News in 2021
June 10th 2021
Guitar-Nerdery #122: AURAL SCALE COMPARISON
Aeolian, HM1, Melodic Minor, Ionian, Harmonic Major
When analyzing and comparing different scales, in the end the most important thing is to personally experience their difference in sound by ear. This episode is supposed to be the first one of a couple of videos, where I'm just going to play a choice of scales for comparison. This time I chose the Ionian Scale (Major Scale), the initial scale of the Ionian System with its seven modes and it's parallel Minor Scale Aeolian (Natural Minor), the sixth mode. I compare them with their modifications Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor and Harmonic Major which are themselves foundations and name givers of modal systems with seven modes each. When demonstrating I mainly stick to one scale shape for each scale to make comparison easier. These scale shapes are also displayed on the screen, so you can learn and check them out by yourself. Have fun!
June 1st 2021
MULTI BACKING TRACK in ALL 12 MAJOR KEYS
you can play ALL MAJOR SCALES to this!
This is the appropriate BACKING TRACK to the former one in ALL 12 MINOR KEYS!
May 28th 2021
MULTI BACKING TRACK in ALL 12 MINOR KEYS
you can play ALL MINOR SCALES to this!
About this BACKING TRACK:
When it comes to practicing rhythm it is essential to use a metronome frequently. When exercising licks or scales the use of Backing Tracks / Jam Tracks comes in very handy. They provide the opportunity to do this also in a harmonical context. The trade-off is that the harmonical context is very much defined in most cases. Playing to a MIXOLYDIAN MODE track for example gives not much freedom aside from, yeah playing MIXOLYDIAN. To train another mode / scale another track is needed. When it comes to checking out the sound of rarer scales like MIXOLYDIAN #11, DORIAN b9 etc. fitting Backing Tracks are hardly to find. Therefore a long time ago I've produced Root Backing Tracks with only drums and a bass guitar playing only root notes, for personal training and for using them in my lessons. With the bass playing only roots all scales / modes are possible, because every scale has a root and nothing else can interfere with them other notes you're playing. Compared to practicing with a metronome one gets also the feedback of the interaction of all musical intervals with the root, but compared to fully arranged Backing Tracks here the trade-off is boringness.
I had an idea for something that sits somewhere between this. This time I've put some extensive work into two Multi Backing Tracks. One in all 12 Minor Keys and another one in all 12 Major Keys with ca. 3 minutes each key. Drums with bass guitar and guitar playing only roots and 3rds. No 5ths are played! To the minor track you can play all Minor Scales and to the other one all Major Scales in all keys! That extra minor or major third provides the additional information of minor and major. All notes that you are going to play will now interact not only with the root, but also with the 3rd. I was surprised by myself how this, compared to them Root Backing Tracks, reveals the actually strong dissonance of some intervals like the b9, b5, b13 and maj7. If you play fast runs it's not a point that much, but when playing slow you're note choice becomes tremendously important! I find this having great value!
I've made an effort to keep them tracks vital, keeping a bit of the feeling of playing together with real people, like on a jam session. No copy and paste of the bass and guitar parts, so both tracks are me really playing bass and guitar for more than an hour. That was quite a challenge playing only roots and 3rds. On an instrument with not even 4 octaves and the highest one not suitable for that purpose I got actually only 6 notes to make something out of it. For someone who's often told to play lesser notes this was pretty hard I tell ya LOL!
This is the MULTI BACKING TRACK with all 12 Minor Keys from A to G#. I hope you like it and that it will serve your training progress! Have fun!
May 18th 2021
HARMONIC MINOR - Complete Fretboard Coverage
with 3 NOTES PER STRING PATTERNS
This episode is all about the Harmonic Minor Scale. While historically in Classical music Harmonic Minor came into existence as a means to an end, because it was needed to play over an artificial dominant major chord in a minor cadence, in Jazz harmonics this scale stands on its own feet. Harmonic Minor sounds marvelous and it's worth the effort to learn to play it everywhere on the guitar fretboard. Fueled with rich demonstrations I'm going to show you, that learning all possible 3 NOTES PER STRING PATTERNS will enable you to do this, without any gaps!
May 13th 2021
NEW BACKING TRACK in G HARMONIC MINOR - Fat Grooving and Rocking!
G Harmonic Minor backing track - The Harmonic Minor Scale came into existens hundreds of years ago, when classical composers made the V chord in a minor cadence an artificial major chord. Therefore the minor 7th of the Natural Minor Scale (Aeolian) had to be raised to the major 7th while playing over the dominant chord. While in the classical world this was a means to an end, in jazz harmonics Harmonic Minor is a discrete scale. This way we get a complete new scale/mode system, the Harmonic Minor system.
I've produced and arranged the chords of this rocking Backing Track in a way, that you can play the G Harmonic Minor scale over it all the time! I hope you like the sound and enjoy playing to it like I do!
April 30st 2021
TAPPING GUITAR - PRACTICAL TIPS to AVOID MISTAKES right from the start!
The tapping technique on the guitar is fascinating! It makes it easily possible to play great intervals at incredible speed, but first of all its smooth legato sound is an awesome extension of the guitar player's sound library. In this episode I'm going to cover some major mistakes that are made very often when learning guitar tapping and result in a bad sound. In detail I will give you 5 important tips and exercises how to avoid making them, like using the right damping technique and the importance of a good timing etc.
