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Lesson 6 – How to subdivide the beat

Lesson 6 – How to subdivide the beat

This is the video transcript of lesson number 6 of the Beginners Guitar Course: How to subdivide a beat.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson one, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson two, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson three, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson four, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson five, here.

What are you going to learn?

  1. To identify the beat of a song, the bar and how to subdivide the beat, to create more intensity.
  2. A new song with the Dm and F chords.  

What will you do differently after completing the assignments for this lesson?

  1. You will have proved to yourself that you are capable of learning on your own a song, by listening and understanding what you hear.
  2. You will be able to listen to music, feel the beat and hear what you need to play, to create the rhythm. 
  3. You will further consolidate your learning, to help you progress quickly towards the song learning goal.

The Beat

What is the beat ? 

The beat of this song is the pulse that all members of the band sync to, to play the melody and accompaniment. You identify the beat by simply tapping your foot to the music.

DO IT WITH ME!

Tap your feet to this song and when you are ready say one! Fill in the gaps between the ones! 

The beats are grouped in units of generally two, three or four beats. We name the unit a bar. 

Have fun with the beat  

You will now learn to talk musically about the beat and start having fun with it. When we play rhythm, we define the beat and we talk about the beat with its subdivision.

Subdivision of the beat

Play with muted strings the following routine to learn to how to subdivide the beat. Read once, then play twice, non stop:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 &3&4 
  • 1 potato 2 potato 3 potato 4 potato 
  • 1 potato 2 potato 3 potato 4 potato

Play with your hands the following routine learn to ow to subdivide the beat. Read once, then play twice, non stop:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 &3&4 
  • 1 potatoe 2 potato 3 potato 4  potato 
  • 1 potatoe 2 potato 3 potato 4  potato

The beat is constant in this exercise, and when you play more notes per beat, the music feels more intense. When you count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, you divide the beat in two, the potatoes divide the beat in four.

Feel the intensity

How to subdivide the beat: Intensity

Play with me the C and Am chord with these variations, and feel how the intensity changes.  Learn how how to subdivide the beat

Complete the assignments and submit.

Dm and F Chords

The Goal

Listen to the song you will learn.

Learn the song in steps. 

Step one – Chord Learning routine

Learn the Dm and F chords.

Apply the chord learning routine.

When you have practiced sufficiently complete the assignment of step one. 

Have you submitted it, if so, press play and continue.

Step 2 – Join them 

The chords share this common note that I highlight in red. In order to join them, practice the following routine. 

On your own 

Please stop the video and practice the routine on your own.  Apply the check questions for self assessment and complete the assignment of Step 2. 

Step 3- Play the chords 

The Goal

Your goal in step 3 is to play the chords with potato subdivision, and accents on beat 1 from start to finish. 

How to subdivide the beat: write it

Learn how to do it ?

First of all you need to count how many beats each chord lasts, and then how many times they are repeated from start to finish.

The first chord is a Dm. How many beats does it last?

The second chord is an F. How many beats does it last?

How many times are they repeated?

Download the audio file dmfchordsstep3 and apply the L.I.S.P routine to answer the previous questions and to learn to How to subdivide the beat Practice the chords with the audio file until you are fluent with the accents and structure.

Complete the assignment and send it.

Press play and continue.

Step 4 –  L.I.S.P Melody 1

Download the audio file dmfmelody1. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 5 – L.I.S.P Melody 2

Download the audio file dmfmelody2. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 6 – L.I.S.P Melody 3

Download the audiofile dmfmelody3. Complete the assignment and send it.

Step 7- Play the full song

Play along with me the full song. On the screen you will be able to see the choices you have to play.

Chord + melody 1

Play the chords and then melody number 1.

Chord + melody 2

Play the chords and then melody number 2.

Chord + melody 3

Play the chords and then melody number 3.

Assignments 

The Beat Assignment 1 

  • Listen to the songs I have shared with you, clap your hands on one, fill in the rest of the beats and write the answer to the question, how many beats in a bar in each song?, and submit to the forum.
  • Listen to the songs I have shared with you, clap your hands on one, fill in the rest of the beats and sing the most comfortable subdivision the song uses. Write down your replies to what is the subdivision of each song and submit to the forum.
  • Record yourself playing your three combinations of 4 bars of muted rhythms. 

For example: 1st bar one note per beat, next bar 4 notes per beat, next bar two notes per beat, next bar 4 notes per beat.

Before you play your combinations, count in sync with a metronome:

  • 1 2 3 4  
  • 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 
  • 1 potato 2  potato 3 potato 4 potato 
  • 1 potato 2  potato 3 potato 4 potato

Then play your 4 combinations. 

Please choose the slowest tempo you are comfortable with, and apply the corresponding check questions for your own self assessment. Once you are satisfied with your results, please submit your recording to the teacher. Practice your combinations until they sound correct, then record, so you can assess how well you are progressing.

Dm and F Chord 

  • Step one – Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing the Dm and F chord learning routine. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome?
  • Did you tap your feet while recording?
  • Are you in sync with the beat?
  • Did you count it in?
  • Did you sing what you were doing?
  • Did you play the chord for 4 bars non stop ?
  • Step 2 – Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing the routine of Step 2. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ?
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Are you in sync with the beat?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you say when you are changing fingers and have you moved them exactly as you count them ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing?
  • Can you hear every single note with clarity?
  • Step 3 – Record yourself 

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dm f chords step 3.If you are able to do so then you have successfully learnt the chords.Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 4

  • Step 4 – L.I.S.P melody 1

Write the replies to: 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track dmfmelody1.

Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 5

  • Step 5 – L.I.S.P melody 2

Write the replies to: 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you have L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dmmelody2. If you are able to do so then you have successfully learnt Melody 2. Please proceed to Step 6

  • Step 6 – L.I.S.P melody 3

Write the replies to: 

How many bars before the melody starts?

Then 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Practice the melody with the track you have L.I.S.P to. When you are comfortable that you have learnt it, record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along to the backing track called dmmelody3. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher. Please proceed to Step 7.

Music Production and Songwriting

Music is fun and the most enjoyable experience is to write your own music. Read some of my articles on how to write a song, record and produce it to your utmost satisfaction .

Lesson 5 How to memorise a melody

Lesson 5: How to memorise a melody

This is the video transcript of lesson number 5 of the Beginners Guitar Course: How to play a melody.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson one, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson two, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson three, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson four, here.

Consolidation exercises 

As mentioned, every week I add one more exercise to your daily 20 minute practice session. The new exercise builds on the previous. Do not practice only the new exercise because you will not learn, and you will feel very frustrated and give up.

You must consolidate all the previous musical examples on a daily basis. The better you know them, the easier it will be to learn new musical material. It will take you10 weeks to consolidate all

I have designed every exercise to help you improve your aural rhythmic and performance skills gradually. You need to work and build on these three skills on a daily basis.  Please practice the program in order, so as you may achieve the learning goals that I established.

Do not concentrate your practice on what you do not know, practice and have fun with what you know and then add new music new every week.  You must practice every exercise exactly the way your learnt it. If you cannot do such please go back to the video to refresh.

How to hear music

L.I.S.P Melody number 3

  • Listen
  • Imagine 
  • Sing 
  • Play – Comprehend 

Before you play, comprehend what happens on each beat of the melody, in order, so as to help you in the how to memorise a melody. Ask your self the following questions, sing and point to your fingers:

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Beat one 

How many notes are there? One ,it is a C.

Beat two

How many notes are there? It is the same note that starts on beat one as is maintained. 

Beat three

How many notes are there? It is the same note that starts on beat one.  

Beat four 

How many notes are there? One. 

Where does it start ? on 4 &.

Same, up or down? It is the same.  

On your own

The following three bars follow the same pattern as the first.  Stop the video and figure them out  using the same process. Do not worry if you do not get them perfectly right.

Play along with me 

  • Play along with me at half of the original tempo.
  • Play along with me a the original tempo original.
  • Rewind and Repeat full L.I.S.P of Melody 3
How to memorise a melody?

L.I.S.P Melody number 4

  • Listen
  • Imagine 
  • Sing 
  • Play – Comprehend 

Before you play, comprehend what happens on each beat of the melody, in order, so as to help you in the how to memorise a melody. Ask your self the following questions, sing and point to your fingers:

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Bar 1

Beat one  

How many notes are there? Two.

Are they both the same? Yes they are two Gs.

Beat 2, 3 and 4 

How many notes are there? Two per beat.  

Are they all  the same? Yes they are repeating G notes.  

Bar 2

Beat one  

How many notes are there? Two

Same, up or down? Same, again they are repeating G notes.

Beat two 

How many notes are there? Two.

Are they both the same? No.

  • 1st note, is it same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It is the same note. 
  • 2nd note, is it same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It goes up.

Beat three 

How many notes are there? One. 

Same, up, or down?It goes down.

Beat four

How many notes are there? One.

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It goes down. 

On your own 

Apply the routine to bars 3,4,5,6,7 and 8  

Ask yourself: 

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Sing and point to your fingers to help you understand. 

Play along with me 

  • Play along with me at half of the original tempo.
  • Play along with me a the original tempo original.
  • Rewind and Repeat full L.I.S.P of Melody 4

L.I.S.P Melody Number 5

Listen

  • Imagine 
  • Sing 
  • Play – Comprehend 

Before you play, comprehend what happens on each beat of the melody, in order, so as to help you in the how to memorise a melody. Ask your self the following questions, sing and point to your fingers:

  • Per Beat: How many notes?
  • Per Note: Same, up or down?

