Nils Lofgren Play Clapton, Dire Straits & The Eagles

Issue 001
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Beginners Bootcamp
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Going to school with
Nils Lofgren
Play Clapton,
Dire Straits
& The Eagles
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Issue 001
Note from the Editor
News in brief
Guitarist profile
Ask Andy
Chord of the month
Guitar Top 10s
Song writing tips
From buying your first guitar, to playing
songs and staying motivated.
Coaching Session
A short 20 minute session to get you working
on your power chords and playing Clapton
Skills & Techniques
Time for some string bending and a great
lick from Dire Straits and Guitar George
Guitars & Gizmos
Top 10 riffs you may not know, plus the latest
guitar Apps and tech stuff
Riffs, Licks & Solos
Lets’ start with a simple yet effective solo
from U2’s classic song, Vertigo.
Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band’s legendary
guitarist Nils Lofgren shares some Guitar
School secrets and much more...
From Tabs to 26
Lesson Videos, Tutorials and Tips
Beginners Bootcamp
Nils 33
Songsterr brings together technology and
tabs in one super cool App - it’s a must-have
Steve 21
As a top guitarist and teacher, both online
and offline, Steve Stine offers his tips for
learning quickly and easily...
Editor’s note
Guitar Coach Magazine 5
Hi and welcome to Guitar Coach ...
In this first issue of Guitar Coach magazine, we’ve not only
got some great video coaching sessions for both Beginners and
Intermediate players, but also Guitar News, Reviews, Hints, Tips,
Techniques, Interviews and much more.
We really hope you enjoy it and that you’ll tell all your friends
about it too, particularly as it’s free!
But more important than that, we hope this magazine helps
you learn and have fun playing your guitar :)
As you can seen on the previous page, we’ve broken down
the magazine content into separate sections, to make it easy
for you to navigate around the articles and lessons.
In future issues of the magazine, you will see these same
sections and be able to build your own library of coaching
sessions for Riffs, Licks and Techniques etc.
Many thanks to our contributors:
Nils Lofgren
Steve Stine
The Songsterr Team
Robin Frederick
So, have fun, and do let me know what you think about the
magazine. Just email me at [email protected]
And to our writing team:
Bob Cianci
Graham Land
Steven Andrews
Ben Vine
Tom Rosier
Jonathan Howkins
Editor, Guitar Coach magazine
And our special thanks go to:
Andy Partridge of BandJammer
Keeping it Free!
We hope you enjoy this issue of Guitar Coach
magazine and we look forward to bringing you
much more great free stuff in the next issue.
But we need your help :)
In order for us to continue to produce this
magazine free of charge, we need to get the
word out to as many people as possible - and
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All you have to do is tap the “Rate Us” button
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If you’ve enjoyed this magazine, then we hope
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Thank you.
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News Bulletin
Guitar Coach Magazine 6
Hot news in the world of guitar this month:
By Tom Rosier
Lamb of God’s Front Man Arrested for Manslaughter.
Andre 3000 to Star as Jimi.
Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe is arrested in Oslo
for the alleged manslaughter of a fan during a Lamb
of God show. Blythe denies the charges and the
band are appealing for funding from fans to aid his
legal proceedings.
Outkast founder Andre 3000 is set to
play the role of Jimi Hendrix in an up
coming movie about the rock legend’s
life and career, though none of Hendrix’s music will be used in the picture.
Gretsch Introduce New Models.
Dave Grohl Re-honoured by Hometown.
Gretsch introduce seven new models of the hugely
successful Electromatic series guitars, basses and
left-handed guitars.
Living rock legend Dave Grohl is already
honoured by his hometown of Warren,
Ohio after the naming of Dave Grohl Alley.
Now the town are due to honour Grohl
again, by erecting two 900-pound drumsticks.
The Cult Survive Bus Crash.
Members of The Cult narrowly avoid a near 80-foot
fall from a cliff after their bus veers off a road in
Rotten Debates Drug Legislation.
Sex Pistols’ lead ‘singer’ John ‘Johnny Rotten’ Lydon
debates with British politicians about the legalisation of drugs in the UK on televised debate show
Question Time.
Children of Bodom Singer Hospitalised.
Children of Bodom guitarist and singer Alexi Laiho is
rushed to hospital in Oslo, Norway after suffering
from stomach pain at a concert.
Fender Announce Summer Releases.
Fender announce the release of a new range of
acoustic model guitars this summer, including the
Tim Armstrong ‘Hellcat’ 12- string, dreadnought bass
and pair of mandolins.
Blur New Single Under (the west) Way.
Blur unveil the video for the ‘Under the
Westway’, the first of two new singles
released by the band. The band neither
confirm nor deny that they will continue
to work together after their gigs at Hyde
Park this summer.
Radiohead Work on New Album at Jack
White’s Studio.
Radiohead have confirmed
that they have been working on new material at
Jack White’s Third Man
Studios, but the White
Stripes front man has
denied that he has been
involved in the writing
and/or production
Guitar Coach Magazine 7
– How to stick with it
– Buying your first Guitar
– Easy songs: The Eagles, Lyin’ Eyes
Guitar Coach Magazine 8
Staying motivated:
How to stick with it
by Graham Land
As anyone who has attempted to learn
to play a musical instrument knows,
it takes hard work, patience and
dedication. We've all had the experience
of visiting a friend or colleague's house
and spying a dust-covered guitar sitting
in the corner, woefully out of tune and
suffering from neglect.
“Oh I tried it for a while,
got nowhere and then
gave it up. I should
probably give it another
go, but I don't have the
time or motivation.”
Sound familiar? Maybe you've even said
something similar yourself at some
point. If so, how do you recapture that
fire that made you fork over a considerable sum for a guitar or bass, with
dreams of creating sounds that bring
pleasure to the ears of others (or at least
your own)? Why did you feel you were
getting nowhere fast? How can we avoid
getting caught in the trap of losing
inspiration and giving up?
In his best-selling book Outliers, author
Malcolm Gladwell states that the key to
success in any discipline is practicing for
10,000 hours. As an aspiring guitarist,
you may not have the goal of being the
next Jimi Hendrix, so don't sweat it if
you can't practice playing guitar in your
bedroom or garage for 10,000 hours. The
point is you need to put time in to get
results. Practicing not only improves
your playing, it gives you a sense of
achievement due to hard work and
perseverance. And though it may not
seem like it sometimes, practice can be
a lot of fun.
Guitar Coach Magazine 9
Staying motivated:
How to stick with it
But those are just the “facts”. We need
ways to continue playing – methods that
keep things fun, measure our success
and make our efforts satisfying. Here are
five tips to keep you from quitting the
guitar and hopefully inspire those of you
who have already quit to pick it up, dust
it off and try again.
1. Give yourself clear, attainable goals.
Do you want to be able to perform
“Capricho Arabe” like Segovia or just play
the opening riff from “Smells Like Teen
Spirit”? *Hint: the latter is probably more
realistic and therefore more functional,
but it's up to you. Either way, decide on
your long and short-term goals and write
them down.
2. Time your goals
Give yourself a daily, weekly or monthly
schedule for achieving your goals. Say to
yourself: This week I'm going to learn
“Teen Spirit”, next week “House of the
Rising Sun” and within six months I'll nail
“Johnny B. Goode” or the entire contents
of Led Zeppelin IV. If you prefer, just give
yourself the goal of practicing for one
hour at a time, once a day or once a
week. Whatever you think you can accomplish.
4. Find support
Do you have any friends who play the
guitar or another instrument or would
like to learn? Maybe they're just starting
out. Playing or talking with others who
share the same passion for the guitar
can provide important motivation. If you
can't find others in your area, join an online community to discuss your musical
progress and exchange ideas.
5. Visualize your success
Picture what it will be like to achieve
your goal. Imagine how it will be to play
your favourite songs, alone or with other
budding musicians accompanying you.
Write down the following:
• Where are you in this imagined scenario?
• When is it – a week, a month or a year
from now?
• How does it make you feel to be able to
play these songs?
In this way, having a “dream” helps you to
progress towards the realization of your
goals. This is how your imagination plays
a role in achieving practical, realistic objectives.