April 21st 2021
SUPER MELODIC! A practical approach of PLAYING SIXTHS INTERVALS
The sixth is the complementary interval to the third and equally melodic. There is a very common way of how to play sixths intervals on the guitar with very common fingerings. There's nothing wrong with them, but their learning curve is somewhat higher. For starters it's not easy to get them connected to scale shapes. I'm going to show you an additional very easy approach of how to play sixths on the guitar, by using 3-Notes-Per-String scale shapes.
April 18th 2021
CHARACTERFUL & Emotionally BEAUTIFUL! A practical approach of PLAYING 2nds
Hello and welcome to my new Guitar-Nerdery video! Today I'd like to talk about the musical interval second. We have two of them, a minor and a major second. On the one hand they are very dissonant, but on the other hand tremendously characterful, emotional and therefore beautiful. In this episode I'm going to show you a very easy approach how you can integrate them into your playing, using 3 NOTES PER STRING scale shapes!
April 15th 2021
Use OCTAVE SHAPES to find and identify notes and intervals! FRETBOARD DECODING
In my former video I showed you some easy to learn and memorizable interval shapes on the guitar fretboard. These will help you in future to analyze or to identify notes and intervals on the guitar and to learn to think with your guitar. Today I'd like to show you a few more interval shapes, talking about OCTAVE SHAPES, that will make it possible for you to extend - to bridge your knowledge on the whole fretboard. Together with the interval shapes of the episode before (Guitar-Nerdery 116) it will enable you to analyze complete chords and scales in an instant!
April 8th 2021
Memorizing Intervals on the guitar - the key to understand chords & scales
Music theory is not boring at all! Especially the topic MUSICAL INTERVALS. They are the key to understand chords and scales. Why do chords and scales sound like they sound? Because of all the intervals they are consisting of. While this episode is dealing with a theoretical topic, I want to keep it actually very practical. I mainly want you to learn to see intervals on the guitar, so that you later on are capable of recognizing intervals in scales and then also chords. I find it very important as a guitar player that you learn to see theoretical things on the guitar fretboard. It's the only way actually to get access to it. If I'm asked 'what is the perfect 5th of G?', then I can immediately answer D. It is not because I'm thinking in notes and clefs - I'm thinking in GUITAR FRETBOARD! I'm going to show you an easy way how you can memorize and learn to see intervals on the fretboard.
April 2nd 2021
Enrich Your CHORD PLAYING by learning to see the SCALES AROUND CHORDS / PART3
Hello and welcome to my new Guitar-Nerdery video! This is one more episode about learning to see how chord shapes are embedded in scales. I got one more scale shape for you. One more guitar pattern of a modal scale which makes use of having all notes in one fret covered, so that we can use the index finger as a capo. I'm talking about the second mode of the ionian system, a minor mode and it's called dorian. If you're not familiar with the topic 'scales around chords' at all I recommend to watch my episode 113 first!
March 30th 2021
Enrich Your CHORD PLAYING by learning to see the SCALES AROUND CHORDS / PART2
This video is a follow-up of my former episode Guitar-Nerdery #113! If you're absolutely new to this topic I recommend to watch 113 first. This time I'm dealing with another scale shape in another key and mode, to further broaden the fretboard knowledge and possibilities. I'm taking a simple voicing for a C# major triad and interpret it as a part of the C#-Mixolydian scale (or Db-Mixolydian scale). Comprehensive demonstrations and an on-screen fretboard diagram are again featured in this tutorial.
March 27th 2021
Enrich Your CHORD PLAYING by learning to see the SCALES AROUND CHORDS
Chords and scales are not so different. In fact they are the same. A whole scale could be a chord, an extended chord. For example the C major scale is a C-major7(9/11/13) chord, when all its notes are played together. But mostly chords are a part of a scale and this is what today's episode is about. If you learn to see how your chord, your voicing that you play is embedded within or surrounded by the scale that it is part of, it will enhance your possibilities and your chord playing tremendously! As example I'm using a standard D-minor triad and interpret it as a part of the D-Aeolian scale. Loads of demonstrations supported by an on-screen fretboard diagram are meant to inspire you in this in-depth guitar tutorial.
March 24th 2021
Easy to learn - Get that JAZZY SOUND with QUARTAL CHORDS / CHORDS IN FOURTHS
Quartal Chords are very popular in modern Jazz music. Technically speaking it means, when we compare them to regular chords which are a stacking up of thirds, here we stack up fourths. Quartal Chords sound very open and exactly this makes them very interesting in use. In this episode I'm gonna show you how you can easily play them on the guitar. Besides showing you and explaining everything in detail, I'm gonna put a fretboard diagramm with these CHORDS IN FOURTHS on the screen for you to look it up, at the very end of this video. Just pause the video then. Enjoy!
March 20th 2021
Amazing CHROMATIC SHREDDING LICK - EASY for the Hands, IMPRESSIVE for the Ears
In this episode I'm going to show you a very fast shredding lick, a chromatic shredding lick, but instead of using different fingerings and wide stretches and so on, I thought about something that is easy for the hands and impressive for the ears. The lick I came up with is consisting of very fast sixtuplets, using only one fingering with no pinky involved! As a guide or a sort of frame I'm using pentatonic scale shapes. Just filling them up with chromatic runs.
Besides explaining the lick in detail at a very slow tempo - At the very end of the video I have put the tabs on the screen, so there you can pause the video to look it up!
