Archive Monthly Archives: March 2010

Bar Chords

This is an older video I did on bar chords, sorry for the quality back then!

Shown below is an F chord and F minor chord. These shapes are both moveable up and down the neck.

Bar Chords are similar to open chords which I talked about in a previous video lesson. The reason they are called bar chords is that as you move the chord shapes we talked about up the fretboard you need to lay your index finger across multiple strings which is called barring. At this point, you might be wondering, “Hey Will, why do I need to learn bar chords if I can play all the chords in open position?”.

Good question! Wow you’re a sharp cookie aren’t you? Many musicians can get by just playing open chords, or by using a capo to play in different keys without having to learn new chords. One reason to use bar chords is that they give you a different sound, allow you more freedom to move around the neck, and take advantage of the fact that the bar chords can be thought of a conforming to a certain shape, making it easier to visualize and move around. Also, you may have noticed we didn’t try to play certain chords like F#, G#, Bb, etc which are not as easy or possible to do using open chords.

These chords are called bar chords because you have to ‘bar’ the strings usually with your index finger. You might have noticed this for the F chord I showed before. Now you have to bar 6 strings with one finger! So let’s get started. Try laying your index finger across all 6 strings and make sure the joints in your finger aren’t directly over a string as it will be hard to fret the string. Apply enough pressure so that each string sounds cleanly. Play each string separetely so that you can tell if you doing it right. This may be hard at first but keep at it! You need to develop a bit of a callous on the finger but you should have to press insanely hard on the strings to make them sound cleanly. Do this each day until you can play each string cleanly.

Okay I hope you made it this far! Now we add the other fingers (you knew this was coming right?). For a F major chord we bar across the first fret, add our ring finger to the 5th string 3rd fret, pinky to the the 4th string 3rd fret, and middle finger to the 3rd string 2nd fret. Play each string to make sure you’re fretting them properly with no buzzing or muted strings. I talked about this in depth in my basic chord lesson and video. Congratulations if you made it this far. If you know move the chord up 2 frets (to the 3rd fret) you have instantly played a G chord. Move it up 2 frets again and you’ve now learned the A chord! As you may have noticed the fret on the 6th string that your index finger is barring represents the name of the chord and root note of the chord. So to play a B chord you would move the shape up to the 7th fret, for D major you would move it to the 10th fret. Isn’t that great!

Self-Expressive Improvisation Part 1: No Wrong Notes

If you’re intimidated by improvisation or expressing yourself on the guitar in general, remember there are no wrong notes!

How to Build Your Own Band Website

Luckily Band Website Template has come along to make building our own band website along with a Gig calendar a whole lot easier.

As you hopefully know by now I’m a big believer in having your own website to market yourself, your music or other products. While there are many third party websites out there that can create and host a website for you, sell products for you and so on, you are at their mercy if they go under. Worst of all you don’t have your own central website that you control over the years, as other services usually come and go. All third party sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc should lead back to your main website.

All my websites are now built with WordPress. It is free software that is often easily installed with your webhost such as HostGator or GoDaddy via a common cPanel interface. And a domain name (the unique name of your site such as is offered by domain registrars such as GoDaddy as well.

A template (or WordPress theme in this case) is a ‘look and feel’ of your site allowing you to separate your content (your text, photos, videos, etc) from the look of the site (how the header, footer, sidebars, menus, etc are laid out). While there are many free themes out there, it’s usually best to buy a theme tailored to your niche, in this case for band websites. And if you ever decide to change the look of your site, you just swap in a new theme and your site is instantly transformed, since all the content just plugs into the look and feel. That’s the beauty of WordPress’ theme concept.

So to recap, to have your own website you need to buy a domain name (usually about $10/year), sign up for monthly web hosting (where your website files reside), install WordPress (free via your web hosts cPanel web page), upload the Band Website Theme and your site is well on it’s way!

P.S. Plus if you buy the domain, web hosting and theme through my links above I can help you install WordPress and upload your theme for free. I just need the login info to either HostGator or GoDaddy and your theme download file. Go to the contact page and send me:
-the transaction id for your purchase of hostgator web hosting plan
-the username and password to login into your hostgator account (to install wordpress and upload theme)
-the username password to login into your domain account (to point domain at your webhost servers)
-send me the link to your Band theme (zip file) or put in message that you will send me via subsequent email

Want to use a different web host or domain registrar? Send me a note and we’ll talk!
Already have a web hosting plan and/or domain name? I can install WordPress and any theme you choose for $100.

New Online Guitar Courses Available

Due to the tough economy, I’ve lowered the prices and created some new online guitar courses for you. This includes a beginner guitar course, basic rock technique, canon rock courses, and you can learn some of my songs/solos or subscribe to a full monthly membership. Go to Online Guitar Coaching for more info.

