Quick Riffs 2

These are “quick riffs” done quickly on cheap guitars n equip… its in the instant riff creation vein of improvisation… no gimmix here folks!

Is Reading Music a Necessary Skill?

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Tommaso Zillio is a professional teacher, guitarist, and composer, and is your go-to guy for any and all  music theory related questions. This gentleman is highly recomended by cool-guitars.com and hopefully will continue to grace our pages. Please feel free to check out his websites for any help,he will help in any way possible.

Tommaso Zillio,
Professional Guitarist and Teacher

To Shred Or Not To Shred…..

After reading a post on another site, I thought about all the time I spent doing ALL the same exercises , scales , etc and then years later discovered that “LESS IS MORE”. Let me explain…for years I played Hendrix , Malmsteen, Vai and so forth until I hit an impasse, where nothing improved. Then I saw on You tube, JOE PASS…. There was the answer all along…as you play for so long you become ingrained in your “training”. You become like an athlete instead of an artist. We are making music , art not going for the Olympic gold medal in who can fit the most notes into a millisecond. Sure its still cool to shred but I watched so many on YouTube that cant put a song together to save their lives…I cant even remember their names! Going back to listening for quality instead of shear quantity turned me back on to listening for “the sweet notes” instead of machine gun sounding solos without a point…
Improvements only come/ came after inspiration not challenge to GO FASTER….

RO-004 • Mini Sweep Picking Arpeggios (Guitar Lesson)

In this guitar lesson we check out some mini sweep picking arpeggio patterns. I take you through a basic string pattern and explain the technique and show you a few variations and licks but you should go explore this concept yourself too. Few extra tips, TAB and soem other hints I forgot to mention on the web site too. Hope you dig. BTW – yes I know I said variations kinda strange, it was some kind of stutter thing, but I couldn’t be arsed re-filming. And I do know that I’m not great at this stuff, before you shred heads have a go about the fact that my sweeping is a bit sloppy. But i’s heavily requested and I can teach it ok I think. I’m not a technical kinda guy, and not that keen on become one!Taught by Justin Sandercoe. Full support at the web site where you will find hundreds of lessons on a wide range of subjects, and all the scales and chords that you will ever need! There is a great forum too to get help, no matter what the problem. And it is all totally free, no bull. No sample lessons, no memberships. Just tons of great lessons 🙂 To get help with your lesson or song look up the number at the start of the video title (like ST-666 or whatever) on the Lesson Index page. www.justinguitar.com .
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Video Rating: 4 / 5

Interpreting The Videos

Hi there again!

Been getting alota mails from players and questions are all over the place this week!

I’ll try get a few outa the way.

To the problem with Justin playing over what he is saying…watch his left hand as closely as possible and try to follow the TAB but just remember, all of these lessons and songs are a matter for each persons interpretation.

I am not saying he is wrong….

What I mean by this is each person who watches or listens to all of these songs, solos etc will have their own version of what the original guitarist played and in some cases even the original guitarist doesn’t know or remember what they played. Go back and LISTEN closely and watch the video of the original, maybe you can pick out some notes left out by the teacher, we are human and not all ways right! Angus and Malcom young actually started in the 1970’s around the corner from where I actually live in Sydney , Australia – now that’s allot a guitar playing to remember in anyone’s language! I have seen Angus try to explain what/why  he plays the way he does it and is all spur of the moment with much of his momentum and technique coming from the fact that he is of a smaller stature ( another reason why he smaller Gibson SG model guitars suit him ) and the volume . When you see him bending a string he puts his whole body into it, when you see him play a chord, the he gets the whole shoulder/ body into it! A full work out in every performance definitely!

Second, for the Lary Larry Coryell lessons I would recommend only to the more advanced students and if you are going to try them make sure you have your  theory all together because it is very complicated and I have had allot of students try to go them without the very solid ground work needed in theory ( and of course practice!)

The CAGED system is a “visual” way to teach chords / scales quickly and again I would recommend going through some theory behind it all on the way or some bad habits develop…

Again as with the CAGED system I would recommend keeping a very close eye on what you are playing when attempting the Rock Guitar Lesson Soloing Excercise . Keep the speed very slow at the start and the picking hand as accurate as possible. By this I mean even up/ down strokes and make sure you hear every note cleanly/ clearly – no excessive noise, dragging the pick across strings, nervous picking ( what I call when someone tries to “just go for it” and looks like they are having a fit!) before you try to pick up the speed.

