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Alternate Picking – 20 Essential Picking Exercises For Guitarists

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith2 Comments

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 … Read More

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7 Essential Jazz Guitar Chords and Scale Study – The Girl From Ipanema

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

7 Essential Jazz Chords and Scale Study – The Girl From Ipanema An analysis, lesson and study of a really classic Jazz / Pop tune, The Girl From Ipanema. In this Guitar lesson: Girl From Ipanema Chord Chart Chord Analysis Section A Chord Analysis Section B Soloing and Improvisation Ideas – The Essential Scales Practice Backing Track Every once in a while I need to write a lesson for myself as well as for my … Read More

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Guitar Modes – A Practical Guide To Modal Shapes

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith10 Comments

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 … Read More

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Lagrima – Complete Score and Classical Guitar Lesson

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith4 Comments

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. … Read More

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Beginner Guitar Lesson – Strumming and Accompaniment

In Guitar Lessons, Music 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 … Read More

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Guitar Goals 2019!

In Guitar Lessons, Music 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? … Read More

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Guitar Practice – The Harmonic Minor Scale

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith4 Comments

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 … Read More

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Guitar Practice – How To Create Your Own Chords

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith2 Comments

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 … Read More

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Guitar Practice – Melodic Minor Scale

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig SmithLeave a Comment

Melodic Minor Scale & Harmony Oh scary isn’t it! The red-headed stepchild of minor scales.. unless you’re a Jazz or Classical player that is. If you’re a rock, metal, blues or country player you probably avoid this scale like the plague.. if you’ve ever even learned it at all. What is the big deal? Why is this scale so misunderstood (and avoided) outside of Jazz? I was warming up for my gig on a chilly … Read More

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Guitarist Bill Hall – Profile and Interview

In Guitar Lessons, Music by Craig Smith5 Comments

The internet is a funny thing… there are times when I absolutely despise what social media has become and other times where I’m genuinely moved by reconnecting with an old friend or family member I haven’t seen in years. The latter happened recently when I was promoting my new book (The 7 Day Guitar Practice Routine) in some random guitar related Facebook groups. I came across a video of a guitarist just destroying a nylon … Read More