Guitar Lesson Blog

Guitar Information, Lessons, Guitar Discussion and Blues Rock Guitar

Guitar Lesson Blog header image 1

Stairway to Heaven Tablature

August 21st, 2010 · 2 Comments

Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

Hello everyone. There is one guitar song that has made more people want to play guitar than any other and that Sairway to Heaven and more searches for Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

The initial riff from the “Stairway to Heaven” song by Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971 and since then having become one of those songs that every guitar player attempts to play at one time or another. The song, almost eight minutes long, is made up of several sections, which increase in speed and volume. I would want you to take a look at the intro riff, which resembles a lot a slow acoustic-based folk song.

The song is not only pleasing to the year, but also does teach use some theory behind it. It is written in the key of Am, and it starts with an arpeggiated chord progression played with fingers, accompanied by a chromatic descending bass line (A-G#-G-F#-F-E.). Let’s take a look at how it is constructed. The first bar opens up with an arpeggio, based on the A minor. As we already stated an arpeggio is nothing more than a consecutive play of the root, third, and tonic, so in Am you have – A, C, E and back to A an octave apart.

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


Take a look at the picture showing the A minor arpeggio fingering:

Followed by the 7th fret on the high E string played together with the 6th Fret on the D string.
This 6th fret on the D string or Ab is a passing tone.
The last 3 notes of the first bar create a C major 7.

Take a look at the proposed C Major 7 fingering:

This all leads intro riff to C major, which is the relative major to A minor.
(This is out of the G Form – See Ultimate Fretboard). In the 2nd bar the first 4 notes are a C major (G Form 2nd Octave)

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


This picture bellow shows the C Major fingering:

The following 4 notes in the 2nd bar create a D major Arpeggio, which is a C Form Inversion. Take a look at the D Major fingering:

The third Bar of the into riff is an Open F major7 Chord played as an arpeggio:

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


Look at the shown F Major 7 fingering:

Finally, the last bar of the riff rests on one beat of G major before going into A minor.


It is interesting to note, that the last two notes lead into the second set, and are virtually identical to the first 4 bars.

Here are the 8 Bars together:



The Second 4 bars follow the first 4 bars, except the very first note which is an extension of the previous bar.



Be sure to check the video, showing how the forms are used to create the “Stairway to Heaven” intro riff.

Admittedly this is not a perfect performance by any means. I suggest using the video and pictures to find the forms and then listening to the original to perfect your performance.

I hope you enjoyed the lesson with pictures and Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

→ 2 CommentsTags: guitar · Guitar Lessons · Riffs and Licks

C major chord played in 3 positions

July 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments

Hello everyone! This is sort of a continuation of the previous post dedicated to A chord played in 3 positions. Just as it was possible to finger A chord in 3 most used positions, so it is possible to do it with virtually any desired chord. Of course, knowledge of the notes that make up a particular chord is very useful, as it allows you to create convenient fingerings to place the chord wherever you want on the fretboard. But knowing each basic chord in three positions is already a good start, as it gives you the open chord, barred chord and another chord down the neck, all of which is useful in soloing in these positions.

So, just as in case with the example of A-chord, with which we had examined previously, it is built on the root (tonic), in our case C, the major third – E and a fifth – G. Very simply, these are the first, the third and the fifth notes of a major scale. So to get our first chord, which will be a C major chord utilizing open strings, I get the root note which is C on the 3rd fret of the 5th string, add the major third – E on the fourth string, and the fifth – G on the open string. You see that there are some doublings – C on the second string, which emphasizes the root, and 3rd on the 1st open string to support its major character. We leave the 6th string unused, as even though it is a chord note, and will not sound bad, still having en extra third deep down will be a little too much.

You can also play a variation, as shown bellow. The only difference is that you finger the 1st string on the third fret with your fourth finger to get a fifth on top of the chord. It definitely sounds sweeter than the basic voicing of the chord.

Let’s look at the second chord in the third position. This is one of the barré chords, where you use your first finger to bar the notes on the third fret, as if your finger served in place of capo. So you bar the third fret and putting your other fingers in the indicated positions you should have: fifth, root, fifth, root octave apart, major third and another fifth. There are two fingerings available; the first is more common, while the other uses a partial barré to leave your other fingers free to add additional notes.

