Playing-GuitarWhen it comes to playing guitar, the word, “mode” can become a four-letter-word. For those of us who have had musical training outside of the guitar, such as general music theory, learning how to apply modes isn’t so daunting. But for the guitarist where scales and key relationships are something of a foreign language, modes can seem like something from which to shy away.

Dave Eichenberger has posted a blog over at Seymour Duncan where he dives into just a little bit of theory, but for the novice, he’s posted SoundCloud files of seven different modes with backing tracks so that you can hear how these all interact with one another.

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A Gibson Les Paul is capable of creating a wide variety of tones just by dialing in the volume and tone knobs in conjuction with the toggle switch. To illustrate this, Guitarist Magazine got Joe Bonamassa on camera to run through several of these setups. Using a Gibson Collectors Choice #12 1957 Les Paul Goldtop and no pedals, Joe starts by demonstrating Eric Clapton’s woman tone. You can change the volume, pluck with your thumb, and create a Wes Montgomery feel. Make a slight adjustment and your on to a clean blues rhythm guitar sound. From there, you can disengage your front pickup and start soloing like Johnny Winter, Freddie King, or Larry Carlton. Then, Joe changes the pace and dials up some twangy chicken pickin’ lead country. Try leaving the pedals and amp alone for a practice session and see what you can create with just your guitar.

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MYGM-ibookOur new Beginning Guitar Method is now available in the iBookstore (for iPads & Macs). Using a combination of written instruction, video examples, and custom backing tracks, you can learn how to play the guitar. Matthias Young will start by covering the basics like parts of the guitar, proper hand position, and how to play single notes. From there you will move on to simple riffs, basic songs, and playing chords. The course also allows you to practice each example with a backing track of your choice. These jam tracks cover Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, Bluegrass, and Solo Acoustic vibes that make practicing much more enjoyable. You’ll feel like the leader of your own band! Check it out today.

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There are a variety of guitar chords that require your fingers to span frets and contort in ways that seem impossible. Your first attempt to play these chords around the first or second fret could prove futile. In Big Stretch Chords, Peter Vogl will show you how to use a capo to build up your stretching ability. By capoing up the neck, you can reduce the distance that your fingers have to stretch. As you get more comfortable playing the chord, move the capo down a fret to a harder position. Continue working and gradually moving the capo down until you can play the actual chord. We’ll use the Am9, Cmaj7, and Emaj9 chords as our example.

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If you already own some guitars and are looking for an excuse to buy more, why not use them as home decor. This expensive undertaking is exactly how one Chicago loft created it’s unique look. The owner has what appears to be over 20 feet of vertical space on the wall over his tv that needed to be filled. Hanging nine different guitars from the wall created a very chic and awe inducing sight. Judging from the rest of the pictures, he has more guitars around the apartment that are located in friendlier positioning for regular practice. Once you’ve gone this far, you may as well add a guitar shaped pool. See more photos of the loft at freshome.com.

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