December 13, 2018
This week's tutorial is a sequel of my former video about Al Di Meola' strumming technique: #029 Al Di Meola strumming pattern
Al Di Meola is mostly known as a fast picking virtuoso, playing solo runs at light speed. Some 30 years ago I listened to the "Friday Night in San Francisco" album for the first time, the price winning live collaboration album of Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. Man I couldn't believe what I've heard! I became a fan of all three guitar players and tried to get more information and records. Somehow Al Di Meola's style attracted me the most and very soon I was also aware of his remarkable rhythm guitar playing and timing. Although playing with a plectrum, his grooves pretty much sounded like those of flamenco players. While having my problems trying to practise some of his grooves that I picked up by ear, and there was no Al Di Meola on Youtube these days, I noticed his different right-hand technique, different from what most other guitar players do when strumming - I could finally see him performing on regular tv. So I studied his right-hand and tried to copy it, also in front of a mirror 😄 Yes, and it really worked for me!
I've made a video about it and recommend you to watch it first: Al Di Meola strumming technique - Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery #020
In this video I show you a specific guitar strumming pattern, inspired by Al Di Meola and that can help you to get a feel for his rhythm playing style. I wish you as much fun as I always have with these kind of exercises!
December 06, 2018
Right on German Nikolaus day a new guitar tutorial: #028 Tapping Harmonics
Tapping octave harmonics - A very useful guitar trick! Tapping pinch harmonics or tapping artificial harmonics means, you get harmonics out by tapping an open or fretted string on specific points. I'm also calling this guitar technique Hot Plate Tapping, because the tap has to be pretty short, like you're tapping on a very hot plate. In this video I'm going to show you how you can play complete melodies and solo lines, just by tapping octave harmonics that are located 12 frets higher than those notes of the open or fretted strings. Means, you tap a copy of what your left hand is doing exactly 12 frets higher. It works everywhere on the guitar fretboard, but the higher you get, the more difficult it gets to get the octave harmonics out. One of the reasons is that the higher you get, the more precise you have to be, but it's also very supportive if your guitar is harmonic friendly. This does apply to both, acoustic and electric guitar. Using a guitar compressor or distortion (what is also a kind of compression) makes it also easier. On an overdriven electric guitar those tapped harmonics can sound as loud and last long as a played chord, what isn't the case on an acoustic guitar. This has to be taken into account when integrating octave harmonics into your playing and songs.
To get more insight about how guitar harmonics are covered on the fretboard, I recommend to watch also my Guitar-Nerdery video:
Phasing-hands Effect - Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery #009
November 29, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #027 Create Riffs with Major Scales
There's more than just major. Major can have many different colors and metal riffs in major, that's very possible!
All major scales of the ionian system - This time I'm talking about how to incorporate major scales Into riffs. In this video I show you how to transform an ionian major guitar riff into a lydian and mixolydian riff, only by making small, but important changes. For fully understanding it's important to watch my former episode "Create Riffs with Minor Scales - Guitar-Nerdery #026"! There I'm going very much into detail about the actual differences between scales and demonstrate how you can get the mode sound by using the exclusion principle.
Take this video and my former one as a companion, for understanding all modal scales and practically building marvelous riffs in various minor and major colors!
November 22, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #026 Create Riffs with Minor Scales
All minor scales of the ionian system - This video is about how to incorporate minor scales Into riffs. I'll show you how to transform an aeolian minor guitar riff into a dorian, phrygian and locrian riff, only by making small, but important changes. What is the difference between those scales? Which are the important notes you have to integrate in your riff to get the mode sound? Everything is gonna be covered! After analysing the scales I'm gonna demonstrate the different sounds of the minor modes, by using the same riff idea and the exclusion principle - how you can achieve to work out the beautiful different flavors of minor.
November 15, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #025 Create Riffs with the Blues Scale
Blues riffs anyway, but also rock riffs are very often built on the blues scale, the expansion of the minor pentatonic. Depending on the riff and because we have the same notes more than once on the guitar fretboard, we can use different shapes for the same thing. I'm gonna show you a shape of the E blues scale that works fantastic for riff building. In addition with one of the most important chords / voicings for the guitar player. The E7#9 or Jimi Hendrix chord! In my opinion there's no other instrument where that chord sounds that good. All examples with the guitar tuned to E standard.
