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Lyle Ronglien >> Guitar Essentials >>


Guitar Essentials

Part 1 - Warm-Ups

Lyle: I'm starting a new series of lessons called Guitar Essentials. I want to teach you a little bit of the things I feel is important to becoming a good all around guitarist.

Lyle: Example...I get called to do a studio session and play guitar on someone's new record/CD. The producer has me strumming and rocking out like normal, then he asks me to play slide guitar. Luckily I know how and can pull off a few cool riffs. Then he wants me to play acoustic finger picking in a bluegrass style.

Lyle: Then a jazz or classical project comes up and I want the job. Luckily I know just enough to squeak by and make it sound real.

zz: jack of all trades

Lyle: Right. But to master all styles of music to play on the guitar isn't reasonable. I would take a long time. I want to show you a bunch of styles and techniques you can learn and use to be able to play all styles.

Lyle: Even if you're a beginner, you can still learn the essentials and become a better guitar player much faster than just playing one style for the next year.

zz: I like it

Aaron: what do the essentials include basically?

zz: dude, This is a great build up. Your like Tony Robbins of guitar

Barry: lol

steve: <g>

Lyle: The essentials include: warm-ups, scales, picking exercises, open chords, bar chords, arpeggios, finger picking, strumming and rhythm techniques. Then we'll learn how to play a blues song, a jazz song, a classical song, a rock song, and a country song. It will be fun.

Lyle: :-)

Lyle: You'll learn essential techniques that help you play with flair.

Lyle: I feel our first lesson should be about the basic warm-up exercises I use before I play.

Lyle: I use these little exercises before each gig for about 10 - 20 minutes.

Lyle: Here's the first one I start out with:





mlnjr: Does it start with an up stroke or down stroke?

Lyle: The video clip of the 4 finger attack helps explain it.

Lyle: Yes, start with a down stroke and alternate. Go slow at first.

Lyle: I'll spend about 4 - 5 minutes on this exercise

Lyle: If you want you may set up a metronome to play this exercise with.

Aaron: when descending should all four fingers be placed on the string as the pinky finger note is being played? or should each finger come to the string independently?

Lyle: Here's a loop you can work with:



mlnjr: Do you keep your thumb on the back of the neck?

Lyle: Aaron, yes, try to at least.

Lyle: Yes, your thumb is on the back of the neck.

Lyle: The video will help you.

zz: that's a quick BPM bro!

Lyle: You can slow the loop down by using the tempo control.

Lyle: Just like in sports, it's very important to stretch.

Lyle: Here's a video that explains how I like to stretch my fingers, wrists, and forearms:



Aaron: is the 1-4 finger attack a good exercise to practice legato as well? how should it be done differently if so?

Lyle: Yes, you can do the 4 finger attack to practice legato by hammering on and pulling off the notes instead of picking each note.

Lyle: The next exercise I do is all about hammering on and pulling off:





zz: Great video.....that really does stretch the muscles.

Aaron: I have trouble getting notes to sound clean and at the same volume when doing descending legato, is there any specific technique that will help improve this?

Lyle: Pull down/off the string. Go slow at first.

Lyle: The next thing I'll do during my warm-ups is a few scales.

Lyle: Here's a scale you can use over a A7 chord:



zz: how long on the hamonpulloff



Lyle: I'll spend a couple minutes on the hammer-on pull-offs exercise.

Lyle: For fun, here's a basic jam track to practice the scale with:



Barry: funky!

Lyle: After playing that scale ascending and descending about 10 - 20 times I'll switch to a plain major scale using this fingering:





Lyle: After playing the major scale a few times, I'll switch to my favorite minor scale:





Lyle: I'll spend a few minutes on each of these scales.

zz: what are the chords on the A jam track? A - D- E all dominants

Lyle: There isn't any chords in the jam track.

Lyle: Just a static A to practice any scale with.

zz: O your right. I was jamming those three chords...sounded great

Lyle: The last thing I'll do for my warm-ups is strum something for a few minutes, just to start getting my rhythm groove. Here's just a simple thing I might do:





Barry: whoa, that's quite a jump from what I was just jamming with

zz: dude.......where did Ricky Scaggs come from? I see what you mean jamming in all styles:)

Lyle: Try to follow these simple exercises each time you start to play and you'll notice a difference. Remember to stretch your hands and fingers.

Aaron: I noticed that in the fast runs in your scales that you anchor your picking hand with your ring finger and sometimes include your pinky, is this a standard technique or just something you've developed?

Lyle: Spend about 10 to 20 minutes just going through these. Don't try to go fast, just smooth.

Lyle: Yes Aaron, I anchor my 3rd and or 4th finger to the pick guard when picking fast.

Lyle: That's all for this lesson.

Lyle: We are going to take a break but you can hang out as long as you want.

Barry: ok, thanks Lyle

zz: great lesson Lyle. I like how you touch on all types of scales and exercises, and chords in your warm up.

Lyle: Thanks! Have a good week.

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