Open Days at Samford and The Gap

Come along to my open days on Friday 28th January at Samford and Monday January 31st at The Gap. Book in for a trial lesson, free of charge. Say hello, and lets have a bit of a jam! All levels from beginner to veteran’s welcome! All ages welcome!

Teaching term will commence on Monday 31st January! I have openings in Samford and The Gap.

This is a piece with the help of my looper pedal. The first layer is a bass riff using the E minor pentatonic scale. Next comes some E9th chords. A third layer is 12th fre harmonics on the top three strings, which are an E minor chord. The total harmonic effect is of #9 and 9 juxtaposed – very bluesy. Then follows some soloing using the open position E minor pentatonic scale. A fourth layer is looped in with some funky Em7 chord, using a fifth fret shape. Then some more soloing up arround the 12th fret, still the E minor pentatonic scale!

G minor Practice Track

Here is a practice track for guitar players in the key of G minor. Its a G minor groove built around a Gm7 chord. Perfect for jamming away on a G minor pentatonic scale. For a different flavour, try a G dorian (Dorian mode of F major) or a G natural minor.


Here is the same track minus the bass line, and with a lead guitar part, especially for Bass players to jam away on. Try coming up with your own bass lines. Also see if you can hear my bass line from the track above, and reproduce it. The chromatically desending organ line that comes around periodically sounds extra good if you double that on the bass.

Practice Track A minor Funk

Use this practice track for polishing up your A minor chops. You can use A minor pentatonic, A natural minor, or A Dorian (Dorian mode of G major). There’s just one chord, Am7, with an occasional change up. See if you can figure out the chords in the change up. It shouldn’t affect your scale for soloing too much, although there is D chord which has a F sharp in it, so the A dorian would be better suited than the A natural minor over the change up. The A minor pentatonic has neither an F or F sharp, so isn’t affected.

Bass Practice track Am, Bm – slow funk

Hi Here is a practice track for Bass players. Building on our G major scale knowledge, this track uses an Am7 and a Bm7 chord, the II chord and the III chord of the G major scale. Start building a bass line with your root notes, and when you are comfortable with knowing where all your rote notes are in a position, add other chord tones.  To find the chord notes, first you need to know your G major scale. Then starting at the root note of the chord, take every second note up the scale for four notes. These are the chord notes!

The track follows this sequence, and the first chord you here is Bm7.

||:Am7           |                  |Bm7            |                 :||

Practice Track: E minor Pentatonic

One of the most important scales to learn for guitarists interested in rock and blues is the minor pentatonic scale. To help you polish up your licks using the E minor pentatonic scale, here is a practice track in a rock style to help you out. Here is the scale in first position: numbers indicate the fingers to use, and the squares show where the “E’s” are.

When you have memorised the scale, fire up the following practice track and see if you can play along!

Em pentatonic practice track

Practice Track: Am D9 Funk

Here is a practice track for those wanting to polish up their soloing over a funk style A minor groove. The place to start with soloing over this groove, which alternates between Am7 and D9 is the A minor pentatonic scale. There are six fingerings of the A minor pentatonic scale which cover the entire fretboard. Practice in each of the fingerings until you know them all well, then practice going between pairs of fingerings, until you can play anywhere on the neck of the guitar!

Here are the six fingering patterns – notice that the first is identical to the sixth after making adjustment for the open strings.

The minor pentatonic approach is however just the beginning of what you can do. You can also try A natural and Dorian minor scales. Since Am and D7 are the ii and V chords of the G major scale, you can also use the G major scale.  Try working off  the A minor seventh and D7 or D9 arpeggios. You might also like to experiment with the B minor pentatonic scale and the E minor pentatonic scale, as both of these scales contain only notes from the G major scale. As always, let your ear be the judge!

Here is the practice track:

Practice track Am7-D9 funk groove


Practice Track: G minor groove

This practice track is suitable for intermediate guitar players interested in rock, funk and blues grooves, and is especially good for practicing the G minor pentatonic scale. A distinctive feature of blues and blues derived styles is the use of the bend: try to get some bends happening on the b3rd (Bb), the 4th (C) and b7th (F). Use your ear and bend till it sounds good! There are just two chords, Gm7 and C9:Two Bars Gm7 and 2 bars C9Here is the practice track, with just drums and guitar. Use it for practicing lead guitar or bass.

Gm7-C9_groove_Rhythm Guitar_Drums

After playing with the above track, try the following track, which adds a bass line. How does this change what you play?

Gm7-C9_groove_Bass_Rhythm Guitar_Drums

Finally you may care to listen to the following version, which adds a lead guitar riff. Practice playing in the ‘gaps’ left by the riff, or try to play the riff or a harmony line. The riff drops away after 16 bars, leaving you 16 bars to play on your own, then comes back for16 bars. Once again, how does this change what you play?

Gm7-C9_groove_Riff_Bass_Rhythm Guitar_Drums

Have fun!