All Posts by Charl Coetzee

About the Author

Hi, my name is Charl Coetzee and playing guitar was never second nature for me. I’ve had to work hard to get to where I’m at today and I’ve learned some incredible things along the way that I’d love to share with you. I’ve never had a proper job and I’ve been playing guitar for a living since I’ve left school. I have a Bmus Hons Degree in music, and I’ve interviewed and learned from the world’s greatest guitar players like Joe Satriani, Buddy Whittington, Joe Bonamassa and loads more.

How To Start a Texas Blues

So what I played in that video was a mix between Texas Blues vibe and a John Lee Hooker riff! If you’re wanting to start a blues this is the PERFECT thing to use! You can start off on your own and get the band to join in on the second chorus.

Would you like to learn a cool and sophisticated blues chord?

Of course you do!

Dominant 9th chord voicings are the bomb!

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry! By the time we’re finished with this lesson it will be as easy as pie!

So let’s check out the JLH riff in action with some dominant 9th chord voicings:

Okay, have you got that? If you haven’t, watch this video a couple more times and put some time in practicing the lick and 9th chords!

We’re going to go from the beginning:

So there are many different ways and approaches to this! Here is a recap on everything I showed you in the lesson:

There we go! You now have an awesome sounding way to break a Texas Blues!

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How To Play Like Hendrix

Today I am going to give you a basic lesson on how to play like Hendrix! This is for those of you who are new to his style. I’m going to show you how he mixed rhythm and lead together.

I’ve composed a very simple Riff in the key of G:

G A Bm

What I am going to do is show you 3 different approaches to adding embellishments to chords! What is an embellishment you ask? Well that’s simple:

So basically it is  adding something to the chord to make it sound better.

Thrills and fills if you will - have a look:

Those are embellishments! In essence its a D chord, but I am adding and taking away notes to embellish the chord.

Here is the first example:

Here is the progression with just the chords:

Now let me break that down for you:

Now here it is with the fills:

Let’s check out what I did there:

There we go! This is a basic introduction to what Hendrix does and keep in mind that this is a very simplified example of the technique! I’m going to play it through a couple more times for you and vary the rhythmic feel of what I was doing.

I want to show you how changing the rhythm can drastically change the sound of what you are playing, and I will also throw in a few extra licks and fills!

Did you enjoy this? Would you like to learn more? I would be more than happy to create a workshop on this!

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Doubling Guitar Parts

Today I’m going to show you the lick you just heard! You saw I did something cool there? 

It’s called doubling!

Where I play the lick low and then an octave up! It sounds nice and fat - its a technique a lot of classic rock bands use!

Its a pretty cool lick and a really cool use of the E minor pentatonic scale!

Now that you’ve mastered it you can come up with variations! No need to be boring and play the basic riff - do your own thinh! What’s the point of having rules if you can’t bend them?!

Here’s a recap of the scales:

How To Play A Slow Blues Intro

In today’s lesson we’re checking out a cool slow blues intro in the key of A.

Knowing how to launch into a blues jam will improve your level as a player and it just sounds better when you have a dedicated intro.

Believe it or not, but most guitar players don’t know how to properly start a blues jam.

Crazy right?

The good news is that once you’re done with this lesson, you won’t be one of “those” guys!

Here’s the intro you’ll be learning today.

And here’s the tab…

Let’s break that down real quick.

The cool thing is that this intro can also double as a turnaround.

Pretty nifty right?

Now you have a cool intro you can use whenever you’re launching into a slow blues in A.

If you’d like to learn the actual rhythm part, let us know in the comments below!

Mistakes You’re Making

“The guitar is the easiest instrument to learn but the hardest to master.”

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Well if learning to play guitar is supposed to be easy, why do so many people seem to struggle with it?

Before I give you some of the main reasons along with what you can do to fix it, let’s first address that opening statement.

Is it even true?

Yes indeed. Learning the basics on the guitar really is very simple, and I truly believe that anyone can get up and running relatively fast and play some easy songs.

The flip side of the coin relates to mastery and we all know that to really master something takes time. A lot of time. However, that’s not what we’re talking about here right?

Instead, this article is focused on the easy part of learning the guitar and what to do if you’re struggling.

The good news is that there’s really no reason you should be struggling at all with the basics. Sure it will take a bit of an effort, but if you do it right, then it won’t feel like work at all.

So what are the mistakes beginners make when learning guitar that leads to frustration and discouragement?

1. Too Much Too Soon

Learning to play guitar is fun.

Loads of fun and people are usually super excited when they first get going which can lead to wanting to do too much too soon.

“I wanna ​​​​​​​​learn blues and rock and rhythm guitar and lead guitar and the modes and this song and that song and…”

Well, you get the picture.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn all that, but you need to look at the time you have available during the week and make sure that you allocate enough time to what it is that you want to learn.

