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Alternate Picking – 20 Essential Picking Exercises For Guitarists

In Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique, Scales by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Alternate picking for guitarists may seem like something we all take for granted. Most guitarists, even complete beginners alternate some down and up strokes whether they are consciously doing it or not. As we develop our picking hand, alternate picking can open a whole new world of techniques and music not obtainable otherwise. Even if you’re familiar with alternate picking, it can often be helpful to go back and work on the basics. Sometimes I …

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Flamenco Guitar Lesson and Interview – Berto Boyd

In Classical Guitar, Guitar Blog, Interviews and Insights, Music, Practice and Technique, Reviews by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

I came across Flamenco and Classical Guitarist, Berto Boyd, on Facebook a while back through our mutual friend and guitarist, Ben Woods. I admire anyone who (like me) is able to make a living playing guitar at any level. I’m also just a huge fan and admirer of Flamenco guitar in general and it’s not something I’ve covered yet here on Life In 12 Keys. Berto has a passion, depth and sophistication in his playing …

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Minor Pentatonic Shapes – Guitar Scale Overlapping

In Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique, Scales by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

This week I’m going to revisit the Pentatonic Scale. Particularly the minor pentatonic scale and how it overlaps notes in it’s parent Major Key. In case you missed it, last week I did a lesson on guitar modal scales and how they overlap. One of my readers, Tim, sent me an email right after that lesson went live and asked about the same concept using minor Pentatonic scales.. so like I always say… I get …

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Guitar Modes – A Practical Guide To Modal Shapes

In Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique, Scales by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Guitar Modes Whenever I see guitar modes explained in lessons and other guitar blogs, there always seems to be one key point missing. How they overlap each other. When discussing how to use guitar modes, it’s really important to understand how they fall across the fretboard in any given key. To further illustrate this point, I received an email from Randal, an email subscriber who had just purchased my book The 7 Day Practice Routine …

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Lagrima – Complete Score and Classical Guitar Lesson

In Classical Guitar, Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

My first (online) Classical Guitar Lesson! I gotta say, I’m kinda stoked about it too. If you’ve read my 2019 Guitar Goals article, you know that classical guitar is a beloved hobby of mine and something I always strive to improve. In this Lesson: Intro Francisco Tarrega Intro to Classical Guitar Score Analysis Tips For Practicing Video Performance January for us working musicians in Florida can be the slowest time of year for live gigs. …

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Beginner Guitar Lesson – Strumming and Accompaniment

In Chords, Guitar Blog, Interviews and Insights, Music, Practice and Technique by Jami TaylorLeave a Comment

Hey everyone! Today I’m doing a guest guitar lesson with Utah Guitarist, Jami Taylor.  I met Jami recently on Pinterest and we became fast email guitar buddies. Jami has a wonderful gift for beautifully designed, easy to follow, visually appealing guitar lessons. I just love her website and her beautifully styled lessons are so different than mine, I just had to have her do a guest post here at Lifein12Keys.com. Hopefully it won’t be her …

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Pentatonic Scale Shapes, History and Use

In Guitar Blog, Music, Practice and Technique, Scales by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Pentatonic Scales! These scales are simultaneously the most used and sometimes most purposely avoided of all scales on the guitar. In all of my years of teaching guitar lessons, I’ve found there are typically 2 kinds of guitarists: Those who avoid pentatonic scales because they believe they are overused or too simple. Those who use pentatonic scales because they are easy to get into and haven’t learned other scales yet. Many years ago at Lentines …

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Guitar Goals 2019!

In Guitar Blog, Interviews and Insights, Practice and Technique by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Happy New Year Guitarists! 🎸 Resolutions…. Yikes! I mean, I think the general population will roll their collective eyes .. I know I do. The fact remains, we make New Years Resolutions whether we admit it (publicly) or not right? Whether it’s a diet to take off some of that holiday weight or better Guitar Practice.. I mean myself personally.. I think I ate over 300 cookies bewteen Thanksgiving and Christmas! Who am I kidding? …

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Guitar Practice – The Harmonic Minor Scale

In Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique, Scales by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

I’ve been having a blast lately talking with so many guitarists about all of the things they practice and struggle with on a daily basis. When I built this website, I really wasn’t sure what it was I wanted to to do with it. I started with varying topics that inevitably would always come back around to guitar practice routines and practical, applicable music theory that seemed to be lacking in so many online lessons …

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Guitar Practice – How To Create Your Own Chords

In Chords, Guitar Blog, Practice and Technique by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Creating Guitar Chords A few years back I had an adult student, far from a beginner mind you, but he was struggling with chords and some basic chord theory. He had this book called “10,000 chord shapes” (I swear that’s a real book!) and he was convinced that he had to learn all of those shapes to become the guitarist he wanted to be. Not only was the concept of a book containing 10,000 chord …