March 13th 2021
Fast and SUPER MELODIC LICK in E Minor & left hand legato + string skipping
Today's challenge: Left hand legato meets string skipping meets hybrid picking! In this episode I'm going to show a super fast legato lick in E-Aeolian minor, descending across the whole fretboard. At the same time it's also beautifully melodic, because the lick pattern emphasizes chord tones and makes it more sound like arpeggios of extended chords. I'm going to talk also about the concept of this lick idea. Memorizing string skipping patterns is somewhat harder and a better understanding of the concept helps a lot.
February 24th 2021
Benjamin Schippritt - OCTOBER / melodic guitar rock instrumental
Official Music Video & REMIX 2021
OCTOBER is a very personal and emotional instrumental song I wrote and recorded in 2007, but never produced a serious video for. Autumn 2007 was one of those troubling periods I'd rather like to forget, or write a song about, just like this. Still now, 14 years later I'm somewhat proud of it and consider it to be one of my best compositions. A few years back I remixed OCTOBER for the first time. To be able to post it on YouTube I made a provisional video out of moody sunset and moon scenes. Recently my thoughts again turned back on that song and first I got the idea to do a complete new recording. But I soon realized, that these original recordings were just perfect, because they originated during this dark period back then. It's not easy to reproduce this and there is a great chance, that it doesn't make sense at all.
I then decided to produce a video with me playing the song, so that you get a more entertaining visual when listening to OCTOBER. For this I also decided to do another even better sounding remix. For performing the song and for meticulously authentic movements I had to relearn everything, which took me a couple of hours. It's always challenging to reproduce improvised solos. I also had to grab my good ol' ESP Horizon instead of my Telecasters, because the song needs 24 frets. I'm satisfied with the result and hope you'll enjoy listening and watching OCTOBER!
January 19th 2021
I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!
Gosh, what an annoying year lies behind and 2021 didn't start as we all had wished for. I wish sometime this year we'll be able to meet again, looking back and saying 'Yes, we did it!'
My true YouTube followers maybe wonder, when I will start again posting videos. Be asured, Guitar-Nerdery and new Music/Videos will be coming soon! It's just that living in a temporarily locked-down world for quite some time now and this pretty bad grey weather season started to have an impact on my creativity. After having posted tremendously lots of all-self-produced tutorials and music videos I really needed a break.
But let's talk about sunshine now - I'm currently working on a new song which I will also produce a performance video for. I'm actually very excited about it, because I'm experimenting with a more rough sounding and playing approach. More in the spirit of old fashioned rock 'n' and sqeezing lot's of twang out of my Telecasters. The music is already recorded and now I'm thinking about some decent lyrics, what I always find the hardest part when writing a song. In the end I'm a guitar player first. And of course I've got new ideas for new Guitar-Nerdery topics!
Stay tuned and till soon my friends!
older news from 2020
December 22nd 2020
The BEAUTY OF DISSONANCES in chords & CHANGING CHORDS BY CHANGING ROOTS
"Incredible open sounding chords made easy!"
Like in my former episode 108 I'm going to demonstrate and explain in depth that all mode chords can be played by using a steady voicing and changing only the root. I'm going to use one of Tommy Emmanuel's favorite voicings which can be found in a lot of his Drop D tuned songs, adapt it to the Standard E tuning and the chords of the E Aeolian mode. It contains beautiful dissonances. Beautiful because they spice up the chords, adding openness, width and excitement.
An UTTERLY BEAUTIFUL & RIDICULOUSLY EASY way to play all chords of E AEOLIAN
The title says it all. In this episode I'm going to show how all 7 chords of the E Aeolian mode, which is the 6th one in the G Ionian system, can be played by using voicings / chord substitutes with very easy fingerings. These voicings sound very open by using same notes and open strings. Of course, all examples I'm demonstrating on an acoustic guitar sound equally marvelous on an electric guitar!
December 03rd 2020
Odd and Gloomy Sounding BACKING TRACK in E Locrian
This is the final of seven backing tracks, covering mode 7 of the F Ionian System, E Locrian. With its dissonant and unstable tonic chord this is the oddest sounding mode of them all. If you have no experience with the Locrian Mode you'll probably have to get used to it. Enjoy doing so!
November 24th 2020
Hot and Sunshiny C Mixolydian BACKING TRACK
Dramatic and Slow Grooving D Aeolian BACKING TRACK
2 NEW backing tracks are ready to support your playing! Modes 5 and 6 of the F Ionian System, C Mixolydian and D Aeolian. Enjoy!
November 17th 2020
Dreamy & Kickin' Rocking BACKING TRACK in Bb Lydian
4th Mode of the F Ionian System - Guitar-Nerdery
A NEW Backing Track is up on YouTube! This is the fourth of seven, covering mode 4 Bb Lydian. The clean guitar is simply playing two atmospheric lydian sounding chords while drums, bass and a second hard rock riffing guitar add dramaturgy and drive to the track.
November 10th 2020
Mystic sounding BACKING TRACK in A Phrygian
3rd Mode of the F Ionian System - Guitar-Nerdery
A NEW Backing Track is up on YouTube! This is the third of seven, covering mode 3, A Phrygian. The guitar is simply playing two phrygian sounding chords while drums and bass guitar add dramaturgy to the track.
November 8th 2020
Slow and Cool Grooving BACKING TRACK in G Dorian
2nd Mode of the F Ionian System - Guitar-Nerdery
Backing Track nr.2 of 7 is up on YouTube!
