A full breakdown on three beautiful country licks over a basic 1.4 progression in Emaj. Playing country or pedal steel style licks requires strong pitch, as you bend strings to match open strings, harmonies or reach chord tones within the tunes progression. Here are a few tips that may help you to develop a better sense of pitch, and a lot of finger strength in the process:
1) First get your bends down, practice lining up your fingers so that you can lift the string with ease, a little opposing pressure provided by the thumb atop the neck goes a long way.
2) Practice half-step bends and then full-step bends. Picking the open E string, and then bending the 4th fret B string up a half-step should result in an exact match, but it will take pr
actice. Make sure the E string is still sounding as you attempt to match the two pitches.
3) Use a clip on or pedal tuner to gauge your accuracy. Play any note on the fretboard and work to successfully bend the string up to an exact whole step or half step tone. Over time you will absolutely develop not just a good ear, but also the muscle memory that tells your hand “this is what a half step (or fullstep) bend FEELS like.
I wish you all great progress today! Be on the look out for some more valuable lessons within the week. Best. -Rob
Okay people, let’s kick this Monday into high gear with the ultimate party song! In this free guitar lesson I break down “Twist and Shout” as done by The Beatles! This tune is an excellent example of how far just three chords will get you; a simple 1.4.5 progression in the key of Dmaj. Chords, tabs and lyrics for The Beatles Twist and Shout are included in this HD instructional lesson, let’s get started!
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One of the defining characteristics of reggae guitar is the emphasis of the 2nd and 4th beats. In this lesson we will look at a solo-acoustic rhythm that drops bassnotes, and percussive raking on beats 1&3, and short-staccato strums accenting beats 2&4. Strip it down for a full band arrangement, or go all in for a solo-performance. Lets get started!
What makes a perfect track? Its not how many chords you use, or how difficult the techniques are…all it take is an infectious melody, a rhythm you can move to, and a universal message. Van Morrison’s“Brown Eyed Girl” has all these elements, and is truly a perfect track from a legendary composer! This HD instructional lesson breaks down the iconic intro, and the simple yet unmistakable chord progressions, complete with lyrics, chord diagrams and tablatures. Lets get started!
A free video lesson for the lead guitar enthusiast out there;
Many players view the blues & pentatonic scale as a safe zone, with upper and lower extensions. Seeing how those extensions connect with the same blues scales, but played in different positions is a great way to expand ones knowledge of the fretboard! In this video, we’ll learn the blues scale rooted off the D-string, which for most players will complete their very limited “pentatonic-extension”. From there, we’ll pick up a hot lick that utilizes this new and very useful position; a descending minor run that will add a progressive edge to your blues/rock guitar playing. Lets get started!
Lets learn a modern classic of the blues variety! In this new guitar instructional video, I break down the Stevie Ray Vaughan classic “Life by the Drop”. The composition of this song is unique among many other blues songs, as it features a 1,5,6,4 progression, rather than the typical 1,4,5. Still, “Life by the Drop” features many common blues techniques including shuffling, and pentatonic riffing. Chord diagrams, tabs, and lyrics are included throughout this HD instructional lesson from Philadelphia guitar instructor, Rob Swift. Lets get started!
Pick up some of the late Merle Watson’s brilliant guitar licks in my newest guitar tutorial. In this lesson I break down the intro guitar solo to Doc Watson’s version of “Summertime” by George Gershwin. These licks are drawn from the blues scale in the key of Em, specifically in the A rooted position. Each phrase is very smooth, simple and loaded with rest. The moody vibrato and relaxed approach leaves the listener captivated, yet anxious for speed, which Merle delivers in the form of snappy, yet tasteful chromatic lines. Lets get started!
For guitar lessons in Philadelphia PA. Visit http://swiftlessons.com
Learning the guitar is not an easy task… As many of you have already learned, this instrument will test your patience time and time again! I’ve received several messages this week from beginners who are deeply discouraged and feel unable to overcome the initial challenges. Here is my most recent response to a young lady who is seeking advice on how to overcome the learning curve and find a suitable guitar instructor:
Hello and congrats on picking up a new and rewarding hobby! Make sure your teacher is dedicated and passionate about teaching, not just another player teaching to make ends meet, going through the motions. A dedicated instructor knows that your real progress happens during the week, and has unique resources available to help you through your day to day practice routine.
On your end, remember that those who have found success on the guitar did so not because they are talented or lucky, but because they were able to develop PATIENCE.
If you can fall in love with the gradual process of learning a technique with a thoughtful, meticulous approach, you will be successful! I wish you all the best in your new journey, I hope it fills your life with the same positivity that I enjoy day in and day out. -Rob
Let’s add a new tune to your repertoire this morning! A long time staple in my beginner guitar curriculum, “Let it Be” by the Beatles is a great example of what musicians refer to as a “126.96.36.199″ progression; a pop hit formula used in thousands of well known songs including “No Woman, No Cry”, “Someone Like You”, “I’m Yours” and countless others! These numbers, like all things in music, refer to the major scale, specifically where the root notes of each chord: G, D, Em, C are positioned in the G major scale. In this video lesson I break down the theory behind this concept, the basic chord progressions, strumming pattern, lyrics and chord transitions for The Beatles classic “Let it Be”. Guitar tabs, lyrics and chord diagram’s for “Let it Be” are included throughout the video. Lets get started!