How To Break Out Of The Pentatonic Scale

How To Break Out Of The Pentatonic Scale And Really Start Sounding Like A Pro With Your Blues Guitar Soloing

If you have improvised a solo over the 12 bar blues progression before you will no doubt be familiar with the pentatonic scale.

While this scale is a great starting point for your guitar solo and improvisation, it is just that, a starting point. Before too long you are going to become bored with this scale and be looking for something more to bring to the table.

Don’t get me wrong, using the pentatonic scale to solo and improvise with is just fine, and it sounds great, but there is so much more you can do.

One approach you can take that will definitely elevate your playing to a whole new level is to use arpeggio’s in your solo’s.

What are arpeggio’s?

Put simply, an arpeggio is when you play the notes of a chord separately. So for example, when a C chord is being played, you can play an arpeggio shape over the top of it and be playing/targeting all the notes that make up a C chord. When the chord changes, you change to an arpeggio shape for that specific chord, and in turn play/target the notes of that chord.

This is a very melodic way to play guitar and sounds awesome! It’s the difference between an amateur soloing and a pro soloing. 

Do I really need to ask which you’d prefer to be/sound like :)

Before we get stuck into some arpeggio shapes and their application, be sure you are familiar with the following 12 bar blues chord progression in C:


It’s more important than ever if you are going to be using arpeggios in your solos to know the chord progression you will be using them over.

Arpeggio Shapes

To begin using arpeggios in your solos, you must first get some arpeggio shapes down on your guitar. 

The following two arpeggios shapes that we will work with in this article come from chords I am sure you know.

The first is what’s known as a Major arpeggio and relates directly to the root 6 major bar chord form: 

Root 6 Arpeggio

The second is also a major arpeggio only this time relating to the root 5 major bar chord form: 


Take some time to get these arpeggios into your fingers. You must be somewhat familiar with them if you are to then use them to solo with.

Soloing With Arpeggios 

Now you have a couple of arpeggio shapes down in your fingers, it’s time to apply them to our 12 bar blues in C. 

Even if you have dominant 7 chords in your blues, which you often do, you will still be fine applying these major arpeggio shapes. This is because the base of a dominant chord is a major triad. We could add the 7th note into our arpeggio and make them dominant 7th arpeggio’s, however we will keep that for another article. 

For now just know the major arpeggios will serve you just fine for a blues.

So here now is an example of applying our arpeggio shapes over a 12 bar blues in C. 

arpeggios over 12 bar blues

Notice how I need to change to the appropriate arpeggio as the chord changes in the progression I am soloing over. I start out with the C arpeggio, using the major 6 pattern, over the C chord, but need to change to the root 5 F arpeggio pattern when the chord changes to F.

We are following the chord change and the result is a very melodic solo.

The above example is a little exercise like, but an important step in getting arpeggios into your guitar playing. 

Watch the video below where you will see myself explain and demonstrate these arpeggio shapes over the blues.

You can also hear me improvise a little more with these arpeggio shapes to give you a glimpse of what’s possible, including two guitars arpeggiating through the blues at the same time. 

Even though there are no chords being played at this point you will still here the outline of the 12 bar blues progression as each chord is implied through the arpeggio being used at the time. 

Youtube Video:

As always experiment and have fun with these arpeggio shapes in your guitar solos. You can use them anytime you have major chords backing your solos. They are not exclusive to the blues, so use them as much as possible so they become a natural part of what you do when playing lead guitar.

Author Box:

Simon Candy is a professional musician and guitar instructor from Melbourne, Australia. Running his own guitar school, Simon teaches and trains guitarist’s in the styles of rock, blues, jazz, and fingerstyle. Simon particularly specialises in the acoustic guitar and also offers online acoustic guitar lessons

How to pick whether you should start playing on an electric or acoustic guitar as a beginner guitar player

Should you start with acoustic or electric guitar as a beginner guitarist?


Are you wondering whether you should start with an acoustic or electric guitar? Are you heard people say various things to you but you aren’t sure? I hope this article will help you make the best decision for you when it comes to playing the guitar as a beginner and choosing the right guitar for you, whether it’s an acoustic or electric guitar.

Let’s clarify the common myth

I hear a lot of beginner guitar players say this and it’s completely not true. It’s actually really misleading and so it is worth clarifying the facts surrounding this myth so you know the facts when it comes to making a decision.

“It’s better to play the acoustic guitar as a beginner because it’s easier to learn on. Once you get good, then you get an electric guitar.”

Not this is definitely not true based on a common of main reasons, let’s discuss what these are.

Reasons why acoustic guitars are not easier to play than electric guitars

As a beginner guitar play learning to play the guitar, when you start on either the acoustic or electric guitar, you will have some initial challenges. These include getting your finger strength up, toughening up your finger tips, and getting your wrist stronger. Along side this, there is working where the frets and the string of your guitar are.

