Acoustic Rhythm: Thumping? Drumming?

Lately I’ve been playing more acoustic guitar, and as a result, I’ve started experimenting with some new rhythm techniques. In today’s lesson we’re talking about adding a “thump” in between the strumming. To be honest, I don’t really know what to call this technique, drumming on your guitar? Percussive rhythm? Who knows, and who cares,

A Sweet Mark Knopfler Lick

Today’s guitar lick is inspired by one that Mark Knopfler played in Sultans of Swing. Specifically, the lick in the second verse after the “jazz goes down” line. That lick is played over an A major chord, and if you dissect it, you discover that all of the notes in that lick are simply straight

Another Nameless Blues Lick

I’ve gotta confess, it’s HARD to name guitar licks! I could just go with the lick of the week number, but that seems bland and boring. Or, I could describe what’s under the hood so to speak – today we’re using a the blues scale, a flatted fifth, a one tone bend, etc. But again,

The Repeater

Sometimes it just feels SO great to dig into a short phrase in the middle of a solo, and just repeat it over and over and over and over and over again! Loads of great players have used this trick, from Eric Clapton to BB King to John Mayer and everyone in between. There are

Lick 14: More Sliding Sixths

This is a cool-sounding lick that you can modify in a lot of different ways. In fact, it’s kind of like three licks in one. You can have a lot of fun with just the first bar, especially if you take that idea and move it elsewhere in the scale. Then, in the second bar,

Lick of the Week 13: Bluesy Flatted 3rd

Have you ever wanted to capture a real bluesy sound in your licks? Today’s Lick of the Week comes straight out of the pentatonic major scale, with one small twist… We’re using a flatted third as a passing note, going up to the third of the chord, and that little movement adds tons of blues

Lick of the Week 12: Traveling 3 Positions

This is a great lick to help you move from one position to another, and of course, you can take this basic idea and apply it to more positions as well! Let me know in the comments below what kind of licks you’d like to see here in the future. You can find all the

Lick of the Week 11: A Nice Bend & Slide

It’s easy to slip into a rut of just playing within the same box patterns all the time, and sometimes you’re really looking for just a slightly different way to play those notes that changes things up a bit. Well, this is one of those riffs that can help change things up – just ever

Lick of the Week 10: Flatted Fifth Double Stop

Flatted fifths are incredibly dissonant… And that’s exactly why we like them! There’s nothing quite like creating massive musical dissonance and then immediately resolving it – people just love that stuff. However, if you camp out on the dissonance, your solo is going to go downhill FAST. So, as I mentioned in the video, although

Lick of the Week 9: 4ths in G Major

Today I thought I’d haul out my acoustic guitar for a bit of a change, and teach a guitar lick that might be a little more accessible for the beginners among us. It’s actually pretty much the same lick as we learned in Lick 7: Sliding Fourths, but it may sound and feel very different

Lick of the Week 8: Sliding Sixths

Today’s guitar lick comes from the key of C major. We’re working with sixths, which are also sometimes called inverted thirds. If you like that kind of thing, checkout my Secrets of Tasty Riffs & Solos course for a lot more of it. The main difference between a sixth and an inverted third is which

Lick of the Week 7: Sliding Fourths

If memory serves, I first stole this lick or something like it from Colin James. If you’re not familiar with his music, look him up, it’s awesome! Double stops like this are sooo tasty, I can’t get enough of them. For extra effect, make sure you line these up over top of the correct chord.

Lick of the Week 6: Descending Diatonic Major

Sometimes it can sound SO good to simply use the scale as a lick. Sequence or pattern based licks are great for that, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today with this descending diatonic major lick. It’s straight out of the diatonic major scale. If you wanted, you could apply this same pattern to literally

Lick of the Week 5: Dim7 Chords

I bet this one is a bit off the beaten path for you! Unless you’re into jazz, not too many guitar players plumb the depths of the diminished chords, but today I wanted to show you a fairly simple way to string some into a lick. The amazing beauty of this diminished 7th chord shape

Lick of the Week 4: Open Pentatonic Bend

Open position guitar licks are kind of their own animal. Sure, you can often try to apply them to other scale positions – and later in this lesson you’ll see me do that – however, because of the open notes we have access to, we can often end up playing things that we simply couldn’t

Lick of the Week 3: Double Stops

This guitar lick comes from two different scale patterns, box 1 and box 2 of the pentatonic minor patterns, or you could also call them the root 6 major and minor scales. A double stop is simply two notes played simultaneously. In the right context, the right double stop can be an incredibly sweet addition

Lick of the Week 2: Pentatonic Repetition

Today’s guitar lick comes straight out of Box 1 of the pentatonic minor scale. Elsewhere, I’ve often called this the root 6 pentatonic minor scale, because the root note for the pattern is on the 6th string.  Here’s the tab: The secret to this riff is mastering the repetitive picking motion. Down, pull off, up. Repeat. I

Lick of the Week 1: A Sweet Minor Third

This is a really useful minor third based lick, straight out of the pentatonic minor scale. Though come to think of it, we’re using one note from the next box pattern as well.  Here’s the tab for the lick:The minor third is created by those first two notes in the riff. The lower note is an

Alternate Rhythm Parts – Jam Track in D

In this guitar lesson we’re going to look at some of the alternate rhythm parts used in the Jam Track in D Major I posted recently.  Here are the different parts we’re discussing:Start – Main rhythm part4:26 Lead riff over the 2-bar “A” build5:25 Fourths7:03 Alternate rhythm using the C9:25 Acoustic inverted thirds

Jam Track in D Major

Are you ready to solo with a fun jam track? This one is in D major.  If you’d like to learn how to play some of the rhythm parts in this track, checkout this lesson here.