Oliver Monaco Berklee College of Music

Seven Easy Jazz Guitar Songs for Beginners

Oliver Monaco Berklee College of Music

Interested in jazz but not sure where to begin? Jazz has a long history and a wide variety of subgenres — it’s easy to get lost in it all! Here, guitar teacher Dylan P. shows you seven easy jazz guitar songs to get you started…


Jazz music can sound very complicated, to say the least. It involves a combination of skills, including speed, precision, and endurance. There are many great jazz guitarists that can attest to that.

While advanced jazz can take quite a while to work up to, beginner jazz guitar songs aren’t difficult or time-consuming to learn. In this article, I provide videos and tabs for seven jazz songs that any beginner can start learning today. Let’s jump right into the songs!


“Summertime” is a catchy jazz standard composed by George Gershwin. It was originally written for the opera Porgy and Bess. Sublime’s “Summertime” is based on this piece.

This eerie melody will stick in your head all day! Below is a simplified tutorial. I think this person does a good job breaking it down (even better than reading tabs):

Jazz musicians like to embellish simple melodies. Here is a more advanced version of “Summertime”:

Autumn Leaves

“Autumn Leaves” is medium tempo jazz piece by Joseph Kosma. Here is a nice recording by Eric Clapton. Listen to the song, and then learn the chord progression. Be sure to look up any chords you are unfamiliar with. Strum along with the recording and pay attention to the tempo! It’s not very fast.

Take a look at the chords here.

Let’s look at the video:

Bonus! What is the difference between A7, Am7, and Amaj7? Look up seventh chords, or ask your teacher!

Fly Me To The Moon

“Fly Me To The Moon” is a jazz standard made famous by Frank Sinatra. The steady quarter note pulse is a great way to practice changing 7th chords, a staple of jazz music. Here’s a sassy version by Jason Mraz and the accompanying chords:

Blue Monk

“Blue Monk” is a B flat blues piece written by Thelonious Monk. Try learning both parts and playing it with a friend! Look here for the chords and tabs.

Watch this advanced version of the piece:

Now watch this simplified version:

Blue Bossa

“Blue Bossa” is a bossa-nova piece with an infectious groove. Bossa-nova is Latin influenced jazz.

Here are the chords and tabs. Watch the video below and familiarize yourself with the melody. Notice the choppy way the chords are being played:

So What

“So What” is a famous piece by Miles Davis. “So What” is a piece of modal jazz, which is built on modes rather than major and minor scales. If you’re not sure what a mode is, ask your teacher for a lesson on them!

Check out the tabs for this song. This video is a great example of the main theme on guitar:

I also recommend you watch this video of Miles Davis and John Coltrane ripping the piece apart in 1959:


“Nuages” is a piece of gypsy jazz by Django Reinhardt. Django played at incredible speeds with only two fingers! He lost use of his other two in a fire.

Django’s solos and improvisation move at intimidating speeds, but the main melody of Nuages is easy to understand.

Here is a version of the piece for solo guitar.

If it’s too difficult to play the chords and melody at the same time, just play the melody — you can do this by only playing the highest note in each chord cluster. “Nuages” is based on a classical piece by the same name, composed by Claude Debussy. Look up that piece and see if you can hear the similarities.

Here is a recording of Django:

Here is a close up version with a simplified melody:


As you learn these songs, don’t worry about the improvisations and embellishments (the fast, fancy stuff). Start by making sure you understand every chord in the song, then move on to the melody.

Try learning one of these songs with a friend so you can both practice trading lead and rhythm.

Want to hear some advanced jazz? Check out this video by Snarky Puppy! There’s a cool guitar riff at about a minute in:


Once you learn some of these beginner jazz guitar songs, you’ll be ready for more advanced playing. Even better, you’ll be better equipped to write your own jazz song! Have fun with your playing and make sure to practice every single day!

Working with a private guitar teacher is a great way to build your jazz guitar skills fast. Find your guitar teacher today!

Post Author: Dylan P.
Dylan P. teaches in-person guitar, music theory, and music performance lessons in Independence, MO. He has trained in many genres of guitar music and has experience working with students with learning disabilities. Learn more about Dylan P. here!

Photo by Oliver


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How to Play Guitar like David Gilmour

How to Play Guitar like David Gilmour | Tabs and Audio “Time” Guitar Solo

How to Play Guitar like David Gilmour

When it comes to incredible guitar players, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd takes the cake. In this article, teacher Bernard M. shows you how to play the guitar just like the legend himself…


Many musicians strive to sound like their heroes. They want to get that special something that makes those legends stand out from the crowd.

