27 Chord Progressions for Guitar Players and Reference for Rhythm Technique

The vast majority of currently used chord progressions rarely, if ever, undergo significant transformations. And despite the fact that we are exposed to the same small collection of them over and over again, they always seem to sound different to us, or at the very least, they have a different feel. Chord progressions have the potential to be reused quite frequently, provided that they are rearranged with a variety of different rhythms, harmonies, and melody lines.

This is a collection of chords and progressions from popular music of our day (and of days gone by) that you can repurpose for your own songwriting, riff developing, and day-to-day guitar playing. These chords and progressions come from popular music of the past as well as the present. The plan is rather straight and provides a little bit of background information and context for each chord progression that was listed; we also included an example song that corresponded to it. You will find at least one tabbed example of the progression after a list of “PROPERTIES” in the following section. According to the table of contents, I have included a significant amount of additional content that discusses chord progression theory, application, and a number of specific contexts that serve to further explain the concept. This content is intended to help readers better understand the concept.

Bear in mind that the example songs that are provided for each progression are not intended to provide you with instructions on how to play the progression in a particular way. In point of fact, each chord progression is presented here in large part due to the ease with which it can be repurposed and applied in various other settings. You can think of this as a reference for rhythm guitar players as well as a library of chord progressions. Forward: First, we are going to learn as much as we possibly can about chord progressions, and then we are going to use those chord progressions for something else.

1. The notes F, B flat, and C are used in the song “All I Wanted Was a Car” by Brad Paisley, which is in the key of F.

This irresistible riff is played on one of Brad Paisley’s Telecasters in the form of an arpeggiated pattern, which creates an incredible sound. However, the actual chord progression is easy to play and could be used in a wide variety of other country songs. It’s ready for the picking’.

The Remaining Properties

  • F was used to play the key.
  • Power and barre chords are the form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • The most common genres that appear in our country are rock, pop, and metal.

2. Cm, E, B, and A Example: Hillsong’s “Lord of Lords,” which is in the key of E

In the realm of modern worship music, it is not uncommon to hear a Cm played in the key of E. If you remove the Cm from the progression, you’ll find that it’s one that all of the great blues guitar players have used. The Cm chord, on the other hand, lends it a sound that is noticeably more adaptable to a variety of contexts and more emotionally appealing.

Different Real Estate Properties

  • The key was played in the following: E
  • Power and openness are the forms of the chord.
  • None of the critical chord extensions were able to be found.
  • Contemporary worship, blues, pop, and rock music are the genres that use this instrument the most.

3. “Fm,” “B,” and “C”

To illustrate, Joe Satriani’s “House Full of Bullets” is in the key of F.

If you listen to “House Full of Bullets,” one of my favorite songs by Joe Satriani, you can hear that he uses a repetitive pattern that is made up of single notes played on the sixth and fifth strings. This pattern isn’t so much a chord progression as it is a 12-bar blues-style riff that follows the three chords listed. You can hear this pattern if you listen to “House Full of Bullets.” Because it enables you to chunk up the rhythm with the low E and A, this blues progression is one of the best there is.

chord progression based on the notes Fm, B, and C

Different Real Estate Properties

  • The important role that F played in it
  • The chord structure is characterized by a single note and power
  • None of the critical chord extensions were able to be found.
  • The most common application can be found in blues, rock, pop, and jazz.

4. The notes E, A, and B Example: Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” which is in the key of E

When we talk about the 12-bar blues, “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash is one of the more memorable uses of the E, A, and B chord progression. However, the likes of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters would probably take precedence. It is one of the most common chord progressions for guitar players across the entirety of western music, making its rounds in all of the major genres as well as the subgenres. To put it another way, gaining knowledge of this one will definitely pay off in the long run.

The Remaining Properties

  • E played a key role in:
  • Power and openness make up the chord form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Blues, pop, rock, and jazz are the genres that use it the most.

5. The letters D, A, B, and G

“My Sacrifice” by Creed, played in the key of D is a good example.

During the latter half of the 1990s and the early 2000s, musicians in the rock scene in the United States and Canada utilized this progression an incredible amount of the time. One of the things that contribute to its ease of access is the way that it.

Features a drop D tuning and provides a chorus that is both heavy and emotional in its swells.

The Remaining Properties

  • E played a key role in:
  • Power and openness make up the chord form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Blues, pop, rock, and jazz are the genres that use them the most.

6. G, D, A, and B come in order

“My Sacrifice” by Creed, played in the key of D, is a good example.

During the latter half of the 1990s and the early 2000s, musicians in the rock scene in the United States and Canada utilized this progression an incredible amount of the time. The fact that it is played in drop D tuning, which offers a variety of heavy and emotional chorus swells, is one of the factors that contribute to the song’s approachability.

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Power chord, open chord, and drop D chord form
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Hard rock, pop, metal, and post-grunge are the genres that use this instrumentation the most.

7. E, B, and G Example: “I Alone” by Live; this song is in the key of E (E).

Nothing quite captures the spirit of the ’90s like a band that was so obscure that it was impossible to look them up on Google once the internet became the primary resource for music discovery. Nevertheless, this chord progression was played perfectly on “I Alone,” resulting in a potent chorus; it is easily transferable to other grooves and can be used in a variety of ways.

The Remaining Properties

  • E or B was the key that was played.
  • Power and openness make up the chord form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Rock, post-grunge, pop, and blues are the genres that use it the most.

8. D, Am7, and G For example, Hank Williams Jr.’s “Country Boy Can Survive” is in the key of D.

Despite the fact that the Am7 is a little lost in the mix and could be mistaken for a raw sound, This progression, which features a major chord, has an appeal that is reminiscent of a folksy, down-on-the-bayou atmosphere, and it can be repurposed to fit a variety of musical styles and genres.

Different Real Estate Properties

  • D was the key that allowed access to:
  • Form of the chord: open position.
  • Extensions crucial to the chord: the minor seventh
  • Folk, country, blues, and rock music make up the majority of its applications.

9. C, G, F, and Am For example, “Innocent” by Our Lady of Peace is in the key of C. (capo 1)

The emotional impact of the song’s chorus is significantly boosted when the final note of this progression is changed to an Am. Additionally, guitarist Steve Mazur arpeggiates the chord and slows things down to give the song a more driving and reflective feel to it. [citation needed] Even though this chord progression is extremely common, it has a special and comfortable place to call its own in the post-grunge era and in the majority of the subgenres that emerged from it.

The Remaining Properties

  • C was the key player in:
  • The chord shape is open and powerful.
  • Extensions crucial to the chords: The “Am” chord
  • Post-grunge, rock, country, folk, alternative, and pop music are the genres that use it the most.

10. G, C, D, and Em Example: “Gonna Be Some Changes Made” by Bruce Hornsby is in the key of G.

Bruce Hornsby is a master at taking simple chord progressions and layering them with expansive vocal melodies. This is something that is possibly a little bit easier to do on the piano than it is on the guitar. The progression that he uses here is one of the most common ones that can be found, and it offers a wide variety of options for both the melody and the rhythm. Remembering this one early on in your playing career will serve you well.

The Remaining Properties

  • G was the key player in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Bluegrass, rock, pop, and jazz are the genres that use it the most.

11. B, A G F♯

“Warning” by Incubus, in the key of B, for example

With the addition of the minor 15th interval, this chromatic walk-down sounds fantastic (minor second one octave higher). It may be difficult to make it work in other contexts, so kudos go to Mike Einziger for achieving a great rock sound while using a progression that is typically associated with jazz.

The Remaining Properties

  • Played a key role in B
  • Power and triadic are the forms of the chord.
  • Extensions crucial to the chords: The 15th minor (minor second)
  • The most common settings include jazz, blues, and rock.

12. The letters D, A, C, and G

The song “Cherub Rock” by Smashing Pumpkins is in the key of G as an example (chorus)

There was no need for Billy Corgan to reinvent the wheel in this instance; however, he did put the “Cherub Rock” track into a kind of power mode that made it seem as though you were being swept into each chord and lyric line. The progression that he implemented is highly reusable, especially in a power form, especially in a power form.


The Remaining Properties

  • G was the key player in:
  • Form of the chord: Power
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Rock, blues, country, post-grunge, and pop music are the genres that use it the most.

13. Examples in Dm, F, and C Example: Everlast’s “What It’s Like,” which is in the key of F

The bluesy arpeggio that serves as the centerpiece of Erik Francis Shrody’s most famous composition is highlighted by a prominent Dm chord at the beginning of the progression. It is important to take note that the progression on the track concludes with a second Dm chord as the resolution.

The Remaining Properties

  • F was used to play the key.
  • Form of the chord: open
  • Extensions crucial to the chord: the d minor interval
  • Folk, blues, country, rock, alternative, and pop music are the genres that use it the most.

14. The letters D, C, B, and F

The song “Hater” by Korn is in the key of D as an example.

Despite the fact that James Shaffer and Brian Welch manage to pull off this song with aplomb, The power and open variation are easily reproduced in standard tuning, as is the tuning’s ability to accommodate variation.


The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Power and openness make up the chord form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • The most common genres they appear in are metal, rock, folk, and pop.


15. Letters D, A, and G (drop D version)

“Higher” by Creed, in the key of D (as an example)

Creed’s radio hit and Human Clay spearhead “Higher” epitomizes the rock sound of the late 1990s like nothing else. The song is tuned to drop D and uses a chord progression that is, to my knowledge, the most typical chord progression for that tuning. Because the open D and the other two root notes are located on the seventh and fifth frets, respectively, playing it in drop D is incredibly straightforward.

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • The chord shape is open and powerful.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • The genres of folk, country, pop, rock, and metal make the most use of it.

16. Letters A, D, and E

The song “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley is in the key of A as an example.

This progression is used effectively in Elvis’ hit song, despite the fact that it is common in virtually all types of music and is comfortable for the hand of a guitarist when played in standard tuning. This section provides a large number of open notes to work with.

chord progression using the notes A, D, and E

  • The Remaining Properties
  • The role played by the key in A
  • Form of the chord: Open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Blues, rock, pop, jazz, and metal are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

The chord progression based on A, D, and E in an open form

The chord progression based on A, D, and E in an open form

17.G, D, and the letter C

The song “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd is played in the key of D.

It would be an understatement to say that this song has been “overplayed.”

However, given its widespread use, it would be irresponsible of us not to mention it when discussing the chord progression consisting of D, C, and G.

Many people believe that this particular grouping of chords is the most dynamic and useful that has ever existed, which is why many people insist that you can learn a significant amount of music on the guitar using only the chords D, C, and G by themselves.

the chord progression in the keys of D, C, and G

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Country music, blues, contemporary Christian music, rock, and pop music are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

The chord progression in open form using the D, C, and G scales

The chord progression in open form using the D, C, and G scales

18. Examples in the keys of D, G, Bm, and A The song “Where the Streets Have no Name” by U2 is in the key of D.

A chord progression that is brilliantly constructed is obscured by one of the most well-known riffs in the history of music. The Joshua Tree track features a soulful pattern that can be easily restructured or reapplied to other melodies and rhythms. The pattern was played by a synthesizer on the track.

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • Extensions crucial to the minor chord: the third (in the III chord)
  • Rock, folk, country, and pop are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

The chord progression in open form using the D, G, Bm, and A notes.

19. The letters E, B, Cm, and Gm

“Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is in the key of E, for example. I’ve always believed that John Frusciante was one of the most overrated guitar players to emerge from the post-grunge era; however, the progression that he uses in “Under the Bridge” (I’m not sure whether he actually wrote it or not) is nothing short of brilliant. I’ve always thought that John Frusciante was one of the more overrated guitar players to emerge from the post-grunge era. Even when played slowly, it has a pleasing sound.

chord progression using the notes E, B, Cm, Gm, and A

The Remaining Properties

  • E played a key role in:
  • Forms of the chords: open or power
  • Extensions of critical chords include two minor thirds.
  • Most used in: Rock, jazz, blues

Example Tabs

The E, B, Cm, Gm, and A chord progression is shown here in an open form on the tab.

Tablature representation in power form of the E, B, Cm, Gm, and A chord progression

20. D, F, G, and C, followed by G

“Gasoline” by Audioslave, in the key of B, for example.

