ACOUSTIC GUITAR 015: Percussive Guitar Technique

Acoustic Guitar 015: 

Percussive Guitar Technique...

The use of percussive hits played by tapping upon the sound-board of an acoustic guitar will generate interesting rhythmic effects that can add a great deal of dynamic rhythmic expression to any acoustic guitar fingerstyle or strumming piece. 

For this acoustic lesson, I've composed several practice pieces that cover percussive "hits and body taps" used by acoustic players. Four exercises break down everything from the general development of the 'hits and taps' to more advanced concepts like blending them with "ghost notes and single-note lines."

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NOTE: Learning to do this technique is not particularly difficult, but it will require a certain level of co-ordination to accomplish...

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Example one, focuses on how a guitarist can begin incorporating "acoustic percussive playing" as a guitar technique. Example one works toward building the basic development of this acoustic percussive idea through hand contact "hits" made to the guitars lower bout region (the wider half of the guitar).

Each of the attacks are done by striking the lower bout of the acoustic guitar with the pads of the strumming-hands fingers. The result is a 'deep-tone' drum attack (lower register tonal sound) due to the more open wood found at the lower bout region.

Example two works at blending another acoustic percussive idea referred to as "Body Taps," along side of "Percussive Hits." The blend of these two acoustic guitar soundboard hits produces separate tonal characteristics.

As we discussed in example one, the "Percussive Hit" generates a lower deeper sound from the guitars lower bout region. However, the "Body Taps," at the upper bout (the half of the guitar closest to the neck), produces a higher register attack with a brighter tone.

PART TWOThe exercise in example three expands upon our mix of percussive techniques by including elements of "Ghost Notes." The unique scratched /string-muted effect of the "Ghost Note" performed alongside of "Body Taps" and "Percussive Hits," generates a strong percussive feel. This collection of percussive playing is often used by soloist folk fingerstyle players (such as Andy McKee in his song "Drifting"), to add more punch to their pieces.

Example four completes the lesson with a two-bar phrase that not only mixes all of the techniques together, but it also adds the sound of single-note line melody as well. The example uses a key of, "A Minor" progression, and while it may only be two measures, it contains a lot of variations through the use of percussive technique mixed with more detailed fingerstyle ideas and strumming.

Related Videos:

Percussive Guitar Technique... 

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 014: Gypsy Jazz Chords and Rhythm

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 013: Bossa /Samba Latin Guitar Style

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 012: Acoustic Blues - Harmonies and Riffs



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Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes

How to Start Soloing in all 12 Keys (30 DAY PLAN)

When most guitar players first start trying to play "guitar solos," their soloing is quite often confined to only a few keys. Most commonly, those keys are going to be minor keys of, "A Minor," and "E Minor." 

However, over time, (and with more practice studying songs and styles), guitarists will begin branching out into more and more keys. 

While this is great, it can sometimes take the guitarist many, many years of hard work. Fortunately this can be solved rather quickly, in around 30 days in fact... And, on this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider, we're going to accelerate this process with a 30 day action plan for, "How to Start Soloing in All 12 Keys"


Establishing a practice routine for working on soloing in all 12 of the musical keys will first involve becoming aware of a few things. The first thing is making it clear on what the keys are that you'll be focusing in on, and separating the Major from the Minor tonality.

This means that, if you've never taken the time to become clear on the 12 keys of music (and getting to know their relative minor tonality), you really need to begin starting out by learning the key signature concept first.

The 12 musical keys consist of keys that are constructed of both sharp and flat tones. Those tones are going to be mixed with natural tones. There's also a natural key that is all neutral letter names. It's called the key of, "C Major." It has no sharps, or flats.

Key signature ideas are best learned separated into the keys that contain sharps and keys that are containing flats. So, let's begin with the sharp keys. Those sharp keys, (in order of their sharp key signatures), will involve the keys of; "G, D, A, E, B, and F#."

Next, you'll want to know the flat keys. Those are the keys of, "F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb." Now, keep in mind that the keys of "F#" and "Gb" contain all of the same tones. They're generally referred to as overlapping keys. And, when all these keys are added up (considering the key of "C") and the overlapping keys of "F# and Gb" we get 12 keys.