One of the best ways you can do this is to learn their parts — beat for beat, note for note. While this can be difficult and time consuming, it’s one of the most rewarding learning strategies for musicians of all levels.

One of my favorite guitar players is David Gilmour from the band Pink Floyd. He brings a certain sense of taste and melody to everything he plays.

In order to unlock the secrets of Gilmour’s playing style, we’ll be looking at the guitar solo from the song “Time.” This famous solo is a great example of how Gilmour tells a story with his guitar.

Before we dive in….

This Pink Floyd guitar lesson contains a detailed breakdown of the solo, four bars at a time, with tabs for each section and an analysis of what Gilmour is doing and why it’s so effective. Below is a recording of the song so you can follow along.



Above each line of tabs is a time marker, telling when in the song each section occurs. I also included the chords behind the solo above each bar. This will become important in our analysis when looking at Gilmour’s note choice.

The minor pentatonic scales find heavy use in this solo, especially in the first and second positions (shown below).


Pentatonic Scale Charts


As the song is in the key of F#m, the first position will begin on the 2nd fret and the second position on the 5th fret, each repeating an octave above at the 14th and 17th frets respectively.

At the end, I’ll give you my five tips on how to play a guitar solo like David Gilmour, highlighting the key points talked about in our analysis of the solo.

Ok, ready? Let’s do this!

Let’s play…


Section 1 Tabs


The iconic sustained notes and bends in the first three bars show off Gilmour’s melodic sensibilities. Clearly, he’s in no rush and is leaving himself room to stretch out his chops later in the solo. This slow introduction uses the first position minor pentatonic scale, just tracing the chords at the low end of the fret board. In the fourth bar, Gilmour slides into the second position of the scale for a more aggressive Albert King style blues lick, hinting at what is to come later. For some extra kick, try giving the 5th fret e-string note a quarter-step bend!


Section 2 Tabs


On his second go around the chord progression, Gilmour uses repetition and variation, echoing the beginning of his solo before moving into new territory. This creates a call and response effect between the repeated melody and the varying blues licks.

In the second bar, he responds with the bluesy major sixth interval (9th fret G-string to 9th fret e-string) to emphasize the notes that make up the A chord.

You may have noticed that Gilmour frets or bends to some notes outside of our pentatonic scale. These notes from the minor scale are peppered in to add a sweeter flavor to the melodies.

Notice how half-step bends are used to move lyrically between these minor scale notes. Gilmour ends this section with a long sustained bend to an F#, creating a sense resolution, for now…


Section 3 Tabs


If the first two sections acted as an introduction, these next two are most certainly the climax. Gilmour slides into an F#m arpeggio in the first position pentatonic scale an octave above where the solo began.

To effectively execute this lick, use your second finger on the 16th fret, your first finger on 14th (fretting the G-string with the fingertip then pivoting to the B-string just above your knuckle) and your third finger to bend the B-string at the 17th fret, leaving your pinky free to hit the e-string.

The second bar features a step-and-a-half bend between two full-step bends. This classic blues technique requires strong fingers and good pitch recognition, but is well worth the practice it takes to master.

Finally, Gilmour carries us over the bar into the next section with a powerful lick descending towards the root note, hitting on beats three, four, and the one of the next bar. This is a very powerful phrasing move, using the melody to weave different bars together.


Section 4 Tabs


We land on an F#, once again emphasizing the root of our first chord. This is followed by a pre-bend release, adding some character before descending into a pull-off run. As the A chord comes around, we bend up on the 16th fret to hit a familiar C#.

Notice a pattern? Gilmour’s careful note choice and use of repetition and variation keeps things familiar but fresh.

The next lick carries us over the bar with the solo’s highest note, an exciting bend on the e-string at 19th fret. This phrase is reminiscent of the bend at the 17th fret at the end of the last section (again, repetition and variation at work).

To create a sense of closure as the solo nears a change in the chord progression and overall tone, Gilmour runs down an E major arpeggio, resolving over the bar to, you guessed it, an F# root.

The final slide down the neck signals the drastic change that is about to occur…


Section 5 Tabs


This section marks a dramatic shift from a minor to major mood, bringing the solo to its conclusion. Gilmour begins with a dreamy triplet run over a Dmaj7 arpeggio, using slides to create a floating, liquid feel that perfectly suits the new mood.

Notice the half-step interval from the 9th to 10th fret, marking the brief return of the sweet lyrical tone found in the second section.

Gilmour leaves a lot of space between his flowing slides, giving each carefully-chosen note time to express its particular character over its chordal backdrop.

