Take a break. Let’s rock!


How To Take Guitar Lessons

Studying with an experienced teacher is one of the best ways to really push yourself. But taking lessons is more than just showing up time. These guidelines will help you get the most out of your lessons:

Five Tips for Better Transcriptions

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, one that might even spoil your day—a lot of tablature out in the wild is just flat-out wrong. Whether you want to produce your own music notation or just learn how to play your favorite artists’ tunes, you need to start developing your ear. It helps to think of this process like solving a puzzle. At first your skills will feel insufficient, but over time you’ll get enough experience picking things out that your brain will get better and better at pattern recognition.

Here are five tips to help you pick things out by ear and improve your transcribing skills…

Picking Patterns: Threes Gone Wild!

This week I have a new picking challenge for you. In our last picking lesson we looked at playing groups of three over rhythmic groups of four. That is, taking what would normally be a triplet pattern and playing within the “grid” of sixteenth notes. This time we’re going expand the groups of threes to three separate rhythms: sixteenths, sixteenth-note triplets and eighth-note triplets. Note only with your hands get a great workout, but this will help you groove some interesting rhythms into your playing.

The JEM, One Month Later

After a month of playing the long-cherished Ibanez JEM, allow me wax a bit about its virtues. Surely a guitar from the gods such as this must be the best one in the collection right? Well…yes and no…

Ode to Steve Vai

A twenty-five year chase finally results in landing one of the guitars of my boyhood dreams. Steve Vai’s JEM is one of the iconic guitars of the 80’s and I’ve had my eye one since they first appeared. When I finally got a chance to get, did it deliver? You bet your ass it did…

Original Fuzz

Our lives are filled with mundane, everyday objects. Like office supplies, things like straps and cables are things most guitarists don’t give a tremendous amount of consideration. When I buy a guitar strap, I’m usually just trying to get out of the store with the one I hate the least (seriously, so many of them are just awful). Which is why it’s such a delight when somebody decides to tread the road less traveled and try to make something as ordinary as a guitar strap into something special. 

Class Dismissed! Is Here

It’s been a long toil this summer, but the final touches have been put on Class Dismissed! and it’s now available for sale! If you’re a Van Halen fan looking for ways to grok more of Eddie’s playing, this is the lesson for you!

Coming Soon: Class Dismissed!

Oh man, I am beyond excited about this new project I’m working on. Coming later this summer is a new premium lessonClass Dismissed! which focuses on the Van Halen “power shuffle” style in the vein of songs like Hot For Teacher, I’m the One and Ice Cream Man. There is so much good stuff in here that I almost don’t even know where to begin…

Strange Beautiful Music

I don’t write a lot of book reviews here, but after finishing Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music, I felt like I had a few words to say about about a guitarist who has been a huge influence for me.