Articles

What is the difference between a scale and a mode?

Guitar scales vs modes: Which should you use and when? In my earlier stages of learning the guitar I used to think that modes were scales for experienced players, and hence harder to learn and master. While it is true that advanced guitar players tend to use modes more often than beginners, the difference between …

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guitar amplifier

Is it better to practice the electric guitar with or without an amp?

If you’re learning the electric guitar, you’ve probably noticed that unless you plug it into an amplifier or use an alternative, such as a computer, the notes are audible but very faint. And if you like music with distortion or other effects, playing unplugged not only sounds lower in volume but also very different. Should …

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easy guitar scales

5 Easy Guitar Scales (with lick examples)

In this lesson I explain what guitar scales are and why you benefit from learning them. In today’s lesson I’ll give you 5 easy guitar scales you can learn and start using right now. Each scale will also come with a short guitar lick based on its notes.  Keep in mind that, while learning scales on guitar has many benefits such as improving finger independence and dexterity, the ultimate purpose of scales is to …

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music theory tips

7 Music Theory Tips For Guitar Players

I began studying music theory alongside the guitar because it seemed like the right thing to do. That if you want to become a musician, you should also learn the theory behind it. I’m glad I studied music theory, but as you’ll see in the music theory tips for guitar players below, I didn’t learn it in the most efficient way possible. The following music theory tips are aimed at correcting misconceptions I had, and ineffective methods I used when I started playing 28 years ago, as well as those I frequently notice in new students.  Music theory is not reading standard music notation. “Why should I learn to read notes when I can use guitar tabs?” I’m sometimes asked when introducing music theory to guitar students. …

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guitar scales for blues

7 Scales for Blues Guitar Players (with example guitar licks)

The minor pentatonic blues scale is commonly referred to as “the blues scale” because it is a very popular scale for blues guitar players and contains all of the blue notes, as explained below. However, this is not the only scale used by blues guitarists. Blues guitarists use a variety of scales, including combinations of …

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