Uptown Funk & Classic R&B Guitar Lessons

During the early part of 2015, no song may have been bigger than Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. The song is a throwback to the early 80’s funk scene and features guitar riffs similar to Prince and other artists from the era. In the video below, Andy Crowley will walk you through the collection of small guitar parts that combine to create this dance classic. You can check out our funk lessons for more on playing rhythm. If you’re looking for an easier interpretation of Uptown Funk that you can sing along with, try out the Guitar Goddess’ lesson.

On a more chill note, Cornell Dupree was a R&B session guitarist who played with Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, and Joe Cocker among others. His Hot Licks Video has been lingering in VHS purgatory until recently appearing on Youtube. This 56 minute video features a casual seminar teaching style (especially since the printed tab is not available to you). However, watching through the whole video and carefully studying specific sections should unlock a ton of ideas for you to try. There are some great hybrid picking ideas, double stop licks, and general advice in this lesson.

Our own new free lesson features Jody Worrell teaching you a Robert Cray Style Lick. This is an upbeat and expressive lick that features some exact techniques to create it’s tone. Learn the lick using the on-screen tab and then trade it back and forth with Jody against the jam track. If you like it, learn an entire Cray style solo and more with our Master of Blues lesson package.

Two Chances to Win Taylor Guitars


Taylor Guitar Sweepstakes: Enter the gig ready sweepstakes for your chance to take home your choice model from the 300 series along with a Henriksen guitar amp, Sennheiser mics, and other goodies. Open to US and Canada residents who enter by July 6, 2015.

  • One (1) Taylor 300 Series guitar (MSRP $ $1658.00 – $2318.00)
  • One (1) Bud acoustic guitar amp from Henriksen (MSRP $899.00)**
  • One (1) Zoom H5 Recorder (MSRP $337.49)
  • One (1) Play Acoustic vocal pedal from TC Helicon (MSRP $419.99)
  • Two (2) Sennheiser microphones: MK4 ($399.00) and e935 ($169.00) (MSRP $139.99)

More Taylor Goodness: The Music Zoo and Backstage are offering you the chance to win a Taylor 312 Acoustic Guitar. Contest Ends April 26.

Martin Guitar Giveaway: To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Premier Guitar is offering you the chance to win a Martin D-35 Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar worth over $3,000! Enter the contest by May 25, 2015.

Epiphone Guitar Giveaway: Epiphone is offering you the chance to win a Masterbilt AJ-45ME Acoustic Guitar. Head over to their site and enter the giveaway by April 30, 2015

Great Acoustic Guitars for Under $500

Typically, the word “great” wouldn’t necessarily be associated with an acoustic guitar under $500. However, new techniques in manufacturing and wood aging are allowing some builders to offer quality guitars at a very reasonable price.

Guitar World’s Acoustic Nation has put together a list of the top affordable acoustic guitars. We’ve included the list below but you can find additional information like manufacturer links and prices for each guitar here.  Also be sure to check out our article What Everyone Should Know Before Buying Their Next Acoustic Guitar.

Martin LX1E

Breedlove Pursuit Concert Mahogany

The Taylor GS Mini Guitar

Cordoba C5-CEBK

Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat

Ibanez Artwood Series Tenor Guitar

The Loar Brownstone LH-204

Recording King Torrefied RP1-16C

Ovation Celebrity Standard Plus CS24P-NBM

Epiphone “Inspired by 1964” Texan

Washburn WG26SCE

Yamaha LL6M


25 Guitar Tips You Should Know

25_Things25 Things Every Guitarist Should Know: Askold Buk has come up with the 25 things every guitarist should know. We have a portion of the list below, but check out Guitar World  to see the expanded list.

  • Having a great feel is your most important musical asset
  • Play for the song, not for yourself
  • As soon as you learn something cool, apply it immediately to a real-life musical situation
  • Learn as many tunes as possible, from start to finish

Where Does Volume Come From? Peter Vogl has a quick tip that will help you create more volume with your strumming technique. This is a great way to add dynamics to your playing.

New Pickups vs. New Guitar: Are you struggling with the choice of upgrading  your pickups or getting a whole new guitar? Or did you even consider just changing your pickups? Seymour Duncan has a guide to making this decision based on what you’re hoping to achieve with the upgrade.

Optimize Your Guitar for Under $100! On a similar note, Tony Nagy over at Premier Guitar has written an article on 10 Ways to Optimize Your Guitar! Some may seem like common sense, but it never hurts to make sure your guitar is at its best.

Better Barre Chords for Classical Guitar: The size of the neck and strings can pose additional issues when trying to play barre chords on classical. Scott Morris has a lesson that will show you some different tips and ways to use partial and full barres.

Your Chance to Win Strat, Tele, and Les Paul Guitars


Fender Squire Telecaster Giveaway: Guitar World is offering you the chance to win a Fender Squire Telecaster guitar, autographed by Paul Rodgers of Bad Company. Contest Ends May 11, 2015. Enter now


Sweetwater Guitars & Gear Giveaway: Sweetwater and Premier Guitar are offering a massive gear giveaway in which you be one of fourteen winners of gear featured in Sweetwater’s Guitars and Gear Showcase 2015. The giveaway package includes a Fender American Standard Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker. Contest Ends June 8, 2015. Click here to enter


American Musical Supply Contest: April’s guitar giveaway features a Gibson Les Paul Less Plus with an Orange TH30 amp and other goodies. Total value over $5,000