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Introduction to the Concept of Scales (Guitar Lesson)

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Chris Liepe

Introduction to the Concept of Scales

Chris Liepe is back in lesson 5 with an introduction to scales. In this lesson, you will learn how to play up and down simple scale patterns.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Basic Electric Guitar with Chris seriesLength: 13:55Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: What Is Covered
Here is a synopsis of what's covered in the first chapter:
- Theory: sharps and flats, whole steps and half steps.
- The notes on the guitar - learning the fretboard.
- Learning the scales.
- Playing the scales with a click and backing track.
Chapter 2: A Bit of Theory
This is used to help you understand the fundamentals behind this lesson:
-Accidentals are notes that have a '#' or 'b' symbol with them that indicates if they have been raised or lowered by a half step.

-In this lesson, everything will be referred to as a 'sharp' (#).
-Whole Step = distance of 2 frets, abbreviated as 'W.'
-Half Step = distance of 1 fret, abbreviated as 'H.'
-Every major scale has this whole step/half step makeup between the notes: W-W-H-W-W-W-H
Chapter 3: Learning the Notes on the Guitar
You will learn the notes that these scales create for each string:
-Learning the neck.
-If you have the names of the strings memorized by now, you can count up fret by fret to name the notes on the guitar.
-For example on your 6th or E string, fret 1 would be F, fret 2 would be F#, 3 would be G, 4 would be G#, 5 would be A etc...
-You can do this for each string.
-Learning the one string major scales and naming the notes while you play them will help you learn the notes on the guitar and help you become familiar with the sound of the major scale.
Chapter 4: Learning the Scales
Here, you will apply the technique to learn the scale for each string:
-Refer to the provided tab under "Supplemental Content."
-Each scale has the same positioning; they are simply played on different strings.
-Note the fingering that is used to play each scale.
Chapter 5: Playing with a Click and Backing Track
Now is the time to apply what you have learned to playing with a click or backing track:
-Take things slow. Focus on the fingering and naming the notes while you play before you try to play to a click or the backing track.
-Use alternate picking to play these scales: continuously alternate between down and upstrokes.
-Remember proper picking technique and hand position!
-Play each scale ascending and descending two times before moving on to the next string with the track.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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This is Chris Liepe.

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Lesson number five.

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Today we are going to be working on single string scales.

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Before we do that we are going to look at a way to figure out all of the names of the notes on the guitar

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You guys have probably seen charts that show you all the names of the notes

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but as we look at the neck it is pretty easy to figure this out.

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We have gone over the names of our open strings from there we can learn the rest of the names of the notes.

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Getting them memorized just takes a lot of practice and playing a lot of different scales.

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Hopefully these single string scales that we are going to work on today

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will help drive home a good portion of the notes for you.

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So open string names we've got E, A, D, G, B and e.

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In the world of music you have what are called sharps and flats.

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Sharps and flats I referred to in the last lesson as accidentals.

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What sharps and flats are:

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A sharp is if I've got for example a G. I am going to raise that G up a half step.

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A half step on the guitar is the distance of one fret.

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If I raise that up, if I raise the G up a half step on the guitar I am going to get what is called a G sharp.

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If I lower that G a half step, the distance of one fret I am going to get a G flat.

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Raising a note a half step sharps the note.

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Lowering the note a half step flats the note.

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Now if I am playing a G sharp and I sharp that note I am actually going to run into A.

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We will get into key signatures more a little bit later and there are some tricky things that happen

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with key signatures that you get some crazy note names but for the most part what I've just said is true.

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For todays purposes we are going to be referring to everything on the neck as a sharp.

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Now because of the way notes are laid out and if you look at a piano this is going to make sense because you've got

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your white keys and you've got your black keys.

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There are not as many black keys as there are white keys.

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That is because in our twelve tone American music scale we do not have an E sharp we also do not have a B sharp.

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Again there are exceptions to that but we are not going to deal with that right now.

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An E sharp is simply going to be F because E and F are a half step or one fret apart.

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There is also no B sharp because B and C on the guitar are a half step apart.

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So if we've got an open E and you raise E a half step that is going to be an F

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but if you raise F a half step that is going to be an F sharp.

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The distance between F and G is what is called a whole step

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A whole step is defined as two frets on the guitar or one note in between.

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So from F to F sharp is going to be a half step.

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From F to G is going to be a whole step.

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This is really important.

