Blues Guitar Riffs
I absolutely love this blues guitar riff lesson showing how to play in the Delta blues style. It is an in-depth lesson from John Hatcher (@johnfhatcher) where he takes a typical blues progression and adds several fingerstyle blues licks to help you sound better when playing acoustic blues.
In this online guitar lesson, Joe, from Reverb, runs through some classic Jimmy Page guitar riffs and talks about his guitar gear.
Joe shows us five quintessential Jimmy Page riffs that have cropped up in some of the most famous Zeppelin songs as well as in sessions and live jams throughout the band’s career. Take a look at the video below to master these Page riffs.
For more about Jimmy Page and his gear, visit Reverb.
In this lesson, Joe, from Reverb, runs through a few signature licks by the “Father of the Blues,” Robert Johnson. I just love this guy’s teaching and you will to.
For more about Robert Johnson and his gear, visit Reverb.
This is another excellent, albeit more advanced, lesson around the pentatonic scale (if you need to get the basics of that pentatonic or blues scale, see ‘how to play guitar’). Anyway, I thought this guy was a tad verbose but, by the 10th minute, I realized he had something vital to share…and he does so very well.
I just love this! I’m always conscious of what I’m playing when I plug in at my favorite guitar stores (Rudy’s Music in NYC, Sam Ash, Guitar Center) so when I came across this video on overused guitar riffs heard in music stores, I had to laugh. BTW, Reverb has a great article related to this (see “The 10 Most Overplayed Guitar Store Riffs“)
(Note: If you’re just starting out, then I recommend you begin with this quick lesson on basic guitar chords)
Another great lesson from Reverb. In this one, chord progressions are discussed and show how they serve as set pieces in a theater changing every act without any actors or dialogue. Add in the right emotional or melodic narrative on top, and a stale I-IV-V or ii-V-I progression seems endlessly fulfilling.
One way to liven up a progression is to use diminished chords to connect more common chord patterns.
In this lesson, we learn a few reasons to use diminished chords, and use examples like “My Sweet Lord” and “Til’ There Was You”.
More on Diminished Chords from Reverb…
A diminished triad is simply a minor third stacked on a minor third. It’s like a minor triad but with the fifth knocked down a half step. For this reason, diminished triads are sometimes called minor flat five chords. You can add a seventh on top for a more jazzy feel, but the fundamental color of a diminished chord is expectant, uncertain, yearning for resolution. This makes them great for getting from one chord to another while adding a bit of unexpected movement and momentum.
As a Pivot Chord
One use for diminished chords is to connect two independent progressions. This is especially useful when the end of one progression would not smoothly connect to the beginning of the next, often when it needs to resolve to a minor chord. The sample in the video above from the George Harrison tune is a perfect example.
As a Passing Chord
Another use actually works the diminished chord into the fabric of a common progression. This is especially common in jazz. In the context of a common ii-V-I progression, a passing diminished chord can provide extra suspense and movement, allowing for more interesting melodic movement.