Play along with me 

  • Play along with me at half of the original tempo.
  • Play along with me a the original tempo original.
  • Rewind and Repeat full L.I.S.P of Melody 5

Play along with me 

Now it’s time for you to start playing the full song. Please follow the instructions and make sure you have the 5 five melodies clearly memorised, and the chords. On the screen you will see me playing the melodies I want you to target.

  • Play melody 1, 2, 3.
  • Play melody 1, 2, 4. 
  • Play melody 1, 2, 5.
  • Play chords – melody 5.

Assignments

Repeat the video as many times as you need to until you have memorised how to play the scale and melody number 1 and 2.

L.I.S.P  Melody 3, 4, 5 

After you have L.I.S.P the melody, write in detail your replies  to:

  • Per beat: How many notes ?
  • Per note: Same up or down ?

Record yourself

Once you have memorised the melody (pitch and rhythm).  Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along the corresponding melody track. 

Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ? 
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing? 

You have access to tabs of all melodies in your drop box folder.

Music Production and Songwriting

Are you interested in the final goal of your learning which should also include the experience of how to write a song, record and produce it to your utmost satisfaction .Read more about how to write a song.

Lesson 4 – How to play a melody

This is the video transcript of lesson number 4 of the Beginners Guitar Course: How to play a melody.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson one, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson two, here.

You may read the transcript of the Beginners Guitar Course lesson three, here.

Consolidation exercises 

As mentioned, every week I add one more exercise to your daily 20 minute guitar practice session.

The new guitar exercise builds on the previous. Do not practice only the new exercise because you will not learn and you will feel very frustrated and give up.

You must consolidate all the previous musical examples on a daily basis. The better you know them the easier it will be to learn new musical material. It will take you 10 weeks to consolidate all.

I have designed every exercise to help you improve your aural rhythmic and performance skills gradually. You need to work and build on these three skills on a daily basis.  Please practice the program in order so as you may achieve the learning goals that I established.

Do not concentrate your practice on what you do not know, practice and have fun with what you know and then add new music new every week. 

You must practice every exercise exactly the way your learnt it. If you cannot do such please go back to the video to refresh.

The song

This is the new song you will learn, where I combine the C, Am, Em, and G chords. It also has four  eight bar melodies, that I created with the C scale.

What new vocabulary do you need to learn to master, play this song and learn how to play a melody:

  • The C scale with open strings 
  • 4 melodies of 8 bars duration 

How are you going to learn ?

(Step by step + LISP routine + aural comprehension + repetition ) x 4 = Happiness

Step by step, applying the LISP routine with a lot of aural comprehension, then you add quite a few repetitions and you will end playing fluently the song .  

Step one 

In Step one you will learn the C scale, with open strings, the alphabet, with which all these melodies are constructed. In other words, you will practice the pathway, where to find all the melodies. This the first step for how to play a melody.  

Step two

In Step two you will learn to play slowly each of the individual 4 melodies using the L.I.S.P routine.

Step three

In Step 3 you will consolidate with: On your own routine.

Step four

In Step four you will combine all the 8 melodies.

Step 1 – The C scale

I will start on the 6th string and play it from E. Play along with me and sing the sound.  I will now play it descending from the G note. 

C scale first position How to play a melody

Let’s play now two notes per beat.  How do you count two notes per beat ? You add the word and, in between.  In order to play each note two times per beat you will need to alternate your index and middle fingers as in the video.

Play along with me. 

Play along with me descending from G.

Rewind and repeat.

Step 2 – L.I.S.P Melody 1

  • Listen
  • Imagine 
  • Sing 
  • Play Comprehend 

Before you play, comprehend what happens on each beat of the melody, in order. Ask your self the following questions, sing and point to your fingers. This will help learn how to play a melody.

How to play a melody on the guitar?

Per Beat

How many notes?

Per Note: 

Same, up or down?

Beat one  

How many notes are there? None.

Beat two

How many notes are there? Two. 

Are they both the same? Yes. 

Beat three  

How many notes are there? Two.

Are they both the same? Yes. 

Beat four 

How many notes are there? Two.

Are they both the same? No.

1st note, same, up or down?It goes up. 

2nd note, same, up, or down? It goes up. 

Next bar 

Beat one

How many notes are there? One. 

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? Same.

Beat two

How many notes are there? One.

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It goes down. 

Beat three

How many notes are there? One. 

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? Same.

Beat four 

How many notes are there? One. 

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? Down.

Note: These two bars are repeated twice.

On your own 

Stop the video and play the two bars on your own. Consolidate your how to play a melody.

Play along with me 

Play along with me at half the tempo.   

Play along with me at the original tempo 

Rewind and Repeat full L.I.S.P of Melody 1

L.I.S.P. Melody Number 2

  • Listen
  • Imagine 
  • Sing 
  • Play Comprehend 

Before you play, comprehend what happens on each beat of the melody, in order. Ask your self the following questions, sing and point to your fingers. This will help you learn to play a melody.

Per Beat: How many notes?

Per Note: Same, up or down?

Beat one 

How many notes are there? One, it is a D. 

Beat two

How many notes are there? One.

Where does the note start? On beat 2 and. 

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It goes up.

Beat three and four 

Same as one and two.

Next Bar 

Beat one and two  

Same as previous  beats one, two, three and four.

Beat three

How many notes are there? Two.

Are they both the same?No

1st note, same, up or down?It goes down. 

2nd note, same, up, or down? It goes down

Beat four

How many notes are there? One.

Same as the previous, does it go up, or down? It goes down.

On your own 

Stop the video and play the two bars on your own. 

Play along with me 

Play along with me at half the tempo.   

Play along with me at the original tempo. 

Rewind and Repeat full L.I.S.P of Melody 2

Practice the song 

  • Play along with me Melody one and two 4 times. 
  • Play along with me the chords of Melody one, 4 times. They are the same as you have played in Song number one and two. 

Assignments

Repeat the video as many times as you need to until you have memorised how to play the scale and melody number 1 and 2.

L.I.S.P  Melody 1, 2 

After you have L.I.S.P the melody , write in detail your replies  to:

  • Per beat: How many notes ?
  • Per note: Same up or down ?

Record yourself

Once you have memorised the melody (pitch and rhythm).  Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing along the corresponding melody trac.k

Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ? 
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing? 

You have access to tabs of all melodies in your drop box folder.

Music Production and Songwriting

A thorough understanding of how to hear and play a melody will help you write your songs matching closely your emotions and words to the appropriate chord and melody. Read more about how to write a song.

How to play The Em and G chord, Beginners Guitar

Lesson 3 – How to play the Em and G chord.

This is the transcript of lesson 3 of the Beginners course

Click on the link for the transcript of lesson 1 of the Beginners course: How to find notes on the guitar fretboard

Click on the link for the transcript of lesson 1 of the Beginners course. How to play the C and Am chord

1 Introduction 

 1. 1 What will you learn 

In this lesson, you will learn to play a new section of our final song, and how to play the Em and G chord. 

Once you master this new section you will have further musical vocabulary,  better right and left hand coordination and improved finger picking technique.

You will also build on the song from lesson 2, and start exploring different styles of guitar playing

1. 2 What will happen after this lesson 

You will feel positive that you can learn to play the guitar with fun, as you will have understood that you are able to target all goals, by dividing the learning process into manageable, satisfying  steps.

2 Warm up 

Warm up with the following phrase:

Learn it slowly.

Count it in. 

  • Listen
  • Imagine  what I have  just done. 
  • Sing  what I have  just done.
  • Play with me. 

Play the notes on the 6th string with your thumb. Play the notes on the 4th string alternating  between the index, and middle finger. I will play the phrase 4 times. Notice that I play louder the ands

Play it with me a bit faster.

Now play it with the recording.

3 The Song

Learn this song with the Em and G chords. Learn how to play the Em and G chord

3.1   The Goal

In order to  learn how to play the Em and G chord and play this song you will need to practice:

1 Each chord on its own

2 How to join them and create the groove 

3 The melody

4 The song from start to finish.

Note:

This practice routine breaks up your learning of   how to play the Em and G chord, into manageable steps. If you jump any step , for example practice directly step 4,  you most probably will end up playing the song very poorly, and feeling very frustrated. So, practice the full routine in order.

3.2 Step one Practice each chord on its own 

3.2.1 Chord Learning Routine on Em

Apply the chord learning routine to the Em Chord.

  • Place your fingers in order
  • Name the bass   
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check. Adjust your hands
  • Repeat and Play one string at a time from the bass 

3.2.2 Chord Learning Routine on G

Apply the chord learning routine to the G Chord.

  • Place your fingers in order
  • Name the bass   
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check. Adjust your hands
  • Repeat and Play one string at a time from the bass  

3.3 Step two- Join them 

4/4  |Em | G  | Em | G| 

This is a visual representation of what you have to do. Each chord, between the brackets, lasts  a specific number of beats, or taps with your foot.

The symbol 4/4, indicates four taps of your foot between brackets, hence, each chord has a duration of 4 counts. Join them and learn   how to play the Em and G chord.