And lastly, the standard barré chord on the eighth fret renders us the third chord shape. I call it an F-shape played on the 8th fret. It gives us root, fifth, root octave apart, a major third, another fifth and another root.  This chord has the root note both at the bottom and at the top, which makes it more prominent and may prove to be a better choice in some situation.

Practice these shapes and be sure to check the Guitar Secrets information by Andrew Koblick at

→ 2 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Guitar Song Writing Video

July 8th, 2010 · 6 Comments

Here is a Video on how guitar chords help the melody.

Chords used in Guitar Song Writing.

When picking chords for writing make sure you understand the principles of the Tonic, Sub-dominant and Dominant chords.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Uncategorized


July 5th, 2010 · 8 Comments

Hello everyone.

I wanted to share with you a simple, but yet very useful guitar exercise based on the use of a diminished triad scale. What makes this exercise so useful is that it accomplishes several things. Firstly, it helps you with the stretching of fingers. Secondly, it employs basic alternate picking (up – down), even though the real trick is to play it with apoyando (a method of plucking known in English as “rest stroke”, where after plucking the string, the pick rests on the adjacent string). Due to its rather specific construction this exercise will keep you concentrated the entire time.

I believe that all guitarists should spend a good portion on their practice time playing exercises. Yes, playing in a band is great, and following a creative impulse when writing a song is important, but the exercises are the instruments that help you progress reaching a new level of ability.  Also, don’t skip playing scales and arpeggios under any circumstances.  Scales and arpeggios based on them represent a consecutive play of notes, which make up the chord and are not just for beginners. They are known to be very rich in melodic expression, which makes them perfectly suitable for imaginative player wishing to create remarkable solos and riffs.

Well, speaking of the exercise – I do not know if there is a name to this exercise; it was shown to me by my guitar teacher and I benefited greatly from it. It is based on the diminished third scale.

Plat it against metronome, starting out slowly and making sure that each note sounds out clearly without unwanted sounds from other strings. Listen to the midi file, to make sure you are on the right track. Enjoy!

dim triad

E                             E  E  E  E  E  E  E







E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E







E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E   E    E  E   E  E







E   E  E  E   E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E







E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E        E








E – 8th

S – shift slide

→ 8 CommentsTags: Electric guitar · Guitar Lessons · Riffs and Licks

Guitar Lessons Chords Monkey and the Engineer

June 27th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Here is the Monkey and Engineer. First the Video and then below the Chords, Words and Tablature of the Riff.

Upgrade your Flash Player to version 8 to view this video! (Click here for the download) Put streaming video on a website

Words and Chords
IntroG Thing A7 D7 G

(G) Once upon a time there was an (C) engi (G) neer


Drove a locomotive both (A) far and (D) near

(G) Accompanied by a monkey who would (C) sit on his stool

(G)Watching every (A) thing the engi (D) neer would (G) move

One day the engineer wanted a bite to eat

He left the monkey sittin’ on the driver’s seat

The monkey pulled the throttle, locomotive jumped the gun

And did ninety miles an hour down the main line run

Big locomotive right on time

Big locomotive comin’ down the line

Big locomotive number ninety-nine

Left the engineer with a worried mind

G Thing A7 D7 G (See Tab below)

The Engineer called up the dispatcher on the phone

Tell him all about his locomotive was gone

Get on the wire, switch operator to write

Cause the monkey’s got the main line sewed up tight

Switch operator got the message on time
Said, there’s a northbound livin’ on the same main line
Open up the switch, I’m gonna let her through the hole
Cause the monkey’s got the locomotive under control

Big locomotive right on time
Big locomotive comin’ down the line
Big locomotive number ninety-nine
Left the engineer with a worried mind
*Solo* (verse (x2))

Big locomotive right on time
Big locomotive comin’ down the line
Big locomotive number ninety-nine
Left the engineer with a worried mind

G A7 D7 G
Left the engineer with a worried mind
Left the engineer with a worried mind…
G Thing A7 D7 G


Tablature of Riff







Please Leave a comment Or Post on Facebook or Twitter

Thank you!