The next idea to make sure you're aware of is that (those keys we just ran through) are part of the tonal group we call "Major" keys. And, they each have a direct association to what is referred to in music as a "Relative Minor," counter-parts.

How we judge those (associated minor keys), is by way of taking the 6th note of the major key and using that tone as the "Relative Minor." As an example, if I were to take the 6th note of the key of "C Major," I'd get the note of "A." This means, that "A Minor" is the related minor key to that of "C Major." And, since you can do this with all 12 keys, we can take those Major keys and develop a new group of 12 keys that are part of the Minor Tonality.

Doing that would give us; one neutral key of "A Minor," (based on C Major), and on the sharps side, we'd get; "E, B, F#, C#, G#, D#," and from the Flat direction, we'd get; "D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb." Once again, the last keys of "D# and "Eb," are considered as "over-lapping keys" and function musically as the same keys with different letter names.

Alright, now that you understand all of the names of the keys in music, along with how some notes overlapp across the key signatures, (and how they can be viewed as both major and minor), the next step is creating a practice routine for running through them all with a study system that will get you up to a level of skill for soloing in all 12 keys.

Here's what I'm going to suggest. Start with 6 keys, (3 major and 3 minor). And, over the next 6 days practice applying these keys over a basic jam-track that uses a simple, "I-IV-V" chord progression within each of your chosen keys.

You can record it on a loop pedal, or maybe even use your favorite digital audio recording system. Whatever you decide to record the 1-4-5 on... over the next 6 days make sure you practice soloing using the appropriate scales for every progression in all six keys, over the entire guitar neck. I demonstrate doing this in the video (at 06:24) with the key of "A Major." 

Once you've developed your 6-day routine for covering 6 keys, (of 3 major and 3 minor), the next step is to swap out those 6 keys for a new group of six. At that point, I'd suggest starting all over again, except, if you'd like to, you can of course change the chord progression, but only if you feel that you're okay with that.

What I mean is that, instead of using a 1-4-5, I'd switch over to something new. Perhaps try incorporating a 1-3-6-5, or maybe use a 3-6-2-5. Whatever you decide upon, (in terms of your chord progression), make sure that you create both a major and a minor tonality version. And, every 6 days, switch to a new group of key signatures.

Also, you'll want to keep in mind that over the course of a month, (if you can maintain this study routine), you'll have practiced in all possible keys in both major and minor. Setting up a fantastic exercise routine for learning to solo in all of the musical key signatures.

Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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QwikRiffs #016: Dominant Blues (Mixolydian) Riffs in "Bb"

NEW: QwikRiffs Series - Video (016)

The latest QwikRiffs video, Dominant Blues (Mixolydian) Riffs in "Bb" is available in the members area. Includes PDF handout!

QwikRiffs are available to members at Creative Guitar Lessons in the QwikRiffs Series run through collections of rhythm guitar riffs covering all types of playing styles. I cover different 'famous artist' playing approaches and I will demonstrate ideas based on rhythm guitar techniques... 

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Episode #016 covers three "Dominant Blues" Riffs.

Riff one is a groovy idea based off of the 6th-string using the popular "power-chord" off of "Bb" to anchor the sound. Lower register tones of the "Bb Mixolydian" scale create a follow-up line.

Riff two mixes elements of pop, rock and blues with notes of the Mixolydian across a 2-bar phrase. The flow of the music drifts between chord shots and melodic lines from "Bb" Mixolydian. Under-tones of Blues flow across the part to create an interesting high-light to the riffs sound.

Riff three establishes a much heavier "Blues-Rock" sound with "Bb" power-chords punching in off of the first measure. The minor 7 and major 3rd are applied in measure one creating a strong "Dominant 7" influence. Mixolydian mode is used in measure two to create a turnaround phrase. 

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Sign into the website (or create your free members account) to join the members site. Sign up for the Basic Monthly or Premium (annual) membership to download the PDF handout for this lesson and study all of the other classes available on the website. 

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Why You're NOT Able to Use a Looper Pedal...

Looper pedals are excellent and should be a part of everyone's guitar practice kit. However, the sad truth is that a lot of guitar players buy them and have a terrible success rate with actually using them properly, (getting them to operate the loop function perfectly)...