3. Measure your goals
Depending on your experience or skill
level, break your goals up into simple,
measurable and understandable steps.
Learn your songs “riff by riff”. If you manage to play the intro to your favourite
song in one practice session, you'll have
achieved something and this feels great!
Next session – main chord progression;
the session after that – chorus... until
you've finally mastered “Careless Whisper” and can serenade your sweetheart
or drive your neighbours insane.
Remember: playing guitar and making
music is fun. Learning, improving and becoming comfortable with the instrument should be an enjoyable and
rewarding experience and never something to beat yourself up about. Everyone
started out not even knowing a single
chord or scale, but they gave themselves
goals, put the time and effort in and fell
in love with the guitar.
Good luck and stick with it!
*A fun alternative to learning other artists' songs is to
simply create your own.
Follow the same steps and
goals for learning your
favourite songs and apply
them to making your own
songs instead. This adds a
special creative satisfaction
to learning the guitar.
Boot Camp
Guitar Coach Magazine 10
Buying your first acoustic guitar
by Graham Land
Every guitarist remembers their first guitar. Some look back with horror and disbelief, while
others recall their introductory instrument with fondness, regardless of its quality.
Most wish they knew back then what
they know now. For this reason, it's a
good idea to seek a bit of expert advice
on the subject of your first guitar.
Here are a few important tips:
The main factor for most is price. Consider your budget for a starter guitar.
This usually means buying a low-end
guitar or perhaps a used, mid-range
model. A practical solution is to opt for a
beginner's guitar pack. Packages include
a strap, plectrums, tuner and bag. Wellknown brands like Fender and Yamaha
offer decent beginner packs.
Price differences on acoustic guitars generally reflect the grade or type of wood
used to construct the guitar and the fact
they can be accurately tuned and stay in
tune for longer. Less expensive guitars
use layered wood laminate, while pricier
models have tops made of solid pieces of
wood, which vibrate more easily and
therefore have a better sound quality
than laminate. Though solid wood tops
provide a nicer, fuller tone and improve
with play, these are not the chief concerns for a beginner guitarist .
New or Second Hand?
You can often get some great guitars at great prices, by buying second hand.
You can check out some of the deals Andertons have to offer right here:
Tap here to visit Andertons
Online Music Store
Boot Camp
Guitar Coach Magazine 11
Buying your first acoustic guitar
Most important in terms of pleasure
and learning to play are comfort and
playability. The size and shape of the
guitar and its action (how close the
strings are to the fretboard) are the main
factors for comfort and playability. These
aspects greatly facilitate learning to play
the guitar and give far more satisfaction
than an expensive guitar of better sound
quality that is more difficult to play.
Size – A smaller acoustic guitar may be
more comfortable and therefore more
playable for a novice guitarist, especially
women and those of shorter stature. Try
out different sizes, shapes and models to
find what suits you best.
Last but not least, get a friend who is an
experienced player to help you choose
your first guitar.
The Fender Starter Package
You can get all the details on the Fender Acoustic
Guitar Package mentioned in the video right here:
Tap Here For Details
Boot Camp
Guitar Coach Magazine 12
The Eagles: Lyin’ Eyes
by Steven Andrews
So you can now learn the introduction to Lyin’ Eyes by The Eagles. Andy
shows you a simple strumming pattern using some open chords, but a
slightly more challenging chord change.
Chords used
The first one is a G Major. It is made up
of the top E-string 3rd fret which is a G
note, an open B, open G, open D, 2nd
fret A-string, which is the B note, and
finally, the 3rd fret bottom E-string which
is the G.
Lyin' Eyes was a hit for
The Eagles in 1975, and
was the second single
from their One Of These
Nights album.
The next chord is a G Major 7 and is
slightly more difficult. It’s the same as
the G chord, except you move on the top
string on the 3rd fret down to the 2nd
It consists of the top E 2nd fret, then an
open B, open G, open D, 2nd fret A-string,
and 3rd fret bottom E-string.
The Chords
C major
G major 7
G major
A minor
D major
Boot Camp
Guitar Coach Magazine 13
The Eagles: Lyin Eyes
Next is an open C chord, made by having the
top E open, a C note made by the 1st fret on
the B-string, open G, 2nd fret on the D string,
and the 3rd fret on the A-string. It doesn’t
matter much if you play that bottom Estring, but do your best not to strike it too
The next chord is A Minor, made with a top E
open, 1st fret B-string, which is the C note,
2nd fret G-string which is the A note, an E
note on the 2nd fret of the D string, and the
A-string is open.
Then we have a D chord, made with a 2nd
fret on the E string, 3rd fret on the B string,
which is a D note, 2nd fret on the G string,
which is an A note, and an open D string.
Strumming pattern
In the strumming pattern we’ll be leading
with a down stroke, and omitting the upstroke to give us an accent on the chord
The rhythm goes 1, 123456; 1, 123456; 1, 123456;
1, 123456. It may not be the exact way it’s
played but it works here. It comes down to
practicing those chords and that strumming
Now practice!
OK, watch the video and play along with the
practice session until you’ve got it nailed.
Have fun!
Guitar Coach Magazine 14
Guitarist Profile: Jimi Hendrix
Born: November 27th 1942
Died: September 18th 1970
Choice of Guitar: Fender Stratocaster
The Facts
Jimi Hendrix was named Johnny Allen
Hendrix when he was born and was nicknamed “Buster” as a child.
He received an honourable discharge
from the US army for being an “unsuitable” soldier. Records show he fell asleep
on duty and couldn’t aim a gun.
It was Keith Richards girlfriend Linda
Keith that really gave Hendrix his big
break. She became friends with him and
recommended him to the Rolling Stones
manager. He didn’t like Hendrix music, so
Linda introduced him to Chas Chandler,
bassist of the Animals, who became his
24 hours before he died Jimi played an
impromptu show at a jazz club in Soho
with American funk band War. This show
was recorded on a cassette player and
the two Hendrix songs played at the
show were later illegally distributed on a
bootleg tape. This tape was later re-mastered and is the last known recording of
Jimi Hendrix before he died.
The Albums
Jimi’s first album, Are You Experienced,
only got beaten to the number one spot
in the UK charts by Sgt Pepper’s Lonely
Hearts Club Band, which spent 27 weeks
at number one. Are You Experienced is
considered to be one of the most iconic
albums of all time.
Electric Ladyland was Jimi Hendrix’s first
full dive into experimenting in the studio. The recording of the album was notoriously slow and unorganized leading
Chas Chandler to quit. Hendrix invited
guests to the studio who sat in on live
recording sessions.
The tension of the Electric Ladyland
Purple Haze: Cover by BandJammer
recording sessions led to the break up of
the Jimi Hendrix Experience before
Woodstock in 1969. At that show Hendrix introduced the new line up as
“Gypsy Sun and Rainbows”.
The Influence
Bob Dylan was so impressed with Hendrix’s version of “All Along The Watchtower” that he played it live from the
time Hendrix died. Dylan claims it feels
more like a tribute to Jimi than his own
The Jimi Hendrix Experienced played
their last live show in the UK in London’s
Saville Theatre in 1967. The audience included the country’s rock royalty who
were all impressed and influenced by
Hendrix’s style. They included Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Brian Epstein, George
Harrison and Paul McCartney. Jimi
opened with a cover of the title track of
Sgt Pepper’s, which had only been released three days before and rehearsed
minutes before the band took to the
Jimi Hendrix is frequently voted best guitarist in music magazines and has influenced all areas of music, especially the
blues. His songs have been covered from
diverse artists including Rod Sterwart,
Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Jamie Cullum.
Guitar Coach Magazine 15
Play guitar and Jam with a full Band...
Ask any professional guitarist about what is the
easiest, quickest and most fun way to develop your
guitar skills, and you can guarantee that they’ll say
it’s to play with others.
However it’s not always that easy to get a band together in your home, when it suits you.
With BandJammer, the band are always ready and
waiting with some great songs for you to have some
fun with.
You can either join the band for a jam session as an
additional guitarist, or actually take the place of the
Lead or Rhythm guitarist - the choice is yours!
Each song has super detailed multi-camera, step by
step lessons (on average 20 videos per song), so you
can work through each one at your own pace.