November 6th 2020
Grooving BACKING TRACK in F IONIAN
1st Mode of the F Ionian System - Guitar-Nerdery
Additionally to my Guitar-Nerdery series I post jamtracks / backing tracks every now and then. You can use them for a whole lot of exercises I've showed and will show in future. When producing them I always make an effort that the sound quality is vital and superior, for maximum playing fun!
For my Guitar-Nerdery Episode #107 "Using the HIRAJOSHI SCALE to PLAY THE MODES - 1 GUITAR SHAPE does it all!" I produced solo electric guitar backing tracks of all modes of the F Ionian System, to demonstrate the mode compatibility of the Japanese pentatonic, the Hirajoshi Scale. To provide you these backing tracks I beefed them up by adding fat grooving drums and bass guitar. This is the first of 7 to come, covering mode 1, F Ionian.
October 27th 2020
Using the Hirajoshi Scale to play the modes - 1 shape does it all!
I've always regarded the Japanese Pentatonic, the Hirajoshi Scale as a Phrygian sounding scale. After making my former video about that topic, a little chat with a friend inspired me to have an extended look on that scale. Extended in the way that, if it consists of the notes of the Phrygian Scale just leaving two notes out, it also must work on all other church modes. By using also the regular Minor Pentatonic for playing the modes (I posted guitar tutorials about that too) I knew, that having not all notes in the scale can be very interesting in sound. One automatically sets more focus on the available notes and additionally the different fingerings lead to a different approach of phrasing. I was very curious how this would sound with the Hirajoshi Scale and made this the topic of this episode. And be aware of that you only need one guitar shape to do all this!
October 20th 2020
Hirajoshi Scale - the mysterious Phrygian sounding Japanese Pentatonic Scale
I was taught a beautiful phrygian sounding chord when I studied Jazz music. Based on that chord I came up with a pentatonic scale which I regarded as a part of the Phrygian scale and its sound reminded me of the sound of a cd I own. A cd of Japanese Koto music. The Koto is an ancient Japanese string instrument. I intuitively named this pentatonic Japanese scale. Much later I looked it up on the internet and found confirmation for what my ears already have told me. This scale is actually the tuning of the Koto and is called the Hirajoshi Scale!
What makes it very interesting is, that it has no third, neither a seventh. Without a third it fits into a major and minor environment. But my approach to that scale was to use it as a Phrygian scale. Somehow this scale reflects in a very clear way that Phrygian sound and I recommend to check it out. In this video I'm going to show you the beautiful Phrygian chord first and then for starters, the scale and a scale shape with an easy fingering.
October 15th 2020
Acoustified EP out now!
I'm very proud to present these 5 compositions for solo acoustic guitar, inspired by the music of Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, compiled as an EP with pristine high resolution audio quality. Available as lossless audio download on BandCamp! Link above!
October 11th 2020
Benjamin Schippritt - Challenge - Solo Acoustic Guitar
NEW Recording 2020, inspired by Tommy Emmanuel
'Challenge' is the fifth of 5 songs for solo acoustic guitar, which I composed at the time when I dug deep into Tommy Emmanuel's playing style. The beauty of Tommy's compositions brought the acoustic guitar closer to me and tremendously inspired me as a songwriter. As an actual electric guitar player I was confronted with solving a great deal of technical issues, especially for the right hand. In this regard the name 'Challenge' speaks for itself ;-)
Recording acoustic guitar is a case sui generis. One microphone, two microphones, mono or stereo, different stereo recording techniques like A/B Stereo Recording, X/Y Stereo Recording, ORTF Stereo Recording, Blumlein Pair, Mid/Side Stereo Recording... Which one to choose depends on the room, the instrument and the actual task of the recording. Is it just a strumming guitar part in a dense mix or is it a solo acoustic guitar song. I experimented every now and then with different recording techniques and tended mostly towards Mid/Side. I like that it has a real mid channel and the room and width can be blended in to taste. This gives more options later on when mixing. I also like to record the direct signal of the guitar's build in pickup/microphone and add it carefully to the mix. It gives some extra mid range detail and bottom end, which results in an even more solid mid. But still I wasn't completely satisfied - missing some extra details and body which I perceive when I'm playing. Recently I had to record some acoustic guitar instrumental music and I took the occasion to experiment again, this time by using two additional room microphones. I realized that the sound of an acoustic instrument develops in the room and when you use only closed miking it won't be captured in the recording. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the first test recordings. Those extra room microphones added exactly what I was missing all the time. So, 5 channel recording it is from now on! The next step was unavoidable. I had to capture my 5 compositions for solo acoustic guitar again with this recording technique. I wanted to hear them with that sound. Now having finished the last song I can really say it was worth the effort. Because the eyes like to listen too I've produced also a video for each song and made also a playlist of these 2020 acoustic guitar recordings. Enjoy and Cheers! Benjamin
Playlist: Acoustified, EP
Benjamin Schippritt on Acoustic Guitar
September 29th 2020
NEW Backing Track:
A Phrygian Backing Track - Groovy Funk Rock, Guitar-Nerdery
Under the roof of my Guitar-Nerdery series I'll post jamtracks every now and then. This one is in the key of A-Phrygian. Phrygian is the 3rd mode / scale of the ionian system. In the ionian system are three different minor scales, aeolian, dorian and phrygian. Aeolian, the parallel minor scale of 'the' ionian major scale is also called natural minor. Compared to Aeolian the Phrygian scale has a minor 2nd. It's the only difference between them two scales, but it's a huge difference in sound.