November 08, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #024 Metal Riffing
Very often my students ask me how to play metal guitar. My first answer would be it's all about the sound and right playing attitude. There's also a great element of sports to it which needs a lot of training. This answer only wouldn't satisfied them. Yeah what's a typical metal riff? In this video I'm gonna show you a picking pattern / exercise and chord / voicing progression, that I would definitely put on the table. All examples in standard E tuning.
November 01, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #023 Inverted Power Chords, fat & dark
Most of the time the reason why drop-tunings are chosen is to want the guitar and riffs sound fatter. Inverted Power Chords with the perfect fifth on bottom in the standard e-tuning sound darker and fatter than regular power chords. They are a fantastic tool to fake a down-tuning, to let the guitar sound lower than it is tuned. In this video I'm gonna demonstrate how to play inverted power chords and how they sound.
October 25, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #022 Special Drop B Tuning
If you Google the term Drop B Tuning you'll find an equal to the Drop D Tuning. Tuning the whole guitar three half steps down to C# standard and then the low C# string further down a whole step to B. The instrument is then playable like in Drop D Tuning.
I'm gonna show you a different Drop B Tuning that goes along with the idea, just to tune down the lowest string and keeping all other five strings in Standard E. This way the string tension and harmonic character almost stays the same, which I like! The guitar overall doesn't need any further adjustments then and it's very easy to tune back to Standard E Tuning, if you need that low Drop B Tuning only for a few songs.
October 18, 2018
This weeks guitar tutorial: #021 Drop D Tuning
I like the drop D tuning, or dropped d tuning very much. You simply tune down the low E-string one whole tone down to D. By that simple step you tremendously expand the possibilities on the guitar. The first time I was aware of it was in the early ninties, when I tried to figure out the riffs of an Annihilator song. From then on I heard it more and more in Metal music. Nowadays Metal cannot be imagined without drop D tuning.
Besides explaining what it's good for I show you a good way how to tune your guitar to drop D with harmonics. Unfortunately that tuning method doesn't work on guitars with a floating tremolo system - every change of tuning gets them completely out of tune. ...one of the reasons why I play guitars with fixed bridge!
October 15, 2018
It's announced that Google is going to shut down Google+ sometime soon. Therefore I removed all Google+ links from my link list! ...don't wanna lead you to a dead end!
October 11, 2018
Al Di Meola is known for his incredible picking technique when playing solos, but he is an outstanding rhythm guitar player too. When he plays his unique strumming pattern he uses a different right-hand technique that enables him to reach a very controlled fast tempo without losing punch, sounding a bit like a flamenco player using a plectrum.
In this strumming guitar lesson I'll show you how to do that.
#020 Al Di Meola strumming technique
October 04, 2018
For a long time I kinda neglected the art of playing a decent strumming acoustic guitar, thought it was easy stuff and rather engaged myself in other things. Until I've heard Irish guitar player John Doyle who lives in Nashville. I was immediately impressed by his driving strumming grooves. And when I started to practise I completely got it - man was I wrong! There's a lotta work to do ☺
In this video I'm gonna show you a way how triplet notes grooves are played on the guitar in Irish music.
I also wanna recommend you to check out John Doyle and many other Irish guitar players like Sam Lakeman (Cara Dillon).
#019 Awesome groovin' Irish strumming pattern
September 27, 2018
New Guitar-Nerdery episode: The first thing that comes up to mind when talking about triplet notes is 8th note triplets. Quarter note triplets are not so much addressed, but they are pretty tough to play right. In the straight note world playing quarter notes is not a big deal, but quarter note triplets are actually 6 equally long notes over 4 straight quarter notes in a 4/4 time signature. That means you have 2 notes on count 1 and 3 or 2 and 4, but four of them quarter notes in the off-beat. I'm gonna show you how to play them right in time.
