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Advanced Guitar Concepts | The Ultimate Guitar Course: From Beginner to Advanced - Class 6 PDF Download

If you're an aspiring guitarist looking to take your playing to the next level, this article is for you. We'll explore advanced guitar concepts that will expand your musicality and help you unlock new possibilities on the instrument. From using triads in a solo to improvising with major chords, we've got you covered. Let's dive in and unleash your guitar's potential!

1. How to Use Triads in a Guitar Solo
Triads are three-note chords formed by stacking thirds. They are powerful tools for creating melodic and harmonically rich guitar solos. By outlining the chord tones of the underlying harmony, triads can add color and clarity to your solos. Practice playing triad arpeggios and experiment with incorporating them into your improvisations.
Example:
In the key of C major, the triads are:

  • C major: C E G
  • D minor: D F A
  • E minor: E G B
  • F major: F A C
  • G major: G B D
  • A minor: A C E
  • B diminished: B D F

e|-----------------|
B|-----1---3---5---|
G|---0---2---4-----|
D|-2---------------|
A|-----------------|
E|-----------------|

2. How to Combine Rhythm and Lead Playing
Combining rhythm and lead playing is a hallmark of advanced guitar playing. It involves seamlessly integrating chordal rhythm patterns with melodic lead lines. Experiment with techniques such as hybrid picking, where you use a pick and fingers simultaneously, to play chords and lead melodies in the same passage. Focus on maintaining a strong rhythmic foundation while adding melodic embellishments.
Example:
e|-----------------|
B|-----------------|
G|-----------------|
D|-----4---6---7---|
A|---2---4---5-----|
E|-3---------------|

3. How to Play and Use Dominant 9 Chords on Guitar
Dominant 9 chords are rich and versatile chords that can add sophistication to your playing. They consist of the root, major third, perfect fifth, minor seventh, and major ninth. Practice playing dominant 9 chord voicings in different positions on the neck. Experiment with using them in blues, jazz, and funk contexts to add a jazzy flavor to your playing.
Example:
e|---3---|
B|---2---|
G|---1---|
D|---0---|
A|---2---|
E|---3---|

4. How to Practice Guitar Strumming
Solid strumming skills are essential for rhythm guitar playing. To improve your strumming, start by practicing basic strumming patterns with a metronome. Focus on maintaining a steady rhythm and clean chord changes. Gradually increase the tempo and challenge yourself with more complex patterns. Experiment with dynamics by varying the intensity and accents in your strumming.
Example:
D D U U D U

5. How to Fake a Blues Guitar Solo
When you're starting out with blues guitar, faking a solo can be a useful technique. It involves combining the minor pentatonic scale with bending, sliding, and vibrato techniques to create expressive and soulful sounds. Practice playing the minor pentatonic scale in different positions and experiment with adding bluesy bends and slides to imitate the sound of a blues guitar solo.
Example:
e|-----------------|
B|-----------------|
G|-----2b4r2-------|
D|-2/4-------4-2---|
A|-----------------|
E|-----------------|

6. How to Improvise a Guitar Solo
Improvising a guitar solo is a creative and exciting process. Start by familiarizing yourself with scales such as the major scale, minor pentatonic, and blues scale. Learn to navigate the fretboard using these scales and practice playing over backing tracks or simple chord progressions. Experiment with rhythm, dynamics, and phrasing to develop your unique improvisational style.

Example:
e|-----------------5---|
B|-----------5-8-------|
G|-----4-5-7-----------|
D|-5-7-----------------|
A|---------------------|
E|---------------------|

7. How to Write a Blues Turnaround
A blues turnaround is a chord progression typically played at the end of a blues song or a section. It adds tension and creates a smooth transition back to the beginning of the progression. Experiment with different turnaround progressions, such as using dominant 7th chords or adding chromatic passing chords, to create a satisfying resolution.

Example:

In the key of E blues:
E7 / / / | A7 / / / | B7 / / / | E7 / / / |

8. When in Doubt: Minor Pentatonic
The minor pentatonic scale is one of the most versatile and widely used scales in guitar playing. It is the foundation of many rock, blues, and pop guitar solos. Practice playing the minor pentatonic scale in different positions and experiment with incorporating bends, slides, and vibrato to add expression to your playing.
Example:
e|-----------------|
B|-----------------|
G|-------------2-4-|
D|---------2-5-----|
A|-----2-5---------|
E|-3-5-------------|

9. Major or Minor Pentatonic: WTF?!

Understanding whether to use major or minor pentatonic scales over a chord progression can be confusing. In general, if the chord progression is major, such as a I-IV-V progression, you can use the major pentatonic scale. If the progression is minor, such as a I-IV-V in a minor key, you can use the minor pentatonic scale. However, feel free to experiment and mix both scales for added flavor and tension.

Example:

In the key of G major:

  • Major Pentatonic: G A B D E
  • Minor Pentatonic: E G A B D

10. What are Double Stops?
Double stops are two-note chords played simultaneously on the guitar. They are commonly used in country, blues, and rock guitar playing to add melodic interest and harmonies to solos. Practice playing double stops by combining notes from scales or arpeggios and experiment with sliding, bending, and vibrato techniques.
Example:
e|-----------------|
B|---3---3---5---3-|
G|---0---0---0---0-|
D|-----------------|
A|-----------------|
E|-----------------|

11. How to Solo with Major Guitar Chords
Soloing with major chords can create a bright and uplifting sound. Instead of playing single-note solos, try incorporating the major chord tones into your improvisations. Combine arpeggios, scales, and double stops to highlight the major chord tones within your solos. Experiment with different major chord shapes and positions on the neck.
Example:
e|---0---2---4---|
B|---0---3---5---|
G|---1---4---6---|
D|---2---4---6---|
A|---2---2---4---|
E|---0-----------|

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