Tip for practicing: The minor 2nd of Phrygian is the note that differs from the natural minor scale, which makes it the essential note that defines the modes' sound. The reason to choose a specific mode is that you want its different sound. Therefore it is necessary to emphasize the note that defines it. In A-Phrygian it is the note Bb!
September 24th 2020
Benjamin Schippritt - Welcome - Solo Acoustic Guitar
NEW Recording 2020, inspired by Tommy Emmanuel
This is a new recording of my song "Welcome" for solo acoustic guitar. Tommy Emmanuel effortlessly masters different playing techniques like fingerstyle, playing with thumb, thumb pick or flat pick. One of the first things that drew my attention when hearing him play were some of his tunes he played with a flat pick. I've never before heard someone keeping a strumming groove going while articulating bass and melody lines. I couldn't believe just listening to one guitar player only. I had to figure out how he did it and as an actual electric guitar player it was a start of a long journey of learning to play and think guitar differently. "Welcome" is Nr.4 of my compositions from that time and of course, it is very much inspired by Tommy Emmanuel!
September 17th 2020
I just wannt to let you know that I am gonna continue Guitar-Nerdery before long! At the moment all my microphones and mic preamps are occupied and set-up for my acoustic guitar recording sessions. As soon as the recordings are done I'm gonna be back with showing you new things that intend to inspire your guitar playing!
Until then I'd like to warmly recommend my recent solo acoustic guitar videos to you. Links below! Cheers!
September 16th 2020
Benjamin Schippritt - This Way - Solo Acoustic Guitar
NEW Recording 2020
This is a new recording of my song "This Way" for solo acoustic guitar. When I heard Tommy Emmanuel playing for the first time, his overall style reminded me of a song of my childhood, which I was absolutely fond of. An in-between acoustic guitar tune that was regularly played on afternoon tv. I became a Tommy Emmanuel fan in an instant and started to take the acoustic guitar more seriously. "This Way" is one of a couple of compositions from that time and of course, it is very much inspired by Tommy Emmanuel!
September 9th 2020
Benjamin Schippritt - Water - Solo Acoustic Guitar
NEW Recording 2020
New recording of my first solo acoustic guitar song! Having been tremendously inspired by Tommy Emmanuel's music I wrote this acoustic tune many years ago. For my first video recording of Water I've used the integrated, rather poor sounding camera microphone. I decided to do a new recording with an audio quality this song deserves.
September 4th 2020
Benjamin Schippritt - The Journey - Solo Acoustic Guitar
NEW Recording 2020
Having been tremendously inspired by Tommy Emmanuel's music I wrote this acoustic tune many years ago. For my first video recording of The Journey I've used the integrated, rather poor sounding camera microphone. I decided to do a new recording with an audio quality this song deserves.
August 27th 2020
Playing the wide & cool Dorian Mode by using Minor Pentatonic Shapes
It's becoming a kind of sub series here, showing what else you can do with your standard minor pentatonic shapes other than playing just minor. This time I'm gonna show you how you can use your minor pentatonic shapes you already know, to play the dorian mode!
NEW Backing Track:
A Dorian Backing Track - made for my tutorial episode Guitar-Nerdery #105
Under the roof of my Guitar-Nerdery series I'll post jam tracks every now and then. This one is in the key of A-Dorian. Dorian is the second mode / scale of the ionian system. I've made this backing track especially for my Guitar-Nerdery episode #105! There I show how you can use your minor pentatonic shapes you already know, to play the dorian mode!
BONEHEAD guitar solo playthrough
feat. Adrian Weiss and Benjamin Schippritt
This was a fun-to-do social distancing shred guitar video collaboration with my guitar mates Thorsten Praest and Adrian Weiss!
Guitar solo playthrough from the tune 'Bonehead' by Thorsten Praest. 'Bonehead' is included on Thorsten Praest's debut solo album 'Driven' that was released in 2019. Additional guitar solo's are played by Adrian Weiss and Benjamin Schippritt.
August 21nd 2020
Playing the sunshiny Ionian Mode by using Minor Pentatonic Guitar Shapes
Tutorial 104 is finally up on YouTube! I had 30 degrees Celsius and more for more than two weeks in my studio and it wasn't possible to shoot videos without looking ridiculously sweaty. Yesterday it dropped to 28 and I gave it a go. Today it's up to 30 again and once more I have to wait working in my studio. Ok, at least I could finish video nr. 104 and I even managed to produce a simple, but nice backing track, especially made for this tutorial topic.
I guess most of you know that you can use your minor pentatonic shapes to play the major pentatonic scale, just by moving the shape three frets down, three half tones down. I guess not many of you know, that there's another way you can use exactly the same shapes to play major and get a sound, that is closer to the ionian sound! I am going to show you how and as a bonus, I will also upload a simple Jam Track that fits to that topic. I will put a link to the Backing Track at the end of this video. So stay tuned!
The Ionian scale or the Ionian mode is the first in the ionian system and it's commonly known as 'the' major scale and there's a thing with the regular major pentatonic. It lacks the essential notes that make the difference in character between them major modes of the ionian system, Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian. Therefore the major pentatonic fits to most major situations, but it's playing safe with the lack of character. If we take the minor pentatonic shape and move it four frets up, we get a rootless major pentatonic with an additional major 7th, which brings it more to the Ionian direction character-wise!
