This article was co-authored by Ron Bautista. Ronald Bautista is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher at More Music & Los Gatos School of Music in California. He has over 30 years of playing experience and over 15 years of teaching experience. He performs mainly as a jazz musician, but also teaches Jazz, Rock, Fusion, Blues, Fingerpicking, and Bluegrass. As an instructor, he focuses on understanding the fretboard and applying music theory to any genre of music.
The simplest answer and the one that no student that ever wants to hear is practice. Changing chords is the process where many beginners fail, and quit. But after that, the rewards will be simply impressive. There are a few tricks to get a chord transition to happen faster. Use a metronome: Set it on four beats and set it as fast or as slow as you want. Then get a chord in your mind, say D. When the metronome reaches its last beat, press down the strings. When it happens again, strum it and let it free. Then again. Do this 10 to 20 minutes a day and in less than a week, the chord progression will begin to sound much better.
Am Strut Solo 1 is a free guitar lesson that will teach you how to play a blues solo over our original Am Strut jam track. Peter Vogl will show you how to use the Am pentatonic scale in the open position, the A natural minor scale, and some outside notes to create a solo. We’ll use hammer-ons, slides, and our right hand to create a more expressive solo. Specifically, we’ll use the thumb instead of a pick to play the strings and add a plucky and funky vibe. Peter will start by walking you through the theory choices and how to play the solo in detail. Next, we’ll practice the whole solo at a reduced speed with a metronome before advancing to playing along with the track. Sign up for a free 7 day trial and access a PDF of the tabs, a downloadable mp3 jam track, and three more solos over this progression.
Try out different strumming patterns and rhythms. Once you're able to produce a good sounding chord, try strumming it at different tempos and rhythms. Rhythm is based on your strumming pattern, and how long you're holding your notes. Try a basic 1-2-3-4 beat, otherwise known as a 4/4. The number on the top represents how many beats there are in the measure. Try strumming up and down in different progressions to create a different sound for your rhythm. Once you get a basic rhythm down, you can start to incorporate quicker or slower strumming.
Now I know you might be confused by this diagram, so let's take a moment to explain it. First off, the top of the diagram corresponds to the nut on your guitar, that's the part where the strings end, farthest from your body. Left to right, the strings are 6,5,4,3,2,1. So as you look at the diagram, the string on the left is actually the 6th string on your guitar, the low E string.
Strum your guitar with a pick or your fingers. Hold down the strings with your fingers in the appropriate shape and try to strum with your other hand. Acoustic guitar strings often have higher actions than electric guitars, so you may have to press down very hard to get a good sound. If the chord comes out muted, try holding down the strings with more force. If your string is buzzing, move your finger further away from the metal fret on your neck.
I use a completely new age form of teaching that really clicks with all my current students. It is a mixture of traditional teach and a computer program I use for teaching. Kids seem to pay attention more when I have the music on a screen rather than paper. The main goal I have with every student is not teaching them how to play everyone else's songs but how to utilize these techniques and shapes to create their own music. I'm in 3 bands A Tragedy At Hand, Behold my Majesty, and Take the Reigns all are on Facebook. I have shared the stage with bands such as Slipknot, Judas Preist, Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris, Arch Enemy and so many more.&nbs ... View Profile
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Learning to play the guitar is a life-long process; it will not happen overnight despite what many of the hucksters on the internet may tell you. As such, you are best to develop some reasonable expectations of how quickly you will progress. There will be challenges along the way (yes, your fingers will hurt!) and too many budding guitarists have given up prematurely, slid their brand new guitars under their bed, and walked away in disappointment… not realizing that they were oh-so-close to a breakthrough that would have taken them on to the next level. Having a mindset that allows for setbacks here and there will really help you in the long run, because you will find that through every challenge you come out a stronger player on the other side.
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