#018 Them damn Quarter Note Triplets
September 25, 2018
I just wanna share an experience I had. I have been to the X-Fi Audioshow in Veldhoven, a great exposition for audio nerds and all about HiFi. High Fidelity, the capability of reproducing acoustical reality, when you forget the speakers and the only thing there is is the music. There is this small Dutch company daudio who build speakers without cabinets (dipole design) and in my opinion they completely nailed it! ...and there has been a lot of awesome stuff from other companies to compare it with, but daudio was beyond reach. If you're interested in HiFi check them out when they expose again. Just to know what's possible.
September 20, 2018
New Guitar-Nerdery episode: A rhythm exercise you'll learn to hate! #017!
The Rhythm Pyramid, one of those exercises that's very effective and you can gain a lot from, but which can be pretty annoying. Don't get angry and do not bash your guitar ☺
#017 Odd time signatures? ...piece of cake!
September 13, 2018
New Guitar-Nerdery episode: Odd time signatures? ...piece of cake! #016!
Playing in odd time signatures, everybody can do that. No-one counts till 19, 17 or 13... It's all about subdivisions! Watch the whole video and get inspired by loads of demonstrations!
#016 Odd time signatures? ...piece of cake!
September 06, 2018
New Guitar-Nerdery episode: Cross-Rhythms, proggy tools for proggy songs #015!
Cross rhythms are fun to play and very suitable if you need that proggy touch in your prog rock or prog metal songs, jazz tunes etc. Progressive music is often associated with playing in odd time signatures, making the listener guessing where the '1' of the beat is, hahaha. With cross rhythms you can achive that even in 4/4!
Let's make the listeners wonder where the '1' is. But you, the player, should never lose it!!!
PS: In the video I'm talking about 'rest notes' but mostly playing 8th instead in my demonstrations. In theory I wanted to keep it easily countable while my demonstrations with guitar focus more on how cross rhythms can be approached.
#015 Cross-Rhythms, proggy tools for proggy songs
August 30, 2018
New Guitar-Nerdery episode: How to Groove Like Hell in Odd Time Signatures #014!
Hey hey, this is my first video ever lasting nearly 15 minutes! ...time for a toast ;-) In my last video I explained how important it is, to tap with your foot along with the metronome, to get the feel / groove right. All examples were in 4/4 time signature. But what if it's not 4/4, how can the same groove and feel be achieved? In this episode I show you how I deal with odd time signatures, how I manage to tap along. The video is packed with loads of demonstrations, beginning in 3/4 and ending pretty odd like 13/16!
When you like the video, please support me and leave a comment, like and subscribe. If you got questions, suggestions or ideas, please send me a message!
#014 How to Groove Like Hell in Odd Time Signatures
August 23, 2018
My new guitar-nerdery video is the first of a series of episodes, where I dive deep into guitar rhythm. Any kind of instrument player or singer, you need a few notes to make your statement or a lot - your message will only be delivered when you get your rhythm tight. The metronome is your friend to achieve that, but to tap along with your foot is essential for your success! And it can be fun! I'm gonna show you with the metronome set to 4/4 !
#013: The Metronome is your Friend -
the right and most avoided way of using it
August 17, 2018
Guitar-Nerdery update: Once more and this time a very weird and crazy way to make use and extend that simple tapping lick, I've explained in my former two videos.
Next time I'm gonna start a series of Nerdery videos about rhythm. For me a good timing and groove are the most important ingredients in music, the key to make sense of it all and get your whole body involved.
Sounds like a Pinball Machine - Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery
August 09, 2018
New Nerdery video! Another, even easier example what you can do with a simple idea, to let it shine. Make sure you've watched my former Guitar-Nerdery video "simple tapping idea".
Simple Tapping idea extended 2 - Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery
August 05, 2018
Two more nerdery videos are up since my last news post, phasing hands FX and a simple tapping idea. My guitar instructional videos will now be updated regularly on every Thursday at 9pm GMT +2! Don't miss it, leave a comment and please
like and subscribe my YouTube Channel!
Furthermore I'm also on Twitter now! Here you can find me:
July 17, 2018
In this week Guitar-Nerdery video I'm showing my 16th-fitness-training. A great exercise for hands and brains. I did and do this regularly.
