How to sing and strum two different rhythms

If you struggle with strumming and singing, you’ve probably noticed that the rhythm of your singing tends to lock into the rhythm of your strumming… and not in a good way. I’ve found a way to cure this problem by singing Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” It turns out this song is the perfect training exercise for learning one of …

How to hear chord changes when playing with others

Many guitarsts struggle with staying locked-in with fellow musicians or recordings. Do you ever find yourself Drifting off the beat? Losing track of where you are in a chord progression? Not hearing when you’re supposed to make a chord change? If so, don’t worry–you’re probably not as rhythmically hopeless as you feel. I’ve taught many, many adult beginners who didn’t …

How to use a capo

Here’s another lesson from my course Strum & Sing in 60 Days, teaching the basics of using the capo. My favorite chromatic tuning app (necessary for tuning a guitar with a capo on) is GuitarToolkit. Here are the notes you’ll tune your strings to for all capo positions. I’ve given all accidentals sharp names: Capo 0: 6E 5A 4D 3G …

Learn the names of the notes in this three-minute video

Do you ever knock your guitar way out of tune and, as you struggle to understand what your tuner is trying to tell you (what in the heck is a Bb or G#?), find yourself wishing you paid more attention in your childhood piano lessons? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! In this 3-minute excerpt from my fun, innovative course, …

The key to accurate picking

Picking the right string is the hardest thing about playing guitar. How do good guitarists pick accurately? They touch their guitar lightly with their picking hand as they play. I call it BRUSHING. This is a skill that all good guitarists use, but I’ve never seen it taught outside of my studio. Learn this skill and you’ll get rid of …

The Caterpillar: The One Finger Exercise All Guitarists Should Do

This classic finger exercise will boost your strength, coordination, and flexibility. Do this every time you pick up the guitar to practice and your guitar skills will skyrocket! Wondering what else you should do when you practice? A good practice routine looks like this: 1. Warm Up – Play an easy and fun song that you know well 2. Exercise …

Another song lesson video: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen / Jeff Buckley

Here's my latest free song lesson video: A beginner lesson on Leonard Cohen's amazing "Hallelujah." My arrangement is inspired by the gorgeous Jeff Buckley cover. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to my new YouTube channel. Here's the chord chart. It's been so fun releasing these free song lesson videos over the past couple weeks. I remember the excitement my ...

Song Lesson Video: “Let Her Go” by Passenger

Here's my first-ever free song lesson video: "Let Her Go" by Passenger, for beginning and intermediate guitarists who want to learn how to both sing and play the song. This gorgeous tune is already hugely popular, and now that it's the soundtrack to Budweiser's cute Super Bowl puppy-and-horse-are-buddies commercial, the hugeness will only expand. Here's the chord chart. Some background... ...

Easy Guitar Songs for Kids

I teach kids as young as three years old to play guitar. One of the keys to teaching really little kids, besides knowing how to spontaneously burp, wiggle your ears, and listen to that orange/banana knock-knock joke 3,000 times without going AWOL, is choosing the right material. Kids this young can barely pick their own nose, so there’s no way …

Improvising 201: Spinach for Dinner

Welcome to Chef Hampton’s All-You-Can-Stand Improvisational Guitar Buffet. Our first course is boiled spinich–a bland, soggy scale exercise that is nonetheless packed with vitamins and minerals. Fortified with clear diagrams and video clips, this meal is an important part of a beginning guitarist’s diet. Bon Appetit! In Improvising 101, the appetizer to today’s meal, I introduced the A minor pentatonic …