Beginner Guitar Lesson – How to Sing and Play at the Same Time – 5 Tips!

“How do you sing and play guitar at the same time?” This is a question that I have heard over and over throughout my teaching career. The ability to perform these two task really comes down to building muscle memory in both departments, but there are tricks to speeding up the learning process. In this new video lesson, I’ll break down my top five tips for singing while playing. Let’s get started!

  • Practice strumming Patterns – Performing any two tasks simultaneously requires that at least one is committed to muscle memory. So practice common patterns like the ones {taught Here} and be sure to count out loud, and tap your foot as you go.
  • Practice singing independently – Many aspiring singer-songwriters under-estimate the amount of practice singing requires. Your voice is another instrument in itself, so be sure to sing your scales while observing your pitch accuracy with a tuner. I recommend singing along with your favorite tunes, again, while tapping your foot and clapping your hands. Lastly, it’s very helpful to record your own Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.59.13 PMvoice, especially over karaoke backing tracks.. For easy recording, consider picking up an affordable USB microphone like the SL150 by Editors Keys


  • Consider how the lyrics match up with the chord changes – Play through a simple song and focus on hitting the correct chord with the appropriate lyric.
  • Simplify the strumming pattern – Before you can play and sing a tune in it’s desired format, I suggest practicing it first with whole note strums, then with basic quarter notes, and eight notes. If you can do that, then your ready to work in a strumming pattern.
  • Consider how the strumming pattern lines up with each lyric – Line by line, play through at half speed and connect the lyrics to the pattern. You may find it very useful to also write the strumming pattern down in a way that demonstrates how each motion corresponds with the lyrics. Below I’ve used the song “Stand By Me” as a beginner friendly example:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.31.01 PM


How to Play Soundgarden “Spoonman” – Essential Rock Guitar Riffs Lesson

Hello guitar enthusiast,

and welcome to another By Request Song Tutorial. This week I’m very excited to bring you a full lesson on Soundgarden‘s 1994 classic “Spoonman” from their iconic album Superunknown. I’ll begin this tutorial by showing you how to tune your guitar to drop-d tuning, before breaking down each riff, and some of Kim Thayils lead guitar technique.

This song might sound complicated, but it’s actually very beginner friendly. Each riff will introduce useful techniques and timing variations, and serve as some incredible chop boosting exercises.Tabs for this lesson are available at, where by supporting the channel for just a dollar a month, you can gain access to tons of supporter perks including tab sheets, exclusive videos, and early releases!

811MY+IgWlL._SL1500_Click Here for a fresh pressing of Soundgarden’s iconic rock album Superunknown on vinyl!




“Can’t Help Falling in Love” Elvis Presley, Haley Reinhardt Guitar Lesson

Hello friends,

This week I’m so glad to have had extra time to produce an extra By Request Song Tutorial. In this new video lesson, I’ll break down how to play Elvis Presley’s 1961 classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” I’ll take you through the changes for the intro, verse and chorus sections, while revealing how to finger pick the piano lines heard in the original track. I recently saw the very talented Haley Reinhardt perform her version of this track at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, and decided to include a few of her chord embellishments.  This demonstration was recorded using the SL600 Studio USB Microphone by Editors Keys. Let’s get started!

Tabs, Chords, and Lyrics are available to supporters of the channel at:


100,000 Subscribers, New Blues Guitar Lick Lesson, and Backing Tracks Channel!

Hello and happy Monday,

Things are heating up here in Philadelphia, and I’m happy to report that I’ve had a busy spring! As many of you have probably noticed, I’ve tripled my output, posting new tutorials every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The recent activity has jump-started the Swiftlessons YouTube channel, as I’ve finally earned my 100,000th subscriber! Reaching this milestone has me more motivated than ever, so expect a ton of new tutorials, backing tracks and books in the coming days!

To kick off this week of practice, I’ve posted my latest “Lick of the Week,” a fast and funky blues guitar lick in the key of A. I’ll begin by showing you the scale this phrase was built from, before breaking it down note by note. Let’s get started!

Now that you’ve learned about how to jam over a blues in the key of A, let’s head over to JamTracks365 to practice improvising:

Support Swiftlessons and gain access to awesome perks at:

Easy Acoustic Guitar Song for Beginners – Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”

Hello friends

Today I’m very happy to bring you my latest instructional video breaking down Bob Dylan’s 1973 classic “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” This song is the ideal practice piece for beginner guitar players looking to improve their knowledge of basic chords and strumming patterns. In this free video lesson, I’ll reveal the music theory behind the composition, each of the basic chords, and various rhythm techniques that you can use in thousands of well-known songs! Click here to access the patreon page where supporters of the channel (just a dollar a month) can download free tabs, chord sheets, and more. Do you have a song in mind for my next lesson? Be sure to submit your request at:

Let’s get started!