If you’re a relative beginner you can choose one of
the easier songs and take the Rhythm guitar, or if
you’re more at an intermediate level, you might want
to take the Lead and nail some awesome solos!
Join the Band and let’s have some fun!
Tap Here For Details
Guitar Coach Magazine 16
– Cocaine; JJ Cale (and Eric Clapton)
Guitar Coach Magazine 17
Your 20 Minute Coaching Session
Cocaine: & Power Chords
Hi and welcome to this Guitar Coaching session. The idea with these sessions, is to make them
brief and fun! We’ll be covering skills and techniques and combining these with learning
some cool riffs and licks, or even complete songs!
All you need is your guitar and a spare 20 minutes. So let’s get started.
Video 1: Introduction
In this first video I’ll run through exactly
what we’ll be playing so you’ve got a feel
for the result we’re aiming for. I’ll then go
on to explaining everything step by step
in video 2.
E5 Power Chord
The Power Chords
D5 Power Chord
C5 Power Chord
B5 Power Chord
Guitar Coach Magazine 18
Cocaine: & Power Chords
Video 2: Teaching
OK let’s have a look at the Power Chords
to start off with. Now Power Chords are
also known as fifths. A Power Chord is
‘powerful,’ just as it is described. What
we are actually doing is playing the lowest three notes of a major chord and
making sure we use the root note for the
lowest note.
I'll explain. In an E5 Power Chord (open
position) we are playing the bottom
three notes of the E major chord. So we
have an open E, we've a B which is the
second fret of the A string and we've an E
note which is the second of the D string,
and these are the only notes we play for
a power chord.
What JJ Cale has done, or the Eric Clapton version has done, is to take that E
Power Chord and play it further up the
neck. So the Power Chord we have and
the three notes we are playing are E, B, E,
but this time the E note is on the 7th fret
of the A string. And then we have the D
string where you hold down the 9th fret
(the B note), and then the E note which is
the 9th fret for the G string.
So we are now playing the E5 power
chord one octave higher than when
played in the open position. All the
power chords used in Cocaine use this
same shape, but in different positions on
the fretboard. Because of this I am not
going into a lot of detail. All we need to
remember is that the root note of the E5
power chord is on the 9th fret of the
Using this same shape therefore (albeit
in different positions on the fretboard)
means the root note for each power
chord you play will always be on the A
OK, when you've played that E5 chord
twice, then the D5 and back to the E5,
release all the pressure off your hands on
your left hand so it doesn't ring out. Or
alternatively use your right hand to stop
the strings or notes ringing out.
Now we play the D5 again and let the
notes ring out. You can see the brilliance
of this riff is, first of all, its simplicity, and
secondly the timing. When we play the
second D5 chord there is a slight gap.
Cocaine was originally
written and recorded by
American singer-songwriter
and guitarist JJ Cale in
1976. Eric Clapton covered
the song in 1977, and it
has since become regarded
as one of his greatest hits.
Guitar Coach Magazine 19
Cocaine: & Power Chords
So it’s like 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (letting the D5
ring out on the 5 count). It’s the
accuracy of the timing that makes the
riff distinctive.
Get more Coaching Sessions...
You can join Andy for some regular Guitar
Coaching Sessions via his Blog. Simply enter your
details below. You’ll then receive an email from
Andy, when there’s a new session posted.
Next we are going to work our way
down the fretboard, still using the same
shape, strumming each chord just one,
We start by playing the E5 chord, moving
down 2 frets to the D5, down two more
frets to the C5 and finally down one
more fret to the B5. When we hit that B5
we do not let it ring out. And that’s all
there is to it!
It’s such a great riff to play and is
actually not as simple as it first sounds.
You need to try and make sure that your
timing is spot on and that when you are
playing the chords they come out very
clean, very clear and there is that
distinctive gap between the E5 and the
I hope you’ve had fun with that and I'll
see you again for another session in the
next issue. So make sure you’ve
subscribed to Guitar Coach Magazine.
Bye for now!
Any guitar questions?
Contact Andy with your questions and we’ll include as
many as we can in the FAQ section of your next issue of
Guitar Coach magazine.
Simply tap the contact button below and email your
Thank you!
Tap Here To ‘Ask Andy’
Guitar Chords
Guitar Coach Magazine 20
Chord of the Month: Fmaj7th
Welcome to our first Chord of the Month.
This regular feature is all about looking at the more unusual chords (not standard majors
and minors) explaining the fingering, their qualities and what chord sequences sound
good with them, giving some examples of songs that use them effectively.
These articles will develop your chord
knowledge and also give you chance to
gradually increase the number of chords
you can play. This will, in turn, widen the
repertoire of songs you will be able to
So let’s have a look at the chord of Fmaj7
and the notes that make up this chord.
Here is the chord chart:
As you can see, the notes you will be
playing/strumming (starting from the
high E string) are;
Top E String – Open (E)
B String – Second Fret (C)
G String – Third fret (A)
D String – Third fret (F)
A string – Generally muted or not played
Bottom E String – Generally muted or
not played
If you study the chord shape, you will
note that the top 4 strings (E,B,G and D)
make up the majority of the F major
chord but with the first finger removed
from the top E string, so the note on this
string drops by a semitone or one step.
The purists amongst us will not
strum the A and Bottom E strings
because the root note is F, which is
the note on the D string (3rd fret).
Generally, the root note should be
the 1st string you strike when
executing a downward strum.
However, in this instance, the open
A and open bottom E strings are
still notes that make up part of the
chord, so strumming them is not an
inexcusable error. However, leading
the downward strum with the bottom E note does not make it sound
like the F maj7 chord should sound.
Chords that go well
with Fmaj7
Two songs I believe use the Fmaj7
chord within a simple chord
effectively sequence are both
written by Sir Paul McCartney.
The acoustic guitar leading into the
3rd section of Band on the Run by
Wings uses C to Fmaj7
Silly Love Songs repeats this sequence throughout the song. – C,
Em7, Fmaj7
My suggestion on the best way to
strum the chord is to omit striking
the bottom E string altogether or,
This just a taster of what is to
alternatively, mute it with your
come. Future articles will feature
thumb so it does not “ring out.” You
more complex chords and introcan also do the same with the A
duce you to a whole new world of
string but, as striking it is not the
“guitar fingering.”
end of the world (i.e. it does not
take as much away from the sound
of the chord as strumming the
open bottom E) it may be best to only
“try” and not strum the open A string. If
you do, it won’t matter too much. Let’s
face it, when you are playing live you
don’t want to concentrate too much on
perfection! Enjoy the experience and
have fun.
In general terms, major chords are
happy chords and minor chords are sad
sounding chords. I like Fmaj7 because it’s
a halfway house between the two, so
you can relate it to whatever mood you
are in at the time – especially whilst
song writing.
Guitar Coach Magazine 21
Steve Stine: Guitar Teacher
Fargo, ND resident expounds on his guitar teaching
theories and background, traditionally and online.
“You Tube is great, but
the problem is, there
are a million things
out there with a million
points of view, and it
can be very confusing,
or at the very least
Background & Theory
Guitarist and guitar teacher Steve Stine,
a resident of Fargo, ND, typifies the new
breed of guitar teacher who makes use
of both traditional and time-tested
methods, as well as the Internet, in
formulating individualized lesson plans.
A full time veteran guitar teacher with
twenty-five years experience, Stine
teaches private and group sessions at
North Dakota State University in Fargo,
at a local Montessori School, and at the
Elevate Rock School, also in Fargo.
Additionally, Stine markets guitar
instructional videos with GuitarZoom,
and still maintains a satisfying family
life and touring/recording schedule.
Stine says one of the reasons he has
been successful is because he pays
attention to detail.
“I read between the lines. Because I’ve
been a music teacher in the school
system, I have had classes-and continue
to do so-in psychology and the growth of
children, and methods of teaching that
attain results. I can break ideas down to
into their smallest theoretical or visual
concepts, teach them and build them
back up. Group classes are great for
general ideas and education, as you
usually have a large number of students
of a variety of ages, but private lessons
are essential to truly understand the
elements that are lacking in an
individual, whether they are weekly or on
a per-lesson basis.”
