How to Play “Wild World” By Cat Stevens – Beginner Friendly Guitar Lesson

My latest instructional guitar video has arrived! Today I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorites in the Cat Stevens classic “Wild World“. This tune was originally released on the 1970 LP “Tea for Tillerman” (available on MP3, CD, and Vinyl at: In this lesson I will begin by demonstrating the chords and strumming patterns, before breaking down the chorus licks and riffs (tabs included). Let’s get started!

How to Play Sublime “What I Got” on Guitar – Free Beginner Friendly Guitar Lesson with Chords & Tabs

Hello and good morning guitar enthusiast,

apologies for my silence over this last week. I’ve been quite busy, creating a long list of free YouTube guitar lessons and I will try my best to get you all caught up. I started this week by revisiting one of the first tunes I had learned on the guitar, “What I Got” from Sublime‘s 1996, self-titled album available on MP3, CD, & vinyl at: This easy beginner guitar song is comprised of just two chords; Dmaj and Gmaj. In the context of this simple progression, late guitarist Bradley Nowell uses a cross picking technique to form a catchy, melodic element as he transitions back and forth. Once we’ve mastered the basic chords and picking technique, we’ll move on to Brad’s iconic solo, which utilizes notes found in our D major, and minor pentatonic scales. Guitar chords, tabs and lyrics for Sublime “What I Got” are included in this HD video guitar tutorial. Let’s get started!

Feb 8th Intro to Guitar Class – Beginner Lessons in Philadelphia

With our successful January guitar class in full swing, we are already planning a follow up program starting February 8th in Center City Philadelphia! This class is already filling up, but it’s not too late to get in on the action!

Register today and save with our “phillyrocks” promocode, unless you are a WHYY member or Recyclebank rewards user, in which case you are entitled to some deep discounts on enrollment! More details available at:

How to Play “Imagine” By John Lennon on the Guitar – Beginner Friendly Guitar Lesson

Hello guitar enthusiast,

Today I am very excited to share with you my most recent tutorial on John Lennon’s 1971 classic “Imagine”. In the wake of several violent acts around the world, I felt extremely motivated to share a tune that promotes peace, love and understanding, apparently I was not alone; I was very happy to learn that over 2 million peace advocates also gathered to sing this anthem of solidarity, at Paris’s Unity Rally this past Sunday! This is a beautiful testament to John’s power as a songwriter, and leader.

This is an easy guitar tutorial with beginner level players in mind! Learn the basic chord shapes, strumming patterns and melodies used throughout this post Beatles classic! Lyrics, and chords for John Lennon’s 1971 masterpiece “Imagine” are included throughout this free HD instructional lesson. Let’s get started! – Click for Limited Edition Vinyl (Also Available in Digital Format)

The Eric Miller Memorial Fund – Learn Guitar in Philadelphia

Hello and good evening,
Tonight I am pleased to announce that Swiftlessons will once again offer the Eric Miller Memorial Fund! A year ago, Eric’s sister came to me in hopes of sustaining her brothers memory, while honoring is passion for music. Last years recipient has now gone on to form his own band, and his skills are off the charts!

Because Eric was a self-taught guitarist, we will be excepting 500+ word essays explaining ” What Music Means to Me”. Submissions will be accepted between now and Feb. 1st and can be sent via email to or addressed to Swift Guitar Lessons 3701 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia Pa. 19104. PLEASE SHARE AND HELP SPREAD THE WORD, IT WILL MEAN THE WORLD TO ERIC’S FAMILY! THANK YOU. -Rob

“The Guitarist, and New Year Resolutions” – Defeating Post Holiday Blues & Refocusing on the Months Ahead!

Hello Guitar Enthusiast,

With another year and holiday season in the books, many of you are probably experiencing the symptoms of “post holiday blues;” lack of focus, motivation and finger-rust brought on by copious amounts of eggnog, and time away from your instrument.

Shaking off the cobwebs after a long and stressful holiday season can be difficult, but it is absolutely essential that we meet the New Year with renewed enthusiasm and energy. Setting your New Year ‘s resolutions can go far beyond shaving a few inches off your waistline as this moment of reflection is the ideal time to consider your progress and plan your exciting goals for the days and months ahead.

Here are a few resolutions to help you get back on track, and improve as a guitarist in 2015:

Rejuvenate your love for music – The very reason you picked up the guitar in the first place was your love of music. At the start of this New Year, I suggest you reconnect with the music of your past, while adding some new favorites to your daily rotation.

Nothing inspires a guitarist more than seeing a master a work, so subscribe to upcoming events at your local venues, and seek touring information for your favorite players.

