Many of my students are guitar players that have been playing for a fair while, perhaps in bands, recording and so on, but they know they have flaws and want to progress further with their music. I’ve been told by many of those students that it’s very hard to find guitar teachers in the Northamptonshire area that cater for this kind of musician, with most of them offering beginner to intermediate guitar lessons, but not many offer much in the way of pushing musicians to the highest levels. As a teacher I am extremely well versed in dealing with students of the highest levels, with many of my students wanting to play the hardest music by the best virtuosos from the rock, blues, jazz, fusion and metal genres. Some of the players that my top students study with me include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Frank Gambale, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, Brett Garsed and Guthrie Govan to name a few. Alongside the learning of the styles of these top players, I also am able to prepare my advanced students for all types of music exams, Including GCSE, A level, and instrument grades. As an advancing guitarist coming in for lessons, you're mostly likely going to need to go in depth in two key areas of guitar playing, namely fretboard knowledge, otherwise known as fretboard skills, and technical ability. im going to break down these two areas of study for you so you can see what you will learn with me as an advanced student.
To become an advanced guitarist, it's essential that you know the fretboard inside and out. Here's a list of some of the most vital things you will learn how to use with me:
- Scales - scales are the building blocks of harmony, so it's vital that you know the most important scales all over the fretboard in order to be able to improvise, compose and learn the most technical music by the best players. The main scales we will cover are the modes of the major scale, the modes of the melodic minor scale, modes of the harmonic minor scale, diminished scales and whole tone scales. There are way more scales out there than these, and we can cover them if you wish, but with a mastery of these fundamental scales, you can play over almost anything. In terms of format, I teach scales aligned to the CAGED system, the three notes per string system, I also use the four notes per string system, positional playing, and along the length of strings. With me you will learn the fretboard inside out.
- Pentatonics - most students know the minor pentatonic scale in position one, but as an advanced student you will need to know it all over the full fretboard, and how to use it in less conventional ways, by linking certain patterns together to get three notes per string versions of pentatonics which are more commonly played two notes per string. We will also study other pentatonic scales such as major pentatonic and exotic versions such as Hirajoshi (Japanese pentatonic) or Indian pentatonics (otherwise known as Dominant pentatonic). These are some of my favourites but again we can cover many more of these.
- Arpeggios - by arpeggios I mean four part chords (seventh chords) played in a single note fashion for use in melodic soloing and improvisation. With me an advanced student studies major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, minor 7 flat 5, minor/major7, altered major 7, altered dominant 7 and diminished 7th arpeggios. These arpeggios relate directly to the modes that you will study, and add some very interesting harmonic colours to your palette, as i will teach you how to super impose them to create extended tonalities, such as 9ths, 11ths and 13ths.
- Triads - triads are so important in western harmony, my advanced students learn voicings for maj, min, diminished and augmented triads in inversions, and aligned with the CAGED And three notes per string systems. Again i will show you creative ways to use the triads for extended soloing sounds.
- Intervals - learning intervallic patterns adds a touch of sophistication to your soloing. I teach intervallic patterns within all of the scales you learn.
- Chords - chords are essential to rhythm guitar, with me you learn all of your basic triad forms, seventh chords, and extended chord types including 9ths, 11ths and 13ths.
Once you've got your fretboard knowledge to a standard that allows you to play any scale, arpeggio or triad you might want to use, you then need the technical facility to be able to play any musical idea you can create. Here's the main techniques I cover for advanced students looking at lead guitar styles:
- Legato - legato is an ultra smooth sounding technique, consisting of hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides for lead soloing and melodic playing.
- Alternate Picking - getting your alternate picking technique down allows you to play fast scalar runs with aggressive biting tone, like Paul Gilbert or John Petrucci. Having a good facility for alternate picking also allows you to play lots of difficult parts from the pop, and funk rhythm styles too.
- Sweep Picking - a super efficient way to play difficult arpeggio passages or to blaze through scalar lines.
- Tapping - a super smooth sounding extension of the legato technique by using fingers from the picking hand to hammer-on and pull-off to the fretboard.
- String bending and vibrato - going in depth with these techniques is vital for your tone, bending and vibrato makes your playing sound professional.
Rhythm guitar encompasses strumming, finger style, slapping and more. Here's some of the rhythm guitar styles I cover with advanced students.
- Finger style.
Once you have this full fretboard knowledge under your belt, and a smooth and complete level of playing technique, then you will be able to play absolutely anything. Advancing students will either be teenagers or adults. If you want to find out more about what I can do for teenage students click here, or if you're an adult and want to know more about what I can do for you click here. If you've read this far and think advanced lessons are absolutely right for you, Let's talk.