Top 10 Lessons of 2021

Learn how to play everything from Britpop to blues and beyond.


Did Clapton Peak Too Early?

Jon MacLennan

When it comes to Eric Clapton's guitar style, there is no shortage of masterful guitar techniques to dive into and study. In this article we'll focus specifically on his guitar style during the mid- to late-'60s around the formation of the band Cream.


8 Ways to Nail the IV Chord

Dan Smith

Let's talk about momentum. It's an essential part of any great solo, and when you're ripping over a 12-bar blues, the first spot to really demonstrate your mastery of the harmony is when the IV chord pops up. In this lesson, I'll demonstrate how to create some … fourward momentum … in your next solo.


The Basics of Britpop

Shawn Persinger

When considering the many bands that fall under the term “Britpop”–Oasis, Blur, Suede, Elastica, Radiohead’s early work, and more–it’s clear that the genre is more an attitude than a specific musical style. Still, there are a few guitar techniques and approaches that abound in the genre, many of which have been “borrowed” (the British music press’ friendly way of saying “appropriated”) from earlier British bands of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.


Nuno Bettencourt’s Hyper-Speed Arpeggios

David Schneider

This lesson is all about shred guitar—specifically Extreme axeman Nuno Bettencourt's inventive approach to tapping arpeggios. Let's jump right in.



Jim Croce’s Fingerstyle Tricks

Kirby Jane

It's great to have polished songs memorized note-for-note and stored neatly in your gigging repertoire, but there's probably just as much value to being able to fly by the seat of your pants and pull an arrangement out of thin air. Knowing the building blocks of fingerstyle guitar is a great way to accomplish this.


Double-Stops for Days

Matthew Lee

In this lesson, we are going to cover a super important and very common technique. Double-stops are one of the pillars for defining a country guitar sound. I'll break down ways to approach this technique from an intervallic standpoint. If you feel it will require too much theory, don't worry… we won't go down that rabbit hole very far.


Why Was ’90s Country Guitar So Cool?

Matthew Lee

Mainstream country music in the '90s was a guitar-lover's dream. Nearly every tune on the radio was full of tasty fills and ripping—but short—solos. The most prominent session player during this time was Brent Mason, whose car primer gray Tele became as iconic as the parts he crafted.


The Secret to Connecting Chords

Marc Schonbrun

We're going to look at a simple jazz progression and talk about the struggle to make sense of some of these moves in the context of music theory. I want you to leave this lesson with new ways to think about chord progressions, and perhaps a different way to think about music theory.


UnCAGED Fretboard Hacks

Andy Gibson

Do you feel confined within the same scale shapes or set of frets every time you go to rip a solo? If so, this lesson is for you. Or, if you're confident in your ability to move both horizontally and vertically around the fretboard, this lesson might help you to see the fretboard even better.


A Creative Approach to String Bending

Andy Gibson

Bending strings is one of the main pillars of rock, country, and blues playing. Imagine if B.B. King, Brent Mason, Brad Paisley, or Jimi Hendrix played without using any bends. It would be strange, right? The main bending techniques used by those four (and nearly every other person to pick up an electric guitar) will take you pretty much anywhere you need to go as a guitarist, but there are a few approaches to bending that will take you down roads less travelled.



Linda Manzer and Pat Metheny’s collaboration on the Pikasso guitar proves that a good creative chemistry between luthier and client can lead to extreme innovation!

Photo by Brian Pickell

The construction of your dream guitar can be a fun journey, but learning the language is essential.

You’ve visited countless websites, played as many guitars as you could lay your hands on, and zeroed in on the luthier that resonates most with you. You’re ready to take the plunge and your next step is to have a conversation with the builder. You’ll both have lots of questions. Be sure to listen and let them guide you through the process. This is when the fun begins.

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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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Gibson 1960 Les Paul 0 8145 is from the final year of the model’s original-production era, and likely from one of the later runs.

The story of 1960 Gibson Les Paul 0 8145—a ’burst with a nameplate and, now, a reputation.

These days it’s difficult to imagine any vintage Gibson Les Paul being a tough sell, but there was a time when 1960 ’bursts were considered less desirable than the ’58s and ’59s of legend—even though Clapton played a ’60 cherry sunburst in his Bluesbreakers days. Such was the case in the mid 1990s, when the family of a local musician who was the original owner of one of these guitars walked into Rumble Seat Music’s original Ithaca, New York, store with this column’s featured instrument.

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