My personal favorite is the G# note on the 9th fret of the B-string at the beginning of the third bar. Over the Dmaj7 chord, it expresses the heavenly lydian mode sound of the #4 chord tone. (Music theory aside, the take away is this: choose your notes based on what sounds best over the passing chords!)


Section 6 Tabs


In the final four bars, Gilmour brings the solo to a close with two distinct phrases. The first, which begins with the unison bend in the previous bar, calls back to the 4th fret bends at the very beginning of the solo (and the 16th fret bends an octave above during the climax) for some final repetition and variation.

Here, he uses a step-and-a-half bend between full-step bends, a pre-bend release, and a long sustained bend to get the most out of this expressive phrase.

Gilmour ends by playing around an E major arpeggio, bringing a final sense of closure and resolution with the sustained E note on the 2nd fret and the open low E-string an octave below.

What did we learn? My five tips for playing like David Gilmour! Ok, so we just covered A LOT of ground. Let’s take what we learned from analyzing the solo and summarize it into some key points.


1. Tell a story:
Your solo should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. In your introduction, make an opening statement that sets the tone, but still leaves you with somewhere to go. When you reach the climax, pull out all the stops and let loose those licks you were saving. Whether it’s one note or eight bars, make sure your conclusion leaves your listener with a feeling of closure.

2. Bend like a master:
Remember, your good ol’ fashioned full step bend isn’t the only way to go. Try your hand at half-step bends, pre-bend releases, and even step-and-a-half bends. These are great ways of getting the more expression out of your playing (just make sure the notes you’re bending to are in your scale).

3. Repetition is your friend:
Soloing is not just playing a string of notes from a scale (trust me; I’ve made that mistake plenty of times). Repetition and variation allows you to set up familiar themes, transform these themes, play into or defy the listener’s expectations, and make patterns such as call and response.

4. Choose notes wisely:
Use the chords! They’re your guidelines, telling you what notes you should play. While this can be daunting at times, take your time and trust your ears, as they’ll often lead you to the right notes. If you can find the root notes to chords, or better yet, the full arpeggios, you are on the right track to playing with the chord changes. (Want more on this? Look up chord scales!)

5. Be clever with rhythm:
Again, soloing is not just playing a string of notes. Choosing how you use rhythm can make or break a solo. Leave yourself plenty of space with long sustained notes and bends. This will provide contrast for fast and busy licks, making them more effective. For even greater effect, try playing over the bar, or using triplets. For more, check out my article on using space and phrasing during solos.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey through the style of David Gilmour and his solo from “Time.” I hope you use these ideas to help spice up your playing, and this strategy of analysis to help you unlock the secrets of your favorite players.


Are there any great guitar solos you’d like to learn? Share your requests in the comments below!


Bernard M TakeLessons.com Teacher Post Author: Bernard M.
Bernard M. is a guitar and songwriting instructor in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from The College of New Jersey with a bachelors degree in English. He teaches lessons online and will travel to his students. Learn more about Bernard here!


Photo by Jose Bogado

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Techology and online Music lessons

How Has Technology Changed Music Lessons? [Infographic]

Over the past several years, online music lessons have substantially grown in popularity. And it’s no wonder — it’s an option that is convenient and often priced lower than in-person lessons. Plus, you can choose an instructor from practically anywhere!

Advances in technology have made the success of online music lessons possible, but that’s not the only way that technology has changed the way we learn music. New innovations provide fun and creative ways to enhance the learning experience for today’s student. You can find the best online piano lessons, for instance, and then supplement those with apps, games, and YouTube tutorials.

Here are some fascinating facts about how we learn, teach, and promote music online.

Technology and Music Lessons Infographic - Online music lessons

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Teaching Music Online – Additional Resources

Interested in teaching online? These days, you’ve got several options for video platforms to use, allowing you to instantly connect with your student, send files, and record lessons. Learn more about teaching online with TakeLessons here.

Learning Music Online – Additional Resources

Whether you’re looking for the best online piano lessons via Skype, pre-recorded YouTube drum tutorials, or chord charts for guitar and bass, there are so many resources available for students!

Learn Guitar 

Learn Piano

Learn Violin

Learn Drums

Whether or not you take (or teach) lessons online, there are many ways you can use current technology to enhance and supplement the learning experience. If you’re a teacher and need a place to start, online forums are great for sharing ideas with other instructors. The possibilities are endless! And once you start looking, it’s amazing what you can find out there!

Special thanks to online piano teacher Crystal B. for her help with this article! 

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same old love guitar tutorial video

Video: Selena Gomez “Same Old Love” Guitar Tutorial – Easiest Version


Learn to play Selena Gomez’s new song “Same Old Love” the easy way with this guitar tutorial from Jonathan B.

