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Secondary Dominant Chords

Economy Picking Guide


Guitar Basics

Natural Harmonics in Tuning and Intonation

Breaking Out of the Box: Runs in Octaves

How to Hold a Pick

How to Practice Guitar Efficiently

Calculating Notes Per Second

A Free Guitar Tuner Widget


A Intro to Power Chords

12 Bar Blues and Power Chord Review

Open Chords and a New Tuning

Power Chord Glossary

Using Open Strings as Pedal Tones

Finger Exercises

Innovative Pentatonics: 3 Notes Per String

How to Play Free Bird Guitar Solo- 7 Pentatonic Exercises

Pinky Strengthening Exercises

Gaining Pinky Independence

Another Pinky Builder

Finger Stretching Exercises- Want to Span the Fretboard

Fretting Hand Strength Exercises: Thunderstruck

Guitar Finger Exercises Pt. 1: The Spider

Guitar Finger Exercises Pt. 2: Trills

8 Pentatonic Exercises

John Petrucci’s Psycho Chromatic Exercise

Ultimate Chromatic Finger Exercise Guide

Flight of the Bumblebee- Chromatic Workout

Picking Exercises

Alternate Picking Exercises – 9 John Petrucci Riffs to Boost Technique

Alternate Picking Exercises- 7 MORE John Petrucci Riffs to Boost Technique

Alternate Picking Exercises – 4 Classical Passages to Boost Technique

Alternate Picking Exercises- 3 Malmsteen Licks

Sweep Picking Exercises- 5 Yngwie Malmsteen Riffs to Boost Technique

Sweep Picking Exercises- 5 Jason Becker Licks

String Skipping Exercises: 5 Paul Gilbert Licks

Learning Alternate Picking

Economy Picking Guide

Beginning Finger-Picking Pt.1

Dragonforce Guitar Riffs: Herman Li and Sam Totman

Steve Morse Alternate Picking Exercise

MD’s Holiday Challenge Pt. 1

MD;s Picking Exercise #1


Learn Tapping Techniques Pt. 1

Learn Tapping Techniques Pt. 2- Eruption of Triads

Advanced Guitar Tapping Techniques

Tapping Exercise- Four Seasons

Tapping w/ String Skipping Exercises: 3 Michael Romeo Licks

Eric Johnson Koto Tapping Technique

Through the Fire and the Flames Tapping Exercise

Music Theory Lessons

The Scale Degrees

Chord Progressions- Chain Method

Unlocking Dorian Mode

Mixolydian Mode Meyhem

Using Unusual Time Signitures

The Harmonic Minor Scale Explained

Using Dominant 7th Chords on Guitar

Diminished Scale Exercises

Learning Suspended Chords: Sus2 and Sus4

Secondary Dominant Chords

Songs to Learn

Ac/Dc- Back in Black: How to Play

Little Wing- Learn Double Stops

Learn Stevie Ray Vaughan- Pride and Joy

Learn Stevie Ray Vaughan- Pride and Joy Solo Edition

Sweet Child O’ Mine- 4 Pentatonic Exercises

Tears in Heaven: Fingerpicking

Ramblin’ Man Solo

Kashmir- DADGAD tuning

Miscellaneous Guitar Techniques

Guitar Effects: Delay Pedal

Guitar Gods

Jimi Hendrix- Top 20 Must-Hear Songs

Special Posts

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22 Responses

  1. thank you for the question is whether i can use the I IV V chords in any order in 12 bar blues or 8 bar blues…….for instance,I IV V IV V I .Can i put the chords wherever i like.And my next question is about tremelo picking for speed picking.does petrucci and michael angelo use it for speed picking?i am looking forward for your reply.
    thank you

  2. Dear bhai,

    To answer your first question, as a general rule do not use the I, IV, and V chord in any order in 12 bar blues. Play them in the following order:
    | I | I | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V | IV | I | I |

    Obviously this is music, so you have the freedom to do anything you want. There are a lot of substitutions that can be made to the basic progression. For instance, you can make the last measure | I – V | and use more of a blues turnaround. In my lesson on 12 Bar Blues, I used a song by Stevie Ray Vaughan to show one of these variations. In the S.R.V. song, the progression he uses is:
    | I | IV | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V | IV | I – IV | I -V |

    In this variation, bar2 is IV rather than I, and bar 11 is I – IV rather than just I.

