Wow, Johnny Hiland, What A Guitar Player!

Recently I killing some time with my iPad in bed on YouTube and as usual I started flipping through some guitar videos. I came across this player called Johnny Hiland and was just blown away by the taste and style of this guy.

I had heard the name before but I must admit I never paid much attention to it, probably because it was years ago and I hadn’t seen any videos of him playing yet.

He’s described as the best “chicken picker” in the world but that doesn’t really do him full justice ’cause he can play blues just like you wouldn’t believe too.

To prove it I’ve put in this video of a live performance…

Quick shout out to my good buddy Paul over at http://www.guitar-in-a-nutshell.com too, thanks for sending over the Hiland CD, promise I’ll give it back buddy!

Flamenco & Spanish Guitar

There is some confusion about the difference between Spanish and Flamenco guitar styles. I personally think that learning Spanish guitar is a much more general kind of style which can range from Carlos Santana acoustic style stuff to Rumba rhythms and up into the more basic flamenco guitar progressions. It’s quite a wide range.

Flamenco is really much more tightly focused and it’s generally accepted that it’s harder to learn flamenco guitar than it is to learn Spanish style guitar.

With flamenco the techniques are harder to master so I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner or even a relatively new intermediate player. It also helps a lot if you’re able to read music as much of the best written material and courses are still only available in that limited format.

If you go online looking for flamenco guitar lessons you’ll likely be quite disappointed by what you’ll find. It’s just that it’s quite specialized so it’s harder for average online guitar teachers to teach properly.

How To Play Guitar As A Raw Beginner

Most people learning how to play guitar begin on an acoustic guitar and for two very sensible reasons.

  1. Acoustic guitars are usually less expensive to buy than electrics because you don’t have to to invest in extra items of equipment like an amp, leads or effects pedals.
  2. Acoustic guitars allow you to more easily focus your attention on the pure basics of learning guitar – open beginner chords and strumming

When I was just starting out (about 20 years ago) all I really wanted to do was play electric guitar like Slash especially the solo from “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. I thought “man if I could play that it would be the ultimate!”

Still, I wanted to do things the right way and I delayed buying my first electric guitar until I had paid my dues on an acoustic first.

Probably the most important advice I can give you is to make sure you’re in this for the long haul. Learning to play is not easy, even if you have bucket loads of talent – it’s still going to feel HARD. In order to be successful you need to stick at it and finding the best quality guitar lessons you can will go a long way here. It’s very important that you don’t try to just ‘teach yourself’. You do need a teacher to help you.

Concentrate on your acoustic chords and strumming first, then once you can do that fluently (it usually only takes a few months) you can make the move over to electric if that’s what you want to do.

Barre Chords – Love Them Or Hate Them!

Strobe Tuner - $85Learning chords on guitar is an essential skill which all guitar players must learn to do at one point or another if they wish to ever rise above the level of purely beginners guitar. For most people their first attempts at playing bare chords are not so pleasant or encouraging, this is because barre chords are much more difficult to form than the typical easy guitar chords we all start off with.

Firstly your fingers are required to stretch a greater distances across the fretboard. Just as a gymnast would slowly increase their level of dexterity every time with exercises in order to perform such things as the splits say to you as a guitar player must you learn to gradually stretch your fingers across greater and greater distances. There are specific exercises which you can perform on guitar each state in order to increase the dexterity of your fingers.

The other significant problem is that a lot more strength is required in your left hand in order to push all six strings down. It’s very important that you learn how to position your wrist so that not only will your fingers be able to stretch the required distances to perform these kinds of chords but also that you position your thumb so that it will be able to apply equal and opposite pressure upon the back of the guitar neck.

Both the elements are critical if you want to succeed with playing barre chords on guitar.

What Are The Advantages Of Learning To Play Barre Chords On Guitar?

The main advantage is that it drastically increases the number of songs you will be able to play. There are a total of 24 musical keys and songwriters can choose to write in any one of them therefore it is necessary to break out all the limiting barriers that currently being able to play open chords trap you inside.