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Understanding whole steps and half steps is really important when we build a major scale.

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Which are the scales that we are going to be learning today.

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A major scale is made up of a certain chemistry of whole steps and half steps to give it the sound that it has.

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If you look in the notes you can see this but the make up is you've got your first note, a whole step, a whole step,

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a half step then three more whole steps and then a half step.

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Let me illustrate that for you.

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We are going to start with the single string E major scale.

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So if I am playing an E major scale and we look at that order of whole steps to half steps

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we are going to build a major scale off of E off of our low string here.

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So my first note is going to be E.

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So between my first note and my second note I've got a whole step.

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So that's going to give us E and the distance of two frets which is a going to give us an F sharp.

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I've also got another whole step.

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So you've got two whole steps to start us off.

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That's going to give me a G sharp.

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Then the distance between my next set of notes is going to be a half step.

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So I am going to go from G sharp up to A.

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So we've got whole step, whole step, half step.

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Then I've got three more whole steps so that's going to be the distance of 2 frets.

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So that's going to be from A to B.

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Then I've got another whole step from B to C sharp.

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One more whole step from C sharp to D sharp.

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Then from D sharp to E.

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So if we play that again the order is whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

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That's the combination of whole steps to half steps that make up the major scale.

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So we've got whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

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If I play that just as a scale it is going to sound like this.

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There is your first E major scale.

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Refer to the supplemental materials a little more to get the tablature for that so that you can get it memorized.

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But you can see how this major scale all of a sudden you've learned the placement of a lot of different notes on the guitar.

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Again if you are walking up in half steps on this low E string and you are using the musical alphabet plus the sharps and flats

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idea that we are talking about you've got E, F, F sharp, G, G sharp, A, A sharp, B, C, remember there is no B sharp,

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C sharp, D, D sharp and E.

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After the twelfth fret on the guitar the notes start over again so the same notes that you would play on your thirteenth fret

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is going to be the same note name as your first fret.

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That is true with all strings once you get past the twelfth fret.

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So we are going to come up with a major scale for each of the strings.

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So you're going to have an E major scale that you will have learned.

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An A major scale, a D major scale, a G major scale, a B major scale and then another higher e major scale.

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If you name the notes while you are doing this while you are playing the scales,

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again refer to the supplemental content, it is all tabbed out for you

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and the note names are even written above the notes, the standard musical notation for you so you can begin to equate

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which notes are where both on the neck and on the standard musical notation as you are looking at the tablature.

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As you are doing this if you are naming your notes you are really going to start to get an understanding

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of the names of the notes as they pertain to your guitar neck.

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Let's go over that E major scale again.

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The fingering that we are going to use here to get these scales is going to be the same on every string

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and the form is going to be the same on every string.

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This is a way for you to start playing down the neck a little bit and it's a way for you to start learning your notes.

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So we're going to play open and then we're going to play first finger second fret, then third finger fourth fret.

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Then we're going to come up here on our fifth fret and play with our first finger again.

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Then second finger seventh fret.

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Fourth finger ninth fret.

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First finger eleventh fret and second finger twelfth fret.

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So played a little bit more up to speed that's going to sound like this.

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There is the E major scale.

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Now down we're going to do the same fingering.

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This fingering can feel kind of awkward at first because you are really stretching your hand out but it's a good exercise.

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As long as you've got your hand positioning correct, in one of the last lessons we talked about keeping your thumb

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the joint of your thumb here on the hump of the neck.

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If you are doing that you should have plenty of hand out here to get these stretches.

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Also don't worry about it for right now if you need to rock your hand a little bit to get these reaches.

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That might look something like this.

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Not as cool as being able to stretch your hand out.

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That will come if you're using proper technique.

Scene 2

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Let's move down to our A string.

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We are going to take the exact same positioning on this string and move it down to the A string

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and we're going to have an A major scale.

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So the same frets apply, it is just that you are playing on a different string and you've got a different major scale.

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It's going to look like this.

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Ok. Now if we look at the names of our notes on A.

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On the A string.

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You've got A, A sharp, B, C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, etcetera.

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So in our A major scale we have A, B, C sharp, D, E, F sharp, G sharp, A.

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Hopefully this is making sense with the relationship between the way the notes are laid out on the guitar

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and the major scale.

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Again, refer to the tablature and the note names within the tablature to really help this sink in.

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If we take that same idea and go down to the D string.