Learn How to Save 25% on Guitar Lesson DVDS – Click Here

→ 1 CommentTags: Uncategorized

Chris Standring #1 on Billboard

June 23rd, 2010 · 1 Comment

My Friend Chris Standring just emailed me that his new CD and specifically the title single is Numero Uno on Billboard.

Chris is a great jazz guitarist and a great guitar teacher. This is his 6th CD and now he is publishing through his own record company Ultimate Vibe Recordings.

Chris states “I wanted to take a major left turn musically on this album and as soon as I started messing around with orchestral samples, the drive to realize this project became much bigger than me.”

You can hear parts of each track on his Blue Bolero website. Click Here

Chris has also done something quite different. He has also included a guitar course around the tracks on Blue Bolero. As I stated Chris is an excellent guitar teacher so if you want to improve your guitar playing you might want to check it out – GO HERE NOW.

→ 1 CommentTags: Uncategorized

Opening Chords to Smoke on the Water

June 21st, 2010 · 4 Comments

Hey there!

In this lesson we will look at the opening chords for the “Smoke on the Water” song by the British rock band Deep Purple. Everyone who plays electric or even acoustic guitar had played it at some point in life, testifying to the incredible popularity of the song.  First released on the album Machine Head in 1972, the song ranked number 426 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. What made it so famous are its simplicity and its central theme. The song starts out with the actual riff played by Ritchie Blackmore, later to be joined by hi-hat and distorted organ, drums, and eventually bass guitar and vocals.

Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple

Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple

The song has a story behind it, well reflected in the name of the song. On the 4th of December 1971 Deep Purple had decided to record in Montreux, Switzerland using a mobile studio at the entertainment complex of the Montreux Casino.  The night before the recording session, the infamous Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention had a concert in the theater of the casino.  In the middle of performance, someone fired a flare gun and the place quickly caught fire. The fire had a devastating effect, destroying the entire complex. The title of the song came from the members of the band; watching smoke rising over the water of Lake Geneva which came from the burning of casino complex.

This song is so popular among beginner guitarists, but as Blackmore himself demonstrated it is now over two generations of guitarists that do so improperly. It is not played in fifths as most guitarists do, but in all fourths. A special charm adds playing it through an overdriven amp using your fingers. Note, that you don’t have to play rock only using pick. Richie Blackmore or Jeff Back for that matter who were able to get very hard rock sounds using only their fingers.

So here you have the riff. Please note the ghost notes (dead notes, which still have to be struck but muted to such a degree that they would only produce a percussive sound).

Here’s the actual riff:

And finally, listen to the playback of this riff and watch Deep Purple perform live to get the right rhythm and feel. Good luck!


→ 4 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

B.B. King Biography

June 2nd, 2010 · 3 Comments

B.B. King Biography

Is there anyone who wouldn’t know the one and only king of the blues, B.B. King?

His visual image and his guitar Lucille has become iconic, while his powerful singing and unparalleled in emotion vibrato has changed the would of guitar playing. I wanted to share in this post some of the interesting facts of B.B.’s biography that may inspire you pick up your axe more often.

Born September 16, 1925 on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, Riley B. King is without any doubt one of the most influential guitarists of all time,  ranked by the Rolling Stone magazine #3 on its list of the “100 greatest guitarists of all time.  It was him who joined the raw blues licks with a cleaner and more concise approach of the jazz players, such as Charlie christian and Django Reinhardt, whom B.B King greatly admired. It was him who introduced fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato, the path which virtually every electric blues guitarist has since followed.

Since the age of eight he worked on plantation  where he was paid 35 cents for each hundred pounds of cotton he picked. At age 14 he bought his first guitar – three-quarter-sized Stella for $15.00. As that was his monthly salary he paid a deposit of seven dollars and fifty cents the first month and the balance the following month. His next guitar was bought with a help of his cousin, and it was an acoustic Gibson to which he later fitted a DeArmond pick-up. At some point he also had an early Fender Telecaster, but opted for Gibson ES-335. Ever since King played a custom-built Gibson based on ES-335 design but with a closed body to reduce the amount of feedback. Prior to that B.B. had stuffed the insides of his 335s with towels to overcome this problem. And his first choice for strings and amplification also turns out to be Gibson.

