Why You Should Be Playing Along With Your Favorite Recordings

One of my most vivid memories, and one that I tell to my students all the time, is me staying up late playing along with CDs. I remember bouncing in and out of my room, checking to see if you could hear my stereo from outside the door, so I could get my stereo as loud as possible for me to play to, without anyone else hearing it. I stayed up for hours and hours on summer nights (and maybe a few school nights as well) playing to the songs I loved, never giving up until I started to get them under my fingers. The reason I always bring this up with my students is because I really believe this is one of the biggest factors that helped me learn guitar, and I think every aspiring musician needs

An Exercise For Breaking Out Of The Boring Pentatonic Box

A big problem a lot of guitarists face, whether they’re just learning to improvise, or have been at it for decades, is what we commonly refer to as “getting out of the box.” We guitar players love using the minor pentatonic scale, but a lot of us get lost if they end up outside of the traditional scale shape, or “box.” I think we all know the one I’m talking about. This one right here: Many guitarists never leave this sanctuary. It can get you through pretty much any solo. It’s only a matter of time, however, until you’re overusing it, and start running out of ideas. Because of this, guitarists will start using other shapes or “modes” of the minor pentatonic scale, like this one: There are

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