P.O. Box 4586
Palmerston North
New Zealand 4442
06 357 0057
GUITAR TUITION in Palmerston North, New Zealand

The Lead Guitar Role

By Kevin Downing

Great guitar players can play the rhythm or lead role easily depending on what is required for the gig or jam session, but sometimes you are the only guitarist so you have to do a bit of both. Click here to see the rest of The Lead Guitar Role article.

The Rhythm Guitar Role

By Kevin Downing

The rhythm guitar role is often misunderstood, and undervalued among many bands. Not many guitar players actually understand what the role entails either, but in this article I will explain some of the things you need to equip yourself to become a better player now. Here is the The Rhythm Guitarist’s Role article.

Using Movable Chord Shapes

By Kevin Downing

Guitar players face numerous challenges when starting out and three of them are 1/ knowing your chord shapes, 2/ how they fit together, and 3/ how to make music with them. To learn how to do the three things all at once have a look here at the Using Moveable Chords lesson

Developing Your Own Guitar Playing Style

By Kevin Downing

A lot of guitarists find that coming up with their own unique style of playing is difficult. However, it need not be difficult if you follow the imitate, assimilate, innovate rule. Click here to learn more Developing Your Own Guitar Playing Style

Learning Simple Melodies

By Kevin Downing

Many guitarists think learning simple melodies is a waste of time, but the benefits of doing this is not only fun, but your song writing, soloing, and general musicianship will improve so much you will feel it going through the roof in no time. Click the link to get started Learning Simple Melodies

Do Your Solos Sound Like Scales?

By Kevin Downing

A big frustration among many guitarists is that they complain their solos sound like scales. Have you ever complained of this problem before? If so, you need to read the Do Your Solos Sound Like Scales article right now.

How Dynamic is Your Playing

By Kevin Downing

Many things separate professional players from amateur players, but one of the biggest ones is the use of dynamics. Dynamics quite often relate to volume, like that of your strumming or picking getting louder or softer. Great soloists use dynamics to build solos up to a climax, while releasing to wind back into the vocal section to finish, etc. Dynamics within music can get very complicated at advanced levels. To see the rest of this lesson, click here How Dynamic is Your Playing

Melodic Minor Workout

By Kevin Downing

Why do guitar students have to learn scales?  They mutter that scales are boring to practice, or they would rather play songs, etc.  But knowing your scales can get you to the next skill level very quickly by improving two hand co-ordination, speed picking, tone, and even improve your ear.  There are many more benefits of learning scales that are too numerous to mention here.

The Melodic Minor scale is simply an E minor scale with the sixth and seventh degree raised a half step ascending, while descending the sixth and seventh degrees return to their natural state…..download the Melodic Minor Workout lesson here.

Here is the play along for Bouree in E Minor. It plays the E Melodic minor scale first, then the melody for Bouree in E Minor.

Here is the full score for Bouree in E Minor.

Octave Licks

By Kevin Downing

In the 1960s the jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery made the playing of octaves famous, then during the 1970s jazz/funk/blues guitarist George Benson took what Wes had done and took it a step further.  Since then many others have taken what George was doing and taken that a step further as well, and so it goes on. Click the link to download the Octave Licks lesson.  Here is the Octave licks video for this lesson
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Click the link to have Guitar Lessons
with me now. Not only can you learn all about this subject, but you will seriously improve your playing ability quickly as well.

Twin Guitar Solos

By Kevin Downing

Many guitar players are fascinated by the twin guitar solos played by Thin Lizzy, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, and the Allman Brothers to name a few. Many rock bands have included twin guitar solos in their songs because it adds something special to the music when used well, and many bands have made it a distinctive trademark of their sound. Here is the link to download the Twin Guitar Solos lesson.

Twin Guitar Solos Ex 1

Twin Guitar Solos Ex 3

 

Rhythm Guitar with Fills

By Kevin Downing

This lesson is another rhythm guitar part that can be heard often – playing a shuffle strum with a fill inserted into the line to make it more exciting. Do you know when to insert a fill into your rhythm guitar playing? Or what type of fills to play? If not, then download the attached lesson Rhythm Guitar with Fills.

