PhatPhish

Guitar & Music Tutorials

These tutorials originally appeared on my personal website, where they proved quite popular, and I thought it would be worth providing them here alongside the PhatPhish material. Because of the way thay're arranged, you may find the same thing appearing in more than one section, but I think that should actually help you to find what you're looking for. Have a browse through the categories below.

General Music Useful reading for any musicians, not just guitarists
Guitar Basics Things that every guitar player ought to know
Guitar Technique Tips to help make you a better guitar player
Scale Theory Major, minors, modes and more
Intervals Because what's between the notes is just as important as the notes themselves
Chords Read this lot and you'll realise that chord construction isn't such a black art after all
Rhythm All about timings, note values, etc.
Reference Just the facts
Hardware Guitar hardware
Sounds/Effects Guitar Sounds and Effects

You might notice that there are a few gaps here - that's generally because some tutorials have been written in response to a specific request. If there is something that you'd like me to cover then please feel free to get in touch.

In the tutorials, wherever you see a little icon next to an example, you can click on that image to link to a .MID file with the music for the example. I hope you find this feature useful.

By the way, at the end of each tutorial is a rating form. Please spare a couple of seconds (that really is all it should take) to let me know if you found it helpful. Thanks.

General Music

  1. Are you listening carefully?
  2. The Circle of Fifths - a useful concept
  3. A table of enharmonic equivalents
  4. How to number scalar tones correctly
  5. A list of key signatures for all the major keys
  6. More key signatures, including natural minor keys
  7. Telling the difference between major and minor keys
  8. Transposing from one key to another

Guitar Basics

  1. The layout of the fingerboard
  2. Tuning a guitar using relative tuning
  3. How to read tablature
  4. Advice on holding the pick

Guitar Technique

  1. Some exercises for perfecting your picking technique
  2. A useful exercise for developing strength and reach in your left hand
  3. Playing natural and artificial harmonics on the guitar
  4. Some more picking exercises
  5. Yet more exercises - using some slightly different patterns to before
  6. Effects you can get using the tremolo/whammy bar
  7. Getting new scales and chords by modifying existing shapes
  8. Using your right hand for tapping
  9. Making the most of your practise time

Scale Theory

  1. Meet the major scale
  2. How to number scalar tones correctly
  3. A list of key signatures for all the major keys
  4. More key signatures, including natural minor keys
  5. A table of enharmonic equivalents
  6. An introduction to the natural minor scale
  7. An introduction to the major scale modes
  8. Introducing the major pentatonic scale...
  9. ...followed by the minor pentatonic scale
  10. Introducing the harmonic minor scale
  11. Another minor scale: the melodic minor
  12. How to find key centres of chord progressions
  13. Telling the difference between major and minor keys
  14. Transposing from one key to another

Intervals

  1. The intervals between notes
  2. Something for reference purposes the geometric layout of intervals on the guitar neck
  3. The theory behind inverting intervals

Chords

  1. The basics of chord construction explained
  2. All of the major scales, harmonised in triads
  3. Re-arranging chord tones to give different inversions
  4. Some open position chord shapes
  5. Some fingerings for basic moveable chord shapes
  6. For reference, all of the natural minor keys harmonised in triads
  7. Using voice leading for smooth-sounding chord progressions
  8. Adding some new sounds to chord progressions using suspended chords
  9. Building 7th chords in major keys
  10. Useful fingerings for 7th chords
  11. For reference, all of the major keys harmonised in 7th chords
  12. Introducing the idea of chord families
  13. Parent keys of major triads
  14. Parent keys of minor triads
  15. Parent keys of diminished triads
  16. Parent keys of major 7th chords
  17. Parent keys of minor 7th chords
  18. Parent keys of dominant 7th chords
  19. Parent keys of half diminished chords
  20. Telling the difference between major and minor keys
  21. The perfect cadence
  22. An introduction to extended chords
  23. The theory behind extended chords in a major key
  24. There are lots of chords in a key
  25. Transposing from one key to another
  26. A look at secondary dominants
  27. Tritone substitution of dominant 7th chords
  28. The 7th chords of the harmonic minor

Rhythm

  1. An introduction to the basics of rhythm (including time signatures)
  2. The basics about note values
  3. The values for rests
  4. Ways of altering basic note and rest lengths
  5. For reference, a chart of note and rest values
  6. The right way to count rhythm patterns
  7. An exercise in counting
  8. Building rhythm patterns 2/4 bar patterns
  9. Splitting a beat into triplets

Reference

  1. A table of enharmonic equivalents
  2. All of the major scales, harmonised in triads
  3. For reference, all of the natural minor keys harmonised in triads
  4. A list of key signatures for all the major keys
  5. More key signatures, including natural minor keys
  6. Useful fingerings for 7th chords
  7. For reference, all of the major keys harmonised in 7th chords
  8. Some fingerings for the major scale modes
  9. A reference chart of all major scale modes
  10. Something for reference purposes the geometric layout of intervals on the guitar neck
  11. Some open position chord shapes
  12. Parent keys of major triads
  13. Parent keys of minor triads
  14. Parent keys of diminished triads
  15. Parent keys of major 7th chords
  16. Parent keys of minor 7th chords
  17. Parent keys of dominant 7th chords
  18. Parent keys of half diminished chords
  19. Rhythm reference - a chart of note and rest values

Hardware

  1. The various types of guitar
  2. Looking at the anatomy of an electric guitar
  3. Types of pickups and how they work
  4. The neck and fingerboard
  5. Of strings and things

Sounds/Effects

  1. An introduction to guitar effects
  2. Getting dirty with overdrive and distortion
  3. Different types of modulation effects
  4. Delay effects
  5. Adding some depth using reverb effects
  6. A worked example of using effects to build a rock guitar sound
  7. An electric blues guitar sound

 


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