    To answer your second question, tremolo picking is not a very specific term. It basically means to pick as fast as you can. It does not have a quantitative speed, such as 16th notes at 140 beats per minute. Try not to think of tremolo picking as a type of picking. I believe you are asking about alternate picking. Alternate picking is what players such as the ones you named use to play lines on a single string very rapidly. If you are interested, read my many lessons on alternate picking. I like to think of tremolo picking as uncontrolled alternate picking. Hope that helps.


  3. i am unable to compose music ,say short etude or rock there any method or rules to follow to compose guitar music.please help me out by providing me the theory or the above next question is how do i play classical music.what’s the theory behind;i mean whether they use scale or……
    i am asking this ‘coz for many years i’ve been practising guitar and a lot of time i do well, whether it’s speed or whatever.but when it comes to composing i am short of idea.i don’t know where to start or end.please help me out

  4. In 12 bar blues,you said we can substitute various chords to make the progression a bit more advanced.can you tell me how to substitute.what’s the theory behind?

  5. Dear bhai,

    It sounds like you are interested in music theory. If you are I suggest you get more formal schooling than I can offer. Maybe take a class on theory or buy a couple of books.

    Now your question. The beauty of 12 bar blues is that it can be a fancy or as simple as you want. You can use power chord as your I, IV, and V’s. Or you might want to use major triads. Or you might want to use 7th chords. You can use any of these substitutions. Instead of playing just a V, you might want to play the V of the V and then resolve to the V. For example, if your in C, instead of playing just a simple G as your V chord, you might play D7 then G7. The D7 is called a secondary dominent chord, since it is the dominent of the dominent. These are just a few of the unlimited substitutions you can make.

    I would definitely suggest getting your hands on a good theory book. I can’t explain all there is to theory in a single blog comment.


  6. […] Back to Blog Map Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Guitar BasicsMore On How to Read A Chord Diagram09/19/07 – Practice Session NotesPositional Chords 2 […]

  7. Thank you for this site! I stumbled on to it a while back when I first started playing guitar. I have been able to greatly improve by teaching myself using your excersises. I am going to start taking professional lessons in about two weeks to improve more. I plan on going to a music school after high school to become a teacher myself. also Thank You for the Big Sur Moon lesson!

  8. Thank you for this site! I stumbled on to it a while back when I first started playing guitar. I have been able to greatly improve by teaching myself using your excersises. I am going to start taking professional lessons in about two weeks to improve more. I plan on going to a music school after high school to become a teacher myself. also Thank You for the Big Sur Moon lesson! I have been a huge Buckethead fan for a long time.

  9. Matt,

    Good to hear. I wish you lots of luck on your music endeavor.


  10. Thank you, MD. I started taking lessons and I am progressing much faster. going on one year of playing.

  11. man i really really like your site …. its straight to the point and very friendly ….i ‘ve seen lots lots of sites for year yours is really nice …only one comment , if it is possible plz sometimes make the videos to be played in this site not redirecting to you tube ……. people with slower connection will have to wait for years……
    Thanks you

  12. Dear brook,

    I do embed the videos on Riff of the Week posts, but I think it’s kinda bulky and makes normal posts harder to navigate. I’ll definitely take it into consideration though. Thank for the suggestion.


  13. I just popped up with your site after googling a while by luck. It’s amazing, I’ve been looking for quality stuff like this for so long. Thanks a lot.

  14. Hey, this is a really cool site, thanks a lot!

  15. I have read all the comments and it rose my curiosity, how does a first time guitar learner actually learn. I can see that the lessons are quite easy but when it’s time for me to do it on my own, i stumble.

  16. Just found your site while seeking some pinkie strenghthening exercises. WOW! I am going to use this a lot! Thank you for your help and I am looking forward to using all your info! I will be visiting daily :)

  17. I’m joining to others by saying that you’ve done excellent job. I like your explanations, as I already said you have a gift.
    If you could could write a theory lesson on blues, explaining what notes to use over what chords, choice of scales, what notes to bend over what chords, etc. (I think you get the idea where I’m coming from) I guess that would be very helpful for everyone. Such info if usually scattered and not well explained.

  18. Maybe you should edit the blog subject Guitar Teacher to more specific for your subject you make. I enjoyed the the writing however.

  19. Perfect , keep writing

  20. I find your page an interesting site and I have been able to greatly improve by teaching myself using your exercise that you have posted. I may not afford to take classes but with patiently self-studying will help also.

    choir sheet music

  21. Great site guys. Keep up the good work.

  22. THanks for all the lessons here! appreciated!

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