One more bit of advice… don’t just play scales over chords without realizing how they RELATE to each other. No offense intended to the nextlevelguitar teacher whose name I couldn’t even hear on You Tube, but he seems to be playing scales just for the hell of it while the chords just ramble on, not really putting them together at the start of the video. Please don’t get into the habit of “shredding” just for the hell of it….Malmsteen already has the market on that….lol But…..o.k if you must [play 365 no9tes instead of 6 or 7 in key that we could make some sense of… And yes I’ve had my shot at shredding long time ago and am well over it… speed doesn’t equal quality in music!

Learn your scales, learn to burn , then learn when to use it and when you notice people laughing at your playing you’ve gone  too far…. speaking from experience there people!

Till next time, have fun and keep on playin!

Other Picking Methods and Styles

Hi there again!
This week I’ll be looking at picking technique.
Allot of the viewers have been asking in emails etc about how the various teachers get their sound. The main hand that people have been watching is the fretting hand, that is the hand doing what appears to be all the work.
The fact of the matter is the main hand is the one actually producing the sound by plucking the strings.This is a very important factor as allot of the questions arise from people not realizing the different way the teachers/ people in the videos have been actually playing.
To begin with you should be practicing picking technique with a pick if that’s your style, pick down in rhythm making sure every note you play is distinct and is heard clearly. First slowly, then play the scale or riff etc faster but DO NOT continue playing until you can get a clear and precise sound – then do it with alternate picking , up and down, again you must really watch what and how you are playing. This is the only way your technique will improve and you will move forward as a guitar player not a string smasher..lol
The picking described above is for general blues, rock, metal styles, special attention must be payed to the scales/ alternate picking/ sweep picking – in metal styles where the speed picking in solos in the styles of Malsmsteen, Batio and the other neo-classical type shredders ( I know I missed allot of em , but theres just too many now..lol)
Another of the more popular but very miss-read picking is the “chicken pickin” style. In the George Thorogood video he keeps on about using a “thumb pick ” and his other fingers in a “claw” style. This gives you the opportunity to play the bass notes behind melody as in blues style of the older masters he talks about. Go back and watch some of these and really watch their “PICKING HAND”, not their fretting hand because that’s where most of the work ( picking) is being produced. Some players use the same style but don’t use a thumb pick, the thumb pick just helps to make the bass line in the playing more predominant…meaning you can hear it better with a thumb pick.
Note how Thorogood rests his pinky and sometimes ring finger of his right hand on the bottom of the bridge pickup. This gives him a solid anchor for his hand to play a heavier sound.
If you are going into a classical guitar style – this is not the way to play!
Classical guitarists stay up and off the face of the guitar and use the nails. Their technique is allot more precise and requires you to keep you hand free over the strings not with a heavy upon the strings attack motion.
And of course thanx for watchin and coming over to our site! Have fun and good luck, till next time c yas!

Picking Technique Tips

Lead rock guitar lesson solo connect arpeggios to scales and licks triads octaves


Metal Guitar Lesson Arpeggios


Just to clear up a few things about these videos.

Firstly I would like to thank the many people who have emailed me for watching and I would just like to help with a couple of small pointers the videos didn’t explain.

In the  videos  I would just like to add that you should watch closely your picking technique. By this I mean remember to play the arps very slowly and precisely so that you can hear each and every note distinctly without overtones or any mushy sound, please do not just drag the pick across the strings. The main reason I say this is because over the years I have gotten allot of students who watch these videos and come to me with some of the poorest picking  technique I have ever seen!

Your alternate picking should also be very closely scrutinized while you play.

An excellent idea is to record yourself, audio or even video ( webcams are great for this! )  then listen back and try to be as critical as possible in a constructive way. As you listen/watch  yourself  take notes on where you think you should need improvement. No picking like a thrash metal soloist ala Kerry King and if you can play like him,  throw me some pointers cause I love his riffs! But seriously – no picking like your having a fit !

Watch closely your fingering position and recovery. By this I mean keep your fingers all in front of the fretboard so they are always ready to go..not curled up and out of control…the main idea here again is ….control of those fingers..lol

The other thing is watch your right hand or if your a lefty, watch your left hand – watch your picking hand for the very important dampening technique position on the face of the strings. This can be very hard to do especially for those of you using amplifiers and it gets worse the louder  you play. So if you want to play lightning fast at high volume…get to practicing! lol

Last but not least – have fun! Till next time….c ya l8tr!