NEW Backing Track:
A Ionian Backing Track - optimized for practicing C#-minor pentatonic over A Ionian mode
Under the roof of my Guitar-Nerdery series I'll post jamtracks every now and then. This one is in the key of A-Ionian. Ionian is the first mode - scale of the ionian system and widely known as 'the' major scale. This Backing Track is especially optimized to serve the topic of my Guitar'Nerdery #104 video, using the C#-minor pentatonic over A-Ionian mode. Means, I took care that there is never played the perfect 4th D in the chords, which is a regular Ionian scale note, but also called avoided note, because it interferes with the major 3rd and the major 7th. Especially when playing this alternative rootless major pentatonic (the notes of C#-Minor pentatonic) those interferences - dissonances with the perfect 4th can be very distracting. Therefore I kept it out completely for minimum trouble and maximum fun!
August 4th 2020
Playing the marvelous Lydian Mode by using Minor Pentatonic Guitar Shapes
Assuming that you lead guitar players already know shapes for the regular minor pentatonic scale, I'm gonna show you in this video, how you can use it to play the lydian mode! The lydian scale or the lydian mode is the fourth in the ionian system and its core note, besides the major seventh and the major third, is the augmented fourth. This note makes the difference to the regular major scale, to the ionian scale. That means it's not enough just to play major, you have to integrate that core note, that augmented forth into your playing, otherwise you wouldn't play lydian. I'm gonna show you how you can achieve that by using just your well-known pentatonic shape!
July 28th 2020
1 GUITAR SCALE SHAPE - 84 Possibilities! How to play ALL MODES in an instant
There's a great hesitation when it comes to learn the scales of the ionian system, the modes, the church modes. That's mostly, because the learning curve is considered to be too high, but there's no need to be afraid of long lasting theoretical horror! Since I'm a great fan of putting things as soon as possible into practice, I'm gonna show that you have to learn only one guitarshape, one pattern that enables you to play all seven modes of the ionian system in all keys. Learning only one shape and get 84 possibilities!
July 17th 2020
Arranging Riffs & Chords - my ideas behind the
Solo Part of Symphony of Fear
This is a follow-up of my former video tutorial, explaining the thought process behind the riff- and chord arrangements of my song Symphony of Fear. This time I'm talking about the riff of the first solo part, how I arranged it to support the storyline of the lead guitar.
July 9th 2020
My Thought Process behind the Chord Arrangements
of Symphony Of Fear
Hello and welcome to my new Guitar-Nerdery video episode number 100! That was quite a journey to get here, but fun to do!
Today I want to talk about chord arrangements. A couple of months ago I published my song Symphony Of Fear. I'd like to take the last chorus and show you my whole thought process of arranging the chords for the electric guitar part. You will see that for the arrangements I used a lot of chord inversions, which I have already made tutorials about: Number #066 and #067! It's not about teaching you how to play that song, it's more about my way of thinking and the way I used, for example, chord inversions to support the storyline and the suspense. I thought this could be of some kind of interest to you, to catch up some ideas, to get inspired.
This episode counts 30 minutes. So, grab some snacks and have fun! Cheers, Benjamin
PS: I recommend to watch my Official Video of the song Symphony Of Fear first. It may help to get a better understanding of my thought process!
June 18th 2020
The Halftone-Wholetone Scale in a bluesy context
...a perfect match!
This time I'm gonna show you the Halftone-Wholetone Scale. It belongs to the group of symmetrical scales. It is exactly what it is called, a sequence of alternating halftones and wholetones. Within an octave it can happen 4 times. It has all chord tones of a dominant 7 chord what makes it a dominant scale. Compared to the mixolydian scale it has an altered 9th in both directions and an augmented 4th. This makes it suitable for a bunch of extensions of a dominant 7 chord. But this time I actually want to show you, that its sound perfectly fits in a bluesy context. You can combine the Halftone-Wholetone Scale with the blues scale and give it a refreshing touch. In this episode I'll show you also a nice three-notes-per-string pattern for that scale. It's easy to learn and easy to memorize. And the best thing, it also covers the whole fretboard!
June 12th 2020
Al Di Meola goes Funk
Using his strumming technique for playing Funk Guitar
In this episode I'd like to make you aware of that the Al Di Meola strumming technique is a perfect fit for playing Funk guitar. I've already made a couple of videos about his extraordinary strumming approach, driving the up and down movement of the strumming hand by raising the wrist and twisting ulna and radius. A good alternative for guitarists like me, who are not capable of doing these insane rubber-wrist-strummings of Funk guitarists like Cory Wong.
June 2nd 2020
Learn how to play and feel 16th notes
It's all about the rhythm and learning to play 16ths notes with a good timing should not be enough. One wants to gain freedom of movement and expression within a 16th groove. It's even important to get a feel for each of them 16 notes. Not only knowing how to count them, but learning how they respond to the beat and body. In this episode I'm going to show you 5 easy to learn exercises, which can be a good starting point to lead you in that direction. This lesson is subdivided into 3 parts. Explaining and clapping them exercises, then performing them on the guitar and finally playing them in a higher tempo.
May 17th 2020
Stretched Metal Chords
In this episode I show you guitar chords that are used very much in Heavy Metal. Power chords with an added 9th on top (what is actually a sus2 chord). That added color gives them a more dramatic vibe. Furthermore I'm going to show that by raising that major 2nd intervall to the minor, or even the major 3rd, we get awesome sounding basic triads. These wide spread chords are very suitable for heavy distorted guitars, because the notes interfere less with each other and stay transparent. At the same time these stretched metal chords are a good exercise for the fretting hand.