In-Person vs. Online Teaching
We asked Steve to compare and contrast
in-person versus online teaching, and
this was what he had to say.
“Person-to-person lessons are more
personal, obviously, because you can
work with the student from a couple of
feet away. Online lessons are a bit less
intimate in that aspect, but still very
effective, as many students want to take
lessons from a teacher they trust and
understand, and sometimes, that’s not
available locally. One plus to online
lessons is they can be recorded and
watched over and over. Some students
prefer the online experience, as they’re
more comfortable at home instead of
sitting in a store or stranger’s house.
“The general quality of online teaching
can be great, but there are two things
that make a big difference: the speed of
the Internet connection on both sides,
and the software used to interact between teacher and student. Many people
use Skype for lessons, but there are far
better options out there, and they cost
more money, which may be worth it to
the student.”
Guitar Coach Magazine 22
Steve Stine: Guitar Teacher
What are the challenges of developing
online guitar tuition?
“Finding software or online applications
that are clean, clear and sound good,
with options of sending and receiving
files easily and immediately is the
challenge. Some people ask me, ‘Why
should I pay for any guitar tuition when
YouTube is free?’
“You Tube is great, but the problem is,
there are a million things out there with
a million points of view, and it can be
very confusing, or at the very least limiting, because there’s no continuity. And if
you find something that has continuity,
who’s to say it will work for you? It’s
always more beneficial to have someone
who can work with and help you. Even
my DVD products are formatted with the
idea of not missing anything between
the concepts being taught, and there’s
tech support-which is me-along the way.
“I don’t simply do this for income; I do
this because it’s what I’m good at. I have
a knack for finding that ‘cutoff’ point,
where you push students too hard and
lose them. My goal is not to have them
become me or follow my musical belief
system, but to encourage them on their
By Bob Cianci
Check out one of Steve’s online guitar courses:
Steve Stine’s 96 Rock Licks
“Online guitar teaching is evolving.
There’s a product out there called eJamming, which is incredible for interactive
jamming, although you can’t jam with
someone simultaneously via the Skype
style methods. I see this, integrated with
great video-to-video interaction and
more Internet speed, as the future of
guitar lessons.”
Teaching Style
When asked to analyze his teaching
style, Steve commented, “I have been
doing this my entire life. I cater to each
student, I don’t use method books, and
I create methods for each based upon
their wants and needs. I always
remember that a student does not have
to be here. I need to make the lesson an
experience they enjoy, one that keeps
them excited to practice. I am available
after the lesson to help them with any
questions they may have.
Tap here for 96 Rock Licks
Guitar Coach Magazine 23
– The art of string bending
– Dire Straits, Guitar George
Skills & Techniques
Guitar Coach Magazine 24
Techniques: String Bending
If you want to
play and sound
like your rock
guitarist heroes,
then you will
need to learn
the art of String
It’s a technique all the top players use to
add colour and emotion to their solos in
the genres of blues, rock, jazz, country
and pop music.
String Bending is achieved by moving a
held down string with your fretting hand
in a direction perpendicular to its axis.
You are moving the string up and varying
its pitch. This can be done for one, two or
three notes.
Basic technique
To bend strings you put a finger on the
string and then, while pressing the string
down on the fretboard, play it while
pushing it up to the side. This stretches
the string and makes its pitch go higher.
Bends of one or two semitones are commonly used, but very skilled guitarists
may use bends of 3 semitones or even
To bend a string well you must make
sure you fret it properly. You may need to
use three fingers to get the pressure you
need to perform the String Bending you
You must also let the note ring out. You
can also release the pressure and let it
return to its normal pitch i.e. a bend
The range of a pitch bend is limited to
some extent by the type of guitar you are
using, by the material the strings are
made of, how taut they are, and by the
area of the neck in which you are playing.
Steel strings can be bent further in pitch
than nylon strings can and thin strings
bend further than thick strings. It is far
easier to use String Bending in the
middle of the neck than playing near the
nut at the top.
Problems and Solutions
The most difficult problem for beginners
is getting the string bent the correct
amount, to hit the right note you’re aiming for. You should first play the
target note on a higher fret, listening
carefully to its sound and then try to
bend the string to get the exact same
The more you practice String Bending
the better you will get and the easier you
will find it to play using this valuable
Skills & Techniques
String Bending: Dire Straits and Guitar George
In this video Andy will show you a neat little riff, packed with bends. It’s
from the Dire Straits classic song Sultans Of Swing.
Guitar Coach Magazine 25
Guitar Coach Magazine 26
Songsterr: Expanding The World Of Guitar Tabs
By Bob Cianci
Russian/American-based site now
offers iPad App feature & more
Tap Here For Details
An interesting feature
of the Songsterr iOS App,
which is not supported on
the website, is offline
mode. It will run offline
tracks you played when
you were online.
Oleg Lyubchenko,
A Little Background
Songsterr debuted in August 2008, a
curious and perhaps unlikely
collaboration of Russian and American
technology and ingenuity, and since
then, has garnered over 152,000 Likes
on Facebook and over 6200 followers on
Twitter. Songsterr receives millions of
visitors on their website,,
and features over 80,000 songs and
more than 400,000 tabs. Those are
some impressive numbers for a tab site
that is just four years old.
In the simplest terms, Songsterr is an
archive of guitar, bass and drums tabs.
Any person with internet access can
contribute new tabs or make changes to
existing tabs, and according to their
website, it is impossible to cause
damage, as the software allows for easy
reversal of errors. According to Oleg
Lyubchenko, marketing manager at
Songsterr, “recently, we implemented
error report tools, so everybody can
report errors in tab, vote up or down
error reports that look useful or not
useful, flag inappropriate error reports
for deletion by moderators, or report
off-topic, abusive, low quality, duplicates,
Have you ever looked over an online
guitar tab and said to yourself, “What
was this idiot thinking when he wrote
this? It’s completely wrong!” Unlike other
archive sites such as Chordie, where incorrect tabs are legendary, prevalent, and
remain available online until enough
people complain, this doesn’t seem to
be the case at Songsterr. Experienced
Songsterr editors check all tabs to ensure
accuracy, and, as stated earlier,
participant members can easily report
any errors that might slip through.
Why Choose Songsterr?
To quote reviewer Jason Kincaid in his
August 2008 article on, “One of the problems with typical guitar tablature is that
it does a poor job representing rhythm
and the duration that each note is played
- both of which are essential. To remedy
this, most people play a recording of the
original song as they examine a tab so
they can figure out when to play each
note. But this process is frustrating and
time consuming. Songsterr is looking to
skirt this issue by accompanying each
song with an audio file that plays alongside of it.”
Guitar Coach Magazine 27
Songsterr: Expanding The World Of Guitar Tabs
of over 400,000 songs directly from There’s no need to upload
tabs from your computer or download
them from third party sites. iPad apps
can be purchased from Apple’s App Store,
and of course, directly on Songsterr’s
website. An Android App was similarly
launched in January 2012.
Tap Here For
Details Of The
Songsterr App
Kincaid’s review was written almost immediately after Songsterr’s unveiling. He
made note that Songsterr lacked symbols for slides, bending, vibrato, and
more. In all fairness, this issue has long
since been corrected, and the symbols for
these and much more are easily accessed
in Songster’s Help section.
Songsterr has two plans available for
users-Free and Plus. The Free plan gives
one access to all tabs contained, and
what is referred to as a “subset” of features; Playback, Mixer, Solo and Count In.
One needn’t sign up for a Free plan to
use the basics, but will allow you to contribute to the archive and use favorites.
The Plus plan costs $9.90 per month and
includes advanced player features, such
as Print, Half Speed, Backing Tracks, Chromatic Tuner, Metronome, Focus Mode,
Fullscreen, Loop, Tuner, and much more.
Take it from me; you will want all the
goodies paid membership provides.
