News in 2020
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!
news in 2019
December 25th, 2019
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night)
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
December 19th, 2019
Left-Hand Legato - razor sharpen your focus on timing
Left-Hand Legato: One of the most difficult things to master this technique is to play the notes right in time, as accurate like when picking them. When it comes to technical guitar training in general it's important to be aware of, to sharpen the focus on the most essential things. I practised a lot of guitar technique while watching tv. Therefore I completely damped the strings to not disturb anyone, just to train the movements. Without hearing actual notes, but only that clicking of the strings hitting against the fretboard when training left-hand legato, I could focus for a 100% on the timing and nothing else lead astray from it. ...besides the movie ;-) This experience is what I'd like to share with you in this video. Sharpen your focus on timing when practising the left-hand legato technique. It can help to let your legato licks to sound much better! ...when I think about what all guitarists/musicians I like have in common, it's their good timing!
December 15th, 2019
What, Why & How - 3 Notes Per String Patterns
- increase your playing speed
On the guitar a note can be found more than once. Some can be played in several positions on different strings. That's why there are different concepts of scale shapes. Different concepts need different fingerings and those fingerings offer different possibilities. The way you can use a scale is partly determined by the scale shape you use. In this video I'm going to show you the three notes per string concept that's mainly used by guitarists who like to play fast. Besides walking you through all 3 notes per string scale patterns of the modal scales (church modes) I also show how these shapes can be developed by yourself, for better understanding and learning. If you want to increase your playing speed these three notes per string patterns are a must know!
December 05th, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery #075: Inside Outside Playing
How to PLAY OUT OF KEY and MAKE IT SOUND GOOD
Inside and outside playing, commonly used in Jazz music, but what does that exactly mean? It's simple! When you are playing scales and chords that are part of the music's key you are playing "inside". When you (intentionally) play scales and chords that are not part of the key then you're playing "outside". In some way that description fits also to chromatic playing, but with inside outside playing a different kind of approach to the wrong notes is meant. While in chromatic playing the wrong between the right notes are played, we leave the key completely in inside outside playing and find our way back in again. In a way that supports and creates excitement and doesn't sound wrong at all!
November 28th, 2019
Easy Start into Chromatic Playing 2 -
how to play all the wrong notes right
This is the second episode about getting started easily into chromatic playing. In episode #073 I used the basic two-notes-per-string pattern for the minor pentatonic scale to show you that "filling the gaps - concept". This time I'm going to adapt this idea to diatonic three-notes-per-string guitar scale shapes. With three notes per string, there's always one finger spare that can be used to play a chromatic note.
November 21th, 2019
An Easy Start into Chromatic Playing -
how to play all the wrong notes right
Chromatic playing is done very often in Jazz music. To me it was a mystery how to do that. I was amazed how Jazz guitar players like Mike Stern did it, like in his song Chromazone. When I tried to play chromatic licks it just sounded not right and I asked my teacher about how to do it and what's the secret. Well, the secret is, you can play complete nonsense, but you have to know and show where the right notes are and playing the wrong ones to lead to them. Additionally to that your rhythmic ideas and phrasing is the seller of those chromatic lines.
There are endless concepts of chromatic playing but I've got a very easy one for you to get started!
November 14th, 2019
Using Octaves to easily develop Catchy Licks
In this episode, like in Guitar-Nerdery #071, I'm gonna show how to use octave shapes as orientation marks for developing catchy licks. Melodic motives, repeated and octavated get the listener attracted!
November 7th, 2019
Minor Pentatonic & Blues Scale, extended Guitar Pattern
In this episode I'm going to show you a 'must know' guitar pattern for the A minor pentatonic and the A blues scale that has a broader range than the commonly known standard boxed shape. It sits diagonal across and melts perfectly with that standard pattern. It makes it easy to move melodic ideas through octaves. A symbiosis with multiplied possibilities!