3.3.1 The goal

Your goal will be to play: 

 4/4  |Em | G  | Em | G|

likes this:

Get ready

  • Place your fingers in order
  • Name the bass
  • Play the bass

3.3.2 Slow it down 

In order to learn how to play the Em and G chord fluently, you first need to practice it slowly. I suggest you first play it numerous times without tempo striving for clarity of sound as follows.

Get ready

Play along with me.

  • Place your fingers in order
  • Name the bass
  • Play the bass

and 

1 and 2 and 3 and strum 23, make sure you place your fingers down exactly when you say 23,  

now check for clarity and reposition your hand, 

and 1 and 2 and 3 and strum, move, make sure you lift your fingers 2 and 3 when you say move, 

and , place your first finger down, make sure you place it exactly  when you say one, 

now check for clarity and reposition your hand,

and 1 and  2 and 3 and strum 23, 1 and 2 and  3 and strum.

Rewind and repeat this routine 10 times.

3.3.4 Play the goal 

Now you should be ready to play it in tempo non stop. Play along with me. 

3.5.5 On your own 

Stop the video and do it on your own. After each repetition ask yourself the following:

Check questions

  • Did you turn on your metronome?
  • Did you tap always your foot while playing?
  • Did you count it in?
  • Did you sing or say what you where doing?
  • Did you play non stop?

Repeat 

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, until you can answer with a yes all the check  questions.

Still not able to jump between chords ? 

It would be quite normal,  at this stage, if your are still not fluent in the chord change. If so, rewind and repeat step two a few times, and you will soon notice improvement. 

4 Step Three – The Melody

The Goal

Your goal is to play this melody.

4.1 Apply the LISP routine

Learn the melody slowly and effectively, by applying the LISP routine: Listen, imagine, sing, play.

How to hear music

Get ready

Get the Em chord in place.

  • Place your fingers in order
  • Name the bass
  • Play the bass
  • Listen to what you have to do. 
  • Imagine what you have to do. 
  • Sing what you have to do.
  • Play what you have to do.

Notice that I play the lalalala with the index and annular fingers alternating between them on each note . Also to play the lalalala on the G chord, I lift the 3rd finger up and place it on the D note.

4.2 On your own

Now Stop the video and do it on your own. After each repetition ask yourself the following:

Check questions

  • Did you turn on your metronome ?
  • Did you tap always your foot while playing ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing or say what you where doing ?
  • Did you play it non stop ?

If your answer is no to any of the questions, Repeat the full LISP routine 

5 Step Four – Play the song 

Play the full song with me.

Get your Em chord in place

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Clarity check 
  • and play along with me. 

Repeat this step a few times before moving on.

5.1 On your own

Now Stop the video and play the song on your own. After each repetition ask yourself the following:

Check questions

  • Did you turn on your metronome ?
  • Did you tap always your foot while playing ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing or say what you where doing ?
  • Did you play it non stop ?

If your answer is no to any of the questions, repeat this whole video from the beginning. Have fun. 

6 Consolidation exercises

As mentioned,  in each lesson you will learn a new section of the full final song of this course. This final song, brings to life all the musical objectives of this course. If you can play it and have fun at the same time, will mean that you have learnt effectively. 

Therefore, I will ask you in every new lesson, to consolidate all you have previously learnt, but,

Please make sure you have completed all previous assignments, in a satisfactory manner, as they are designed to break up the learning process into fun, and comfortable steps.

Play along with me song number one but at a quicker tempo. 

6.1 On your own

Stop the video, and play the song on your own, at your comfortable tempo, which is the slowest tempo you can do it at.  After each play ask yourself the following:

Check questions

  • Did you turn on your metronome ?
  • Did you tap always your foot while playing ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing or say what you where doing ?
  • Did you play it non stop ?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, repeat the exercise until you only have yes answers.

If after a few repeats, you still cannot play it right, and start feeling frustrated, stop and repeat lesson 2, to further consolidate this song, by practicing it in more manageable steps.

7 Assignments 

Quiz

What does lisp stand for?

Why learn a melody with the lisp routine? 

How many bars does 2, (warm up), have?

How many bars does the Song 3 have ? The new song of this lesson

On what bar of the Song 3 does the melody section start?

Extra

Draw on the fretboard the C scale, then draw 6 shapes of the C, Am Em and G chords.

7.1 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing 2. ( the Warm Up.) Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ? 
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing? 
  • Did you play it non stop ?

7.2 Record yourself

Record the song in video, with your phone, playing 6 ( The song for the first lesson at a quicker speed ). Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ? 
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing? 
  • Did you play it non stop ?

7.3 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing 3 ( The song in this lesson with the Em and G chords). Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording.

Check questions 

  • Did you turn on your metronome ? 
  • Did you tap your feet while recording ?
  • Did you count it in ?
  • Did you sing what you were doing? 
  • Did you play it non stop ?

8 Recommended Listening 

Follow these links to my you tube channel and listen to a selection of guitarists in jazz, blues, rock and flamenco styles. 

Recommended listening Jazz Guitar

Recommended listening Blues and Rock Guitar

Recommended listening Flamenco Guitar

Lesson two: The C and Am chord

   

Chord learning Routines: The C and Am chord  

1 Introduction

 1.1 What are you going to learn?

In this lesson you will learn a C and Am chord, and use them to play this 4 song. 

This transcript is the second lesson of the beginners guitar course. This is the link to beginners guitar lesson one.

You will learn the shapes , how to play the chords with clarity and above all play them in a context that simulates the real thing. This means that you will learn to hear in advance the music you wish to play, so as to prepare and synchronise your left and right hand to play it, to a beat.

You will not be reading what you have to play,  but rather, hearing what you have to play.

This way of learning and playing, will be more rewarding, it will increase your learning speed  and therefore your final satisfaction.

You will also consolidate a routine, for learning other shapes, with a self assessment criteria that will prove to you, that you know it. 

 1.2 How are you going to learn?

Step by step, having fun, and following strictly my guidelines to help you immediately create some beautiful music. 

So rather than simply playing two chords with no logic your will learn how to use them to play a song with feeling.  This end result feels better, it also makes sense and as a consequence you  have more fun and quickly learn.

You will learn the chords and songs in four steps. 

1.2.1 Step one

In Step one you will relate visually the shape of the chord,  to the fretboard, to place your fingers in a specific sequence and arpeggiate the chord to create a 4 beat musical phrase. 

You will identify the foundation of the chord, the note on which it is constructed from. That is our target note,  the note to look for whenever we want to play any chord.

In Step One you will learn how to produce clear chordal sounds with patience and repetition.

1.2.2 Step two 

You will initiate a slow practice routine to memorise and consolidate the shapes of the chords.

You will play the chords in tempo to create rhythm and further consolidate the clarity of the execution.  

1.2.3 Step three 

In Step 3 you will play this song, a simple 8 bar song,  where you play chords for half of the time,  the rhythm of the song , and the other half you will play the melody, which would be the vocal line, what the vocalist of a band would sing. 

1.2.4 Step four 

You will complete assignments to prove that you have learnt the how and what of playing the C and Am chord. 

2 Step 1: How to memorise a shape ( The C and Am chord )

2.1 The Goal

The goal of Step One is to learn to play a chord by applying the following routine.

In this course you will first see the shape of a chord as a diagram, then you will apply this routine

  • Place your fingers in order 
  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted,place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Let’s learn this routine.

2.2 How to understand a diagram

In the following diagrams you will see chord shapes with numbers.

These numbers correspond to the following fingers of the hand, that you will use to apply pressure onto the fretboard. 

Right handed people generally use the left hand to form the shapes. Left handed people generally use their right hand. 

2.3 C Chord

You first objective in this learning will be to relate the chord diagram to the guitar fretboard. 

This is the C chord diagram. In the diagram you have vertical lines and horizontal lines.

The vertical lines represent the frets. The horizontal lines represent the strings in order from 6th to first

2.3.1 Fingers

1st  finger where ? 

Look at the diagram and relate.

Where must I place my first finger to start creating the shape?

On what fret?

My first finger, as shown in the diagram must go in the first fret.

On what string ? 

My first finger, as shown in the diagram, must go on the second string

Place your finger down.

2nd finger where ?

Let’s move on to the second finger. Please leave your first finger down. 

Ask yourself :Where must I place my second finger to continue creating the shape ?

What fret?

My second finger, as shown in the diagram,  must go on the second  fret.

What string ? 

My second finger, as shown in the diagrammust go on the fourth string. 

Place your second finger down 

3rd finger where?

Let’s move on to the third finger. Please leave your first and second fingers down. 

Ask yourself: Where must I place my third finger to continue creating the shape ? 

What fret?

My 3rd finger  as shown in the diagram highlight, must go on the third fret.

What string ? 

My 3rd  finger, as shown in the diagram,  must go on the fifth string

Say three and place your third finger down and strum with your thumb.

2.3.2 Get a good sound 

Are any of the strings buzzing when you strum  

If they are  you need to raise the tips of you finger fingers,  grab a pencil and lift them

also extend your wrist. Look at the angle of the hand in relation to the guitar. Look at how my wrist is straight, correct your position and  play the chord again.

Are you still hearing some buzzing?  Repeat the clarity check. 

Consolidate

I would suggest before you continue to rewind the video from the start and repeat all the instructions.

2.3.3 What is the bass

I hope this question has come to your mind. The bass is the lowest note of the chord on which we build it from, the foundation. The bass is the name of the chord.

