EMP Blog

Here you can find individual lessons and tutorials.

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Pentatonics VS Blues Scales

In this lesson we discuss the concepts of scale toneschromatic approach notes, and how these relate to the practical use of pentatonic scales and blues scales.


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Minor VS Major Pentatonics

In this lesson we discuss the concepts of Harmonic ContextRelative ScalesParallel Scales, and how these relate to the practical use of Pentatonic scales, and Blues scales.


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Should I practice for speed?

To Shred, or not to shred? In this post we discuss some very common questions, and address a few misconceptions, concerning guitar speed and technique.


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Rhythmic Variation in Guitar Soloing

In this post we explore a practice strategy that enables you to develop a richer and more interesting rhythmic soloing vocabulary.


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Improvising with Melodic Patterns

In this post we explore a practice strategy that enables you to make patterns sound natural and flow into the rest of your soloing.


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2 Ways To Learn Effectively

In this post we discuss On-Line courses, learning from the internet, what learning strategies to use in order to reach our goals, and how to sort all the musical knowledge that is available to us today.


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3+2/2+3 Diagonal Pentatonics

In this post we explore a simple system that enables you to map diagonal pentatonic fingerings that run through the whole length of the fretboard.


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2NPS / 3NPS Pentatonics

In this tutorial we discuss 2-note and 3-note per string fingering systems for pentatonics and explore the characteristics and possible ideas for each system.


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Where to use Pentatonic Scales

In this lesson we investigate the concepts of "Harmonic Drilling" and "Harmonic Simplification", and how these affect our melodic choices when using Pentatonic Scales.


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Mixing Modes and Pentatonic Scales

This tutorial demonstrates the use of Pentatonic and Blues Scales over different modal harmonic contexts.


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Instant Whole Tone Scale

This is a tutorial on how to easily play the Whole Tone Scale everywhere on the fretboard, using an amazing fretboard organization system called SFS, or the String Fragment System.


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Make your solos more interesting

Learn how starting your phrases on different metric points can have a huge impact on the rhythmic variety and the quality of your solos.


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Mental Nutrition for Guitar Players

Is education just about knowledge? Join me as I share my thoughts on the deeper value of high quality educational material.


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What is Randomization?

Many improvisers have trouble transitioning from playing exercises to actually making music with the elements they are practicing. The Randomization process gives you the steps to do exactly that, smoothly and effectively.


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String Skipping and Angular Improvisation

Adding large intervals to your linear playing can spice up your solos. Try these simple practice concepts that can help you make this a natural part of your improvisation language. 


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Should I use a Metronome?

Some hate it, some swear by it. Join me as I share a few quick thoughts on the usefulness of one of the most ancient musical gadgets.


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Pedal Point and Tapping

An easy and fun lesson on 2 classic Rock Guitar techniques: Pedal Point and Tapping. 


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3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns - Lesson 1

Increase your speed and improve your accuracy with lesson 1 from the '3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns' technique crash course (use the link to get the complete crash course for free).


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3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns - Lesson 2

Increase your speed and improve your accuracy with lesson 2 from the '3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns' technique crash course (use the link to get the complete crash course for free).


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3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns - Lesson 3

Increase your speed and improve your accuracy with lesson 3 from the '3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns' technique crash course (use the link to get the complete crash course for free).


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How to apply Linear Freedom to 3NPS Pentatonics

Watch lesson 4 from "3NPS Pentatonic Speed Patterns" and learn how to apply "Linear Freedom" to 3NPS Pentatonics.


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Pentatonics Everywhere!

All Pentatonic Fingerings without Memorization

In this lesson we take a look at SFS, an amazing system for mastering all fingerings, all positions in all keys for any type of scale, WITHOUT BOX SHAPE MEMORIZATION. Learn how to freely navigate the fretboard in record time. 


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The Complexity and the Simplicity of the Fretboard

In this lesson we discuss the uniqueness of the fretboard and how it affects the study of improvisation on the guitar.


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The Mystery of the Two Blue Notes

Join me in investigating what seems like an "anomaly" in the soloing of many players, that appears when using the Blues Scale.


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Voice-Leading for Melodic Improvisation

In this excerpt from 'SFS Pentatonics 2 - Navigating Chord Changes', we talk about the concept of voice-leading, and how we can practice it to gain the freedom to improvise through key changes without interrupting our flow.


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How to roam the fretboard with 3-string Blues Scales

    In this clip from SFS Pentatonics - Pentatonics Everywhere!, we look at how we can use a seemingly limited system of just 3 string fragments, to move through every fretboard area, instead of being limited to a single box position.


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Instant Diminished Scale

In this lesson excerpt from SFS Pentatonics 2 - Navigating Chord Changes, we learn a very quick way to map the Symmetric Diminished Scale. With this system, you are not blocked into box shapes, but instead you can freely place what I will show you in any fretboard area and any string, taking advantage of SFS (String Fragment System).


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Where to use the H/W Diminished Scale

In this lesson excerpt from SFS Pentatonics 2 - Navigating Chord Changes, we learn about different harmonic contexts over which we can improvise using the Half / Whole Diminished Scale. We also look at a modified, "half diminished" version of the minor pentatonic scale that we can use over m7b5 chords.


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3 Step Process for Practicing over Key Changes

The process of learning to improvise over chord and key changes can be overwhelming for many players. In this post we take a look at a practice routine that can serve as a starting point for organizing your practice sessions when dealing with this challenge.