October 24, 2019
In my new tutorial I'm gonna share a thought, a point of view, that can help you to get connected to the sound of the modes of the ionian system in an emotional way!
Modes in a Dramatic Order
The order of the modes in the ionian system (1 ionian, 2 dorian, 3 phrygian, 4 lydian, 5 mixolydian, 6 aeolian, 7 locrian) is of technical nature, developed by regarding each note of the major scale (ionian scale) as a root to build up scales/modes. If we put them in a different order, in a more logical way by the number of great versus small intervals they contain, this new order will also correlate with their sound!
The new order would now be:
How come and what the heck is that good for?
Watch the video!
October 17, 2019
#069: Mode-Chords, the Frank Gambale Method part2
In this second part I apply Frank Gambale's Mode-Chords concept to all minor modes of the ionian system: aeolian, dorian and phrygian as well the 7th mode locrian. If you not already have I strongly recommend to watch the first part first, otherwise it's hard to understand this episode!
October 10, 2019
#068: Mode-Chords, the Frank Gambale Method part1
Mode Chords - with "Mode" I mean the modes of the ionian system, also known as the church modes. Jazz Fusion Rock guitar virtuoso Frank Gambale ist commonly known for his incredible sweep picking technique. But this is not what I want to address here. 30 years ago Frank Gambale explained and demonstrated in his 2nd instructional video a concept about how two simple major triads can be used to fully display the sound and character of each of them modes acoustically. This concept is ingenious and lets you really understand and get a feel for how these modes sound. It had an essential impact on my lead guitar playing, but also on my riffing, arranging, composing and thinking. It changed my life!
October 03, 2019
#067: How to play Chord Inversions on the guitar 2
This episode is a direct follow-up of Guitar-Nerdery #066, How to play Chord Inversions on the guitar! Please make sure, if you not already have, to watch that episode first.
October 01, 2019
Symphony of Fear (new song, guitar solo recordings 2)
I'm currently working on a new progressive rock song, Symphony of Fear. This is the second solo spot. No shred guitar here, just vibe and emotions, support of harmonies and dramaturgy!
September 29, 2019
#066: How to play Chord Inversions on the guitar
Chord Inversions, what is that, what is it good for, how to find and play them on the guitar? An inversion of a chord is actually to turn it upside-down. Talking about triads - you will learn that the basic note constellation of a triad is called a fundamental chord which can be inverted in two ways. Practically on the guitar you can play it's fundamental form and both inversions in one position, but when talking about learning chord inversions it is meant to arrange them horizontally. This way you will learn to find chords and voicings everywhere on the fretboard. Good for arranging, conquering the fretboard and gaining artistic freedom. Give chord inversions a go!
September 19, 2019
#065: Indian Style Rhythm Exercise
First - this is not a konnakol (or konokol) lesson and nor am I an expert in Indian rhythm, but I like listen to Indian music. The 16th notes exercise I'm going to show you in this video reminds me a lot of how rhythm is approached in Indian music. A fun to play exercise and a very good one to shape your 16th notes timing.
September 17, 2019
Symphony of Fear (new song, guitar solo recordings)
I'm currently working on a new progressive rock song, Symphony of Fear. This scene has been shot while I was working on the main solo guitar part. Pretty challenging to create excitement, an arc of suspense over this 19/16th groove.
September 13, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery goes shred again!
#064: Left-Hand legato - get your fingers closer to the fretboard
I'm asked frequently about how to get the fingers of the left hand closer to the fretboard. 20 years ago sweep picking master Frank Gambale told on a guitar clinic, that he often stood in front of a wall when practicing to force his fingers to stay close to the fretboard. I tried that, but didn't like to have also my nose against the wall 😄 Anyway, there are surely a couple of ways to achieve that. One good way that I've experienced is to train the left-hand legato technique. With this playing technique the left hand has to take over tasks that are normally the domain of the right hand, like note generation and timing. Having to manage many tasks along with playing fast all movements have to be executed efficiently. Going the shortest and most direct ways is the goal. I believe when digging deep into left-hand legato the movements of the fingers will automatically tend to get closer to the fretboard, for this is the only way to gain speed and get that legato sound.