And if you’re wondering whether Songsterr is legal, rest assured it is. The site’s
paid subscribers allow Songsterr to pay
royalties to artists, so everything is on
the up and up. Unlike other tab sites that
have been in and out of business, Songsterr isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The Songsterr iPad App
And finally, Songsterr launched a tab
player App for iPhone, iPod and iPad in
April 2011, the last of which will be of
particular interest to our readers, allowing instant access to realistic playbacks
Lyubchenko commented on the iOS App
as follows, “An interesting feature of the
Songsterr iOS App which is not supported on the website is offline mode. It
will run offline tracks you played when
you were online. There is a section called
‘History’ with a list of tabs available for
offline mode. You can access these songs
not only from History, but also from
other sections, such as most popular,
tags, search and favorite. You don’t have
to play the whole song; you just need to
wait a few seconds while the whole track
is being uploaded to your device.
“Also recently, in partnership with, we launched a new section
called Lessons in an iPhone version. This
section gives you access to a few series
of video guitar lessons.”
While Songsterr has taken off like the
proverbial rocket ship, there have been
the inevitable detractors who compare
and contrast Songsterr to older tab sites
such as Ultimate Guitar and Guitar Pro.
Having navigated through several of
them myself, it appears those criticisms
may have been unfounded. I particularly
liked the rhythm notation and streaming
audio file features on Songsterr, and
found these to be very useful in helping
me get a handle on certain tabs.
Guitar Coach Magazine 28
– Guitar Top 10’s
– Guitar Geekery
– Coolest Guitar Apps
Guitar Top 10’s
Guitar Coach Magazine 29
Top 10 Guitar Riffs: That Don’t Appear In Top 10 Lists
by Ben Vine
Mr Brownstone
No its not “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
but the 5th track on Appetite For
Destruction is a masterpiece in itself. The riff is simple, running up
and down the scale and is a great
driving mechanism for the track.
The song in itself is a ballad
about the pains of heroin addiction, and added to the superb
solo is a summary of the things
Guns ‘n’ Roses are most well
known for.
Crosstown Traffic
Track three on Jimi Hendrix' iconic
album Electric Ladyland,
“Crosstown Traffic”, is a great
example of the experimental
production techniques that Hendrix doesn't get much credit for.
The riff features guitar accompanied by a kazoo, forming an
original sound that makes it both
catchy and easy to hum along to!
Blink-182 have had many iconic
pop punk hits, but the simplicity
of “Dammit” shows them flaunting their more punk rock influences. The guitar part is
deceptively simple, but this is
what makes it effective. It becomes part of the chorus, providing an interlude before each
Your Touch
The dirty and raw opening riff of
“Your Touch” by the Black Keys
has never featured on a top riff
list (that I know of). However it is
a familiar accompaniment to TV
and film, appearing on the likes
of "Zombieland" and "Eastbound
and Down". The riff is reminiscent
of the White Stripes, bluesy and
swapping between power chords
and a lead lick. Great for strutting
down the street to on your headphones.
Plug In Baby
Starting with a scream of feedback, “Plug In Baby” is "original"
Muse. Combining classical guitar
influences with heavy effects
that make it seem like Matt Bellamy is struggling to control the
guitar. Origin of Symmetry was a
breakthrough album for the
band, with "Plug In Baby" leading
the charge as arguably the best
track. A firm live encore favourite.
Pantera's "Walk" is the first true
metal song to make the list. Once
again simplicity is key, with a driving, menacing riff introducing the
song. It’s written in 12/8 timing,
Dimebag Darrell’s soundcheck
jam became one of the bands
most recognized songs and was
their first top 40 hit in the UK. It’s
been covered many times, most
notably by Avenged Sevenfold.
Is This Love
Bob Marley isn't a prominent figure in guitar articles, however the
riff in "Is This Love" is the moment
the idea of guitar being a lead instrument in reggae suddenly
made sense. The album Kaya,
which the track is taken from,
was a way to make Bob Marley
appeal to a wider audience
through use of guitar. Maybe it
could be classed as selling out,
but who cares? It works!
Supernatural was Santana's
award winning album, featuring
guest appearances from everyone
from Eric Clapton to Wyclef Jean.
"Smooth" features Rob Thomas
from Matchbox 20, and the truly
smooth guitar riff and improvised
licks throughout the song definitely fit the title. It always features on summer playlists, but
now it gets it's rightful place in a
guitar top ten!
Stay With Me
Faces' "Stay With Me" is one of
the less known tracks on this list.
But featuring the likes of Ronnie
Wood on guitar, it definitely isn't
out of place. The interplay between guitar and keys occurs
throughout the song, but the traditional overdriven blues riff that
leads it is the most prominent.
And, as I'm sure you'll agree, any
song that includes a shout of
"guitar!" before a solo is a winner!
Once again not in the traditional
vein of guitar lists, Jack Johnson's
track "Taylor" is not one to be dismissed. Sure, it's played on
acoustic guitar rather than a Strat
doused in overdrive, but the technical and rhythmic ability shown
while playing a lead riff is fantastic. Little slaps of the strings and
rapid hammer-ons make this
intro an impressive party piece at
a BBQ. And the video starring Ben
Stiller is not to be missed either!
Guitar Geekery
Guitar Coach Magazine 30
MicroGuitars: enter the world of the hacked axe
by Graham Land
If you hear the words “guitar tech” and immediately think of the roadie who changes strings
and tunes up for successful rock bands, think again.
A synthesis is taking place in the
basements, bedrooms and garages of
tech-savvy guitar players and musicinterested computer geeks. Some build
6-string Frankensteins, others construct
nano-scale axes that really play, while
others are focused on the software that
enables musicians to create and share
their music in an increasingly technology-dependent world.
Some do all three!
Guitars and technology have gone
hand in hand since Les Paul and others
experimented with adding electric
microphones to acoustic guitars. The
computer and IT revolution means
hackers and guitar nerds are now taking
things to an entirely new level. The result
is a special breed of geek who combines
cutting edge DIY techie innovations and
the passion only a true muso could
Brighton-based Chris Holden, who holds
the distinction of being both an old
school programmer and a musician of 20
years, has experimented with combining
various musical instruments and computers in his own DIY style. He's actually
more of a guitar hacker than a computer
hacker, often buying cheap guitars off
eBay, experimenting with various guitar
hacks and add-ons like built-in effects
and flashing LED lights.
One of his projects that's been garnering
a fair bit of attention is his work with
mini instruments, especially his line of
MicroGuitars. He began creating small
USB devices inspired by 80s tabletop
electronic drum kits – remember
Mattel's Synsonics drums? Using a laser
cutter and drum software, Chris and a
friend made their first mini drum kit in
the course of just one evening. From
there they moved on to mini guitars,
mini basses, synths and even
microphones, effectively creating an
entire micro rock band.
Chris sells his hand-made, custom
designed MicroGuitars and other
MicroInstruments through Clients can
choose which kind of guitar model
they'd like (SG, Flying V, Stratocaster,
customized, etc.) as well as a range of
samples to be loaded into the guitar.
You can even decide which fret on the
fingerboard will trigger each sample!
MicroGuitarists can also create their
own songs or “micro mash-ups” of their
favourite artists by using a simple
recording program and easily share their
MicroBand creations on the internet.
The MicroBand website provides a bank
of samples or guitar riffs, a place
to upload your songs and a
community to share them with.
Another project Chris is working on is a
way to turn a mobile phone into a mini
guitar amplifier, allowing tech geek guitarists to free themselves from cumbersome wired connections and PCs for the
ultimate in wireless mini mobility jamming.
‘My latest guitar project is
fitting an accelerometer
from wii controller inside
my guitar and hooking it
up to a simple wah circuit.
The idea is that you raise
and lower the guitar to
activate the wah pedal’.
–Chris Holden
Guitar Apps
Guitar Coach Magazine 31
App of the Month: Guitar Toolkit
by Tom Rosier
Guitar Toolkit is one
impressive App. It’s
absolutely brimming
with features and is
very user friendly.
Tap here to check
out this App
Since the launch of Apple’s iOS and the
release of the iPad and iPhone there
have been hundreds upon hundreds of
apps that have claimed to be a cut above
the rest in terms of what they can offer,
how they can offer it and at what price it
can be offered.
In this monthly article I aim to bring
these apps to the forefront, take you
through their operations, examine them,
and let you know what applications deserve your money. This month I will be
looking at Guitar Toolkit by Agile Partners.
