This page is dedicated to guitar. Here you will find lessons, studies, original exercises
and music from John's personal library, as well as some practice aids in the form of templates.
Each lesson with John includes:
- An mp3 audio detailed lesson file.
- A pdf file of the music in both standard notation and tablature
- A pdf file of the chord forms when applicable.
An mp3 audio demo of the exercise or music.
A pdf file of the exercise or music in both standard and tablature notation.
The first 3 or 4 items are absolutely free for you to try out!
Banjo-related material can be found here.
Be Bop Study
An introduction to the "be bop" jazz style. "Be bop" is the ability to play linear phrases through fast moving chord changes. This exercise includes the printed music in standard notation and TAB...with fingering. The audio mp3 will help you to follow the notation as you listen.
The tempo is slow. More to come!
Chord Melody Guitar
An introduction to the concept of playing a melody in chords. This is a very popular topic. Once on the ever-expanding chord/melody path there is no getting off!
A swing study to help you get oriented in the key of Eb, a must key for jazz and swing development.
After putting some time into this lesson you will be “swingin’” in Eb with both chords and single lines.
Please enjoy this complete distribution of "E Flat Pickin'" with John's compliments.
It is provided free of charge for you to see the detail and value of each lesson below.
The FULL contents of the lesson are contained in the four following file, free for you to download and enjoy!
3 short bebop style jazz exercises.
Includes chords and lines in standard notation and tab.
The lesson includes precise information on how to move from chord to chord as well as
instruction on the fingering of the melodic lines reflecting those chords.
Opus 7 is comprised of 12 studies in 12 keys.
The exercises are available individually or as a set of 12.
Each study is a complete lesson in both the chord progression and the single note line.
The studies were inspired by the shifting techniques employed by the incredible classical guitarist,
Andres Segovia, in his scale studies.
These individual pieces contain complete lessons, while the 12 piece download does not.
The complete collection does not contain tutorial content.
Op 7 No 1 The Sooner the Better (Key of A Major)
A study in chord/scale relationships using a popular “standard” chord progression.
As chords change through a progression, so does the mode from which the chord is derived.
This study allows you to hear that modal interchange as the chord progression develops.
Op 7 No 2 Blue, Kind Of (Key of E)
This exercise is in the key of E. (4 #'s)
It is 8 bars long, 4 bars on an E7 chord, and 4 bars on an A7 chord.
I think of it as a "kind of" blues line that has elements of bluegrass as well.
It's fun to play once you get it "under your fingers".
Op 7 No 5 Step It Up (Key of Db)
Based on the chord progression of a popular jazz standard, this
exercise is an example of one way to negotiate those chord changes
as they engage 3 key centers in only 8 measures!
Challenging and fun to play.
Op 7 No 6 Shifty Biz (Key of Ab Major)
Lots of position shifting in this Ab study with plenty of II-V work.
The II-V progression is a staple of swing and jazz and you will get a good
II-V workout in this exercise.
The "turn around" is a common 2-bar phrase that leads a tune from the end of a progression back to the beginning. This lesson provides a typical example of a "turn around" and includes chords, a musical phrase, some text, and a practice mp3.
The Seven Modes
A lesson in learning to identify the 7 traditional Greek modes.
You will hear each mode sung and played slowly with chordal accompaniment
that evokes the character of the mode being played.
At the end of this lesson you will be aware of the differences in the sound of each mode.
Here's a great way to start your day! 12 original fingerboard "adventures", one in each key, encompassing chord/scale patterns,
arpeggios, bluegrass, jazz, and classical sounding exercises. There's even a 12-tone row!
This is a demonstration of the complete collection of 12 exercises, along with printed music.
For instruction in playing a given section, see the individual downloads above.
Guitar Fingerboard Templates
I designed these templates some years ago and have been using them in my work with students and to develop my own practice ideas. There are 2 templates included. One contains 4, 15-fret fingerboard diagrams, the other has 8, 6-fret diagrams designed to focus on specific areas of the fingerboard. (See samples below - click to enlarge.)
Major and Minor Arpeggios for Guitar
Included here are a set of full fingerboard major and minor arpeggios in ALL 12 keys. Consistent practice of arpeggios reaps huge benefits for any musician on any instrument. Those benefits as well as practice suggestions are discussed in the included text. See the G Major sample below.
Drop 2 Voicings - All Chord Types
There is a lot of interest in "chord/melody" style guitar playing. That means being able to express a melody not only as a single line, but as a harmonized line. The place to begin that study is in the "drop 2" voicing (chord). If you know your drop 2's you can ultimately play any melody in 4-part harmony! Here are ALL the most popular chord types AND their inversions on the guitar fingerboard in drop-2 voicings along with a music theory explanation of drop 2. All chords in this lesson contain the root note, G.
Doctor Gradus is an original bossa nova style tune based on a beautiful composition by French composer, Claude Debussy.
Includes standard notation with Tab and mp3.
Click here to listen to the piece.
Riversound is a challenging solo fingerstyle guitar piece characterized by harp-like arpeggiated figures.
Includes standard notation with Tab and mp3.
Listen to Riversound here.
Bach composed 15, 2-part "inventions" for the keyboard, meant to develop the ability to play simultaneous independent lines, one with each hand. Invention #11 in G minor is a beautiful fugue-like composition that seems to continuously unfold. Harmonically, it is like listening to jazz!
Allemande (guitar solo)
This beautiful and challenging piece, written by the great J.S. Bach, is music to be savored and cherished for a lifetime of practice and performance. It was composed as part of a suite for solo flute and has been in my repertoire for over 30 years.
A well-known Bach keyboard minuet, arranged here for 2 guitars.
This waltz was included in the notebook of Anna Magdalena, Bach’s wife.
The notebook was a personal collection of music and part of the Bach household.
The mp3 allows you to practice and play the 1st part as you listen to the 2nd part and vice versa.
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