September 05, 2019
A shorter Guitar-Nerdery this time! I'm gonna show a funny lick, that I actually use very often.
#063: Funny Lick - Pacman Dying
This lick sounds pretty much of Pacman, when dying. It's a fast descending chromatic legato lick, which is harder to play than it sounds. Makes it a good left-hand legato exercise.
August 30, 2019
This weeks nerdery episode is a complete workout with Paul Gilbert string skipping arpeggios!
#062: Paul Gilbert Arpeggios 2
This is part two of my former episode about Paul Gilbert's string skipping arpeggios (Guitar-Nerdery #060). Besides showing you Paul's arpeggio shapes in detail and an exercise playing them simply up and down over a couple of cadences, I mentioned also that they have a much more rhythmic approach than, for example, sweeping arpeggios. This time I've got an awesome new exercise with these arpeggio shapes over a broad chord progression and a more complex picking pattern. A workout showing the strong points of Paul Gilbert's amazing string skipping arpeggios. It's going to be very sporty!
August 23, 2019
My longest nerdery video ever! Open string arpeggios, a tapping lesson:
#061: Open String Arpeggios
Most arpeggio shapes on the guitar need more than one string and are boxed in positions. Since arpeggios are simply notes of chords, played individually, it is also possible to arrange them on single strings. The tapping technique is perfect for doing that! In this episode I'm going to show how you can easily create fast and stunning sounding arpeggios. Perfect for shredding!
August 16, 2019
Paul Gilbert string skipping arpeggios in my new Guitar-Nerdery!
#060: Paul Gilbert Arpeggios
Paul Gilbert, a guitar virtuoso well known from his work with Mr. Big and Racer X. A couple of decades ago he released an instructional video where he demonstrated his concept of string skipping triad arpeggios. Till then I only knew sweeping arpeggios and it took me some time to understand the value of these strange arpeggio shapes. Besides their different sound they allow a completely different phrasing with much more rhythmical approach.
For those of you who don't know Paul Gilbert, I'd like to share his string skipping arpeggio concept with you. In this episode I'm not going to address that phrasing potential, but give you more a basic overview of these arpeggio shapes. In the second half I also show you an awesome sounding exercise with these string skipping arpeggios which I demonstrate in the intro of this episode. Surely not beginners level, but for those of you, who like the challenge.
Furthermore I recommend to use this episode as an appetizer and to search for Paul Gilbert on YouTube. You'll find tons of tutorials by himself.
August 09, 2019
A new guitar tutorial is online where I refer to a question often asked!
#059: How to let your Guitar Squeal
Artificial harmonics, pinch harmonic, thumb harmonics or just squeals. All these names are used to describe the same thing. Creating a sound with the picking hand that is widely used in hard rocking music, but not only. It has also great potential to attract or annoy cats and dogs 😄 I'm often asked about the technique, how these squeals can be squeezed out of a string. In this video I'm going to show in detail how it can be done.
Besides that I'd like to recommend to watch also my Guitar-Nerdery video 009 from about a year ago. There I show an awesome sound effect that can be created by using these artificial harmonics. Because it was required to be technically able to play them, you can see this new episode 059 as a prequel of 009. Have fun and let your guitar squeal!
August 02, 2019
For a couple of weeks it was not possible for me to update this website, but my guitar tutorial series still continued! Today nr. 058 is up and you can find the links of the recent three episodes below:
How to get a good tone on the guitar!
#055: Good Vibrato Technique
The quality of your string vibrato and therefore of your tone, is one of the most important ingredients that mark your personality on the guitar. It should not be underestimated. All that fun to play shred stuff, playing lots of notes is very attractive to put on the exercise agenda. Working on sound and tone very often is neglected. In this video I'm gonna give you some tips how you can develop a good vibrato technique.
