Modes On The Guitar: Print a Free dorian mode sheet


two octave dorian mode of A

two octave dorian mode on guitar

The dorian mode on guitar (much loved of fusion players everywhere) is nothing more than a natural minor scale with a raised 6th or the notes of a major scale running from the second note to the 9th. If you would like to go to my guitar teacher’s website to print a free handout featuring a two octave fingering for the dorian mode on guitar then please go ahead?

Feel free to use it in your teaching (or learning)?

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Teaching Kids Guitar: Chord Shapes For Small Hands

A video that I put up on youtube. It explains chord shapes for children that will prevent them from having to stretch too far during the early stages of playing. Although there are lods of these three and four note shapes I have found that I only really feel comfortable teaching three of them (G Em and C). This is because that (hopefully) after a few weeks of study a teacher is obliged to teach the “full” shapes and students have to “unlearn” the “cheaters” versions? This can be confusing.
You can download some free stuff (chordsheets etc) from my site at

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20 seconds into this video they throw a cat at the guitar!

“Hey! lets make a video for our thingy that we make to hang guitars up with?

What could we do to demonstrate the effects of gravity on carelessly placed instruments?

Let’s share this funny cigarette and see what we can come up with………………….? Ah yes I know! What if we…………..

Actually it looks like quite a neat product if you don’t want your guitars to be visible  (personally I want the buggers where I can see them – they cost enough, but I’ve also lived in areas where people will steal the empty tins from your bin so I suppose I can appreciate why  you might not want them on display?).

Anyway back to the video  ………… at about twenty seconds into it  someone sucessfully knocks a guitar flying with a (what I will be the first to concede is a very accurately flung but nonetheless bemused looking) cat!  I suppose that in reality there are way worse things going on (probably within yards of where you live so lets not over-react here?) but the “strangeness” of it made me laugh (despite myself) .

No guitars were hurt during the making of this video.

I wonder if it was a trained professional stunt cat? The word on the industry grapevine is that in the “Directors Cut” of this advert they throw the little girl as well?

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My Guitar Teacher’s Website and Lady Gaga?

I bet it was a bit tricky trying to get a taxi driver to take her home?

We live in an age of relentless self promotion. there seems to be no limits to what people will do rather than get a proper job? Lady Gaga has just drawn attention to her latest pop warblings by being all over the telly in a frock made out of raw meat (bet you Ted Nugent is kicking himself?).  Set in this context sticking what I admit is little more than an advert for my  guitar teacher’s resources website on my own blog seems to be the very model of restraint?

The video looks at how teachers can use a single backing track right through the ability range from total novice to advanced “pickers” (I hate that word!)

If this does not get me enough attention I intend to re-make the video wearing a waistcoat  made from peeled (but not dead) mice.

I must go now as my medication is either kicking in or wearing off?

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Download Giant Chord Grids for Guitar Teachers (and students)

A bit stuck for time as if I don’t assemble the flatpack furniture that has begun to grow cobwebs I’ll be “severely dealt with”

Giant Guitar Chord Grids and a Normal Sized Guitar Neck (you get the idea?)

Giant Chord Grids. Guitar teacher’s can laminate them and use them in lessons. Guitar students can stick them on their bedroom walls and use them for practice without getting off the bed?

I’ll be adding more text to this post when I’ve made enough of an attempt at my chores to (hopefully) avoid discipline (it’s just not my thing!) but in the meantime if you’d like to mosey on over to my other site (the one that tries to flog you stuff but which has loads of freebies on it?) there are a whole heap of free ones to download and print now.

Posted in guitar, Guitar Teaching Tips and Tricks

I Don’t Have The Patience To Teach Guitar!


If I ate a biscuit every time a musician told me that they didn’t have the patience required to teach guitar my belly would have it’s own wheelbarrow and would get in the room ten minutes before my face!


Learning to play the guitar takes a little patience but teaching it requres only understanding. Understanding and patience are two completely different things.

I have (next to) no patience (ask my wife?). I won’t even queue for beer and I like beer (again ask my wife?). If we decide that we need a sofa I refuse to entertain the notion that the guy in the furniture shop has to drum up a special order from a factory on the other side of the world and that once nailed together my stuff must be thrown onto a ship and dragged halfway around the planet before I can sit and drink beer on it (did I mention that I like beer?). I want the one in the window and I want it delivered tomorrow and If I can’t have it I’ll go to the shop next door.

Patience in my book is not a virtue, it’s a way of justifying inactivity. So how come I make a living teaching people to play the guitar, an activity that most people think requires industrial quantities of patience?

It is understandable (and desirable) for a guitar player to be impatient to get better. It is a disaster if the teacher shares this impatience.

If you spend an entire lesson willing your student to be able to play the thing that you have just shown them then you (and they) will achieve nothing. Watching someone elses fingers while they try to play music that is (at the moment) beyond them and investing emotion into it will hurl you headlong into an early grave. Staring bug eyed at someone elses fingers trying to do things that they are not  capable of doing because they have not yet had the time to work on it will lead to you to a life of wearing odd socks, weeping uncontrollably and shouting at traffic! Okay maybe I’m laying it on with a trowel here but you get the picture?

The point of a guitar lesson is not that the student goes away from it able to play something that they could not when they walked into the room an hour earlier. The objective is that they go away with something to practice which will mean that they are better when they next walk into the room. Understand that and you will see that (for the teacher anyway) patience plays no part in the process.

If students find everything that you show them easy don’t kid youself that it’s because you are a fantastic guitar teacher. Your guitar teaching most probably (to use the modern vernacular) sucks? Why should somebody pay you to show them things that they can do already (they have all of the internet tab monkeys for that)?

If however, they go away with a few things to work on that they understand and can almost play then you are doing it right. If they then return able to play those things then they are doing it right (remember that teaching is about learning and that the most important role in the process is that of the learner and not that of the teacher).

The job of teaching guitar is largely about three things

  1. Developing Technical Ability
  2. Helping the student to develop a workable theoretical framework
  3. Developing Repertoire

If you spend an hour paying attention to those three areas you won’t need to watch them practice (I love teaching guitar but I refuse to waste my life and other peoples money watching someone practice it -once they understand what they need to practice by themselves it’s time to move on).

Guitar students do not pay us for our patience they pay us for a plan. I’m off to the sofa (possibly via the fridge?)

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Guitar Teachers Should Know How It FeelsTo Not Be Able To Play Guitar?

guitar flipped the "other way"

back to square one?

To ensure a sense of empathy with your pupils it is important for anyone who teaches to be able to see the situation from the point of view of the student and unless you’re some kind of ambidextrous circus freak this simple excercise will position you firmly back at square one?

In order to feel like a complete beginner again all you need to do is to flip the guitar over! If you normally strum with the right hand and fret with the left just spend a little time trying to form chords with the right hand while striking the strings with the plectrum in your left. Instant incompetence without the aid of alcohol!

It can also be an effective strategy during a lesson to help an intermediate player who may be a little frustrated with their progress to date realise how far they have travelled from the time that they first started to play by just turning the guitar over?

Not vey high tech I know but it works for me?

Posted in Guitar Teaching Tips and Tricks