So the bass of C is C. Where is the bass. The bass C has to be the lowest note of our chord,  and in this case, we produce the C note as a bass by pressing the 3rd fret on the 5th string.

2.3.4 Play the C chord

You are now ready to apply swiftly the chord learning routine. Play along with me 

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted,place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Rewind and repeat this last section

2.3.5 Tips

Some tips to keep in mind 

Keep your hand relaxed

As a general rule, to avoid unnecessary strain, keep your fingers on the fret board just the necessary time to create the sound you wish and then let go . 

Repetition

I also find it more practical, to help develop long term memory not to repeat each exercise, more than two consecutive times, before taking a break or moving on to a new exercise.

2.4  Am Chord

Let’s take a break from the C chord and learn the Am chord. 

2.4.1 Fingers

Please look at the shape and where each finger is placed.  Play the chord in the following sequence 

Place your fingers in order

and 

say aloud the fingers as you do so.

Say one and place your first finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question: What fret and what string does my first finger go on? In this case Fret 1 string 2.

Let’s do it together.

Say two and place your second finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question, What fret and what string does my second finger go on? In this case Fret 2 string 4.

Let’s do it together.

Note: Please make sure your first finger stays in place.

Say three and place your third finger down. 

To do so you must have answered the question what fret and what string does my third finger go on.

Let’s do it together

Keep your fingers in place .

2.4.2  The bass

Name the bass of the chord

What is the bass of the Am  chord ? A.  The bass  is the name of the chord. On top of which we add more notes to compete the sound. 

Where is the bass of the Am chord?

The bass is in the low register. This is the low part of the guitar. The bass can be an open string or a string I am pressing with my left hand. 

So do I have a low open string that sounds like A?. Yes I do. So, this is the bass and the lowest note of the chord from which we play our chord from.

Play 

2.4.3  One note at a time

Play this chord with me, one note at a time, count it in:  1 2 3 4.

2.4.4 Get a good sound

If any of your notes do not sound clear enough, please use the pencil to correct your finger placement .

Play the chord one note at a time

2.4.5 Play the Am Chord

You are now ready to apply swiftly the Chord Learning Routine. Play along with me

Am chord

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass 
  • Clarity Check: If a string sounds muted,place a pen underneath the tips of your fingers and lift them, this will clean up the sound
  • Play one string at a time from the bass

Rewind and repeat this last section

3.0 Step 2 , Play C and Am chord  in tempo 

To move on to step 2 you must be able to already play with clarity the C and Am chord.

You will now learn to play the C and Am  chord in this manner: 

3.1  The Goal

Listen

3.2 Working towards the goal 

3.2.1 Spot the common notes

In order to jump from the C to Am chord you need to find the similarities between them. Practice with me this combination. Get your fingers ready for the C chord but apply the Chord Learning Routine

  • Play one string at a time from the bass. ( 1 and 2 and 3 and  4 move)

3.2.1 Slowly join the chords

Now lift up your third finger, put in on the third string and play the Am,  and  1 and 2 and 3 and 4. In the diagram in red  you can see the common notes . 

Common Notes between the C and Am chord

3.2.2 Play along with me non stop

Repeat with me, try not to stop and also say what I am saying: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 move. The word move is your cue to move your finger. This time I will play the chords two times.  

 C Chord. 

  • Name the bass 
  • Play the bass 
  • Play one string at a time from the bass :1 and 2 and 3 and  4 move   1 and 2 and 3 and  4 move  

Do not lift your fingers up from the fretboard.

3.2.2 Clarity Check

Please take a moment to correct your position and sound both with the C and Am chord. Strum each chord to check for clarity 

3. 3 Repeat all step 3

4.0 Step 3, Play a song

4.1.  The Song

Listen

4.2 Learn the chords

This song is made up of chords ( show ) and a melody  (show) 

Let’s learn the chords. First get the C shape in place. 

4.2.1 Listen

Listen to what you have to do, tap your feet and move your body to the beat

4.2.2 Imagine

Keep tapping your foot, move to the beat and I magine the sound of what I have just done.

4.2.3 Sing

Sing what I have just done.

4.2.4 Play

Play it with me.

4.2.5 On Your Own

Stop the video and do it on your own. After each repetition ask yourself the following:

Check questions

Did you turn on your metronome ?

Did you tap always your foot while playing ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing or say what you where doing ?

Repeat

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, until you can answer with a yes all the check  questions.

4.3 Learn the melody

Let’s learn the melody.

4.3.1 Listen

Listen to what you have to do and tap your feet to the beat.

4.3.2 Imagine

Keep tapping your foot and move your body to the beat, and Imagine the sound of what I have just done.

4.3.3 Sing

Sing what I have just done.

4.3.4 Play

Play it with me.

4.3.5 On Your Own

 Stop the video and do it on your own.

Check questions

Did you turn on your metronome ?

Did you tap always your foot while playing ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing or say what you where doing ?

Repeat

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, until you can answer with a yes all the check  questions.

Let’s combine the chords together with the melody.

4.4 Play along with me 

4.4.1 Rewind and repeat

5.0 Step 4  Assignments

5.1 Quiz

Please submit your replies to the group forum for peer review. 

  • What is the bass of the Em chord?
  • If the C chord has three notes C E G, draw on the fretboard diagram, two new shapes that have these three notes.
  • If the Am has three notes A C E,  draw on the fretboard diagram ( two new shapes that have these three notes.
  • What is the summary of steps you have to follow to learn a new chord ?

Place your ……

Name …….  Play  the ………

Play one …….Count ……. 

Clarity……….

Play one …….Count …….. 

  • What is the difference between strumming a chord and playing the chord one note at a time ?
  • What is the beat of a song ? 
  • What is the difference between the melody and chords of a song ? 

5.2 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing example 3.2.2. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

5.3 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing example 4.1. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

5.4 Record yourself

Record yourself in video, with your phone, playing  C | Am | C |Am, each chord lasts 4 beats. Strummingwith a pick or thumb. Your recording must answer yes to the following check questions. Once you are satisfied please submit your recording to the teacher.

Check questions 

Did you turn on your metronome ? 

Did you tap your feet while recording ?

Did you count it in ?

Did you sing what you were doing? 

Are you strumming form the bass ? 

Can you hear every single note with clarity?

5.5  Play the Em chord

Write the routine you have to follow to learn the Em chord. Apply the routine and learn it. 

5.6  Play the G chord

Write the routine you have to follow to learn the G chord. Apply the routine and learn it. 

Note

Songwriting and music production, courses, tips, studio recordings how to write a song, can be found through the corresponding links

How to FIND notes on the Guitar Fretboard – Video transcript

This is the transcript of lesson 1 of the Beginners Guitar Course. Please follow this link for next available starting times.

What are you going to learn 

To identify by sound and name the notes of C scale, on all strings and frets on the guitar.

You will also learn a song,  a rhyme that you will sing and play, to teach you how to anticipate aurally and visually, the next note of the scale you wish to play.

You will also learn to think in a musical way so as to emulate what goes through the mind of the professionals, when we play.  This will drastically increase the speed and fun of your learning, on how to find notes on the guitar.

Why learn how to find notes on the guitar?

So you can locate visually and by sound, the scales, chords and melodies we will use in our course.

What will you do differently after this lesson

You will be able to create musical phrases of four beats duration, which are one of the basic building blocks of music. As a consequence, this will open up  a pathway for your learning that simulates the real thing. 

You will be able to coordinate your left and right hand to play the C scale in tempo, all over the guitar to help you in your how to find notes on the guitar.

And you will be able to look  for sounds horizontally or vertically,  as  on the guitar ,pitch can increase vertically, decrease vertically, or increase horizontally, or decrease horizontally.

How are you going to learn to find notes on the guitar?

You will learn to find notes on the guitar in four simple steps

  1. First of all , you will learn the names of the strings, that correspond to pitches, musical sounds.
  2. Then you will learn the relationship between the pitches of the C scale, and the frets on the guitar.
  3. In step 3, you will learn a melodic rhyme to help you find all the notes in relation to a beat. 
  4. In step 4, you will create your own practice routine, to develop the skill with fun.

Rules

Apply at all times when you play the following 3 rules:

  • Always sing what you are playing. 
  • Always play in tempo.
  • Always tap your feet or move your body to the beat. 

If you do not, you will not be feeling the context, the music,  therefore you will not learn.

Names of the strings 

The guitar has 6 strings: E A D G B E. Each string is adjusted to produce a specific pitch, a musical sound we can sing. These pitches have defined names. In English, we use the letters of the alphabet C D E F G A B to define them.

The fatter guitar string produces the lowest pitch. As we jump from string to string,  the strings get thinner, they also vibrate more quickly  and the sound increases in pitch.

The fatter string is tuned to a frequency we call E. It is commonly called the E string but please remember that this is relative, as this can change, this is not an E string but a string tightened until it produces this pitch, we call E .

So if I press the string somewhere else, Do I produce a new sound? Yes.
Is this new sound an E?

No . It is not  since it  does not sound like an E. It sounds higher in pitch. There fore it has a different name. It is called the G note .

So what frequencies do we generally tune the open guitar strings to ? 

