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Hallelujah Guitar Lesson (Jeff Buckley & Leonard Cohen)

fingerstyle May 26, 2024

Here’s a haunting song with an interesting history. 

You see it was originally rejected by the record label. They thought it was not going to be a commercial success. So it flew under the radar for many years. 

Until finally some cover versions of it came along and brought the song forward to national fame.

In this post, we’ll be diving into the original as well as the most popular covers. We’ll unpack the different approaches each one takes and how you can play it on your guitar.

So tune up, and let’s dive into this “Hallelujah” guitar lesson.

Who wrote Hallelujah?

The magnificent “Hallelujah” was originally written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. He reportedly spent years crafting the lyrics, with some estimates saying it took around five years and countless revisions. 

"Hallelujah" was recorded at Quadrasonic Sound in New York City. It was put on Cohen’s album "Various Positions" which was produced...

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Play That Funky Music White Boy Guitar Lesson (Wild Cherry)

rock May 23, 2024

 

Here’s a funky, bluesy groove you can use to improve your timing and have a ball playing. 

It’s been proven to keep an audience twisting and shaking on the dance floor, all night long. It’s been played in party bands for decades and below I’m going to show you how to play the iconic guitar parts and lock into a foot-tapping groove.

So put on your dancing shoes and let’s dive into this “Play That Funky Music White Boy” guitar lesson.

Who wrote Play That Funky Music White Boy?

"Play That Funky Music" was written by Rob Parissi, lead vocalist and guitarist for the American funk rock band Wild Cherry. The song was released in 1976 and became a huge hit. It’s become a classic from the disco era.

Rob Parissi, was inspired to write "Play That Funky Music" after the band kept getting repeatedly asked to play more disco and funk songs during their live shows. 

Wild Cherry initially played rock music, but they noticed the rising...

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What's So BAD About The CAGED System For Guitar?

caged May 23, 2024

Came a question:

===

Everytime i hear about the caged system its followed by someone saying its bad and its crappy and blah blah blah...

Why would it be considered bad and why should/shouldnt i learn it?

===

Ok.

Where do I start.

First of all…100% of people that knock it, this is an immediate clue that they have no idea what it is. If they did, they would never say this.

Why?

Because it’s the fundamental code of the way the fretboard works. Imagine you wanted to learn to speak a language. And someone said, “No don’t learn the alphabet. That’s bad.” That’s the same kind of baboon shyt these players are spewing out when they diss the CAGED system.

Knowing CAGED is like having the Rosetta Stone for the way every scale, arpeggio, and lick is laid out on the guitar. While it’s not the only method for learning the neck. It’s the best one I’ve ever seen in my past 25+ years of trying all of them. Some things (like the fretboard)...

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Who Wins In A Fight: SCALES vs LICKS

Uncategorized May 21, 2024

One of my students inside Essential CAGED Guitar System had a great question about which was more important when learning soloing. 

I thought I’d share my answer here. They said:

===

it's more important to develop your lead solos over the pentatonic shapes and chord tones than it is memorizing a lot of riffs. Right?

===

Ah yes! The timeless debate scales vs licks.

It’s kinda like saying what's more important the car or the wheels.

Scales are a lot like the box frame of a car. While licks are like the wheels.

If you just have the boxframe of a car without wheels. Going anywhere is pretty tough. What happens to players who focus only on a bunch of scale work is. Their solos end up sounding boring and lacking melody.

On the other hand, if you just have wheels (licks). Sure, you could hop on a single wheel like a unicycle and ride around a bit. But you might find yourself limited on the fretboard and lacking substance. You won’t understand how the notes work or...

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Who Wins In A Fight: SCALES vs LICKS

Uncategorized May 21, 2024

One of my students inside Essential CAGED Guitar System had a great question about which was more important when learning soloing.

I thought I’d share my answer here. The timeless debate scales vs licks.

They asked:

=== 

it's more important to develop your lead solos over the pentatonic shapes and chord tones than it is memorizing a lot of riffs. Right?

===

It’s kinda like saying what's more important the car or the wheels.

Scales are a lot like the box frame of a car. While licks are like the wheels.

If you just have the boxframe of a car without wheels. Going anywhere is pretty tough. What happens to players who focus only on a bunch of scale work is. Their solos end up sounding boring and lacking melody.

On the other hand, if you just have wheels (licks). Sure, you could hop on a single wheel like a unicycle and ride around a bit. But you might find yourself limited on the fretboard and lacking substance. You won’t understand how the notes work or the...

