Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guitar Playback Contest.

If you tend to procrastinate like me you still have a little time to enter the Guitar Playback 60 second guitar solo contest at

There have been lots of great entries posted you can listen to some at

The backing track for this solo was way outside my normal comfort zone but I tried to embrace the change and put down something worthwhile. I tried to center things around the suggested scales of F# Minor and a bit of the F# Phrygian mode. Hope you enjoy it. I encourage you to try posting your own submission or at least download the backing track and try to come up with some guitar licks over the progression that you like.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blues Rock Guitar Lick

Here is a blues rock guitar lick over the last progression we looked at. It is primarily based around the E Major Pentatonic Scale. I played the lick as written out in the tab and then improvised a bit using similar phrases. Guitar is tuned down a half step if you want to play along. Cheers.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chordal Style Rhythm and Lead

In the last guitar lick we look at a Hendrix inspired riff from his days with the "Band of Gypsys". Today we shift gears a bit. This guitar lick while still inspired by Jimi draws on the style he learned with Curtis Mayfield that uses some very cool chord voices and incorporates lead lines and rhythm together. In the first video I've played the tab as written out. In the second video I improvised a couple lead lines using the E Major Pentatonic scale.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Univibe Guitar Lick

This past week was the 43 anniversary of the passing of Jimi Hendrix. The music Jimi created in his brief but prolific career has altered the course of modern music and produced unsurpassed levels of creativity and improvisation especially for rock guitarists. While Jimi's underlying style and sound were apparent whenever he played a lot of his tunes run a wide and diverse range from chordal based rhythms in "The Wind Cries Mary" to the controlled feedback and sheer screaming in his interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner". Today I wanted to do a guitar lick that was inspired by Jimi's time with the "Band of Gypsy's. I've used a uni-vibe guitar effect with some fuzz to create a tone suited to that style. I've played over a chord progression that uses the E7#9 chord that Hendrix made famous in "Purple Haze". The chord progression is basically this chord then an octave shape that goes from G to F#.

For the guitar lick I played it through as written a couple times then improvised briefly over the progression to give you a few more ideas to play around with. I've kept mainly within the E  Minor Pentatonic scale although I do add the F# note. I've tuned down a half step for this guitar lick if you want to play along.
RIP Jimi.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Article for Guitar Coach Magazine

I've been busy the last few days but wanted to share an article I wrote for Guitar Coach Magazine. It covers a beginner/intermediate level 12 bar blues in E. There is  guitar tab and video included in the article. It was fun to write and I hope to contribute more to this publication. Here is the link. If you enjoy the article please share and let the publisher know. Cheers.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Metal Guitar Riffs and Licks

A few more metal guitar riffs and licks for today. Tuned down C# G# C# F# A# D# which is Drop D but down a half step. The rhythm guitar kicks of with a riff using 16th notes and muting on the 6th string followed by a power chord section using a bar shape on the 4th 5th and 6th strings. The first guitar lick we look at is a melodic idea beginning on the E note on the G string and resolvind to the D note on the fourth fret 12th string. The second guitar lick we look at is a legato run that starts lower on the neck on the A note and resolves again to a D.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Metal Guitar Riffage

Sometimes just picking up the guitar is enough to get inspired. I kicked of Saturday morning with a cup of coffee looking forward to practicing the new Trivium song Strife. Which rocks by the way. Here it is if you haven't seen it yet.

Anyway I had the guitar tuned to C# G# C# F# A# D# as I've been playing a lot of the new Avenged Sevenfold which also rocks - so I was ready to go. I fired up my practice amp and this lick popped into my head so I quickly laid down a rhythm tracks and lead over it. The guitar lick is 16th notes with muting from the right hand. Hope you like it. Cheers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Two Fingers and the Truth

No guitar tab today but I promise you won't even miss it. I'm gonna show you some rootless chord shapes that will enable you to play a complete 12 bar blues guitar progression with only two fingers on the fretting hand. I've explained everything in the video. We are in the key of C for this example but the shapes are moveable so you can use these chords in a lot of different keys.