Comparing the acoustic guitar to the electric guitar, acoustic guitar have thicker strings which are harder to play for your fretting hand because they are harder to press down, and harder to bend. They are also a lot more work for your finger tips as well.

Also on the acoustic guitar, you have a big body on it that you have to couch over to see your fretboard and your strings to see what you are playing. Because of this, it tends to create more tension in your back and actually make it harder to play it for longer periods of time.

Because of these reasons which have so many consequential effects on your guitar playing when you first start. With an electric guitar, you will find easier to play with the thinner strings and thinner body, which means you can practise for longer, getting your technique more precise, and building up your finger strength and finger tip strength gradually. You will be in less pain, so you can play for longer which means you can make more progress.

Now that doesn’t mean you should definitely start with an electric guitar, even though there are some good reasons to. So let’s see why.

Why would you start on an acoustic guitar rather than electric guitar?

The main reason why you would start on an acoustic guitar instead of an electric is because you similar have no interest in the electric guitar. You only ever want to play finger style guitar or you only like campfire style songs. And no part of you ever wants to touch an electric guitar. Maybe you don’t like electric guitar music, or you just solely only ever want to play acoustic style music. Then getting an acoustic guitar is a great idea.

When you get your first guitar, you want it to be something you get really excited about. You want to come home from work and see it and get excited about playing it.

So if an acoustic guitar is what gets you really excited, then get an acoustic. Get one that is easier and comfortable to start on.

Why an electric guitar would suit you better?

If you ever want to play rock music or pop or anything that might touch an electric guitar, then getting an electric guitar first is a great idea. Also if you are ever interested in wanting to do solos, playing lead guitar or improvisation as well. Then getting an electric guitar will be really helpful. This is because comparing the fretboard of the electric guitar to the acoustic, the acoustic guitar normally goes up to around 12 frets, and then the remaining frets are over the body of the guitar, making it harder to play. On the other hand, for electric guitars, they go up to a much higher fret number giving you a lot more flexibility when it comes to soloing and improvising.

Final piece of advice

I would recommend that one day in the future that you get both guitars. If you are really passionate about guitar music and want to play either at one point, then having at least one of each is a great idea. I would suggest starting off on the electric guitar, and then once you get some milestones, get yourself an acoustic guitar as well. 

The key thing to remember is that whatever you do, get something that till excite you. Make you want to practise your guitar more. Remember, it’s your effort and hard work and persistence at keeping going playing the guitar that will make the biggest difference in your guitar playing. Not the type of guitar that you have initially.

Are you wanting to learn how to play the guitar but don’t know where to start? Do you wish you had someone to help you so you can play your favourite songs with ease? Do you want to feel confident playing the guitar so you can jam and play with your friends?

Find out how all this is possible by contacting us, we can help you progress from a beginner to an advanced area on both the acoustic and electric guitar. Click on the button below which will take you through to our contact form so we can schedule in your free introductory lesson where we can get to know what it is that you are excited to achieve on the guitar.




5 Reasons Why You May Want to Join Millions of Others in Learning to Play the Guitar

5 Reasons Why You May Want to Join Millions of Others in Learning to Play the Guitar

There are millions of people around the world who play the guitar. Whether it’s classical, Spanish, rock, pop, folk, metal music. There are a tonne of different genres of guitar music that are played by millions of children and adults.

guitarist red guitar.png

So why is guitar so much fun and so popular? Why do so many people want to play the guitar?

You can play lots of different styles of music

Once someone has learnt the fundamentals of playing the guitar, they can translate that skill into specialising in different types of guitar playing. I know metal guitarists who play classical baroque music and know acoustic players who play rock music.

The skills you learn on the guitar are very transferable into different styles of playing with a little more effort. So feel free to get started and then figure out exactly what you want to do later on! As long as you are passionate about guitar music, then that’s the most important thing with learning the guitar.

Lots of Popular Music Have Guitar Music in It


In a lot of popular music that are on the radio or in bands have guitar playing in it. This has created an interest in people wanting to play the guitar.

If you love music which has a guitar in it, and you are willing to put in the work and effort in learning, then you can learn to play along to your favourite songs in no time!

You get to play guitar with your friends and family

As guitar is so popular, you will probably find friends or family members who can also play the guitar! Or you can play the guitar while they sing or play another instrument.
The guitar works really well with most instruments because you can play rhythm or lead with it. Making it very versatile.

You can even play with a large group of 15 people and still make the guitar sound good! Just make sure you are playing different parts of the composition.

It is also a tonne of fun playing with other people! If you have some basic understanding of guitar and feel comfortable transitioning between chords and staying in time. You can start to play with others.

