How to Read Guitar Tablature

Guitar tablature is a graphic representation of where to play musical notes on the neck of the guitar. It is a popular format for guitar music among lead style guitar players. Though it is somewhat easy to read, it is limited in the information it gives compared to other methods for writing guitar music. Lines […]

Mary Had a Little Lamb

In the early 1800s, a little girl named Mary Sawyer was followed to school by her pet lamb. A young man named John Roulstone witnessed the incident an wrote a poem about it, which was published in 1830 by Sara Josepha Hale. It has become one of the world’s most loved nursery rhymes and an […]

Standard Notation, Fake Sheets and Tablature for Guitar

Guitar music is typically written in one of three formats: standard notation, fake sheets (also called chord sheets) or tablature. Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages. Standard notation: the most information, the hardest to read. Standard notation gives the most detailed musical information of the three formats, utilizing the five-line staff, key signatures, […]

Happy Birthday

Wikipedia.org quotes the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records as identifying “Happy Birthday” as “the most recognized song in the English language”. It is probably the most well-known song in three-four time. A simple three-chord song using I, IV and V, “Happy Birthday” is an easy learn that can be pulled out over and over […]

How to Read & Write Strum Notation

Playing rhythm guitar means playing a pattern of strokes known as a strum pattern. This pattern repeats itself throughout the song and often remains unchanged. However, it is not uncommon for different sections of a song to have different strum patterns. Rhythm guitarist can determine the strum pattern of a song through a series of […]

Tips for Using a Capo

You want to use a capo to change keys, play familiar chord shapes or find cool voicings. There are a few things you need to know to make the capo work its best for you. Choose the right capo. All capos apply pressure to the strings in order to clamp them down. However, they use […]

What is a Capo and How Do I Use It?

The capo is one of the guitar player’s favorite accessories. It is a clamp that holds all or some of the strings of the guitar down across a fret. Some capos are spring-loaded, others apply pressure by using a lever or strap. The capo can be placed across any fret of the guitar. Why would […]

How to Close the Gap – Part 2

In “How to Close the Gap – Part 1”, I gave you four tips for getting from chord to chord without stopping. These are things that every guitarist should do when closing the gap. Let’s review: 1. Memorize your chord shapes. 2. Memorize the chord progression. 3. Slow down. 4. Practice ‘til your fingers bleed. […]

How to Close the Gap – Part 1

You’ve learned a few chords in first position… and your fingers didn’t fall off! Congratulations! Now you’re facing the same major obstacle that every newbie guitarist fears – the dreaded gap. Have you experienced the pause that happens when you’re changing your hand from one chord to the next? That, my friend, is the gap. […]

How to Choose a Strum Pattern

Rhythm can be a tricky thing for beginner guitar students. Some people have a natural internal sense of rhythm; others struggle to stay on beat. For those who are naturals at rhythm, determining strum patterns can be a simple task. However, those who fight with the down beat can also learn how to pair a […]