Guitar Toolkit
Now the first thing that I noticed about
this App was obviously its price tag. In
comparison to many apps that offer
similar operations this App does seem
slightly on the expensive side. Priced at
$9.99, it could almost be in contention
for the most expensive guitar based App
available on the App Store.
… However, this could be considered its
only draw back.
At first glance the App is very user
friendly, and aesthetically pleasing to
say the least. Across the bottom you
have your main window options. These
options allow you to navigate through
the App with minimal space taken up
on screen, allowing the user to take full
advantage of the retina display and
offering quick and simple navigation
through the apps many functions.
When first opened the user is greeted by
the familiar look of a guitar tuner, with
the friendly EADGBE label in the corner,
aiding beginner guitarists with the
string tuning arrangement down the
neck. But with one swift press of the
‘mode’ button the tuner transforms into
a musicians best friend, a chromatic
tuner. This alone would account for
between $0.79 and $2.99 of the apps
price tag, as some apps that I have
trialled, especially the lower price range
and free apps, do not offer the accuracy
of this tuner. It also offers a high contrast
mode, so that instead of having the
needle alone pointing you in the
direction of pitch, you also have LED style
lights pointing you in the right direction.
Guitar Toolkits next feature is the scales
feature. Within this section you can pull
up any scale of your choosing (literally
any) for whatever key you want, and instantly be shown where these notes
appear on the fretboard. Simply click on
the scale, choose your scale or arpeggio,
Guitar Apps
Guitar Coach Magazine 32
App of the Month: Guitar Toolkit
the type of music the scale you intend to
use (including world, classical or modal,
Asian or Indian) and then the scale
name, be it pentatonic minor or altered
diminished. Literally the world is your
oyster. However this function does not
stop there. By pressing the magnifying
glass in the corner of the screen you can
flip the screen to an alternate scale help
wizard. This will allow you to press on
any fret you like, placing a marker on
that string and fret, and it will analyse all
scales that the chosen note fits into.
Then by adding more notes the App will
then narrow down your choice of scale. I
should probably add that when you
press the marker the note will play,
which I found especially useful.
And then there was the metronome.
No-one really likes metronomes, and I
can’t imagine any guitarist out there
would ever choose to play with a
metronome for fun, but as a learning
and development tool (especially if playing alone or acoustically) it really is good.
In the centre of the screen you have a
large simple on/off button. Great! And a
simple scroll wheel that allows the user
to easily and quickly navigate to the
tempo they desire. It would be nice to
simply type the tempo in also, but I
won’t give it any negative points for that.
Then by pressing the small ‘i’ button in
the corner you can transform this
metronome by changing its sounds (to
essentially any sound you would ever
desire), reversing the sounds if having a
higher pitched beginning beat confuses
the user, enable a flashing display, accent
the flashes on the display and of course
select you time signature. Brilliant!
Next up is the chords page. Just like the
scales page, the chords page can display
any chord of your choosing, in all of its
possible variations. Just what every
guitarist needs. But again, like with the
scales page you can press the magnifying glass and transform it into what I
would describe as a ‘chord analyser’. By
selecting two notes the app will list all
possible chords that are associated with
the two notes, and again by adding more
notes reducing the number of chord
possibilities open to you. I found this
particularly useful for working out
harmonies, as having an application
open in front of you, which is also interactive, lets you try out harmonic
possibilities and aids doing so in a
methodological fashion.
The last section of this app is the
settings. I won’t go into too much detail,
but if I were to say that you could have
all of the options that I have described
for essentially ALL stringed instruments
that may give you a rough idea of what
to expect here. You can even flip over the
settings to accommodate left handed
guitarists, add a capo and even edit the
tuning of the guitar that you will see in
the windows I have described.
All in, I would probably say that thus far
this is by a long way the best paid app
that I have seen on the app store. Sure,
$9.99 could be considered a little hefty,
and you can get all of the functions of
this app elsewhere for free or a fraction
of this apps price. But after buying this
app it is unlikely that I would pay for
another app like this ever again, as it has
everything I would ever need and its all
in one convenient place. It doesn’t have
the recording functions of other
applications, and it also doesn’t have
amp emulations which would be a very
nice addition, but it does exactly what it
says it does, and does it extremely well.
The Verdict:
Value for money:
Ease of use:
Tap Here For Details Of Guitar Toolkit
Guitar School: with Nils Lofgren
‘Keep exploring, keep
learning, because it’s a
never-ending journey.’
Guitar Coach Magazine 33
Guitar Coach Magazine 34
Guitar School: with Nils Lofgren
Nils Lofgren Guitar School: The Origins:
Guitarist Nils Lofgren, usually thought of
as an ace sideman for Neil Young and
Bruce Springsteen (he’s currently on tour
with The Boss and the newly-expanded
18-piece E Street Band), as well as a successful solo artist in his own right, has
been offering online guitar lessons from
his website,, for
nearly five years. We asked Nils how he
got started on guitar and how his Guitar
School developed.
“I started on accordion and took ten
years of classical lessons, but switched to
guitar and took lessons for a few months
and had some great teachers. It was
actually my brother, Tom Lofgren, who
got me started with an old beat-up guitar at home. So, I’ve been playing and
studying music, literally since I was five.
Over the last four decades, people have
been coming up to me constantly, telling
me they’d like to play rock guitar for fun
but weren’t allowed to, because, “I have
no talent, I have no rhythm.”
“I said, ‘Who told you that?’ And they
never know, but they think that. So, I
decided to put together one hour lessons
and offer them on my website, because I
wasn’t going to give lessons in my home.
I have a Beginner’s School starting at
zero, for people who think they have no
talent or rhythm. You don’t need to know
anything. All you need is a guitar and a
way to tune it, and I’ll teach you to enjoy
playing guitar.
Part 2 of this interview
with Nils Lofgren will be
in the next issue of
Guitar Coach magazine.
“In the Beginners’ School, there are five
lessons that are built around the blues
scale, and I get deep into it with the
acoustic and electric guitar.
“Then, there’s an intermediate school
that’s a little more advanced for people
that know a bit and want to take some
more sophisticated lessons. All the
lessons are an hour long, which might
take you eight months or eight days,
depending on how crazy you are. When
you’re ready for more information, you
go to the next one. Once it’s in your
computer, it’s yours for life.
Tap Here For Details
of Nils Guitar School
Guitar Coach Magazine 35
Guitar School: with Nils Lofgren
Professor Lofgren
“One of the problems that’s very frustrating is that guitar is like gymnastics for
the hands. Everything is moving in a way
it’s not used to. I’ve counselled people
saying, ‘Here’s something you can do
with one finger that takes no talent or
rhythm, and I’ll back you up on a blues.
They can make music immediately. Do
that now with me and make music and
focus on that part of it. The point of my
Beginner’s School is, ‘Play music with me
and feel what it’s like to make music
right now, today.”
Lofgren well understands how difficult
learning guitar can be for the average
“It’s all about putting in the ‘frustration’
and the practice. Are you ready for ten
minutes of practice? How about twenty
minutes? Obviously, you have to practice,
but if you get frustrated, go back to the
fun one-finger stuff and jam along with
me and walk away. Tomorrow, when you
come back, maybe you’re ready for
twenty minutes of practice.
Nils’ filming techniques for Guitar School
are equally simple and basic.
“It’s not a fancy three-camera shoot; just
me in my studio, sometimes with my
dog, showing you what I do. Sometimes,
when I need a close-up, I’ll just walk right
into the camera.
“I’m very excited about this, because I’m
still learning every day, even while on the
road with Bruce and The E Street Band.
I’m still applying what I’ve learned over
the years. The whole idea, especially with
the Beginner’s School, is to get people
enjoying it before adding the frustrating
practice stuff. The goal is to have guitar
playing be a therapeutic healing hobby.
It’s not a race; don’t give up on something because you can’t play it right
away. The beautiful thing I learned from
accordion lessons was, if you can’t do it
immediately, don’t throw it away. Chip
away at it slowly.”
Life Onstage With Bruce
“I think it was on The Rising tour. Bruce
always plays a long solo in ‘Because The
Night.’ One night, we were doing the
song, and it came time for Bruce’s solo,
and he just pointed at me, as if to say,
‘Go!,’ so clicked on my fuzz and did a solo
almost three minutes long. It was
unexpected, but that’s Bruce for you.