Any questions let me know.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trippin up on Triplets - More Acoustic Blues Guitar

I've been on an acoustic blues kick today so I figured I'd post another solo acoustic blues guitar piece.There are a bunch of triplets in this piece - hence my super creative title. Yep I just used hence in a guitar blog. Pure genius I know. So the guitar kicks off with a four bar section that repeats two descending triplet sections basically kicking off a 12 bar blues with two turnarounds. Were in the key of E again and the piece mainly uses the E blues scale. The main exception to this is the use of the C# in the triplet patterns at bar 10. I've tried to explain things in the video. I've posted the guitar tab below to help things along too. If you enjoy my videos in general please let me know if the breakdown and explanation in the guitar video are helpful. They take more time to record so I'd value your input on their effectiveness. I've switched over from the "followers" button to the new "google plus followers" so click that widget to become a google plus follower. You can also stay up to date by following me on twitter @jimifan.

Ok here is the tab and video. As always any questions let me know. Happy strumming.

Solo Acoustic Blues in E

So I was inspired by my submission to Guitar Coach Magazine to try talking over a video and giving a breakdown of the guitar lick in addition to the guitar tab. If you prefer this format over just the guitar itself let me know. Anyway today we look at a 12 bar blues in E for solo acoustic guitar.

Between the explanation in the video and the guitar tab it should be pretty straight foward. You can always leave a comment or ask questions on or twitter @jimifan

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Funk Rock Guitar Lick

This is a funk rock guitar lick. We start of with some 16th note octaves. Watch the rests and muted notes in the guitar tab and listen to the video for the phrasing. Try to keep the strumming hand in a smooth continuous up down motion. After the octaves there  are some 16th note triplet patterns I've always liked the sound of fast close intervals played like this ( as many readers of this guitar blog can attest to) it reminds me of speaking sped up kind of like an Alvin and the Chipmunk effect. Hope you dig it. I didn't use this on the track but you may want to grab a wah pedal for the octaves and funk it up 70's style.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thumb over Neck Funk Guitar

Here is a Hendrix style funk rock guitar lick. When you think of the thumb in funk the first thing that usually comes to mind is slapping technique for bass guitar. Another tried and true weapon in the funk rock guitar arsenal is the use of the fretting hand thumb to wrap over the neck so that you can play octaves. In this guitar lick the thumb plays the notes on the 6th low E string. Note the alternating use of the eighth and 16th notes in the guitar tab. We walk up the neck in this guitar lick with octaves and then settle into a funk rock lick using the D minor pentatonic scale.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some Funk Guitar Rhythm and Lead

Today we've got a little funk guitar lick. Rhythm and lead parts are tabbed out for your playing pleasure. Were in standard tuning this time. Scale wise we are based around the B minor Pentatonic Scale. Listen to the music for the rhythm as presenting these in guitar tab never quite catches the phrasing completely. Tone wise you want a pretty clean tone for the rhythm with a bit of reverb and compression. The lead guitar tone was a little more distorted to give the notes some sustain.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Symmetrical Metal Guitar Lick

Tuning:C# G# C# F# A# D#. This metal guitar lick uses a symmetrical pattern on the neck.  I was thinking more in terms of patterns on the fret board than scales so I haven't analyzed the note choices over the progression. I've also added a quick little jam using the same notes in a second video. The guitar tab is for the first video.

New Song Mourning Tyme - with tab

This is the guitar intro to a new song I'm working on. It's called "mourning tyme". I wanted to start of with a really sad feel so I started with some slow half step bends. The guitar tab should be pretty self explanatory. Watch the timing on the sextuplets at the end these get 6 notes per beat. The chord progression is E Minor/ D/F# ( with an open high e string)/ C / A Minor. The D/F# is played like a normal open D chord except the thumb frets the F#  the fifth and 4th strings are muted and the high E string is open.