Pretty simple, right?

Now you have everything you need to know in order to cover Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love”. Here are the skills you’ll use as you play through this guitar lesson:

And that’s it! Now you’re ready to impress your friends or make an amazing cover video of your own. Have fun playing this song, and don’t forget to practice playing the guitar every day.

Do you have any requests for our next guitar tutorial? Share them with us in the comments below!

Jonathan BPost Author: Jonathan B.
Jonathan B. is a guitar instructor, Temple University Music Theory graduate, and YouTube creator living in State College, PA. Learn more about Jonathan here!

Photo by Do512

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7 Easy Rockabilly Guitar Songs For Beginners

How to Play Rockabilly Guitar: 7 Easy Songs for Beginners

7 Easy Rockabilly Guitar Songs For Beginners

Ready to learn about rock and roll’s cousin from the south? If so, you’re in the right place! In this article, music teacher Christopher S. explores some of the most influential rockabilly songs of our time and shows you how to play them on guitar…

The History of Rockabilly

The rock and roll style, dubbed rockabilly, is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music. It dates back to the early 1950’s and comes from the good ol’ USA, especially from the south. It’s a blend of sounds from Western musical styles like country, sometimes bluegrass styles, and that of rhythm and blues. The style’s name in itself comes from the combination of “rock” (from the 1950s) and “hillbilly” music, a common term being used to describe country music of the 40s and 50s.

This style was very important for the development of rock and roll music, and it was the basis and influence of many famous bands from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It was a style which was, in a sense, a rite of passage to play if you wanted to play rock and roll.

The style’s defining features include strong rhythms, vocal twangs, and often the use of tape echo. It also tends to have fast lyrics and distorted guitars, which gives it a progressive feel, thus attractibg the ears of young listeners.

Notable Rockabilly Players

The first major artists to be associated playing rockabilly music were Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Bob Luman, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The style started a legacy of rock and roll which spawned a variety of sub-styles and influencing styles such as punk rock. If you want to play rock and roll the way famous guitarists such as Jimi Page, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix did, then you have to learn, at minimum, the basics and some songs by the very first rock and rollers who played rockabilly.

Here are seven rockabilly songs that are easy to learn and will teach you how to play rockabilly guitar.

1) Hello Mary Lou by Ricky Nelson

This song was recorded and released in 1961 in California. Although it’s one of the later and poppier songs in our timeline of rockabilly music, this song is easy to play on the guitar and makes for a good intro to the musical style.

Below is a tab on how to play it. You’ll notice most of the song is played with chords. You just have to get that good country guitar rhythm down, and then there’s a short but sweet solo to learn.

Hello Mary Lou

2) Be-Bop-A-Lula by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps

This song is a classic and probably one of the slower tunes of the rockabilly scene. It has a very swampy but typical singing style with country-influenced twangy guitar sounds. Below is the chord chart for the song. The strumming is a very simple down strum on the beat of a 4/4 rhythm. It’s a very easy song to learn because of its slow tempo.



3) Train Kept A-Rollin’ by Johnny Burnette and The Rock and Roll Trio

This is a great song because it really shows the rebellious side of the rockabilly sound and its true roots as the precursor to rock and roll. It begins with a rockin’ guitar lick and strummed chords with the rumbling sound and rhythm of a train. This song was considered almost a rite of passage for bands to play in the 70s and 80s. The well-known band The Yardbirds, with guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, also made this song well-known in the late 60s.

The easy part about this song is that you can almost get away with playing the chords by using only the top and the bottom string. Below is the intro riff and the chord charts.






4) Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On by Jerry Lee Lewis

This is another great tune that was a hit in 1957. The song acutely has its compositional origins from a pianist and club owner named Dave “Curlee” Williams – however, Lewis had been performing it and he released it on his recording session for Sun Records which made it hit the Billboard magazine charts.

The chords are played with piano but there are guitar licks and chord figures strumming throughout. Below are the tabs for the guitar parts.

Whole Lotta Shakin'

5) Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins

This is a very well-known rockabilly song released in 1955, made infamous by the one and only, Elvis Presley. It was released only a year after the Carl Perkins version. This song is very easy to play because it’s mostly stop and go chords. It has a driving bluesy rhythm, which is easy to strum.

Below are the chords to Elvis Presley’s version of the song. This would be a good version to learn because it’s the one that most people will recognize.