He will no longer have to use a capo in order to play a song in a different key, and if you intend on graduating into electric guitar at some stage then the ability to play barre chords is absolutely an essential skill.

Are You Interested In Country Guitar Lessons?

I get many emails from readers of this guitar blog asking me if I could recommend a site that offers free country guitar lessons and well I can. Recently I got word that this site had popped up and having seen some of the sample video lessons I can testify to the quality of its instruction.

The content is very easy to follow, well structured and presented in a logical way. I should that that beginners will have little trouble following along.

The planned course will concentrate on teaching that classic country guitar sound of George Jones and Hank Williams… the early stars of country music. It will be on acoustic guitar and cover such topics as

  • country guitar rhythm and strumming patterns
  • country guitar chords and popular song progressions
  • scales and how to practice them
  • bass runs to form ladders between the chords
  • alternating bass notes

… and quite a bit more.

The site comes with a very detailed course book to accompany all the video lessons and a full money back guarantee.

Online Guitar Lessons From Expert Guitar Teachers

Most of us have been around long enough to witness the sheer explosion of online guitar lessons in recent years. A large part of this is actually to do with technology and has nothing to do with music instruction at all. Without improvements in the internet’s ability to stream video and an over all improvement in the average connection speed most consumers now enjoy as standard learning guitar online simply wouldn’t be a viable option.

For me, this method of learning guitar is a Godsend and I love being able to join different websites and learn from teachers all around the world. I get to practice in my own time whenever it best suits me and I don’t have to worry about keeping appointments with a ‘real guitar teacher’, something I’m rather bad at doing anyway. I can can download the lessons for my favorite easy guitar songs and over the past year I’ve built up my own personal library of guitar lessons which I can review anytime.

The result?

Well my playing has improved tremendously and I owe it all to 2 things…

  1. My dedication to the guitar and consistent practicing
  2. Online guitar lessons

I realize that you do need to be highly motivated in order to teach yourself how to do anything that is difficult but if you have a burning fashion for learning guitar then definitely give online lessons a go before paying out for private tuition which can be extremely expensive when compared to teaching yourself off the web.

  • There are a few things I would advise however
  • There are some great guitar websites around but far more crappy ones! So do your research.
  • Try out as many different sample lessons as you can before committing to any one site
  • Make sure they offer a full money back guarantee so you’re protected in case you don’t like the lessons once you’re inside
  • Send them a quick email to gauge how responsive they’ll be at answering your questions.

That’s about it for now. More coming soon, I’m learning “Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young at the moment and I’ve included a sample video of it above along with some other easy guitar lessons and even how to play Christmas carols on guitar in case you happen to be catching this post in time.

New Course For Christmas Carols On Guitar

Looking For Good Guitar Lessons Online?

Em guitar chord

Em Guitar Chord - Video Guitar Lesson

I just put up a good page for finding the best online guitar lessons and courses. If you’ve been searching around trying to find the best ones then the advice here could definitely help you out. The trick is to find ways to try them out before you commit to buying a membership and there a number of ways you can do that including using free online guitar lessons like the kind you’ll find on youtube and other popular video sharing websites.

Just remember that even though you may be taking online guitar tutorials you’re still essentially teaching yourself how to play and you’ll need a good healthy dose of self motivation to keep it all going practice wise especially when times get tough and you hit brick walls with technical aspects of playing guitar. Please know that this is practically inevitable and all players, even the most talented ones, go through it while they’re learning how to play.

The main reason why I like learning guitar online is because I can learn on my own schedule and at my own pace. I can repeat lessons as often as I like and build my own personal library of video guitar lessons right on my hard drive. This means that eventually I won’t even need to be online in order to practice or play along with the guitar teachers from the course.

Acoustic Guitar Songs

There are many acoustic guitar songs which are perfect for beginners to learn how to play. The best news is that you don’t need to be an expert playing in order to be able to perform thousands of songs on guitar, in fact, all you need are about 10 chords and 3 – 6 strumming patterns! That’s one of the reasons why learning to play guitar is so popular among people, it’s just so accessible for everyone to learn and enjoy. You don’t even have to learn to read music notation, and actually, many famous musicians can’t read music at all.