Tom Morello utilizes a drop B tuning when playing this progression, which results in the chords sounding slightly different. We have, however, changed the key to drop D in order to make it simpler to read and to make the chords more applicable to a wider variety of contexts. Both the single-note and power versions, which are tabbed out below, will be played in the drop D tuning.

chord progression using the notes D, F, G, C, and G

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Form of the chord: Power
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Rock, metal, post-grunge, alternative, and pop music are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

The power chord progression in D, F, G, C, and G, shown as a tablature.

21. the letters D, A, G, and Em

Example: “Somewhere Out There” by Our Lady Peace in the Key of D. This song was Our Lady Peace’s first single to be released from their album Gravity, and it is still their most well-known song. This chord progression, which varies between the verse and the chorus, provides support for the forceful lyrical performance that is being delivered. The progression that we have listed here is the one used in the chorus.

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Pop, blues, rock, country, folk, and post-grunge are the genres that use it the most.

Tabs examples for the chord progression in open form using the notes D, A, G, and Em

the chord progression in open form using the notes D, A, G, and Em

Em, G, D, C, and A are the notes that make up the key of Em. For example, Limp Bizkit’s “Behind Blue Eyes” is in the key of Em.

This progression, which works well with acoustic instruments, is at home in a variety of musical styles and can be utilized with relative ease in an almost uncountable number of different musical contexts.

The chord progression is Em, G, D, C, and A.

The Remaining Properties

  • The role that: Em played it in
  • Form of the chord: open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Folk, pop, country, rock, and blues music are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

The chord progression consists of Em, G, D, C, and A in an open form.

22. Letters D, E, and F (drop D)

“The Grudge” by Tool is in the key of D, as an example.

This progression only makes sense when played in drop D, which makes it a fairly common grouping in metal, particularly due to the fact that it has a dark and minor tonal quality. This is emphasized in a frenetic rhythmic pattern throughout Adam Jones’ work on the guitar for “The Grudge.”

Chord progression using D, E, and F with a drop D

The Remaining Properties

  • D was the key involved in:
  • Power and a single note constitute the chord form.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Metal, rock, and alternative music are the genres that use it the most.

Example Tabs

Tablature for the chord progression in drop D using the notes D, E, and F

The D, E minor, and F chord progression tabbed out in drop D and power form

23. Asus2, E, B, and G Example: “Three Libras” by A Perfect Circle – Key of G A

The aforementioned chord progression serves as the inspiration for the arpeggiated pattern played by Billy Howerdel at the beginning of “Three Libras.” You have the option of substituting a straightforward major chord in the key of A for the Asus2 at any time.

chord progression diagrams for the Asus2, E, B, and G chords

The Remaining Properties

  • G was the key player in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Rock, metal, pop, and alternative music are the genres that use it the most.

Example tab Asus2, with chord progressions in E, B, and G on the guitar tab

Guitar tablature for the Asus2, E, B, and G chord progression

24.Am7, Dm7, G7, and Cm7 are examples of diminished seventh chords. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra is in the key of C.

Frank Sinatra’s band utilized a number of jazz and blues-heavy chord progressions that served as the basis for his vocal melodies. Despite the fact that Sinatra’s voice was the primary draw of his music, the band still used these progressions. Due to the fact that it is solely made up of seventh chords, this one has a significant amount of blues influence.

The Remaining Properties

  • C was the key played in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • Extensions crucial to the chord: the major and minor sevenths
  • The most common usages include jazz and blues.

Example Tab

Tablature for the chord progression in open form using Am7, Dm7, G7, and Cm7 on the guitar

25.”Castles in the Air” by Don McLean, in the key of E

This progression is dissected by Don McLean into an arpeggio that is catchy and melodic, and it is definitely something that you should learn on its own. Having said that, the raw progression is a pattern that can be helpfully utilized in a variety of musical styles and subgenres.

The Remaining Properties

  • E played a key role in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • Extensions crucial to chords: the major and minor sevenths
  • Primarily heard in jazz, blues, and pop music.

26.G7, C, C9, Dm7, and C.

Take, for instance, the song “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra, which is in the key of C.

It is difficult to discern the actual track, primarily due to the emphasis on horns and vocals, which is typical of jazz compositions. This makes it difficult to hear the actual instrumentation being played. If, however, the raw chords were removed, this progression would have a wonderful feel to it and would be an excellent foundation for blues or jazz improvisation.

chord progression using G7, C, C9, Dm7, and C chords

The Remaining Properties

  • C was the key player in:
  • Form of the chord: open
  • Extensions of crucial chords: the ninth and seventh intervals
  • The most common usages include jazz and blues.

27. F, Em, Am, G, and Am are numbered

The song “Losing my Religion” by R.E.M. is in the key of Am, for example.

This song features a significant number of different chord progressions, giving the listener a wide variety of options to choose from. But the progression that is played during the last two lines is the one that I want to draw attention to because it has a full sound, and it resolves on an A minor chord, which is the actual key that the song is in.

The Remaining Properties

  • The role of the key in:
  • The chord shape is open and powerful.
  • None of the critical chord extensions occur here.
  • Rock metal, alternative music, and pop music are where it is used the most.

Example Tab

Open form guitar tab for the chord progression consisting of F, Em, Am, G, and Am.

The guitar tab in power form shows the chord progression in F, Em, Am, G, and Am.

It’s All About That Chord Progression Formula

What would you do if you wanted to think of additional chord progressions? There is a formula that can be used in theory to accomplish this, and you can make use of it in the event that you require some structure in order to get started. First, select a key, and then locate the major scale that corresponds to that key. Take, for instance, the key of C as an example.

Here’s your scale:

C – D – E – F – G – A – B

Because each note in a scale corresponds to a degree of the scale, chord progressions can be constructed from scales. Therefore, the major scale could also be written out like this:

I – ii – iii – IV – V – vi – vii

After that, the following titles are respectively awarded to each degree:

Tonic I Supertonic (ii) Mediant (iii) Subdominant (IV) Dominant (V) Submediant (vi) Leading tone (vii)


Developing your own chord progressions by building them up step by step

The chord progression diagram can be followed in the following manner:

To begin, locate your root note, which in this case is C, which serves as the tonic and is denoted by me.

You are free to choose any scale degree after that, so let’s start with IV.

We have the option of continuing on to V or vii° from there. Let’s follow V’s lead here.

It is important to take note that the tonic can go to any chord, which indicates that you could have followed it with a note other than the IV. If we had selected iii instead, it would have proceeded to vi, at which point we would have been given the option of either ii or IV.

You would proceed by carefully following the diagram until it brought you back to the tonic chord. As a result of the previous three steps, the progression that we arrive at is as follows:

I, IV, and V, are also known as Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant.

Putting all of this information back into the context of the C major scale yields the following chord progression: C – F – G

And this can be transposed to any scale with relative ease. Consider, for instance, the major scale of E: E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯

E, A, and B are the results you get when you apply the progression I, IV, and V in that order.

In this way, you can begin to understand how we get some of these chord progressions that are more typical and frequently used.

Chord progressions and descending triads

Dyads are a type of two-note chord that can be strung together in a progression in a way that is both speedy and simple. Using dyads is an additional simple method for building chord progressions. We are going to focus on two distinct varieties of dyads, both of which are differentiated from one another by the interval that is present in each chord.

  • Octave
  • Major fifth

It is not difficult to understand the concept of intervals even if you have never heard of them before. Simply put, an interval refers to the amount of space that exists between two notes on the fretboard. In the case of a dyad, as well as any other guitar chord, the note that serves as the point of origin for the distance measurement is the root note.

The type of interval that a chord has will be determined by the distance between the root note and the second note in the chord.

Major fifth dyad

One of these intervals, which is located seven frets away from the root note, is referred to as a major fifth and is denoted by the term. This is an example of tabbed content:

tab for the fifth major dyad on the guitar

You can start this root note on any fret on the sixth, fifth, fourth, or second string and play the same shape. I’ve decided to put my root note on the fourth string at the fifth fret because that’s where I normally play it, but you don’t have to. The only note that accompanies the root note is a perfect fifth, which can be found at the seventh fret of the guitar.

This is your very first dyadic chord, which is very basic.

Octave dyad

The only difference is that our interval is (predictably) one octave higher than the root, which means that it’s the same note at a higher pitch, 12 semitones (frets) above the root. An octave dyad has almost the same appearance as a regular dyad.

D major dyadic shape

A moveable dyad is the sound of a major scale that is produced when the basic shape of a D chord is played.

We ignore the root D because we believe it to be a ghost note. If we move the note that is located at the third fret, which is a D, up to the fifth fret, which is an E, we will have another usable dyad. This is because note E is the fifth of the root A.

Once we have a firm grasp on fundamental dyadic shapes, we will be able to use them to construct chord progressions that are a little more complex and involved than those that are created by playing only root notes.

Chord Progressions Containing Triads

Triads are three-note chords that formally include the following intervals:, and. In order to build on the dyads that we have just learned, we can apply the same principles and techniques to triads, which are three-note chords.

  • Root
  • Third
  • Fifth

On the other hand, it is generally agreed upon that a dyad can be constructed out of any three-note chord that resolves to its own key. In the interest of constructing and comprehending chord progressions, we will view triads in this context in this manner for the time being. For instance, if you take the shape of the D major dyad that we just went over and add the root note, you will get a fairly common triadic chord that has a D root note, a D fifth note, and a D octave note:

Triadic chords of the major and minor scales are frequently used.

In this section, we are going to concentrate on a few movable triads that you will be able to use the majority of the time. The majority of these chords will be presented in the key of C; however, it is important to keep in mind that they can be moved to any fret.

In many instances, a triadic chord can be thought of as a simplified version of an open chord, which is a much more well-known chord.

Consider, for instance, the unreserved C major:

There are four notes here, but the highest one on the first fret, which is a C, can be skipped because we are already getting a C from the root note, which is located on the third fret.

Our triadic shape should now look like the one in the following diagram, and it should be much simpler for us to move it to other frets.

Therefore, if we transpose the chord root to the fifth fret, we will obtain the following shape:

Make an effort to select each shape one after the other.

Let’s take a look at some more triad chords, shall we?

The power chord is based on the triad.

A power chord, which consists of three different notes, is one of the chords that is used the most frequently. The first note is the root note, then there is the fifth note, and finally, there is an octave above the root note.

For example:

This chord can be fretted and moved with relative ease, and it can function effectively with a root note played on either the sixth or the fifth string.

If you want the chord to have a different tone, you can change the position of the fifth. For instance, rather than adding a perfect fifth, you could add a major third, which will land on the seventh fret of the instrument.

You can easily develop chord progressions consisting entirely of triadic power chords by utilizing the movement of both the root note and the interval in your chord progressions.

The shape of a major barre chord in the triadic position

If you begin a barre chord with the root note on the fifth string, the typical shape of a major chord will look as follows:

When we play the first string without the root note and the high G, we get a nice triadic chord in which the lower root note of C is assumed to be present.

One finger is all that’s needed to bar this chord in its entirety. Altering the notes played on the second and third strings enables you to create a number of additional triadic chords that can be put to good use.

The following are some alternatives that do not affect the key:

The shape of a minor barre chord in the triadic position

Changing this chord to a minor key is a very simple process. Move the note that is currently located at the fifth fret on the second string down one semitone so that it is now located at the fourth fret.

The shape of the D minor triadic chord.

In a manner not dissimilar to the previous example, we can use the shape of the D minor chord to locate yet another helpful triadic chord.

When it comes to constructing chord progressions and layering bass lines, the simplest shapes and patterns are frequently the ones that end up proving to be the most useful. Put these into practice, commit them to memory, and incorporate them into your chord vocabulary.

The progression of the G, C, and D Chords

In this part of the lesson, we’re going to concentrate specifically on the G C D chord progression, which is both one of the simplest and most commonly used arrangements. However, when playing each chord in its most conventional form, the pointer, middle, and ring fingers would all be fretting the root note of a chord at one point or another during the course of the performance. That is not an easy task, particularly for someone who is just getting started.

But why should you play each chord in the form that is most commonly associated with it? You are in no way required to play a standard G, C, and D at all times. In point of fact, it would be to your advantage not to.