Sure enough, over the next forty shows,
Bruce played the solo every night! Now,
years later, I’m playing the solo on that
song every night.
“Lately, I’ve come up with a solo for it
that incorporates a harmonic minor scale
that’s dark and modal, which is a sound I
love. One of my problems is, I have short,
thick fingers, not beautiful long hands
and fingers like Jimi Hendrix. Playing
that minor solo has been very hard for
me, because I can’t come close to playing
it at the tempo of the song. But, I haven’t
given up on the idea of doing it. A lot of
times, after two or three weeks, I’ll make
a decision, as my own teacher, ‘You’re
never going to be able to do it at that
speed.’ OK, then we’ll let it go, or we’ll
‘I’m very excited about
this, because I’m still
learning every day,
even while on the road
with Bruce and The E
Street Band.’
Guitar Coach Magazine 36
Guitar School: with Nils Lofgren
change it. I’ve learned to let it percolate
and give it a bit of time. You should
never beat yourself up about not being
able to play something right away. I give
myself permission to take it slow to
start. All guitar players-all musicianshave physical limitations.
“Keep exploring keep learning, because
it’s a never-ending journey.”
Old School
Nils’ latest recording is titled Old School,
and he considers it one of his best works.
He recorded it in his home studio with
guest artists like vocalists Paul Rodgers
and Lou Gramm from Foreigner.
“We had the great Sam Moore from Sam
& Dave come in to sing. Standing in the
studio and singing with him face to face
was a real honor.
The new Album
The new album, Old School, covers a variety of topics
including desperation, self-doubt, true love, departed friends,
holding on to your dreams and the world gone mad... along
with a tribute to the late, great Ray Charles.
"These songs reflect characters with some radical feelings
and beliefs," states Lofgren. "They're definitely thoughtprovoking."
"Old School has many different types of songs and feels...
some rough, bluesy tracks to haunting acoustic songs,"
continues Lofgren. "There's some interesting and
controversial characters in these songs and I look forward
to everyone's reaction."
The album is available directly from his web site
“I turned sixty when I was recording,
and there’s a song on the record called,
“Sixty Is The New Eighteen.” I wanted
the album for be an accurate representation of what’s like to be sixty today, with
the stigmas this crazy planet attaches
to age.”
by Bob Cianci
Tap Here To Visit
Guitar Coach Magazine 37
– U2 Vertigo, guitar solo
Riffs, Licks & Solos
Guitar Coach Magazine 38
Vertigo, U2: Guitar Solo Tutorial
Learn to play the lead for Vertigo by U2.
The lead solo in Vertigo is short and relatively easy to play, although it can be
challenging getting the timing just right. Hopefully, when you’ve got bass
and drums going along with everything, it’ll all fall into place.
Also this is a good solo to have a play
around with some effects (if you have
In the introductory video Andy’s playing
the solo over a simple backing track
which just has the bass line to help with
the timing.
Sound setup
In this tutorial Andy starts by using just
the middle pickup on his guitar, then
adds some chorus, echo and drive to
build up the sound. However the Edge
tends to add in some delay as well. But
feel free to experiment yourself and find
a combination that sounds good to you.
Andy and the band cover U2’s Vertigo. Recorded
live during a rehearsal session.
Vertigo is the opening
track and first single
by U2 from the album,
How to Dismantle an
Atomic Bomb, released
in 2004. It soon became an international
Riffs & Licks
Guitar Coach Magazine 39
Vertigo, U2: Guitar Solo Tutorial
The solo
You can use the bass line
backing track to get the feel
of it, then jam with the full
band using the video on the
previous page.
Throughout the solo we’re just using the
E, B and G strings. There are four sequences where we are hitting just two at
a time.
The first sequence
To start with we’re using the 12th fret of
the top E-string which is the E note, and
the 10th fret of the B-string which is the
A note. You play three down strokes on
these two notes.
The second sequence
You then move the finger on the A note
(B string 10th fret) down one fret to the
9th fret (which is now the A flat note).
Then you hit the same two strings three
The fourth sequence
The final sequence of notes is 10th fret
on the B string (A note) and the 11th fret
on the G string (F sharp note).
These are the only notes used in this solo
but the strings must be struck at different times, and a different amount of
If you now watch the videos you’ll see
how it’s all put together.
The third sequence
The next two notes are on the B and Gstrings on the 9th fret. So barre it and
again you play them three times.
Good luck and have fun!
Guitar Coach Magazine 40
Play great songs and Jam with our live Band!
• Learn great Songs, Riffs, Solos,
Improvisation, Skills & Techniques!
• Detailed Step by Step Teaching Videos
• Multi Camera views
• Learn either Rhythm or Lead Guitar
• Downloads for Song Structure, Chords
and Full Tab
• Includes separate Jam Tracks for;
– Drums and Bass,
– Drums, Bass, and Rhythm Guitar,
– Drums, Bass, and Lead Guitar.
• Learn the song and then join the band!
It’s easy and great fun!
Tap Here For Details
Song writing
Guitar Coach Magazine 41
By Robin Frederick
When NASA wants to blast a rocket into orbit, they do it in stages: There’s the big lift-off, then
one or two smaller stages to get the payload into orbit and then fine tune it. So, what’s this
got to do with writing lyrics?
You can think of the lyric writing process in three stages:
1. Getting started. (Lift off)
2. Developing your idea. (Getting into orbit)
3. Rewriting to fine tune your lyric.
Just like a successful launch, you need to
go through each stage. Don't expect a
song in the "getting started" phase to be
at the final stage! Too often songwriters
confuse the very first idea with the final
goal. I do it. We all do. Next time you sit
down to write a lyric try this three-stage
writing process.
Beginning the lyric writing process with
a TITLE can give you a central beacon
that will keep your song lyric focused very important if you want to keep listeners involved.
OR…you can start with the first line of
your song. Let’s say a terrific line occurs
to you that launches a whole string of
ideas. Write them all down, then go back
and look them over. Do you know what
this song is about? Can you put the lines
in some kind of order that develops an
overall idea? By the time you write the
second line of your first verse, you should
have a good idea where your song is
OR…find any short phrase that’s emotionally intriguing for you. Something
you WANT to write about. Then, make a
list of questions the phrase suggests.
These are the questions you're going to
answer in your song. Try questions like:
What does this mean? Why do I need to
say it? How does it feel? How did it happen? What do I think the consequences
will be? Every phrase suggests different
questions. And every songwriter will find
different ones to ask.
Decide on your song structure. For most
songs, it’s a good idea to write in a form
that has a chorus section, such as…
Feature your title prominently in your
chorus section. It will provide an anchor
to which you and your listeners will return again and again. Surround your title
with lines that support it. For example,
you might choose to answer the question you feel is the most important. Or
describe the emotions that are going on.
Remember, the chorus sums up the
heart and soul of your song. Be sure to
keep it focused on a peak emotional moment. Don’t try to explain too many specific ideas in the chorus—save that for
the verses—you’ve got to make your listeners FEEL what you feel! (See Stage
Lay out your verses around the chorus.
Try answering one of your questions in
each verse and the bridge. If you run out
of questions, think about going deeper
into one of them. By laying out your song
instead of just writing whatever comes
to you, you’ll stay focused on a single
idea in each verse and you won’t wonder
what you’re going to write about when
you get to the bridge!
If you’re writing songs for the film & TV
market, keep the focus solely on a peak
emotional moment and try to avoid a
specific storyline. The script will take care
of the story details. For film & TV, the VRS
Song writing
Guitar Coach Magazine 42
/ VRS / BRIDGE / VRS form can work well.
Try using your title in the last line of each
verse. If you repeat that last line each
time the verse comes around, it will add
weight and create a chorus-like feel.
vowel rhymes. Check out and for lists of near rhymes.
At times during this process, there’s likely
to be a strong line that “just occurs to
you,” a line you really want to use. If you
laid out your song as a rough sketch first,
take a look to see where the line might
belong and put it there. If it doesn’t
seem to belong to any section, then it
might provide the germ of a new song.