Starting from fat to thin they coincide with the frequencies  of :

E

Acronym

You can remember the names of the pitches, frequencies of the strings, by using an acronym. I like to use the following: 

E very to remember the name of the E string

A  pe  to remember the name of the A string

D  eserves to remember the name of the D string

G  reen to remember the name of the G string

B ananas to remember the name of the B string

E veryday ( to remember the name of the high E string

Play along with me this acronym

Every, Ape, Deserves, Green, Bananas, Everyday

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Step 2  Find the notes of C scale

Take it easy

All musicians including myself,  struggle with new exercises. This is absolutely normal.  However, music is a discipline where you learn by repetition. Do not expect to fully understand the following new concepts until you have repeated the exercises, a lot. So , just sit back and enjoy the ride and in a few minutes time you will have learnt the C scale all over the guitar.

The C scale has seven notes

The C scale has seven notes: C D E F G A B . After the B we go to C D E F and so on.

So this is a low c and this is a high c. The high C doubles the frequency of the low C. The frequency is the number of times the string vibrates per second.

Therefore, as I go up in pitch, I start  to repeat the same notes, but in a higher octave, a higher pitch,

Frets and notes

In order to answer how to find notes on the guitar,  all you need to understand is that between the notes of E F,  and B C there is only one fret distance and between all the other notes there are two.

How to find the notes on the guitar
How to find the notes on the guitar

This is one fret distance. This is two frets distance.

So let us start with the sixth string.

What is the frequency we tune the 6th string to  ….. E  ? So this is an E sound. 

Play the note

Sing the sound

What is the next letter in the alphabet ?

F

How many frets is F away  from E? 

One 

Play the F  

Sing the sound 

So F is a musical note that is higher in pitch than E, and we produce the sound by shortening the string by one fret. 

Next note

What is the next letter in the alphabet after F  ?

G

How many frets is G away from F  ?

Two

Play the G

Sing the sound

So G is a musical note that is higher in pitch than F, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

A

How many frets is it away from G ?

Two

Play the A 

Sing the A 

So A is a musical note that is higher in pitch than G, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note B

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

B

How many frets is it away from A ?

Two

Play the B

Sing the B

So B is a musical note that is higher in pitch than A, and we produce the sound by shortening the string two more frets.

Next note C

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

C

How many frets  is C away from B?

One

Play the C

Sing the C

So C is a musical note that is higher in pitch than B, and we produce the sound by shortening the string one more fret.

Next note D

The next letter in the alphabet is:

 D

How many frets  is D away from C?

Play it

Sing it

So D is a musical note that is higher in pitch than C, and we produce the sound by shortening the string  two more frets.

Next note E

The next letter in the alphabet is: 

E, So we are back to the E , but a higher E 

How many frets  is E away from D

Play it

Sing it 

So  E is a musical note that is higher in pitch than D, and we produce the sound by shortening the string by two more frets.

Step 3 The Musical Rhyme

You will now learn a short musical rhyme to play in tempo the notes of the C scale, in a manner that will help you memorise both names and sounds and increase the speed of your learning drastically and ther fore learn how to find notes on the guitar.

The C scale on the 6th string 

Notice: that I sing the sound of the note I play,   and then sing what I will do next with the same sound,
Also notice that the rhyme lasts 4 beats, four taps of your foot.

Play along with me, 6th string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 6th string.

Play along with me 

Stop the video , rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 5th string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 5th string.

What is the frequency we tune the 5th string to  ….. A  ? 

So this is an A sound. 

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need to.

Play along with me, 4th string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 4th string.

What is the frequency we tune the 4th string to  ….. D  ? 

So this is a D sound

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 3rd string

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 3rd string.

What is the frequency we tune the  3rd string to ?

So this is a G sound. 

Play it

Sing it

Play along with me 

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Play along with me, 2nd string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 2nd string.

What is the frequency we tune the  2nd string to  …?   B  

So this is a B sound. 

Play it 

Sing it

Play along with me  

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need to.

Play along with me, 1st string 

Let´s play together the rhyme on the 1st string.

What is the frequency we tune the 1st string to  …?  E

 So this is an E sound. 

This is also an E sound,  but this E is higher and this E is lower in pitch.

This low E vibrates exactly four times slower than this E.  They are the same notes, but in different octaves.

Play it 

Sing it

Play along with me  

Stop the video, rewind and repeat this exercise as many times as you need too.

Assignments

Now it is time for you to complete the assignments for this lesson on how to find notes on the guitar.

  • Play along 

Repeat twice a day all the play along examples of lesson one.

  • Fill it in 

Fill in the blank sheet with all the notes of the C scale .

  • Quiz

 Please submit your replies to our google group for peer review. 

  • Why are there different Cs on the guitar ?
  • Why are there different As on the guitar?
  • Why do we have two strings tuned to E?
  • Indicate with an X on what two other strings and positions can you play the C note, you create on the B string  when you press the second fret.
  • Record and create

Record yourself singing the rhyme, non stop on 6 different strings and send it to me.

Note: Choose a very slow tempo 

Check questions

  • Are you singing the notes in exact relation to the beat?
  • Are you tapping your foot non stop while singing and playing ?
  • Are you moving to the new note only just before you sing it ?
  • If your answer is no to any of the these questions, repeat 4 more times all the play along examples.

What will you be able to do at the end of the course?

Students that complete the two beginners course will move on directly to Guitar for songwriters focused towards music production.

how to learn to play the guitar

Guitar learning, a life time adventure

I want you to be able to experience music, with the same enjoyment it inspires in me every day. Let me share with you some tips, on how to learn to play the guitar.

Guitar learning will be your life time adventure. I want to create a track for you,  where you can jump on, follow and learn, but, I want you to avoid the typical mistakes all students fall into, especially now-days, due to mass distribution of meaningless learning on the net. 

I want you to have fun but also to understand that music learning requires time, work, repetition,  in other words: discipline.   All the hard work is definitely a rewarding experience, if we set a goal with practical exercises, to help us in the process of how to learn to play the guitar.

TIPS ON HOW TO LEARN TO PLAY THE GUITAR.

9 Tips on how to learn to play the guitar and avoid a frustrating learning experience

At the Creative Guitar School I have designed all my courses to help you develop your well being through Creativity and Self Expression.  However, we need structured learning to make sure we learn with fun, and also in a meaningful manner, where we can at the end of each journey, be able to play meaningful music from start to end.

Book a free 30 minute assessment
Book a free 30 minute assessment;  discover your guitar skills and the most adequate Guitar Course for you.

How to study guitar

Let’s have fun

We study guitar to open the door to have more fun in our lives. Personally,  I study guitar because it allows me to have more and more fun everyday, as I am able to express and flow with my feelings, to the utmost satisfaction.

The real joy occurs, when we are to be able to perform a piece of music, from start to finish, with love and especially if we do so, for an audience. Here I include some tips on how to learn to play the guitar.

Reduce frustration

I find that studying can be a frustrating experience, if we do not target, what we need to do, to emulate the final performance. Thus, we must find a learning pathway, that reduces repetition and increases our effectiveness in our goals. We need to have fun by reducing, frustrating learning pathways. 

Read more on all guitar courses offered based upon contemporary structured learning.

 9 Tips on how to learn to play the guitar and avoid a frustrating learning experience 

Sing

As a general rule, if you can imagine what you wish to play in tempo, and can also sing it, then your learning will be by far, much more efficient, and satisfying, than what students achieve by solely repeating mechanical movements, or in other words,  practicing frustration. Learn more.

Emulate the live performance

Only practice in a manner that emulates the final performance. Try to do it right the first time, and at the slowest speed possible. 

Do not think

Do not think while you play, but rather sing the music in your mind. The more you think,  the more non musical, you will play.

Feel

Feel what you want to express, and produce the feeling in your music. If you are bored with your playing, it might be because you are bored in wishing to feel good, and have fun.  

Seek the desired articulation, notes, chords and silence, that will allow you to pinpoint, your personal feel for the music. Do not be a spectator of your feelings. Decide and portray. Feel is one the best ,tips on how to learn to play the guitar.

Do not judge, but create

Make sure the music, the sound is in your head, before you play and not after. If you do not do this, you will always be judging yourself, and only concentring on the final sound, and not on the enjoyment of the process of creating it.

Play soft

Play more soft than loud. In the loud, you will have less room for for increasing intensity. Remember, intensity does not come from playing loud,  but from choice of register, harmonic tension, and also rhythmic density.

If you play loud, you will tire your muscles out soon and will perform poorly; You might feel you are expressing yourself, but in the end you are only shouting. 

Practice what you know

Practice what you know and also what you do not know. You practice what you know, to enjoy yourself, and practice what you do not know, to further enjoy yourself in the near future.

Please consider that a new musical concept, will take up to 6 months of learning, before it becomes fluent, and part of your personal expression. So, if you just practice only what you do not know, you will end up on a journey, into the world of frustration.

Refresh your repertoire 

Build up a repertoire, but never forget to refresh it. This is fun and rewarding.

Do not stop

Once you start playing a song, do not stop. If you do stop, this means you have not imagined what you have to play, the tempo, and how you play in relation to the tempo. 

Personally, I need to have a clear understanding of the beat,  and the subdivision, to make sure I can coordinate efficiently, especially at quick tempos.  This advice, is also one the most important tips on how to learn to play the guitar.

5 Common mistakes Guitarists tend to make in their learning.

Students learn bits and pieces of music, and not the whole song. 