The great thing about virtual guitar lessons is you can download guitar lessons and learn at your own pace. It’s like have private music instruction but without all the hassles and cost.

Virtual Guitar Lessons

Virtual guitar lessons can mean different things to different guitarists, from either taking a private guitar lesson live over webcam to learning guitar at home on your own with online guitar lessons, DVDs, books or other guitar courses. But essentially it means learning guitar from home whether you do a live guitar lesson or listen/watch a recorded lesson on your own.

So you have to decide, do you want live interactive guitar lessons with a real teacher via webcam? The benefits of a teacher are that you can get immediate help and get your questions answered right away. The negatives are that it can cost a lot of money (almost $2,000/year for weekly lessons), you might have to go through some bad teachers, wasted time and incorrect exercises, boring lessons, lesson cancellations, rescheduling issues, and other headaches. Weekly lessons (that teachers and guitar stores often get you to commit to) can also be too often with not enough time to master a concept between lessons.

Learning on your own either with online guitar lessons or guitar lesson DVDs can be a great way to learn. At the end of the day, the work has to be done by you whether you have a teacher or home study guitar courses. Some of the great things about learning guitar at home are:

-Learn at your own pace
-Watch videos over and over until you get it
-Way less expensive
-There is usually a systematic, step by step approach
-Less time wasted trying to find a good teacher
-No travel time to and from the guitar school/teacher’s home

Probably the biggest downside would be the lack of interactivity with a teacher, but many of these courses and DVDs have online forums that can answer your questions. Either way virtual guitar lessons are an exciting way to learn guitar!

Private Guitar Teacher

Are you thinking of taking private guitar lessons or finding a private guitar teacher? While having a private teacher can be helpful, have you considered the exorbitant cost of taking weekly private lessons with a local teacher? Take it from me and I am a private teacher with over 29 years of experience!

At $25-40 per guitar lesson per week you’re looking at close to $2,000 a year plus all the headache of travelling, going through lots of bad teachers, lesson cancellations, and all sorts of other headaches.

Did you know you can learn at home in the comfort of your own home, with a professional studio guitar player and teacher? Well you can! Steve Krenz is a professional guitarist and with the Learn and Master Guitar course you get 20 DVDs and 5 cds of backing tracks to jam with. I’ve reviewed it after receiving a copy in the mail and I highly recommend it.

I’ve taught at local music stores. Take it from me, they don’t really screen the teachers. If you can play a bit they will hire you. They need to make extra money and usually have open lesson rooms available. So the quality of teachers can vary greatly. And not all of them will know your favorite style. You may get a jazz guy who tries to teach you metal. Or way too much theory you don’t care about. You don’t want to waste precious time and money going through a long list of teachers until you find one you like.

I’ve actually taken private lessons after over 20 years of playing and teaching myself. It was extremely frustrating and intimidating. I was given way too much material and felt overwhelmed. Then I started to question my own ability even though I was putting in a ton of work!

With a DVD guitar course and studying at home, I can watch the DVD over and over until I get it right. I can loop sections I am having difficulty with. Usually at private lessons I’ll feel great and often forget what we talked about! One time I recorded a lesson on video and was amazed at how many things were in the video that I had forgotten in the lesson!

And if you order Learn and Master Guitar course through my link I will give you a bonus product – one of my own guitar courses. You can learn how to play Canon Rock guitar, Fretboard Blueprint, Metal Mayhem course or my solo Louder transcription and how to video. Just send me a note on the contact page after purchase and I’ll send you the details!

Guitar Solo Demo – Wide Intervals

Using wide intervals thanks to Carl Verheyen for the idea.

Learn And Master Guitar – Free Bonus Offer

Get a Free Bonus Offer, one of my guitar courses, when you buy one of these courses: Learn and Master Guitar, Learn and Master Spotlight Series: Blues Guitar, or Learn and Master Spotlight Series Guitar Set-Up with Greg Voros through my link. Even though the DVD courses itself are a huge value, I thought I’d give an even bigger incentive to you. 🙂

As you may know Learn and Master Guitar is an great guitar learning product by Steve Krenz containing 20 DVDs and 5 Jam CDs and book. I did a review of this course recently on my Youtube channel.

If you buy one of these products through the links I provide, I would like to offer you a free bonus. Your choice of one of my guitar lesson courses – Canon Rock Video Lesson, Metal Mayhem Lesson, or Fretboard Blueprint, Louder guitar solo and explanation. Click the links to check out each course.

After you purchase the course using my links, drop me a message with your choice of free bonus, and after I verify the purchase I will send you the course absolutely free with no strings attached!

I’m not sure how long I will keep this offer open so go grab your copy of Learn and Master Guitar, Learn and Master Spotlight Series: Blues Guitar, or Learn and Master Spotlight Series Guitar Set-Up with Greg Voros Now! 🙂