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It's the same exact positioning you're just playing on a different string.

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So here is a D major scale.

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If we use our fret by fret note naming thing again here we can determine the names of these notes as: D, E, F sharp, G, A, B,

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C sharp and D.

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We will take the same thing we have done on these three strings and take it down to the G string.

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Start open there and we've got a G major scale.

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The note names there would be: G, A, B, C, D, E, F sharp and G.

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Moving down to the B string.

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If you look at the note names in the B major you've got a lot of sharps.

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B, C sharp, D sharp, E, F sharp, G sharp, A sharp and B.

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That one is probably going to be the trickiest one to remember.

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Then of course your E major scale down here on your open is going to be the same notes as your low E.

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Just a few octaves higher.

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E, F sharp, G, A, B, C sharp, D sharp and E.

Scene 3

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I am going to play all of these major scales back to back and you will see the similarities of them.

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As you're playing these following along with the tablature, naming the notes, looking at the fret board

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and playing them very slowly.

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You are going to get an idea not only how it feels to move up and down the neck

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but you will start learning the names of the notes as they correspond to tablature and your fret board.

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Here is the demonstration for you.

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So you can see the shape, as we said before, is exactly the same on each string.

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I have also included a track to play to on this that has a little bit of a band behind you.

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This is going to help you once you've got the positioning down, once you've gone through the whole note naming thing,

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this is going to help get you used to using proper technique and staying in rhythm as you play these lines.

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This is necessary as you develop to go on to play your own solos.

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Go ahead and go to the audio section of the supplemental materials, listen to this track

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and then we will talk through the specifics of how to play to the track in just a moment.

Scene 4

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Ok. You have listened to the track.

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The track goes at a relatively slow pace for the scales but if you need to go slower which you probably will.

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Start by playing to a metronome to a consistent pulse playing these scales back to back and naming your notes.

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Once you feel comfortable with that, move to the track.

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What the track is doing it is basically having you play through each one of these scales twice.

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Then you move on to the next string.

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You play once ascending which is up.

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You play once descending which is down.

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Then you do that again and then you move to the next string.
That is how the track is structured.

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You will hear chords behind you. The chords are there to reinforce the transitions you are making with the scale.

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The reason this is a good exercise is because it helps you hear what the notes sound like in the context of a musical example.

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At the end of this lesson by the time you have worked through this you should have a good understanding of

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the notes on the guitar, they way they relate to the fret board

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and the way they relate to the musical notation in terms of connecting the tablature, musical notation and fret board.

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You should also get a good idea of what it means to play single note lines over a musical idea or over a track.

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We have already done it with chords.

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This is your first chance to do it with a single pick line.

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A note about picking.

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When you are picking in a musical situation. In this setting it is not too big of a deal but as we speed things up

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and as you learn different lines you will need to develop a technique called alternate picking.

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We have already gone over how to hold the pick.

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Alternate picking is going to be is instead of just strumming down on every note.

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We will go to this 6th string E major scale to demonstrate.

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Instead of picking down every note you are going to alternate every other note down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up.

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This action should come from your wrist and the movement of your fingers.

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Not your arm.

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You want to have as little motion as possible happening so you do not hit the other strings.

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When you are alternate picking it can be really easy to hit some of the other strings.

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Especially when you pick up speed and start moving from string to string.

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You want to make sure that you are muting with this portion of your hand, the strings below the ones that you are picking.

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When I say the strings below I do not mean below in terms of gravity.

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I mean below in terms of the lower strings versus higher strings.

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So if I am playing my G string I am going to be resting this portion of my hand on my E string, A string and D string.

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So if I am playing my G string I am going to be resting this portion of my hand on my E string, A string and D string.

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You can still hear that G string ringing but the rest of them are muted

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so that if I accidentally hit them while I am picking through a line they don't ring out and make the sound messy.

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Hopefully as you go through this lesson and the materials and the track you will have a better understanding of the way

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musical notation relates to tablature, relates to the fret board and learning your notes on the fret board.

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Stay tuned for the next lesson.

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We will be talking about basic minor chord forms and bar chords.


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Barb1997Barb1997 replied

Wow! I never thought to use the major scale on each string to learn the fretboard. Thanks.