July 06, 2019
With a little delay my Guitar-Nerdery nr. 54 is up!
#054: The essential Gary Moore Lick
I'm a great Gary Moore fan and can't stop missing him. He was such a soulful musician and guitar player and in no way I intend to reduce him to a couple of licks. But, if I'd have to think about an essential lick of Gary Moore, a lick he used all the time, in his early and later years, in his metal era or when he got deep into the blues... I've found one! Watch the video to learn one of the most essential, powerful licks of Mister Gary Moore!
July 04, 2019
The next Guitar-Nerdery episode is gonna be delayed and will be released on saturday july 06! I'm producing and recording a new song and that takes much time. Unfortunately there is not enough time left to finish the nerdery stuff as planned.
June 27, 2019
Some more string skipping arpeggios in my Guitar-Nerdery nr. 53!
#053: String Skipping Arpeggios 4
This time I show two string skipping arpeggios with 3-notes-per-strings and combine them with a left hand legato / hybrid picking pattern from my Guitar-Nerdery episode #035. Those two arpeggios are a Dm7/9 and an Am7/9. They are very good for shredding, but also demanding for the left hand, because of wider stretches.
June 20, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery nr. 52 is up on YouTube!
#052: Richie Kotzen Style Lick
Every guitarist has his trademark licks, licks he/she uses more often than others. The ones you hear for a second and you know who is playing. So does Richie Kotzen. I very often use a lick idea that is very inspired by Richie Kotzen. It's not exactly what he's playing, it's more the concept of that lick which inspires me to create my own.
June 13, 2019
Some beautiful sounding triad voicings in Guitar-Nerdery nr. 51!
#051: Wide Interval Triads
Aside from playing notes separately arpeggios and chords are the same. There are many ways you can play triads on a guitar and today I'm showing you some very open sounding ones, using wide intervals and greater differences of string thickness for more separation. The fingersettings are actually taken out of those string skipping arpeggios from my previous videos. Some more voicings for your chord vocabulary, which can also help you to get a different perspective on what you have already played a thousand times.
June 06, 2019
Time for celebration, Guitar-Nerdery nr. 50 is up!
#050: String Skipping Arpeggios 3
Part three of string skipping arpeggios. Make sure to have seen part 1 and 2 for fully understanding. This time I'm taking the string skipping arpeggio lick idea I've showed you in part 2 and build it up to a broad exercise, playing a cadence in the key of G major.
May 30, 2019
Part 2 of String Skipping Arpeggios is up on YouTube!
#049: String Skipping Arpeggios 2
About a year ago I've posted the first part of string skipping arpeggios. This is a follow-up and I really recommend to watch my Guitar-Nerdery video #004 first, to fully get connected to what I'm showing this time! In that first part I explain in detail the shapes of those string skipping arpeggios and furthermore show a lick, that let's you connect them arpeggios horizontally. I gave that lick a little twist to make it now easily possible to connect two arpeggio shapes in one position, but on different strings.
May 23, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery #048 is up on YouTube!
#048: Simple Shredding Puzzle Pieces 2
In this episode I show one more simple shredding lick and give examples, how it can be extended to a long impressive shred run. It's simply 6 notes played on two strings and therefore adaptable to most kind of scale patterns. Use your imagination and explore endless possibilities!
May 16, 2019
Back to shred guitar in Guitar-Nerdery 047!
#047: Simple Shredding Puzzle Pieces 1
In this episode I show a couple of simple and small shredding licks which can easily be combined. Puzzling around with these shredding puzzle pieces is a lot of fun and lets you create awesome shredding licks. My main intention is to inspire you to come up with your own puzzle pieces which will grace your future solo playing.
May 09, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery 046 is up!
#046: Thinking in several Voices
In classical music and also in the fingerstyle world it's a natural thing to think in different voices, but most of the rock guitar players think and see a chord as a unit. In the end it's the way you think about music that determines how you play and sound. In this video I'm going to show you an easy exercise that will train your brain to split chords into several voices. It will open doors for tremendous possibilities and beautiful musical arrangements in the future!