Awesome Blues Guitar Tricks – Routine #6 – PLUS Exclusive Discount on Tempi Mechanical Metronome!

Hello guitar enthusiast!
Today is a big day in the evolution of the Swiftlessons YouTube channel, as I will now be negotiating exclusive discounts on quality gear and accessories. In the latest addition to my solo blues guitar lessons series, I will break down routine #6, which features some SRV, Eric Clapton and Lightnin’ Hopkins inspired techniques including licks, shuffles and turnarounds. Because the main focus of these lessons is to develop our sense of rhythm and timing, I’ll be introducing you to the Tempi, which is one of Amazon’s top rated mechanical metronomes. To Buy the Tempi Metronome with the exclusive Swiftlessons discount, visit: Let’s get started!


Prince “Purple Rain” Guitar Lesson and Chord Sheet – Easy Guitar Songs, Beginner Friendly!

Click here to download your free chord sheet
Hello friends,
This Monday I departed from my usual schedule to pay respects to Prince, who passed away suddenly on April 21st. The loss of this great artist is a huge blow to the music community, especially to the international guitar community. Prince’s contribution to the instrument is astronomical, and so I’d like to take time this week to celebrate his music by playing his songs and studying his techniques.

In this lesson, I’ll break down how to play “Purple Rain” on guitar. I’ll take you through the chord progressions for the verse and chorus, and teach you a strumming pattern that will work throughout. I hope that you all will enjoy playing this song, and do so in celebration of a great artist life. Let’s get started!

Guitar Maintenance Lessons – Changing Strings, and Cleaning Acoustic and Electric Guitars

As a professional guitar instructor in Philadelphia, I’ve come to know that many beginners feel very nervous about doing basic maintenance on their guitars. I’m here to tell you that common task like changing your strings and cleaning your guitar is actually quite easy! In video #1, I’ll take you through the process of removing your old strings, cleaning, and restringing an acoustic guitar. In video #2, I’ll break down the same process on a Gibson Les Paul style electric guitar. Let’s get started!

Recommended tools:

GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit & String Organizer – $28.95 “The tools to keep their instrument running”

This super-handy guitar tool kit will provide you with almost everything you need to maintain your instrument, saving you plenty of time and money in the long-run!




Ubertuner by Kliq – $21.97  “My tuner of choice, perfect for musicians of all calibers”

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 9.40.07 AMThis clip on tuner by Kliq has become widely popular for players who want to quick tune their guitar during practice, or make room on their pedal boards for convenient tuning while on stage. The Ubertuner by Kliq is my tuner of choice, perfect for musicians of all calibers!


Ernie Ball Electric Guitar Strings  “My Electric Guitar String of Choice”

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 9.49.30 AMThese Ernie Ball Electric Guitar Strings are the industry standard. Not only do they sound great, but they are also durable, relatively long lasting and affordable.




Earthwood Acoustic Guitar (3) Pack  “My Acoustic Guitar String of Choice”

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 9.52.22 AMThese Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings (by Ernie Ball) sound and feel fantastic. For someone who doesn’t want to break the bank on guitar strings, these strings are your best option.




How to Change Strings on an Acoustic Guitar

How to Change Strings on an Electric Guitar

Harry Nilsson “Everybody’s Talkin” Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson

Hello friends

Since moving to my new digs in Northwest Philadelphia, I’ve been able to stay on track with my filming schedule. Now that I have more time and a dedicated space to film these guitar lessons, I’ve decided to devote my Tuesdays to shooting tutorials on songs requested by my viewers. In my latest addition to this “By Request” series, I break down an original interpretation of Harry Nilsson‘s 1968 classic “Everybody’s Talkin.” We will begin this fingerstyle acoustic guitar lesson by learning the chords, before tackling a very melodic finger picking technique. Click Here if you would like to request a YouTube guitar lesson of your own. Now, let’s get started!

Tabs available at:

How to Play Ray Charles “What’d I Say” on Guitar – Video Lesson and Chord Sheet

Hey friends,

This week I’m very happy to bring you a new lesson on Ray Charles‘ 1959 classic “What’d I Say.” This tune follows a common 1.4.5 blues formula (Click Here if that made no sense), and when converted from keys to the guitar, introduces many valuable techniques.

This lesson is the second installment of my “By Request” video series. Each Tuesday I’ll be dropping a new tutorial on a song requested by members of my audience.

I’ll begin this blues guitar lesson by taking you through Ray’s intro riffs, a fender roads inspired strumming pattern, and some bluesy licks and turnarounds to get you performance ready. Let’s get started!

Ray Charles – What’d I Say – Chord Sheet

a full tab covering the riffs and licks is also available at