Now, I can understand why this happens. It is because the functionality of a looper pedal rests upon punching in and out as perfectly as possible. And, if a guitarists' feel for timing isn't all that great, the pedal won't lie to you, it's going to relate back EXACTLY what you put into it.

But here's the good news, in this lesson, I've got a single revolutionary tip that will solve you're looper timing problems once and for all.


The looper pedal operates by a simple switch that punches your guitar part in and out of the mix that you're creating. In essence, the looper pedal is a very simple recording device and no matter which pedal you purchase the overall function of these loopers is all going to be the same.

What will vary however is the length of time that a pedal will record for, the number of foot-switches for punching in new loop segments, and how many layers you'll be able to place one over the other.

More expensive looper pedals (like the RC-300 by BOSS), will even allow data storage of your loops, and these high-end looper machines will even allow transfer of the loops (that you'll create) across to your computer, where you can use them in different ways after you download them as uncompressed .WAV files...

The Boss RC-300:

Let's get things started by creating a loop. For our demonstrations, I'll be using the "Ditto Looper" by TC Electronics. It's a very simple to use loop pedal, that's also quite inexpensive to purchase ($99.00 USD).

The Ditto Looper:

The Ditto is a single foot-switch pedal, with a single loop level control that provides a 5 min. loop limit, with unlimited overdubs. It does not allow storage, or transfer of loops and has no effects.

When it comes to creating loops (with any pedal), the biggest issue is always timing. And, the solution with this issue, is really simple, just get a metronome or a drum machine going on in the room, and play into the loop. In the video, I demonstrate this.

Now you understand how to create a loop (and get it into your loop pedal with perfect timing). The next step you can move on to is building a layer. This is easy to do, and sounds fantastic, since all you're doing is going onward with your looping process and creating a new part performed "on top of" the part that you just created.

This process is fantastic for testing ideas that you may want to try later on during the recording process, "or" this can also be a great way to just simply enhance the sound and feel of a loop that you know you'll be jamming on for awhile. Let's try adding a few layers on top of the part that we've already created in the pedal.

As you can tell, working with a looper is an excellent way to test ideas that you're practicing, and also to study soloing. Loop pedals are also great to work on building cool new ideas for eventually recording in your home studio, or maybe even using on stage... it's just a fantastic practicing tool.

I believe every guitarist needs to have a looper as a part of their home practice kit. And, once you can master the "Art of the Loop." you'll use your looper nearly every single day!

Once again; "The Art of the Loop" involves using a metronome or a drum machine dialed into a pre-set click and then you playing through the rehearsed part with a solid punch in and out. That's it!

When you've mastered this, you'll be able to establish loops that are solid, that flow through time perfectly, and that loop around 100% for layering, or for just jamming out with your favorite scales and arpeggios.

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Hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be. I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find.

The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense. So, I look forward to helping you further at ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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Guitar Scale "Finisher" (4 STAGES TO KILL 'EM ALL)

One of the most common questions that I'll get asked (especially in the studio by my own private students) is, "How Long Should I Practice Scales?" And, while there's the obvious answers of "until you've reached memorization," and also, "when you've developed a feeling of competency," there are still a lot of students who just don't feel like they will ever want to quit practicing scales...

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On this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider we're going to discuss what it takes to actually "Finish" the study of scales, (or at least clarify what "finished" means to you)...


In getting started, we need to clarify that in order to complete your scale practice and reach a level of feeling like you're all wrapped up in learning the scales, it's going to take quite a long time. Probably a number of years.

There's a lot of scale patterns to memorize and you'll need to work all of your "scale skills" up to a point where you've developed competency with the shapes from a technical direction.

Let's analyze this process in respect to "stages of development." From stage one, which would be committing the shapes to memory - to the final stage of "maximum control."

STAGE (1): Your first goal with any new scale pattern should be committing the scale shape to memory. This is very similar to learning a songs verse, chorus or guitar riff. Once you no longer need to look at the TAB of song you're working on, (and you're playing the song from memory), you've committed the piece to your unconscious.

This is exactly what you'll want to do with any guitar scale pattern that you're learning. Commit it under your fingers and into your mind so that you can sit with your guitar, playing the scale just by staring at your fingerboard, (and eventually with your eyes closed). Once you've reached this initial stage, you're ready to move onto the next one.