When a musician plays a song, they will interpret the melody line, with or without accompaniment, from start to finish, of the full structure.  If you can do this, then you are ready to say, that you can play a song.  At the Creative Guitar School you will learn to play full songs, in a group or solo situation and with fun.

Students think they know how to play a song because they can play the chords.

A song has a melody,  for example: what the vocalists sings. This is what makes it recognisable.

If you can play the melody, then you are starting to play a song. However,  if you can only play chords, then you are simply playing a progression of chords, that can be found in hundred of others songs.

Students learn the chords, but do not know how to fit them, or sync them to the original track.

Only, if you can play the chords of the song, along with the original recorded version, from start to finish, then you can say to yourself, that you are starting to understand how to play them. 

If you get lost while playing along the track, then you might not be aware of the structure, or be familiar with the melody. You might also have coordination issues. You might not be aware of the tempo , or how to subdivide such. 

If you can play the chords, but when you try to play them with the original track, you get lost, then you do not know how to play the chords.

 Also, If you can only play a verse and not know what comes next, then you do not know the chords.

If you cannot explain how many bars each section of the song has, and how the sections repeat, then you do not know the chords.

At the Creative Guitar School you learn to play songs from start to end. You learn how to play the melody, how to play the chords and develop them to create variations in intensity. You learn how to play in tempo, anticipate and sync your movements with the desired beat.

Book a free 30 minute assessment
Book a free 30 minute assessment;  discover your guitar skills and the most adequate Guitar Course for you

More mistakes guitarists make in their learning

To learn a solo or lick, with no tempo associated.

Students believe they have learnt a solo,  or a lick of a song, because play it in a sort of recognisable manner.  If you cannot play it, along with the original  track, that you can slow down,  then you have not learnt the solo or the lick, and you have wasted your time.

All learning must be conclusive. Learning fragments of music, without structure, may tend to create more frustration than well being, and have a negative impact, on the method of how to learn to play the guitar .

You think you can play a solo, because you can play a few notes that sound ok .

You will be able to solo, only when you can sing what you want to do, know where you are in relation to the beat and the chords.  If you can play the chords, and sing a solo, even if you sing out of tune , then you are ready to start soloing and have the required skills to develop a good one.

If you have difficulty in understanding what to sing on top of some chords,  then you need to learn the basics. You need to learn full melodies and songs. Also, you need to internalise a musical library, that will be the foundation on which you will base all your creative output.

Consider music as a language.  You need to know the alphabet, words, how to combine them and make sentences, and paragraphs.  How can you do that in music ? Well, you need to learn songs in a efficient manner.

Please read through the six different levels of guitar learning. Throughout each level you will acquire and develop the necessary skills, to be able to play songs, create them and vary them either as lead, rhythm guitar, or in a fingerpicking manner, in all styles of contemporary music.

Give me a call. I would love to share your musical journey with you. 


How to improvise on the guitar

How to improvise on the guitar  

Five reasons why it feels good to learn to improvise on the guitar.

1. Create fresh replenishing emotions

To improvise on the guitar, is a creative way of telling a musical story. Let´ s imagine we have a paragraph of 24 words that we narrate, with the objective of explaining a feeling. Consequently, we may also keep on repeating the paragraph, but with different degrees of variations, to further develop the emotion.

To improvise on the guitar is to create variations of the musical story. It gives you the pathway to extend the interpretation, to modify, adapt and change it to your needs and on the go.  As a result, improvisation on the guitar, can produce extremely satisfying emotions, as I believe it is the true gateway for personal expression. 

2. Interaction with others

We all know how much fun we can have, when we play with others. Music can also be a lot of fun, and improvising can be the ultimate game of enjoyment.  

I relate guitar improvisation to the perfect communion of souls, in all possible conscious dimensions. Furthermore, our musical interaction just fills up the space around us, as we bond with fellow musicians and the audience.

Music and guitar improvisation is another humble path to an experience, where we all come together, to share our beloved human values. When we improvise on the guitar, in any style of music as blues, jazz, funk, rock, flamenco, we create the opportunity to interact emotionally with others, without the need of words, nor values, nor judgements of any kind.

Guitar improvisation will make you feel extremely unique, because you freely express yourself in a context, where you are accompanied and heard.

3. To explore ones inner self

I believe life can feel good when we break the rigidness of daily obligations. Therefore, a bit of controlled chaos feels good; learn to improvise on the guitar and you will enjoy a refreshing musical adventure of colours, sounds and emotions. When we improvise, we take on this adventure our dreams and souls.

When we play music knowing exactly what is ahead, and what we have to do, then it feels like we are on a road, set by others to achieve a boxed goal.  However, if we are able to explore other pathways, other boundaries, other colours along the way, and interact with joy with others,  the creative guitar experience will be emotionally rewarding.  This non programmed road trip will become the real musical adventure. We will arrive at the same destination as the programmed road trip,  but  feeling very satisfied, and eager to wake up the next day to jump on board and explore another pathway. 

4. Satisfaction

From my experience, when I improvise and create variations,  as a consequence of my interaction with my other band members, I feel very satisfied afterwards.  Satisfaction is not an easy feeling to come across, and it is the feeling that most will regenerate my whole body and soul. 

Also, the more I improvise, understanding the emotional goals, choosing the right harmonic melodic tools for the job,  the greater the final satisfaction.

Let’s improvise together. Come and join us at the Creative Guitar School, in Melbourne, and learn to play the guitar, to improvise in contemporary musical styles on electric guitar, acoustic guitar or nylon string Spanish guitar

5. To be unique

Music is not a visual experience, nor a competition, it is an auditive experience, that you can enjoy with your internal rhythm, soul and with your closed eyes, unless you are driving. 

However,  there is a lot of guitar music our there,  that is a reflection of what we can do, and not what the musician is trying to express, tell or convey. Music is the gift we can use to develop a virtue, to share with others; our uniqueness, our story. 

A story is not about how quick you can run, or how much you can scream. A musical story is really about sharing an emotion.  Yes, when we scream we portray an egoistic feeling, but the true virtue would be to make the audience feel the need of this excitement, and get them to scream with you. 

It feels good to improvise on the guitar and to be unique in our story telling,  as we can accomplish a very special human interaction, that no other musical form of expression will allow. 

What tools do we need to improvise effectively 

As a guitarist, you will need to master all the musical tools required to know inside out, the melody and harmonic structure of the song. This means, that at any time and moment, you are playing a song, you can effectively,  switch from the role of the soloist to the accompanist, or vice versa.

Once you have the song mastered,  then you are now ready to start creating variations, to keep the song flowing, based upon the interaction with other band members, the audience and your feel, either as the soloist, or the accompanist of the lead guitar.

In order to improvise on the guitar efficiently, you need to learn specific melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic tools, to create variety in tension, in dramatic intensity, as the song develops.

For example, let ´s say you have played your song once, and you want to be able to play the melody, (the lyrics of the song) with more intensity the second time through. A change of octave,  an increase in rhythmic intensity or harmonic tension, will give you all the desired momentum, to produce your climax. 

There are literally hundreds of tools at your disposal, to help develop your creativity on the go, but all you need is just a few, to get going, and to start feeling the flow of creating music.

Improvisation and Guitar Courses

All students, in all guitar courses, I impart at my Melbourne Creative Guitar School, learn to improvise. At a guitar beginners level, you will learn to create basic variations of melody and harmony. As you progress throughout the levels, you will master a vast array of tools, to accomodate all your emotional needs.

I encourage learning through group interaction. Therefore, I teach all basic courses in Group environments . These classes have a maximum fo 4 students per class.

I further encourage the group interaction with the concerts I schedule throughout the year. All students perform live every 3 months. Before the performance, we also organise a nice barbecue to get the stomachs activated and the energy levels up high.

Students will also have the opportunity to enjoy feedback of all their musical accomplishments, since I hold the classes in my recording studio.  Therefore,  we are able to record the group progression, and enjoy how much we have learnt, at the different stages of the musical journey. 

 

How to practice the guitar with joy

How to practice the guitar with joy

Guitar Accuracy

When we are learning a song,  we all try to achieve accuracy in it´s chords and melody;  the what we will do,  when and why, at all levels and at all stages, of our musical life.

However, I believe accuracy is the consequence of hearing the sound before we place our fingers on the guitar fretboard or strings. We must understand the sound, hear it and be able to sing it, before the final finger placement. 

If we miss this step of hearing, singing,  we may engage in a non stop practice schedule. The more you can hear and sing, what you want to play on the guitar, the more satisfying the experience will be, and the quicker you will learn. 

Accuracy in the melody and accompaniment,  is an important goal in our practice routine. Try not to guess where your fingers have to be, but first sing the sound, then find it.   If you cannot sing the sound, you will need to imagine it first. 

When we imagine a sound, we engage in the process of understanding.  This process should be done at a comfortable speed, at which you can accomplish your goal. Once this process flows, then you will be able to apply the accuracy to the tempo, and play the musical phrase on the guitar, or any other instrument, at the desired speed. 

The objective of all practice is to have fun, and avoid unnecessary repetition, to try to emulate what we will do, when we share our performance, and music live, with our beloved audience, that is eager to listen to you. The how to practice the guitar with joy is a constant must in all daily routines,

How to practice the guitar with joy

How much discipline do we need in our guitar training

How about if we needed no discipline, only eagerness to finish a goal in a satisfying manner.  If we are eager to learn, and always ask the right questions, to get to the desired goal, music will be a very enjoyable experience. 