Making the Advancement Less Challenging

When I first began learning these three chords, the first thing I did was learn the basic forms that are probably already known to the majority of people.

The versions of an open G major chord, a C major chord, and a D major chord that you see here are what I would refer to as “formal” or “proper.”

They are not overly challenging, but when it comes to moving from one shape to the next, they are not the most functional shapes. In the end, I learned new forms of each chord, which made transitioning between chords much simpler.

What I wanted to do was find a way to move my fingers as little as possible, which may sound like cheating, but it made the transitions smoother and really helped to tighten up the progression. I was able to do this by using a technique called cross-picking.

Since then, I’ve always played it in this manner.

Find out how to make a smooth transition between G, C, and D.

Throughout the entirety of the progression, we are going to place our primary emphasis on the following three fundamental aspects:

The note of D, which is located on the second string

The fundamental note, or root, of each chord.

The octaves as well as the intervals

The D note that I want to talk about is located on the second string and the third fret of the guitar.

Throughout the entirety of the progression, we are going to maintain that note with our ring finger and never move our hand from the position where it is currently resting.

Therefore, to get ready, you should position your ring finger so that it can play that note.

In the second step, we will add the root note of each chord, and then we will rock back and forth between that root note and our D: By this point, you should be able to start seeing the progression coming together. First, we’ll add one more step, and then we’ll proceed to strum through the entire thing.

In order to play a G chord, we will play an open G on the third string, which is the octave note for the G chord. We’ll use a perfect fifth for the C chord and a perfect fourth for the D chord as our intervals for the C and D chords, respectively.

The arpeggio can be tabbed out as follows:

First, let’s go ahead and strum straight through the chords, and then (if you haven’t already noticed it) we’ll talk about the practical beauty of this method.

You are only fretting one additional note for each chord, in addition to the D note that you are playing on the second string.

That means you can grab each root note with just one finger if you want to. Therefore, your hand won’t have to move from that spot, and you’ll be able to switch through each chord with movements that are straightforward and brief.

As a result, switching between these chords is made to be extraordinarily simple and fast. The fact that it sounds better and cleaner than the formal version of the progression is something that is even more important about it.

The fluctuation in power (standard and drop D versions)

The second step in becoming an expert at the G, C, and D chord progression is to become familiar with the most basic form of the power chord. In order to accomplish this, we will examine two distinct tunings, standard and drop D, each corresponding to a unique version of the progression. Let’s start with the most common form of this variation. Only two notes are required to complete our power chord.

The perfect fifth interval of the root note

Because we are going to be playing power chords, the G note at the third fret on the sixth string will serve as our root note. Our fifth will be played on the fifth string, which also corresponds to the fifth fret (a D in this case).

This form will also serve you well when playing power chords in the keys of C and D. In a standard tuning; there are also two distinct ways to play the complete progression on a guitar. To begin, rather than lifting your fingers off the frets, you can slide up to the root notes on the sixth string. This will get you there faster.

Power chords that slide through the G, C, and D progression.

The second technique is to make use of the root notes on the fifth string, which is located directly beneath the initial G chord that we played on the sixth string. The following is an example of what the tab looks like:

Bringing the root notes of the instrument up to the fifth stringYou have the option of sliding to each chord or switching strings for a more immediate change in chord position. Both of these power variations of this chord progression are reasonably quick and, by far, the most common ones to be found in use today.

The drop D variation is the same idea, but to play each chord, you only need to use one finger on your playing hand. If you lower the sixth string by one whole step, the note G will now land on the fifth fret of your guitar. This will cause the other two chords to move up two frets as well.

Utilizing a drop-D tuning while playing the G, C, and D chord progression. Because we moved the sixth string to a lower note (D), the final chord only uses the top three open strings of the guitar. This makes the progression even simpler to play.

Fewer fingers and fewer movements overall.

This method does not require you to use more than two fingers at a time for anything at any point in the process. Even though the more complex methods are seen as more formal and appropriate, I believe it is best to first firmly establish your progressions and lock them down with the simpler methods before moving on to the more difficult ones. Some people might view this as being a bit cheap. When changing chords, you will be in a better position to succeed if you use fewer fingers and make fewer physical adjustments than usual.

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Line 6 HX Stomp VS HX Effects (direct comparison)

What distinguishes the Line 6 HX Stomp from the HX Effects pedals is its range of effects.

As it turns out, quite a bit; however, we will make an effort to simplify this comparison and provide you with the meta-narrative of each pedal. In a nutshell, the HX Stomp is a comprehensive digital guitar rig processor that comes equipped with effects, amps, cabinets, and even mic models. On the other hand, the HX Effects is solely devoted to providing effects with a greater number of footswitches and a higher level of control. It does not include any amp models, cabs, or IRs. We would probably still advise going with the HX Stomp rather than the HX Effects despite the fact that they are both the same price and have approximately the same number of effects. Both of these processors are excellent in their own right, but we believe that HX Effects could benefit from at least a slight reduction in price.

Comparison of the Line 6 HX Stomp and the HX Effects

In this part of the article, we’ve included a straightforward comparison table that provides a streamlined and fundamental rundown of the features and specifications offered by each option. To view that information, use the buttons to compare the items. Following this table is an expanded chart as well as some audio demonstrations. Take note that the price of both of these units is precisely the same unless there have been some significant developments since this page was originally written.

Comparison in Extensive Detail

You can see that the number of effects included in each pedal is roughly equivalent, so it’s not as if the HX Effects is more specialized with effects than the HX Stomp. Rather, the amount of effects included in each pedal is roughly equivalent.

There are a lot more footswitches on the HX Effects, which means that you have more opportunities to bank and recall sounds, but this also drives up the price of the pedal. The HX Stomp has fewer footswitches than the HX Effects does, which is why the HX Effects costs the same as the HX Stomp. Therefore, it is likely that you have reduced costs by getting rid of amp models and certain sound banks, but you have likely made up for those losses by adding additional footswitches.

Pedal Type Multi-effects and amp modeling Multi-effects
Presets 126 user presets 128 (32 banks x 4 presets)
Number of effects 200+ 200+, Up to 9 simultaneous FX
Effects types 150 Helix, 77 Legacy Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Tremolo, Flanger, Chorus, Vibrato, Rotary, Phaser, Delay, Reverb, Modulator, Filter/Wah, Harmonizer
Amp modeling 80+ amps, 40+ cabinets No
Inputs 2 x 1/4″ (L/mono,R), 2 x 1/4″ (L/R, aux in) 2 x 1/4″ (L/Mono, R), 2 x 1/4″ TRS (stereo return)
Outputs 2 x 1/4″ (L/mono,R), 1 x 1/4″ (stereo send) 2 x 1/4″ (L/Mono, R), 2 x 1/4″ TRS (stereo send)
MIDI In, Out/Thru In, Out/Thru
Height 2.6″ 2.81″
Width 7.01″ 10.8″
Depth 4.96″ 7.84″”
Weight 1.75″ 4.9 lbs.

If you’re having trouble choosing between these two options, some important questions to ask yourself include the following:

  • How significant is the importance of modeling amps and cabs?
  • Do you think I’m only interested in post-production effects processing?
  • Should I get the additional footswitches and control, or do I even want them?

The manner in which you respond to these questions will have a significant impact on the type of pedal that will work best for you.

Which of the Summaries and the Conclusions Should You Choose?

We would argue that the HX Stomp offers a better value overall and is going to be more appealing to a wider variety of people as a result. On the other hand, if you really don’t care about the amp modeling features and you’d rather have more footswitches for more control, the HX Effects would be a better option for you.

Yes, we would like to see a $50 to $100 price reduction on the HX Effects, but the footswitches themselves are quite expensive. We’re going to go ahead and say that both of these pedals are of high quality, but depending on your preferences, one of them might be a better choice for you than the other.

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Strymon BigSky VS BlueSky (direct comparison)

In this article, we are going to examine the differences between two major reverb pedals manufactured by Strymon:

The BigSky and the BlueSky are two different skies.

The BigSky is not only the more expensive option but also the one that is physically larger. Despite this, the BlueSky is still able to provide a wide variety of sounds, modes, and adaptability options. But does it come close to matching up to the BigSky in terms of performance? Is there a possibility that BlueSky’s price could fall to the point where it becomes a more financially advantageous choice?

One simple comparison of features reveals that the primary “leg up” that the BigSky has over the BlueSky is its banking system, which has over 300 presets, and the fact that it’s MIDI controllable, providing a significant amount of control that is lacking from the BlueSky. Both of these features are absent from BlueSky.

But which of these does a better job of making the case that it is worth the money it costs?

In order to find out, we are going to investigate the specifics of both of the reverb pedals.

In addition to having MIDI control and 300 presets, the BigSky has a total of 12 different reverb algorithms, which is more than the BlueSky, which only has three. Although the tone quality is comparable, there is undeniably value in the BigSky for those who want more control and more versatility from their reverb pedal.

The BigSky’s banking system enables you to easily cycle through effects and explore presets, regardless of whether or not you make use of a MIDI controller. Therefore, it is not so much a problem with the sound quality as it is a problem with the functionality and the usability of the product. The reason for this is not that the BigSky produces a sound that is superior to that of the BlueSky, but rather that it provides significantly more capabilities and simplifies the process of navigating the various effects.

It’s almost like a miniature computer that creates the atmosphere you want.

Details concerning the Strymon BlueSky

The user interface of the BlueSky is significantly more compact, and it features a bypass switch in addition to a secondary “favorite” preset switch. This is a better option for you if you don’t use reverb very often and if you’re the kind of guitar player who keeps their pedal in the same mode no matter what they’re playing.

This provides you with a lot of room to work, but it is not even close to being as comprehensive as the BigSky.

Again, we find that the sound quality of both is pleasing, as Strymon seems to always be able to put together digital algorithms that have a rich sounding that does not cause us to miss analog circuits.

The BlueSky is a good option to consider if you want a control scheme that is more straightforward and don’t feel the need to use all of the presets that come packaged with the BigSky. You will also have a smaller selection of modes to work with, with only three distinct types of reverb and then three additional variations for each of those.

In this section, we will review the following:

However, BlueSky does not really reduce costs to the extent that we had hoped it would. In comparison to the BigSky, which retails for $470, the BlueSky maintains a price point of approximately $300; this is, of course, still quite pricey for a reverb pedal.

If it were priced closer to $200, we might consider recommending the BlueSky to our readers. However, due to the fact that it does not really save you a significant amount of money, we would advise you to go the extra mile and purchase the BigSky due to the numerous modes, presets, and adaptability options it provides. Due to the fact that it is, all things considered, one of the very best reverb pedals that have ever been developed, we have no problem shelling out the additional $170 to bring it into our living space. Please let us know in the comments section below if you disagree with anything we’ve said about these pedals or if you have any questions about them, and we will try to assist you as best we can.

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The E Minor Pentatonic Scale: Segmented for Guitar

This is a segmented version of the E Minor Pentatonic Scale for Guitar.

In this section, we are going to provide an answer to a straightforward question: what is the E minor pentatonic scale, and how can it be used on the guitar?

This article is written for people who are just starting out in music, or at the very least, those who are unfamiliar with the pentatonic scale and how it functions. On the other hand, intermediate guitar players who may focus more on chords and rhythm will also benefit from this lesson.

This lesson will primarily cover lead guitar, with a strong emphasis placed on musical theory.

To begin, we will provide an answer to our question in its most basic form.

What is the pentatonic scale in the key of E minor?

In the key of E minor, the E minor pentatonic scale is a series of five notes that are spaced out over a single octave. The scale degree pattern that it follows is I-III-IV-V-VII (more on scale degrees later). The Aeolian mode serves as the foundation for the minor pentatonic scale, which does not adhere to any particular key.

The following is a diagram of a guitar scale that uses the E minor pentatonic scale, and it shows the five notes of that scale:

The pattern begins at the root note of E, which also serves as the “key” or letter value for the scale. The degrees of the scale, specifically III, IV, V, and VII, are what give us the designation of minor pentatonic.

Even though we’ve focused on a certain part of the scale, the pattern we’ve established will continue to repeat itself in both directions, eventually giving you a pattern that covers the entirety of the fretboard and is difficult to take in at a glance because it’s so extensive.

