Exercises

Warm-Ups

Learn to plant your fingers (represented in this tab by the muted notes). An absolutely crucial skill for fingerpicking.
This is an excellent practice warm-up for learning to move more fluently along the fretboard by training your grip around triad shapes.
This “scale” is a short and sweet rendition of the common minor pentatonic scale (the example is Gm). It is great for practicing fretboard ascent/descent phrasing.
The most common pattern for a minor scale on the guitar. This is also known as pattern #3 in the CAGED system.
The most common pattern for a major scale on the guitar. This is also known as pattern #4 in the CAGED system.
A 2 octave example of how to play a dominant arpeggio. This singular pattern is most effective when practiced off of every one of the 12 roots (played in all keys).
A 2 octave example of how to play a minor 7 arpeggio. This singular pattern is most effective when practiced off of every one of the 12 roots (played in all keys).
A 2 octave example of how to play a major 7 arpeggio. This singular pattern is most effective when practiced off of every one of the 12 roots (played in all keys).

Case Studies

Jack and Diane Guitar Tab
This is a great strumming song for beginners and intermediate players. It will challenge strummers to be more precise about their downstrokes and upstrokes in order to play it correctly – with the right *feel*.
Love Alive Guitar Tab
This is the instrumental intro to Heart’s “Love Alive” off their class 1977 album Little Queen.
Sunshine of Your Love Guitar Tab
Sunshine of Your Love by Cream is THE song for blues and pentatonics! Play it and see how the song is based on a 12 bar blues and pentatonic!
This is such an awesome beginner song! Since this is originally played on piano, I took liberties to move it onto guitar. Most beginner strummers should enjoy this song and feel confident playing the tabs.
Linger (Intro) by The Cranberries
Play along to the intro (arpeggiated) portion of the song “Linger” by The Cranberries.
Led Zeppelin IV
The guitar intro to Led Zeppelin’s 1971 hit, Stairway to Heaven, is one of the gold standard for many beginner guitarists.
Wes Montgomery Inspired 8-Bar
This short 8-bar ditty is inspired by the playing style of Wes Montgomery. It is intended for my beginner students, who are looking for a more challenging project (although it remains only a mild challenge).
Neil Young - Harvest
This is one of my favorite Neil Young songs – maybe because it was the first “cool” song I learned to play convincingly :). I’ve always appreciated Neil Young’s percussive guitar style and THIS is vintage Neil Young!
Comfortably Numb (Soundslice)
Learn the first solo from Comfortably Numb (by Pink Floyd). This solo helps develop good stylistic control with string bending, timing and emphasis.
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