Jonathan Boettcher, Author at Riff Ninja Academy - Page 11 of 11

All Posts by Jonathan Boettcher

Improving Your Improvising

Some of you have been asking questions about how to go about improving your improvising, and / or soloing. This lesson is a direct response to that, although to really get to the heart of this, you need to spend some time going through the Essential Guitar Techniques lessons – all of which will teach you different ways to add flavor to your solos.

It’s very common for players to struggle with making their solo sound more like a solo, and less like a scale, and it is important to realize that achieving this is as much about “feeling” where the notes are and where you want them to go as it is about logically deciding. For that reason, this is a bit of a tricky topic to teach, especially when we’re not in the same room together, so grab your guitar and settle in, because this lesson is a good long one that is really going to get at the heart of this issue.

As usual, any remaining questions are welcome in the comments section below.

The Pentatonic Minor Scale (for the Bass)

This lesson is on the pentatonic minor scale, for the bass.

Make sure you’ve gone through the Tones and Semitones (Bass Guitar For The Total Beginner) lesson first, because that lays the foundation for what you’re going to learn in this lesson.

In this lesson, we’ll cover pentatonic minor scale in the 1 position, plus the open position, plus the Mixolydian scale, also known as the pentatonic climb. We’ll also look at how this applies to four and five string basses.

Once you’ve mastered the pentatonic scale pattern, the next step is to learn some riffs from that scale!

Understanding the Parts of the Guitar

If you’re uncertain about some of the terminology that gets thrown around, then this lesson is for you.

What’s a nut or a bridge got to do with playing guitar? Hit play to find out…

Major 7th Chords

You jazz players can sit up and take note of this lesson – it’s all about major 7th chords, which are heavily used in jazz!

Essential Techniques: Vibrato

This guitar lesson is all about vibrato, and how you can use that technique in your guitar solos. Learning to play a good vibrato will really help make your guitar playing more expressive. BB King is an example of one player who has a great vibrato; in fact, BB King patterned his guitar solos after how a voice would actually sing the same part, and if you listen closely to a person singing, you’ll hear the vibrato is a key element.

Bass Guitar For The Total Beginner

This bass lesson was created with the total beginner in mind, so if you’re just picking up the bass guitar for the first time, this is the place to start!

Some topics covered are:

  • Tones and Semitones
  • Difference between 4 string and 5 string basses
  • Root notes
  • Basic fretboard knowledge

Remember, if you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments area below.

Essential Techniques: Pull Offs

The pull off is a very important technique for guitar players, and even bass players for that matter, and as such we’ve included it in our growing series of Essential Guitar Techniques.

Essential Techniques: String Stretching

String stretching is definitely an essential technique for any guitar player who wants to solo. Stretches give you the ability to do some things the human voice can do, and they really allow you to add a lot of emotion into your playing too. Checkout this lesson, stretches are well worth learning!

Bass & Guitar: Taking the 12 Bar Further

This is the second lesson in our series on jamming with the bass and guitar.

Please make sure you’ve first gone through lesson 1 in this series.

On the bass you’ll review the major scale, as well as learn some more tips on walking the bass with a 12 bar progression.

On the guitar, you’ll learn a couple new chords that sound great in 12 bar progressions, and also more from the jamming front.

Walking Bass Lines

Here’s an introductory lesson to walking bass lines. Although this lesson is for beginners, you should make sure you’re at least familiar with the material in this lesson first as you’ll be using the major scale here too.

Your First Bass Scale (Diatonic Major)

Here’s an introduction lesson for bass guitar players. If you’re just getting started, then you’re in exactly the right place!

In this lesson you’ll learn the G major scale, and how to use it.

As usual, any comments or questions are welcome, underneath the video.

Once you’ve got a handle on the major scale, the next step is to learn some riffs from it!

Beginner’s Bass AND Guitar

This is the first lesson that Colin and Jonathan have paired up on, so let us know what you think about it!