Here is what the E minor pentatonic scale would look like if it were allowed to continue in both directions along the length of the fretboard.

In guitar tablature terms, the pattern in question would look like this:

When playing it on the guitar, however, you only need to choose a single segment or form of the scale, just like we did in the example before this one. After that, you can make use of the scale as a framework for improvising and developing your own solos or melodies, particularly for rock and blues music.

Alternate Forms

Understanding the E minor pentatonic scale, as well as other commonly used pentatonic scales, is best accomplished by breaking the scale down into its component parts, which we have outlined here.

This next example of an E minor pentatonic form that you might use on the guitar is expanded with a few more notes than the previous example we looked at. If you play the guitar, you might find this example useful. Even though it is still a relatively small segment, it provides you with a greater margin of error to work with.

Form of the Third Fret

Due to the fact that we are concentrating on E minor, this version begins on the third fret of the low G string. However, the initial note of the scale is still E.

The corresponding guitar tab can be found here:

The guitar tab version displays an ascending scale beginning on a low G and moving up through the lower sixth string notes.

The guitar tab version displays an ascending scale beginning on a low G and moving up through the lower sixth string notes.

These forms initially have an odd sound to them until you begin to experiment with them and add some of your own techniques, such as bends and tremolo, to the mix. Because there is a large selection of lower notes available to work within this particular form of the E minor pentatonic, it is a great one to use when you want to build heavier and darker melody lines.

Open Form


Playing the E minor pentatonic scale using the open form is one of the more straightforward ways to do so. The diagram that shows the notes between two octaves can be found here.

If we extend this scale to higher registers, where the strings are thinner, we get a larger scale diagram similar to the one that follows:

The guitar tablature that corresponds to this larger version of the scale can be found here:

Another portion of the E minor pentatonic, this time is taken from its form on the eighth fret, is presented below. We’ll return to the more manageable octave-to-octave section, this time concentrating on just five notes.

Even though this is the eighth fret form of the scale, the root note is actually located at the ninth fret, and the majority of the notes fall between the 10th and 12th frets when you expand it to its full form.

I’m not going to draw a complete diagram for this one, but here’s a screenshot from the all-guitar-chords scale tool:

A portion of the E minor pentatonic scale is expressed in the form of the eighth fret.

Studying the E minor Pentatonic Scale from a Theoretical Perspective

A pentatonic scale can be written in scale degrees like this regardless of the key it is in; however, this example uses a major key as its basis:

1, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭7

You could also refer to this as the “formula” of the scale.

This means that you take the first note, minor or “flatted” third note, fourth, fifth, and minor seventh note of whatever key you want your pentatonic scale to be in. If you use that specific formula, the key you want your pentatonic scale to be in is E major.

In our particular situation, we need to find a pentatonic scale that corresponds to the key of E minor.

This indicates that we need to look at our scale in E minor and pull out the first, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh notes:

A, B, C, and D, followed by E, F, and G

The notes that are highlighted in red are the ones that correspond to our formula.

Since we now have these notes, we are able to locate an E as the root note on the fretboard and then plot the rest of the notes in the scale by plotting the next four notes. The following is the process that I used to construct the diagram, beginning at the E note on the fifth string at the seventh fret, which you may recall from the first illustration we looked at.

We have followed the notes of the scale from the low E all the way up to the high E, which gives us a total of four notes, all within the same octave as one another. The same pattern is presented here in guitar tab form:

The E minor pentatonic scale is transcribed as a tab for the seventh fret position.

The addition of this note brings the total number of notes in our E minor pentatonic scale to five; however, if you count the additional octave, the scale contains six notes. What if we wanted to work with more notes at our disposal?

The Expansion of the Scale, Beginning at the Seventh Fret Position

It is plain to see that a linear extension could be made in either direction along this scale. Consider the example provided by the diagram below:

It is possible to “straighten out” the exact same scale and play it in a linear line on a single string, which makes it simple to expand the same five notes up or down the fretboard.

If we want to continue the shape above the seventh fret position, as you can see, we simply need to build into the same scale by moving up to the same notes within the E minor pentatonic scale. This will allow us to continue where we left off. They can continue in either direction, provided that there are more frets available for you to work with.

Developing the pentatonic scale based on the E minor key in our guitar diagram.

The note of the root, E, can be added at the 12th fret, and then these notes can be sectioned off to show how they might fit together.

Two variations of the E minor pentatonic scale have been sectioned off and coupled together with roots located at the seventh, ninth, and 12th frets, respectively.

One way to look at the above diagram is as an amalgamation of three distinct variations of the E minor pentatonic scale into a single fretboard shape. You will now have a substantial grid of notes from which to improvise as the seventh, ninth, and 12th fret forms of the scale are being combined into one shape.

Despite the fact that you could keep constructing the scale in either direction, let’s take this section and practice some improvisation instead.

Using the E minor Pentatonic Scale for Improvisation


As you become more familiar with the theory and the scale degree patterns that we showed you earlier, adding notes and expanding the shape will become simpler and more intuitive for you to do. During our practice of improvisation using the forms of the E minor pentatonic scale that we’ve developed so far, this should take place on its own naturally.

During the time we spend improvising, we are going to put the following ideas into practice:

Keeping to a predetermined key (E minor)

Using a format that has already been established (E minor pentatonic forms between the seventh and 12th frets)

Making use of fundamental technical adjustments and rhythmic variations (bends, vibrato, different-timed notes, etc.)

As a result of the fact that scales, on their own, do not produce original or distinctive melodies, we are able to use them as structural boundaries to construct melody within a given key. I’ll begin by playing the fundamental note, then move a few degrees higher up the scale while bending and vibrating the note as I go.

Root, Third, Fourth, Bends, and Vibrato are the First Recipe’s Ingredients.

Example of basic improvisation using the E minor pentatonic scale, including the root, third, and fourth scale degrees, as well as a full bend and vibrato.

Even though there are only three notes involved, there is a lot that can be done with this shape once the variety that is provided by the applied technique is taken into account. In this example, I play the note G with a full bend (the note G bends to A and then back again), and I play the note A at the seventh fret with a slight vibrato. Let’s give a similar strategy a shot, but this time we’ll move up the fretboard.

Root, Third, Fourth, Bends, and Staccato are the ingredients for the Second Recipe.

A similar improvisation that included bends and staccato notes, all of which were performed between the 10th and 12th frets.

Now that our pattern is established, we can expand it by moving up the fretboard through the 12th and 14th frets while maintaining the established note sequence as follows:


A blues-style run can be developed using the structure of the scale, and we can start at the 12th fret on the sixth string and work our way all the way up to the 14th fret on the first string.

Performing the Steps Again, This Time at a Different Fret


As you can see, the E minor pentatonic scale can be applied in a variety of different styles and configurations, and you have plenty of options to choose from. The procedure that we have outlined here can be repeated at any one of those different stages. For instance, let’s say you wanted to improvise a melody using the E minor pentatonic scale while playing in the open position. You would use the following segment:

  • To continue the improvisational process, you can repeat any step using any part of the E minor pentatonic scale.
  • To continue the improvisational process, you can repeat any step using any part of the E minor pentatonic scale.
  • After you have decided on a portion of the scale, you can proceed through the steps that are outlined below in order to locate a manageable improvisation sequence:

Locate the root letter E.


Determine which pentatonic scale exists between the root note of E and the octave above it (should be five notes total). You can continue playing on the fretboard in either a vertical or horizontal direction using those five notes.

Introduce some variety into your timing and approach.

It is difficult to use or even make sense of that much information when you look at a scale diagram that spans the entire fretboard. This is because there is so much information. Because it teaches you that an actual pentatonic scale is only made up of five notes, knowing the theory behind the E minor pentatonic scale comes in very handy at this point in the process. The most effective method for learning and instructing this scale is, to begin with, those five notes and learn how they are derived from the key of E minor. This is true for both learning the scale and teaching it.

As soon as you have mastered this technique, you will be able to find those notes anywhere on the fretboard where you are able to find a root E note.


These are some of the more common forms and segments that guitarists can use when playing the E minor pentatonic scale on their instrument. They are simple to play because they are brief, and their visual presentation is not as bewildering as that of the full fretboard versions. Because there are only two possible directions to move in when playing the piano, longer scales are somewhat simpler to comprehend. On the other hand, playing the guitar allows you to move in any one of four different directions, which makes it challenging to understand a full-length scale when depicted on a fretboard diagram.

For example, the E minor pentatonic scale is easily divisible into these smaller sections, which can then be utilized for improvising in blues, rock, and a wide variety of other musical styles.

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Building Clean and Dark Guitar Melody with the D Minor Scale

Guitar improvisers often start their ideas in the key of D because it’s so accessible. When I want to create an addictive melody, I like to use it in combination with a heavier clean signal and a subtle layer of delay. In this article, I will walk you through some frameworks and methods that you can use to build a gloomy, foreboding melody with a clean signal in the key of D minor.

In order to get a better understanding of the structure, we are going to look at D minor triadic chords, also known as “triads,” as well as the D minor scale. In order to ensure that everyone is starting on an even playing field, let’s go over the definition of a triad before we get started digging in the dirt.


Chords known as triads are constructed using three distinct notes.

  • The Third Root (minor or major)
  • Fifth in perfect form

There is a requirement that every triad contain these three intervals, which provides us with an extremely simple framework that can be utilized to generate – in this case – a minor melody over a specific key. If our root is D, a simple way to improvise is to start with a minor third and (or) a perfect fifth. Doing so is a straightforward method. You could also include the octaves in the key of D if you wanted to.

You would then begin with the following notes as a starting point:

  • Root D
  • It’s a minor third (F)
  • Fifth in perfect form (A)
  • The Octave (high D)

We won’t use them as chords, but we will use them as a note structure to help give us some direction regarding how to begin constructing our melodies. This will help us get started. Now that we have a key and a grid, we are able to begin applying the limited knowledge of music theory that we possess.


If you don’t want to rely solely on triads or if you’d rather think in terms of scales and scale degrees, you can also default to the notes of the D minor scale and simply draw your melody from there. This is another option for those who prefer not to think in terms of scales and scale degrees. In the end, I will demonstrate this technique as my concluding example for this unit (the last audio sample). The scale goes from D to E to F to G to A to B to C.

As a structural reference for the improvised melodies that I’ll be playing throughout this lesson, I’ll be using the D minor scale as well as the D minor triad. This is helpful given that we are striving to adhere to a different key, and it is in our best interest to avoid approaching that task without a structural strategy in mind.

To begin, let’s look at some Minor Triads in the Key of D.

To get things started, let’s take some time to listen to some arpeggiated sequences that correspond to the D minor triad that was previously mentioned. We’ll begin by establishing some arpeggios with a root D. These arpeggios will cover the root, minor third, fifth, and Octave (in some cases), resulting in a melodic arpeggio with a gloomy and ominous tone.

I am configuring the tones and audio with Guitar Pro 7 at the moment. You can follow along with this guide if you want to download the software. First things first, I’ll adjust the tuning using the menu on the right sidebar. The timing is straightforward, with only four quarter notes occurring within each bar of a 4/4 measure. Nevertheless, there are a significant number of variables involved in reaching the audio samples presented above. The following items in a bulleted list provide a general outline of the formula:

  • Minor triad
  • a more leisurely pace (80 BPM)
  • Drop D tuning
  • Low EQ and delay settings that are bass-friendly.

These features put the guitar tab that we provide into context. They not only do a nice job of framing this particular arpeggio, but they also provide us with a template that we can reuse with an entirely different tab in the key of D or even in another key if we get tired of playing in the key of D minor. This same note grouping of D, F, and A, also known as the first, third, and fifth notes of the D minor scale, could have been obtained by referring to the D minor scale as an alternative.

The notes at the 11th and 10th frets, which descend from B to A before returning to the root note of D, are responsible for the minor drop. This causes a break in the ranks of the D minor triad that we used in the previous shape. The B is actually a minor sixth (eight semitones above the root D) and not a minor third, as one might expect from its name. However, the D minor scale can be used to find the origin of all of the notes, including the B flat.

Although it is played in a lower tuning, this is the same melody that appears in the Apocalypse remix of “The Outsider” by A Perfect Circle. It is likely that Billy Howerdel’s guitar was responsible for the melody that can be heard at the beginning of the track.