Remember that it’s better to focus on fewer things and get some results because focusing on too much will leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged which usually leads to giving up.

2. Not Practicing Consistently Enough

When you play guitar, you’re using your motor skills and muscle memory. The only way to properly program your hands and fingers is through repetition.

So make sure you’re putting in consistent practice time to take care of that.

It doesn’t have to be long, practice sessions. Instead, aim for short but consistent sessions. When you do that, you’ll start to notice considerable progress.

3. Not Practicing The Right Things

Most people only play what they know when they sit down to practice. Nothing wrong with that, but make sure it’s not the only thing you do.

Leave some time for learning and developing some new skills because if you don’t how do you expect to get better?

(NOTE: Want our 5 Step System to Learning Easy Strum Along Songs? Learn what to do with your hands for fast learning, how to choose the right song for your level and a few more cool tips & tricks! Get it here)

4. Going Too Fast

I already mentioned repetition, which is crucial to getting your hands and fingers trained up properly.

However, repetition can also work against you…

If you’re going too fast when learning new material, you end up making repeated mistakes which then becomes part of your muscle memory. Getting rid of those mistakes will take way more effort than it would have if you took the time to learn something the right way, the first time.

It’s a good idea to follow the “So slow it hurts” practice method.

All that means is you go really slow when learning new material, which will ensure those pesky mistakes don’t get programmed into your muscle memory…

It turns out that slow practicing leads to fast learning!

5. Never Learning To Play Complete Songs

This is a big one.

You’ve got to take the time to learn some complete songs because learning the guitar is all about making music right?

So be sure to learn some songs so you can go out and jam with other musos or perform for your friends and family.

That leads to accelerated learning because when you’re making music, it won’t feel like work at all.

Kinda like when I go surfing… All the paddling and pop-ups are harisork, but I don’t notice because I’m having such a great time catching super fun waves.

Hope you enjoyed this article and if you’d like to grab access to my 

“5 Step System For Learning Easy Guitar Tunes In A Flash”

then make sure you enter your name & email on this page then I can get that sent right over!

Articulation – Bend It!

​​​​String Bending

​Let’s bend steel with our bare hands!!

When it comes to emulating the human voice bending is probably the most effective technique. String bending can be very emotive and if you want to be a confident lead player you’ll need to spend a fair amount of time to develop this technique.

There are two things that are very important when it comes to string bending.

Make sure you use the fingers behind the bending finger to support the bend. This will make the bend easier as well as help you to avoid injury.

1. How to play a bend

​Pay close attention to the tuning of the bend. Since we’re moving out of the “fretted” territory we need to use our ears to make sure the bends are in tune. No-one likes to listen to an out of tune singer right? Well it’s no
different when it comes to playing guitar.

One way to practice this is to play the note you’re gonna bend into first so that you have a frame of reference of what the note sounds like. Then when you bend into the note try and make the bent note sound exactly the same as the fretted note you played before.

2. Bending In Tune:

​Keep in mind that the amount of force needed to play a whole step bend in tune will vary across the neck. The higher up you go the less resistance you’ll have from the strings and the lower you go the harder you’ll need to work.

If you’re new to this don’t practice string bending for extended periods of time. Your fingers need to develop some strength first and that might take a while. Start by practicing your bends between the 8th and 12 frets and gradually work your way down lower.

3. Vibrato

​Another great articulation technique of course is vibrato. Once again no surprise here where that comes from right? We’re emulating the human voice of course!

So what exactly is vibrato? Vibrato is the rapid altering between two different pitches that are very close together.

There are two different ways of playing vibrato on the guitar. One way is using a horizontal vibrato which comes from classical guitar and the second way is using a vertical approach which comes from rock and blues.

Check out the difference below.

​The trick is to start off slowly and then gradually increase the speed of the vibrato. That will help you with the mechanics of playing vibrato. Once you have that down listen to some iconic players and check out their vibrato and try and emulate that.

Vibrato is so powerful that I can recognize a famous guitarist just by hearing one note. That is the one area where your DNA really shines through as a player so it’s well worth taking the time to develop a decent vibrato. Just don’t overdo it! Beginners tend to use way too much vibrato which doesn’t sound good at all. Use it sparingly and make sure you’re in control when using vibrato.

Let’s look at a couple of licks that combine various forms of articulation.

Lick 1:

This is a typical Rock & Roll style lick in the style of Chuck Berry, it’s berry nice.

Lick 2:

This lick works on both the I and IV chord in the blues and it’s reminiscent of Paul Kossoff from Free’s playing.

Lick 3:

Here's a flashy lick making use of the blues 

So there you go! Now you know how to bend steel with your bare hands( and make it sound good as well)!

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