April 17, 2019
Guitar-Nerdery 045 exceptionally one day earlier, today on wednesday 9pm! It's the final episode before a short 2-week spring break! The next episode will be realeased on may 09.
#045: Motivic Playing
Very often when I wanna motivate my students not only to reproduce something someone else has played, but to improvise, the desperate response is "I really don't know what to play, how to begin'. A very common way of starting with playing solo guitar is learning an easy scale shape, like the pentatonic or blues scale. Playing it simply up and down first is good to memorize it and for doing the sports. From the musical point of view it's pretty boring. In this video I show you an exercise that's very musical and effective which works on all levels. It's completely up to you how difficult you want to make it. I wish you all a nice spring time!
April 11, 2019
Today one more time Al Di Meola strumming technique:
#044: Strumming Etude
Al Di Meola Technique 06
I've already made a couple of videos about Al Di Meola's strumming technique. This time I wanna refer to the very first one, Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery #020. In the demonstration intro clip I've improvised with a simple chord progression and tried to apply Al's style and approach of strumming guitar. After covering some important ingredients of Meola's strumming style I thought that learning this intro demonstration could be a good start, if you struggle to come up with own ideas and don't know how to begin. In this episode I'm gonna explain all chords and grooves in detail, showing them slow and fast. Have fun with practicing!
April 04, 2019
Part 2 of my former tutorial is up on YouTube:
#043: Fast fills strumming exercises 02
Al Di Meola Technique 05
This is a follow-up of my former video. To fully understand what I'm showing here, please make sure you have watched it! It's about training speed and the ability to change the strumming tempo or the note values from 16ths to 32nds very accurately. This is a trademark of Al Di Meola's strumming approach and if you want to dive deep into this, you can't avoid to train this. This time the strumming patterns are more tricky, what makes them a greater challenge, what makes you like them even more, I hope 😄
March 28, 2019
My new tutorial:
#042: Fast fills strumming exercises 01
Al Di Meola Technique 04
Al Di Meola's trademark when he plays rhythm guitar are his very fast 32nds fills. In this video I'll show you a bunch of guitar strumming exercises which will not only help you to build up speed, but to be able to switch between 16ths and 32nds in a split second and very accurate. If you really want to dive deep into Al Di Meola's playing style, you can't avoid such a training!
March 21, 2019
This week a new tutorial, my approach to Al Di Meola's strumming style
#041: Dynamic Strumming
Al Di Meola Technique 03
In this video I will again cover the Al Di Meola rhythm guitar topic and show you my approach to his strumming technique. Very often he uses different strumming patterns to get life and dynamic in a groove. Video #029! Today I stick to alternate strumming, show you a transparent sounding chord type and use it to demonstrate how dynamic in strumming can be achieved. Not only by hitting the strings hard or soft, but to split the chord by frequency into two parts, low and high.
March 14, 2019
The subtopic of my nerdery series is rounded up to Adapting Guitar Techniques 10:
#040: Adapting Guitar Techniques 10
Playing Malmsteen Arpeggios with Hybrid Picking
There have been already 9 videos under the subtopic Adapting guitar techniques within my Guitar-Nerdery series. This one rounds it up to number 10. Adapting hybrid picking to Yngwie Malmsteen's lightspeed sweep-arpeggios is my crazy challenge this time. What we get is a great hybrid picking workout.
March 12, 2019
New jamtrack in F# dorian:
jamtrack in F# dorian
Under the roof of my Guitar-Nerdery series I'm going to post jamtracks every now and then. This one is in the key of F# dorian. Dorian is the second mode of the ionian system, in this case the E ionian system. The much more common minor mode used in rock and pop music is the 6th one, the aeolian mode. Compared to aeolian, dorian has a major 6th! Just one note different, but a great change of 'flavor'. I've made an effort to let this backing track rock and groove. You can use it for a whole lotta exercises I've showed in my Guitar-Nerdery series. Have fun!