The minor sixth drop is heard again in the second bar, but this time it is played lower in the register. This helps to highlight its role as a distinct component of the melody. Again, there is not much variation in terms of timing, but this is something that can be easily added or felt as you play the melody and experiment with various tempos and timings. The most difficult part is going to be getting the notes down, so once you have a grouping of notes that you like, the following variables are all going to come into play:

  • The rate or the tempo
  • Timing (quarter notes, eighth notes, etc.)
  • Color and its effects and tones
  • Extensions of the intervals (additional notes)

We are now able to jump into a studio tool and create a track that uses an improvised melody in D minor, with or without the use of external instruments, because we have some theoretical understanding of our scale and a handful of ways to add colorful melody. Soundtrap is the name of the web application that we will use for these demonstrations.

Putting together a track using Soundtrap and an additional improvised melody

After opening the URL for Soundtrap, you should have no trouble registering for an account or signing in to an existing one. Launch a brand-new project, and then select “Studio” from the drop-down menu.

It is recommended that you play around with the app for a while in order to familiarize yourself with its features. When you are ready to construct a track, you can begin by selecting either the “Patterns Beatmaker” option (which is displayed in the screenshot located above) or the traditional drum track option. You will be able to construct a drum beat or click track with the help of this, which will allow you to record the rest of your music around it.

Make sure that the tempo you use for your project is the same as the one you were using (or approximating) for the melody played on your guitar and that the key of your project is set to D minor.

Establish the pace.

Choose a key (D minor in my example)

Utilizing the Dub stepper pad instrument, piece together your drum track.

Following all of that, I arrived at the following arrangement for my backing drum track:

Experiment with the different pads and the different functions of the drum machine until you come up with something that you like and want to use.

After you have ensured that your drum kit is in working order, the next step is to incorporate a bass line into the D minor melody. Again, the D minor scale can be used to generate an underlying chord progression for us to work with. Since the melody is the main focus of the track, we should try to keep everything as straightforward as possible. You are free to experiment with your own bass line if you are using Soundtrap; however, you must ensure that you keep the key of D minor throughout.

My progression consists of the letters D, F, G, and A in that order.

Following these steps will allow you to add a new track to your Soundtrap project that features a cubic synth bass. You also have the option of recording your own bass line externally, in addition to using one of the other presets (I personally prefer synth bass sounds).

You are free to experiment with your own bass line if you are using Soundtrap; however, you must ensure that you keep the key of D minor throughout. My progression consists of the letters D, F, G, and A in that order.

Now that the bass and drums have been properly mixed, we are in a position to experiment with some melody. If you’re using Soundtrap, add another track, and then go to the “Jazz” category, where you’ll find the preset called “Delay No Swell” for the guitar.

This tab isn’t completely accurate, but it does cover the fundamentals of the melody and provides a point of reference for when you want to begin improvising a pattern that’s similar to the one it shows. Plugging in the tabs that were used to become familiar with minor melodies in the key of D, which were found at the beginning of this article, can also be an option for us. These tabs can be plugged into our bass and drum track. To this point in time, We have come up with a kind of framework for writing riffs that consists of the following characteristics:

  • A predetermined rate of travel (80 BPM)
  • A reliable master key (D minor)
  • Experience improvising music in this key is required (the first three tabs we covered)
  • A kick or drum track
  • The progression of chords and the bass line is in the key of D minor.

These five components, taken together, give you all of the contexts you require to be able to improvise while keeping a specific objective and path in mind. In the future, you will be able to play more melodic guitar licks by using any of the following strategies:

Change the tune from the previous recording in this article’s series.

You can customize or install the tunes from any of the first three tabs.

Make use of the frameworks that we’ve developed to compose a brand new melody that is completely unique. It would be to your advantage to do all three of these things rather than relying solely on the information that has been presented in this piece so far. Create a melody of your own using your own creativity in combination with the musical theory and the structures that you’ve learned in this lesson. Even if you start from scratch and build your own rhythm track from the ground up, there is value in doing so.

Performing Freely Without Using a Recording Device

If you use the rhythm track that I’ve created, or you’ve come up with your own, it might be easier to use an external guitar (either acoustic or electric) and improvise your minor melodies by simply playing along with the track rather than attempting to record on top of it. This way, you can use an external guitar to play along with the track instead of trying to record on top of it. The primary reason I decided to record the improvisation was so that I could provide a more comprehensive example and provide an illustration of how the final product might sound.

In most situations, I would simply learn the theory, determine the sound I wanted to work with (for example, a minor melody in the key of D), and then create a rhythm track to play along to while experimenting with various melody lines. After that, I would compose the song. You won’t have to commit anything to paper in order to put your thoughts to the test because of this opportunity.


Leave them in the comments section below if you have any questions about the music theory that is involved with this exercise or questions about how to use the Soundtrap software. I would prefer to respond there rather than in an email because that way, others who read our conversation will benefit from it. In addition to straightforward praise or rebuke, we value well-reasoned corrections, additions, and criticisms shared in the comments section.

This entry was posted in Blog.

Best Volume Pedals for Guitar (top 4 picks)

The volume pedal is a straightforward piece of guitar equipment that only has one function.

The majority of these pedals only function as volume controllers; however, a few of them include additional features (such as a stereo connection, tuner output, or adjustable boost).

Because the technology is so straightforward, selecting the most effective volume pedals can be somewhat challenging.

Exist characteristics that, when it comes down to it, really count?

There are, and we’ll discuss those features as we go over a list of the top four volume pedals for guitar, having eliminated anything we don’t like or haven’t tried out on our own first.

Best Volume Pedals for Guitar (top 4 picks)

These are the volume pedals that come highly recommended by our team, along with links (in the orange buttons) to Sweetwater, a retailer that we collaborate with. By making purchases through these links, you are contributing to the maintenance of Guitar Chalk at no additional cost to yourself.

1. Ernie Ball VP JR

The Ernie Ball VP JR is without a doubt one of the most well-liked volume pedals available, and it also happens to be one of the volume pedals that costs the least amount of money.

You’ll notice that there is a 25K version as well as a 250K version, which corresponds to a low and high impedance option, respectively.

When compared to pedals such as the Dunlop High Gain, the VP JR foot pedal has a significantly more refined “feel.” It gives the impression that it is preventing you from pressing down or rolling back too quickly. In this regard, cheaper volume pedals can have a feeling that is a little clumsy and haphazard, but the VP JR does a good job of leading your foot and sort of guiding you into certain positions, which is a feature that is absent from cheaper pedals.

When it comes to the fundamental capabilities of a volume pedal, guitarists typically do not look any further than the VP JR, and the same is true for us.

This is the first recommendation we make for musicians of any skill level or musical style.


  • Taper switch offers two distinct swell points throughout the song.
  • Smaller size conserves pedalboard real estate
  • The prices are reasonable (for a volume pedal)
  • The foot pedal responds with a fluid movement when pressed.


No minimum volume control

2. Morley Volume PLUS Volume Pedal

Since Morley’s Volume PLUS was developed to function in environments with high and low impedance, we are essentially able to use it either in or out of an effects loop depending on our preferences.

In addition, there are no potentiometers on these pedals because the designers opted for an electro-optical layout that is significantly less noisy.

There are a lot of similarities between this pedal and the Morley Little Alligator, which was a different Steve Vai signature pedal in the past.

In addition to that, Morley includes a minimum volume knob that enables you to move back and forth between two distinct points. This is a great feature that we don’t see on very many other volume pedals that are priced in the same range as this one.

If the lowest volume setting is something that you would use frequently (and that you would prefer to the tuner output), then the Ernie Ball Volume PLUS should be ranked higher than the Ernie Ball VP JR, in your opinion.


  • Minimum volume setting
  • Great price point
  • outputs in stereo format
  • The smooth taper was set with input from Steve Vai.
  • Electrico-optical control (no pots to wear out)


Not one considering the cost.

The front control panel of the latest iteration of the Ernie Ball volume series includes two notable new additions: minimum volume control and gain control.

The minimum volume knob performs the same function as the Volume PLUS knob, allowing you to toggle between two distinct volume points at the top and bottom of the pedal’s sweep position. This functionality is identical to that of the Volume PLUS knob. A gain knob is a boost option in its most basic form. This transforms your volume pedal into a signal booster that you can use for solos, making the MVP ideal for use in situations where you will be performing in front of an audience.

Because the MVP costs somewhere between $20 and $30 (which is more than the VP Jr.), we would only recommend it in preference to that pedal (and the Morley) if you would use the gain knob in conjunction with the minimum volume control. Due to the fact that these are performance-friendly features, those in the market for a gigging pedalboard should probably consider purchasing the MVP.


  • Excellent sweep control can be found here.
  • Maximum signal boost can be achieved by turning the gain knob all the way down to a minimum.
  • Tuner input
  • Excellent for both passive and active electronic applications.


A tad more expensive than the two choices that came before it.

4. High Impedance Volume Pedal from Boss Model FV-500H

We think that Boss’ move into the market for volume pedals has been a successful one, particularly given the fact that they offer two different versions of the FV-500: an H version and an L version, respectively designed for a mono/high impedance connection and a stereo/low impedance connection, respectively.

In addition, the sweep motion of the pedal is very smooth, making it competitive with the offerings of both Ernie Ball and Morley. In addition, we like how the pedal has a rubber grip on top of it. This provides an additional level of control, which is helpful given that the surface isn’t perfectly flat.

The fact that the FV-500H does not come with minimum volume control is the only significant drawback to the device.

For any and all circumstances requiring volume control, we recommend using the FV-500H (presuming that the more common high impedance version is what you require).


The “feel” of the sweep can be adjusted using a torque control, despite the fact that it works very well right out of the box.

Tuner, as well as a jack for expression pedal

The rubber grip surface has a robust feel to it.

There are versions with high and low impedance, as well as mono and stereo.


No minimum volume control

What to Look Out for When Making a Purchase

Even though volume pedals are fairly straightforward pieces of equipment, there are still a few details that need our attention when we go to purchase one. Since volume pedals are typically used quite frequently and subjected to more abuse than other types of pedals, their level of durability should be the primary focus of your attention when shopping for one.

You should also be aware of whether you are purchasing a mono or stereo volume pedal before making your purchase. Mono volume pedals only have one input and one output, whereas stereo volume pedals allow you to connect two instruments or outputs to two different sources. Stereo volume pedals are more versatile.

You should also check to see if it handles expression functionality (can manipulate settings in guitar pedals that are compatible with expression) and if it has a minimal volume setting, which we’ve found to be a really helpful feature in the products that we’ve used in the past. Both of these features are important to look out for.

What does a volume pedal do?

Even though we’ve already touched on the fundamental purpose of a volume pedal, we’ll summarize it by saying that it controls the output from your guitar or, more accurately, your gain. As was just mentioned, it is also capable of handling expression duties. In extremely unusual circumstances, it is also capable of functioning as a wah pedal.

How to Properly Position Your Volume Pedal

There is an article on the Strymon website that goes into further detail and also provides some illustrative aids. In the case of volume pedals, you should position them as close to the beginning of your signal chain as possible, after compression (if you are using compression), but before wah or filter effects.

The Preferred Method for Utilizing a Volume Pedal

The majority of the time, the input for your volume pedal should come from your guitar, and the output should continue on to your subsequent pedal or amplifier. This is the standard method for connecting pedals.

Connections for the Stereo Volume Pedals

The connection for a stereo volume pedal is also very easy to use because it enables you to either plug two instruments into an A and B input or send the signal of one instrument into two A and B outputs. Both of these options are very convenient.

If you wanted to send the signal from one guitar to two distinct amplifiers or pedal lines, for instance, that would be an example of how the setup would work. A “mono connection” refers to a setup in which there is only one input being utilized.

A “stereo connection” is established when both of the device’s inputs are being used.

Volume Pedal VS a Guitar Volume Knob

When turning down the Volume of your signal with either a volume knob or a volume pedal, you are, in a technical sense, lowering the signal’s gain. This is the most important thing to keep in mind.

Gain and raw Volume can be differentiated from one another in the following ways:

The term “gain” refers to the levels of the signal going into the preamp.