Continue Reading...

Bo Diddley's Gutsy Performance On The Ed Sullivan Show

blues May 19, 2024

Back in the day, I used to watch a lot of iconic performances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Ed was a big deal. He was super charismatic and seemed to be able to connect with viewers of all ages. And you’ve got to give him credit for introducing a huge variety of acts to America. Everything from comedians and dancers to opera singers and rock and roll stars.

But one of the most impactful performances I saw, other than the Beatles of course, was Bo Diddley’s.

Apparently, the producers wanted Bo to perform the old country song “Sixteen Tons”. Ed also agreed and thought this would be a safe choice for his audience.

But Bo Diddley at the last minute went rogue.

Instead of performing “Sixteen Tons”. He played his own brand new song called “Bo Diddley”. 

Yup.

“Bo Diddley” by Bo Diddley

This was a bold move. He had some serious guts to defy the wishes of such a powerful television program at the time. In fact, some accounts of it...

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Tears In Heaven Guitar Lesson (Eric Clapton Unplugged)

fingerstyle May 15, 2024

Very few songs ever created move the world like this one…

The story behind it is powerful and emotional, and the chords and melody fit the sentiment of the tune perfectly.

It’s a complete masterpiece from beginning to end.  

So grab your guitar and let’s dive into this “Tears in Heaven” guitar lesson. 

What is the story behind Tears in Heaven? 

Tears in Heaven" was written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings. It was released in January 1992 and is one of Clapton's most iconic and personal songs. 

The song was written about the tragic death of his four-year-old son, Conor. Conor fell from a 53rd-floor window in a New York City apartment building. The lyrics powerfully express Clapton's grief and his contemplations about the afterlife and whether he would be reunited with his son in heaven. 

Eric Clapton co-wrote "Tears in Heaven" with songwriter Will Jennings, who initially hesitated to write about such a personal and...

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20 Little Mistakes That Keep Even Long Time Players Stuck

Uncategorized May 12, 2024

Below are 20 little mistakes I noticed common with players who have been playing a long time but get stuck.

If you are newer to guitar, take note of these. They can help you get it right from the beginning so you don’t have to go back later.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity here. Getting these fundamentals right is very important.

 Here we go:

*Can’t play to a metronome

*Can't tune without a tuner

*Thinking that if they can play something once, they’ve mastered it

*Bad posture and body mechanics

*Notes are buzzing

*Playing with too much tension – this will stop you in your tracks and make you choke up on stage

*Not having a system for fingerings to play guitar

*Hitting other strings everyone can hear by accident

*Thinking one note can only be played one way. When really any one note could be played 1,000+ ways.

*Can’t tap foot while playing

*When they go to sing, the strum hand stops 

*Does not understand time signatures

*Tries to play...

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Why a lot of intermediate players get stuck

Uncategorized May 11, 2024

Are you struggling to make it to the next step in your guitar-playing career?

If so, I have a valuable tip in this post that just might be the secret to you getting unstuck.

To make my point, let me tell you this story. I heard it from a friend. So full disclosure, it’s not my story. But I did take martial arts classes as I kid so I can completely understand where it’s coming from.

Here goes…

There’s this young whippersnapper who once went to an old Wing Chun kung fu master wanting to learn how to fight. He waltzes in and tells the Sifu he wants to be able to really kick some a**.

So, the kung fu master starts showing him the basics of how to punch. The young man gets impatient and says, “Sifu, when are you going to show me ADVANCED???”

The Sifu walks over to the corner of the room where there is a candle lit. He throws a rapid fire punch so fast by the side of the candle. The wind created from his punch immediately blows out the flame.

The Sifu...

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Sound Of Silence Guitar Lesson (Simon and Garfunkel)

fingerstyle May 09, 2024

Behold a magnificent song every fingerstyle guitar player should know.

The story behind it is quite interesting, and the melody and chords have stood the test of time.

So grab your guitar and let’s dive into this “Sound of Silence” guitar lesson.

Who wrote Sound of Silence?

“Sound of Silence" was written by Paul Simon, one half of the iconic American folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. He wrote it in February 1964 and it was first released on the album "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." in the same year.

It’s a haunting song that has lyrics about isolation, alienation, and the lack of communication in society. While the actual meaning of the tune is unknown.

The story behind "Sound of Silence" is quite interesting. Simon wrote it when he was only 21 years old and was feeling disillusioned with the state of the world. He wrote the song in his bathroom at his parent's house while they were out. He turned off the lights so he could focus.

Initially, the song...

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