Click the link to hear the Rhythm with Fills being played.

Building Rhythm Riffs

By Kevin Downing

I have been saying this for a long time now, playing quality rhythm guitar is a lost art these days. It is what we have to do around 95% of the time when playing in a band or jamming with friends, but not many players are good at it. So dig into the Building Rhythm Riffs lesson here.

Click the link to hear the Building Rhythm Riffs being played.

Combining Chords & Scales

By Kevin Downing

In the guitar lessons with me, many guitarists think there is a division between rhythm (playing chords) and lead guitar (playing single notes) styles, but in reality experienced players don’t think like that at all. No matter what the genre, I like to think that I am either comping (accompanying a singer or instrumentalist), or soloing, and either one can involve chords or single note lines both at the same time. To get more into this subject download the lesson Combining Chords and Scales here.

The video for The Combining Chords & Scales lesson is here.
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Click the link to have Guitar Lessons
with me now. Not only can you learn all about this subject, but you will seriously improve your playing ability quickly as well.

Blues Rock Soloing

By Kevin Downing

An important part of being a guitar player is to have some great solo ideas that you can pull out at any time you need to. lt is a common occurrence that unexpectedly someone in the band will turn to you and say, “Guitar solo”. What will you do if that happens? See here to find out Blues Rock Soloing.

See the video of this lesson Blues Rock Soloing

Classical Fun – Minuet

By Kevin Downing

Many guitarists never get to venture outside of rock music, but there are plenty of great songs within other genres of music that lay undiscovered. One favourite of my students is classical music. Yes,
you can play classical music on your electric or acoustic guitar and it will sound fine….to find out more you can download the lesson Classical Fun here.

To check out the midi track for this lesson click Classical Fun

Get to Know Your Bar Chords Better

By Kevin Downing

Many players know how to play a few bar chords, but do not know the mainly used forms or their associated names. Although they are not advanced chords by any measure, you still need to know them well as they lead onto more advanced concepts later on. This lesson assumes you know how to play a few bar chords, but are not sure of the main ones you need to know, or how to remember their names. Click here to download the lesson Get to Know Your Bar Chords Better.
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Click the link to have Guitar Lessons
with me now. Not only can you learn all about this subject, but you will seriously improve your playing ability quickly as well.

Blues Rock Introductions

By Kevin Downing

This lesson has come about because on a gig a while ago I was asked by many musician observers “how could I navigate my way through a gig with bluesman Bullfrog Rata and make it sound like we had rehearsed it?” Even though we hadn’t rehearsed or played together for years. Since then I have been asked that question a lot, so I thought it would make a great lesson for you. You can download the lesson here Blues Rock Introductions

Blues Scale Primer

By Kevin Downing

The minor pentatonic scale is a favourite scale for rock guitarists to get ideas for soloing, with the Blues scale being a close second. Many beginning players tend to overplay the minor pentatonic sound so that it can get boring after a while without realising that they can extract some great ideas from the blues scale with minimal extra effort……Click on the link to download the rest of the lesson Blues Scale Primer

You can see the Quicktime video of the lesson here Blues Scale Primer or Windows Media Video file here Blues Scale Primer Have fun.

Bubble Parts

By Kevin Downing

Many guitar players seem to be unaware of bubble parts within songs they listen to. A bubble part is normally a simple single note line that is palm-muted, but can also be very complex and involve numerous single notes with added double or triple stops. You download the Bubble Parts lesson here.

You can hear the Bubble Parts lesson here.

The Harmony Shuffle

By Kevin Downing

The shuffle pattern for playing back up blues and rock guitar is an essential one to know because it is used in many genres and you will be required to play it on many gigs or jam sessions. Download the Harmony Shuffle lesson here.

Click here to hear what the Harmony Shuffle sounds like.

Here is New Zealand blues legend Bullfrog Rata and me playing the title track featured in the documentary movie “Healthy Bastards”, which uses the Harmony Shuffle.