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The Trooper Guitar Tutorial

The Trooper Guitar Tutorial

The Trooper Guitar Tabs

Nate Richards here – let’s jump in to this The Trooper guitar tutorial with tabs linked below, as well as tabs on screen.

Music Theory Lesson – What Makes a Song in a Mode

New YouTube Music Theory Lesson – What Makes a Song in a Mode

Nate Richards talks about what makes a song in a mode in this music theory lesson. 

So, what exactly is a mode? Let’s start with the Major Scale – which is the overarching parent scale in all Western music. To be brief, the Major scale has 7 notes that climb up the alphabet one letter at a time (a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-etc), and we number them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. The G Major scale is the key I used in the video, and the notes are G-A-B-C-D-E-F#, numbered G-1, A-2, B-3, etc.

A mode is a variation of the scale note order, and each variation comes with really fancy Greek name (these scales are very old, dating back well over 1000 years used in Gregorian Chant sung by monks – they thought the Greeks invented music so they gave all of the notes and scales Greek names). Take a look at the scale variations below and see that the idea is simply a circling around the same notes – the only difference is the starting note.

(BTW – modal theory goes way, way beyond this initial stage. But, this is a start at the general concept. Each mode eventually will become it’s own little world within the solar system of the Major Scale, with each mode having it’s own idiosyncrasies, chord progressions, emotions, colors, and applications).

I – G Ionian: G-A-B-C-D-E-F# (a.k.a. G Major. “Ionian” is just the Greek term referring to the Major Scale)

ii – A Dorian: A-B-C-D-E-F#-G

iii – B Phrygian: B-C-D-E-F#-G-A

IV – C Lydian: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B

V – D Mixolydian: D-E-F#-G-A-B-C

vi – E Aeolian: E-F#-G-A-B-C-D (a.k.a. E Natural Minor, or the “Relative” minor)

viio – F# Locrian: F#-G-A-B-C-D-E

This is just a start, and you are not expected to be an expert on modes at this point – that takes a long time of lessons, study, practice, and experience.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be confused and wondering what this all means. Here is a good follow-up video to this one to try applying the modes, and hopefully you will start to see how they work. Below that is yet another video from another angle:


How to Play Since U Been Gone on Guitar


In this lesson, I show you how to play Since U Been Gone on guitar, a pop-rock hit by Kelly Clarkson. This is a classic pop-rock song, with a surprisingly heavy guitar riff. Some of the chords in the riff are reminiscent of the legendary intro in the Master of Puppets opening track, “Battery.” Yes, that’s right. I just compared a Kelly Clarkson song to an old-school Metallica song.

Here are a few tips to help you learn this song:

  1. Practice counting eighth notes – “One and Two and Three and Four and” – in the verse riff (section B of the tabs). When there are a lot of repeated notes, it is even more important that you count, as you’re going to want to know when the chords change. For example, the verse riff in Since U Been Gone has 12 G chords, then 3 Am, then 12 E5 etc. Rather than counting these high numbers, it is best to know on which count does the chord change. So, the first chord changes on beat 3, then the next on “4 and.” So, all you need to do is count eighth notes and change chords on the correct count. This is a much easier and effective approach than a kind of random counting of sheer number of chords.
  2. Use rest strokes with the pick to avoid hitting too many strings. A rest stroke is when the pick cuts and lands into an adjacent string. For example, pick the low E string and land the pick on the A string, and it “rests” on the A string, which stops the pick in place. Your articulation and tone will be much better this way, and the overall sound will be cleaner.
  3. Try the stretched fingerings, and only do the optional ones if you become too sore.  Go for the challenge – the advanced version with the stretched-out chords in the chorus. You got this! Lower that thumb on the neck, reach back with that index finger and open up the hand. Go for it!

Richards Guitar Studio offers guitar lessons in Aston, PA.

John Lennon – How to Play Happy Xmas on Guitar


The Holidays are approaching! Here’s how to play Happy Xmas on guitar by John Lennon! Easy guitar chords!

I really like this song because it hits a few great guitar topics, while at the same is a holiday song that is relevant to the season. John Lennon makes great use of suspensions (sus2 and sus4 chords), which gets more mileage out of a chord progression with minimal chords. For example, he can make an A chord interesting for a long period of time by not just strumming the A chord over and over – he varies the sound by using suspensions in an interesting way.

What is a suspension? All chords are make up of 3 notes – 1-3-5 (Root-3rd-5th). A suspension is when the 3rd of the chord is replaced by the 2nd (sus2) or the 4th (sus4), so the chord tones would be 1-2-5 or 1-4-5 respectively. So, a suspended chord is neither Major nor minor, since it doesn’t have a 3rd to qualify it as Major or minor.

In contrast, an add2 or add4 chord is when all 3 notes are represented in the chord (1-3-5) and a 2nd or 4th is added within or on top of the chord. So, an add2 chord would be 1-2-3-5, and an add4 chord would be 1-3-4-5. Each of those offer some colorful dissonance to the sound to spice things up a bit.

Here are some tips:

  1. Count out the rhythm to learn the strumming pattern.Use rhythm counting to help you internalize the strumming pattern. Once you have the groove down, you won’t need to count it out anymore – just think of it like a learning device.
  2. Try the additional, stretched-out chords in the extra staffs provided on the tabs. It’s good to challenge yourself – take the extra time to learn the chords that stretch. You’ll add a few new ones to your chord library!
  3. Have fun. Use your guitar skills to entertain your family and friends at parties this year. Who knows, maybe everyone will start singing along with you!

Richards Guitar Studio – professional guitar lessons and rock band rock school in Aston, PA.

How to Play Hello by Adele on Guitar for Real


Nate from Richards Guitar Studio shows you how to play Hello by Adele on guitar for real. These are the actual piano voicings arranged for guitar. Yes, a bit more advanced than the easy version – but totally worth it because the chords sound so cool! Instead of the standard guitar chord voicings we are all accustomed to, these have a very rich, resonant sound, utilizing think harmonies in the lower register of the guitar. Get ready to stretch!

  1. You will use fingerpicking for this version. Using the thumb and 3 fingers (no pinkie for plucking), you will grab and pluck 4-note chords. Practice setting your fingers onto the strings, and try to balance the weight evenly onto the strings. So, don’t put lots of pressure on the thumb and leave the fingers hanging, or vice versa. When you pluck, you’ll get a nice, even chord balance. DON’T pluck too hard! Don’t grab at the strings from underneath and get a “popping” sound. Pluck gently and evenly, and you’ll get a nice resonant chord. Take it easy.
  2. When barring, use the side of the finger, pressing on the bone. Open up the first finger away from the second finger so there is a big gap. This will create lots of leverage so you can get the finger in the sweet spot of the fret (the nook between the wood of the fretboard and just behind the fret wire).
  3. When stretching, use the side of the index finger tip rather than trying to  get directly on the tip. You’ll be able to stretch farther and still get a good tone out of the chord.

Overall, the goal is to stay totally relaxed so that you can express the quiet, calm, contemplative, nostalgic mood of the song.

Richards Guitar Studio offers profession guitar lessons in Aston, PA. Serving Delaware County, PA.

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