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Guitar Practice: No Pain No Gain?

In this excerpt from SFS Pentatonics 2 - Navigating Chord Changes we deal with a subject that troubles a number of players. I decided to post this on the EMP Blog, so that even if you are not into navigating chord changes right now, you can still share your thoughts on using the “No Pain No Gain” approach when practicing.


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Pentatonic Hacks For II-V Progressions

The II-V progression is one of the most popular chord sequences, especially in Jazz, and jazz-influenced styles. In this lesson, we look at some practical ways to improvise over II-V progressions, using Pentatonics and Blues Scales.


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Scale Choices for 12-bar blues

In this excerpt from SFS Pentatonics 2 - Navigating Chord Changes, we study a process of selecting and applying different scale choices, when improvising over 12-bar blues progressions.


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Learn the Fretboard in 7 Steps

Learn the Fretboard in 7 steps

In this post we take a look at a fun and effective system for learning the notes on the guitar fretboard. In this method, instead of dry memorization, we use game-type drills, and creative improvisation, to help implant the notes into our memory.


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3NPS vs HYBRID Fingerings for Modes

3NPS vs Hybrid Fingerings for Modes

In this lesson we are going to talk about the 2 most popular fingering systems for 7-note scales and modes, and look at the uses, and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.


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3-String Shortcut to Diagonal Aeolian Fingerings

3-String Shortcut to Diagonal Aeolian Fingerings

In this tutorial we look at a shortcut for quickly building diagonal fingerings for the Aeolian Mode, everywhere on the fretboard. This is an application of the String Fragment System, using 3 string fragments.


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Soloing with Parallel Octaves

In this quick video we look at an improvisation tip that can be used to spice up your solos, and that is easy enough to implement almost immediately.


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How to construct Modal Chord Progressions

How to Construct Modal Chord Progressions

In this first lesson from the Modal Harmony Workshop, we learn the relationship between diatonic chords, and how we can manipulate them to construct convincing modal chord progressions.


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Ionian and Dorian Chord Progressions

In lesson 2 of the Modal Harmony Workshop, we begin our exploration of Modal Chord progressions with two modes: Ionian and Dorian.

(Missed Lesson 1? Watch it HERE)


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Instant Penta-Mixo Scale

In this tutorial we look at a specific application of the String Fragment System (SFS). We use a system of just 2 string fragments to instantly construct a cool type of Mixolydian Pentatonic scale. This system is movable, giving us the ability to play this scale with freedom, in many fretboard areas.


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Tonal Persistence in Modal Chord Progressions

Tonal Persistence in Modal Chord Progressions

In this excerpt from the Modal Harmony Workshop, we discuss a concept called "Tonal Persistence". Understanding this can affect your choice of chords, and help you construct Modal Chord Progressions much more effectively.

(Missed Lesson 1? Watch it HERE)


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Chord Progressions for the Ionian, Dorian, and Phrygian Modes

Ionian, Dorian, and Phrygian Chord Progressions

In this clip from the Modal Harmony Workshop, we use three chords, to construct chord progressions that correspond to three modes: Ionian, Dorian, and Phrygian.

(Missed Lesson 1? Watch it HERE)


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Pentatonic Scale Compatibility List

Pentatonic Scale Compatibility List

In this quick tutorial we look at standard musical contexts, where the Minor and Major Pentatonic Scales can be used effectively.


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F Lydian Chord Progression & Improvisation

F Lydian Chord Progression and Improvisation

This is an example of the kinds of chord progressions we learn to construct in the Modal Modal Harmony Workshop. In the lesson from which this clip is taken, we Introduce the Lydian Mode, using 4 chords.

(Missed Lesson 1? Watch it HERE)


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Chord Substitutions

Chord Substitutions - Modal Harmony Workshop

This is a short clip from Modal Harmony Workshop, where we discuss how , in some cases, different chords can be used in place of the primary chord to produce fresh and interesting sounds.

(Missed Lesson 1? Watch it HERE)


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Intro to Linear Freedom

Intro to Linear Freedom Improvisation

Watch the Introduction from the Linear Freedom Improvisation Course, and start learning how to break out of the mold of typical licks and patterns. You can also download the free Linear Freedom Crash Course.


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Anatomy of a Linear Melody

Anatomy of a Linear Melody - Linear Freedom Improvisation

In Lesson 2 from the Linear Freedom Improvisation Course, we look at the core elements that make up scalar improvisation and linear melodies. [You can also download the free Linear Freedom Crash Course]


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Line Analysis

Line Analysis - Linear Freedom Improvisation

What are licks made out of? Inspiration is of course a main component, but what about the actual notes? In Lesson 3 from the Linear Freedom Improvisation Course, we break linear melodies down to their core components.

[You can also download the free Linear Freedom Crash Course]


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From Scales to Music

In this lesson we discuss how to transition from just playing scales up and down, to making actual music with them.


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Steve Vai Cover - The Crying Machine

Here is a cover performance of Steve Vai's 'The Crying Machine' based on the transcription from the Trinity College Grade 8 Exam Book.


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Classical Fingerstyle

A performance of "Fantasie" by S.L.Weiss, based on the transcription from the Trinity College Grade 8 Classical Exam Book.


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Which notes to Bend when playing Pentatonics

In this lesson we address something that many guitar players wonder about, and it has to do with bending. More specifically, bending when playing Pentatonic Scales. 


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