STAGE (2): The next stage of finishing off your scales, involves what a lot of players simply call, "Wood-shedding." This is where the, (now committed to memory, scale shape) is worked on for hours and hours over months and months of practice. This is so that the scale is technically competent.

The main goal regarding this stage of scale study is being able to run the scale through all of the primary note durations. These include beginning from eighth-notes, moving onto sixteenth-notes. And, also developing triplet feel as well - with both eighth-note and sixteenth-note triplets.

All through this stage, you should be practicing all of these feels with a metronome set to a tempo that you can play the scales at perfectly.

STAGE (3): The third stage of scale development is application. Once you know the shape and you can play it without relying upon a chart or a TAB, and once you have some technical competency with it, it's time to begin applying the scale into some type of musical situation.

This could be something as simple as just messing with a 3 or 4-chord practice loop that relates to the key center of the scale. If you were studying major scales, and you decided upon the "A Major" scale for that day's study, you'll want to work out a simple loop of chord changes in "A Major" to apply the scale under.

The this style of work, the classic "I-IV-V" progressions will be great. For the key of "A Major," I could play a progression with "A" moving to "E" and then to the "D." Playing some lead over the changes would be what you'd want to spend your time working on.Developing the first "baby steps" of phrasing melody is the goal.

STAGE (4): The fourth stage of scale practice involves reaching a point at where mapping the whole neck with the scale you're studying is becomes well developed. I'll often refer to this with my own students as: getting the scale so well known on the neck, in every key signature that, no matter what key you're in, the whole neck feels like one big friendly place for that scale and in that key.

Whatever key, or scale that it might happen to be, you'll want to have a maximum control and a really high level of awareness and of course technical competency with the scale shapes. This is so that no matter where you are on the neck, it feels incredibly easy to perform phrases, melody lines or licks.

Now, this can be practiced in a lot of different ways, but you can lay down a good foundation for this by using a combination of; mapping the neck with fingerings of the scale, using fingerboard diagram paper to organize original layouts, learning other peoples guitar solos, and composing original melodic ideas of your own.

Every musician will tend to look off into the future when it comes to the development of skills. We're only human and part of human nature is understanding the conclusion regarding everything that we're involved with. Without being focused upon the conclusion, we're left with what psychologists call an "open-loop."

And, unfortunately, this "open-loop" theory is where we tend to be with learning scales over a very long time. The problem in one sense is how much initial physical and memory work is involved with learning scale patterns. There's actually so much work involved, that a lot of guitar players, start and stop learning the scale shapes over months until they finally commit to saying, "enough's - enough" and no matter what - they are going to learn all their scales.

The "enough's - enough" stage, is really the place that a guitarist needs to make it to in order to fully commit to the four stages I discussed here and eventually to reach the point of finishing their scale studies once - and for all.

I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section... if you enjoyed this video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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GUITAR SOLOING #015 - Soloing with Lydian Mode

December 22, 2017:
Lesson 015 - Soloing with Lydian Mode

Lydian scale is our most valuable sound for covering unique major key situations. Lydian offers us coverage for major key Lydian mode harmony, along with altered major 7th chords and most importantly, for non-functioning major 7th chord types... 
Lesson 015 explores this... 

In Part One of the lesson, we'll study how to use Lydian mode as it functions off of some very unique modal harmony and 7th-chord applications. In Part Two of the lesson, we'll study more advanced applications of Lydian by using it for the "Major 7(b5)." Plus, we'll also learn how the Lydian mode is the perfect way to cover non-functioning Major 7th chords.

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:

PART ONE:  In example one, a "D Lydian" modal progression using the tonic chord of "D Major" travels upwards in harmony by a whole step to it's "II-chord" (E Maj.). In example 1a, I've composed a 2-bar progression that you can learn and then record for jamming over. In example 1b, I've included a short melody line that is composed from out of the "D Lydian" mode.

Example two explores 7th-chord harmony within the "G" Lydian mode. The sound heard in this progression is commonly used in styles like; Soul, Fusion and Jazz, (along with some forms of rhythm and blues). The 7th-chords are applied as a way to surround the direction of resolution into the "G maj7" so that the "G" Lydian mode becomes the anchor of the tonality.

