Bass Guitar Lesson: Part 2

This lesson will help guitarists new to the world of bass and beginner to intermediate bass players perfect better plucking hand technique.

Guest instructor, "Steve Silver," discusses practice exercises for alternate finger picking development, double-stop and chord playing, as well as, Slap/Pop bass technique in the style of Victor Wooten.

Songwriting Series - Part 3

In this video Andrew examines the solo composition concepts that can help guitarists create solid guitar solo sections in their songs.

To download a FREE jam-track of this songwriting example song's solo section, please follow the link below:

Songwriting Series - Part 2

This lesson continues our songwriting series covering the analysis of various songwriting ideas used to create a typical pop/rock song.

In this video Andrew examines the scales that can help create strong melody lines for vocals or instrumental use.

To download an MP3 Jam Track for practicing the construction of your melodies, follow the link below:

Songwriting Series - Part One

This video begins a three part series covering the analysis of various songwriting ideas used to create a pop/rock song.

The example piece was written by Andrew for the instructional series and contains several sections in it's layout.

In this video Andrew examines the songs key signature, use of harmony and the layout of harmony through the various sections of the piece.

To download a Powertab chart for this video lesson, follow the link below:

Guitar Technique: Harmonized Melodic Lines

To Download the FREE jamtrack and Powertab file follow the link below:

The act of harmonizing a melody is not at all difficult to do once you are aware of a few basic concepts.

1). Guitar players will need to know their key signatures, as well as the notes found in scales associated with the basic major and natural minor. These other scales include, but are not limited to the modes and the other common forms of minor; including the Harmonic and Melodic minor scales.

2). Learning the shapes of the various scales on the fingerboard is also quite an integral element of harmonizing melody lines. This knowledge allows the guitarist to be able to trace the interval of the harmony being followed. For example; if the guitarist wanted to track a series of third intervals through a key, the speed with which this could be accomplished would mostly be dependent upon their knowledge of scales on the neck.

3). Aside from a solid understanding of the full scale patterns, players must also understand individual interval shapes. The various shapes for 3rds, 5ths, 4ths, and octaves are quite similar around the fingerboard. However, new patterns are present between strings three and two. This is due to how the guitar is tuned and how the intervals alter between these strings.

To develop the ability to harmonize melodies is an important musical concept for guitarists to master. Obviously the key to success is practice, so download and study the examples below. Most importantly, write a melody of your own and work out a harmonized line. You might also like to consider recording it and composing an alternate interval idea to complement the primary and secondary lines.

Guitar Technique: How to Practice Scales

To download the Handout and a FREE MP3 Jam Track simply follow the link below:
How To Practice Scales:
STEP 1). I strongly suggest starting with a 4-5 day practice plan. Each day work on new keys and study the scales all over the fingerboard.

STEP 2). Memorize the layout of the scales pattern. Get the scale up to a level where you do not need to look at your handout papers.

STEP 3). After memorizing the scale, turn on a metronome. Work through several durations such as; Eighth's, Sixteenth's and Triplet variations. Constantly turn the metronome faster to improve your technique.

STEP 4). Move along the fingerboard up one shape and down the other. This combined verticle and horizontal practice will produce fantastic results when you turn your focus toward improvising and composing.

STEP 5). Apply scale sequencing to the scale shapes.

STEP 6). Work on creating melody with jam tracks.

STEP 7). Study the Pentatonic and Arpeggio shapes along with scales.

MUSIC THEORY: Understanding Key Signatures

When musicians talk of scales, or even a piece of music as being in a certain key; i.e., this song is in the key of, F Major... they are defining the key signature and tonality off of the tonic note, (the, tonic, is the key note of a scale), and the specific notes (and to a lesser extent the chords), found within the piece. The altered tones found in the scale are the signature, the tonality is the key's center, (or Key Center).

For example:
If we say a certain melody is in the key of
G Major, then the melody is made up
of notes from the, G Major, scale;
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#.

The tonic note, (or first note - key note), of the scale is; G, but the key center is G Major.

Key signatures are given at the beginning of a piece of music. They are shown as the appropriate sharps or flats on the staff for the prescribed key. The sharps and flats are indicated between the clef and time signature. When placed on the staff in this manner we call this the, Key Signature.

For more details on this post (including a FREE handout) follow the link below and visit the Creative Guitar Studio website for this lesson plan:


Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answer's a viewers question...

"I'm bored of the chords I know. I started doing a little research on chords and I found out you could play any one chord all over the neck. Then, I ran into something called The, CAGED," system and for the life of me, I cannot find a video lesson that explains it thoroughly.

I was wondering if you could do something on that topic. I'm sure many people would find this information very helpful, along with myself."

Thanks in advance,
Dan - Allentown, PA.

The "C.A.G.E.D. System" addresses the idea of how a set of five open position chords (many guitarists learn early on in their playing days) can be re-fingered and then moved-out along the entire fingerboard. This creates a series of chords based upon the originals which are completely movable.

An important second step with this idea is to examine how octaves operate inside these chord types. Once a student can understand how the octaves lay themselves out, then students can begin practice of scales and arpeggios as well as other types of chords using the framework initially established with the learning of the C.A.G.E.D. System.

- Andrew Wasson
Creative Guitar Studio

Comping & Hybrid Picking Rhythm Guitar Techniques

Q: "I have played guitar for 3 years and strumming with a pick is all that I mainly do when it comes to the playing hand. I have tried strumming with my fingers but, I prefer a pick. I keep hearing of two techniques that do not make sense to me and none of my friends who play guitar around where I live know much about them, because they all do not use a pick.

The techniques are called the, Hybrid technique, and the, Comping technique. I have read a few things online and watched a few YouTube videos about each one, but since I trust your knowledge and teaching abilities above most others, (because you went to G.I.T.), I would really like to hear you explain each one of these in a video."

Thank you very much,
Hector - Cordoba, Argentina

A: It is important to take a good look at the techniques of Comping and Hybrid Picking together, since the two techniques play off of other. Plenty of demonstrations as well as practice exercises are discussed in my 17 min. video guitar lesson.

The comping technique has to do with accompaniment rhythm guitar. Made popular by jazz guitar players performing typical chord progressions that are encountered in most jazz tunes.

When it comes to applications around Rhythm Guitar the Hybrid Picking technique works extremely well to fill in melodic statements during comping of the accompaniment performance of rhythm guitarists. The Hybrid approach also offers double-duty since it has amazing applications for very fast lines (that would sometimes be next to impossible to perform by flat-pick alone).

- Andrew Wasson

Guitar Technique: String Skipping

Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers a viewers question...

From Mark: YouTuber; soblindwhobuddy

Q: "Would you be able to do a video on string skipping like the sweep picking video, (which I found incredibly helpful). I know there are other people with string skipping videos on you tube but the way you do your lessons, they always come across really well."

Kind regards,
Mark U.K.

A:  When it comes to this technique I actually think of it in two different ways...

I think of, "String Crossing Technique," as going between two different strings, while performing non-repetitive melodic lines.

I think of, "String Skipping Technique," as performing a repetitive pattern of notes for a riff in a song's section, (intro., verse or chorus melody. i.e., "Sweet Child of Mine").

The video lesson contains detailed information along with close-up views to help students better understand this information.

- Andrew Wasson