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  • Soloing in E Minor Pentatonic

    Level: 5

    This lesson is about using the E minor pentatonic scale to solo over a commonly used chord progression.  The progression is: |E5  - E/B   |D5 - D/A     |A5  - A/E    |G5 - G/D     | The notes in the E minor pentatonic scale are: E - G - A - B - D As you can see all the notes of the chords are found in the pentatonic scale.  It is excellent practice to work out solos over a progression in different regions of the fretboard.  In this case we begin with open position and then use the same scale an octave higher at position XII. We can also express chord progressions usi... ( View Now )

  • I – IV – I7 – IV Classic lines cont.

    Level: 3

    In this lesson we continue to examine the I - IV - I7 - IV progression while moving a bit further up the fretboard.  Working through the progression in short voicings or triads we examine how the voices lead to create new ways to express this classic movement.... ( View Now )

  • I – IV – I7 – IV in a Classic Line

    Level: 3

    Sometimes with a little bit of analysis we can discover that there is more than at first seems apparent and this is equally true when it comes to guitar riffs and lines and their origins. The classic blues/rock riff shown in this lesson is often referred to as an E chord moving to an E6 chord and then an E7 chord but in fact it is an E moving to and A first inversion then to an E/D each chord with a pedaled E in the bass.  This same movement can be used over the IV chord in this blues progression which would be A to D/F# then to A/G each with pedaled A in the bass. You may ask, so what?  Being able to recognize progressions ... ( View Now )

  • I I7 IV IVm Voice Leading Melodic Lines

    Level: 6

    In this lesson we continue on the topic of voice leading with a common chord progression that really helps to demonstrate this point because of the amount of movement within the progression.  The progression is: A major - A7 - D major - D min0r then back to I The notes in each of the chords would be: A - A/C#/E      A7 - A/C#/E/G     D - D/F#/A     Dminor - D/F/A The 3rd and 7th of a chord are the most defining notes of the chord and those notes should fall on a strong beat at the chord change.  With that in mind the G or 7th in the A chord is important, the F# in the D ... ( View Now )

  • Chord Tone Soloing in A minor

    Level: 6

    Every chord is made up of single notes that are called voices.  When chords move they move as individual voices, in other words they move melodically as well as harmonically.  A triad is most clearly defined by its 3rd, the 3rd tells us whether a chord is major or minor.  When a defining note of the new chord falls on a strong beat it implies a chord change.  The progression used in this lesson is an 8 measure progression using the chords: |Am    |Am    |Dm    |Dm    | |Am    |Am    |E7    |E7      | Play this progression in the middle of the fretboard while thinking ... ( View Now )

  • Soloing in E using the Blues Scale in Open Pos.

    Level: 5

    Thinking in the E minor pentatonic and the E minor blues scale in the open region of the fretboard.  In this lesson we put a special emphasis on the b5 note which has a very tense and bluesy quality.  The notes in the E minor blues scale are: E - G - A - Bb- B - D - E Think of it as an E minor pentatonic with the added flat 5.  The chord progression in this play along track is I, b7, IV, bIII: |E5    |D5    |A5    |G5    | The notes in these chords are: |E5 - E/B  |D5 - D/A    |A5 - A/E    |G5 - G/D    | As you can see, there is note one not... ( View Now )

  • Soloing in E in the Middle Region

    Level: 5

    Thinking in the E minor pentatonic and the E minor blues scale in the middle region of the fretboard or in positions IV/V and VII.  This region of the fretboard is often neglected in the key of E in a rock context in favor of the XII fret "box" and the open position but this is a mistake that needs to be rectified.  The notes in the E minor blues scale are: E - G - A - Bb- B - D - E Think of it as an E minor pentatonic with the added flat 5.  The chord progression in this play along track is I, b7, IV, bIII: |E5    |D5    |A5    |G5    | The notes in these chords are: ( View Now )