Example three is composed of a series of dreamy arpeggiated chord changes that apply broken sounds of, "F maj7(b5)," "B diminished," and "C add2." With this strong Lydian mode harmony, the progression establishes a solid connection to the "F Lydian" mode. The Tonic Chord is most interesting, [Major 7 (b5)] as it anchors the color of, "F Lydian" and produces a solid backdrop for the accompanying melodic line.

Example four, demonstrates the use of Lydian mode over, "Non-Diatonic" Major 7th chords. Many chord progressions in Jazz and Jazz-Fusion music will introduce Major 7th chords that do not relate to the underlying key center. These Major 7th chords are referred to as, "Non-Functioning," (or "Non-Diatonic"). Basically, they are chords that do not fit into the key signature. When these chords are of the "Major 7th" quality, they can be covered by using the "Lydian Mode."

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The chord progression in example four does not function harmonically within one single tonality. The first two measures (E maj9#11, G#m7), can be covered using the, "E Lydian," mode. However, in the third measure, the "F# maj9" does not relate to the first two measures harmony. This chord is considered "Non-Diatonic" and can be covered by using, "F# Lydian." The final measure returns to the sound of "E Lydian."

Paid members can download the handout along with the MP3 jamtrack in the members area at:



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3 HUGE Guitar Practice Cheats

Our hands with our mind will compensate for inefficiencies with our guitar playing. This causes us to in effect "Cheat" with our guitar technique. What do I mean by this? Well, instead of developing techniques in the most efficient ways, we cheat, and compensate the techniques performing them inefficiently, (because they feel easier to our body). A lot of guitar players end up having problems with their technique because of this...

Whether it is picking, strumming, or performing Legato - you name it. Regardless of the problem - when guitar players practice their skills, they can cheat on their practice - causing the "skills they want to develop," to take a lot longer to master than may be necessary.

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In this lesson, we're going to check out ways that will help you speed up the process of doing solid practice, for getting you up to speed with THREE popular techniques, much faster...


Our bodies; hands, wrists and arms will tend to want to move in ways that are efficient to the body, but inefficient for playing guitar. It's a little bit like, if you've ever been to the gym for a work-out, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes the best things for your workout are not how your body, "wants to move."

Translated to guitar playing, the specific types of movements that we're going to need for; picking, strumming or other guitar playing approaches, might not (exactly be) what's the most efficient to how our body feels like it wants to move. But, to get guitar techniques mastered in your playing, you're going to have to stop cheating.

To further develop your playing, you'll need to learn how to focus on what you're doing that is efficient, and also stop doing things that are inefficient. At that point you'll be able to start getting your technique working FOR YOU instead of AGAINST YOU so you can maximize your results.

Let's begin with picking... The highest levels of picking efficiency (for most players) will come together when a guitarist is picking from the wrist. Yet, a lot of guitar players will find that they're picking from the elbow, or more commonly, from the rotation of the forearm.

Pay particular attention to this. Especially if you develop pain in your hand, in your wrist or arm, you're quite likely doing something wrong with your picking technique. For making appropriate changes to better perfect your playing, set out to make picking practice a "routine of study" in your playing, (at least for a year or so) to have your technique really take root.

I have an example that you can try. It uses a group of notes turned into a repetitive sequenced drill. Study this by performing the drill all over the neck - taking it across several string sets and positions.

Picking Drill:

Strum technique is another area where players tend to have a lot of issues. Strumming technique must involve the wrist and the arm operating together so they operate as one to generate smooth relaxed guitar strumming. Accuracy (across the string sets) is paramount - in the long term, with the most important idea to master early being feel.

Like with all guitar techniques, remain as relaxed as possible. Tension is the worst thing for you, because it causes mistakes and it leads to poor performance long term. Focus on your strumming as being generated from your wrist, and grip your pick only with enough force to keep that pick in between your fingers. Too tight of a picjk-grip will cause issues with the attack and with your dynamics. Here's an "example strum" you can learn to perform for strumming practice.

Strumming Drill:

The next area that I want to cover is; Legato Technique, (most often referred to as) "Hammer-on and Pull-off" technique. In performing this technique on guitar there are two important things I'm always stressing with my own personal students.