Suede Shoes-1

Suede Shoes-2

Suede Shoes-3

Suede Shoes-4

6) Ooby Dooby by Roy Orbison

This is yet another classic, well-known tune by a classic artist. This song was released again by Sun Records. It has a swampy blues rhythm and sounds great at both slow and faster tempos. Roy was even known to perform this song at various tempos. The original has some great rockabilly licks that, if you’re learning this style of guitar, they’re essential licks to learn! Below are the tabs for this song.



7) Twenty Flight Rock by Eddie Cochran

This is a comical song which was actually released in the comedy film titled The Girl Cant Help It in 1956. It’s a song about a man who is complaining about seeing his girlfriend who lives on the 20th floor of an apartment build with no elevator.

It’s a very cool song and actually was the song that got Paul McCartney into the Beatles. McCartney retells the story of how, at the auditions to enter the Beatles, he played that song and John was so impressed that he actually knew all the words to Twenty Flight Rock that he got the spot.

Either way it’s a great song to learn when learning the rockabilly genre. Below are the tabs for this one.



So whether you’re just starting to learn the guitar or you’re already a skilled guitarist, I hope these songs will get you strumming and picking away at the rockabilly music that came from the 50s and 60s. Learn to play them all and you will see your rock playing improve tenfold!

Let’s rock again now!

Are there any other rockabilly songs you’d like to learn how to play on guitar? Share us with them in the comments below and we’ll help you out!

Post Author: Christopher S.
Christopher S. teaches bass guitar, guitar, and composition in Jamaica Plain, MA. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Humboldt State University and is currently attending New England Conservatory for his Master of Music degree. Christopher has been teaching students since 2004. Learn more about Christopher S. here!

Photo by Dena Flows

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5 Classical Guitar Exercises for the Left Hand

5 Essential Classical Guitar Exercises to Tone Your Left Hand


5 Classical Guitar Exercises for the Left HandEarlier, we took a look at how to develop your right hand for classical guitar. In this article, guitar teacher Raymond L. will add to the balance by teaching you exercises for the left hand…


The classical guitar repertoire covers more scales and arpeggios than any other technical skill. Therefore, I consider it important for you, as a classical guitar player or student, to focus on these following exercises.

They’re based on scales and arpeggios for the purpose of developing an agile and solid technique for the left-hand. It’s best to tackle these after you’ve established the basics for both hands.

Here are the five exercises for classical guitar that I consider most important for your left-hand technique.

1) Chromatic scales on all strings (descending & ascending)

Chromatic scales are very common on the guitar. Take a look at this example of one:

5 left hand classical guitar exercises 1

You should play the chromatic scale starting on the open sixth string, then finger 1 on the first fret, finger 2 on the second fret, and so on. Repeat this pattern horizontally, descending and ascending, on all of the strings.

Take care not to repeat the “B” on the third string (fourth fret) when you make the move from the third to the second string, or skip the “B” on the third string (finger 4, fourth fret) and play the “B” as an open second string.

2) Variation on the chromatic scales (descending & ascending)

5 left hand classical guitar exercises 2

This variation has the following repetitive pattern using fingers:

1, 2, 3, 4 – 1, 4, 3, 4 – 2, 4, 3, 4 (on all the strings)

3) Diminished arpeggios using fingers 1 and 4 (chromatic/descending & ascending)

In this exercise you just use finger 1 and 4 on each string, starting from string 6 moving down to the next string, and every time taking the following fret of the next string but make sure to jump a fret when moving from string 3 to 2.

Play this exercise also descending and ascending:

5 left hand classical guitar exercises 3

4) Variation on the diminished arpeggios using fingers 1, 2, and 4 (chromatic/descending & ascending)

In this exercise, you start on string 4 with finger 1 on the first fret, and then move finger 4 to the fourth fret on the fourth string, then move down to the next string (string 3) on the second fret with the second finger.

Repeat this same continuous pattern starting from string 2 (first fret & fourth fret) to string 1 (second fret). Then make a descending chromatic move with finger 2 to the third fret.

Fret string 1 and resume with the same pattern but in reverse, until you reach string 4 again (now finger 1 should be on the second fret of string 4).

You always repeat this same finger pattern 1, 4, 2 – 1, 4, 2 – 2, 4, 1 – 2, 4, 1 in a chromatic/descending & ascending order.

5 left hand classical guitar exercises 4

5) Exercise using string 2 and 5 (chromatic/descending & ascending)

This exercise does not imply any specific harmonic characteristics but nevertheless is interesting to the ear and valuable to finger-motor coordination.

Start the exercise using finger 3 on string 5, third fret, and finger 1 on string 2, first fret.

Play them simultaneously, then place finger 2 on string 5, second fret, and finger 4 on string 2, fourth fret – play them simultaneously.