Take time to reflect – Reviewing your year of triumphs and pitfalls is a great way to put things into perspective and to refocus your mind toward the months ahead.  Jamming out on your favorite songs, licks and exercises from the past year will get your chops back in working order, and clarify where you have been, and where you are going.

Craft your Repertoire  – I believe the mark of a true musician is well-planned set list, never be caught nervously picking through bits and pieces of top 40 hits. Building a set list that is right for you requires trial and error, and should occupy a great deal of your practice time. Of all my New Years tips, this one will build your confidence, and focus more than any other.

Join the Scene – Over the last five years one of the greatest motivating forces for me has been the comradery of other musicians. Engaging the music scene in your area will provide a tremendous source of inspiration, but more importantly, a way of making the learning experience fun, social and full of cherished memories. Tackle this resolution by seeking out your fellow pickers, attend open-mics, jam sessions and of course support your local bands.

A New Genre, a New Frontier  – Learning a musical instrument is an endless journey full of incredible surprises, and the guitar is no exception. Still, it is very common for pickers of all levels to feel stagnant, stuck, and in a state often referred to as “hitting a plateau”. Many great players will tell you that the easiest way to break free of the monotony is to simply learn something new. Leaving your comfort zone can feel a lot like starting from scratch, and often times, it is just that!

For this resolution I will ask you to take a leap of faith and try something outside your wheelhouse. Here are a couple great styles I recommend you try out, as you expand your musical horizons in 2015:

Slide Guitar: Learning slide has always been a great escape from the repetitive nature of learning the guitar. I recommend starting on a medium thickness, medium wall, brass slide like the one scene here: Learning a few George Harrison, or Mazzy Star tunes is a beginner friendly starting point, while more advanced players can take on the licks of Derek Trucks, Duane Allman and Warren Haynes. This book is full of showstoppers:

Gypsy Jazz: A dynamic and riveting style of guitar music. Learning Gypsy Jazz licks and progressions has transformed my playing, and greatly enhanced my abilities as both a lead and rhythm guitarist. You can get started the same way I did, by enjoying the incredible teaching of guitar virtuoso John Jorgenson. Pick up his book and DVD set at Beginner lessons also available:


The tips mentioned work best when in conjunction with one another, and are just a few ways of jumpstarting your year of progress.  In the coming days I will be rolling out dozens of beginner friendly video lessons at, and also announce exciting events including workshops, courses, and concerts. I look forward to sharing another incredible and extra musical year with you all! Take care. –Rob


3 Essential Strumming Patterns – Easy Beginner Rhythm Guitar Lesson

A quick morning lesson for the beginner players out there. In this easy guitar tutorial, I break down three basic strumming patterns used in thousands of well known songs:  the Brown Eyed Girl “Pop Strumming Pattern”, the Stand by Me “R&B Strumming Pattern” and finally the I’ve Just Seen a Face “Country Pattern”. These are tremendously useful techniques, taken straight from my Level 1 Guitar course in Philadelphia, which is set to relaunch Sunday January 4th ( So, get that foot tapping and let’s get started!

How to Play “Day Tripper” by The Beatles – Beginner Friendly Guitar Lesson

Good morning everyone,
Today I am super excited to be sharing a reboot of my guitar lesson on The Beatles “Day Tripper”,  which was originally released as an A-side to “We can Work it Out” and later featured on the 1965 album Rubber Soul (here on vinyl This time around I am breaking this tune down in one comprehensive lesson complete with tabs! ” Learn the iconic riff played across three different keys, and George’s searing guitar solo in this beginner friendly tutorial. Let’s get started!


Speed/Accuracy Exercise for Guitar – Pentatonic Interval Warmup

Let’s kick off today’s practice with a powerful warm-up that is sure to breathe new life into that tired pentatonic scale. In this lesson, I break down how to navigate through the open position pentatonic scale in “stacked intervals” of fourths, fifths and major thirds. This is a tremendous exercise that will undoubtedly add to your soloing ideas, while promoting faster and more accurate picking technique! Let’s get started!

Happy Birthday to Brownie McGhee – Legendary Blues Guitarist

Happy Birthday to the late-great Brownie McGee. A legendary bluesman who’s dynamic finger-style guitar playing and pension for innovative chord progressions took the blues genre to another level. A talented lyricist, Brownie’s songs about working class hardship were written in true poetic fashion and performed with passion and honesty. In this lesson, I break down one of Brownie’s most famous compositions entitled “Born and Living with the Blues”, a tune that departs from the typical blues progression (1.4.5), and builds on a wide range of traditional licks and turnarounds. In my opinion, this is truly a world class composition, one that is a testament to Brownie McGhee’s prowess as a top-notch songwriter. Let’s get started!