Raw or the “Master” format The term “Volume” refers to the signal levels that are fed into the power amplifier.

To put it another way, gain refers to the signal that is coming directly from your guitar before it is processed by the three-band equalizer in your amplifier. In this sense, the gain is controlled by both the volume knob and the volume pedal. This is due to the fact that both of these controls have the ability to reduce signal before it reaches a preamp.

The primary distinction between the two is that volume pedals are much simpler to operate and frequently come equipped with more dynamic features, such as swell points or a “pan” mode.


Do you have any concerns or inquiries regarding these volume pedals that we haven’t addressed? Please jot it down in the comments section below, and we will examine whether or not we can be of assistance.

In addition, we are always interested in hearing recommendations and suggestions regarding pedals for articles of this nature. Therefore, if you are familiar with a pedal that you believe should be included in our roundup of the best volume pedals, please let us know about it.

This entry was posted in Blog.

5 Best Electric Guitar Strings for Beginners

Smaller, lighter, and physically easier to play guitar strings should be used for beginning players. The only real way to obtain strings of this type is to purchase sets that use a smaller gauge, preferably ones that are labeled as light or extra light. This is the only way to obtain strings of this type. When compared to electric guitar strings, acoustic guitar strings are naturally larger and more challenging to play due to the fact that they are frequently wound with a material called phosphor bronze. When compared to bronze, which is used to wind acoustic strings, the nickel used to wind electric strings results in a string that is both lighter and more pliable.

From a string player’s point of view, this makes the electric guitar, which is not typically considered to be an instrument suitable for beginning players, a simpler instrument to play.

The following characteristics should be prioritized when marketing electric guitar strings specifically to beginners:

  • Construction of strings with a nickel-wound steel core
  • Lighter string gauge
  • Strings that are flatwound
  • Strings with a coating

One or more of these characteristics will be present in each and every beginner-friendly electric string that we recommend purchasing. We are going to steer clear of heavier and thicker gauges and instead focus on lighter sets that have a low E string that is.042 or lower. Check out our comprehensive guide to the best guitar strings if you’re interested in perusing additional string options for your acoustic, electric, or bass guitar.

1. Elixir Light-Emitting Electric Strings with a POLYWEB Coating

Due to the coating, non-coated strings tend to be slower and more difficult to play than coated strings, primarily because the coating acts to level out the nickel winding. In reality, Elixir manufactures several distinct varieties of coating, one of which, known as POLYWEB, generates a warmer tone and, in our opinion, is less taxing on the hands and fingers. According to the information that we have, their “super light” set includes strings with gauges ranging from 09 to 42, making it their lightest known electric string set.

Using coated strings will result in a playing experience that is noticeably smoother and will produce a better tone overall. The only disadvantage of using coated Elixir strings is that they are more expensive. This is due, in part, to the fact that they are designed to last significantly longer than conventional, uncoated string.


  • Coated strings are easier to play and produce a better tone than non-coated strings.
  • A significantly longer playing career
  • Fewer instances of finger scraping


A significant amount more expensive

2. Ernie Ball Classic Rock ‘n’ Roll Extra Slinky Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball’s Classic Rock n’ Roll Extra Slinky strings are light and easy to bend, making them an excellent choice for beginning guitarists who are working to break in their fretboard. Although it has one of Ernie Ball’s thinnest available gauges (0.38 on the low E string), it still produces a warm vintage tone and works exceptionally well when paired with a tube amplifier.

Despite having a smaller gauge, the chords produce a full and well-sustained sound, while individual notes and melodies ring out clearly with a great deal of definition and character. In addition to that, a significant amount of emphasis is placed on pick scrapes and subtle right-hand movement.

These string sets are popular among jazz and blues musicians due to the warmth they exude and the ease with which they can be played, despite the fact that they are adaptable to virtually any musical genre. The larger strings have a winding made of pure nickel wrapped around a core made of high carbon steel. This is a fairly common recipe for electric string windings.

If you’re just starting out with electric guitar, you probably shouldn’t buy a whole bunch of strings right away; instead, you should get a set to see if you like them and want to continue using them.

They are our go-to string recommendation for the vast majority of scenarios.


  • Tonality that is warm
  • Very easy to play due to the light gauge, which also makes bending and technique require less effort. Excellent value.


Sometimes there is a bit of an excessive amount of “scrape” on left-hand movements.

Lack of a coating

3. Reverend Willy Electric Strings by Dunlop, Extra Light

The extremely thin gauge of these strings is the primary selling point for beginners; it is even slightly lower than that of the Ernie Ball set that we researched earlier. Even though Dunlop strings aren’t even close to being as well-known as Ernie Balls, this Billy Gibbons set has the smallest gauge out of all the sets that we recommend.

It will make learning chords and short melodies much less of a physical issue, which will allow you to focus on memorization and head knowledge pertaining to the fretboard instead.

These strings are nickel wound, just like the first two sets, but their resonance is slightly “hotter” and more twangy, particularly when played through a clean tube amp.


  • The smallest gauge on this list
  • Gentle on the hands and fingers.
  • Lead picking benefits greatly from the tone.
  • Having reasonable costs


With such a narrow gauge, you sacrifice some of the fullness and coziness of the smoke.

4. Ernie Ball Super Slinky

The Super Slinky comes from Ernie Ball’s “main” electric string line and is a little heavier than the Rock N Roll string set that was recommended earlier. The Super Slinky is part of Ernie Ball’s electric string line. They are essentially an uncoated version of the Elixir set, which makes them a much cheaper alternative. Their numbers range from 09 to 42. If you’re just starting out on the guitar and want a thicker, more chord-friendly tone, and you don’t intend to do much soloing, we think these are the strings for you. Even with 42 strings, the string set is still considered to be relatively small, which indicates that it will continue to be simple to play.


Light gauge is very user-friendly in terms of playing it.

Bends and techniques require less effort.

Chords and rhythm are more effectively expressed through the gauge.

Great price point


A slightly increased amount of “scrape” on left-hand movements

Lack of a coating

  1. D’Addario ProSteel Super Light Acoustic Guitar Strings

D’Addario’s rendition of a super light electric string set boasts magnetic steel that is unlike any other type, and the company claims that this will result in a sound that is both brighter and more aggressive. The Dunlop Pro Steels are a set of strings that have a sound that is more intense and bright, and they are comparable to the Dunlop Billy Gibbons set. At the same time, this is a common trait of lighter gauges, so it’s difficult for us to tell if that’s due to the claim of a unique type of steel or just the natural resonance of the strings. However, lighter gauges tend to have a more resonant sound.

Due to the fact that their clean tone has a distinct depth and brilliance, we are happy to recommend them as a good alternative for beginners who are looking for a string that is primarily focused on playing lead guitar and melody.

These sets are advertised as being “corrosion-resistant,” despite the fact that they are not coated. Despite this, the price is slightly higher.


The tone is analogous to years of existence and is fantastic for rhythm.

Pick and finger scrapes produce a sound that is distinct and clear.

Construction using steel and bronze gets back to the fundamentals

Great price point


There is neither a coated nor a string treatment.

Lack of a coating

The Methods We Used to Choose the Very Best Electric Guitar Strings for Beginners

The criteria that should be satisfied by the electric guitar strings that are ideal for beginners to use are as follows, in no particular order:

a thinner gauge that’s simple to pick up and play

The superior degree of quality in terms of tone

a more comfortable sound when strumming chords

You’ve solved a significant portion of the equation if you have these three things in your possession. But in addition to these considerations, we also put a significant amount of weight on the direct experience we’ve had with every string set that we recommend. Therefore, the answer is that we do play the guitar and make use of these strings.

We are not writing about something that we simply researched online and read a couple of reviews on before deciding to write about it.

These are genuine recommendations for things that we have handled and can vouch for.

When it comes to evaluating electric guitar strings, there are a few more general characteristics and quality indicators that we can take a look at. In particular, we are taking into account the following aspects:


The Elixir acoustic string lineup features a treatment known as the POLYWEB Coating.

Nickel Winding Steel Core: The majority of guitar strings are constructed around a core made of high-carbon steel.

String gauge refers to the size of the string and is typically listed for each individual piece of string in a package.

Bright EQ: The string instruments have a greater sensitivity to the midrange and treble frequencies of the equalizer.

When the EQ is set low, the strings will respond more favorably to the low end of the frequency spectrum.


A tone that is balanced should have a pleasant sound on both the low and high EQ settings of the electric guitar. In a general sense, this indicates that they will work well with both single-note picking patterns as well as strumming patterns.

Coating or Age-Prevention: Some of the electric guitar strings available on the market today come with a coating or treatment that helps to extend the string’s lifespan and improves the tone of the string.

The Building Process and the Materials: When thicker guitar strings are wound, this means that they have a core—typically steel—that is surrounded by another layer of material that is wrapped around that core. Particularly for the thicker gauges, the type of winding material, such as nickel, steel, bronze, or phosphor, will have an effect on the quality and durability of the strings.

How long a string can be expected to last while retaining its tone and resonance is referred to as its length of life. Strings that have lost their freshness will not only corrode in an obvious way, but they will also lose their vital tonal quality.

Other Essential Factors to Take Into Account

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some answers to the most frequently inquired about topics. In the event that you have any further inquiries, please feel free to post them in the comments section down below.

Is it absolutely necessary to have coated electric strings?

Coated guitar strings, regardless of whether you’re working with electric or acoustic instruments, have a much longer lifespan and typically sound better than their uncoated counterparts. This is a fact that cannot be refuted.

However, there are a lot of professionals who don’t use coated strings and even prefer the rougher sound and feel that you get with uncoated round wound guitar strings. This is because coated strings tend to wear out faster.

Therefore, they are not required in any way, but there are a number of significant benefits that are difficult to disregard.

In a nutshell, the question boils down to whether or not you are willing to pay the additional cost in exchange for the extended lifespan.

Are uncoated strings more prone to breaking than coated ones?

Coated strings are less likely to break than uncoated strings, although this does depend to some extent on the gauge and size of the string. Simply put, this is due to the fact that there is more reinforcement in each winding and less space in between each winding.

How long do the strings on an electric guitar typically last? How frequently do they need to have their settings adjusted?

You can expect an average lifespan of two to three months from uncoated electric guitar strings. This is the case in most cases.

Coated electric guitar strings, similar to Elixirs, can last for a significantly longer period of time. The average duration is between six and eight months.

Obviously, a great deal is determined by a number of different factors.

The amount of time you spend actually playing is the primary concern.

Should beginning musicians begin with electric strings that have a thinner gauge?

In general, and particularly for electric guitar, I would say yes.

Because playing electric guitar involves more lead techniques, such as bending, and therefore calls for a greater degree of string manipulation, the best electric guitar strings for beginners should always be a lighter gauge. This is because playing electric guitar requires a greater degree of string manipulation.

To change the strings on an electric guitar, do you need any special tools?

To change the strings on your electric guitar, we recommend using a peg winder; however, if you don’t have one, you can certainly do it by hand. This article provides visual demonstrations of the process for you.

The string cutter, winder, and three-in-one tool that comes with it are what we use.

What purpose does it serve to leave the smaller electric strings unwound?

You’ll probably find that the G, B, and E strings on most electric string sets are unwound, leaving only the steel core in its various sizes exposed. This is a standard aspect of the construction of steel strings, in which the low E, A, and D strings are wound while the other three strings are left unwound. This makes it easier to achieve a balance of size and tone across all six strings.

What are some indications that I need to change the strings on my electric guitar?

Because electric guitar strings don’t discolor nearly as much as acoustic guitar strings do, determining how old they are can be a little bit more challenging than determining how old acoustic guitar strings are. Even so, it is possible that you will observe a darkening or staining, particularly on the thicker wound strings that are located above the fret separators.

You should also be able to hear a clear degradation in the tone quality as well as a loss of sustain.

It’s possible that you need to replace your electric guitar strings, particularly if the tone you’re getting doesn’t have enough thickness or weight to it.


As they progress through their studies of the electric guitar, nearly all of them will form a close relationship with a specific group of strings.

However, beginners frequently go into the process of purchasing strings without having any idea where to begin or what to look for.