Do you have a small apartment or travel a lot?

travelling guitar player

A lot of people switch from playing the piano to guitar in the city because the guitar is a lot more portable and a lot smaller. You can pick it up and start playing it rather than going to sit down at the piano.

If you travel a lot, you can get a small portable guitar that you can take with you on the plane as well.

Because guitars are small, you can collect them! When you meet a guitar player, the likelihood is that they have a few guitars. So when your friends come round, you can all play together.

Do you like things that make sense?

The guitar is a really logical instrument if you learn it in the right way. Once you learn the fundamentals and begin to understand the guitar. There are lots of patterns and things you can figure out on it. Some people really enjoy playing the guitar by ear, and some people really enjoy the music theory side of music. It can be a really fun instrument if you enjoy problem-solving.

The guitar is easy to get started. It does take some effort and work to get over the beginning stage to get your brain coordinated with your hands. But once you get past that stage, it becomes a lot easier.

If you are passionate about music and love the guitar, then learning how to play the guitar may be the right instrument for you. As long as you are prepared to persist, and you have the right instructions and the right training. You will get to where you want to.

About guitar teacher:

Based in London, England. Darryl is a full-time guitar teacher and guitar school owner. Focused on helping guitar players to achieve their goals and dreams on the guitar. Learning how to play the guitar, whether they are young, old. Beginner or advanced

Guitar Tricks for Beginners Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1 where we spoke about how persistence is the most important thing when it comes to playing the guitar. We also spoke about how sitting properly with a guitar will save you a tonne of time in practising and save you a lot of tension and back pain in your future playing.

Common Problems with Beginner Guitar Players

Let’s talk about some other common problems that we see with beginner guitar players have initially with their guitar playing. We are going to discuss:

1)    How you can practise your songs so that you can make more progress in less time.

2)    How to hold your chords with your fretting hand, so that your chords sound better.

3)    How to make your strumming sound better and more interesting.

Practising songs

A problem with how most people practise their songs on the guitar. Most people play through the whole entire piece of their music without going into the problem areas of their playing. This is like when you have a flat tyre, and you go into the garage asking for a full service when in actual fact, all you need is the tyre fixing and the whole car will work great. 


What I want you to do is when you play through your song during practise, when you make your first mistake, don’t go back to the beginning of the song. Just go back to your problem point. For example, if it’s a series of chords that you are practising, and you are struggling to change between two of the chords. Just focus on that change and do it 20 times, and then repeat the song again. 

Doing this will save you minutes today, and hours and days in a lifetime. This will make your practising a lot more effective so you can make more progress in less time.

How to Make Your Chords Sound Even Better

Common question that gets asked by beginners is: Why do my chords sound rubbish?

We are going to address a common reason for why your chords may not sound as good as they can be. 

One of the common things I see beginner guitar players do when they play a chord initially is that a beginner can get the chord shape and put their fingers down. Then when they play, they get this buzzing sound.

Now if you are getting the buzzing sound, typically it means the strings on your guitar are not in contact with the guitar hard enough. There are two ways to solve that problem:

1)    You can press harder, which doesn’t always work and it’s a lot of extra work on your fingers, hand and wrist.

2)    OR, you can move your fingers closer towards the fret lines on the fretboard.

So like the image below: Where you slide your fingers closer to the fret line and then play.

guitar lessons for beginners frets tricks


You get a much better sound. You don’t want your fingers directly on top of the fretlines, you want them just behind it. Now you can press it even with the same amount of pressure as you were before, and you will hear a much better sound. Try this yourself, get your fingers as close as you can, it’s not always possible to do with all the fingers, but do the best you can and you will get a better sound out of your chords.

How to make your strumming sound better

This problem I see many beginner guitarists have is with their strumming hand. If they play often they get this blocky sound, up and down the guitar. The problem when this happens is not in your fretting hand. The problem normally stems from your strumming hand.

Let’s take a look at how we can solve that. We need to stop thinking of the strumming hand going up and down as on, off, on, off. You need to start thinking of your strumming hand like a paintbrush. You don’t often see people stabbing their paintbrush against the canvas. There usually a certain amount of depth and variation in the paintbrush strokes. So start thinking of your strumming hand in the same way. So let’s try this, take a chord, any chord you feel comfortable with.

1)    Play the first few strings slowly and then quickly through the last three to four strings.

2)    Now try this in reverse, from the high strings to the low strings. Playing the higher strings slowly and then going through the lower strings faster.

We can already hear that it is a lot more interesting now that it has more depth and variation in each string.

Now try putting those two together, still having that sense of having a brush in your right hand.

Finally, apply this to any strumming patterns you’ve got and see how this creates a difference in your strumming playing to help make it sound more interesting.

Would You Like to Get Massive Results On the Guitar?

