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Guitar Tricks Blog

Posted March 20, 2020

B.B. King Box Explained

B.B. King is considered to be one of the greatest blues artists of all-time and certainly one of the most influential guitar players ever. His signature guitar tone can be replicated via what guitar players call the “B.B. King Box” or the “B.B. Box.” This box refers to a box pattern on the fretboard that players can utilize to play B.B. King’s signature licks. This box pattern is also great to incorporate into any guitar player’s repertoire as it’s always helpful to know a few licks that c

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Posted March 5, 2020

5 Advanced Guitar Techniques to Learn

Advanced guitar techniques like sweep picking, travis picking, two-hand tapping open up a myriad of expression and creativity to playing. More than anything, the mastery of these techniques elevate the guitar into an instrument that is richer and fuller. Check out these five advanced guitar techniques every guitarist needs to learn. 

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Posted January 23, 2020

Country Guitar Licks You Can Learn Right Now

country guitar licks

Country guitar licks are like musical sentences strung together by different words, or musical notes. Guitar licks are a handful of notes that create short phrases and you can use these licks to help with your lead guitar playing and improvisation. 

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Posted December 18, 2019

What Key is this Song In - How to find the Key of a Song in 3 Steps

What key is this song in? That's a regularly-asked question when a guitarist wants to jam or play by ear. Guitarists can figure out how to find the key of a song with a few super easy methods. In this blog post we’ll go over a very simple way of playing the correct notes, even if you don’t know what key the song is in. 

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Posted December 5, 2019

5 Best Ways to Play the Pentatonic Scale

The pentatonic scale is the first scale any beginer guitar player should learn. It’s easy, it sounds great, and can be applied to almost any genera or song.

The pentatonic scale is made up of 5 notes (‘penta’ is Greek for ‘five’) derived from the standard major scale or minor scale. This pattern creates a ‘box’ on the fretboard which is easily movable and playable all over the neck.

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Posted November 14, 2019

Ghost Notes - What Are They?

ghost notes

Ghost notes are notes that are muted by a single fretting hand and are displayed by an “X” on guitar tabs. According to our guitar glossary, they “create a percussive effect with a slight underlying hint of a specific note.” But ghost notes may also carry another meaning. Some ghost notes are muted, but other times, a ghost note is a note that can be optionally played, that is, they’re notes that are not required but are there to embellish a piece if the performer choose

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Posted September 5, 2019

Guitar Blues Scales Crash Course

guitar blues scales

The guitar blues scales are 6-note scales similar to a pentatonic minor scale but with the addition of an extra note. What are the notes of the blues scale? And How do you find the blues scale? The major blues scale pattern is 1 - 2 - b3 - 3 - 5 - 6. There are major and minor blues scales and they’re used in blues music but are often used in other genres as well. We’re going to break down the difference between pentatonic and blues scales here, so continue on for all the de

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Posted July 18, 2019

Phrasing - Musical Phrasing Explained!

phrasing - musical phrasing

Phrasing is how a guitar player presents their notes and licks within music. Usually musical phrases are short licks or notes, each separated by space, and are full of dynamics and emotion. B.B. King was a master of the blues and also used phrasing to create his signature sound. 

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Posted July 2, 2019

Fingerstyle Guitar Dynamics - Brought to You By ELIXIR Strings

Dynamics are, according to the Guitar Tricks guitar glossary, “the loudness or softness of a piece of music. Latin words such as 'forte' (f - loudly) and 'piano' (p - softly) are used to indicate this within music notation. This is an effective and simple way to add emotional expression into your playing. It can work in both lead and rhythm play.”

You can use dynamics to emphasize certain parts of what you’re playing like a bass note or the treble notes. Seasoned g

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Posted March 27, 2019

Am Chord Guitar - Explained!

The Am chord on guitar, or also known as the A minor, is a triad composed from the A major scale. The most common ways to play it is in the open position, at the first fret, or as a barre chord in the fifth position. Since it’s a minor chord, it is often used in slow or mellow songs thanks to its dark sounding tone. 

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Posted March 6, 2019

6 Jazz Chords Super Easy to Learn

Jazz chords are chord voicings that are commonly used in jazz music. Technically there are no chords called jazz chords, but instead, jazz musicians generally like to use extended chords like 7th major and minor chords, dominant and diminished 7th chords, minor 7th flat 5, and 9th chords. 

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Posted February 22, 2019

Dsus4 and Other Suspended Chords Explained!

Suspended chords like the Dsus4 guitar chord, or an Asus2 are chords that can add some extra color or tension to an otherwise normal chord. To get a suspended chord, we replace the 3rd with a nearby scale degree, the 4th or 2nd. These chords are a lot of fun to play and usually only require the guitar player to lift or add one finger. 

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Posted February 13, 2019

Chord Progressions and What You Need to Know

Chord progressions are the backbone of every song. From pop and blues to metal and punk rock, and much more, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with these simple concepts if you ever want to write your own songs or understand your favorite songs a little deeper. 

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