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Top 10 Lessons of 2022

Top 10 Lessons of 2022
We’re all on the same journey—to become better at guitar. Each week we post a lesson that helps you get closer to that goal. This year we covered everything from basic triads and pentatonics to Brad Paisley’s warp-speed picking and Eric Gales’ inventive chord voicings. Here’s a look at the 10 most popular lessons in 2022.

Open-String Madness!

Matthew Lee Most guitarists learn the basic scales, patterns, and lines up and down the neck when starting to visualize the fretboard. Working open strings into the mix made my head spin and forced me think of note selection differently. It taught me how to manipulate lines that I’d played for years and breathed new life into those lines simply by adding one key element.

Eric Gales’ Nasty Chord Substitutions

Andy Gibson

Eric Gales’ method of playing a right-handed guitar left-handed and upside down gives him a sound that’s distinctively his. If you watch videos of him playing, you’ll notice he plays with his thumb wrapped around the top of the neck, like Jimi Hendrix or John Mayer. However, since his guitar strings are flipped upside down, his thumb is fretting what would be the first string to most people. This not only puts your brain in a whirl when trying to steal licks, but it also opens the door for some truly unique chord voicings. Gales, who fuses blues, rock, and classical together, constantly manages to play some truly otherworldly licks and passages.

Pickin’ Like Paisley: Use Those Open Strings!

Andy Gibson It’s universally known in the guitar community that Brad Paisley isn’t just some guy that strums a guitar and sings country songs. He’s widely respected as one of the best players in the country music scene and takes an unusual approach to achieve the sonic insanity that spills out of his guitar. From Telecasters, G-benders, and cranked Dr. Z amps to instrumental records and wild guitar solos getting mainstream country radio airtime, Paisley has solidified his place in the discussion of all-time greats, and not just in the country world. In this lesson, we’ll dive into one of the cornerstones of Brad’s playing that makes him so unique: open strings.

Why Is Rhythm Guitar So Hard?

Shawn Persinger

Rhythm guitar is arguably the most important aspect of guitar playing, and it’s also one of the most challenging skills to develop. The discouragement many players feel when working on rhythms forces too many of them to oversimplify the nuances, and this can reduce a performance from exceptional to fine. In this lesson, we’ll investigate why rhythm guitar can be so puzzling and look at a few ways to keep yourself motivated enough to persevere and improve.

Mega Pentatonics!

Sam Bell

Pentatonics are certainly well used (maybe overused?) by guitarists. There’s so much you can do with them and there’s a lot of great music to be found within our beloved five-note scale. My aim is to go for the whole “sheets of sound” thing that was popularized by John Coltrane and later adapted to guitar by players like Allan Holdsworth. However, the technique arms race has slowed down over the last few years, with modern players opting for interesting lines that focus more on cool rhythms and unexpected intervals. Let’s get to it.

Johnny Winter's Burning Blues

Corey Congilio

Learn to rip like one of the all-time masters of modern electric blues.

5 Underrated Guitarists Who Will Blow Your Mind

Carter Arrington The guitar has been a major factor in so many styles of music over the last 70 years, and any experienced musician can tell you that playing any one of those styles with authenticity takes countless hours of dedication. As we learn the instrument, we seek out music that we find inspiring to help guide us toward our voice. The legends we all know in the guitar pantheon have inspired millions of players. In my musical journey over the years, I’ve always been thrilled to discover unique musicians who never attained the same recognition as their more famous counterparts. With so much music at our disposal these days, I thought this group of guitarists deserved a little more spotlight. The inspiration and knowledge they have provided me were paramount in my development, and I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.

How to Map Triads

Timon Kaple

Mapping major and minor triads up and down the guitar neck can open new possibilities in your playing. It can also help you learn note locations on the fretboard, find new ways to play chord progressions, and inspire creative improvisations and compositions. But where do you begin?

7 Essential Blues Chord Substitutions

Max Rich

Staying creative and phrasing musically while playing chords, especially over a blues progression, seems like an impossibility to many players. After all, most blues songs contain only three chords, the I, IV, and V. So how can you make those simple chords more interesting? The answer is by using chord substitutions.

7 Positions to Shred Success

Sam Bell Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.

Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

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The GibsonES Supreme Collection (L-R) in Seafoam Green, Bourbon Burst, and Blueberry Burst.

The new Gibson ES Supreme offers AAA-grade figured maple tops, Super Split Block inlays, push/pull volume controls, and Burstbucker pickups.

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How do you capture what is so special about Bill Frisell’s guitar playing in one episode? Is it his melodies, his unique chord voicings, his rhythmic concept, his revolutionary approach to pedals and sounds…? It’s all of that and much more.

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U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.


PRS S2 Vela


Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

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