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (16th fitness training)
July 10, 2018
I really like slide-guitar, but somehow always found an excuse not to work it out ;-) At least I found a way to integrate a little bit of that slide-flavor in my playing. By making this video I've learned that I use it a lot!
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (slide-guitar-like)
July 03, 2018
Some guitar fun at Guitar-Nerdery! The solution if a real bell is too heavy for you ;-)
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (bell-simulation)
June 30, 2018
Guitar-Nerdery tutorial nr. 5! If you can't afford a slapback echo, try this! ;-)
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (sounds like delays)
June 24, 2018
A 4th Guitar-Nerdery video is up, String-Skipping-Arpeggios! There are many ways to play arpeggios on a guitar. Besides that different playing techniques sound different, they all have their own possibilities of phrasing. These string skipping arpeggios fit perfectly with right hand hybrid picking.
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (string-skipping-arpeggios)
June 22, 2018
I'm on Instagram now with two different accounts! One for music stuff and because I very much like photography, I use the other one to show my favorite photos: Benjamin's music on Instagram
Benjamin's photographs on Instagram
June 17, 2018
A third Guitar-Nerdery video is up, triads with 6ths on top! I picked that idea up from Tommy Emmanuel. To move from one position to another he often uses 6ths underlayed by a root note or alternating bass. I used that idea at the end of my solo in my song Lost In Yesterdays:
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (triads with 6ths on top)
June 15, 2018
A new Guitar-Nerdery video is up. I'm explaining a nice little country-rock riff. This guitar riff was the main inspiration for the chorus of my song "Lost In Yesterdays", which I recorded with New String Theory.
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (Country-Rock-Riff) (Youtube)
June 12, 2018
After being asked frequently, I happily put my first guitar video tutorial online. It´s meant to be the start of a regular updated tutorial series, which I've named Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery. Here I'm explaining a favorite hybrid lick of mine, which I used a lot in my Song SMILE!
Benjamin's Guitar-Nerdery (SMILE! hybrid picking lick) (Youtube)
June 08, 2018
A brand-new NST video is up, a hard rocking tune with some country rock riffing.
Lost In Yesterdays - by New String Theory (Youtube)
May 13, 2018
A new NST song is up! Listen here to our 3rd tune on SoundCloud:
Lost In Yesterdays - by New String Theory
February 06, 2018
The official web address of New String Theory changed slightly. It's now without dashes:
official New String Theory website
January 23, 2018
Hello dear visitors and followers!
Currently I'm working on more songs for the New String Theory project. The recordings for our third tune are nearly done and then we're also going to produce a video. I really appreciate you liking my music and your kind comments, that what I'm doing means something to you! This it what keeps me going and I'd be much obliged, if you'd spread the word!
...furthermore there's something I'd like to mention here. Since quite some time I'm happily recording on Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, an awesome sounding and inspiring digital audio workstation. Cakewalk was taken over by Gibson in 2013 and there had been some rumors, that regarding Gibson's history in buying companys and dropping them very soon, that this would be no good. So, as a gift to Cakewalk's 30th anniversary and it's customers, Cakewalk got now the axe, flimsy excused! Very bad for Cakewalk's employees and customers. A kind of disaster for recording engineers, because it means changing to another DAW, get used to a hopefully not too different workflow, and mainly, what about all those projects recorded on Sonar? Without future updates, how long will the software be compatible and recording-projects be accessible? It means a load of work saving data and losing all mix settings anyway. Simply annoying Gibson, throws a great shadow over you!
Enough with complaining! I've already switched to another DAW, to Samplitude Pro X3 and really start to like it very much. So, everything will be fine in the end!
January 12, 2018
I wish you all a happy new year!
Bram and me started this year being busy and the outcome is this new video:
I´ve made up my mind - by New String Theory (Youtube)
November 19, 2017
I'm happy to be able to present the first output of New String Theory, a re-recording, new arrangement and videoclip of my song Smile! ...and there is more to come!
SMILE! - by New String Theory (Youtube)