Write it on a separate sheet of paper and
put it to one side. You can come back to
it later to see where it leads. In Song
writing, no good line is wasted – you just
have to find the right place for it.
Fill in more lines around the ones you've
written. Use images, comparisons, and
physical expressions of emotion to make
your listeners really feel it! Don’t just tell
them what you experienced; make them
experience it, too. Replace a cliché with a
fresh idea. Punch up your language. If
you wrote "I NEED..." try "I HUNGER..." or
“I CRAVE...”
Go through your lyric and make certain
you’ve answered the important questions about the emotional situation. Did
you say something in your lyric that
raised more questions or hinted at something else? You’ve got to deal with that—
either answer the question or change
that line. You don’t want to leave the listener feeling frustrated.
Now is the time to "encourage" some
rhymes. Don't force them; never change
the natural word order of speech to accommodate a rhyme – you’re likely to
lose the authentic, believability of the
lyric. Look for a rhyme that feels easy and
natural. if you use "vowel rhymes" you
have a huge selection to choose from.
Like the name implies "vowel rhymes"
merely rhyme the vowel sound.
Fine/time, now/house, love/stuff are all
If you write melody and lyrics together,
try letting the natural melody of speech
suggest a melody as your write. Record it
onto whatever's handy - a handheld
recorder, or even your phone. Just as a
lyric goes through three stages, so a
melody gets started, develops, then goes
through a rewriting stage. Use what
comes to you initially and rewrite it later
by changing phrase lengths, playing with
the rhythm patterns, and altering note
You can read more here:
Robin Frederick has written more than 500
songs for television, records, theater, and
audio products. She is a former Director of
A&R for Rhino Records, Executive Producer of
over 60 albums, and the author of "Shortcuts
to Hit Song writing" and "Shortcuts to
Song writing for Film & TV." Both books are
available at
Guitar Coach Magazine 43
Here’s a short selection of the most popular FAQs this month. Please send my your questions
and we’ll try and cover as many as possible in the next issue.
How to learn to play
guitar quickly and easily while having fun?
I have wanted to play
the guitar all my life.
Where is the best place
to start when learning
to play?
My advice always with this question is
try and play with other guitarists – not
on line, but in the same room.
You will improve 10 times as fast playing
and practicing with others, then you will
sitting at home in your room alone.
Try to find someone who's a better guitarist (if they can put up with you) and
get together to sing songs, write least once a week. You will
constantly pick up new techniques, tips
and tricks that you wouldn’t necessarily
learn on your own.
Having said that, it's also very important
that you FORCE yourself to sit down
everyday with the express purpose of
Some days you may not feel up to it, but
if you force yourself - if only for 15 minutes a day - you'll find the time stretching into an hour or more.
Learn a minimum of 3-4 different ways
to play each chord. This will involve partial or whole bar chords up and down the
neck, but will give you a great understanding of the fret board.
For example, if someone is playing the
standard G chord 3-2-0-0-0-3 realize
that you can play a little 3 string G chord
up at the 7th fret, that's shaped like the
normal D chord x-x-x-7-8-7
I am about to start
playing the guitar.
What do you regard
as the top 3 pieces of
advice I should take
on board?
I know this sounds boring, but learn the
Pentatonic Blues scale, and finally...find
someway to record yourself...this is an invaluable tool for hearing areas of your
playing that need more work.
Ok, I can't guarantee it'll all be fun, easy,
and quick if you serious about playing
the guitar a lot of times it'll be the opposite but almost nothing beats the falling
of learning a new song on the guitar or
mastering a new technique.
To go back to the 1st part of the questions, always start with the absolute basics like being able to fret a note and
learning the basic open chords. This may
well become a bit tiresome and possibly
one of the most challenging parts of
your guitar journey, but once you have
these basics, you will be ready to start
playing and learning from others. That’s
when the improvement will really take
You can always employ a guitar tutor, but
this can be quite restrictive. There are so
many great, inexpensive on-line guitar
sites that teach from beginner to advanced and, of course, there’s YouTube,
although the quality of “lessons” may
vary. Try out free samples from various
sites and choose the one hat fits what
you want to learn that has an engaging
teacher. That way you won’t get bored.
A good question and imperiously difficult to answer. But I will give you my 3,
based on that wonderful gift, hindsight.
want to achieve. This is the root cause of
a lot of frustration.
1. Set yourself a major goal, chunked
down into smaller milestones.
Link this into the 1st question asked and I
believe you will have more than enough
to get started.
2. Don’t become impatient if you are not
always immediately achieving what you
3. Enjoy it.
Best of luck!
Ask Andy
Guitar Coach Magazine 44
What guitar chords
could I play if someone
else plays different
What chords could I
play while she plays B
flat, F, and E flat?
I want to write a song.
How do I start and
what are some guitar
chords that flow nicely
together to make a
The easiest way to complement a friend
is to use a capo and play the same chord
in a different position on the fretboard.
In fact, if you learn the CAGED capo
method, you can easily do this for whole
songs. I don't have time to get into that,
but to answer your specific question,
here are some options for you:
Bb = capo 1 A or capo 3 G shape
F = capo 1 E or capo 3 D shape
So – where do I start with this one?
To begin with, there is no set way to
write a song and I would guess that virtually every chord sequence possible has
been used at some time or another; although it has to be said that some
chords will sound better together in a sequence and flow better than others.
As far as song writing is concerned, I suppose there are 4 ways you can write a
A lyric-based approach, used by Bob
Dylan where the lyrics are the starting
point (maybe what is in you head at the
time) with a melody and chords added
The Melody-based approach – probably
used by Paul McCartney. A melody or
hook line will be the starting point to
writing a song. It could even be the
whole song has a complete melody before an instrument is even picked up
Note: See also the
article on Songwriting
in this issue, which
will provide you with
numerous hints and
To improve, there is no
substitute to strumming
along to a live band.
Riff-based approach - which starts with a
riff and develops into a song. A bit like
the Sweet Child of Mine intro played by
Slash morphed into the full song. Could
be The Rolling Stones employed this
method in some of their writing
The mish mash approach. Just jam and
sing and build up your jigsaw puzzle.
Could be that many a progressive rock
song from the 70’s used this technique. .
Now onto chords that sound good to-
Eb = capo 1 D or capo 3 C shape
There is also a completely separate
method for an electric guitar to complement an acoustic guitar using 3 string
chords, but from your question, I don't
think that's what you're going for.
Alternatively, you can discard your capo
altogether and learn the shapes as bar
gether. There is a whole bunch of theory
you can extract to understand what
chords fit well together. (Dominant/sub
dominant/tonic etc…). As it sounds like
you are new to the guitar and songwriting, I thought it best to simply provide
some examples:
The last G being a kick or turn around.
Some common patterns revolve around
this pattern:
C, Aminor, F, G or C, Eminor, F, G...
Another popular variation is to do a walk
up through the changes:
C, Dminor, Eminor, F, G
Beyond this set of simple patterns, you
should open your ears while you play. Listen while you make changes. If you write
a simple melody, you'll find it fairly easy
to put it over one of these patterns or another, then, when you hit a spot where
your melody isn't quite working with
those chords... be inventive. Throw in outside chords (such as a D major in the key
of C, or E or A major in the key of C). Hope
this isn’t getting too complicated!!!!!
The best way to learn this is to get songbooks and study the chords.
It takes a little time and effort, but this
kind of basic theory is necessary if you
want to write music.
Guitar Coach Magazine 45
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Play guitar and have fun, with Guitar Coach magazine
I hope you’ve enjoyed this first issue of Guitar Coach magazine.
We’ve only just got started, so there will be even more great
content for you in the next issue!
More great Interviews. More Songs. Cool Riffs. Solos
& Licks. Skills & Techniques. And Guitar Gizmos!
Tap Here For Editorial
For Editorial enquiries email:[email protected]
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For Advertising enquiries contact: [email protected]
With many thanks to:
Nils Lofgren, Steve Stine, The Songsterr team, and Robin Frederick
Articles written by
Bob Cianci, Steven Andrews, Graham Land, Ben Vine and Tom Rosier
Special thanks to;
Andy Partridge of BandJammer for video contributions
Look out for next month’s Issue. Coming Soon.