Now play simultaneously finger 1 on string 5, first fret, and finger 3 on third fret, then play simultaneously finger 4 on string 5, fourth fret, and finger 2 on string 2, 2nd fret.

Finally, go to when you started the exercise using finger 3 on string 5, third fret, and finger 1 on string 2, first fret, playing them simultaneously again.

Repeat this pattern chromatically descending and ascending.

5 left hand classical guitar exercises 5


Although I kept the examples short, you could repeat the sequence of each exercise until you reach the 12th fret or any uncomfortable position on the fret-board.

Obviously, there are other valuable left-hand exercises, as the “horizontal” chromatic scale from fret 1 to 12 descending and ascending on each string, the diatonic scale, the pentatonic scale, just to mention a few. These exercises are not discussed in this article, but you can still rely on the five we have shared, which will definitely do the difference.

Enjoy practicing!

Remi LPost Author: Raymond L.
Raymond L. teaches guitar, classical guitar, musical theory, ukulele, and Spanish in Jacksonville, FL. Raymond has been teaching for over 30 years and he specializes in pop, blues, modern, Latin, classical and popular music. Learn more about Raymond.

Photo by Jason Bachman

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11 Annoying Things People Say To Female Guitarists

11 Annoying Things People Say to Female Guitarists

Female guitarists rock just as hard, if not harder than some men, yet the things people say to us sound like they’re straight from the 1950s!

Ladies, women, and girls, here are 11 of the most annoying things I’ve heard in my years of playing guitar. Maybe a few will sound familiar to you too?

1. Is that for your boyfriend?

Why do some people find it so unbelievable that you’re carrying your own gear or shopping at Guitar Center for yourself?

2. You’re pretty good for a girl.

Would you tell another musician he’s pretty good for a man? Nope. Please stop saying this.

3. Are you the singer?

Because that’s the only thing you think women are capable of? Please go back to rock and roll history and study Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Kaki King, Nancy Wilson, or any of the other hundreds of women who have made their mark in music with an ax in hand.

4. Oh, you’re IN the band!

If you’ve ever had trouble being allowed in to a venue for your own show, you know just how annoying this one can be. This is doubly annoying when someone assumes you’re a groupie.

5. You should show off your body more and be sexier.

Because when I asked for feedback on my performance, I really wanted to hear about how I looked. Even young girls aren’t immune from this misguided advice. Please stop making female performers feel like their sex appeal matters more than their music. It’s just sad.

6. You only got that gig because you’re hot.

Like a meaner, more petty version of the last comment, this implies that any attention or success you enjoy as a musician is all thanks to your looks. Luckily, people will mostly say this one behind your back, so you only need to roll your eyes when you hear this through the grapevine. Then you can get back to crushing it.

7. Do you want to be in a band? We’re looking for a chick bass player.

Why would you want to work with someone who’s already objectifying you before they’ve heard you play a single note?

8. Let me explain your gear to you.

I just haul it around, set it up, play it, own it, and love it. So sure, please tell me all about my amp.

9. Wow, are you going to play that?

Nope, I just carry a guitar around for fun.

10. Chick guitarists are hot! Do you want to jam sometime?

Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, they don’t really mean “jam”.

11. I don’t usually like chick music, but you were actually pretty good.

For the love of music everywhere, please stop acting as if music made by women is in its own single genre. There are women who shred and women who croon, women who get down and funky and women who play smooth, sweet jazz.

The sooner people can stop treating female musicians as novelties and start hearing us for the talents we possess, the sooner we all can enjoy a more equal and exciting music scene.

Now it’s your turn. Ladies, what really grinds your gears? Share the most annoying thing someone has said to you about playing the guitar in the comments below!

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quiz which epic guitar solo are you

Quiz: Which Epic Guitar Solo Are You?

quiz which epic guitar solo are youIf you were one of the best guitar solos of all time, which one would you be? Take the quiz and find out!

Interested in learning how to play guitar? Try this one trick to make your guitar solos pop!

Were you surprised by your result, or was it just right? Tell us what you think in the comments below!


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Peter Matthew Bauer Interview

Peter Matthew Bauer of The Walkmen Talks Living Room Shows and Liberation!

Peter Matthew Bauer InterviewGrowing up on indie rock, The Walkmen were among my favorite bands in high school and college. Though they are now on “extreme hiatus”, members of the band continue to make great music that I can love as an adult too.

The band’s bassist Peter Matthew Bauer embarked on a solo career with his 2014 album Liberation!, an album that pairs spiritual themes and literary references with catchy rock hooks and psychedelic vibes.

I got the chance to talk with Bauer about his musical background, his solo career, and his favorite Latin American authors.

