learn all of it while having fun learning how to play some of the greatest songs of all time.

"Helter Skelter"
For the world's greatest pop band, the Beatles gave proto metal bands a run for their money with this screamer. Motley Crue even covered it 15 years later on their breakthrough LP Shout at the Devil.

"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
In this epic track that screams "Cream" more than it does Lennon & McCartney, the band explores changing feel, Lennon masterfully uses the vocal melody as the anchor of his solo, expanding it to double stops the second time through.

"Dear Prudence"
A master class in Travis picking, learning the acoustic riffs in this tune will help you master the essential fingerstyle technique.

"Norwegian Wood"
Another acoustic classic, the main riff here is a great exercise not only for incorporating a melody line into a strum pattern but also for gaining control of your fret hand's pinky finger. It also features a couple of essential 6/8 strum patterns.

"Day Tripper"
This is how you create a timeless hit using a rather simple riff. Sometimes, like this one, less really is more!

"I Feel Fine"
The intro riff here is quite the pinky-finger workout, and the guitar solo offers a great example of how to effectively use rhythmic displacement.

"Here Comes the Sun"
In this uplifting track, George Harrison clamps on a capo and creates a timeless melody on top of his basic chord shapes via suspended voicings, major 7ths, 6ths, and more. It's also one of the few pop tunes where you'll encounter shifting time signatures from 4/4 in the verse to 7/8 to 6/8 to 5/8 to 4/4 in the bridge!

Paul McCartney wrote and recorded this acoustic masterpiece, in the process showing how 10ths intervals can be incredibly effective compositional tools.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Another George Harrison tune, the highlight here is listening to Eric Clapton solo throughout the tune. Slowhand delivers an absolute clinic on how to turn blues-based licks into pop music gold.

Arguably George Harrison's greatest composition. Dig the A-Amaj7-A7 in the verse and how he recalls it in the relative minor (F#m-F#m(maj7)-F#m7) move a few bars later, creating beautiful, descending chromatic phrases that mirror the ascending chromatic hook that opens the tune. Oh, and those manic bends in the solo as counterpoint to the overarching soothing feel of the tune -- priceless.

Free Acoustic Celtic Guitar Lesson with Ben Woolman

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 15, 2016 at 3:47 PM

This week's installment of Free Lesson Friday features an essential Celtic acoustic guitar lick from Ben Woolman, pulled from his complete Celtic Acoustic Licks lesson.

Browse all of Ben Woolman's acoustic guitar lessons and guitar tabs


Guitar Lead Sheet Now Available for "The Sound of Silence" as Performed by Disturbed

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 15, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Simon and Garfunkel's timeless hit "The Sound of Silence" certainly isn't the obvious choice of cover song for one of the biggest and best metal bands of past 15 years, but Chicago rockers Disturbed have boldly brought the 1960s classic into the 21st century in their own inimitable fashion.

The band, known for its highly rhythmic manner of pummeling chords and beats into submission, took a minimalist approach on this track, relying on the dynamics and power of singer David Draiman. The cover primarily features piano accompaniment, with just a few acoustic guitar arpeggios and fills throughout.

The new guitar lead sheet from Hal Leonard features the arpeggios in the intro and outro sandwiching a chords and lyrics chart in the middle. Aside from those opening and closing phrases, you can improvise your own arpeggio patterns for the verse and chorus chords, or just strum throughout.

"The Sound of Silence" guitar lead sheet
Browse all Disturbed guitar tab and sheets 



Learn How to Play "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 15, 2016 at 10:29 AM

James Taylor's top 10 hit "Fire and Rain" is one of those "must-know" acoustic guitar songs. Though its lyrical content is relatively dark—covering suicide, depression, drug addiction, and the tough road to fame and fortune—Taylor's guitar parts contain many devices that have become canon to folk and rock acoustic players. In this lesson, Doug Boduch goes in deep on all of the signature moves and quirky idiosyncrasies—such as Taylor's unconventional fingerings for pretty conventional open chords (check out his A chord fingering the video below!)—that have helped to make this song a timeless treasure.

"Fire and Rain" by James Taylor
Browse all James Taylor guitar tab, video song lessons, and play-along tracks



Learn a Classic Eric Clapton Blues Lick

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 8, 2016 at 5:25 PM

In this week's free lesson, excerpted from his Eric Clapton Licks lesson, instructor Greg Koch shows a classic blues lick that Eric Clapton has used often throughout his career. Additionally, he gives a great tutorial on how to achieve Clapton's signature vibrato and vintage tone.


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