DarkMagik666DarkMagik666 replied

I really Love Chris's way of teaching

rogerfunkrogerfunk replied

E major scale w w h w w w h e f#g # ab c#d# e Chris says e f#g a bc# d#e

BradleyABradleyA replied

Whole steps and half steps. Is this another way of saying whole tones and semi-tones?

teammcteammc replied

Easter Bunny Goes Dancing At Easter EBGDAE

JamesriverJamesriver replied

You know, I went through these lessons once more to see how fast I could get through them.. then started back from lesson 1 taking each lesson very seriously and mastering each level. Now on level 5 and I have been here for a while. Great instruction, great presentation. If I may make a suggestion. As a potential guitar player, I would suggest in the lessons to refer over to some of the beginner songs in Jamplay... i.e. House of the Rising Sun - allows the student to apply some of your really good techniques and see some material results.. just a thought. Again, great job

JustOldBobJustOldBob replied

Hi Chris,Enjoy your lesson style.Problem that I am having is memorizing the fretboard as a whole.I got the halfstep and the whole step part so I can always got to the start of the open string and count it down to figure out what a note is..Was wondering if I should just try to memorize the first position of the strings .Then move up for the next batch.?? I got a printed photocopy of the fret board that I am sleeping with.LOL I was really disgusted with this at first,then I read what all the classmates are saying. I Thought If Bubba can dance,I can too.How important is the memorization before I can move on.Im at my early guitar stage still.

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

maybe skip over to here for a bit and focus especially learning the fretboard/notes:

NelsonteleNelsontele replied

great lessons- better than books or other lessons on scales so far

dana1965dana1965 replied

great lesson Chris but note names over the these tab's ? don't see them in the supplemental material . its ok just makes you have to think about it . puts it to memory better gets us reading the notes and knowing just by sight again great lesson

dana1965dana1965 replied

great lesson Chris but note names over the these tab's ? don't see them in the supplemental material . its ok just makes you have to think about it . puts it to memory better gets us reading the notes and knowing just by sight again great lesson

outshinedoutshined replied

Do you find it is worth it to memorize the note names of the entire fret board? Or just the top 2 strings for barre chord reference?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

the better you know the fretboard, note wise, the less thinking you'll have to do when you're really into your playing. Learn more now, so you can think less later :)

TorquewrenchTorquewrench replied

all strings, all positions

habuivanhabuivan replied

Awesome tutorial man

green_girlgreen_girl replied

Great lesson, will definitely take some practice to get the fingers to spread. Where can I find the names to the notes though? I only see the notes in the supplemental material, not the names.

mrgibsonmrgibson replied

Chris, simply put, you are the best guitar instructor on Jamplay. For that I say, ready to re-up when my year is up!

kps521kps521 replied

This lesson is really helpful, thanks so much!

chris stonechris stone replied

I don't see the note names written above the tabs?

f4ushotf4ushot replied

Key signatures also make sense now.

f4ushotf4ushot replied

Chris: Great lesson. Now I see the relationship between notes, frets and scales as well as major scale time signatures. It was all a mystery before. Thanks

billfreshbillfresh replied

question. i wanted to know if you feel it is important to finger the scales up the neck like you do it in the lesson? can you use just the first 2 or 3 fingers? i find as i am practising this lesson i keep coming down the scale with my 3rd finger on the switch rather than my pinky. part of me says i need to do it like you are to learn to utilize my pinky for playing. just wanted your thoughts. also, you place the guitar on you left knee with the neck almost in front of you during this series of lessons. others you have your strat elevated on your left knee and around your body more. just a preference you like for the tele? i try to put my guitars on my left leg so i have better access to the neck but i am also trying it how you are holding it in these lessons, just to see how it feels. jury is still out on this. again, just looking for your thoughts

billfreshbillfresh replied

i say left knee 1st and i meant your right knee

supajo12supajo12 replied

although i have played guitar before the indepth detail in this lesson is brilliant

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

glad you're enjoying the lessons. If you have any questions, let me know!

scott marxscott marx replied

This may be the single best lesson I've seen for understanding the fretboard and the major scale. Awesome.

