December 2020

Shawn Persinger

Shawn Persinger, a.k.a. Prester John, has performed and taught guitar on five continents, in 36 countries, and hundreds of cities. His music has been described as a myriad of delightful musical paradoxes: complex but catchy; virtuosic yet affable; smart and whimsical. Readers and critics are hailing his latest book, The 50 Greatest Guitar Books, as a monumental achievement in music education. For more information, visit greatestguitarbooks.com.

ARTICLES

Blues Scale

Rethinking the Blues Scale

September 19, 2020
There’s way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.
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Speed Tricks

Cheap Tricks That Make You Sound Fast!

July 18, 2020
Learn how to not only ramp up your technique, but how to use it effectively.
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How to Rest

How to Rest

May 30, 2020
It’s one of the easiest things to do, yet so few guitarists do it.
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Spy Guitar

Spy Guitar Essentials

February 15, 2020
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn, understand, and incorporate the musical characteristics found in countless spy-film soundtracks.
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Twang

The Unsung Heroes of Twang Guitar

January 11, 2020
It’s all about melody, reverb, and loud amps.
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Rhythm Guitar

Why Is Rhythm Guitar So Hard?

December 14, 2019
It’s all in the details.
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Ambient Guitar

A Beginner’s Guide to Ambient Guitar

August 31, 2019
Ethereal drones, big reverbs, and plenty of dissonance go into this often-underappreciated style.
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One Shape Blues

One-Shape Blues

June 29, 2019
A few simple chords is all it takes.
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Funk Guitar

Funk Guitar in One Chord Shape or Less

May 4, 2019
Yes, you can get funky with a single chord shape.
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Play Slower

How to Play Slower

February 2, 2019
It’s not as easy or straightforward as some might think, but taking an unhurried approach can add new dimensions to your playing.
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Jazz Guitar

Jazz Chords Made Simple

October 27, 2018
Afraid of “complex” jazz chords? Just strip them down.
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Cowboy Chords

Spice Up Your Cowboy Chords

September 29, 2018
Just because you live on the low end of the fretboard doesn’t mean you can’t add melodic and harmonic interest to your progressions.
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Soul Music

Sweet Soul Music

September 1, 2018
Prolific performer and teacher Shawn Persinger teaches you how to get inside the sounds of Cropper, Jamerson, Dupree, and more.
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Fab FX

Eclectic Effecting 101: How to Use Stock Pedals to Unlock New Sounds

February 10, 2018
A hands-on guide to using chains of pedals to create enigmatic, spooky, and downright crazy sounds.
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Lou Reed

Punk-Rock Madness: It’s More than Power Chords

October 7, 2017
Push past the power chords and learn about some of the genre’s most underappreciated players, including Robert Quine, Viv Albertine, and Richard Lloyd.
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Marr

The Guitarist’s Guide to New-Wave Guitar

June 3, 2017
The 1980s were full of iconic tones and riffs from players like Andy Summers, Johnny Marr, and Adrian Belew. Let’s see if we can borrow a bit of that vintage mojo to craft compelling new riffs.
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Solo Guitar

Three Sides to Solo Guitar

March 11, 2017
Armed with a strong melody and an understanding of simple harmony, you can effortlessly move from ethereal to swinging arrangements.
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Paganini

Digging Deeper: The Other Side of Paganini

August 6, 2016
Neo-classical shredders aren’t the only ones able to glean inspiration from Paganini. Learn how a simple theme can cross genres and styles.
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Freebird

How “Freebird” Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Rock Guitar Soloing

April 9, 2016
These fast pentatonic runs lie at the heart of rock guitar.
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McLaughlin

Electric Etudes: John McLaughlin

December 5, 2015
Even with a wealth of theoretical concepts at his fingertips, Mahavishnu’s leader still plays from the gut.
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