May 15th 2020
Pinkie Stretch and Stamina Training
Training the little finger of the fretting hand, its agility, stamina and capability of doing wider stretches, is an often neglected topic when practicing. In this video I'm gonna show you how you can train your pinkie to be a powerful tool, just like all other fingers. The idea is simple. I'm going to use a couple of rock 'n' roll riffs, which are easy to play with open strings, and transpose them into challenging positions with insane stretches.
May 12th 2020
How to use Chord Inversions in Rock Riffs
In this Quick Tips 11 episode I'm going to show you a nice way, how to use Chord Inversions in Rock Riffs. Rock Riffs consist very often of power chords. It sounds awesome and gives them additional drive and dynamic when sliding into triad inversions. And the best of all - like in all my Quick Tips videos the learning curve is very low! If you absolutely do not know what chord inversions are, I'd like to recommend you to visit my YouTube channel and watch also my Guitar-Nerdery videos nr. 66 and 67. There I go very much into detail about that topic!
May 4th 2020
Full Album Streams in HQ!
In this playlist I'm offering my music in full streams at best quality on YouTube. Full longplay records and EPs of my bands, projects or just me, for you to enjoy! I'm a bit of an audio nerd and find it hard to separate enjoyment of music and quality of sound. YouTube streams in very lossy quality, but I took care to upload the best lossless quality possible, so that the YouTube audio codec got the best source to deal with.
A note on the albums of my former band JUNK FARM:
Although these where already officially published worldwide, two of them by Canadian Progressive Rock label Unicorn Digital, you'll find something new here.
About 10 years ago I got aware of the so called LOUDNESS WAR, how it degrades music quality when pressing all the headroom (musical breath) out of it. Just for the absurd reason "louder is better". No! It isn't! Only for about 30 seconds and then we get used to it. The trade-off for this short time excitement is making the listening a stressful experience and sometimes even destroy the music. I had to understand, that I took part in this for a long time and decided to stop it.
All JUNK FARM albums here are newly mastered by me, only with having sound enhancement in mind and I added no additional compression! So, although these records are not new, they sound as if they are!
All music in this playlist is written by me, as well as all the lyrics. I find it not easy to put my compositions into a category, but guitar driven & hard rocking with a grand touch of jazz/fusion and the love for experimental blends of music genres hits it pretty well. I'm very inspired by the style of Jeff Waters' Annihilator, Mattias Eklundh's Freak Kitchen and King's X, as well as being a great Jethro Tull fan and like Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal. Gary Moore and super tasty melodic shred guitar player Brett Garsed belong to my favorite list.
April 17th 2020
SYMPHONY OF FEAR (Official Music Video)
Finally! After producing tons of guitar tutorials I'm very happy to announce the presentation of this new song and video I've been working on for quite a while. An intense progressive rock tune, loaded with intense guitar work and lyrics. From the song-writing, singing and all instrument performances to audio and video recordings, as well as mixing, mastering and editing, Symphony of Fear is completely self produced by me. I'm very happy with the result and hope you'll like it too!
April 12th 2020
Left Hand Legato Stamina Training
The left hand legato technique means to create notes only with the fretting hand. Specific left hand legato techniques are for example hammer-ons, pull-offs and slurs/slides. So, the left hand has to do all the sports and the right hand only damps unused strings. And sport it is! To learn this technique you have to build up strength and learn to play legato notes even in situations where your fingers have to perform wider stretches.
This exercise is a great one to work on all these things. It is easy to learn, but very demanding and it involves all 4 fingers.
April 8th 2020
Easy to learn, but impressive sounding tapping lick
In this Quick Tips episode I'll show you a nice sounding and easy to learn & play tapping lick. What makes it especially easy is that the tapping hand doesn't have to change positions, so you can stay focussing on your fretting hand all the time. A simple tap & pull pattern and no involved left hand legato technique makes it even easier.
April 6th 2020
Learn to move 6ths up the neck
This episode is dedicated to those who are interested in learning hybrid picking. Hybrid picking - playing with the flat pick and fingers at the same time. I guess there is no master exercise, but that little easy lick I'm showing in this video can be a good starting point to dive into this awesome guitar playing technique!
April 4th 2020
Learn to move 6ths up the neck
In this episode I'm going to show you how to play marvelous sounding 6ths intervalls up the neck, in the key of A mixolydian. I hardly recommend to watch my former video Guitar-Nerdery 089 first. There I give suggestions for good fingerings when changing and moving 6ths as well as some basic explanations. I chose the A mixolydian mode again to make it easy for you to relate to that former episode.
April 2nd 2020
Bluesy Rock Riff, make use of 6ths
In this Episode I'm gonna show a nice bluesy rock riff, that makes use of moving 6ths intervalls back and forth, actually an extension of a cliché kind of Blues riff. It's a good start up for learning 6ths on the guitar, learning the fingerings and to move them horizontally. At the same time you can train also hybrid picking technique and adding a backbeat groove.
March 31st 2020
A fun way to Learn Phrasing
A musical phrase is a melodic line, a musical statement with a start and an end. Like when speaking, making a statement put into a sentence and end it with a punctuation mark. Players of wind instruments are used to do that right from the beginning, because they have to interupt their playing for taking breath. If you know you have to stop playing you intuitively try to end your 'phrase' in a way that makes sense. This is where my phrasing exercise comes in! Putting yourself into a situation that is similar to wind instrument players makes a fun to play exercise, that helps you to get a feel for how to play phrasing lines on the guitar.
