March 2020

Beginner

What the Ell? How to Write Your First Song

February 24, 2018
Country star and certified guitar geek Lindsay Ell shares some advice on how to finish that first song. Bonus: She shares the first song she ever wrote.
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When Do I Use Distortion?

October 21, 2017
Distortion isn’t a bad thing, but there is an epidemic sweeping the nation that you’re not going to hear about on the 6 o’clock news, and it’s a mass dependence on hard-clipped soundwaves.
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Deep Blues: Double-Stoppin’ Jive

April 22, 2017
Learn how to turn your riffs and solos from blasé to burning with a few well-placed double-stop licks.
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Cosmic Country: Build Those Muscles!

April 15, 2017
How one of Nashville’s hottest guitarists systematically improves his technique.
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How to Use a Capo

February 11, 2017
Capos can help you play parts in tricky keys, be a tool for crafting lush layered sections, or just give you a way to avoid tough barre chords. Here are some tips for putting your capo to use.
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Rhythm Is King: Bob Marley’s Hypnotic Pulse

January 14, 2017
The simple and effective chord stabs that fueled early reggae hits may appear easy, but getting them right is a real art. Here are a few quick examples to help you master it.
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Get Your Ear Ready for the “Go Fish” Gigs

October 1, 2016
Here’s an incredibly simple, yet supremely practical way to make ear training a part of your daily practice.
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Deep Blues: Born to Boogie

September 17, 2016
Thanks to John Lee Hooker, Billy Gibbons, and other heavyweights, the swinging style of barrelhouse pianists has become a cornerstone of rock and blues guitar. Here’s a look at the most essential boogie-woogie patterns and how to use them.
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Dear 6-String Sensei: How Do I Improve My Chops?

July 16, 2016
In our new advice column, we tackle an age-old question with a few simple exercises and some chromatic magic.
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Beyond Blues: The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach

July 25, 2015
Break out your dirtiest fuzz box for a look at how a guitarist from Ohio brought the hill-country stomp to the masses.
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Deep Blues: Riding with B.B. King

May 23, 2015
Take a closer look at some of the signature techniques of the late blues master.
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Electric Etudes: Foo Fighters

April 18, 2015
Climb inside riffs inspired by one of rock’s biggest bands.
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Future Rock: 9 Essential Rock-Guitar Cliches

February 21, 2015
Explore the timeless licks of such rock masters as Clapton, Hendrix, Iommi, and Page.
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Digging Deeper: Transcribing Rhythms

January 3, 2015
Reading and understanding basic rhythms is easier than you think.
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Shredmental: Hell-Bent for Rhythm!

December 20, 2014
A brutal primer on heavy metal rhythm guitar.
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The Guitarist's Guide to Writing Charts

November 29, 2014
There’s more than one way to make a quick-and-dirty chart that will get you through the gig.
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Fretboard Workshop: “Machinehead” Octaves

October 25, 2014
Exorcise some picking demons with this simple, but effective, warm-up.
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Deep Blues: The “B.B. King” Box

September 27, 2014
Pull a lifetime of licks out of six simple notes.
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Rhythm Rules: How to Steal from Yourself

August 16, 2014
Sometimes an eighth-note is the only thing that separates the tired from the inspired.
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Future Rock: 10 Essential Slides, Scrapes, and Noises

July 26, 2014
Forget all your chords, arpeggios, and scales! Let’s dig into some weird and funky techniques.
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