  • Building a Solo From Chord Tones

    Level: 2

    A great place to start when beginning to build a solo is simply with the roots of the chords in the progression.  The progression in this video is as follows: |Cm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    | Fm7    |Fm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    | |Dm7b5|G7    |Cm7    |G7     | Begin first by playing the roots of the chords on the top 4 strings as opposed to the lower region.  Once comfortable with the note locations and the progression then move to building up to the 3rd of each of the chords as: Cm - C/Eb     Fm7 - F/Ab      Dm7b5 - D - F     G7 ... ( View Now )

  • Chord Forms and Abbreviations in C minor

    Level: 2

    In this lesson we take a look at some simple chord voicings in two regions of the fretboard using the following progression in C minor: |Cm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    | |Fm7    |Fm7    |Cm7    |Cm7    | |Dm7b5|G7    |Cm7    |G7    | The Dm7b5 chord and the Fm7 chord function as subdominant minors, notice the similarities in the notes between these two chords: Fm7  -     F - Ab - C - Eb Dm7b5 - D - F - Ab - C You can look at the Dm7b5 chord as an Fm with a D in the root for instance, instead of the root movement go... ( View Now )

  • D5 Dropped D with Flat 3

    Level: 4

    In this lesson we take a look at the dropped D tuning along with the sound of the bIII.  Dropped D is simply taking the bottom string of E and changing it or dropping it to a D.  This provides a very big bottom end for the key of D.  The b3 is an F note in the key of D because it is lowered from the D major scale which has an F#. The dropping of the D produces a D5 power chord on the bottom 3 strings spelled: D6 - A5 - D4 Since this is a power chord it can now also be moved as a 3/6 barre, at fret III it would be an F5 and at fret V it would be a G5 and so on.  In this lesson we focus mainly on the b3... ( View Now )

  • Open String Octave Power Chords

    Level: 3

    Power chords can also include octaves since they are also in the category of "perfect" interval as are the perfect 4th and the perfect 5th also being power chords.  In this lesson we take a look at a couple of classic uses of very simple octave spreads between two strings, the most common being between the 6th open and fret VII on string 5, an octave apart.  When we combine this with the sound of the flat 7 or in the case of the key of E a D note it produces some very classic sounds. This same relationship can also be tried with open string 5 and fret VII at A on the octave or for that matter at the open D string with the same ... ( View Now )

  • Open String Power Chords Continued

    Level: 3

    When playing the open string power chords or 5 chords the right hand has to do at least as much work as the left in making sure that only the notes of the chords are being attacked.  Power chords have the potential to sound awful if the wrong strings are struck by accident.  This correct attack has a lot to do with the pick coming to rest on strings not being sounded.  This is a bit of a tough technique at first but it is one that must be mastered in order to get nice clean and punchy sounds using power chords. There are also often strings that must be muted with the left hand, for instance in the case of the G5 the 5th string... ( View Now )

Stop the Madness!
We've heard the same story time and time again from our members. They were feeling confused and frustrated when trying to learn from the jumble of videos on Youtube and were making little or no progress. When they find us they start immediately making consistent progress with our guided, step by step method. They never felt lost or confused again!

Take things one step at a time and keep building on what you've just learned. Every lesson has a level from one to six to help you stay within your skill level.

We've made choosing your own path easy if that's what you'd like to do. Make sure to choose a new course or lesson that's at your level and you'll be fine.

Many lessons include some great sounding tracks for you to play along with. You can take what you've just learned and start practicing with a hand selected track right away. We also have a Jam Station with dozens of tracks for practice with helpful suggestions for practice and playing.

Many of our lessons include printable lesson sheets. Use them for another perspective, and for reference later.

All of your progress is tracked so you know exactly how you are progressing. You can always pick up right where you left off just by visiting your activity page.


Learn from eight expert teachers.


Brad Prevedoros

Styles: Fingerstyle | Brad Prevedoros has 18 lessons.

With twenty five years of touring, 5000 venues and a half a million recordings sold, guitarist Brad Prevedoros performs over...


Bill Johnson

Styles: Blues | Bill Johnson has 27 lessons.

Bill Johnson was born into a musical and artistic family in Halifax, NS. Two years later the family moved to...

Aaron Watson

Aaron Watson

Styles: Jazz | Aaron Watson has 22 lessons.

Aaron is an active performer in several styles and continues to record and perform with his group Cold Cut Combo....

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