Moving from being a tractor driver to being a disk jokey at the local radio station WDIA, where he gained his nickname “Beale Street Blues Boy”, later transformed to “B.B.” There he played guitar between the shows with visiting jazz and blues musicians and it was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. As King states,”From the moment I had heard him for the first time, I knew I would have to have an electric guitar myself!”.

So many of King’s tunes entered the Hall of Fame. His first successful hits were “Woke Up This Morning”, “Three O’Clock Blues” and “Sweet Little Angel”. King won a Grammy for a tune called “The Thrill Is Gone” and was shortly inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. From the 1980s and onward King breaks the record appearing on numerous television shows and performing well over 300 nights a year. In 1988, King reaches a new generation of fans with his single “When Love Comes to Town”, co-working with the Irish band U2. In 2000, King teams up with another guitar legend Eric Clapton to record album called Riding With the King.

B.B. King is also proficient in a number of other instruments  and is also described as a “musicologist” owning over 30,000 records. He has had Type II diabetes for over twenty years and is an FAA licensed Private Pilot who frequently flew to gigs.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Uncategorized


May 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments


Hello! Wanted to share with you a little bit of theory and to explain how it is possible to have different fingerings for the same chord. Guitar is a unique instrument, in line with some other stringed instruments in that that it allows to have the same notes in different positions. Consider the E on the 6th string for example. An open E on the 6th string is the same note as E on the 5th string on the 7th fret and E on the 4th string on the 2nd fret. This is something that would be virtually impossible to do on the piano for instance, where each note has its own peach and can not be doubled. This creates the possibility for having multiple fingers for individual notes, intervals, chords and scales.

There are two reasons why this specific of guitar is so useful. First of all, having the ability to, let’s say, have the same chord in different positions proves to be very useful when switching from single note playing to chord strumming, or combining single notes with chords (listen to Jimi Hendrix’s masterpieces to get a feel for it.) The other reason is that the notes making a chord though being often times the same in pitch would be doubled differently in various positions of a chord on the neck.

Let’s consider a simple A-chord for example. It is built on the root (tonic), in our case A, the major third – C# and a fifth – E. And how do I know all this? I simply take the first, the third and the fifth notes of a major scale on which the chord is built.

So, the first chord, using an open A string is the well known A major chord in the second position:

As you may see, it starts from the root, which is an A, than it adds a fifth, followed by another A an octave apart, and finally we have a major third followed by yet another fifth an octave apart from the first.  You may wonder why the notes are not in order, but that is perfectly acceptable on the guitar. Let’s look at the second chord in the fifth position. Your first finger should bar the fifth fret, and putting your other fingers in the indicated positions you should have: root, fifth, root octave apart, major third, fifth an octave apart and another root note two octaves apart.

The following chord is a little tricky to finger, but all is possible with some practice. Here you have root on the 5th string 12th fret, followed by a major third, a fifth, once again the root octave apart and a major third octave apart.

Now here is the explanation to all of this – just as the scale is not played in one position, but can be played all over the fretboard, so the chords build on the notes of the scale can be placed in a number of places on the fretboard – thus giving you the ultimate freedom of expression.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Les Paul Riff Lesson

April 3rd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Did you see the Grammys
Sunday night?

Did you catch the
Les Paul tribute?

Before there were
fast shredding guitar
players Les Paul
was playing with blinding speed.

And he did it
with a sense of humor.

Alot of what Les Paul did
was repetition.

The same riff but
slid down the neck.

Here is a riff you can work on:

p=pull off



It looks like a lot of notes
but it is just a simple
hammer and pull off twice
then drop down two frets.

Try it slow at first before moving frets.
get the basic hammer pull off hammer
before moving.

After a while you will get it and
see how simple it is.

You can go to the 3rd fret even.

Now try it by changing just one note.

Play the last note on the B string:


When you get it going fast it
sounds kind of cartoonish.

Have fun with that and make
up a few riffs on your
own by just changing
one note.

This weeks special:

Amazing Guitar 2.0 DVD
Shipping Included plus extra bonuses

Free Shipping Amazing Guitar 2.0 DVD – Click Here

→ 3 CommentsTags: Riffs and Licks · Uncategorized