The first is using the tips of the fingers for the hammer-on, (so that you can really connect with good down-ward force onto the string so the finger tip slams onto the fret with a good impact).

The other, is making sure that the pull-off is flicked downward at the floor off of the string from the fingerboard. Too often, I find that students do more of a "direct lift" of the finger in an upward movement, rather than make a movement that flicks the string so that it snaps the note creating good resonance off the string from the first note over to the second note.

Here's a Hammer-on and Pull-Off technique exercise that you can practice to develop the ability for applying these ideas.

Legato Drill:

I hope that these Guitar Practice ideas help you start moving away from cheating on your skills. Ya know, I guess in a way, it really isn't exactly cheating, because your body is just trying to have success, by guessing at how to do things like; "hold the pick," or "hit at the strings."

Your body doesn't naturally know how to play guitar. And, that's why we have guitar lessons, and very dedicated teachers, who are working hard to try their best to help you to better understand how some of these important guitar techniques can become better developed in your guitar playing.

Once you learn efficient methods for playing guitar, your entire body will become more relaxed and you'll be able to better tap into all of that incredible music you have the potential to play.

Thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be. I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find.

The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at ...Until next time - if you liked this lesson, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more on YouTube... keep practicing, and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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ACOUSTIC GUITAR 014: Gypsy Jazz Chords & Rhythm

Acoustic Guitar 014: 

Gypsy Jazz Chords and Rhythm...

The up-tempo beat of Gypsy Jazz combined with the styles' collection of unique chord voicings, makes this a really interesting style to study for all guitar players. In this lesson, we're going to run through several Gypsy Jazz progressions. We'll practice the strumming feel, (with particular focus on the way that the strum pattern is used across the string sets). 

Plus, we'll spend a good amount of the lesson focused upon the chord patterns that are the most popular ones used in this style... 

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In the lesson, examples of the strum technique are shown using many different chord patterns. The shapes of each chord are provided in chord diagrams shown in the lesson handout. Download the PDF worksheets for this lesson to view all of the TAB and chord diagrams for each assignment.

The studies will cover "La Pompe" strumming, rapid chord changes across the Gypsy Jazz harmony, as well as, specialized patterns of 3-note chord voicings (Minor and Dominant 7th). The lesson concludes with an 8-bar chord progression that uses a common Gypsy Jazz arrangement in cut-time...

Watch the Video:

In example one, we start things off with an in-depth breakdown of the "La Pompe" rhythm strumming technique. Learning to perform this strumming concept is paramount to developing the strum-style that is used across all Gypsy Jazz guitar parts. A 2-bar chord study using dominant 9th chords will help players gain the ability for performing "La Pompe," strum-hand technique.

Example two takes the "La Pompe" strum technique across some rapid chord moves that are typical to the Gypsy Jazz guitar style. In example two, we are applying the rhythmic groove of "La Pompe" across a group of four chords in the key of " E Major." These chords are, "E6(add9)," "C#m7," "F#m7," and "Bbdim7." This type of chord arrangement is generally typical of the harmonies that are associated to the style of Gypsy Jazz.

PART TWOThe exercise in example three demonstrates another popular element surrounding the concept of performing Gypsy Jazz. This playing technique involves the creation of small 3-note chord patterns that can be moved along and across the guitar fingerboard very quickly. 

These shapes are fantastic for jamming through chords that are lined up along the fret-board in linear ways. The example takes two similar chord patterns of the "Minor 6" and adds a 1st-inversion shape of an "A Minor." The turnaround phrase uses a 3-note chord pattern for a 5th-string root Dominant 7th chord.

Example four wraps-up our lesson plan with an arrangement of a real world example of a common Gypsy Jazz chord progression. 

The progression uses chords that switch rapidly through a harmony from the key center of "A Major." Interesting chord voicings are used throughout this progression - they include; "Major 6," "Diminished 7th," as well as, both Minor and Dominant chords along with inversions. A fast-paced groove is formed from the time signature set in "cut-time," feel.

Related Videos:

Gypsy Jazz Chords and Rhythm... 

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 013: Bossa /Samba Latin Guitar Style

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 012: Acoustic Blues - Harmonies and Riffs

ACOUSTIC GUITAR 011: Chordal Picking Technique



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