If you feel bored, distracted, then you are learning with no worthy emotion to remember. There fore, you are practising incorrectly and hot having fun.  Always ask your self, how can I play what I wish, as soon as possible, and have fun along the way.  

Generally, if you are not having fun on the guitar, it will be because you are playing with no tempo, your are not able to sing what you can do, you do not understand the groove of the song, and do not understand the harmonic tension of each passage you are playing.

Too much discipline and too much repetition, will create an emotional blockage. It takes a very long time to get over the feeling of disgust, or lack of desire, that this blockage will produce in you. Please learn to place a limit to all your learning, and stop much before you feel: this is to much for me. Learn how to practice the guitar with joy.

All my tips refer to all styles of guitar including: jazz guitar, blues guitar, flamenco guitar, funk guitar and all other styles.

Structured learning 

A musician needs structure to be able to learn and play all styles of music. A  guitar teacher should share with you the adequate educational structure to help you achieve the desired goals of the music you wish to play at a short term or long term.

Learning structure should target the question how to learn effectively with joy. 

This how to learn should be fun. It must avoid unnecessary repetitions, work with solid tempos, make you sing what you wish to do; compose your own music. Also, create variations of rhythm and melody, understand the why of how to accompany on the guitar, and how emotions are portrayed, as you develop your interpretation in a song. 

Structure and Guitar Improvisation

Music can be great fun when we create constant variations of a given song. However,  we only can fun on the guitar if we know the song very well.

What does it mean to know a song well in any style including blues guitar. If you are able to count a song in, maintain a solid tempo, sing the melody of the whole song, non stop, and play the chords at the same time, then you know the song, and your ready to explore variations .  You are on the right track of how to practice the guitar.

At the Creative Guitar School we learn how to create harmonic, rhythmic variations of the melody and of the accompaniment. We learn over 100 tools to help us create all desired emotions. We must learn to be proficient in the handing of the tools,  so as  to choose correctly on the go, as we in our daily interpretation of given songs.

Once you are at the stage of mastering the creative tools you will, then never want to stop playing. Music and the creative flow is like no other feeling you will experience in your life.  I would describe it as pure peace of mind, as an observer of existence, in motion.

Learn music have fun. Let your self go, and see life  as a viewer of emotions that colour our existence with love and pleasure, 

Upcoming Guitar Courses 

I am very happy that the majority of students finish courses and move on to the next. As they move on, previous levels become empty,  so I schedule courses to start every 10 weeks. The next guitar course will be starting on the first week of July, from Monday to Thursday evenings, between 5 and 9 pm. If you wish to enrol, please get in touch as soon as your can, to organise an interview so I may asses your guitar skills, and put your into the best group for your learning experience, and journey in music. 

As of June I announce a new price increase. However, I maintain present prices for all ongoing students, that do not take breaks in between courses and continue during the whole year. 

Music Production

All guitar students have now included in all guitar courses the opportunity to record in class compositions to achieve proficiency in music production at my recording studio here in Melbourne where I facilitate most of my guitar courses.

I do hope my tips on how to practice the guitar with joy can be helpful on your music journey in life. Please also post my site for all updates on 2018 and 2019 Melbourne Concerts and Tours.

 

Guitar Technique How to Develop

How to develop guitar technique

Guitar technique is part of the constant coordination we utilise,  to play sounds on the guitar. You may develop technique by repeating mechanical movements, or you may develop technique by placing fingers on frets and strings, as a consequence of the sound you hear in your head.

The difference between one approach and another, can be that of avoiding boredom, pain and frustration.  It just makes true sense, to put your fingers in a place,  because you can hear the sound in your head and not only guess where the sound is, by visual cues. 

 

guitar technique lessons

Is this difficult to achieve ?

No it isn’t.  It is actually easier, and more satisfying, to play the guitar this way. But, you must dive into the world of singing.   Don ´t worry, we all can sing. It does not matter if you sing totally in tune. The rule is, if you can sing it,  you can play it. If you can not sing it,  you will be a slave to unnecessary repetition.

Initially, this involves a slow learning process, but the satisfaction you will feel, will be enough to get you practicing hours on end. You will hear what you are doing, and anticipate where you have to place your fingers, to enjoy the desired sound.

But how do we start singing, if we have never done it before? How can we sing, and then find the sound on the guitar?

It is much easier to sing a sound and then find it, than to actually memorise the sounds as the consequence of putting your fingers on the guitar. 

L.I.S.P

I suggest a simple, but effective manner for learning all melodies. It is called the L.I.S.P approach.

L: Listen 

I : Imagine

S: Sing 

P: Play

With the under-math of a constant tempo, time frame, I teach my students to listen to melodic fragments, to imagine them ( in tempo ), to sing them and to play them.

At the same time, I also teach my guitar students, the necessary pathways on the guitar, where those sounds will be found.

 I  teach the guitar students,  to identify the sounds, in relation to the total center. That is,  we learn to hear sounds, in relation to each other, and to the chords. There fore, we learn to feel the sensation of the sound, where the sounds are. We learn to play the music in tempo, we learn to sing the sound and while all this is going on, we are using mechanical movements, guitar technique, to look for the sounds;  to play and produce the musical passages. 

Articulation

To articulate correctly, is to help deliver with clarity musical passages.  As a guitarist, we must learn to be aware of the lyrical quality of music, and how to relate it to the instrument; guitar technique. Once again, if we can sing the melodic passage, we then have the core ingredient to relate to, to imitate.

When we sing, we can produce long notes, short notes, loud notes and soft notes. In musical terms, we relate this legato , staccato and dynamics.

If you are starting off on the guitar, you should be aware of the lyrical character of music, and immediately try to perform all passages, in this manner. However, only through musical  structured repetition, will you develop the guitar technique to achieve the desired goal. 

You will constantly learn to develop your guitar technique at all guitar courses at my Music School. The technique will also be a consequence of the style , whether you follow play acoustic guitar lessons, blues guitar lessons , jazz guitar lessons or flamenco guitar lessons.

A slow start 

Starting off on the guitar is a slow learning process,  but also a personal adventure where we will express our emotions and let go of daily life. I strongly suggest to make music every day, to practice with kindness, never with a harsh judgement , to accept our limitations, and open up to the new unexplored world of music .

How to develop more guitar technique 

The more melodies you know, the more songs you can play, the better your technique will be. 

However, in order to make sense of it all, the guitar student must have a thorough knowledge of chords, scales, chord scale relationships; in triad and seventh harmonic settings.

In all courses and levels at the Creative Guitar School, all students develop a solid guitar technique, either with pick or finger-style.  I gradually will introduce to you exercises, so you may articulate with clarity, fast and slow passages. I will gradually introduce you to solo guitar, where the guitar has no need of accompaniment, and you will play both the accompaniment and the melody of the song, at the same time. 

All students explore blues, jazz, folk and flamenco guitar styles. Once again, since guitar technique is a consequence only of what you can hear,  students quickly grasp the L.I.S P concept and progress swiftly, if they implement a discipline in their learning.

Music learning is a discipline that requires constant daily training and repetition. I strongly recommend never to practice beyond the limit of discomfort, and always to produce music in a manner, where you are able to play a song from beginning to the end on the guitar. 

Group lessons

I impart advanced guitar courses on one on one sessions and through my masterclasses, regularly held in Australia .  I recommend studying levels Levels 1 and 2 in a group environment. As a guitar teacher, I favour group environments as yo will have the opportunity of seeing how others learn and the outcome will be most satisfying.

When you are stating to play the guitar you will achieve great satisfaction but also got through stages of frustration.  If both of these cases, sharing with others your concerns and success, can be a most rewarding musical experience

Melbourne Guitar Concerts

For all those interested in my upcoming Guitar concerts in Melbourne and Australia please click on the above links.

Guitar Improvisation lessons

Guitar Improvisation lessons

What is improvisation

To improvise on the guitar is to create, from simple to complex, melodic and or ,  harmonic variations of a song, or a section.

We always need to create variations in the songs, to match how we feel as we play along. You might vary the melody to achieve the most dramatic climax, we might start the song playing the groove in a sparse manner, and build it up as we play along. We might need to do to the opposite and bring the song down, to less intensity, or we might create even more complex variations as we do in genres as jazz.

Guitar Improvisation lessons

We all have in us, the need to flow, to express ourselves with constant changes of tension. However, we require training,  guitar improvisation lessons to understand how to translate these emotions into music.

How to improvise

The ultimate goal of all guitar improvisation lessons , is to allow us to understand what sounds right, how to hear it, how to sing it and how to play it.

To achieve these goals we need to understand how to compose a song, and the relationship between chords and melody; the scale. We need to be able to play a song, the melody and accompaniment. We need to know our scales and chords, all over the fretboard.

Then we are ready to improvise, to create new melodies, new harmonies. We are ready to explore creating on the go short long-phrases with more or less density. We are ready to explore non harmonic melodic notes, guide tone lines, upper structure triads, chord tone soloing, motive soloing and development, augmentation, diminution, syncopation, double time, tetratonic scales and much more.

Do I need to know all the theory to be able to improvise

Not really. Just sing what you would like to do, and play it .  If you can sing it it will sound good.