March 07, 2019
New shred guitar tutorial:
#039 Adapting Guitar Techniques 09 - Hybrid Picking Malmsteen Lick
Neoclassical Metal - what would that be without Yngwie Malmsteen! Today I'm adapting hybrid picking to one of his trademark licks which will enrich your shred guitar vocabulary. You'll be amazed to see how hybrid picking really matches with that style and makes it possible to extendend this fine lick. I've prepared a very broad lick for you to sink your teeth into. An awesome picking training, based on Malmsteen's idea or actually on the music of the baroque era.
February 28, 2019
#038 Adapting Guitar Techniques 08 - Hybrid Picking Baroque Lick
Neoclassical Metal! That metal style came up back then in the 80s and Vinnie Moore had lots of licks to show which fitted into that genre, which are directly inspired by the music of the baroque era, by J.S.Bach, Vivaldi, Händel, Telemann etc. In this video I'm adapting hybrid picking to one of them and you'll soon understand, that this technique makes it much easier to play compared to alternate picking. I also extend that lick from the original and show you how to play it everywhere on the fretboard!
February 21, 2019
New on YouTube!
#037 Adapting Guitar Techniques 07 - Scale Tapping
Last week I showed you an adaption of the tapping technique in the style of Greg Howe to an alternate picking exercise / lick of Vinnie Moore. I found it also interesting and it's also a guitar technique adaption, to show you one more tapping exercise. Scale Tappping! If you, instead of learning just tapping licks, apply the tapping technique to three note per string scale patterns which you use to improvise solos, you enable yourself to improvise with that technique.
February 14, 2019
About a half year ago I showed you some tapping ideas in my Guitar-Nerdery series. Now under the roof of ADAPTING GUITAR TECHNIQUES it's time for another one:
#036 Adapting Guitar Techniques 06 - TAP the HELL out of it!
...like Greg Howe does
This time I'm again referring to my Guitar-Nerdery episode nr. #033 and apply guitar right hand tapping technique to that idea of Vinnie Moore. What we get then is an awesome sounding, fast shredding lick in the style of Greg Howe! ...Greg Howe, a six string virtuoso with an incredible guitar tapping technique.
February 07, 2019
Today a further guitar technique adaption to one of Vinnie Moore's exercises:
#035 Adapting Guitar Techniques 05 - more Hybrid meets Legato
This is another episode where I combine hybrid picking and legato technique. It's a consequent follow-up of Guitar-Nerdery #033, hybrid meets legato. There I took an exercise of guitar player Vinnie Moore ( Shrapnel records artist, member of U.F.O. ...) that was originally meant for training alternate picking and applied left hand legato technique (hammer-on's and pull-off's) and hybrid picking to it. In #033 it was all about a scale sequence of playing 3 notes up (down backwards) from each scale note. Works with any scale combined with a 3 note per string pattern. This time the idea is simply playing 4 notes up from each note of the scale. That changes the picking and fretting pattern of both hands, which makes it a new exercise. Adapting hybrid picking and left hand legato technique to this exercise, allows to gain more speed without effort. And of course it sounds different!
January 31, 2019
Shred Guitar is in the house! 😄
#034 Adapting Guitar Techniques 04 - Wide Range Legato Licks
In this video I'm referring to the scale sequence combined with hybrid picking and left hand legato technique I showed in my former Guitar-Nerdery episode #033 and apply two really wide stretched out, 3 note per string scale pattern to it. One of them stretches about 3 1/2 octaves. Now, that's gonna be a challenge! My hands are of regular size, but I've always been addicted to these extreme hand gymnastics to gain a better reach of my left hand. So here's the one waiting also for you - left hand control, muscle and stamina training, combined with great changes of positions. Let's conquer the fretboard!