NevadaBobNevadaBob replied

I found this video to be extremely helpful when learning the fretboard, maybe it will help others.

buckohbuckoh replied

I know it is something I am doing wrong....but i cant figure out what it is, if i start on the b string ( 2 ) and work my way up the neck when I get to the 12th fret it should be a b, if I am following correctly, but if i start with a b open, shouldnt the 1st fret be an A then a# and so on...i hope i am explaining this right

chingfuklie3chingfuklie3 replied

Hi buckoh. Just to clarify where you're tripping up, as a rule of thumb, only have each note in the scale assigned to one letter - respectively. ie for the Bmajor scale the notes are; B C# D# E F# G# A#. There shouldn't be an A and A#. Plus your ascending the scale not descending from open B :) hope this comment helps.

buckohbuckoh replied

I know it is something I am doing wrong....but i cant figure out what it is, if i start on the b string ( 2 ) and work my way up the neck when I get to the 12th fret it should be a b, if I am following correctly, but if i start with a b open, shouldnt the 1st fret be an A then a# and so on...i hope i am explaining this right

BradleyABradleyA replied

If you start on the B string, then the 1st first would be a C, then C#, etc.

BradleyABradleyA replied

Sorry. Meant to say: If you start on the B string, then the 1st FRET would be a C, then C#, etc.

rlegerrleger replied

there was indeed a mistake... I noticed it too

rlegerrleger replied

strike that last comment... Wasn't paying enough attenti

gilbert714gilbert714 replied

Chris Could you tell us a range of how many hours of practice it should take for an average person to accomplish this task complete at say 100 beats per Min? Thanks

dshowdshow replied

I would this recommend for every lesson - just to have a reference. This is why I love the 6 (or other number) week workouts.

chilirachilira replied

Quick question. I see an anomaly in the one string major scale --- it happens with GMajor (4th string) where only one note being sharp (F#). Why is that?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

this will be explained later in this series if you decide to continue on with it in the "key signatures" lesson. Hopefully that will clear things up for you. The fact that you're already observing anomalies like this is going to be REALLY good for you as a developing musician!!

chilirachilira replied

I'm all in Chris. Thanks for the encouragement. On to Barre Chords!

satchfan443satchfan443 replied

Chris, nice job man. I like how you explain things in great detail for non-brain-surgeons such as myself. I also love the different camera angles. There are a few other instructors in here where I often cannot tell what string their fingers are on. As far as learning the fret board there is a nice detailed picture of the entire neck and all of the notes I believe in the tools section of the site which is very helpful. I enlarged it, printed it and have a banner of it on my wall. Works great!

iqgrayiqgray replied

I feel like the Karate Kid when his instructor kept telling him practice wax on wax off, wax on wax off, Lol....

emolso0emolso0 replied

Great lesson, and a very important one.

jazzclub9jazzclub9 replied

wayy too confusing.... are scales even necessary?

madiskallasmadiskallas replied

2:45 - "Our AMERICAN music scale"??? Music and notes were invented in Europe way before America was discovered, my mate :D

mike_skittmike_skitt replied

I am sure he meant the Western Music scale. He can be forgiven this once.;-)

cassie89cassie89 replied

I have to skip this lesson...... its boring.....

dragondaveukdragondaveuk replied

It may seem boring to you now, but if you desire to become an advanced guitar player and write your own riffs and solos then you really need to know this stuff. Also, if you are new to guitar playing, repeating this exercise will help you learn to stretch and build up the strength in your 4th finger, something most new guitar players will lack, and again is essential for learning more advanced music.

sofia2010sofia2010 replied

Hey chris thnks for the lesson, i have short fingers and have trouble stretching my fingers the distance from 5th fret to ninth fret with finger 4, do you have to use the fingers that you taught or can i perhaps 1st finger 5th fret, 3rd finger 7th fret, 4th finger 9th fret?

musicgforce001musicgforce001 replied

I completly have no idea what this lesson is ment for.

nash24nash24 replied

I'm getting this...Thanks!!!

sean8568sean8568 replied

Great lessons so far, however I am having a bit of trouble with the naming of the notes in the scales. Maybe I missed something, but I am not sure where you are getting the order from. Any suggestions?