March 29th 2020
This time I'll show you one further awesome sounding pentatonic scale. By taking the regular minor pentatonic and altering the minor 3rd to the major 3rd, we get a major scale which I call the Mixo-Pentatonic Scale, again because I don't know the official name and its sound refers to the Mixolydian Scale.
I didn't learn this scale from a book. I'm a great fan of them early Shakti records from the 1970s with John McLaughlin. When I tried to jam along with these fine vinyl discs I came up with this scale. It just fitted very well soundwise. I wouldn't make the conclusion, that the Mixo-Pentatonic is a typical indian scale, because Shakti was a marvelous symbiosis from western music with two different styles of indian music. Hardly recommended!
March 27th 2020
Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale
This time I'll show you a nice sounding alternative or add up for the regular Minor Pentatonic scale. By altering just one intervall, the minor 7th to the major 6th, we get the Minor 6 Pentatonic. It's how I call it, because I don't know the official name.
March 25th 2020
Dimished Arpeggios ...awesome for Blues Rock
Have you noticed that there is a diminished triad embedded in the regular blues scale? Being aware of that opens up new possibilities! In this video I'm going to show how you can use and integrate even a full diminished arpeggio into your blues rock soloing.
March 23rd 2020
Bending 3rds - get that bluesy sound
This is the first Quick Tips episode, a sub series of my Guitar-Nerdery series. In the upcoming weeks I'm gonna post every 2nd day a short lick- or riff lesson, give tips or practising advices etc. These are unusual times and everybody could need some distraction and what is more attractive than playing and studying guitar!
In this first episode I'm going to show how you can easily get that bluesy sound in your playing, simply by bending a minor 3rd a half step up to the major third.
March 10th 2020
Color-Up your Chord Playing - combine chords with scales
A lot of guitar players use chords like if they are fixed units. I'm going to show you how chords and scales are related, that they are actually the same and how you can use this to color-up your chord playing. If you are able to see your chords, how they are embedded in scales will be a great game changer for you!
March 5th 2020
Scene from Symphony Of Fear video sessions
I'm currently working on a new video clip. This is a scene of my video sessions for my new song Symphony Of Fear. I'm looking very forward to present you the full video soon!
February 20th 2020
Groovy Rock Guitar Licks 3
This is part three of lick- or riff-ideas that can also contribute and support groove. It's again a combination of open strings, hybrid picking, hammer-ons and pull-offs. The harder you damp the notes, the more percussive and rhyhmic the lick gets. I use it a lot and would say, it's a trademark lick of mine. ...it's not that I'm a well known, but I hope you like this lick idea anyway 😉
February 13th 2020
Groovy Rock Guitar Licks 2
This is another idea how to rhythmically and harmonically make chord transitions. You can build it into riffs or use it as a lick. I've often got a problem to distinguish between the latter. If melodic and rhythmic motifs are used in a higher register we perceive it more as a lick. Playing the same idea in the low register, it easily is regarded as riff... Anyway, have fun!
February 8th 2020
Groovy Rock Guitar Licks 1
In my intro arpeggio demonstration of Guitar-Nerdery video #079 I played an additional ending lick and I promised to explain it in an extra episode. So, this is what I'm going to show you today!
This rock guitar lick incorporates open strings, pull-offs and hybrid picking. It has a touch of country guitar, probably because of using open strings, as well as some popping notes by using hybrid picking. I listen a lot to country music and this lick is simply the outcome of me being inspired, although it's not country for 100 percent. I use it a lot actually, but more in the context of hard rock music. You need two strings and it doesn't matter which ones. It's easy to get it up to tempo and if damped hard, it gets very percussive and therefore groove supportive. There's also a lot of crosstalk between the strings, makes it somewhat dirty, which I really like. Short, it has a lot of drive and exitement and it's nr. 1 of my series of groovy rock guitar licks.
January 29th 2020
Paul Gilbert Arpeggios 3 - Major Workout
For part 3 about Paul Gilbert's string skipping arpeggios I've made a nice sounding exercise, that makes only use of the 'major shape'. You'll learn to move it all across the neck and playing it in challenging high and tight positions. I also used the picking pattern of my former episodes about Paul Gilbert Arpeggios, Guitar-Nerdery nr. #060 & #062.
January 24th 2020
A short note: I've changed my Guitar-Nerdery schedule from 'every thursday' to 'once a week'! That fixed thursday release turned out to be hard to manage. Guitar teaching, composing, recording and of course practising etc. is very time consuming. I want to make sure to be able to provide quality stuff to you, so I have to losen the schedule a bit. A good way to stay on the ball is to subscribe to my Youtube channel and let that notification bell heat up your cell phone ;-).
January 16th 2020
Crazy Lick - using rhythm picking patterns for creating solo licks
Welcome back to the first video of my Guitar-Nerdery 2020 edition!
When I practised a tune of Tommy Emmanuel, one of those rhythm guitar picking patterns creeped into my solo playing. The lick I'm showing you in this video is a combination of the hybrid picking technique with chord inversions moving upwards the fretboard. It can be used for example for connecting different positions on the fretboard harmonically.
January 7th 2020
I wish you all a Happy New Year!
A new year, a new decade and my Guitar-Nerdery series will be back with a new episode on January 16th 2020!