Category: Lessons

Todd Bishop on Playing Well

You can’t be a writer if you haven’t read a lot of books, and you can’t/won’t be a musician if you haven’t put a lot of other people’s music in your head. When drummers who otherwise have some stuff together, but don’t know what to actually play— or sound disconnected from the music, or feel “uninspired”— this is usually the… Read more →


The 8 Laws of Guitar Etiquette

If someone is checking out a guitar, don’t sit next to them and play louder and faster. Find your own space and let them have theirs. If you must go nuts, wait until they’re gone. Take a deep breath. Feel that nagging sense of entitlement and one-upmanship slip away. Good. There you go.

If people would just observe this one rule my days at Guitars, Etc. would be a whole lot quieter….


Legato (Italian for “tied together”)

Bound together. Performance of music so that there is no perceptible pause between notes, i.e. in a smooth manner, the opposite of staccato.

The Oxford Dictionary of Music

Ligado (Spanish for “connected”)

A guitar technique in which a note is sounded either by pulling sideways or by hammering down on a string on the fingerboard using a finger of the fretting hand.

The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition

So, guitarists often use ligado technique as part of legato phrasing. We can also pick legato phrases and use ligado to play staccato.

Songwriting Class in Louisville, Colorado

Want to write better songs? If you’re in the Louisville area be sure to check out the songwriter’s classes from Bob Story and Joan Langford. I’ve known Bob for a while (he used to teach in the studio next to mine at Guitars, Etc.) and he’s a killer player and an excellent teacher. With his musical insight and Joan’s awesome… Read more →

Times Call Article: Guitars Are Them

Taylor Guitars recently gave Guitars, Etc. 42 new instruments to use in the lessons program. Every room is now equipped with 2 high-end electrics. Student no longer need to bring their guitars from home, and they have a chance to play a wide variety of quality guitars. Here’s a Times Call article with more information. Read more →

Pick and Fingerstyle Technique by Tuck Andress

Pick and Fingerstyle Technique by Tuck Andress is a very thorough article on the deceptively complex art of hitting strings with fingers or a piece of plastic. Read more →

Steve Vai’s Tempo Mental

Steve Vai’s Tempo Mental (written in 1983) is one of the best explanations of polyrhythms and metric modulations on the web. Read more →

Tim Fullerton’s “Technique from Hell”

It’s been on the net since 1993, but there is still no better alternate picking drill than the dreaded Technique from Hell by Tim Fullerton. Read more →