Combining Rhythm And Lead

I recently finished updating some of my favorite older tutorials that cover bridging the gap between playing rhythm and lead playing. Here’s a play along excerpt from one of the tutorials.

This is something that I’ve seen many students struggle with: making the transition from strumming chords to playing licks. This is because they require distinctly different physical techniques. Rhythm guitar techniques require relatively large size motions, strumming chords and riffs. But lead guitar techniques require much smaller size, precise motions in order to play a series of single notes that make up a lead lick or fill.

With that in mind I developed a series of exercises that combine both rhythm and lead techniques. You alternate between them, playing a simple chord or rhythm part for a measure or 2, then you switch to a lead fill idea for the next measure or 2. I started with very simple exampes & then gradually increased the difficulty.

I started very simple with one chord for the rhythm part and 4 quarter notes for a fill part.

E Blues Rhythm and Lead 1

The next one turns it up a notch by expanding the single chord to 3 chords to form a whole 12 bar blues and the licks are bumped up to 1/8th notes!

E Blues Rhythm and Lead 2

The 3rd tutorial in the series moves the idea to a fretted key. So it’s still a 3 chord 12 bar blues, but using all barred chords, while the lead fills are expanded to playing all the pentatonic boxes.

G Blues Rhythm and Lead 3

The 4th tutorial is a classic rock move using diads for the riffs and the fills!

B Blues Rhythm and Lead 4

The final 2 tutorials really ramp up the ideas to include fun and classic blues riffs and fills.

C Blues Rhythm and Lead 5

G Blues Rhythm and Lead 6

Enjoy learning and playing some rhythm and lead guitar skills!

2 New Star Spangled Banners

This year I made 2 new Star Spangled Banners!  The first one is a solo classical guitar arrangement.

A few years ago I did a GT tutorial on how to play this version.

The other Banner version is an electric guitar harmony arrangement.  4 part harmony lines with 3 Stratocasters & a bass!  Enjoy!


This is an original instrumental rock piece with harmonized Stratocasters.


Also on Spotify!

Building a Blues Arrangement

I did a brief demo on using dynamics & variety in a dramatic way to build and release tension over the course of many repeated passes at a 12 bar blues form.


Then I did a whole GT tutorial teaching the ideas & skills involved in building a blues arrangement.


More Funky Originals

Work continues on the funky original tunes!  I’ve got one with funny, freaky vocals and two instrumentals.  I have lyrics for these.  Maybe I’ll get around to recording them eventually!  Enjoy!



Funky Original Songs

I’ve been working on some original songs.  I spent some time last year covering a bunch of old funky tunes.  One of my goals with this project was to learn about songwriting, arranging, recording & production by having to completely rebuild these great tunes, learning & playing all the parts.

It was also a great way to prime my creativity to write some funky originals of my own!  Enjoy!


Hey, Hey, it’s the Monkees!

One of the reasons I play guitar is that I was inspired by watching the Monkees TV show.  I can still remember being 7 years old, tuning into those reruns & thinking it would be the greatest thing in the world to live in a beach house with bandmates, play music & have zany adventures every day.


Covering Old Pop Tunes

I’ve been having fun doing covers of old pop tunes.  Here are a couple of them!

Kalamazoo Amp

This was my first amplifier!  I got it with the matching electric guitar (which I sadly no longer have) when I was 12 years old.  It’s been stored in disrepair for decades.  It’s up & running again just like new.


Recently I also got an old Fender Bronco amp.  So, I also made some demos using it!  Enjoy!


Boss Katana Amp Demos

I got a Boss Katana 50W amp!  I made some demos of the various tones, settings, effects.  All the way from clean jazz.

To funky blues.

To crunch tone rock.

Here’s the whole playlist.  Enjoy!