This list is merely a recommendation of where to start, made by individuals who had actually gone before you and used these string sets. These individuals are the ones who have compiled this list. It will, at the very least, provide you with a starting point to work with and familiarize you with the more widespread and typical choices.

This entry was posted in Blog.

13 Electric Guitars with a Piezo Pickup (master list)

This information is going to be presented to you in two stages. In the first step of this process, we are going to compile a list of all of the electric guitars that we have located that have a piezo pickup installed. This indicates that they are guitars that come pre-fitted with a piezo pickup and do not need any kind of modification or upgrading to function properly.

These guitars come equipped with a piezo pickup located beneath the bridge, in addition to a second output jack that is solely devoted to the piezo pickup.

The following are the results of this:

The traditional magnetic pickups, each of which comes equipped with its own output jack. The piezo pickup, which comes with its very own output jack

Because they are typically installed underneath the bridge on an electric guitar, these pickups are not visible on the instrument. This placement allows them to directly pick up the vibrations of the strings off of the body of the guitar. The sound that is produced by piezo pickups is projected in this manner. Please feel free to continue reading below our list of guitars for additional information on the technical aspects of piezo pickups.

Piezo pickups on electric guitars.

Electric guitars that we have been able to locate come equipped with a piezo pickup. It is not a ranking or a review but rather just a list of guitars that have this one-of-a-kind and unusual characteristic. Take into consideration, once more, that this will result in there being two output jacks on each guitar: one for the magnetic pickups and another for the piezo pickups.

You should also be aware that it’s possible there are other types of electric guitars that use piezo pickups that I simply haven’t been able to locate.

Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below if you are aware of any that I may have overlooked.

What exactly is a piezo pickup, and how does it function in an instrument?

A piezo pickup is a specific kind of guitar pickup that, rather than relying on a magnetic field, gets its signal from the vibrations of the strings.

A magnet with coil wrapping creates a magnetic field above the guitar strings in the more common passive and active pickups. This field affects the sound produced by the guitar. Piezo pickups make direct contact with the bridge of a guitar and project a sound onto the body of the instrument that is generated by the vibrations of the strings.

As a result, they are a well-liked option for acoustic guitars, particularly nylon string guitars, in which the use of magnets is not a viable alternative. A piezo pickup is a type of pickup found in electric guitars that can produce a sound that is more acoustic-oriented. This sound is produced by the natural vibrations of the guitar’s body.

Check out this ESP LTD article on piezo pickups for more information on the subject.

Which brands of electric guitars utilize piezo pickups the most frequently in their instruments?

At the moment, there are four manufacturers of electric guitars that are engaged in the process of producing electric guitars that have piezo pickups installed. The following are some examples of them:

  • PRS
  • Ernie Ball
  • Schecter

The inventory of piezo electric guitars held by PRS is by far the most extensive, with ESP LTD coming in a distant second. A significant market presence for this particular feature does not appear to exist apart from these four brands, at least not currently.

Piezo pickups on electric guitars have a number of advantages.

The sound that you get from a piezo pickup is more natural, despite being brighter and less warm than the sound that you get from a magnetic pickup.

It is probably overstating the case to say that “it turns your electric guitar into an acoustic” when referring to an electric guitar. But it does bring out some of the acoustic qualities of the instrument, giving you a tone that is not based on the electrical current created by magnets and wiring but rather on the vibrations of the strings and the body of the guitar.

This makes the tone profile of your electric guitar significantly more versatile, allowing it to project through either the magnetic pickups or the piezo pickup, depending on your preference.

And there are some situations in which you can combine the two.

Concluding Remarks and Several Questions

The addition of a piezo pickup to your electric guitar can give you access to a wide range of new tonal possibilities, and this is especially true if your instrument is equipped with a blend knob that enables you to customize the ratio of piezo to magnetic pickups. Since the purpose of this list is to compile all electric guitars that feature a piezo pickup in a single location, it is possible that some models slipped through the cracks during our investigation. Feel free to mention it in the comments section below if you are familiar with an electric guitar that comes equipped with a piezo pickup as standard equipment. Additionally, we encourage you to post your questions and thoughts there.

This entry was posted in Blog.

6 of Our Favorite Pickup Upgrades for Stratocasters

Upgraded pickups can improve the sound of a Stratocaster significantly, and this is especially true of the Squier and even the Fender Standard models.

Most Stratocasters come equipped with stock Fender pickups (which are not the same ones that I’ll highlight here from the Fender custom shop) unless you’re dealing with upper-tier Fenders American Strat models such as the American, Deluxe, Pro, or Custom Shop model.

The Stratocaster’s factory pickups can and should be replaced with others of your choosing. In this piece, we will offer some replacement options for what you could use instead of them.


It’s not that stock pickups necessarily sound bad; rather, they’re meant to encompass a broad spectrum of Stratocaster tones. On the other hand, upgrading to custom pickups gives your sound a lot more specificity and character than it would have otherwise had.


The vast majority of Stratocasters use a pickup configuration known as SSS, which is an abbreviation for “three single coil pickups.” This can even result in a diverse assortment of pickups being available at each of the three positions.


What factors determine whether or not purchasing a Stratocaster is a wise financial decision? The Stratocaster that you decide to upgrade shouldn’t be overly cheap or overly expensive as a general rule. When it comes to guitars on the more affordable end of the spectrum, there are some models that simply do not have a solid foundation upon which to build.

On the more expensive end, nicer Stratocasters — perhaps from those Fender series we discussed earlier — already have really nice pickups and parts and don’t really require anything else to be upgraded to.

Take, for instance, the Fender V Mod II pickups that come standard on this American Stratocaster; these pickups are already among the very best available:

For the vast majority of pickup upgrades, we will want to concentrate on Stratocasters priced approximately between $300 and $800.

For the purpose of enhancing the sound of a Stratocaster electric guitar, I will be recommending six different single coil pickup sets, which I will discuss in this article.

Pickups that sound best on Stratocasters (top 6 picks)

Within this section, you’ll find a list of links to Strat pickups that we recommend, each of which has its own entry on Sweetwater or Amazon. We have formed a partnership with Sweetwater to provide you with hassle-free access to guitar gear at no additional cost, in addition to providing a straightforward method for you to contribute to Guitar Chalk. Please take into consideration making purchases for your guitar gear via these links as a means of contributing to the continuation of this content. I am grateful.

The Seymour Duncan California ’50s single coil set is responsible for some of the most enticing and faithfully recreated versions of the classic Stratocaster sound that I’ve ever heard.

The response is undeniably crisper, and there are a lot of high-end sparkles that result in a tone that is glassy and well-suited to blues playing. It is especially useful for lead guitar work or any kind of vintage style, in which you frequently need to cut through the mix and have the guitar serve as the melodic focus. I find that this effect is particularly appealing.

They are less ideal for high gain settings and appear to be much more “at home” with a smaller amount of amp breakup than with higher gain settings.

This style of playing is the most appropriate for the era of the 1950s. When it comes to your playing, lead, technique, and touch are everything. The California ’50s are not the best choice for those who are looking for a sound that is more substantial and weighty.

It is interesting to note that Deva includes a Boss Blues Driver and a Peavey Envoy tube amp as components of his setup.


The California ’50s Strat set is priced at approximately $160 at the majority of retailers.


This particular equalization setting has an upward tilting EQ bend, which emphasizes the treble frequencies while lowering the midrange.


  • Alnico 5 magnets
  • A tone that is crystalline and bell-like makes soloing really addicting.
  • Sounds fantastic when enhanced with reverb, tremolo, or a moderate to low amount of gain.
  • We did not experience any issues with noise or humming. THE


  • Not one considering the cost.

Although the Antiquity II Surfer set and the single-coil pickups of the 1950s share some similarities, the Surfers have a higher DCR rating on the bridge pickup, which results in a brighter sound overall.

They have more “pluck” and “twang,” which gives them the feel of almost being finger-picked in a country style.

A higher level of “quack” in the picking response is one way that some people have described it.

This set sounds best when used with a clean, sparkling lead, which is a tone that is reminiscent of what you might hear coming from a John Frusciante Stratocaster.

Even with higher gain settings, the response isn’t bad, which is particularly notable given that we are still discussing high-register lead. When using these pickups, tremolo picking, bends, hammer-ons, and vibrato all produce a sound and feel that are very pleasing to the ear. Each of those movements has a distinct, bluesy sound, and playing them is a little bit more addicting.

This pickup set is perfect for any and all playing styles that lean toward vintage blues or classic rock due to its staggered and aged Alnico 5 magnets. Everything about this pickup set screams the ’60s, from its name to its design.


The Antiquity sets typically have a higher price point, with most markets setting them at approximately $270. Because of this, they are the most expensive set on this list, which is one of the reasons we do not like them as much as the California set.


The California set and the Antiquity set are both single coil pickups, but the Antiquity set has slightly more midrange and slightly less treble than the California set.

If you want to make your Stratocaster more versatile, the Hot Rails Stratocaster set from Seymour Duncan is a fantastic option to consider.

It makes use of a high output ceramic magnet, which enables you to get heavier with higher gain levels or quieter when you dial back into softer, more subtle playing by allowing you to get heavier with higher gain levels or vice versa. Ceramic magnets in a Stratocaster produce a tone that is strikingly similar to the sound that emerged from the grunge scene in Seattle in the early 1990s.

Ceramic magnets have a silky feel and a warm temperature, but they also have a bit more grit and bite.

A significant portion of this demo was captured with a relatively high amount of gain for the majority of its duration, which is one of the strengths of the Hot Rails design. You can still get that twang and “quack” that we’ve noticed in other sets, but it’s a little smoother, and it adds some thickness, both of which work well with the higher gain.

Those individuals who want a heavier tone but like the vintage appeal of the Stratocaster will find this to be an excellent compromise.

It sounds a lot like the following players, don’t you think?

It was Billy Corgan (early Smashing Pumpkins albums)

Tom Morello (“Soul Power” Stratocaster with Audioslave)

In other words, they have a bluesy tone while also having a heavy weight to them, making them suitable for both lead and heavier rhythm playing. This is a fantastic modification for Strat players who are looking for the option to make their guitars a little heavier.


Approximately $240 is the price for a complete set of Seymour Duncan Strat Hot Rails. If you were to buy each pickup separately, it would cost you approximately $90 for one.


The Hot Rails are a significantly heavier set than the vintage sets that we discussed earlier, and as a result, they produce a greater amount of output and warmth. From an equalization point of view, they place a greater emphasis on the low-end and the midrange.


  • Tone with a lot of crunches and high output
  • The pickup is versatile enough to bridge the gap between high-gain distortion and subtle clean tones
  • A single coil design with a ceramic magnet produces an excellent sound.
  • Sustain in abundance


Not one considering the cost.

The Texas Special pickup set from Fender does an incredible job of bringing out the snap and bluesy draw of your picking technique, whether you use a pick or your fingers.

In that regard, it is comparable to the Antiquity set, albeit with a touch more silkiness and considerably less brittleness. It has a gritty quality to it as well as some really understated aggression, both of which are reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s playing style and tone.

They are an excellent collection for people who like country or blues music, and if you play lead guitar, they will appeal to you in particular.


The price of Fender Custom Shop pickups is typically a great deal lower than the price of a set of Seymour Duncan Strat pickups, though this can vary depending on the retailer. You should budget between $75 and $100 for Texas Special sets and closer to $200 for anything with the word “Noiseless” in the title.


A lot more “quack” can be heard in the response from the Texas Special set in particular, just like it can from the California set. Consider once more the tone of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar. In comparison to other vintage sets, it is silkier and warmer, but it still has plenty of “snap” and places a significant amount of emphasis on the right-hand movements.


  • Alnico 5 magnets
  • Low noise
  • Excellent for blues as well as country music.
  • Compared to the standard Stratocaster pickup, this one has a bit more growl and higher output.


Broken coils have been reported by some of our customers.

Their single coil set for the Stratocaster makes use of the same stacked coil technology that is found in the Fishman humbuckers that we recommend for electric Les Paul guitars.

It has a tone that is somewhat of a hybrid between the silky and full-bodied tone of an active pickup and the bright and ringing tone of a passive single coil pickup. Even though the single coils are voiced slightly higher for Stratocaster playing styles, they still sound incredible in almost any situation, including when the gain is turned up quite high.