However, guitar structured learning will allow you to find new ideas quicker, and also to have more and more ideas, just explode in your mind.

Theory should be a classification of what you can hear and play. I strongly suggest to explore new concepts only, once you have played them and felt them.

For example:
You love the way Stevie Ray Vaughn achieves an extreme climax in the middle of his solo. Your first step is to play it, to memorise it. Then, afterwards, as a teacher, I would give you all the tools in our guitar improvisation lessons,  to choose from,  to create your own; harmonic tension, melodic tension, rhythmic density and register.

I suggest that we learn to improvise,  by expanding on what we hear, and what we like from others.

Generic types of soloing

I distinguish two opposite ways of creating a guitar solo in any style.  We may be lyrical,  like Santana , whose lines are very vocal like. Or we can create phrases , that talk in depth, about the chords, the way a jazz guitarist like George Benson or West Montgomery would play.

Electric guitars have more sustain than acoustic, nylon strings, Spanish or Flamenco guitars. We need to adapt our form of playing to the manner in which the instrument  is created; an electric guitar with saturation or distortion can be even more lyrical.

At all guitar courses and guitar improvisation lessons I offer at the Creative Guitar School in Melbourne, both online and in class, students learn all the required tools to be able to improvise in all styles and with any type of guitar.

Please note that you will learn in my guitar improvisation lessons, to apply creative tools to both the solo, the melody and the accompaniment of such.

The joy of guitar improvisation

Guitar improvisation is one of the biggest thrills you can have in music. The freedom to interact live in concert with other musicians, is a skill that you will want to develop. You must learn how to improvise, from the early stages of your guitar learning.

We develop this freedom of expression, when we are able to master, the guitar tools we need, to create variations on a song. A song, in the majority of cases has a melody that can be sung. The chords accompany that melody to help it come out, and also to help underlay the groove of the song.

When we improvise, we generally maintain the same structure of the song, and the same chords. We always have in our head the melody of the song, and based upon that and the harmonic setting,  we have a reference with which all members of the band, will interact with, to create the constant variations that come with the music flow.

What styles suit best

All styles can allow for varied degrees of improvisation. It will all depend on the skill of the band members, to allow this scenario to come alive.

Jazz is the style that allows most improvisation. Jazz is not a groove but a way of performing any given song.

Styles as blues, pop, funk, flamenco, all allow for improvisation.  This is what  makes the music come alive. The band members interact with each other, and with the audience. We create a constant dialogue based upon the tools of  improvisation; the heart beat of the performance.

Some ideas to help you redevelop your solos.

I assume you have an understanding of scales, arpeggios and harmony, and are ready to get playing on the guitar.

Stretching the time
The next time you play your guitar solo, in a any style as flamenco, latin, blues, pop; try stretching the time. This means that, slightly play ahead or behind of the beat . When you play ahead you can create the feel of rushing the solo, when you play behind the beat, you can create the feeling of dragging the tempo.

To practice this technique, and incorporate it into your guitar tool box, so it automatically pops up when you need this feel,  you must practice extensively.Let me give you an example of how:

  1. Choose a section of 8 bars of a song.
  2. Play over the chord changes, creating phrases that fall right on the centre of the beat.
  3. Then, play over the chord changes, and create phrases that start on the beat; drag behind and then fall back on the beat.
  4. Play over the chord changes; start playing right on tempo and finish your phrase ahead of the beat.
  5. Do the opposite.
  6. Play over the chord changes, start your phrase ahead of time, very accelerated and slowly bring the speed down , to play right on tempo.
  7. Try combinations of the above .

In all styles of music, you will be able to stretch in some manner the time. This will become part fo your expression, only after practicing it on your acoustic, electric, or Spanish guitar until your are able to have fun with it.

Improvisation on the guitar can be great fun. Once we know the chords, scales, arpeggios and how they relate to the harmony form, then we only need to keep on learning new ideas on what to do, understand the why, and we are off to explore a world of surprising textures and musical pleasures.

Improvising in the studio, during recordings sessions.

The most vivid, explosive recordings,  only occur when musicians and guitarists can interact, together, at the same time in the recording session.

A lot of recording sessions do not cater for live interaction of the studio musicians. In my recording studio in Melbourne, I strive to achieve constant improvisation in all guitar tracks and sessions.

A recording should be an audio photograph of what occurs in a concert. Please enjoy my live concerts and studio performances on you tube.

Guitar Songwriting lessons

Guitar Songwriting lessons

Module 1: The Birth of the Song
Wednesdays at 7 p.m starting July 3. Two openings left.

For all songwriters and performers who wish to explore through advanced harmony, the ultimate feel for a song .

Advanced harmony can be made simple if it is explained without complicated terminology. These  guitar songwriting lessons and courses, will give you an in depth harmonic melodic knowledge of the guitar, that will transform how you perform, compose, arrange  and produce your performance of your desired song.

Online Guitar Songwriting lessonsThe outcome of all modules ( Making advanced  harmonic textures accessible to all guitarists and songwriters)

This guitar songwriting course is divided into three modules:

  1. Module 1: The Birth of the Song. In this module you will learn tools/strategies to make sure your song has the most unique : chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure.

You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better or simply to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song,  live or in the studio.

    1. Module 2: Pre Production.  All the creative tools, at a basic level, you can play with, to define the most adequate rhythm section, melodic- harmonic backgrounds, counter lines; and to reinforce the melody of a song.
    1. Module 3: Music Production. The Final Recording.

Each module will give you access to over 50 audio examples,  three hours of videos, a 45 page self explanatory e book and a power point presentation of the ebook where all files are interlinked.

These  guitar songwriting lessons and course, is an extension of my book on arranging and orchestration in the Spanish Language: El Arreglo un Puzzle de Expresión Musical

The need of relating emotion to music

In all my years as a guitar teacher and writer, I have always pondered about how to learn music in a manner that we find the balance between thoughts and feelings. In music, if we think a lot we will not play efficiently , also if we just feel the music, and not establish a conscious understanding of what we are doing, and why, we all end up in deep chaos and frustration.

I believe, in our music learning , we must first feel, then put words to the feeling , classify it, in a manner that when we have the need for such emotion , we will automatically revert to our conscious classification.   However, if we learn to play the guitar , if we follow any  guitar course, that shows, explains concepts through words, with no context and related feelings, we will never understand, nor remember how to make sense of it all.

In my new  guitar courses , especially  my  Guitar Songwriting lessons, I will share with you a conscious understanding of emotion that will definitely  open up a new way of hearing music , learning , playing and songwriting.

Module 1 The Birth of the Song 

Who is this module for

Songwriters and guitarists of all levels,  that wish to deliver a more emotional interpretation of a song, by applying advanced melodic harmonic concepts used by major composers and performers; this course makes these advanced concepts accessible to all without the need of traditional in depth study of harmony and arranging skills.

You do not need to know how to read music, nor know all the scales and chords available. However,  you must have an understanding of basic open string chords.  It will also be beneficial if you can sing songs and play chords at the same time,  and  can play along the recorded original tracks of your favourite songs.

This modules will develop exisiting songs, however once completed, you will be able to compose your new songs, bearing these new emotional tools from scratch.

What will you learn

In this module you will learn tools/strategies, to make sure your song has the most unique chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure. You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better, or simply, to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song, live, or in the studio.

Available harmonic melodic tools to achieve your unique sound

A song is made up of a melody and chords. We use the chords to accompany the melody. Both melody and accompaniment are glued together by rhythm. Your essential tools to interpret, change your song will be to know:

  • All available diatonic chords, inversions and their chord scale relationship. There are only 7 diatonic  chords to choose from. If you are also aware of the feeling they produce in relation to the melody, you will then have the ability to choose the most adequate and unique harmony.
  • How to create excitement with chords, shifting the harmonic tension of a chord , by varying the melodic line and bass lines.  I refer to this as making chords move, making them come alive,  and therefore produce, with the guitar, an accompaniment that not only makes your melody shine even further, but makes the song extremely engaging, with variety of intensity from beginning to end.
  • How to vary your melody to outline and reinforce the final harmonic context, and achieve the desired impact you need to deliver your song to the audience,  in the most expressive and engaging manner possible.  Once you have chosen the most adequate chords, and how to play them with intensity, you will then have the need to modify your melody, to make it sound even more unique .

How to apply them with satisfaction in context

These tools will now give you access to the second part of the module, where you will apply the concepts to a given melody, to achieve the 100% satisfaction goal ; so you can say aloud,  Yes, this is what I was looking for !

On completion you will have practiced :

  • To choose the most appropriate key for your voice to shine.
  • To analyse the harmonic tension you feel at each moment, and choose the adequate chords to reflect such.
  • To create variation in this harmonic tension by creating bass lines, inversions and reharmonisation, or adding melodic lines to the top of Existing chords.
  • To alter the melody of the song to achieve the desired emotional impact.
  • To control the intensity you want to produce at each section of your song.
  • To finalise a satisfying relationship of chords, melody and structure; ready for the pre production stage, where other musicians will interact with you.
  • To say I really adore my song; the final melody, chords and lyrics.

All the above concepts can be applied to any given form of guitar playing as flamenco guitar, jazz guitar, blues guitar and also all types of guitars as electric guitar, acoustic guitar or nylon string Spanish guitar.