This lesson is for both guitar players AND bass players. Having an understanding of the other instrument will really help you out as a player, and will give you a better understanding of how your own playing relates to the rest of the bad.

We’ll teach you a simple progression and give you some tools that you can use to jam with others over the progression.

Acoustic Guitar Myths

If you’ve ever had difficulty playing bar chords on your acoustic guitar, or even riffs for that matter, then this is a lesson you’ll want to pay attention to. Chances are there are one or two simple reasons why your guitar is hard to play, and those can often be easily solved, making your acoustic guitar FAR more easy (and enjoyable) to play.

6 Basic Chords (Key of G) Every Guitar Player Should Start With

This lesson is aimed toward beginner guitar players… and these six chords are enough to get your started, and on the road to being able to play hundreds of different songs.

Remember, if you have any questions or comments, you can leave them below.

Here are diagrams for the chords used in this lesson:

G

How To Use A Capo

Here’s a lesson that covers how to use a capo. The type of capo that Colin showed in the lesson is actually one of the cheaper ones available, you can click here to find them on Amazon for about four bucks.

Pickups: What’s the Difference Between Single Coils and Humbuckers?

So what’s the difference between a single coil pickup and a double coil pickup (usually called a humbucker)?

In this video you’ll see the physical differences between the pickups as Colin shows you a few different pickups, and then you’ll hear the difference in sound that they produce as well.

Artist Spotlight: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Alright you blues players – grab your guitars, plug ’em in, and crank your amp up LOUD!

In this 40 minute spotlight on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s playing styles you’ll not only learn some licks, but you’ll learn some of what made his sound unique.

This lesson is in Eb, so you really ought to tune everything down a half step if you want to play along.

This lesson should definitely give you something to chew on… let us know in the comments below!

Advanced Scale Integration (overlapping scales)

Ok, so you know some scales, and now you want to really figure out how to cover the fretboard!

This lesson on scale integration assumes you’re already familiar with some of the scale patterns, and really takes a closer look at how they overlap, how they can be moved around, and how you can really dominate your fretboard!

The three scale patterns covered in this particular lesson are the pentatonic minor, the pentatonic minor 3 position climb, and the diatonic natural minor.

A Pentatonic Minor Scale (Closed, Root 6) – Scales For Beginners

If you’ve never played a scale before in your life, then THIS is the place to start.

The pentatonic minor scale is the most universal scale, meaning you can apply it to an incredibly broad selection of musical genres. It is used in blues, rock, metal, country, pop, R&B, funk, gospel, bluegrass… the list goes on and on.

In short – you need to learn this scale!

Here’s the tab for the scale in this lesson:

Do I Need To Know How To Read Music?

A question that pops up quite often is “Do I need to know how to read music to be a good guitar player?”

The answer isn’t exactly cut and dried, and it might even surprise you…

Power Chord Oddities

For beginners, power chords are a great way to get started on the guitar. Also called cheater chords, these babies get you ‘close enough’ to sound like you’re playing chords… and yet you only need to know one chord shape and how to move it around.

This lesson is on power chord oddities – different ways that you can use power chords in different and interesting ways.

If you haven’t yet watched the first lesson on power chords, you should do so first here.

Power Chords

For beginners, power chords are a great way to get started on the guitar. Also called cheater chords, these babies get you ‘close enough’ to sound like you’re playing chords… and yet you only need to know one chord shape and how to move it around.

For more advanced players, power chords are used frequently to create certain sounds, and even sometimes in soloing. If you’re playing backup guitar, playing the power chords while another guitar is playing the normal chords is a great way to add a bit of extra depth to the song.

Once you’ve finished this lesson on power chords, you should checkout the Power Chord Oddities lesson next!

Tones and Semitones

Understanding tones and semitones is absolutely crucial to playing guitar… or any instrument for that matter!

Do yourself a big favor, and watch this lesson over as many times as necessary to really understand this concept, because it is going to be foundational to everything else you learn on the guitar. If you’ve got questions, ask away in the comments section below!

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