Technique and Theory

Showing 51 to 75 of 78 articles.


Composing with Chord Substitutions

Using Extended Chords


Need to spice up a simple chord progression? Try using extended chords.


Audio. Lessons. Songwriting. Technique and Theory. Intermediate.

SongW_21GuitarTips_grande

Experiment with Sound


Ever wonder how experienced songwriters tweak songs to make them sound original? Here are a few ways to recast your songs.


Lessons. Songwriting. Technique and Theory. Early Intermediate. Intermediate.

Songwriting Basics for Guitarists: Start Writing Songs

Rework an Existing Song


Take the first steps toward creating something new and exciting by using a song by one of your favorite artists as a building block.


Lessons. Songwriting. Technique and Theory. Beginner. Early Intermediate.

Rhythm Guitar Essentials Cover

Learn the Boom-Chuck Rhythm


Learn the rhythm at the heart of countless folk and country songs. 


Audio. Lessons. Country. Folk. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Cover Image

Explore 3/4 Time


Learn 3 great strumming patterns in 3/4 Time


Audio. Lessons. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Ragtime Blues Fingerpicking Cover

Play a Ragtime Blues Thumb Roll


A thumb roll in the bass before the downbeat of the measure gives your groove some bounce. Learn how to play one with today’s excerpt from Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics.


Video. Lessons. Blues. Technique and Theory. Beginner. Early Intermediate.

The Beginner's Guide to Guitar Cover

Developing a Steady Tempo


Use a rest or a held note as a chance to read ahead in the music. Discover more on keeping time in today’s excerpt from The Beginner’s Guide to Guitar.


Lessons. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Method Cover

Articulating a Melody with Legato Embellishments


Play notes legato with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Play through today’s examples from the Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method to hear the difference once legato embellishments are added.


Video. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Early Intermediate. Intermediate.

Rhythm Guitar Essentials Cover

Learn to Play Augmented Chords


Play an augmented chord by starting with your major chord and raising the fifth by a half step. Hear the difference for yourself in today’s excerpt from Rhythm Guitar Essentials.


Audio. Lessons. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Explore Alternate Tunings Cover

Experimenting with Open-D Tuning


Singers, slide players, and instrumentalists, try playing in Open-D tuning. Learn how to get into and experiment with an Open-D tuning in today’s excerpt from Explore Alternate Tunings.


Audio. Lessons. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Beginner. Early Intermediate.

Fingerstyle Jazz Essentials Book Cover

Exploring Rhythm and Time in Fingerstyle Jazz Songs


Spice up a 4/4 jazz standard by converting it to 3/4. See how, and hear the difference in today’s excerpt from Fingerstyle Jazz Essentials.


Video. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Jazz. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Intermediate.

Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Method Cover

Apply Vibrato to Your Arrangements


Use a very slow vibrato to create the effect of pitch modulation. Find out more in today’s excerpt from the Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method.


Video. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Intermediate.

Extended Techniques Cover

Add a Percussive Backbeat to Fingerstyle Arrangements


Use today’s excerpt from Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials to help you create a snare drum-like sound on your guitar. You’ll never miss your drummer again!


Video. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Jazz. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Intermediate.

RhythmGuitarBasicsAGUcover

Time Signatures


Get the feel of two common time signatures, 4/4 time and 3/4 time. 


Video. Lessons. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Music Basics for Guitarists Cover

Techniques for Keeping Rhythm


Five tips for keeping solid time.


Audio. Advice. Technique and Theory.

The Blues Scale and Simple Lead Licks

Use Slides, Hammer-Ons, and Pull-Offs to Minimize Pick Strokes


As the tempo quickens, use slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs to play more notes without having to pick each one. See the example in today’s excerpt from Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics.


Video. Lessons. Blues. Technique and Theory. Early Intermediate.

Acoustic Guitar Slide Basics

Transposing Your Slide Melodies


Playing slide guitar in an open tuning makes it easy to transpose licks in that tuning to another position. Find out how in today’s excerpt from Acoustic Guitar Slide Basics.


Audio. Lessons. Blues. Technique and Theory. Beginner. Early Intermediate.

21 Tips COVER

Seek Out Feedback When Writing Songs


Look to songwriting groups for a forum for sensitive and informed feedback, even it’s feedback you don’t necessarily agree with! Read more in today’s excerpt from Songwriting Basics for Guitarists.


Advice. Technique and Theory. Beginner. Early Intermediate.

Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Method Cover

Combine Cross-String Passages and Fretting-Hand Position Shifts


With today's excerpt from The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method, learn why it’s helpful to begin a position change with an open string.


Audio. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Technique and Theory. Advanced.

Chord Shape Based Improv Cover

Build Lines around Familiar Chord Shapes


When improvising, you can use single-note lines to outline the harmony of a song. Use today’s excerpt from Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials to work on improvising through a progression.


Video. Lessons. Jazz. Technique and Theory. Advanced.

Cross String Techniques Cover

Cross-String Picking Basics


Cross-string picking is when open and fretted strings are combined to play ascending/descending intervals on nonsequential strings. See the examples in today’s excerpt from The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Method.


Video. Lessons. Fingerstyle. Technique and Theory. Advanced.

Sus and Add Chords Cover

Use Sus4 Chords in Your Acoustic Rock Compositions


Sus4 chords can be heard in classic songs like Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” and many others. Today’s excerpt shows you how to play them.


Video. Lessons. Rock. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Creating Chordal Riffs Cover

How to Create Chordal Riffs


Deconstruct simple chord shapes and progressions to create classic riffs in the style of Neil Young and the Beatles.


Video. Lessons. Rock. Technique and Theory. Beginner.

Acoustic Guitar Method

Get Started Playing Guitar


Just beginning your journey with the guitar? These lessons from the Acoustic Guitar Method will help you navigate some of the basics like comfortably holding the guitar, easily forming and switching between chords, and spicing up your playing with single-note picking. You’ll also learn a few classic traditional songs to bring the music to life. So pick up your guitar and let’s get started! 


Video.

April 2013 Cover

Weekly Workout


These seven excerpts from Acoustic Guitar’s Weekly Workout lessons will provide you with interesting technical exercises that will get your fretting- and picking-hand fingers working in different ways and provide you with musical “studies” that will help you visualize and explore the fingerboard.


Video.

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