January 29, 2019
I've put the jamtrack of the intro clip of my Nerdery video #033 on my YouTube channel!
The first half of the chord progression in this backing track is in G melodic minor and changes to E (harmonic) minor in the second half. It's not the easiest one to play to. When I'm showing the minor pentatonic scale to my students and explaining why it's a fantastic scale to begin with, I always make clear, that it misses two notes which could be wrong (no minor or major sixth & minor or major second), compared to the three minor modes of the ionian system. So if you have to play in minor there are not many cases where you can go wrong with it. This backing track is different and it won't work here most of the time, at least not in the first half! Both, melodic and harmonic minor have a major 7th and hereby contradict the minor 7th of the minor pentatonic. I thought you might like the challenge to play over a strange chord progression 😄 Have fun!
Jamtrack - G melodic minor, E (harmonic) minor
January 24, 2019
The new Guitar-Nerdery episode is primarily about left hand legato technique!
#033 Adapting Guitar Techniques 03
Adapting Guitar Techniques 03 - Guitar-Nerdery #033
(hybrid meets legato)
Here is another exercise that I picked up from Vinnie Moore a long time ago. Originally meant for training alternate picking I'm going to apply left hand legato technique (hammer-ons and pull-offs) and hybrid picking to it. This way that scale-sequence lick gets a whole new sound and vibe and you can reach tremendous speed much easier.
Just in case you wonder what strange stuff I'm playing in the intro clip, I'm improvising over a G melodic minor chord progression that evolves into E Aeolian / B HM5 (Phrygian dominant).
January 17, 2019
A new Guitar-Nerdery episode is up!
#032 Adapting Guitar Techniques 02
Adapting Guitar Techniques 02 - Guitar-Nerdery #032
This episode is a continuation of my former episode!
There I made an adaption of one of Vinnie Moore's alternate picking exercises and turned it into a hybrid picking exercise. This time, for all you studious Guitar-Nerdery followers 😄 this exercise is going to be pushed to another level by incorporating string skipping and involving also the third finger of your picking hand.
Adapting Guitar Techniques will be continued over a couple of videos!
January 10, 2019
A happy new year and welcome back!
After a short break I've restarted my Guitar-Nerdery series.
#031 Adapting Guitar Techniques 01
Adapting Guitar Techniques 01 - Guitar-Nerdery #031
Back then in the 80s of the last century I was fan of lots of them upcoming shred guitar players and Shrapnel Records heroes (Label owner Mike Varney) like Yngwie Malmsteen (he had no releases on the Shrapnel Label, but was supported by Mike Varney), Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman... ...and one of them was Vinnie Moore. Without internet and YouTube guitar tutorials were available on good 'ol VHS tape. Vinnie Moore with his remarkable playing technique at that time released two guitar instructional videos and I was unbelievable happy having bought them.
Hot Licks, Vinnie Moore: Advanced Lead Guitar Techniques
Hot Licks, Vinnie Moore: Speed Accuracy and Articulation
I studied everything and it had a great impact on my playing. That is all very long ago and since then I studied many different guitar playing techniques, left and right hand. There's an issue when it comes to learn a new technique, for example when first picking every note and then start to learn to play everything legato. You put a lot of time and energy into the new stuff and there's not so much time left to keep your "old" stuff in shape. The result is you find yourself playing your shreding licks not as persuasive as usually while the new technique still isn't your friend. That transition time can be very annoying.
Anyway, that's the way it always goes and it this video I'd like to show you a hybrid picking exercise. When starting with hybrid picking I recommend to start with one finger additional to the plectrum first, probably the middle finger. The way I learn a new guitar playing technique is, I try to adapt that technique to the musical ideas I've already trained. This is the moment when Vinnie Moore and one of his exercises in his instructional videos comes in. It's originally an alternate picking exercise, a movement through a '3 notes per string' scale shape. Playing this with hybrid picking is a good muscle and overall control training for the plucking finger.
Adapting Guitar Techniques will be continued over a couple of videos!