How to warm up on Guitar

Guitar warm up exercises - athlete stretching

Warming up is something we’re used to hearing about in exercise and sports, but is it really something you need to do before you practice guitar? What is warming up? ‘Warming up’ means exactly that – getting your blood flowing and muscles moving so that you can perform at your best. It’s definitely a real […]

Has your guitar playing stalled?

Guitar playing stuck in a rut

A lot of hobbyist players out there simply don’t seem to realise how much further along they could be by now. I’ve seen so many people who have played guitar for several years but only know a handful of chords or a few bits and pieces of songs. I see even more players who aren’t […]

How To Instantly Make Singlecoil Pickups Less Noisy

Singlecoil guitar pickups have a distinctive tone and sound, but they have also have a significant disadvantage – noise. They sound great on a clean tone, but they start to hum and buzz with loud background noise when you use them with distortion or overdrive – even when you’re not playing anything.  Unfortunately this problem is […]

How to work out the key of any song by ear

How to work out the key of songs by ear

Every time I see a lesson or a discussion about how to find the key of a song, I’m reminded that a lot of musicians have a remarkable gift… … for making things way harder than they need to be! All joking aside, the ability to work out the key of a piece of music quickly […]

Mythbusting The Modes

Modes For Rock Guitar Players by Christy Bannerman

The Modes… The keys to the musical Ferrari. The secret knowledge of guitar virtuosos. The Holy Grail of being able to play anything you want. You’re here because you’ve heard guitar players talking about something called “Modes”, but you don’t understand what they are, how to play them, or where to use them in your […]

Examples of The Modes in Popular Songs and Rock Music

Listen to the sound of the modes

If you’re trying to crack the puzzle of Modes, one of the most important things you need is to have examples of real music that use them so that you can get their sound into your head. Having these examples will really help you recognise the unique sound quality and distinctive ‘attitude’ of each Mode. […]

Metronomes don’t make you faster – YOU do

Building technique with a metronome

Today I want to clarify a common misunderstanding among guitar players who are starting to think seriously about their technique.  This is the widespread belief that “practicing with a metronome” makes you faster, or builds your technique. Now, virtually every technically-able musician uses a metronome at least some of the time, and nobody denies that the […]

Why the fretboard is hard to learn | In defense of guitar players

Guitar notes much harder than piano notes

If you’ve ever tried to learn the notes on the guitar fretboard then there’s a good chance you’ve heard a comment like this: “You don’t find players of ANY other instruments who don’t know the names of the notes they’re playing. It’s ridiculous! If a piano player didn’t know this stuff you’d just laugh at […]

The Jimi Hendrix Chord explained – What it is, how to play it, and why it sounds so good

Hendrix wanted to learn music theory

Jimi Hendrix was a one of a kind musician who revolutionised the guitar. Although he is often best remembered for his incendiary solos and lead work (and rightly so), his rhythm playing style was no less innovative and influential. Like a scientist having a new species or planet named after them, Jimi Hendrix was such […]

Why Drum Tab is pointless and why drummers should learn music notation

Drumkit, Rock kit, Drum Tab, Drum notation

First of all, I’m not a notation snob and I’m definitely not anti-tab. Without guitar tab, myself and tens of thousands of other players would probably never have stuck with the instrument long enough to get anywhere, so I’m very grateful it exists. Tablature – known as tab for short – is a system for […]