In terms of note choice we pretty well stick to the E Minor Scale which is all natural notes except the F#. The exception to this is the lead in notes from the bend which are D# and Bb respectfully.  Watch the palm muted triplets in bars 9 to 11. Any questions just ask. Twitter is the best way to get me @jimifan
Note: Guitar is tuned down a half step if you want to play along.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blues Rock Guitar Solo in C with tab

I couldn't resist playing guitar with the wah over this track. I've had a bit of a wah addiction in the past so this
was fun for me. Some people may cringe at the sheer wahiness but I love it. This is a pretty basic blues rock guitar solo in the key of C using the C Minor pentatonic scale over the 12 bar blues. For the turnaround I shifted to the G minor and F minor pentatonic shapes to follow those chords in what is a pretty standard blues turnaround. Nothing fancy here but I like this and it  is fun to learn if your moving from a beginner to an intermediate level guitar player. If your new to blues note the triplets in the guitar tab.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blues Rock Guitar Solo in E

This is a blues rock guitar solo in E. Mainly using the E Major Pentatonic Scale. I've played the guitar tab as written out in the video the first few times then added a few different licks and improvised ( mistakes and all).
It's a slower tempo so experiment with really milking the most out of every note. I was much too stiff in recording this. Really strive to let this breathe and relax. Do get too tied up with the guitar tab just pick bits and pieces you like and try playing your own phrases. The chord progression is E/B/A/E. Having the E chord start and finish the progression makes it great to loop and practice over. I'm not certain but I think Kenny Wayne Shepherd's "While We Cry" and Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter" are similar to this progression.

In terms of scale patterns I've rooted the  guitar solo around the pattern that corresponds to the first minor pentatonic pattern but moved down three frets to the 9th string. If you move any minor pentatonic scale pattern down three frets you will get the major pentatonic scale.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Faux Country Guitar Lick #2

See Previous post for commentary. Standard tuning faux country guitar lick in G.

Faux Country Guitar Lick

Country music has some serious talent. There are top notch guitarists who live and breathe this music. I am not one of them. Today's guitar lick is what I call faux country or county guitar for metal heads that are not named Zakk Wylde or John 5 both of whom do this great music justice. This is more of an I'm at a party where people only listen to country music and I'm holding a guitar and can't get away with playing 'Iron Man' - again unless your name is Zakk Wylde. In that case who the hell is gonna mess with you anyway.

Long story short this is just a little countryesque ( my new word - all rights pending) guitar lick that I thought sounded pretty cool. Take it for what it is. If you dig country guitar I'd check out Albert Lee, Chet Atkins and Brad Paisley. And may as well throw in some Doc Watson and Tony Rice on the bluegrass side. Those guys can really pick ( or fingerpick as the case may be).

Anyway here's the guitar tab have fun - that's why its called "playing  music". Tomorrow less rant with the licks.

Tapping with Guitar Pick

I've never been a huge tapper when it comes to guitar technique. Much like my sweep picking ability lack of desire and practice have limited my guitar techniques arsenal in this area. But this lick is pretty basic. It involves tapping with the pick. It sounds harder than it is. You'll note from the video I accidentally let the open G string ring out and cause extraneous noise - try not to do that! The guitar is tuned down a half step in this example. I'm a novice tapper so be kind when critiquing this guitar lick. Better yet learn it better than I can play it ( which should be doable) and post it on youtube. Happy Tapping! For more licks and updates don;t forget to follow me on twitter @jimifan. Thanks.

Metal Guitar Lick in E #2

Here is another metal guitar lick in E similar in style to the last guitar lick we looked at. We're still in the key of E. But this time were using the natural F and a D#. Primarily 16th notes and I've had requests to slow some of the guitar licks down so I included a slower version in the video as well. Hope you dig it. Guitar is tuned down a half step if you want to play along.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guitar Lick - Metal meets blues in E

The following guitar lick to my ears is bluesy but still works well in a metal setting. It uses a symmetrical pattern over a metal riff in the key of E. Note the tied note at the beginning. Basically all 16th notes after that. Alternate picking for the most part but whatever feels comfortable and sounds good is cool.