We hope this guide has helped you with a few things that will help you with both practising and getting your chords and strumming to sound better. If you are interested in finding out how we can help you get massive progress on the guitar then contact us by clicking the button below. We are so confident that we will be able to help that we provide a free assessment lesson so we can work out how best you learn and place you in the best program for your goals and aims.

Beginner Guitar Tracks – Part 1

Welcome to our series of guitar tips and beginner guitar tricks to help you as a beginner guitar playing to improve your guitar playing.

1.     Having persistence in your guitar playing when you first start


When you learn the guitar, you need to learn to be persistent at any stage of it. It is definitely important that you do this in the beginner, even if you think you are struggling, to keep going. And just be pig headed about it. Initially, when you first learn how to play, it’s not easy. You have to get your brain to work with your hands and fingers in a way that they have never done before, and it takes a bit of time to really get the hang of it.

So when you are having a bad day, a bad week or even a bad year where you feel like you haven’t played very much. Just keep going and that’s what makes all the the difference between people who can play the guitar and those who can’t.

2.     Sitting in a way that helps you play comfortably and play easier when standing


A lot of beginner guitar players wonder how they should sit with the guitar, and they don’t know how to put their shoulders in the right place so their arms and hands are in the right position.

The other problem that we see often is that when they go from sitting down to standing up, their playing really suffers. If they spend all their time practising sitting down, and suddenly have to go do an open mic night playing standing up, they wonder why everything is that much harder and it doesn’t feel right again.

Beginner guitar lesson on how to sit with a guitar


This really sucks, and we see a lot of advanced guitar players go through the same thing because they haven’t addressed this problem early on enough. So much so that it actually causes them a load of problems later down the line such as back pain, and tension, which slows down their playing.

So let’s going through what a typical guitar playing position is that beginner guitar players tend to take on. This is seen as the “rock and roll” sitting position where they have the guitar on the side with their strumming hand. If you are right handed, then it’s your right leg. The guitar is sitting horizontally for them with the headstock pointing slight forwards at times. What happens here is your body is then twisted to stop the guitar from moving, you are having the use your arm as well to keep it in place. All of this is adding extra tension and reducing your playing ability.

Also when you sit in this position and go to stand up, you will find that when standing up, your guitar is now across your body rather than on the side. The angle of the guitar is now diagonal as well. So when you go from playing sitting down to standing up, you have to re-practise where your hands have to be, your brain has to reconfigure where all the frets are and the string positions as well. That’s twice the amount of practise to make sure you are play as awesome in both position.

So let’s see how we can address this.

how to sit with a guitar properly as a beginner guitarist


We are going to shift your guitar over to the other leg, so it’s sitting on your fretting side. If you are right handed, it’s now on your left leg. We are going to get a footstool to place under our left leg to prop it up, so your knee is higher up. If you don’t have a footstool, you can use some books instead.

Then sit your guitar diagonally so the headstock of the guitar is inline with your eyeline. Once you’ve got this, try sitting there with no hands supporting your guitar. Your guitar should be able to sit there, with your whole body comfortable, your back straight and no hands or arms supporting it.

guitar lesson for beginner guitarists on how to sit with a guitar


Try practising this position a few minutes a day as it may seem strange as you first start.

You may recognise this position as what classical guitar players do, and although it may seem “less cool”. This position will save you so much problems later on down the line that it’s important that you are comfortable playing this guitar sitting position. You can also picture yourself in this position as the same position you would be if you were standing up as well.

If you want to achieve the same effort without a footstool, you can use a guitar strap. Make sure your guitar strap is short enough that It sits above the leg, and in the same position as you would have it when you are standing up. This is a great option if your guitar is relatively light, otherwise, if you do this with a heavy guitar, it can weigh down on your back. So have the footstool option so you can switch over when you feel your back is getting strained.

It’s important that you sit comfortably, and you are not in pain when you practise, so many beginner guitar players couch over their guitars, putting their back in misalignments that it’s important you avoid this to save yourself problems later down the line, whether it’s back pain or reducing your playing technique.

I hope this has been helpful for you. Continue reading to part two to find out what other beginner guitar tricks you can do to improve your guitar playing.

If you want specific information for you to advance quickly and effectively on the guitar then get in contact with us. We are here to provide you with the right plan, and the right teaching to ensure that whatever your goal is, you can reach it in the most effective way possible while having the most fun and enjoyment.

Click on the button below to go through to our contact form so we can schedule you to come see us how about we can help you achieve your goals.

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How to Find a Guitar Teacher for Guitar Lessons for Beginners

How to Find a Guitar Teacher for Guitar Lessons for Beginners

Are you wanting to know how to find the right guitar teacher for you? As a beginner guitar player, this decision could change your entire guitar playing experience as the abilities and variety of guitar teachers are as varied as guitar players are!