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

If you have the 'open' string note names memorized, then, if you travel up the neck 1 fret at a time, you can figure out each note name. Realize, that for our purposes right now, there no "B#" or "E#" so when you are traveling up the neck on the A string for example, you'd have, A (open) A# - 1st fret, B - 2nd fret, C - 3rd fret, C# - 4th fret, D - 5th fret, D# - 6th fret, E - 7th fret, F-8th fret etc... you can do this for each of the strings. When you are learning your "one string scales" you can use this method described if the tab and the 'scale' method of learning the notes is confusing. ...Hope this helps!!

quinlawquinlaw replied

I can learn and memorize the whole and half steps no problem, but I just completely get lost when it comes to learning the names of the notes as you go down the fretboard, I read if you know all the open strings you can just go down, So I'm thinking EADGBE but then when I try to learn going down the frets it doesn't mimic those notes at all, I could be getting this all wrong too though haha, is there an easier way to grab hold of this? I feel like once you know it's simple but I just can't get the concept.

quinlawquinlaw replied

I'm starting to understand it a lot more, thanks to something I found, I was thinking maybe throw it under your supplemental content? It really helped me. A lot less confusing. :)

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

this is cool! there will also be a new series out soon on a special way to go about learning and memorizing the names of the notes on the neck. So look for that soon!

johnnymoro04johnnymoro04 replied

i think he should have the scales noted as were playing along for those who can read music

justg720justg720 replied

the names of the notes arent showing up on the TABs

krasmankrasman replied

im not getting the pdf file either

joebjoeb replied

Can Seems to get the PDf file to show up or print

shayjpshayjp replied

Chris, That was an excellent lesson. Well done! Whoever designed the note lay-out of the fret board must have had superior intelligence. I figured it to be too great a challenge to learn the notes to each key. Thanks for making it simple. I do have a question for you on proper fingering on the fret board. I was taught four fingers one per each fret. Then continue up the string on the next fret with the first finger and continue the pattern all to the 12th fret. Doing it that way using the low e string your fourth finger should end up on the 12 fret. Am I in error? Please let me know. Thanks, Jared

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

you were taught well! and what you have learned applies really well to position playing. In other words, if you're playing a scale on multiple strings but in an area of only 4 frets, you can pre-determine the fingering based on what fret with in that 4 fret span is being played. there are exceptions, but thats a good rule to follow. We'll be getting into more specific scale positions in this series soon! Thanks for the questions, keep 'em coming!

mattmaymattmay replied

great lesson, the Notation/Tab under supplemental content seems to be missing...Thanks!

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

the tab is there for me when I check. called "one string major scales" do you see it? maybe it got temporarily taken down or something a few days ago.

savillafrancasavillafranca replied

thanks chris!!!! very nice lesson, very well explained too!!!!

hoovsterhoovster replied

I think I am finally getting the organization of the fretboard with this lesson... Good Job Chris!

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

That's good to hear!

pfefferkuchenfraupfefferkuchenfrau replied

Thanks a lot, now I can see it but yesterday there was no Notation/Tab. So everything is ok now ;-)

pfefferkuchenfraupfefferkuchenfrau replied

I really like your lesson, it's very useful for me. But I can't find the supplemental content you're talking about in the video (notes-scales), there's only the printable version of what we can learn in lesson 5 and the music tracks.

jboothjbooth replied

Can you see it in the supplemental content under the heading "Notation/Tab" ? It seems to be working for me but please let me know if you have any issues and if so what the specific error is. Thanks!

Basic Electric Guitar with Chris

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris will guide you through the world of electric guitar in this series.

Introduction to Your Electric GuitarLesson 1

Introduction to Your Electric Guitar

Chris Liepe talks about the absolute basics of the guitar, including tuning, the guitar parts, and proper technique.

Length: 23:21 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Playing Your First ChordsLesson 2

Playing Your First Chords

Chris Liepe introduces you to your very first 2 chords, E and A. Since this is your first chord lesson, Chris also introduces a backing track for you to slowly play along with. Practicing in this manner...

Length: 28:54 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
3 New Chords: Complete the CAGED MethodLesson 3

3 New Chords: Complete the CAGED Method

Here in lesson 3, Chris teaches the C, G, and D chords. Once you have mastered the chords taught in this lesson and the previous lesson, you will have learned the CAGED method of remembering open chord...

Length: 12:22 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical NotationLesson 4

The Basics to Tablature, Chord Charts, and Musical Notation

Chris is back with his most information packed lesson to date. In this lesson, you will learn how to read tablature, chord charts and musical notation. All of these tools will drastically help you in your...

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Introduction to the Concept of ScalesLesson 5

Introduction to the Concept of Scales

Chris Liepe is back in lesson 5 with an introduction to scales. In this lesson, you will learn how to play up and down simple scale patterns.

Length: 13:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Barre and Minor ChordsLesson 6

Barre and Minor Chords

In this lesson, Chris introduces minor chords and barre chords.