TL: How did you get into playing music?

PMB: I started taking guitar lessons when I was a kid from a guy in Washington DC who was sort of the local guitar teacher of choice. I did that for a couple years. I had a friend who was an older kid who had a band, so I wanted to be like them.

And now you’re a guy who a lot of people would want to be like, with your time in The Walkmen and your incredible solo record. What’s it been like for you getting out on your own and writing songs?

It’s a lot of fun. It’s great! It’s a little lonely I guess. It’s a lot more on you when it’s your own name and you’re doing everything. That makes it fun.

One of the things I really love about your record is how you incorporate some Eastern sounds in your music, a little reminiscent of George Harrison and the Beatles but there’s also something really modern and cool about how you’ve done it. Did you have a kind of guiding philosophy around how you used those elements?

I was writing these songs about how I grew up, so I thought if I could figure out ways to use slightly Indian sounding things in a couple spots, without it sounding kinda hacky, it would be fun, sort of funny. I had a harmonium laying around the house and I liked the sound of it, and that was the idea. There’s not that much of it that was meant to be Indian, it’s just sort of stuff I had.

Yeah, it’s a really light touch with that instrumentation but it’s really cool. One of my favorite songs on the record is “Latin American Ficciones”. Is that a reference to any specific author?

Yeah, it’s a reference to Jorge Luis Borges, and Roberto Bolaño also. I think I just changed it to “Ficciones” because I had a bad mix of it when it was called “Latin American Fiction”. [Laughs]. It’s a dumb joke.

It’s sort of a song from when I was figuring out how to sing and what I was going to sing about, and I think both of those writers have meant a lot to me in terms of how strong their voices are.

As much as people think of them, Borges especially, with intricate plots and being this erudite fella, really he’s bluffing his way through the whole thing and it’s just his personality. It’s himself coming through whatever he’s talking about that he thinks is interesting.

He could write a movie review and you’d know who it is. I think that’s the sign of a really great writer or artist or whatever. They can be doing anything and you can tell it’s that person.

And I think it’s also very anti-psychological too, which I think is nice. It’s not like he’s whining or self-referential, which I think is a happy way to be.

In songwriting, a lot of people think it’s about trying to exorcise these psychological problems or something like that, and I don’t think that’s the case. Even maybe people who think that’s what they’re doing aren’t necessarily doing that, because that isn’t really what’s universal.

So it sounds like for you songwriting is more about the experience and finding a way to transmit something universal. A lot of the songs also reference spirituality, from Hinduism to Scientology. Where does that theme come from for you?

I guess it’s just how I grew up and what I think about. It’s not that popular of a theme in rock music, which is weird because it’s a pretty big chunk of life, to reckon with that sort of thing seriously, or not seriously, or somehow.

It’s what I think about and talk about and read about, so I thought I’d write songs about it. It seemed more where I’m coming from than writing songs about anything else.

What was it like for you growing up?

My father and mother were both very heavy into meditation and spirituality, so I was kind of dragged around as a kid to different ashrams and things like that. So I thought if you’re gonna write a solo record with your name on it, and it’s your first one, it should be about where you’re coming from, that seems to be what people do.

That’s where I was coming from, so I figured I would find my own take on that and figure out what all that meant to me.

Do you feel now after writing those songs like you have a better grasp on what all that experience meant?

Yeah, a little bit. I think it helps to kind of process something in a song, to process the experience in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise.

It’s much less of a psychological thing and more just the experiences coming across in music, which I think is something that the musical form can do that maybe other forms can’t do as well.

So I see you’ve done entire tours of living room shows, playing in people’s homes. How have you enjoyed that as compared to the club circuit, and how did the living  room tours come about?

Well, it came about because it’s a smart way of doing things when you’re by yourself. It’s either that or you hire five of your friends and drag them around and lose a lot of money.

Or you can kind of go out on your own and meet people and have these shows. You come to realize if you’re going to be playing for 50, 100, 200 people, you really don’t need a drumset to get your point across. It kind of ends up being a little off-putting to be playing with a huge band in a small room. It can be fun on certain nights but if you’re just trying to get yourself over to people it’s not that great.

I actually prefer it a lot now that I’ve done it, to the alternative. It’s a small group of people and you meet everybody, and I think they have a better experience than if they went to a rock club which can be very standoffish.

Yeah, there’s a kind of intimacy in a house show that you don’t get at another venue.

Yes, it’s a different thing. I think it’s something people will start doing more of. There’s starting to be a little network of it across the country, which is great.