You are able to achieve the sparkling high-end of a single coil set while retaining the smoothness and low-end power of humbuckers.

If you are looking for the most flexibility possible from your Stratocaster, this is the set that I would recommend to you above all the others.

They are one of the very best upgrades for a Stratocaster that we are able to recommend.


When compared to the prices of some of Seymour Duncan’s sets, the price of the Fluence Strat set, which retails for approximately $225, is surprisingly reasonable. Because they are widely considered to be the best Strat pickups currently on the market, we have no problem whatsoever with the asking price. It will cost you approximately $110 for each one if you buy them separately, so it is highly recommended that you purchase them in a set.


The technology developed by Fishman provides you with a tone mixture that can be bright and sparkling or warm and heavy, depending on your preference. It’s an odd combination of passive and active pickup tones, but it results in a sound that’s completely one of a kind and gives your Stratocaster a lot of versatility.


The stacked coil technology incorporates characteristics of both passive and active pickups into your tone, allowing for a range of tonal possibilities, from extremely heavy and aggressive to light and subtle.


  • High cost
  • Requires either a battery or an optional battery pack that can be recharged.

This pickup set is one of the most classically voiced available for the Stratocaster from Fender. It generates a lot of brightness on the high end and has a resonance that is almost glassy.

The middle and neck pickup positions get warmer as lead picking notes are played, and they produce an excellent sound.

These are great for Stratocaster purists who are looking for a tone that is unmistakably Fender and harkens back to the rock and roll of the 1960s. We recommend them.


The price of this set is typically a little bit higher, somewhere around $150. However, taking into account that Strat pickup sets manufactured by companies other than Fender typically cost more than $200, this is an exceptionally good deal.


The ’57/’62 single coil set is one of the seminal Strat pickup configurations, giving you a classic tone that is fairly bright with some added midrange. This configuration is one of the reasons why Strat is so popular. You won’t get much of a punch from it, but the neck pickup does deliver some warmth that can be heard pretty clearly.


  • A low end that is warm and bluesy in tone
  • vibrant and glassy on the highs when played through the bridge pickup position
  • The high-quality tone is consistent with the traditional design aesthetic of Fender products.
  • The lead playing styles benefit greatly from bright tones.
  • Alnico 5 magnets


There are none.

Can you explain what a Stratocaster pickup is?

Single-coil magnetic pole pieces make up the vast majority of conventional Stratocaster pickups. These pole pieces are typically arranged in groups of three: one each for the bridge, middle, and neck positions. They generate a tone that is brighter and more bluesy, but they are available in a wide variety of incarnations, each of which is capable of managing a varying amount of gain.

What’s the difference between the pickups on a Strat and a Tele?

Although they are similar to Strat pickups in that they use a single coil design, Telecaster pickups have a slightly warmer tone and are shaped differently to fit the bridge and body of a Telecaster guitar.

Both in Sound and in Tone

Stratocaster pickups, particularly some of the original designs, are voiced with a vintage tone that is more commonly used by lead guitar players who want to cut through a mix. This is because of the pickups’ ability to produce a clear and distinct sound. The crispiness and a bluesy quality are going to be present in even the Stratocaster single coil pickups that have a heavier tone because of the way they are designed.

Even though some Strat pickups are intended to produce deeper tones and heavier gain levels, these are not the Strat pickups’ signature tonal characteristics.

Those guitarists who favor a brighter tone that leans more toward vintage will find that Stratocaster pickups are the most suited to their playing style.

Best for Blues

The Texas Special set available from the Fender Custom Shop is one that we would recommend for blues playing styles. Although it is possible to say the same about the Seymour Duncan pickup sets, the majority of the Stratocaster pickups manufactured by Fender are going to be good for producing blues tones.

Simply put, Fender sets are significantly less expensive, which is a factor that should definitely be taken into consideration when attempting to keep the cost of upgrades to a minimum. All of those Fender sets are going to give you a powerful blues tone, which isn’t necessarily Seymour Duncan’s forte as a manufacturer of pickups.

The Very Best for Rock

Either the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails or the Fishman Fluence set is what I would suggest purchasing for your Strat if you are looking for a heavier and more rock-oriented tone. They will both provide you with additional warmth and low-end that is similar to the response of a humbucker.

What kind did Hendrix use?

Throughout his career, Hendrix played his right-handed Fender Stratocaster with the factory-installed pickups that came with it. Since then, there have been signature pickups developed for Jimi Hendrix, but all they do is replicate the manufacturing process that was prevalent in the 1960s, which is when Hendrix was at the height of his career. You can learn more about the pickups that Jimi Hendrix used and his tone by clicking on this link.

The Best Option for a Pure Sound

When it comes to the quality of the clean tones that can be achieved, it is very difficult to beat what you get from the Fishman Fluence Strat set. If achieving that is the most important thing to you, then we wholeheartedly endorse using them.

The Finest Value Available (best value)

The Texas Specials from the Fender Custom Shop are, without a doubt, the Strat pickup set that offers the best value for the money. You won’t find a much better deal anywhere in the range of $70 to $100, and that’s already more than 50 percent less than the price of the majority of other specialty Strat pickup sets.

Where do we stand with humbuckers?

The body of the guitar and the pickguard of the vast majority of Stratocasters are both outfitted with slots for three single-coil pickups. There are some, however, that have a dual pickup configuration similar to this one:

You’ll also come across Stratocasters with HSS pickup configurations, which consist of a humbucker installed at the bridge position and two single coil pickups installed at the middle and neck position:

If you own a Stratocaster that already has one of these pickup configurations, you can begin to investigate humbuckers as a potential upgrade for your guitar’s pickups. The following is a list of various brands that have earned our confidence:

The Best Humbuckers from Seymour Duncan

Best DiMarzio Humbuckers


With the right Stratocaster pickup upgrade, you can take your playing in a wide variety of stylistically distinct directions. You could either give your Strat a modern and heavy sound by installing modern pickups, or you could give it a vintage look by installing pickups from the 1950s. In my opinion, one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is what kind of sound you want to achieve with your Stratocaster.

What kind of sound are you trying to achieve before you upgrade? Which musical genre are you attempting to perfect your skills in?

Make a decision about it in advance rather than simply stating that you want to sound better.

It’s not quite enough to say that you want your Strat to sound generally better if you’re going to upgrade its pickups because that’s a given if you do upgrade your pickups. There are so many options.

Give this a try: How would you like the sound of your Stratocaster to be?

What about David Gilmour? Eric Johnson? Is that Billy Corgan? Tom Morello?

Your response to that question will reveal a lot about the type of pickup set that will function most effectively with your Stratocaster.

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A roundup of 10 Telecasters with Humbuckers

Because of their one-of-a-kind tone profile, which places emphasis on the picking hand and the “plucking” of the strings, Telecasters are extremely popular instruments. This frequently results in an effect and tone that many people refer to as twangy. This effect is common in blues, country, and certain rock subgenres.

This sound is produced in large part by the distinctive single coil pickup configuration found on Telecaster guitars, which typically appears as follows:

On the other hand, some people prefer to combine the twangy tone of a Telecaster with the smoother and heavier tone of a guitar with dual humbucking pickups. In this piece, we will be compiling a list of the nicest Telecasters available on the market that come equipped with two humbuckers already installed in the bridge and neck positions.

Telecasters that are equipped with Humbuckers (Fender & Squier)

For the purposes of this table, I will only consider Telecasters that have two humbuckers rather than single coil pickups. The vast majority of people who search for that particular configuration are looking for a Telecaster that has a heavier sound and is capable of playing more contemporary styles of music, such as heavy rock or even metal.

Bear in mind that this list is not necessarily a ranking or rating but rather just a roundup of good options that come equipped with this specific feature.

We have sorted all of your options for you because the majority of websites do not allow you to sort by pickup configuration.

Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments section below if you have any additions to the list (something that perhaps we missed) and if you have any questions about the list.

How would you describe their tone?

A heavier and more aggressive sound is achieved by installing humbuckers in a Telecaster, as I alluded to earlier in this paragraph. You give up some of the twangs that the Telecaster single coils are known for, but in exchange, you get a fuller tone overall, which some people find more appealing for rock and other contemporary styles. P90 pickups produce a sound that is a good example of what you can expect from an HH Telecaster pickup, despite the fact that they are a little smaller than a traditional humbucker pickup.

I’ll discuss some particular sound conventions for a few more styles in a bit.

When in Rock

HH Telecasters are frequently utilized as rhythm guitars in modern rock music, particularly for playing heavy power chords and high levels of distortion. The body design of the Telecaster, particularly the semi-hollow Telecaster, contributes some of the guitar’s characteristic growl and twang, but the humbucking pickups add a significant amount of bass and thickness to the sound.

To the Country

Some of the heavier songs are sometimes written and recorded with a dual humbucker Telecaster, even though country artists typically choose to use the traditional Telecaster pickup configuration for their instruments. In this context, the humbucker and single coil hybrid pickups are also frequently seen (more on that later).

Popular examples of an HH Telecaster played in a metal style include the John 5 and Jim Root signature Telecasters. Active pickups, which are silkier and sound good with high levels of distortion, are also used to get a thicker, more saturated metal tone. This is because active pickups sound good with high levels of distortion.

The Distinction Between the Neck and the Bridge

The majority of these Telecasters come equipped with sets of stock humbuckers. Of these sets, one humbucker is designed or “voiced” for the bridge position, while the other is voiced for the neck position. The sound produced at the neck position will be darker and fuller, whereas the sound produced at the bridge position will be brighter and have more treble. However, the physical design of the two is not significantly different from one another (or they are the same).

Although the model of the Telecaster and the pickups that are installed can affect the tonal differences between the two humbuckers, the fundamental qualities of the instrument remain relatively unchanged.

The majority of Telecasters equipped with humbuckers also feature a three-way pickup selector that enables the player to choose between a variety of different signals.

Bridge only Neck only Dual bridge and neck only Bridge only Neck only

Read more about the best guitar pickups overall here.

When it comes to a Telecaster, single coils versus humbuckers

Would it be more beneficial for you to continue using the single coil configuration in your Telecaster?

In all honesty, the answer to that question is going to depend on your personal tastes as well as the type of music you want to play.

I used to play a Fender American Standard Telecaster that had single coil pickups for a good portion of my musical career. My experience with it led me to conclude that it was adaptable and able to deal with a wide variety of musical tones and idioms. The fact that the pickups were just noisy was the primary issue, which may or may not has been caused by other problems with my rig. On the other hand, I’ve also heard that this is a problem that’s fairly common with Stratocasters and Telecasters alike.

If you decide to go with single coil pickups for your Telecaster, I would suggest getting a nicer set from either Fender or Seymour Duncan, possibly the Noiseless Fender sets.

The thickness of the tone and the degree to which the low end will be emphasized will, once again, be the primary determining factors in determining whether a Telecaster is equipped with single coils or humbuckers.

Alternate Possibilities (mixed)

In terms of the configuration of your Telecaster’s pickups, you also have a few different options available to you. In addition to using only humbuckers or only single coils, you also have the following two options to consider:

In addition to a Single Coil Humbucker (HS or HSS)

Putting a single coil pickup in the bridge position of a Telecaster and a humbucker pickup in the neck position is another pickup configuration for Telecasters that is fairly common. In other words, a single coil pickup is used for higher tones, while a humbucker pickup is used for lower tones.

Dual P90s

You have already seen an example of the dual P90 setup in the video that was presented to you earlier; this configuration is sometimes used in Thinline Telecaster models. Traditional humbuckers can be compared to these pickups; however, they are slightly more compact and produce a tone that is noticeably brighter.


These are your best options if you’re looking for Telecasters that have humbuckers installed at the bridge and neck of the instrument, presuming that you’re sticking with Fender and Squier as your guitar manufacturers of choice. Although there are other manufacturers that produce guitars with a shape that is similar to the Telecaster, Fender was the company that originated the design.

If you are set on purchasing this kind of guitar, our advice would be to stick with the Fender brand, or if you are on a tight budget, consider switching to a Squier model instead.

In the event that you have any inquiries regarding any of the guitars that were discussed, please do not hesitate to contact me in the comments section below, and I will do everything in my power to assist you.

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