Length: 25:23 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Strum Patterns and Time SignaturesLesson 7

Strum Patterns and Time Signatures

Chris Liepe lays down some grooves in this lesson! He provides instruction on rhythmic strumming patterns and time signatures such as 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
All About IntervalsLesson 8

All About Intervals

Intervals, Intervals, Intervals! Chris Liepe explains what they are, where they are found, and how to play them in this lesson.

Length: 14:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Intervals Pop QuizLesson 9

Intervals Pop Quiz

Sharpen your pencils and grab your guitar. It's pop quiz time. Chris Liepe adds to his beginner lesson series with a quiz on intervals. This is a hands-on lesson that will undoubtedly improve your ears....

Length: 15:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Triads: Everything You Need to KnowLesson 10

Triads: Everything You Need to Know

Chris Liepe breaks through his 10th lesson with a detailed discussion of triads. Dig in and take these triads for a ride!

Length: 24:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal Mini SeriesLesson 11

Effect Pedal Mini Series

This lesson begins a mini-series on effects pedals. Chris breaks down routing and how effects work with each other.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: CompressionLesson 12

Effect Pedal: Compression

The compression effect pedal is one of the most misunderstood pedals around. Chris Liepe finally sheds some light on the subject. By explaining all the different options and sounds this pedal can create,...

Length: 14:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Gain Stacking with Overdrive and DistortionLesson 13

Gain Stacking with Overdrive and Distortion

Chris Liepe is back with the 3rd installment in his Effects Pedal mini-series. He explains the concept of "gain stacking" by combining an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal.

Length: 7:54 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: DelayLesson 14

Effect Pedal: Delay

Chris Liepe adds yet another lesson to his effect pedal-mini series. Here he covers the delay pedal. This effect that operates on the principles of time and rhythm. Use this pedal to add depth to your...

Length: 19:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Effect Pedal: ChorusLesson 15

Effect Pedal: Chorus

Chris Liepe quickly demonstrates the chorus pedal with some 80's style licks. This pedal can create a deep and rich addition to solos or add the illusion of multiple guitars.

Length: 3:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Understanding Key SignaturesLesson 16

Understanding Key Signatures

Key Signatures! How do they relate to one another? Chris Liepe explains them in lesson 16 of his beginner series. Getting familiar with your key signatures will help pull everything together that has been...

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Harmony BasicsLesson 17

Chord Harmony Basics

Chris Liepe demonstrates how to take a key signature (the set notes within a key) and stack 3rds on top of a root note to form chords. With the help of a modulating backing track, this should be a fun...

Length: 30:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Technique Basics: Alternate PickingLesson 18

Technique Basics: Alternate Picking

Chris explains and demonstrates the very basics of alternate picking. He also provides simple exercises to develop the technique in your own playing.

Length: 16:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique Basics: Legato PlayingLesson 19

Technique Basics: Legato Playing

Chris details and demonstrates the fundamental movements and suggested left hand position for legato playing -- specifically hammer-ons and pull-offs. He also provides exercises for developing the technique.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique Basics: Palm MutingLesson 20

Technique Basics: Palm Muting

Chris talks about proper palm muting and discusses potential snags when first attempting the technique. He offers a number of exercises and patterns to help palm muting become a part of your rhythm playing.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Technique Basics: Hybrid PickingLesson 21

Technique Basics: Hybrid Picking

Hybrid picking can add a fresh dimension to your chord and rhythm playing. In this lesson, Chris briefly covers how to get started with hybrid picking and offers two exercises that you can use to apply...

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major Scale Positions in G (Part 1)Lesson 22

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 1)

Chris talks about what it means to play in position and teaches three of the five "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Major Scale Positions in G (Part 2)Lesson 23

Major Scale Positions in G (Part 2)

Chris continues in his teaching of the five basic "CAGED" major scale positions in the key of G.

Length: 11:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chris Liepe

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud instructors.

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Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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Fingerstyle guitar is a broad term that can incorporate percussive elements of playing as well as Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed...

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New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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Sarah Longfield Sarah Longfield

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would be slide guitar. The long rich history...

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DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

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Mark Lettieri Mark Lettieri

We're still working in the double track universe in lesson 22. In this lesson Mark discusses taking a large chord and breaking...

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Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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Eric Haugen Eric Haugen

Eric Haugen discusses the goals of his "Six String Problem Solver" lesson series and what kind of material it covers.

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Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

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