With guitar we have an easier system called TAB or tablature which is much easier to learn to read than traditional notation and even easier than that again are chord sheets. This is where only the lyrics and the chords are displayed for the song verse, bridge, chorus and solo sections. So long as you know the chord shapes and can strum through the pattern then you should find it very simple and easy to follow.

Most easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners will not contain more than 4 – 6 chords as a general rule and usually they only require that you perform one strumming pattern from start to finish. Buying a guitar capo is a great thing too – it will allow you to play in a number of different keys without having to learn any extra chords. This is especially helpful if you don’t want to learn barre chords right away. Most students taking beginner acoustic guitar lessons find them very hard to do.

Some famous acoustic guitar songs to try out would include “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “Hey Jude” by The Beatles. These kinds of songs are perfect for acoustic guitar and not too hard for beginners just starting to learn their first songs on guitar. The best advice is to find the easiest guitar songs you can and gradually build up to harder ones as your playing improves. Avoid the temptation to try and learn more advanced acoustic guitar songs too soon as they often leads to nothing but frustation.

Guitar Guides | Writing a Song That Would Stand Out Among the Rest

Guitar Guides | Writing a Song That Would Stand Out Among the Rest

Pardon me for making such a long title, but it couldn’t be shorten. This topic is certainly a difficult one. Song writing is an art, a process in which people are trying their best to categorized or create a fixed procedure out of it. Matter of fact, song writing is not fixed. There are lots of methods in writing a song but there are no fixed rule in writing it, hence the variety of music that we have today. Whether you like it or not, song writing is free form, it has no rules and boundaries. If it does have these rules and boundaries, then we would have monotonic music products which would really suck.

Guitar Guides | Writing a hit song

Ask any hit maker, artists who penned down the legendary hits that we still cherish until today. Ask them about the formula that they created to come up with a hit and they would all answer you the same thing; they never had a formula, they just poured their heart on to it. Which is true? There is no formula, only chance, trends, and other factors. All of these factors are part of the normal human cycle. Like for example, a song becomes a hit when majority of people in this planet likes it and praises it. So it depends on the people’s orientation about a certain genre.

Guitar Guides | Tips on how to create a song.

Since there are no know effective methods of doing so, here is a tip. When you write songs, it doesn’t matter if where you are basing it off; whether it is lyric – based, riff – based, or chord progression based, it doesn’t matter. What matter is the honesty that you are expressing when you are writing the song? That is it for now on guitar guides.

Basic Chord Progressions

Basic Chord Progressions

As a beginner, your lessons should be limited to a certain scope in which the lessons should be friendly enough for you to digest and understand. That’s how it should be. You should definitely start from the easiest parts of guitar playing. That is the most sensible way of starting your learning journey. You should be aware that there are certain topics that are not suitable with beginners like you that are why you should check the lesson first if it offers topics that are created with the beginner in mind.

Basic Chord Progressions | where to start?

It’s a good thing to know where to start when you are a beginner. It gives you a step forward to guitar maturity. The best place to start is to find a decent guitar lesson. One that would take beginners into consideration. A good lesson to start with is simple chord progressions. These chord progressions are your keys into learning the basic chords. Learning the chords as it is is a bit boring. But learning the different basic chord progressions are much more enjoyable compared to it. A good thing to learn chords with is to learn songs that have simple chord progressions. It is much easier that way.

Basic Chord Progressions | Conclusion

You should really think about the things that you need to learn in order for you to learn it properly. Don’t wander aimlessly by just learning random stuff. Beginner guitar players hold follow a proper procedure that would definitely take them somewhere. Learning it that way is much easier and your progress would be quicker. Mark my words, these tips would definitely help you in your quest to learn the most sought – after instrument in the planet, the guitar. And what better way to start than to learn basic chord progressions.