December 2019

Beginner

ARTICLES

Riff Rundown: Benjamin Tod's "Using Again"

November 10, 2019
The Lost Dog Street Band frontman shows how smooth fingerpicking and a few well-placed hammer-ons ring a somber tone to accompany a downtrodden tale.
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Don't Be Scared of Improv

October 5, 2019
Unleash the power of pentatonics and learn how to make it up as you go along.
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How to Write a Song

September 7, 2019
Nashville recording artist Lindsay Ell shares tips on how she beats writer’s block ... and how you can, too.
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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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Intro to CAGED Chords

August 3, 2019
Learn a sure-fire way to map out every major or minor chord in any key.
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The “Stairway” Progression

July 13, 2019
Zeppelin might be the most famous case, but plenty of songwriters have borrowed these infamous chords.
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Why You Should Keep a Guitar Journal

July 6, 2019
Our musical brains can be deep, but messy. Here’s how to organize it all.
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One-Shape Blues

June 29, 2019
A few simple chords is all it takes.
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Joe Gore's The Subversive Guitarist: How to Practice Without a Guitar

May 25, 2019
You don’t need a fretboard to expand your fingerings.
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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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Joe Gore’s The Subversive Guitarist: A State of Gliss

December 22, 2018
Slide your way to more expressive playing.
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Fretboard Workshop: Know Your Chords

November 3, 2018
It’s about time you really deal with getting around the neck—in any key.
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What the Ell? My Slide Guitar Journey

October 13, 2018
Learning how to learn is an invaluable, yet often-overlooked skill. Here’s how a country superstar took the scary leap into slide guitar.
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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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What the Ell? How to Keep Your Chops Up on the Road

August 11, 2018
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or weekend warrior, here are a few essential exercises to keep you on top of your game.
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What The Ell? Lessons I Learned from Recreating John Mayer’s 'Continuum'

May 26, 2018
Discover how a daunting homework assignment unlocked creativity and musicianship while helping country superstar Lindsay Ell find her own voice.
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What the Ell? How to Make the Most of 4 Chords

April 21, 2018
One of Nashville’s bona fide hitmakers shares secrets to making stock progressions pop.
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How to Use Triads

March 31, 2018
These three-note chords are the most underrated tools in your guitar-playing kit. Here’s why.
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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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