Tag Archives for " Chord Progressions "

Chug-Zing Strumming Technique

Here’s another guitar lesson, brought to you from the beautiful outdoors in British Columbia. Today I wanted to take a look at a strumming technique that can really help add some dynamics to your guitar playing.

The heart of this technique is to simply be selective in what strings you strum… don’t feel like you always have to strum all the strings at the same time!

The “chug” part of this comes from strumming the lowest two or three strings in your chord. This is going to form the main part of your rhythm, but as soon as we add in the “zing” bit (a full strum), it really brightens up the sound spectrum, gives a bit of pop and sizzle. And then you’re right back into the chug, and the listener is left waiting for the next zing to pop out…

Alright, here’s the lesson – let me know what you think in the comments below!

Oh yeah – and if you want a heads up notice on the new course I’m creating, on this type of playing (adding dynamics and generally making simple stuff sound really cool) then click here.

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Using A Partial Capo (Cool Trick)

partial-guitar-capoIn previous guitar lessons I’ve covered how to use a guitar capo and how to transpose with a guitar capo, but in this lesson we’re going to take a slightly different approach to the capo – we’re going to only use it on part of the fretboard!

So grab your guitar capo, and place it on the second fret – but don’t let it touch the low E string, the 6th string. (See the pic on the left) Leave as much room as possible for that string, because it will be vibrating and buzzing around a bit, and it does need it’s personal space! Remember, it’s a good idea to re-check the tuning on your guitar at this point.

What we’ve done here is create a tuning that looks like this: E-B-E-A-C#-F#. This is very similar to Drop D tuning, which would be the same thing but a whole tone down. However, there is one major difference, and that is that we’ve not actually changed the tuning; we added a capo. Therefore, the intervals between the strings are the same as in standard tuning, and none of our chord shapes break, unless they’re using the open 6th string.

What I mean by that is you can go ahead and play a G major the same as you normally would, (properly moving up two frets to accommodate the capo of course) and there is no problem. In Drop D tuning, you’d have to totally change how you created that G major chord, because of the difference in tuning.

So that presents some interesting possibilities, chief of which is getting that low E to really ring out nice and beautifully, while shifting everything else into a slightly higher pitch. In my ever so humble opinion, this creates a really cool effect, and it’s something I’ve been playing around with quite a bit since I shot this video.

So grab your guitar and capo, and let’s dig into a few cool things that you can do with this alternate tuning.

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10 Popular Guitar Chord Progressions

I’ve had a few people asking about guitar chord progressions lately, so I figured I would put together a little lesson showing a number of variations.

The first thing here is that you’ll see all the guitar chord progressions are listed out in roman numerals – not in chord names. Why? Because when we use numbers, these chord progressions can be very quickly and easily transposed into any key of your choice. In the video, all the examples are done in the key of G. If you’re not familiar with the number system, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of my Unlocking I IV V course; it deals with this nice and efficiently.

If you want to transpose these from the key of G, simply make whatever key you want to move to your new “I” chord. For instance, if you move to the key of B major, B major becomes your new “I” chord instead of G. Likewise, all the other chord relationships change by the same amount as well.

I’m not going to teach you how to interpret the number system in this lesson, though I do give a really brief overview in the video. Notice that nearly all the progressions start with the “I” chord… indeed you will find it incredibly common to start the song on the tonic chord; however that said, I did include a progression that doesn’t start on the “I” just because I wanted to show you that this isn’t a strict requirement. It’s a little off the beaten track, but by no means unheard of.

Here are the ten guitar chord progressions in the video:

  1. I – IV – V
  2. I – IV – V – IV – I
  3. I – V – VI – IV
  4. I – VI – V – IV
  5. I – VI – III
  6. I – VI – II – V
  7. I – III – IV – V
  8. I – III – VI – IV
  9. I – II – III – IV – V
  10. IV – V – I – VI

 10 Popular Guitar Chord Progressions

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Guitar Riffs #6 – Fun Rhythm & Riff

Here’s the latest in a gradually growing series of guitar riffs and licks that I’ve been doing.

Basically, this is a 12 bar blues progression I just jammed up for teaching purposes; maybe you can make something of it! The progression is simply I IV V using power chords. So that’s B5, E5, and F#5 as the rhythm section. If you’re unclear about that, please checkout my lesson on power chords for a refresher.

The riffs come out of the B pentatonic minor scale, which starts at the 7th fret. Again, if you need a refresher, checkout my lesson on the pentatonic minor scale. There are a couple small modifications in there as well, but I explain those in the video.

This lesson ties together a few different concepts that we’ve covered over the past while, so it is a bit more advanced than some of the other lessons. If you’re having trouble playing it all, then just pick a single riff out of the lesson, and go work on that. If you can pickup the whole thing right away, then great! Go off and jam with these ideas and make them your own. Don’t feel like you have to play the rhythm or riff the same way I do.

Add your own interpretation. Be creative. And have fun.

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The Most Popular Chord Progression of All Time

I suppose “The Most Popular Chord Progression of All Time” may be a slightly pretentious title; however I think if you start looking into this a bit more, you’ll agree with me that the I – V – VI – IV progression is indeed incredibly popular.

You see, dozens and dozens of hit songs over the years have used these four chords, and although the key may change, the basic sound is always there. Look up “Four Chords by Axis of Awesome” on Youtube and you’ll see what I mean.

So I thought it might be useful for some people if I did a quick guitar lesson on exactly what those four chords are, in five different keys. Because this is one of the most popular chord progressions you’re likely to come across, it is well worth becoming familiar with it in all of it’s variations.

So learn the chords, recognize the interval similarities between each key (you can learn way more about the number system and guitar theory at my Unlocking I IV V website) and above all, have fun!

The Most Popular Chord Progression of All Time

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I mention this in the video, but in case you want a handy reference, the four chords in the five keys (key is the first chord in brackets) are as follows:

  • (C) G Am F
  • (A) E F#m D
  • (G) D Em C
  • (E) B C#m A
  • (D) A Bm G

If you’re still unsure as to why these chords belong together, or how we go from one key to another, or finding which ones are sharp, and which ones are natural in the chord progression, then I highly recommend checking out my Unlocking I IV V guitar lesson as it reveals the answers to all these questions and more.

Also, you might like to checkout another lesson I did covering 10 Popular Chord Progressions.


Sweet Home Alabama Chords for Guitar

This lesson will teach you the Sweet Home Alabama chords for the guitar. This is one of those super popular guitar songs that most people will recognize. In fact, most people will probably recognize this song from just the chords and the picking pattern, even without playing the riffs.

In this lesson, Colin teaches the chords and the picking pattern, and although we’ll save the riffs for another lesson, if you watch close you can pick up a few ideas for those too.

The basic guitar chords are D, C and G, with an F major in there as well.

Have fun with this one!

Sweet Home Alabama Chords for Guitar

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