It feels fresher, you’re not going to the same place that 500 other people just went through. You get to blaze your own trail. It takes a little more for everyone to be there, so everyone involved has more intention than just a Friday at the local indie rock place. I like it a lot better.

So  you have a performance coming up at KAABOO and some other tour dates as well. What’s next for you?

I just moved to Los Angeles so I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. [Laughs]. Yeah, so I’ve got to figure that out and from there I’ll see what happens next.

I’m going to put a more LA based band together, or something like that I think, just to start playing with locally and work with some folks out here. And just trying to enjoy California. It seems pretty damn great.

Keep up with Peter on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t miss him when he performs in your town!


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Why is My Guitar Feeding Back

Why is My Guitar Feeding Back? A Guitar Feedback Guide

Why is My Guitar Feeding Back

Does your guitar make a shrieking noise when you sing and play? Do you want to harness its power for good? Here, guitar instructor Zachary A. explains the phenomena of guitar feedback and how it can be manipulated to enhance your music…

An Example of Feedback

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of guitar feedback is Jerry Garcia, the guitarist for the Grateful Dead. Creating a paralyzing shriek, he manipulates guitar feedback in a wizardly fashion, pushing the boundaries of the electric guitar and his amps.

Below is an example of Garcia playing around with feedback.

When you think of feedback, you’ll likely remember sitting in a class assembly – as the person at the podium conducts their speech, a loud shriek comes over the auditorium.

This screech, which is referred to as feedback, happens mainly due to a sound loop that occurs between an audio input device (a guitar or microphone, for example) and an audio output device (an amp or speaker).

What Causes Feedback?

All that’s needed for feedback to occur is the components of a basic public address system; a public address system consists of a microphone, amp, and speaker.

Feedback happens when sound is amplified out of the speakers, then travels back through the microphone, and is amplified again, and then sent back through the speakers for a second time. This loop happens so fast that it creates its own frequency, which results in the infamous shrieking noise. It’s one of the many guitar tones that you can produce.

When musicians talk on the subject of feedback, the comments are mostly negative due to this howling sound that’s produced in the middle of the song they’re trying to play. In addition to the dreaded sound loop, feedback occurs when the gain is too high in the output of an amplified instrument.

As well as ways to minimize and control feedback, there are many ways to increase the chances that feedback occurs. One main point that needs to be reiterated is that feedback occurs in a system that’s at a point of high gain and resonance. This can make it particularly challenging to control, but it can be accomplished.

How to Prevent Guitar Feedback

First, we’ll discuss ways that you can reduce the chances of feedback happening. Then, we’ll dive deeper into the ways of working magic with feedback.

One major change you can make to keep feedback down is by monitoring the amplified volume of your instrument in relation to the space that you’re playing in.

Another quick and painless way to reduce feedback is to change the position of your microphone and or speaker so that the speaker output isn’t feeding directly into the microphone. Keep the speakers further forward, closer to the audience, then the microphones further back.

Other ways to avoid the dreadful shriek are to use a directional microphone. Also, speak or sing close to the microphone; practically kissing the microphone. Also, turn off the microphone when it’s not in use, thus equalizing the signal and lowering the frequency.

Another way is to lower the speaker output. There are devices you can purchase that can be connected in between the monitor and the amp in order to reduce the amount of audio frequency that occurs.

How to Manipulate Guitar Feedback

Feedback can be used as a very interesting tool for a musician, as we heard in the Jerry Garcia video. There are a few ways to increase your chances of feedback happening so that you may utilize this technique.

For example, use a higher gauge string – they vibrate for a longer period of time and require less feedback from the output to hold a note. It’s just another way to transform your guitar sound.

Another simple cosmetic change you can make to increase the amount of sustain and feedback your instrument produces is by making the guitar as rigid as possible. If you have a bolt-on neck, make sure the screws are tight or this will reduce the sustain of the strings.

The old method to increase feedback was to connect a treble boost before the amplifier to overdrive it. Another cosmetic feedback enhancer that can be done is lowering the pickups to increase the distance between the pole pieces in the pickups and the strings.

Although some people choose to raise the pickups to produce maximum drive to the amplifier, this will decrease the amount of feedback that may occur. Unfortunately, pole pieces are magnetic and close proximity to strings will dampen the vibrations.


Now go out and create some scary horror movie sounds using feedback and get creative with it. You can use feedback to convey a vast range of sounds and emotions! Happy playing!

Zachary A

Post Author: Zachary A.
Zachary A. is a guitar instructor in Katy, TX specializing in beginning and intermediate students. Zachary has been playing for more than four years. He is currently earning a bachelor’s degree in music theory. Learn more about Zachary here!


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